Thursday, 14 November 2013

Definition Of Size, Art Exhibition - Plus Confidence In You

One of the most talked about topics of the moment is confidence! I have recently stumbled across many blog posts, Facebook statuses, tumblr posts, tweets, and Instagram pics on the very subject! It seems that some people have a heavy dose of confidence and others need a bit of a helping hand. I am one of many people who has had a lifelong battle with confidence and it seems that only recently I have begun to win the fight! 

As someone who spent her childhood and teen years constantly fighting myself and others about my weight, I know first hand how sometimes you can feel so bad about yourself that you'd rather stay home and hide under the covers, instead of going outside with your head held high to face the world. It's hardly surprising that in today's society both men and women are in a constant struggle to find acceptance from the majority. From what I can see a lot of this is because people feel that they don't "look" right compared to their peers. Magazines, online forums and other internet platforms, radio shows etc. are all things that are currently being used to knock people for their appearance. 

I myself have fallen into the trap laid out by the media and have beaten myself up and worked myself into a frenzy trying to fit in with other women with looks, fashion and size. After years of back and forth, up and down and hair tugging; I finally decided to just enjoy who I am and make the best of what I have. As I have said before I agree that it's vital to eat well and get plenty of exercise but there is a misconception that this will be the ultimate key to happiness and a fantastic image. In a lot of cases this is all it takes, but I have met many people over the years and what is obvious to me is that not only do we all come in many shapes and sizes, we all have different things that work for and against us when it comes to our looks and appearance. Diet and exercise plans, tape measures and fad trends have brought a lot of people to a size and shape that they can love, but in my experience they were all different torture devices that only made me feel worse about myself in the long run and had my size yo-yoing up and down more than I care to express.

The lovely Anita Bellamy 

At the recent Plus London event a lot of interesting things happened and I met a lot of fantastic women! One woman in particular who really struck a chord with me was Anita Bellamy, Plus size model, musician, and major fashionista. Over a friendly drink myself, Anita and some of the other girls got into a bit of a debate about how important confidence actually is! Elements of this particular conversation spilled into the blogger discussion that took place on the Community Day of the event also. It seems that in today's world it's OK to ridicule, belittle and basically trample all over a particular group of people because they are fat! Not only do I find the current treatment of fat people insulting and offensive it's also rather uncalled for!

Anita shared some pretty horrific stories with me about how some of the people she's met and worked with in the past have been treated because of their size. It's hard to shock me but I was honestly jaw drop shocked at some of the things she was saying! I totally understand why she is so eager to try and make positive changes where she can through talking to various individuals, fashion brands and like minded people. I'm pretty sure that it won't be long before many more people are attached to the cause as she's doing some fantastic things and turning many heads in the process.

Plus Confidence in you was started by Anita to empower and educate others on the importance of body confidence in both men and women, and especially plus size people! You may be wondering what exactly is Plus Confidence in you and what are it's aims?

"Is an organisation that has zero tolerance regarding body size discrimination. Plus Confidence in you; helps bring ordinary people of any size together and realising that we are not alone in this weight game. We have been campaigning for just over two years and are no longer going to try and be accepted or fit in with how society feels we should look. Images shown on the Internet, magazines and television do not portray the top end of plus size people in a good light and in many ways this sort of negative behaviour has caused many people to feel isolated and alone. We would like to; create a safe and friendly community that shows we are active and creative people. That it should be about fitness and not size. We want to bring together fashion, designers and a full spectrum of companies to work with us to show that people of size can and do contribute to society at large."

Anita will be holding a preview event for her art project to give everyone a taster of the project and raise funds for the project. Info can be found in the flyer below, come along and meet Anita and have a good time:

"The Definition of Size Exhibition will carve out a niche in the fashion industry and indeed society in this innovative first of its kind exhibition. This body confidence program will be recognized not just for its elegance and beauty but will appeal to people of all walks of life with the issues around body confidence and individuality."

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Plus London 2013... Fun, Fantastic, Fabulous!

For the past few months I have read blog posts and tweets about the previous Plus London and Plus North events that have taken place. Seeing all the amazing pictures and stories about the fashion, the talks and the festivities of these fantastic events had me eager to go down to one of them for myself! When Plus North came about a couple of months ago I unfortunately couldn't get the time off work, so when I saw that an amazing event was being held in my home town of London, and local to me, I couldn't miss it! I immediately registered for my tickets online and was quickly counting down the days until I was due to go. The question that was on everyone's minds was, 'what should I wear?!'.  I opted for my favourite dress, the Dolores Doll by Collectif! 

The event was comprised into three parts; Brand Day, After Dark and Community Day. 
Two leading plus size brands; Simplybe and Curvissa sponsored the weekend event, and I have to say it was so worth the wait! As soon as I walked through the door I was given a warm welcome and smile by the team,  and I quickly saw a range of familiar faces; bloggers, tweeters and fashionistas who filled the room. I was so pleased to see that even though we were all of "plus size" we all came with our own look and style. I was soon mentally taking notes of some of the fabulous combinations of colours, fabrics and accessories the girls carefully selected to create their outfits. I have to say, I soon ended up with a few ideas for some of my own looks. I'd like to add that for all of those fashion critics who think that the token look for a plus size girl is a black smock with plain and unflattering pants, they could not be more wrong! There was so much individuality, and tons of innovative styles in the room that you couldn't help but be inspired!

A random quadruple selfie with me and the girls 

It was really refreshing to see independent companies networking and showcasing their products along with the mainstream brands that nearly every woman there had in her wardrobe. As we were given the chance to leaf through stands full of fantastic items there was so much going on! Old and new friends were gushing over the new and fantastic lines being presented to them on the stands and we were all taking note of items that we were eager to add to our wardrobes and accessory drawers! I thought it was great that representatives from the brands were happy to have talks with the group and discuss the new and upcoming lines, whilst taking feedback from the bloggers and buyers. It was evident to me that every one in the room all shared the common purpose of making us bigger girls look and feel fantastic about ourselves and I was so pleased to see that everyone came in with a positive outlook and an excitement to be there.

I attended both days of the weekend event and I after taking part in several conversations with the girls there. It got me to thinking about the "plus size" community that I was a part of. I have always been a big girl and I have always been the "big girl" in the group. For the first time I was surrounded by women who had experienced the same troubles, stereotypes and wardrobe malfunctions as myself!. What became apparent to me is how so many of the current fashion brands are embracing us bigger girls as women who can look just as stylish as our smaller counterparts, and that we also deserve that right. It seemed to me that every single person who participated in the event not only wants to look and feel great but knows that it's her personal right to be able to walk down the street with her head held high in the clothes of her choice!

BLAST were there to capture the goings on during Brand Day and After Dark. I was lucky enough to have a slot with them where I asked the gorgeous Sarah to join me for a few snaps. The pictures that were taken of the girls throughout the day looked beautiful from what I saw. At Plus London After Dark, the after party held on the Saturday. Blast held an impromptu fun shoot complete with props and costumes. I was draped in feather bowers and depicted as both an angel and a vixen lol. This was a lot of fun and a really nice addition to the weekend. Check out some of their photography on their website

Me and the gorgeous Sarah H  

Photography by Blast Photo

The panel discussion which took place on Sunday the 3rd was very inspiring and tackled issues such as the sex life of a fat girl, the stereotypes, the media, health and exercise. I love to take part in a good and healthy debate so to hear so many fantastic points of view left me feeling uplifted, inspired and even more confident than I was before the event took place.

Lately it seems that being a plus size woman comes with a stigma, misconceptions and a general negative vibe. I will say though being around all the other women at the event and speaking to some of the other bloggers gave me a sigh of relief. I found the event to be a breath of fresh air and I can honestly say that even though we face our daily struggles it is nice to know that we are moving towards positive things and that we're able to do it together with confidence, a smile and a damn good outfit on our backs! It's nice to know that we are FINALLY starting to not only like who we are but really enjoy who we are. I have NEVER in my entire life been in a room with so many fantastic women and I know that I have gained some great new friends who I may not have met had I not taken part in the weekend.

I really feel that we benefit from events such as this one because it not only gives us a chance to be around others who are similar to ourselves, it's a chance for us to embrace ourselves and celebrate who we are. I can honestly say not one person came with a bad or negative outlook and everyone was sad to see the weekend come to and end. It was obvious to me that a huge amount of work had gone into the preparation of the event and I think it's fair to say that the team outdid themselves in making it all happen and bringing everyone together.

I can't wait for the next one and I hope that I will finally be able to take part in Plus North also.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Flock Skater Dress And PU Side Panel Leggings - A Yours Clothing Review

For a very long time the name Yours Clothing has popped up when I have searched for "plus size clothes at a great price". I had glanced at their website many times in the past, and I always wanted to pop down to one of their branches to try on some of the clothes before taking the plunge and making a purchase. After speaking with a friend on Instagram who was wearing a gorgeous dress from the site I decided to take another look at the site and see what was on offer.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the clothes were not only bang on trend but there were loads of items that I really had my eyes on! I decided to take advantage of the current discounts on offer and I placed an order. My selection was the Black PU leggings with side panel and the Red And Black Short Sleeve Flock Print Skater Dress from the 'Limited Collection'.

Both items are still available on the website and in stores. The dress retails at £30 and is also available in purple. The leggings £12.50

I have to say I absolutely love this outfit! The dress is fantastic quality, the flock print detail is in a soft velvety material 95% Viscose and 5% Elastane. The dress skims over the curves perfectly and feels so soft against the skin. This is one that is fantastic for the autumn/winter months and can be worn as a simple dress or paired with leggings or tights. The material has a fair amount of stretch and sits nicely on the bust. You could wear this one with a cinch belt if you wanted to enhance the curvature of the waist.  I will be honest, I don't think it needs it as it's such a nice fabric and a great fit! I ordered this dress in a size 22 as I like a fair amount of room in my dresses so that I can feel comfortable in the boob area but there is a fair amount of stretch as I said before so you may want to go by your exact size, this dress would have fit perfectly fine in a 20 if I wanted to buy it a size smaller. 

The leggings are a fantastic fit and they feel extremely comfortable and warm on. I always worry about picking leggings because I find that depending on the pair you buy they can stretch across your behind and go a little see-through. I'm not one for showing everyone what under garments I have on so I was happy to see that this pair was just the right thickness to give me full coverage. 

Stock Images Courtesy of Yours Clothing 

You could accessories this outfit in many ways with gold, black or silver adornments such as bangles, chokers or necklaces. I like to pair this one with my black suede jacket and platform heels. There are so many possibilities! 

I have to say I will definitely be picking up more items from Yours Clothing and I'm glad that I finally took the plunge and tried out some of their items!