In a few short hours I'm heading off on my honeymoon for lots of sun, sea, sand, and masses of wine with seafood pasta!

I think my husband would no longer be my husband if I tried to bring my laptop and blog from the side of the pool so I'll be taking a break for a fortnight.    Don't worry, I'll be back with a fashion-tips-a-plenty (and maybe some sickening beach photos) come the first week in December.

In the meantime, satisfy yourself with shots of the beautiful clothes I packed yesterday ...  do you notice a colour theme?

Nude heels and gaggle of gold jewellery

 A flirty and playful bikini

My favourite party dresses for al fresco dining

Maxi dresses for easy day-to-night wearing

A multitude of camisole tops to pair with vibrant, full skirts 

50's style skirts

The wear-every-where gladiator sandals

Clarins Skin Care

Hair, face and nail care

Summer worthy make-up colours

Kaftans and a red bikini

See you in a fortnight!

C x x x


Every year my work holds a Christmas party.  It normally involves lukewarm turkey, watery gravy, and abundance of cheap wine, a vaguely fancy party dress, and a whole lot of boogie!

Last year I wore an old favourite dress for such occasions - steel grey with heavily embellished shoulders and a sweeping neckline.  I thought I looked great until the pictures came out to reveal lank hair (it was terribly hot), dimply arms, and flushed skin - steely grey evidently isn't my colour!

The dress has since been sold on eBay and I'm sure has gone to a home that will love it far more than I do!

This year will be different - my new short hair doesn't allow for lank, I'll be tanned after a fortnight in the Indian Ocean, and my dress will be stellar (naturally)!

It helps that this year the theme will be MASQUERADE! Excuse the capitals but I'm terrible excited.

I set the style stakes high at work with my power dressing, body hugging dresses, sharp blazers and sky-high heels so upping the stakes for a work party is always hard work.  But this year I'll be able to go all out - a Masquerade screams out for lace, sequins, leather, red lipstick and unapologetic extravagance!

The moment I got the email I set about compiling my pinterest board of amazing looks - don't forget to check it out as its lustworthy (not to blow my own trumpet or anything).   And it wasn't long till I headed to Reading with a trusty pal and began trying on a plethora of full length gowns!

Clockwise from left:  Biba Embellished waist deep v maxis dress from House of Fraser; Myleen Klass Origami Maxi Dress from VeryNigella Lawson; ASOS Peplum Plunge Maxi dress.

Black is an obvious choice for a Masquerade - it's chic, elegant, regal, and bewitching!  In the picture above I'm wearing a wonderful dress from Biba at House of Fraser.   The material is silky feeling and falls in soft folds around you.  It feels elegant and sophisticated - its easy to wear and hides a multitude of sins.  In this photo I'm wearing the size 16 and it fits like a glove!   If you have the budget to blow then astoundingly beautiful Forever Unique Lorna Maxi Dress from Simply Be is perfect for any girl with ample curves ...

Forever Unique Lorna Maxi Dress from Simply Be

I've always been just  little bit infatuated with emerald ... maybe it's something to with my love of The Wizard of Oz?

Left to Right: Cath Maxi Dress from Monsoon;  Biba Wrap over maxi dress in Bottle Green from House of Fraser; Christina Hendricks.

The Cath Maxi dress from Monsoon is to die for ... the ruching at the waist would make my waist oh-so-small and the deep v-neck will elongate the figure!  Unfortunately, I couldn't find it to try on in my latest shopping excursion but another Biba dress, the wrap over maxi dress is a close second.  It requires some shaping wear (which I am definitely not wearing this picture) or perhaps I need to raise it to a size 18 to avoid the unsightly bulging at the hips but the waist and neckline are fantastic on this.  You can't see it in the picture but there are tiny little buttons sitting just left of my hand that are simply adorable!

Easily my favourite dress of the day (and I tried on every full length gown I could find) was the Twilight Sequin Full Length dress by Collection 8 by Phase Eight.   It didn't immediately grab my eye, was drawn instead a the Gatsby-esque dress in deep green with subtle sequin detailing.  

My friend tried the Twilight on first but quickly ruled it out for herself.  I made a comment that it was more me than her and seconds later I found myself zipping myself up and strutting out on the red carpet (the changing room red carpet that is).

Twilight Full Length Dress from Collection 8 by Phase Eight

I was in love - I am in love!  The lace, the subtle sheen of the overlay, the nude slip, the plunging neck and cap sleeves.  It was even long enough for me to wear with killer heels (a rarity in a maxi dress).  Do I need to sell this dress more?

Unfortunately, I can't afford this dress.  As much as I would love to blow my money on this dress, I simply don't have that much so instead I shall dream and lust over the photos.

In the meantime, which mask shall I wear?  

And yes, I have dress but you'll just have to wait until after the night to see it!

C x x

A not-so-LBD party piece (almost) ...

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my favourite LBDs for the party season.  You can read the post here.   I spoke about how I was shocked to find that not everyone loves the LBD and I set out to convert them.

Yet, despite my perpetual love affair with anything deep, dark, and moody,  I thought I may just listen to some of my closest friends and do a post about party dresses in all colours - after all, just because its winter does not mean colour should be shunned to the dusty back rails of the wardrobe.

Many of the dresses featured below are my own and are great for transitioning from summer to winter and back again.  Unfortunately, not all are still for sale but are meant purely as inspiration for all you lovely, curvy ladies.

The Mrs Claus Dress

Everyone should have a red dress for the Christmas season, the type that screams 'I'm the sexiest Mrs. Claus out there'!  This year, mine is demure and figure hugging at the front, and screams sexy when I turn around to reveal a bare back.

Made from crepe, the dress is oh-so-flattering with a cinched waist and soft pleats at the hips.  I love the open back and, despite many people telling me I shouldn't wear a bra with an open back dress (because, you know, GG boobs don't need any support when you hit the dance floor) I paired it with a deep purple bra with a cross strap at the back.  I love revealing a contrasting bra and feel it adds a little va-va-voom to any outfit!

The dress is from ASOS and can be found here - its currently on sale for a mere £30 so snap it whilst you can!  The bra featured is by Gossard and unfortunately isn't for sale any more. 

The Vibrant Colour Dress

This dress is an old go-to!  I wore it from my hen night, a summer wedding, and a winter cocktail party.  

Its was purchased from Pepperberry last year and has bought a smile to my face every time I put it on.  In a vibrant aqua blue it turns heads wherever you go and looks great with bare legs and a tan, or par skin and dark tights.  

The waterfall detail is very flattering as is the sweeping neckline.  Every girl needs a dress like this in her wardrobe!

The Winter Blooms Dress

Florals are huge right now - especially when splattered across a figure hugging dress.  The low v and hip skimming shape does mean that I need some light support underwear for this ASOS Curve dress. I wear it with the Freya Deco range that provides light and comfortable support without any restriction.  

The large rose placed at the smallest point of my waist is a godsend!  It emphasises my best asset (in my eyes) and the pattern that falls across the hips gives me a taller, longer silhouette.  

I love this dress and can't wait to pull it out of the wardrobe when I next can!

So now you've seen that I do wear colour, but I'll soon be attempting to convert you back to the dark side when I review Monsoon's latest party collection ... don't to forget to check in for this on the weekend and if you have time, make sure to follow me on Bloglovin so you never miss a post!

C x x 

The Monsoon Party

I loved Monsoon as a teenager - it was a brand to aspire to.  Then I started earning money, could afford the clothes and promptly dismissed them as not very me!

Then, last weekend, I walked into the Monsoon store in Reading.  It was small with not the greatest selection but I walked out having fallen in love with 2 of their cocktail dresses and having a mild infatuation with a further 4.

The Lexi Lace Dress is to die for - I mean it.  With a dark, inky blue slip overlaid with luxurious lace and subtle beading, this dress makes me want to strut (and I don't strut for just any dress) into a smokey jazz bar and sip martinis for an evening of the moodiest blues imaginable.  Yes - this dress makes me want to become a bright young thing - hell, I have the hair (almost).

The allusion neckline and lacy sleeves are to die for and the cinched waist did 1001 things for my figure (including making me squeal with joy before prancing around the changing rooms for all to see).  

The other lust worthy dress (and I kid you not - I had dreams about this flirty number) is the Lorenna Lace Dress with heavy brocade that casts me in mind of the ceiling at the Ritz ballroom.  It is flirty, fun decadent, romantic, sheer, and prim all rolled into one. 

The Lorenna is one of the most versatile dresses in the store.  The size 16 fitted both me, a 5ft10 Amazonian, and my petite and curvy friend, Julia, perfectly!  I allowed her to buy the dress (purely cause I'm broke) but I plan on borrowing it at the first opportunity!

Another wonder that is amazing for a petite and curvy girl (unfortunately, it wasn't long enough in the body for my frame) is the Odabella Jacquard Dress that just screams Jackie O.  It cinched Julia's waist perfectly and made her dainty 5ft4 frame tall and elegant.  What's not to love about a dress like this?

Finally, I love the luxurious feel of the Vivienne Velvet Dress with the most adorable cut-out panel to the back.   Unfortunately, it didn't fit my frame very well.  I swim so have shoulders like a rugby player (or a line-backer for the American's that read this blog).  It was a little tight across my back and then not tight enough around my waist.  However, if you're pear-shaped, this dress is a must!

I was very impressed with Monsoon's collection and I can't wait to check out a larger store that stocks even more of these beauties ... and if anyone wants to buy me a cocktail dress for Christmas, the Lexi (first pictured) would be gratefully received. 

C x x 

The Hunt for a strapless wonder

I recently lost weight, purely through exercising like a loon after the doctor gave me the all clear to do so.   The best bit about dropping a bit of weight is the wealth of new lingerie that goes with it - my boobs actually got bigger, going from a standard G to a GG-H, and my back got smaller (a 36 from 38).

I had great fun filling my lingerie and shoe wardrobe (oh yes, I have this little slice of heaven located at the foot of my bed) with fantastically lacy, sheer, and frilly pieces.  I was safely in my element.

However, with the buying of extravagant bras and barely-there panties also comes the practical.  And you can't get more practical than a solution bra.  They're normally ugly, not the most flattering, and certainly worthy of resentment after you hand over £40 on something that you will not be revealing to anyone (unless you feature it on your blog in which case you'll plaster pictures across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest).

Today, on a fantastically wonderful day of girly shopping that included a plethora of selfies, prancing about in shoes with no intention of buying, and twirling in ball gowns (a post yet to come), I finally bit the bullet and headed to ye olde faithful; Bravissimo.

My helpful shop assistant bought me 3 bras in a multitude of sizes.

First up was the Freya Deco.  The bra felt fairly lovely against my skin and the 36 back fitted me perfectly.  Unfortunately, the cup didn't fit my boobs nicely.  The G was too small and the GG too big and didn't create a shape that I'd be happy with - there certainly wasn't any kind of uplift.

Next to come was the Evie Bra by Panache.  The cup size in a GG was fantastic and it gave me a great shape. The back, however, was gianormous.  You could fit 2 of me in the 36 and the 34 wasn't much better (even on the tightest rung).  The 32 was getting there but still not supportive enough for me to bounce about in.    Unfortunately, they didn't have a 30 in stock but I feel that would have been a been a better fit.  The picture below is off me wearing the 34GG and you can see that the bra is slipping downward and not offering much in the way of support as the back isn't fitted enough. 

Finally, I was tried Bravissimo's own bra the Contour Strapless Bra with detachable straps.  I was amazed.  The 36GG fitted like a glove - and it was supportive enough for me to jump up and down in without any slippage! I also love the shape it gave me with a subtle vintage shape that will look wonderful with 50's style dresses. 

The bra was only £30 and I think its worth every penny.  It has an added support inside the cup to provide that extra bit of support and the grip inside doesn't stick or irritate like it does on many bras. 

And, to satisfy my need for pure indulgence - I bought this amazing slip and panty set from Wacoal at  John Lewis - and it was sheer heaven!

C x x