Monday, 21 August 2017

A Joanie Love Affair - Miriam In Green

Oh Joanie, Joanie, Joanie, How I love thee. You never fail to make me feel fabulous, this time with the occasion-ready Miriam Lace Dress.
Miriam Dress - Joanie Clothing
First of all, THAT COLOUR! Miriam comes in Dusk Blue and Pepper Green and, frankly, I'd have been over the moon with either. They're part of that muted colourway which includes dusky pink and I honestly think it's become my preferred way to wear colour. The nude lining shows up the delicate lace beautifully and the eyelash edging which has become somewhat of a Joanie trademark adds that high-end feel which isn't matched by the incredible £45 price tag.

As for style - This isn't a shape I usually go for but I actually really enjoy the way the skirt flares from just under the bust rather than at my waist (Empire line innit) - I wasn't sure that it would work on me but with the length and fullness of the skirt itself, I feel the proportions are pretty much A*.

Miriam isn't actually an off the shoulder dress if you look on the site BUT it sits so nicely this way I just couldn't help myself. With my animal print sandals and a today's glorious sunshine I felt like a carefree nymph, floating about the streets of South Yorkshire. I felt less floaty after three Yorkshire puddings and half a bottle of pinot but I still looked nice so there is that.

My only ever criticism of Joanie (EVER!) was that I felt their sizing was off - DISREGARD THIS, I'm wearing an 18 here and really feel I could have sized down which means I can now confidently say: We are in the True To Size realm. Also, please remember that were something looks shorter on me than on the model, it is because I am a bit very tall.

The Joanie site is stocked with some absolutely stunning Summer dresses at the moment - Think Sophia Loren on the Amalfi Coast. WHAT A DREAM! 
Em x
* Denotes gifted item - All views are my own 


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Five Minutes on Feminism + Fashion

Feminism in fashion is "having a moment" as they say and high street store Peacocks have sasheyed in with their fab The Future Is Female t-shirt, which you may have seen gracing the body of celebrities and bloggers aplenty. It's a beaut tshirt - Lovely soft cotton, great fit and most importantly, a message we can all get behind.
The Future Is Female Tee* - Peacocks
Faux Suede Skirt - Navabi
Sandals - Topshop
Bag - H&M (Similar
Okay, I accept that there are extremely problematic areas around feminism in fashion - Until marginalised women are appropriately represented in advertising, until ranges are inclusive of ALL sizes, until working conditions for the women who make these clothes improve, until fashion is accessible to all; Fashion by its very nature is a feminist issue. 

Some brands recognise that they have a corporate-social responsibility to put their money where their mouth is. For example, my faves Navabi have partnered up with Smart Works, supporting women into work in the UK. I'd love to see much more of this, and as someone who personally works for a company with an incredibly strong commitment to their social responsibility, I can confirm that this working culture has an incredibly positive effect on staff and stakeholders alike.

My question is, why is feminism in fashion OK when it's only available to people with a big bank balanceWhen Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney showcase feminism, we see it as art, as politics, as a war cry (This is in no way a criticism - These women are incredible and what they give back is phenomenal). Yet when the high street does it, we see it as somehow crude or gauche. For those of us not rolling in cash, this is an affordable way of showing your colours, of spreading the word. Why shouldn't feminism - a movement which should benefit us all (including men, not that I care), be accessible?

I feel that this is likely going to be an unpopular decision but I think that feminism and high street fashion CAN work. In a time of great social change, where misogyny seems more visible than ever before, intersectional feminism is essential in preventing the fight for equality being thrown back in time a hundred years or more. The important thing is that you don't just wear the t-shirt, you believe in it and you live it; Support marginalised women, be loud, call out the bullshit. Disrupt the default.
Em x 

I'm extremely open to comment on this post as you don't get anywhere in life by talking and not listening. I'd like to also say that I will always recommend supporting your local small feminist business by spending your cash with them where you can - I will start to share below but if there are any you would like to share - Please let me know and I will update the post with these. 

Penfight - A little zine & DIY art distro based in Manchester, UK. Distributing new, affordable, self-published creative work – Prioritising women, non-binary, working class, LGBTQ+ or disabled people.


Friday, 18 August 2017

Curve Fashion Fest All Dressed Up With Debenhams

The time is almost upon us guys - The Curve Fashion Festival (#TCFF17 for the hip and happening amongst us) is just around the bend. The 9th of September will see every self discerning plus size babe descending upon the Liverpool Exhibition Centre to delight in a full day of fashion, shopping, celeb-spotting and all round Good Timez.

I had an INCREDIBLE time at TCFF16, I tried on more clothes than you could imagine, I met awesome women I'd only ever spoken to on the internet and, most importantly, I gave a fan to a Big Brother finalist - One who I actually recognised and who I may or may not have fan girled over in my younger years...
If you've been to TCFF before, you'll know that all the fashion, friends, food, catwalks and shopping mean a good old sit down is an essential (or at least it is for me...), and every fabulously dressed fashionista needs an equally as fabulously dressed lounge to do just this. That's where the Debenhams Chill Out Zone comes in. Kitted out top to toe with Debenhams furnishings and accessories, you're guaranteed somewhere to get that perfect Instagram shot, even if you do have to push me out of the way to get it... 

I'm particularly interested in the Debenhams Chill Out Zone because, after eleven years (and six months of house selling palavers) I AM FINALLY MOVING HOUSE. This means predominantly that I need to CHILL OUT but also that it's a good time to be perusing interiors ready for when we finally get through the front door. in fact, I'm already rather taken by this Palm Leaf Ceiling Light....

If all of his isn't enough, Debenhams will also be dressing some of the gorgeous male models with their Big & Tall range, so they truly are the gift that keep giving this CFF!

Not already got your tickets? (WHY NOT?!?!) 

I have two standard tickets from the team at CFF to give away. All you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. Winners will be announced Friday 25th August - GOOD LUCK FRIENDS! 

Em x


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Rethinking What Feels Good - The Cropped Jumpsuit

I really should have written this post ages ago but I didn't. The reasons for this are multiple but basically come down to the fact that I'm craving a holiday so hard that even just looking at myself having a nice time in the sun is like a knife to my sun-starved heart.
Jumpsuit - Warehouse (Similar)
Wrap Sandals - Simply Be
Earrings - Zara (Similar)
I love me a good jumpsuit. Whenever there's an event where I want to feel put together, I find myself a good jumpsuit, some cracking earrings and a pair of heels and I feel fabulous all night. This year I took two away on holiday with me - The unspeakably useful wide legged Farrah jumpsuit from Joanie Clothing (£24 in the sale right now) and this cropped leg, tie waist jumpsuit from Warehouse.

I think everyone has one piece of clothing that they want to love but that they just don't feel mega sexy in and this jumpsuit is it - It clings to my bum, it clings round my front lady pouch and the neckline has the potential to make my bosom look distinctly matronly, but here is the (big) but; It is comfortable, it is practical, it goes with heels just as well as it goes with trainers - It's basically an incredibly useful and versatile item to take on holiday. in fact, by the time I got back I'd decided to slot it into my corporate work wardrobe. I think I've started to realise that it's ok to not always feel sexy and that there's just as much value in feeling comfortable.

I'm really in to the stitched in belt detail as I mentioned in my last post, it just adds to the practicality element. I'd say that Warehouse sizing is on the smaller size - An 18 fits me really well. For these pictures, we were on our way out for a nice meal so I wore it with my wrap around sandals and some banging Zara earrings - Seriously, I don't even bother with anywhere else for statement jewellery any more, Zara have it in the bag. You will see that I also accesorised with a beautiful tone of sunburn - Please people, learn from my constant errors this year and go for more rather than less with the lotion. My skin is still looking horrendous more than a month later - It's not big and it's definitely not clever.

Looking at this last picture, I think I actually quite like how my butt looks... I should take more rear view shots...
Em x

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Bright As A Button - Arched Eyebrow x Navabi

This is a really special blog post, in that it's not every day I get to show off an item designed by one of my very special pals. Today is that day.
Belted Shirt Dress - Arched Eyebrow x Navabi
Leopard Courts - Simply Be (Similar
When Navabi announced that they would be hooking up with plus size influencers to create three capsule wardrobes, we all knew that something special was afoot. Just imagine the excitement when they then announced that one of those influencers was the frankly incredible Bethany Rutter of Arched Eyebrow. Now Bethany is probably one of the most talented people I know so it stands to reason that she be able to design banging clothes, though I don't think anyone could have imagined just how stunning this range was going to be. Arched Eyebrow x Navabi is a riot of block colours, utilising classic tailoring and modern sillhouettes to give us a range so rarely seen in plus size ranges.

The obvious thing that drew me to the belted dress was the colour - It is the most perfect green. Bright but not fluorescent, block but not boring. The next eye-catcher was the button shape - The most fabulous 80s detailing, glossy black triangles which, remarkably, actually make them really easy to fasten - Who'da thunk it?!? Then the mega long, mega wide belt which is stitched in at the seams so it won't fall off or move about and is just the one of the best fashion design features in the world in my opinion - You are always pulling the dress in at the right place meaning that the buttons don't pull and the seams sit in exactly the right place.
I'm wearing a 16 here and the fit is PERFECT. There's plenty of room around the bust and the straight cut shape means that you can pull it in as tight or loose as you like with with the belt. The length is spot on for me, just below the knee, meaning I can wear it to work with courts or ankle boots and still look like a business bitch. I genuinely cannot see this dress being off my body when Winter sets in. The long (incredibly well made in terms of movement!) sleeves and thick fabric make it a wardrobe staple for the colder months and for this reason, and this reason alone, I cannot wait for them to start. .

There are so many other pieces of this range I'd love to get on my body, not least the incredible blue wool mix coat. I feel like this dress was made for me and reckon everyone who wears one of the Arched Eyebrow x Navabi items will feel the same way - There has been so much thought put into this range and it really shows. Bethany you have absolutely smashed it and I hope we get to see more...
Em x
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