Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hanky Hems & Me

The first rule of Fat Club is stay away from hanky hems, butterfly prints, and elasticated tops. They are the staple of the Plus Size Fashion world, and for those still unaware of the delights which await them if "they just let go of their fear" (to quote the lovely Daisy), they're perfectly acceptable - if hiding your body is your principle aim. 

But once you begin the journey of self love and body confidence and F*CK THE SHAMERS, you realise that there is so much MORE out there, that you don't need the hanky hems to hide this bit, or the butterfly print to show you're cute, or that black isn't the only colour. 

But just as you slink back to the colour black, because the first rule of Fat Club is really that there are no rules, you realise that there are other styles you can try again. 

Stand back ladies, I'm entering the world of the hanky hem:



No, not the oddly shaped t shirts that meant your bum and crotch were on display, but the sides of your legs were hidden (as above).

 

I'm talking a proper hanky hem, courtesy of Yours Clothing.




I wore this beaut to the second day of Style XL, and I wasn't kicked out of Fat Club, so YAY! It was also super comfortable for my 3 and a half hour train journey. 

These were the 22, but I ended up sizing up to a 24 for comfort and it really didn't effect the cut or the fit of the dress that much.

Just remember ladies, the first rule of Fat Club is that there are no rules (other than don't be a dick).

Much love my lovelies, 


K x 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Style XL 2015

Every time I go to one of these events, I can never find the words to explain how important they are, or how amazing it was, without it sounding exaggerated or cliched. 

This year, more than any other I think, I'm sat staring at the blank white screen, not knowing how I can put the weekend into words.

It was a weekend of new friendships and old. It was a mashup of brands and bloggers. And I kinda think the bloggers won! 

I wasn't modelling this year, but adopted my usual role of Chief Cheerleader (and did a stirling job, obviously!), and bra-fitting-bully! In fact, one of my first acts of the day was to get Wor Daisy into the Curvy Kate tents to get boosted - and between Caroline and myself, she's off on a voyage of bra-discovery! 

Daisy is awesome - FACT. She was my room mate, my tour guide, my sanity checker, and my companion. I don't think I could have got through the weekend without her by my side.



As well as the super Daisy, our room also had space for the quiet and considerate Kerry-Ann


A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on





I mentioned that we got to forge new friendships:

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on
And the lovely Kate


A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on
Kate and I's moment is photobombed by Debz and Tanya!!

As well as strengthen old ones:


A photo posted by Leah Shafik (@leahxl) on
With the yummy Lolly.

And I clearly couldn't be kept away from the catwalk for too long, modelling for Yours Clothing in this bodycon maxi in tropical print


A photo posted by Clare Tooth (@tloatb90) on

But there was a little time for brands, and this beaut from Bon Prix had me planning Christmas parties just so I would have somewhere to wear it!


A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

This year wasn't about the modelling, or the brands, but about the people - the readers of blogs, the bloggers, those just starting their body confidence journey, and those well on their way.

Leah did an astounding job, and I know this isn't the last we'll hear of StyleXL, although perhaps not in the same guise!

Here is to the next great event, where ever, and whatever, and whenever that may be.

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

StyleXL OOTD feat. Mod Cloth French Bulldog Dress

I had decided, when it was clear I was actually going to StyleXL in Birmingham, that I would shop my wardrobe. I mean, we've seen the size of it, so it's clear that amount of choice wasn't going to be an option! Until, after a cheeky eBay search revealed this dress for sale!

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

Now, the best thing about buying from eBay is the ability to ask for measurements - something you can't always get when you're shopping online. 

This dress is the 4XL, and in all fairness, the 3XL would have probably done, but I really liked having the option of a more loose fit.

I started off the day with a nice cinched waist but midway through I was belt free and loving the freedom - two dresses in one!!

A more detailed post on #StyleXL will follow - I felt my Mod Cloth dress deserved a post of it's own!! 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Hoopla with Benefit

I've not really blogged much in the recent weeks, mainly due to new job starting! In the interim, there have been a few "twitter outrage" moments! I mean, when is there not really! But the title of the post might have given you the heads up at my topic - that Benefit Body Shaming tweet:



They posted it a fortnight ago, and this post has been forming and evolving and floating around my head ever since - I've learnt from experience not to ignore the need to write. 

I feel the need to explain myself, and in equal measure, defend myself, given that while discussing this fiasco with some fellow rad fats, someone interjected to state we were being unnecessarily harsh, and it was only one person sat behind the computer writing those tweets, not the whole brand. 

Now then, listen here: I have written many a training package on social media, and stress the importance of reflecting the brand in all you do... 

...

Yes, exactly. 

This tweet is basically saying that an international company thought it was okay to fat shame. No ifs, no buts. 

A slim person offered their unsolicited opinion on this matter. Errm, please don't tell me how I should be reacting over this, and I'll not dictate your feelings over skinny shaming, m'kay?

Because even fats have different options on this. Some think there are bigger matters at hand, and that battles have to be chosen. Others, like myself, think that not enough was done to apologise, and even the apologies seemed to only be made to those under a size 20 who expressed outrage. 

My main concern is that so few non fats raised concern / outrage / batted an eyelid, and expressed derision at those who did - while I am quick to join their crusade about skinny shaming (which is just as wrong). Where is the same loyalty to the body positive cause? I may be the admin of @shamebodyshame, but it doesn't stop me being disappointed at how few join the cause for fats - as though we're the lesser of the body shames, as though we deserve it somehow. 


One simple rule of thumb applies - body policing, body shaming, or any form of poking fun at someone's expense is NOT OKAY! DON'T BE A DICK.

Much love, 

K x




Thursday, 4 June 2015

#Bloggerspearjoy - Behind the Scenes

Oooh, after the lovely Rachel released her blog yesterday with you all, I couldn't wait to be able to share the wonderful, sharing, collaborative experience it was, being involved with #bloggerspearjoy. 

We ended up functioning like a hive mind towards the end - but that might have been the hunger kicking in!!

Meeting at the perfectly situated SalonLRM at Hoults Yard at 11am, we were bright eyed and bushy tailed (well, I was anyway!) and ready to get our vintage on!

After raiding my own wardrobe for a range of vintage options, Nichola (our super stylist) and I paired together the perfect 'day' outfit, from now on known as Fat Rizzo!

While the beauts that are Rachel, Alice and Laura B were getting their hairs and makeups did, I set to work, making the strongest coffee known to man, and helping Nichola out with making sure the wardrobe was as she wanted it, and that everyone had something to wear! 

We knew my hair wouldn't take that long to do, given that the brief was "Quifftastic", so I knew I had the time to be able to help out. I can't just sit and wait - and I trusted that if I was getting in the way, or getting too involved, I would be told to bugger off!!


The awesome Emily, was super kind with me, especially after I'd said I'd never worn false lashes before! She was patient, and willing to up my brow game to this:

Taken later in the day but showing her awesome brow skills!

And so, my first look! 

As I said, we opted for Rizzo from Grease as our inspiration, the rebel!


I MEAN!

So, shirt was Simply Be - no longer available - and the skirt was a jersey stretch tube skirt, also from Simply Be - the belt I've had forever, and the neck scarf was Laura P's! Et voila!


I can't believe that I had most of these things in my wardrobe, and had never thought I'd have the confidence to wear them together, but here we go! Big thanks to Nichola (Vera to my Reg), for putting it all together so wonderfully.

And we were set!

I was paired with the super cute Laura B to be my partner in crime - land girl to my rebel:



And were the first to go off on location, for great videoing (yes, VIDEO, but more of that to come) and photoing:


But the winner for me, was this beaut:


I'm not being over dramatic here, but we maybe got upstaged by Mr Buick!! 

A quick costume change, into my Polka Dot Polly Peacock Print dress, for more videoing and photoing, including these perfect shots:




Like what you see? Sign up here to become a Pear Pin-Up Aficionado and hear about all the latest deals for the best vintage photography experience.

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

PS - I think this is my favourite picture from the day (LEGS):


Monday, 1 June 2015

#BloggerPearJoy - The Build Up

When the super talented Laura contacted me about taking part in her Collaboration Experiment, I jumped at the chance, The brief was to showcase the talent the North East has to offer, with a vintage twist.

Well, that's right up my street I thought! 

Actually, no, I didn't, I squealed and got super excited about the vintage styling! We had a wonderfully productive styling meeting, getting the whole 'style' element of the team together:



Me, tucking into that risotto I mentioned in this post, along with the beautiful MUA Emily Emmett, and Alice trying really hard not to laugh!

The team that Laura Pearman, of Pearman Photography, managed to put together just goes to show the wealth of talent in the north east!

I remember stepping out from the meeting, and feeling a weight lifted, knowing that the wonderful Nichola English, the Wardrobe Provocateurgot me!

We talked of flared skirts, and waist cinching, when I kindly pointed out that I didn't mind VBO, and that I was from the school of 'F**k flattering'. 

She then showed me this image and I knew I was in safe hands!



We were going to opt for quiffs, and sneakers, with frilly socks and neck scarfs! So a powerful mix of femme and masculine.


Putting my own mood board together, to share the meeting and the vibe of the shoot with instagram, Nichola assured me it was what she had in mind.

Coming onto the production meeting, which was also to be our fitting, we finally got to see what vintage finds Laura and Nichola had lined up for us all!

The standard of vintage WOW, all sourced from It's Vintage Darling (from my home town of South Shields!), was astonishing! The day time wear was all genuine vintage, with vintage reproduction for our evening looks.

Sadly, with most vintage stores, there was nothing over a size 20 for me to wear, BUT that didn't mean I couldn't marvel at the wonderful pieces the lovely Rachel, Alice and Laura had to wear, as well as Ann Marie, our chauffeur, and Laura P, our photographer.

And it didn't mean I would go naked either! Obviously!

Head to any social media platform, and search for #bloggerspearjoy for some candid shoots from the day... more will be revealed later!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x





Thursday, 28 May 2015

My Approach on Interview Wear

I had the fear last week. The actual fear of 'I don't have anything to wear'. 

Now, we all know that is a lie, as we've seen my wardrobe!! But, readers, I genuinely didn't have anything to wear for a job interview. 

I have super smart things, but unfortunately, due to a client visit, I'd recently worn them in the office, and as such, didn't hold that 'dressing for a special occasion' feel that I was hoping my interview outfit would afford me. 

I'd worn this black grid dress (no longer available) just the previous week, otherwise it would have been an ideal choice (worn here with my Voodoo Vixen Glasses Cardigan):


And in a brief lunch time meeting, I'd worn my Simply Be Check Dress, meaning that was also out of the picture (again with my Voodoo Vixen Cardigan)


So when I remembered the Look Magazine for Simply Be dress, in cobalt, was hanging in my wardrobe (having snapped it up on the Crazy Clearance website a couple of weeks before), my 'I have nothing to wear' crisis was over. 

Instead it was replaced by the blazer question - do I wear a blazer? Or stick with my trademark cardigan?

Now, this is where my interview dress philosophy really comes into play - don't try to be someone else in an interview. You want to be as comfortable (but smart) as possible. And so, no blazer, but I treated myself to a new cardigan from M&S instead:





Teamed with my reliable Clarks (mens) brogues, and I was set. 

My interview was in the morning (all morning), and I actually enjoyed it. By mid afternoon I had my feedback. 

Readers, I got the job! 

It's for the same company, but a greater challenge, and in a different account. I am super duper excited. 

And I'm sure being relaxed and comfortable in the interview played it's own part in my success. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x