HayleyS

Unreal redhead, pinup, big books, Rock'nRoll & Rocky Horror.

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Plus Size Vintage Dresses from Dolly and Dotty

My love of pin up style clothing is closely entwined with my body positive journey. When I started wearing clothes which accentuated and celebrated my shape, which drew attention to my curves, was when I started to love them. And so, while my body positive journey has led me to try lots of different things, vintage styling and 50s silhouettes are still my favourite.

Joyfully, pin up repro brands have responded to the plus size community’s love of this style, and bigger girls now have an array of brands to choose from when purchasing the fifties style frock of their dreams. The latest to come to my attention is Dolly and Dotty, a very reasonably priced UK based brand who offer up vintage inspired designs in a myriad of prints. Dolly and Dotty currently stock sizes 6 – 24, and while this is certainly a good start, it would be great to see them add sizes up to a 32 to give bigger plus size women the choice of wearing their designs too!

Dolly and Dotty were kind enough to allow me to review a dress of my choice on behalf of She Might Be. Choosing was seriously hard work! I tend to prefer a swing style dress, which flares out over my tummy and hips, so I navigated to this section of their website (I love a site where it’s easy to find exactly what you are looking for) and there was a brilliant selection of swing style dresses for me to choose from. I eventually settled on the Wendy dress.

Dolly and Dotty Yellow Wendy Dress She Might Be
I decided to opt for a wonderfully sunny yellow – I am a sucker for a cheerful yellow dress. The Wendy did not disappoint! The dress is every bit as sunny as it appears in the pictures on the website – just what’s needed to chase away those January blues, and I’m sure when summer rolls around it is going to be a firm favourite! It arrived promptly and I was pleased to see it came with two belts – a plain white one and a yellow polkadot one in the same fabric as the dress.

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The dress is a good quality cotton (particularly when you consider the price) which is important for a swing dress as you need a certain degree of stiffness for the skirt to hold its shape when you’re wearing it without a petticoat underneath. The dress features a v neck, quite a high waist (which can be cinched further using one of the belts) and a full skirt. The dress is sleeveless with wide straps (no worry of bra straps showing) that are ruched at the top of the shoulder.
I ordered it in my usual size 22, which is a very comfortable fit, and the skirt sits well over my knees (I’m 5’8). Personally I would have preferred the v neck cut lower, as I think that a bit more skin at the neck line would have opened the dress up more, and would have also given me more scope to wear a chunky necklace with this style.
 Dolly and Dotty Yellow Wendy Dress She Might Be
For these pictures, I styled the Wendy with a lemon yellow cardigan which I got from another pinup brand a few seasons ago. I also added a soft pink petticoat which I thought would look sweet with the cheery yellow. While I often wear my swing dresses without petticoats, they do look really show stopping when you add one. This one is from my own collection, but Dolly and Dotty do a range of petticoats you can shop here.
All in all, I rather love my new yellow dress. It’s bright and fun, and is brilliant quality for the price. Dolly and Dotty are the perfect brand for someone wanting to add to their pin up collection without breaking the bank, or for someone trying the style for the first time.
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AW16 Fashion Trends

AW16 Fashion Trends

We’ve had our first little cold snap, and the leaves are beginning to turn. Autumn is upon us, and soon the nights will get longer, the days shorter, and the fashion a lot more extravagant and fabulous. AW16 is offering up some wonderfully decadent trends, and we have pulled together 5 of our favourites trends with a range of pieces for every budget.

Sequins

We love all that glitters here at She Might Be, and this season is all about sequins! I love to get dressed up and sparkle, but remember sequins don’t have to be serious – they can be super glam but they can also be fun and silly.

AW16 Fashion Trends

Sequin bomber Simply BeFirenze embellished dress Studio 8Laylah sequin wrap dress BoohooEva flapper dress in blush Lady Gatsby

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Velvet

Who doesn’t love velvet? It’s sexy, elegant and makes us feel fierce.

AW16 Fashion Trends

Manon Baptiste Wide Leg Velvet Trousers NavabiEva velvet dress Studio 8Hayley Hasselhoff Collection Long Velvet Coat ElviBlack velvet platform heel sandals Evans | Pink Velvet Bardot Top New Look Curves

 

Goth

For those people who think they wear too much black, now you don’t have to worry!

AW16 Fashion Trends

Filth Harness Bra Vixen Curves | Black lace racer back bra River Island Plus | Black lace sleeve dress EvansPussy bow lace dress Simply Be | Kirsty Ribbed Cold Shoulder dress Boohoo


Animal print

Leopard print is selling out fast this AW, it’s time to grab a staple piece.

AW16 Fashion TrendsLeopard faux fur coat Simply Be | Leopard Print Panel Leggings ASOS | Leopard Print Blouse Simply Be


Texture and Ruffles

Feel fancy and floaty with a ruffle textures.

AW16 Fashion Trends

Lovedrobe Shoulder detail blouse Simply Be | Blue ruffle front blouse Evans | Candis dress Studio 8 | Ruffle top in Satin with sheer panel Asos Curve

 

What’s your favourite?

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Our Beginners Guide to Starting Your Own Blog

Beginners Guide to Starting Your Own Blog

All the contributors here at She Might Be are bloggers, and regardless of our speciality areas, one of the things we get asked most often is ‘How do I start my own blog?’ There is no one way to start, or to guarantee success, but I’ve certainly picked up a few things along the way. This post is based entirely on my own experience, both as a fledgling blogger (I’ve been going for eighteen months) and as someone who has been working in communications, PR and marketing for a while.

So, you want to write a blog? You’ve got an idea that’s been bouncing around in your head for a little while, and you’re ready….

Getting Started

Finding your focus
In my mind, the best blogs have focus. Even so called ‘lifestyle’ blogs, which seem to be about anything and everything to do with that person’s life, usually have some general content categories that underpin them. Most regular visitors of blogs like a sense of continuity. They keep returning because they are interested in what you write about and the way you write about it.

Settling on your style
When I started blogging I had to make a concerted effort to get away from the corporate style I was used to writing in for work, and remember what my own voice sounded like. Blogs are meant to sound personal. The joy of them is that they have personality, like an actual individual is talking to you – about their experience, their opinions, giving you their advice or recommendations. So speak as yourself.

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Picking a name
Now that you know what you’re writing about, and what you sound like, it’s a good time to pick a name. There are no hard and fast rules, but I do believe that the best names are easy to remember, and have a clear link to the purpose of your blog. Ideally they’re not too long. And will work well as a handle on social media too. There is nothing new under the sun, so make sure you Google to check your idea isn’t taken already.

Choose
Now you have to choose your platform, most people go for Blogger, or free WordPress. Most of us started on blogger as we feel it’s much easier to navigate around if you’re not too techy. Eventually we all moved to self hosting, but don’t worry about that just yet. Start for fun, it’s free and then you don’t have to put any money into it until you want to.

Design
Design is a personal thing, and everyone has a different idea of what looks good. I got it horribly wrong at first with my blog (and I have actually worked as a graphic designer). I was so worried about my template representing me that I didn’t realise it wasn’t a good conduit for my content. My blog is image heavy. And I tend to write quite a lot. So if you’re planning on starting a similar sort of blog remember that plain backgrounds and “clean” designs will show off your images best.Most of us use Pipdig, however there are free themes on the Internet to get you started. Another important thing to consider is your logo design, as it’s the main thing people will connect to you before they get a sense of your writing and style. Having a logo that is elegant and true to you is really important and will help you stand out, not to mention help people recognize you. A company called Logojoy has perfected the art of online design and affordability, and you should check them out!

 

Don’t worry about perfection, just get going!
All of this sounds pretty exacting, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your blog is largely about the content. And the most important thing is to start writing, photographing, musing, collating. Otherwise you might never get round to it. Blog designs, layouts, all of that can be tweaked. I think of my blog as an ever evolving work in progress, and that takes the pressure off of getting it just right.

Beginners Guide to Starting Your Own Blog

The Basics

Content
A lot of fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog content takes the form of reviews. If you’re starting a review based blog, then you’re gonna need stuff to review. When I started I just reviewed things I already had in my wardrobe (obviously!) It was a way to show my style, and how plus size women can dress however they like. Luckily my shopping habit meant I never really ran out of new content, but if you’re on a really tight budget I know of bloggers who would buy an item, review it, and then send it back. So there are ways! If you are getting into beauty blogging, review stuff you’re already using – your staple products. It doesn’t have to be new! When a brand launches their latest collection, think about writing an overview and giving your thoughts on it (helps build brand relationships too), or put together a themed wish list. Suffice to say, there are many ways to generate content and ideas.

The words
You’re ready to get into the good stuff now. Writing! If you’re starting a blog it’s clearly something you already like to do.
Writing under pressure can be tricky. If you don’t know how to start something, then don’t worry about starting. Go from the middle. Just get something down. You can always go back and add, rewrite, fiddle. But there is nothing more intimidating than a blank page/ screen.

I also love a good edit. As one of my University lecturers once told me: “There is no such thing as great writing, just great rewriting”. So be prepared to edit. I see loads of blog posts that would benefit from a good edit. So always go back and check for the obvious errors like spelling and grammar, but also make sure that your piece makes sense.

Pictures
I am no photography pro. Some of the photography exhibited on beauty blogs particularly make my heart sing. I am heavily reliant on my iPhone and the kindness of my family and friends to get my blog photography done. So if you’re doing fashion photography, my key bit of advice here is natural light! Wherever you can take those pictures outside. Be conscious of your environment too. I’ve wasted more than one set of pictures because I didn’t notice some dog poo or litter in shot!

Regularity
How often you post is really up to you. It’s really depends on how much time you have to write, and to a certain extent what you write about. Continuity is ideal because then you can meet the expectations of your readers as well as get a schedule going yourself. But remember, you’re a person. Sometimes things are going to get in the way, and that’s okay. It’s your blog. Do what you can, when you can.

Social Media

Nowadays, a social media presence is just as important as your blog. I think the reason that blogger social media is so popular, is because it shows you a more day-to-day personal side to your fave blogger.

My advice is to start employing social media from day one. I set up an Instagram account at the same time as starting Curves n Curls, and the others pretty shortly followed. People engage with bloggers in lots of different ways, and there are different channels for different audiences. But just do as much as you can handle, and what you feel comfortable with in the beginning. Remember, this is your blog.

Twitter
Before starting my blog I had never really used Twitter properly. In fact, I acknowledge that I was a little intimidated by the whole thing. Like, where do you even start? A little while ago I read a really helpful description of Twitter. They compared it to London. When you first arrive in London it is huge and sprawling and overwhelming. How can you ever get to know London? How can you meet people? How do you begin to comprehend it? But then you find your neighbourhood, and you get to know people. You know where the shops are, the post office, the local pub. And slowly you explore more of the city. Twitter is the same. You need to find your neighbourhood, and work from there.

There are loads of Twitter chats that are blog specific (to help you find your neighborhood), and they are a great way for you to find other members of the blogging community, ask questions that are blog specific, find new blogs to follow and get new followers yourself. Some of our favourites are:

  • The Girl Gang – #TheGirlGang – Mondays, 18.00 (GMT)
  • Bloggers Do It Better – #bdib – Mondays, 19.00 (GMT)
  • Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle Bloggers – #fbl – Tuesdays, 20.00 (GMT)
  • 30 Plus Bloggers Chat – #30plusblogs – Thursdays, 20.00 (GMT)

Instagram

I love me a bit of Instagram. Instagram is full of style gurus, fashionistas and makeup mavens. And they’re so easy to find because of instagrammers flagrant use of hashtags. When I was starting out Instagram was my best friend. I tried to post every day, usually a picture of what I was wearing, and maybe some sort of body positive message or art. That’s still largely what I want my account to be about – a safe space for body positivity. I picked a few hashtags that I posted to, and started following other accounts that were posting along these lines too. Post regularly, generously “like” pictures posted by  accounts you like, follow what you love. Instagram sorted!

Facebook
Being in my thirties now, Facebook is easily the social network I am most comfortable with. And yet, it has been my slowest to grow a decent following. I think that’s just the nature of it though. It’s hard for your posts to compete with people’s personal lives. Sometimes the other pages you follow can feel like an intrusion into a very personal space. So I try not to over post, to make things fun and relevant, and to not worry too much about my Facebook numbers. Facebook can be really good for your blogging network though. There are loads of blogger specific groups you can join for support, and to meet other people to share idea with etc. I am a member of UK Bloggers, Plus Size Blogger Network, #PSBloggers among others.

Final thoughts…

Blogging is wonderful. Writing this blog has changed my life so much for the better. I have made some truly wonderful friends that I have no doubt I will have for life. I have a sense of purpose that I sometimes lack in my day job. I have found a new sense of confidence, and I love spreading that to other women too.

I would say that it is really important to remember that if you start a blog it is your blog. Write about what you care about, what is true to your purpose, and what you would like to read about. Don’t do something just because other people are doing it. We all have our own voices. And those voices all have value. So be authentic. The best writing comes from places of truth. And enjoy it! That’s the whole point!

I hope that was helpful. Do you have any other questions? A longer version of this post first appeared on my blog Curves n Curls here.

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Elvi x Hayley Hasselhoff

Elvi x Hayley Hasselhoff

ELVI’s latest collection has landed, and excitingly it’s a collaboration with babesome model and plus woman of the moment, Hayley Hasselhoff.

From a brand that’s famed for its dedication to embellishment and unusual cuts, this collection really surprised me as it’s a bit of a deviation from their usual vibe.  Hayley’s vision was for a chic capsule collection, filled with classic long layers.

Available in a size 14 – 26, the pieces are minimalist, with lots of long, straight lines, and have an almost androgynous look. This is a style not often explored in plus size collections today, so they’ve certainly done something different.

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Enjoying this post? Be sure to check us out on Patreon! You can pledge anything from $1+ a month to support our writers and in return we offer some amazing rewards!

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Elvi x Hayley Hasselhoff Elvi x Hayley Hasselhoff Elvi x Hayley Hasselhoff

Despite the aesthetic being markedly different from their usual collections, this still feels like ELVI because of the selection of high end luxurious fabrics used. Expect velvet, silks and satins, in a palette largely comprised of monochrome, greys and blues.

I was drawn immediately to the long line velvet coat in midnight blue – what a wonderful statement fabric and a classic piece that will be relevant season after season. I’m also keen to try the flowing pyjama style trousers – I love this casual silhouette in such a rich fabric.

Having looked at the collection at a press viewing a few months back, I think the strength of many of the pieces is that they are high quality base and beautifully tailored, which will find life in your wardrobe, season after season. Making them a worthwhile investment and a definite must try from me.

Hayley Hasselhoff and the team from ELVI officially launched this collection at The Curve Fashion Festival, and ELVI x Hayley Hasselhoff is available to buy online now.

 

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