All this year I’ve tried to be frugal when it comes to clothes, and I have to say I’ve not spent nearly as much as I used to. However I’ve gone a little bit beserk with my latest payday. I blame Tom and Donna:

So, here’s what I’ve been buying…

xmastreats

Image: Various items I've bought: a mustard yellow rollneck jumper; a red lace dress; a brown dress with teal, orange & yellow hearts; a black pencil skirt; star print tights; mustard yellow leggings.

1. Mustard jumper, New Look Inspire – since I got my big glasses my mum’s been calling me Velma, from Scooby Doo. She thinks it’s a jibe, but in fact Velma has been my hero since the age of about five. I figured this would work for my transformation :D

2. Black ponte pencil skirt, New Look Inspire – because I can’t live without a good black pencil skirt in my wardrobe!

3. Mustard leggings, Yours Clothing – I really want some mustard! Maybe I’ll wear it with the NL jumper, like a slightly off banana.

4. Heart print chiffon dress, Lovedrobe for Evans – Cute prints are my kryptonite, ok? I have some teal tights to wear with this, too!

5. Red lace dress, Angel & Ribbons for Simply Be – I told the story of the red dress here, but months on and I still think it’s beautiful. I plan to wear it Christmas day, because it’s gorgeous but also looks like it’ll be made of a material that I can pass out on the sofa in.

6. Star print tights, Yours Clothing – do I even need a frakkin’ reason?! LOOK AT THEM.

I’m also waiting on this babely top from Domino Dollhouse, which I can’t wait for, and stocked up on jumpers from H&M for £3.99 each. I think I was like a coiled spring…

Have you treated yourself to anything nice lately?


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Image: Me (short, fat, brunette) posing with a happy look on my face in a bright blue coat, in my cream bedroom with various jackets hanging behind me.

Just a quick update from me to show off my new coat. Since my red Dotty P one died a death, I’ve been on the hunt for a coat that’s smart but bright. I’d been erring on the side of orange or pink, but when I clapped eyes on this gorgeously bright blue (TARDIS blue, if you will) 60’s swing coat I knew it was The One.

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Image: me as before, in a slightly different pose.

Coat: TU at Sainsbury’s
Skirt: ASOS Curve
Boots: Evans

I was preparing myself to splash out on a coat, as it’s an investment item. But I couldn’t help myself: this baby was £45! And as my mum works at Sainsbury’s, she gets a discount. Yay! I’m probably going to add some brooches and pins to dress it up a bit, but even on its own I feel great. And warm, hooray! Have any of you guys gotten new winter coats? What style did you go for?

 


Outfit

Image: Me (short, fat, white-skinned, brunette) stands wearing a faux leather biker jacket, leopard print skirt and boots with my bed and coats hanging on the door behind me.

PU Biker Jacket: So Fabulous! by Very (gifted for review)
Leopard Skirt: ASOS Curve
Boots: Evans
Glasses: Glasses Direct (also gifted)
Black Jumper: Peacocks
Turquoise Fake Fur Collar (below): ASOS

Could I look any more miserable?! Oh dear. I was actually rather happy when taking these photos as well!

I’ve been attempting to cut down on reviewing items because I feel guilty, but certain people I just can’t say no to! I’ve been a massive fan of Very for years and years – I think at one point at least half my wardrobe was from them. I’ve gone backwards and forwards on their plus size range, So Fabulous, over the years but recently it’s taken a turn for the better. They got in touch and offered me an item to review, and I chose to indulge  in this lovely faux leather biker jacket.

Outfit

Image: me, as before in the same place and same clothes, with an added turquoise fake fur collar

Biker jackets have been one of those things that I resisted for a long time before finally thinking it was something I could wear! I first started seeing them on uber scenesters about four years ago but never thought it’d be for me, but I’ve since had a change of heart. I’m glad I waited because honestly, this jacket is pretty damn lovely! It’s buttery soft and so warm – even warmer than my coat! – and there is so much detail which you don’t normally get on plus size items. I got a 22 even though my size is more of a 24 now, and it fits perfectly. Having read the reviews on their site, a couple of people had problems with it fitting right on a large bust, but as I don’t have that problem it sits really well. The only snag, literally, was a couple of loose threads. That’s it! And I can snip those off no problem. So yes, I’m a very happy customer!

For those of you not in the UK, they recently opened up Very.com so you’ll be able to shop from the US, as well!

As well as the So Fabulous range, I’ve also bought and worn a lot of items from South (up to UK24) and Love Label (up to UK20). Very do have a lot of celebrity and designer collections in their straight size range, and I’d love to see a plus size collaboration at some point – maybe they can take in Beth Ditto?


Curves in Couture

Image: Me (short, fat, brunette) standing in the middle of a party in a black dress with white musical note print, red belt and red shoes. I'm making claws with my hands and doing a "grrr" face.

Dress: Made by my mum!
Belt: Love Label, many years old
Shoes: Torrid (gifted) (dammit!)
Headband: Primark, also old

I’m glad my mum finally made me this dress after having the material and pattern pinned and cut for about five years. It’s from this Butterick pattern, although it’s not nearly as fitted in the photo. But I guess that’s just how my body is. As you can see, while I’m fat I would never consider myself curvy at all, there’s no waist, no boobs! And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The photo is, of course, from the Models of Diversity Curves in Couture event from this Thursday, which was great fun! I’ll be writing it up for Vogue Curvy, just waiting on photos as the ones I took were absolutely atrocious. (My fault, I should’ve sat in the photo pit. n3wb error.)

The main thing about events like this is getting to hangout with bloggers again, because we all get on so well! I mostly hung out with Claire (my rescuer!), Rosie, Em who I got to meet for the first time finally, and Georgina. Here they are looking stunning:

Curves in Couture

Image: 3 stunning plus size bloggers: one brunette, one blonde, one redhead smiling for the camera in their purdy dresses (black and studs; grey pleats; black floral)

Curves in Couture

Image: 3 women, including the redhead and the blonde, with a brunette lady wearing a floor length velvet gown & silver cardigan.

Curves in Couture

Image: two plus size bloggers (in the black floral and black studs) and myself, pulling silly poses.

90’s girl band. Or boy band. I can’t remember any more!

Curves in Couture

Image: me, as before, with model Velvet D'Amour, a blonde buxom bombshell with wavy blonde hair and a pink lace corset.

And I got a bit starstruck meeting the legend that is Velvet D’Amour! She is absolutely stunning in real life. I am in fact doing a shoot with her tomorrow for her new magazine, and I am BRICKING IT.


Simply Be Bury

Image: Myself (short, brunette, white, wearing a leopard print coat and red dress, holding a champagne glass) and Laura (taller, blonde, white, wearing a pink flowing tunic, also holding a drink) stand in a classy mirrored room with other women in the background. There is a Simply Be logo in the bottom right hand corner.

Arrrgh, I can finally update! The blog had been hit with a bunch of 406 errors for weeks, meaning I couldn’t post a thing. It made me so unhappy, although a break was needed I guess. A lot of tensions running about. But hurrah, lovely Michelle has fixed it, so I’m back!

That said, I’ve pretty much been living in my pyjama’s lately, so no cool outfits to show you. But I want to talk about something that has pretty much made my year. You all know I’m a massive fan of Simply Be, and have been for years. Recently, they did the complete opposite of what everyone else seems to be doing (minimising/pulling out/down sizing plus ranges left, right and centre) by going from mail order/internet only to having actual stores on the high street. OH MA GAAAAHH. Prepare yourself for some serious gushing, okay?

Simply Be Bury

Image: Front of the Simply Be store. Two giant lit up logos in the bottom left and upper right windows, with mannequins dressed in party outfits from the store and fancy masks. In the top left, a giant TV screen shows footage from Simply Be's TV adverts.

I got to go to the launch of their store in Bury, just outside of Manchester – the lovely Sheena at Chase PR put me up in a hotel for the night which was really, amazingly kind of them. I do hope you know me well enough to know I wouldn’t be nice purely because of that, or lie. I was intending to go up, if not for the launch then just by myself, and I’m positive I’d have the exact same reaction. Honestly, what they’ve done is just brilliant. This was not a half-arsed effort, at ALL. Not that I expected it to be, but even though I had high hopes I was just bowled over by how good it was. In fact, Alison from Simply Be asked me what I thought and while talking I actually choked up a bit. (Yes I realise this makes me very sad, haha.) It’s just, not only does the shop look incredible, fitting right in with all the other shops around them – they’re opposite Topshop, which made us laugh – but everything has been geared towards making their customer feel as good as they possibly can about themselves. Which might sound like it makes sense, but as most of you reading this know all too well, the high street for anyone over a 16/18 is a dark, depressing, unwelcome place.

Simply Be Bury

Image: A shot of the Simply Be dressing room, which I describe below.

It was their dressing room area that really did it for me. I was a bit unprepared. It’s huge, lush and glamorous, with thick, lockable mirrored doors, posh carpets, chandeliers and a chaise longue in the middle for if you need a sit down. I was trying to recall where I’d seen a similar style, and it turned out what I was thinking of was the Gucci pop up shop in Harrods. Seriously. To have something that is all about making you feel as glamorous, luxurious and beautiful is great. But for us fatties? It’s on another level, quite honestly. Of course, I went to town trying loads of things…

Simply Be Bury

Image: various shots of me (Short, fat, brunette, white) trying on different things. Left to right: a black wool cape; A Frock&Frill cream embroidered dress; A Voloptuous cobalt blue dress; A pink with black cornelli trim tunic (I tried it because Laura looked so amazing in it)

The best thing, as always with these events, was catching up with other bloggers like Laura, Clare, Dee and Kelsey and getting to meet other lovely ladies. Lisa Riley and Julie from Corrie were there, although I was too shy to go up to them. I wish I’d at least spoken to Lisa Riley – as a teen I wanted to act, and seeing someone who looked like me in a prime-time soap was really inspiring. And I was always so excited to see her in that lime green shirt from the Evans Seven range (oh, the 90’s!). The staff were so adorable and friendly, they were all really excited about the store which marks a change! I have to admit Emma was my fave, and I spent half the night gnawing her poor ear off! If you’re reading this, sorry Emma.

Simply Be Bury

A partial shot of the shoe area. Shelves and shelves of shoes: trainers, boots, flats, heels. It has a mirrored background where you can see customers and guests.

The wall of shoes! They also had a wall of jeans, although as you know I’m not a denim girl. I wanted to buy a lot of things, but I plumped for these cute wellies – I’m waiting for the snow so I can wear them out. Come on, snow!

I really and truly can’t express enough how impressed I was and how happy it made me. I hope it does amazingly – they’ve definitely set such a benchmark for how plus size customers should be treated! I’m already planning a trip to the Liverpool shop with my mum at some point next year and I am practically counting down the days until I go again. They’ve done something really, really awesome here.