Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Cupcakes And Dresses, A Plus Blogger Fashion Party!

My journey to confidence has brought with it many changes. I used to live in black and boring clothes, would never wear garish prints or colours and would always play it safe with my fashion choices. For years some of my closest friends had tried their very best to encourage me to wear dresses and skirts. You wouldn't think I was ever that way if you met me today but it's true! One brand in particular forced me to change my outlook and be bold and that brand is of course Scarlett & Jo

I hadn't worn a dress since I was a child and for years I hadn't even considered it, but as soon as I saw their panelled dresses hit Evans stores I knew I had to get my hands on one! The dress that has since been named their Powerfit dress is a style that seriously blew my mind. I had seen some bloggers and fashionistas wearing this dress and despite the fact that all of these women came in a different sizes and shapes it suited everyone! My first was the blue dress and I was hooked. I now own 5 colours (Check out how I styled the cream contrast version) and I will most definitely be picking up more when they hit the shops! To see my review of the dress click here.

Check out these gorgeous dresses due to come out in the SS15 Collection!

I later discovered their peplum style dress which I absolutely love and this became my go-to outfit last Valentines day. Check out my previous post and I'm sure the dress will speak for itself!
I was instantly hooked on the Scarlett & Jo brand, I saw them as a brand that brought classic old Hollywood and vintage styles into the modern market and with a fresh and interesting twist. Last week I recieved an email from the brand asking me if I would like to join them for a bloggers cupcake party and photoshoot, you can not believe how excited and honoured I was to be asked! The following day I was on my way to a fitting at their offices, I was both nervous and excited at what was happening. It was all happening so fast that I didn't really have a lot of time to take it all in. 7 other bloggers had been selected to participate and each of them had had a dress designed specifically with them in mind. As I had joined the group quite late into the process I was expecting to wear one of the new lines that had been designed or a dress that was made with another girl in mind. I had seen the most gorgeous tropical print fabric and I fell in love with it, I was then shocked to find that the design team had been asked to throw something together for me to wear at the shoot. The following day when I arrived at the gorgeous mansion Home House; there was a pair of trousers, a skirt and a powerfit dress all made in my size and in the fabric! As you can imagine I went straight for the dress and it ended up being the first outfit I would take pictures in. 

As the day progressed I had seen more beautiful colours, fabrics and garments made than I was expecting. I found myself wanting to buy every single frock lol I guess I just have to wait until the collection comes out to get my hands on them! I will say this though, the amazing details in the cuts and shapes of the dresses will flatter anyone who tries them. You guys will be in for a serious treat! 

The highlight of my day was spending so much time with the other blogger babes. Most of the girls I had met at previous functions and events but I hadn't been awarded the opportunity to really converse in the past. It was great sharing our admiration of the clothing and of the day. These women are not only gorgeous but they all have a deep affection for making plus women look and feel in amazing in whatever they choose to wear! I felt more uplifted and more inspired as the hours passed, and I have to say it was an amazing experience for every possible reason! I am still buzzing from it today and I cannot wait to see what the finished images look like! 

Check out the blogs of the other girls:

For more on Scarlett & Jo check out their Tumblr and Evans pages. 

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Luxurious Lingerie! - A Plus Size Lingerie Boutique Review

*This item was gifted to me
P.S Sorry about the quality of the photo, lack of make up and the random plug socket on the floor.

It doesn't matter what your size, shape or age is, all women want and have the right to feel sexy when wearing lingerie. For years I have struggled to find flattering and comfortable lingerie that makes me feel like a million dollars. Recently I was contacted by the Plus Size Lingerie Boutique, this online store has an enormous variety of items to cater for whatever your lingerie needs might be! There's a selection of playful costumes, sweet sets, cute babydolls, hosiery, robes and pretty much everything else in-between.

In the past I had had trouble finding lingerie that not only fit me correctly, housed my breasts and made look sexy. Usually I would have to give up on the idea of owning nice pieces and so I relied very much on nice separates and sleek robes to give me that extra something I was looking for. When I'm looking for nice lingerie to wear I try to look for pieces that initially catch my attention it could be a nice lace detail or a striking colour. Once I have the look I want, I hope to find something that will give me the confidence that all of us women seek in the bedroom department. 

I selected the mesh babydoll to review, available in red or blue in sizes 1x-2x or 3x-4x. As blue is my favourite colour I of course went for that one and in size 3x-4x. As always when selecting underwear or clothing make sure to buy against your measurements so that you get the right size. This is especially import with this kind of item as the set comes with a thong and of course like all underwear the returns policies for such items are a lot tighter than with outer wear for hygiene reasons. 

The babydoll fit me like a glove and the soft chiffon material felt silky soft on the skin. I should note that in my pictures I am wearing this with a bra. Due to the size of my breasts unless a babydoll comes with under wired support which this doesn't I like to feel that extra support. The central panel in the babydoll helps to provide that hour glass illusion we all love and the buttons are just for detail. The blue trim at the hem of the double layered skirt is a really small but really nice detail. When I first tried this on one of the straps unclipped which I thought was quite an interesting detail. If you wear this one to sleep it will feel really comfortable on and provide a lot of wiggle room. If however you want to be more playful when wearing this, the fact that the straps can unclip may make things a little more fun!

I was very impressed with the style and quality of this babydoll and I would most definitely like to get my hands on another piece, maybe a costume or something for the next boudoir style shoot I do or just for fun.
If you feel like picking up something a little naughty and nice check out the site. A large selection of the garments are currently on sale so you can't go wrong. Pick up a bargain and add a little style to your bedroom attire.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Bringing Colour Into The Winter Wardrobe

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the winter. I find that the weather is random and wild but we as people on appearance alone are the total opposite. We drape ourselves in lifeless, boring and uninspiring clothes limited to a variety of dark tones and we tend to replace style with comfort. The start of the year brings with it many changes and this is the time of the month when people are ready to ditch their new years resolutions and continue on with life as they had been. One thing that never changes with me is a need to bring a little colour to the season. I love the rich and warm tones that are around this time of year, deep greens, rich reds, crisp oranges and luscious blues.I get really frustrated at how the cold and dreary weather makes people feel that they shouldn't wear bright colours though. 

I love my black staple pieces and I will always have a large variety of black items in my wardrobe. Monochrome colours tend to work with pretty much anything and everything in the wardrobe so they make for a great staple colour to have. I like to switch things up a little by finding ways to wear some of my favourite items in a way that is comfortable and stylish this season. I recently went out in one of my favourite bodycon dresses from Pink Clove (click here for my review of the item). I have a deep love of panel dresses and this is definitely the brightest one that I own. This time of year it's important to cover up and the fact that the neckline is above the cleavage is definitely a bonus if you're wearing this as a casual daytime item. I thought it would look cool to wear this dress with a thick pair of black leggings and my biker jacket

To finish off I wore my black Shawberry boots, black beret, my black diamonte heart necklace, twisted hoop earrings and small black clutch. 
If like me you like to wear bright colours but still want to keep in with the current trends maybe try a singular coloured item. This kind of look would work with most dress types and a block colour would be pretty cool which would also give you the option to play with colourful adornments and accessories.  In my case everything I wore in these photos is black except for the dress. I wanted something bright, bold and sexy that would pop, and this dress was the perfect option for the look I was trying to achieve. I developed a love for bright and brashy prints last year and it's definitely a trend that I hope we see again in 2015! 

Seeing as the weather is getting colder by the day this sort of outfit would most likely require a scarf and some gloves. A cool pair of black leather gloves would enhance the biker chic look and a scarf or snood are not only practical, they can also provide a little something different to the style. 

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Winter Wonderful - My Review Of The Shirley Jacket From Taking Shape

*This Jacket Was A Gifted Item

When I think of the winter I'm usually filled with negative thoughts about the season. The weather is nothing really to be desired for me, the days are shorter and when it comes to style often my favourite things to wear are just not suitable for the time of year. I thrive on dressing up all cute and colourful for the sunshine, pairing my outfits with cute accessories and things. When it comes to the winter the most important thing for me is to be comfortable, warm and dry. I think that when it comes to winter fashion one of the most important things you can wear has to be a decent jacket or coat! If like me you're not into wearing a thousand layers but hate the bitter chill in the air it can be a difficult task to find an item that is adequate for your needs and still holds the style features you look out for.

Recently I was given the chance to review an item by Taking Shape from their AW14 collection. I took a look at the collection and was instantly drawn to their Shirley Jacket. Black, sleek, sexy and sophisticated, all of the things I like in the perfect winter coat! I love to wear bright colours in the winter but when it comes to my outer wear I like to have a garment that can be worn with a variety of looks, my main reason for being drawn to black jackets and coats. What I loved about the jacket when I first saw it was the collar, the fact that it sweeps across the shoulders and into the main body of the jacket was a really nice touch for me. More often than not I find winter jackets and coats to be uninspiring and in some cases a bit dull. I like that this one wasn't just something to keep the cold at bay but it had a little something extra. The jacket has no fastenings or pockets and ordinarily I would miss those details but I didn't. The faux leather is seriously lightweight and the lining is a super soft fleece material which in fact is warmer than the majority of my winter jumpers and sweaters. 

If like me you don't like to cover yourself in a thousand layers including having to wear thick sweaters and fluffy scarves this would be an amazing piece for you to try out. The collar is seriously warm and soft enough to snuggle into if you feel the urge lol. Taking Shape tend to be pretty generous size wise but I would say this jacket is true to size. I usually up-size with jackets and coats so that I can securely fasten them without any gaping of buttons or twisting of zippers. I always allow myself that extra boob room and for me this is even more important if you like to wear thick layers underneath. In the case of this item because it doesn't fasten it's not something I considered doing. I wanted a jacket that could be seen as part of an outfit and not just a cover up. The jacket is available in sizes 14-26, I picked this up in size 22. 

In these photos I wanted an outfit where the jacket was the main feature. Keeping things simple with a black top, jeans and a pair of boots I was kitted out in all the winter essentials. Sometimes I like to keep an outfit simple so that I can play around with my accessories and additional items. I tend to find that if I keep things to a minimum it can be fun to mix different textures and fabrics. My black top has a scattering of velvet flowers and the indigo super stretch denim jeans from Evans made for the perfect trousers. For accessories my signature hoop earrings and hair scarf were of course part of the ensemble with the addition of my metallic medallion with dip-dye tassels

This jacket was originally £65 and is now on sale at the amazing price of £35 so if you like the look at this one and want to try it out click here. If you want to see what other winter essentials Taking Shape have make sure you check out their site and take advantage of the sale!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Taking Control With Shapewear - A Taking Shape Review

*This item was gifted to me
P.S Sorry about the quality of the photo, lack of make up and the random plug socket on the floor.

With so many varying styles and shapes of clothes out there it can be hard to find something to fit perfectly. When it comes to designing and creating clothes I don't underestimate how difficult of a task that is for any brand. As there are so many different body shapes we women come in; pear, apple, hour glass, goblet, triangular etc. and many of us are a combination of different shapes or something else in-between. With that in mind it's no surprise that most brands will create an item that works with the majority or the most common silhouette. This is understandable though, can you imagine how much time and money it would cost to make each design available in all of these different cuts?! I'm of the opinion that if something is 90% there fit-wise then you can make adjustments to make the garment look and fit that bit better.

I really like to wear fitted dresses in bodycon and wiggle styles but as I have an ample behind, large bust and a bit of a belly I can sometimes have issues in one of those areas or all 3! This of course is dependant on the fabric, cut and size of the item. Often just upsizing can be the solution to the problem but if there is that outfit that fits perfectly with the exception of one area I like to wear shapewear to gently smooth out that area and make the outfit more presentable. 

Traditionally the only undergarment that women could wear to achieve a smoother shape and narrower waist was a corset. For some women just the word corset is a descriptive for a torture device! I have worn a corset before and I have to say although an amazing shape can be achieved, for day to day wear I wouldn't be inclined to take up wearing one on a regular basis. I think for fancy dress, a night here and there or for some nice photos they can be really good to wear. I personally prefer the more modern versions of shapewear that are available with my favourite being high waisted knickers and wear your own bra styles. 

The traditional 1900s style of corset. This would require the help of another person or 2 to get on. 

This illustration is supposed to represent what your body looks like internally whilst wearing a corset. 

Some think that wearing a corset on a regular basis can lead to lasting damage. Many people believe that no major damage will be caused from wearing a corset on a regular basis. There are many medical studies about this and from what I gather nothing concrete has been determined. It would seem that wearing a corset is fine providing it's not laced too tightly to produce an extreme shape, it can cause your organs to be positioned differently which can present difficulties whilst breathing which would in turn prevent oxygen from travelling through your body at a sufficient pace. Wearing a corset as a form of shapewear is perfectly fine providing you can still function as normally as possible without severe tightness to the body.

Here in 2015 shapewear has come an extremely long way with cheaper, more comfortable and easier to wear items on the market. Whilst traditional corsets are still available everywhere to buy, even more modern varieties of the style have reached the market with really nice fabrics, patterns and different boning structures. The corset has somewhat been relinquished by many women who have hung up their laced garments in exchange for girdles, shorts, slips and bodyshaping knickers and other control garments. Many of these items are easy to put on and comfortable to wear. A lot of them are even built to allow for easy toilet access which is an added bonus!

Many women are wearing items to produce a more permanent body shape such as waist cinchers and waist trainers. These produce the same results as corsets but it's a timely and gradual process. Women who are really pushing to have more prominent curves have been using these to re-shape their bodies. 
The majority of women prefer to wear items that can be removed and leave their body in it's original shape and it seems that these are some of the most common items on the market. 

Waist Cincher 

I much prefer to wear control underwear and shapewear so when I was given the chance to review the new range from Taking Shape I jumped at the chance!
The new range from Taking Shape so far is the best shapewear I have ever owned! Not only is it really light on the skin and extremely comfortable, it still pulls you in and smooths you out in those target areas. Some of the shapewear that I have can be really tight and somewhat uncomfortable and having to go to the toilet can be problematic when trying to fight to get the garment back on! I'm sure those of us who have worn such garments know what I'm talking about there!

I got the Underbust Smooth Body Shaper to try out. The straps are adjustable and this item slips on like a glove and feels amazing on! I actually forget that I'm wearing it when it's on! 86% Nylon and 14% Elastane makes this an easy wear. I cannot stress how comfortable it is and I really like the overall look achieved when I wear this under my clothes. For those who wear their shapewear as their underwear there is a built in slit for easy toilet access. I always wear knickers underneath my shapewear so unfortunately I can't  feedback on how the item fares in that department. If you are looking for a piece that is comfortable, easy to put on and doesn't show underneath your clothes then check out some of the new collection by Taking Shape.

Unfortunately this particular piece is currently out of stock on the Taking Shape website but there are some amazing pieces available at great prices so do take a look! 

Here are just some of the new shapewear styles available from Taking Shape:

Thing I love about shapewear is how it makes you feel, that thin and amazingly enginerred piece of fabric can seriously lift your confidence when wearing your favourite items as well as help you to showcase your clothes to the fullest!

If you would like to try out one of these amazing items check out the new collection from Taking Shape!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Have You Seen Amy? A Monroe Knows Review

*This dress was a gifted item

We women like our dresses to be flattering, stylish and comfortable and when searching for the perfect dress it can be hard to know where to start. I was recently given the chance to review a gorgeous dress from Monroe Knows. There are many up and coming brands out there at the moment and I have to say one thing that sets Monroe Knows apart from many competitors is their clear thought and insight into making clothes to suit a plus size shape. I'm reviewing their Amy Dress in red size 24. This dress is available in sizes 18-26 in 2 other colour-ways; black and green. When picking up dresses I have to be careful when selecting a size because of my bust and behind. More often than not I have to upsize because of this. There have been many a time when I have tried on something and it fits me perfectly everywhere except those areas so I always like to play it safe. 

I was really impressed with the attention to detail with this dress, firstly the fabric is really good quality. 95% viscose and 5% spandex there is plenty of stretch with this one which is more than accommodating to those of us with a large bust and generous behind. The slight gathering at the waist works as a built in cinch built; enhancing the shape of the dress and accentuating the curvature of your silhouette. I really like dresses that work with your curves and highlight the key areas that we like to showcase. I tend to gravitate towards dresses that pull in at the waist and mould nicely around my breasts. I like the the skirt of a dress to hang loosely on me and the top section of the dress to cling. I find that this sort of cut works best with my shape and size. 

I find that dresses with a wrap detail suit pretty much any size and shape of woman and they work with women who have small, medium or large shape breasts which is a huge bonus for us as a consumer and of course the designer. Admittedly I have some dresses that most definitely work better with large busted ladies so I think it's nice when there is a dress that is pretty much open to all who like it. 

The three quarter length sleeves are really comfortable and stretchy which again is a bonus as sleeves can be a tight spot for some of us bigger women. Those of you who are familiar with my blog will know that even though I will expose my arms during warm months and such I do feel more comfortable with them covered which is why I love my jackets, shrugs and cardigans. 

The overall length of the dress is really nice and stops just past the knee for me. I'm 5'5 and so this acts as a slightly longer dress than many of my others but that's actually the thing I like about it. Many of the vintage dresses that I adore are also this length and I find that you can be sexy yet understated when wearing a dress which displays your cleavage but sits at a comfortable length. For me this is always a bonus because I have a large and high behind which tends to make many of my skirts and dresses hitch up a little in the back and I worry about having to wear leggings or tights underneath to conceal my private parts should a high wind kick up or something. 

I have a thing for wine red items, especially dresses as I have about 4 of them already! I have to say I really like this colour I think it compliments many different skin tones and it's not to bold or brashy which sometimes is required. I have worn this dress to work and it makes for a really practical item. I spend a lot of hours on my feet running around and talking to a variety of people so I like clothes which carry a certain sophistication about them but still carry that chic and stylish flair that makes us women feel like a million dollars. 

Here in these pictures I decided to keep things simple wearing only a statement necklace and black heels in addition to the dress. I thought I'd break out one of my black hair scarves. I tend to wear hair scarves a lot this time of year, I find that they work with a huge selection of looks and help to keep the cold at bay.
This dress would look really cute worn with flats or even a pair of boots. 

If you like the look of this dress and would like to pick it up for yourself you can get it here and the good news is that the dress has been reduced from £74.99 down to an amazing £37.50!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

A Run-down Of 2014

Hi everyone I hope all is well and I hope you all had an amazing time bringing in the new year! 2014 was an interesting and eventful year for me. I had a lot of interesting changes and developments on the career front, travelled a little and experimented loads with my wardrobe and style choices. Here's a run down of some of my favourite looks throughout the year, to see the original outfit posts click on the title month:

Selecting just one look for each month posed as a real challenge for me as there were so many looks I really liked. I figure that because I have raved so much about the houndstooth print I have to add in a bonus look. This was also taken in the month of November check out the post here.

2014 was also the year I took a major step to push my confidence and so I had 2 photoshoots with my friend and talented Photographer, MUA and model: Chiara Aprea. First was my boudoir shoot where I stripped down and posed for the camera in my lingerie and not much else! The second being a beauty and face shoot where I played around with 2 different themed looks. I was transformed into a modern day geisha and an angry dominatrix. 

All in all it was a fun and exciting year and I look forward to seeing what 2015 has in store. I have some new developments happening with the blog and of course loads of new looks and tips to share with you so stay tuned.

I'd like to take the time out to thank you all for reading my blog this past year and I wish you all an amazing new year filled with fun, adventures, travel and many fun times with both old and new friends. 

As I always say,  remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!