lane bryant's #imnoangel campaign. Their actual customers don't look like this.

You may meet people who wistfully assure you the plus size blogging community hasn’t always been like this. “It used to be so nice, until the drama queens showed up!” Pay them no heed. They’re liars.  All blogging scenes, and especially the plus size fashion niche, have always found themselves embroiled in a constant fliration with drama.

Even so, the past couple of weeks have been more tumultuous than usual, with two hashtag campaigns – #DropThePlus and Layne Bryant’s #ImNoAngel inciting a lot of heated debate.

I don’t need to explain what these campaigns were about, why they are ultimately wrong, and how the ways they reacted to criticism is a huge slap in the face to plus size women everywhere: Bethany and Amanda sum it all up brilliantly.

I guess what I want to add to the discussion, my small offering, is to reiterate that you do have the right to question, you do have the right to criticise, you do have the right to call to account.

This is so important to keep saying. Sometimes it feels simpler to turn the other cheek when someone or something in the plus size industry fucks up. The plus size world is so small that chances are you directly interact with the party responsible – in some cases, they might even be a friend. How do you confront a friend without upsetting them? Or it could be a brand you’ve had positive dealings with. What if you get struck off their PR list? Not only more superficial reasions such as those: what if you’re at a truly systematic disadvantage, e.g. a woman of colour who speaks up, only to get dismissed as an ‘angry black woman’?

Right now there are more options, clothing lines, events and initiatives for plus size women than ever, but it still accounts for small change compared to the luxury of choice afforded to our thinner pals. That makes it all the more important that as many of us as possible who are able (those of us who are free of stereotype and bold enough to speak out) to keep a critical eye on things do, and to highlight anything that we feel could be improved. Even more importantly, we support each other when people in the community are feeling disenfranchised and listen instead of dismissing them as mere haters or ungrateful.

We’ve pushed hard for change in the plus size fashion industry and slowly, it is happening – but it’ll never become the utopia we want if the only feedback heard is an enthusiastic thanks. And if we do speak out and are dismissed, the way we were by the folk behind #DropThePlus and #ImNoAngel? Then we can start to think, collectively, about ways to shop elsewhere.

You aren’t limited to feeling grateful. You are absolutely allowed to demand better and ask for more. We’ve got your back!


Well, that whole “hey I’m back blogging” thing lasted, didn’t it? Since my last post things have gotten quite hectic in all areas of my life, plus a lack of internet meant Pocket Rocket had to take a back seat.

However as of yesterday I am fully wi-fi-ed up, and I can finally get back to bloggin’ business! First up: my take on New Look Inspire’s floral trend, with pics taken by one of my best pals and now housemate, Charlotte!

flowerpower valencia

Image: Me, wearing a leather jacket, black and white floral shift dress, red shoes and a chartreuse handbag, standing in front of trees. It’s all very green.


Dress
: Ax Paris via New Look Inspire*
Headband: ASOS
Necklace: a birthday gift from many moons ago
Shoes: Primark (again, many moons ago now)
Jacket: Forever Unique
Bag: Pieces via ASOS (2013)

flowerpower xproII 2

Image: me, as before, this time sans jacket! You can see my heart headband a little better here!

flowerpower xproII

Image: Me, with the outfit as in picture one. This time I have my hand on my hip and am pulling a silly face. BECAUSE I’M HILARIOUS.

New Look have been looking to bloggers for ways to style their spring looks, and I was given florals. I actually went for something less like my usual style – I was tempted to go full on romantic but I thought, why not try to do something a smidge different? Florals don’t necessarily mean “pretty”, and can even be kinda badass depending on your take on it.

Browing the dress section for the millionth time, I loved this 60s vs 90s shift dress. In person it’s really sweet and fits well (I got the size 22), however the length might not be as kind on those of you who are taller, which is a real shame. The armholes are also very big, but I find that with almost every plus size top/dress ever, so have gotten used to it over the years. If you’re between sizes I’d advise sizing up as it’s a thin cotton material and so doesn’t stretch.

I was hoping the sun would be out so I could wear some snazzy sunglasses, but alas the weather just didn’t wanna play ball. Harrumph!

There are some other dresses that I totally love, especially this one which I’m still hunting in my size – one day!

Thank you my lovelies, let me know what you think! xx


Image: me in my black dress, mint cardigan and glasses overlooking part of the London skyline.

Dress: New Look
Shoes: New Look
Cardigan: ASOS Curve
Necklace: Fancy Lady Industries
Brooch: vintage

Last week for my friend Charlotte’s birthday a few of us took a trip up The Shard to see London in all its glory. Unfortunately, the weather decided to troll us – it was greyist, foggiest day all year. Ah well. In a way it worked, because it looked like doomsday. I took some photos with my fancy pants camera…

New builds in the city, featuring the CAR AND HUMAN MELTING Walkie Talkie, the gherkin and some I dunno the names of.

I recently read High Rise by JG Ballard – a brutal but brilliant book, in my opinion – and the skyscraper on the left is almost identical to how I imagined the block when reading. Spooky. Apparently, after all these years, it’s being made into a film. Interesting.

Helicopter flying towards Canary Wharf. I love how apocalyptic this looks.
The dirty, scuzzy London skyline, complete with poo brown river Thames.
The birthday girl and her bf Chris. Don't they look cute?
Nadia and I looking REALLY REALLY EXCITED BECAUSE WE'RE HIGH SO HIGH

In that last picture you can see a hint of my ASOS handbag, which is a lime green fake leather jobby. I love it so much because it’s equal parts ladylike and ridiculous – pretty much how I want to look all the time. The cardigan as well I love to bits, although the day, despite the fog, was actually incredibly warm so kept taking it off. At one point in the pub I had both my cardi and my bag on the table, when this conversation happened:

Chris: Lauren, your cardigan is great, but whenever I look at it I just think of Sully from Monsters Inc…
Lauren: I did think that when I bought it – Sully cuddles!
Ben: *something about Mike Wazowski*
Chris: Ben, why are you talking about Mike? It’s Sully the cardigan looks like.
Ben: Wait – I’m confused. I heard you say “it looks like Monsters Inc”, clocked the bag, and thought of Mike!
Lauren: …Oh jesus.

Yep. I had come dressed as one of my fave Disney duos. Triples, if you count the fact that since I’ve worn plastic glasses I get compared to Roz all the time. How embarrassing! Or cool, depending on your view…


DSC_0518

Image: Me, wearing a black and coral dress and a necklace with little black bunnies on, and glasses.

Dress: What Laura Loves for Simply Be*
Shoes: New Look (2009)
Necklace: I’m Your Present
Glasses: Specsavers*

Hello lovelies, yes this is indeed my 2nd outfit post of the week. Hurrah! After finishing the Simply Be blogger takeover, each of us were given credit to spend at the shop. Naturally I bought both other dresses as well as another copy of my own (just because I could!). I wore Em‘s to an important work meeting, and Laura’s I wore for a work event – one in which I was able to go full nerd.

blinkbox are one of the companies I work for, and they celebrated getting Game of Thrones season 3 earlier than anyone by hosting a screening of the first episode and having Maisie Williams (Arya Stark aka BAMF) and Joe Dempsie (Gendry Waters) over for a Q&A session. I managed to wangle my way in and it was SO COOL. As well as being able to watch episode one again, although I did miss my pal Julia. My nerd levels were peaking all night!

 

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a picture with them – I actually left the same time as Maisie and her team, but they seemed like they were in a rush so I didn’t ask for one. Which is a shame as I wanted to ask her what Claire‘s cupcakes taste like! Haha.

 

 


Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all well? Unfortunately I’ve not been very well the past few weeks, so my sporadic posting has continued. BUT! If all goes well, you’ll have not one, not two, but THREE posts from me this week! Aren’t you lucky… ahem. Anyway. Guess what? I’m only bloody WEARING CLOTHES!

DSC_0504

Me wearing a white sleeveless peplum top, a comic print knee length skirt and a bright neon yellow satchel with gigantic black boots. And a scowl on my face. Could I BE any more miserable?

Top: Just Curvy*
Skirt: Primark
Litas: Zalando*
Satchel: Simply Be*
Batman ring: Claire’s

To illustrate just how crap I am at working with brands, let me tell you a filthy secret: I got these Lita boots in March. MARCH. That’s when I was given a voucher to get myself something nice from the website, which had just launched in the UK from Germany. And instead of getting myself something nice from their plus size collection, I decided to indulge myself and blow it on a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Litas. The idea was that once I’d worn them in, I could wear them to gigs and be able to see the bands since they would make me normal-person-height. Alas, it’s been months and despite the instep being fine, the material hasn’t yet give so after 10 mins I’m desperate to take them off.

One day.

Similarly with Just Curvy – this top has been in my posession for a while now, although I did at least have the foresight to let them know how slack I updating and invited them to send me reminders. And they haven’t gone unnoted! Just Curvy are a new brand that has popped up recently – it’s been really nice to see all these boutiques being launched. Their selection is similar to AX Paris, Lovedrobe etc although they have a few individual pieces like this peplum top. I really like it, and I’m actually about to buy a black version as well. The only issue I have is that it’s quite seethrough, as you can see from the photo. But other than that I love it!

My satchel is a little worn now – this wasn’t given for a review, I was able to take my accessories from the Simply Be blogger takeover shoot home with me. But it’s served me well and I love the attention I get from it. The amount of people who think I’m sporting a genuine Cambridge is hilarious. Don’t they know I’m a massive cheapskate?

Also, this picture should answer the question, “who takes your blog photos?” quite nicely. Ha!


Hello everyone!

Before I go on with the outfit, I just want to say a massive thak you to all of you who commented on my last post. There were so many I didn’t really know where to start replying, so please don’t think I was ignoring you or didn’t care – I do, very much, and I’m so bloody grateful. To be honest, that post wasn’t about me giving up – it was about me not giving up. It was me remembering what I blog for, which is difficult when loads of exciting stuff comes my way and can cloud things a little.

Anyway. Onwards!

photo1

Image: me, standing in front of a gated park and a huge tree, next to a black ornate lamppost. I’ve got a red bodycon skirt, black top and cardigan.

Top: ASOS Curve
Skirt: Forever 21+
Shoes: New Look
Cardigan, handbag: Primark

The lovely Isha took this photo for me round the back of where I work. It’s so pretty, like the London you see in Richard Curtis movies. This is a pretty pedestrian “look”, I wanted to be smart and also try out my nice new top from ASOS which I got as a result of a sale splurge. Most of it didn’t look right so got sent back, hehe. I hate myself but I love the Primark bag – I’m hoping that I can cart my proper camera around with me so I can get properly nice pictures for the blog at some point. Fingers crossed…


Oh. My. God.

The dresses went on sale Friday. Some of the sizes are sold out already, and Simply Be are getting more stock in to fill the demand. I’ve bought all three dresses and they’re just divine. I’m so happy with mine, and Laura and Em did such an incredible job on theirs.

Thank you so much, all of you who attended the event in Manchester two weeks ago, who have said lovely things about my dress design, bought it, or just been supportive. Thanks to the AMAZING Simply Be team for being excellent.

This has been the best experience blogging has brought me, and I’m SO damn lucky.

Thank you. x


Yesterday's make up, greasy hair... My @cultofcali jumper makes up for it tho. #ootd #plussize #fatshion #psbloggers

Dress: New Look Inspire
Jumper: Cult of California
Ring: David Bowie Is… exhibition (it broke after I took this pic!)
Necklace: Primark

Hello all, I hope you’re well? I’m off to Portugal this week with my pals for Optimus Primavera (I really have to concentrate to not type Optimus PRIME-avera) Sound festival. I ARE EXCITE. Gonna drink port, eat francesinha and if I don’t die from those, see some of my favourite bands. Yay. Let’s hope the weather is a bit better than my holiday in Spain last year, at least.

I also wanted to say thanks for the amazing and thoughtful comments on my last entry. It’s been great to hear your stories, even though some have made me angry that Charlotte’s isn’t an isolated case, but more a systematic failing in the fashion industry. But thankfully, there IS a happy ending! Charlotte got to show her collection, and the models (including some plus size fashion bloggers you know and love) looked wonderful. I really can’t wait to buy some of the designs!

It’s been a while since I did an outfit post, but in the meantime I’ve been making use of my new bedroom mirror to instagram OOTDs before I head off to work! Most of you probably already follow me there, but in case anyone missed them, here’s what I’ve been wearing lately.

Today's dress. See, I don't just wear outfits on the blog once ;) #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Simply Be (2012)
Belt: Evans (2011)

Nice thing about having a massive mirror - more frequent outfit documentation. #fatshion

Dress: Lovedrobe 2011

Friday's outfit #ootd #plussize #fatshion

Top: Primark (2012)
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)
Skirt: Forever 21+

Monday - keeping this chiffon skirt down in the wind is gonna be HELL. #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Ax Paris Curve* (2012)
Cardigan: Torrid* (2011)
Necklace: Accessorize* (2011)

Unintentionally matching my #ootd to my bedroom #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Yours Clothing (2011)
Necklace: not sure as it was a birthday present in 2012
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)

Wearing a skirt under this dress to combat the wind #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Yours Clothing* (2012)
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)
Necklace: Tatty Devine*

Not sure if bopping so wearing my comic skirt instead :) #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Top: ASOS (2012)
Skirt: Primark
Necklace: Queer Riot

Plain #ootd from me today #fatshion #plussize

Top: ASOS (2012)
Skirt: Forever 21+
Necklace: Tatty Devine (2012 sample sale)

Lazy Sunday #ootd - love my sundress from Very last year. #fatshion #plussize

Dress: South by Very (bought in the January sale as it’s from last summer’s collection)
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)

PHEW! Maybe I’ll do weekly round ups to spare you all. I’m not sure how I’d even describe my style, it’s a bit safe – pretty dress, black cardi. Maybe I’ll take some more risks this summer…


One of the most heartening things I’ e seen since I began blogging is the rise of my fellow fat women studying  fashion design. In the US there is the phenomenal Ashley Nell Tipton whose collection has just launched (and who I will be blowing my next wage on); our beloved Rosie; the lovely Francesca; and Charlotte. I’ve been twitter friends with Charlotte for a few years now and I’ve always loved her personal style, so was immensely excited to see her final collection. She posted it on her blog this week, and… Wow. It’s incredible. Cheeky, flirty and fresh.

Now here’s where I have to take a different tone. Having followed Charlotte all through her course, I’ve seen how she’s struggled to make this collection a reality. From my point of view, it seems like she had no support whatsoever from her university, for the sole reason that she stuck to her guns and wanted to make a plus size collection. Apparently they were enthusiastic about the idea (when they still felt there was time for her to change her mind and do a straight size collection instead, no doubt) but once she decided her collection would be plus size, was essentially told “you’re on your own”. Charlotte has had to make all her own pattern blocks and source models for the runway show herself –  and has been told she can’t show at the uni’s London showcase.

Given what Charlotte was up against, that she created a collection of plus size clothes that I and loads of other fashionable fat girls have been crying out for for years is absolutely amazing. In fact, I know of someone else who was forced to make her own pattern blocks and source models after her uni refused to support her: Anna Scholz.

Charlotte doesn’t know what grade she’ll get for her collection. A grade from people who are too feeble to think outside of the very narrow box of the fashion industry? I don’t even think it matters.

 Good news! Charlotte has her six models, and can show on Wednesday! Can’t wait to see the results!

If anyone is able to travel down to Southampton this Wednesday 22nd May, over 5’4″, size 18-24 and can walk in a straight line without falling over, please let Charlotte know and you can actually wear these gorgeous clothes! 

 


So Fabulous Event

So Fabulous glitter cupcakes

I really am a lucky girl – on Wednesday I attended a blogger event run by the guys at So Fabulous at Littlewoods. It was the first event they’d done ever, and I think they did a great job! I feel like sometimes I don’t give them their dues when in fact they are one of the shops I purchase from most, and some of my favourite clothes are from either the South or So Fabulous collections!

So Fabulous Event

One of the SF clothing rails. Peplums, lace, florals and sequins.

So Fabulous Event

Another SF rail, this time with hot pinks and camouflage jackets that everyone loved.

We all had a browse of their latest collection, and I got to try on some dresses I’d been eyeing on site for ages (and which I will probably go and buy now, haha!). They also set us a little team challenge – half of us were asked to come up with a look for a job interview, and the other half – my team – were challenged to come up with a look for a night out dancing.

Becky was on model duties for the team I was in, and here she is working our night out look where we took the “more is more” approach:

So Fabulous Event

Becky working her “night out in the west end” look! I couldn’t fit in the INCREDIBLE heels she was wearing.

Awesome, no? I also loved the other team’s look for a job interview – I’d never have thought to put a blouse under a skater dress (I’d have just worn it as a casual day dress) but Betty looked so smart and gorgeous:

So Fabulous Event

Becky models her “job interview” look – I loved this!

Afterwards we all caught up and also got into a bit of a debate where we talked about which brands we think are doing great things, what we like and dislike about plus size fashion, the size ranges of plus size brands and also the eternal plus size model debate. I always love a good discussion about these things, hopefully I didn’t get too carried away!

I used the event as an excuse to try out my new camera, although I’m still a total novice and half my pictures are a blurry mess. But I got some gorgeous ones of some of the other bloggers in attendence, yay!

So Fabulous Event

Love Mel. She looked so good in her dress I had not-buying-regret for the rest of the day!

So Fabulous Event

Callie checking out her photographs

So Fabulous Event

Becky and Naomi posing for the camera!

I loved the clothes (especially the dresses, as always) and the team were super positive and passionate about the clothes, which was brilliant to see. I have to say I mostly just loved catching up with my blogging buddies seen above and including Kirsty and Hanna, and meeting Betty and Toni for the first time, finally! Bring on Plus North!