Girl Geek, Gamer & German living in the UK passionate about all things vintage, writing about her adventures in beauty and plus-size fashion

Girl Geek, Gamer & German living in the UK passionate about all things vintage, writing about her adventures in beauty and plus-size fashion

Affordable Winter Walks – Featuring bonprix

Snuggling Up While It’s Getting Cold Outside

Autumn is in full swing and as it is getting colder and windier outside it is time to cosy and snuggle up either at home under a blanket with nice cup of tea or to have a stroll in a toasty and warm coat through the awesome autumn landscapes that millions of colourful leaves have turned the world into.

I love this feeling of snuggling in a warm coat or blanket while it is cold around you. This year seemed to be passing me by and although I recently found a lovely autumn coat, winter is just round the corner and I had absolutely now winter ready coat. I already expected I once again had to wear lots and lots of layers.

Affordable Winter Walks With bonprix

So I was even more excited when bonprix got in contact with me if I might be interested in taking part in their Affordable Winter Walks challenge.

If I am honest I have to admit, it was a while back since I had last checked out bonprix and so I was very positively surprised of their range. Since I last knew about them, their choice and range as a whole has significantly improved.  I  had quite a hard time to decide, there were so many lovely coats and vests to choose from.

Faux Suede Duffle Coat

After I debated for a while for and against a biker jacket (I had recently binge watched sons of anarchy…) I decided to go with the winter jacket that reason was voting for right from the beginning and chose this beautiful faux suede suede duffle coat which is bang on trend with this strong (faux) suede trend.

So ultimately there was not much of a compromise between reason and fashion to make and snuggly as it is, it is the absolutely perfect choice for a stroll in the autumn/winter sun enjoying the colourful landscape

bonprix faux suiede coat

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Bon Prix - Plus Size Sued Coat Taupe Side

The Fit – Length

Especially while being as a cyclist and being 5’9 both the length of the coat and the length of the arms are important for me.

It is not too long to be restrictive but long enough to cover your lower back which sometimes does get exposed by too short coats when wearing jeans, especially when on the bike.

Bon Prix Plus Size Suede Winter Jacket

The Fit – Size

I am usually somewhere between a size 24 and 26 and chose a 26 for this coat, keeping in mind that there might be a time when I might wear a jumper or multiple layers of clothing under it. It is a good job I went for the larger size as it does fit well but is a little bit snug when the zip is closed. So go for your usual size but if you are unsure between two sizes, go for the larger one.

Faux Suede Duffle Coat Open vs Closed

The Fit – Arm Length

I so so often struggle with the arm length,with coats exposing the especially on the bike dreaded dreaded gap between gloves and sleeves, but this coat works perfectly being at this perfect compromise length working for the taller and the shorter girl.

Bon Prix Plus Size Faux Suede Coat

The Cut – Seams

When ordering the coat I wasn’t too sure on the outside seams but now wearing it I do actually like it as it seems to stretch your length in the back and accentuate your waist thanks to strategical placing.

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The Lining – Warm & Cuddly

The faux suede is super soft and the coat is lined with and even softer  shearling style trim which will keep you warm and toasty even in the strongest winds.

This makes particularly the hood lovely and cuddly, although that might be a little bit roomy but no less comfy.

 

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Bon Prix Faux Suede Coat Hood

The Combination

Right about the time I got the coat, Lindy Bop entered a sale with hundreds of dresses reduced up to 30% and some even more… (bye, bye bank balance) I simply could not resist… As you know I absolutely adore vintage and particularly ‘Tara’, this autumnal  dress in plum, seemed just perfect for the season while complementing and connecting the colours in the coat with my blue/purple hair.

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lindy bop collage

The Shoes

The ankle boots are from my absolute favourite shoe shop: Deichman. They are not only one of the few shoe shops in the UK that offer a reasonable ratio of flat to high heels with even some reasonable proportion of kitten heels they also offer fashionable shoes that last more than only a few wears at a reasonable price. Chances are you are going to use those lovelies next winter season for a walk again.

Brown Deichman AnkleBoots With Buckle

Deichman – Ankle Boots £19.99

The boots are part of their XXL line, this means they run up to EU size 44 (UK 10) and are usually a little wider than their normal Graceland range shoes. They might not be fur lined, so they are not quite winter shoes yet, but with some cosy socks they will comfortably carry you through autumn.

The Cardigan

I will ignore the cardigan for now, not only is it 5 seasons old and from a shop that is not available in the uk, but I am also sure that if you are the slightest like me, you will have a large collection of cardigans already waiting to be thrown into autumn ready combinations.

Adding It All Up – Affordable Winter Walks Indeed

With the overall topic being affordable winter walks, this outfit is definitely
falling into the affordable Category.

Bon Prix & Lindy Bop Dress

 

With the Calculation looking as follows

What do you think?

What do you think about this coat? Would you have chosen a different one? Have a look at the range yourself… there are so many I “almost chose”. Which Lindy Bop dress could you not resist?

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Named One Of Top 50 UK Fashion Blogs

A True Honour

Wow, there are apparently an approximate 90.000 fashion bloggers in the UK, really a mind-boggling number. The more flattering and the more of a surprise it is to hear that Rebateszone have named me one of the top 50 beauty bloggers. An even bigger surprise was that even within this list Rebastezone placed me at #17 a real honour.

 

So Many People Who Deserve It Just As Much

I am more than honoured but at the same time feel at the edge of saying it is an undeserved honour as from the top of my head I could probably from the top of my head mention more than 17 amazing plus size fashion bloggers that I personally adore and that would deserve this at least as much as me.

 

Rebatezone’s Top 50 Fashion Bloggers

See the full list of all 50 bloggers here:

Top 50 Fashion Bloggers In UK

Source: rebateszone.com

 

A Personal List

And here is a personal (non exhaustive) list of blogges that deserve at least as much attention:

(In no specific order)

 

What Do You Think?

What are your favourite fashion blogs?

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Cheap & Easy DIY Plus Size Costume: Ursula

Plus-Size Halloween

Halloween choices for us plus-size ladies are still a little meagre but slowly seem to be getting better. We still have to put a little more effort into finding our perfect plus size costume but at least options do exist.

There are some great bloggers who have for years already shown some amazing costumes on their blogs and also have this year put together some great resources.

One of Georgina’s awesome costumes this year was a great take on Ursula  from Disney’s Little Mermaid. The costume was available at website based in the USA, that also does some other great plus size costumes. The Ursula costume, unfortunately, has now sold out.

Halloween Is Almost Here

If you are like me, you keep putting finding your Halloween costume off and off, and before you know it is almost Halloween. By that time you are either too broke to order a great costume and/or the ones you do find are either sold out or do take too long to arrive.

So, if you are in need a last minute solution, but still would like to channel your inner Ursula , fret not, I have a great alternative for you.

Last Minute Plus Size Costume – But Not Less Awesome

This Ursula costume is super easy to make and mainly using cheap items and or items you might already own.

DIY Ursula Costume - The Little Mermaid - Plus Size Halloween Costumes

All the items can be ordered with next day delivery by following the links should you really be under time pressure.

All you need is:

  • a black peplum dress – get it here (or any other black peplum dress)
  • a belt
  • some black fabric – get it here
  • some purple fabric – get it here
  • an Albert Einstein Wig – get it  here
  • a snail shell (Aquarium decoration) – get it here
  • Pillow/Toy Stuffing
    • kitchen roll, toilet paper, cotton balls or whatever other stuffing materials you can find  her
  • a bit of string
  • optionial: some stiff but bendable wire, if you want to be super-cool.
  • optional: leggings/bolero if you like and want to save on the purple body paint

Step 1 – Mark The Shape Of Your Tentacles

Sewing the tentacles is really easy, although I would recommend using a sewing machine if you have access to one.

Pick a marker that you will be able to see on your fabric and mark on the inside of your fabric the shape of your tentacles as large triangles. I personally found it the easiest to decide how wide I wanted the tentacles to be at the top and then to start marking said width on one side of the fabric with always with 3cm space in between. Then do the same on the other side, making the first mark in the middle of the first tentacle marking of the other side and then keep going on this side (see image below).


Homemade Ursula Costume - Sewing Pattern for Tentacles

Once you are done you can simply start connecting the marks across the fabric and there you have the shape of your tentacles.

Step 2 – Sew Your Tentacles

Secure both fabrics and make sure you have the side you want to show on the outside, on the inside and sew along the markings you have just made. Once you are done just cut the tentacles apart by cutting along the 2-3 cm space you have left between them and *boom* there you have are your (limp) tentacles.

 

Step 3 – Filling The Tentacles

Now you only need to turn the tentacles inside out and fill them, using the toy filler you have bought or any other filling material. I actually used kitchen roll as I was a little desperate when I made it and that was all I had, but it worked fine. So you can use kitchen roll, toilet paper, cotton balls or whatever else you have around and think works best for you. Make sure you leave about 10-15 cm for fixing them on the belt.

If you want to make the supercool you can add some bendable wire along the tentacle and then you can bend them in shape when you were them, but they also look awesome without this.

 

Step 3 – Finishing Off The Tentacle Belt

You are almost done with the tentacles. Just take the top of the tentacle that you have left unfilled and roll/fold it over and either sew it in place or fix it with safety needles. As I had filled it with kitchen roll I wanted to keep the option open to maybe reopen them one day and fill them with the proper filling material.

Once you have created the loop, slide the belt through the loops of the tentacles then space them out and you have your tentacle belt. When you hold the belt they will all bunch together but you can space them out once you wear it.

Step 4 – Put Your Tentacles On

DIY Plus Size Ursula Costume - Tentacles

Here it becomes obvious why you need a peplum dress, next to them looking awesome at any time, the peplum bit is perfect for hiding the tentacle belt. So grab your tentacle belt and fasten it tight enough to stay in place and to keep the tentacles in place but also loose enough so that you can adjust the position of the tentacles.

Once you have made this far, the largest part is done.

Step 5 – The Snail Shell Necklace

At the time I made this costume I ordered a big snail shell from the aquarium decoration section on Amazon. This specifc large shell does unfortunately not seem to be available anymore, but there are multiple sea shell selections available and I am sure there are going to be some nice snail shells in there.

Carefully drill a hole into the shell. I did it by hand, using a drill bit. Slowly but surely I drilled through it by turning the drill bit manually. I was a bit worried, using a power drill might break the snail shell, especially as I only had the one shell available.

Ursula Snail Shell Necklace
Source

Simple Handmade Snail Shell Necklace for DIY Ursula Costume

You will need two holes – one on either side. Feed the string through the hole and knot the end of the string until it is bigger than the holes. Et voilà – you have your necklace holding Arielle’s voice!

If you happen to have the right shells and the time  you could get even another step closer to perfection and look and consider making some seashell earrings. All you need is glue, some old drop earrings, which you are happy to recycle. Select suitable shells (see image below) and just glue the seashells onto the old drop earrings or attach via a hole you drill through the shells similar to what you will have done to create the necklace. It won’t last forever but will look great for an evening.

Ursula - Makeup & Earrings - Close Up for Halloween Ursula Makeup
Source

 

Step 6 – Ursula Makeup

With the make-up is where the real transformation begins. The Ursula makeup is easier than one would expect. Tutorial & Products Used DIY Ursula Makeup - Disney Villain Costume - Ursula

What I used:

The most important points are, the eyebrows are very very high, so use the charcoal dazzle dust to conceal your eyebrows (if you do not want to go so far as to use the glue trick). A strong electric blue for the eyeshadow is key as much as the dramatic red lip.

Ursula Red Lipstick
Source

And most importantly don’t forget the beauty spot – and don’t mix up the sides like I did the first time! The spot is on Ursula’s right.

There are some great YouTube tutorials. Simply search for Ursula make-up and you will be spoilt for choice.

Step 6 – The Nails

The longer the nails the better. Ultimately your want to create proper witch nails, seawitch nails to be specific. Therefore I got some Long Red Nails from Amazon to simply glue on. But if you don’t want to be limited in your movements by having insanely long nails you can obviously just use some red nail polish instead.

hand

Step 6 – The Hair

The final and easiest step – take the Albert Einstein wig and comb all the hair upwards. Put the wig on, hide your own hair under it and give the wig a last comb upwards.

Hello Ursula

DIY Disney Villain Costume - Ursula Costume Tutorial

The great thing about this costume is that it can also be dressed up or down for the occassion. Wear an officewear peplum dress for day occassion or use a mini or low cut dress if you want to turn it into a sexy costume. Depending on your personal taste you can also add leggings or a cardigan and wear it wither with ballerinas or high heels. It is completely up to you.

What Do You Think?

What do you think. Do you make your costumes yourself? What will you be wearing this year?

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Autumn Is In Full Swing – With A Beautiful Rust Waterfall Cardigan

More Than Broke

Autumn has come and been round for a while and while I am very much in love with autumn colours I mainly had to stick to window shopping due to my bank account saying vehemently no to any unplanned clothes buys.

No Way To Resist A Cardigan

However I am a sucker for a beautiful cardigan. So when I was for a work meeting in the Lowry Mall and a sign in a shop window saying “now stocking plus sizes” drew me in I could not resist to try on this beauty.

plus size waterfall cardigan - final1

One Size Fits ALL

I did not really expect for it to fit as it is one-size and being a size 24-26 I do not have much luck with one size fits all scenarios as I sure all plus size ladies out there will be able to relate. I was very surprised that it actually fitted across my back with my rather large shoulders. This was achieved through the rather wide armholes, putting in some extra allowance for wider shoulders. Knowing that it fits on me, I would love to know how it fits on a “straight sized” girl.

plus size waterfall cardigan - final1

Sleeveless Waterfall Cardigan – Pussycat London
Swing Dress (similar) – Asos
Leggings – Simply Be
Shoes – Deichmann

Sleeveless Waterfall Cardigan Rust Plus SIze

Pussycat London In The Lowry Outlet Mall

As mentioned above, I bought this at Pussycat London in the Lowry Outlet Mall and the guy behind the counter was more than nice and accommodating. I had at first tried on the camel coloured version of this, but he insisted that I would try on the rust coloured cardigan further insisting that this was the colour of the autumn. I do have to thank him for that as I now as well very much prefer the rust version.

Pussycat London In Lowry Outlet Mall

He was really a lovely and resourceful guy and told me all about how he plans to increase the plus size range of the store and how he plans to get the merchandise for that form turkey and italy due to the good quality. It is just a shame that on the website of Pussycat London no plus-sizes can be seen, nor could I find this cardigan online.

 

Recommending The Shop – Not So Much The Website

So ultimately I can recommend to you to visit the brick and mortar store in the Lowry Mall if you ever happen in the Salford Quays, but I am afraid you won’t be very lucky finding plus-sizes on their website. Pussycat London, please change this!

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New Series: #WorkWearWednesday + Wingz Giveaway

Do We Neglect Workwear?

I love how far the plus size scene has come over the last years. The blogosphere is full of fat babes killing the game in amazing casual wear, evening dresses, vintage wear and even lingerie.

There onle seems to be one aspect of our daily life that we seem to neglect a little bit, and that is work wear, despite this being an important aspect of our ifes. Ultimately work/office wear is what most of us will clad our fat bodies  in for 8-10 hours each Monday to Friday.

Unfortunately till today the understanding of plus-size office outfits still appears to mainly consist of unshapely blouses, blazers or tunics whose only goal appears to be to spare our environment from actually seeing any of our lumps and bumps. When I bought my first set of workwear here in the UK I made a very similar experience.

The Worst Shopping Weekend In A Lifetime

I had just finished my MSc and my mom had come over to celebrate. She had the great idea to go on a shopping trip to find some job interview clothes and a respectabe wardrobe for when  I would find a job – what followed was the shopping weekend  from hell.

At the time I had no idea where to buy work-wear or office clothes let alone that my plus size body could deserve to be dressed in fashionable clothes. The only brick and mortar shop where I knew to find plus size clothes was Asda… George at Asda is a lot better as it sounds, but not really the place for work wear.

The weekend consisted of visiting Asdas, Tescos that did not have any suitable clothes that fitted as I was at the time I was at the end of their size range. Followed by canvassing the Trafford Center here in Manchester that did and I think still does not have a single shop that carries plus sizes (shame on you), we finally found the Evans shop in the Arndale Center.

An Endless Rotation of 6-7 pieces

I came out with 3 tops, 1 pinstripe blazer and 2 pairs of black wide leg trousers which were pretty shapeless and made me look a little like a middle aged bank teller. I wore these few pieces in an endless rotation for at least a whole year without any new additions.

Black Evans Work Wear Shirt

Evans Plus Size Work Wear Tunic

Evans Office Wear - Plus Size Blazer

Why no new pieces?

After the shopping trip from hell I definitely did not feel like making another try to go shopping and make that experience again, and from the experience on the first one it I felt like there was anyway not much more work wear than shapeless potato sacks in better fabric. Boy was I wrong, as I know today.

Looking back I wished at the time already known about the plus-size blogosphere and that there is so much great fashion out there. After having more money thanks to working in combination with getting to know the blogosphere I started to learn that there is fashion out there for me, although it took quite a while to I understood that this is also the case when it comes to what I wear to the office.

 

Introducing #WorkwearWednesday

That’s why I belive it is time start a bi-weekly work & office series. I definitely don’t want any more plus-size babes who are on the threshold to enter the workforce having to go through the same frustrating shopping experience with the same meager outcome – a boring wardrobe on repeat. Starting a new  job is scary enough, so you should fee as comfortable and possible and do it in style.

 

I teamed up with Wingz

To give it the kick off it deserved I teamed up with the ladies of Wingz fashion, which is one of my favourite little accessories that can easily transform a casual piece into an office worthy fashion statement and I wonder how I have lived without them before.

Capture

 

Win Some Wingz

Wingz will be a recurring part in many of my outfits for the next weeks, starting today, we are sharing the love and for the next few weeks you will be able to win one of two pairs of Wingz* every two weeks. For a chance to win, just enter in the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The give-away will be closed on the night from the 20.-21.10.2015 and entries are open to UK residents above the age of 16.  Choose any set of Wingz up to a value of £20.

What Do You Think?

What are your experiences with work-wear? Do you have any favourite retailer for plus-size office attire? I’d love to hear from you.  

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Jewellery, Delicious Italian Food & An Armed Robbery

An Invitation by Victoria Highfeld

I  recently attended an event at Victoria Highfield, a jeweler in Didsbury. On this evening they  reminded me that I should probably have my family heirlooms enlarged to breathe some new life into them and opened my eyes to the world of jewelery beyond cheapo fashion jewelery .  (read the event post here).

ChloBo

This tie Victoria Highfield incited me to introduce me to the world of ChloBo followed by a lovely dinner. I had never heard of of ChloBo before, so I did a little research before the day.

According to what I found online the jewelry brand produces handmade pieces inspired by the island of Bali and the story of the company, as you can read it on their facebook page, just sounds adorable:

chlobo frontpage

 

When ChloBo founder Chloe Moss turned 21 she packed her bags and embarked on a journey around the globe looking for creative inspiration […] eventually she ended up on the beautiful island of Bali.

Discovering the island’s beautiful soul, the stunning craftsmanship and the amazing silver, Chloe was utterly inspired and here marked the birth of ChloBo.

Upon returning to her home in the UK, Chloe transformed her spare bedroom into her studio. [..]

 

The Bali inspiration gives this brand a bit of a sophisticated hobo chic. I particularly like the the concept of stacking and combining the pieces with each piece being reasonably affordable.If you want to go for the stacked bracelet look though like in the image below, you will fairly quickly reach a spend in the hundreds.

With the cheapest pieces starting at around £45 though there definitely is not too much I can complain.  ChloBo seems to offer something for every wallet, if padded or not – and there is no need to start at a big stacked bracelet collection right away. I can imagine that  becoming a long term collection, buying each piece to mark a day or memory, similar to the Pandora bracelet charms- and the pieces do appear like they would last.

ChloBo Bracelets - Victoria Highfield Event

Jewelery - ChloBo Bracelets Victoria Highfield

 

But Then There Was An Armed Robbery

I was really looking forward to this day however the event  unfortunately had to be cancelled as there was unfortunately an armed robbery on the day of the event at one of their branches. The robbers apparently did not use guns, but whatever the weapons were, this does not make it less frightening

My thoughts are with the staff that had to go through this traumatizing experience. I hope that nobody got hurt and that there wasn’t too much physical damage to the store.

 

Stil A Lovely Evening At Gusto

I do absolutely understand why they had to cancel the event. While we wait to hear to when the event might get rescheduled Victoria Highfield still was so nice to invite us to a lovely Italian meal at Gusto, an absolutely amazing Italian restaurant. And not only that, they also had a lovely little goody bag for me.

Victoria Highfield ChloBo Goodie Bag

Oh So Delicious Food

I promise I won’t turn this post into a restaurant review (although that might actually come later) but the food was absolutely amazing.

I had been wanting to go out for a nice steak for ages and so I chose the thin char-grilled steak which came with Parmesan shavings and rocket, which was absolutely delicious. And not only that, in the uk it seems to be quite difficult to get your steak actually served medium even when you ask for it specifically, despite how thin this lovely steak was cooked to perfection. For dessert I finally got the chance to test sweet cannelloni which had been wanting to try for ages.

Gusto Chorlton Parmesan Steak
flattened rump steak with garlic, chili, peppercorn, sea salt, rocket and Grana Padano
Gusto Chorlton Sweet Canneloni
cannelloni filled with vanilla mascarpone

 

The More Than Lovely Goody Bag

Victoria Highfield made not only sure that I still would have a good evening but also a goody bag was awaiting me in the restaurant. I was quite excited about what I would find inside.

I did not expect to receive an actual piece from the collection, but that was exactly what it was, a beautiful bracelet with cross charm.

It is not only beautiful but also feels great and really meets the expectation I had from the website –  a great quality piece to last, won’t be “so last season” next year thanks to it’s classic design… – bottom line. I like ChloBo.

ChloBo Cross Bracelet

 

It does fit okish, while you can notice it is not made specifically for plus size wearers. For pieces like this that range between £45 and £250 depending on bracelet I would wish that it was possible to add an extra bead or two for perfect wear if needed. However if you are not planning to wear it 24/7 it is perfectly comfortable on my rather larger than average plus-size wrists over the course of an evening.

20150922_212928

 

Thanks A Lot For A Lovely Evening

Thanks Victoria Highfield. I hope everyone who had to go through the trauma of the robbery has recovered well and despite the event not happening, you made me very happy this evening. 😉

Lots of love

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