Monday, 23 November 2015

British Plus Size Awards: Best Achievement

If you follow me on any social media platform then you are probably already of my endless posts about The British Plus Size Awards at the weekend. I will do a proper post about the night, outfits and more but firstly I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!

You might know that I had the pleasure of being nominated for two awards this year - Best Blogger and Best Achievement. I was really proud to be nominated for both of them,  but the Best Achievement won definitely meant the most to me!

The award was related to the hashtag #WeAreTheThey which WE ALL worked on earlier this year. If you're new to We Are The They then you can read about it here and here. You may remember that WE ended up trended with the hashtag on more than one occasion, which was amazing in itself.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who voted for me but it doesn't seem enough. After all, I didn't make the hashtag trend on its own - YOU DID! Anyone and everyone who used the hashtag made it the amazing success that it was. You helped to support and uplift other people and for that, I am so thankful!

Of course, I am proud to have started the hashtag but as I said at the awards "This is for anyone who has ever been told they can't wear something because of the way they look".

With presenter Jeff Brazier

The awards was amazing and in all honesty, walking away with the trophy was the absolute icing on the cake. I can't even put into words how happy I am and how grateful I am to everyone that helped make it happen!

I know, this is a something and nothing post but I wanted to post and say thank you as soon as possible because I am truly blessed and you all made it happen!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Debz xx

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Revisiting Pink Clove

You might have noticed the odd blog post about Pink Clove on my blog before. In fact back when they started they went to their launch dinner and was one of the first to see their offerings - do you remember that infamous tartan dress? It sold out SO quickly because it was SO lovely. I have been a fan of Pink Clove from the start.

Since then I have blogged about things I'd like to buy if they did my size and tweeted about the lack of items in my size too. You see, Pink Clove do up to size 32 and that was something that always excited me about their brand. Over recent months the items that they offer up to a size 32 have gotten less and less - in fact in their new arrivals section they only have a selection of vests in different colours, everything else stops at a size 28. I know it can sometimes feel like I give brands a hard time, don't get me wrong I bore myself saying the same thing over and over again. However it is simply through disappointment, I love the items that Pink Clove offer and I get excited that they offer up to a size 32 until I see what is ACTUALLY available.

Anyway, a few weeks ago Pink Clove contacted me and explained that they would like me to try some of their items. They know that I have been quite vocal about my disappointments in the past but would like me to see just how good their items were - so I accepted.

I chose 3 items in a size 28 and waited for them to arrive. I can often make size 28 clothes work for me, they perhaps come up shorter or a bit tighter but that is not something that I mind. The clothes came quickly and I am happy to say the quality was great. The first 2 items are featured in this blog, but there is also a review of their denim shift dress to come!

I chose this duster jacket simply because it's something a little different to me. I am not a fan of jackets in general but with winter well and truly here it's about time I start thinking about covering up. I liked the idea of stepping outside my comfort zone and trying something new! I am so glad I did. I really love the look of the jacket and I know it's something that I will be wearing again and again.

The floral top is actually a dress but because of the size it comes up a bit shorter. That said, I actually really like it as a top and it goes to show that you can make plus size fashion work for you! Another lesson about ignoring sizes and trying items to see how they fit!

I'm not going to lie, I would love more Pink Clove items in a size 32. However that is purely because I love the items I already have in my wardrobe from there and I want more! At least trying these items has reminded me that I can make their items work for me and they look great - I'll definitely be trying them again!

Have you shopped at Pink Clove? What are your favourite items?

Debz xx

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I was lucky enough to be gifted some items in this post and I am very grateful, but I am always open and honest in my reviews!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Debz Goes Topsy Curvy - A Plus Size Shop Review

Firstly, apologies because this post is well overdue! It's one of those that I kept meaning to write but kept forgetting. 

A good few weeks ago now the lovely ladies at Topsy Curvy invited me down to check out their shop in Manchester. I decided to make a day of it and take a long my mama for the day - and what a lovely day it was.

Considering I hadn't been to the shop before and I don't know Manchester well, I found the shop SO easily. Hop on a bus from Picadilly Gardens, it's about 20 minutes away and the bus stops right outside perfect.

The shop itself is really, really lovely. You can see that the girls are passionate about creating an enjoyable shopping experience. The lay out of the shop is perfect with everyone easily seen and rails that aren't too close together - don't you hate that? They're attentive and happy to help. Perhaps one of the things I love most about Topsy Curvy as a brand is how much the girls know their stuff. Since they launched I have become good friends with Jo, Charlotte and Bethany and it's been a real pleasure to see them learn and their brand grow. ANY items that you ask them about on the rail (or on their website) they know about the fit and if it will suit you. They can advise about sizing up or sizing down, which is essential when you're shopping online.

I give brands a hard time about clothes sizes, but I do know how hard it is to source items above a size 26 even if I would love shops such as Topsy Curvy to have more in my size. 

Anyway, I know that Topsy Curvy are helping the campaign for change. They tell me regularly about conversations they have with suppliers asking for MORE! For example about a fortnight a go I started to complain about all of the Christmas swing dresses stopping at size 26 - the girls listened and now have one dress up to a size 30, with the idea of more to following. AMAZING!


Perhaps one of my favourite things about their store is the dressing room. For starters the mirror in the room is MASSIVE, which is perfect for seeing how items look on you. There is seating in the room and even a pair of high heeled shoes for you to slip your feet into if you want to see the outfit in something different. They even have a little stand with perfume,baby wipes, handcream and deodorant so you can freshen up after a trying on session, perfect!

If you're around Manchester then I recommend that you pop into store, because it's exactly how you'd imagine your perfect plus size high street shop to be!

Topsy Curvy
82 Bury Old Road
Whitefield, Manchester
M45 6TQ

Debz xx

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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Plus Size: Bigger Than Just Two Words

This was my entry to the Marie Claire/Tess Munster writing competition. 
I didn't win but I didn't want it to go to waste!

I don’t think there are many people that could say their teenage years are easy, but pre internet days I think they must have been harder. Growing up as a chubby teenager in the 1990's I was surrounded by screams of “girl power” and wearing clothes that apparently expressed our personality. Platform shoes, hair chalk and Naff Naff jackets probably feature in style memories for many people my age.

The problem is that back then the only people I saw dressing like me were slim women. Magazines were covered in models much smaller than me, so as much as they might have screamed “girl power” it was never as though they were talking to me.

As a teenager it is so important that we have influences and inspirational people for us to look up to. It doesn’t have to be anyone offering to make changes to the world or anyone standing up for anything particularly powerful just someone that we can look up to, to aspire to be. When you’re a chubby teenager you really want someone to relate and for me, that never came.

As I reached my early twenties I discovered a whole new world of inspiration. At first it was “BBW dating” (big beautiful women), when I stumbled across a whole host of men who wanted to date women just like me. As a shy person this was something of a revelation. Fast forward a few years and I came across plus size fashion blogs.

It’s easy for me to say that these discoveries were life changing, but it is a statement that is more than true. Coming across women just like me wearing a whole range of clothes I didn’t even know existed opened my eyes to a whole new world. It sounds so silly now but seeing women my size wearing fashionable clothes was breath-taking. I slowly unravelled this world that so many people already lived in that I had no idea even existed – and it’s all thanks to the phrase ‘plus size’.

Over recent months I have read many different arguments about the words ‘plus size’ and whether it’s a phrase that should be abolished. For many people it’s just two words but to others it changes lives.

Without the words plus size, how would I know where to shop? Unless people are going to stand up and demand that every clothes shop stocks my size, we need the phrase. Without it I won’t know what blogs to read, which models to follow or whether there are magazine stories I want to read. The internet makes it easy for us to find information we’re looking for at the click of a finger, so why would we make life hard on ourselves by removing a phrase that means so much?

Yes, in an ideal world we wouldn’t need it but for now we really do; because if as a chubby teenager I could have typed ‘plus size’ into Ask Jeeves (remember him?) and seen larger women wearing platform shoes and Naff Naff jackets my life would have been a much happier content one much sooner – and who are we to deny that to this generation?

Hope you enjoyed reading

Debz xx

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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Still Paying Attention To Clothes Sizes? That's A Silly Old (Sea Dog) Mistake - Plus Size Clothing Options

I have blogged about my lust of Silly Old Sea Dog dresses before - because when they announced their plus size clothing options last year I got very excited! 

At the time they did up to a size 28 and I believe at the moment they do up to a size 24 (with some choices up to a sze 28), with options to have dresses made in your size! I know, I would love to have more size options but I do recognise that often with independent brands it takes time to build up to that! You can even choose your skirt length to ensure that you get a dress perfect for you.

A few weeks ago the lovely team at Silly Old Sea Dog offered to send me one of their dresses in a size 28. I hadn't tried one of their dresses before, mainly because it's a lot of money to spend on a dress that isn't my size and I am not sure would fit.

They sent me this lovely Winter Wonderland dress and I love it. One of the things I like best about the dress is the unusual pattern. I love that plus size fashion options are expanding (no pun intended) but having something which not many others are going to own is great - especially when you attend a lot of plus size events and have a fear of someone else turning up in what you're wearing!

The dress is a little more expensive than I would usually spend, but that said you can feel the difference in quality. The material is sturdy but with a bit of stretch, so it holds you in and gives you plenty of support. I love how much material the skirt has, which gives it that real swishy effect.

It just goes to show, once again that you CAN ignore clothing labels and try items on - you might just be surprised at how well they fit!

Silly Old Sea Dog have an amazing range of dresses with some really fun, retro style prints. I love their range of patterns and dress shapes, it feels like there would be something for everyone.

Debz x

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I was lucky enough to be gifted some items in this post and I am very grateful, but I am always open and honest in my reviews!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember to always keep the child within you Remember, remember the 5th of November goes the old saying – and Bonfire Night is one of the biggest and most exciting nights of the year for children who love fireworks and a massive fire - and for those of us who are very happy to remain children in good ways! 


So perhaps “remember, remember … to always have fun” should be our watchword? It’s true that we all have tremendous responsibilities as adults – but somewhere along the way, many of us lose our childhood instincts that, in many ways, kept us focussed on what’s real. Buddhists and those who meditate along with spiritual leaders from many different religions and different walks of life agree that being “in the moment” is paramount. And it’s this that most children achieve effortlessly because they haven’t yet been burdened with the gradually increasing weight of responsibilities that society places on us as we progress from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. And perhaps Christmas and Bonfire night epitomise the kind of childish wonder and enjoyment of the moment itself more than any other dates in the calendar.
These days, though, not everyone realises the true history of Bonfire Night; where it comes from and why. The Circle tells us that Bonfire Night and spirituality have always gone hand in hand, as well as explaining the true origins of the night. And this neatly fits with the suggestion that Bonfire Night, the magic of a huge crackling fire on a cold dark night in the beginnings of the winter, along with the magic of fireworks and fireworks displays touches something deep within us – the kind of thing we felt naturally and completely unquestioningly as children. This childlike awe of nature’s power, and the sheer possibilities and excitement of life, naturally fades, to some extent, as we become adults not least because we’ve “been there, done that”. But the real reasons we fail to find excitement in new experiences, sometimes, is because we’re burdened by too much thought about the past and the future – rather than living for the day and being “in the moment”. 

We carry baggage from the past and worries about the future. But today is the only day you can live for now. This isn’t the same thing as ignoring one’s responsibilities or not caring about the future. Instead, it’s about living in the moment and putting all your attention on the task in front of you – without simultaneous worries about the future – or regrets from the past. 

 by pedrosimoes7 Caption: 

We all yearn for those carefree days of childhood sometimes think back to when you were a child. 

Did you worry about tomorrow, continually, or about what happened yesterday? Of course not – you instinctively knew how to be here and now - and to live life to the fullest. As adults, many of us need to re-learn these skills, without simultaneously negating our responsibilities. And there’s no better time to do this than on Bonfire Night – and perhaps Christmas Eve as you share the magic with your own children.

Something a little from me today, but I wanted to talk about childhood and happiness. My childhood was a very happy one and I know it helped build solid foundations for how happy I am now!

What are your Bonfire Night plans?

Debz xx

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

We Are The They And We're Here To Stay

You will have seen earlier on today I posted about a We Are The They campaign for this evening. 

If you're reading this it's time to get on social media and post on your photos. I want to see you looking fabulous! Simply post your favourite photos of you on Twitter and Instagram using #WeAreTheThey :)

Quite frankly I am fed up of the notion that I shouldn't be entitled to clothing because I might be unhealthy. I don't think people quite realise that they're talking about something as basic as putting clothes on a body when they say that plus size clothing should not exist.

I even saw a blog post this morning that suggests 'obesity kills' warnings should be sewn into the labels of my clothing. 

Here is a comment I left on a blog post (which I refuse to link to) this morning.

"I think you are a little bit confused about the reasons for size 32 clothing.... I AM a size 32 and therefore I need clothing in my size. If you think that I am a size 32 because of the multiple choices of clothing I am now 'lucky' enough to have you are wrong. The truth is that people were fat long before they had clothing available in their size. I have been the teenager having to wear ill fitting school blazers and the 20-something having to squeeze my body into a work uniform that didn't fit, just so I could do things as basic as getting an education or earning a living.
I think if you want to battle the 'heath' of our nation then that is a whole different argument. You can read debates on both sides of the coin when it comes to the current health of our nation compared to 50 years ago. However, please be assured that those of us are fat because of much more complex reasons than striving to fit into the handful of plus size clothing options that we now."
Plus size clothing might be available and it might make loving your body more acceptable - it also makes it possible for plus size people to look nice, go out to work, look after their children etc. The fact that clothing for fat people now exists is not the reason we are fat, so please do not deny us the right to something as basic as clothing when you talk about fat people and their right to clothing.

So anyway.... I wanted once again to highlight when people say 'they shouldn't have clothes in this size', 'they shouldn't be wearing a wedding dress like that' and 'they should lose weight to fit normal sized clothing'; WE are the people they are talking about.... WE ARE THE THEY AND WE'RE HERE TO STAY!

KittyEmma, Caroline, Charlie, Susan, Becs, Katt and Becky

Steph, Vicky, Leah, Caroline, Faith, Leah, Lucy and Mookie

Don't forget - post your photos on social media using #WeAreTheThey so we can all see and share them all!

Debz x

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