Confidence as a plus size woman


You know, as a plus sized woman I'm not 'supposed' to have any confidence in myself. I'm supposed to want to shrink, disappear, fall into line, conform.

I've been a stubborn little bugger since I came out of the womb, and I don't like being told how I should see myself, or others like me.

I've chosen this really silly photo of myself. Why? Because for me confidence is about not giving a crap what anyone thinks of me. I grew up being told what I could and couldn't do, both as a fat person and a poor person. I was always to know my standing and what kind of places I could or couldn't go in, what I could or couldn't wear. 

No fucks given

When my nan died when I was 24 I realised
1. This life business really IS finite, and 2. It'd be bloody silly to go to my grave with a load of regrets, not having lived half my life because I was worried about what people thought of me.

From that point onwards I tried to live a more authentic life, a life which made me happy, and at first it was baby steps. Really small steps, so much so that I was barely moving forward. But moving forward I was, because deep down I knew some fundamental things, things you might need to hear:

No person's weight or size defines their worth. EVER. The world may try to show and tell you this is true, and many people may believe it, but it is a LIE. Your personality matters. Your heart matters. I'd much sooner be fat than a superior arsehole going through life judging other people as 'less than' to make myself feel better. Things that define me are kindness, my ability to love, my sense of humour, my filthy laugh, my love of animals, my belief that equality should be universal, my taste in music and my unhealthy obsession with Jason Momoa. The size of my arse? Truly immaterial in the grand scheme of things.

You are enough, just as you are. You are worthy. You are loveable. You deserve all good things just as anyone else does.

It's OK to like yourself, really. It's even better to love yourself, and believe me when you have a non-normative body and you love yourself, it really puts a kink in people's piss pipes. They might not 'get' it, and that might mean as little as a quizzical look on their face as you sashay by full of awesomeness. They might not get it and this may mean they try to kill your enthusiasm for your love of self with shitty words. This speaks volumes of them and nothing of you.

It's OK to be vain. I love myself. I look in the mirror and think 'I would!' Of course there are days when I don't like what I see, but there are far many more when I take into account all my so-called flaws (as society would have me see them) and I still think 'Damn, you fineeeee.' Hahaha.

Why am I writing about confidence today? Because Plus Confidence in You are holding a fundraiser to raise funds for a plus size art exhibition.

Plus Confidence in You Is an organisation designed to promote body confidence and having a positive body image. The whole team behind the project recognise that growing up when you look different from others is tough - especially when the media is telling you that your body doesn't look just how it should.

So... They have come up with an exciting concept - A Plus Size Art Exhibition! The more we can surround ourselves with photos of bodies of all sizes and the more we can see strong, confident women of size rocking their bodies and doing their thing, the easier life will come.

The Plus Size Art Exhibition is designed to showcase stunning artistic images of women sized everything between a dress size 20 and a dress size 30. The art exhibition has been a long time coming and as such a lot of work has had to go into it - and now thanks to this funding project you have the chance to be involved in something different!

What does confidence mean to you?

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

Le weekend

Hiya flowers,

I hope you had a good weekend?

Mine was up and down.

Saturday was spent on the sofa dosed up to my eyeballs on codeine, having lady pains from hell. I've got a couple of sizeable ovarian cysts which make it feel like I'm passing an articulated lorry from my front bottom for 5 days of the month. It's so fun.

My Evans sale order arrived Saturday which cheered me up a bit. Before it came I had buyer's remorse and considered sending the order back, but hubby liked both things I bought so they stay. He doesn't mind me spending money if he likes what I buy. I only get bollocked if things don't please his eyeballs. I got a dark turquoise longline top and a Scarlet and Jo prom dress (it was half price but I can't see it on the website now so it's probably sold out.) Expect photos of them on soon. The dress is for my friend's wedding next month.

We watched Metallica at Glastonbury on BBC2 on Saturday night, which took my mind off the pain. Hubby and I have seen Metallica at festivals and at stadium shows several times in the past, and they always deliver. We did used to go to a lot of gigs and festivals when I was in better health, so it was a little reminder of what we're missing, but with loos close at hand and no rain. :)

Holding aloft a vodka to Tallica. 'Scuse the mess. Evans bag in shot!

I try not to talk about personal things on here too much, but this is too much to keep in. One of my uncles has been diagnosed with cancer. Terminal cancer. He's only in his 60s. Some of you may know he had a heart attack a month ago, so he's not having the best time of it. It's going to be a very trying time for everyone, my aunt and uncle particularly (obviously.) What can you say? What can you do? Nothing can make that situation any better, and he has months left rather than years. I'm trying not to think about it, but I can't not. I'm trying to keep busy so if you get an outfit post every day for a while don't be surprised - anything to not have to think.

My brother came down to visit us yesterday. He's down in the dumps too, and I was hoping to cheer him up with my humour, but I was so ill I was miserable myself. It came on in the middle of the night - the shakes, fever and chills, nausea etc, and by the afternoon it was affecting my vision and balance too. We went to Rye and I was walking around alternating between holding my head and my stomach, convinced I was going to vomit or pass out. We had a very slow walk around the town before going to lunch (I left most of mine - when I leave food it's serious, ha!) We had a drive down to Rye nature reserve to take a few photos and had drinks at the pub there. I felt slightly more alive after sitting in the sun and having a soft drink then half a shandy, until we got up to leave and I was walking like Jack Sparrow again. It was like there was a misfire between my eyes and my brain, and the ground wasn't where I thought it should be. Very odd indeed.

The pub we went to


Today hubby and I are going to see the nut doctor about his vasectomy. He's adamant he doesn't want kids, and since it's easier for him to have his ends snipped than them rooting around elbow deep in my innards that's what we're going for. We expect some resistance as hubs is only 33, but his mind is made up. I adore kids, but it's not to be.

Sorry this is all doom and gloom! Hopefully there'll be a few brighter things around the corner.

Have a great week!


Outfit Post: Swanning Around

Hello lovelies,

A few days ago we got our new car, which was very exciting! James picked it up after work and after we'd had our dinner we went for a quick drive to try 'er out. We stopped off at a cemetery a few miles away for some outfit photos as it was a nice evening. You can't beat a bit of sun in outfit photos.

I'm wearing a swan print dress which Rebs kindly gave me last year. It's probably one of the most comfortable dresses I have. It's so soft! I love the cut under the bust and the way it falls in pleats below.

Dress, Rebs
Shrug*, JD Williams 
Leggings, Very
Shoes, Primark
Dinosaur necklace, Extreme Largeness
Hair flower, Primark

These leggings from Very which I always link to are really good. They're a twin pack - you get one full length pair and one slightly cropped pair (which I'm wearing here.) They wash and wear incredibly well - they don't go grey and each couple of pairs lasts a long time before they start to wear (on the inner thighs for me.) They're my favourite leggings by far, not too thin, not too thick, and sell them up to a size 32. They are a bit more expensive than other leggings - they're £20 for 2 pairs but because they last so well and are so comfortable I don't begrudge the price at all.

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

10 plus size thrifting tips

Hello my loves!

I LOVE charity shops! I never know what I'm going to find - it's like digging for buried treasure. When I was a child dressed entirely in hand-me-downs and charity shop clothes I was ashamed of it. I found it ironic that all the posh girls in my class at school wore clothes from charity shops to be cool, whereas I couldn't think of anything else more embarrassing. Thankfully the stigma of buying from charity shops has long since passed. Over the years my love of fashion and bargains has grown, so it's only natural my love of charity shops has too.

Although thrifting/charity shopping isn't always easy when you're plus size, I've picked up a few tricks over the years.

Here are my top tips for bagging yourself a plus size bargain.

  1. Go early (if you can.) Less people = better chances of finding a gem. Also, the store is starting off with a full complement of goodies which may not get restocked during the day.
  2. Go often. The more you look the more likely you are to find a beaut!
  3. Carry a pocket tape measure. Sometimes sizes are marked incorrectly, so if you know your bust/waist/hip measurements you can quickly size up a garment for fit.
  4. Ignore sizes to a certain extent - if an item has give or is oversized you might be surprised at how low a size you can wear. Use your tape measure.
  5. Remember stretch is our friend. For example elasticated waist skirts, jersey dresses & tops and knitwear will often fit larger than the label says. Until you stretch that thing out you have no idea what might fit you.
  6. Try things on if you have the time and if you're shopping with a friend, ask their opinion.
  7. Don't buy just because things are cheap - will you really wear them?
  8. Give the item a quick once-over for damage - missing buttons and suchlike.
  9. If you get to know your local charity shop workers really well, ask them to hold items for you or call you when they get something you're looking for - for example dresses in a size 26.
  10. Keep the tags on and your receipt in case you need to return anything.

Bonus tip: Know your body. I'm a size 28 but I can get away with wearing a size 18 cardigan if the arms are big enough. I rarely do a cardigan up so it makes no difference to me if it doesn't quite meet in the middle. My belly and bum is the biggest area on me, so finding trousers to fit is highly unlikely, so I concentrate on dresses and tops.

Do you have any plus size thrifting tips to share?

Thanks for reading.

Leah xoxo

Outfit: Blue lace dress and Wingz™

Afternoon, lovelies!

As many of you saw in a post last week, Mookie kindly gave me some items of clothing recently. I've been itching to wear this dress as I'm obsessed with blue right now.

The dress is a size 24, which goes to show sizes mean nada as I'm a 28 in most things.

I was contacted by the lovely Sarah at Wingz™. Wingz are an undergarment with sleeves so you can easily add arm cover to a sleeveless outfit without unnecessary bulk. They sit just under your bra at the front. I tucked the sides of the sleeves under my bra straps on each side to keep them in place. I chose the black half length fitted sleeve wingz. They're made of a light but opaque stretch jersey and the back and front sections are completely elasticated. I got size 3, which fits a size 24-28. They were a little snug on my arms which meant I had to rearrange them slightly to be comfortable, but once I had done so I forgot I was wearing them. I think they're a great way to add versatility to an outfit and/or make clothes more modest or work-appropriate. I'd really like to see the jersey Wingz in a host of bright colours like hot pink, turquoise, jade green and cobalt as that'd add interest to a lot of plain outfits.

Here I am trying to take off. :)

Alas, they're not those kind of wings, but they are pretty handy. They come in oodles of different designs too, including Wingz for weddings. Because the material is so lightweight they're great for this time of the year. Tip: If you have a top or dress with sequin or beaded embellishments and it makes you sore under the arms from rubbing against them, wearing Wingz can help take that uncomfortable feeling away. Anything with detail on it rubs my underarms really raw.

Dress, old New Look via Mookie
Wingz, Wingz*
Brooch, old New Look (it's also a hair flower.)
Bracelets, Primark
Leggings, Yours

Have you ever heard of Wingz before?

I'm loving blue right now, and those pink shoes which you've seen a lot recently. When I get something new I just want to wear it to death at first!

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

*Item supplied for review. Opinions are honest and my own.

P.S. If you read my blog by email you may have noticed my photos are left aligned and this makes some of the text adjacent to the photos, rather than underneath them. I'm having to left align my photos to match up with my new post header from my blog redesign, so apologies for any ugliness in the email version of my blog.

Gorgeous 50s style dresses sizes 14-32

Hiya pickles!

I don't usually like to clog your feeds up by posting twice a day but I've never been so excited about a range of dresses as from Lady V London. The range was designed (and modelled) by Georgina from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. The range comes in sizes 14-32. At last a fully inclusive vintage range!

Red Poppy on Black Estella Dress

The poppy dress is my favourite but I love a few of the other dresses too. In fact the only one which doesn't grab me is the teal one with butterflies. All the other ones excite me far more than a dress probably should. ;)

Black Floral Estella Dress

Cream Floral Estella Dress

Turquoise Floral Estella Dress

Green Birdcage Print Estella Dress

Aren't they bloody fantastic?!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Beaded Grazia floral tunic outfit post

Hiya lovelies!

I have a gorgeous tunic dress to show you today which I picked up in my local Oxfam shop for less than a fiver.

It's a size 26 and it's very generous - there's loads of room in it. It has sequins and seed beads on it and is a really light floaty material. There are plus sized items to be found in some charity shops - not as often as regular sized items, but I have noticed an upward trend in the last few years. I even saw some plus size vintage yesterday, but alas it was far too frumpy nana for my liking. I check the charity shops whenever I'm in town and sometimes my luck comes in. On this day I got two other dresses, one from Very and one from ASOS Curve.

I haven't used a gif for a while, so here you are:

Dress, Oxfam
Leggings,Yours Clothing
Shoes, old Evans
Necklace, made by me

Have you found any charity shop bargains recently?

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

New to my wardrobe via Mookie

Hello honey buns.

As I said in yesterday's post Mookie very kindly gave me some things after she'd had a clear out. Here are some of them.

This sparkly Dorothy Perkins top.

This soft ribbed waterfall cardigan

A lovely lightweight snood which'll come in handy for chilly summer evenings.

A fab coral red stripy cardigan.

A leopard print top from Tesco.

A body by ASOS Curve. Depending on how big it is, I may have to cut the bottom off and wear it as a top. Bodies have to be very long to get over my tum and bum and do up.

This New Look Inspire dress. I have a thing about blue at the moment so I can't wait to wear this.

She also gave me a pair of shoes and some nail polish.

One of the loveliest aspects of meeting other plus size folk is their generosity and kindness. I'm very blessed indeed. I can't wait to work these items into Outfit August.

Thanks for reading.

Bloggers day out in Guildford with Mookie

Hello you!

Last Saturday hubby and I went to Guildford to see fellow blogger Mookie and her lovely hubby Mike.

We met in a car park and headed off into town. We hit up Primark first of all because my hub needed a new pair of work trousers. The men soon decided they'd rather go to the pub, and Mookie and I did a bit of shopping.

Love it!

After that we joined the fellas at the pub. It was a scorching hot day so we sat outside by the river.

Mike (behind Mookie), the lady herself and hubs

After the pub we went to Guildford Castle gardens and took photos of the Alice through the looking glass statue, as Lewis Carroll lived within a stone's throw of the castle.

Then we went back to the car park to head out to a pub out of town, but the traffic lights by the car park were faulty and only going green for about 10 seconds every 5 minutes, so the whole car park was snarled up. We went to nearby All Bar One instead. The food wasn't the best I've had but it was well needed fuel and a chance to sit down. I don't cope very well with the heat (my temperature regulation is poor thanks to Fibromyalgia) so I was feeling really weak and exhausted before we sat down to eat. It was nice to rest up and feel the evening start to cool down.

I broke my churros virginity, which I was really happy about. Mike, Mookie and I shared them.

We also stopped by the Clock Tower at the Guildhall, which was built in 1683. 

We had a quick photo session in the car park before we left. The remainder of the photos all belong to Mookie and Mike.

You can see how tired I am here.

We look like a band. :)

The last photo makes me giggle because I was hovering my hand over Mookie's boobs and she pulled it down so I could have a good honk! :)

I was wearing:
Kimono, New Look
Dress, old New Look
Shoes, old Evans
Necklace, Drown Soda (closed down)

Mookie was wearing a lovely Lovedrobe dress. 

I'm really thankful to blogging for meeting some lovely people and Mookie is soooo lovely, as is Mike. We always have a lot of fun together. Mookie was very kind and gave me some clothes and other bits and bobs which I will share in another post. I'll also share what I bought in Primark in a later post too.

Just a heads up that posts may be a bit thin on the ground for the next few days and replies to comments might be a bit delayed as we have family staying with us and I expect everything will be a bit full on.

Thanks for reading!

Tutorial - how to lengthen necklaces without tools

Hey lovelies!

I'm thick of neck and sometimes when I buy necklaces they're so short on me I start to feel a bit strangled. Here's a quick and easy way to add length to ANY necklace without tools. I buy a lot of £1 necklaces from Extreme Largeness but they only come on a 40cm chain which is tight on my fat neck.

You will need:

A necklace
A hair band, the thinner the better - preferably skin toned
Something pointy like scissors or tweezers

Get your hair band and thread it through the link end of your necklace (not the clasp end, as below.) Depending on the thickness of the hair band, you may need to push it through the link with something pointy, like scissors or tweezers. I used a skin toned hair band as if the clasp twists around to the front of my neck it won't notice so much. I got a pack of about 50 pastel toned hair bands from Primark for £1.

Loop the hair band through itself...

 ...and pull it tight.

Attach the clasp to the hairband, and you have a slightly longer necklace. Just attach the clasp to the end of the hair band. Ta daaaaa!

If this still doesn't make your necklace long enough, just loop another hair band onto the other hair band. You could also do this to bracelets if you don't mind the hair band showing on your wrist.

This is also a great tip to help disabled people do up their own jewellery. I have problems putting my arms up or behind me for any length of time, and fiddling with tiny rings really hurts my arms. It's much easier to attach the clasp to the hair band.

If this post has been helpful to you, feel free to share it!

Thanks for reading.