29 May 2014

Yes All Women

When you look 20 or 30 years into the future, what do you envision?  Flying cars?  People living on other planets?  Teleportation?  Well if you look back at the movies of a few decades ago, this is the kind of thing that they expected us to be doing.

Next year we will hit the year that Marty McFly travelled to in Back to the Future 2.  I don't see many hover boards floating around but they are a few things that they were pretty spot on about; like video calling.

In essence, when you look towards the future, you see progression, things that are better than the way they are now.  

29 years ago "The Breakfast Club" was released.  Here is a quote from the movie when talking about women and sex:

Wow, you think, what backward thinking I'm so happy times have changed!  Oh wait......  Actually that thought process is still as much in play today as it was then.  

Girls are sent home from prom because their outfits are "causing young men to have impure thoughts".  In rape cases victim blaming is rife not only in the media and on the social network sites but also in Court (this is only one example of many out there).  Songs like Blurred Lines become bestsellers.   People like David Starkie get to go on Question Time saying things like "Violence, not consent, should be the classification of rape."

We still live in a society where when you get unwanted attention from a man "I have a boyfriend" works better than "No".  

The hashtag on Twitter #yesallwomen which has followed after the killing spree of Elliot Rodgers has done much to highlight what attitudes women face on a daily basis.  

My own experience is of men thinking that because I have large breasts, I am automatically "up for it" or I'm "easy".  I have been grabbed in bars more times than I can count but the thing that scares me the most is the perception of others that this is somehow acceptable because "well they are so big".  It is NOT alright to touch me without my permission.  It isn't okay; it's a sex crime and I shouldn't be told I am overreacting if I label it as such.

It doesn't matter how far we have progressed in other aspects of our lives, like with the technological example.  A woman may be able to give testimony in a rape trial by way of video link, but until what she was wearing or how much she had to drink is no longer relevant; we are still living in the stone age.

22 May 2014

A Curious Fairytale

I was recently given the opportunity to review a piece of jewellery from a Manchester based store on Etsy called A Curious Fairytale (what a fantastic name for a jewellery shop by the way!)

Mostly when I buy jewellery I don't go into the high street stores but instead prefer to check out charity shops and online stores for something a little more unique and that fits with my personality.  The necklace I was sent was their Once upon a Time Cameo Necklace which is selling on their Etsy store for £15.00.

The quality of the necklace is superb with the pendant having that heavy feel to it that you know means that it is not going to fall apart after a few wears.  I have worn this necklace with several different outfits now, both to blend with the outfit and also by showcasing the necklace itself.

Here are some of my other favourites from the shop.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them and will definately be buying from them myself in the future.

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21 May 2014

20 May 2014

Shop Your Stash

Welcome to the Shop Your Stash Challenge run by the lovely Hollie of PrettyBigButterflies. This is all about finding a gem in what you already own and creating a blog post on it. This is to let go a little of the stress that comes with being a blogger - even if it is just once a month. Rummage through your beauty products and climb through those clothes draws. You might surprise yourself!

This month we were to chose something that we had brought back to life for the Summer.  What I have chosen to do is show you an old black (yes, I did say black) jersey casual dress and how I have revamped it ready for the Summer months.

It is a simple does what it says on the tin dress that you can throw on and let your accessories do the talking, if anything you choose to wear any!

The first way I am wearing it is designed for the daytime with black sandals and a big chunky necklace.  I would be happy going out for the afternoon, shopping with the girls and I have also on occasion worn this dress to work, styled much like this when it is hot.

Then imagine this.  You are at work, wearing the sad outfit when your work colleagues decide that tonight is the night to nip into the city after work for few cheeky cocktails.  No time to change, what do you do?  

What I have done here is simply swap out the sandals for some heels, changed my neck to a pearl costume jewellery piece and add something I have discovered recently which is quite frankly a genius invention.  Wingz !

If you have never heard of Wingz before, they are sleeves; either short, elbow or wrist length that you can add underneath your dress.  Whilst some may choose to wear them if they are not happy with their arms and want coverage, from my point of view I love the different options that they give you in being able to style in different ways.  In this case the lace Party Wingz * have helped me to bring a night time edge to my outfit  and also add an interesting detail with the lace.

 So what do you think?  I was sent the lace elbow length Wingz and also a shorter jersey pair and I am looking forward to playing around with different dresses and seeing what changes I can effect.  The things with wearing a dress is that it is a full piece and only by using accessories can you make it look different.  I think this is where the Wingz really come into their own.

Check out what the other ladies have done to change up old Summer outfits!

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* gifted item

19 May 2014

Bird Printed Doll Dress

A couple of Saturdays ago I attended the +Simply Be store in the Arndale Centre, Manchester.  You can read about my visit here

I was lucky enough to given £50.00 to spend in store and after playing dress up and taking photographs with the magic mirror (which you need to try, it's brilliant) I decided on the Bird Printed Doll Dress * I had previously seen the dress on the lovely Sally from The Human Mannequin and thought that she looked gorgeous so wanted to try it for myself.

My magic mirror picture from the store.

I sized up with this dress to accomodate the boobage, but i think most people would find it true to size.

I first decided to style the dress with the office in mind (yes, I like to dress up) and so went with a chunky necklace and my black ankle boots from Dorothy Perkins.

After taking the pictures however I was going out in the afternoon so decided to keep the dress on and style it down a little by changing the chunky for three long ones and adding some black sparkly sandals, from +Fashion World .

The bird necklaces are from Primark
The red heart necklace was a bargain £1 from Ebay

I adore the print on the dress and I like the high-low detailing.  I will be getting a lot of wear out of this dress all summer and with the addition of a cardigan it will probably take me into autumn too!

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* Denotes gifted item

17 May 2014

SimplyBe Store Visit

I recently had the opportunity to attend the +Simply Be store in Manchester for a styling session whilst I was spending the weekend there.

I was massively excited as I have been shopping with SimplyBe for some time now and couldn’t wait to roam around the store and try on lots of pretty dresses.

Upon entering the store I was immediately greeted firstly by the lovely Becky and then Steph who was to be my stylist. I do have to make a special mention to them both as they made me feel completely at ease and welcome and I had a great time with them.

I was chatting with Steph about her role within the store and her passion for styling woman and making them feel good about themselves was fantastic. You could really tell that she loved her job and I could have happily spent all day there talking about plus size fashion and body confidence.

Now on the clothes!

With every dress I tried on, I used the magic mirror that SimplyBe have in their stores which enables you to photograph yourself in the mirror and then send the pictures to either your email or upload on to Facebook.

I think I must have been a bit overexcited when typing my email address on to the screen as unfortunately only two images came through to me which ironically were also the dresses that I chose to bring home with me!

I was hoping that I wouldn't love the pink biker jacket.  I really was.  I knew I couldn't afford it at the moment but tried it on anyway because I couldn't not.  I love how well it goes with the bird print doll dress (coming soon on the blog in a separate post).  The jacket is now at the top of my ever growing wishlist!!

I spied the tile print dress and immediately thought that it would be perfect for the office.  The fabric flows nicely, is cool to wear and nips in at the waist to add a little va va voom!  Again, I will post about this dress properly in a separate post.

I am gutted that the other dresses didn't transfer to my email but I will show you the ones I tried on anyhow.

This is the daisy print version of the bird print dress above.  I loved them both but for my specific colouring, the bird print dress worked better for me.

 There is no reason for this jacket to be here again in the post other than the fact that I can stare at it and swoon.  I have it bad! haha

I took this dress into the changing room as a kind of a wild card.  Pink dresses and added ruching below the waist generally doesn't look good on me, but I really liked it.  The only personal thing for me was that it was a little bit too short to wear without leggings and I HATE wearing leggings.  That is just me though, the dress is gorgeous to wear and had a flattering shape.

I am already planning when I can next get to the Arndale in Manchester and I urge you to go.  The girls there are so friendly and helpful, it is nice to see an engaged staff when you walk into a store who are interested in the fashion they are selling.

Bravo SimplyBe!!
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16 May 2014

A Dangerous Precedent

Now and again I will write an opinion piece on my blog about something that I feel strongly about.  Most recently it was my yearly post that I write about the Grand National. 

My aim was to create a bit more awareness regarding the number of horses that die as a result of horse racing.  I wanted to dissuade people from betting but as with everything, you can only present the facts and let people make up their own minds.

When I published my Grand National post this year I received a comment on Twitter asking why I bothered even writing it, as most would never read it and even less would change their minds.  My response was that I would rather speak up and put my opinion forward rather than keep silent.  Silence accomplishes nothing.

I know that mine is only a tiny voice, speaking out amidst a sea of other voices and opinions, but I would always rather say what I think than keep quiet.  Did I change anyone’s mind this year about horseracing?  I don’t know, but I’m still glad I wrote it.

So here I am today, with another opinion. 

UKIP.  When I see a party like UKIP, I truly get scared for the country.  You do not have to be a political genius to see that voting for them would send the country down a path going backwards in time and to places that are beyond our imaginations.

One of the problems however is that unlike the BNP and EDL who carry a thug mentality with them for which they are infamous for, UKIP have that most dangerous of things, an outwardly nice looking veneer.  The head of their party looks like Rupert the Bear.  Harmless.   The man standing for UKIP in my area is an ex local police constable.  Trustworthy.

I’m not going to give you the whys and wherefores about why you shouldn’t vote UKIP.  It is each person’s decision to vote for whom they choose.  All I really want to say is actually look into who you are voting for.  See what they stand for.  What their policies are.

I’m unfortunately from a place where the BNP always won seats and carried favour with many (absolutely not me).  The problem was, just as is the problem with people voting for UKIP now, is that people are seeing one particular point that they agree with, usually about immigration, and voted accordingly.  They don’t look at the bigger picture.

I was talking to someone recently who had decided to vote UKIP.  Their reason was purely because of their immigration stance.  When I mentioned other points that UKIP want to bring in, such as scrapping maternity pay and introducing a flat tax system, their face went blank.  This is why voting without research is dangerous.  

Whilst people need to vote and not simply give up on the system; they also need to think.

15 May 2014

I Feel Good

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You know sometimes when you spend ages getting ready for a night out, an event or even just a blog post, and the reflection in mirror isn't what you hoped? This challenge is for those times when you look in the mirror, no pre planning involved, and think "I look good today". 

We all have our good days and our bad, but this challenge is to record those good days and to remember that confidence, at any size, is beautiful.

This month I am following on from last month and am sharing my Capturing the Curves photographs with you.  Warning: there are a LOT of pictures in this post!

I recently had a fantastic experience at a photoshoot arranged by the lovely Betty Pamper.  The theme was vintage and having my hair and makeup done, along with meeting all the other ladies along with Betty herself and Becky from Rambings of was a brilliant experience.

For the first time I even enjoyed having my photograph taken and playing around with the different props.  Nicky Rockets made me feel completely at ease and this, combined with a couple of cocktails after the shoot, made a very memorable afternoon.

I was very happy to learn that two of the photographs that we would be given would be “photoshopped” alongside the regular pictures and excited to see the “new and improved” me.  

We got a surprise preview of one of our photographs a couple of weeks ago and all I could see was my wonky eyebrow that I hate so much.  Looking back at these photographs now, I think it may have turned into one of my favourites!  Fickle woman, as is my right ;)

I wouldn't hesitate to do another photo shoot again and would love to do another vintage style one with Betty Pamper, but very very surprisingly, I would say this time, no retouching!

Here are my photographs, which I have already started to use on my profile pictures everywhere.  I will let you make your own decision on whether I look better retouched!

The above are retouched, so slightly better versions of me!

13 May 2014

Dannimac Trench Coat

One thing that you can guarantee about the British Summer is that it will be unpredictable. You can have blazing sunshine in the morning and rain in the afternoon. Carrying a coat or a cardigan with you if you are leaving the house for more than an hour is always advisable.

This year when thinking about buying a Summer coat I had something very specific in mind. The golden fleece of coats. Seemingly unobtainable (if previous years are anything to go by) until you are willing to pay well over £100.00 (which I am not). What is the coat on my clothing pedestal? A stone coloured trench coat.

But they are everywhere I hear you cry! Well yes, they are, unless you are as particular about coats as I am. There is a long list of criteria that has to be met in order to be my perfect coat. It is after all something that you are going to get a lot of wear out of, so it has to be “the one”.

  • The colour has to go with everything. (I thought that I have found my perfect trench coat last year, only for the stone colour described to actually be a dirty beige)
  • The fit has to be impeccable. Not too tight, not too loose and comfortable.
  • The fabric shouldn't crease and also, it should neither be too thick or too thin.
  • I should feel like a hot female spy in a film noir movie.
Ok, the last one isn’t essential, wait, who am I kidding, of course it is :)

Anyway, I found my coat of dreams in the Dannimac coats section at +Marisota  and it can be found here: Dannimac

The dress underneath the coat is the bird print doll dress from +Simply Be and there will be a review up soon!

Vicky xx

12 May 2014

Twice as Nice

Last week I was reading through my favourite blogs and came across Becky's +ASOS haul post.  As she has a similar body shape to myself (albeit with much better legs than I have!) I love to check out what Becky is wearing and get some ideas of what I would like to buy.

Upon looking through her Asos Curve Review Post I immediately spied the green goddess that was the Asos Curve Midi Dress in Check Print and fell head over heels in love.  I didn't own anything green and the colour was so luscious and the pattern so vibrant that I had to have it.

I wore this dress on Friday night for cocktails in Manchester and striding down Deansgate after a cocktail or two, I have to say that it did give me some added confidence!  My pictures however were taken today and I have gone for a simple look, simply adding some black glitter sandals from Fashion World.

Both Becky and I decided to do a joint post with our dresses and so we bring you Twice as Nice.  Please have a look at Becky's blog as linked above to see how she has worn her dress.