Thursday, 11 December 2014

Review: Live Unlimited
with House of Fraser

I only recently became aware of that House of Fraser offers plus size women's clothing, following spotting some reviews from other plus size bloggers. It's always great to have another retailer to shop with and I was over the moon when House of Fraser contacted me to ask if I would like to review an item on my blog.

With brands such as Carmakoma, Juna Rose and Marina Rinaldi to name a few, choosing an item wasn't an easy decision; but when I spotted this Multi-Coloured Print Dress by Live Unlimited (in the sale for £27.00, only size 20 left) the print lured me in.

I opted for my usual size (22) and the dress is just above knee length on me, so a similar length to what is shown on the website; sometimes plus size dresses can be ridiculously short, but this one is reasonable. You could wear it with tights and heels for a dressier look; I opted for leggings (Primark, £3.00) and boots (JD Williams, £55.00; review here). My necklace is from New Look and it's currently in the sale for £4.00!

I'm really impressed by the variety of plus size items that House of Fraser stocks and that there's something to suit every budget, as well as there being items available up to a size 30. There's also a lot of items in the sale so you can grab yourself a bargain! This is also the first time I've had an item from Live Unlimited and I'm sure it won't be the last; the fabric and fit of this dress is wonderful.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Review: Colour Collection
Glasses with SpecsPost

Hi folks. The fabulous team at SpecsPost have very kindly gifted me a pair of glasses from their new Colour Collection range to review. The funky new range comes in a variety of colours and prices start at £18.99 including standard lenses. I opted for 'clear red' and prescription lenses, which I was relieved to find wasn't complicated at all; I just had to obtain my prescription from my Optician and send a photo of it to the Specspost team. Usually I'd go for a pink or purple colour, but as my main glasses are purple I thought I'd try something different. Please excuse my fringe, I need a hair cut...!

I have quite a chubby face (like a hamster) and small eyes but I think they look quite cute, what do you think? They are comfortable, though feel a little odd to me to begin with as the glasses that I am used to are much smaller. I always receive compliments when I wear them and it's nice for me to wear something that's a little 'different' to my usual style/colour choice.

I had hoped to pair them with a bit of red in my outfit, but realised I don't actually own anything bar a couple of burgundy things that you've probably seen already! So, all black it is. I'm wearing a jersey dress from Marisota (similar here and here), Primark leggings (£3.00) and my JD Williams boots (review and further info here).

You may remember I previously reviewed some sunglasses from Specspost; I can honestly say that they've come up trumps in customer service, quality and price again and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from them in the future. In fact, I can now see why some folk have several pairs of glasses; it's quite addictive!

What colour would you choose?


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Review: Wide Fit Boots
with JD Williams

Hi folks. JD Williams got in touch with me recently to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing an item from their wide fitting footwear collection. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity to try some calf length boots; perfect for winter. The collection has pretty much every kind of footwear you could imagine in a wide variety of sizes (sizes 3-10 in 'E' fitting boots, for example), even slippers (which I'll also be blogging about very soon)! I was really surprised at the prices, too; I imagined that a decent pair of boots would set me back around £80.00, so it was great to see that many of the styles I liked were around £50.00.

I chose the Legroom Quilted Hi Leg Boots (£55.00) in the 'Curvy Plus' calf width and 'E' fitting, in a size 8 (my usual size). I measured the widest part of my calf (with a piece of string and a ruler) at approximately 500mm; in an 8E this is the exact measurement of the 'Super Curvy' calf width so I went for the 'Curvy Plus' which is 534mm. I'm pleased to report that they're a perfect fit and very comfortable! They sit a comfortable distance below my knee, as you can see (ish, sorry!).




































Sometimes shoes with a heel (yes, even a little one like this) cause my feet to ache but I haven't had any problems with these and I've worn them a lot. They go well with anything; in this outfit I am wearing my Elvi coatigan (£60.00, sizes 16/18-24/26), Primark leggings (£3.00; I'm a size 24 and wear a size 20), old Asos Curve dress (similar here) and a leopard head necklace (not a real one!) I picked up in the New Look sale a while ago.

I've since worn these boots with many different outfits on a variety of occasions. They're still comfy and I've had lots of compliments on them. They've also kept my legs dry on many occasions, today included! Honestly, I can't fault them. I know that a lot of people are looking for boots that fit bigger calves at the moment, so I hope you'll find this review useful :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Should Fat Shaming
be a Hate Crime?

‘Remember, remember, the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and’…Katie Hopkins? On this memorable date Katie and I came ‘face to face’ in a heated discussion as I formed part of a panel discussion being filmed for her TLC documentary; To Fat and Back. The documentary will be aired in early 2015 and I’ll be writing a full account of my experience to coincide with the airing; so, this post is very much to be continued at a later date.

In the meantime, there is a particular ‘incident’ from that day that has already reared its head in the media; taking the form of a tweet from Katie herself and a delightful mention in her column in The Sun newspaper on 7 November 2014 (see left). What happened, I hear you ask? Well, I’m not going to flower it up; one of the participants accused Katie of hate crime (with regards to her fat shaming comments, I should add) and called the Police. I don’t know the individual’s reasons and my initial thought was of concern that someone felt so deeply affected by Katie’s comments that they felt it warranted Police attention. The initial statement formed part of the panel discussion, for which I was present, but I did not witness the filming of the telephone call or the aftermath (in which, I am informed, the individual discussed what had happened with the rest of the participants).

Some of the responses to Katie’s tweet and article have been incredibly insightful (note: sarcasm) and include treats such as ‘do the scales of justice go up to thirty stone?’ and ‘I think she’s mentally challenged…probably latent tuck shop issues’.

I digress. My second thought, and what I would like to discuss, is that fat shaming is not a hate crime. Hate crime only covers ‘crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation’ (GOV.UK, 2014). If fat shaming were a hate crime this situation would be entirely different. As it stands, I think it will reflect poorly on those that were involved in the panel discussion (myself included), despite it being the actions of a sole individual. Reporting a non-existent crime comes across as naive, at best, and stupid, at worst; asides from the issue of wasting Police time.

So, now that we’ve established that fat shaming isn’t currently a hate crime, I ask; should it be? There is no doubt that fat shaming can and does have a negative impact on the wellbeing of many people, and I know from personal experience that the abuse isn’t always just verbal. However, I’m not convinced that it should be classed as a hate crime, particularly as I’m not sure what it’d achieve; it’d be a minefield to navigate. Does fat shaming have a long historical and cultural background, like other forms of hate crime?

I could go on forever, but I won’t bore you. I’ll just leave you with one, final, honest point...

You can’t walk into the lion’s den and expect not to get mauled.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Fierce-some Fashion
for Halloween

Halloween is rapidly approaching so I thought I'd share some freakin' awesome plus size fashion finds with you all! I'll be heading to the Feeling Gloomy Halloween Special in London with my friends on 1 November to celebrate. Tacky expensive costumes aren't really my thing and I can never motivate myself to make something half decent; here's what I'm wearing...
#1 New Look Inspire Black Glow In The Dark Skeleton T-shirt, £9.99 (limited stock)
#2 My tutu is ancient so this is just a random photo, but check out the Tutu Factory
#3 The black veil I bought from eBay is now sold out, but there's a similar one here
#4 New Look Wide Fit Black Lace Up Chelsea Boots, £24.99 (sizes 3-9)

I also bought some Edit Manson Contact Lenses in white from Swapeyes (if you're a student and have a NUS card you can get 15% off); they're out of stock now, too, but I've found them elsewhere (albeit slightly more expensive). I've yet to decide what to do with my make-up so I'll probably just 'wing it', although a skeleton face would be awesome!

Unfortunately a lot of the Halloween themed goodies have sold out (Boohoo's skeleton dress and Asos Curve's skeleton leggings, for example), but there are still some great buys out there that you could get in time for the festivities...
#1 New Look Inspire Black Glow In The Dark Skeleton T-shirt, £9.99 (limited stock)
#2 Simply Be Halloween Trick or Treat Jumper, £20.00 (sizes 12/14-22/26)
#3 ASOS Halloween Lips Clutch Bag (out of stock, sorry!)
#4 Black Heart Creatives Red Lip Fang Necklace, £16.00-£19.00
#5 Boohoo Maria Pumpkin Print Dress, £18.00 (sizes 16-22 in black and 16-24 in orange)