ASOS Curve, Beauty, coats, fat acceptance, lipstick, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, metallics, Navabi, personal style, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Tarte Cosmetics, what i wear to work, what i wore, Work outfit, Work wear

The Brightest Bird in Bootle

Arched Eyebrow x navabi tag

When Bethany announced that she was launching her very own collection of clothing for navabi, I – like most of the plus sized world – did a little scream of delight. In the interests of full disclosure, Bethany is a good friend of mine. But even if she wasn’t, I’ve long been a fan of her distinctive style, and I knew instinctively that the pieces she created would be bright, bold and beautifully cut. When the collection was launched, it didn’t disappoint, providing a capsule wardrobe of simple, elegant clothes in an array of gorgeous colours.

One of the things I love most about this collection is its versatility. You could easily throw on the tapered red trousers with a simple white t-shirt to wear to a meeting, or do some serious colour blocking by teaming with it with the (gorgeous) pussy bow pink shirt. It’s a middle finger raised to the idea that plus sized women shouldn’t dress in bright colours or don’t want to wear tailored items. As someone whose personal style has veered away from the super femme vintage styles that seem to dominate plus sized fashion as I’ve grown older, it feels – and looks – like something that the industry really needs right now.

Somehow I managed to exercise some control and limited myself to three pieces – the hot pink blazer, the (immensely Instagrammable) gingham shirt and the tailored red trousers. All of the pieces will make an appearance on this blog over the next few weeks, but so far, my favourite of them all is the blazer, which I wore on a trip to Manchester this weekend. Popping it on made me feel like I was channelling Pat Butcher, David Byrne (in his big suit) and Don Johnson from Miami Vice all at once.

Pink jacket black t-shirt (full body)

JACKET: Arched Eyebrow x navabi

T-SHIRT: ASOS Curve

JEANS: Marks and Spencer

SHOES: Marks and Spencer

EARRINGS: Mango (old)

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas (old)

Now, lets be honest. I will never receive plaudits for my ‘understated, effortless style.’ Everything about me feels designed to be obnoxiously large and loud, from my hair to my dulcet Mancunian tones. But throwing this jacket on made me feel even more vibrant, like I was made to stand out from the crowd. Everyone who saw it, loved it (in fact, my Dad loved it so much that he even tried it on for himself.) It’s designed to be worn with everything from casual skinny jeans to a tailored peg leg trouser and is sure to become a staple in my wardrobe (particularly when worn with my favourite gold mules.)

Selfie pink jacket

While I’m here, allow me to introduce you to my new favourite lip colour, ‘Fly’ by Tarte Cosmetics. Tarte are an American brand who I always see getting a lot of love on American beauty blogs and podcasts, not least because they’re vegan and cruelty free. I picked two of their quick dry matte lip paints when I was in Sephora in Boston and I love the pair of them. While they’re not quite as long lasting as my beloved Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips, the colours are out of this world. ‘Fly’ is a wonderfully vivid shade of fuchsia which I can see working on all sorts of skin tones.

After some extensive internet research (read: ‘doing a Google’), I’ve discovered that UK residents can purchase most of Tarte’s range via QVC. Seeing as I can’t be trusted around cosmetics, I’ll probably be doing a big splurge on their range soon (I’ve heard great things about their Maracuja Oil) and will report back. And if you know of anywhere else in the UK where you can purchase Tarte’s range, please let me know in the comments!

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Five Friday Faves, Home items, Jewellery, Navabi, Television, Television programmes

Five Friday Faves: 02.09.2016

I love nice things and I’m sure you do too. Life is often hard, sad and brutal – 2016 has been a great example of that – and there’s no shame in wanting to treat yourself when it all feels a bit much. I’m a big advocate of self-care, but I don’t believe that you need to spend huge amounts of money to do this. While I’m lucky and able to regularly indulge myself with cute new clothes and make-up, I also delight in simple, inexpensive things like long walks and even longer hot baths.

With this in mind (and because it’s all the rage), I’m going to post five of my favourite things each Friday. It’s not just going to be stuff you can buy – although there will be a fair bit of that, of course – but also book recommendations, links to interesting articles, TV shows to watch, blogs to read, podcasts to listen to and one nice thing you can do for yourself each week. Basically, all the good stuff.

Here’s this week’s five Friday faves.

I'll bring you flowers

BUY YOURSELF SOME FLOWERS

The last time I had a bunch of flowers in my house was after my wedding and I’m ashamed to say that I left them in the vase until they became horribly brown and wilted. Since then, I’ve not really thought of buying myself flowers. They always seemed so expensive and I never knew where I’d put them in my house. Then, on Monday, I noticed that Aldi were doing cheap bouquets in a huge variety of glorious colours. I picked up these chrysanthemums for £2.50, popped them in a vase* (*wine decanter) and placed them on my dining table/freelance working space. I love how bright and vibrant they make my room look. Plus, there’s something quite lovely about buying yourself flowers to just appreciate the fact that you’re an ace person who’s managed to get through another day without major incident.

Fleabag

WATCH ‘FLEABAG’ ON BBC3

Ignore everything you may have read about BBC3’s ‘Fleabag’ comparing it to ‘Girls,’ ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary,’ and even ‘Miranda.’ It is none of these things. What it actually is is a brilliant examination of grief, guilt, female anger, friendships, fucked up families and lots and lots of bumming jokes. While the main character is a 20-something woman who experiences romantic love and quite a lot of sex,  here it is hollow, manipulative and joyless rather than the be-all and end-all of her life. Since I watched it in one gulp earlier this week, I cannot stop thinking about it. It is three hours of the rawest, funniest TV I’ve seen all year and definitely the best thing I’ve ever seen on BBC3 (which is a big deal when you consider how much i love Don’t Tell The Bride.)

Meraki scented candle

MERAKI SCENTED CANDLES (£8 – £12)

For ages I was a scented candle sceptic, believing that there were just a very nice smelling means of burning money. Maybe it’s because I’m in my 30s and ‘nesting’, or maybe because I’m fed up with my house smelling of yesterday’s dinner and farts, but I have become an avowed convert to the candle cause. If anything, I frequently fear that I’m going to end up like this infamous tweet. I discovered Danish brand Meraki’s recently and have become a huge fan. They promise to have a 35 hour burn time and come in a range of delicious scents. I particularly like the Sandalwood & Jasmine – a great sweet and spicy last days of summer fragrance.

navabi jean marc phillipe polka dot blouse

JEAN MARC PHILIPPE POLKA DOT SHIRT FROM NAVABI (£79.99)

navabi excels in super-elegant pieces and this great Jean Marc Philippe shirt has stolen my heart. Yes, it’s a polka dot print, but it’s as far away from kitschy 1950s version of polka dots as you can get. If anything, it reminds me slightly of something you’d see from Lulu Guinness whose items I absolute adore. This shirt is serious enough to wear to work and stylish enough to wear to an informal dinner with friends afterwards. Definitely one for my ‘well put together business bitch’ list.

 

 

Estella Bartlett pineapple necklace

ESTELLA BARTLETT PINEAPPLE NECKLACE (£19.99)

I’m still in mourning for the gorgeous ASOS pineapple necklace I bought a few years ago which snapped the second time I worn it. Ever since then, I’ve been hunting for the perfect pineapple charm and I think I may have found it here. (Like me), it’s chunky yet funky and it won’t break the bank. Just the thing for some September tropical vibes.

What are your Friday faves? 

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Christmas, elvi, joanna hope, look what you could have worn, metallics, Navabi, ootd, pink clove, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, silver

Look what you could have worn: The Silver Edition

The Silver Edition

So strictly speaking, this outfit edit isn’t eligible for everyone’s new favourite plus-sized column, look what you could have worn. But, I got a few requests on Twitter to do a silver version of this post, and I need very little excuse to go digging around the internet for amazing clothes.

Most of the items I’ve featured here are more expensive than those you’ll find in your average plus sized retailer. But I’ve chosen them all because they take risks, and dare you to break the rules that fat women so often hear when it comes to fashion.

I often get frustrated when looking at plus sized items, because it feels like they only come in two styles – a hanky hemmed, butterfly patterned bin bag, or ‘flattering’ vintage inspired dresses. It gets so tiring to hear that another major high street brand are launching a plus sized range only to see the same things again and again. Being fat doesn’t suddenly rob you of your critical faculties when it comes to getting dressed. And I know many fat women who would be prepared to pay more for fashion which encourages them to stand out from the pack. So why should we have to put up such uninspired and tired clothes? If brands really want to convince us that ‘style has no size,’ (a campaign which is already loaded why are they not putting more effort into creating fashion forward items rather than the same old thing? To quote this fantastic piece by Bethany Rutter at The Fader, “I’m living for the day when I have access to the same range of cool, daring, understated clothes as thin women, without the side-order of condescension.”

As for my choices? Well, metallics are very in at the moment and are excellent for all those Christmas parties you’ll (no doubt) be attending very soon. And I feel like I have a duty of care to ensure that every plus sized babe reading this strides forth into the festive season swathed in shiny fabrics, looking really really bloody good.

Elvi Prima Grey Sequin Bomber Jacket

Elvi Prima Grey Bomber Jacket – £119.00

Elvi’s Prima collection features some of the best plus sized clothes I’ve ever seen. It’s all just so shiny and beautiful and clever. It’s hard to pick favourites because I want pretty much all of it (which, sadly, is unlikely to happen unless I get a massive windfall in the near future.) This sequin bomber jacket is particularly lush. I’d wear this with a jumpsuit, heels and massive hair for some serious Studio 54 vibes.

Elvi Sequin Tassel Dress

Elvi Prima Sequin Tassle Dress – £129.00

I gasped with joy when I saw this, because it incorporates two of my favourite things – sequins and tassels. It is a glorious glitterball of a dress, designed to make you look and feel like your best self. Buy this to wear for those times when you go out dancing all night and snog inappropriate people in inappropriate corners at inappropriate moments.

Pink Clove Metallic Leggings

Pink Clove Metallic Leggings – £16.00

2015 has given me a whole new appreciation of leggings, so naturally I love these. Yes, they’re a bit silly, but they’re also incredibly fun. And I love the idea of wearing something which will make you look legs look like those of a disco robot, and your ass look amazing.

Joanna Hope Foil Pleated Maxi Skirt

Joanna Hope Foil Pleated Maxi Skirt – £65.00

I’m not the biggest fan of maxi skirts, but I’m prepared to make an exception for this one. It’s a real statement piece that you can make as simple or as fancy as you like. I’d happily wear this to the office with a black t-shirt and a chunky belt, but I could also see it going well with an elegant beaded top and simple silver jewellery.

navabi Sequin Pearl Embellished Pencil Dress

navabi Sequin Pearl Embellished Pencil Dress – £227.90

Lets all take a moment here to stop what we’re doing and revel in the glory of this dress. Isn’t it magnificent? It’s just the kind of thing that a chub flapper girl would wear while bobbing her hair and necking champagne. While it’s not the most original dress I’ve ever seen, it’s certainly one of the more interesting pieces I’ve seen in a plus sized collection. So, huge props to navabi here for making something which is beautiful, luxe and daring, and which goes all the way up to a size 30 (which, sadly, is a rarity.)

Want to see what you could have worn? I’m taking requests! If you’ve seen an outfit feature in a magazine or newspaper recently, and would like to see a plus sized version, drop me a line! 

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Autumn, dresses, elvi, gold, jumpers, look what you could have worn, Monki, Navabi, plus sized fashion, Simply Be, skirts

Look what you could have worn: The Guardian’s gold edit

Gold against the soul

Oh the Guardian. I expected so much more from you. Granted, I am not the first person to say this. Nor will I be the last. But, as someone who has written about fat issues for them in the past, I can’t help but feel disappointed when I look through their fashion section and see nothing plus sized featured. Granted, they’re great at doing the occasional piece on fat fashion when it suits them, but I do feel annoyed when I look through their fashion section and see (practically) nothing there that I can wear. This is a fault of pretty much all traditional fashion media, but I do wish they’d realise that it’s not enough to pay lip service to fats when it suits you to do so.

However, I live in hope. And it’s the hope that kills you. So, when I saw the Guardian’s listicle of the 10 of the best gold pieces on the high street, I wanted to believe that I’d see an item of clothing which I may actually be able to wear. While they kind of met that expectation (more on that below), they could still do better.

I love gold items because I am a gaudy magpie who is attracted to anything that shimmers. If that item also happens to be covered in sequins, even better. Happily for me, there are some amazing gold plus sized items out there at the moment. Here’s five of my favourites. And, Guardian fashion editors, if you ever need someone to do a plus sized edit for you, drop me a line. (Seriously, I could use the money.)

Elvi Prima Champagne Quilted Skirt

Elvi Prima Champagne Quilted Skirt – £79.00

A quilted gold skirt? Be still my beating heart. This is such a deliciously luxury bitch item that it begs to be worn while you sip champagne and nibble on a canape. I love how Elvi have styled this on their website, and would totally wear that entire outfit to a chic Autumnal soirée. Alternatively, dazzle your colleagues on a grey Tuesday morning by sweeping in wearing it with a black roll neck, 120 denier tights and brogues.

Elena Miro Sequin Embellished Sweater

Elena Miro Sequin Embellished Sweater – £181.90

I’ve spent a lot of time browsing navabi recently. While their items are more expensive than your average plus sized retailer, they’re all of exceptional quality. And I’d rather pay more for an item that I know will last years, rather than one which will self destruct after a few wears. Which brings us to this beauty. Speaking as someone who has problems with jumpers riding up and flashing her belly, I love the length of this, as well as the big sequinned polka dots. I could totally see myself wearing this with a leather pencil skirt.

Simply Be Gold Sequin Top

Simply Be Sequin Top – £45.00

This is totally the top you’d wear to a Christmas party, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. (Better that than spending over £100 on a fancy dress outfit you’ll only wear once.) I’d pair this with wet look leggings and pointed gold heels. And maybe some tinsel.

Joanna Hope Sequin Dress

Joanna Hope Sequin Dress – £65.00

This dress is my everything, and so much more. Everything about it is perfect, from its slinky shape to it being entirely covered in shimmering gold sequins. Yes, it would probably scratch the crap out of you, but I’d say it’s a price worth paying to wear something which makes you look like a gloriously chubby Oscar statuette.

Monki Frida Glitter Kimono

Monki Frida Glitter Kimono – £40.00

In the interests of fairness, I should mention that this kimono was featured in the Guardian’s piece. But, seeing as many Monki items can be worn by us chubs, I couldn’t resist featuring it here too. I love how interesting this piece is, all rippling shimmers. I’d wear it with some skinny ripped jeans, a black t-shirt and some Doc Martens, but it’s so versatile that I could imagine it being styled a number of different ways. It’s definitely going on my wish list.

Will you be wearing gold this Autumn? Which piece is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

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ASOS Curve, Autumn, coats, Lists, Marks and Spencer, Navabi, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Simply Be, Studio 8

Let’s talk coats

Five coats I love

The Autumn equinox has been and gone, so it’s safe to say that we’re now in coat season. This is no bad thing, because coats are awesome. There are few greater pleasures than snuggling down into a warm coat on a cold day. I see them as being the final element of a really good outfit – that killer piece that can turn an ensemble from meh to wow.  

As you can probably tell, I own a lot of coats. So many in fact, that I had to get the door I was hanging them on rehung because their combined weight had caused it to come off its hinges. I should probably keep my joiner (and my bank) on speed dial considering that I’ve seen many more beautiful coats this season that I can’t wait to get my chubby little hands on. Here are five of my favourites.

ASOS Curve Midi Coat with Faux Fur Collar

ASOS CURVE Midi Coat with Faux Fur Collar – £100

I was a teenager in the late 1990s, and spent most of that period swathed in fake fur and glitter. So, naturally, I love this coat. It looks like something my 15 year old self would throw on before heading out to a Suede gig. ASOS are masters of rich, red Autumnal tones and the colour of this is absolutely divine. And then, there’s that collar. It’s so unapologetically, obnoxiously huge. To paraphrase Mean Girls, I bet it’s full of secrets.

M&S Double Face Unstructured Coat with Wool

Marks & Spencer Double Face Unstructured Coat with Wool – £69.00

Marks and Spencer are absolutely killing it this season. I went into their Manchester branch recently with my sister, and we spent an alarming amount of time running around squealing at all the beautiful items on their shelves. One of the stand out pieces was this duster coat. I’m always slightly wary of duster coats. They look so good on other people, but they always hang oddly on my body and make me look bulky. However, I bought this little number the other day, and it’s fantastic. It’s incredibly elegant and – best of all for a pack horse like me – has really deep pockets for you to keep all your crap in. It’s the perfect thing to wear to work, as it goes so well over a simple, neutral outfit.

Marina Rinaldi Short Checkered Wool Blend Coat

Persona by Marina Rinaldi Short Checkered Wool Blend Coat – £298.00

I need someone to give me lots of money so I can buy this. I mean, look at it. It is such a good shape, and you just know that wearing it is going to be incredibly comforting. It’s a proper business bitch coat, a piece to wear when you’re striding through the city looking and feeling like your best self. Best of all, you can dress it up or down – I’d imagine that it looks just as good worn with a pair of jeans as it would with a pencil skirt and roll neck (my Autumn/Winter 2015 uniform.)

Simple Be Padded Fur Trim Hooded Coat

Simply Be Padded Fur Trim Hooded Coat – £55.00

I’ve been really disappointed by coats I’ve bought from Simply Be in the past, but I may give them a second chance for this one. It’s a little more casual than the kind of thing I’d usually wear, but that’s no bad thing. I can imagine throwing it on before going for a long walk on the beach near my house, or when I just want something to wear with some jeans and a massive jumper. And we all need a fur trimmed hood to hide in when life gets on top of us.

Studio 8 Nicole Mac

Studio 8 Nicole Mac – £135.00

I fell in love with this coat when I saw Bethany wearing it. I’ve been looking for the perfect mac for ages, and this fits the bill. It is just so chic. I’ve found a lot of mackintoshes difficult to wear, as when I do them up, they give me the dreaded ‘shelf tit’ effect. However, this one appears to have been designed with busty girls like myself in mind. Unfortunately though, it only comes in white which is a bit of a nightmare for someone like me who just delights in tipping food/coffee/croissant crumbs down herself.

What coat are you currently coveting? Let me know in the comments!

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