Saturday, 29 March 2014

Tutti Frutti - Bright And Bold

When I think of spring and summer the idea of lounging on a beach sipping on a cocktail by a palm tree is most definitely a tempting thought. With the hot weather comes the need for clothes that not only feel great but work well in the sunshine.

When I saw the new Cut Range by Evans I was surprised at how fresh, funky and diverse the brand had decided to go! When we think of Evans we tend to think of comfortable, high quality clothes that can be used as staple pieces. In the past couple of years they have branched out and played with a series of different looks. The Beth Ditto range was an amazing collection and more recently the items from Scarlett & Jo have most definitely been turning heads…

The Cut Range had the Plus Community all over the UK talking. Shoppers, bloggers and fashionistas all over had their opinion on the bright and fresh colour options, interesting styles and edgy cuts. There was one item that caught my eye out of the entire collection, The Pink And Green Midi Tube Skirt! As soon as I saw this one I knew that I would want to wear this out in the hot sunshine with some white and pink additions to form a fun and fresh ensemble.

I decide to pair this item with my white Dolores top from Collectif (a favourite of mine as some of you already know), Pink Cardian from the Claire Richards collection at Fashionworld and White flats from Primark. I decided to go really girly with this one and the mix of colours in the skirt made me think of the tutti frutti sweets I used to have when I was small. The bright and fun colours are ones that have the potential to be played around with in many ways. The interesting Ti-dye effect is what caught my eye and if you have any of the Cut items with this print you may play around with the colours in other ways. Cute Camisole tops in yellow, green or white would really bring out the different tones in the skirt.

I just love how bold the colours are and I know that on a hot and bright day this outfit will really work in the sunshine. I already have plans to take this one on holiday with me! Accessories can be played with easily. Acrylic jewellery in all the colours, silver additions like earrings and fun hair flowers would look cute also. 

If you were bold enough to try out the cut range I would love to see your pictures too so please drop me a message with your outfit selection, I would love to see how you played with the style! 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Introducing...Plus Size Mannequins

There has been a lot of talk about fashion; where we are with it, where it’s heading and what the possibilities are for the future. When it comes to the way we buy our clothes various different stages come in to play.When I buy my clothes I don’t just buy something because I like the look of it. There have been many times where I have had such a bad experience with a company that I have vowed to NEVER put my money into their tills again, despite wanting something that only they are selling. For me I like to know that I am getting a good service as well as a good product and it’s not only the big details that come into play when I am parting with my money but those little added extras that makes me as a customer feel valued.

Model Denise Bidot poses with an average size mannequin. The beautiful Latina models for various companies such as Forever 21 and Macy's. For years she was working in the industry behind the scenes doing hair and make up and was later given the opportunity to work on the other side of the lens.  It makes you wonder though if the size of this mannequin is how the average women as represented, then no wonder it's taken them so long to even consider working on a plus size one!

For years I have struggled with buying my clothes because I simply can’t envision how something might look on me when I see it in the stores. There has been a lot of talk about plus size mannequins lately and for some reason many people are totally against them. I personally think it’s a great idea that we are finally bringing in mannequins to wear the clothes that are designed for a person with a fuller figure. There are so many companies who have now expanded their range and introduced plus size clothes and even more are popping up all over the place who specialise in dressing larger women. 

For many plus size women the simple task of buying clothes can be rather traumatic. Bright florescent lights, minimal size options and often sales people who can’t sympathise with some of our shopping problems can make the experience of shopping one that we really dislike. I am so pleased to say that things are starting to make positive changes. I am used to walking into stores and seeing the larger clothes thrown onto mannequins that are a size 8-10, sometimes 12. I have to say they don’t help me in the buying process. I like to see the clothes hang correctly and when the garments are made from a size 14-32 and higher I think to give us larger mannequins can help enhance the look of the clothes.  Some people think that the idea of larger mannequins is strange and puts out the wrong message. In my opinion I think that we should feel comfortable to use them in the plus size section of the store and stick to our standard size figures elsewhere. This way everyone can enjoy the shopping experience and the clothes can look their best.

Plus size model Laura Wells is pictured next to a mannequin that was created against her very own proportions. This doll is seen in lingerie departments for Australian stores Myer and David Jones.

Well known department store Debenhams were one of the first companies in the UK to try out the Plus Size mannequin and on the whole it was well received. Of course some people were sceptical but that's to be expected in all honesty. I think that if anything it will help companies better display the clothes they carry in larger sizes. Many people will have negative views on it but I think that's to be expected as with anything new or different that a company may be trying out. 

I really believe that everyone has the right to look and feel good in what they wear and that should also be the case for purchasing the clothes in the first place. I would like to think that someday in the future we see plus size mannequins for men, and even disabled mannequins. We all come in different shapes and sizes and there really is no standard look for anyone so we should be aiming to work with as many different looks as we can. We have mannequins of different racial groups, with a variety of hair types and from wide selection of ethnic backgrounds. I think this is another positive step into showing our diversity and I look forward to seeing more of them in department stores everywhere.

Monday, 24 March 2014

High Fashion, High Style - The Work Of Carolyn De La Drapiere

One of the things I absolutely love is being able to discover new and interesting brands. When I was in attendance at the Definition Of Size Art Exhibition last year, not only did I meet some amazing people, I was introduced to a designer that I had never heard of before.

Carolyn Draper was one of the generous people to make a donation to the event. An item of clothing worth an amazing £200 was to be given to the lucky winner who participated in the raffle fundraiser. When my name was pulled from the hat I was so excited and I couldn't wait to go down to the studio and try on some of the amazing items in store...

Here I am pictured wearing the Light Silk Chiffon Fancy Kaftan and the Slinky Silk Camisole With Beaded Detail. I absolutely love these 2 items together, they feel so light and soft on and I find them to be really versatile pieces. The Kaftan could be worn on it's own with simple black lingerie underneath but if you would like a little more coverage then a cami underneath is most definitely the way to go. 

I decided to take quite a sophisticated and fancy item and pair it with casual black jeans from the New Look Inspire range and flat shoes. I love the ruffled detail on the neckline and sleeves and I decided to keep the look very casual chic. A cute bag, or accessories could be matched to this one if worn on a night out or something. For me this has made it's way into my wardrobe as a staple piece which I can easily dress up for a fancier occasion or wear as a more casual item. 

The other item I selected was this Nepoleon II shirt in white. I am seriously lacking in shirts and when I saw this one I knew it would be perfect for work or a formal occasion of some kind. Made from 100% weave cotton the fit, feel and quality is fantastic and for me this shirt made me feel ready for business! I decided to wear this one with more of a casual feel and so I paired it with my black jeans from Junarose with diamanté calf detail.

Carolyn has a thing for funky and interesting cuffs and collars within her clothes and this shirt also came with the signature feature. The sharp cut of the cuff I feel gives the shirt that little something extra.

The lovely Carolyn herself

Carolyn prides herself on creating high end garments made from the best possible fabrics. Carolyn learned to design and make clothes at a very young age as her very own mother is an extremely talented seamstress and dress maker. Born in New Zealand, raised in Australia and travelling all over before settling here in the UK; she has seen and done many amazing things and I imagine, discovered many beautiful styles and fabrics along the way. 
When I took a trip down to her studio I was able to leaf through loads of the beautiful gowns, one piece items and fresh fabrics that are yet to be used. The gorgeous silks, cottons and other materials come direct from France and Italy and many of them have been used in the same collections as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and many other well known designers. 

It was refreshing for me to see that plus size women can buy pieces of the highest quality and style either off the shelf or customised for those special occasions that come up. I have to say I was so impressed with the attention to detail I saw whilst at the studio and I felt like a kid in a candy store! Carolyn and her lovely assistant Sian spent a lot of time with me in the store talking me through each piece that caught my eye and I was even lucky enough to go into the cutting room and see some of the amazing pieces being created! 

How gorgeous are these fabrics?! The mix of colour is just beautiful. 

This dress is just beautiful! I can imagine this being worn at a wedding, Ascot or some other formal affair. It's just gorgeous and the detail is amazing! 

What was clear to me from meeting Carolyn and her team is that every single customer who walks through the door is made to feel special. The personal touch is applied to everyone that they speak to and I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the store. In truth I would have been happy to stay even longer than I did! It was nice to be in an environment where the needs of the customer are equally as important as the designing and manufacturing of the pieces. The items I had received were beautifully wrapped and were given the De Le Drapiere golden seal...

One thing that myself, Carolyn and Sian all said throughout the day is that we wish plus size women would be more willing to just take a few more risks with fashion. I have been saying this a lot recently and I am sticking by it because I myself now own several garments I would have been too scared to even try on last year! Fashion should be about personality, style and quality. Way too many people think they have to stick to some strange boundaries that have been set by people they don't even know! I personally think it's a real shame! 

To see more of  Carolyn's beautiful pieces and the brand new collection, click here for the website. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Tribal Chic - A Lovedrobe Review

When I entered a recent give-away being run by the lovely Becky from The Ramblings Of Mrs Bebe I was stunned when I received an email saying that I was the lucky winner. The prize was to select a dress of my choice from Lovedrobe. I spent ages going back and forth trying to decide on which item I would like, so many of the dresses were just gorgeous and I will be honest it was so hard to make a decision! I decided that the best approach was to select something totally different to everything else in my wardrobe. I was lacking in fun casual styles and when I saw the tribal print dress I knew that was the one I wanted to pick. 

Instantly I knew that this was one I could have a lot of fun with and already had accessories to go with the style. 
A common problem I have is trying to find items that will sit comfortably around my bust line, I had to size up in this dress. Where I normally go for a 20 or 22 I actually got this one in a 24. The fabric is light, airy and so nice to wear, but it has no stretch at all and is quite tailored in the chest area. The cut of the dress is similar to that of a skater cut but a little less fitted in the mid section.

I love the fall of this dress and the way it lightly skims my frame, it feels so nice on and would be great as an individual piece or worn with other garments. As you can see I chose to wear this one with a pair of simple black leggings with a rouched hem from Yours Clothing. I have also worn this one with a simple black shrug as the spring weather here in the UK does tend to have a slight chill in the air. 

When it came to accessorising this outfit I was lucky in that area. The dress comes with a thin black buckle belt which perfectly fit me. It does tend to slip under my bust at times though so in my case it's a discreet addition to the piece. 
Tucked away in my accessory basket I have had a black beaded necklace that I have never worn! Finally I have something that I can match it with! 
I have always worn scarves over my hair (especially when I'm having one of those dreaded bad hair days we all experience...) this black and white patterned one is another accessory that I have owned for several years now and to my luck it worked fantastically with this dress. The look was finished off with my simple black platform shoes that I love so much. 

If you wanted to add sharp bursts of colour to this look you could stick with tribal theme and work with deep reds, oranges or even greens. 
Bangles, beads and acrylic jewellery could work as well as sandals for footwear. 

To see what other fabulous looks are available from Lovedrobe simply click here!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Barbie, A Doll Or Much More?

Over the past few weeks I have seen a selection of images floating around on social media about a plus size Barbie doll. I personally I have refrained from putting out my opinion on the plastic figure but the more I see the image the more it gets me thinking.

Mock Up Image Of A Plus Size Barbie Beside The Standard Sized Doll

Image Taken From Google

Barbie is one of those images that we all recognise and many of us women have had a Barbie doll given to us at some point in our lives. I had a collection of them when I was younger all dressed in different styles ranging from the classic princess, secretary, mermaid and several others. The one common factor with these toys is that they seem to showcase a certain kind of beauty and sex appeal that we drum into our kids from a seriously young age. The blonde bombshell with sizeable boobs, curves and a face covered in make up are what we are used to seeing. I personally have never had an issue with the Barbie image…………...until recently.

There was an article that popped up on my Facebook news feed I have to say I was totally shocked! There is actually a woman who idolises Barbie and is planning to live on nothing other than air and sunlight! When I read the article I was startled and shocked. Valeria Lukyanova has taken her obsession with Barbie to dangerous heights.
She not only wanted to look like Barbie and does her hair and make-up in a way that makes her look artificial but she pretty much wants to be the embodiment of the character. She was recently quoted to say ‘In recent weeks I have not been hungry at all; I am hoping it’s the final stage before I can subsist on air and light alone’. For me this is seriously dangerous, this goes beyond trying to dress or do your hair like the doll but trying to have a doll like figure which I would imagine is seriously damaging to her physical and mental health.

Here are just a couple of pictures of Valeria Lukyanova.
The Ukranian Model who has been dubbed "The Real Life Barbie Doll"

Images Taken From Google

Barbie has for a long time been a figure of inspiration for women who are aiming to achieve a certain image. I don’t have any issue with that but I do have an issue when it starts to become dangerous. I would hate to think of girls curled over the toilet bowl in their bathroom doing harm to themselves to reach an ideal that was set by a plastic doll. Image is so much more than the way we look. We can be affected emotionally and mentally by trying to reach certain standards set by our society and as I have previously stated on other posts, I think the most important thing is to focus on our health and fitness.

Earlier on in this post I previously touched on the current conversation circulating social media about the idea of a possible plus size Barbie doll. When the mock up image of the plus size doll featured next to the standard doll first surfaced online, it got some seriously strong reactions! Many people have been wondering if toy companies should join in the debate about image and size by creating larger sized toys, or if they should remain as they are and continue to conduct business in the way that they have been for many years.
The doll had people up in arms as many felt that it was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle to our kids. Some felt that the look and image of the doll was a bad representation of what some bigger women look like. A common view was that the double chin on the figure was taking things a bit far and that perhaps a happy medium could be reached. Why not create a doll of slightly larger proportions to the current doll that we have without the image that the plus size toy presented?

For me the whole thing has got me thinking about what images we push forward to the children of today and how it impacts their thoughts when it comes to their own self worth and body image. 
As you know I am all for being happy and confident no matter how you look and I think  that perhaps if we did have more toys of different colors and sizes there may not be such a rigid ideal set forward as to what constitutes as beautiful. After all don’t we all have different tastes when it comes to beauty?

I would imagine that trying to promote a healthy body image for a toy company might be a tough thing for them to achieve. The Barbie doll is distributed worldwide and each country has different statistics for their average dress size. I think that either way the focus should always be on health and fitness. I guess what alarms me is that something I always considered a simple toy comes with a lot of extra baggage related to image and beauty. 

I would be interested to hear what you think about the subject so please drop me a message or comment below.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Hip Hop Monochrome - A Different Kind Of Casual

With so many trends that are poppin at the moment one of the ones I am seriously getting into is the monochrome look. There are several ways you can play around with this one and I have already picked up some interesting pieces which I will of course be showing you all right here on the blog over the next few posts.

I have been getting rather glammed up recently and I thought I'd take it down a notch and find a way to incorporate my casual style into the trend. Music is one of my biggest loves and passions and recently I have been hitting the clubs and enjoying some of the Hip Hop sounds of late.
Statement and logo t-shirts have been hitting all of the high street stores and when I found this Parental Advisory T in Primark I quickly snapped it up! I got the size 20 for an amazing £7! The quality and fit is really good, it feels lightweight on and hugs my figure perfectly which made this one a hot one to wear at the club last night.

The trousers were another fab find from Asos in their Curve range and are currently on sale! The Jersey Peg Trouser with Side Stripe has been reduced from £18 down to £7, total bargain! As I wore this to the club I decided to add simple flat black shoes to the look. I would have worn heels to add that extra feminine flair but as I was out to get my dance on I decided to play it safe. 

Stock Images Courtesy Of Asos Curve

Trying to keep my difficult and unruly hair at bay I added a silk black and white striped scarf to the look to add that extra street style I was looking for. My big hoop earnings complete the look but I think the next time I wear this one I may wear more silver jewellery with silver bangles and maybe a chain or 2. 

You Are Good Enough!

One thing that us plus size bloggers enjoy is taking part in a good challenge. This time Debz aka Wannabe Princess  set us the task of spreading the message that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! The idea was taken from a blog on tumblr and has been expanded a little. With so much ridicule and body snark spreading across webpages we are aiming to push out as many positive messages as we can by talking about a part of ourselves that we love.

Confidence is such an important thing and with this task, I decided to talk about my eyes. 
My eyes are my favourite part of my face and often, the facial feature I get the most compliments on. With all of my confidence battles over the years and all the time I spent hating myself and the way that I looked, I have always loved my eyes. 

In these pictures I am wearing varying degrees of eye make up. The first 2 shots are a few years old but I like how my eyes look in them. 
I am pictured with absolutely no make on in the second picture. 

Whenever I meet someone new for the first time, their eyes are what first strike me about their appearance. I think you can tell a lot about a person through the looks and the expressions they make with their eyes. I definitely agree with that age old saying 'the eyes are the window to the soul'. 

In my case I really like the shape and size of my eyes. Whenever I look back on pictures of myself, my eyes always look really bright and expressive. Even though we all scrap those bad pictures of ourselves that will never make it online, I often find myself saying something like 'shame about my hair but my eyes look nice!' For me I would say that they are the main focus on my face, which might explain why I spend more time putting on my eye make up then I often do putting my outfits together!

We all have those parts of ourselves that we may not like very much. 
I think that until we can learn to embrace those problem areas we should really embrace those bits we love the most. Despite what goes on in today's society and what things are pushed our way it's important for you to remember that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! 

I would love to hear what your favourite body part is and why so please feel free to drop me a message.

Check out some of the posts by the other bloggers taking part:

Monday, 17 March 2014

Snakeskin Wrap Dress - A Pink Clove Review

When I picked up this dress I was lookin for something a bit edgy. No matter what cut or colour, animal prints always add that different kind of flavour to an outfit that a plain print just can't achieve.

The Snakeskin Sleeveless Wrap Dress from Pink Clove was a must have item for me as soon as I saw it. I was looking for something sleek, sexy and fun that could be worn as a casual item or for club wear.

Whenever I buy my dresses I like to think of a least 2 different events where they can be worn. The pale grey tones of this dress would look amazing with jeans, tights, leggings or as a single item. I tend to wear this one with black leggings but I already have plans to wear a white paisley print bandanna in my hair and silver accessories with this one. 

I will be honest though, where the 2 folds of fabric cross over the chest there is a lot of wiggle room in the bust area. If you have a large bust like I do you have to be careful with how you move as it is rather low cut. The fabric feels really light on the skin and it's extremely comfortable. I picked this one up in a 22 and I find that this one has plenty of room and looks good both with and without shapewear. 

I love wrap dresses I find that they feel amazing on and tend to really work well with my shape and style.
As this one is a sleeveless one I tend to wear it with a shrug for evening wear and a cardi or wrap for day time wear. Those of you who are familiar with my blog and my style know that I tend to cover the tops of my arms, not for any particular reason I just feel more comfortable that way.

The lightweight feel of this one would make it great to wear on those warmer days with nothing but a pair of amazing heels to complete the look. If like me you want some extra coverage or you want to make it more of a casual piece then you can add more layers to it with a top and some leggings perhaps. 

Stock Images Courtesy Of Pink Clove

This dress is currently on sale and is an amazing £8 reduced from £18! 

There are so many amazing styles available on the Pink Clove website so check them out no doubt you'll find something you like.

Monday, 10 March 2014

My Collectif Spring And Summer Wish List!

One thing about Collectif that I have to warn you all about............


It's no secret how much I love their clothes and I can't wait for you all to see some of the new pictures I took wearing my latest Collectif purchase (post is coming for that one real soon). The new spring and summer collection is just amazing! I love the different looks and prints available and I already have my eye on a few bits! Here are the items in my wish list!

Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a few of them before they all sell out. I can already think of when and where I might want to wear some of these gorgeous items and with a holiday hopefully on the horizon I hope to try some of these out overseas too.

Here's my spring and summer wish list:

Marina Jumper £29.50

Carmen Lace Skirt - Was £65 Now £49.50

There are so many more amazing items to come and many of them aren't even on the site yet! Here are some of the others catching my eye:

Kathryn Polka Dot Dress

Jemima Stripped Doll Dress

Dorothy Tulle Floral Swing Dress

Viviene Lace Pencil Dress

Bernadette Sailor Blazer, Wendy Sailor Blouse & Bernadette Sailor Trousers

There are so many amazing looks to pick from, casual, dressy, sexy and sassy and of course they all come with the vintage flair! No doubt I'm not the only one who will be filling their wardrobe with some of the new collection this summer. If you've checked out the collection yourself please drop me a message and let me know what you have your eye on.

For more details on other items and prices check out the website