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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Event: Boohoo Plus Launch

Images © Big Fat BettyFollowing on from my review of some items from new Boohoo Plus range, I was thrilled to be invited to the launch on Thursday 13 March (yes two events in one day, lucky me)! It was held at the The Sanderson Hotel in London (near Oxford Street) where we were treated to a lovely afternoon tea, which was beautiful both in taste and appearance. It was lovely to catch up with some of the other plus size bloggers in attendance and the ladies from Boohoo were equally lovely; there were lots of laughs and conversation was flowing.

Of course the main focus of the afternoon was the launch of the Boohoo Plus range. There were plenty of exciting pieces including on trend pastels, floral prints, neons and denim. It was exciting to hear that, following its success, extending the size range is on the cards (the range is currently available in sizes 16-24).

































I'd like to thank Boohoo for the invitation as well as the lovely afternoon tea and the gift of not one but two items from the range; I chose the floral jacket (as seen here, it's not available online yet but I believe the stock has just come in so hopefully it will be soon!) and the Ruby Lace Skater Dress in black.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else Boohoo Plus has in store for us!



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Outside My Comfort Zone #29

I'm late again, but only by a day this time! This challenge is 'Pastels' and was chosen by Hollie (of Pretty Big Butterflies) who wrote: 'Pastels are here for Spring & Summer but I'd love some inspiration from you lovely ladies. I want to see you florish in fondant colours. Pinks, mints, sky blues...the list goes on. I don't want to hide away this Summer so this will be good practice!'

I have to admit that pastels have never really been my bag, and they still aren't, although recently I've been experimenting with lighter shades and I must admit I absolutely love this outfit that I've put together from Simply Be (especially the jacket!).





































 



#1 Simply Be PU Pink Biker Jacket, £70.00 (sizes 12-32)
#2 Coloured Slim Leg Jeans in Coral, £30.00-£33.00 (sizes 12-32, available in 28", 30" and 32" leg length)
#3 Mood Statement Flower Necklace, £25.00
#4 Claire Richards Peep Toe Shoe in Nude Pink, £45.00 (sizes 4-9, E or EEE width, also available in black) 

NB: Prices as displayed online on 27 March 2014

I think you could either wear a plain white top under the jacket, or a black one with black shoes for an 'edgier' look.

PS: You can get 10% off and free delivery with the code WXHK5 (from Voucher Codes, expires 18 June 2014)!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the OMCZ crew (or search #OMCZ on Twitter):

Natalie - http://awheelbarrowfullofstyle.blogspot.co.uk
Nikki - http://www.nattynikki.com

Stephanie - http://www.seeingspots.co.uk
Becky - http://www.doesmyblogmakemelookfat.com
Mary - http://www.marysbigcloset.blogspot.pt
Hollie - http://www.prettybigbutterflies.com
Erin - http://erinslittlebigcorner.blogspot.co.uk
Debz - http://www.wannabeprincess.co.uk
Becca - http://thegirlwiththeplait.blogspot.co.uk
Rebs - http://sullen-hearts.blogspot.co.uk
Katt - http://acurvycupcake.blogspot.co.uk
Leah - http://www.justmeleah.blogspot.co.uk
Mookie - http://muki7x7.blogspot.co.uk
Danielle - http://www.daniellerharris.com
Beverley - http://www.thecurvyword.com
Sam - http://fattyboomtatty.blogspot.co.uk
Gillian - http://www.weegillie.com
Sarah - http://plussizeproud.wordpress.com

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

JABC (March)

Hi folks. March's theme is 'I bet you didn't know...'. There are probably quite a lot of things that most of you don't know about me, but they're not very interesting...I'm not sure this is either but I'll go with it anyway! I'm in my 3rd and final year of University, studying BSc Social Policy & Youth Studies. I graduate in July, although teaching finishes on 1 May and my last assignment deadline is the end of May.

I'm writing my dissertation on the sexualization of young women and I hope to either work in research, policy or the advocacy and inclusion of young people. My 'dream job' so to speak would be work relating to the body image and self-esteem and/or sexualization/sexual exploitation of young women, as these are my areas of particular interest.

Anyway, I won't bore you with any more information, but if it's something you're interested in feel free to ask questions!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the JABC crew (or search #JABC on Twitter):

Steph – http://www.seeingspots.co.uk
Kaye – http://polishedcurves.com
Naomi – http://www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk
Victoria – http://www.thecurvedopinion.com
Em – http://terribletumbles.blogspot.co.uk
Beka - http://thegirlwiththeplait.blogspot.co.uk
Gemma – http://www.pinkgemmaplus.blogspot.co.uk
Katt – http://www.acurvycupcake.blogspot.co.uk
Toni - http://www.theleftofperfect.blogspot.co.uk
Abi - http://aisforabi.blogspot.co.uk

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Event: Marisota Pop-Up Shop Launch

I was very excited to be invited to the launch of Marisota's Pop-Up Shop tour (read more here) in London on Thursday last week (13 March). It was held in a spacious venue near Oxford Street and reminded me of a modern boutique, with crisp white decor and colourful products. I got my compact camera out straight away and started photographing the displays; just to forewarn you, this post is going to have a lot of photos!



 





















I was introduced to one of the Shapeologists, the lovely Lucy, who talked me through the Shapeology technology and other fit and fabric techniques as we picked out items for me to try on. What I enjoyed most about this is that Lucy was able to talk to me about many of the products from her own experiences and make recommendations on that basis. We picked out so many things to try and could've chosen much more; in the end I tried on 4 outfits.



 














































The first piece I tried on, which I unfortunately don't have a photo of, is the Coleen Nolan Illusion Panel Maxi Dress (£59.00). This dress has a lovely, bright print and is very flattering. For a night out, I'd style it with the Neon Orange Box Clutch Bag (£25.00), Mood Statement Stone Colour Necklace (£20.00) and sandals.

Image (Below) © Marisota Magic Mirror | Next up was the Tribal Print Jacquard Trousers (£39.00) and Joanna Hope Print Kaftan (£45.00). These trousers are really comfortable and have hidden elastic in the waistband, so I was able to wear a size 22 instead of my usual size (24). The kaftan has a separate jersey cami to wear underneath, or you could wear it without as a coverup/beachwear. Unfortunately you can't see them in the photo but I am also wearing the Catwalk Sparkle Pumps in black (£28.00, sizes 4-9 and E or EEE width, also available in silver).


Image (Below) © Marisota Magic Mirror | I then tried on the WOW Slim Leg Jeans in Coral (£45.00), Oriental Print Woven Vest (£18.00) and Joanna Hope Textured Jersey Jacket (£55.00). These jeans are very aptly named as there are an amazing fit! They have a hidden bit of elastic at the back of the waistline and the fabric itself has a bit of stretch to it; Lucy suggested that I try these as I discussed my problems with jeans gaping above and below the bum, I'm glad that I did and would highly recommend them (I went for my usual size 24). The jacket and vest I both tried in a 22 although if you're big on the bum/hips like me I'd suggest sizing up in the top (I'd go for a 24), as due to the fit it was a bit tight on my stomach; with this style I don't think it'd matter if it was a bit of a loose fit elsewhere. The jacket is lightweight and great for office, casual or evening wear. I don't normally wear white or pale colours at all but I absolutely adore this crisp, summery look!

 

 






































Image (Below) © Marisota Magic Mirror | Last but not least, my favourite outfit, the Print Kaftan Maxi Dress (£45.00) and Sole Diva Plain Flatforms in Purple (£20.00, sizes 4-8 and E or EEE width). This dress is beautiful, floaty and lightweight, but not opaque so it can be worn on it's own; if you're going on holiday this would be a great piece to bring with you and it'd take up very little room in your suitcase. The flatforms are a lovely vibrant colour and very comfortable, as someone who dislikes like the pain and discomfort of heels I am very keen on these.

 








































Whilst attending the launch I was also filmed chatting to Karen, one of the Shapeologists, about my shapeover and experiences of shopping as a plus size woman. I've been informed that the footage may be used at the other pop-up shops, so you may see my face on screen! How exciting (well, for me haha)!

All of the items shown in this post and more are available from Marisota in sizes 12-32. I'd like to thank Marisota for inviting me to the launch and also for gifting me the fabulous Beaded Ethnic Print Shopper (£40.00) and scarf, as well as an outfit of my choice up to the value of £100 (to be continued...!).

Disclaimer: This is not a collaborative post and all views are my own

All images © Big Fat Betty unless otherwise stated

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Giveaway: VIP Marisota Experience

Marisota are sewing up a fashion industry treat once again and bringing Shapeology to the high street with their Pop-Up Shop Tour, where customers will be able to browse a selection of clothing and accessories. In addition, orders placed at the Pop-Up Shops will be eligible for an exclusive 20% discount and free delivery*!

Marisota's very own Shapeologists will be on hand to offer tips and advice about the range, as well as offering 'Shapeovers' and the opportunity to capture your new look in their social media savvy 'magic mirror'. Mark Heyes, TV Stylist and creator of the AVA Collection for Marisota (you might remember my blog post on the collection launch), will also be joining the tour.

The Tour is running from 13 March to 6 April and the Pop-Up Shop points are as follows: London (56 Wells Street, W1T 3PT) 13-16 March, Glasgow (Buchanan Galleries, 220 Buchanan Street, G1 2FF) 20-23 March, Bristol (23 Penn Street, Cabot Circus, BS1 3AU) 25-30 March and Manchester (Arndale Center) 3-6 April.

I'm very excited, not only because I'm going to the launch tomorrow, but also as Marisota have asked if I would be interested in featuring a giveaway for you, my lovely readers, to win a VIP Marisota experience. You could be one of 5 lucky winners, each of whom will receive a Shapeover with Marisota's team of Shapeology experts (led by TV Stylist Mark Heyes) as well as entry into a prize draw to win £500 worth of vouchers to spend with Marisota online (if you win check out my post on the launch [coming soon] for some ideas!).

In order to be in with a chance of winning, you will need to be available to attend the Pop-Up Shop in London (56 Wells Street, W1T 3PT) on 14, 15 or 16 March for a two hour styling session (10am-12pm, 12pm-2pm, 2pm-4pm or 4pm-6pm). To enter, e-mail marisotaukpopupshop@gmail.com with my blog title (Big Fat Betty) and a contact tel no.

Good luck and keep an eye out for my post on the launch [coming soon]!

*when you spend £30 or more on fashion, footwear and lingerie.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Review: Boohoo Plus
Collection SS14 (#1)

Images © Big Fat Betty | I placed an order for a few items from the new plus size range at Boohoo a couple of weeks ago. Firstly, the delivery was really quick; I placed the order late Tuesday evening, opted for standard delivery (UK Saver, £3.99) and the items arrived on Friday. If you're really dying to get your hands on something, next day delivery is only £4.99, which is quite reasonable (and only £1 more).

I ordered (L-R) the Kimbillie Floral Longsleeve Playsuit (£22.00), Evie Mesh Hem Panel Midi Dress (Black or Cream, £18.00) and Kara Floral Jeggings (£16.00). I opted for my usual size (22) and I am pleased to say that everything is a good fit, although I could've possibly sized down in the midi dress.

Words cannot describe how much I adore this playsuit! I didn't think it suit me, but I love it. It's very comfortable and I think you could dress it up or down, or even as a beachwear cover-up.

I am not so sure about the midi dress. I know a lot of people rock this look and I really wanted to try it, but I think it just looks like a tent on me. Perhaps with a wide belt it'd work.

I love the print on the 'jeggings' but, well, I have to point out that they're not jeggings (in my opinion). They're made from a stretch jersey fabric and are not jean-like at all. They are like very thick leggings. Anyway, asides from that, they're fab.

Overall, I'm really impressed. For a new range there is a good variety of fashionable, reasonably priced items. At present the range only goes up to a 24, which I realise may be a disappointment to some and I can only hope that this changes in the future. However, I do have one small criticism, which is that some of the range is available from Pink Clove at lower prices; I'm quite lucky that this didn't apply to any of the items that I purchased, although I did unfortunately miss out on the student discount as I didn't think about it at the time. Has anyone else tried out the new range? What are your thoughts?

This is not a collaborative post and the items featured were purchased.
 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Love EVERY Body #4

Hi folks. The fourth assignment for Love EVERY Body focuses on our chest/breasts: 'Are you happy with your chest/boobs? Maybe you've had surgery (mastectomy/boob job.) Maybe you feel your boobs are too big or too small, or less than perky from breast feeding, but they're perfect as they are.'

Again I'm a bit late in posting, sorry. I don't mind my breasts; I don't love them, but they're alright. I wish they were a little bigger or fuller, but I'm also annoyed for being made to feel that my breasts are inadequate; I measure as a 42A (allegedly) and wear a 42B. Growing up, I hated my breasts. They filled out quite late and were a peculiar pointy triangular shape, like an unfashionable version of a bullet bra. My earliest memory of bullying is when I was at Primary School and a male 'friend' picked on me because I wasn't wearing a bra. I was then further humiliated by the Shop Assistant in Contessa telling my Mother that I didn't need one. I've always had fairly large and quite dark areola/nipples, which were clearly becoming more obvious through my standard school uniform (white polo shirt). Thank you puberty.

Anyway, I got my first bra and that was that...until I grew up and got bigger (fatter), that is. It is very hard to find my bra size on the high street and was probably even harder back then (I had enough problems with clothes that I don't remember underwear specifically); off the top of my head the only places I know that I can definitely find my size are BHS, Bon Marche and occasionally M&S. There is of course also Evans but I have never had much luck with their sizing; I can't wear padded bras as the cups are too big. Add to that not wanting to wear something fashioned for Grandmothers and ideally wanting matching bottoms (you can have your size 42B bra but not your size 22 matching bottoms, sorry), it's verging on impossible. Jump forward X amount of years and my underwear prayers are answered by Fashion World and Simply Be, which not only stock my size in bras but also matching bottoms and *gasp* bodyshapers. Eureka!

However, it's not all hunky dory. Stereotypes dictate that larger women have larger breasts and I am often sad that I cannot shop with some of the lingerie brands loved by other plus size bloggers, such as Curvy Kate, as they don't do my size. It's not just stereotypes, either; society has developed some peculiar viewpoint often described as 'good fat' vs. 'bad fat', whereby curvy and/or hourglass shapes are more widely accepted and portrayed as an acceptable norm of the larger/plus size figure. Thinking of these points, it's not really surprising that I sometimes feel that my smaller breasts (and large back) make me inadequate and/or abnormal (as opposed to feminine, beautiful, sexy, or 'normal' in any sort of way).






































Image © Saj Khan 2012 (Model: Big Fat Betty [Me]).