Category Archives: Fashion

Lovedrobe dress review Gorgeously Full Fat

Lovedrobe Little Black Dress Review

Lovedrobe dress review Gorgeously Full Fat I don’t often get to review dresses – being a forty something plus size blogger, I don’t mix in the right circles, and in all honesty it’s not something that’s ever really bothered me. So when I was contacted out of the blue the other day and asked if I wanted to review a Lovedrobe dress, I was chuffed to bits, and with a night out coming up (and Christmas parties) i said “Yes, please!”

I loved this skater dress from the start; I was going out on a ‘Zombie Celebrity’ Halloween/birthday party pub crawl and although my only concession to the zombie theme was a spectacularly awful Mary Berry zombie mask (they are a thing, I had one, it fell apart)

I thought the dress was Gothic enough to be wearable for a Halloween theme. Not really Mary Berry but to be fair, the mask wasn’t either; the eye holes were in the wrong place, I couldn’t see through it and there was no mouth hole so with no way of drinking cocktails through it, it had to go very quickly anyway.

But enough about the mask; the dress was gorgeous. I did a little video below which might be one reason I don’t get asked to do reviews very often…I’m hopeless at video reviews. I’m staying at my Mum’s at the moment, dog-sitting while she jets off around the world, so I have nobody here to hold a camera. Anyway, the main points were;

Lovely quality, fully lined and feels very well made

The style is really great, you could wear it with tights, or as I did with leggings and lace-up boots. It’s quite dressy but not over the top. I don’t think it’s the kind of skater dress you could wear with jeans; that would look a bit odd. But with leggings it looked great.

Fit wise I think it’s true to size, it’s fitted rather than stretchy and it was a little bit loose on me – but I did opt for my usual size when I have dropped a bit of weight recently (stress and gym mostly) so it’s probably about right. I loved it!

At the moment it’s on sale at £41.25 (usual price is £55) and I’ll definitely be wearing it again over Christmas and New Year, Thanks to Lovedrobe for asking me to review it and I hope you like my video. If you like it, you can buy it here


(PS: Benji makes an appearance about ten seconds in…didn’t want to miss anything!)

sarah in 1993

Ugly fashion choices I have made

It’s day two of my ‘how long can I keep up blogging every day’ challenge to myself, and today’s post is inspired by Facebook. More specifically, a post added by my lovely friend Lindsey, who I’ve known since I was in my teens and therefore has seen many of my unwise fashion decisions.

She posted a photo from about 1993/4 in which to be fair you can’t see much of what I’m wearing, but while we were trying to work out when it was taken, I dug out an old photo of me from 1993 from the wedding I thought it had been taken at. I was wrong, but when Mr saw the photo lying around, he actually thought it was my Mum, In fact I was only 22. Want to see it? Are you ready for the bright green monstrosity?

Nicks wedding

OK, I may have lost my waistline since 1993 but at least I gained a bit of fashion sense…eventually. The story behind this outfit was that I got married in 1993, and this was what I chose as my ‘going away outfit’. I bought it from Mum’s Empire Stores catalogue and carefully accessorised it with a bag in a completely different shade of green. Someone should have had a word.

The going away outfit only needed to travel 50 miles down the A14 in my (now ex) husbands red Ford Fiesta. We went out for a wedding meal at the local Beefeater, and then spent our first married night at home before driving to Derbyshire. I don’t think I took the lurid green outfit with me.

The second picture is the oldest. I haven’t got many from 1996 onwards as I chucked most of the pictures of me with husband number two and the people I used to be joined at the hip with. There’s plenty to go on from my early days though. Like this one from 1988.

Sarah with a perm

In case the full horror of this outfit hasn’t hit you, I have a perm. And I’m wearing dungarees. There really is no justification for this look, although there was worse on that trip – one of the boys dressed up in a top of mine along with full make up and spent an entire evening in drag. I was 17, on my first solo holiday abroad with a load of teenagers from different countries, and no, there’s still no excuses.

By 1989, thankfully the perm had grown out. But my fashion sense was still in its infancy and so it was no surprise that I thought this beautiful example of the Christmas jumper  was a good idea. This photo proves otherwise but at least I can say that it was ironic. Can’t I? No, it wasn’t. I loved that jumper.

Christmas Jumper

The early nineties were not a good time for me. I seem to have been lured into Novelty T-shirt territory, but in my defence, I’d just got my first Top Shop card and gone a bit mad thinking it was free money so I could spend it on whatever tat I wanted.

Me in 1990

 

The picture quality is awful as I’ve tried to crop a couple of other people out of an already quite small image…but you can see the horror of the Piglet tee. It was incredibly hot when that was taken and I remember sweat trickling down the back of my shorts at one point. I had a stunning dress that I bought at the same time, it was a really gorgeous boho style floral dress that I looked lovely in, but of course there’s no evidence of that, only the Piglet tee.

Sometimes I accessorised this look with incredibly large hoop earrings that got caught up on everything. Note the nasty white plastic watch, too.

sarah in stars dress

I think this is from 1994.

Only because my hair is still quite long and I had an unfortunate accident at a salon the following year that made me look like a mushroom.

So, the stars and moons dress. What’s not to love? It’s second only to the juicy fruits leggings that I bought in 1992 in the ‘unusual clothes I have worn’ category. This dress came from a gorgeous little boutique shop in Cambridge, which sold way overpriced clothes. I wanted to buy something from that shop and I think this frock was on sale. There’s no other reason for it, nobody else wanted to buy it, so I did.

I seem to remember I also treated myself to the most difficult to walk in platform wedges at the same time and I used to walk from one side of Cambridge to the other in them to get to work. Amazingly I never broke any bones but it was a good 2.5 miles. I don’t know what happened to the dress. It should have been saved as a reminder of what happens when posh boutiques have sales and reduce their stock so that I can afford it.

OK, so this is what happened to my hair in 1995.

Sarah has bad hair

The sunflower tee was just about acceptable  but I decided I wanted a change and so I had my hair chopped off really short. This wasn’t a good move, as you can see. Luckily, it grew back.

So from 1996 onwards I haven’t got many pictures. That’s what you get for airbrushing bad memories out of your life, you lose a few comedy moments at the same time…Since 2008 when I split up from the person who was either in or took most of them, there have been a few cringeworthy outfit choices but the beauty of digital photography is that it’s very easy to delete them!

I have had a trawl for a giggle and found one last gem though.

Australia 2010. It had been a very cold winter back home, I’d clearly put on some extra covering. But in Australia it was DAMN hot and so the cropped linen trousers and short sleeved top came out. I can’t remember if the boys had a full length mirror. If so, I blame this unfortunate outfit decision on jet lag.

Sarah in Oz

On a positive note, my hair was FANTASTIC.

I’ve actually quite enjoyed going back through my photos and having a laugh at myself. I have got plenty more pictures of me in dubious clothes or with bad hair but I think you get the gist of it. These days the fact I’m bigger tends to restrict what I wear to the point that really bad, unusual or ‘eclectic’ styles aren’t always an option but no doubt there will be pictures in the future that I’ll quickly delete and make a mental note never to repeat…

What’s your worst fashion disaster? Can you top any of these?

Steve Strange Visage

In praise of the New Romantics

So, it’s RIP to Steve Strange, the founder of the New Romantic movement is no more.

It’s a sad day.

I’m not going to pretend I was a Visage ultra-fan, or hold a candlelit vigil while wearing eyeliner and white facepaint. But I am a bit sad. Not just because he was only 55, but because he started New Romanticism, or at least he was widely credited as the person behind it all, and hell, I LOVED that stuff.

I was too young to be a punk, and anyway, ‘punk rockers’ as I would have called them when I was 10 years old, scared me. Of course, aged 43, ageing punks scare me about as much as the Doctor Who theme tune does these days, but back in 1980, I was still a big fan of ABBA.

My first real pop star crush was Adam Ant. That man was (and actually still is) quite beautiful, and it was about that time, in 1980/1 that the vague stirrings of the New Romantic movement started to reach my awareness. My favourite Bowie song (everyone’s got one, right?) is Ashes to Ashes, which features Steve Strange in the video, and I loved it. Just as much as I loved ‘Fade to Grey’, everything by Adam and the Ants and early Spandau Ballet. You can keep your ‘Gold’ and ‘True’, for me, the best Spandau Ballet single was their first -’To Cut a Long Story Short’…

I LOVE Martin Kemp’s outfit here. Does that make me odd?

Too young to be a New Romantic

I desperately wanted to be a New Romantic myself. Even then I was obsessed with fashion and I can remember being so excited when I got to choose a pair of velvet pedal pushers and a broderie anglaise frilly blouse from Mum’s catalogue for a Christmas pressie. It was the closest I could get to the look; I wasn’t allowed to wear make up and my mum still cut my hair. That didn’t stop me practicing the make up styles from Jackie Magazine on my Girl’s World.

I really think it’s time for a New Romantic revival. New Romantics were arty, creative and always looked good. They were true equals; the boys looked as feminine as the girls and the whole boys in make up scene has left me with a real thing for men in eyeliner. New Romantics were clever and witty, a sort of Oscar Wilde antithesis to punk’s John Cooper Clarke. The punks would be hanging around Bognor (where I lived at the time) trying to find something to look angry and menacing about, while the New Romantics would be more likely to be found in Boots sampling the glittery eyeshadow. Punk was all about the hopelessness of it all, a disenchanted youth with no future.

New Romantics were all daydreams and lipgloss, Blitz Kids and androgyny. They didn’t fight against reality, they made up their own and they looked amazing while they did it.

I think being obsessed with the New Romantic scene as a child also left me with a love of dramatic, atmospheric, moody music. I still know all the words to ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’ by Soft Cell and Tainted Love is one of my favourite songs of all time. Although Marc Almond denies being anything to do with the scene, I beg to differ. In my head, he’s in there along with Japan, Ultravox and the rest. Even early Duran Duran. If Marc Almond wasn’t a New Romantic, I’m not sure who this is at 0.37 into this brilliant ITV News clip…(PS: Watch out for Richard Madely, too)

So, it’s a fond farewell to Steve Strange. Hands up if you played ‘Fade to Grey’ this morning? It still gives me goose bumps.

calling in fat

Having a fat day

calling in fat

 

We all have fat days.

Even skinny women have fat days – they just call them something else. the thing is, it’s not about your weight, a fat day is just that day when you look in the mirror and think “Really? Is that the best you can come up with?”

You probably don’t even look any different than you did the day before, when you gave yourself that cheeky little look and said to yourself, “Damn, you’re looking foxy today.”

You just feel fat. Or horrid. Or you’re having a bad hair day. Whatever it is, there’s a big cloud of *meh* following you about and it’s about to rain negativity on you.

If you’re big, a fat day is the worst kind of day. Not because being fat is the worst thing there could possibly be but because if you’re having a fat day, it means there’s something going on that’s made all your Mojo disappear and replaced it with the dreaded “Not good enough.”

I have fat days when I’m in the throes of PMS and I’m inhaling crisps that I don’t even like because low quality carbohydrates seem to make me feel a bit better. These days get steadily worse as I physically bloat up with the PMS and also react to whatever junk food I can find in the cupboard by feeling a bit nauseous and, dare I say it, guilty.

If it’s not hormonal, a fat day is nothing to do with my body and usually everything to do with being really pissed off at someone or something. Especially if it’s something I don’t feel that I have a lot of control over. So if I’m really fed up that a client is messing me around, but I don’t feel brave enough to be assertive with them and point out their ass-hattery, I will end up feeling droopy and useless, stressing about whatever is going on that I can’t solve, and probably searching for sweet stuff to take my mind off it. I’ll feel ‘fat’ because a fat day isn’t about my actual size, it’s about my feelings. It’s a lot easier to project crap feelings onto something tangible that everyone can understand than it is to accept that you feel rubbish about yourself because you can’t stand up to someone who is messing you about. This applies to bosses, parents, partners, anyone you feel has the upper hand or you can’t be honest with about something.

love me

So, the next time you’re ‘feeling fat’ just stop and disconnect your head from the F word. Remember that fat isn’t a feeling. Fat is an adjective, a description of your body. It’s no different to saying you feel blue-eyed or curly-haired today. See, it’s ridiculous. What does being fat really mean to you? Why does whatever’s affecting you emotionally make you feel as if fat is the only way you can possibly describe how you feel?

What I usually mean when I think that I feel fat is that I feel frustrated at not sticking up for myself. Fed up because something hasn’t gone well. In some ways, I feel like I’m not measuring up to my own standards so I’m not good enough.

How do you get out of a fat day? If it’s a hormonally-driven one, good luck with that. I suggest barricading yourself in your bedroom with NetFlix and putting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door, then watching ‘Eat Pray Love’ on repeat until you’re either so sick of Julia Roberts that you have to stop, or you feel better.

If it’s not hormones, and it’s not just a knee jerk reaction to clothes that don’t fit (that’s not a fat day either, that’s fashion rage) ask yourself what’s really pissing you off. Be honest, and stop blaming it all on the size of your backside.

Now where did I put that DVD…..?

What does a fat day mean to you? How do you drag yourself out of the *meh* feeling?

 

 

 

Join the harem

Harem pants.

Two words that make me turn my nose up, a trend I haven’t got to grips with yet, and I’m not sure that I ever will. I see this happy, smiling (definitely not a size 22) model in her funky palm print harem pants from Yours Clothing (£18) and I think – they look kinda cute. But on a 40-something plussie with a backside that could generate its own gravitational pull?  Not so much. I’m not putting myself down, just thinking about what suits me and I’m also reminded of the fruity leggings I had when I was in my twenties. I think they had a pineapple on each bum cheek. Enough said.

Pink_Palm_Print_Harem Yours Clothing

 

But….harem pants don’t seem to be going away, despite my continued ignorance of them. I thought I’d have a look at what’s out there – a lot of my snootiness where they are concerned does seem to be based on the fact that they come in such wallpaper-esque prints.

By the way, I happily wear dresses and tops in prints that are reminiscent of wallpaper, so I’m not sure where the bottom half print prejudice comes from. probably the general public reaction to the fruity leggings…

I was kind of distracted by tartan leggings on the ASOS Curve site…SO very tempted.

I did find a few examples of harem style pants, although they seem to have undergone a bit of a re-brand and are now called the New Look Inspire Animal Print Jogger. Would you go jogging in these?

New look Inspire joggers

I thought not. These *cough* joggers are £19.99 from ASOS Curve, and I think they are just so Betty Pamper, I’m going to have to tag her just so she finds them.. Are these harem pants in disguise? I think so. I must admit, I do kind of like the animal print ones, although I wouldn’t know what to wear them with – all my tops are patterned!

Even more confusing – ASOS also has the ‘ Exclusive Fold Over Peg Trouser‘ £20 – which seems like another variation on the same theme. Maybe harem pants are just not cool, so they have to be re-branded? What do you think…harem or not? I actually think these are the worst of the lot – they look a bit like my favourite old leggings after they’ve been washed so many times that the bum has gone baggy.

Peg trouser

So…harem pants…yay or nay? Are you feeling the love for the baggy trousers?

I’m willing to give them a try if any nice plus size brands want me to blog about them; but I’m not holding my breath as the recent change of hosting has lost me all my followers so I’m looking all lonely and unloved…please give me a follow (over there on the right) if you want to get more of the same in your inbox!

 

 

Red Chiffon Wingz

FatPhrocks give you Wingz  

Red Chiffon Wingz

You know how it is; you’ve spent ages looking for the perfect outfit, and set your heart on a glamorous, sophisticated party dress. The only problem is, it’s a sleeveless dress and you don’t really want to work the bare-armed look at the office ‘do’.

Maybe you don’t like your arms, because you think you’ve got a bit of the dreaded ‘bingo wings’ going on (although I think you should be out and proud, listen to Paloma Faith’s ‘Me and my Cellulite’ and never, ever be ashamed of your body) or perhaps you just don’t think it’s appropriate to be flashing lots of bare skin at a work gathering?

It could just be a practical thing – after all, you can’t always trust the weather….

Of course, you could wear a bolero or a shrug over the top, but why cover up the beautiful frock you’ve spent all that time hunting the high street for? What’s the point of that?

FatPhrocks to the rescue!

All you need is Wingz. There are so many gorgeous styles, fabrics and designs, and as from next week there are four brand new additions to the range, the pretty stretch lace Wingz that will look absolutely spot-on underneath a sophisticated party dress. No more hitching up a cardi or shrug every five minutes, the practical and fashionable Wingz stay in place all night and as an added bonus they even give your boobs a bit of a boost as they fit under your bust.

I love these things! The range features black and white lace, half and full sleeve Wingz, up to a size 28, purple, red and blue chiffon, animal print and even a wedding pair. They are affordable too, so you can match a fab pair of Wingz to almost any outfit for under £20.

You can win a gift voucher for £20 to put towards anything on the Wingz website moment if you pop on over to like their Facebook Page and  enter the giveaway before June 9th – or you can post a picture of an outfit you think would look great with a pair of Wingz (you don’t have to be wearing it, if you’re camera shy) and win a pair to match! Check out the blog, too…

 

silver leggings

One step forward…

….and three steps back.

That’show it sometimes feels to me, anyway.

This post comes to you as a mixture of thoughts and feelings after reading blog posts, news reports and more and it’s just a hotch potch of my feelings around the issue of plus size fashion and body image.

First of all, I read a brilliant post by Georgina at Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. She’s been called out by some people in the size acceptance crowd because she dares to be freaking gorgeous to look at, and to enjoy using shape wear to enhance what nature gave her. She also admitted that yeah, she’d like to lose a few pounds, which is a bit of a heresy to some sections of the plus size community. It resonated with me; I think corsets, shape wear and hold it all in pants are a wonderful invention. I wore them for my wedding; I was quite well aware that a bit of Gok branded Lycra underpinning wouldn’t make me look thin, but it did hide the VPL, smooth everything out a bit and make the dress look good, so I’m not complaining.

I also don’t see why Georgina should be criticised for the fact she is lucky enough to be pleasing to the eye. It doesn’t detract from the fact that she writes a successful blog and is entitled to her opinion on plus size issues. She talks about ‘militant fatties’ who happily let it all hang out in bikinis and embrace their fat…well, I think they should also be able to do as they please too, fat isn’t disgusting, it’s just fat for God’s sake. But they don’t get to insist that we all do the same, any more than slim people get to tell fatties what they can and can’t wear.  As Georgina puts it:

To be ‘body positive’ when you’re plus size you don’t need to look or act a certain way. You simply need to appreciate that all bodies are good bodies, and short of getting arrested, believe that people can dress how they like.

and, “being body confident does not mean you need to insult women who look different to you in order to validate your own looks. If you want to be accepted for your appearance then you need to accept others, because if you can’t, how you can expect people to accept you?”

It all ties in with the experiences of another plus size fashion blogger, Betty Pamper, who posted this image of herself in leggings from the Yours Clothing Facebook Page and got some less than flattering responses…from other plus size women.

silver leggings

“I think it’s just a hard fact we need to hear: There are just some items of clothing that bigger people should stay away from at all costs. No ifs. No buts. No ‘beauty is on the inside.’ These leggings are included in that list”

Really? Now, I’m not perfect – I looked at the pics of Gabourey Sidibe at the Golden Globes this week, and yeah, I thought the dress she was wearing was just – hideous. It was the dress that was hideous though, and not the wearer. I thought the same about some of the dresses worn by the skinny actresses too, sometimes people wear clothes that make you think “Really?”

The outfit above isn’t one of those ‘oh dear’ outfits though. I think Betty looks gorgeous, and she’s got the sass to be able to pull off silver leggings so fair play to her. If she feels good in that outfit, and the same goes for Gaby too, she should damn well be able to wear it without snarky comments from the kind of people who should be bigging her up for not hiding herself away in ‘media approved’ fat girls clothes.

The thing that annoys the crap out of me isn’t what fat women choose to wear, whether leggings suit fuller figured girls or if plus size bloggers should admit to a penchant for shape wear. It’s that we should be sticking together, accepting that fuller figured women AREN’T all the same, and that yes, it’s OK to feel that you want to improve yourself, if that’s your choice. Bitching, sniping and pulling each other’s fashion and lifestyle choices to pieces just makes a mockery of body positivity. There are no rules. You shouldn’t have to be brave enough to wear a two-piece bikini to fit in, there aren’t any entrance requirements, body positivity is supposed to be supportive, friendly and POSITIVE. The clue is in the name.

Most of the people I’ve come across in my journeys as a plus size blogger and writer have been fabulous.  When it’s good, it works. That’s what I love, the camaraderie, friendliness and non-bitchiness of it. So can we all play nicely, please?

British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014

British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014

British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014

British Plus Size Fashion Weekend is back  on the 14th & 15th February!

I’m hoping to get up there this year, to the Vinopolis in London, I missed out last year, which was a shame.

Evans is sponsoring this year’s event along with Simply Be and Woman’s Own magazine, and the whole weekend is perfectly placed to help women of all sizes feel fabulous, with high street retailers finally getting to grips with the plus size market including Debenhams who announced they were introducing size 16 mannequins in some stores.

Get ready for four fabulous fashion shows, all showcasing top plus size designers including Evans, Tika Soomak, Dea London, Scarlett & Jo, JANE WATSON and OPhee.

Event day is Saturday 15th February, with shop your shape workshops, a marketplace laid out according to body type and catwalk fashion shows featuring plus size bridal, lingerie, indie designers, swimwear and more.

 

For more info and tickets, go to the BPSFW website. You never know, I might meet you there?

Agent Burlieque: Paint the town glitzy with burlesque!

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According to Sapphire Rox, the creator of Suffolk-based burlesque outfit Agent Burlieque, Burlesque can transform our vision of ourselves, bringing confidence and an inner sparkle to anyone who takes part – as well as those who watch the group’s fantastic cabarets and performances.

You can find out for yourself if you’re in Suffolk.

I spoke to Sapphire about why she thinks burlesque is such a fabulous show both for the entertainers and the audience.

For those of us who might not know, what is burlesque about?

“Burlesque has many different faces. Mainly it’s an art form used to express a theme along with femininity; done well it is a tantalising expression of the female and sometimes male form.

“At Agent Burlieque we like to work with highly expressive performers who can captivate audiences and  keep them on the edge of their seats. Burlesque appeals to women on a grand scale as it inspires and empowers them.”

What was it that got you fired up to start your own troupe?

“I’m a Londoner born and bred, but I moved to Suffolk to raise my young family and I had to leave the creative scene in London behind.

“I expected  Suffolk to have an established burlesque scene and was blown away when I couldn’t find anything like burlesque at London standard. I took it upon myself to do something about it, and that’s how Agent Burlieque started. We’re a burlesque troupe and also a booking agent, an events company that holds hen nights and workshops.”

The outfits are amazing – where do you get them from?

“Thank you! Each performer carefully selects costumes that reflect the themes of their acts; and of course they need to be easily removable! We all scout high and low for pieces, in vintage markets and car boot fairs, burlesque swap shops and high street stores. Then we customise! Burly girls are known to stay up all night carefully rhinestoning and glitzing up outfits, trimming with beads and making props by hand.”

Agent Burlieque is made up of women from many backgrounds – can you tell us a bit about them?

“The core troupe of Agent Burlieque changes, as does the burlesque scene. We have around 40 performers from all different walks of life, most of them with day jobs. We currently have a call centre worker, a hairdresser, a fire fighter, a tattoo artist, a mum, a prison officer and a stay at home father!”

Let’s be honest – women who are big, curvy or fat are derided constantly in the media. Do you really think that burlesque can help a bigger woman feel more confident in a fat-phobic world?

“I think it’s terrible that we as humans are made to feel constantly terrible about ourselves. And it’s not about being different; we all know size 16 is the average woman’s size in the UK and yet women of this size and bigger are  singled out and encouraged to be ashamed of our body shape. Burlesque fights that to the very core. The following burlesque has I think is largely down to the sheer love of the human body and the empowerment found by both men and women when they watch burlesque.

“Burlesque has the ability to transform current thinking about body shape and what we should look like.”

What’s your take on the way fat people are bullied by the media?

“You know I really am up for celebrating curves, but also thin people, gay men, everyone. None of us should feel ashamed of who we are simply because the advertising agencies want to make a mint out of us. To be ashamed gives the diet, media and fashion industries a financial gain.

“There is a different way to live and that is to accept and celebrate who you are as an individual; and sometimes it can be hard to do that. But find burlesque and you will find you are happy just the way you are.

“I think it is the only industry I know of that can positively transform the media’s harmful message about the female form.  After shows both men and women thank me for bringing them peace…peace that they are just right however and whoever they are.”

Do you have any advice for curvy girls on looking and feeling fabulous?

“Yes!! Show it off! Be confident in the way you dress, don’t hide. Put your red lippy on, do your hair, wear high-waisted skirts and show of that backside! Put on your heels when you go out and paint a ‘look at me’ expression on your face.

“We’ve been told by the media that people only want to look at us when we are thin and model like, but we want to look at them because they are confident and happy in themselves, not because they are thin.

“Once you start showing off your curves instead of hiding them under loose clothes you will also attract the positive attention you deserve and you’ll be sending out the positive message to other curvy people that curves are sexy!”

If you want to find out more about Agent Burlieque, contact Sapphire via the website, or like on Facebook.

 

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Vintage Look Swing Dress ASOS Curve in Red £40

Plus size fashion goes with the flow

VB dress

You know the rules. We’ve been trying so long to bust the stereotypes of the plus size woman in the kaftan or loose flowing skirt, that we’ve got all militant when it comes to our fashion sense and banned anything loose from our wardrobes. We can do body-con, we love a bit of tailoring. What’s wrong with embracing our curves? No more tents, thank you very much!

Except, sometimes it’s just good to, you know, let it all loose. I follow the brilliant Mason Bentley fashion blog, and when questioned during London Fashion Week about what was hot for 2014, loose was the way to go according to Anna Mason and Kate Bentley. These two are my kind of designers – they started their journey making clothes for themselves and friends, but demand outstripped supply and now they are creating their very own capsule collection. You can see them talking fashion sense here:

So if we’re talking loose and flowy, where can we find something that looks good, rather than as if it’s been designed to double up as somewhere to camp at Glastonbury? we want curve-skimming and comfortable, not voluminous. As an aside, I love you, Victoria Beckham, but THAT dress? The one above? Didn’t do it for me.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve found.

Vintage Look Swing Dress ASOS Curve £40

.Vintage Look Swing Dress ASOS Curve in Red £40

This gorgeous swing dress is from ASOS Curve, available in red and black, and would look lovely either as it is, with tights and boots, or over leggings in the winter. At £40, you could probably get both, and it’s easy to dress up or down depending on your mood.

From Simply Be, the Rise Judy Beaded Cuff  Tunic dress - £70 – has a real seventies’ vibe to it – maybe it’s just the turquoise that’s making me think it wouldn’t look out of place on the cover of Cosmo in 1974? If you’re not brave enough to go all the way and wear the jade version, you can dress it down a bit in black instead. Would look amazing with a floppy hat and HUGE sunnies on holiday, but in colder climes it might be best to cinch it in the middle with a wide belt, slip on a pair of skinny jeans underneath and wear it with flatties for a casual and comfortable look. Or you could wear it with a pair of funky tights from Miss Difusa:

Rise Judy Cuff Tunic Simply Be £70 Miss Difusa floral tights £6.99

Long flowing skirts always feel good at this time of year and I’ve found a great buy – the half-lined georgette/jersey maxi skirt from Grazia at Simply Be. It’s currently just £20 if you want to invest in a nice little flowing number.

Grazi Maxi skirt £20 Simply Be

I’m not entirely sure why it’s so cheap, but I kinda like it.

Finally, if you want to make a very bold fashion statement, you could hunt down some of these Paper Moon wide legged palazzo pants. I found them on Amazon and I think you can also

Paper Moon Palazzo Pants £13.95 buy them on eBay; on Amazon these pirate-printed beauties were only £19.95 so they’re worth shelling out for and the elasticated waistband makes them perfect for maternity as well as “I ate way too much for dinner.”

What do you think? Will you be embracing the loose and flowing trend this season, or sticking to flaunting your feminine curves in more structured pieces?