Glamdalf featuring PlusEquals


I like clothes as much as the next person and a good old tropical print gets me pretty giddy but when I saw this coat I remember letting out an audible gasp and was sending a link to my partner as fast as my fat, sausage fingers would let me. It was coming up to Christmas and we were both compiling our lists to give each other and this was sitting at the top. I must have made my point pretty hard because, would you believe it, Father Christmas came through for me.

PlusEquals are a pretty new indie brand. I believe they started out upcycling vintage stuff but recently released a collection that got me pretty excited. They are what is missing for me as a fat, alternative babe. There’s serious colours, sequins, bold prints, clashing, and just out-there stuff. Also their social media is so right on and I love their dedication to diversity and their politics seem to align with mine, which is refreshing. Plus their sizing goes up to a 32. Not to mention there is a made to measure option to if your size isn’t readily available.

In alternative clothing this is absolutely unheard of! I’m so excited this brand exists!

AHHHHHH LOOK AT IT.

The photos (as amazing as they are, thank you Lauren you BABE) really don’t do it justice. It’s kinda hard to do this many sequins justice. It’s got more green in it than the photos suggest.

I wore this to LondonEdge with a simple black t-shirt dress, leggings, and my Asos black creepers. I wanted something comfortable to wear as it tends to be a long day, but also something I could wear for the after party.

I finished it off with my new, amazing cactus earrings from No Basic Bombshell. I have three pairs of their earrings now. I love them, They social media is so rad and they seem like right on folks. I’m super glad I found this brand too.

I feel like I could have tripled PlusEquals revenue because people were asking me none stop about this coat. People were stopping me and asking to try it on or just stroke the sequins. I felt like a bit of a celebrity, not gonna lie.

Considering how heavy the coat is I felt comfortable all day and was surprisingly easy to wear, considering I wouldn’t look out of place at Liberace pool party. I will say though the sleeves aren’t lined and so they can be a little scratchy at times. It’s not something that makes it completely unwearable but it’s just something to be aware of, particularly if you’re a person who is sensitive to material.

But all is forgiven for me because I get to be a disco wizard.

Outfit details:

Coat: PlusEquals

Dress: Peacocks

Leggings: Evans

Creepers: Asos

Photography by Lauren French www.latomique.com

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That’s A Wrap! Featuring So Fabulous Faux Fur Coat

Back in September I attended the Curve Fashion Fest in Manchester. So Fabulous were holding a competition to win an outfit just by choosing something from the rails and having your photo snapped in it. Sadly I didn’t win it but I was excited to find this Faux Fur Shawl Collar Wrap Coat (phew!). They didn’t have my size at the time but it still looked pretty cute.

ruby thunder, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat fashion, plus size blogger, rubythunder.com, so fabulous clothing

I wasn’t able to get my paws on it until just recently, but luckily we got a second wind of cold winter weather so I didn’t lose my chance to wear it. I have been pining for a fur trimmed pea coat style for so long, but most brands like Collectif and so forth don’t even acknowledge anything close to my size. 

ruby thunder, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat fashion, plus size blogger, rubythunder.com, so fabulous clothing

ruby thunder, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat fashion, plus size blogger, rubythunder.com, so fabulous clothing

The coat itself is a lovely soft wool and fully lined. It’s actually a little more flurry looking than the photos suggest. I don’t personally like the belt that comes with it. I feel a bit like a link of sausages in it so I choose not to wear it with it. The faux fur collar is super soft and I feel like a real luxury bitch in it. 

ruby thunder, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat fashion, plus size blogger, rubythunder.com, so fabulous clothing
I did have to size up. Mostly because, while it fit great on top, the bottom buttons were straining and I didn’t think they’d last too long. Plus I wanted a coat to actually cover me if I was forking out for a new one! It meant I did have to compromise on a nicer fit on top but at least it’s not snug. 

My only disappointment with it is that while the fur collar is detachable (hooray, you can create different looks!) some of the buttons that held it on have come off already and I’ve only had it a few weeks. Disappointing for the money you are paying. But it IS a fixable issue, if you’ve got the teeny tiny needles to sew them back on.

Thankfully I didn’t pay full price for it as it has been reduced but it’s a lovely warm coat, and it looks fab. I’m really pleased with it! 
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New Year, Same Old Diet spiel: Is it time we ditched the tired tropes? Trigger warnings for diet talk.

“Every weight loss program, no matter how positively it’s packaged, whispers to you that you’re not right. You’re not good enough. You’re unacceptable and you need to be fixed.”
― Kim Brittingham, Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large

Fat acceptance and body positivity for some is a hard journey. For some it comes suddenly, for some it can be a life time of work. Discovering the body positive movement saved me. It saved me from the years of self-loathing, the decimation of my self-esteem, and helped me re-discover myself. But it also made me appreciate how complex body issues can be, especially as a fat person whose body is highly politicized and reviled by society.
Social media has provided a means for those in marginalised bodies to share and connect where mainstream media has deeply lacked. Navigating this can be a minefield, however.
Recently on my Instagram I found myself coming across many accounts using body positive tags, and importantly tags created by fat people, on weight loss posts and I’ll be honest, it got my heckles up.

It’s a hotly debated issue whether you can actively lose weight and claim to be body positive. I feel that the two are not mutually exclusive per se; you can advocate for people to be respected and loved regardless of size. But I draw the line at using fat positive tags for weight loss posts. I also resent how, when using said tags, there is then the use of health as justification for this.

Dieting, in of itself, is fatphobic. Despite scientificevidence that suggests long term weight loss is impossible for the majority it is still a practice that is actively encouraged. Why is this?
Many people explain that they are losing weight to be “healthier”. This is a fatphobic statement, suggesting that fatness equates to poor health. It is assumptive and wrong. Thinness does not equal health. You don’t need to lose weight to be “healthier”, nor do you need to lose weight to work on your fitness. There are plenty of fat people in the world who involved exercise and fitness regimes into their lifestyles. There is a difference between making healthy goals; i,e walking more, drinking more water, taking more supplements to “I want to be healthy so I will lose weight.”
Health is different for every individual and there are many factors to consider, such as mental health and chronic illness. Using the size of your body as a framework for something as complex and individual as health is ill-considered.
Personally, if people want to lose weight, that is entirely their choice. But when you are actively participating in fat positive/body positive spaces I think you need to examine your reasons why you choose to participate in diet culture, a culture that actively oppresses fat people; a culture that is used to humiliate and degrade fat people and to eradicate fatness. Consider that assumptions about health in relation to fatness don’t come from nowhere and that we can all be influenced by a fatphobic society.

There’s an increasing attitude within the BOPO/fat-posi movement that when people make criticisms of diet talk within these spaces they are somehow being “negative” or insensitive to other people’s personal journeys or lifestyle choices. Critiquing the content within our own movements is not negative, it’s necessary. We do not move and grow if we can’t examine our own contributions and the ideals we uphold. Weight loss may be a choice but it is unfair to ask these spaces to reassure people that they can stay comfortable in their “choice” to uphold fatphobic ideals.

 

It’s unfair to use fat positive media circles to promote yourself, while systematically upholding the idea that thinness is the standard for beauty and health.
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Heritage Collection from Yours Clothing

It’s been donkeys since I walked into a store and came out with something. I’d popped over to my nearest Yours Clothing store to pick an online order up and was having a nosy around at some of the new autumn stock when I spotted this gorgeous longline tunic from their Heritage Collection.
 
ruby thunder, plus size, plus size blogger
 
 
Straight up the last thing I thought I’d find myself leaving with. I don’t tend to vibe with florals but I loved the colours. It’s got a great mix of autumnal colours with splashes of red, forest green, and orange. It’s got a really great 70’s vibe to it. 
 
ruby thunder, plus size, plus size blogger

 

As I’m a bit of a short arse I’m rocking this as a cute little baby doll. 
It’s super roomy too. I’m generally a 26 but, typically, that was literally the only size they didn’t have. So I sized down and I’m kinda glad I did. 
 
 
 
Also Dr Martens because I’m a 90’s babydoll, ok?
 
 
Anything you have your eye on in Yours?
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The Curve Fashion Festival 2015 (part 2)

In this post I wanted to focus a little more on the festival itself. It’s more than obvious I had a great time. But what was actually going on?

The event was held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex. As the space is designed to hold events like this there was a noticable different to previous events I had attended, mostly the space. There were wider areas to walk around. However a lot of the stalls were bunched together and it felt a bit like a Christmas market. If you stopped to talk to someone there was soon a bit of a jam with people struggling to get past.

There was a great mix of brands; high end and high street to independent companies. Not just clothing either! There was jewellery, a photography studio, artists, and my favourite: a spa treatment tent offering massages, manicures, and pedicures from as little as £5! After a long day on my feet my foot massage was a life saver!

Andrew Wood Photography had a little pop up studio for you to strike a pose!

With it being such a long day seating and refreshements are pretty important and these were provided with a pop up shop offering sandwiches and hot pasties, as well as fresh fruit, and hot and cold drinks. The seating was ok, but given that this was an event catering to bigger people I think it might have been appreciated to provide better seating than flimsy metal chairs with arms. Not so easily accessible for everyone. But it was certainly appreciated to have a space to take a breather and catch up with friends.
 
Also importantly was everything was on one level, including the toilets, and they were situtated just outside the conference room which was better for disability access and not wandering around a labyrinth and missing out on all the fun! 
 
The catwalk felt quite inaccessable for many that had paid. It was situated quite far back and unless you were lucky to get the side seats you were standing up at the back just to get a look. This was disappointing as attendees were charged to view the catwalks and I felt the layout should have been fairer. 
 
Speaking of the catwalk, this part of the event was the only real disappointment for me. Considering this was an event to celebrate plus size and curvy people the models used by every single brand were thin (and predominantly white too.) Very disappointing that brands who are happy to take our money refuse to use our bodies to represent them. 
 
 

No shade to the models who were all beautiful and just doing their jobs, but I felt it was inappropriate and a bit of slap in the face to have a whole day dedicated to the plus size, only to be let down this way.
Needless to say I didn’t attend the second catwalk.

Thankfully this was the only real let down. The day was a roaring success and a great time had by all. I hope it continues to be a bigger, better event for years to come.

Did you go? What did you enjoy most?

 

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Cutting the Mustard

I’ve finally got round to plonking myself in front of a camera as I barely had a spare minute while I was away up north and coming home to the rain, and what a doozie of an outfit. I think it’s fair to say that this is a new one for me. I’d seen a few bloggers working the yellow and blue combo and I loved it. They are both colours I have never really worn before, certainly not together. But I’m really loving it. It’s so cute.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

I bought this dress from Modcloth an age ago as a payday treat. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The material is heavier than I had anticipated. I wasn’t sure about the sleeves on my arms but the more I’ve worn it the more I’ve come to like them. It’s super comfy and hella cute. This is something you could easily pair with other colours though I feel it needs very little accessorising.

Ruby Thunder Ruby Thunder
I love the simple detailing on this dress


What I am rather proud about with this outfit is the cardigan. I picked this up from Asda for £8 but I wasn’t keen on the colour and I had plans to dye it. 

Donning some marigolds I mixed up some Dylon Sunshine Yellow and added some Dylon Dark Brown and mixed until I got the desired colour. What I got was this gorgeous mustard yellow. I was super pleased because it has been a nightmare finding a mustard yellow cardigan in my size. So I went D.I.Y! 

It’s worth mentioning that the yellow dye was actually a machine dye I purchased in error but washed by hand and it was fine. You wash it in the machine anyway at the end!

Ruby Thunder
Ruby Thunder, plus size
I finished the look off with some navy polkadots. The sunnies are Primark from a couple of years ago but these cute ballet pumps I just picked up from Asda for a measly £6! Bargain!

Ruby Thunder, plus size
I think my outfit comes Vinnie approved!

I really loved trying out the dyes and I’ve turned my hand to a couple of other cardigans and some t-shirts for work too. With summer coming I can see myself being bitten by the home colour bug.
It’s a perfect way to revamp your wardrobe at little cost!

Do you love a bit of D.I.Y too? 
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Title schmitle.

Outing yourself as a feminist on social media often erupts a tsunami or eye-rolling from Facebook friends who hit the unfollow button faster than a speeding bullet. Coming into your own, politically speaking, can be a real eye-opening experience.
Facebook is a beast of its own and is quite unique in that, for some, there is a real sense of obligation to have people you can barely stand on your friends list, lest you look like some sort of mean bitch; the loathsome, boring co-worker, the cringe worthy family member, the old schoolmate who you barely spoke to back then and for some bizarre reason wants to add you some 10 years later. Luckily Facebook has a wonderful tool whereby you can hide these people from your feed and for some time you forget they actually exist until one fateful day they pop up on a status touting their less than desirable opinion on a controversial topic you have decided to share.

I’ve reached a point now, after a few online skirmishes and the words “man-hating feminazi” being thrown at me from former acquaintances that I’ve made a decision to cultivate my online spaces to incorporate only people I can actually be bothered to speak to. It’s not so much a question of people agreeing with me, far from it. I am always open to changing my opinion and I appreciate anyone who can present their argument in a thought-out way that gives me a new perspective. But I am loathed to deal with people who argue just for the sake of arguing.
So it’s always particularly jarring when I engage with friends on Facebook and their friends turn on you. It’s difficult because you want to tell them to go jump but you have to be respectful to your friend who, for some reason, keeps these people around.

I suppose the reason for this post is more for a show of solidarity to those who, for their own reasons, aren’t as ruthless as me when navigating their social media spaces. (I have dramatically culled family members when they have been less than thoughtful, no one is safe.) It’s difficult to be taken seriously when you are politically minded, and a strong minded woman at that. It’s difficult to express yourself politically without someone trying to undermine YOU, not your argument, because half the time they don’t actually get what you’re saying just that you have the audacity to say it. It’s difficult to not apologise for speaking out because we tend to start out sentences with “sorry but..”

The best thing I ever did was decided that I wasn’t going to let anybody undermine me. I wasn’t going to let anyone mock me. Bully me. Silence me.
I want you to challenge me. Support me. Inspire me. Enlighten me.

But you will never bring me down.
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