Friday, 30 December 2011

Looking Forward.

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Some of my photos from 2011 featured here!

I have had an amazing blogging year, this year. And I am a big believer in taking time to stop... 

Stop, assess, make plans, say thank you... one might call it a reality pause!

Thank you to everyone who has been reading this year.

Natural and Beautiful, Me in my bathers. Lovely curves, little belly, no makeup, messy hair. I am happy.
I have BIG plans for 2012. As mentioned in my last post... There will be LOTS more clothes for you gorgeous girls to look at. I have lined up interviews with Plus Models, as well as meetings with Designers. In February, I will be attending Plus London Two and chatting with other bloggers about the AMAZING world we write in and look at. I will continue my blogging for City Chic

Next year, I have decided to open up a little more. I occasionally write articles about things happening in the fashion world, well - I might (just every now and again) focus a little more on me and my issues with self acceptance and feeling okay about myself. I DO feel good about myself - but it hasn't always been an easy journey and I think some of you have told me this year - you see value in hearing some of my stories... I think it's important to talk about the things we can all relate to!

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I have to thank everyone who has helped me with my blog this year for supporting me across another great and successful 365 days... Especially, the retailers, brands and designers who have worked with me. Thank you to the amazing new people I've met and the wonderful people who've invited me to try their clothes and work with them. Everyone at City Chic  - Phil, Steph, Carley, Vanessa. The lovely Charlotte. Anna, Cliff and the whole team. My fellow bloggers - from ALL OVER (LOVE!).

I get lots of support from my family and friends in doing this blog - but I also get LOADS from you lovelies who read my blog. I nearly quit blogging in June this year - and I am so pleased I changed my mind.

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Mostly, for how much he helps me to do this blog, I have to thank my Mr. Darcy. He takes my photos, comes shopping with me, gives me honest opinions and HELPS me to keep blogging. Love him! (LOVE YOU DARCY).

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For the start of 2012, I am planning to TRY and make a Bloggers Annual for the past year. An one-off online e-zine in which bloggers and readers can look at some of the best work from 2011. If you are a blogger (from ANYWHERE in the world) and want to be involved, effectively - find your ONE best/favourite post from 2011 and get ready to send me details. Just one post each - so choose well! I will write details of what I need exactly to try and make this happen in 2012!

Happy New Years my Gorgeous Friends.

LOVES.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Carolyn de la Drapière: LOVE Jackets!

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I hope all you beautifuls are enjoying your Christmas fastivities, or, if you don't celebrate, are enjoying your end to the year!

I am so well. Mr. Darcy and I had a delightful Christmas and at the moment, I am enjoying family time at my sister's place in Bristol... New Years? I plan to open a bottle of Bollinger and be a bit more festive! I LOVE me some Bolli!

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I've decided to end my clothing posts for the year with my last look at Carolyn de la Drapière. I have saved jackets for last. I don't really wear tailored jackets. I have my (p)leather jackets and some LOVELY boleros and cropped cardis - but no jackets. I LOVED trying these on with Carolyn though and whether they were tailored, drapey or sheer - all of them are lovely and fit me beautifully...

The first one has an amazing drape on it. You could actually wear it a number of ways because of the amount of fabric and the fact that the drape is so generous. I LOVED this one when I put it on! 

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The next one is an amazing tailored jacket, again with Carolyn's choice of high quality material and beautiful tailoring - it took my breath away. I never wear jackets like this, but know a lot of curvier women swear by tailored blazers or nipped in jackets. I love the use of colour in fabric choice - too!

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AHEM
Sheer and Purple. 
TWO of my favourite things. This felt beautiful on, really soft and luxurious. 
I felt kind of like a fairy princess!

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You ladies KNOW I love designer wear. This last year has seen me work with some amazing designers, show you great fashions comprising High End Plus Wear and I have been lucky enough to meet and INTERVIEW top models who showcase these clothes to us. This look at Carolyn de la Drapière has been a fantastic BOOMBANDY way to end the year. I mean, HELLO!?! Gorgeous, Much?

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In the next few days, I will post to you about my plans for 2012. I am in my third year of blogging and this year will see more outfits (OH YEAH) as well as more from the people who bring us the fashions. Next year will include interviews with designers and models, blogging from Plus London Two and a Bloggers Annual rounding up the best from 2011. If you want to know more - or indeed, if you're a blogger and want to be involved in the annual I am planning (hoping) to put together... stay posted!

LOVES - Em. x.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Carolyn de la Drapière: Part Two - Tops!

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I thought for my next post on my studio visit to Carolyn de la Drapière I would show you some of the amazing tops I tried while I was there. I had a really positive response to the last post - and lots of enthusiastic women saying how excited they are by this little showcase of another (AMAZING) plus designer's fashions.

You gotta LOVE blogging.

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This first top is similar in shape to the wrap dresses I had in my last post. I LOVE the fabric on this one, which could easily have a cami underneath, subtle white lace underwear - or even a little sneaky colour on show... you can see that in these shots, my black bra and leggings - in all their glory - WORK here. The deep diamond in the front is really sexy and for anyone who has belly woes - it has a drape that works well in the front. LIKE the wraps, this top seems to cinch me in as it cuts a waist line RIGHT under my bust. I'm like - VA VA VOOM.

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The next top was probably my FAVOURITE that I tried on. The shape is amazing, but so too is the fabric and finish. It had tiny little bells sewn into the neckline and sleeves. The sheer piece across the bust is sewn in. Just lovely...

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AMAZING. The line of fabric under my bust (AGAIN WITH BELLS!!!) can be drawn back into a tie - which is how I am wearing it here... or the top could have a bow in the front. I love a little versatility! I have popped this on with my tights and can imagine rocking it over a gorgeous pair of jeans, smart pants or sexy little black skirt. Frankly, this top blew my mind. I LOVE it.

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Apart from the gorgeous dresses and tops I have already shown you, Carolyn has a range of pieces that can be worn quite formally and the look below is elegant and gorgeous. Carolyn showed me a couple of photos of women wearing the same jacket and slip I have below and they were women a little differently shaped to myself... they looked amazing! Seriously! Stylish, elegant and beautiful.

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This whole look felt really lovely on my body also - one of those outfits you put on and just feel really wonderful wearing. YES!

I have one last post to do for you on this studio visit - featuring a range of Carolyn's jackets. The tailoring on all the clothing is so amazing. I know the High Street has come a long way, but I must say - I am so excited to be featuring Carolyn - her clothes are lovely and really beautifully made and tailored for us. 

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Plus Size + Designer Wear.

YOU KNOW I LOVE IT.

Em. x.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Carolyn de la Drapière: Studio Visit!

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Many of you will recall, last month, thanks to Anna Scholz, I was able to head to the wonderful Curves in Couture event. In my write-up, I discussed the night as being AMAZING and mentioned my first impressions of the plus size clothing from designer Carolyn de la Drapière. I wanted to know more!

Well heck, Ladies - say something loud enough...!

Curves in Couture Photo by Boombands Em.
Carolyn (centre) at the Curves in Couture event.

Carolyn invited Mr. Darcy and I to her studio for a delightful morning of chatting, looking at clothes AND then - trying them on for size! I constantly rave about how amazing our plus-size fashion can be and I feel lucky to have spent the day with Carolyn, who again solidified these feelings.

Carolyn and I both grew up in Australia and while Carolyn's been in the UK a lot longer than me, our conversation was still easy and familiar! Carolyn is passionate about what she does. She got her grounding in sewing and tailoring at home, learning from her mother at an early age.  Mind you, being a designer was not where Carolyn started her career... But, it IS where her heart has brought her... Having tried some of her clothes, I can tell you, she's very good at it.


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At the Curves in Couture show, Carolyn had a couple of gorgeous wrap dresses head down the catwalk... I knew I had to try them!

My heart skipped a beat when I put this one on. I immediately noticed three things... 

Details: thanks to the covered buttons, structured edging and high wearing collar; 

Tailoring: the shape of this dress is just perfect on my body. I was pulled (without actually being pulled) into a gorgeous hour glass that made me look, well, delicious and sexy - but also classic and feminine... (even if I do say so myself).

Last, but not least - Fabric. Luxurious. High Quality. Beautiful. All of it.

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The details are amazing when it comes to Carolyn's designs! I also LOVE this print!!!

In fact I put this dress on, and my Mr Darcy did a double take.

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The next dress I tried, another wrap, was made from a heavy(ish) linen. Honestly? My instincts would never see me choose a heavy linen fabric to try - but thank goodness I did.

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The dress felt secure and structured, the fabric soft and I felt... Well. This one made me think of vintage sailing trips from the 1950s. I would totally have rocked this look!

AGAIN in this wrap, you can see the gorgeous shape and the sexy emphasis on accentuating curves in the most delightful and feminine manner.

This dress was a quick favourite of mine. There was something about the fabric (print and feel) that made me feel current but also vintage... isn't it crazy and LOVELY how clothes can be so magic in their construction?

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The great thing about being in the studio with Carolyn was her actually dressing me. Carolyn's garments can be made to size or tailored to the body, I loved watching her standing back to assess me and decide if something was right or needed straightening, tightening, sizing up or sizing down. It was proper fun!!

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I wanted to share some of this with you but looking through my photos, there really is too much for just one post. So next week? Look out for two more!

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You know it ladies, I LOVE FASHION... I love designer fashion. I love high street fashion. Ultimately, I love GOOD fashion; the kind of fashion made with us in mind. Carolyn de la Drapière makes clothes for us and she makes them well... I am so excited to show you more!


Smooches,

Em. xxx.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

By George! I'm in Party Mode!

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The fabulous and delightfully inexpensive plus brand George contacted me a week or so ago, to see if I wanted to "create a holiday party look" using one of the George Evening Dresses. I immediately jumped at the chance. I don't have an Asda close to me and have never had the opportunity to see the brand close up. Well, as soon as I received my choice, The Zig-Zag Slinky Cowl Formal Dress (£14.00!!), I was really pleased with myself for saying yes! Really ladies, the word "yes" is amazing!

(ESPECIALLY when it comes to trying new styles and clothes... !!)

I have gone with "New Years" as my festive theme. Subtle and gorgeous, I took my George dress and paired it with a simple hair clip, classic earrings, a soft shrug, boots and a belt. To be honest, this dress has a delightful drape, thanks to the soft fabric and cowl neck, so looked equally as lovely without the belt.

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I've been thinking a lot lately about my home back in Australia as well as the colour, vibrancy and sunshine associated with this time of year. Hopefully, I've created a look that captures a free spirited and festive feel. My goal here is to be pretty, fun and ready for a great meal and fabulous partying.

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When I selected this dress, I browsed through the George Evening Wear and loved so many items. That being said, I am so pleased I've taken part in creating a party look using one of the George Dresses. Many of you know I look at a lot of designer wear here on my blog and it is great to showcase a gorgeous print, lots of colour and a festive style - all in a dress under £20.00! WOWSERS!

Em. xxx.


This dress has been gifted to me. 
Please also note that in doing this blog post, I am in with a chance to win some Asda shopping vouchers, although this is only a "chance" and not (at all) definite!

Monday, 12 December 2011

I am Simply Voluptuous with Marisota - Review!

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Sometimes, you put a dress on and it just feels RIGHT. It doesn't always happen... You might put it on and think you need accessories, the right shoes, different underwear, jewellery. Well, let me tell you, when I put on the Simply Voluptuous dress from Marisota, all I could think was YES. THIS is a dress you can wear so many ways and with very little effort. This one, just looks and feels great from the get go!

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The dress is made from deliciously soft fabric and is designed (within its very tailoring) to cater to dress size, as well as chest size. I am wearing a 22 here in the E-GG range. The awesome thing is, all sizes also come in smaller cup size measurements (B-DD) and LARGER cup size measurements (H-K). This dress has a little extra fabric in its makeup, in specific cup size brackets for those of us who are heavier endowed... And for those who aren't... Simple - there can be less fabric too.


PhotobucketThe dress is tailored beautifully with a high waist line and gorgeous lace cap sleeves. I felt really sexy in this dress and teamed it with some Mimco bling and a little black belt. 

To be honest, when asked to review something, I was very excited... I haven't shopped with Marisota previously and the experience of ordering and receiving was VERY straight forward. Further from that, I was really curious about this style of dress - I mean - would it work? I am SO chuffed that the Simply Voluptuous range actually caters for plus size as well as chest size. It does work, and I actually really love the dress and the concept!

I decided to wear this into the west country for a lovely, fancy afternoon lunch... It would look just as suitable at work or, indeed, out with cocktails! 

Just so easy and lovely!

Em. xx.

The dress was given to me as a "review piece", while the necklace, belt, awesome haircut, leggings and snazzy boots were a few of my own fashion staples! Hugs! xxx.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

OOTD: Not quite a Christmas Jumper!

New Look Jumper, City Chic Shorts & Leggings, Hungarian Leg Brace, Karrimor Sneakers.

Last week, Lauren and I hit up Westfield Stratford for some Christmas Shopping. I had a fabulous time, actually - Lauren and I spent HOURS together - we bought some clothing, presents for Christmas and then chatted. Chatted FABULOUSLY and EASILY for hours. It is amazing what the blogging world has given me, and friendships are a massive part of that!

For the Plus-Size shopper, Westfield is actually not great, but also - not too bad, Forever 21 has included its Plus Section instore and New Look has done the same with its Inspire range. We asked about BiB in H&M (not present) and I was sad to see no Evans store in the mall... Like many here in London, I am desperately waiting for Simply Be to arrive (I think we should twitter #simplybestorelondon). Also present were Monsoon, Dorothy Perkins and M&S.


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Oh hells yeah.

I LOVE this jumper. I didn't try it on in-store (rather held it up to my body and demanded to know what Lauren thought), but brought it home to try. I adore it. For about three days after buying it, it was all I wore (don't you love items you can do that with because you LOVE them SO MUCH!). This is my first New Look item EVER and I am so pleased I decided to try it. I also got it at a BARGAIN price of £12 (it was half off!)... Sales are MENTAL at the moment, huh?

Apart from this awesome new jumper, I am wearing a pair of High-Waist Black City Chic shorts which I am OBSESSED with at the moment. I wear them out with black leggings and it almost looks like they are all in one... but they aren't and I love that. I've found that teaming the black shorts and leggings with a colourful top REALLY lets the colours up top pop(!!) and it looks really fab.

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Rocking great clothing and some subtle panda eyes!

In Australia over Christmas, we NEVER wear jumpers (thank you SUMMER), so this year I have declared this my "Christmas Jumper"...

I am hoping to work up to a jumper next year with Reindeer on! Or at least an elf or something!

Just 17 days to go! xxx.


*EDIT: Apparently there IS an Evans in Westfield Stratford. I was there for hours and could not see it... Hmm. Maybe look at a map before you go there to get your fancy fashions ladies!!! Certainly, walking around, it was not (at all) obvious to find.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas is coming! December Sales!


Hey lovelies!

Just a reminder that there are currently a few Christmas Sales going on through December... Some are completely seasonal, while others I've listed here are ongoing, I think bargains are EXTRA important at this time of year - so while a few of you may be all over this - here is a list for those who aren't.

Now while not all of them promise a "Partridge in a Pear Tree" they are all worth checking out...

Em. x.

Evans 12 Days of Christmas Sale is available through it's home page.

Anna Scholz 'Advent Calender" Sale  available through the newsletter.

City Chic Australia is loving the 12 Days of Christmas!

New Look has many items for Sale in its Inspire Range.

Simply Be has up to 50% off Party Wear.

Monif C's up to 40% off sale finishes on WEDNESDAY!

Monsoon has 25% off EVERYTHING online (use code: MONMD25W)

Lane Bryant's 12 Days of Christmas Sale is in full swing!

City Chic Stateside has 50% off Partywear.

Carmakoma has many items ready for the Party Season!

One Stop Plus is loving 20% off with code: 6172

Damn You Alexis has some Sale Sexiness...

Virtushop has lots of stylish sale items!

SWAK has tops, dresses, pants - all of them! In its sale section!

Addition Elle is LOVING codes (see their homepage!)

Dorothy Perkins is taking 1/3 off the price of your Winter Wardrobe!

Ashley Stewart has a bevy of GREAT offers via the homepage!

Yours has some great Promotions of the Week!

xxx.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Simply Be & Simply Yours Joint Press Day!

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The Simply Be and Simply Yours Joint Press Launch for the Spring Summer Collections 2012 occurred just over a week ago. With several other bloggers, I was invited to view the lovely clothing and gush over pretty colours and beautiful designs. 

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Fact. I LOVE Simply Be. I love that Simply Be has an amazing committment to Plus Fashion that saw it start to open stores this year (!!). I love Simply Yours, not only for the amazing, supportive and comfortable underwear, but also for the sexy little pieces I can indulge my heavy curves in...

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Walking through the Collection, I was really excited to see lots of gorgeous colour and many varied pieces. As I walked about, I saw pieces that really appeal to me, but also ones that I know will cater for different tastes.

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There were sections which were LOVELY - lingerie, swimwear, jumpsuits, shoes, accessories and EVERYTHING else! This was a lovely event as it really showcased lots of amazing (upcoming) fashion for our plus-size bodies, as well as emphasised to me, the commitment that Simply Be and Simply Yours both have to relevant, beautiful fashion.

Here are some quick peeks!

LINGERIE...

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Classic, Elegant and Beautiful contrasted with pieces which were completely overt and much more daring. I might have to get myself a set of Union Jack Bras and Pants!

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SWIMWEAR

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The Navy piece at the front there is a LOVELY, UNDERWIRED halter set, while the two below - again BOTH with underwire, were my favourite patterns.
YEAH for colour and adventure next SUMMER!

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SHOES
 
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Shoes and bags were represented as both Classic pieces, as well as styles that were much more overt and daring!

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DRESSES and TOPS...

You have seen some sneak peeks above of the upcoming jumpsuits and looks...
The three below were my favourites on the day!

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All in all, it was a fabulous event with LOTS of exciting items on show. I am SO EXCITED for next year and can not wait for another set of fancy fashions soon!

Thank you to Simply Be, Simply Yours and especially Charlotte for the invitation! x.