Friday, January 30, 2015

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Loving the Lovedrobe - Red lace sweetheart dress

I spent much of January surfing the web picking up loads of bargains in the January sales. One of my best purchases is the Red lace sweetheart skater dress from Lovedrobe (bought via New Look). This is my first purchase from Lovedrobe. When shopping online I am always hesitant to try new brands as you just don't know what the fit will be like, and if it's not good there is the hassle of sending things back. I tend to stick with the tried and true, which can be a little dull. But this dress was going for half price - £20 - so I decided to take the plunge.




Shoes, belt and leggings - Primark


As you can see the dress is a lovely red lace. I do love lace - it feels wonderfully decadent and extravagant and rich, and makes me feel quite sensual. This dress is also available in black, but as I am always a sucker for red and I do have a black lace dress already the red one was the obvious choice. 





I ordered a size 22, which is pretty much my standard size, and it fits like it was made for me. The length is perfect with leggings, it fits comfortably across my bust and the sweetheart neckline is gorgeous. Why don't more dresses have a sweetheart neckline?





And then there are the sleeves - I am always a fan of sleeves as my arms and I are still learning to love one another. And these aren't just sleeves, these are sexy, perfect length, lacy sleeves - happiness! 


So generally, I would say my first purchase from Lovedrobe went rather well! I know this dress will be worn often for evenings out, and whenever I need a bit of a lift because I feel fabulous in it. In fact, I may be going for the black one too, come pay day...


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Pay day lust list #1

The most highly anticipated pay day of the year - January salary get in my bank account! Mainly so I can make a dent in this wish list... 

I have only ever bought one dress from Pink Clove, and I'm not really sure why because the one I have is lovely (I'll do it as an OOTD this week I promise). Perhaps it is time for me to add another to my collection as they currently have this bold dress on Asos. 




This dress is an absolute bargain at £24. I love the colours and print of this dress, and the shape is lovely. I am a little daunted by the frill - fears of a frumpy boob curtain look - however I do love off the shoulder stuff so I think I might be brave and give it a go. What do you think?

I am still very much in January hermit mode, and imagine I will remain so for much of February so right now this sweater looks pretty perfect. 



I'm not usually one for slogan clothing, but this is just a little too adorable, and looks comfy and perfect for slobbing out watching Netflix marathons. 

I think my Collectif obsession is becoming somewhat clear, and rarely does a week go by without me checking for new styles, and to which old favourites might have come back into stock. Joy of joys, I checked today and the Dolores Doll dress (easily my favourite of all their styles - I currently own 5) is back in stock in the Sweetheart Gingham style.





I have wanted this dress forever so there were actual shrieks of joy when I saw it was back in, in my size (22). Will definitely be adding this to my ever growing collection. 

I also have a Violet dress in my collection and have been wanting to add another for sometime. And look what they have just gotten in, in my size... 




Oh, the leopard print! Be still my beating heart! Too fabulous, I must have it. I am worried it may give me sex goddess delusions, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. 

And finally, I have been haunting the pages of the Evans website checking out some of the fabulous frocks from Scarlet and Jo. Obviously I want pretty much every dress, but this is my top pick...




This dress comes in a multitude of lovely rich colours, including blue, black, red and purple, but I am sucker for teal so that would be my pick. Love the floaty angel sleeve - this dress is so pretty and romantic and I love dresses that I know will be great for work and for drinks after. This ticks all my boxes. Get in my basket please!

So those are my top picks. Clearly may bank account won't be full for long... What are you lusting after? Let me know in the comments...

I am now on Facebook. You can like the blog page here. and stay up to date with all my posts, OOTDs and general ramblings...
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Purple prom prettiness - Multi Floral Print Prom Skirt by Scarlett and Jo

Due to severe January brokeness and general social fatigue I stayed in on Saturday night. Lots of quality time with my Netflix account, painting of toenails and stalking the Scarlett and Jo twitter feed. 

On Saturday Scarlett and Jo held a cupcake party, where they invited bloggers in to try on different dresses and eat cupcakes - bliss! While, alas, I had no cupcakes on hand it did inspire me to write a little review of my favourite Scarlett and Jo piece in my wardrobe, the Multi Floral Print Prom Skirt.






Multi Floral Print Prom Skirt by Scarlett and Jo at Evans

The lovely George of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust posted an instagram pic of her in it, and the shape and colours were so magnificent I just had to have it. I don't quite have the nerve to pair it with a crop top, but I am still totally and utterly in love with it.




There are a load of different colours in the pattern, all lovely and rich, which mean that there are loads of different things it can be paired with. During the summer I quite often paired it with a black tank for a simple evening look - the skirt is so striking that I like it to take centre stage. 




A bit windy when we were taking pics - hence the extreme poofiness

Here, however, I paired it with a thin, navy, sleeveless top (I got ages ago from Primark) over a black vest, with a black cardigan and black shoes. This is usually how I wear it to work.




The skirt is made from the softest fabric which floats beautifully, and is in a prom style, with lining and a layer of tulle underneath to help it stand out in that lovely bell shape. So ladylike. I find myself twirling around whenever I wear it. 
I tend to be a big fan of dresses. Generally I like them best on my shape, and they are so easy - very little thought, or matching required... But if Scarlett and Jo are committed to making more seperates I will have to make space for more skirts in my wardrobe. Terribly excited to see their new collection for SS15...

You can read a thorough review from the marvellously proportioned Curvy Wordy here.

Have you got anything from Scarlett and Jo? What do you think of their seperates? 
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Prepping It Up with Collectif's Polly Shirt Dress





Collectif sales are pretty much my favourite. Sure they are terrifying for my bank balance (yeah it's cheap, but it just means I buy that much more!), and it can take me ages to choose between the endless amazing designs, but damn my wardrobe loves those gorgeous dress injections. 

Last summer, in a happy coincidence, I was having a day off from work the day the Collectif sale started. Previously I had always done my shopping with them online. Their service is great, and thanks to their amazing social media team you can usually get any queries answered about sizing etc pretty quickly so I find it a really pleasant experience. However, this day I was going to be in the Camden area anyway so I figured I might as well just pop in. 

The store in Camden (which is currently moving to a bigger location - yay, I hope this means more stock and more styles!) is staffed by the most wonderful people. Helpful but not hovering, I found myself standing around just chatting and getting fashion advice from the ladies who were there on the day. 

I went for my usual Dolores Doll dresses adding a few new prints and colours to my already overwhelming collection and a bamboo clutch which got major usage over the summer. 

I was about to head out of the store when one of the ladies (I can't remember her name, it was 6 months ago but I know I suck!) suggested I try on the Polly Shirt dress. I had seen it on the website and just could not imagine how it would look good on me. THe shirt waisted style was not something I had ever tried and when she brought it over I think I may have pulled a most unconvinced face. Ha!






Images from Collectif website - 
Black and Gingham Polly Shirt Dress 

Well what do I know? I put the dress on over a cami I was already wearing, unbuttoned all but the bottom button, and suprise! It looked great. So I added it to my impressive pile of sale goodies, and I am so glad I did!





Dress - Collectif Polly Shirt Dress (not currently in stock)
Shoes - Primark
Red lacy cami - Really old, can't remember where I got it (bad blogger)

Here I am wearing a size 22 (my usual size in Collectif - I find Collectif's fit very true to size generally) but to be clear there is no way that would button closed - wearing it open with the cami is my only option. The Polly is made from a heavy stretch cotton which is very forgiving and has a full skirt that finished just on the knee on my 5'8" frame. The black dres has cordinated white with a thin black stripe trim on the pocket (false), belt, around the armholes, on the collar, and fabric covered buttons.





The colours mean I can coordinate the Polly with any number of coloured camis and cardigans. (I tend to wear sleeveless Polly with a cardi as I am not a big fan of my arms).  

Here I am wearing a Freddie cardigan, in a size 18. I often buy my cardigans a few sizes smaller than my usual size as I dont tend to wear them buttoned up and I can find that in my true size they are often too big on the shoulders and arms and I prefer them to fit snuggly. I LOVE my freddie cardigans, and currently they are on sale on the Collectif website.

I love the cute preppiness of the look, and I think it works well in a work setting so it's a go to outfit during the week. 

Sadly the Freddie is currently out of stock, however hopefully Collectif will be getting some more in for the SS15 collection. I would definitely get another if they did as this dress is so easy to wear and a little different to most of my other fifties style frocks. 
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Collectif's Cherry Bomb

Collectif... This has pretty much become a synonym for self esteem in my book.

Collectif are a UK based company that specialise in 1940s and 50s reproduction, pin up and rockabilly style clothing. They have a wonderful website, an active social media page (I spend hours on their Facebook and Instagram pages just drooling over their clothes and the gorgeous women who wear them) and a handful of stores across London and Brighton all staffed by wonderfully helpful women who make shopping there a treat.

When I found Collectif's dresses my life actually changed. Before Collectif I had sought to wear clothes that "flattered" - meaning largely hid and obscured my shape. All of a sudden I was wearing dresses that actually looked better on me than some of the models (sorry models). I fill them where they are mean to be filled, I give them shape and my body breathes life into them. I realise that this all sounds incredibly dramatic, but that is how putting on a Collectif dress made me feel for the first time (and every time subsequently). 

I had always liked fifties fashion. The fifties for me where Rizzo, and Greased Lightening, and Judy Garland, and Elvis, and Marilyn, and pin ups. Endless glamour and clothes made so beautifully. To me this was the fashion high point. And now I found I could actually wear these things! 

I first heard of Collectif from following George of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust - George had done loads of reviews of many amazing Collectif dresses, and when I emailed her to ask what a good fifties starter dress would be she recommended the Dolores Doll dress (more on that at a later date).  I bought one and I have not looked back...



Today I am talking about the chiffony, floaty, gorgeousness that is the Violet Cherry Print dress. 



Shoes and belt - Primark
Red beads - Old, from a markey in South Africa

The Violet is a floaty dream. I always think of it as the perfect date dress - soft and feminine, it swirls and sways and flutters as I walk and makes me feel the romantic heroine. It sits just over my knee (I am 5'8) which is a demure length and makes it good for perching on a bar stool while attempting to witty banter and glances from beneath your eyelashes ;) 




Here I am wearing a size 22 (my usual size in Collectif - I find Collectif's fit very true to size generally). The chiffon floats over curves, and I feel like it accentuates what I like and hides what I am not as keen on (yay!). The sleeves are loose and delicate, so no squishing of my rather generous upper arms. There are shiny black buttons up the bust however these have been known to pop open on occassion (depending on your style this may or may not be ideal for dating purposes...) so i tend to safety pin at the back, and if I was better with a needle and thr and trusted myself with the delicate fabric I would just stitch it closed. 

The Violet comes with a fabric belt, but I prefer the contrast and definition of a proper belt and so add my own - usually this skinny black one with a gold bow to the front which I got for a couple of quid at Primark. The cherry print is cute and flirty, and of course intrinsically linked with the fifties.



I have worn this dress on dates (the dress has lasted longer than any of the men...), to birthday parties and at work and it has transitioned between all well. I have worn it with black leather work boots, and with my Doc Martins, which gives this flirty, girly dress a bit more edge which I like. Fully lined the Violet is not at all see through and warm enough to wear in the winter with some decent tights, but not at all too heavy for the summer so it's a good year round piece. 

This is currently my one and only Violet style dress, and I am not quite sure why I don't have anymore as I am a real fan of the style. I am currently eyeing out some of the other prints - I love me some leopard print and a polka dot

How about you? Are you a Collectif convert? What's on your current covet list? Let me know!
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Asos Curve Wrap dress

I'm a total sucker for jewel tones. There is something about these beautiful true and bold colours, and I don't think I know anyone they don't look good on. Just after Christmas as I was browsing the Asos Curve sale I came across the most gorgeous deep, cranberry coloured wrap dress with pleated skirt.

Over a year ago I had this awakening, where I realise I could wear waisted dresses and not everything I owned had to have an empire line. I had never really worn any other style of dress, and so to have a new array of dresses to choose from was too exciting. I ditched my friend the empire and gorged myself on fifties style fashion like a mad woman. But here was an empire line I just could not ignore...




Cardigan - Mustard cardigan from Next (similar here)
Leggings and belt - Primark
Boots - TopShop
Brass neclace - Old, I stole from my mum years ago

The dress is perfect. My usual Asos Curve size 22 fits me well, and the pics on the website were a good reflection of the colour - the dress is a rich, cranberry colour. The heavy jersey fabric is great - thick enough that it skims over any lumps and bulges but not so thick that I couldn't wear it minus the tights and with some pretty sandals in the summer. The pleated skirt makes it less clinging which is something i prefer as I am not mad about my tummy.

I am a big fan of the cross over neckline, however this one does need a safety pinning to stop my bra from being fully on show. And having seen the photos now I think that, despite the thick jersey fabric, I will probably wear a t-shirt bra with it from now on. The length is perhaps a little long for my taste (I am 5'8) - I would prefer it to sit just on or above the knee rather than over, so I may take it up, but it certainly isn't a deal breaker. In fact I am currently contemplating ordering the navy...


With my wardrobe this is a pretty flexible colour - I have loads of things that will go beautifully with the cranberry, however for its inaugural outing I paired it with this mustard cardigan. I am a big fan of mustard - it is a great shade for red heads, and in my opinion always adds a bit of quirk to an outfit. I found this cardigan at the first Plus Size Clothing Sale held by Katie from Toodaloo Katie this time last year. The sale was a triumph (so much so that she held one in the summer which sadly I could not attend) and I got a load of amazing bargains - the cardigan, a burgandy Clemens Ribiero belt, and a couple of cute dresses. But more than that it was just great to be in a room with a whole bunch of other plus size ladies. Looking at people's lush wardrobes, admiring their style, getting tips on where to shop and how we all find different places clothes fit. Wonderful! I do hope that Katie organises another soon! Katie is a fellow blogger and just a total honey - go and check out her blog:http://toodalookatie.blogspot.co.uk/

Have you got a go to dress style, or colour pallette? Let me know all about it in the comments...
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Losing my Lady V-ginity with Estella

The Lady V Estella dress is the dress my little vintage heart has been waiting for. Designed by my blogger girl crush extraordinaire George (of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust) the Estella has been created particularly with us plus size gals in mind. The crossover bust line is one of my favourites - with my not overly generous bust it means i can wear it with a regular bra for work as it is not too booby, and with a bit of push up padded number in the evenings. 








Shoes - Primark (recently)

Lady V has been on my radar for quite some time, and early last year i had ordered a couple of dresses from them, but got the sizing all wrong and had sort of given up. But when George announced her collaboration, and many bloggers and instagramers started posting pics of themselves the Estella I knew I had to have one.

My previous experience with Lady V was that there dresses had come up quite roomy on me. With the flared A-line skirt I knew my tummy wouldnt be a problem, so I opted for the size 20. It fitted like a dream.  I bought the Black & Pink Rose Floral dress first.




The fit is wonderful - the sleeves accomodate my meaty arms, the tummy panel smooths me  where I need it, and the A line style skirt is fifties full which make me feel like a lady, and is the perfect length on me (I'm 5'8") hitting me just over the knee to show of my calves and ankles (which I am a fan of). This earliest iteration of the dress came without any stitching on the cross over which meant a safety pin was necessary to preserve any semblence of dignity!



The print is just gorgeous - those giant luscious roses just make my heart happy. Also this particular print has transitioned beautifully between summer, autumn and winter. Just add tights!  Here I paired it with my new favourite shoes - black suede look wedges with an ankle strap from Primark (for £12!). These are wide fit and crazy comfortable, and I bought them less than a month ago so they should still be in store. 

Next I went for the Red Wine Polka Dot dress (obviously - I love polka dots, I love red wine. I'm pretty sure this was made for me). On the behest of many Lady V made a slight alteration to the next rn they did of the Estella - they stitched the cross over closed. When I firsted opened the packaging I was worried that they might have stitched it a little high for my humble bust. But it was absolutely perfect. No more dicking around with safety pins - hurrah! I once more ordered this in a size 20. The fit is a bit snugger than Rosey dress, and not just across the bust. Not too tight, but I certainly wouldn't want to wear it without some of my trusty shapewear underneath. The lumps and bumps need a bit of smoothing. 





All in all these dresses are dreamy. Whenever I wear them I feel gorgeous, glamourous and not too overdressed (which sometimes happens with some of my other fifties style dresses). At the moment Lady V are all out of size 20s, but I avidly watch their website for new colour ways. Check them all out here. Do you own anything from Lady V London? An Estella perhaps?  What colour way would you like to try?


Apolgoies for the somewhat grainy picture quality, I will get better at this. Stay posted - I have recently ordered a Lady V Loretta which I will be reviewing here soon.
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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Why?

Darling readers,

Why start this blog? Why indeed?
Good question...

My entire adult life I have been overweight. It has varied - I have ranged from a (uk size) 16 to a 22 since I was about 18 years old. I was a fat teenager (always fun!) and I am now 30 and most definitely am a fat adult. The one overriding theme throughout was that I never managed to feel confident or comfortable in my own skin. I never felt desirable, or attractive. I always thought that I might be pretty despite my size -  hoping that my beauty might be able to shine through the fat (however, dimmed).

I spent years thinking that when I was thinnner / smaller my life would start. That I would suddenly be the best version of me. THis is not to say that I've lived a quiet, sad little life - not at all. But I always assumed that I would only truly deserve good things, to be loved, truly be beautiful, when I was thinner. How ridiculous!

Over the past few years however I have become enveloped in the supportive and loving community of plus size women. Reading their stories and seeing the pride women who look like me (!) take in their style, their bodies and the way they look has been a revelation.  

It started when I moved to London 6 years ago. A new, cooler climate meant my old South African clothes were no good and I needed to go shopping - but how do you begin to navigate the British high street when you nothing about any of the shops? This marvellous online collective of women who looked like me, dressed beautifully, understood the nightmares that can face the curvy shopper, had done all the research for me. I could see things on real people, things that were in the shops or online now - amazing! These women saved me from endless shopping trips sweating under flourescent lights and hating myself for not fitting into the offerings at Top Shop, H&M, Zara. 

That was my first foray into the world of fatshion blogs. I dipped in and out, as I learnt more about UK clothing, and when I felt like was in a bit of a style cul-de-sac I would return to these ladies, and inevitably be uplifted once more.

It was during one of these moments that I discovered the magnificent George of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. Her vintage style was exactly what I had been looking for. It was like someone had turned a light on in my inner walk-in closet! Now George has pretty much the most incredible figure with preportions that make my face do that cartoon thing where your tongues rolls out of your head and you have to roll it back up again... BUT her body was not so removed from mine that I couldnt see how perhaps I might be able to rock a similar style. 

I have always taken pride in the way I dress, enjoyed fashion and liked clothes, but I certainly allowed myself to fall victim to most of the silly fashion rules us bigger chicks are panned with - wear black, make sure not a lump or bump or shape is visible, floaty kaftan silhouttes are best, nothing too fitted, blah blah blah. So many rules and restrictions. But here was this buxom goddess (and others like here - Gabi Fresh of the magnificent fatkini, Callie of From the Corners of the Curve , curvy model and femme fatale Ruby Roxx etc) wearing clothes that ACCENTUATED and CELEBRATED her shape. And looking bloody FABULOUS while doing it. What?!

I was hooked. I liked these wonderful women on all of my social media platforms - imagine after years of constantly beinf bombarded with bodies that looked nothing like me to see the body positive images and messages they posted daily. It was a revelation. I constant onslaught of wonderousness. My newsfeeds became safe spaces which made me feel like I was part of a tribe. I realise this sounds like the rantings of a zealot, but I cannot describe the difference this brought about for me. Nothing externally had changed but I began to feel different.  

I bought my first Collectif Dolores Doll dress in 2013 (I now own five of that style alone - more on that soon) and I haven't looked back since. My wardrobe has become a vintage wonderland (with a grungey slant - I grew up in the 90s and my heart belongs to Kurt Cobain forver...I can't help it).

And so, I am on a journey. It's a journey that is taking me through self-acceptance and hopefully on to self love. It doesn't mean I don't wish to slim down - I would like to lose a couple of dress sizes as I believe that I would be more comfortable generally. But I no longer feel like I have to wait for that to happen. I am building a relationship with my body - connecting to it, instead of pretty much ignoring everything south of my neck. I have started to exercise and eat better (this is hard) which is also part of loving myself and wanting to look after myself.

So why am I writing this blog then? Personally, it is an important part of my journey - it felt like the right time to do it. That writing to you all might encourage me to be braver and bolder still in my choices.  
For me it's a way of giving something back as well. I want to be one more in this diaspora of beautiful and unique voices - these voices that aided me and supported me on my journey. I hope I can do the same for others. I also want to help flood the internet with more curvy bodies, proudly wearing beautiful clothes, and help shape fashion for plus sized women who are so often sold what people think will "flatter" them rather than what they want or what might make them feel good.

And so here I am. This blog will be very much a body positive space. A place of reflection for me, of sharing what I know and what I am learning, of adding to that ongoing conversation. I may occasionally digress and talk about other things I am passionate about - music, decor, make up and jewelry.  

And so it begins...
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