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.

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

 

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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Yours Clothing Skater Pinafore Dress Review.

I’ve been trying to incorporate more black back into my wardrobe, a sentiment my 15-year old self would have found baffling that black were lacking in any way. More casual staples that I can pair up with other things. I need to make my wardrobe reflect the laziness that is my daily life.

 

Yours Clothing, plus size blogger, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat blogger

 

 

Yours Clothing has been putting out some great pieces and my wishlist keeps growing.
I’ve always fancied a pinafore but there’s never really been much going in my size, that wasn’t blue denim at least, until now. I was trying to choose between two dresses at the time and when I sent the links to my partner, this was their choice. Although to be honest I’l probably get the other one as well, ha!

 

Yours Clothing, plus size blogger, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat blogger

 

I like it, but it’s taking some getting used to. It’s hard to explain. I’m struggling to find anything to wear underneath it that I think goes really well. I do kinda feel a bit like an artisan baker in it sometimes. I dunno. It’s a work in progress. I think this is going to be better suited as a winter wardrobe piece, for me personally at least.

 

Yours Clothing, plus size blogger, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat blogger

 

The material was heavier than I expected, but still soft and comfortable. I wore this to see Grimes and despite it being pretty packed and sweaty, as you’d imagine any Grimes gig to be, I was still really comfortable in it. It’s a little bit long for personal taste, but I can always hem it, so it’s great for taller folks who often have a lot of trouble finding stuff that isn’t cupping their bumcheeks.
One thing I was a little disappointed with was that after the first wear at the gig I noticed the material had already started bobbling underneath the armpits, which was disappointing for a dress at £26.

 

Yours Clothing, plus size blogger, plus size alternative blogger, fatshion, fat blogger

 

Overall I’m pretty pleased with it. It’s comfy, it’s cute, and you can work it with lots of things.  ALSO POCKETS YASS.

 

Shoes: Peacocks (old)
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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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Model diversity at ScarlettandJo.com

This week Scarlett and Jo launched their very own website. In days past they were only sold through Evans, and recently Yours Clothing. Now they have their own website.

While I haven’t purchased anything from Scarlett and Jo before this new launch has me pretty excited. Lots of delicious velvet and adorable polka dots, as well as some other more classic looks. But what really drew me to them was their choices of models.

Not too long ago Georgina Grogan was made the face of Scarlett and Jo. They appeared to have an interest in bloggers, and customers, taking on board their comments and criticisms. But most inportantly the desperate need for a diverse range of body sizes and ethnicities to promote their range.

 While still quite high femme, which to be fair is the bulk of their range, this is a really great step for plus size fashion retailing. It’s recognising that their demographic are not just one type of person and that a piece can look very different on someone who is taller, larger, who has a darker skin tone etc.
What I particularly liked was when clicking on a piece it was sometimes modelled by a couple of different types of bodies.

I’m excited to see what Scarlett and Jo are bringing in the future. I certainly hope it’s more velvet!

Before I sign off I’d also like to give a big shoutout to the bloggers who modelled. You all look amazing and I’m sure you guys had a blast!

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High Five!

Recently Everything5Pounds had an offer of free shipping with a £25 spend. In the mood to shop, I filled up my basket. I bought 5 items, though sadly one of them was no good. Not due to sizing but rather because it looked nothing like it did in the photo and the colours were not to my taste. So 4/5 aint bad!
 
Three of my five purchases are all in this outfit post!
 
ruby thunder, plus size
 
 
Firstly the crotchet collar dress in a lovely chocolate colour. The material is substantial without being too heavy, so it’s ideal for a transitional outfit that you can layer up with a cardigan and thick tights or leggings as it gets cooler. It’s loose without being flimsy.
 
 
 
 
 
As you can see the sizing is generous on account of the material being stretchy. I’m wearing a 26, which is perfect for me, but you could certainly size up or down depending on the kind of fit you wanted. 
 
You may have noticed the boots I’m wearing. A bootleg (Ha, geddit?! I’m so sorry.) version of Dr Martens  but with a slight platform bottom. When I got them out of the box I thought there was no way in buggery they’d fit my calves with also having a side zip. I am happy to report I was wrong. For only a fiver even if they fall off my feet within 6 months it won’t have been a huge loss. 
But boots that fit me, for a fiver? I’ll take that!
 
 
Completing my look is this adorable satchel. It’s a little snug inside so not very useful for much beyond your phone, purses, and diaries, but again for such a cheap price you can’t go wrong.
 
 
 
Have you had a bargain haul lately? 
 

 

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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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She’s A Beach: A Farewell To Summer.

That’s it folks. All 5 days of it. /sarcasm.
Summer is over and with it the cooler nights drawing in quicker and leaves starting to tumble around us. Looking out of my window as I write this I see a grey sky and so I wanted to give a wistful farewell to summer. I felt this was also appropriate given a lot of negativity surrounding the plus size community with Nicole Arbour and recent let downs from Lane Bryant and Evans.
This isn’t a particularly ground breaking outfit but it was to me. This summer was the first time in my life that I wore a short skirt and my bare legs out.

Ruby Thunder, plus size
Fat girl with legs out; world falls into anarchy and chaos. Or not.
As someone who’s pretty dang fat, and has been for most of her life, I can’t tell you the fear that comes with baring your flesh. My tattoos have given me the confidence to bare my wobbly arms, and mostly because I loathe being too hot. But legs? My legs have always been a point of weakness for me.

Ruby Thunder, plus size
Strolling along that beach I almost felt angry at myself because the wind and the sun on my legs felt so amazing and I had denied myself it for so many years. But I had to remember that I’d also spent the majority of my twenty nine years being told that my body should be hidden, that it was disgusting to see, so how I felt had never really come into it. Turning your back on many years of learned, toxic self hatred takes time, so I let the disappointment pass and actually enjoyed how my body felt felt for once in my life.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

Sometimes you have to take a risk.
I’m glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. To know I can do this, that it’s another step towards loving myself and not punishing myself for looking the way I do, as though I should be ashamed.
Plus that sun feels damn good.
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Sweet Treat.

I’ve recently had a bit of a hiatus from social media. For one reason or another I’ve felt a lack of motivation in my daily life and I didn’t have much I wanted to say or share. I’ve felt a little distanced from blogging and I wanted a bit of time away to hide from everything.
But I’m slowly coming out of it. I’ve been pottering around the house and garden, mostly. Things are starting to bloom and my efforts are bearing fruit, literally!

With any down time sometimes you need a little treat to pick you up, and what better than a sweet treat at that? This amazing Cupcake Dress in Hepburn by Lady V London certainly does the trick! While the black version appears to be out of stock there is a limited number left in the cream here.
This was my first Lady V London dress and it isn’t the last.
As with any vintage repro brand I hold my breath as I get ready to put it on. Sizing is always misleading (I’m looking at YOU, Lindy Bop!) and it generally peters out at a size 22, no matter they label it as. Imagine my shock (and sheer delight) as the size 26/28 slid comfortably over my size 26 body and..wait..fit?!

Ruby Thunder, plus size

 

As well as generous sizing I found the material to be excellent quality. It’s just a really comfy dress to wear and as someone who doesn’t get much of an opportunity to be in anything other than work clobber it’s nice to have something easy to wear that looks really cute too.
Oh, and the dress comes with a belt that fits as well!

 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

To complete the look I added a super bright, pink cardigan from Asda. I love Asda cardigans. They wash well and are lovely and soft. But importantly they are cheap. They average around £8-£10 and go up to a 24 but the sizing is generous and they tend to be stretchy too so always worth trying on!  I have at least 10 and counting!

Ruby Thunder, plus size

To finish the look I added another Asda treat. These gorgeous peep toe ballet pumps. At £6 you’re laughing. I stocked up and bought three pairs. They seem to have vanished off the website but keep your eyes peeled in your local stores. They are super cute, comfy, and an easy finish to any outfit. My handbag is a darling 50’s style square handbag I snagged on ebay for £3! It has those big, chunky metal clasps that make a really satisfying snap when they close.

This was a really easy outfit to wear around town, and perfect for a summers day.

Vinnie decided to join me and share in my new found motivation!

Ruby Thunder, plus size Ruby Thunder, plus size
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A Plus kinda week.

I’m currently up north in the Lake District visiting family. The weather has been wonderful, the scenery has been breathtaking, and seeing my family after five months has been really amazing. I haven’t had much chance to be online aside from checking in on my phone. What a week to dip out of social media! .
This week we’ve seen Plus Size Wars hitting the tv, and like anything that puts plus size people in a remotely positive light, there is the usual furore. Then we had Jamelia, former popstar and now gob-for-hire on Looose Women (blergh), made some heinous comments about people in “extreme” sizes, noting “they” should feel comfortable when trying to buy clothes and in fact sizing that is less than a 6 and greater than a 20 shouldn’t be available in stores.
The plus size community fired back with Debz from A Wannabee Princess creating a hashtag #WeAreTheThey. You can find the original posts from her here.

The basic premise was that people like Jamelia want to talk about “they” without considering that “they” are real people. So this hashtag put faces to the anonymous people that were being spoken about with little to no thought or consideration.

The hashtag took off, and even made it into mainstream media. The plus size commnity really came together and made their voices heard. It was amazing to watch it snowball over a few hours. I felt helpless, hiding out in the middle of nowhere with barely any signal. I have been slowlyl catching up now I’m in a more signal friendly part of the lakes. Everyone’s pieces have been wonderful to read; sharing their heartache growing up fat, sharing their insecuritites and their own journeys to self acceptance.

What people like Jamelia seem to conveniently forget, when they preach about loving yourself but so long as you are “healthy”, is that health is NOT an obligation and it is certainly not a measure of worth. But most importantly is that when she, and people like her, talk about how people in these sizes shouldn’t have these things seems to think that we actually HAVE these things.
If people really knew how fat people were treated on a daily basis; how fat people are given inadequate medical care, less likely to get jobs, are physically abused, humilated, and used as a societal scapegoat for just about everything wrong, she would think twice before suggesting that simply by trying to live in peace was “gloryfying obesity”.

I don’t care if you think being fat is going to make my joints all fall off. I don’t care if you think that being fat will clog my arteries and stop my heart. I don’t care if you think that being fat will give me diabetes. I don’t care of you think that being fat is a strain on the NHS (have you ever bothered to ask WHAT the money is spent on?). Even if all those things were true (they aren’t) that is MY choice and you don’t have a say in it (No your tax money isn’t funding it.).

You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being because I am fat. You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being for anything.

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