Sunday, 15 February 2015

My Wedding Dress Journey

My wedding dress journey.

There are not many pictures in this post, I promise there are pictures coming soon, tons of them!

If there's any time in life where your emotions (and purse!) get turned upside down has to be the big W... not a shocking realisation I hear you say... I mean I should know that right? Weddings are stressful everyone knows that?! I just don't think I was quite prepared for how much this process was going to affect me. Before being engaged (lets call it before engagement BE) I was a sensible reasonable girl, after engagement (lets call it AE) not so much, I think being engaged changes your brain chemistry. Suddenly simple, and seemingly pleasant decisions turn into the most difficult thing in the world.

BE: This venue is nice, we can afford it, I'd like to get married here some day.
AE: This venue is nice, but what will other people think? what does it say about us as a couple? Is it too flashy? Is it not flashy enough? what if its not as good on the day? Argh I just cant commit, I must research 50 more venues immediately.

BE: I'm crafty I can add elegant and classy touches to our wedding with confidence.
AE: My craft mojo has disappeared, what if it just looks like glitter threw up on everything.

BE: I like this dress, but it's a bit expensive, better not, I'll just dream about it.
AE: Nice dress, A million pounds you say seems reasonable I'll take it.

Naturally wedding dress shopping has to be one of the most daunting experiences of the lot, especially for someone who has been 'bigger than the average bear' for some time... well forever actually. The thing is I have always been body positive, I work with what I have. I dress carefully for my shape and I generally don't let how I look stop me form doing anything. A big white dress though? White is not my friend!

The Beginning: Research. 

Pictures of other plus size brides, for someone who loves to read blogs its the first place to start.  Slightly trickier than blogs at first but once I got going I found some great places:

Facebook, plus size dress shops pages (and of course their associated websites)

Then there's wedding forums, specifically plus size gals in dresses:

And Pretty Pear bride, the worlds only plus size bridal magazine!

I lost hours to all of the above!

Size Acceptance, An Important Truth to Realise:

Wedding Dresses are stupidly sized. Don't take this personally if you have to try on dresses that are 2-4 sizes bigger than you are on the high street, I repeat do not take it personally! (Incidentally wedding shoes are the same, when you get engaged your feet shrink, it's the only explanation as to why none of the shoes fit!

The Next Step: Budget

New wedding dresses cost the earth. Why shouldn't they though? The fabric is luxurious, they are often heavily hand embellished and they have to be perfect. Someone will have spent hours and hours on THE dress. Designer wedding dresses are carefully thought out, the designers understand the fabrics and the fit. Professionals do not work for free, would you? 

There is sometimes a way to get dresses cheaper, with regular dresses its either discount codes, the sales, blog sales, clothes swaps or e-bay. Of course you can get wedding dresses cheaper but you most likely will have to compromise, unless you are extremely lucky.

There's always e-bay, if your dream dress comes up in your size, then go for it.

Then dress shops selling sample gowns, that one involves a lot of leg work!

And don't forget outlets! I visited this outlet in Beverley:
I had a great time  See 'great time face':
and the dresses were cheaper, but I didn't find my dress there.

another outlet that I came across is this one:
Elite bridal (but I didn't go to this one)

Anyhow, budget is really personal, but expect perfection to cost more and don't forget about accessories and alterations.

Trying on! Eek! Exciting!

I went to four places to try on dresses and my experience varied wildly. I am going to start with the worst experience and then work up to where I bought my dress from. I'll do this in forthcoming posts.

Collectif Faye Doll Dress

Well it's been a long time!

The last year has flown by pretty quickly. Fashion wise I have been in the doldrums - I haven't bought anything as all my spare cash has been funneled into the wedding! (We got married in December)

There is of course a wedding dress post or two coming up, but by way of warming up, I thought I would kick off the blog with a dress I bought a whole year ago from Collectif. Being a bit of a fan of vintage but not catered for by many of the repro-vintage outlets I was very excited to see collectif had a couple of plus size items (you know- properly(ish-more about that in a minute) plus sized, not just a small cut 22 with no stretch, which is more of a 20).

This is the Faye Floral Doll dress in a 3x. Sadly the plus size line was short lived, this dress was in the sale for quite a while and was not redone, but that may have been because the sizing is a bit odd, this dress fits well at the waist, the bust  is too big. In these pictures I am wearing a corset which pulls my waist in a bit but more importantly pushes my bust up and out a little - this just about fills the dress (which is still a bit baggy at the arms) but it is not my natural shape, I couldn't wear this dress with a normal bra without the dress looking too big at the arms.

Aside from the sizing issues this dress is amazing, it is frothy and swishy and so so good to dance in no petticoat required. Quality wise it is is top notch, but then it should be for £130 full price.

Collectif currently have this dress in the a fore mentioned not-plus-size 22 in the sale Faye dress in teal if this is your size then I heartily recommend it.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Cut for Evans

So on Wednesday I had an epic trek up to London, despite the weather. I'm quite British so I love to queue, drink tea and battle through bad weather for business as usual!
I'm so glad I made the effort though as it was great to see the cut collection and lots of lovely bloggers too.

The cut collection has the twitter community split, some like it some not so much. I love colour and print so when I saw the Alice Farrow kaleidoscope collection,  I was excited I certainly fall into the like category. The Rebecca Partington skyscraper is less my cup of tea but I know it went down well on the night it's fashion forward (and if anything I'm maybe not fashion forward enough!) and I'm sure will do well.

So I took a few bits of the kaleidoscope collection into the changing room to try on. I really like the print on the jumpsuit, I took a 24 in which was fine size wise but just not for me! (no pictures I'm vain!) I am so sad this is not a maxi dress as I think it would have had broader appeal. 

The blue blouse and pink pencil skirt are both gorgeous prints perfect for summer
The pencil skirt is a great shape (this is a 22) but i just wouldn't wear it, so sadly it didn't come home with me :-( The print on the top is also great but the straight hem on this shirt is not for me it just doesn't suit my shape as well as the pink blouse (this is a size 24) and came home with me (yes I got my purse out!)
This photo above does not quite do it justice so since it was valentines day on Friday I donned this shirt again and tweaked the styling a bit. Again the photo does not do this shirt justice since by the time we were ready and snapped some quick pictures the light had gone (so you get a rare shot inside my house!) we went to dinner with friends which was odd in a restaurant full of couples but so much fun!

Incidentally I had my nails done at the cut event and they match the shirt which is cool! 

I chatted to some familiar faces and met some new ones (I did a lot of squealing and waving my left hand around, apologie folks!) anyway as usual I did not get nearly enough pictures but here are a couple that I did snap:
The fantastic Caroline and Georgina
Isha and Debs
Charlotte Rosie Caroline and Hanna
George modelling complementary prints looking awesome!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Glinting into 2014!

So once again long time no blog. The last couple of months have been a strange old time. Christmas came and went in a whirlwind, blogging took a back seat as I spent my time keeping on top if work and festive preparations and as we travelled to see family and friends. I had a small and rather sensible flirtation with the January sales which involved getting some practical work tops and trousers and not much else!

Something well and truly made my Christmas this year though; a proposal!

I have been waiting a little while for a proposal, 12 years to be exact! So let's just say I have had a while to think about rings! I was a bit worried about how my long suffering other half would cope with sorting me out a ring, me being exceedingly fussy and all! In the end we went down to Brighton together and visited every jewellers in the Laines! Brighton is a special place for us (I have a slight Brighton obsession don't you know!) and choosing an engagement ring together was a memorable experience. I tried on every ring style out there but having pork sausage fingers inherited from my Dad the delicate solitaires didn't look quite right!(aka a bit lost!) I toyed with emeralds, rubies and sapphires, but in the end we decided on a five stone Edwardian diamond ring.  This ring was made in about 1910 and has 5 'old' cut diamonds, these are hand cut rather than modern machine cut diamonds, and oddly diamonds are just about the only thing where being 'vintage' makes them cheaper! One of the ladies in the shops told us that old diamonds glint and modern diamonds 'fizz' because they have many smaller facets, and I couldn't agree more.

Anyhow, I wanted to share this news on the blog but please forgive me as it has taken me a little while to get used to the idea! I promise I won't bombard you with wedding posts but for a lady who has been patiently waiting for her man for12 years I just had to share my joy! 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Evans Coat and boots Love Hate relationship

When I bought this coat an Evans leaflet dropped out of the carrier when I got home. The model was wearing this coat and these boots together! Having already bought both I decided I must have fair taste, which is lucky because I will be wearing this combo until spring!

I LOVE how both of these things look, the coat has a draw string around the waist which gives this coat some shape this is the 24, I tried on the 22 which did fit, to be honest there was very little difference in the fit of the two, the 22 was a bit tighter as you would expect but not lots tighter. I went for the 24 just because I would be most likely to wear this coat over jumpers. The fur on the hood is so soft and the PU trim on the pockets feels lovely, it feels like suede and not at all like plastic. There are two real press stud closure pockets and four fake zip pockets, the fake pockets are a bit annoying since I keep forgetting and trying to unzip them! The fake zip pockets do look good though, the coat would not be as nice without the detail.

I HATE what I'm about to say These two items look great but quality wise they could be better. The boots were 95 quid which is a lot of money and to be honest I would say that the quality is pretty poor for that amount of money. The finishing on the heel started to peel off within two weeks of buying these boots. The stitching is also coming undone in a few places and the heel is wearing already. I should add that I wear these boots to drive to work at which point I take them off and put on safety shoes which I wear all day then I put these boots back on to drive home, so I wear them for about two hours a day! Not good at all. The coat is mostly good but the hood doesn't stay up in the wind (since there are no draw strings or poppers) so when I got rained on at the weekend I just got wet, I felt a bit silly really, like style won over substance.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

New Autumnal Purchases from Evans and New Look

Since October is one of those change of season months I have inadvertently purchased one or two (Okay three or four, or five) new items. I started the month with a wish list of some new tan boots (which I have already shown you) and a burgandy blazer. So I toddled to Evans and bought the boots and then to New Look to try on a burgandy blazer, this one in fact (in the changing room pic i'm wearing a size 20):
I narrowly resisted buying it in favor of a Jacquard version that I'd seen on line (but wasn't available in store), incidentally I narrowly resisted buying this blue speckled one too! (in the changing room pic i'm wearing a size 22):

(have you figured out I'm jersey blazer obsessed?!)

Jaquard blazer duly purchased on line, Octobers clothes buying complete right?!

Wrong of course! I went to visit my folks and my mum and I fell into the shops. Whilst in Evans I bought a top and a new winter coat! (the coat will be up presently I promise!) The top however I combined with my new boots and new blazer and tah da!
Blazer @ New Look
Top @ Evans
Boots @ Evans
Bag @ M&S (old)

I was a bit worried about the Jacquard blazer as It's quite slouchy (perhaps a tad too much) but I have to admit the texture is lovely and now I'm sure I made the right choice. This blazer is a size 20 and is so so comfy. There's plenty of room in the arms and the 3/4 sleeve length is great for me, I love a 3/4 sleeve and I know some folk don't but on this blazer It works well. 

The top is from Evans and is a size 20 too It was a tad tight around the tummy in the shop (I tried on the 22/24 but the dual sizing meant the shoulders didn't fit they were just too baggy) I decided to go with the 20 as I knew I would be wearing a blazer. As it turns out the top relaxed on wearing and I am really happy with the fit. The eyelash lace around the collar is gorgeous its really delicate. Incidentally this top is machine washable and the lace held up well in the machine. I am also happy to report this top has sleeves (hooray!):
This tunic is short, there's no getting away from it! It could be worn with jeans/jeggings or skinnies, but I've gone crazy and worn my leggings, they are thick and this top does cover my modesty! Plus I like the way this top looks with boots.

Aside from buying new stuff and working /driving and sleeping the other half and me went to a pudding evening in a local tea room. This consisted of a light meal and four puddings! I'm not a huge pudding fan believe it or not! (I would sooner have a cheeseboard) the evening was great though, mainly because everything was beautifully presented on vintage china!

As much as enjoyed the experience trying to eat four puddings is not for me, so I won't be taking on the Christmas challenge of five puddings coffee and mince pies! 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Pink Clove Review

So it's been ages since I went to London to the Pink Clove bloggers supper -July infact!). Fairly immediately after I bought a Pink Clove frock but hadn't gotten around to wearing it yet. Truthfully I wasn't sure about this particular frock at first. I really wanted to style it simply with heels and sheer tights but it just didn't look right.

Roll on 2 months and now its well and truly autumn I decided to give my Pink Clove frock another go, just dressed down a little. So this is how I wore it:
This frock is not my preferred shape, there's no getting away from the fact that it does cling a bit, for anyone interested in the side profile here it is (sorry -grumpy face for some reason!):
I am wearing a size 22 here which is the right size for me any bigger and the arms and top would be too big. I dare say that shapewear could provide smooth foundation for this frock, I am not wearing any here besides regular leggings. This outfit is so so comfy, we spent the day out and about, went to a museum then dinner then I slouched on the sofa and watched a movie.

As for pink clove in general the ordering process was smooth and the delivery was really speedy, for £18 you cant go wrong!

The boots I'm wearing here are from Evans and are new too. Here's a closer  look: 
Dress @ Pink Clove
Boots @ Evans
Cardi @ H&M
Bag @ M&S
Belt @ Asos