Hello all, apologies for having slacked off lately. I appear to have taken on a million and one different projects so have zero time for blogging, gah! Here is a simple outfit I can’t get enough of recently:

woah, creases :/

Dress & belt: Torrid
Shoes: Evans

The dress was very kindly sent to me by the folks at Torrid and it’s undoubtedly my favourite dress at the moment! You can probably tell by the creases that I’ve worn it quite a bit… Oops. What can I say, my blog is only a hobby, alright? I usually wear it with these lovely pumps from Evans – they have rubber soles, so it feels like I’m walking on air!

One of my biggest gripes about plus sized fashion is the lack of detailing, usually excused by explaining that not only does it take more time and more costly fabric to produce clothing for us gluttonous, lethargic fatties*, to add detail is just ridiculous. I do understand that it’s hard to produce extreme detail in mass production, but come on. So it was lovely to see a mass-produced, plus sized dress that had: a waistline; fairly structured darting around the bust and hips; a gorgeous and really quite difficult pleated neckline detail.

*I’m being sarcastic!

That’s all for today, kids. Hopefully I’ll be back soon, as there is SO MUCH I want to talk about!

The Big Bum Jumble took place on Saturday and was a massive success. It was so much fun, an amazing atmosphere and so many incredible clothes! I’m still on a bit of a comedown from it. Well done Kay, Bill, and everyone who helped them organise such an amazing event for us London fatties!

My friend Diana took gorgeous photos of the event including all the beautiful jumblers, and I believe most will be appearing on the BBJ blog very soon. But I just had to share pictures of the catwalk show featuring donated clothes and myself, Kat, Amy and Charlotte as models!

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

The show was styled by the lovely John from Pigeons and Peacocks, and all photos are copyrighted by Diana Thompson @ Fashion Loves Photos.

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Big Bum Jumble fashion show

Bring on the next one!

So now I am going to discuss and review some pieces from the Gok Wan underwear line – hooray! Some of these pieces were kindly donated from Simply Yours, and some have been bought independently by me. Here’s a little bit of background info on my brassiere plight:

As I have mentioned in the past, my fatness has never managed to reach my bosoms. It’s my last remaining obstacle to accepting myself how I am, although I am slowly getting there. But as well as that, it is a complete nightmare trying to find bras! I’ve got the luxury of having the option to go without as I don’t neccessarily need the support. But I choose to because as a hetero, cis-gendered woman, I want be womanly. I suppose, in its own way, wearing a bra is like shapewear to me. (More on my opinions on shapewear further down.)

The last time I measured my bra size I came out as a 52AA. This was using the old method of  adding 4 inches to your under-bust measurement to get your back size, then choosing the cup size from your bust measurement, assuming your boobs are at least one inch bigger than that number. Well – my breasts weren’t! I dutifully ordered some bras in that size… and they practically fell off me. Back to the drawing board.

Since then, I’ve gone through various bras of all kinds of sizes and cups as a case of trial and error, adhering to the Bravissimo guide. For the past few years I made do with wearing M&S bras in a 38A, using back extenders. These little corkers are a godsend to the less endowed fat woman – you can hook as many as you like onto the back of the bra to find your perfect fit. The only problem with this was the side bands being far, far too narrow, to the point where they would curl up and dig into my sides.

Earlier this year I purchased a bra from Gok Wan’s range in a 40A, and to be pretty honest the fit was the most comfortable and supportive I’ve had. Which led to me getting more, and when I was asked if I wanted to do a review I jumped at the chance!

1. Gok Wan Balconette Banger Booster and matching Slicker Knicker

The Balconette Banger Booster and matching Slicker Knickers (such lovely names, but if you’ve ever watched one of Gok’s programs it comes as no surprise!) is a more recent edition to his roster of lingerie and shapewear.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the vintage inspired design and how well constructed the pieces are. It feels ultra luxurious and glamourous, owing to the gorgeous, re-inforced fabrics, well-placed boning and delicately sexy detailing. The ruched behind is a lovely little touch!

The bra itself fits very well around my back and doesn’t slip after a day’s wear, which is great. That said, like the M&S bras before it I would prefer wider side bands as it can pucker underneath my side fat. The boning at the side is a great idea, but it doesn’t seem to be quite enough, sadly. While the bra comes under the Banger Booster label, it gives a more natural and understated boost than the original (more on that later) so if you want to be less in your face but just as glamourous then I’d recommend this. One thing I am confused about though, is that according to the website this bra comes with an “internal sling” – I’ve looked, but I can’t seem to find anything? It’s a mystery.

I’m definitely one for the granny pants – I live in Sloggis that come up past my belly button – so this Slicker Knicker is like home from home to me. There is boning to the front and the material is a thick, swimwear material reinforced with leopard print mesh. It looks beautiful on and wearing both together I do feel rather sexy(!). Obviously any sort of shapewear is never going to make anyone look thin, but if you’re interested in its flattening potential under clothes, I did notice a slight difference in the belly area. But to be honest that’s not particularly important to me – as an underwear set, it looks really nice. The only downside to the knickers are that due to the fabric it does have a tendency to roll down at the waist. I think a sillicone grip around the waist would help it to stay in place.

2. Gok Wan’s Longerline Mesh Bra

This was my first Gok purchase earlier this year. There are matching knickers but I’ve not bought those yet.

I was initially disappointed with this bra as even though the side bands are long line, it includes a normal sized side band inside which can take some getting used to. But it is definitely a lovely feeling to have your back covered securely, well to me anyway. I find it quite comforting! I also love the colour and leopard print, which is my absolute favourite. This bra is not a booster bra, so if you’re looking for a push up then this is not the one for you, although all of Gok’s bras include flaps in which to hide booster aides.

I did find with this bra that it gave me a much better posture, but actually the cup was still slightly too big and puckered a little. Another slight fault was that despite the sillicone strip at the bottom the front of the bra had a tendency to ride up, which was a shame as otherwise I really like this bra!

3. Gok Wan original Banger Booster in black.


This is hands down my favourite Gok bra. I bought it shortly after the mesh bra. The first time I tried it on, I looked down and cried, “JESUS CHRIST, I HAVE BOOBS!”. This one really isn’t for the faint hearted – it is basically a Wonderbra in a much larger size range, complete with “Gok Cookies” to give you an extra boost. I absolutely love it, and am steadily buying one in every colour! I only have two slight hang ups with this bra – one is, again, the narrowness of the side bands. (wider bra sides = love and kittens!) The other is a slightly more embarrassing one, but perhaps I’ve just been unlucky – the fabric does tend to make some noise when you move. It’s not too bad… But there have been occasions where I’ve apologised and explained I’m not, despite the sounds, a balloon artist. It does seem to fade away after some washes, though!

Gok Wan Divine Outline

Ok, shapewear. I feel I have to discuss this first. (I originally wrote a long, eloquent essay on this subject then accidentally deleted it, wah!)

I’ve always been fairly ambiguous about shapewear such as slips, girdles, corsets etc. I know politically they are discouraged by the FA community and understandably so, because they are designed to alter your body into something smaller, smoother, more socially acceptable. Gok Wan’s whole persona is about helping women to love their bodies without resorting to plastic surgery – but then encourages them into shapewear, which does seem very hypocritical.

Having said that, I think there are definite similarities between this argument and the feminist argument against wearing make up or frivolous clothes because doing so buys into the system of women being judged on their looks instead of character, and being second class citizens. (This being a very, very base take on the subject! But you can find tons of great discussions about this and shapewear in the feminist blogosphere.) While I agree completely, I still choose to wear make up and feminine clothes, despite having educated myself otherwise – perhaps even because of that education, because I know that I am dressing/making up for no one else but myself and my own confidence.

Although I understand the marketing messages and ideals surrounding shapewear, I do think, in some circumstances, that they can be a positive tool for someone on the path to self-acceptance. For me it’s all about CONFIDENCE, and I will never discount anything that can help a person feel confident. If – IF – a person feels a hundred times more confident because they feel their belly is a little flatter, or their overall shape is a bit smoother, then I can’t knock what shapewear does for them.

Personally? I genuinely do like this slip. Not because of any slimming properties – I think what I like about underwear, and tight underwear, is that I feel properly covered. You know? I like knowing if my dress falls down or my skirt blows up in the wind, I’m pretty well covered and secure. That might sound silly, but there you go!

The Divine Outline was generously sent to me by Simply Yours. It’s a multiway slip with detachable straps, and it comes down under your bust so you can wear bras with it. I’ve worn it in it’s basic design and as a halterneck. The straps are actually padded which is helpful as I did find they digged in a little after a few hours! It is made out of a thin but very springy material, with a reinforced leopard print mesh panel at the front. I put this on under my Curve wire riffle dress and while nothing can make me look un-fat, there was definitely a smoother silhouette, so if that’s what you’re going for I would recommend it.

The only slight issue I had was that because the fabric was slippery, the skirt tended to ride up somewhat after a while. But apart from that I do think it’s a nice treat if you feel shapewear will turn your confidence notch up to 11!

Phew! Hope that was a bit of an education for you all. Any other IBTC gals out there?

Thank you so, so much for all your gorgeous comments on my birthday post. It does mean such a lot to know you enjoy what I do! As you know, up to 5 prizes were available:


Three beautiful dresses from Torrid


Pop accessory kit


Romantic accessory kit

I tallied up everyone’s comments into a spreadsheet, like so:


Click for bigger version

So… on to the results!

Dress one:


Congratulations to JESSICA RAY!

Dress two:


Congrats to Sophie!

Dress three:

Congratulations to CRYSTAL!

Pop accessory kit:

Congrats to Steph!

And last but certainly not least (‘cos it was the most popular) – romantic accessory kit:


Congratulations to NikStar!

I’ll be emailing you all to get your addresses and will send off your goodies as soon as I can. Yay!

Thanks so much everyone for commenting and being lovely. I love you all. xxx

Woah, I’m really on a roll this week aren’t I? Two things first:

I’ll be drawing the competition winners tomorrow at 12pm sharp so if you haven’t yet entered, comment now!

The reigning queen of fatshion, Gabi, is in the final to become MTV’s 1st ever twitter jockey. Make sure you follow @gabifresh on twitter and tune in to MTV!

Thought I’d show off my newest purchase, teamed with shoes older than myself:

Dress: New Look (Inspire)
Platform sandals: Vintage

The Inspire dress has been a massive hit, and I’ve seen it all round the blogosphere. I’d given up hope of getting it but miraculously found one returned in my local New look, in my size and reduced to £8. ~FATE~, yo.

Here’s a close up of the sandals. Check these babies out:

These shoes have been sitting in my mum’s cupboard since before I was born. Bought in 1971, apparently. She was a barmaid in her twenties and used to wear them at work! These were the only ones she kept out of hundreds of platforms. I’ve pledged them to be a family heirloom now, going to my own daughters when I have them.

All my life we’ve brought them out as party pieces, and for me to dress up in when I was little. I wondered if they would ever come back in fashion – right on cue, occasional photos of similar shoes have popped up on fashion blogs and tumblrs. Admittedly these are a little war-torn, but still gorgeous! And unbelievably comfortable, as well – although I go get vertigo being up so high.

-There seems to be a problem with Bloglovin’, in that the new feed wasn’t pulling through. So if you use that, follow from this link instead

Hey everyone! Two days on the trot, wow. Remember to enter my birthday giveaway!

I do feel like I neglect the blog far too much, so I’ve resolved to update more frequently – well, as frequent as I can, haha. As a result, here is the outfit I’m wearing today, my attempt at dressing casually and/or comfortably.

fy horizontal stripes!
Top: H&M (BiB range)
Skirt: Yours Clothing
Belt: Very.co.uk
Necklace: Tatty Devine
Flats: Primark

What I’m wearing looks deceptively smart, but the fact is both the top and skirt are made of soft jersey, so are unbeliveably comfortable. The length of the skirt is perfect for me: not knee length, but not indecent either! Just a quickie about the belt: I can see in this photo and the one featuring it before that it looks as though I’m subscribed to the “boob under belt” phenomenon. I’m actually not – but I am so incredibly short-waisted that the belt covers my entire waist from straight under my boobs to the top of my bum! Just thought I would clear that up, in case you were wondering.

The top is my first ever purchase from H&M’s BiB range. I tend to find it awfully dowdy and old. Even this top is fairly plain but it’s at least fairly versatile. While buying it I did try on a dress from the main range, in a size L:

I loved it! I really am brainwashed by this season’s colour scheme now, although I’ve only let myself buy one thing in a grungy colour. That’s being saved for another post, however.

And check out this awesome punk PU bodycon dress from River Island, size 18:

What do you reckon? It was too tight to be comfortable on me, alas. But some of you on the smaller end of plus should definitely give it a go.

Getting it on wasn’t any trouble at all – but you see how the sleeves are made of leather? Well it took me a long time to get those f*ckers off, haha! Actually it was only about 5 minutes, but felt more like 5 hours. After much huffing and puffing (and pausing to let out a massive guffaw at my situation) it did come off though. A happy ending, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Having read the recent ‘Plus Size Wars‘ article a few weeks ago, which focused on the difficulty of designing for plus sized people because of their eclectic measurements (as though slimmer people all exactly the same?!) it does make me think – there’s not THAT much going on with this dress. Sure, it has quilted PU, but they are only panels. The only vaguely difficult structuring is on the sleeves as they are also lined. I mean, is it really so inconceivable to create this in sizes larger than an 18? I don’t think it is. Perhaps the inconceivable thing is people’s attitudes to fat people wearing such daring clothes?

Hello you lovely, lovely people who read this little blog. I almost missed it, but it’s now been exactly one year since I first started blogging. I can’t believe I’ve kept it up this long as I usually quit everything after a week, but the fact that I’m still here is all down to you, who have read, commented, emailed, linked, added me and just been inspirational and supportive.


To celebrate I thought I’d host my first ever giveaway! Here’s what’s up for grabs:


These were some of the gorgeous dress that were sent to me by Torrid but unfortunately didn’t fit correctly, so I’ve held onto them to give them away to you – I know this way they’ll be going to a good home!

Dresses one and three are a Torrid size 2, dress two is a US18/UK22. You can enter for any of them that you like. In addition, I also have a couple of accessory kits:


Pop accessory kit


Romantic accessory kit

To enter you just have to leave a comment stating which ones you would like, so if you wanted everything it’d look like:


I’ll be raffling off each item individually, so best of luck! I’ll draw the results on Monday morning, so you have all weekend to apply.

If this blog just isn’t enough of me for you (ha) then please do ‘like’ me on Facebook, or follow me on twitter or tumblr. I add everyone back, scounts honour.

Thank you all again for reading, I love you all!

Big Bum Jumble clothes sortI hope I’ve not bored you with talk of the forthcoming Big Bum Jumble (less than two weeks to go!) but if I have, well tough, because here’s another blog post about it!

As it’s drawing ever closer, this Sunday a few of us bandied together at Kay‘s house help sort and divide the clothes donated so far and settle on pricing. It was so much fun and really lovely to meet everyone – I was initially pretty star struck by everyone because they’ve all done and continue to do such inspirational and amazing work for fat, feminist and queer acceptance and activism, but they’re all so damned nice to boot.

I brought a suitcase full of clothes as donations – a lot of it was commandered by John for the fashion show or the ‘special rail’ for fancier clothes! The set up will be:

A “denim bar” especially for jeans – and believe me, there are lots! All are £4
A stall for high end, label or band t-shirts. All are £5
The aforementioned Special Rail for quality or on trend stuff. All individually priced

All other clothes will be sorted by size: Under 18, 18-20, 22-24, 26-28, 30+ and everything is £1. I’ll repeat that: everything is a pound! We all figured that way it’s easier for everyone. There will also be a rough divide in measurements and X-XXXXLs, but you may still have to search about. But it is a jumble sale, after all – can’t make it too easy!

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

So many clothes! 18 through to 24 were the most popular sizes, but there are still bags and bags of higher sized stuff.

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Sampling some of the accessories while sorting

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Kay trying on a corset I donated! It’s back to front and the wrong way up though, oops.

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

John showcasing a cut off tee saying “ELVIS SURF”

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Jackie modelling a potentially culturally appropriated kaftan

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Me trying on a spangly top from the fashion bags

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

…And a Dynasty style homemade number

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Making up labels for the special rail items. Team work in action!

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Ruth showcasing a lovely floor length dress

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

A tree clothes-rail. How’s that for ethical?

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

The adorable little Special Rail tags

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Charlotte modelling the ‘mad art teacher’ jacket we all loved

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

…And an Etam top I donated. F-I-E-R-C-E.

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

My vest-necklace caused a bit of confusion. Here’s Kay modelling it as a spangly beard. Ruth also thought it was a thong.

But the absolute best find of the day… BEHOLD: TOTALLY F’N CRAZY ‘AUTUMNAL FOREST’ PRINT JOGGERS:

Big Bum Jumble clothes sort

Unfortunately John just looks like a painter and decorator in this photo. But they have to be seen to be believed. They’ll probably be going on the catwalk, too!

For those of you wanting to come to the Jumble, here are the details:

Saturday 14 August 2010

Stratford Circus
Theatre Square
London E15 1BX

There is a Facebook event here, so please RSVP! Also donations and volunteers are still welcomed, so if you have anything that would help then get in touch by emailing bigbumjumble@gmail.com.

I’M SO EXCITED! Comment if you’re going to come along! x