Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Look Magazine for Simply Be Dinner - WHAT. A. NIGHT.

Last week I attended the most fabulous event in celebration of Simply Be coming together with Look Magazine to launch a fab new capsule collection.

The event was being held at the BEYOND decadent Balthazar restaurant in London's Covent Garden, and as such, I decided to have a couple of days out of Yorkshire (It happens occasionally). I packed my hanky on the end of a stick, washed my hair and hopped on the train.

With Charlie from Freakum Dress and Becky from Does My blog make me look fat?
My adventure started positively by not getting lost and successfully locating beautiful Becky who I'd not met before in real life but who is absolutely fab (and who carries a fan in her handbag at all times which is just about the greatest thing I have ever witnessed). We met up with Charlie who is cool as heck and who, despite her legs being roughly half the length of mine, took "London pace" to a new level and got us to the venue safe, sound and only moderately sweaty.

The beautiful Balthazar
The venue was beyond anything I could have imagined, white table cloths, fresh flowers, candles (and copious champagne!) We received an incredibly warm and genuine welcome from the Simply Be and Look team and were introduced to the new range.

With the fabulous Hanna from The Wardrobe Challenge
I was seated next to Hanna from Wardrobe challenge who I've tweeted/emailed many a time but never yet met in real life. She is an absolute delight - It was just lovely getting to know her better and to spend some time with a blogger who I rate extremely highly.
I also had the opportunity to chat with some of the ladies from Look and Simply Be, who were absolutely flipping brilliant; Stylish, funny and clearly passionate about what they do. As the personification of "uncouth", I thought I was going to spend much of the night hiding my face in my hands after saying something completely daft/ inappropriate/ incomprehensible, but if I did nobody made me aware! THANK YOU.

The food was absolutely cracking, I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures, I was concentrating on getting it all into my tummy before anyone could take it away from me. The menu is above and no matter how nice you could imagine it to have been, it was even nicer. On this note, I must compliment the staff at Balthazar here, I felt thoroughly spoilt rotten, The service was impeccable (my glass was never empty) and there was none of the standard eye rolling or sighing you sadly come to expect from venues when faced with a large group.
Now, to the important part! The Clothes.
The range is billed as: "An amazing style collaboration made in fashion heaven...Designed exclusively for Simply Be by the fashion experts at LOOK, this capsule collection encompasses key summer pieces from matchy-matchy printed co-ords to pared back, sports luxe tops."
We were lucky to be able to get "up close and personal" with the range. The first thing to note is how varied yet together the range is. The prints are fresh, fabulous and every single item is extremely well tailored.
I think if you'd asked anyone what the stand out piece of the range was going to be for me, they would have gone straight to the BardotProm dress. The fabric is a lovely thick cotton, which gives it a really strong silhouette and should give some excellent support round the middle. The neckline is my absolute favourite, however, I must admit that the pictures make it look more like a crew neck, so I paid a lot of attention to the neckline on the rail! I can confirm it is indeed a Bardot neckline so there'll be no hoiking it about/pushing it up/pulling it down - Hurrah! The length is spot on and finally, the pattern is incredible, you know how I feel about an electric blue.
I'll hopefully be reviewing this little beauty in more depth very soon so keep your eyes peeled!
The three pieces above were my other favourites by far. Thebomber jacket is an excellent example of why these blogger events are so good. I would never have considered a bomber jacket but the number of stylish ladies there who were raving about it gave me pause for consideration. I can actually really see myself wearing this over a fitted black dress and sandals on holiday.

Thebiker jacket is a fabulous wardrobe staple and would be a great alternative to a suit jacket for any swish meetings you may have.
 I was sooo tempted by the denim parka, the collar is really smart and the lightweight denim would make it perfect over a summer dress or with leggings and a tunic top. It was really tugging on the Britpop part of my soul...
All in all, the range is small but perfectly formed, I can confidently say that there is something for everyone and I strongly urge you to have a look!
I must sincerely thank the team from Simply Be and Look, I was spoilt rotten, had a magical night and can't wait to see the range on some of the beauties I had the pleasure of sharing the company of.
Em x

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Just Cruisin'

I was recently contacted by the wonderful MSC Cruises with a question: 
"Would you like to come and sing on one our magnificent cruisers?" they asked, 
"We'd like you to be the star attraction after hearing your frankly incredible rendition of Salt'n'Pepa's 'Push it' in the Three Cranes the other week" 

OF COURSE I AM JOKING. They actually asked me something BETTER!!!

They asked me to imagine that my presence had been requested on board the magnificent MSC Splendida for cocktails, a four course meal, dancing and generally swishing about like the posh totty that I am (!) So imagine I did...... 

***Cue twirly wurly music and me looking into the distance***

I must confess, I know very little about cruises, my immediate image was Hyacinth Bucket seated at the captains table bedecked in floral and a hat that wouldn't look out of place on any self respecting member of Mothers Union. So I did some research and it turns out that Cruises are basically a massive wonderful party where you can do all kinds of fabulous glamorous things with other people and you don't have to wear a hat at all! (Unless you want to) 

With this in mind and a £150 budget, I set course to FULL GLAMOUR. The outfit I went for consists of the below:

Cropped Bardot top: River Island
Full Skirt: Coast outlet
Bag: Accesorize
Bracelet: Accesorize
Shoes: Asda
Earrings: H&M (originally earcuffs which I have altered because they made me look like an Orc) 

How flipping beautiful is this skirt please and thank you? And who doesn't need a floor length tutu? I'd seen it on the Coast website but never had occasion to require it UNTIL NOW.  

You'll see from the pics above that the colour (described as "mole" - amazing) looks very different in different lights but is consistently classy beyond all belief. 

The important thing to me was whether I could dance in it. And I can, I really flipping can. It makes me want to spin and jig and bop about like a toddler, flailing my tulle about like a cancan dancer. 

I paired it here with a basic black off the shoulder crop top but also tried it with a tight black vest which looked lovely too. The skirt is long enough for me to wear my heels, which is a double edged sword because if you can't see my shoes I tend not to wear any - Pretty sure this would be classed as preeeeetty uncouth on the MSC Splendida! 

My lips are a combination of Limecrime red Velvet and Ted baker lipstick in TW11 8EE (Catchy name there Ted) The creme eyeshadow and glitter is also Ted Baker but there is no detail of what it's called, I'd call it Taupe-sparkle. 

I had a genuinely fabulous time creating this look with MSC Cruises, it's made me realise I simply don't have enough glamour in my life. Until I get myself on a cruise for reals, I'll be the woman in Morrisons wearing a floorlength tutu.....

Em x

Thursday, 24 April 2014

What I wore - Blue blue electric blue...

I've just come back from a wonderful couple of days in That London which I will go into in more depth in another post because there's not enough space here to write about all of the incredible things that I was fortunate enough to experience (most of them are food and people and clothes based and you all know that there is nothing else important beyond these three topics and if there is frankly I don't wish to know about it thank you ever so much now.) 

In the interim, this post is primarily about a frock that I bought and that I wore a bit too much in the space of 48 hours. (It's in the wash now because I couldn't get my pyjamas on over it) The ASOS wiggle dress in floral print.
The dress is from the ASOS main range and is a size 16. I find ASOS' sizing to be beyond crackers, I go from a 14 to a 20, mainly because they don't seem to be aware of the big backed lady, of which I am one, so I was quite lucky that my first attempt fitted with this. 

The dress is a midi length on me, zips up the back and has an extremely fitted waist. Now here is where I'll be honest with you; I'd have avoided this dress in the past as I feel it accentuates my tummy "pouch" more than I'm comfortable with and the fit is distinctly off with regards to my figure. However, I absolutely love the colour and length, plus POCKETS (In London, I put my Oyster card in one of them, cosmopolitan of me OR WHAT!?!) so I'm persevering.
I wore the dress with a pair of 120den Primark tights which I might as well be sewn into (don't panic, I have many pairs, I'll be getting no terrible grubby tight disorders) and my River Island ankle boots which were in the sale for £20 and are a large 8 and therefore fit my giant feet. The jacket is my Quiz pleather number that I seem to be wearing with all of the things at the moments.

I've managed to work out how to do a cheats version of milkmaid plaits which looks ok from the front and I can't see the back so I don't care. My lipstick is the Bourjois Velvet in Peach Club which I can't recommend enough, I also bought my sister the fuchsia one (Pink pong) which looks phenomenal against her porcelain skin and dark hair.
The piece de resistance is the most ridiculous and impractical purchase I have ever made. Even more ridiculous than the exercise ball languishing in my basement. The bag above is from Zara and I love it. When I bought it, my friend reliably told me it would be filthy within seconds. She wasn't wrong. It's covered in fingerprints and also some wine (don't ask) so now I need to put some time aside to clean it. Like I haven't got anything better to do (I haven't).

I very much look forward to posting more about my time in London, at the same time I very much look forward to sleeping off some of the food... 

Em x


Friday, 11 April 2014

Breathing is overrated - Featuring Pinup Girl Clothing and WhatKatieDid

First of all, I have to say that the title of this post is ENTIRELY misleading. Breathing is not overrated. Its actually pretty important. Also, there is nothing in this post that has prevented my from breathing, other than when I was shrieking "AAAAAAAAAGH THIS IS AMAZING WHY DID I TAKE SO LONG TO BUY IT!?!?"
I'd been eyeing up the Monica dress on the PinupGirl Clothing website for roughly a year but kept putting off buying it for the following reasons:
> The model looks amazing in it, how on earth could I compare. I would be disappointed.
> I couldn't try it on before buying it, what if I got it all wrong?!?!?!
> It was more than £15

 When my 30th Birthday was coming up, I knew that I wanted something a bit more special and so I took the plunge. 
Dress: Pinup Girl Clothing Monica in black
New Look
 I spent ages weighing up the sizes because I really didn't want to cock it up. Going on the reviews, it became clear that the area to concentrate on was the bust. The body of the dress has an awful lot of stretch but the bust is rather "flat" which is fab for people like me with breasticles that are big but not "out" but not so much for more busty babes. I went for the dress in an XL in the Black Matte Jersey Knit and thankfully the fit is INCREDIBLE.

The dress arrived less than a week later which seems entirely unfeasible as it had to wing its way from the US. It was beautifully wrapped and comes with a spare zip and some VERY good advice on how to put the dress on, you'd think this was common sense but actually, the best way to put the dress on is to step into it and pull it up without undoing the zip, I worried about this at first due to the potential of seam rippage but the stretch makes sure that this wont happen. Even to me.
Details as above
On the website, The Monica is described as "A wonder of a wiggle!" and IT IS! IT REALLY IS! I struggle with wiggle dresses because I worry that the structure emphasises the lumps I'd like to keep to myself and does nothing for the ones I want everyone to know about. You may have realised that I love necklines off the shoulder, The Monica has an elastic edging that stops the neckline moving around too much but thankfully doesn't sweat (I hate sweaty elastic bits). Most importantly to me, the bengaline shaping layer of this dress gently smooth my uncontrollable bits and the draping gives a glorious silhouette.

I would have been extremely happy with the dress as it was, I felt glorious.


Around the same time that I started lusting after The Monica, I also had my eyes on The Morticia...
Corset: Morticia by WhatKatieDid
Strapless Bra: Wonderbra

Anybody who reads FullerFigureFullerBust will know that beautiful Georgina champions the What Katie Did Morticia corset and I have had my beady little eye on it for as long as I've been treading her blog.

Morticia is an underbust corset, and works best for people with a 10 inch or greater difference between waist and hip. I wasn't expecting magic here, I don't have a 10inch difference and have a very long body. For my birthday, my husband hoiked me into it and I had a little lie down whilst the footprint disappeared off my backside.... I was absolutely delighted, the picture above entirely doesn't do it justice (I'd fastened it myself. With a fractured elbow...)
This picture shows just how small my waist can be shaped with a bit of brute force. I think there's around a 10 inch reduction in waist (Could be wrong!) For my Birthday, I wore the corset with my strapless wonderbra which is the best strapless I've had and some Spanx shorts (The corset is incredible but the bumps have to go somewhere!) I was incredibly comfortable until I got a bit TOO sweaty - Karaoke, dancing and buffets will do that to you.

The corset and the dress together made me feel a million dollars, ever if my boobs were touching my chin...
Eyeshadow: Chanel IllusionD'Ombre in Mirifique
Eyeliner: Liquid liner by Ted Baker
Lips: Velveteen in Red Velvet by LimeCrime

It wouldn't be this blog if there weren't some pictures of my face. And my boobs....

So these have been my purchases of a lifetime, two gorgeous, decadent wardrobe staples that made being 30 well worthwile.

Em x

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