Friday, 27 September 2013

Trying New Shops is Hard!

For years I avoided ASOS Curve. I heard from a friend once that they bought something that didn't fit properly and so I avoided it too! Their bad experience was enough to put me off of even trying it! For me, I went for years of sticking with shops I knew! When you know how a shop cuts their tops and how their jeans fit on you, it can be tempting to stick with them, after all - better the devil you know!

However, I am happy to say I WAS WRONG! My wardrobe is now packed full of delightful ASOS Curve items and my shopping basket on their site full of even more. I genuinely can not get enough of their pretty clothes and sales-goodness! I am sad that I missed out on so many years of happy shopping just because I was too afraid to try.

Being afraid might seem like a big word - perhaps apprehensive is better! But when you're spending big bucks on clothes, the last thing you want is to have to send them back again. Not only is this a hassle, but you have the disappointment of holding something pretty in your hands that will never be yours!

However... I beg you - try!! If there is a dress, a top, a pair of jeans or anything else you have seen that you liked but though "oh not, that won't fit me" - try! What's the worst that could happen? Over the last 12 months I have tried so many new retailers (Topsy Curvy, AX Curve, Excite Clothing....) and I am so glad I did.



On this note, Yours Clothing have let me give you an offer! By using the voucher code "Blogger 6" at their check out you'll get £10 off of a £20 spend. You must be a new customer and sales items don't count, but it could be the perfect way for you to try something on the site for size! 

They have loads on offer on their site! I found their sizes pretty true to size, so whatever you are looking for, order in your normal size, use the code 'Blogger6' to save yourself your money and then await your exciting package of clothes to come through the post!



I'd love to know what you bought and what you thought!

Debz x



*Blogger6 gives new customers £10 off of a £20 spend. Non sale items only. Affiliate link.

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Getting My Scottish On - The Legendary Pink Clove Tartan Dress!

If you have read any of my blog posts - or indeed any plus size bloggers posts then you'll see that plenty of people are raving about the Pink Clove tartan dress!

As soon as the Pink Clove website was launched and the collection announced people started to talk about the tartan dress! When I saw it at the Pink Clove Blogger Dinner - I knew I had to have it!




There isn't much I can say about this dress that hasn't already been said - only that I love it! I love the fit and the quality is amazing - a bargain for £22.00!

I do smiley so much better than I do 'sultry'
So there you have it - the amazing tartan dress! It's also available as a skirt if dresses aren't your thing!

Have you bought anything from Pink Clove yet? What did you think?

Debz x

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Monday, 23 September 2013

Pink Skater Dress & Birthday Drinks!

On Saturday I was lucky enough to go on a night out with some of my favouritest people in the world to celebrate my birthday! We headed to Reflex in Watford to dance to cheesy 80s tunes and drink way to many £2 jagerbombs - good times!

In the days leading up to the night out, I started to wonder what I would wear... I spotted this dress on the Topsy Curvy website a few days before and bought it. Luckily it came on Saturday morning and when I tried it on, I thought it was perfect for what I wanted!


The dress is quite short, so I would definitely always wear it with leggings. That said, it is a lovely fit and the material feels a really good quality! Considering I picked this up in their sale for a bargain price of £15 I am more than happy! (I also got it in teal, but haven't worn that out yet)


Dress: Topsy Curvy
Leggings: Simply Be
Belt: Yours Clothing
Necklace: Primark

My lovely friend Lucia spent the afternoon doing mine and my sisters make up - thank you!! 

I won't scare you with the photos from the night out - we did get quite messy! If anyone saw a fat girl, in bright pink dancing to Chesney Hawkes at 2am on Saturday night/Sunday morning it was probably me!

As for now... I am off to eat birthday cake for breakfast and then have a birthday dinner with my friends tonight - what a lucky girl!

Debz xx

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Saturday, 21 September 2013

I Can't Shop On The High Street, I'm Fat: A Look At Evans in Marble Arch

As plus size retailers go, Evans have been there throughout it all! Although some of their smaller stores have had to close, they still have a massive high street presence and I hope this doesn't change any time soon.

Since moving to London I haven't really had a chance to go to the Marble Arch store, but seeing as it is a flagship store I thought it was about time I visited... I was not disappointed!





Lots of space between rails was something I was very pleased to see! No having to squeeze your way through spaces that have been crammed with rails and sales racks.

A really good winter coat selection - I think we're going to need it if this cold weather is anything to go by!




Lots of items to choose from and plenty of pretty displays to browse!

I'll be honest I don't have many Evans items in my wardrobe - I think it is a mix of styles available and cost that puts me off. That said, I am very pleased to see a plus size retailer on the high street that offers great items. I do have a couple of great items that I am really pleased with though - and I always keep my eyes open for more!

Have you been to an Evans recently? How did you find it?

Debz x


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Friday, 20 September 2013

Evans Curvy Street Style Day - London - 14th September

On the week leading up to the 14th September I heard about the Evans 'Curvy Street Style' event that was being held that Saturday. As I haven't been to their Marble Arch flagship store for ages I thought it would be a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

When I got to the event I was greeted by two ladies straight away. The lovely ladies explained that every customer had their chance to have their photo taken by a professional photographer that day and be featured on the Evans Curvy Street Style website. 

Of course... I could not resist having my photo taken!



To say I was happy with the photo is an understatement - I love it!

I went along with Lucia from U Cant Wear That and we couldn't resist having our photo taken together!


People on the day were also given a gift card loaded with anything up to £100.00! Mine was worth a fiver (better than nothing!) but I hear a girl won £100.00 not long after us - congrats!



Feedback I heard on the day was great - with many ladies relishing having a photo taken of them looking amazing! I'd love to see more events like this on the high street!

Would you attend something like this?

Debz x

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Last Giveaway Of The Week - Black Heart Creatives

As my birthday fast approaches, I am pleased to announce my last give away of the week (That's not to say something exciting isn't coming next week!)

You might have heard of Black Heart Creatives - I certainly have raved about them before!

They do a whole range of necklaces as well as the chance to have ANY word you want put onto a chain - so beautiful!

Those are the amazing Black Heart Creatives necklaces I own!

Want to see their range? Click here

Enter this easy to enter competition and you could be the proud own of one too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Debz xx

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Win A Dress From Yours Clothing!

My third giveaway this week to celebrate my birthday is from Yours Clothing!

Yours Clothing are kindly giving one of you the chance to have one of their dresses in your winter wardrobe!




The plus size retailer have a massive range of dresses right up to a size 32, so the hardest job you'll have is to decide which one of their pretty dresses you want to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd love to hear about your favourite Yours Clothing items!

Good Luck!

Debz xx

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Win: An Item Of Your Choice From Simply Be!

As you might have seen yesterday, I am hosting a number giveaways to celebrate my birthday on Monday! 

I am very excited to announce that Simply Be have kindly donated the chance for you to win the item of your choice from the website! With up to £50.00 to spend on something from the Simply Be website, you'll be able to add to your winter wardrobe without having to worry about the stress of the cost!




As you know Simply Be have a whole range of items to choose from - so whether you want a new dress, some new shoes or a new pair of jeans you'll be able to choose whatever you want as your prize!


Enter the competition here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition to win a Topsy Curvy midi dress can also be seen here!

Good Luck!


Debz xx

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

WIN!!! Crazy Print Mini Dress Giveaway!

Next week I turn 31 - although the less said about the better really!

To celebrate I have teamed up with a number of plus size retailers to giveaway some amazing prizes! I know... my birthday and one of you get pretty clothes, that's fair right!? Haha!

A couple of giveaways will be launched over the next couple of days, with winners being drawn on my birthday - the 23rd of September!

My first prize is for this amazing Crazy Print Midi Dress (available in sizes 18-26) kindly donated by the fabulous Topsy Curvy. Their website has loads of pretty items available up to a size 32, so they are well worth checking out!





A close up of the print

Enter the competition here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Debz xx

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Monday, 16 September 2013

Gemma Cruickshank Collexions: New Fashion Line Launch

If you follow any aspect of the 'plus size world' then the likelihood is that you will have heard of Gemma Cruickshank - Of course it's still a shame it's a separate world, but that is another blog post! 

Whether you saw her win the Miss BBW International Beauty Pageant in 2012, you discovered her many 'self love' rants on Facebook, you have seen her on Twitter or met her at an event there can be no denying that she will have made an impact. 

I won't talk about how at a size 22 it is a surprise she is so confident and I won't take about how she's pretty for a big girl because we all know being good looking and confident isn't linked to body size.




What I do want to talk about is the very exciting Gemma Cruickshank Collexions which are due to launch soon! I am very excited to see what Gemma has come up with and I know I won't be disappointed! Having someone who understands a bigger body design clothes for me is amazing and I can't wait for the line to be launched!

In a lead up to the launch I caught up with Gemma to talk about fashion and her new line - her is what she had to say!

For anyone who doesnt know you in the plus size world (or the 'normal world' for that matter) who are you?

My name is Gemma Cruickshank, I am 23 years old and I am an up and coming size inclusive fashion designer. I graduated last November and have had a whirl wind of a year; I am excited to be sharing the fantastic news that my brainchild ‘Gemma Cruickshank Clothing’ will be launching this October 2013.

Celebrating the curvaceous form and non commercial silhouette is my passion, I definitely consider myself to be a body confidence and self esteem activist. I believe that boosting self esteem enables us to achieve our goals and better our lives. I have done lots of work around size acceptance, body confidence and self esteem boosting in the run up to my business launch. 

Being tall and fuller figured myself, and knowing the struggle women of different shapes and sizes face when buying clothes. I initially went to University to study fashion & printed textiles which I knew would equip me with the knowledge I needed to build my dream and enable me to provide quality, size appropriate clothing. 

We're hearing rumours on Twitter and Facebook of you launching a clothing range, tell us more?

I am indeed launching a clothing range, it is something I am so excited and so passionate about. I am lucky enough to be the proud occupant of a BA Hons in fashion and printed textiles.  I am literally now turning my dreams into my reality. I am currently working with the Princes Trust to build my business, which I am launching on the evening of Tuesday 8th October 2013. This will be a fantastic opportunity for me to meet all the fabulous people who have been supporting me for the past year, release my first official collection and celebrate the launch of my awaited website.

Did you do all the designs yourself?

I do everything myself which I love, initially I am a digital printer which means I am able to design my fabric surfaces myself, which enables me to get the exact fabric design I want to use. I design all my own stuff, pattern cut, sew and finish all myself. Up until now I have been doing bespoke orders but the time is definitely here to unleash a small collection of my own little ‘Gems’. As my business is growing and the only way is up I will be on the look out to grow #TeamGemma, I am looking for skilled pattern cutters and seamstresses to join my team.
   
Who will your range be aimed at?

I would hate to limit my range and say it’s only made for one group of people or a specific person. I would never produce anything I wouldn’t wear myself, and it is open for everybody to enjoy. 

Although I am plus size myself, I feel it is very important for us to be included in the fashion industry this is why I am doing size inclusion which covers 12-30. I want to be the change I want to see, I would love for fuller figure ladies to be able to shop at the same places as their petite friends, and be able to buy something because they really like it not because they have to, because it’s their size. I am open to everyone who wants to enjoy my passion.




Where do you get your design inspiration from?

Being part of my own target market means I am continuously inspired, I am a very visual person, I love the feminine form, I love the feel of fabrics, I get excited by colour, and I love the endless opportunities. It never gets boring, I love what I do, I love the wave of fuller figured women who are all doing their own bit for our community and showing that just because you are bigger doesn’t mean you can’t be beautiful – that to me is one of the most inspiring things ever and something I am so grateful to be a part of.

 Where can I find out more?

I love a bit of social media, I can be found exclusively at www.GemmaCruickshank.com
I can be found on my official Facebook page www.facebook.com/IAmGemmaC
I can be followed and tweeted www.twitter.com/IAmGemmaC - @IAmGemmaC

I can be contacted directly through all of these, I am known as IAmGemmaC via social media, if it’s not IAmGemmaC it’s not me :D
  
Where, when and how will I be able to buy your clothes!?

Starting Small, My clothes will be available to buy via my own website under the Boutique heading – www.GemmaCruickshank.com & www.GemmaCruickshank.co.uk 

Got my fingers crossed and I would love to work with a bigger brand either expanding their own plus size range or introducing a new one!! I am always open to new ideas and love a challenge. 


So there you have it - a VERY exciting new business venture by a lovely lady who knows what she is talking about. By living and breathing the clothes she is designing you can feel sure that her passion, experience and qualifications will make sure that the clothes line is worth checking out!

I'm going to the launch on the 8th October so I'll bring you all the gossip and news from there ASAP!

What would you like to see as part of Gemmas new collection?

Debz xx

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Pushing The Fatshion Boundaries Every Day!

I bet, if you look in your wardrobe it is mainly made up of the same style of clothes. Whether you like to wear mainly black, or jeans and a top is your thing your wardrobe will (in most cases) be dominated by one type of clothing. For me, it is leggings and pretty dresses - I love them! I have learned how to make them work for me and now I am running with it! (So to speak, no actual running!)

However, it shouldn't always be like that! I learnt this weekend that trying new things often means you discover new items that you like & new ways to wear clothes!

Last week I saw this dress on the ASOS Curve website

ASOS CURVE Denim Pinafore Dress In Dark Vintage Wash
Anyway, I loved the dress and I saw plenty of people on Instagram and Twitter wearing it. However as it was out of my comfort zone, I couldn't picture wearing it myself!

This weekend my friend (Lucia from U Cant Wear That) and I went out and she was wearing the dress! When we came back to my house, I demanded that she let me try the dress on!

Even though its a bad picture and even though I am wearing it OVER an existing dress I love the way it looks! So much so, that I really want to get one for myself! 
The dress is here if you want it.



While out and about I also eyed up a leather jacket that I really liked the look of in New Look Inspire. I don't wear jackets... ever! I haven't owned a coat in years... I just don't like them! But this jacket jumped out at me and I really, really liked it! I tried it on and I am in love! (It's a size too small but they didn't have my size in store - I am ordering it online today!). It's here if you want it!


So - there you have it. Not only a weekend of amazing company, Mexican food, vodka and the cinema but a learning curve & two completely new style items to add to my wardrobe - good times all round!

When was the last time you pushed the boundaries with clothes that you wear?

Debz x


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Friday, 13 September 2013

I Finally Got My Hands On The Typography Dress!

As many of you know, since I first clapped eyes on the Pink Clove website, I have lusted over the typography dress. Although there are loads of amazing, pretty dresses on the site (some of which I also now own) this dress jumped out at me straight away as being something different.

I love the pattern on the dress and the fact that it is midi length. I was looking for something a little different to add to my winter wardrobe and I found it!

When I attended the Pink Clove dinner I got to see the dress in the flesh and feel how high quality the material was, so I knew I had to have it!

Now... I am proud to say I am a very happy owner of this lovely dress!




As I am quite short the dress is quite long on me - but that means that anyone can 'get away' with wearing this dress without leggings or tights. Of course not everyone is as short as me (5'2) so for most people it would be much shorter!



It is as reasonably thick material which also makes it great for winter! I found the sizing to be very generous, I think I could have easily have downsized on this and for it to still fit although it would be a bit tight - but as a body con dress fan this wouldn't be a problem for me!




I know lots of people have been talking about Pink Clove... Have you bought anything? What did you think?

Debz xx


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Thursday, 12 September 2013

I Can't Shop On The High Street, I'm Fat: A Look at Yours Clothing, Manchester


As most of you will know by now, I spent last weekend in Manchester. While I was there we went shopping at the Arndale Centre there - not surprising when you consider there were 10 females there for the weekend!
I decided to do a sneaky bit of detective work and went to Yours Clothing store, which is on the ground floor of the Arndale Centre.

I have to say, I loved the layout of the store - plenty of space between clothing rails, lots of bright lots and friendly staff, what more could a girl want?


I really loved the Limited Collection and being able to see it properly in the flesh was lovely. I have eyed up a few items on the website but as they're a little more expensive that some Yours Clothing items it was nice to see them, feel them (and try them on if you want) before you part with your hard earned cash!


Some of my favourite items:


It was clear that the store was kitted out for its Autumn/Winter collection which is fine and to be expected! It was nice to see that the fashion trends displayed throughout Manchester was echoed in Yours Clothing - a plus size store that keeps up to date with trends is always good! 

Have you been to any Yours Clothing stores? What did you think?

Find your nearest Yours Clothing shop here. http://www.yoursclothing.co.uk/storefinder.aspx 

Debz xx



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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Size 16 Mannequins? A Big Fat Yes From Me!

Over recent years there have been rumours and viral photos claiming that stores have/are going to introduce plus size mannequins. Of course when I say plus size, I actually mean a size 16 - which is the UK average, so not very 'plus' at all when you consider it, but that's another argument!

It wasn't until I logged onto Facebook this morning and saw Body Gossips post about Natasha Devon's debate on BBC Ulster Radio yesterday that I realised there is a real chance of it becoming a reality.

You can listen to the debate here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039jmgt (starts from about 1 hour 9 minutes in)

In an interview with the Sunday Times Equalities Minister Jo Swinson has spoken up about her feelings and the need to have size 16 mannequins in stores.

She told The Sunday Times: "The images we see in the world of fashion are all pretty much the same — it’s as if there’s only one way of being beautiful.”


A Facebook image which has gone viral of a store using a plus size mannequin

Evans actually already use size 16 mannequins where as Topshop and Miss Selfridges use size 10. Wallis and Dorothy Perkins seem to fall in the middle with mannequins sized around a 10-12. 

However when you consider that in the past decade the average dress size of a UK female has gone up to a size 16, from a size 12 it is easy to see why size 10 mannequins just don't do the job.

Natasha Devon makes a good point in that it shouldn't just be plus size mannequins that we see in our shops. Instead they should be a range of diverse mannequins to reflect the range of bodies that shop on the UK high street.

When you think about it - why don't we have tall mannequins short ones? Why not have fat and thin mannequins? Big breasted and flat chested? That way, whoever is shopping in the stores has a better chance of seeing what the clothes look like on a mannequin that resembles their body.

If we are spending our hard earned cash on clothes why shouldn't we get a better idea of how they'll look on our frame before we part with our money?

I'd love to know what you think

Debz xx

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Clothes To Make You Feel Be-You-Tiful

You might have guessed - I like clothes! More importantly I like wearing clothes that I am in love with. I am passionate about people looking and feeling great in the clothes that they wear... I am happiest when I find a dress I can fall in love with and wear without worrying about what I look like.

Above all else... I love positive body image! I want people to love their amazing bodies - whatever they look like. Whether they're 'media beautiful' or not, people should love the skin that they're in, feel proud of who they are and be happy with everything that they are. The world is an amazing and diverse place, why should the people who live here be any different?

One company that feel the same is Body Gossip. I have blogged about Natasha Devon and the Body Gossip project in general before, truth be told - I probably will again. I love what they stand for and the way that they work (often tirelessly) to promote self confidence and love.

When I discovered that they offered a range of t-shirts to help promote the self love message I was over the moon. The t shirts are amazing and I'd love to own one. Sadly at the moment they only go to a size 22 (to small for me... boooo) but I have asked them and been told this is down to budget than ruling anyone out! You can be sure that if they ever expand their range to large sizes I will be first in line to grab one!

Here are some of my favourite shirts that they have.





You can get yours from www.bodygossipshop.com

Which one would you buy?


Debz xx

Of course my love for the Be-You-Tiful t-shirt has nothing to do with the fact it matches my tattoo ;)


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I Can't Shop On The High Street, I'm Fat: A Look At Simply Be, Manchester

When I read things written by fat girls a lot of it revolves around fashion and the limitations they feel they have. Outside of the beautiful world of 'plus size blogging' many people still feel that they can not shop like a 'normal' person but this is not the case at all!

I have already started my ABC of plus size fashion features to try and introduce people to new retailers. My list of 'recommended plus size retailers' at the top of the page now has over 30 stores listed for the same reason!

Now I want to try and show you that you can shop on the high street, whatever your size - as long as you know where to look!

As you know this weekend I was in Manchester on a Hen Party and I stumbled across my very first Simply Be Store in The Arndale Centre there. I dragged the (skinny) hen inside so I could have a nosey. Rather than try to explain to the cashier what I was doing I also sneakily took some photos while I was inside!



I have to say I loved the layout of the store (which is teamed with Jacamo much like Top Shop/Top Man) and found the staff were really friendly and helpful. 



The shop was clean, tidy and easy to get around! They had lots of choice too. It was lovely to see some of the items I had spotted on the website 'in real life'.




Some of my favourite items:



Debz 


xx

Simply Be Stores:



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