#MAAfterDark – It’s All About The Party Dress

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 #MAAfterDark – The Event All About The Party Dress

If you follow my blog you will have seen several excited posts leading up to #MAAfterDark. The Hashtag stands for Manchester Arndale After Dark and was an event organised by the Manchester Arndale center all about the perfect party dress and looking glam during this party season.

This evening brought 18 amazing Mancunian blogger babes together as well as special guest and competition judge Victoria from Inthefrow, who you can see in the bottom left in the below image collection.

An Inclusive Event

As I had mentioned in my very first post leading up to this event that I absolutely loved, that is was one of my very first inclusive events. This means here no distinction was made between “normal” fashion blogger and plus-size bloggers. It is nice to be surrounded by lot’s of amazing plus-size ladies and to feel all the support but it is also amazing  to once in a while to be recognised as simply being part of the “fashion scene” and not only plus size.

This inclusive nature of the event was not only reflected through the bloggers that were invited, but also by the represented shops, showing off their current party fashion, with Simply Be, Yours Clothing & Evans having rail space – and I fell in love a few times that evening.

 The Task

Each of us bloggers had been paired beforehand with one of the many retailers in the Arndale Center and given the same task: find your perfect party dress. Finally the best 10 party dresses would be chosesn by a jury. I was paired with the lovely Yours Clothing.

 

My Retailer

 

But let’s get to the important part: finding my dress. I was very excited to be paired up with yours clothing, as it is a brand I very much support. Not only do they offer clothes in a large sizing range (up to a 32) but they are also quite affordable compared to others while still on trend.

So last I week,  I set foot in to their yours clothing branch for an epic shopping sessionarmed with a shopping voucher given to me by the Manchester Arndale center. You can read more about this in one of my latest posts here. The last contenders were these three dresses:

Choosing The Dress

Before I went I had a look online and was dead set for the lace skater dress, especially as skater dresses are usually my go to party dress. However, if there is one thing I have learned over the last few months blogging, then it is always to try new things. And ultimately I liked the dress, but I felt I looked a bit unbalanced and bottom heavy in it, with relatively little fabric on the top and the poufy skirt on the bottom.

 

So I tried the sleeveless 20s style flapper dress in the middle. The 20s are currently very much on trend and this dress had been recommended to me by the Yours girls at the Plus size awards. I loved it on the hanger and although I liked particularly the fringes and had lot’s of fun shimmying for the camera I believed it did not really do my shape justice.

 

Finally I tried the lace shift dress in combination with a sparkly silver belt, the silver version of the golden belt that I had worn for the Plus Size Awards. To my surprise that combination really convinced me. The short sleeves seemed to really balance my uppper body and the belt nicely took my waist in to create a lovely hourglass shape. The length is perfect for the office when combined with leggins and shows just about the right amount of leg in it’s night look when combined with

The Accessories

With a lovely simple dress like this you can go all out and sparkly on the accessories. And this is what I did. I went for a sparkly silver belt, in combination with a black clutch with silver studs. Luckily I even had a pair of Deichman plateau heels that almost perfectly matched the studs in the bag.

The best thing about this was though that my £100 did not only pay for the dress, but also for all the accessorie: the handbag, the belt, the earrings and the bracelet and that with money to spare. I would say that was a pretty good deal. Interestingly enough, looking at the hangers when coming in, I appeared to be the only one who accessorized the dress out using our budget.

The Styling

After  having a first look at the new party wear collections, a nice prosecco and some nibbles. It was time for beautifying. I got the perfect classy and simple yet effective makeup to match my dress together with the most amazing curl and updo I have had in a long time I really loved what the stylists did.

My Final Look

Black Lace Swing Dress With Contrast Insert* –  (£34) – Yours Clothing
Black & Silver Diamante Across The Body Bag* –  (£20) -(Yours Clothing*
Grey Glitter Thin Belt*-  (£7) Yours Clothing
Bracelet* –  (not on site) – Yours Clothing
Earrings* – (not on site) – Yours Clothing
Shoes – (old season) – Deichman

I am really, really happy with my final look. Individually all things were great, the hair is absolutely amazing but together they are just a killer style. I so love what the stylist has done with my hair, the makeup was subtle but effective and matched the style of dress very well, I just know if I would have done it myself I would have overdone the smokey eye once again.  And finally the sparkly accessories give this simple look the perfect dose of glamour.

#MAAfterDark – The Competition

The jury had a very close look and intensive discussion about the dresses you can see in the group shot. Finally the 10 dresses below were crowned the top 10 party dresses of this season.

 

These dresses will be displayed in the Arndale Center and here on their website. You can win a voucher for £100 yourself by voting for which one is your personal favourite. Vote here. You can have a closer look at these dresses here, and also enter the competition.

 

Which Dress Would You Have Chosen

Which of the 18 dresses is your favourite? You can have a closer look at them by clicking on the image to enlarge it. Which one is your favourite? Do you agree with the Jury or would you have chosen differently? And which one is your absolute favourite?

Lot’s of love.

 

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#MAAfterDark – From The Yours Dressing Room

Partay! Today!

The day has come, tonight is the day of the Manchester Arndale After Dark event, an event all around the most important piece of clothing this season, the party dress. You can follow the event following the hashtag #MAAfterDark on Twitter & Instagram.

Win A Party Dress Yourself

There will be lots of stuff happening from food & drink to beautifying and a glam dress competition in which the top 10 dresses will be crowned. Finally you, as an Arndale shopper, will have a chance to win one of the top 1o crowned dresses as your very own.

Shopping Time!

Well it was time for me to go party dress shopping for the day. It is a cliché but I did feel like a kid in the candy shop in the Yours shop in Manchester. The lovely Debby, who was absolutely amazing and seemed almost more excited than I was, if that was possible, helped me narrow down my choice to three dresses.

A lot of fun while shopping – what else with this kind of assistance

Which One Would Have You Chosen?

As the event is happening tonight, I have obviously already chosen one of those dresses,but I won’t tell you yet which one made the cut. I want to keep this a surprise till the event (check my instagram feed) and even more importantly. I would love to hear your opinion which one would you have chosen?

Dress# 1

 Black & Nude Pink Floral Lace Sleeveless Skater Prom Dress

Dress# 2

Black Sleeveless Fringed Dress

 

Dress# 2

 

 

Black Lace Swing Dress With Contrast Insert

Oh And There Is A Discount!

I also just got an email through that Yours Clothing is currently giving you 25% of EVERYTHING, in store and online. Although they have not stated how long this offer is going to last. So I guess if you had your eye on something, now it might be worth to head over to their website or one of their stores.

Capture yours

 

 

Lots of love

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#LightsCameraCurrys

A Much Loved But Unfortunately Neglected Hobby

As a blogger photography is a crucial skill. Without pictures you lovelies would have no idea what I would be talking about. The old cliché just holds true. A picture says more than a 1000 words.

I used to do a lot of photography and absolutely loved it. You can have a look at my old fotocummunity.de account here. However, then life kicked in and I was busy with uni and work. The endresult was: I have not properly been using my beloved EOS 400D as much as I would like and for far to long it has been stuck on automatic. Unfortunatelly I have lost so much of my knowledge about how to take the best pictures making use of all the settings…

So I was dead excited when I was invited to take part in the #LightCameraCurrys Workshop, which was organised by Currys  and the Joe Blogs Network to help bloggers take control of their cameras and get off the auto setting.

The Workshop

The Workshop took place in the The Manchester Photographic School. And I actually have had my eye on some of their courses. So this was an absolute win.

Christian our host lead us through all common questions. Firstly how to get your camera off auto mode. Addressing things like how to make use of ISO to make best use of the available lighting. Leading on how to choose the right shutter speed depending on the speed the object you want to photograph is moving at and which effect you want and also aperture which helps you achieve great depth of you can use it to achieve great depth of field effects.

Shutterspeed

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Exposure – 1/200


Exposure – 1 Second.

A short exposure time enables you to take sharp pictures of a moving opject avoiding blurred lines. A longer exposure allows you to capture more light but can also lead to movement blurring. This is an effect that can also be used to artistically capture movement. Here is an example of this in a picture I took a few years ago.

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Aperture

While the camera can only focus on one point, aperture influences the size of the area in front and behind the area of this point that appears in focus. A small aperture will result in a small range while a larger one will result in a larger range.
Here is an example from during the course playing around with a short range:

 

Time For Practicing What We Have Learnt

No photography course it complete without a practice part. The perfect place for this was th  Food & Drink Festival that was happening in Manchester at the time. After being separated into groups each of us got a task, from capturing the food preparation, to groups or individuals.

I was in the food group, our task was it to capture the food itself and particularly the process of it being made. One of the tips was to go in close and to experiment with the depth of field that I mentioned above.

As usual I obsessed a little bit over a few subjects trying to get the perfect picture. So the time flew by and I obsessed bit about a few objects like for example the pizza  that you will see in the images below. But I think I still got a few nice images in the end of the day.

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Thanks to Joe Blogs, Currys and The Manchester Photographic School for this great day and all the tips.

Follow Up Post: Digitally Enhancing The Images

I used to also spend ages on digitally working on the images, ending up with some great effects. However, this is where I will have to stop for now. With a lot of overtime recently a trip to Germany and a lot of other big things happening recently I had to admit to myself that the day does not have enough hours at the moment to pick image editing back up.

So I decided to let you have a first look at these pictures as they are and to be honest, I actually do like them as they are and I did not want to make you wait any longer.

I guess soon there will be a follow up post in which I will pick out one or two of the above pictures to see what I can do with them. So look forward to another slightly off topic post and some more photo tips soon.

I Would Love To Hear From You

Like always I would love to hear from you. Do you have any favourite photographs that you have taken? Share them with me! Or do you have maybe any great photo tips to share? Let me know.

Lots of love

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The House Of Fraser – An Unexpected Place For A Bargain*

Great To Discover New Shops

One of the best things since I started my blog is not only that it has encouraged me to question and develop my own style significantly over the last months or that I have met a lot of great people through it, but also that it gave me the chance to discover a lot of great places to find new plus-size fashion and inspiration.

The Hose Of Fraser – A Bargain?

Today I want to talk about one of these cases. A few weeks back a representative from the House of Fraser contacted me,asking if I might be interested to review some of their fashion. However, knowing what I thought I knew about the House of Fraser: it being quite a high profile retailer, I thought I would not get very far with my budget.

I was not only surprised about the choice of plus-size fashion available,  but even more by the price range available. Yes, like you expect a large proportion of their range is tin he luxury clothing bracket, however they also have a surprising amount of affordable plus-size clothing. Spending only £30, which is most likely less than the average Simply Be or Yours Clothing dress. I even managed to find two pieces: a lovely dress and a  skirt.

 

My Choice

Samya Spot Dress With Lace & Net Hem

As you know if you follow my blog, I am a big fan of polka dots. I also love the little detail of  the net hem, reminding of a petticoat.

Samya Spot Dress With Lace & Net Hem – £15*

I love this little dress. It is true to size and has just the length that I like in dresses. For reference, I am 5’9 (1.75m) The lace detailing is in my opinion, what sets it for apart and makes it look like a much more expensive dress than it is.

House of Fraser

Samya Layered Pleated Midi Skirt

Midi skirts are great for autumn and I recently have developed a love for pleated skirt, something about them does very much remind me of my childhood and my late grandmother.  So this skirt is basically a double win. Also the leather detail is a lovely detailing.

Samya Layered Pleated Midi Skirt – £15*

I like the skirt, although I am not as impressed with it as I was with the dress. I was hoping it would have a look that is a bit of a cross between tutu and pleated skirt, but the leather details don’t hang as nicely as pleats in real live as I would have hoped for. It is a nice skirt and I would still recommend it, although it is not as nice as I would have hoped for.

Have A Look Yourself

As mentioned above I was not even aware that the House Of Fraser did Plus Size, nor that it even is so affordable. Next to some well known brands like Evans they also have several less well known brands, some of which I had never heard of before. So I would say it is definately worth a look around.

What Do You Think?

I’d love to know what you think. Did  you know the House of Fraser do plus-size? What is your favourite piece?

Lot’s of love

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Missguided+ On A Girl In Size 24

The Missguided Lace Peplum Dress

I am more than excited that I was provided with a lovely peplum dress out of the new Missguided+ Plus-Size range that only launched yesterday, which I will be wearing to the Simply Be Spring /Summer Collection 2015 preview tonight. Check out the hashtag #SimplyBeSS15 if you want to watch live what will be happening.

Missguided Plus Size Lace Peplum Dress Ecom Picture

I am very much looking forward to wearing this Missguided+ beauty. The dress comes in a lace look but also in a leopard print. This might not be as extensive as a usual review but I just wanted to give you a first idea how this dress looks on a girl that is on the larger side of curvy, namely a size 24-26.

 

True To Size – Slightly Larger

The dress feels lovely and appears to be true to size. If anything, it is a bit on the larger side, as it fits me well while I am usually somewhere between a size 24-26 with a relatively large bust. Although I would say despite that, there is no need to size down.

 

More “Missguided On A Size 24”-Pictures To Come

I will be posting quite a few of these looks. So keep checking back here on the blog or make sure to follow me on Instagram. Obviously I won’t be modelling the whole 70 pieces, Unfortunately I can’t quite afford that, but I am sure I there will be quite a few interesting pieces and that there will enough to give you a good idea :). Let me know which pieces you would like to see.

Some of the things of which I can tell you that you will definitely be able to see them here soon are: the leopard print midi skirt and the beautiful cobalt blue wrap dress, in fact I  will be wearing the latter one to the British Plus Size Awards.

Complaints About Sizing Range A Little Unfair

I have seen quite a few people complaining about the sizing range ending at a size 24. I personally hope as well that the sizing range that I hope will be extended in future. However, complaining about the sizing range is unfair.

You do have to think about this from a business point of view. Missguided is a retailer that so far has only catered for women up to a size 14 (and the occasional 16). Immediately moving from this to a range which is upwardly open would be an incredibly risky move. As there is no guarantee as to how the collection performs.

Therefore this collection should be seen as a first entry into the plus-size business. Missguided are basically dipping their toe into the plus-size market. Trying to work out what works for them and what does not. I am sure there will be one or the other amazing piece and some great surprises in the future.

What Do You Think?

There are so many things I would love to her from you about. What you think about the dress and the range in general? Which of the items would you like to see on the blog?

Lots of love

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Missguided Plus Size Range Goes Live Today

The Day Is Finally Here

The day has finally arrived today Missguided’s long awaited plus-size range goes live today.

The great news is, while in terms of sizing the range is separate from their normal range , coming in sizes 16-24, in terms of style Missguided has made an effort not to change their image or style for the larger sizes, like some other retailers unfortunately have done. Well done Missguided.

Some Killer Pieces

The starting range is  a relatively small, although it has some killer pieces. Most likely I would expect it though that this range would be extended over time. I have already fallen in love with a lot of pieces: some  great coats, clever slogan t-shirts, a selection of evening dresses and skirts and most importantly there is finally a sizeable range of plus-size co-ords.

Missguided+

Coords, Finally!

I am particularly in love with their range of co-ords. It might not be high season for co-ords anymore with summer having gone, but after I have been searching for so long for a decent two piece set I am more than happy that us plus size girls now finally have a range of plus-size co-ords available that come in tartan, grid, floral and some more patterns.

Coord Collage

 

These pieces are sold separately, this also gives you the chance to go for them either as top or skirt only, if you are not sold on the co-ord idea but like the print. Given that most tops in these sets, are usually crop tops, this does also means that a great range of crop tops is hitting the market And there can never be to many. (Have I said that? No way I would have said that a year ago…)

Evening Dresses

The range of dresses has a few lovely pieces in there. One of which I will actually be wearing to the British Plus Size Awards this weekend. This beauty:

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The the velvet wrap dress

The dress I will be wearing though will be in a colour I have not yet spotted on the page, but I am sure will be on soon. I was dead excited to be able to try this dress on pre-release. I am absolutely loving it. Another thing I can tell you about this dress is that while the model is a good looking girl, this dress looks even better, when worn by a woman with a figure that is much more on the curvy-side. I will be wearing this dress in a size 24.

Excited About What Might Come In Future

As you might have heard I am a bit biased as I am part of the Missguided team, and it was dead excited to see this range come from idea to existence. However, to me it is even more exciting what might come in future. As I am personally hoping and expecting that this range might get extended in future.

And while there are some pieces that I adore, there is range for extension and improvement, given the size of opportunities and styles out there. I for example would say that a next collection could even go much bolder than this one already has done. I would also love to see a wider range of sizes and some glamorous eveningmaxi & party dresses in the so well known Missguided style.

What Do You Think?

What do you think about the range? What is your favourite? And what would you love to see in future?