Saturday, 25 February 2012

Catching up - new stuff

After my fab experience with Claire, I got given a list of suggested additions to the wardrobe....Here are some pics - I like some but am returning some....

Dress: Asos Curve

I kind of love this but it's really just not ME - I wouldn't wear it - I can see why Claire suggested it but it's
going back.....
Dress; Dorothy Perkins

This however - I love! Never would have picked it myself but I really like it - especially the collar. 

Jacket: New Look

And teamed with the waterfall jacket which I also love - perfect combo....
Dress: Dorothy Perkins
Now I love the fabric and the fall of this dress - it's really lovely BUT - the top wrapover just doesn't work. I think it's cos my boobs are too bloody small - see below

I think it should sit like this over the boob but it slips down like this.... under boob which looks just wrong! So sadly this is going back too!

Dress M&S via Kirsty
Leggings: Primark

Saw these and couldn't resist them even though they're a bit garish! They go really well with my black dress and I love em.

So speaking of my wardrobe experience with Claire....she wrote it up brilliantly here  but has copped a lot of negativity on the comments. People seemed to think I was a mindless barbie doll being forced to wear someone else's taste and style. That the choices Claire made were hideous and hiding and that I was a poor little victim of bad taste. I couldn't DISAGREE more! Makes me mad that Claire was getting flack for doing something so fab for me. I asked her to help me because I like the way she dresses. As you can see from my reactions above to her suggestions, I DO NOT mindlessly accept her opinion - we don't agree on everything but I asked her advice and I appreciated it. She made me feel fab in some items of clothing that had sat in my wardrobe unused and unworn. She was working with my current clothes which aren't exactly all what she would have chosen. SO LAY OFF! I'm happy. We enjoyed it. I'm almost loathe to ask her back because I don't want her to feel it's a horrid thing to have done......I've had SO many compliments this week, wearing outfits she coordinated for me. So thank you Claire and I'm sorry you got shit for it....

I also bought this dress today - totally on my own without anyone else's opinion coming into it and I love it. I CAN make good choices on my own but that's mainly because I've been reading so many wonderful blogs - in fact this is almost directly inspired by Mhairi's Bettie Page dress! It's got a fab tutu skirt - it's a Hell Bunny dress - if you google them, lots of punky burlesque type shops seem to sell them and a lot of their styles go up to a size 22.....

So - got a lot of things to return but hopefully a lot of new things to come!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

My Wardrobe Makeover.....courtesy of SuperMonkey!

Claire is an UTTER GENIUS....when she almost jokingly offered to come and do a "wardrobe cleanse" a few weeks ago, I never realised how wonderful she was! I mean, I love reading her blog, I love the way she dresses - but had no idea she could give Gok a run for his money!

In explanation - though I've probably touched on this before on the blog....I've NO fashion sense. For a myriad of reasons. I was a size 16 at 16 and kind of kept the age-dress size ratio going until I was 30. When I was in my late teens, early 20's there was NO choice really - Evans or nothing. So I lived in trackie bottoms, large tshirts and black black black. I lost weight in my early 30's to have my kids and then have kind of yo-yoed between a 24 and a 20/22 which is kind of where I am now (According to Claire I'm 20 on top and 22 below which makes sense). I never looked at fashion magazines, never thought fashion was relevant to my big body. Then as I've written before, I found the myriad of blogs to the right in the sidebar and realised I COULD wear things that I loved, that there were a huge range of online choices and even some high street choices that I never knew were out there as I was stuck in my Evans rut.....

So I'm still learning. The clothes swap was brilliant but I just grabbed lots of stuff that I didn't know how to wear and some of which didn't suit me....I read a lot of the blogs to get ideas but never really knew how to put outfits together. I had a lot of stuff in my wardrobe that I hadn't worn because I didn't know how to.

Enter the wonderful Claire.....she made me get everything out and put it in three piles - keeping, maybe and NO! I stepped out of my go-to comfort dress (which she hated by the way and I've promised never to wear in public again) and started trying on.  Prepare for the pics! (If I haven't mentioned where I got things, it's cos I can't remember)

Skirt and shirt - Marks & Spencer
Jacket - Torrid

 I bought this polkadot skirt last summer and have never worn it even though I loved it as I had no idea HOW to....Claire added a white shirt I'd bought for a weekend away and never taken out of the packet....and a jacket that I won from Lauren that I'd also never worn because I didn't know how to. This jacket now figures in the majority of the pictures and outfits and will become a staple! Love this combo - kind of a funky secretary look!

Top and jacket (again): Torrid
Jeans : Sainsburys

This top was another from the blog win from Lauren that again, I'd never worn cos I didn't know what to wear it with. Ta daa!

 This was a fashion swap vest that I loved cos it was all sequinned but I thought it was too tight...paired with  a shrug (also from the swap) and my black jeans - it looks fab!

Dress: Fatshion swap
Jeans: Lane Bryant
Cardie: Sainsburys
 I loved this dress but thought it was too big - and would never have put it with jeans but I love it - almost nautical as Claire said!

It also works with the shrug and the blue jeans from Torrid via Lauren!

Top, jeans and jacket (again!) Torrid

This top I've had for a while but never really knew what to wear it with....The jacket makes an appearance again! Love this combo

 This is a jumpsuit I bought on impulse from Evans. First time I wore it my mother told me I looked like Andy Pandy and I've never had the guts to wear it again. Styled with the ever wonderful jacket, I love it and will definitely wear it.
 Also works with the shrug! But I prefer it with the jacket.

 I can't remember where I got this skirt from but I love it and have never worn it - I'm not confident with skirts. Mainly, I've learnt today, because I keep wearing them on my hips and not my waist - pulled down too low making me belly concious. With a little styling help from my guru and a simple brown vest - I will now be wearing this a LOT this summer!

 Thought I couldn't wear this top because my boobs had shrunk post babies. However put the brown vest from the outfit above with it, it works perfectly. And looks great with my jeans.

 Not 100% sure on this but it looks better than anything I'd put together - a denim skirt from Ann Harvey with the brown vest and favourite jacket. I need to get a belt for the skirt (I borrowed Claire's!)

 Favourite polka dot skirt in another outfit combo! This time with a purple vest top I got at the fatshion swap but never knew what to do with....

 And if you add my new favourite jacket.....skims nicely over my bum and makes me feel less selfconcious.

 Top: Primark
Jeans: Torrid
This was the first top I bought from Primark but I wasn't brave enough to wear it that often and I used to team it with leggings. I love it with jeans!

Sequinned jacket: Yours
Top: Torrid via Lauren
Jeans: Sainsburys

 Another combo - using a sparkly jacket that I bought in the sale but never wore - and another way to wear that lovely top...

  And another way to wear it! - with a leopard print vest (also from Torrid via Lauren)

 This top I've had in my wardrobe for ages and thought it didn't look right - but it does when Claire puts it together....
 Top: Marisota

Again I wasn't sure if this top worked but with Claire's reassurance, it's back on my "wear" list"
 Dress and jacket (again) : Torrid

I bought this dress in a Torrid sale about 7 years ago just because it was reduced from $70 to $8. And I never wore it cos it was too small then. And then because I didn't know how I do!

And finally - this is what I'm wearing now - a top my mother bought me which I thought was too short but teamed with my waterfall cardy (which needs mending) and blue jeans, it looks great.

I will be selling a lot of stuff on Ebay - will post a link to it all here when I've sorted it. I'll be wearing a lot of things I haven't worn before in ways I'd never have dreamt of. I'll be looking a HELL of a lot better too!

I can't thank Claire enough. Really grateful! And really inspired. So if any of you need her services - snap her up now while you can still trade her expertise for sushi! Before she starts charging by the hour! Thank you thank you thank you Claire!!!

Valentines OOTD (slightly late!)

It's half term - that's my excuse - kids 24/7 so I have had no moment to myself! So a slight flashback to Valentines Day this week. My lovely hubby isn't usually the best at romance. He works at the Royal Observatory who, every year, hold a special Valentine evening with the stars where you get a planetarium show, roses, wine, stargazing.....perfect no? But every year he won't even consider taking ME cos it's work.

However....this year there were no other astronomers available so he had to run the Planetarium and therefore I got to go along to was wonderful. He delivered a fantastic show, showing everyone the stars in our solar system. Then surprised me by reading our wedding sonnet (Let me not to the marriage of true minds...). And then we had a lovely GBK dinner (we ain't fancy) and I got chocolates to eat in the bath for my present. (I love candle-lit bubble baths accompanied by chocolate).

So here's what I wore. I won a £500 shopping spree earlier last year courtesy of Clairol and had an hour with a personal shopper. She chose this dress but I'd never worn it - it was actually a bit too tight. But now it fits
Dress: Marks & Spencer Summer 2011
Shrug - Clothes swap
Leggings: Primark

I actually really like it now. Kind of inspired by the dress that I bought off Kirsy (see last post) - that's an M&S one and so is this, it's a similar shape - and I didn't want to be TOO dressy as Rob had his work clothes on. And I wanted to be warm to be outside on the Prime Meridian looking in a telescope!

I also wore my Swarovski crystal heart - a present from Rob a long time ago.....

Lovely night - best Valentines I can remember for a long time......Hope you all had a good day doing whatever you felt, romantic or not. I quite liked the idea of Palentines - hanging with your BFFs!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Plus London Professional photos!

Diana from had a pop up booth at Plus London and took some amazing snaps! These were the ones of me...

And I LOVE this one of me and Claire!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The spoils of Kirsty's Sale!

I do love it when other bloggers flog their clothes - cos you've seen THEM wear it, you have an idea of how it will look on you...and often things you covet are now available at bargain prices! I bought two things off Kirsty from Fatty Unbound - 

 Lovely shirt dress from M&S that actually makes me look like I have a waist!

Ultra sparkly cardy - I cannot resist sequins! Made me feel very happy!

So thank you Kirsty! They will be very loved.....

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Plus London 2 - Part 2

And so....after our amazing Anna Scholz sesh, a gang of us headed off to Fulham for our modelling fitting with One Stop Plus. I'm not actually going to write about, or share photos of that - it was not a pleasant experience and that had nothing to do with the wonderful Claire or Gina who had done the organising. It was solely negative because of OSP and if you want to know more about how we ALL felt about the experience read this . I can't put into words how grateful I am to Claire for summing up exactly how we all felt.

I'm just going to say this - I met some AMAZING women that day - and the ones who modelled with me were fantastic - what should have been a confidence boosting and fun activity turned into a very stressy one; but the camaraderie and support and brilliant humour of that gang of gals helped me through it. And whatever I was wearing - I loved strutting down that pink catwalk and feeling the love in the room from all the fat and fabulous women who were cheering us on - so thank you everyone for that.

I was quite exhausted after the model fiasco and also getting a bit worried about the snow
So I had a quick look around the rest of the fantastic exhibitors before heading back home to south east London.

Simply Be were one of the main sponsors - thank you! And had a rail of gorgeous clothes - wish I'd been modelling them! They also gave us a fantastic goody bag and were so kind and lovely - I know they helped Claire out a lot - even clearing up! Wonderful brand for plus size fashion.

ASOS Curve also had a rail - and it took me back to my teen years - 80's neon and crazy prints - loved it! Really stylish - as usual. Brilliant. ASOS had also dressed Claire for the night - she looked stunning in a sequinned dress (see below) that, if it hadn't sold out already, would be in my shopping basket now! You can see it more of it here

I was dressed by Lauren (looking gorgeous above in her Domino Dollhouse frock) in that I was wearing a dress I'd bought off her blog a while ago. It was a bit small when I bought it, but it fits now and I LOVE it!
Dress: Primark via PocketRocket
Shrug: Primark
Tights: Yours Clothing (wasn't sure if they'd work but I fell in love with the colour)
Sparkly shoes: Payless Shoesource in Detroit

Elomi Lingerie had a HUGE queue - they were doing bra fitting and it was very popular. I didn't get a chance to have mine done and since I am so lacking in the boob department post-children, I think I'm actually a bit too small in the cup to be able to take advantage of their stunning designs. However if you are lucky enough to have a pair of Phenomenockers from DD upwards, I HIGHLY recommend you check out their range - especially the swimwear. I loved everything in their catalogue - stunning sexy and beautiful.

Now for something I didn't expect - PLUS size vintage. I know from the wonderful Kirsty that it is out there but I'd never seen any. However the wonderful Red Bows Boutique had two whole rail fulls! Gorgeous vintage frocks, furs, tops, skirts. I tried to have a good rummage while waiting for the catwalk but again, didn't really have time to browse properly. Wish I had! Definitely a place to go in the future.

Talking of Kirsty - here she is rocking the vintage plus look - LOVED this outfit

And finally - another highlight - now I know why Wendy's nickname and email is Wendycakes!

How amazing are they? And they tasted as good as they looked! An utter treat.

So all that remains is for me to thank Claire for organising such a phenomenal event - my first proper Bloggers event and hopefully not my last. It was truly an honour to be welcomed into this community - I remember reading all the posts from last year's event and wishing I'd been part of it. I do feel a bit older than your average Fatshion Blogger but I'm in awe of the support, the styling tips, the humour, the wisdom, just the general all round fabulousness on display last Saturday in London. I'm going to endeavour to blog more about my growing interest in fashion. I love that I have loads more people to read, that I got to meet in person some of the people that I really admire -( I wish I'd had more time to talk to Em! I didn't realise she was the writer of "Oh The Places You'll Go" - one of the first plus size blogs I read and one of my utter favourites. I should have realised cos I've seen her umpteen times on her blog but it was just all overwhelming in a way so apologies Em! I'd just have gushed over you if I'd realised!) I've got a whole new load of Twitter friends and I loved meeting everyone.

I know Claire has been feeling guilty over the whole OSP fiasco but please - I can't say it enough - Claire you were amazing, you organised a fantastic event, you remained cool calm and collected (and looked amazing), you've continued to champion our cause post OSP fallout and I'm utterly proud to know you. I hope you feel proud of what you acheived. And thank you again to Lauren for introducing me to this world by doing such great work with Yours Clothing!

 Clare and Lauren

A happy me outside the Gallery!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Plus London - Part One - Anna Scholz

The first part of our fabulous day was an invitation to Anna Scholz's studio to meet the designer herself and have a look at the SS12 collection. And try it on!! It was a chilly day but the lucky few met outside - it was so funny playing "spot the fatshion blogger" - I swear if any large ladies had been walking down the road we would have all been stood staring at them.....Gina had organised us wonderfully and we went into the studio and promptly ignored the wonderful hospitality (Hummingbird cupcakes, sandwiches and lovely glass bottles of coke and dcoke) and started trying clothes on.

I've seen Anna's stuff online but had never worn any. And now I understand what everyone raves about. She's really the Henry Holland of plus size - the only real designer who is creating original collections specifically designed for a Plus Sized body.

She has a size 18 fit model. She wears her own designs. Her staff who are of various sizes, all test the clothes to ensure they fit correctly. Anna understands that when we need more space in the bust, we don't necessarily need a wider cut - it's all about understanding the shape of our bodies and she's amazing at that. The fabrics she uses are so beautiful - silk, but stretch silk.

My favourite piece was the dress Anna herself had on when we met her - and I made a beeline for it!  It's here if you want to buy it. Anna had an original piece of python skin and scanned it in to digitally recreate it for this dress. There are multi tonal colours as well - touches of green and blue. It's stretchy silk elastane and it's probably the most beautiful dress I've worn! Highly flattering cut and so nicely fitted. Something I'll have to save my pennies for!

I also tried this on - it's pure silk with sequins and it felt amazing. Loved the shiny sequin detail, loved the feel of the silk and it was the perfect length.
My final choice was this lovely dress
I'd seen Bethany from the wonderful Arched Eyebrow blog try it on and it looked amazing on her. She has the kind of figure I used to have before kids - very curvy with a small waist - like a 50's pinup. And it looked stunning on her. I liked it on me, it's lovely material but a tad too clingy for my personal taste.

This is Lorna from The Ginger Peardrop (and star of the Daily Mail)  in my other favourite dress (which I can't seem to find on the website!) - I didn't try this on as I'd learnt from the above experience to not follow someone else who looked AMAZING in it!

It was so wonderful to be able to try everything on - for there to be my size in any design I wanted to try. Anna and her staff were wonderfully welcoming and fun and easy to talk to.

We had a Q&A with Anna where all the bloggers shared experiences of the frustrations of trying to be fat and fashionable. And the lack of modern cutting edge clothes for the younger generation, the general blandness and lack of vision of in the high street stores. And we gave Anna a wishlist of things we'd like her to design from lingerie to boots!

As we left we got a wonderful goodie bag with information on the Black and White label collection, a gorgeous set of skincare from Dermalogica and some discount vouchers - which will definitely come in handy. (And some Haribo!!) I'd love to be able to buy the whole collection but it's way out of my budget. But then most designer labels are - the fact that this is within my sizing and designed to flatter and fit me makes it aspirational and something I am going to try and save up for. Skinnier women have access to a MYRIAD of designer options. I love the purple dress. It's an investment! And the quality, having worn all the pieces above, is what you're paying for. A true pleasure to meet such a wonderful woman! Thank you for inviting us and allowing us to have such a great start to Plus London 2!