City Girl x Country Cottage Life // Lover of make up, books, fine art and Moomins // Bulldog and Sphynx Cat Mum
City Girl x Country Cottage Life // Lover of make up, books, fine art and Moomins // Bulldog and Sphynx Cat Mum
It goes without saying that I along with many of my friends (fat and otherwise) owe a whole lot of happiness to the men and women around the world that defy conventions and publicly share their love for bodies that don’t conform to society and media’s ideals.
Without finding these wonderful people there’s no doubt that I would still be toiling through the horrible cycle of self loathing, dieting, guilt and repression that comes along with those ideals that are so forcefully shoved down our throats; so it always fills me with joy to be able to share roundups of those that inspire me to be a happier person and to live my life to the full never allowing my size to hold me back.
As its the 4th of July and a celebration of Independence Day for our US based friends I wanted to share a list of some of my very favourite American body positive babes! These are people that I have learned from, not just about body image but about being queer, being a person of colour, being poly, being a feminist and so so much more.
Many of these extraordinary beings do even more than act as a spokesperson; some own businesses, some create amazing clothing for fat bodies, some are writers and speakers, some are models/dancers/actors but whatever they give to the world they deserve mountains of gratitude for doing it honestly, proudly and without apology.
MARIE SOUTHARD OSPINA
Summer time and the livin is easy – unless of course you live in England, or one of the other lovely areas of the planet where the weather decides to change at the drop of a hat and go from blistering sun to clouds and chill breezes. I’m one of those people that absolutely detests being cold and so in the past, even when the sun is shining, I could be seen lugging around a cardigan or jacket just in case the sky turns so I wouldn’t be stuck outside freezing my taters off and being a grump. I say in the past, because now I have found Wingz!
Wingz are a genius product range that lets you add sleeves of various styles and lengths to dresses or tops that don’t currently have any, without it being another layer like wearing another piece of clothing underneath the first. To see how they work and how easy they are to put on you can take a look here, but essentially you get a pair of sleeves which are joined by a comfy band of elastic that sits under the bust and is completely invisible under your sleeveless dress or top.
As a person who isn’t bothered about getting her arms out in public this is a great way for me to make sure I won’t get chilly when I’m out adventuring, but I imagine these will be a godsend to those who do not feel comfortable showing their arms, especially as they are available in different lengths. The huge range of styles also means they’ll never look odd as you can pick the style that suits your dress the best – be it a casual or formal look you’re going for – and the floaty chiffon and lace styles also means you can cover your arms while staying cool if that’s how you roll. You can even buy a pair of beautifully beaded Bridal Wingz, how fabulous is that?!
I’ve had a pair in my handbag for a few weeks now and it’s been so so handy – they roll up really small so they take up hardly any room, I just pop a hair band around them to keep them rolled up and I’m all set. So far I’ve found them most handy at work as it’s always too hot in the office in the morning and then gets cold in the afternoon when the air con kicks in so I can just nip to the loo and pop on some Wingz when I start to feel the chill. They also saved me at a barbecue when the skies turned a nasty grey and the temperature plummeted and I was much more comfortable than my friends who had to borrow much too big jumpers and jackets from their partners!
There is a high chance that if you’re reading this article that you are plus size and therefore have, you think, heard every fat person rule in the book. You know the ones – don’t wear horizontal stripes, don’t wear anything tight fitting, only wear dark colours as they are slimming etc etc etc. Obviously these are all absolutely ridiculous. A fat person can wear anything a thin person does and the only person’s opinion that matters is their own. I was having just this conversation with a work colleague the other week and she made a comment that actually shocked me a little – that not only will she not wear certain prints or bright colors, but that she was also of the opinion that if you’re plus size there are certain fabrics that you most certainly shouldn’t wear.
Unsurprisingly the first one she mentioned was real or faux leather which I admit I have heard before, but she followed it up with satin, velvet, anything sheer and anything covered in sequins! I told her that she had just mentioned five of the fabrics I most like to wear myself which in turn shocked her and the conversation got more in depth from there, but it inspired me to share with you some beautiful pieces of clothing in these fabrics that are available right now in sizes to fit a gorgeous chubby bod.
Printed Satin Wide Leg Trousers – Simply Be
Midi Dress in Satin With Keyhole Back – ASOS Curve
Off The Shoulder Top in Satin with Ruffle Sleeve – ASOS Curve
Deconstructed Midi Skirt in Satin – ASOS Curve
Summer Velvet Pull On Peg Trousers – ASOS Curve
Velvet Strappy Bardot Top – Simply Be
Club L Plus Asymmetric Hem Dress In Printed Velvet – ASOS Curve
Sparkle Velvet Maxi Dress With Mesh Neckline – Yours Clothing
Premium Festival Kimono – ASOS Curve
The Leni Kimono – Plus Equals
Joanna Hope Sequin Shift Dress – Simply Be
Dolores Vintage Inspired Maxi Prom Dress – GatsbyLady
Daisy Street Plus Stud Detail Leather Look Skirt – ASOS Curve
Pleated Skirt with Sports Waistband – ASOS Curve
Wet Look Leggings – ASOS Curve
PU Floral Printed Prom Skirt – Simply Be
Midi Smock Dress in Dobby Mesh – ASOS Curve
The Fiercenet Dress – Plus Equals
Spot Mesh Peplum Top – Simply Be
Mesh T-Shirt Dress With Tokyo Floral Print – ASOS Curve
I don’t know about you but I’m just ecstatic that the days are getting longer again, telling us that Spring isn’t too far away. In my excitement for future sunny days I’ve been playing around with fresh looks featuring lighter more playful colours than those I wear in the Winter and I have to say this bronzed glowy makeup look is one of my favourites. It was actually requested by one of my lovely Twitter followers Sarah who had seen a similar look on one of their Instagram faves and wanted to recreate it herself, so I hope it helps Sarah!
Naturally being a look based firmly in the realms of pinup style with a bold cat-eye and statement red lips I couldn’t pass it up. Pinup style really did set me off on my journey of body image happiness as it was the first way of dressing I found that emphasised and made me proud of all of my curves and was as glamorous and bold as I always wanted to be! I still adore vintage style and it’s a look that I will always have a fondness for, so playing around with it and making it more modern as I have here is great fun.
How to create the look:
I adore a good cocktail party. I can’t say I’m really a “going out out” girl unless it’s to a nice classy bar but sometimes I do still enjoy a good shimmy on the dancefloor after a few gins! ‘Tis the season for partying so they say, which to me always used to mean time to buy a new frock, but these last few years I’ve enjoyed hunting down the perfect accessory to wear with old pieces more than buying new clothes. A good shawl, shoes and bag or a wild bit of jewellery really can transform an outfit into a whole new look, thus saving your pennies for more presents for your loved ones, just makes the season even more festive.
Of course a good accessory will last you far longer than just the festive season. Look at any of your favourite fashionistas’ outfit posts and you’ll see that no look is complete without the beautiful finishing touches that pull everything together, like a great pair of shoes or a gorgeous clutch. They can make sure you never look dull. Even if you’re wearing all plain, muted colours some bright jewellery can save you, and I of course class make up as the ultimate accessory – bold lips and beautiful eye makeup will ensure you and the word boring are never put together!
So, here are my picks for the loveliest accessories around at the moment!
Simply Be Beaded Cape – £40.00
Joanna Hope Devore Kimono – £59.00
GatsbyLady Mary Kimono in Blue Grey – £45.00
ELVI Snake Print Kimono – £22.05
Gina Bacconi at navabi Sequin Hem Cape £91.50
ELVI Velvet Kimono – £39.00
ZARA Blue and Mustard Stole – £29.99
New Look Pink Faux Fur Snood – £9.74
ELVI x Prima Scarf – £19.50
Joanna Hope Grey Stole – £35.00
ZARA Oversized Striped Wraparound Stole – £59.99
New Look Dark Red Collar – £14.99
New Look Black Pleated Velvet Skinny Scarf – £4.99
ZARA Long Colourful Skinny Scarf – £9.99
Miss Selfridge Velvet Neck Wrap – £14.50
Simply Be Skinny Sequin Scarf – £12.00
Accessorize Chevron Sequin Skinny Scarf – £12.00
Accessorize Scattered Sequin Skinny Scarf – £12.00
Crown and Glory Sakura Hair Clips – £17.00
Crown and Glory Star Halo Crown – £37.00
Crown and Glory Huge Glitter Bow – £12.00
GatsbyLady Amelia Headband – £20.00
GatsbyLady Ritz Headband – £15.00
GatsbyLady Julia Headband – £20.00
Accessorize Stardust Firework Clutch Bag – £29.00
New Look Glitter Star Clutch – £19.00
Skinnydip Okapi Panther Clutch – £28.00
Accessorize Naomi Leopard Clutch Bag – £25.00
Therapy Embellished Clutch – £28.00
Accessorize The Duchess Hardcase Clutch Bag – £36.00
One of the greatest things that I feel social media has provided us is a way to talk to brands and companies much more easily, quickly and effectively than ever before. I have no doubt that without the influence of the internet the amount of brands starting plus size lines would be far fewer than it is today. As someone who has always been fat and not fit in clothes from ‘straight size’ shops since the age of about 18 I have spent the last decade wishing that I had more choice and that I had a way of speaking to the people who already cater to me asking them to extend their size ranges and offer more fashion forward styles.
One brand that has listened to its fans is the wonderful Curvy Kate, one of my favourite lingerie companies. I have a few reasons for personally adoring this brand, the first being that they were the first people to measure me since my teens and told me my actual bra size which opened up a whole new world of underwear to me and secondly because the CK team are genuinely some of the loveliest, kindest and most gorgeous women to grace this earth! Not surprising really then that it was this bunch of angels that listened and took on board the opinions of its fans!
Since launching, Curvy Kate have offered a wonderful range of lingerie and swimwear to us fuller busted ladies with a D cup and above, but not all of their lines were available in their full range of back sizes which goes up to a 44. Unfortunately being a 42/44 back myself this meant that some of the styles I loved I couldn’t get in my size, but thankfully the girls have now extended their sizes offering a wider range of their styles up to a back size 44 and a knicker size 24!
This is the only padded Curvy Kate style that I have tried so far and I absolutely love it. It is not heavily padded, just a nice foam lining to give smooth definition to the bust and the flattened seams mean it’s almost invisible under your clothes making it perfect for wearing under t-shirts and thin camis. The matching undies are in a really fun shorts style with a midway back so they sit a little higher over your bum and make it look super duper cute!
I’d really recommend giving Curvy Kate a try if you haven’t done so yet, there are so many lovely styles to try! All of the four sets at the top of the page are now available in the new extended size range and you can find them here – Wild Cat // Ellace // Princess // Daydreamer.
Plus Size Flapper Girl Halloween Costume with GatsbyLady
I don’t know about you but sometimes Halloween and fancy dress parties can send my stress levels sky high. I always want to try and be something no-one else will dress as and as I’m a perfectionist I always want every part of my costume and makeup to be spot on. I love a creepy scary costume as much as the next All Hallows Eve fan but sometimes you just cant be bothered with all that fake blood, contact lenses and gore and want to look a little more refined, especially if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a fancy party or a ball! My answer to this problem is to go full on into the past – Victorian, French Revolution, Forties land girl or my favourite of all – the 1920’s!
The pure decadence of the Twenties has always appealed to me, with starlets like Louise Brooks, Clara Bow and Theda Bara and the drama of the make up, clothing, architecture and Art Deco styling of the time. In the past it’s been a real struggle to find any beautiful ‘flapper girl’ style dresses in plus sizes that weren’t poor quality fancy dress styles, but now thanks to the incredible GatsbyLady us fat girls can sparkle and shimmy away to our chubby delight – as can our non chubby pals too! GatsbyLady sell a huge range of stunning dresses, separates and accessories all beautifully embellished and of truly wonderful quality.
The dress that I am wearing here is the Edith Flapper Dress in Nude Black (£75.00) and as you can see it is an absolute dream. At the advice of Georgina who is a GatsbyLady pro I went one size up in this style and it was the perfect fit with no stretching of the beading or sequins. The lining is super soft so there’s no need to worry about any of the embellishments rubbing or being painful and the length was great on my 5’7” frame sitting just over the knee. To complete the look and add authenticity a headpiece of some kind was definitely required as no lady would have been seen without one back in those days, so I teamed the dress with another GatsbyLady piece, their Ritz Black Gold Headband (£15.00) which ties at the back so will fit any size. The beading is so gorgeous and intricate on this piece, I especially love the draped strings of beads.
Of course to make this outfit work you must have the hair and makeup of the era too, so here is a step by step tutorial on how to create an authentic 1920’s look with current make up as well as the cheats way to quickly get finger wave style hair with no setting!
Apply your foundation and powder and then also use these to cover your lips. We are doing this as we will be drawing in a new lip line!
Now take a little blusher, applying it in circles just on the apple of your cheek. Don’t angle it and take it back to your hairline as that’s a modern day technique and won’t look right.
Finally we will apply the lipstick. You must emphasise your cupids bow to get this look right and make the shape of your lips quite pouty. A dark or bold colour is essential, I’ve used a Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Vampira (£16.00).
Lastly it’s on to the hair! Wet setting into finger waves was how they did it in the Twenties which believe me is a hard technique to learn and takes an awfully long time to do! Thankfully back in the days when I had a vintage style hair and makeup business I found a quick way to achieve a very similar look with nowhere near as much effort…
You just need to get yourself one of these hair wave irons! You would usually use them to create messy beachy waves but if you make sure that you line them up properly and do it in flat sections you’ll end up with neat waves and will fit into an episode of Poirot in a trice!
Finish your look with low heeled shoes, a decorative hair band or some feathers and a sweet little beaded bag and you’ll be the belle of your Halloween ball!
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It’s official, the seasons are changing and it’s time to get out those lovely snuggly jumpers, invest in a good pair of boots and start wearing beautiful rich Autumnal colours. I adore makeup trends for the colder months, bold jewel tones are really my thing and you can really make a statement combining layered simple clothing with a really dramatic beauty look.
I have quite a few palettes that I always turn to when the weather changes and one of those is the In The Garden Eye Palette by Stila. It features a gorgeous array of greens and golds plus some statement shades of purple and blue and a lovely Smudge Stick eyeliner pencil in a stunning metallised black. I bought this baby for £25 but you can currently get it for just £12.50 here on the Stila website in their sale.
To create the look above just follow these steps:
Then my darlings, you’re good to go!