Southern Yacht

My little take on plus size fashion, life, travel and smurfs

Sunday 26 July 2015

StyleXL 2015 - and new adventures

Hello there,

This time last weekend I was at StyleXL in Birmingham having an amazing weekend. The only problem is, it feels like a lifetime ago already. It's taken me a week to find the time and the words to describe the weekend. So here goes - there's lots of pictures and lots of words and thoughts.

I'd been to StyleXL last year in Leicester and was struck by how much fun it was. And the models! People just like you and me looking beautiful and being confident. When I saw this years event being advertised and the call for models, I'd thought I'd give it a go, never expecting anything to come of it. Famous last words - I had an email from the lovely Leah Shafik saying I'd been chosen - cue months of excitement and nerves.

About a couple of months beforehand, we all started finding out who we were modelling for. I was lucky enough to be picked for Topsy Curvy, Clarieabella's Closet and A Rose Like This Designs.

Up and early on the Saturday morning, I managed to do a few practice walks down the catwalk and get a few pics in before everyone arrived

Topsy Curvy

This was the first outfit I was given to wear on the day. I knew I was going to be wearing their aztec playsuit. I have to admit here, I did panic. Me and jumpsuits have never got on. Short legs, wide thighs and being smaller on top than the bottom hasn't normally resulted in success! But after some reassuring emails and the promise of a few different sizes being available on the day, I felt much calmer. And you know what? I needn't have worried. It fitted just perfectly and I felt amazing. Thank you Topsy Curvy !!

Photos: Topsy Curvy, Deb Judic & Alfie Brownson-Smith

A Rose Like This Designs

Rosie Astbury was showcasing her amazing graduate collection. I knew swimwear/beachwear was possible so was intrigued to see what I'd be wearing on the day. I think, if you had told me before that I'd be wearing a crop top and short skirt, I'd have squeaked and ran for the hills. But with one catwalk under my belt, I was ready for anything! In one outfit, I faced two of my greatest fears - thank you Rosie xx

Photo: Alfie Brownson-Smith

Photos: Jen Robinson

I'm gutted I missed out this group shot with the lovely Rosie! Myself and a couple of others were at this point rushing to get changed ready for the next catwalk.

Claireabella's Closet

I was dying to see what I was wearing for Claireabella. I love so much on her website. There just might have been a loud whoop when I saw this:

Tartan...Voodoo Vixen....all in one package!!! And to top it off, a dress with pockets. Heaven.

This dress was definitely something I would buy for myself. In fact I may do just that...I couldn't stop swishing around with my hands in the pockets.

After (reluctantly) changing back, I finally had a chance to slow down, get a drink and start chatting properly to people and watch the remaining catwalks

The Lady Voloptuous models

Bloggers photo and obligatory jazz hands

I'd love to show you lots of pictures from Saturday evening, but I didn't take any. I just wanted to relax and enjoy the entertainment. The evening catwalks were amazing so I'm a little bit sorry now I didn't take any.

Sunday was a much calmer affair. Jewellery making, an intro talk on You Tube and an inspirational talk from the beautiful Daisy was just what was needed after a hectic day.

Photo: Kat Henry

So that was my weekend. Leah Shafik asked me if I would it again. In a heartbeat was my answer. I'm short and way older (at 46) than the 'normal' idea of a plus-size model. But I loved every moment. I don't know if I'll ever get another chance to do something like this again so I'm glad I grabbed this opportunity with both hands (even if I was ever so slightly terrified). I've met some great people and got so much inspiration. 

Thank you and a big hello to everyone I met for the first time, all those I met again and all those I missed. Thank you to Leah Shafik for organising such a beautiful and inclusive event. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I've tried to credit everyone who took the photos in this post. If I've missed anyone or got anything wrong - let me know!

Thanks for reading

(the playsuit came home with me - I loved it so much I had to buy it)

Thursday 9 July 2015

Summer evenings maxi dress

Hello there,

One of the best things about summer is eating outside, but it can be a bit chilly in the evenings. I wore this last week to keep legs and shoulders warm.

I realised halfway through the evening that whole outfit is from Indigo at Marks & Spencer. I love this range. I'm lucky enough to live within 5 mins of a huge out of town M&S so I'm always popping in to see what's new (my bank card though is not so happy about this). A lot of the Indigo range has a beachy holiday feel to it and I rarely walk past without finding something I want.

Dress - size 22 (old)
Cardigan - size 22

I love maxi dresses, but at only 5'3, they normally swamp me. This is one of only two I have where I haven't needed to hack a few inches off the bottom. Plus bonus - this has an elasticated waist which actually sits on the waistline and can help raise the hem by a few inches if needed (handy for stairs - trust me).

Thanks for reading and hope you're all enjoying the summer sun.



Tuesday 7 July 2015

OOTD - two-in-one dress and legs out!

Hello there,

I have been loving the hot weather recently. I know as a plus-size women, it's not the always the best recipe for comfort, but I don't care. I just take it slow and drink lots (water that is - mostly...).

I think a lot of us have parts that we don't like to show though. As I've got older I'm happy with wearing vest tops and showing my arms. It's something I would have hated a few years back. But I still shy away from wearing anything too short. On holiday or abroad where I'm unlikely to see a single person I know, it seems ok. But trundling around Tescos? Not so ok.

This two-in-one dress from Simply Be was purchased earlier in the year for a holiday to Fuerteventura. I felt great wearing it there, but here? It seemed too sad looking at it hanging in the wardrobe though so I decided to be brave and wear it on of our hotter days last week.

And you know what? Nothing happened. If anyone took any notice, I didn't see. And if they did - so what.
(but boy - do I wish I'd remembered to wear a t-shirt bra underneath - arghh!)

I have a real love for Primark shoes. Their sandals are cheap and cheerful and come in so many colours. These were £4 a pair - cheap enough to buy all the colours.

So there's one of my outfits for the summer - and a braver me.

Thanks for reading



Wednesday 1 July 2015

Black summer dress and sweetie handbag - OOTD

Hello there,

Following on from my last OOTD - here's another black outfit. And this one also has a coral theme (I see a pattern developing here).

I mentioned in my last post that I was looking for ideas for places to take blog posts. Now I didn't travel all the way to Gatwick just for these photos, but as I was up there anyway waiting to collect family, it seemed an ideal opportunity.

(this was so out of focus - but hopefully you get the idea - arghh)

The dress is from TU at Sainsburys and is a 22. Now, I often find the sizing at TU a bit odd. Sometimes dresses which are perfect on the bottom half will be too big on top. This one thankfully is ok. It has a button front and is lined. It came with a black belt, but I replaced that with a coral one to match my handbag.

Talking of my handbag, I've seen this in so many magazines and blog posts, I knew I just had to have it. It's from George at Asda and at the moment, our local branch still has plenty in stock. It's a bargain at £8 and surprisingly roomy. I fitted my purse, phone, camera and keys in with no problem. I kept the handle quite short, but it's long enough to have as a cross body bag.

I love this dress, it's casual enough to wear everyday, but easy enough to dress up with smarter shoes and a different belt. I think it's one that will be on the blog again soon.

Thanks for reading


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