Forest Gothic with Simply Be.

Plus size alternative wear is a unicorn. We know it exists, we just have to close our eyes and wish really hard.

A large part of my wardrobe over the years has been finding pieces from mainstream stores and styling them to fit my personal aesthetic because just buying them from dedicated alternative stores isn’t an option.

No matter what my style has been over the years I’ve always had a soft spot for decadent goth; y’ know, the huge sleeves, flowing skirts, the drama. I wore this medieval gown for my 6th form ball for gods sake. How extra.

This is a bit late to the table; the tunic was actually gift from my partner for Christmas and to be honest it probably would have been sensible to wear it then. The material is heavy but comfortable with a gorgeous lace cut out detail. I love the high neckline; something as a busty fat person I’ve avoided for years because apparently a fashion “rule” is that I can’t wear them for fear of looking..fatter? Ha. Who the fuck knows anymore.

I put this with an old New Look Inspire maxi skirt and lots of big rings and a necklace as a head piece. I will say this, it’s inspired me to look into circlets as something to introduce into my outfits.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Simply Be time and time again. I’ve found pieces on there that I’ve been searching for and not found anywhere else.

On the website the model wears this with and without trousers. I don’t know if I would wear this without something on my bottom half because it sits much higher on me because of my big belly. But I would love to style it with a mini skirt to give it a bit of a 70’s vibe, which I adore.  But with the maxi skirt it has a gorgeous Gothic feel. When I saw this top I pictured myself wearing this, strolling through a gloomy wood and the incredibly talented Grace made that a reality for me.

You can find the tunic over at Simply Be here.

Photography by the ever incredible Grace Johnston.

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Lumber(ing)jack: Yours Clothing Checked Tunic Dress

yours clothing flannel shirt dress, alternative blogger, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

It’s pretty magical (and lucky) to have a talented photographer as a friend. The weather has been pretty grim here; warm and damp reminiscent of spring, like it’s clinging on to the last vestiges of summer. But as our days off collided the weather brightened, and while still warm, had a more welcoming chill of winter than in recent days.

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She very graciously agreed to take some photos for me and so with the good fortune of lovely weather and a dog who needed a good walk we took to Grafton Woods for our amble.

I don’t know why I don’t come here more often. I miss my home and all the easy access to amazing scenery it brings and sometimes this affords me an opportunity to ‘get away’.

 

yours clothing flannel shirt dress, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

 

I had recently purchased this tunic dress from Yours Clothing and I felt like it would be a crime not to traipse around the woods and not wear plaid. Not to be a cliche, but growing up in the 90’s I always coveted flannel but being fat and not having ready access to the internet I wasn’t able to own any. Now I get to live my grungy 90’s grrrl dream in my 30’s. Better late than never.

yours clothing flannel shirt dress, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

 

I sized up with this because I wanted the oversized, baggy look. I was drawn to it because of the unusual colour combination. I’ve never worn rust before but it seemed to be a perfect match with my new hair colour.

yours clothing shirt dress, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

The material is so soft, it’s gorgeous. Very comfortable to wear and not too heavy without being flimsy. It has rolled up sleeves secured with a silver popper, the same detailing down the front. This is great because you can wear it as a dress or open as a shirt with a basic t-shirt (or any kind of top you want!) underneath.

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As much as I love this I did have a little disappointment with it. I washed it before wearing it and in doing so it caused one of the poppers on the arm to come away, which I will have to sew back on. Disappointing as this isn’t a cheap item.

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I wore my lovely NYX Lip Cream in Copenhagen. I’m a real fan of them and I’m hoping to start building a collection.

plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

 

I’m wearing:

Tunic dress: Yours Clothing sizes 16-36(I can’t find this colour combination on the website. I bought mine instore so you might have more luck there.)

Boots: Dr Martens

Leggings: Evans sizes 14-32

Lippy: NYX in Copenhagen

 

Photography courtesy of ever wonderful Grace Johnston 

http://www.gracejohnston.co.uk/

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Goodbye Summer with Simply Be

Like the diligent and motivated blogger I am I found these photos that I took at the end of summer and just kinda forgot to get round to putting them out. You can tell by the scorched earth and clouds that summer was coming to a close but it was still warm enough to go out without a coat. This outfit is really simple but I love it. It was so cool and comfortable. All that’s missing is a big, witchy hat.

 

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I’d been after a bardot style top like this for ages and after much hunting a found one in Simply Be. I’ve never been a customer of them before so I always forget to check them out.

The material is a gorgeous, cool jersey and has stretch for days! I put this with my old maxi skirt from New Look. I’m not great at accessorising in the summer because I just feel irritated. I popped on my new sunnies I got from vintage store, Wild Clothing, in Nottingham. Such an easy outfit to wear what it’s just too dang warm.

 

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For someone who spent the majority of her girlhood in black I seem to have a surprising lack of it in my wardrobe now. I think the coming autumn is the time to rectify this.

 

Ruby xoxo

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LondonEdge A/W 2016

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Image credit:LondonEdge
Zombies? Check. Sequins? Check? Gravity defying platforms? Check!
Sunday 4th of September saw the start of the 34th LondonEdge show back at the British Design Centre in Islington. For me, a much better venue than the previous Olympia. The event is huge, and the spacious centre with lots of light coming through, it made the experience much better. Though it was on two levels so would require use of lifts for wheelchairs. Not to mention an onsite cafe with comfortable seating and reasonable pricing was another bonus over the uncomfortable steel chairs and extortionate food at the previous event. A much welcome respite from the busy day!
My day started with a surprise appearance from Tanya boarding my carriage who it turned out was also attending.

She was meeting Becky at Kings Cross. I joined Tanya for breakfast at The Parcel Yard while waiting for Becky to arrive. We took seats outside and waited for our meals. I started feeling like a bit of a celeb as we had a few people stop to talk to us and compliment our outfits, and even had a woman approach us claiming to be an artist and could she take our photo! Our Eggs Benedicts arrived and there was this excellent moment as we both munched down at the same time letting out a little moan, turning to look at each other. God damn, those were some delicious eggs!
It didn’t take long to get to Angel, another bonus for me. The venue location meant much easier access from St Pancras. As I said the events pretty huge and covering every stall would be nigh on impossible-ok not impossible but that’s gonna get a bit boring and time consuming, so here’s some highlights for me.
Upon arriving our first stop was Woody Ellen. She’s an artist who makes her pieces into gorgeous handbag sets. A wonderfully warm woman, who looked stunning in a beautiful sky blue outfit. She also gifted us with a purse of our choice and I got to pick from my favourite collection ‘ Blossom’
One exhibitor I’d been dying to see was Isolated Heroes. LondonEdge shared a dress of theirs prior to the event that had me gasping. The folks on the stall were gorgeous and super friendly. They’re an amazinf indie brand who’s sizing comes up to a 24 but I was told that they were happy to take custom orders! My favourite piece by a country mile was this sequin jacket.

 

 

LOOK AT THAT MERMAID SHIT. Ahem. Yes. Sorry. It’s just so perfect.
Expanding my online shopping list as I went along I came across the most adorable stall from Punky Pins who carry amazingly cute and super detailed pins and patches.

 

 

I am absolutely going to be placing an order with these guys for my battle jacket when I get a minute to myself.
Another stall I loved was Dolly and Dotty. I love their classic retro looks, at a competitive price, but another great thing is that many of their items come in different colour combinations. I’m the worst blogger because I was so busy chatting to the amazingly lovely staff I forgot to take any photos. *Jean Ralfio voice* the woooooorst.
However one of my favourite pieces of theirs was easily this gorgeous cape in red.
It’s just so cute and oh so soft I couldn’t stop touching it. It comes in different colours too so you can make it work with loads of different outfits. They also had some cute jersey tops which, again, super soft and also nice and stretchy. This cape is absolutely on my to-buy list! Also how amazing does their model, Isabella Bliss, look??

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Image credit: Dolly and Dotty
Iron Fist were knocking it out of the ball park with their amazing mermaid shoes too.

 

 

Look at them!! So shiny!! Heaven.
One exhibitor that really surprised me this time was Demonia. I’ve always had a soft spot for them in my early, shoe gazing gothy years and I own a couple of pairs of their big ole clompers but it’s interesting to see how the brand has developed over the years. One of my faves for sure.

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I little hidden jem was an indie company called Koolies Kreations. We had stopped by but the stall holder was out to lunch. We’d headed over to the cafe and she actually came and found us! She bounded over with her big curls, big smile, and big sparkly boots. She was super passionate and really great to talk to.
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It wouldn’t be a trip to London Edge without stopping by the Pin Up Academy stall. They offer complimentary hair styling and even had a little studio set up if you wanted to pay for a photoshoot. The ladies all have a filthy sense of humour and there was much cackling, particularly with Sinderella’s little merkin.

 

 

 

We also managed to bump into fellow blogger Diana

 

After we schelpped around all the stalls we headed out for a quick bite to eat at Ed’s Easy Diner. I must admit, as burgers go it was pretty awesome. I waved the ladies off as I hurried to check into my air bnb. I had enough time to freshen up and change before heading over to the Islington Metal Works for the after party!

 

The room looked amazing with the ambient lighting and the old tube train bar.

 

 

I got chatting to the ladies from the Pin Up Academy, who were still doing hair styling! After an hour or so October downed her brush and slipped into the most incredible sparkly dress. I got chatting to Sam, who took me under her wing for the night.

 

With the gorgeous Kita!

Image credit: LondonEdge
We headed over to watch the entertainment; an awesome swing band Dick Dynamite and Doppelgangers followed by some incredible dancing from a swing troupe who’s name escapes me and I can’t find anything so if you know please let me know and I can credit them here!
Then you had the opportunity to do some swing dancing yourself! I didn’t brave it myself. I think I would have melted into a puddle in the London heat but kudos to those of you who did, you did amazing!

We were then treated to an incredible strip tease from Banbury Cross. Partway into her routine she slunk over to the crowd to tease us and of course came over to me causing me to blush very hard! Quite impossible to take pictures when there’s steam rising from your face. Utterly gorgeous and dangerously seductive. Amazing!

Photo credit: NeverNotOut
Soon it was time to crawl into my bed ready for another day at ‘Edge. This one would be shorter but I really wanted to catch the seminar from the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. For those of you not familiar it was a charity set up in the name of a young girl who, alongside her boyfriend, were brutally assaulted simply for dressing alternatively. Sadly Sophie died from her injuries. Sylivia Lancaster, Sophie’s mother, has worked tirelessly to end this kind of discrimination, earning herself an OBE, and garnering support from celebrities and people all over the world.
The seminar was, at times, haunting. Recounting the event, describing in detail the injuries sustained, and the the painful journey to justice for the family. But hearing how the charity began, and the incredible support it received was uplifting. They now work in schools, prisons, youth centres, and anywhere that education is needed with their resource packs and training. They have also worked to have Sophie’s murder treated as a hate crime, and through this 11 police authorities now recognise subculture attacks as a hate crime.
Follow the link for more information on this amazing charity and ways you can support them.
As my time in London was drawing to an end I stopped by the Pin Up Academy stall one last time and treated myself to a photo session with the lovely Simon, being coached by the gorgeous Sam, who makes it all look so dang easy!
Thank you London Edge for another amazing season!

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Classic looks with Simply Be

As much as I love colour and patterns I’m also a really big fan of simplicity. Having bright hair and tattoos can sometimes be all the accessorising I need for an outfit.
I love this capsule skater dress from Simply Be because it’s such a classic LBD  and it’s so easy to dress up or down. I’m also a big fan of the skater dress as a larger fat because it’s an easy look to create.

Simply Be, skater dress, plus size, plus size blogger, alternative blogger

Having long sleeves this is probably going to be best worn in the coming cooler months but the material is really light and comfortable so I don’t feel too weighed down. A heads up: the dress came up really short on me, I’m about 5″4 but I’m all belly, so I’d say maybe some leggings or just bare you chub rub shorts if you’re feeling saucy.
As I said you can dress this up or down. Here I teamed it with this amazing jacket, also from Simply Be, for a casual rockabilly look.

Simply Be, skater dress, plus size blogger, alternative blogger

Simply Be, skater dress, plus size blogger, alternative blogger

Simply Be, skater dress, plus size blogger, alternative blogger

I completed the look with some adorable polka dot pumps from Asda but you could just as easily wear some Converse, or some Dr Martens. Or something with a bit of a heel and some fancy accessories for a more ‘evening’ look. It’s super versatile.

How would you style it?

Outfit deets: Dress and bomber: Simply Be
Pumps: Asda
Headscarf: Dotty and Dolly
Necklace: Suger and Vice
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