Friday, 15 November 2013

Dotty about polka dots....

Polka dots are always a winner in my book. I love how playful and sweet they make an outfit and their perfect vintage feel.  My wardrobe is bursting with polka dot items and I have loved them since I was 17 and stopped being the punkiest kid on the block. The moment I saw the Betty Lou Doll Polka Dot Chiffon Dress on the Collectif website I was already imagining what shoes I would wear with it (the ever perfect ballet pumps from H&M...) and how I would style my hair. It gave me the feel of apple pie making and going on a picnic rather than a tipsy night out. It was a beautiful day dress and just what I needed. I am always wary of buttons on large busts and so, I decided to size up to a 20 rather than my usual 18. I wanted this dress to be girly and for me to tiptoe about in it without flashing boob so I felt if it was a little loose on the bust, this would be best. So I waited patiently on my little pink parcel...

When it arrived, I was not disappointed. It felt heavy enough to drape beautifully and the material was lovely. With a lighter chiffon layer over the top of the pale green built in skirt, the dress was perfect to twirl in and skimmed over my hips and bum. The collar and cuffs sat as they should, a problem I have had with some shirt dresses in the past. I was right in sizing up for the buttons to sit over my ample bust and the belt meant that the extra material around my waist could be pulled in. With my shape I am used to this and Collectif were not at fault. Sizing up to suit my bust I sometimes have extra waist material and a belt fixes this. The belt is my one issue with this dress. It is a simple pull and tuck piece of material with no belt loops to actually hold it, and it being chiffon it slides out constantly. I corrected this with a safety pin to hold, but I feel for the price this belt could easily be more practical. Perhaps this is not a problem with slim girls but for me, I would pay extra for a working belt in the same material. I have tried it with a plain black belt and it looks good and works, but I should not need to DIY my dresses.

Wear ability wise, it is perfect. I wore it out to lunch and had lots of compliments. It moves just right and is very comfortable. I wore it with flats but it would also work with smaller heels. I feel any higher heels would ruin the daytime look. The belt sits in the right area to allow the skirt to drape and I am very impressed with this Collectif piece. I would definitely wear it in other colours and collar styles and would suggest anyone pondering over it bite the bullet and have a dress in your wardrobe spring ready. Saying that, with the double materials, with a pair of tights this could become winter proof. A cardigan and suitable shoes and this could be a year-round dress.

The weather outside may be frightful, but I am prepared for spring with my Betty Lou Doll Polka Dot Chiffon Dress from Collectif. I wore it in our last trickle of sun and I cannot wait for the warmer months again to twirl around in it.

Dress- Collectif
Pumps- H&M
Hair flowers- H&M

Friday, 25 October 2013

I got my red dress on tonight..... 20th Century Foxy review!

I tend to be the sort of person who barters with themselves.... "I need that dress", rather than "I want that dress." I try to buy only items I will wear and that will flatter by body. I try to control myself around beautiful dresses and watch them sit in my wishlist.

BUT! When I see one of those dresses, no other item will match up, hang on my figure or be good enough. I justify it's price with "But If I wore it ten times it would only cost £10 a time..." or "I need to build up my vintage reproduction wardrobe, it is an investment!"

But in reality I just think "sod it!", treat myself and click buy. Thank goodness that I spend my money on very little else and save up for these items because when I fall for them, I fall hard.

And that was definitely the case for 20th Century Foxy's 1950s Wrap Circle Dress. *swoon* I was in love! I needed that dress and this feeling was magnified by the fact the company had used a beautiful plus sized model to show the dress off. Brilliant move 20th Century! I am not here to review websites but when selling dresses it is amazing when some chose to show their dresses on various shapes. Refreshing and fantastically body positive! Now, back to my one true love. I took on extra temp work because I was impatient and could not wait until payday for this dress and when it arrived, my actions were justified. The feeling of the material alone blew most other dresses out of the water. The website tells me it is a Rayon/Poly/Elastene mix but it feels like pure luxury. The red is a perfect deep, rich hue and matches beautifully with a blood red lip.

The weight means it drapes perfectly and falls over your shape just how you want it too. It is not stiff nor overly stretchy, it is just perfect. When on, the material and cut sit brilliantly over every ripple or curve and as an H cup I can 100% recommend it for fellow busty ladies. It is hard to find a vintage reproduction in this style which is not too tight or showing a little too much. The cut of the neck means you can chose how much to show, depending on the occasion. One of my favourite features is the dipped in cut of the waist. It creates a beautiful hourglass figure and makes you feel like you should be gliding down a red carpet in days of glamour and elegance. It really does change how you hold yourself and it makes me feel so confident every time I slip it on. The sleeves make this dress my choice when I am feeling a little body conscious about my arms but may make it a tad too warm for any summer night out or indeed, a night in a warm setting. But for Autumn or Christmas drinks, this dress is perfection. Especially with a garter belt and stockings! (as seen below he he)

It is one of my most favourite items and I look forward to wearing it more than the nights out at times. It also comes in blue and black and I am promising myself one of those before Christmas. The girls at the website have been a delight every time I have ordered from them and I do feel better knowing my hard earned cash is going into a wonderful company that cares about their items and customers.Check them out ladies. Treat yourself!

Alyson xo

Dress- 20th Century Foxy.
Brooch- War museum item.
Stockings and garter belt- Hips and curves as reviewed before.
Heels- Dunnes. (It was a delightful surprise!)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Blog pause....

I will be away on training this week but will update my blog with some lovely new outfits soon :)

Alyson xo

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Have an Autumn/Winter (highland) fling. Tartan Trend and Collectif review.

Tartan is a trend that seems to pop up every other Autumn/Winter. It is paired with chunky knits and chapped lips, it works well in colder weather and pops a little well-needed colour into wardrobes. It has been seen in many collections this year and shops seems to be lapping it up.


                                                               Clements Ribeiro

Marc Jacobs

I have to say, I have always avoided it until now. I worried about looking too "schoolgirl" as well as the panic about bold prints on my figure.But since giving into my love of eye catching prints and giving up my worry about what others think, I have decided to try and work it into my wardrobe. My item of choice is the Collectif  "Polly Paddington check" pencil skirt. I have always loved Collectif's skirts and was excited to receive my package. I loved the outfit that they had styled their model in and decided to pair mine with black items as well. 

With most images of tartan on fashion blogs being on slim ladies, I wanted to show how it would work on a larger figure and how to flatter curves with such a print. I wanted to try something new and after hunting down a tartan pencil skirt with a nice print, I wanted to have the look I had built up for myself in my head. I chose to test out the item with a nosey in town and drinks with friends. The skirt was beautiful to wear. The moment I put it on I was in love. I felt so autumn-y and it was great quality. Thanks to the skirt being slightly snugger where my waist dips rather than being straight up and down, It fitted me well where some other pencil skirts fail.  I am only over 5 foot and the length was great on me, but for you leggy babes, I measured it as 25 inches.

I chose to wear it with a black knitted top and thick tights, but it would be so workable with bare legs and many other tops in summer or with a lovely, cosy jumper when we hit winter. I was a bit let down by my outfit not looking how I had planned but that blame falls on the top, a back of the wardrobe item from years ago, rather than the skirt. I also wore it with a big winter coat but realised, mid alyson-parboil, that it may be autumn but it is simply not that cold yet. In future though, it will look beautiful peaking out of a coat.

The wear of a pencil skirt is where the review really comes into play. Time and time again I have seen lesser pencil skirts sag around the waist during the time it is worn and it looks, quite simply, bad. But this skirt did not fail me, it kept it's shape well and looked good until bedtime. I feel it could be a little more snug as I chose a  UK 18 but a UK 16 may be too tight on my rump. This is a personal butt problem and not Collectif's fault but do ensure you wash it well. Of course I have a little tum in the sideways picture but it did not feel as though I was lumpy, if that makes sense to you? I feel a decent pair of pants and tights yanked up over would secure any jiggle, but hey! A little VBO never harmed anyone!
1. look at your belly.
2. say “wow this is a cute belly!”
3. congratulations you have a cute belly.
4. Visible Belly Outline is fine :)

This is one of the nicest items of clothing I have bought from Collectif and I hope their 2013 Autumn/Winter items to come are just as beautiful! I would buy this skirt in every print available for the material and cut alone and would recommend it for all the curvy ladies. Perfect for a hot chocolate this Autumn. Just wait until it is chilly enough before you wear a coat...

Alyson xo

Skirt: Collectif.
Top: H&M (old stock)
100000 denier tights: Primark.
Tiny tool box photobombing picture: Trevor's.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Seamed stockings! Hips and curves review....

I love vintage details in outfits, be it a red lip or victory roll. It continues into my clothes and, to me, autumn means one thing. Stocking and suspender weather!! I love them under pencil skirts and I pair them with my fantastic 6 strap suspender belt. 4 straps are simply not enough on these thunder thighs so I do advise any plus size babes out there look them up. A thicker belt is lovely too! Mine is this item from Hips and Curves.
The Hush, Hush Sweet Garter. It is fab! I cannot sing it's praises enough!

 It sits well on my tummy and thighs and does not dig in or create lumps and bumps. It works with my curves rather than against, as many slimmer garter belts do. The thicker straps hold onto stockings brilliantly and give an amazingly sexy vintage look! By far my favourite investment from Hips and Curves.

They are also my go-to for stockings. With stockings I have never had luck. They cut into my thighs, they wrinkle at the ankle and I tend to put a fingernail or ring through them. A graceful vintage lady, I am not!

I tried many a company that boasted about their "Plus size!!!!" stockings and every time they let me down. A heads up for those companies, a size 12/14 is not plus size, nor does that give you an allowance to say your stockings are for EVERYONEEEE size 16-24. Come on now, stop these lies.... *grumpy eye roll*
That was until I discovered Hips and Curves! I could not have ordered their beautiful seamed stockings and above belt fast enough. And I was not let down. Their back seam stockings were beautiful on. They glided up my leg and clipped onto my garter belt without my thighs trying to escape. They were beautiful quality and survived nights out with me, Alyson the Queen of ruining stockings. I actually still have pairs from over a year ago. The seam was easy to line up especially as they are not made of angel hairs like some others seem to be. 


I love these stockings and do encourage everyone to check them out. They are of beautiful quality unlike some of the cheaper, tighter, bbw aimed stockings that one finds on lesser sites. My only personal issue is with the crazy P&P prices for us UK based babes but they have assured me this will be changing soon so do check them out and feel free to let them know you would be keen to buy with a change in postage. 

Now, someone take me out for an autumn drink to heat me up in my stockings.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A day in heels, the wedding special!

If there is one thing that strikes fear into me it is a day spent in heels... Well, okay, a day in heels does not scare me as much as say, one of those palm sized spiders in my shed or looking at my paypal account after a boredom-fuelled online shop, BUT! I do worry about how grumpy I am going to get in heels. Especially without my "tequila insoles."

I thought one of the best tests of a heel and a brilliant way to show you some lovely images was to tell you about a best friend's wedding. I was honoured to be part of their day and after a year, turning into a month, turning into weeks and shrinking into the smallest details, we had one thing left. The bridesmaid shoes!

Now, I never knew there were so many shades of gold, nude, beige, variations of shimmer, plain, silk, midi heel, strappy, arghhhh! We saw so many and still were yet to find the shoe. That is until a bridesmaid found them. Nine West Glamsgal2 in champagne. Perfect!

They went perfectly with the dress colour and style wise. Not too high, not too flat and on sale! We tried them on and they were a lovely fit bar the high rise back. For anyone who wants to try these shoes we tried and tested heel grips that solved the problem! Look for cushioned heel grips and cut them to size and dance the night away. These shoes lasted us all day. From nerve settling bubbles with the beautiful bride in the morning to tackling the seemingly long journey down the aisle and onwards to the pictures we were comfortable. We wore them for more bubbles (what a hard life), dinner, more drinks and dancing and they were on us throughout. They had the perfect vintage look we wanted and lasted all day on 4 ladies who may have otherwise wanted to kick our heels off after a few hours.

No shoes are pain free after a whole day on your feet (except maybe crocs? I wonder how champagne, glitzy crocs would have went down...?) but these, for me, win all sorts of wedding awards. I suggest you wear any wedding shoes in your home before the big day. No knocking about in the garden of course! But wear your heels, break them in a little, check for any areas that rub and solve these problems BEFORE the big day. Wear big socks over the heels if you can. You will of course look like an ejit, but you will stop any scuffs! Just do not scare the postie with this post-modern fashion choice.

Nine west get my thumbs up for any future formal or wedding shoe and they have so many to chose from. Being a bargain hunter I do suggest you hunt around and look for any sales or offers but do try them on in the shop, or if ordering online make sure you can try and return for what you paid if they do not suit. Pre-plan your whole outfit and do not neglect your shoes! Those perfect shoes in the box, if not tried and tested, may end up ruining your day. No one wants sore feet, especially when there is so much dancing to be done!

 If you have a big day coming up;
  • Get the best-fitting high heel possible. It seems like a given but how many shoes have you worn where your foot slides or is squeezed? Be honest....
  • Opt for open toed if you can. It relieves some pressure on your feet.
  • Break in your shoes!
  • Solve any issues you find. Cushioned heel grips and insoles help!
  • Put them on last minute. There is no point wearing them all morning pre-event!
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Sit down when you can and enjoy yourself.
And if it all gets too much.... feel free to bring flats to change into! Although, maybe find some that match a little bit more...

Now, a wedding post would not be a wedding post without some swooning over the Bride and her dress. Enjoy some Jenny Packham and lovely wedding details!
Alyson xo

Bridesmaid shoes- Nine West.
Wedding dress- Jenny Packham.
Brides shoes- Jimmy Choo.
Bridesmaid dresses- Handmade by Natalie's lovely mummy in law.
Some photographs- Jake Samuels.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Getting to know you...

It has been pointed out to me that in my excitement at starting my blog I did not introduce myself. How rude of me, let me try to sum myself up.

I feel as if I have been invited to a party where I don’t know many people and I am standing here with a drink and feeling super awkward. I always find it easy to write about clothes and advice but left to speak about myself I usually mumble a few things about my age and my dog. (Her name is Bettie Mae and she is a dogs trust rescue by the way.)

I am Alyson, I am 26, I listen to Dolly Parton too much, I wear lipstick everyday and I live in Northern Ireland. I work in Ann Summers and I LOVE it because it gives me an excuse to talk about underwear every day. I started my blogspot as my tumblr posts about fatshion (fat fashion for those not down with the kidz) always seemed to be popular. I decided to tear myself away from cat gifs and Harry Potter fandom posts to create a slightly more grown up blog about fashion and my experience with it while being plus sized. Plus what size? Who knows. But I do know that after years of hunting down certain clothes, having horrible experiences in some shops and dressing rooms becoming torture chambers, it would have been lovely to have someone point me in the right direction. Someone to tell me which brands are curve friendly, what works and what does not and someone to point out ALL SIZES ARE BABELY! If you came here from Tumblr, you know a bit more. If not, you will get to know me!

It was a journey to feeling good about myself and a tough one at that. Like many other girls I spent my life bombarded with images of perfect bodies and always looked at my own and groaned. Questioning why I could not wear that brightly patterned outfit, while hiding away in baggy jumpers and jeans. I ached to try daring looks, wear that red lippy and strut down the street. But I was scared. No sugar coating it. I was scared of what others would think, what would I do if they looked at me?? *shock horror*
But after a while I began to I wore that lippy. I walked with my head high and my heels higher. I began to realise that confidence, even if faked to begin with, stopped me from caring what others thought. It is a great feeling when you stop seeking the approval of others. I want to help anyone else in my position see that. I want to write as if 18 year old Alyson is reading this. And I plan to.

I am body positive. And that means all sizes. I refuse to listen to this "Only men like bones!" rubbish as it is as damaging as any negative comment made towards larger ladies. We need unity and we need to understand that we all have struggles with our body. We need to support each other in order to change things up a bit for ourselves and future generations.

I want to use this blog to review clothing and lingerie items, various stores and also find some tips and tricks for dealing with various curve induced issues...with perhaps a little humour along the way. I hope you will stick with me and enjoy what I write, I hope I help and I hope I encourage you all to try new looks and love yourself a bit more. Lots of love, Alyson xo

Image credits;
Polka Dot Bikini by ~Hyacinth-Zofia on deviantART
Oscar Wilde image by~ Arthlete tumblr

Thursday, 26 September 2013

My "Go-to" Item.....

Everyone has them. Those items of clothing that, no matter how rushed you are or how bad a "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!" moment you are having, are always there. They fit, they flatter and they just work.

One of my go to items is my Collectif "Lucille" cherry blouse... My faithful companion throughout many a clothes tantrum. 

Being blessed in the boobs department I find it hard to get a blouse to button up, stay buttoned and not do that annoying gape that a lot of shirts and blouses do. (Why oh why?) Some shirts have let me down in the past, performing their own impromptu striptease, sending buttons across the room and making me blush. Some have simply refused to button, despite being baggy elsewhere. NIGHTMARE!

That was until I found this little number on a favourite site. Collectif clothing! *insert heavenly, harmonious sounds here* My go-to clothing site, proving me with my go-to blouse! Perfect!

The blouse itself buttons well over my bust, an actual pussy bow blouse for the curvier lady that fits? Amazing. The material is lovely, beautifully coloured, floaty and hangs well. The arms, another area of worry, also sit well! Plenty of room and the princess sleeves add a cutesy touch to this madmen-esque blouse. As seen above, I love it with a pencil skirt, but being my go-to I have found many other ways to wear it. It works well with a swing skirt or even, I imagine, high waisted black trousers. 

My only concern is with the length. Being a vintage reproduction alongside my bust using up a lot of the material, it comes up a tad short. Only a tad and with pencil skirts being higher waisted than most other, it has not been a big issue. I of course continue my childhood tradition of "tuck everything into my tights!" and so, I find it still sits very well. It will forever be my go-to for work, coffee dates and times when I just want to feel nice. Vintage style for buying a loaf of bread? Don't mind if I do! 

So go, busty ladies of the UK and beyond! Find a blouse that sits well and wear it until it falls apart!
That is my plan anyway...
Alyson xo

Shirt- Collectif Lucille blouse.
Pencil skirt in first images- Next.
Swing skirt- Ebay find.
Leopard print coat and bag- New Look
Leopard print shoes- Primada.
Uninterested doggy model- Bettie Mae.