Sunday, 31 August 2014

Plus North Review - A Different Perspective!

First of all let me tell you now - Plus North was AMAZING! A different perspective just means I am going to review it in a different way to most people, just because I like to be difficult :D

I have spoken before about the importance of surrounding yourself with the right type of media. It can be tough living in a body that doesn't fit the media version of perfect that so many of us are force fed, often without us realising it. It's up to us to change that and surround ourselves with something new - an alternative version of good, so that we can change the influences our brain sees as positive.

Which leads me on to Plus North - an event which oozes inspiration. If you haven't attended Plus North before, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you go next year, there is literally nothing quite like it. I have no doubt that over the next few days there will be bundles of reviews and photos posted, so I wanted to share something different with you.

Photo thanks to Plus North. Some of the blogger babes on Sunday

I have to tell you that being in a room full of women that are strong and confident is amazing. When you can see plus size fashion being modelled on actual plus size women it is just perfect. When you see those women laughing together, sharing stories, supporting eachother, wooping, clapping and cheering for each other it gives you that sort of warm fuzzy feeling. Talking to brands and being able to tell them what you want from fat fashion and where you think they are going wrong is a crazy sort of liberating - Imagine being able to go into Asda and tell them what's wrong with their bread, it's amazing! 

(c) Plus North 
You can get measured, try make up, have your photo taken, browse clothes, buy clothes, win prizes or simply sit and enjoy a drink - all in the surroundings of plus size women who just like you fight the media's idea of a perfect body and live a happy, loving life. I know it sounds a bit cliche, but there is nothing quite like seeing someone like you living the life you would like for you to see that you can be fat (*plus size, bbw, larger, cuddly, curvy...) and happy because those people ARE DOING IT!

That is without the almost startling concept (for me at least) that maybe plus size fashion isn't quite as limited as it once was. I saw hundreds of women at this event, all looking AMAZING in different outfits across three different events (Saturday day, Saturday evening and Sunday day), which just goes to show that over the years plus size fashion has really improved - definitely steps in the right direction at the very least! 

Plus North had its 3rd Annual event in Leeds this year - with fashion shows, brand talks, blogging tips, pub quizzes, raffles and an after party that was beyond fun. All this was alongside ladies you see on Instagram, read the blogs of, chat to on Twitter and generally nosey on their lives - it's amazing! I have everything crossed that there will be a Plus North 2015 and if there is, make it your mission to be there!
Debz xx

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Friday, 22 August 2014

Body Positivity - Are We Fighting A Losing Battle?

I love my body. Yes, there are things about it I would change (who wouldn't?) but I love that it is mine and all the things that it allows me to do. I hope one day, everyone feels as content and comfortable in their own skin as I do, because it's a really lovely place to be at.

However, sometimes things happen that make me realise I am fighting a losing battle, because the lines of body positivity get blurred & every day I see examples of people bringing down one body type in order to make another body type feel good - but that method IS NOT WORKING!

In my eyes, you can not be positive about one persons choice to have a body like they do while you are slating another person and their choices. Yes, I understand that it is easier to relate to and understand a person who thinks the same as you but if someone has a different thought to you, that is OK TOO!

This morning, Kate Hopkins hit the headlines with her new TV venture - to gain 3 stone and then show how easy it is to lose it (that's another blog post)! However what I saw from comments at people (rightly so) horrified at her TV show was comments about the way she looks. People on Twitter and Facebook were making horrible comments about the way she looks, dress etc which just shows me that we're fighting an ever losing battle!

In my eyes, if we are angry at Katie Hopkins for her judgemental comments about fat people then fighting that with judgemental comments about the way she looks is pointless and harmful. Instead we need to look at rising above it and fighting her horrible judgemental views with education and strength, not resorting to name calling.

And then this morning I saw (although admittedly I haven't read the article) a headline in That's Life Magazine about plus size party Big Girls Paradise. The headline reads "If You're Thin, You're Not Coming In". The organisers of BGP are adamant that they knew nothing of the headline but I am not sure if that makes things better or worse! I have lost count of the number of BGP parties I have attended across 3 different cities in the last few years and I can hand on my heart say that thin people are welcome, more than welcome! 

Yes, BGP is a plus size positive environment but that doesn't mean anyone else isn't welcome, what nonsense! I have spoken about BGP and the improvements they can (in my opinion) make but one thing I can say is that no one is turned away because of their size - what a horrible place that would be if that were the case.

This headline apparently plucked out of thin air by That's Life Magazine only goes to try and strengthen the divide between fat and thin people. I can see horrified thin women reading that story and thinking FINE! Let them go their special club they don't need to be made to feel welcome in our clubs! Fair enough, that might be an exaggerated view but why do magazines like this need to add any fuel to the fire? We certainly do not need anything more to separate fat and thin people so these magazines need to sit up and realise that their sensationalised headlines make a massive difference!

So, we have magazines claiming that thin people aren't welcome in plus size parties and supposed body positive people slating on Katie Hopkins because of the way she looks - both of these supposed scenarios where people should be made to feel welcomed and loved, not slated.

So, body positivity are we fighting a losing battle or do you think we're making in-roads to where we need to be?

Debz x

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Swing And You're Winning... Sort Of!

You might remember that I blogged about my shopping trip to Simply Be in Derby and the dresses I bought while I was there. 

One of them was this lovely swing dress, which had a pattern that jumped out at me as soon as I saw it on the sale rail. 

I loved it when I tried it on and I knew I had to have it! However, swing dresses are something a bit new to me (I've always been late to the party) especially in my actual size with the full swing effect. I wore this a few days ago and have to confess that I was a little scared of the swing dress affect and wore it with a belt.

I don't think it looks bad that way at all and I actually really liked the outfit that day! However, I know that it's a shame to wear such a beautiful shape dress and ruin the shape with a belt, so it is my intention to brave it and wear it without one! I know, it probably seems silly but it's just a new shape dress for me to get used to - but I'll get there!

He quite liked.. haha!

What are your fashion phobias? How do you plan to get over them?

Debz xx

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Friday, 15 August 2014

Fallen in Love!

Ahhhh I am in love and I want to shout it from the rooftops! In fact if you follow me on any social media forums then the chances are that you have heard about my love affair already!

This dress... LOOK AT IT!!!! Have you ever seen anything SO pretty?? I can't really blog about it too much because it's now out of stock on ASOS, but it is BEAUTIFUL!! I really love what ASOS are doing at the moment - there are so many Curve dresses that I have my beady eyes on!

I wore this dress to the Style XL event in Leicester a few weeks ago. This was a Midlands based plus size fashion show put on by Leah and it was a brilliant day! It was lovely to see so many of the brands getting involved, plus size bloggers strutting their stuff in next seasons fashion offerings and of course geting to catch up with everyone! 

There are lots of blog posts about the event around so make sure you give them a read - as usual I was too busy having fun(*read eating cupcakes) to take photos so I don't have much to share at all. Leah announced that she plans to do the event again next year, so that is well worth keeping an eye out for.

What are you loving at the moment?

Debz xx

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Plus Size Shopping As Simple As It Should Be

I have mentioned the plus size shopping haven of Westfields in Derby and I will no doubt mention it again. A couple of months ago one of my favourite people in the world (Lucia from U Can't Wear That) moved to Derby, so of course I have visited her a few times. Whenever I go, we pop to Westfields and I am never disappointed. The shopping centre itself has a Simply Be, Yours Clothing, Evans, New Look Inspire and Primark - what more could a girl want?

When we popped into the Simply Be store this time they had rails and rails of sales clothing, all with an extra 20% off, you're a better person than me if you could resist that! The Simply Be changing rooms are lovely, so trying on clothes there is a pleasure!

These are some of my favourite items I tried on. I brought the swing dress & the red dress which no doubt will turn up in a blog post soon. I wish I had bought the flower print dress, but I had to try and be at least a little bit sensible!

If you live in the Midlands or anywhere near a Simply Be store then make sure you pop along. Being able to clothes shop where you can try them on rather than have to guess your size online is a novelty I'll never get bored of!

Have you been to a Simply Be store before? How was it?

Debz xx

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

When Plus Size Fashion Gets Tight!

I admit that I am not much of a tights wearer - I might prefer to flash the flesh! However as I take a keen interest in plus size fashion I know that finding plus size to fit is some what of a nightmare! Over recent years I have heard of tights being too small, the stomach areas being too lose and even rolling down half way through the way - which is far from ideal! Thankfully it seems that plus size retailers and even retailers of tights are starting to catch on that more needs to be done about it.

A few weeks ago tights retailer Pamela Mann contacted me about their tights and asked if they could send me a couple of pairs to try. They sent me some plain ones and a pair with a nice flowery pattern on - both of which felt lovely straight away. On the Pamela Mann website there are over 70 pairs of plus size tights so I can't find the exact pairs that I was sent - sorry!

The patterned tights fit me great but I found that the black ones were a little long - but then considering I am very short this isn't very surprising! Being the ever professional blogger I am, I can't find the photos I took of the tights but I will find them and upload them to my social media when I do! I found the fit to be great around the stomach area on both pairs that I was sent (I ordered the same size I would usually get my underwear in) which is something I was impressed with.  I didn't wear them for long but they felt quite comfy for the short time I wore them. I have heard that the sizing of the tights is a bit hit and miss, so maybe order one pair first to make sure they suit you!

One of the things I love about the Pamela Mann brand is the fact that they are SO keen to get plus sizes right. They have been in touch with bloggers right up to a size 36 to get their options on sizing and fits, just to make sure that the tights are as perfect as they can be.

Have you shopped at Pamela Mann? What did you think?

Debz x

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