Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lusting after Lady Voluptuous - Review of the Lyra Dress in Teal

Larger ladies and vintage lovers alike have been swooning since last Friday when the inimitable George of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust announced a second collaboration with Lady Vintage London.

The first was last year, when she designed the wonderful Estella dress for them (see my reviews here). The Estella was a run away success, and my first introduction to a brand I am now thoroughly devoted to.

So last Friday it was revealed that George and Lady V had actually collaborated together on a whole new line - Lady Voluptuous! Even the name is perfection. I actually happened to have the day off work so I pretty much spent it monitoring my social media feeds for updates and perving at the designs. I can think of few other ways I would prefer to spend my day off!

The new line was launched with three different designs - the Lyra, the Medusa, the Cosette. Their were 12 dresses in total with items available in UK sizes 16 - 32. Praise be to the plus size fashion goddesses!

I held out until Sunday. Pretty good going. I was torn between several of the designs (and I intend to put in another order on pay day) but I had one dress left in my budget before pay day, so I decided to go for the Lyra in teal. I am a real sucker for the wine one too, but I have a flotilla of red dresses and Teal is my favourite colour. Also, as this quite a green teal it goes just beautifully with red hair - another bonus. The style of the Lyra is such a classic Hayley dress that that was an easy decision.

Shoes - Primark

The Lyra is an easy wearing fifties style dress, with a full skirt and cross over bust. The sleeves are a flirty, fluttery style and there is no worries of them squishing you due to the loose fit style. The dress made of a good quality jersey (I always admire the Lady V quality), with lots of stretch. It drapes beautifully, although I wouldn't mind it in a slightly heavier jersey for lump and bump concealing (nothing that a little shape wear can't sort out, and I will be glad of the thinner jersey come the summer - this dress is good all year round).

(An unusual pic of me in my glasses - I only really wear them for work)

Lady V have got the bust line just right on this for me. When not pinned it sits without gaping and does not reveal my bra (although I might pin it for work for the sake of modesty) and fits comfortably across the bust - although there is a lot of stretch left in the jersey so would still fit bustier readers.

The Lyra is the perfect length on me, as it sits just below the knee on my 5'8" frame. And as I am on the tall side this is good news for any shorter ladies who like things a little longer. I usually order a size 20 from Lady V as I find their 22/24 comes up too big on me, and the Lyra was no exception. A perfect fit. I fall between a size 20 and 22 in most brands, so if you fall between sizes like me I would suggest sizing down.

This dress is just all round wonderful. So often brands roll out plus sizes that are basically just bigger versions of their already established lines which means that the fit can end up being all wrong, but this clearly is not the case with the Lady Volup range. It has very obviously been made with plus size bodies in mind. George knows what us plus sized ladies want, and you can see that in this collection. These are not dresses just for George. This start to her collection is made up of the wishes of the plus size community. These are dresses that represent what we say we love in our blogs, in comments we leave on social media, when we talk to each other.

I love the fact that every picture that has been posted so far of these dresses is of women beaming with happiness and positivity. I believe that not only is this because they are wearing things that looking bloody fantastic on them, but because they feel listened to and designed for. Because, for us plus sized gals this is still a novelty.

I'm going to hark back to darker times for a moment now. I am old (well, I'm 30) so I remember a time when if you didn't fit into the sizes in high street stores (which used to pretty much go up to an 18 if you were super lucky) you were at the mercy of the demented ideas a few twisted designers had of plus size "fashion". There were a few places doing us proud, but mainly it appeared plus size basically meant tunics in black, tunics in that season's hottest shade, things made of chiffon, chiffon tunics, oversized t-shirts with cartoon characters on (wtf?!), elasticated trousers and tracksuits. That was your lot. Better hope you love a good old tunic.

But now, in no small part thanks to bloggers like George, plus sized collections are fashion forward, sexy, edgy, exciting and quite often better than their regular sized counterparts! Designers and manufacturers are listening. They are watching us vote with our purses for brands that don't churn out the same old recycled nonsense and call it fashion. They are responding, and so at this moment we have more choice than we have ever had (don't get me wrong - I still want more!!) and it feels good.

The Lyra is a gorgeous dress, as are the Cosette and the Medusa. Whether you are a 6 or a 26 these are undeniably gorgeous dresses. (I know it's not nice, but damn I was a little pleased to see girls below a 16 lamenting the fact that these dresses are not available in their size) It's a covet-able dress. It's the sort of dress people are going to ask you about when you are out and about, looking hot, all high on your own confidence and sass. They'll ask you where you got it, and when they do I hope you proudly respond that it is a special plus size brand, made by a special plus size lady, especially for ladies like you!

(And there's more to come - George says this is only the beginning. What would you like to see in the Lady Volup collection next? Let me know in the comments...)

Monday, February 23, 2015

My week in outfits


Purple off the shoulder tee - Asos Curve
Turquoise cardi - M&S (old)
Purple wooden beads - thrift store

I wore my gorgeous paint splattered skirt on Monday (read review here). I am so in love with all the colours in this skirt I am sure I will be wearing it again soon. 


Black net skirt - Asos Curve
White and black striped 3/4 sleeve tee - Red Herring by Debenhams (old)
Brown leather belt - old
Black leather boots - TopShop

I was feeling the beatnik vibes on Tuesday. I love stripes, and I laugh at the idea that fat girls shouldn't wear horizontal ones - pffft! 


I feel like navy goes with most colours. It always feels like a neutral in my book. My navy polka dot Dolores always feels the most versatile, because of the colour and because it feels less dressy than some of the other versions I own. When Collectif restocks the black polka dot and the red polka dot I think I may have to add those to my collection as well. 


Black lace dress - Asos Curve (old)
Belt and leggings - Primark

I love Collectif's cardigans - I have three of their Freddie cardis and I decided it was time I invested in an embroidered one. I love embroidered cardis - they feel really rockabilly and a little special. I needed another black cardi anyway so this seemed like a good compromise. The little roses and anchors are great, and continue along the back of the cardi too. On its first outing I paired it with my black lace dress and black leggings which made for quite an edgy look. 


Flower print longline cami - Asos Curve
Red Freddie cardigan - Collectif
Black skinny jeans - New Look Inspire
Brown leather boots - Evans

I think I have mentioned before that I am not great at casual looks. I just never feel great in casual wear, so when I find a kinda casual outfit I get super excited. This is one of about three casual looks that I have. Alas on the day I wore this my jeans ripped and I now need a new pair of black skinnies. I have been tipped off that Evans super skinnies are great so I am going to check them out this week. 

So, what did you wear last week? Got any tips for someone not so good at casual dressing? 

Have a good week lovelies x

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bring on the Spring - Missguided Paint Splattered Midi Skirt

I am urging Spring to arrive with this gorgeously colourful Missguided skirt (currently on sale for £14 - amazing!). This skirt has all the colours which makes me incredibly happy. I first saw it worn by Toodaloo Katie on her trip to Morocco. I love the way she wears it with the matching top - so much patternage! The double pattern is not really me, so I decided to style it a little differently. 

Purple off the shoulder tee - Asos Curve
Turquoise cardi - M&S (old)
Purple wooden beads - thrift store

I ordered the skirt in a size 22, which was a good fit (in fact, if you are more of an hour glass shape than me, you might want to size down for this one). The skirt falls well over the knee (on my 5'8" frame) and I think, come spring, I will prefer the way it looks bare legged with ballet pumps. It's quite full, as you can see, and has some strong box pleats running down the centre which I think draw the eye down the body and overall give the garment a little more structure. 

This skirt really has just about every colour in it, which means it will go with everything. I decided to pair it with my purple off the shoulder tee, and fave turquoise cardi, but am looking forward to trying it with a bit of orange or yellow too. I also think it looks pretty banging with my hair :)

This skirt (and the red velvet dress I reviewed here) were my first purchases from MissGuided, but I have been pretty impressed. Their stuff is cute, out the box, fashion forward, and super reasonable. I will certainly be returning.

So, what are you dying to break out for Spring? Are you wearing it already? Let me know x

Monday, February 16, 2015

My week in outfits

So it appears I only wore four things last week... Nah, it's just been crazy busy and I have not been as diligent as usual. But I figure four are better than none. I'll do better this week, I promise!


Floral patterned skater dress - Dorothy Perkins

I used to shop at Dorothy Perkins all the time but not all their stores have sizes that go up past 18. I tend to be a 20 or a 22, but you can't always get these in store. As I find their sizing a little erratic I have held off ordering online but when I saw this dress I just wanted it. You can't see that well from the picture - it's a burgundy background with white and cream flowers, and it's from their Tall collection so it sits nicely on the knee. Great for work, and for going out afterwards just to the pub. Someone also gave me the compliment of saying it looking like a William Morris piece. I think it was like £18, but it's one of those pieces that just looks a lot more high end then it really is. A total winner! Well done Dotty P! 


I am loving Lovedrobe at the moment. This dress is the cutest, and I am going to do a full review of it shortly, so stay tuned. It is currently on sale though, so go get one!


Love my Dolores dolls. Just a plain black one with turquoise cardigan and beads, and chocolate brown boots and belt. I have just picked my favourite Dolores Dolls from the Collectif SS15 collection. Take a look here.


Red batwing top - Asos Curve
Black Inspire jeans - New Look
Brown leather boots - Evans

I had a hell of a week, so casual Friday came around and I wanted something super comfortable and easy to wear. This red Asos Curve batwing top has buttons up the back which is a cute feature. I do wish Curve would do some more tops like this - comfy yet stylish. I am not very good at casual wear, so I would love more of the above. Comfortable and yet still glam. 

What did you wear last week? Any great buys or recent finds? Post in the comments.
Have a great week! x

Friday, February 13, 2015

Collectif SS15 Lust List

At the beginning of January, in the depths of winter, Collectif optimistically flooded their social media with pictures of Spring and Summer finery. The models shrugged of furs and velvet in favour of floral prints, mariner basics and pastel tones. At the time I was overwhelmed by the sheer wonderousness of the choices, but Spring and cheerful colours seemed so far enough. Now we are nearing the warmer seasons and I have had a little time to digest the collection below are my very top favourites.

My first ever purchase from Collectif was the navy polka dot Dolores doll dress. I now have six. Yip. Six. And I continue to add to this collection every season. So in Spring/Summer ideally I would like one (or both) of these.

Dolores Atomic Flamingo print doll dress

I am not really one for beige bases generally - it does nothing for my fair skin and colouring. But there are flamingos on this! I LOVE flamingos! They are so charmingly tacky (despite the birds themselves being quite lovely) and 70s. So because of the darling flamingos, and the fact that there are so many gorgeous colours in this print to chose from, with the right accessories I know the beige wouldn't be a problem. I love the idea of adding a colourful belt and some cork wedges and a big, bright hairflower. Perfect for a barbeque or picnic!

Dolores Pineapple print doll dress

At the moment I am also all about pineapples - they are pretty to look out, and there is something inexplicably cute about them (just me? okay then...). The colours they have chosen for this pineapple print Dolores are great. I am a huge fan of green as it goes so well with red hair, so this one if definitely on my shopping list. This is the perfect beach holiday, or summers day out dress. 

Colette Nautical Swing Dress in Red

You may have noticed I am a sucker for red, and I love a good swing dress. Enter the Colette... Perfection! Nice full swing skirt, lovely halterneck to show off shoulders and back in the summer sun, and that peephole! There is something so cute and yet slightly risque about it. And it really works on a sundress, and makes this lovely style just a little more exciting. I am not sure how this dress would work with a bra (as I wouldn't want mine, strapless or halterneck) peering out out of the peep hole. But will just have to wait on that one. Other than that - Love it! 

Michelle Maxi Dress

Come summer I love a maxi dress, and it is particularly hard to find ones with sleeves that don't look totally mumsy. Well this one is a total winner! Sophisticated, stripey (always gets my vote), vintage-y. And that long black skirt going from an empire bust line is going to draw the eye down making the wearer look super tall. Sigh. Get in my closet now! 

Lottie Ruched Swinsuit in Red

Swimwear. Meh! I love to swim. I am definitely a mermaid (and not just because of the Ariel like tresses!) and I can spend hours in the sea practicing underwater roly-polies, and perfecting my Ariel hair flick. But the swimsuit options for plus sized gals - ick! I do not want a swimsuit with a skirt, I do not want a burkini. While my swimsuit will never be up there with my favourite items, it would be great if I actually liked it, rather than just settling for the one that fits. (Which pretty much all of them have been up until now) So this Lottie number is pretty much perfect. Love the colour (I will look like the before shot in those stupid Special K ads) love the cut, love the vintage asthetic. Yay!

Sophie Occasion Swing Dress in Navy

My big trip over the year is to the States. This summer I am heading to Minnesota, to my cousin's wedding and I am already auditioning dresses for the big event. The front runner at the moment is this Sophie Occasion swing dress. I love navy - it is slightly less harsh than black on my pale complexion, it goes well with my hair, and is a great base colour. This could be worn with any combination of accent colours - green, red, pink, white, gold, sliver. I adore the sleeves, and the soft layers make it feel like a truly vintage piece. Perfect romantic wear for a wedding.

So those are my top picks. By no means the only things I would chose if I got free reign in the gorgeous Collectif store, but my faves for the moment. Looking forward to reviewing some of these in the Spring / Summer - come on sun!

If you want to see the full collection you can find it on the Collectif Facebook page here and here. Let me know what you are coveting in the comments below... 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

My week in outfits


Polly Shirt Dress - Collectif
Mustard cardigan - Next
White and black striped vest - H&M

I wore my Collectif Polly Shirt dress on Monday, and was struck by how the cardigan and my hair kinda made me look like a hot dog covered in ketchup and mustard. I'm okay with it. You can read my review of this dress here.


Seems I started off the week back in black big time. Love the embroidery on this Phyllis doll dress, and it is so easy to wear. I always feel very professional in this dress (except, as here, when I wear it with my big, fuck off , teal Doc Martens). 


Black net skirt - Asos Curve 
Necklace - Primark

I love this net skirt by Asos Curve, and you will see it featured here often - I really want to wear it about four times a week. It's a really good base. I also adore this necklace which was about £3 in Primark - I have never worn it without people asking me where it's from. I do get a bit of joy out of telling people it's from Primark. 


Dress - Pink clove
Purple tights - Evans

I love this dress. However, the last time I wore it was about a year ago. That's because when I did last wear it I was told by a well meaning friend that it wasn't very "flattering". Even at the time I wasn't sure I agreed with her, however every time I put the dress on I could hear those nagging words in my head, and so have put it on and taken it off more times than I can count over the last year. On Thursday morning I put it on and thought f*ck it! I love this dress - it reminds me of Monet's Waterlily paintings and makes me feel like Spring is on it's way. When I wore it I felt confident and pretty, and got complements all day, mainly because I was exuding that confidence. And confidence is flattering as hell! Mini victory!


Burgundy crushed velvet skater dress - MissGuided
Lace necklace - Etsy
Belt Primark

Read a full review of this fabulous dress here.

The Weekend

Rather than show you what I wore I will show the amazing makeup done for me by Rachel Williamson at my VOLUP2 shoot this weekend. I can't wait to show you all the pics as soon as I get them. Insanely excited. 

Have a good week cats and kittens!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Nod to the 90s - Missguided Crushed Velvet Skater Dress

Crushed velvet. Ah sweet fabric of the 90s how I love thee. A baby doll crushed velvet dress, and a pair of boobs to fill it were all 12 year old me really wanted. How wonderful to finally, at 30, fulfill this prepubescent dream! Generally all this harking back to 90s fashion has not sat well with me - there are few trends from then I really want to revisit. But crushed velvet is too good to ignore!

I received my first ever order from Missguided this week. I had never even heard of Missguided (let along that they had a Plus Size section) before I saw a review of a gorgeous skirt (which I also bought and shall review later this month) by them on Toodaloo Katie's blog. I went for a little browse and fell totally in love with this dress.

*Apologies about the glowing photos and my somewhat ethereal look - the light was crazy when we took them.

I ordered it in a 22 (my usual size). As you can see from the pictures, it is quite a short cut, and is well above the knee on my 5'8" frame. I'm not unhappy with this though. By wearing it with black leggings and black boots, it does rather have the effect of making it look like my legs go on forever. A bonus. However if your legs are not a favourite feature, you might want to wear it more as a tunic perhaps with some skinny jeans or trousers.

I have always been a sucker for the comfort and ease of wearing baby doll dresses, and as it's such a simple style I think velvet really works. It adds a bit of glamour and luxury to quite a common place cut. The rich wine red is perfect with a pale complexion. This is not exactly a dress for blending in. It's quite statement-y and so pairing it with black meant it got to do all the talking.  Adding the belt just gave the dress more definition and structure overall. The only problem was that sometimes it was hard to get the belt to sit in quite the right place. For me, the bodice could be ever so slightly deeper for a better fit, but it's not a deal breaker at all. The sleeves are a perfectly comfortable fit and a good length if, like me, your not a fan of your meaty arms.

I love the scoop neck (another nod to the 90s) which is not too low but deep enough that this dress is perfect when paired with a statement necklace. Here I am wearing one of my faves - a black lace necklace I ordered from White Owl on Etsy a few year ago. It's so gorgeous, and I think I may soon need to order another!

Have you ordered from Missguided? How do you feel about the 90s fashion revival?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

V Day Lust List

Valentine's Day - not my favourite holiday of the year. Nothing else highlights quite how single you are, like Valentine's Day. This year, though I will be spending it learning to make macaroons with a happily married friend who nevertheless spurns this most saccharine of celebrations. 

Despite my deep rooted cynicism and all round black heart, I am a big fan of heart shapes and red, so I figured I might as well take the opportunity to make a special, themed lust list. So here are some cute Valentines inspired gifts and goodies - from the conventional to the kooky. Enjoy!

I guess I am a bit of a traditionalist so for me the perfect V Day outfit would need to be red. I don't however like to look too twee, so this crushed velvet dress from Missguided is perfect - luxurious, but paired with some leggings and boots it will have a bit of a grungy feel. Totally 90s. Love it. I have actually just bought this dress - review here...

I remember once watching those bitches Trinny and Susannah give some poor women a make over, and they had a right go at her because she only ever wore red shoes. I thought it was the most brilliant quirk, and one I have thought about cultivating ever since. Currently on my wish list are these reasonably priced cuties by Red Herring...

It is V Day, and what's it for if not a bit of naughtiness... Of course, Anne Summers always has you covered (or not so much in this case).For the burlesque performer in all of us, a pair of nipple tassels. This is one of those gifts that both giver and receiver get to enjoy ;)

I love hoop earrings, and these heart shaped ones are so cutely quirky I just love them. I really like that hammered, hand made look they have - nothing mass produced about these babies. Damn, I love Etsy.

My one true and consistent love is London, so this would be the perfect Valentines Day gift for me. 

If I was dating a fellow travel lover I would have to get them this adorable card...

So yes, those are a few Valentines bits from my lust list. What's on yours? 

The lovely Danielle Vanier has posted something similar - go take a look...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My week in outfits

I have been quite religious of late with the outfit posts, so I figured for anyone interested in what I've been wearing and where it's from I thought it might be helpful to put it all in a sort of round up...



In a size 22 (I can vary at Monsoon and sometimes am a 20 or even an 18 at Monsoon), I bought this dress on sale last week. It is still on sale on the Monsoon website for just £16.50. Lovely pattern, easy wearing for work. A winner



Old turquoise cardigan - Marks and Spencers

This was my first Dolores Doll dress (I know have five, and have just ordered a sixth) and I wear it to work whenever I need a little boost. I was blindsided by a nasty cold on Tuesday so I wore it to lift my spirits and it worked (until about 2pm when I went home for a big sleep). If you are looking for the ideal dress, Dolores is it!


Bardot style, off the shoulder top in cranberry - Asos Curve
Navy full fifties style skirt - Collectif

I love this outfit. I don't wear separates that often, as I think dresses tend to flatter my shape best and they're so easy to throw on and just add a cardigan and some accessories. But this skirt I love. The Collectif store in Old Spitalfields Markets tends to sell samples in a variety of sizes at crazy low prices and the last time I was in there I bought this skirt. It's a size 24 so a bit too big in the waist, but still bearable. I love off the shoulder tops - I like my shoulders and they add a bit of interest to a simple outfit.


Read my full review of the magnificent Lady V Estella dress here.


Belt - Primark

Two Dolores dolls in one week! I had drink after work on Friday followed by dinner with friends, so I decided to dress up a little rather than go with my usual casual Friday jeans get up. I cannot overstate how wonderful I feel in these beautiful dresses. 


Photographic floral print dress - Asos Curve
Turquoise cardigan - Marks and Spencers (anciently old)
Belt - Primark

This dress doesn't photograph that well, but is one of my favourite dresses for an evening out. It's made of a satin like material with a subtle sheen, has a pleated skirt and the fit is perfect. I longed for it, and kept looking at it on Asos Curve for weeks, but when it came time to place my order my size was sold out. Gutted! However I did some regular haunting of Ebay, and eventually someone sold it in my size (a 22) and it is still one of my absolute faves.

No point in including Sunday, as I intend to spend most of the day in PJs and sweats. And why the hell not? Have a great week my lovelies x
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