Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Why Are Plus Size Brands Getting It So Wrong??

I write this post with a heavy heart, although I suppose that could be quite handy - it'll match the rest of me.

2015 has been a really good year for plus size fashion in many ways. For people over a size 26 we have seen more options released and it seemed in some small way that brands were listening... Oh how we were wrong!



I'm going to be honest with you writing this post is a little bit scary. I have been told by a brand in the past that they don't want to work with me because of my negativity - this post is going to do that train of thought no favours. I am a sucker for a pretty dress and if it comes without a "price tag" then great, however I simply can not sit quiet and watch plus size brands continuously make women feel bad about their bodies.

Loving your body is a battle, in a world surrounded by people telling you that you are wrong. The one thing you should be able to trust is plus size brands to tell you that you're worthy of their clothes and worthy of feeling great! After all, we're buying their clothes so they're going to want us to be happy fatties right? Wrong.

This happened tonight with one of my favourite brands and it breaks my heart to write about it. Scarlett & Jo have done SO MUCH for the world of plus size fashion - even just offering ALL of their items up to a size 32 makes them a rare breed. To be honest with you, the whole shenanigan surrounding this post went on for HOURS! I will perhaps write about all of that another time, we're all still trying to work out exactly what happened.

That said, this lady simply asked for a brand to do more types of clothing - she did not deserve to be shot down in the way that she did.... You're giving feedback to a brand, this is the stuff you should be striving for. One of your potential customers is telling you how they would spend their money - why are you simply being rude and dismissive?


She doesn't wear what you currently sell, so she must dress trash-fash... I am speechless!


And then a few days before this we have this gem from Pink Clove


People commented that they were indeed the whole package 'despite' being fat and told Pink Clove how out of order they had been. The post was deleted from Facebook with no apology however remains on Twitter.

Dear Plus Size Brands - You have hundreds of plus size bloggers out there that would be willing to help you. So many talented individuals can help you tap into your customer base and communicate in a way that isn't offensive. It seems so hard for you to manage social media without telling us the way we dress is wrong or suggesting we're not good enough because we're fat - so why are you not tapping into the resource of plus size bloggers and using them to help you?

Your plus size customers deserve more. We deserve more. You have to stop putting us down and making us feel bad about our bodies, the rest of the world does that enough already.

Please pull your socks up and do better, because quite frankly enough is enough

Debz x


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Monday, 21 December 2015

Will You Be Lonely This Christmas?

A couple of days ago Kellie from The Big Fashionista reminded me that there are people who find the festive season tough. For whatever reason, if you find Christmas a time where you struggle or feel lonelier than usual, it is important to remember that you are not alone.




MIND
Website www.mind.org.uk
Tel No   0300 123 3393
Samaritans
Website  www.samaritans.org
Tel No      116 123 
Alcoholics Anonymous
Tel No     0800 9177650 
Stonewall
Website    www.stonewall.org.uk
Info line 08000 50 20 20 
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
Tel No    0207 837 7324
SANELine
Website   www.sane.org.uk
Tel No     0300 304 7000
Papyrus, Prevention of young suicide
Website  www.papyrus-uk.org 
Beaumont Society
Information Line 01582 412220
Childline
Depression Alliance
Refuge
Website   www.refuge.org.uk
Tel No     0808 2000 247
Beat
Beating eating disorders.
Help line 0345 634 1414
Youth Line 0345 634 7650
Shelter
Website  www.shelter.org.uk
Tel No    0808 800 4444
NHS Direct
1111 
No Panic
Tel No  0844 967 4848
Youth helpline
Tel No 01753 840393

These numbers come thanks to Kellie


YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


Debz xx


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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Topsy Curvy Christmas Swing Dress


You have probably noticed this, the Christmas jumper has had to take a step back this year in favour of the Christmas swing dress. I don't know about you but my Facebook newsfeed has been full of people advertising and sharing their purchases of an array of Christmas dresses! 

I loved them all, except the fact that they all stopped at a size 24. I love the idea of a bit of Christmas jazz but I wasn't keen on wearing a dress that was too small. On Facebook chat groups I saw that I wasn't alone in this feeling - another time when size 24+ plus size women were left out!

As ever, those beautiful ladies at Topsy Curvy listened and did what they could to tell. Less than 2 weeks later this gem dropped through my letterbox - how exciting!  This swing dress by Topsy Curvy goes right up to a size 28/30 and as you can see on me, it's pretty generous!


I love the exciting pattern on this dress, with its Christmas trees, Santa's and decorations. I actually also really like the fact it's on a darker material with a brighter pattern which I think helps it stand out fro the rest. The long sleeves also make it perfect for this time of year.


I really love Topsy Curvy for pushing the boundaries and listening to their customer base to try and deliver more. They have a whole host of Christmas dresses so make sure you head to their website and see if anything takes your fancy! Use the code 'CurvyChristmas' to get two for £25 - bargain! I think they have sold out of this exact print now, but they lots of other plus size Xmas dress options!

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!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Plus Size Party Dresses with George at Asda

I have written before about my excitement at the George at Asda plus size offerings, they do some items up to a size 32. In fact, every time I check what they have they have more and more which is a great sign.

They invited me to check out their plus size party dresses and speaking about surviving Christmas parties! A lot of their size 32 dresses are more casual than I would wear to a full blown Christmas party, but I know that around this time of year there are lots of things to attend. I love the dresses that they have, which would be perfect for Christmas lunch or a low key catch up with friends.

When it comes to Christmas parties I think the most important thing is to be comfortable. There is nothing worse than spending the night feeling self-concious about what you are wearing or tugging it because it's not comfortable to wear. If you're out for the festive season then the chances are you're going to be out for a while so make sure you like what you're wearing. Don't worry about buying something new, if you're more comfortable in a wardrobe staple then make sure you go with that! You can always splash out on some new accessories to change it up a bit!

This time of year is the perfect excuse to wear a bit of bling and sparkle, if you need an excuse that is! Even though this dress is quite casual, I think teaming it up with some pretty shoes and a sparkly bag changes it completely. You could even go all out and add a sparkly necklace and/or hair-piece etc.



What we don't often talk about when it comes to Christmas parties is the day after. For me, if I have spent the night dancing away and enjoying a few lemonades the last thing I want to do is get dressed up again. Comfy clothes for the day after are essential in my eyes. One thing that George at Asda does well is comfy, throw on dresses like this one.



I'm really excited to use this month to catch up with friends, spend time with family and wear some pretty dresses! What are your Christmas party survival tips?

Have a look at all of George at Asdas Christmas party dresses here!

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!

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!


LOOK AT THE MASSIVE MIRROR!!!

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! 


via GIPHY

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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We Are The They - And We're Not Going Away!

You might have seen on Channel 4 last night a program called My Big Fat Wedding.

The program followed a few plus size brides and their search for the perfect wedding dress. Pretty harmless you would think - just some very happy brides to be sharing some special moments from their big day.

Sadly the world of social media did not agree. Instead Twitter became busy with people shocked at the very notion of plus size dresses. In fact it has even led to a blog post this morning (which I refuse to lead to) which claims that our nation is fat because plus size clothing exists.

I asked this blogger what she thought I should do without clothing (if they didn't sell clothes in my size) and her answer was lose weight.... I'm not sure what I am supposed to do in the interim!

Anyway, the point is once again that this is all very anonymous. It is SO easy to say that 'they shouldn't be able to wear clothes' and 'they are unhealthy make them thinner' but that doesn't put real people in the picture. I've even seen some one suggest that 'obesity kills' labels be added to all my clothing.. EXCUSE ME!?

It's time to remind people that we are REAL people. All we want is the basic right to clothing. I honestly find it baffling that people would take away the right to clothing in my size because I might be unhealthy!


So at 8pm tonight I want to do another wave of We Are The They Posts. So get your Twitter and Instagram ready to post photos on your social media.... Let's show those who think we should be denied clothing WHO we are and why we're important! #WeAreTheThey - Make sure you use the tag!

ALSO! I want to blog properly about this at 8pm (This is rushed.... I know you'd never tell) and I'd love to include your photos! Send them over by 7pm tonight and I'll do my best to include them all, including any blog links. Email them to debzjs@hotmail.com (or drop me an email with your blog address if you want me to just pick one for you)

#WeAreTheThey and we're not going away!

Debz x


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