Copywriter & Illustrator
Fan of big earrings, sad songs & strong perfume
Whiskey, tattoo and snack enthusiast
Copywriter & Illustrator
Fan of big earrings, sad songs & strong perfume
Whiskey, tattoo and snack enthusiast
I spent the vast majority of the office-based period of my working life in fear of ‘smart casual’. Because, really, what does it even mean?? It’s such a non-specific dress code; and just as I’d gotten used to one workplace’s definition of smart casual, an interview or change of job would come along which meant I had to go through the whole agonising process all over again.
When you add the sourcing and wearing of plus size clothes into the ‘smart casual’ mix, putting together outfits that fulfil the criteria but still feel like your kind of style becomes really difficult. How did I deal with it? Well, I lived in cardigans and black jersey skirts: which is fine, but not much fun.
When Damart got in touch and asked if I’d like to review some of their new styles for She Might Be, I went to their online catalogue and found some great smart casual options in the collections on offer. It was also nice to see that the majority of their lines run to a size UK28, with some also running to a UK30 & 32. I’ll confess to never having browsed their clothes before, but if you’re into classic styles and shapes (as I am for workwear) then they’re worth a look.
I chose the monochrome Milano Jacket* (because I’m really into the print) and this super sleek pair of 7/8 length trousers*. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try and wear trousers more often in 2018, and I as I have never worn trousers to the office in my entire working life I thought I’d challenge myself to wear them for this look.
The Milano jacket is so comfortable! It’s cut to be long in the body, which is perfect for wearing with trousers or over dresses. The material has a decent bit of stretch in it which I found to be super useful for my upper arms. The sizing is really generous, I picked up my usual size and found it to be accommodating enough that I could have worn a thicker jumper underneath it with no issues.
The trousers, on the other hand, run pretty small. They fit me but they’re designed to be looser in the leg than they appear on me. I’m a fan of the length and I do really like the design, but I think sizing up once would have been a wiser move. Regardless, they’re still very wearable… just maybe not out for dinner!
I’m aware that there is a strong 80’s executive vibe to this outfit but I don’t hate it at all. If I wore this outfit to a job interview I’d feel comfortable, confident and most importantly like myself. I’m really looking forward to recreating this entire look and swapping the trousers for black Mom jeans, and I’ll definitely be finding more ways to wear these black ankle grazers.
The concept of a smart casual dress code is so vague that although this look to me feels like I’ve 100% nailed it, someone else might think that this comes down way too much on either the casual or the smart size. That’s cool, because everyone views fashion and style in a different way and it would be boring if we all liked the same things!
The best way I can think of to tackle smart casual is, really, to just wear things that you enjoy wearing. Unless your workplace has a set of hard n’ fast rules for dressing, then most people at the office will be winging it too so – if you’re able to – try and have some fun with it.
One of the biggest challenges we came up against at the very beginning of our wedding planning was trying to find the perfect wedding venue. No matter how hard we looked, nothing was really standing out as somewhere we could see ourselves getting married. Added to that, there’s just so much choice, it was a little overwhelming and made a tough choice almost impossible. We kept worrying: what if we missed ‘the one’ because there were just too many to weigh up properly?
After many, many, many hours of searching around online and getting nowhere it was time to start thinking outside the box a little bit. I spent some time thinking about exactly what we wanted from our venue, and used some alternative methods to track down that one perfect place. If you’re faced with the same tough choice, I thought I’d share with you some tips and tricks we used that just might help you find your very own perfect wedding venue.
Initially, we didn’t really have any particular location in mind – other than the UK in general – and this was probably our first mistake. We thought keeping the location so open would make finding somewhere that little bit different so much easier, but in reality, for every idea we had there were endless venues across the country that fit the bill.
Narrowing down the ‘where’ really helps with making solid decisions further down the line. Sometimes having too many options means you can’t see the wood for the trees, having a smaller pool of venues to choose from helped us make a better decision because we had more time to visit places and consider them properly.
Are you thinking of having a themed wedding? This can actually be a huge help for choosing your perfect venue. A theme doesn’t necessarily have to be something very specific like ‘Disney’ or ‘Wes Anderson films’, it can be more of a vague aesthetic; including the time of year you choose.
If you love the idea of a winter wedding, then a venue that relies heavily on it’s outdoor space might not be the one for you. However, if you’re looking to get married in the spring or summer, then those kinds of lovely country house venues with tons of outdoor space (like these stunning ones from Bijou Weddings) would fit the bill perfectly.
Another factor to consider is how many people you’re inviting. There are many ‘non-traditional’ venues that cater to smaller and more intimate groups, such as bars and restaurants, which can have such beautiful decor that you could save a fortune on the cost of decorating yourself!
Once you’ve narrowed down the location, theme and guest list you should have a really good idea of what kind of venue will be perfect for your wedding day and in which area. If all the usual avenues of tracking somewhere down – such as google searches and local word of mouth – are turning up a blank, then try turning to social media for help.
Wedding groups on Facebook are great for recommendations from people local to the area you want to get married in, you can even get some excellent advice from brides who have used venues exactly like the one you’re looking for! Searching through hashtags on Instagram and Twitter is another great way of using social media to find venues too, try hashtags for where you want to get married or ones related to your theme for the best results.
Hopefully, the above tips will help you on your way and give you some additional ideas to find your perfect wedding venue. How did you find yours? Did you find it to be a challenge or was coming across your dream venue relatively easy? Please share your experiences in the comments to help other brides- and grooms-to-be in their quest for the perfect venue!
Valentine’s Day is on it’s way, and if this particular time of year has you on the lookout for some nice plus size lingerie or nightwear then I have got a great recommendation for you today. Not only that, there’s an opportunity for you to WIN some fabulous Perfect4u with our giveaway at the end of this post!
Perfect4u are a new-to-me brand that sell super affordable lingerie, slips, bodysuits and robes up to a size UK32 in most cases. There’s a whole host of gorgeous satin and lace pieces as well as really fun patterns such as polka dot on mesh. They also stock some great basics, with a range of practical and comfy tank tops or vests.
I chose a couple of items from their current range to review for this post: the Black Lace Robe with Satin Belt in a size UK18/20 and the Double Layer Fab Plus Size Black Lace Nightwear also in a size UK18/20. Even though I chose them to wear separately, it turns out that they also go really well together.
First of all let’s talk about the robe: it has loose kimono-style sleeves that fall below the elbow and the hem comes to upper thigh on me (I’m 5’10” for reference). I love the pattern of the lace because it’s not a run-of-the-mill floral design, it has a more crochet feel to it instead. The sizing is spot on. Dual sizing can sometimes be a little off, but here I felt that it fit very comfortably and the satin tie belt (although not worn here) fit with adequate length left over.
I really like this robe, it’s incredibly light and soft, and although it’s delicate it did not pull too easily. When the summer comes around I’ll be 100% wearing this over a strappy dress or top.
Next up is the double layer chemise, a lace with mesh creation that for me strikes a really good balance between sexy and comfortable. One of my favourite things about it (apart from the double layered skirt) is the elasticated and adjustable straps which give you so much control over how it fits.
The only downside with the chemise is the amount of support it offers… which is absolutely none. This usually doesn’t bother me but, as you can see in the pictures, in this case I needed to wear a bra underneath for support. Otherwise, the sizing is pretty generous and I’m fond of the cute bow at the front.
Overall, the quality of these pieces is really good and the price point is outstanding. I’m so happy to have found another great place to find affordable plus size lingerie because you can never have too much choice, right?! If you’re interested in grabbing something of your own from Perfect4u, for Valentine’s Day or otherwise, then make sure you enter our giveaway below!
Being disabled is just one of many identities I have, but it’s perhaps the most important to me. I ‘became’ disabled as an adult so the word wasn’t one I immediately and comfortably identified with, this was down to my own preconceived ideas about disability and what I thought it meant.
I wasn’t convinced that my illness really qualified as a disability, I wasn’t sure that I was ‘disabled enough’ and even if I were, did I really want to apply the term to myself?
As someone with a lot of privilege it was up to me to take the time to learn and unpick my feelings about disabled as a label and my reluctance to identify as such. I did, and I don’t expect or deserve any congratulations for it.
It’s important to me now – as my disability is invisible – that I actively identify as and call myself disabled. It’s crucial that different types of disability are represented clearly and often, as many abled people just haven’t had any experience of seeing, knowing, or even talking with disabled people… or rather, they think they haven’t. I feel that this is where many of the ill-informed preconceptions about disabled people come from; lack of experience, lack of awareness.
My disability means that I experience day to day life differently now than I did previously; I space out any activities and try not to take on too much. I work extremely part time from home. I prepare, plan ahead and ask for help. I have to find out if new places are accessible as so, so many aren’t.
It’s incredibly frustrating that rather than not being able to do stuff independently, it’s more a case of the world outside my home not being set up for me to use it easily on my own. My world is a lot smaller than it was before; I spend a lot of time within these four walls. I wish it was different. I want to help make it better.
As such, for me an important part of my identity as a disabled person is campaigning for change. There is so much to fight for right now: representation, rights, accessibility, financial support, benefits, equality… the list goes on. I do what I can when I’m able to, I’m also incredibly grateful when others turn up and shout for the cause when I’m not able to.
Being disabled is not automatically a negative thing and I regret ever having seen it as such. It’s changed the way I experience life and it’s changed my attitudes in many ways; but having said all of the above, I’m still fundamentally the same person (and can still be a complete nightmare at times).
For more perspectives on disability, identity, and what that means to different people then please head on over and watch this video series called ‘Identities’. Each short film takes the form of interviews with disabled people and documentary footage of their lives with a focus on each individual’s opinions and experiences; I found all three videos to be incredibly thoughtful and interesting.
In my late teens and early twenties I worked in a whole load of short term office jobs, and during this time I found one of the office-chatter subjects I ended up talking about most often was the amount of addresses I had had in my life so far. At one point it was nearing the same number as years I’d been alive. My new colleagues would often be kinda surprised and ask how on earth I’d managed it, and the answer was just that my family moved a lot (comparatively to others around me) which is a habit I seem to have kept up with as an adult.
I just can’t seem to stay put for more than a couple of years at a time!
Of course, the downside to moving all the time is finding people to hang out with. Forming new friendships was a thousand times easier when I was younger, both because of my age and because I was spending 8 hours a day in an actual workplace with people. Socialising with your new colleagues is the perfect way to get to know a place and settle into a new area, even if you’re never going to be each other’s new besties. But what if, as is my situation now, you work from home? How can you make new friends as an adult if you never really leave the house, for whatever reason?
Well, as with a lot of these sorts of dilemmas, the logical answer is to turn to the internet. With so much of my life lived online already, online solutions to chat with and meet people seemed like a good start. I have a great circle of ‘online’ friends, as well as mutuals who I enjoy getting to know and chatting with over on places like Twitter and Instagram. This circle has taken me a little while to build up, as I’m turning into a bit of an introvert in my old age too, but my online pals are scattered across the UK and the rest of the world – so whilst I love that they’re in my life, however large or small a part they play, none are really able to pop round for a coffee.
So I started to think about how I could meet people online who a lot more local to me. One fun way has been – as I’m a blogger – chatting to local bloggers through facebook groups and insta hashtags. Even though this might seem blogger specific, you can do the same with any hobby or interest. Plus, having the shared hobby means there’s no real danger of running out of things to talk about too!
Another option is using what are traditionally seen as ‘dating’ sites, as so many of them these days are geared towards making non-romantic friendships too. Aside from the big names in the dating world, there are some more specialist and localised sites that are worth looking at too:
If none of those above appeal to you, have a search around online as honestly, there are loads. If you know of any great places online for meeting new people and making new friends then do let us know in the comments so we can add to the list!
In the past 18 months or so, the symptoms of my chronic illness have meant that there are some days that I need to use a stick to assist my walking or else I can’t leave the house. I started out with some standard, NHS-issue grey crutches while I got used to using an aid to walk; but I found these ultimately to be quite heavy and painful on my arms and across my shoulders. So last year I finally took the plunge and began to look for something that was more permanent, lighter and easier to use.
While browsing online, I found that there was a world of brilliantly designed sticks out there in loads of colours, patterns and for almost any purpose you could think of. Something so simple as having a wide choice of designs available was ultimately really helpful to me in coming to terms with using a stick as a mobility aid, as I was able to find something that I felt expressed my personality a little and could even coordinate with my outfits!
Through a bit of trial and error with different kinds, I discovered that my absolute favourite type of walking stick are the folding ones. They have an adjustable height feature so I can change the height dependent on the shoes I am wearing and, happily for me, they often come in the widest range of colours and patterns. The collapsable design is ideal as sometimes I feel fine when I leave the house but get worse throughout the day, so I can stow my stick away in my handbag in case I find that I need to start using it at some point. To round it all off, I’ve found this type to be really affordable too.
I also love the type of stick which opens out into a stool on three legs; although they cost a little more they are perfect for going to gigs or festivals, or for any place you find yourself that has the potential to be ‘standing room only’.
Now that I’ve turned into a bit of a collector of different patterns and colours of walking stick, I love to match them to what I’m wearing. Just because I need to use a stick doesn’t mean I can’t feel stylish and look great when I want to.
I know it might sound superficial but treating my stick as part of my outfit, and sometimes planning what I wear around it, helped me so much. It really opened the door to me starting to see it as a positive thing. Because honestly all I could see were the negatives at first, which meant that I was ignoring the hugely obvious benefit: I could actually leave the house independently on some of my worst days when that just wasn’t possible before.
As is becoming a She Might Be tradition, around Halloween I raid my wardrobe to try and put together an outfit featuring something that’s in the spirit of the spooky season but isn’t quite full on fancy dress. Please don’t get me wrong… I don’t hate Halloween and I don’t hate fancy dress; I love seeing everyone’s elaborate costumes and make up looks, but I’m just not that great at it myself. So, when I go along to themed parties, I try my best to look the part without the face paint and the faff.
Now we’ve passed Halloween, and we’re racing through November, the busiest party season of the year is approaching and a great many of those parties are likely to be fancy dress. Looking at this outfit, and the one I rustled up last year, I realised that there are some rules I usually stick to when putting together my themed outfits. I agree that rules for dressing in general are bad, we can all wear what we want, but finding decent plus size fancy dress outfits can be such hard work I figured some tips or guidelines to make a costume out of stuff you already have in your wardrobe could be helpful!
So, first of all, lets talk about this outfit! The first piece I grabbed from my wardrobe, and built the rest of the look around, was this boxy striped shirt from Elvi which is giving me some serious Beetlejuice vibes. I love how oversized and slouchy it is, and the contrast of the plain collar and pocket against the stripes is super cute. I tried it with a pencil skirt initially, but I looked a bit like I was off to work (side note: this shirt with a black pencil skirt is an INCREDIBLE office look!). When I swapped the pencil skirt for an a-line number with sheer panels (similar here) I knew the shirt had found it’s match.
My strong matchy-matchy tendencies came out in full force when I coordinated my lipstick to my tights. I love this vampy wine red colour, it’s the perfect choice for a fancy dress costume for this season because it has serious Autumnal vibes going on. Finishing everything off with my stompy t-bar Dr. Marten’s and some statement costume jewellery pulled the whole thing together… and also made it into an outfit that I would be very happy to wear any other day of the year too!
This year’s Halloween inspired outfit was definitely more low key than the one I did last year but I think I still managed to get into the spirit of things. If – like me – you’ll be shopping your own wardrobe this year for all your fancy dress inspired outfit needs, then I hope these quick tips help to give you a decent starting point and the inspiration to put together something awesome from clothes you already own!
black ribbon neck tie: 99p | eBay
As a BIG lover of plus size bargains, one of the most useful and reliable resources I’ve found for tracking down a variety of plus size clothing on a budget is good old eBay. I’ve always been incredibly grateful to charity shops and second hand shops for helping to keep me clothed when I’ve found myself in the position of not being able to afford ‘high street’ prices, but it could be difficult to dress the way I really wanted to because their plus size pickings can be really limited – which makes sense, they can only offer what has been donated after all.
I understand why less plus size than straight size clothes are donated to charity or recycled even though there are more plus size people in the world; it’s because plus size clothing options are notoriously restricted. I know I was much more likely to hang on to my older clothes for fear of not finding something like them again, so for years I was less likely to donate or recycle. Hopefully in time this will improve, it’s already starting to change as plus size brands get marginally better and more brands start widening their size ranges. I can now be more confident that if I let go of a polka dot dress, or a black roll neck, I’m highly likely to be able to get another in future relatively easily.
Anyway, back when I was looking for a place to buy alternative or retro looking second hand clothing, which I wasn’t finding in charity shops easily, I came across eBay. This must sound odd now as it’s one of the top 40 most viewed sites on the entire internet, but in the early 2000’s online shopping was NEW and eBay was a revelation. When I found that there was a much larger spectrum of styles for pretty much all tastes available in plus sizes it was emotional for me. I’ve had the same eBay account since 2004 (I went back to check for this post and I almost couldn’t believe it myself, I still don’t feel old enough to have been doing anything for 13 years!) so I thought I’d share with you some of the most useful eBaying tips that I’ve picked up over the (many) years of being a plus size bargain hunter on the site.
neon yellow envelope clutch: £2.99 | eBay
70’s patterned red dress: £4.00 | eBay
So there we have it, all the tips and tricks that have worked best for me to get the most out of eBay, and helped in tracking down fabulous plus size bargains. If I had to narrow it down to the most useful tip, I’d say getting the app is the one – it has made searching for and keeping an eye on things I want to bid for so much easier.
Wanting another kind of bargain? Check out Printsome for fast t-shirt printing and personalise your wardrobe even more! They even do bags, umbrellas, and tea towels, how awesome is that?
If you’re a fellow eBay bargain hunter and have some cool tips in mind that I’ve missed out here then please do leave them in the comments below for us… well, that’s if you wouldn’t mind sharing of course!