As the weather starts to cool I start thinking of slippers and thick toasty socks. Here are some of my favourites.
Can you guess what’s going on my Christmas list!
Flicking through Glamour the other day I saw one of my fashion nightmares amongst the endless pictures of overpriced (and often unappealing) clothes.
I have the shoulders of a shot putter (gold – year 10 girls shot putt – thank you) or a rugby player (I was very into that as a sport aged 14, excellent for dealing with teenage angst).
In other words they’re broad. I avoid shoulder pads like the plague and spaghetti straps look lost floating somewhere between where my neck ends and my arm begins.
Bold shoulders are not a good look if you’re broad – I don’t want to draw attention to them thanks. Even more so as I start looking at wedding dresses. Yes I could probably carry a sheep slung round my shoulders like my ancestors may have done, but that’s not really what I’m going for if it’s all the same.
Those awful 80s shoulders
I am very lucky I think that I was a baby in the 80s and missed shoulder pads in everything, my skinny shouldered mother on the other hand just looks odd with pointy jackets on, her current slim, tailored look suits her better (apparently one of the benefits of getting older is you stop caring about fashion and instead go for quality and cut that suits you. Bring it on I say.)
After a summer of the cold shoulder top – also not a friend of the broad of shoulder, do we really need a winter of mad looking clothes that scream, hello I’m good with a discus. If you’re me, anyway.
Here’s some of my current saved items on ASOS – the ones I want to buy when my ship finally comes in.
This dress is gorgeous and autumnal, perfect for my September birthday.
Every year I hunt for the best ankle boots, these are pretty close. I don’t know if wide fit will be best as I have weird feet!
This cocoon cardigan is perfect for those mornings that we don’t yet have but I know are headed our way.
I have seen this A-mazing jacket all over Instagram and Twitter but my inner magpie still wants it. Unfortunately it’s currently out of stock. Boo.
I am trying to curb my buying of enormous bags and filling them with junk. This cute little one might just break the habit.
Only one thing will make this dress better – hanging in my wardrobe!
Bomber jackets are everywhere and I want this one. The colour is great and it’s perfect for summer to autumn wear.
What’s on your wardrobe update list?
#fashionfriday is an occasional series where I talk fashion.
Today I thought I’d share some of my favourite jewellery sites, with an emphasis on indie companies.
I am a total magpie, if I see something shiny, I have to have it, and I do love a bit o’ bling to make an outfit pop. Some of the best places to buy fun, purse friendly costume jewellery are online.
Punky Pins has a big social media presence but is a small UK based company making fun acrylic and enamel accessories. Like these pins
And my favourite flamingo necklace.
Blackheart Creatives I discovered through twitter. Based in Bristol, these fiends with a laser cutter, their acrylic bling is fun and a little bit trashy (which is a good thing). I want these awesome earrings.
They do a DIY jewellery subscription box, which is great fun and allows you to get creative and make something bespoke in front of Netflix (Kimmy Schmidt binge anyone?)
Where do you like to get your jewellery from?
The inspiration for this post is Iris Apfel, 90 something New York eccentric, whose ethos seems to be “more is more”. She is my aspiration for old me.
As a larger lady (Argh, the phrases we use – plus size, plus size to what??) I have become an expert at accessories. When you have lots of friends skinnier than you, you improvise.
You buy jewellery, bags, shoes and accessories so you don’t feel so awkward in shops that don’t cater for you. So bitchy shop assistants don’t look at you and laugh (I’m looking at you, girls in Top Shop). So you feel like you belong on the girly shopping trip.
To be honest, I hated being a fat teenager, and I wasn’t even that big, just bigger than my friends. The average size woman in the UK is a 16 (what that means varies brand to brand, and even within brands), but shops seem to tail off size wise at a 14.
It is better now, there are a few more options but still, there’s so much shame around being over that average and wanting to wear nice clothes, it makes me furious.
I have been both much bigger than I am today and also much skinnier. Everyone’s body is different, how we got to where we are varies just as wildly.
Without this becoming a therapy session – my weight has medical causes and emotional ones – my relationship with food is a mess. One I’m trying to get a handle on.
My best friend, who I love dearly, called me the accessories queen and she knows everything about me. I have turned adding the right accessory to an outfit into an art form.
It helps to be a magpie, with an eye for sparkly, unusual stuff.
My cupboard/wardrobe/storage space in my tiny flat is crammed with earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, bags, shoes, scarves (I got the Mr to put up a scarf rail for me, it’s heaving). You name it, I probably have it, but can’t guarantee I can find it.
Annoyingly I can’t wear earrings much anymore, two years ago I got an infection in my earlobe, ten years after getting them pierced, and since then they’ve been very sensitive to metal. It frustrates me because I have fantastic earrings and good sized lobes to hang them from.
My scarf addiction has caused disagreements, but you can chuck a scarf of any design on over an outfit and make it amazing. Jeans and a T-shirt, funky scarf boosts it from slobbing about to lunch ready. LBD, contrasting design worn like a shawl, gorgeous. Trust me.
I love finding a necklace that works with different necklines, from collars to décolletage, there’s a different design for every occasion.
An eye catching ring, sparkling in the light, can draw the eye to or away from your nails, depending on their condition. While the right bracelet can set off an unusual length sleeve.
Shoes are also great at going “hello, I may be wearing a fairly dull outfit to work, but we’re pretty” especially these ones.
Sadly, I don’t own either pair, but I do have ones with cat faces and some covered in flamingos.
I’m not really a hat person, I don’t have the right head shape for it, but I’ve noticed the floppy brimmed hat making a comeback and on the right head, it looks fantastic.
I started wearing glasses a few years ago as a required thing, but I’ve always loved oversized sunglasses and cats eye frames with plain glass for dressing up and trying out new looks. EBay is great for really cheap frames and TKMaxx has a great selection of discounted designer sunglasses.
Finally there’s handbags, I love a good sized, sturdy bag, but also quirky clutches for nights out or special occasions and tote bags are a cute way to carry your shopping home, especially if like me you resent paying 5p for a crappy plastic bag that will probably break on the way home!
What are your favourite accessories? Let me know in the comments.
I love shoes, there are a lot of them in my wardrobe but whatever shoes I buy I always come back to my beloved Converse.
I have had so many pairs over the years, in a rainbow of colours and styles.
My first pair were hot pink high tops, and discovering how comfy they were – started an obsession.
My idea of Heaven is the Converse Gallery above Size? on Carnaby Street, every colour, style, fabric imaginable. Oh yes, please. They had rainbow sequin ones last time I went, I wanted to stroke them, they were so beautiful.
Even when I go shoe shopping for work shoes or a particular thing, like winter boots, I am drawn to the Converse display, I won’t show you a picture of my many beat up pairs, but at last count, one pair of boots, two high tops, three low rise (including Wonder Woman ones) and four pairs of the pump style ones I live in all summer.
I’m started to crave a new pair, roll on the sales, I might even get two!
What are your favourite shoes? Do you have a pair or brand you wear all the time? Let me know in the comments.
So with much fuss and fanfare Dorothy Perkins has launched its Curve collection for UK sizes 18 – 28.
Rather than expanding their main range to cater for more sizes they’ve released a capsule collection and it’s really underwhelming.
The models in the promotional shots (see above) are slim and don’t exactly give you an idea what the clothes would really look like on the larger sizes.
Then there are the clothes themselves, a mix of bodycon skirts and dresses and shapeless, bland tent tops. Nothing is in the season’s colours or trends. There’s only about 10 items to choose from and it’s online only, you can’t even return things in store.
It’s a big disappointment – Dorothy Perkins can be a bit hit and miss in general but you would hope a targeted range would be designed with a little more effort and research, giving women on the above side of the UK average 16 more to choose from not merely reproducing the rather stale offerings already out there.
A few months ago I lost some weight, and as always it went first in my hands. I already have weird fingers, long and bony with the protruding knuckles all women on my mum’s side have (and one day the joy of arthritis). So the lost weight created a conundrum in my jewellery armoury, my rings were too big.
I have worn the same rings on my fingers on and off for years – including my great-great-aunt Bess’ ring, which only ever fitted on my thumb.
I like to dress up and the rings I wear are part of my defense against the world.
So now I’m looking for rings that fit my new, scrawnier fingers. And a trend that caught my eye was the recent one for midi rings, that sit between your fingers joints. EBay and Etsy are excellent places to hunt for things like that. Ring size matters less as these rings are often adjustable or can be moved to a different finger if they aren’t quite right (that and they’re cheap and cheerful).
As you may have realized, I love getting things in the post, I miss letters and postcards. Technology may be really useful but things brought by the postman are always going to give me a little thrill.
T-post is an unusual service from Amsterdam, they send you a collector’s edition T-shirt every month and at the moment you can try it for free (€3 for postage).
I received mine last week. You tell them your size and off it goes.
Visit the website and try your free tee today.
Most of our clothes are manufactured in dark, crowded factories, like Rana Plaza was, the sweatshop that collapsed, killing many workers.
We don’t know the names of the men and women sewing, dyeing and embellishing the clothes we love. We probably never will.
Shops like Primark or H & M are brilliant for affordable, every day bits, and most of us don’t even think of the human cost.
Who Made Your Pants? aim to change that.
They make ladies underwear – in a range of sizes, styles, colours, fabrics and give them funny names like Hay Mears (camo print with a lace trim) or Lady Dynamo.
They send your pants out in a little brown box, which fits through the letterbox, lovingly wrapped and with a note telling you the names and a little bit about the people who made your pants.
You can order one offs or sign up for a year in pants – gorgeous pants selected for you by the team delivered once a month.
They are a charitable bunch and were involved in the Fashion Revolution earlier this year.