Let’s Talk About High Street Sizes

So yesterday I was super excited when I got notification to say my H&M parcel had been delivered. Well no, that’s not exactly true because the email came from Hermes and I knew that there was a strong possibility that my parcel would be closer to the moon than my letter box, but that’s not what this is about.

I had ordered three items from H&M: a ladies t-shirt, size ‘S’, a pair of mom jeans, size 12 – because I’m a 10-12 and I figured I’d size up because jeans can be notoriously tricky to get right – and a hoodie from the kids section, aged ’14+’ – because I loved it, I’m quite petite so there was a possibility it would fit me, and I figured worst case scenario I’d just return it. Quite a mixed bag, right? Well, I figured I had a pretty good chance with everything fitting.

The first thing I thought I should try on was the kids hoodie, and I was super pumped to find that it fit me perfectly, yay! From the photo on the website, it was supposed to be a loose-fit style for kids, and it was a little more fitted on me, but it definitely didn’t look like I’d squeezed myself into a kids shirt. Win. I had no worries about the t-shirt fitting, but if anything it was a little looser than I expected, and then there were the jeans..

Remember how I said that I sized up? From the moment I stepped into them, I just knew that they weren’t going to fit. Despite being ‘mom jeans’, they just barely made it over my thighs, and there was absolutely no chance of them doing up. So tell me, why can I fit into a kids size item, and then not an adult size from the same store?

But this isn’t just about me complaining about my H&M order, this is about what high street stores are doing to girls and women every day. The industry is typically infamous for producing unrealistic body expectations with the use of tiny models, photoshop and various other things that make the average woman feel like a slug, but even if you take away all of these things, you’re still left with something that can be potentially so harmful, and that is the massive discrepancy between the supposed same sizes, not just between different brands, but even within the same store.

Let me put it this way: I bought those jeans a size bigger than what I am, and the size bigger than what I am did not fit me. Some of the thoughts that instantly go through my head are ‘oh my gosh, is it me?’, ‘have I gained weight without noticing?’, ‘could I actually be 2 or even 3 sizes bigger than I think I am?’. After this flood of negative thoughts about my own body, I talk myself down and remember that H&M is particularly infamous for big sizing issues, but before I could get to that explanation, I spent a few minutes feeling like absolute crap.

One time, I bought two pairs of skinny jeans from New Look – both size 10. One pair was a good fit, although actually a little looser in some places. I still have those jeans to this day. The other pair wouldn’t even go up my calf. My arm barely fit into them. Same number on the label, same shop, two completely different actual sizes.

I mean, I get that it might be completely possible to have a totally unified system, for whatever stupid reason the stores always give when challenged on this, but its not the fact that I can vary from a size 8-14 depending on where I’m shopping – I can live with that – its what this does to my confidence. Even Asos now has a ‘size recommendation’ feature, which is designed to give you a better idea of what you should order based on your personal details and previous purchases, and when I first saw it, I thought ‘hey, what a great idea!’ Well, that was until one time I saw something that I liked, selected my size, and the little message popped up saying, and I paraphrase, ‘um, you’re probably not gonna fit into that, why don’t you get the next size up?’ – yes I exaggerated what was actually said, but it actually made me feel so bad about myself that I just stopped shopping and closed the window.

In case I haven’t made my point clear enough – this is damaging. Brands can use all the curvy, un-edited models in the world, but if the size of their products doesn’t reflect some sort of consistency, girls and women everywhere are still going to be subject to the effects that the fashion industry has on body image.

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Working Wardrobe Dreams – The Blazer

Blazers

 

I used to think that blazers were the epitome of boring when it comes to fashion, probably due to being forced to wear ugly ones throughout school. Now though, the blazer is a total power symbol in the professional world, and I’ll admit they’re growing on me!

Colour always helps attract me to an item that usually classed as ‘dull’, so the pink and yellow options were obvious choices – I actually have a yellow blazer – and I think the print and cut of the Asos Africa jacket is the perfect smart-casual option for summer.

I’m also a huge fan of simplicity, and the classic style of the grey blazer from Miss Selfridge makes it really versatile, and the black lapels on white blazer from Missguided is a subtle twist on an old favourite.

Are you a fan of the blazer?

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Winter Run Wear

Its the season of big coats, woolly hats and hands stuffed into pockets because you forgot your gloves yet again, and any excuse to stay home in the warmth is welcomed with open arms, unless you’re a runner..

We’re a strange breed, and a year or two ago I would look out on those braving the low temperatures to get in a training run and think ‘is it really worth it?’, but now I’m part of this world I welcome a brisk winter run because I know how to dress for the occasion.

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My first winter essential is my fleece, which I save for the coldest weather; its great for keeping away the chill while you’re out, but once you get back home you’re gonna want to whip it off pretty quick before you start to cook!

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Next staple of mine is a bunch of lightweight long sleeved tops, like this once from Asics. On cool days, you might worry that they’re not gonna keep you warm, but once you get going you’ll warm up nicely, but also avoid overheating. Something I love about running in colder weather is that its cool enough to run with my hair down, so chunky headbands that keep the cool off my ears and the hair out of my face are pretty great!

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I love my bodywarmer in the winter months – its super lightweight and not at all bulky, but at the same time makes all the difference out in the cold. I would also recommend a lightweight infinity scarf; even if you don’t want to run wearing it, it’ll help keep you warm once you start your cool-down.

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Bring on the thermals! Forget the idea that they’re thick or too hot, and find yourself a nice light one because you’ll be amazed how much warmer they’ll make you! Sometimes I also like to wear a hat – you lose a lot of body heat from your head, so it helps prevent you cooling down too much, and the same principle applies to gloves!

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Finally, the dreaded waterproof jacket! I say dreaded because who likes running in the rain, right? Well, like it or not, a lot of runners still do it, so the waterproof is fairly essential. I found shopping for mine pretty tricky; a lot of jackets claim ‘splashproof’ or ‘water resistant’, rather than waterproof, so you have to take a risk on whether you’ll be fully protected from the weather, but generally I would recommend avoiding cheaper/high street brands and go to a proper sports brand!

Once you’re fully equipped for the cold, there’s nothing to stop you from keeping up your training through the winter months. You never know, you might enjoy it!

xoxo

My Fantasy Mermaid Wardrobe

Now if there’s a Disney princess that’s had the biggest impact on women’s fashion, its Ariel. Since she hit the scene, girls all over the world have been snapping up mermaid inspired clothing and accessories, and I’m not above following this trend!

I couldn’t resist this clam bra crop top from Lookhuman when I stumbled across it last year, and this year I’m looking to add to my wardrobe, so I’ve been doing a little window shopping online and putting together a Fantasy Wardrobe, if you will, starting off with killer swimsuits..

Mermaid swimsuit

Left to right – Baby Ariel Top and Scalloped Bottoms from Margarita Swimwear, Kalama One Piece from PeaceofParadise, Dreamboat Bikini from Margarita Swimwear

So I discovered Margarita Swimwear this week, and I think I’ve become addicted. I entered their Instagram giveaway competition and didn’t win, but they’re giving away discount codes to everyone who entered so I’m super excited to receive mine! This year I’m trying really hard to eat healthier and along with my running training I’m hoping that this will be the year I lose enough weight to be truly happy in a bikini, and these suits are my goal!

Mermemerald leggings from Black Milk Clothing

I love Black Milk, they just do everything perfectly. If I could afford it, I would literally own everything from their Disney collection, but for now I think I’ll just covet these great leggings.

CORAL Urban Mermaid Crop Top

Coral Urban Mermaid Crop Top from Adorkable Apparel

I know I already have a similar top, but you can never really have too many clam bras?! I love the colour, coral is very mermaid-y, and the t-shirt style makes it perfect as a beach cover up.

Guess I better start saving if this wardrobe is ever gonna happen!

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Marie Inspired DIY Tank Top

This week for my DIY I took inspiration from one pretty kitty..

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Transform a plain old white t-shirt into a cute little tank top perfect for the beach in just a few simple steps..

1. Take a pair of scissors to your t-shirt, cutting off the sleeves, then cutting across the stitching at the top, separating the neckline.

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2. Flip the top over, and make bigger cuts across the back to make a racer-back.

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3. Fold over the hem of this back section and stitch it down. Depending on your strap material, you may want to feed it through before you sew it down.

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4. The strap is a single strip of material; I used Boodle textile yarn for my straps, but you could use whatever you fancied really. Controversially, I believe there is a thing as too much pink, so I chose blue to reflect Marie’s eyes. Once you’ve fed it through the back, pin it into place at each side of the front, and sew into place.

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5. Using fabric paint, I decorated the back of my top with a large pink bow, and put a few little paw prints on the front.

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Ta-da!

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Princess Fashion: Elsa

So this week’s posting is going to be a little jumbled.. I’m super busy preparing for my birthday and a wedding at the end of the week, as well as finishing training for a 10k at the weekend, but I’m doing loads of Disney related stuff so it’ll be fueling a tonne of posts!

This Elsa look centres around this amazing new dress from Hot Topic which I stumbled across yesterday

Isn’t it perfect?!

Its so perfect that it basically covers the entire outfit aspect of the look, but I’ve scoured the internet for a few suitably perfect accessories to add to it..

There’s this aquamarine ring from Sarah Birt Jewellery on Etsy:

These shimmery shoes from are from New Look, and are also available on Asos..

So is this clutch bag:

Ladies and gentlemen, Queen Elsa!

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Disney Tights

In my opinion, trousers are overrated. If I could, I’d spend most days Donald Duck style (with underwear though, of course!), but unfortunately this isn’t socially acceptable in most places..

So I live in dresses, skirts and shorts, which means when the weather is bad, as it so often is in England, tights are my best friends! And while most people overlook them as functional but boring, I know that they can add to any outfit.

1. Mickey Mouse suspender tights from Primark

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2. Minnie Mouse tattoo style tights from Hot Topic

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3. Elephant over the knee tights from Asos

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Whether its Dumbo or The Lion King that floats your boat, you can’t go wrong with these cuties!

4. Bunny all over tights from Asos

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Not exactly a White Rabbit, but perfect for Alice in Wonderland and Bambi fans alike!

5. Snow White tattoo style tights from Hot Topic

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6. Monkey suspender tights from Asos

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Tarzan, Jungle Book, or even Aladdin nuts can rock these

7. Alice in Wonderland tattoo style tights from Hot Topic

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8. Little Mermaid silhouette suspender tights from Hot Topic

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9. All over fox tights from Asos

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Just because The Fox and the Hound is underrated, doesn’t mean your legs have to be!

10. Hanging monkey tights from Asos

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Show off your legs with these sweet nude tights, and everyone will want to be like you – oo ba be do!

11. Paris skyline over the knee tights from Asos

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The setting for some Disney greats such as Aristocats and Ratatouille, and more!

12. Balloon seam tights from Asos

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Fly away to Paradise Falls with these on your legs!