Fan of big earrings, sad songs & strong perfume
Whiskey, tattoo and snack enthusiast
Fan of big earrings, sad songs & strong perfume
Whiskey, tattoo and snack enthusiast
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!
We’re firmly into July now which means that not only are we over halfway through the year, but it also means that summer holiday season is well and truly upon us! Whether you’re jetting off to warmer climes for some sea and sun, seeing the sights on a city break or soaking up the (hopefully) sunny weather here in the UK – check out our favourite summer holiday essentials that will not only get you to the beach / park / back garden in style… but they’re all super affordable at under £20 too!
Red Floral Bardot Maxi (sizes 18 – 28) / NYX Setting Spray / ‘Catch Some Rays’ Sun Hat / Blue Frill Top (sizes 18 – 32)
Sunglasses / Tropical Print Shorts (sizes 16 – 36) / Pineapple Beach Towel / Wide Fit Sandals (sizes 2 – 10) / Banana Earrings
Rose Gold Bow Purse / Wide Fit Sandals (sizes 3 – 8) / Pink Skirt (sizes 16 – 30) / Highlighting Palette / Stacking Rings
Passport Holder / Animal Print Swimsuit (sizes 12 – 30) / Flamingo Pool Float / Various Cute Cups With Straws / Blush Jumpsuit (sizes 16 – 24) /
There’s a little bit of everything here: homeware, clothes, accessories… and even some warm weather affordable makeup recommendations (that highlighting palette looks amazing on sun kissed skin)! We’ve tried to cover every scenario with these picks, so we’ve got your back garden BBQ, Sunday afternoon in the park, evening in a beer garden and even your trip to the beach covered. Whether you’re at home or away this summer, we hope there’s something here in our affordable holiday essentials round up that is just perfect for your plans.
What do you consider to be your ultimate essential for the holidays? Is it something we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments!
I’ve recently returned from a wee city break to Porto; it was the first holiday me and my partner have been able to take together, and also the first time in over a decade that I’ve been abroad to somewhere hot – so to say I was excited is an understatement! Also, to say I packed way too much and was massively over-prepared for sunny weather would be an understatement too. Somehow, I managed to pack 14 separate outfits into my hand luggage (how I did that is a separate post in itself!) which for a week away is probably a bit excessive.
In my defence: city breaks can be so difficult to pack for. For a beach holiday as long as you have your cozzies, sunglasses and a couple of cute dresses for the evening you’re all set – but the clothes you take for a city holiday need to get the balance right between comfort for exploring the city, coolness to combat the heat but also substantial enough to withstand the general wear and bother of daytime city travel. So, today I thought I’d pull together this ‘what I wore’ post and share everything that I actually wore on my city break – I won’t go through everything I packed as we’d be here all day!
This patterned maxi was one of my favourite mooching about daytime looks. It’s an easy to wear sleeveless column dress – from BooHoo Plus (now sold out) – which was an absolute godsend on the hot days. The material is really light and it also has slits up either side, so when there was a bit of a breeze it was beautifully cooling on my legs.
The sandals I’m wearing here are Birk-a-likes from Primark; they only cost a fiver and, for me, they’re just as comfortable as the real thing. My legs become very painful if I’m not wearing supportive footwear and Porto is not the most accessible city in the world: it’s very hilly, plus there are uneven pavements and cobblestoned streets EVERYWHERE. These sandals really saw me through with minimal discomfort, and for that I am extremely grateful. They’re also available in tan, leopard print, gold, and silver, and I’m considering nipping back to pick up a pair in every colour.
Okay, you may well have seen this dress on lots of plus size babes so far this summer and there’s a good reason for that: this is a such a brilliant warm weather dress! The palm print is divine and the fit is seriously comfortable. I wore this for an evening out when the weather was extremely clammy and it kept me really cool, it turned out to be the night before a huge thunderstorm so you’ll probably know the kind of hot, muggy weather I mean.
A loose fitting, kaftan dress like this is the sort of thing you’d usually think to take on a beach holiday, but it’s perfect for a city break too, especially for an evening meal. This one is from Monki, their sizes from an L upwards fit a variety of plus size bodies. They bring out colourful prints that I love season after season, I just hold out hope that they will launch an official plus size range soon.
I’ve been riding out these unexpectedly cold, rainy days in mainly @monki stuff: the palm print dress and also this stripy t-shirt dress – which was intended to just be my comfy travelling home gear 💁 If nice weather happens before we fly home (🙏), I’m gonna grab loads of costume changes to get the most out of all the lovely summer clothes I packed! 😂😭😬 #monkistyle
I mentioned the thunderstorms and well… it ended up raining for quite a few days during our break which I was so gutted about. Despite all that over-packing, I didn’t bring anything that was suitable for rainy weather. I actually ended up wearing the palm print dress and the oversized, striped tshirt dress from Monki that I travelled over in to keep warm on the chilly, rainy days. I’m taking that as a lesson learned though – always pack something for rain just in case!
Right then, we’re in new territory here for me – a playsuit. Me and shorts have not been friends for a long long time, but life really is much too short to be hot when you don’t have to be. So this year I’ve challenged myself to wear more shorts and shorts-based pieces, this playsuit being one of them. And y’know what? After all that fretting about getting my legs out, I love it, it’s so freeing and much more comfortable than I realised.
This playsuit is from Junarose (via ASOS), another of my favourite brands of the moment for colourful prints, and it’s one of the comfiest pieces I took with me for daytime sightseeing – with built in chub rub protection too! I’m a tall-ish woman so I sized up once and really that seems to be the trick with these all-in-one type garments as in my experience it works for jumpsuits too.
I’m bringing you some cable car realness from the banks of the Douro River this evening. I’ve had a super touristy day and loved every minute of it! This gorgeous @junaroseglobal shift dress did me proud, and if you look closely you can just make out a glimpse of my shorts from @bigtights which have been the ultimate godsend today!! 💖💙💖💙
There’s a pattern emerging here, isn’t there? I’m in Junarose again… this cute geometric print shift dress (via Navabi) was the perfect choice to wear for the hottest day we were away. It’s a great length, so I got the benefit of the sun on my legs, and the 3/4 sleeves meant I didn’t burn the hell out of my arms as I’m always a bit concerned about exposing my tattoos to the sun. I ended up wearing it with my trusty old Adidas trainers, as it was at this point in the holiday that I started to struggle with walking, but this dress went with the trainers pretty well.
Underneath all of these outfits, other than the playsuit, I wore chub rub shorts and I really couldn’t have done the holiday without them, they’re SO GOOD. For a touristy, walking type holiday – which a city break usually is – grabbing some of these shorts is an absolute must as it makes chafing into a complete irrelevance. Mine are from Big Tights, but shorts from Evans and Chaffree come HIGHLY recommended by people whose opinions I trust so those are worth checking out too (and happily we have discount codes for both!).
Lastly, if you want to see more of what I got up to in Porto, or fancy seeing any of the outfits mentioned in this post in motion to get a better idea of how they fit, then check out my recent (and first ever) YouTube video for more.
Do you have any tips for city break packing that you could share with us? What sort of thing do you consider a city break essential? As ever, let us know in the comments!
You may remember back at the end of 2016 we launched our plus size fashion sizing survey, asking for your help to get to grips with the current state of UK plus size brand sizing. As so much of our shopping has to be done online, we wanted to build a database page here so that anyone can access it for sizing guidance before committing. So many of you responded that we were able to get a UK Plus Size Fashion Brands Sizing sizing help page up and running really quickly, and we were able to write a ‘story so far’ post for you back in January.
A huge thanks to you all for continuing to fill in our survey over the last few months and sharing it widely; we are raplidly approaching 1000 responses so far and we’re still getting a steady stream surveys filled in! This month we have been able to update our page again with even more accurate results that include some brands that we had no information for last time – say hello to In The Style Curve, Daisy Street Plus, Girls on Film Curve, Liquor & Poker Plus, MAT Fashion & Monif C who we now have some great info for.
If anyone has any info about Quiz Clothing Curve and Unique 21 Hero, then please pop on over to the survey and share your experiences with us as currently they’re the only two left that we have no results for.
Looking at our new data now added to the existing results, our previous ‘True to Size’ champions Sienna Couture and Traffic People have been usurped by newcomers Liquor & Poker Plus and MAT Fashion. Whether that is because there are less responses for them, or that they are truly well sized remains to be seen and it’s something we’ll keep an eye on for the next update. We could really do with more responses for Silly Old Seadog, Paper Dolls Plus and Want That Trend Plus, as they’re currently split very equally between two or three answers so sadly they’re the least helpful statistically – either that or their sizing is rather odd indeed!
Once again, Scarlett & Jo and Simply Be came out as brands with some of the most erratic sizing; with responses ranging from ‘size down twice’ all the way through to ‘size up twice’ on the scale. However, they have company this time with Joanna Hope and Gemma Collins joining them.
The long term aim of the sizing database is to help make shopping for plus size clothes online easier. In time, we want to make the page more and more useful; eventually moving to include photos of a variety of body sizes and shapes in the full range of sizes for each brand, as well as advice, comment and discussion for clothing types (i.e. stretch / non-stretch / blouses / dresses etc..) In the meantime, we hope you find the information on the page useful and continue to feedback your sizing experiences with UK plus size brands so we can keep the page up to date!
Since my mid twenties my skin has been incredibly problematic, and to be honest with you I have really struggled to embrace it. Especially as up until that time I’d been blessed with very clear skin, even in my teens. My skin issues started just after I had a Mirena coil put in, so I attributed it to the hormones in the coil, but even after having that coil removed the problems persisted.
I’ve recently been particularly bothered about how my skin is going to look on my wedding day (which is next year, I’m such a worrier!), and this coupled with a pretty persistent Fibro flare up had really taken its toll on my face. In the weeks before this skincare trial, my skin was as bad as it’s ever been.
So I’m incredibly grateful that the wonderful founder of Merumaya, Maleka, agreed to step in and help me. We had an amazing in-depth consultation over the phone, and she recommended to me my very own bespoke regime to tackle my particular set of issues. Now, after trialling these products, my only regret is that I didn’t start using this brand years ago!
Merumaya are an innovative, cruelty free brand that use clinically proven active ingredients in the concentrations that are actually needed to be effective. They also make sure to include lots of anti-inflammatories to calm the skin too. A major plus with this brand is that their products are not only formulated to improve the overall condition of your skin, they also specifically address acne-prone and sensitive skins too – without the one function overriding the other. Overall, Merumaya come across as very good eggs, and I think this quote from their website sums up their ethos perfectly:
“We seek to create a positive and happy experience and to earn your trust. Thus, we are free from BS, ‘miracles’, judgment, over-claiming, over-packaging and over-pricing. Our mission is that you feel confident, INcluded, beautiful and relevant, at every age.”
The skincare regime that was recommended to me by Maleka consisted of the following products – I’ve put them in the order of use, noted how to use them, and what each active ingredient they contain actually does for your skin:
So, how did this regime work for me? I loved the double cleanse, the Melting Cleansing Balm is incredibly effective and teamed with the Luxury Facial Wash it removes every scrap of makeup and dirt leaving my skin feeling really clean, but also pretty moisturised already. On days when I am not wearing makeup I use the Luxury Facial Wash alone as I found that, for me, the balm isn’t required. The Gentle Exfoliating Toner is so refreshing, and the Iconic Youth Serum makes my skin feel really bouncy and bright. Maleka told me that I wouldn’t need any additional moisturiser other than this serum and she was so right!
Using the Skin Brightening Peel twice a week (it can be used less if twice feels too harsh) has had a massive impact on my skin. It has tackled the roughness, uneven tone and cleared my complexion – the difference is incredible.
And here are my results! The above side by side shows how my skin improved after a just 10 days of using these Merumaya products. On the left is the picture I took on day one, which is a great representation of how my skin has been pretty much all of the time for the last ten years – just perpetually not great. It’s been dull, rough to the touch and uneven, with some redness and lots of painful under-the-skin spots. In fact, I remember thinking when I took the picture that – for me – it was actually a pretty good face day! On the right is a clearer and brighter face I haven’t seen for a very long time indeed.
I started out taking a picture every day; at the same time, in the same place, fully intending to chart the progression of my skin over a whole month. However, by day ten my skin had cleared and it has stayed that way ever since. The last 30-odd photographs all looked exactly the same, so in the interests of not bombarding you with hundreds of identical pictures of my make up free mug, I’ve left them out. I can’t overstate just how impressed I am with the speed at which this worked. I’ve put together a gif showing the ten days it took for the Merumaya skincare regime took to work it’s magic:
I have diligently continued with my trial, and now I’m on week six I have found that my results are still consistent and my skin has been a dream. I will mention that I did get one or two hormonal spots on my chin and forehead just before my period, which the Concentrated Spot Treatment saw off within 72 hours. I want to take a moment to give the Concentrated Spot Treatment a bit of individual praise as I had never held much stock in that sort of product before, but I’m very happy to hold my hands up and say I was wrong: the four images below show how it worked on these larger, painful spots over the course of a focused 72 hours.
To sum up: I have gone from someone in a constant battle with their skin to someone who kinda doesn’t need to think about it any more. One of my biggest causes of concern was how my skin was going to behave on my wedding day, but now that really feels like something that I don’t have to worry about, which is incredibly freeing. When you find something that works, it’s just the best feeling.
The texture of my skin has gone from rough and bumpy, to soft and smooth. My skin is brighter, more even, less ‘blotchy’ and red. Whilst the deeper lines on my forehead have not changed, the fine lines around my eyes are less noticeable. However, lines and wrinkles have never bothered me, and this is not what I have been using this skincare to combat. For everything I wanted this range to do, it has exceeded my expectations and I will absolutely be buying this stuff – regardless of the expense – for as long as they make it.
Yeah, I was really surprised when I first heard this too: Victoria Beckham, the actual catwalk designer, is not only designing for the US ‘discount store’ Target but her range also includes plus sizes. Beckham designing for Target is probably the lesser of the two surprises as Target have secured some huge name collaborators over the years, including Missoni in 2011, Jean Paul Gaultier in 2009 and more recently a favourite of mine, Prabal Gurung, in 2013.
As a plus size blogger, it’s the plus size aspect of Beckham’s range that really interests me, especially as I’ve admired some of her designs from afar in recent years. The Pre-Spring Summer 2017 collection in particular is incredibly cute. I decided to take a closer look at Victoria Beckham for Target and what, potentially, could mean a person like me would be able to own some of her designs myself.
Firstly, I wanted to figure out why include plus sizes at all? I really didn’t want to be needlessly suspicious, but experience has taught me to be cautious and I just couldn’t grasp what her angle would be on this. In an interview with Refinery29, amongst nods to “empowerment” Beckham states: “I want to design for women no matter their budget, age, or size….The fact that I can offer plus size is really exciting, it’s a first for me, and it’s something important that I’m proud of.” On the surface, this sounds great, right? And looking at the affordability aspect, she is true to her word as everything in the Target range is priced under $70 (around £56) with most under $40 (around £32).
The “no matter their…size” I took with a pinch of salt, as within the same article the range was reported as only going up to a size UK24, which is a US20. Upon closer inspection, I did get a bit of a surprise. The Victoria Beckham for Target plus range goes from an XL to a 3XL which according to their own size chart is the equivalent of a US14 to US26 (or a UK18 to UK30). However the actual measurements for each size seem to be more in line with the size below, so I would suggest that the sizing might run a little small. For example; the US26 (UK30) shows as being cut closer to the measurements of a US24 (UK28). I can now see where the mistake in reporting the size range might have happened, and UK outlets might not have taken into account the fact that US and UK sizes differ.
Buoyed by the more-inclusive-than-I-thought sizing, and the affordable prices, I’ve had a good browse through the collection and picked out my favourites to share with you.
Orange Romper / Blush Collared Dress / Lily Button Down / Black & White Skirt / Pink Trousers / Gingham Top / Yellow Tank Top / Bee Print Blouse / Blue Stripe Dress / Floral Crepe Skirt / Marigold Shift Dress / Bee Print Cami
A good percentage of the collection gives off a serious late 60’s vibe with all its scalloped edges, mod shift dresses and graphic retro prints. As much as I’m loving it, I’m not entirely sure just how ‘fashionable’ that particular aspect of her range is right now Beckham must know something I don’t, which is very likely seeing as though she is a fashion designer and I’m… well… not. There are glimpses of the super cute animal prints that Beckham loves to use, the bee print would not look out of place amongst one of her ready to wear collections. Also gingham made an appearance in her SS16 shows, albeit a little more muted.
As a standalone collection, I’m a big fan of the bright colours, cute prints and the fact that there are some very obviously ‘on trend’ items included; like the blue striped dress and the gingham top. Overall though, the one piece I’m going to need in my wardrobe is the blush collared dress with the embroidered rabbits. I am fully in love with it to be quite honest with you. Luckily, you can pick up the VBxTarget collection here in the UK from victoriabeckham.com so the chance of my owning this little beauty is very real, once the initial rush has died down!
We’d love to know your thoughts on this range. Are there any pieces that you like the look of, and did you manage to get your hands on any of it on launch day? What do you think about Victoria Beckham offering plus sizes and do you feel it is inclusive enough? Personally, I’d have loved to have seen it go to a UK32 (US28). Please do let us know in the comments.
Picking up a couple of new bags every few months is an easy and affordable way to update your wardrobe with some of the big trending colours of the season. I find this approach especially useful if there’s a really bright trend that I want to try out before fully committing to clothing in that colour. I’ve been doing this for years now and I’ve found quite a few times that I’ll have an old clutch or shoulder bag at the back of the wardrobe that has magically come back into fashion (I love it when that happens!).
I can’t stop banging on about yellow just now, it’s my favourite SS17 sleeper trend and I am loving all the bright yellow goodness around at the moment. It’s an excellent accent colour to an all black outfit, and lately I’ve been enjoying mixing it up with greens and blues too.
Greenery is the Pantone colour of the year, and there was a fair old amount of green littered across the SS17 catwalks. I love to wear a good, strong apple or forest green; using it to accessorise an outfit containing lots of this seasons hottest trend, pink, is going to look chic as hell.
It’s impossible to write about SS17 colour trends without mentioning pink. Last season’s blush pink is still going strong, but it’s now been joined by a brighter pepto-bismol pink; which personally, I kinda prefer! One of the biggest strengths of bright pink is that it’s difficult to find an outfit it won’t go with. If this pink clashes with another colour, I’ve found that it usually looks intentional.
Not strictly a colour per se, but have you noticed that gingham is having a serious moment right now? It’s all over street style snaps and collections at Topshop/Zara/UO are full of the stuff. When a trend is as ‘flash in the pan’ as this one, but I want to get involved, I tend to grab an inexpensive piece (usually a bag) rather than paying out the best part of £100 for a trench I can’t wear next year!
Now is a great time to get the jump on a AW17 trend early. Purple is going to be everywhere next Autumn / Winter and the colour is just starting to crop up on the best dressed and in the high street stores. I’m absolutely loving the jacquard clutch from H&M and as I’m undecided between lilac and true purple, the multi-tones of that floral seems like a great compromise!
Seen any fabulous bags for SS17 that I’ve missed here or got any hot tips for great bags you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to see what you’re adding to your wardrobe for the coming season.