Sunday, 22 November 2015

Halloween Weekend 2015 Hell Bunny v's Lindy Bop

I haven't dressed up in ages or bought many new clothes, I think saving money for the wedding coupled with diminishing wardrobe space has turned me in to a thrifty and selective clothes buyer!

We decided to go up to Whitby for the Autumn Goth weekend again (which usually falls on Halloween). We didn't have band tickets this time but just decided to hit the fringe events. Usually we do support the main event but spending time in the pubs can be just as fun. Anyway I decided to invest in a new frock (and ended up with two of course!).

There is growing controversy over the Goth weekend, the success of the weekend has increased the number of visitors, the die hard goths are not happy with the 'dressing up crowd' people who hit the streets in cheap fancy dress costumes and who don't necessarily appreciate the music scene. I'm not a die hard goth, I have been on the fringes of the scene for a long time and I appreciate the music and fashion but I don't have a 24/7 goth wardrobe. In life though, I fall squarely in the 'live and let live' category, maybe one of the folks in the 'cheap fancy dress' just hasn't discovered how into the scene they are and it's a way in for them. My first visit to Whitby was intimidating, despite that I have the confidence to dress how I want and I know I don't need permission to be there! For many(including me) Whitby is escapism, it's the chance to wear full historically accurate Victorian regalia or a latex dress! It's as much about planing and gathering outfits and the anticipation of wearing them.

I admire the Gothabilly sub culture so that's where I seek my inspiration. Here are but a few sources (by no means exhaustive) of alternative plus size inspiration:

Lolly Likes Fatshion
Sugar, Darling?
Chubble Bubble
Fatshion Peepshow
My Plus Size Life
Miss Kerosene Deluxe

Then there's the retailers:

Miss Bamboo (they don't do plus size and it makes me very sad)
Get Cutie
Lindy Bop
Lady V
Hell Bunny
Queen of Holloway

I had set my heart on Tiki inspired. Web searching turned up Miss Bamboo, this dress stole my heart, but sadly it's not plus size. So my search turned to Hell Bunny and Lindy Bop. I went with these two dresses:

So here's what I did with the May:

The fit on this dress is alright, this is a size 26 but it's not a perfect fit for me (if 24 had been available it might have been a better choice) the fabric does have a bit of stretch, so waist wise it's OK, although it's quite long in the torso. (For reference I am wearing a corset underneath for some shaping, it's not super tight laced though). The fabric is fairly stiff and stretchy, so it doesn't swish like some cottons, but I really like it. For 20-ish quid in the sale though (link above) it's a pretty good buy and will be worn again in summer for sure. 

I am also wearing a hell bunny petticoat (size 18-24, 25 and 27" -it took me ages to work out that 25 and 27" is the same size -the smaller sizes are 25", the larger (this one) 27" I would say that this petticoat only just fits me (46" waist) to be fair its billed up to 44" so the size guide is about right.

The hair flower is by Twisted Ivy and although was not bought for this dress it goes so well. (flowers, cherries and a skull, cant go wrong really!) 

The bamboo bag is a pre-loved e-bay find, and I haven't come across an online retailer that carries it (I'm sure there's one out there though, as it is a repro). Here's a  rather pricey but awesome alternative.

I was chuffed with our holiday let, I didn't book it but it had an awesome retro thing going on!

Needless to say we had a fun night out, that was the only outcome when the bar was made of sexy mermaids though...

Onto the Alika:

No corset this time, but the same petticoat and bag. The fit of the dress is again alright, I should have once again sized down (due to a sheared panel at the back of the dress) so once again the dress doesn't fit perfectly around the bust line  as it's a touch big (better than obviously too small and constricting my chest though) I remembered to take make up selfies this time:

I'm getting better at makeup, I have invested in some nice brushes, a benefit primer (porefessional) benefit under eye bag concealer (Erase paste) and the balm company Nuditude palette (from TK Maxx) and slowly my makeup skills are improving (Contact lenses also help, as I can now see my face!)

The Hair flower was my own creation, complete with Tiki faces..

Once again a good night was had, involving rum..

So there are my outfits for two nights out, pursuing a goth pin up dream. Hopefully these reviews are helpful.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Our Christmas Wedding

I spent a long time thinking about our wedding, (possibly too long!) we had been together for a few years before we got married. From very early on I knew my other half was just that, the other half of me, a wedding was a formality really, a chance to get friends and family together and celebrate that.

I tried hard to involve my chap in the planning process, as a wedding is about what both of you want, 'our wedding' not just 'my wedding'! Though I'm not sure he was thrilled to be standing in the florists comparing four types of purple chair sashes!

Other really important people in our wedding were our parents, I think I underestimated how important some things were to them. Like most people I don't appreciate classical music as much as I maybe should, my folks fought hard to get us to choose classical music for the ceremony. Despite being rockers we fought the urge to include Led Zeppelin(!) in our ceremony and I'm glad we did. It was a grown up moment in life and when I think about choosing the music I think about my parents and that makes me smile.

The band was all about us though, and mum and dad can boogie with the best!...

The venue: for us a hotel was a necessity, our friends and families live far away. Then it was just a case of finding somewhere we felt comfortable in. Our venue was Eynsham Hall in Oxfordshire and it was amazing. Set in the Oxfordshire countryside it is a Jacobean style country hotel with all the facilities you could need. The food was great and executed perfectly. They have a real skill for running weddings smoothly,we were looked after so well.

We are D.I.Y. kind of people, whilst we stood back on the big things and let professionals do their thing we added details where we could. I did my own cake and sugar flowers (that's my hobby). My dad made me these beautiful stands to hold vintage roses with flower arrangements in. We bought a bar billiards table and reconditioned it ourselves.

For the place card holders, the other half took an old oak skirting board that he bought from the wood recycling shop and made small blocks, then I burned Yorkshire roses and Sussex Martlets into them.

We chose most of our suppliers based on recommendations from the venue. A florist was the hardest thing to pin down, our date was December the 30th so most were closed between Christmas and New Year. We landed on our feet with pretty much all suppliers though, and luckily I didn't want any fancy flowers (I know to pick my battles!). I did collect these tiny gold birds which I wired up and the florist wired them into my bouquet.

The theme really did come once the date and venue were chosen, we were going for rich colours and a warm cosy sociable environment. As I'm from Yorkshire and the OH is from Sussex, we incorporated Yorkshire roses and Sussex Martletts (Swallows) in the theme. 

My shoes were Irregular choice (second hand from e-bay) and my jewellery was all antique, my necklace was a Victorian gold and seed pearl swallow pendant and my watch was my Grannys.

The dress: this really was my thing (no groom involvement here!) choosing the dress was so difficult. I have a very fair complexion and I looked awful in white. My dress shop (The Big Day) looked after me so well and I ended up in a dress that I loved, it fitted in with the theme and I felt amazing all day. It didn't stop me from being nervous about the colour, just because I liked it everyone else might not! I nervously got ready...

Dad seemed to approve though...

Before the ceremony we had a brief pause at the top of the stairs whilst a couple of guests snuck in to the room below. I'm so glad we stopped, as we had time for a quick photo with my amazing bridesmaid Em! Which it turns out is one of my favorite photos of the day. (Em was a fabulous bridesmaid, who I put into a corset style dress a few days after Christmas eating drinking and merriment! I think she has forgiven me though!)

The husband isn't too keen on this picture but I think it's brilliant so I've put it in!

Post ceremony relief, celebration with his and hers beer glasses, we got a barrel of our favorite local beer for the reception.

We had crazy blue skies, despite the date being in December! I was prepared for rain and we planned everything inside but we we incredibly lucky and the sky really did look like is does in these pictures. 

My new husband looking after me!

My cape came from a vintage clothes shop in Brighton (To be Worn Again, which is a great name for a shop!) I think it cost me 30 quid or so.

After the photos it was time to come back inside for some merriment. This is another one of my favorite photos and I had no idea our photographer took it. (and I have grown up to be very camera sensitive -I've seen too many bad off guard photos of me, so I pretty much always know where the cameras are!

The hotel was all dressed up for Christmas and as the night wore on it grew cosier, this huge Christmas tree was a great addition to the reception area.

After the eating and drinking there was dancing, our first dance was to The Lovecats by the Cure.

We are scientists and I like pretty colours, enough said! (again made by us)

Our amazing photographer was Mario Mage (Immage) and he captured the day perfectly, as these beautiful images show. Our wedding day was so special for us and the pictures capture the day which is already fading in my memory a bit (a mere 11 months later). I have had the best time writing this post as I have spent a long time looking at our pictures again.