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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There isn’t enough room for all this bullshit

HelloGiggle.com recently shared this photograph from selling website/app Wish, that were advertising a pair of plus size shorts:

Charming, huh?
As noted in the HG article this is an incredibly cruel way to advertise clothing. Naturally there’s been some uproar over social media. Christina, of Interrobang art, who makes and sells clothing up to a 34, posted this fantastic response on her Instagram account

But this isn’t the first time this sort of cruel marketing has been used. AliExpress were under scrutiny back in 2015 for using this image to sell plus size leggings

The Big Bloomers Company, a site dedicated to plus size underwear use this to advertise their plus size tights

Aye, you keep smiling it up Sally Small.
I don’t doubt there are many more, these are just the ones I was able to find first. So what’s the issue? 
In laymans terms it’s disrespectful as fuck to use this sort of strategy to advertise plus size clothing. 
The photos are utterly ridiculous, verging on comical and circus-esque. “Look how HUGE this product is! You can fit a whole other person with room to spare!”
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We don’t see fat people as real people but rather bodies that can’t be comprehended without using “normal” bodies for scale. You want to advertise plus size clothing, and demonstrate how big your products are? USE ACTUAL FAT PEOPLE. Use a diverse range of sizes to demonstrate the variety of sizing you offer. “Here’s a body wearing a size 12, and here’s the same product in a 32.” It’s NOT HARD. 

There are so many fat people out there who would offer their services. Look at how plus size brands have tapped into using bloggers to model for them. The sizes are out there: you just won’t use them.
Frankly I am sick of companies humiliating fat people and in the next breath taking our money. If they aren’t using micro-aggresive language like “flattering”, “slimming” and other such crap to suggest our fat can, and should, be magically hidden then they are outright removing us from their brick and mortar stores. 
What is even the logic in this? Do they not think fat people are going to take one look at this and close the fucking tab? Bullying people does not a profit make. Too long have companies tapped into a person’s low self esteem to sell you a product you don’t need, for an imaginary issue you don’t even have. But people need clothes. What we don’t need is being made out to be circus freaks. 

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Dupe Better Believe It! An Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow dupe with Freedom Make up.

I’m relatively inexperienced when it comes to brow products, but doing my eyebrows is one of the few important routines for my daily make up. I’m currently using Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, which I totally adore and you should all believe they hype. 
However, at £15 a pop, and mostly available online it’s not the most accesible of products for people, especially those who are just starting out, on a budget, or who are a bit unsure. 

So imagine my excitement when randomly perusing my local Superdrug and I see a new make up section called Freedom Makeup. They aim to bring more professional products to customers at bargain prices. 

I spotted their eyebrow pomade and was immediately interested in it’s £5 price tag.

The packaging is simple with it’s monochrome design. I’m already seeing a lot of similarities with the ABH pomade.  Opening the box the pomade comes in a small, glass pot with a screw cap. The glass is quite heavy considering its size so it feels quite substantial.

I opted for the shade ‘Chocolate’. The texture is thick and creamy, much like the ABH. I couldn’t get a decent shot of the pomade shade on my camera so I’ll include some swatches from the website.

Here’s the Freedom Chocolate compared to the ABH Chocolate

Certainly slightly different, but not worlds apart. The Freedom version appears to be warmer.

Bear in mind I don’t have the best brush (though I’m hoping Santa will be good to me this year) so my lines aren’t very crisp. I am still a novice at this.

The product stays on amazingly and even when I wiped my finger cross my brow it barely smudged, if at all. 
This is a GREAT product and, in my opinion, a great dupe for Anastasia. At £5 its worth trying out with little to lose if you’re not satisfied. 

Have you tried any Freedom make up? 
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Liebster Award #2

I’ve been nominated for another Liebster Award, this time by the lovely Tanya.  I love these posts and they are an easy way to get to know a little more about a variety of bloggers. Showing your appreciation for blogs and discovering new ones in the process!

Onto the questions..

1. Favourite city and why?

New Orleans. When I was 18 I packed off on my own for two weeks, staying in a youth hostel a short tram ride from the centre. I had timed my trip well as they had only just reinstated the trams. I was also very fortunate in my timing as I visited in July and in the September Hurrican Katrina hit. I was blessed to experience the last summer before the travesty. 
New Orleans felt like a dream, like a living story. Walking through sleepy streets with their beautiful colonial french architecture, the low ornate balconies dripping with ivy and wisteria, only to gaze up into the distance and see towering skyscrapers of the city ahead. Old men, their hats tipped over their eyes to shield from the sun, sitting on corners and filling the air with amazing jazz music. 
I wish I had planned better and saved enough money to go on a swap trip and I missed visiting the Garden District. 

Maybe one day I’ll go back.

2. What people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party?

Tough one. Neil Fallon, lead singer of Clutch. Mostly so I could sit there and fizz my pants off but also because he’s a seemingly very smart and erudite person who would tell wonderful stories, or talk about a topic he’s passionate about and make it really interesting. Plus his speaking voice is so delicious. Did I mention he’s bloody gorgeous? Sigh. What was the question again?

Tarja Turunen and Vibeke Stene so they could sing for us at the table and make me cry. 

Stuart Lee because he makes me laugh until it hurts. 

3. Biggest fashion faux pas? (pictures if possible)

My whole teenage years were a fashion faux pas. As a fat goth I was extra cringy. I mean everyone did the oversized jeans and band shirts but we all overstepped the mark with dog collars.

4. What started you blogging?

Peer pressure! Ha, I went to my first Plus North a couple of years ago and everyone there said I should start one. So I did! It hasn’t come very naturally to me but it’s been mostly fun!

5. Where would you like to see the PS community in the next 5 years?

I want to see us demanding more choice from brands, demanding better representation from brands. I want us to hold people accountable for the shitty/racist/sexist/bigoted things they say and do, but with a view for growth. I want us to be more inclusive, less flat stomach curvy hour glasses, more disabled/poc/trans representation and support. I’m not saying we don’t have those people involved but there’s room for everyone so let them in. So, not a lot!

6. Biggest pet hate?

Only one? Oh man. Ok, well I guess willful ignorance. Everyone fucks up, says the wrong thing or does something thoughtless but to refuse to acknowledge your mistakes or your privilege in society is what makes all the difference. There’s a lot of shitty stuff happening in the world that doesn’t happen to you but make yourself aware, educate yourself. 

7. Your motto to live by?

“Be just, and fear not.” –Wolsey scene ii, Henry VIII by Shakespeare. 
I got a tattoo with it, mostly because it really struck me. But as time has passed it’s become more and more relevant to me. Don’t be afraid to do the right thing, even if it isn’t always the most popular decision. 

8. What piece of advice would you give your teenage self?

Fuck ’em. They don’t matter. They don’t matter now and they never will. Their words will become ashes on your tongue. Read more, take better care of your skin. Maybe don’t cut your hair that short.

The nominees…

Just Me, Leah
Lolly Likes
Rad Fat Feminist
Kitty Rambles A Lot

The questions..

1. What was your favourite subject in school?
2. You’re on death row, what is your final meal?
3. What song gets you singing in the shower?
4. Your proudest moment?
5. Set yourself a goal for the coming year.
6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
7. If you won the lottery what would the first thing you did?

* Link back to the blogger that nominated you.
*Answer the questions
*Nominate other blogs
*Create answers to be published
*Notify all your nominees once published


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Halloween Love

It’s coming up to one of my favourite times of year. Halloween brings a lot of expectations of crisp, Autumn days with the trees turning red and gold, pumpkins glowing in windows. Growing up in the north this was not often the case and more often than not it meant rain, rain, and more rain.
Living in the East Midlands the weather is milder which means there is more opportunity for cute clothes that aren’t hidden under waterproofs!
Here are some spooky threads I am loving at the moment!

I follow Interrobangirl on Instagram and it’s just a constant source of want.
Everything is handmade and she offers a custom service and sizes go upto a 36 instore!

Recently modelled by Betty Pamper I love this spooky little number and would be cute to wear with some killer heels (ha, geddit?!)

Frankenstein Cardigan by Baned Apparel

Lolly Likes recently posted an OOTD on her blog wearing this with a darling skeleton dress and she looked amazing. You can check it out here. In fact, just checkher blog out in general for some recent amazing Halloween outfits.

Banned Apparel don’t have a store themselves but you can find stockists with a quick Google. 

Ok this bag is seriously awesome. Sold out on the website but a quick Google shows there are plenty of other stockists!

 I LOVE these so much they’ve gone on my Christmas list. There’s 36 colours you can choose from!
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I hope you liked my spooky pickin’s! 
Anything got you shaking?
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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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The Curve Fashion Festival 2015 (Part 1)

There’s going to be a whole bunch of blog posts about this event going around by people vastly more prepared than me, who remembered to take notes and photographs. I am no such person. But I do want to make a point of writing more about my personal interactions at the event and I may later blog more about the event itself as there are things I wanted to talk about.
But I’m still buzzing from it all so I wanted to share all the good stuff first.
The biggest part of the day for me was how much fun I had in the company of fellow bloggers, most of whom I had not met before or had interacted very little with. The sense of excitement and community that was buzzing around the room was very difficult not to get wrapped up in.

I had the pleasure of travelling up with Sarah, Tanya, Sharon, and Becky. The night before we attended a swing dance class, with many laughs to be had as well as some questionable dancing skills from fellow attendees, before bedding down for the night ready for our 7am start. The whole day was just a mix of belly laughing, hugs, and excited chatter.

ruby thunder, the curve fashion festival, curve fashion festival

Before I even had the chance to go inside I became acquainted with a host of new, friendly faces who were generous with warm hugs and welcomes. That was a theme throughout the day. Despite barely knowing anyone it was understood that we were all there for a common goal: to celebrate each other and enjoy a moment that was for us, without judgement, and with love.

I had my reservations; being an new and unknown person in the plus blogging scene, I felt a little intimidated not knowing anyone and seeing the many groups all coming together. But my fears were easily laid to rest as I was pulled in for selfies, lavished with compliments, and chatting so easily with so many strangers.

Amazing dress from Lisa Riley’s new range.

 

Met this fabulous babe, Kat Henry, for the first time

 

Some posi messages from Curvy Kaye’s stall.

 

L-R Sarah, Nikki, Becky.
Lolly Likes

Of course it wasn’t all about hanging out and there was a lot of amazing styles to be seen, from attendees as well as on the hangers. While I forgot to snap an OOTD Becky and I were paped by the SLiNK Magazine crew for theor streetstyle tag.

Image taken from SLiNK Magazine Instagram.

I will be reviewing this dress soon so keep your eyes peeled!

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Alternative Curves: 90’s Mall Witch

Ruby Thunder, plus size

My first blog hop with Alternative Curves and this month it’s 90’s Mall Witch. It’s no surprise I was looking up some inspiration from Buffy stills. Equal parts effortless cool to awful miss matching, I remember longing to have a mall I could skulk around, hanging with friends in the food court.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

 

I think I’d have enjoyed staying up all hours in a school night researching ancient demons. Alas no demons and not even a mall. Or a proper shopping centre. Certainly no food court.
Being a 90’s teen in northern England, and a fat one one at that, my dreams of amazing dungarees and oversized grunge shirts were just that: a dream.
But as with any of us of a generation getting older we take any opportunity to reminisce, and as this old bird is nearing the end of her twenties very soon this was a chance to live the uber cool gothy smoulder I’d had to bypass as a teen.

Even better I had all of this hiding out in my wardrobe. My old faithful clompers, not a treasure from my teenhood but another desperate attempt to be cool. I’d loved Demonia shoes, and now as an adult with disposable income I can totally justify buying these silly shoes.
Suck it.
The skirt and shirt are oldies from Asos and cardigan is also old from New Look.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

Gratuitous and spooky jewellery accumilated from independent stalls and car boot sales over the years.

I think 90’s me would be very proud.

 

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OOTD: Post festival blues but some good news!

So the last few months have been kind of hectic for me. I turned 28 at the beginning of July and spent the day in beautiful Brighton. I went home to visit the family a week later (of which I spent the majority in bed having pulled my back out. Sigh!)  and I’ve just returned from Cambridge Folk Festival following a week of lots of polka, jigging, fairylights, knee-slapping and a touch of rain.

So time to catch up with the world online.

So first things first I have been selected to model at the up coming Plus North event at the end of the month.

As you can imgine I am very flattered and pretty excited. There’s a ton of lovely ladies who will be strutting their stuff and I’m excited to be alongside them.

So onto my OOTD. A little homage to my summer holiday, a little piece of paradise in a country park.

I tend to avoid prints, colour, or pattern on my bottom half. I’m faithful to my leggings and mini skirt. But I’ve been going doolally for anything tropical and when I saw this skirt in Asda I was so excited to see it in my size. The material is so soft and light, perfect for roaming barefoot around the festival and the print is delicious to boot!

You can’t see in the picture but there is a little slit up the side which gives it a little sexy Jessica Rabbit feel to it. The waist is elasticated so there’s plenty of stretch. The length is perfect for me. I can comfortably wear this on my hips and it doesn’t trail.

I teamed this with a simple vest because I didn’t want to distract from the amazing colours. For a final tropical splash I wore my gorgeous Palm Bling earrings from Black Heart Creatives. I opted for the matte gold.

Handmade and totally stunning, they come beautifully boxed. A decent weight to them without feeling too heavy I can wear these all day without feeling irritated. I adore everything they have so picking one was hard (but best for my wallet!)

 

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