15/10/2018

Five Minutes on Standing Alone

Sometimes we stand alone.

Today is the last day of child loss awareness week. I’ve not said an awful lot this week, partly because so many other wonderful women are saying things so beautifully and partly because I’m in a strange new phase. Beyond grief and into loneliness.


I’m a woman in my mid-30s. As much as I want to deny the understanding that emotions can be biologically led, there are days when I feel physical pain that there is no child of my own in the house. As much as I know that my life will have many other fulfilments, there are days when I feel such a deep sense of solitary that I want to curl up in bed and never get up.


Talking to other women who have experienced child loss, the overwhelming emotion is loneliness.

We all have an understanding of how we think our lives will be, even if we don’t make plans or set expectations (I certainly haven’t) we still build a world around ourselves that has so many intertwining parts, when one goes a bit tits, it can take years to work out how all the other bits work. How the other people in your life fit into it all. What you see your future being, or not being. 


When I first talked about child loss and mental health on this site, I made a bit of a pact to myself to talk about ALL of it. All of the stages, all of the changes. I do it because it helps me and, hopefully, it helps other people to know that they're not alone.  

When I’ve figured it all out I’ll let you know. It could be a while. 

But rest assured I’m not sad, I’m not incomplete, I’m just a bit lost, and sometimes we have to stand alone. 
Em x
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05/10/2018

Stop. Treat. Go with Galaxy® Chocolate Rounds

It's 3.27pm, the words on your screen are starting to blur, your tummy’s rumbling. Home time seems years away, yet lunch is a distant memory. It’s the time of day that clock watching becomes a national pastime and WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE. Luckily for us, Galaxy have got us covered - As soon as that clock hits 3.28pm head for the biscuit jar and indulge in a Galaxy® Chocolate Round.


You may know that I’ve recently started a new job and one of my biggest challenges has been actually remembering to take the time to stop and breathe never mind anything else. The sheer luxury of allowing myself ten minutes to put the kettle on and indulge in some chocolatey goodness this week has been bliss. 


Delicious shortbread (My fave!) covered in the Galaxy chocolate we all know and love; Rounds come in Chocolate and Salted Caramel flavour and are an all round prrrretty luxury biscuit. I *know* that I should say something about sharing the biscuits with my colleagues BUT they’re too nice and I don’t want to. Take that as you will.  


I think we should all make a pact to allow ourselves at a few moments of chill in our otherwise busy days, starting from tomorrow! Galaxy Rounds are available at many major retailers, regular retail price is £1.99.
Em x

*This is a paid advertisement for Galaxy®. However, all biscuity views are my own.
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08/09/2018

Beauty Comes In All Shapes And Sizes

Today, Navabi release their Beauty Comes In All Shapes And Sizes campaign where they aim to reach as many people as they can with the goal of exploring what Beauty REALLY means to us.


Beauty is so subjective. For example, I find those big white wind turbines beautiful but most people think they're vile. Yes, I am using renewable energy as an example of what beauty is, that's the kinda guy I am (I even wrote a post about it many years ago) 

Anyway, moving on from turbines and the such. The Navabi campaign is all about letting us know that we are ALL beautiful just the way we are. With this in mind, I want you all to think about what you value in other people, what makes them BEAUTIFUL to you? 

Beauty isn't just about shiny hair and nice bottoms - I DO like those things but I like other things too. Beauty, to me, is a culmination of the following:
Integrity
Self-Awareness
Compassion
Tolerance

I will always be attracted to someone who is both engaging and engaged. I will always find someone with compassion beautiful. Over the years I have wondered at the beauty of many a human (just try and stop me) gender, size, shape don't come into it. I find beauty in imperfection, in diversity, in things and people that break from the "norm"


With all of this in mind, I'd like to give a special nod to some of the most beautiful women I know:

My Mum - My Mum has never been anybody but herself; She has never given into peer pressure or pressure of ANY kind come to think of it... She is the eternal realist and nothing phases her. Plus she's always been a hot mum and I like that. My Dad and her raised me to be the woman who I am, and my sister to be the woman who she is. Which leads me to...

My sister Kate - Kate is a ridiculous human, she is one of, if not THE most precious things I have in my life. She dances and she sings (She once thought she was an undiscovered opera singer for ages), she listens and she cares. She gave me a niece that I would literally murder for (I will delete this post if there is ever a murder) and she is just an all round wonderfully weird and beautiful woman. 

My best mate (4EVA IDST) Danni - Danni is the most impressive human I have ever met. There. Is. Nothing. She. Can't. Do.
She's got a huge brain and a tiny body. Her capacity for more more more is incomparable. She yogas and sails and learns and laughs and makes ME laugh and she takes me along for the ride, even when I don't think I can do it. She just GETS me in a way that nobody else really does. She is resilient as fuck and I adore her. 

Steph - I can already hear Steph's eyes rolling from here. Her humility is frankly ridiculous. She is caring, supportive, and has no idea just how wonderful she is. Steph is HILARIOUS, she can make me laugh unlike no other, without ever bringing anyone else down. She grafts her ass off and has this unique way of understanding what you're saying, even if you're not saying it. My life got better when Steph walked into it.

Beebs - I loved Beebs before I'd even spoken to her. She always has time for the people who need her, even when she's going through epically crap times herself. She carries herself with the grace of a swan crossed with a ballerina and she is the most capable human being I've ever met. Her capacity for love is limitless and I'm so incredibly lucky to know her.


I've really enjoyed thinking about beauty and what it means to me. We don't often get the opportunity to step outside of things that just ARE.

Beebs and I are incredibly proud to be part of this campaign - You can find out more about  #Beautycomesinallshapesandsizes on Navabi's social media
Em x
*This is a sponsored post - All views are my own.
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28/08/2018

Tutti Cutie with Rougette

I said I'd get some knickers up on here and I wasn't lying. In fact, I NEVER lie.
Unless it's about how much I've spent on ASOS this month, in which case I will lie to the death... Anyway, here are some knickers, and some fine ones at that.

www.theemedit.co.uk
Phoenix Bralette* - Rougette
Phoenix Briefs* - Rougette
Finding fun, sexy lingerie in larger cup sizes is NOT easy so when Tutti Rouge got in touch singing the praises of their new sister range Rougette, I was VERY interested. A week later, a beautiful package arrived, packed full of lingerie that I knew immediately was up my street. Sexy lace which is wearable rather than novelty,smooth lines, modern styles to suit a range of body shapes, no fuss. Everyone I've seen in Rougette has looked incredible - It's a real crowd pleaser.

www.theemedit.co.uk
Phoenix Bralette* - Rougette
Phoenix Briefs* - Rougette

The set in this post is the Phoenix floral - The bralette is a 36FF and briefs are in an XXL and they fit like a glove. Despite being wireless, the lace is soft and supportive - I was concerned with it being an over the head item, I just couldn't see how would do the job my big ol' babaloos need but it completely and utterly does. I love a longline bra, they're ideal to wear under low back/backless tops or dresses and this one is even better as it's looooow cut and has no fastenings, making it a statement rather than something you're trying to cover up. 

www.theemedit.co.uk

I hadn't looked at the prices before writing this post because it seems somehow gauche (That's the Dowager Countess in me coming out there...) but OH EM GOODNESS - The whole set is £25. Frankly, I will never get over this because the quality is absolutely phenomenal. I am DELIGHTED and now fully intend to buy the entire range...

www.theemedit.co.uk

You can see more pictures of the Eva Bodysuit* and Alexa set* on my Instagram - I really cannot recommend this range enough. Young, fun and affordable; Rougette has got it all.
Em x

*I was gifted three sets from Rougette for review - All of these views are completely my own, from my boobs to yours. 
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22/08/2018

Review - You Have The Right To Remain Fat

As a smaller fat woman, I often find myself in the position where non-fat people feel I am a safe audience for all of their thoughts about fatness. The good, the bad and the downright fricking terrible. Every time this happens, I bite my tongue, recall that that *I* have a responsibility to my larger sisters and brothers, to set people straight and to educate on a few basics. 

Only sometimes it's hard (Albeit not as hard as being abused on a daily basis..), sometimes I forget all the things I know, all the big words, the politics of it all. I just want to stop and shout BUT YOU ARE WRONG HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THIS WHY ARE YOU NOT GETTING IT PLEASE?


When this happens I look up to the brilliant women who put people right every single damn day, the same women who really should have run out of patience by now but they haven't because They Want To See Change. They have had enough. Fuelled by their knowledge and the discrimination they witness over and over again, they are activists, leading a revolution against the anti-fat rhetoric. 

One of these women is Virgie Tovar; Brilliant, bright, inspirational and utterly hilarious. Virgie has always been at the forefront of fat activism for me. She is bold, fat and out there living an incredible life. SHE HAS BEEN IN GRAZIA (A small life goal of mine) And now she has written a book. An incredible book. A MASTERPIECE OF A BOOK. 

I want to start by saying that "You Have The Right To Remain Fat" should be circulated as far and wide as Gideons Bible. It should be in every hotel, on every train,  scattered around doctors surgeries with wild abandon and thrust into the hand of ever single woman who starts a sentence with "I used to be a big girl myself but..."


It's not hyperbole to say that Virgie Tovar has changed my life with this book. I have immersed myself in fat politics for years, which gave me cause to assume there would be no shocks in this book. I KNOW diet culture is bullish*t, I KNOW it's routed in misogyny, I KNOW that fatphobia kills. What else could there be? 

By the end of chapter one I had used ever swear word I know, my mouth was stuck in a permanent O shape. My friends, I had begun to see the light. 

The themes of You Have The Right To Remain Fat move between Virgie's own experiences; from a "self-assured...theatrical little fat girl" to peeing in a swimming pool (My hero) and the politics she has is known for imparting during her mass attended lectures. Switching from heartache to complete and utter joy. In more place than one I found myself thinking "OH I thought that was just me!!". It's incredible how many internalised hatreds we can have for ourselves - Sometimes just recognising them can enhance your life tenfold. As I've said before; Being fat doesn't stop you being fatphobic, just as being a woman doesn't make you a feminist.

One of the most incredible things about this book is that it unites fat readers in the knowledge that we are not alone, many of our experiences are shared. Yet Virgie's writing remains just palatable enough for you to share with non-fats. There are so many statements that will stay with me for life, that I will be able to confidently use in discussions with my fat friends and fatphobics alike. 

I don't want to share too much because I WANT YOU TO READ THIS MANIFESTO and I WANT YOU TO GET ANGRY. It is a dazzling piece of writing and I am a different woman for reading it. Thank you Virgie Tovar, thank you.

Em x

I was gifted You Have The Right To Remain Fat to review - All thoughts are entirely my own because I read it with my eyes and processed it with my big juicy brain.

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19/08/2018

Five Minutes On Loss

Trigger Warning: Detailed talk of child loss/medical experiences.

I've been a bit of funk of late and could not for the life of it get to the bottom of what's going on. Then it hit me: My head has reached capacity. 

We go through so many things in our lives. Some bad and some marvellous. Some we talk about and some we don't. Ultimately, I guess we must reach a point where we're fully loaded - That's one of the original reasons I started this blog; A space to vent, to share and maybe even somewhere that other big odd women can relate or refer to. 

I absolutely do not want this to be a site that is SAD and SERIOUS because I am 100% neither, unless I am a. Hungover or b. Pretending I am an adult for a job/loan/other adult reasons. However, I have this space and I need to stay true to my original intentions. 
I PROMISE MY NEXT POST WILL BE KNICKERS.

So here is a big folder that has been archived in my brain, on a topic that I've mentioned time and time again, because grief really is an emotion that never truly leaves you, regardless of whether you feel it should or whether the thing you lost is no longer something you need. 
www.theemedit.co.uk
Five Minutes On Loss

I miscarried on good Friday four years ago. I remember because I had some strange catholic belief that if Jesus was risen from the dead then so could my baby. I was in a room that wasn’t my own, I was bleeding and it hurt and I told my husband then told my mum and everything went quiet because who knows what to say when this happens. 

Rang the hospital who told me to go to the emergency walk in. Waited awhile, knowing that really time didn’t matter because when you bleed like that a baby isn’t going to be a baby any more. There was a woman crying in the waiting room. I chatted to her, trying to take her mind off the pain she was clearly in. She had toothache and alone and I felt awful for her because nothing hurts more than toothache - She thanked me for talking to her and taking her mind off it, she was so grateful to not be alone and in pain. 

The doctor was dressed like a Bond villain in a black rollneck, covered in wiry white hairs and smelt like dogs. His room was too hot and I was sweating and everything smelt too much of unpleasantness. “One in three pregnancies ends this way” he said when I gave him my notes and told him about the pain and the blood. So it’s ended. I’m the one in three. No comfort at that point but it was oddly comforting to have something to say to everyone as part of the “I’m ok though” conversation. 

Onto the hospital where the blood test showed that I was still pregnant. The ultrasound next. Two incredibly kind women whose faces knew exactly what shapes to make. With my husband there, I thought again of the biblical rising of the dead and held his hand with part of my brain trying to convince me that this would be the first time that we would see our baby and that this would be one of the HAPPY memories. 

No living baby. 

Appointments made for the next day whilst I waited in the maternity ward with the expectant mothers, grinning comfortingly at them hoping that they wouldn’t realise I wasn’t one of them any more and subsequently turn their thoughts to the negative, the fear and pity. 

Back home, back to bed. Easter plans cancelled, parents called and gently told, friends full of love and sadness and not knowing what to say. The guilt that comes with all of that. Of letting people down. Remembering their excitement and predicting their grief that they would never show because their love for me transcends everything else. My husband’s set jaw, not knowing how to react because we didn’t know how to react when the baby was alive never mind now the baby is dead. Hugging and sniffling and the physical pain and the blood and the confusion. Blood tests the next day confirm it really is the end of this story. 

Down to a local cafe for breakfast and to get out of the room that isn’t my own, laughs as we talk about ordering a real drink for the first time in months. Discomfort and a pain that’s not physical as something passes in the toilet to be flushed away because oh my god what else do you do?!? Nobody has told me and nobody knows what to say but at least nature hasn’t played any more tricks on me and I can joke about it whilst everyone else looks a bit uncomfortable but it’s my decision today. 

Time moves on, back to work, having to tell people I didn’t want to know because of one day off work. Too much sympathy. Too much. Will have to think about Christmas leave because I’m not going to be on maternity any more! Every woman has experienced this in some way, they tell me and it HELPS. It really does. The one in three seems more now that people are talking to me. United in loss. 

Deeply grateful for the NHS. 
Deeply grateful that I was able to experience pregnancy when so many don’t. 
Deeply grateful that this baby was a choice. 
Deeply grateful for the completeness we get in being a family of just us two. 

Never really “moving on” - The words of an angel of a friend who has experienced this more times that could ever be fair, telling me to tell anyone who suggests that I SHOULD, to “go f*ck themselves”. There are the bits that we share and the bits that we keep to ourselves. When another well meaning colleague asks the inevitable questions, I know I can’t tell them about the doctor who smelt of dogs or the underwear that needed to be thrown away. It’s not NICE. 

But still life goes on and there are SO MANY joys and happinesses that we experience and maybe now is the time to tell the whole story to people who know me and people who don’t so here it is. Not presented for sympathy, not presented for shock. Presented for catharsis and a hope that if you want to talk or to share or just to go back to the grim and odd little details of your own sadnesses that you keep locked away but really should let yourself remember and feel, you can. 

Presented in the knowledge that this experience is not unique or rare, and no longer exists in MY mind alone. 

Because we are the one in three.

Em x
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24/06/2018

Five Minutes on Breaking Down

***Trigger Warning: Mental Health***

When I was 29 I had a breakdown.

 It started as butterflies in my stomach. 
A constant feeling of “something is wrong” without knowing what. 
Then I started to forget words, simple words like potato and microwave (vital words in my jacket potato life). 
I would go to work and “wake up” staring at my hands, not sure how long I’d been sitting that way and scared that people were noticing that I was quite clearly a massive weirdo.


 I’d get home and go to bed. No matter what time. I’d switch between staring at the wall, not feeling anything and sobbing into my pillow.
I’ve had a skill from a young age of being able to force myself to feel happy - Just by smiling at myself in a mirror, my brain could switch from sad to happy. 
But now I wasn’t feeling anything. Nothing at all. 

I spoke to my wonderful manager at work, she asked if I might be depressed. 
I knew I couldn’t possibly be. 
What did *I* have to be depressed about? 

The tears started to follow me to work. 
I stopped answering my phone. 
I completely blocked out my family and friends. 
My thoughts got darker, less rational and more intrusive. 

SO I went to the doctor.  
The doctor made me fill out a questionnaire, she told me: 
I’d feel better after Christmas; Christmas makes a lot of people feel sad.  
She threw the questionnaire in the bin.  
I told her, “I won’t be here at Christmas”. 

I didn’t want to die. I just didn’t want to live. 


The doctor prescribed me some pills (It’s all a matter of choice but I these little babies got me to the point where I could accept help)

I was very fortunate that through the support of my wonderful family, I was able to get the help of an incredible therapist who let me talk. 
Who let me NOT talk. 
Who helped me to stop mind reading. 
Who taught me to stop getting into the boxing ring with my own brain. 

The intrusive thoughts continued but they didn’t own me any more. 
Words started to come back. I started to talk to people.
I was feeling again. 


Four and a bit years on: I imagine pre-breakdown me as a care bear; 
all fluff and sparkles and heart. 
Breakdown me was a potato (I remember that word now). 
Post-breakdown me is a cat. 
I’m still soft and loving but there are less sparkles, more solitude (Good solitude) and I know how to recognise when things are going a bit Pete Tong. 
I have intense moments of appreciation for the people around me, delight in their acheivements. 
I know how to drop the things that hurt me but that I can’t control. 
I can be pragmatic but now, more often, I can be positive. 

I can’t tell anyone how to feel. Especially if, like I was, you’re not feeling anything at all. 
But I can tell you that this is not permanent. 
No matter how long it’s been, how often it is. 
All I can say is...

Every single day I wake up with a genuine gratitude that I’m still here. 
Em x 
This post was originally published on Instagram                   All images by the incredible Olivia Lenn 
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13/06/2018

Best Dressed Guest with Navabi

You all know I love Navabi, so when they got in touch and asked if I'd like to join in bringing the gang back together, I didn't have to think twice!!
Manon Baptiste Paisley Dress - Navabi 
The theme was "The Wedding Edit", SO with Chloe, Becky and the Navabi team, I spend a day flouncing around in the most beautiful occasion dresses (and jumpsuits!) on the market whilst the incredible Jade of JKG photography did her thang.

I see dressing for a special occasion as the opportunity to wear something completely different from my usual style which makes shopping for the perfect pieces a lot more exciting. It’s so important to wear something which actually fits and doesn’t require any tugging or pinning - I want to be able to enjoy the day without worrying that I’m going to be flashing the photographer... Mostly...
Lost Ink Tulle Dress - Navabi 
I tried on so many things that I would never think of trying - Me? In three different shades of pink? Get outta here. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever worn baby pink before but I can honestly say that I adore this tulle dress from Lost Ink. It’s utterly perfect for a christening or Summer wedding; The length is spot on for my height and I can imagine pairing it with my fave leather jacket and smoky eyes for a rocking evening do. 

       

I had a bloody brilliant day with Navabi, as always. This is a brand that just GETS IT you know? They stay true to their customer base whilst always looking at ways to bring quality fashion to us chub chicks. For beautiful, unique buy-to-last pieces I cannot fault them.  

All Outfits - Navabi
If you head to the Navabi site now, you can see some more of the looks from the day (and maybe some behind the scenes coming up soon...!) 
Em x


All photography by JKG Photography for Navabi
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01/06/2018

Here Comes The Sun with Evans

Hurray it's finally hot! I've obviously horrendously burnt myself in the garden and had to go to bed at 8pm due to a rogue WKD Blue (When will I learn...?)

www.theemedit.co.uk
Floral Dress* - Evans
Today was so hot that as soon as I left the house I was wet. Not sweaty (Or anything else body fluid-wise) wet with something meterological. Something air related. And I really wished I wasn't wearing jeans... I love the fit and flare cut of this Evans dress and how airy it subsequently is. Okay, I know I've been down on cold-shoulders in the past but I WAS wrong - Paired with heeled sandals it's an easy to wear option for a hot evening in the city or a casual day event. 

www.theemedit.co.uk
Silver Sandals - Evans
I'm wearing a 16 in the dress and 9 in the sandals here. Both are slightly on the larger side so size down if you're on the cusp.

www.theemedit.co.uk

I think we've all felt insecure about some point of our body at a time in our lives and Summer totally accentuates that. Just a reminder that when the weather is hot, it's so much safer and comfortable to dress appropriately - Your body is exactly the same whether its encased in a jumper or a vest, except one is hot and sweaty and bothersome and stops you from enjoying the glorious weather and the other lets you just LIVE without fear of keeling over from sunstroke. Give it a go, see what you think. 

www.theemedit.co.uk

Keep your eyes on my Instagram for some tips for avoiding the chub rub which inevitably accompanies lovely Summer frocks. Long gone are the days of flammable thighs!
Em x
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29/05/2018

Denim Delight - Arched Eyebrow x Navabi

Bethany Rutter is fabulous, there's no two ways about it. She's bright, fun, influential and WHOA can she design a capsule wardrobe!
www.theemedit.co.uk
Denim Effect Jumpsuit - Arched Eyebrow x Navabi
Animal Print Sandals - ASOS (Similar)
Earrings - Zara (Similar) 
Bethany's first Arched Eyebrow x Navabi collection knocked everyone's socks off; Beautiful bright wardrobe classics which have seen so many of us through the year and this range is just as strong. Bethany has always been at the forefront of the call for wearable basics for plus size babes and that's what this range is. Cute colourful tees, go-with-everything culottes and this fabulously wearable denim jumpsuit - On a page, the collection is simple, SO cohesive,  and frankly beautiful. 

www.theemedit.co.uk

When I look at any range, I like to assume that at least one piece was made with me in mind and this one is mine. Comfortable and easy to wear - Denim effect is perfect for Summer, you get the look without the bulk (and sweat!). The length is spot on, the neckline is easy yet chic. I would be just as happy wearing this jumpsuit with my converse and a leather belt as I am in heels and statement earrings. And you all know how much I love versatile. 

www.theemedit.co.uk

I'm perpetually between sizes and would have been equally as happy in a 16 as I am in this 18, the fabric is loose and stretchy but has a really great weight to it, meaning that it hangs from the shoulders to the waist then from the waist straight down - No clinging or camel toe! Bethany has ensured that the fit of this range is much more consistent than the previous, meaning that every piece is true to size (How much easier is life when that happens!?)

www.theemedit.co.uk

Huge congratulations to Bethany and Navabi for yet another crowd pleasing collection - Please keep them coming! 

My readers can get 10% off the whole Arched Eyebrow x Navabi range until Tuesday 5th June with the code TUMBLESBR10 
Em x
* Item gifted - All views are my own 
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24/05/2018

Brighter Days with Coast Curve

It's occasion time innit? Weddings, christenings, birthdays, divorces. All of these things call for a killer outfit because...well...why not?

www.theemedit.co.uk

Occasionwear over a size 16 use to be...shit. We all know the feeling, you've got the money but there's nowhere to spend it - Bland colours, floaty trousers, a scarf. It was so frustrating, especially when there were so many straight size brands on the scene flaunting full skirts, Bardot necklines, wiggle dresses, colours, patterns; FUN. 

www.theemedit.co.uk
Belle Maxi Dress* - Coast Curve
Wrap Sandals - Simply Be (Similar)
Earrings - Zara (Similar) 
Coast were always the brand that I looked at longingly so when they first collaborated with Simply Be on an occasionwear range I was all over it. Now they've taken it one step further and launched their own Curve Range online, a glorious mix of best dressed guest, wardrobe classics and Summer essentials and I LOVE it. Just look at the Belle dress I was so kindly sent. Stunning.

www.theemedit.co.uk

Coast Curve starts at a size 20, which I'm wearing here. As much as an 18 would have been more my size, the scuba material and bias cut of the skirt means that the dress hangs beautifully. I love the movement, the comfort and the simplicity of this dress and I sincerely hope they make it in more colourways (navy or green for me please!) But until then, this vibrant red makes me feel fun, bright and ready to party.

www.theemedit.co.uk

So let's throw on those bright colours and dance like we're never going to stop. Lets get sweaty, take up space and enjoy every minute of it BECAUSE WE DESERVE TO. You get one life don't let anyone else dictate what you do with it.
Em x
*Denotes gifted item.

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