Tuesday, August 31

Review: Clothing at Tesco

So my order from tesco emerged at last, and I thought I'd try a few bits on so I could review them for others. It was a bit of a mixed bag really, fit wise, and quality wise - I was impressed with some bits but then some ended up straight in the return pile.

This was the spot print playsuit, which with a 25% off code, cost me £6.00. This was definitely a small fitting 22 and very tight with little room for boobs (I'm only a B cup and barely fit into the cups!. For fear of unsightly camel toe action, I decided this one was heading back. I think tailored rompers may well not be for me given my gangly-ness.

Wolf jumper, £6.00 with 25% discount code. This is supposed to be a dress?! I'm debating this one, as I had hopes for it as a casual winter jumper dress. Whilst it still could work over leggings and boots with a nice blazer, it's definitely not a dress...

Gathered jumper, £3.75, and silk skirt £9.37 with discount. Both hits I think - the jumpers are comfortable and practical, and the skirt is a great piece for colour clashing. Plus, pockets!


Floral shift dress, £5.25. This is a definite keeper, and a definite contender for first day outfit with this short sleeved jacket I scored in a dorothy perkins sale a while back for £7.

Orange linen peplum dress, £6. This is fantastic! Really tailored and fits me like a glove. I am just pondering how to dress it up before I decide definitely (suggestions?).

Dogtooth jersey pencil skirt, £5.62. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I ordered - stretchy, comfortable and still professional looking. The perfect skirt to chuck on during a dark winter morning when I'm not yet ready to surface.

Winter coat, £16.50! I feel this was definitely the most bargainous item - it's comfortable with good room for bulky jumpers beneath. Whilst I reckon the buttons will need resewing on to make them more sturdy, it's definitely worth at least what I paid, and I reckon will stop the excessive spending a winter coat normally requires.

I didn't photograph two items for sheer decency reasons! The velvet body and the lace body - both of which were too short for my frame. It's sad times because I've been on the hunt for both for a good while. However, they were both generously stretchy so worth considering if you're a shorter size 22/24-ish.

Monday, August 30


Today I caught up on some well needed sewing repairs. As well as the gigantic pile of ripped seams and so on that I've left for months, I also did some alterations on this 60s paisley kaftan. This used to be floor length, but I thought it would work better knee length as it has some fantastic draping that ends around there. Anyway, my picture is rubbish because of my being-out-in-public awkwardness, but it has super awesome batwing sleeves and the draping sort of makes it look like a tulip skirt. This is a perfect house dress, but I think it could also be made to be much more of a statement piece with some heels and a clutch. In any case, it's flouncy and fantastic.

Dress - pilfered from my last lot of vintage stock, £free to me
Shoes - ancient, New Look.

I feel like the kaftan/muu muu/house dress/whatever horrors of former fatty apparel is definitely in need of some reclaiming. Whilst I can't stress how happy I am that there are now outfitters that can actually tailor clothes to my shape and that this isn't my only option, there's something amazing about items of clothing which drape the fat body in such a fantastic brash pattern. I definitely don't think they deserve to be forgotten - in fact I think that wearing one acknowledges a history of apparel that is often dismissed. I also think there's a lot of problematic talk about the "right" way to dress a fat body - and brash, shapeless, bold items like this are pretty against the grain of tailoring and hip skimming dresses, even if originally they were designed to disguise the body. Whether belted, altered or simply flounced about in as is, I definitely think everyone should own at least one.

And just because you're all proving to be such nice readers, here's a picture of a cat for you:

Grumpy cat, courtesy of the house down the road from my old house, who I sadly don't see so often anymore. Broody (for a cat) boyfriend = priceless.

Sunday, August 29

Car boot fun times




Today was a day to make me feel very sad to be leaving Yorkshire. I went to my favourite car boot sale in Otley (it goes on every Sunday from 12-4, all year round) to have a potter. I normally go along with about a tenner and come out with all sorts of beauties. Today I didn't have as much luck as normal, though possibly only because I am quite preoccupied with moving and not wanting to buy as much as I normally would. In any case, I did come away with a Hank Williams LP, and another by Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, as well as....

this ironic mum jumper of dreams, with embroidered ribbons and flowers, and pearls! Okay, it may just be hipster nonsense, but whatever. It was £1.50.

Part of the joy of going to Otley is eating, also. I bought two fat rascals (Yorkshire rock cakes with cherries on top) and also went to the Bay Horse for a beef and dripping sandwich, which is fast becoming my favourite car boot fare. They come with condiments and homemade pickled onions for £1! This + local ales = happy stomach.


Squinting aspiring hobo of a boyfriend.

Saturday, August 28

Cycling fatty


Meet Gertrude. Gertrude is a Raleigh Urban 2, recently inherited from one of my Dads who decided she wasn't the most suitable bike for him either. She's quite simply the worst bike for someone of my size, and to say the least, we have issues (I'd quite happily abandon her for a nice Dutch/town bike). However, I really do adore cycling and so we deal with it. This is my first bike for about 8 years (!) (I did have one more recently that got stolen after my first cycle ride, sob) and I'm getting used to urban cycling. Where I grew up most places I needed to go could be reached without going on busy roads, or roads at all in fact, so I'm a very nervous urban cyclist. Also, Yorkshire is very hilly, particularly compared with Surrey, so much harder to cycle around! However, I'm definitely enjoying it so far.

One thing I've noticed about cycling as a fatty is that I seem to inspire a lot of pretty horrible comments. Just cycling up the road to Headingley village this afternoon, I got hooted at and also someone shouted that they felt sorry for my bike. I'm trying not to get too angry/sad/affected by these comments, but something about the last stung me. I'm happy with my fat, and I'm happy to be active again. When someone makes that sort of comment at me, it makes me feel like they want me locked away somewhere - out of sight, out of mind. Does my weight deny me the right to be active, to be outside, to be in view by others? I sometimes wonder this myself especially given how hard it is to find reasonably priced cycling shorts, and other activewear above a size 20, generally.

Anyway, I won't stop cycling, and I won't make my body invisible for those it offends.

I also didn't really come to post about this either. I wanted to show off my latest ebay score! This navy/white summer dress was £5.19 excluding postage. It's really fitted with a pleated skirt and sweetheart neckline, really well tailored given that it's from George and generally speaking plus size tailoring is pretty awful. I'm looking forward to teaming it with a cardi in the autumn.

Dress, £5.19 from Ebay (originally by George at ASDA)
Belt, vintage (pilfered from my old shop)
Shoes, ancient flats £22 New Look.

Friday, August 27


Some DIY action for you tonight. I've had this dress a while - it got sent to me with some vintage stock, but isn't actually vintage. It does a very good impression of being from the 40s though. It was labelled a size 14, but made of a stretchy acrylic that meant it fit me well too - however, it used to have a sort of flap front to the skirt, meaning that every time I sat down, the world saw er... much more than it needed to see. I've been meaning to sew the two flaps together and make it into a cute pencil skirt shape for a while, but never got beyond pinning it. However, tonight I decided to set on some of the sewing projects I've left about the place.

This will be the perfect winter day dress! It's got super cute leopard print buttons than you can't see, and a figure hugging shape. I teamed it with some mascara, chanel lipstick in rouge noir (which I traded online for recently), my trusty brown waist belt (which probably isn't the right colour or shape really) and some ancient peep toes from Evans.

Fall Goth

Cisco Kaftan
105 GBP - allsaints.com
All saints tops »

Lace Bandeau Bra
$28 - topshop.com
Bandeau bra »

South crushed velvet leggings | Very.co.uk
16 GBP - very.co.uk



Am just dying to break out my inner goth of late. This sheer kaftan from All Saints is far out of my budget, but I'm reckoning plus size friendly. I'm sure that something similar could be shown together with some cheap mesh from the market, and it may well become a sewing project. I've been lusting after those leggings for months also, and fear they may well make it into my winter wardrobe. They're just so right for the 90s trend, and also incredibly versatile. They'll add a bit of texture to anything.

Also, I've included a topshop bandeau bra here - can ANYONE tell me where to get hold of one of these in a plus size? I'm all about sheer and lace this season, and fear my bras aren't quite up for public viewing yet ;)

Thursday, August 26

Oh erk.
My credit card is a bit angry at me again. So, tesco are having a sale at the moment, and I also got sent a 25% off code, so I splurged a bit. I spent about £70 and ended up with 12 things! As I wandered around town this afternoon and had a hunt for potential "first day" outfits for the new job and found nothing (well... actually I found a *perfect* grey floral dress from M&S, but it was £45 and knowing how fickle I am, I know I'd be bored with it too quickly), I got a fair few contenders in this lot, and bulked up my autumn wardrobe.

I bought:



Wolf Jumper Dress, £8. To be teamed with knee high boots and a blazer, or sent back if it's too short.

Black velvet body, £7.50. Perfect for the inner goth I'm channeling right now.

Houndstooth stretchy pencil skirt. £7.50. This is one of the "first day" contenders. I love a pencil skirt, but working in digitisation and sitting down in front of a computer or fiddling with objects, the more tailored skirts end up feeling a bit uncomfortable after a whole day. This looks like an excellent stretchy option.

Jumper, £5. I got these in mustard, purple and red, because plain colourful jumpers are an autumn/winter staple with me. I'm also eager to get into colour clashing this winter and thought that this would work both with the above skirt and a blazer for the big first day, and with the below skirt for clashing goodness.

Silk skirt, £12.50. Now, it's not often something that garish and well designed makes it to fit me. "First day" contender #2. £7(!!)!)!)!)!)). With a nice girly blouse beneath perhaps? Or a cardi.

Lace body! £5! Now I've been on the hunt for one of these for months. This is a size 18, but I'm hoping it'll stretch enough for me.

Orange peplum dress, £8! First day contender #3. Seriously garish. Just crying out for some clashing heels.

Spotty playsuit, £8. Okay, so it's a bit late for this, but too cute to resist. File under incredibly impulsive purchases, possibly to be hidden at the back of my wardrobe. But seriously, amazing.


And last but not least, red military winter coat, £22.50! Okay, so winter coats are the bane of my existence - I hate spending money on them and yet get angry with ill fitting coats. I spent £80 on one last year, and it's buttons constantly popped off. This is cute enough to work with my colour scheme and hopefully be adequately fitting.

So I think for all that, I'll be forgiven for a small credit card balance? I'll be sure to post some reviews once the parcel arrives.

Also, not sure if it will work, but the code I got given for 25% off was Z93D8LM64. It's for a first purchase only, but works on sale items.
A couple more outfits for you all. I have to say packing is taking it's toll, as is cycling a lot. It's pretty hard to maintain chic-ness whilst also taking care to have my knickers not on display! Possibly need to invest in some high quality leggings or short shorts (recommendations really appreciated on this front!). Anyway, here goes:

What I wore to rummage around the junk stalls on Leeds outdoor market. Today I scored a greatest hits by The Cure and a Woody Allen stand up compilation, both on vinyl, £3.50 each. Also, two metres of a nice navy wool mix fabric to attempt some skirt making with tomorrow, for £2! If all goes well I am going back next week to get some more in grey. Some sewing tutorials afoot also.

Lace crop top, Primark (about £5? Can't remember)
Flesh tone vest, £4 Primark
Brown belt, old stock, £free to me
Hanky panky skirt, Dorothy Perkins sale £5
Shoes, New Look £20
Grumpy face, £priceless


And another outfit, mainly designed to show off these cute new wedges, which are taupe and silver and a total bargain from Otley car boot for £1.50! Going back on Sun with the boy, so hopefully I will have a nice post containing further bargains galore.

Also, I scored this dress from ASOS in their sale, it's too short sans leggings but cute nonetheless. I just wish I could figure out a way to wear it without my bra showing! I normally wear a camisole, but I didn't that day because I wasn't really heading anywhere.

ASOS bow tunic £13
ASOS mesh leggings £20
Vintage wedges, £1.50 car boot.

Sunday, August 22

LUST

Also, will someone please buy me this dress:

It's vintage, and on ebay here but er, at $125, is very out of my price range. And like I really need another prarie dress to prance around in petticoats in. But I still want it...

Harnesses!

Latest obsession of sorts: harnesses and bustiers!

After seeing this:

included on the wonderful A/W mood board on Musing of a Fatshionista: http://musingsofafatshionista.com/2010/08/295-lets-talk-inspiration-fall-2010-moodboard/ from the fall 2010 collection of Shakuhachi, I've been dying for something like the leather bustier featured with this maxi. Now, to be honest, I'm not hoping for anything similar to emerge in plus size collections and I'm not holding my hopes out thrifting, so I'm researching alternatives.

Whilst etsy browing, I recalled I went through a slightly obsession with the idea of harnesses over girly dresses earlier this year. The main contender was this harness by seller I Heart Norwegian Wood (the seller is very open to custom sizing, and it comes in a variety of colours). I also perved majorly over the cage skirt featured here. However, funds were never enough to stretch to either, so I forgot about it.

However, on my second leather influenced browse, I discovered this beaut, custom made to fit with buckles galore. He's up for plus size sizing as well, though charges $10 more. It's definitely intended for more cosplay related joys, however I can just see it worn over this floral maxi dress that's currently on sale at ASOS curve, and which I've also stalked for the past few months. However, given that I am notoriously fickle with clothes (even the items I stalk for months on etsy, I'll sometimes buy and then just sell on several months later), spending £40 on a harness that may or may not prove a staple item for fall is still debatable. Also, er, no money makes it an impossibility until my Brighton move is complete!

On the search for a leather bustier, the best options for fellow plus size belles seems to be "adult" shops, or fetishwear retailers where plus sizes are found in much more abundance. That said, it's a pricey undertaking. Here are a few links nonetheless (most probably NSFW): this halter bustier is $78 but so very nearly what I'm after (good for fellow members of the itty bitty titty committee also!); and this zip up faux leather crop top from ebay (which at only £20 is going on my watch list immediately!). There's not the tailoring of the original, however, definitely worth considering as an alternative.

Also, on further contemplation, I've just been reading this article about Lady Gaga's "leather" aesthetic, and thinking a lot about the whole bondage aesthetic reappearing in fall fashion this year. I often debate with myself about fashion and sexuality (largely because I quite enjoy playing with the "grotesque" in fashion, and I don't necessarily feel that dressing up should be down to flatter or make the body appear more conventionally attractive or exuding of normative sexuality, in fact I enjoy the way that high fashion often seeks to do the very opposite by creating silouhettes, shapes and looks that go against this concept of flattery. I'm all up for dressing sexually, and anyone who knows me and my love for a wiggle dress already knows this! However, I'm also very interested in reclaiming shapes and styles that have been forbidden from me by plus size retailers, because of the need to flatter, disguise and morph the fat body into something more acceptable.),namely because I don't feel that fashion has to be about appearing sexual, but I'm really, really excited about this. I feel that this play with sexuality and inside/outside apparel (underwear as outerwear particularly, plus this inclusion of the "leather" aesthetic in everyday fashion) is particularly interesting in terms of thinking about the unruly woman and what is socially appropriate in terms of attire.

Plus, er, I'd just like to see more fit fatties in even more inappropriate garb...

Friday, August 20


Okay, romper/jumpsuit haters ahoy. This is certainly one of my er, least practical purchases of the year. However. It was too bloody fantastic to pass up. Not every day I find such a monstrosity of florals made to fit my behind.

This jumpsuit was £29.99 from River Island (OUCH). It's a VERY generous size 16, so I'd imagine the 18 would fit up to a 24 or even 26 easily. It has an elasticated waist and I'd imagine is supposed to fit in a more slouchy style, but on my it's a more tight fit. I still love it though.

Teamed with a vintage studded belt, £8, Blue Rinse in Leeds. I've also got a white lace shirt that goes well with this for a true 90s look.

Thursday, August 19

Misappropriation

I'm sorry about the lack of outfits these past few days. I'm beginning to pack and, in all truth, have spent more time in pajamas than anything else! But rest assured, some to come. Yesterday I scored an amazing assymetrical black dress and floral jumpsuit from River Island and I'm dying to show them off! There's tons of large fitting/stretchy items in there at the minute - so definitely worth a rummage if you're a size 20+.

Anyway, the reason I came to post here is because I've discovered that several of my images have been favourited by BBW image collectors. Earlier this week I discovered a picture of me in a jumpsuit in a flickr gallery devoted to "MILF's". Several days later, two images of me were favourited by someone who obviously collects images of BBW in er, compromising positions. I also had another message from someone asking er, kind of inappropriate questions.

Now I've always had negative feelings re: the whole BBW/fat admirer scene, and this has only made them more so. Now, to stress, my issue is not with people finding fat people sexy (hell, I'd have to have an issue with myself in that case!! And er, not to mention most of those who fancy me...), but rather the re-appropriation of a fat body in this scene. Or my body, I guess. I've always felt that my body is taken out of my hands by BBW chasers. My body comes to symbolise anything they desire - mother (this happens constantly. I'M NOT A MATRIARCH buddy.), teddy bear, infantile, or alternatively whore, rolls of flesh and.. er MILF apparently?! To me, the fetishisation of fat in a lot of these cases objectifies the fat body in a similar way to the headless fatties of the obesity epidemic. We are nothing but lumps of flesh, rolls, often decapitated or fragmented. Fat is still symbolic here, rather than simply being a physical trait - it's just a symbol of a pre-determined sexuality instead of a pre-determined health risk. The point being that our sexuality is not self-determined but rather appropriated by anonymous agencies.

I'm not anti-porn, and I'm certainly not against fellow fatties being seen sexually. Hell, I'd like to see more of it, but only when sexual expression is self-determined. The point being that my sexuality is my own. My body could be any of these things. However, it's for me to decide who I am and what my body represents, and not an anonymous wanking man on the internet. I post my photographs in a public space for me, and for other people just like me who NEED to see similar bodies to their own on the internet, without stigma. I enter my body into a public forum because I want to identify with other people. And I really don't appreciate someone taking a photograph intended for this purpose (without my permission) and reappropriating it in this way.

GRR.

Tuesday, August 17


This is quite simply possibly my favourite vintage dress ever. It's a plaid shirt dress with super cute spotty pockets. I haven't the foggiest how to date it, but I'm thinking it's 50s. Anyway, it's perfect for summer days like this, when I don't have anything to accomplish, but nonetheless want to wear something nice anyway.

Dress, £35 (!!!), Beyond Retro vintage, London.

Monday, August 16

Ebay times

I'm selling lots of bits and pieces on ebay currently. This is all going to fund my relocation costs to the south coast, so all pennies go to a good cause ;)

Just listed: this fabulous 60s smock

Complete with goofy smiles. Oh dear.

You can catch my current listings over here:
http://shop.ebay.co.uk/closet_rouge/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=25

Sunday, August 15

BRIGHTON

So, I've been offered a very exciting job, working as a Technical Assistant in Screen Archive South East. I'll be working digitising 8/16mm home movies til the end of June next year, which means that in less than four weeks, I'll be moving to Brighton! Or, possibly to Surrey for a little while if I can't let the spare room in my flat. But Brighton eventually!

The boy and I have only just relocated into a lovely little attic flat in Leeds, and I've been working hard to get my bedroom into a lovely work space that's both calming and comforting. It looks like I'll be packing it all back up again, sigh! So, to remember this beautiful room as it is now, I took a few pictures. If anyone knows anything nice going in Brighton (and thrifting ideas), suggestions are much appreciated!

Guided tour:

Lovely shelves draped with blue fairy lights, holding boxes of zines, academic papers, art books and cameras. Oh, and sewing/knitting equipment.

Bed complete with a second hand white bedside table (£10 from a junk stall on Brixton hill) thrifted blue floral duvet (£4, charity shop) and of course, my tackiest of disembodied 70s children paintings. I have an awful love for these, and always will.

Another bedside table, my first joint furniture purchase with the boy back in 2006. It cost us £15 from another junk stall on Caledonian Road, and has stencilled stars on it.

In built wardrobes stuffed to the brim with my vintage/dress collection. <3

Cross stitch cat picture (£1, Otley car boot), russian dolls and DAB radio for radio four fun times during the day.
Book shelf. This is mine and was about £25 from argos. I wish I had more luck with second hand bookshelves but I never find them! I do however have a major second hand book problem. Far too many of these are currently unread.

Desk with laptop, DVDs to ebay, shoe rack and my image lines! Some strong string + drawing pins and pegs = no need for blue tack and an interchangeable mood wall/inspiration wall. Whenever I go to exhibitions I always try and buy a postcard or leaflet or flyer so that I can then go home and scribble away about my reactions to them. Images of late include family photographs, some of my A level work, train pictures and postcards from The Women's Library, the National Media Museum, the V&A and Impressions Gallery.

Bunting! £8.50 ebay. Also a floral sixties plastic monstrosity of a clock, £2.50 charity shop.

Petticoat! £££too much, Vivien of Holloway. But definitely a wardrobe staple when you flounce about in ridiculous dresses as much as I do ;)