My weekly plus size fashion wishlist

The new autumn fashion are hiting the stores and I am so excited.

I am also rather shocked at what styles have been catching my eye.

Is my style changing?

Who knows anyway here is my fashion wishlist.

My first want (need) is this beautiful dress from Voodoo Vixen.

The Joni is simply beautiful.

 

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My second choice is a coat, now coats and I don’t have a great relantionship. My long arms seem to leave many coats ill fitting, but this one from ASOS really caught my eye. The style is a vintage style with a modern twist, I love it.

 

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My third choice comes from the new Martine McCutcheon from Fashion World, to be fair I could have chosen anything from this range as I absolutely love it all but this dress is just pure perfection.

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My last but not least choice for this week are these adorable boots from Evans, they are so very cute, I think they would be perfect with my new found love of dresses.

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Seriously the autumn fashion that is hititng her ours stores is something to be excited about.

I think I need to hide my bank card.

 

Style XL 2015, we came, we saw and we rocked it.

Last weekend was Style XL 2015 a plus size fashion event held in my local city of Birmingham.

Style XL is the brainchild of the wonderful Leah from http://www.leahxl.com.

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Leah is genuinely one of the nicest woman I know and someone who I owe a lot of my new found confidence too. It was only last year that I walked my first catwalk at Style XL 2014. This was thanks to the encouragement and support from Leah, this lady rocks.  Also a big shout out to her beautiful fiancée Clare who is truly lovely.

Seriously though I remember how much I shook with fear back there in 2014 I’m surprised I made it onto the stage.

Anyway back to Style XL 2015 how do I describe this weekend, two words “totally inspiring”.

The collaboration of plus size fashion brands and confidence building workshops created an awesome event.

Women from around the UK coming together to attend a fashion event where the size on your label is irrelevant.

Fashion brands showcasing the very best of plus size fashion proving that style comes in all sizes.

I had a blast.

I was excited to be booked to walk for the awesome Apples and Pears Clothing , Monroe Knows and Curvy Kate but on the day I actually also walked for Topsy Curvy and Lady Voluptuous too.

Five brands ooh get me.

This year was so different for me, although I was still rather shaky the woman who walked onto that catwalk was very different to the one from last year. I actually relished in the attention. I rocked my curves ha ha get me.

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Seriously Style XL was a great success.

Personally though for me Style XL wasn’t about the clothes (sorry brands). It was being surrounded by beautiful inspiring women.

Women that over the last year have become dear friends.

Woman working hard to empower others.

Building people up, encouraging, supporting.

My challenge  to myself this year was to turn the virtual hugs into real ones.

I am so confident behind my keyboard but this year I wanted to find that confidence in real life.

I think achieved this.

I got to catch up with old friends and make some awesome new ones.

I pushed all my boundaries, I introduced myself to people and I wore underwear on a catwalk ( don’t panic dad I’ve hidden the photos).

I achieved more than I could possibly have imagined and yes I may be having a little body wobble but I can see how far I have come.

Thank you Leah for having faith in me.

Thank you to the brands for allowing me to showcase your beautiful clothes.

I  want to end this post saying this, life is to short to wait to wear the clothes you want. Wear them now and celebrate who you are. Size is a number on a label don’t let it dictate how you live your life.

You are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you different xxx

This time next month, I will be modelling at Style XL .

Guess what this time next month I am heading to Birmingham to model at one of the best plus size fashion events in the UK, Style XL. The event is so awesome that after only one year it has been nominated for the “Best Event” at the British Plus Size Awards. Have you got your vote in yet??

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I am so excited to be again part of this event which is looking so fantastic, with brands like Simply Be, Yours, Bon Prix, Jacamo, Monroe Knows, Lady Voluptuous, Chubby Cartwheels, Curvy Kate, Topsy Curvy, Pinup Popup parlour, Claireabella’s Closet, Iridenscene, Nicky Rockets, and not forgetting Apples and Pears the one company I know I am modelling for woo hoo.

So with a line up like this its going to be amazing, but thats not all thats happening, add the MODEL XL final and some fantastic workshops it really is going to be a awesome couple of days.

As for the venue, wit woo take a look at the gorgeous Paragon Hotel, its been having a major facelift over the last months and it looks simply stunning. I cannot wait to boogie the night away here.

So have you got your ticket yet?

If not you better hurry up as tickets are going fast and we are down to the last few so get ordering now.

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Seriously I am so excited, it was at this event last year that I first walked a cat walk and yes whilst I may have bricking it the company of the beautiful ladies that surrounded me gave me a new found confidence that I am simply loving and embracing.

It really is going to be a great weekend, a fantastic event full of amazing plus fashion. Come check out what we all shall be wearing this autumn/winter.

Honestly I cannot wait and don’t forget if you do join us come over and say HI. I will be the one trying not to trip up over my own feet as I strut my stuff ha ha. Seriously though one of the best things about these kind of events is the new people I get to meet. As my Grandad  once told me “Strangers are the friends you have yet to meet” so lets get saying Hello.

 

 

we have style xl

 

 

 

 

Keeping one of my #plussizepromises

Last week following a challenge set by Debz from the The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess  I blogged about some promises I was going to keep for myself.

One of those promises was I am going to get my legs out this summer.

Well the last few days have been simply gorgeous and a new beautiful dress from ASOS was the perfect time to keep this promise.

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My legs and guess what, the world didn’t break and I enjoyed the sunshine on my pins.

Honestly after years of hating my legs this is major for me. They are constantly swollen thanks to my illness, but guess what that’s life and I have to remind myself I am beautiful swollen legs and all.

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I am absolutely loving this dress from Asos the detail on the neck and sleeves are just stunning.

 

 

I promise

The beautiful Katt from The Curvy Cupcake  inspired the amazing  Debz at The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess to set us all a challenge, the #PlusSizePromise.

The challenge is to blog five promises that we make to ourselves this summer.

Here’s mine.

 

1. Get my legs out, I’m tired of being hot and bothered every summer. This year I’m going to get my milky white legs out and let them breathe.

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2. Take time out for myself. This is something I really need to work on, I need to say NO a little more and give myself some quality time, to read, to enjoy a meal with friends, a nights of dancing and copious amounts of alcohol

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3. To not back out.  I can list you a million reasons why I shouldn’t do something. This summer is the start of me doing less of this. I want to be positive and believe in myself. I CAN DO THIS.

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4. Its not always my fault.  I am so good at blaming myself that it could be considered an art form. I’m happy to blame myself from anything from a squashed spider to a natural disaster.  But guess what it’s not always my fault and this is something I need to learn.

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5. More time for us. To spend some more quality time with my husband. After twenty years of being together we need to start carving time into our schedule for quality time. More romantic meals, walks, cuddles.

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So here are my five promises.

Why don’t you join in x

 

Sugar and Spice

The last few weeks have been crazy my wardrobe of daily choice has simply been what has been ironed. Still that hasn’t stopped me looking at some gorgeous outfits and new summer styles that have been coming out.

A few months back I was on the search for an evening dress for the Mayors Awards evening and I came across the website Curvety  a site full of some beautiful dresses. Fast forward a month I was offered the chance to review one of the dresses that I had been looking at. I wasn’t going to say no was I!

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This Sugar and Spice dress by Kiyonna really caught my eye, I just loved the fishnet neckline which gave me a chance to show of my body art.  I loved the fact that it had a mixture of style and elegance.

The sizing is very generous, the material is beautiful. The dress felt so well made and a pleasure to wear.

I think it would be just right for a romantic meal or a formal event.

 

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Curvety have some amazing clothes for plus size woman, don’t take my word for it go check them out. Maybe you will find that perfect outfit you have been searching for.

 

 

*I was gifted this dress for the purpose of a review but all opinions, views  are my own.

 

 

True beauty

If you have been on social media this week or have watched or read the news you would have heard about the remarks Loose women, ex pop star Jamelia as said regarding clothing brands and the availability  of clothes in sizes that she doesn’t believe to be healthy. How she believes that High street stores should not stock sizes below a 6 and over a 20 as ‘they’ should feel uncomfortable if ‘they’ are unhealthy.

So many wonderful bloggers have eloquently written about this and in a way that I couldn’t do it justice.

The reason I cannot find the words is simply because Jamelia’s statement stole from me. They took away a feeling of self confidence that I had finally found only after the last few years. She made me feel like

a) a burden on society

b) someone who should be ashamed

Thankfully the amazing Debz from The not so secret diary of a wannabe princess decided to do something about these remarks. In her words

 ” I feel that by saying ‘they’ should shop in specialist shops and ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable it is all very anonymous. It is easy to say that a bunch of blank faces (and bodies) should be treated a certain way, but what Jamelia (and anyone who agrees with her) needs to realise is that WE are real people. We have REAL feelings, REAL jobs, friends and families. When you say that people should make ‘them’ feel uncomfortable you are encouraging them to treat US differently.. US as in real people.
So, Jamelia and anyone who feels that ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable 
‘WE ARE THE ‘THEY’

Then Debz encouraged women of the sizes that ‘Dr Jamelia’ doesn’t believe are healthy to take to social media and share photos of themselves
Using the hashtag #wearethethey

I cannot tell you how this hashtag has moved me over the last two days. Beautiful women size 20 and over and equally as beautiful woman size 6 and under celebrating their bodies as they blooming well should.

My own journey with body acceptable has been hard, from a teenager full of self loathing and self harm I only finally loved my body once it started to grow a child. When I could throw away all the falsehoods and realise what an amazing thing my body truly was.

I  actually don’t remember a time when I didn’t think I was fat. When my body was the size that Jamelia  considers acceptable I hated it. Living on a diet of cigarettes and vodka scared to eat. Hating my body for what it was, punishing it daily left me with a body that was failing and my mind, well let’s not go there.

I actually dread to think where I would be now if I hadn’t met my husband and got pregnant with my first born when I did.  Knowing that a life was forming inside me changed me. I finally understood what true beauty was.

Now it would be wonderful if my mind set had stayed in this place but 4 children in 5 years left my body rather ragged, but thankfully being able to be active with the girls and teaching dance my body was in a place that I was happy with or I could accept.

Then to cut a long story short I was attacked and beaten and then due to complications was left with an immune system that was failing.

10 years later I am left with a health issue that effects every part of my life. I take numerous medicines and my ability to do physical things is sorely limited. I also live in constant pain.

Now this had changed my world from one were I was a fit dance teacher to one where for a while could barely walk.

I had to find a new kind of normal.  I also had to face a changing body and one I hated . The old self hatred rose it’s ugly head. I struggled, clothes became a non issue, a uniform of jeans and baggy clothes became my wardrobe. Never did I wake up excited about what I was going to wear. Photographs of me disappeared, I became the photographer never the photographed.

Then thankfully a few years ago I came across some plus size bloggers, women who were actively shouting I’m here and I want to look good. Women who advocate that fashion should come in all sizes.

Women who changed me.

Now I look in the mirror and like what I see, yes I’m overweight but my diet is good. It’s certainly a lot better than it was back In the days of cigarettes and vodka.

I’m swimming each week, raising 4 amazing children and working  full time as a foster carer to children with special needs.

I love life and I’m really living.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this Jamelia I am not ashamed of who I am.

How dare you suggest I should be made to feel uncomfortable anywhere.  I am a beautiful, incredible woman and I only hope that one day that you will realise that beauty is not found in the number on your label and that health is not always something you can see.

Please consider your position as well, consider all those women who you destroyed with your words. Opinions are like assholes we all have them, yet when in a position of privilege in this case being beamed into thousands of homes around the UK please think before you speak. The shit you spew can and I can assure you has damaged someone.

When the world stops judging people’s value on appearance then the world will finally see true beauty.