Northerner with a passion for lingerie, art, guinea pigs and sarcasm.
Northerner with a passion for lingerie, art, guinea pigs and sarcasm.
Isn’t it funny how so many of us wear a bra every single day, but we actually know so little about them? My time as a bra fitter was eye opening, and now I feel like it is my duty to pass on these 9 top tips that I learned during my time as a bra fitter.
I’m a thong fan. I said it. A lot of people believe they are designed for size 12s and under and are an instrument of torture for anyone else. I’m a size 20 and love thongs. The secret to wearing a comfortable thong? Size up. That’s all there is too it. No digging in, no chafing and no wedgies (front or back!)
In the Summer, I go from one extreme to the other. It’s either high waisted pants I can trust to keep me secure when I’m sweating buckets, or thongs which let me feel unrestricted and comfortable.
Recently I was writing a post on plus size knickers. For some reason, I couldn’t find any size inclusive thongs. It’s bizarre. They have vanished. There are still brands such as Elomi but their sizing can be a bit ambiguous and their lingerie is pretty dear. £21 for a single pair is too much sometimes when you’re bulk buying new pants.
After a look into what was on offer, here are my findings:
This just seems to be another area of fashion that plus size women are being boxed out of. Because they are not doing their market research and ignoring our voices, we are given less choice (a tail as old as time). In the same vein as push up bras, just because we have a different body type to the main market, it does not mean we do not want the product.
WE DEMAND THONGS, DAMMIT!
If you look up the definition of “Empress” in the dictionary… you will find Harnaam Kaur. Similarly, if you google’d the oldy-worldy phrase “Doyenne” (the most respected or prominent woman in a particular field) you would also find her there.
I have decided to live my life happily, and this picture captures perfectly how i feel about the woman that i am today. We all go through tough times, and forever we get told that life is like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. We may feel like the heavy burdens of the world have settled themselves down on our shoulders. Always remember that yes, hard times will arrive, but they will also let themselves go. Everything on this earth has a time limit; our friendships, our relationships, happiness and sadness, how we feel about ourselves, even the food we eat, and most of all our emotions. There is a beginning and and end for everything. You may hear that darkness has to be present for the real stars to shine. Be that spark in the darkness around you, be that beacon of light that guides you to greatness. I promise you that you will be just fine x Love your life, love your body, love your soul, spirit, aura and personality because they are the only ones that you have. 💙💚💛💜 📷- perou for my Alternative Beaty issue in @marieclaireuk magazine 💄- fabio gomez 👕👚- Grace smitham #harnaamkaur #beardedlady #beardedwoman #effyourbeautystandards #androgyny #marieclaire #alternativebeauty #bodyconfidence #bodyconfidenceactivist #antibullyingactivist #thedame #thebeardeddame #beardqueen #androgynyqueen #feminist #diversemodels
You will find her under the words “Leader” and “Activist”. You will know already she is definitely under the phrase “Protector”…You don’t even need to check. She is under the definition of “Rebel” and “Record Breaker“.
Harnaam Kaur was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome at the age of 12 and as a result developed Hirsutism which is defined as “…excessive body hair in men and women on parts of the body where hair is normally absent or minimal…” But Harnaam would argue that there is nothing “excessive” about her beard and that it is exactly as it is meant to be.
“I decided to keep my beard and step forward against society’s expectations of what a woman should look like. Today I am not suicidal and I do not self harm. Today I am happy living as a young beautiful bearded woman. I have realised that this body is mine, I own it, I do not have any other body to live in so I may as well love it unconditionally.”
What is wonderful about Harnaam, is that she has taught us all that there is nothing out of the ordinary about her glorious beard. What could possibly be so controversial about her displaying her body hair and loving it? What could be wrong with loving herself just the way she is and going against every perception of a female’s body hair?
Harnaam Kaur has donned her beard since she was 16 years old. She is now a full time activist, model and advocate, walking cat walks and doing interviews with the national press. She also has her own beard oil. There is no one more knowledgeable of what it means to be in love with yourself and how to use this to create your own brand of beauty. When referring to being at peace and having confidence with your body, I always, always talk about Harnaam. Nothing and no one can possibly suggest she isn’t an icon.
Harnaam is everything I aspire to be. I wish to be my own muse. I wish to tattoo myself on my body and indulge in that level of self love. While I may not be there quite yet, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now without Harnaam and her Goddess-like power to encourage myself to be in love with me.
(Photos are from Kaur’s Instagram, the first is a self portrait, the second is her sitting on a bedroom carpet, the walls are surrounded in photos.)
Now, let me get this off my chest (see what I did there?!). I used to work for the company that was the main distributor for Elomi in UK as a bra fitter (burnt some bridges there!) It was there that I was first introduced to Elomi. My first Elomi bra was Kiki. It was so comfy that I fell asleep in it as I forgot I even had it on. I even bought it again when I changed sizes. Then, came Opal. Opal is a glorious half cup bra that also, yes, was insanely comfy and gave an amazing shape.
So, when I walked past my old place of work and saw the harnessed beauty that is the Elomi Sachi, I spent months ruminating on when/where to buy it. One day, armed with a discount code, I bought the bra that I knew was going to be the new love of my life. The Elomi Sachi bra comes with both a high-waisted brief and a standard brief in sizes 14-24 (however, with a high-waisted brief generally you can size down). Starting in a size 32 to a 46, and cup size DD to JJ, Elomi really is amazing at catering to as many people as possible in terms of sizing.
I. Love. It. I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. It has gotten so big in the blogger community! Before I bought it, I kept seeing it everywhere. I was jealous, but I was also so happy at how much love it was getting. Truth is, I’m not surprised – Elomi is a fantastic brand. While on the more expensive side, I can definitely say they are the comfiest, best quality bras I have ever invested in.
With the Elomi Sachi bra, I would suggest going up in the back and down in the cup as the back comes up slightly smaller. (Also with Opal, you need to maintain the back size but go up in the cup! Kiki is generally true to size.)
Here are some beautiful bloggers wearing the stunning Elomi Sachi Bra
The bra under my sheer top in the last few photos is this beauty from @elomilingerie !Gorgeous. Supportive. Comfortable. In my size! Coordinating undies up to a 4x. You can find Elomi at many retailers, including body positive boutique @jaciblue ! My 🐶 Fran (as you can see) was a bit camera shy. 😹 #elomiallyou #elomi #elomilingerie #sachi
Here’s a not very subtle hint of what’s hitting the blog tomorrow! 🐰 . . . #psbloggers #psootd #fbloggers #ootd #plussize #plusfashion #styleblogger #whatiwore #effyourbeautystandards #fullfigured #stylehasnosize #alternativecurves #fashionista #fashionblogger #stylegram #slinksquad #bodyposi #fatandfabulous #plus_isamust #bigandblunt #blogger #buzzfeedstyle #thegirlgang #plussizefashionista #this_curvylife #elomi #plussizelingerie #ukfashion #ukfashionblogger #bunnyears
How amazing do all these babes look in the Elomi Sachi? Have you bought one yet?
While I was at work a few weeks ago, I spotted someone with a red hoodie emblazoned with the words “Self Love Brings Beauty”. Recognising those illustrated hands on it, I immediately started talking to the lady wearing it. We spoke in harmony about how amazing the movement is and how wonderful it was to be able to share a common ground with people we may have never spoken to otherwise. There is such a sense of belonging and community with Self Love Brings Beauty that it is recognisable from a simple tee.
Felicity Hayward established Self Love Brings Beauty in 2015. Since then, a community has been created that is all about loving yourself and others without adjusting yourself in any way. Self Love Brings Beauty is an all embracing, positive self-appreciation movement that begins with you. With self love comes the beauty that only you can truly appreciate. It is about nurturing and sustaining your mental health and as a result feeling peaceful.
In the campaign, Felicity perfectly represents her philosophy. There’s nothing more encouraging and more able to fill you with self confidence than seeing literally EVERYONE represented. She shows each person is valued, each person is worth the space they occupy and should be celebrated. I love feeling safely nestled in this community and that there are increasing opportunities to bump into others wearing these tees. The community is ever growing and is getting the attention it deserves!
Self Love Brings Beauty is a universal safe space where you can celebrate everything about yourself with not a single ounce of judgement from anyone else. Even better, there is no judgement from yourself. Learning to love yourself is one of the hardest things you can do, but once you have it is glorious and it is even better to see there is a community out there that welcomes you and helps you through the journey to self acceptance.
The value of a tee shirt with a slogan should never be underestimated.
It’s really hard nowadays to avoid gloom. It’s a matter of self preservation that you should save some room on your social media for only the positive. There have been so many studies about how social media affects your psyche for the worse. I rarely use anything but Instagram now as it’s so much easier to choose what you want to see. Sure, the algorithm is absolutely shocking (sort it out, Zuckerberg!) but I find my self scrolling through hundreds of images that I know come from a community I have curated, full of joy and positivity.
I’m not saying that you should only have accounts on your Instagram that are butterflies and sunshine. I follow several accounts that are political but they also have a feed that empowers and strengthens rather than deflates and disappoints. For me, it’s about that balance.
My top fashion:
I’ve written about Unlucky Lingerie before. Their lingerie is phenomenal. They cater to a diverse size range and have a philosophy that celebrates bodies by providing the most glorious lingerie. I have the Lana Robe and it brings tears to my eyes how beautiful it is!
I’m sure we’re all aware of how groundbreaking Rihanna’s make-up line is. Nothing but pure self-love from Fenty’s Instagram account. It is continuing to teach the masses how to be self accepting and the importance of self expression!
I’ve also written about my love for Christian Siriano before. Siriano is an ally of the feel-good-wear-what-you-want movement! Happiness is red carpet gown worn by someone who you can actually relate to.
My top artists:
Full of roly-poly goodness, Dublin based artist Tara O Brien uses the most delicious colours to create stunning illustrations. Otherworldly and delicate, whenever Tara posts it’s a pure delight.
A pioneer in poetry and illustration, The Mel Gaze is the brain child of Mel Clarke. Sex positive, frank and witty, Mel uses black and white illustrations mingled with words that we can all relate to. Deeply lovely and descriptive, Mel’s zine is a treat. Mel’s account is private so I can’t show you any of her work but trust me: she is more than worth a follow!
“Illustrating the bits and shapes we’re told to hide” – This tagline sums up everything that Pink Bits sets out to do in breath-of-fresh-air fashion. Based in Australia, Pink Bits encourages us to embrace every inch of our bodies as something to be celebrated.
My top cute:
The cat whose facial expression sums up how we all feel inside.
A pig who always looks like he’s smiling.
Moustached cat who literally looks like he should be wearing a top hat and monocle.
My top guilty pleasures:
Actor Tommy Lenk recreates fashion editorials and runways looks from trash.
I got SEW MANEEE requests for this one I just had to do it! 😘category iiiis: FRESH AS A DAZEEE! Get that @gal_gadot @wmag x @britishvogue styled by @edward_enninful in @moschino? #LenkLewkForLess with a shirt, paper towels, ribbon and @traderjoes bouquets for like $30ish bucks! 📸: @paragonegallery #wonderwoman #galgadot #amazon #glamazon #flowers #traderjoes #tommylenk #lenklewk sorry that there isn't less shirt and MOAR RIBUHN!
Just classic and nostalgic Simpsons stills.
Which accounts do you love to look at on Instagram? Do you love a cuteness overload, or do you thrive on positivity? Is politics your thing when it comes to social media, or is it your place to escape?
When looking for nightwear, I basically look for something comfy. I am one of those people who as soon as they get home changes into lounge wear or PJs straight away. I have this routine:
Step 1: Remove jewellery
Step 2: Remove clothing
Step 3: Take off make up and tie my hair up
Step 4: Put on pjs
Step 5: Refuse to leave cocoon of duvets (unless for food)
Recently I have had the BIGGEST struggle with finding a pair of pjs that didn’t need me to set up a credit card to buy. I just wanted some that matched! It really wasn’t the biggest ask, yet finding anything above a size 16 at a reasonable price was incredibly difficult. The irony is I rarely even bother wearing them in bed and I wear them mostly as loungewear anyway.
I have this on my saved list currently. I am really coming round to the idea of nightdresses because the style is now a lot more comfortable and you’re not going to have a boob get tangled in a strap. Oversized tee is the way forward! £18 and up to a size 30!
Up to a size 36 and £19 for this cute set! I am a fan of jersey when it comes to pjs. For some reason they’re just easier to be a slob in (you can invest in a pair of silk pjs of course and be a glamorous slob instead).
I’ve had ASOS pjs before and they’re surprisingly long lasting for the price. They’re comfortable, wash really well and they always have cute designs.
Up to a size 34, this is a cute teddy/playsuit. I always size up when it comes to playsuits (whether they’re pjs or clothing) to avoid that struggle of it permanently riding up and waddling like a duck.
Only £10 and still up to a size 28 left! Bargain that can be teamed with pj bottoms/joggers if you’re feeling a chill.
Up to a size 34 and only £10! Pretty much in love with this motif as well.
PJ version of the cute nightie above, also only £10.
It might start to get too warm for pjs but it wont get too warm for pjs as lounge wear! I’m only comfortable in something cotton inside the house when it’s sweltering. Of course, we’re in February and it’s currently closer to winter in the arctic than it is to spring in the UK. There is nothing wrong with being prepared, however!
It’s safe to say that some Friends jokes haven’t aged well in the 14 years since it ended. In included everything from homophobia (remember when Ross was so uncomfortable with a male Nanny he wanted to fire him? Or when he didn’t like that his son Ben chose to play with a Barbie doll?) to having less than a handful of POC characters (even though it was set in New York) throughout it’s ten year run, Friends is horrifically problematic.
Can you imagine a show being created now with a character who’s weight is not only a punchline, but an entire-episode-dedicated worthy joke? And it’s brought up in multiple episodes in the entire series run. And it’s the people closest to her that use it constantly as a source of shame. And even on top of that, she is portrayed a stereotype; unclean, obsessed with food, goofy (that word makes me shudder) and only able to have sexual partners/sexual appetite when she has lost the weight. Monica doesn’t even have a personality until she loses weight.
Friends taught a generation that is was okay to make fun of someone’s appearance. There is an episode (The One with the Nap Partners) where Monica finds out that Chandler split up with an ex because she gained weight. Monica spends the majority of the episode scared that if she were to gain weight again that Chandler would leave her also. Preteen me would have agreed that this was of genuine concern for a bride-to-be. Adult me is thinking “Dump your man, dump your friends, burn the apartment down and collect the insurance money”.
Is it safe that Friends is now accessible 24/7 again? Having recently been added to Netfilx, part of me wants to relive the nostalgia. On the other hand, I care far too much about myself to spend those 22 mins an ep in a constant state of vein-popping anger. I’m fairly certain for a lot of people out there Friends was the source of and/or heightened their insecurities and it has been given a platform to continue to do so. It doesn’t help that it also oozes white privilege.
I’m aware there is an argument that there are worse TV shows than Friends for these issues. Sure, probably. But Friends was watched by millions of young people not only in the 90s, but the 2000s too when it was on a constant cycle on E4 and is still watched globally. This is recently history, not the 1960s where jokes like this were expected. There is enormous progress being made breaking down the issues that Friends gleefully endorses. There was even a story line where Monica was shamed for how many men she had slept with but it was part of Joey’s personality to sleep with women and never call them back. They all in their own ways objectified women but Joey caused the most harm. Chandler’s father, who is transgender, was a source of embarrassment for the character and was never once treated with respect or as an opportunity to educate the masses. Chandler didn’t even invite her to his wedding initially, he was that ashamed.
Before you go ahead and rewatch, here’s a refresher of just how gross Friends is without you having to experience it and progressively learn for yourself:
It taught men that they must defend their masculinity at all costs
It taught women to not advance their careers if their boyfriends were jealous
It taught women that sexual assault is a punchline
It taught POC that they have no place on a popular show set in one of the most diverse cities in North America (I can only think of two named characters in Friends that were POC: Dr Charlie Wheeler and she wasn’t in it until the ninth series, and Kristen Lang who moved in down the street and caused Joey and Ross to fight over their affections rather than, y’know, respecting that she was capable of making up her own mind)
It taught parents that they must make their children conform to society’s idea of gender and must stick to the strict guidelines of what is means to be “male” or “female” (there’s only two genders according to Friends)
It taught lesbians that their relationships make men feel insecure abut their masculinity
It taught fat women that they are comic relief and will only ever been seen as such until they lose weight
Sure, it’s okay to re-watch a series that invokes nostalgia. And if you do decide to sit down and have a watch of your old favourite moments, use them as a talking point with your friends about how and why what they are saying is wrong. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the 90s trap and forget that there is so much wrong with your favourite episode of Friends.