Dusky pink and stripes feat. New Look and Junarose

It feels like a while since I did an outfit post. I've been taking outfit photos every weekend as usual but I've found a reason not to share them every time. The reason I didn't share these? The coat arrived the day before we took these photos and the creases hadn't dropped out from being folded up in transit. 😁 I can see that's bloody ridiculous now! I fall into that daft blogging 'EVERYTHING must be perfect!' mentality every once in a while, which is a dead-cert way for me to make myself miserable. I am NOT a put-together girl. I've always got hair in my eyes, lipstick on my teeth, my skirt tucked in my knickers or some other minor calamity, or all of them at once, and that's OK. It's not like a fashion shoot where you have a hair and makeup person and someone to check everything's in place before a single shot is taken. James wouldn't notice if I dropped a tit out, let alone if my necklace is off centre or I've smudged my eyebrows halfway across my face. 😉 This is a blog, not Vogue, so I don't know why I put myself under such impossible pressure. If you're a blogger and you're nodding along to this, cut yourself some slack, yeah?

Why I'm considering making my blog a PR free zone

Why I'm considering making my blog completely free of brand and PR company involvement.

When I re-birthed this blog into a plus size fashion space in 2012 I had a purity of purpose. I wanted to help women-identifying people feel better about their bodies. At this point I was in my late 30s and I'd been dieting since I was 10. Suddenly realising I could come off the hamster wheel was an epiphany in the truest sense of the word. Radical fat acceptance bloggers like Rachele Cateyes' and her blog The Nearsighted Owl had made me realise it was OK to really exist in a fat body. To live without shame, without apologising for my existence. Plus size fashion bloggers opened my eyes to the possibilities out there to clothe my body, but my heart belonged to the women who were there in their living rooms, wearing thrifted clothes and staring at the camera defiantly, goading the reader into 'Accept me or fuck off.' It was love at first read and that has always endured.

Once this tentative love affair with myself began I hoped to be the person to others that Rachele had been to me, to show women that it's OK to love and accept yourself by living in this truth myself. Falling into fashion blogging was a mistake, really. I was high on the possibilities. There was more out there than the Simply Be catalogue and Evans for the first time in years and I was giddy on it. I fell in head first. That love affair of being blessed with clothing choices has never really ended, but my heart always lay with radical fat acceptance.

Unpopular opinion? Why IDGAF about LFW

It's London Fashion Week and social media is full of takeovers by bloggers, F-ROW photos and much excitement. Each to their own, but I don't give a flying monkey fuck about LFW (or any other straight sized fashion week) and here's why.

Straight sized fashion doesn't interest me at ALL. I can hardly think of anything with less relevance - it has no bearing on my life whatsoever. I don't coo over fashion that doesn't cater to me and people like me. I don't get excited by high fashion because I don't get to see it translated to clothes I can wear. Why get excited about all the trends that ultimately people don't think fat people deserve to wear? No thanks. Don't believe me? How many tents with butterfly patterns have you seen over the years? How many tops or dresses which would have been lovely if not ruined by cold shoulders? Because naturally an acceptable part of a fat person's body to show without offending people is their shoulders.


Have you ever just tried to buy a top, a simple black top? Let's say I want a black top with elbow length sleeves. Well, it'll have cold shoulders or a zip down the back which freezes your spine in winter and cooks it in summer. It'll have some shitty knot thing at the hem, or even worse an elasticated hem. There's no design too simple to be fucked up and shoved at fat people, as if these horrible and unnecessary 'tweaks' take the viewer's eye away from our fatness. I can't tell you how hard it is to buy the most basic of things without someone fucking it up so it's 'appropriate' for a fat person to wear. 

I don't care about all the pretty things that will never be translated to plus size fashion. I don't want to wait to see what crumbs will be thrown my way. You only have to look at a retailer who does straight sizes and plus sizes to see the jarring lack of continuity. Go to New Look or any other store which does both and have a look at the straight sized fashion, then - if you're lucky enough to find a store which has a plus size section - go and look at what's available to you as a fat person. Weep as all the beautiful colours and amazing fabrics downstairs in thin girl land are translated to muted colours and safe, boring patterns for fat people.

I don't care what models the size of my 11 year old niece are wearing - it doesn't translate to my body. Fucking hell, most plus size companies' models don't even translate to my body! I don't see a 2 grand handbag and think 'I can't wait for a high street dupe!' so I can pretend I'm a rich arsehole. I don't want to know trends months in advance. I really don't care. I don't understand why plus size bloggers (especially the larger sizes of plus size bloggers) get so excited about something which excludes them......but that's just me. I like clothes, but fashion? Nah, that's been off limits to me for as long as I've existed in a fat body. I'll just wait for the new season to come around to see what - if any - crumbs have been thrown my way.

Do you give a fuck about high fashion? Let me know.

Embracing greasy hair - one month in

[Image via Pixabay - a great free photo source]

A month ago I wrote about embracing greasy hair and this is an update on how it's going.

Since my teens I've always washed my hair at least every other day, but I'd grown tired the upkeep of the red colour on my hair. A little back-story that I didn't share in the first post: I've been using henna on my hair since about 2008/9 when I became allergic to traditional hair dyes. I'd been using my usual Directions dye for a couple of years, but one time I did it a day or two later my whole face started itching so badly I was clawing at it. I went to the doctor and they guessed it was a hair dye allergy - I was sitting there with lurid burgundy hair, dead giveaway - and they told me to stop using it. I waited a couple of months then tried a sensitivity test of the same dye on my inner elbow to see if I would still react. Uh, yeah. Within half an hour my throat started swelling up and I was starting to have problems breathing and talking so I called a friend and she rushed round some antihistamines. Since then I've only ever used henna on my hair. There's nothing in Directions which *should* make me have a reaction for any of you out there who use it and are now panicking, but Fibromyalgia causes multiple chemical sensitivities so I'm allergic to a lot of things others aren't. *shrugs*

So, getting back to the purpose of this post - if you read the first post you'll know I decided to wash my hair less often to keep my henna fresh longer. So, I've been washing my hair twice a week instead of 3-4 times and it only took a few weeks for my scalp to adjust. I'm not going to lie - the first couple of weeks were rough. My hair was SO greasy on the 3rd and 4th days it kinda grossed me out, but I slicked it back or put it in a pony tail and sucked it up. I learned to love brushing it really slowly with my Tangle Teezer as it relaxed me. I also started thinking of it as my body's natural oils rather than something dirty. Now my hair easily goes 4 days between washes without looking bad - last week I went 6 days without washing it and I only gave in then as I had roots and needed to redo my colour. I've NEVER had roots since I've used henna as it generally fades all over. Here's a photo of me from last weekend with visible roots.

Illamasqua lipsticks in Apocalips, Posture, Pinkie and ESP - a review

Illamasqua-lipsticks-Apocalips-Posture-Pinkie-ESP-review // www.xloveleahx.co.uk

I recently bought 4 lipsticks from the Illamasqua sale and I have swatches and a review to share. I bought 2 sensible colours and 2 wild ones. I already had a couple of Illamasqua lipsticks, one of which I reviewed here, so I was familiar with the formula. Illamasqua lipsticks are thick, go on opaque and generally have good longevity. Many of the shades they offer are off the wall, and I ❤ them for it. Read on for more photos and my opinion of them.

Love Leah reader survey results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill in my reader survey! It was very enlightening, and you're a lovely bunch. Let's see what you all said than, shall we?

On the death of friendships

I've experienced most types of friendship breakups there are, as I'm sure many of us at my age have. I've had the jagged, abrupt loss of friendship after a row or misunderstanding - the burst of terse words and the bereaved feeling that follows it. I've had real bereavements - dear friends who've died suddenly, leaving important words unsaid between us. I've had friendships that have become extinct because of geographical distance between us or lack of time together. The only kind of breakup I've never experienced is one where one party suddenly stops communicating with no explanation, leaving a lack of closure and wondering what went wrong.

New Look Curves double pocket maxi coat


Hello loveys! I'm wearing my new bargain coat today, which I got for £21.60 from New Look Curves. Both my winter coats were from New Look this year and I got them both at steep reductions. Although I know it's very tempting to buy something you've had your eye on as soon as it goes into the sale, but if you can hold on for a few days most websites will make final reductions or give you a further discount if you're an email subscriber. I rarely buy anything at full price - *Gollum voice* IT BURNS US! Anyway, read on for more photos and the rest of the details.

Love Leah reader survey

Hello lovelies!

I've made a reader survey to answer some burning questions I have for you - like your age group and which country you live in. And also does my 'Read More' doohickey annoy you? Do you click on it to read the whole post, or would you like me to post everythaaaang there so your eyes can roam freely? What kind of posts you want to see more of from me, and what are your fave kind of posts to read? I value your opinion and it's all totally anonymous.

There are only 7 questions and it should take you no longer than 2 minutes (I did a trial run myself!) so please help me shape the way this blog goes in the future. Many thanks.

<<< Fill me in! >>>

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

More adventures in layering

Once again I'm wearing one of my In The Style Curve dresses. No, they're not paying me - I bought them all myself. I just love plisse fabric - so luxe, but so wearable for every day looks too. It does show up my VBO (visible belly outline) and it does make the cellulite on my bum look worse but I don't care - those are parts of my body that millions of people share and there's nothing wrong with them on me or you. Read on for more.....

Clouds in my coffee - a bodycon outfit

I'm wearing an old dress from New Look Curves (or Inspire as it used to be called back then) and as soon as I put it on I felt RAWWWWWWR. This fierceness just came about me, and when I added the lipstick and the flower crown my look was complete. Anyone who underestimates the power of clothing to completely alter a mood is bananas. 🍌 Clothing can be camouflage, armour and more. Read on for more pics and the rest of the outfit details.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipsticks in Magick and Gothica - a review

Kat-Von-D-Studded-Kiss-lipsticks-in-Magick-and-Gothica review // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

My dad sent me some late Christmas money so I bought myself a couple of Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipsticks in Magick and Gothica. I'd had a mini sized Magick lipstick from a Love Me Beauty subscription and I immediately fell in love with the formula and the longevity and wanted a full size as it's my favourite lipstick ever. The colour suits me so well, and I think it's a shade that would suit a lot of different skin tones as well.

Cruelty free perfume - Pop by Stella McCartney gift set from Fragrance Direct*

Cruelty-free-perfume-Stella-McCartney-Pop-Fragrance Direct // www.xloveleahx.co.uk

I've shopped with Fragrance Direct a few times now. They do makeup, fragrance, skincare and gifts at prices far more affordable than the high street. They got in touch to offer me a fragrance to review and I chose Pop by Stella McCartney as it's cruelty free - it isn't tested on animals. Pop is a light fragrance, perfect for every day wear. Read on to see what I think of it.

Windswept on the beach in In The Style Curve


I liked this style of dress from In The Style Curve so much I bought it in 5 colours. I only paid full price for one though - the rest were discounted. As I said in my fashion manifesto for this year, it's all about layering and wearing things in different ways to my usual style, so that brought hi tops, a shiny dress and fishnets, a combination not my usual style at all.