Sunday, 25 May 2014

Blue Summer Style

It's hard for us to find things to wear in the summer, we often end up just wearing the brightest items that we have and end up leaving some of our other pieces behind in the wardrobe. I wanted to see how I could incorperate some of my multi seasonal items with some of my summer favourites...

I like to be comfortable on warmer days but sometimes you don't want things to be too casual. I like to find ways to bring vintage items and more modern items together, I thought it would be fun to play around with blue seeing as it's my favourite colour; so I took my denim skater skirt from primark size 20 and paired it with my Dolores Doll polka dot top in baby blue from Collectif. These were the Key items that I wanted to work with, so I was happy I had the main frame of the look. I will be honest though as I have a large bum I needed some leggings or thick tights underneath because should I have had to bend over for something I would have been revealing my under garments lol.

I thought it best to wear my black leggings from Yours Clothing size 22 underneath. As black is such a strong colour I decided to offset the colour by adding a black shrug top to the outfit, also from Yours. Colour coordination is something I always try to do so I pulled out my white flats from Primark to work with the polka dots on the top.

After all the playing around with colours and things I was about to play it safe and go for my silver hoop earrings when I spotted a pair of drop earrings I bought about a million years ago! The 1960s double looped earrings were in the exact same colours and shades as my top so I thought they would make the perfect accessory.

So there you have it, play around with what you have hanging in your closet you may open up the possibilities to a whole new outfit! This is why I like staple pieces, you can play around with them and incorporate them in a variety of looks.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Black Fusion, A Simple Experiment!

Hello everyone sorry I've been away for a few days, I have been snowed under at work and have been unable to write up a post for you lovely lot. Work commitments have been pretty heavy for me at the moment but you will see more of me in the next few days...

When it comes to what I wear I have no set rules to my style repertoire. I know some ladies have those little things that they "always" do when it comes to selecting the garments that they wear. 
In my case I see what works together, if it suits the given weather outside and I'll find a way to make it work for me. Despite the fact that many of us shy away from black clothing due to the never ending barrage of fashion rules set forth by us about what we can and can't wear; I like to incorporate black into my wardrobe. Usually these items fall into the staple bracket but I actually thought I would have a bit of fun with the colour. I know we have all heard those tales about black being slimming, a girls best friend etc etc. I actually love the colour as I see it as a blank canvas you can make work with pretty much anything. Another bonus, it works against every skin tone!

I have been going through many fashion magazines lately and seeing what other people are doing with outfits and I have to say I love the idea of mixing fabrics! I think it gives an outfit another dimension and that little something extra to make it pop on the street. I thought I would try and do this and so I mixed denim, lace and polyester. Of course I didn't stop there though, I picked items with even more extras...

The top is a piece that I really enjoying wearing, it has a V cut in the back by the shoulders and the length is perfect in both the front and the back. I don't like to wear too many tops that are long in the front so this one has a really nice shape for me. The back is long and goes over your bottom which is great for coverage if you want to wear leggings with it. Made from polyester and dressed in a floral velvet detail the piece from Evans makes for a really nice piece in the wardrobe. I have this in a size 22. 

The lace jacket is a piece that I have a major soft spot for! I think that lace is such a sexy fabric and that it gives a totally new element to an ensemble. The jacket from Live Unlimited (available at Evans) in size 24 is one that I will definitely bring out on the town with many different looks. 

If you know my blog then you'll be familiar with the jeans. From Junarose these are my sparkle and glam jeans. The diamant√© detail is the thing I like the most about these, I have them in a size XXL. 

When it came to accessories I thought it best to keep it simple. Seeing as I have so many different textures and things going on in the outfit I went for my simple polka dot drop earrings, Collectif pearl and diamanté bow bracelet and my trusty black platform heels.

Play around in your wardrobe and if you don't want to go wild maybe just start off with one colour. I thought it was fun and I enjoyed wearing this look. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

On The Road To Edgy!

In the recent weeks I have seen so many conversations by ladies in the plus community about pushing boundaries with fashion. It seems that many women are frustrated with the lack of edginess out there. I personally think that you can be edgy in many ways. Sometimes it can be a combination of basic pieces that can create a somewhat edgy look. 

I figure that being edgy and a little different isn't always about outlandish and garish prints, crazy fabrics or asymmetrical cuts. In this outfit I am wearing the most simple and safe colours you can think of; black and grey, but I think what makes it a little edgy is the difference in the items. 
The metallic silver top from Junarose (size medium) is paired with simple black leggings from Yours Clothing (size 22). As the top is a short one and stops just under my stomach I decided to add my pleather skater skirt from Simplybe (size 24) to the ensemble. I always wear something over my leggings unless the top or dress is at a length where my behind is suitably covered. 
London weather tends to get rather chilly and as I was heading to the club shortly after these photos were taken, I thought it best to add this jacket by New Look Inspire range (size 22)
It should be noted that all of these items are from previous collections. 

When I wear skater skirts I like them to be fairly high waisted. I find that they really work with t-shirts and crop tops. Unless I'm dressed up in a vintage style I tend to select items of clothing that can be versatile and worn in either causal or dressy styles. Every single one of the items can and will be worn in other outfits and I look forward to showing you some more variations soon. The great thing about each piece is that they are all light in weight and feel extremely comfortable on. 

Had I been wearing this outfit out and about during the day I most likely would have added a series of accessories. A necklace or two, bangles etc. I think I would have added a bit of colour with my chosen accessories, perhaps opting for a cobalt blue handbag, blue shoes and some acrylic jewellery. I most definitely would have worn heels too. For me this was a simple outfit to wear at the club without too much flash or glitz. I was aiming for something comfortable to dance in without anything to get in the way or get snagged on by potential passers by and other club goers. Keeping it simple with just hoop earrings was my only addition to the look. 

Take a look in your wardrobe, see what you have and play around, you may be pleasantly surprised! 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Magnificent 7th Challenge - Create An Outfit Around Your Favourite Accesory

I would just like to start by saying sorry I am a day late with this post. I was having some connection problems last night...

This month's theme is all about our favourite accessory. I will be honest here I tend to spend more time thinking about the outfit i'm selecting and then find an accessory to work with my chosen ensemble. One that I tend to use for various different styles, usually for vintage and pinup looks is my white hair rose.

Petticoat By Vivien Of Holloway

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

Dress and Cinch Belt By Collectif
Photography by Blast Photo

I absolutely love hair flowers I think they can add such a sweet and feminine dimension to a look. They are an accessory that is typical in vintage styling but are fast becoming more popular with other looks. What makes this one of my favourite accessories is that it's actually my favourite flower also. I love roses and the handmade velvet rose was something I had to have when it saw it in the shop. 
Made by Black Rose, an alternative store based in the heart of Camden Lock they had several vintage treats and the rose was a must have for me. I need to pick up a red one soon! 

Check out what some of the other gorgeous ladies picked as their accessory!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bulling: The Pain, Experience And The Other Side!

I'm about to talk about something extremely personal to me and this is one post that I have been wanting to share for a while. After many recent events that have happened between my friends and I, now is the time for me to share a painful part of my past. So sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit. There's a fair amount for me to say and I don't wanna leave anything out...

I have been thinking a lot about where I am now and how I got here. Recently I have been speaking with a number of my friends about confidence, body image struggles and the perceptions of those around us. We spend so much time thinking about what we can and can't do, what's acceptable to everyone around us and often it's our own feelings that get crushed in the challenge we face just trying to look good...

Let me bring you back to a time in my life when I wasn't so confident. During my primary school days I was a total outsider among my peers. Not only was I different to almost everyone around me by being mixed race; I had different hair and what seemed to be the worst trait to my physicality...I was fat! Being a young girl in a school filled with wealthy privileged kids with private tutors, au pairs and large houses in London is one thing; looking and acting different to them set me apart in many many ways. Very soon I was called out for being the bigger one in the class and what's sad is that even at such a young age children can be very quick to exclude people from the group. I was taunted by the posh kids, pulled and prodded and never chosen to play jump rope or hop scotch. Despite all this being from the age of about 5 I remember it all so well! As the years progressed my time was even more lonely there and I was lucky enough to meet a friend, Christopher who was soon being picked on for the very same reasons, he too was a "fat" kid in the class. We stuck together and fast became a support network for each other. In hindsight I do not know what I would have done without him.

What was always hard for me was being the only fat person in my family. No one around me was able to understand the way the comments and taunting made me feel and as a result I felt totally isolated and alone. The only thing I had to bring me comfort and escapism was music. I would spend any spare time I had doing extra curricular activities around music. I joined the choir, played instruments and would lose myself in the music. Nothing seemed to make me feel better other than that and I hate to say it, food...
Growing up on the estate I used to live wasn't much different, one other child in the area and my oldest friend Hannah was also a child to battle with weight problems and I guess we both understood how it felt. What was hard is that we never went to the same schools...

My teenage years were even worse, I moved on to secondary school and had to leave my only close friend behind, Chris. He went off to another school and I had to start that scary journey all on my own. I remember being in on my first day and seeing kids around 16-17 from sixth form there, compared to me they looked like giants and the whole experience was quite awkward. What I thought was hard in primary school was a trip to Disneyland compared to secondary school. I don't know if the attitudes of kids were different because they felt they had something to prove trying to fit in or if being the class prick was a badge of honour. For me the worst years of my life were spent in school...

I had such a bad experience my first year at secondary school I was constantly picked on, taunted and made to feel small. Countless times I was reduced to tears in front of the class with teachers always missing the moment when something would happen. I would come home withdraw further and have to watch my mum kick off about the lack of support I was getting as a bullied pre-teen. I was advised to write journals with who was troubling me, what happened and the time and place of the incident. Each day I was asked to submit this to my form tutor who in the end had to do something about what was going on. Meetings were had and I soon changed form groups. 

All was well for a short while and what made it hard for me was being in mixed groups with those who had troubled me before. Many classes would require us to mix and when others had seen people trouble me they thought that it was fun to do the same. I will never forget one morning when things were being said to me and I had to walk down the longest corridor in school to reach a language class, right in the mid section were the entryways to the outside quadrangle and social areas. At least 20 people were all shouting things at me, prodding me and I think one even attempted to throw something at me. Other times I had been made to trip and fall down stairs, have things thrown at me in class I just felt like there was something so disgustingly wrong with me. As far as I was aware there had to be for that many people to hate me and for me to have to go through the same torture every single day of my entire school career! I can honestly say that one of the best days in my life was finishing and being told I was done with that place and that I never had to return. The only happy memories I have being there were of me in the music and drama rooms or performing on stage...

The thing with bullying is that it's all fun and games to the people doing the pushing and shoving or name calling. How we overcome it is different to each and everyone of us. In my case I developed a thick skin and a "don't give a fuck" attitude. I know others who even now still have trouble facing some of their inner demons about it and it really upsets me. What's so bad about it all is that there is so little help to those who go through it and I'm not just talking about people who go through it for being fat. Unless you have had the experience of being bullied about your image it'll be very hard for you to understand how hard that battle is. 

After many years of struggling I reached a place in my life when I thought 'I have spent the majority of my life hating the way that I look'. I hid myself away in safe clothes. Did very little to enhance my femininity and in turn I was harming myself more than anything else. What I thought was doing my part to fit in and reduce the bitchy comments actually left me missing out on all the fun. I reached a point in my life when I thought to myself I need to learn to like myself! If I have an issue with someone around me I can leave the room, walk away and get on with my day. Unfortunately the one person you cannot get away from is yourself so you need to do whatever you can to enjoy your own company and to try and enjoy the way you look. It was then that I started hunting around on websites for bigger women who looked amazing in their clothes. I soon saw a stream of bloggers and fashionistas who were around my size and some even bigger than myself wearing all sorts of looks and it made me think 'what the heck if they can do it, so can I!'

I guess what I am trying to say is that I understand the pain and the hurt that a person goes through when they literally hate the reflection that stares back at them in the mirror. I understand how traumatic it can be to pick up the largest item in the store and still not have it fit. I get what it feels like to think that there is no hope and that you may as well just reach for that cream cake or chocolate bar for comfort. One of my biggest issues is using sweets to comfort myself or to deal with stress and it's something I still have to work on. I just want the message to be loud and clear that you can look good and that there is nothing stopping you from doing something that you want to do. In my experience I found that by my gaining some self confidence that alone made me happier. I was able to enjoy my image and want to make the most of myself because of it.

Give things a try, take some risks and if you fall you can always pick yourself up and dust yourself off again. I can honestly say that I feel fantastic these days I enjoy how I look and I can look in the mirror and actually think I look hot! Some may call it vanity or whatever for me I just feel proud to have come this far as I honestly didn't think I ever would.

If anyone feels isolated and that they have no one that they can talk to about some of these issues there any many people you can speak to for advice and support such as: BullyingUK and the Samaritans 

Speak out and don't just take it! How you feel matters, remember that! 

Monday, 5 May 2014

A Little Bit Of Pleather

When it comes to style there are so many different variations of the same thing. If someone was to mention a new LBD that they purchased to you, I can guarantee about a 100 different images would pop into your head. When I was hanging out with the lovely Hanna from The Wardrobe Challenge. She told me that she had a dress that she thought would look great on me. This was a simple black dress, with three quarter length sleeves. What gave it a little edge, the pleather skirt...

I have to admit before I picked this one up from Hanna I didn't own any items containing pleather! 
Those of you who read my blog will know that I am playing around with different looks and styles. I really want to expand my range and my options by working with different fabrics, colours and wild prints. What I like about this dress is that the mix of fabrics is enough to give it that wow factor. Not only is black a colour that everyone can wear regardless of skin tone, style etc. it's a canvas colour which leaves you open to a plethora of choices when selecting accessories and shoes. 

The dress is from Simplybe and comes with invisible zip back fastening (although I just put straight over my head). I love the loose fit of the dress. It's slightly oversized but I actually like that. Sometimes you want extra space and to just have the clothes skim over your frame. This one is a size 28. 
The material for the main body of the dress is 73% polyester, 24% viscose, 3% elastane. The trim and skirt is 40% polyurethane, 40% viscose and 20% polyester. The material feels really nice and light against the skin. 

I teamed this one with simple black leggings and my black heels. A hologram clutch bag, black hair scarf and silver accessories to finish off the look. I thought with this one I would keep it simple so that I could wear this one at the office, out and about or as a casual piece. There are so many ways this dress can be worn. In future I may use the pleather skirt as the inspiration regarding my accessories. I may channel my inner rock chick and break out a studded leather bag, black acrylic accessories and maybe even look for a pair of studded heels. 

That's the thing that's great about hanging out with a group of blogger babes, they can show you a whole other style of dress to try out that you might actually really like. 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Faye Floral Doll Dress - A Collectif Clothing Review

One of the things I absolutely love to do is get myself all dolled up for a night on the town! When I first laid eyes on the gorgeous Faye Floral Doll Dress by Collectif I knew instantly that it had to be mine! When you have that amazing night out or date with that special someone circled in the diary; you want more than anything to look your absolute best. The ritual of getting ready is one that many women enjoy; for me I like to spend as little time as possible and have a simple but show stopping outfit that can do all the talking for me...

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.

When I think of the fashion from the 1940s and 1950s one word springs to mind, glamour. 
Beautiful stars like Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Davis, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich and many more had one thing in common. These women were some of the best dressed ladies out there! It is through their fashions and many others before them that we now have new variations of the style that was common place to them back in the day!

The Faye Dress by Collectif to me is a special piece. With the sweetheart detail that is surrounded by a cluster of flowers, tulle shoulders with dress overlay, and built in petticoats you simply cannot go wrong! There are so many black dresses out there that are beautiful, many of which need some added help in making them stand out amongst the rest. With many of my other dresses I find myself searching for Boleros, petticoats and belts to give them that extra something. When it came to wearing this dress the only addition I wanted to add to the look was a serious vintage hair style and so as you can see when I did my photoshoot with Chiara Aprea I opted for a major victory roll! 

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.

 Now when it comes to the fit of the dress I will be honest, I had to size up twice in this dress and pick up a 3xl. The reason for this is that the tulle over the bust and shoulders has absolutely no stretch so if you do have a sizeable bust as I do, bare that in mind. I usually wear a 20 or 22 in Collectif clothing which in this dress would be a 1xl or 2xl. If you do have a smaller size bust then you may be able to wear your regular size. The skirt of the dress fit me perfectly in the 1xl but I simply needed the extra wiggle room in the bust area. In these pictures I am wearing an over bust corset but the dress does fit me perfectly without it, I simply wanted to enhance the curvature in my waist for the photographs. The body of the dress has plenty of room and the built in petticoat gives it that extra something that would be perfect for a dinner date or a night of swing dancing! 

Stock Images Courtesy Of Collectif

I can't wait to actually wear this one out and about as I feel so beautiful wearing it and I know I'm not the only one! The great news is that this dress is available in a range of sizes and is one of the first dresses that Collectif has introduced with a plus size range going all the way up to 4xl. The £115 dress may not be a cheap purchase but it really is worth the cost as the quality is amazing and the style is timeless! I was able to pick this one up in sale and in even better news, the plus sizes 1xl - 4xl are still on sale and reduced to an amazing £65!

Check out these reviews by the beautiful Georgina A.K.A Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and the lovely Sarah A.K.A Plus Size Proud