Photoshoot with Velvet D’Amour

Back in November I bumbled my bumpkin’ butt down to London to meet with Velvet D’Amour for a photoshoot. 

I met with Velvet, and MUA Rachel Williamson, in a swanky apartment in Central London. They were immediatly warm and welcoming, with compliments and conversation flowing straight off the bat. I was so nervous because I’d never done anything like this and this was so out of my comfort zone. I was clueless as to what I was supposed to do. Velvet was so vivacious and her energy was infectious, and I soon started to loosen up a bit.
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ruby thunder, Ruby Thunder, rubythunder.com, Velvet D'Amour, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger, fatshion

ruby thunder, Ruby Thunder, rubythunder.com, Velvet D'Amour, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger, fatshion

ruby thunder, Ruby Thunder, rubythunder.com, Velvet D'Amour, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger, fatshion

ruby thunder, Ruby Thunder, rubythunder.com, Velvet D'Amour, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger, fatshion

ruby thunder, Ruby Thunder, rubythunder.com, Velvet D'Amour, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger, fatshion

ruby thunder, Ruby Thunder, rubythunder.com, Velvet D'Amour, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger, fatshion

It goes without saying that I was floored with the results. Red and I had such a time choosing from the contact sheets. The experience was difficult at times; London is a hard place for me and because of my inexperience I felt I inconvenienced people at times but Velvet was gracious and understanding throughout the whole thing. I’m really glad for the experience. Sometimes it’s worth stepping out of your comfort zone and making fun things happen!

Images courtesy of Velvet D’Amour
Hair and makeup by Rachel Williamson
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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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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Christmas Belle: Featuring We Love Colours review and Lindy Bop.

I don’t know about anyone else but this festive period has been oddly hectic for me, hence why I’m only sitting down now and doing my Christmas blog!
Given I’m a little tardy to the party I feel it’s only fair I go super festive to make up.

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I’m so festive I could vomit baubles. Though probably best I don’t. Instead I’ll just enjoy all the colours.

So Lindy Bop had a sale before Christmas and I took a punt on this top. Mostly because it’s the dreaded dual sizing so I wasn’t sure if I’d be comfortable.
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This top is SO stretchy. I don’t think you could go beyond a 26 in it but I fitted comfortably in it. The material isn’t too heavy but substantial enough to feel secure in.

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A couple of months ago I won a pair of tights from We Love Colours on one of their Instagram competitions. I was super excited because I’ve been lusting after a pair from them for so long and now I had a chance to pick a pair for FREE!

I opted for a block colour pair in the Kelly Green.

How’s that for a splash of colour?! I got these in a size EE, which is the largest size they do. Their sizing chart goes by height and weight but as a rule I get the largest size wherever I shop. I’m a size 26 and these fit perfectly. They are huge. Honestly, I could pull them up right under my boobs and I reckon I could have gotten a little more out of them. Very impressed by the sizing.

What I really loved was how the depth of colour was not compromised by my big legs. On my thigh you can see a thin line. This seems to be where the material slightly changes. It feels a little thinner between the legs, and while I didn’t wear them for the full day I could tell they might be an issue, which is a bit of a disaster with the old chub rub so I would highly suggest wearing some little shorts underneath. I know that kind of sucks with tights but I guess if you want longevity out of the product you gotta go what you gotta do.

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While the colour is still thick they do still show tattoos so if you’re trying to cover up you might want something thicker. You can still see a feint outline of my shin tattoo. But then you could always just distract them with this wild colour, right?!

Outfit deets:
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Hush Puppies 
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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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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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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!
——
I hope you liked my spooky pickin’s! 
Anything got you shaking?
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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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