Monday, 28 April 2014

Simple, Fabulous, Shimmering Gold!

Ever had one of those moments when you have no idea what to wear? Either the choices are infinite or you simply hate everything in the wardrobe! I am 100% sure that every woman has found themselves in this situation!

I decided to put myself to the test and see how fast I could pick out an outfit! My reason, my schedule these days can be pretty unpredictable and a few times I have been caught short and unable to decide on what to wear! It's not all the time we can have our perfect outfit preselected right? 

My task was to pick something with a bit of glitz and glam. On my way home from work yesterday I decided that I would see what I could do outfit wise in the space of 5 minutes! I quickly ran through my wardrobe in my mind (or least what I could remember owning) and decided I was going to wear a skirt of some kind. 

By the time I got home I quickly leafed through my skirts and stumbled across a black pencil skirt by So Fabulous with shimmering gold front and back panel; I had my glitz quickly taken care of! 

I decided that I would keep the skirt as the focal point to my outfit and so I picked a simple black tunic with V front detail that I picked up from Simplybe about a hundred years ago lol. That's the thing I love about staple pieces, you can make them work for you pretty much all the time and can play around with them however you want! I tucked it into the skirt, added a Primark cinch belt and I was good to go! If had a pair of gold heels I may have worn them as another accent to the ensemble but you guys know me I love my black heels!

We all have our signature accessories and 2 that I have used for many years now are large hoop earrings and hair scarves. I have always loved hoop earrings as they are simple, timeless and work with almost everything! We ladies often have those days when nothing works and you simply can't tame those locks. For this reason I find hair scarves to be a complete god send! They save me when I need to get my routes done or I'm simply short for time and can't spend 45 minutes with the straighteners. As my theme for this outfit with simple and fabulous I thought these accessories were fitting and once again quick to select and get on!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

My Boudoir Shoot With Chiara Aprea

One of the hardest things for any women out there to do is to look in the mirror and absolutely love what she sees! About a year and a half ago I pretty much hated myself physically. I would poke holes in my appearance, jump in with insults before others could and like many plus size people, I would hide away in black clothing hoping to blend into the background. I would do things to make myself feel better like get my hair done or my nails but I would still find fault with myself. Those who have known me for quite some time will know that I may be confident in my personality and with my talents but my image was the one area that had always taken a beating leaving me with limited self confidence. 

When you spend years of you life listening to the comments of others and telling yourself that being big makes you ugly it can be hard to have any real level of self esteem. What changed for me was when I reached my mid twenties. I decided that I had spent more than enough time hating myself and that if I didn't "pull myself together" I would spend way too much of my time beating my own confidence into the ground. I experimented with different styles of dress, playing around with fashion and make up and have now reached a place where I can look in the mirror and actually like what I see!

When I was at Plus London last year I met an amazing girl who not only is a stunning plus size model but amazing photographer! Chiara Aprea is fast making a name for herself specializing in plus size photography with an aim of building confidence in her clients. When I saw the gorgeous photoshoots she had done of some of my friends I thought you know what i'm gonna call her and try this out. I dropped her a message and we made plans to do a boudoir themed shoot...

I arrived at her home with a suitcase full of vintage inspired clothes and some lingerie. I was full of nerves but excited to get all dolled up for the shoot. Chiara worked on my hair and make-up and transformed me into a vintage sex kitten! We were soon ready to get snapping away and I went in with a mind set that even if I don't like how I look in some of the shots, the experience would do me some good... 

Just some of the pictures taken with Chiara. 

Hair and MUA and photography by Aprea Chiara
Styling by Chiara and myself.
Please do not copy or edit any images without permission from model and photographer.

As we first got started I was really nervous and self concious and Chiara convinced me that I looked good and that I had nothing to worry about. She directed the shoot giving me hints and tips on how to pose. We played around with different hair styles, clothes and backdrops, always fun for any girl who likes playing dress up! For me I found this experience extremely daring! I had posed in as little attire as a sheer sheet and my underwear, right the way up to a corset and cape with petticoats on. I started out as a shy woman doing something for a little fun and ended the day feeling revived, confident and fabulous! From start to finish Chiara made me feel comfortable, in control and beautiful. She would give me sneak peaks of some of the frames and in truth I looked one hundred percent better than I could possibly have anticipated! 

Not only did it feel good to have a friend on the other side of the camera, I felt confident that she would be able to get the best out of me. As a plus size model herself with some beautiful photos I knew that she was able to capture me how I wanted. Looking back in hindsight I really believe that what had me nervous in the beginning were my former doubts trying to creep in! 

When the shoot was done and we went to review the pictures I expected to pick out maybe 5 or 6 that I liked and I ended up wanting to purchase almost every single frame taken in the shoot! I had never thought I could look so good and I am so glad I did it! Putting myself in a new situation that was totally out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to try something new has given me new insight. You have to be willing to take more risks, you may love the end result!

Myself and the gorgeous Chiara after a fun day of shooting

If any of you have considered doing a shoot of this kind and you live in the UK you really should drop Chiara a message and book in your shoot! You will not be disappointed! 
You can find her on facebook here.

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Hamburger Queen Grand Final

We all love to see is our friends doing well and making huge strides in their life. One of my old friends, who I wish I got to see more often has been busy carving out quite a name for himself in the entertainment biz and it's no shock for me to see him stepping out into his own...

Many years ago when I was doing a lot of improv and musical theatre I met one of the most exciting, flamboyant and talented people I have ever worked with! Through various projects with the Camden People's Theatre and London's famous Roundhouse he and I collaborated and shared the stage together. After all this time it's such a great thing to hear him feature on radio shows and see his many appearances on TV shows and in magazines. I'm sure many of you will be familiar with his work and may have even seen his current show Palava at the Roundhouse.  

Image Courtesy Of Scottee

Scottee (or Scott as I know him) has never been afraid of being himself and encouraging others to do the same. We first worked together when we were about 14 years old and even back then he was pushing for greatness! When I first heard that he was spearheading a beauty pageant/talent show for plus size people I was thrilled! Scott has always been the kind of person eager to have a laugh, embrace himself and encourage others to do the same so this event is more than fitting to his character. 

Image Courtesy Of Scottee

Hamburger queen is back and this Thursday is the grand final! The finalists will battle it out at the Bloomsbury hotel for the grand prize! I love the idea of the event and I wish I had been able to take part in it. Those of you who are familiar with my blog know that I really want people to embrace themselves, be as confident as possible and have fun with who they are so you can understand why this fun, exciting and wild event is something I would want you to check out. Hey you never know seeing a group of fun and vibrant people showcasing their talent might just tickle your fancy! 

So what can you expect from this amazing event?

Scottee welcomes you back for a fourth and final, super sized helping of his infamous talent show for fat people Hamburger Queen!

Over three heats and a gang of plus size punters has been whittled down in a game show designed to find the perfect fatso, and now it's time for the Grand Final. Each chubby contestant will endure three rounds: Trend (flaunting your fat fashion), Taste (your signature dish served to our celebrity judges) and Talent (light entertainment for heavy weights).

This years head judge is international plus size model and 'British bombshell' (Vogue)
Felicity Hayward!

The winner will receive £500 cash, £300 worth of prizes from Tatty Devine, Paul A Young, Mr Bake as well as Bestival tickets, a bottle of fizz, the coveted Hamburger Queen medal, the legendary Golden Unhappy Meal and the 2014 title!

More? Resident disc jockeys Unskinny Bop, guest performance from Le Gateaux Chocolat, 'What's Jude eating this week?' and the world debut of our in house tap dance troupe The Cholesterols! Lest we forget to mention we also have a pop up diner from Mr Bake - anyone for a burger in a donut?!

The search to find the perfect plus size porker is nearly over.
Who will become the final Hamburger Queen?

For more information and to purchase your ticket click here

If you would like to see more from Scottee check out his website where you can find his social media links and see what he's getting up to. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Sweetheart LBD! An Asos Curve Review

When I buy my dresses I either want something funky and fresh, bold and daring or, simple and classic! 
One of the things I love about Asos Curve is their ability to have something on offer to suit everyone! When I saw this gorgeous bodycon dress with sweetheart detail I just knew I had to have it! You can't go wrong when selecting an LBD, pretty much any shape or cut will work and the style will suit pretty much any occasion that should present itself! I have yet to wear this one out and about but I know that a club night, dinner party, gallery event, friendly social or any other situation I shall find myself in will all be suitable for this dress!

Any of you who are familiar with my blog and my sense of style know that I'm not afraid to show any cleavage! The thing is sometimes you want to be a little less exposed and a little more subtle in your style. What first attracted me to this one is the simple yet chic style. I really like the fact that there is a high neck line and long sleeves. For me this style is sophisticated, stylish and chic whilst being extremely sexy despite having very little skin exposed. The skirt is a really nice length and the overall fit is really comfortable.

In my experience many of the bodycon dresses from Asos Curve are made in a fairly thin and clingy fabric so I always wear a slip or shapewear with them. I bought this dress in a size 24 because of this fact. I usually buy a 22 when it comes to dresses in a bodycon style but I wanted this one to sit a little loose in the skirt and not cling to my thighs. With my proportions, dresses tend to cling around my bust line and stomach area and then skim the rest of my frame which actually gives an overall look I enjoy. With this dress I was going for a more demure look and I wanted a looser fit. 

I don't tend to go crazy with my accessories as some of you may know so this time I thought I would match the dress with some silver adornments. A simple clutch from Avon, silver bangles and hoop earrings from Primark completed the look. 

Stock Images Courtesy Of Asos

I bought this dress a few months ago but the good news is that it's still on sale if you like the look of this one pick it up here from sizes 18-28.   

Sunday, 13 April 2014

I Review The IGIGI Petra Dress

When it comes to my personal style I am definitely in an experimental phase. The amazing world of fashion is something that has been kept secret from so many plus size women and it's only now that we are not only embracing ourselves, we're being given a plethora of options to build our wardrobe from. Being surrounded by many other bloggers has shown me many fun and fresh approaches to style and it's been great for me to also discover some great clothing brands.

Igigi is a brand that I first heard about towards the end of last year. The American company brought to us by Yuliya Raquel specialises in high end styles from sizes 12-32 (US sizing). Like many of us I scroll through magazines and check out websites and I can be dubious about trying out new things. I was lucky enough to win a competition ran by Hanna at The Warbrobe Challenge towards Christmas of last year and I was the lucky winner of a gorgeous dress! In love with bodycon and wiggle dresses I decided to select something bright, fun and sexy; the Petra Dress. 

I absolutely love this dress; the colour is bright and fun, the length of the skirt is just right for me, cutting across my knees and the neckline is at a good height to give that hint of cleavage without taking away from the style in the dress. I picked this up in a size 14/16. 
Igigi tend to be pretty generous with their sizing which is always nice. I will be honest though I have to wear shapewear with this dress. The fabric is a very clingy stretch material that will hug you in all the right places, and some of the wrong ones too if you're not careful lol. I do like the finished look of this dress and it feels amazing on. The wrap style that drapes across the bust can slide a little though, so if the dress clings to you in the chest area (as it did to me) you might want to pin it from the inside so that you don't have to worry about becoming a little too exposed. 

When I first got this dress I was unsure about how I might accessorise it. I don't have a jacket the right length or style to suit this one so I borrowed my mum's turquoise and gold shawl which has been in my family decades. Originally from Egypt it adds a slightly eastern feel to it. I like to drape things around my shoulders when I wear a dress because you get that slight coverage whilst still showing off the dress. I decided to work with the gold and silver accents in the shawl and so I wore gold hoop earnings, gold and silver bangles and a diamant√© ring for a little extra bling. 
I tend to play it safe when it comes to footwear so I went for my favourite black platform heels. If you have this dress and you want to be playful you could maybe wear a pair of sandals or kitten heels in gold, silver or turquoise. 

If you are looking for something to wear at a wedding, special function or for that special date you have coming up you have to check out Igigi. Their items are just gorgeous!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

One T-Shirt Two Looks!

When it comes to shopping I try my utmost to buy items that I can use in many different outfits. I often buy simple and plain staple pieces that I can make adaptations with or use in a variety of different styles. Recently I picked up two long sleeved t-shirts, both exactly the same only in different colour ways from Yours Clothing at the combined cost of £12, a total bargain or at £8 each. I decided to do a bit of a mix and match session with some of the items in my wardrobe and I came up with 2 simple looks; one causal and the other a little more dressy.

Look number 1: Casual Chic

I decided to go really causal with this look. Sometimes you just want to be able to throw on something simple that you'll feel comfortable doing the day to day tasks in. This is an outfit I could wear to work or just chilling in. I paired the tee with a simple pair of black jeans from the New Look Inspire range. With accessories I decided to add a large black handbag from Primark, simple silver bangles, hoop earnings, steel link chocker and flat shoes. 

Look 2: Sassy & Sophisticated

The funny thing about this look is that the changes are minor in comparison to look number 1. A simple tube skirt, tights and platform heels suddenly make an otherwise casual look a lot more dressy and sophisticated looking. The classic dogtooth print skirt is my favourite piece in this outfit! 
After a recent blogger purchase from the gorgeous Hanna over at The Wardrobe Challenge this item is now a part of my collection. The skirt, originally from Excite Clothing feels amazing on and the length is really nice, as you can see I have worn this one over the t-shirt with the elasticated waist just under the bust line. I decided to wear the exact same accessories with the two outfits to highlight how a simple tweak can totally change the look of an outfit. A slight adjustment for this look was simply rolling up the sleeves, again the small tweaks can totally make the difference!

Overall the fit of the t-shirt is a really nice one. It simply sweeps over my frame comfortably with no tight spots anywhere. I picked this one up in a size 22/24. I wanted something with a loose fit that would compliment pretty much any pair of trousers or leggings. I could have gone for the size down but I often like bigger t-shirts as ones in my usual size can often cling tightly across the bust line which can look pretty hot, but sometimes I like to wear something a little more discreet, especially if I plan on wearing it to work. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Bloggers Love Fashion Week

A couple of weeks ago there was a 3 day long extravaganza for all bloggers. Being in attendance at an event that heavily featured fashion and beauty was not something me and the girls were going to miss out on! The theme of the night was "Black City Chic" and everyone was ready and dressed to impress for the evening.

A fashion show was taking place which included new collections and fun pieces, hair, make up and beauty stands filled the penthouse floor and we were given the opportunity to try out many new and interesting products. As a HUGE fan of fantasy make-up, I couldn't resist the chance to try out the amazing sparkle and glitter styles by The Parlour. Blue, purple and silver glitter and sequins framed my eye (my favourite colours) and gave me a very different look.

It's always fun to see my girls and I have to admit. When you put 3 bloggers in a photobooth, wild things happen..............................

Anne-Lise, Helen and I definitely went a little wild lol.

All in all the girls and I had a fantastic night and it was a shame for it to be over so fast. It's always great to meet with other bloggers and see what amazing products are out there for us to buy. 

Here we are towards the end of the night:

From left to right: Helen, Myself, Hollie, Leighanne and Anne-Lise

I look forward to future events by Bloggers Love as this one was great fun!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Off The Wall Ladies T-Shirt Now In Plus Size

It's no secret that I am a HUGE Michael Jackson fan and many of you know that myself and the other members of the King Of Shop team are always trying to bring out new styles and a variety of items in apparel. I am so excited to let you all know that we are trialling a new line of plus size t-shirts!

Most of the official t-shirts to come from Triumph International and/or Bravado come in the standard S, M, L and XL with a standard round neck. Many of our customers have been emailing us and asking for different size styles and neck types and I personally am really happy to let you all know that many ladies fit t-shirts have come to the site for petite ladies and for some of the ladies shaped like myself... PLUS SIZE! I can't contain my excitement!  

In the plus size range the sizes are available in 2XL, 3XL, 4XL and 5XL. In these pics I wear a 2xl shirt. A standard XL fits me fine but I wanted that extra chest room for my bust. Depending on your proportions you may decide to size up or down. 

What I love about this design in particular is that it celebrates one of the best albums to ever be recorded. Off The Wall is a much loved album for all Michael fans and many music loves worldwide. The world famous image used makes this one a classic design that has been received by fans for the past few years. 

The t-shirt is available at just £17 and would be a nice casual piece for the spring and summer season. Get yours here while stocks last! 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Magnificent 7th Challenge - Something You Never Wear.

The 7th day in every month is a day that the bloggers are challenged to follow a theme and come up with a creative idea around the theme. This month the theme is: Something You Never Wear.

We all have those items of clothes in our wardrobe that we love but never wear! In my case it's my metallic silver bomber jacket from Simply Be. Despite having this jacket in my wardrobe for years I can't bring myself to part with it, even though the fabric in the shoulders has started to wear. I just love the look of this jacket and it's a piece I used to have a lot of fun with back in the day. For me this item of clothing is significant because when I wore this I was still in a place where I thought plus size women had to wear mostly black, avoid stripes and follow the endless set of rules dictated to us by people who write the fashion magazines. 

This was a really bold piece for me and trust me, it's not one you can wear and go unnoticed! The super bright silver fabric would always get attention from people but despite some of the looks I would get (mostly good but as you can imagine there was the odd dirty one) I didn't care about any of that and continued to venture out in this one anyway.

These pictures were taken when I was 21 and I did a photoshoot to mark the milestone. 

Check out some of the posts by the other bloggers involved with this challenge:

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Charity Blog Challenge - Not A Hair Out Of Place

One of my gorgeous blogging sisters Hannah from Fabulousy Fat Fashion has decided to do something very courageous and brave and shave off all of her hair for Charity. In order to help raise awareness to a cause very dear to her heart she has asked some of the bloggers out there to write a little something about their favourite hair accessory or style and I of course wanted to help out and join in on the action. 

Here's what she had to say about shaving off her hair and her inspiration behind doing it:

"I have decided that I want to shave my hair off for charity because honestly, I'm not fit enough to run a marathon, I'm too chicken to do a boxing day dip and I'm too lazy to do a sponsored clean!
I currently work for Cleveland College Of Art & Design as Students' Union President and we have been working with the lovely people over at Hartlepool Families First since September on bits and pieces, but now I want to do something really big and really help an amazing charity out who do so much for the local community. I wish I could explain to you all the amazing work that HFF do, but honestly they do so much I'd be writing forever! However here are a few of the amazing things they do. 
They empower the deaf community by putting on health related and social activities. They offer a health bus service to monitor peoples lives and help them to not develop long term conditions. They have a special needs home support scheme to support parents/carers and even offer specialist and stimulating toys and play equipment. They offer one to one support for young adults and children with behavioral issues and additional needs such as autism. There are so many other amazing things that they do, but I would be listing them all day!
So with that in mind, I'm going to cut off my precious hair! Those who know me know how vain I am (not a day goes by without a selfie) and so this is going to be a huge step for me, which is why I'm asking for your support to raise as much money as I possibly can for such a brilliant charity! To donate, visit or text HCUT88 £ (then any amount from 1-10) to 70070!

Thank you,"

When it comes to our look and personal style one element in our look that many of us tend to take for granted is our hair. I personally don't put as much effort into the way I style my hair as some of my friends do and sometimes I find a solution to this problem is to just wear a hat.

It's no secret that I am a huge Michael Jackson fan and one of the accessories he uses a lot to complete his look is a fedora hat. I absolutely love this look and I too have implemented the traditional head piece into my wardrobe.

These pictures were taken a few years ago now when I was just 21 years old. I decided to put my own stance on his signature look from the video Smooth Criminal. 

The thing I love about this piece is that it really lends itself to many different trends and it can be sophisticated, sexy, stylish and chic all at the same time.  I really should dust this hat off and wear it again sometime soon.

Keep you eye on Hannah's blog to see how she's getting on.

Taking Shape Spring And Summer Wish List

It's no secret that I am a fan of Taking Shape and their spring and summer range looks amazing! I have my eye on so many bits it's not even funny! So many fun and interesting styles are available this season with a mix of interesting colour blends, fabric mixes and interesting patterns. In my case I feel spoilt for choice!

Here's my wish list for the season:

Rose Etching Dress £65

Melinda Dress £39

Oceans Apart Tunic £45

Gem Stone Tunic £39

Flirtatious Legging £25

Lacey PJ Set £39

I'll be totally honest, I have no idea what to pick out of this list, I want it all! I think I'll have to take a trip down to my nearest branch and try some of these gorgeous items on...