Liebster Award!

I’m very flattered to be nominated by Vicky of The Randomness of Twee for a Liebster award, aimed at new blogs and those with less than 200 followers. I think this is a great idea because blogging can be difficult to navigate if you are not familiar with it and it’s a great way to introduce people to new blogs, plus it was pretty fun to write up.

The Rules are:

  • Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions that they have asked you.
  • Nominate bloggers who have a following of <200 on Bloglovin’
  • Ask them 11 questions.
  • Notify the nominees.
  • So here are my questions!

    What inspired you to blog?

    I attended my first Plus North in Manchester two years ago where I was befriended by Lisa, Sarah, Charlie and Mel none of whom I had ever me before but made me feel very welcome as I was wandering around aimlessly on my own. Through the course of the day many people asked if I blogged, and when I said I didn’t, why I didn’t. So, feeling a lot of fatshion inspiration, and full to the brim with wonderful compliments I went ahead and started. 

    Who are your favourite bloggers?

    I’m still pretty new to the’blogosphere’ despite having started two years ago. It’s only been in recent months that I’ve started to make an effort so I’m still lacking on following blogs. But that said I do have a lot of love for Leah of Just Me Leah. This being that, so far, she’s the most down to earth bloggers in the way she writes. I like reading blogs who read in the way I imagine they would speak. Leah shares many aspects of her life and is very open about sex and her chronic illness. But she does so with a cheeky charm. She’s honest when she needs to be, and stays true to herself with the topics she blogs about and the manner in which she does it.
    Another blogger I love is Laura of Lolly Likes Fatshion. Mostly because I finally found a fatshion blogger who is my size who loves colour like me! I never thought I’d find anyone my size who wore things I was actually interested in. She always has wonderfully creative and colourful outfits. She has a great kitschy style (she pulls off a 60’s look like a dream.). She’s also very protective of her community and speaks out against bullying and bigotry across her social media. She’s fearless and won’t take any crap from anyone. 

    What is your dream outfit?

    Hmmmm. This is a tough one but I guess what I really want to have, and have yet to acquire, is a dress in cherry print and a dress in red and white polka dots. They exist, but never in my size. Also in flamingo print. 


    If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

    I come from one of the most beautiful places in England, the Lake District, but I moved away to be closer to my partner. I think if there were more things going on around that area I’d go back and live there.  Sadly it’s pretty rural so there’s not much going on unless you love fell walking, which is great, but I need a little more going on like music venues, shopping, events etc. 

    What would be your last meal?

    I thought long and hard about this and tried to think of some fancy meals but honestly the first thing that came to my head was lasagne. I love the stuff. I always make loads with the intention of freezing it and being organised, but I just end up eating it all. So yeah, lasagne and cheesy garlic bread followed by Cartmel sticky toffee pudding and cream. (No other sticky puds compare!)


    Who is your style icon?

    Honestly I have no idea. I know that’s a terrible answer but I don’t tend to follow fashion and I just sort of found my own style.  But I do draw inspiration from the fatshion community.

    Dogs or cats?

    What is your beauty essential?

    Ultra Bland cleanser from Lush, coupled with their Tea Tree toner water. My skin is so sensitive and I found using remover wipes were making my skin burn, even the baby ones . But these are amazing. I use them to remove my make up at night and around my t-zone.

    What are the three songs you would listen to if the world was ending?

    1. Anything by Clutch. Don’t make me choose!
    2. Nightwish’s cover of Phantom of the Opera.
    3. Love Shack by the B52’s

    What is your favourite smell?

    I’ve been using Light Blue by Dolce&Gabbana for about as long as I’ve worn perfume. People always say to me when they smell it it reminds them of me. Also Sweetie Pie shower jelly by Lush is gorgeous.

    Where is the best place you have ever been to?

    New Orleans. I was fortunate enough to get the last summer from her before Hurricane Katrina hit. I went in the June, and the hurricane hit in September. I only wish I had planned it better and seen more. But it was still pretty magical and I went on my own! 

    My Nominations are…

    Fat alt bloggers are seemingly hard to come by. Sian’s style is right up my street. She’s kitsch, she’s goth. she’s spooky, and a down right cutie. I love her bold style. She’s not afraid to mix bold patterns and colours with equally bold lipsticks and hair colour. She’s fearless in her fashion and I love it!

    Chrissie Bee of Dainty in Doc Martens.

    She’s the fat feminist who is babein’ up my Instagram feed. Her blog is a great mix of alt style and feminism. Perfect!

    My questions are..

    1. What inspired your blog name?
    2. What are you currently reading? If not, recommend me a book.
    3. What song are you loving right now?
    4. What’s for dinner?
    5. It’s your day off! What’s the plan?
    6. Sweet or savoury?
    7. Do you have any vices?
    8. Do you collect anything?
    9. Anything sitting in your online basket waiting for payday?
    10. Let’s meet for a drink! What’re you having?
    11. Favourite memory?
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    So this happened..

    I’ve been really lax with blogging lately and this is why. 
    Everyone, meet Vinnie.
    He’s 4 months old and so as you can imagine he’s kept us busy. 
    It’s our first week and we’re still finding our routine and getting used to being out in the garden every 45 minutes instead of slobbing out in front of our respective computer screens, but it’s going better than we anticipated. 
    So far he seems to have a really lovely temperment. He’s good with strangers, and especially children. do anything too bad. He’s not really chewed anything and he’s barely barked.  He’s just not keen on walking much right now. I know them feels, bud. 
    I’m still kinda pinching myself. I’ve wanted a dog for years but I’ve always held of because I felt I was too selfish with my time but the circumstances were right and so here we are. I do find myself forgetting how much my time is affected by a new puppy who you can’t leave. I can’t just go strolling into the shops when I feel like it, we’ve already had to cancel plans, and now I have to think about the sort of shifts I pick up at work. Sometimes, when I’ve been standing in the garden at 6.30am in the rain, I wondered what the hell I had done. But when we come back in and he can’t wait to sit in my lap and snooze it’s really, really hard to be sad. 

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    Rocketeer reporting for duty! Featuring Hell Bunny

    So I’m a bit slow on the uptake (nothing new, right?) but I’m finally usting out my Curverella t-shirt from Nicky Rockets after purchasing it at Plus North in August last year. Shortly after the attending the event I injured my back and by the time I was up and about again it was jumper weather. So here it is and man I LOVE it.

    The stall was manned by the simply gorgeous Betty Pamper, who was really sweet and helpful. She advised me on the best size to choose and she was bang on. It fits like a dream! I opted for the slash neck.

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    The sizing is very generous with the material having a decent stretch to it. The fabric is high quality, as is the print ink. I love the tongue in cheek designs, especially the B-movie horror vibe. Perfect!
    What prompted me to dig this little gem out was the recent arrival of my first Hell Bunny piece. 
    I’d been on the hunt for a plain jacket with the weather warming up slightly. As with most of my endeavours into plain things I come out with something all singing and all dancing.

    There’s nothing plain about this amazing Sadie 50’s Baseball Style jacket in red and black. 

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    The fabric is thick and soft, the jacket being fully lined with its corrosponding colours. The colours are very rich and vibrant. There are two stitched designs which are excellent quality; one on the front and a huge back piece.

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    As with all vintage repro I buy the biggest and cross my fingers a I try it on. It fits, but is slightly snug towards the bottom. It sits on my hips so if you prefer something longer this won’t be for you. I have room to swing my arms without any buttons popping open. Success!
    Now I can grab a milkshake at my local diner and gaze scornfully at all the squares.

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    Jacket: Bought on ebay at MaggieAnn Vintage Store–4XL
    T-shirt: Nicky Rockets (I can’t remember the size and there’s no tag. Possibly a 3 or 4Xl?)
    Mini skirt: New Look Inspire via eBay
    Leggings:Evans
    Boots: Doc Martens via eBay.
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    Pyjama Project

    I had been thinking for sometime about the fat-posi media I was consuming. As someone just getting into fatshion blogging I found myself following lots of blogs for inspiration and to find out the who’s-who of fat blogging. But I became more and more aware that I was seeing a lot of the same thing. Inspired by my last post, about the imperfections being ok, I realised that I was seeing a lot of polished, perfect images. High fashion, or highfemme-which are amazing in their own right and I’m super grateful they exist-but there was very little in the way of those who don’t subscribe to that either because they don’t want to or an unable to for whatever reason, and those people are important too.

    So it was for this reason that I started the Pyjama Project. A submissions based Tumblr where fat people can submit images of themselves in their comfy clothes, baggy tees, ugly nighties, lazy day off clothes, face masks, messy hair–and be celebrated for being fab. It was pretty daunting and I didn’t exect much of a reception, but there has been some great support so far. I’m not exactly ‘tumblr famous’ or barely even a drop in the blogging ocean but I wanted to do my bit and I hope it doesn’t fall flat at the first hurdle.

    If you’re interested in submitting you don’t need to have a Tumblr account. You can submit ‘anon’ and just leave any details you want like any social media platforms and the like.

    This was my submission. Eeek!

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

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    Miss Match

    Truthfully I had no intention of posting these photos. While I had planned the outfit in my head and was really excited to put it together, it didn’t translate quite how I had in mind. Things didn’t sit how I imagined, didn’t pair up as I’d hoped. My hair was messy, the day was windy and made everything blow around and ruffle out of place. I felt really disheartened.

    Then I realised that that was exactly why I needed to post them.

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    If I’m honest I’m not the most fashion concious person. I’m not one for spending time on my appearance. Mostly because the way I spend ym time doesn’t call for it. My job as a carer means that I have to wear a lot of stuff that I’m prepared to have pulled at, have various bodily fluids splashed on, keep me cool as I rush about in an already warm house, not reveal too much skin, and just be generally practical.

    Ruby Thunder, plus size
    Dang wind!
     
    When I’m not at work I’m basically slobbing out on my pj’s. As I tend to work evenings there is little time for me to relax after work before bedtime, so I spend most mornings before work curled up eating toast and watching Steven Universe. On my days off it’s Dragon Age marathons.
    When I started blogging here I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to achieve. I think I just wanted to be another fat body for fellow fat people to see in a positive way. A fat body wearing what they wanted, no matter what fashion media tried to say. Mostly because when I was growing up I had no such thing.

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

     

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    But the fact remains that it’s ok if things aren’t quite right. This is more of a reflection of me. A little mix of this and that; a cheapy casual top with something a little more expensive in this instance.
    I like to shop about and piece together what I can. Sometimes it means forking out a little more, like this adorable Modcloth skirt. Quality fabric in a vivacious red, with a lovely soft white underskirt. The skirt is very full but isn’t heavy.
    Paired with a cute, and cheap, top from Primark. This is a pretty casual box tee with rolled sleeves. This is actually a size 20 (I’m generally a 24/26 on top) but it’s probably meant to be really baggy but if it works, it works. I love the cheesy tattoo flash pattern on it. For a fiver how could I not?!

    Outfit details
    Top: Primark size 20
    Skirt: Modcloth 4XL
    Shoes: Hush Puppies
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    Us VS Them.

    Peeps, I’m mad. I’m just going to get straight to it.

    If you happen to follow Taking Shape on Instagram, or Twitter, you probably saw the absolute clanger of a PR stunt, and the subsequent (and throughly deserved) follower shit storm that ensued.
    For those of you not in the loop allow me to fill you in.
    TS saw it perfectly ok to build a “bird watching booth” outside London Fashion Week in order to do a bit of “skinny bird watching”. The ‘skinny birds’ in question being the runway models.

     


    If you’re anything like me you probably thought “what the [insert chosen expletive] is this?”

    Well, for me, this is everything you do wrong in plus size PR. Where does one even begin?
    Aside from it being incredibly dismissive to refer to women as “birds”, it’s body shaming and creating an “us vs them” mentality. Something we, as the fat community, are desperately trying to fight against.

    I am not for a moment suggesting that this kind of body shaming is on par with what fat people experience. Not for a second. What I am saying is that, in order to be accepted as fat people, there needs to be a dissolution of a body ideal. Upholding one body type over another is simply the same fight, with thin taking fat’s place. Simply put this crap needs to stop.

    This othering of bodies, of objectifying women, is another battle we face. This kind of objectification is not “tongue- in-cheek” it’s just an outright cheek. You’re not being edgy by ‘sticking it to the skinnies’ and ‘showing them how it feel’s, all you’re doing is playing into the hands of the same archetypal system that seeks to oppress.

    Even sadder is, despite much criticism, there has been no apology. Not even an acknowledgement of the criticism. Nothing. Just carrying on as though nothing has happened.

    I was due to attend a blogger party this weekend at a local TS store but I simply refuse to support a company that upholds these ideals. There are plenty of plus size brands out there who listen to customers, and have great relationships with bloggers, who are far more deserving of support and promotion. Let’s start talking with our wallets and see if they start to listen.

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    Cheap Chic at Peacocks

    If you’re anything like me and live in a small, crummy town with limited shopping options, sometimes you find yourself wandering around looking for inspiration to strike.

    I found myself in my local Peacocks. I’ve shopped here many times in the past as a lot fo their items are stretchy and if you dig hard enough you find the odd size 24 hiding in the back of the rails. But you can’t beat their prices for cheap, cheerful pieces from prints and patterns to essential basics.

    I found myself in my local store sheltering from the wind and was surprised to stumble across some lovely statement handbags, namely this one:

    A cute satchel bag in a lovely dusky pink colour. Ideal for accessorising with pretty spring florals. At £12 you cannot argue with that.

    So I took to their website to see if they had anything else to offer and was pleasantly surprised to find a number of vintage inspired bits. Here are some of my faves:

    L-R

    Colour Flash Bar&Wing Tote Bag £16

    Lock Front Grab Bag £15.00 now £7.50 (also available in black)

    Cobalt Lock Shoulder Bag £15

    Tall Metal Bar Hot Pink Tote Bag £20

    Anything you like? Any you’ve found and loved?

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    Fuller Figure Filling The Gap: Lady Voluptous.

     

    If you happened to be anywhere near social media on the fatshion sphere on Friday you probably heard that Lady Vintage were releasing their new collection, Lady Voluptuous, a dedicated plus size collection in partnership with blogger Georgina Horne of Fuller Figure, Fuller Bust.

    Naturally there was a lot of buzz and many were excited following the announcement.  12pm hit and the website struggled to cope with the sudden influx of visitors, myself being one. There was a lot of heated conversation surrounding this and some mixed reactions and I wanted to touch upon some thoughts I had regarding the collection, and the issues surrounding it.

    Lady Voluptuous, as I said, is a dedicated plus size collection. What makes it important is that unlike most plus size ranges it doesn’t stop at a 24. This range starts at a 16 and goes up to a 32. As Debz pointed out in her blog this is really important because for so long super-fats have been let out of the fat fashion conversation. This is something that I have been side-eyeing for a long time and a problem I have within the fatshion sphere. Unlike Kelly Osbourne’s collection, apparently for “every woman!” but stopping at a 24, this collection reaches into sizes that are continually neglected, and the fact that within HOURS, the biggest sizes were selling out if not already sold out.

    This is a big deal. Pardon the pun.

    Often when criticizing the sizing choices of many plus size ranges many times I am met with “at least it’s something!” to which I say “something for whom?”

    Fat blogging, and specifically fat fashion blogging, became something of an interest for me because I found that taking an interest in what I wore felt like –for me- really liberating. Fat bodies are highly politicized, so even just by sharing how I looked that day was a political act. There were no bodies like mine in the media so we fats created our own spaces, our own fashion media. I will celebrate all shapes, sizes, and styles. I read blogs by all.
    But now I’m starting to get a bit tired with constantly having to be excited about new ranges that time and time again leave me, and those bigger than me, out of the conversation. We’ve been fighting this fight for a long time. It’s obvious to me that there is certainly a market for this. Look at the H&M Tulle Skirt. Bloggers proved there was a hunger for on trend fashion in the plus size market because that piece sold out in a heartbeat.

    This is why the Lady Voluptuous range is important. Particularly as, contrary to popular belief, good quality vintage reproduction in anything over a 24, or a “3XL” (which, lets’ face it is usually a 22) is really hard to find without sitting into the wee hours on eBay, and even then finding anything with exciting prints, colours, or cuts is still impossible. It reminds me of a recent post Bernie Dexter made on her Facebook commenting on people buying from companies that make knock-off dresses from designers. I personally commented and noted that when these designers start making them in my sizes then I might, but I don’t see why I should respect companies that refuse to acknowledge that fat people exist. While I didn’t read many of the comments, Bernie continually claimed that there was a lot of “negativity” around her post. This IS Facebook so I don’t doubt that people weren’t rude. But there were a lot of people making a lot of valid points. Why should we deny ourselves beautiful looking dresses because they are cheap or ‘knock off’? Often fat voices, when critiquiing anything like this, are seen as being negative. I mean, we should be happy that there’s something, right?
    I’m not here to trash Bernie. Not in the least. I understand completely where she is coming from, as someone who fully supports artists and understand that having your work copied or emulated is frustrating. I absolutely get it. But that is as far as my loyalty lies and until fat people are going to be considered when making these lines I shall continue to buy from those that stock my size. Regardless of where it comes from, simply because my choices as a size 26+ is SO limited.
    That’s also not to say there aren’t a lot of brands doing some amazing work on the plus size side. But is it wrong for me to want more for myself? Better quality? More variety?

    Back to Lady Voluptuous.

    As for the collection itself I’m a little disappointed. Owning a LV dress myself I know that they will be excellent quality. The dresses are all very beautiful.

    So what’s the problem?

     
    Well, if you look at the range of prints, colours, and styles etc in the LV range, then compare it to the plus sizes (even prior to the Lady Voluptuous range) there’s still a big gulf of what’s available. The Lady Voluptuous range has introduced a couple of new styles of dress, which is fantastic and they are lovely. But the collection is lacking in variety as far as prints go. But I get the impression this is not the last we will hear from this range so perhaps there may be more to come?

    So what IS in the collection?

     
    A lot of positives, for sure. Most notably, for me, the price. Often in plus size wear we are priced way, way up then straight sized lines. Even if it’s from the same brand. But I was very pleased to see these dresses were priced the same. Between £40-£50 for a good quality repro piece, while not an everyday spend for many, is still certainly more reasonable +

    Firstly the Medusa:

    Lady Voluptous, Ruby Thunder, plus size

    A figure hugging pencil dress that is very va-va voom! Not to mention in some unapologetic, bold colours as well as a racy leopard print. A deliberately figure hugging piece for super fats? Well go on then!

    The Lyra

    Lady Voluptous, Ruby Thunder, plus size

    Another classic style, with a cross over bust and short sleeves that cover the top of the arm.

    Lastly the Cosette

    Not totally lacking in prints, these pieces are bright, bold, beautiful floral prints. 
     
     
     
    Have you managed to get your mitts on one these? 

    *Images kindly offered from Debz and Lady Vintage London
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    Colour Pop

    This post is an unexpected lesson in confidence. Sometimes you shine without intending to.
    It’s not secret that when it comes to fashion I’m about as lazy as it gets and having been off work for along time I’ve lived in my pajamas. Getting the motivation to get dressed and go out has been difficult. But challenge accepted and overcome the other day as I, unusually, put my hair up and slicked on some lippy before tottering out to run some errands.

    Ruby Thunder, plus size
     
    My trusty old coat. A love saga through the ages.

    My outfit wasn’t anything special. Comfortable and simple black and white, with a little colour pop from my trusty Doc Martens, I wasn’t setting Vogue aquiver.

    dress by asda, plus size, ruby thunder

    Ruby Thunder, plus size

    Leggings (as pants?! Heathen!) from Evans
    Black and white striped dress from Asda (old)
    Cherry patches added by me.
    Boots-Doc Martens.

    But for all it’s comfort and simplicity I got numerous compliments from strangers while out. I hadn’t really thought about it much but I think a lot of it is was down to the fact that I was just really feeling myself that day. I got ready and snapped a selfie for Instagram because why the hell not? The compliments and kind words sent me out with a skip in my step which seemed to carry with me for the rest of the day,

    The power of kind words.

    So the next time someone rolls their eyes and decries selfies as ‘vain’ and ‘shallow’ just remember how good it feels to feel good, and how that goodness shines out.

     
    “Light attracts light. But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy.” –Warsan Shire.
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    Slowly Springing

    Now that I am closer to getting back to work I am lifting my window shopping ban. (It was for my own good.). I recieved an email from Lady Vintage annoucning their new spring range. Here are some pieces that caught my eye. You can find further details about these dresses below:

    lady vintage dresseslady vintage dresses

    lady vintage dresseslady vintage dresses
    It’s really unusual for me to like anything floral but I love the variety and the amazing choice of colours and patterns in this new collection. In this collection Lady Vintage are debuting their new styles the ‘Eliza’ and the ‘Jasmine’ as well as bringing back the ‘Tea Dress’. 
    I currently have my first Lady Vintage dress that I bought back in their sales to review so I won’t go on too much about them right now but safe to say that I have found a vintage repro brand that I can actually access and is very much worth the money. That said, sadly, the new Spring range is not in my size range and seems to stop around a size 22 which is disappointing. Hopefully they will look to expand on that. 
    ———–

    L-R

    Orange Floral ‘Eliza’ Swing Dress 8-18 £50

    Black Floral ‘Eliza’ Swing Dress 8-18 £50

    Pink Rose Floral on Black ‘Jasmine’ Dress 8-22 £50

    Sweetheart ‘Eliza’ in Blue Swing Dress 8-18 £50

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