Friday, 28 March 2014

Never Knowingly Underdressed

I wrote about the poufy skirt of wonder in this post where I created a Red Carpet inspired outfit. I am completely in love with the skirt and as such want to wear it as much as possible rather than saving it for fancy outings.

Last Saturday I trotted off to Leicester to do a spot of lunching and shopping with Leah, Nancy and Nancy's lovely friend Lill. For whatever reason I woke up that morning and thought 'today is a poufy skirt day'! I don't worry too much about being overdressed for things. As a child I wanted to wear the biggest, most garish things but as a struggling teen and in my early twenties I shied away from standing out. However, over the last few years I've embraced my fashion desires and am quite comfortable with people staring at me (and it happens a lot with my bright hair, funny glasses and general fat but stylishness). I no longer think they're staring at me because I'm fat and hideous, I think they're looking at me because I look a bit different and quite fabulous! And so, I didn't really mind wearing an overly poufy skirt on a day out shopping.

*Apologies for the crapness of these photos, they were taken at nighttime so came out all furry.

Skirt from Fashion World
Vest from Simply Be (no longer available) 
Cardigan from M&S
Kitty necklace from Pieces of the Past

I did dress it down a little with a simple red cardi and standard I'm-late-so-I'll-vaguely-brush-my-hair hair bu I still felt pretty fabulous!

Do you stick to appropriate clothes for situations or do you like to mix it up a bit?!

Mrs D x


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

New Plus Size Brands & Starting Your Own

The last year or so has seen a few new plus size fashion stores and brands appear both online and in-store, all of which seem to have been incredibly successful. It's no surprise new plus size fashion opportunities are embraced with squishy open arms as up until a few years ago trying to find anything fashionable and on trend that didn't require a second mortgage above a size 22 was nigh on impossible. It's still not as good as it could be but there are so many more choices for plus size women out there at the moment that I wanted to do a little tribute to my three favourite plus fashion newcomers from the last 18 months!

No surprise whatsoever that my first is the incredible Scarlett & Jo which took us fatties by storm last year banging out beautiful dress after beautiful dress most of which now reside in my wardrobe. Their aim has always been to bring 'fun and fearless fashion with a trend setting edge' which they absolutely have done. They're my personal favourites because of their nod to vintage styles like the 1940's tea dresses and stunning prom dresses released in their latest Spring Romance collection. I am constantly impressed with everything they do and I can't wait to see what else they have up their gorgeous sleeves!

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Pink Clove were the company behind the ridiculously popular tartan skater dress last year and have continued to provide us with fun and versatile clothes. They are without a doubt the queens of pretty, colourful and feminine dresses but also have a few seriously fabulous items like the Wide Leg Jumpsuit and Peg and Cigarette Leg Trousers. With the majority of their items under £30 it's no wonder they've been so successful!

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My final favourite company are Topsy Curvy. Created by Charlotte Ogden and Jo Frost after being fed up of the limited options for plus size women especially in store, they only use themselves and customers as models which is such a unique selling point as it feels much more relevant to me as a consumer. As well as selling online they have a beautiful boutique in Whitefield in Manchester. (I'm trying to push Manchester as my choice of city for my weekend away with my best girls so I can visit haha!) Not only are their clothes cute, fun and bold in places, they're so reasonably priced; their most expensive dress is £35 and the cheapest is £9 in the sale!

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Starting a business isn't easy as I've found out myself over the last 6 months with the launch of The Vanity Case (cheeky plug...) but I've been incredibly fortunate in having my mum as my supporter, professional shover-forward-er, financial backer and guinea pig. There are so many people with amazing business ideas who have the potential to be really successful if they had a little help developing their ideas into a reality. I realise how lucky I am to have an experienced and supportive mum backing me but sometimes it's good to have access to some professional advice on starting a business too. If you're thinking of starting something new whether it's selling buttons in a vintage and handmade shop or taking on the plus size fashion industry with that one thing that's missing, here are a few helpful links to get you started!

1. HMRC Self Employment - It's so, so important to make sure you're getting the legal and tax side of business right. There is so much information on here about becoming self employed and if you're not sure about something they're not half as scary as you think they might be!

2. Public liability/business insurance - Again, something really important and a lesson I very nearly learned a few weeks ago when the salon I work from got broken into. I had my liability insurance but it didn't cover my equipment, thankfully though (what we assume were) teenagers weren't aware of how much beauty equipment is worth!

3. Non-profit start-up advice - Obviously you're not always going to have enough money to get your business off the ground and there are some really reasonable start-up loans available. I recently came across Virgin Startup Loans, who I thought were particularly impressive - as well as the money side they offer mentor support for advice on all aspects of starting up and running a business from people with experience!

If you could start a business, what would it be?

Mrs D x

ps. I definitely deserve some sort of award for not buying all the pretty clothes I had to gaze at whilst writing this post!

*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Virgin Start Up. Girls gotta eat.*

Monday, 24 March 2014

Panache Dahlia Review

A little while ago Panache kindly offered to send me the beautiful Panache Dahlia to review in my usual size of 38J. It's a bra I've looked at a lot when I've fancied a some new boob scaffolding but for some reason it never made it into my basket.

It's a pretty balconnet bra with floral detail along the top section of the cup. I normally avoid bras with a delicate top section as my top heavy boobs tend to bulge over the sturdier part of the cup resulting in four boob syndrome. With this bra however, despite the top section being very delicate and soft, my boobs stayed firmly in place.

Firm is definitely the key word I'd use to describe how the bra fits overall. The band on Panache bras tend to be quite firm fitting which some people loathe but personally I like a good, solid support for my massive boobs! As well as being a firm fit, the band is nice and wide which adds to the feeling of support, plus it means I wasn't constantly scooping my abundance of side breast tissue forwards. The thing I like most about Dahlia is the padded straps. Even having the best fitting bra in the world doesn't stop big boobs taking it's toll on your shoulders after a while but having padded straps certainly makes it a little easier on them. However, the straps were a little too far set apart for me and my abnormally narrow shoulders so rubbed quite a bit in in my arm...crevice (that's not a nice word haha!).

The central gore sat flush with my chest and the band was horizontal all the way round my body; two signs of a good fit! Dahlia gave me a lovely, rounded shape underneath my clothes and I felt nicely uplifted. Other than the wide set straps I have no complaints whatsoever and as a result of trying this bra I went an ordered the gorgeous Jasmine which is quite possibly the most uplifting bra I've ever worn. My boobs are quite literally under my chin in it! 

Panache Dahlia comes in two colourways; black and nude and goes from a 30D up to 38J. You can buy it from Brastop for £30. 

Mrs D x

ps. Here is a bonus photo of me trying to explain the workings of a bra to my husband haha!


Monday, 17 March 2014

Frivolous Mrs D Turns 2 Giveaway with Curvy Kate!

This big fat blog full of flouncy dresses, too much lipstick and the occasional cat is two years old this month and to celebrate I am offering my faithful (hopefully...) readers a chance to win some goodies from my favourite brands over the last year!

Curvy Kate are very high up that list of favourites and I can hand on ample chest say that since discovering them my boobs have never been happier. I have around 5 or 6 bras that I wear every day and all but one are Curvy Kate. And 3 of those are Daily Boost, a foam lined/moulded cup that I was dead set against until I tried one on!

My love for Curvy Kate doesn't stop at their wares though, I also have a massive amount of love for the girls behind the bras who are not only some of the best PR and marketing bunch I've dealt with but also some of the loveliest. And funniest. And filthiest. Any time I've spent with them has been a hoot and a half and I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunities they have. (Too soppy? Pick your tits up and move along.)

And on the subject of loveliness, the CK folk are donating a set of underwear or swimwear to give to one of you lucky lot in celebration of this 'ere blog being up and running for two years! What you choose is entirely down to you but here are a few of my favourites to inspire you.

My boobs BFF Daily Boost in Mocha

To enter, fill in the rafflecopter widget below! 


Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Casual Spring Romance

Since receiving this Scarlett & Jo dress last month I've worn it quite a bit. In my original review post I dressed it up a little with heels, my favourite handbag and a fancy up-do but it's been serving me well dressed down too. I tend to sacrifice comfort for pretty dresses a lot of the time but it is the complete opposite with this dress. It's so, so comfortable to wear but makes me feel pretty and flouncy at the same time which is pretty much all I want from a dress!

This time I paired it with my cosy eyelash knit cardigan and my trusty brogues for lunch out and a bit of shopping with my lovely mama.

Mrs D x

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Ch-ch-ch-cherry Bomb!

I don't really like keeping things for 'best' and if I really love something I want to wear it as much as possible. regardless of whether it's too fancy for going to the Post Office or the garden centre. However, sometimes I really just want to be comfy and not as fancy as other days and on those days I tend to reach for a pair of leggings and a comfy dress.

I saw this cherry print dress on Very a while ago and thought it looked perfect for a lazier day. I love ponte material, it's thick so keeps it's shape well and hangs really nicely. It doesn't crease which is a massive, massive bonus and is nice and warm for this time of year. Plus the rockabilly girl inside of me is such a sucker for cherry print.

Old season shoes from Next
Handbag that has since been retired for being too grown up from Debenhams

Mrs D x


Thursday, 6 March 2014

MAC Retro Matte Relentlessly Red

Whilst I'm a big fan of MAC and specifically their lipsticks, I don't own very many simply because whenever I go to buy one I get completely overwhelmed by the choice. There are the few staple favourites that everyone seems to have like Ruby Woo, Rebel, Russian Red, Lady Danger etc but I have so many lipsticks that are similar to those colours that I really love that it seems silly to buy more. However, I was having a browse around the website and came across their Retro Matte collection that I hadn't seen before. As I've mentioned before I really prefer a matte finish and anything with the word 'retro' in always peaks my interest!

There are four shades in the Retro Matte collection; All Fired Up is a bright fuschia, Flat Out Fabulous is a bright plum, Dangerous is an orangey red and the one I chose, Relentlessly Red is a bright pinkish coral. I've been after a pink toned red for summer and this is just perfect.

As it's a matte finish it is a little drying but I always rub a thin layer of lip balm on my lips first so it doesn't drag. I was a bit worried it'd clash with my (desperately needing a fresh dye) hair but I quite like! 

Sooo, which lipstick should I get next?! 

Mrs D x
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