29 Sept 2014

OOTD: Luxe

It was Ben's birthday last weekend and he is soon off for a work rotation in China. Every weekend has become even more special for us as we count down the weeks until he departs. So with that in mind and the fact it was his birthday, last Saturday I wanted to look like a total fox!

I've had this gorgeous Meri by Design sequin cape in my wardrobe for the last few weeks. Its been hanging next to my mirror and not a day has gone by where I haven't looked it, touched it or sighed at its fabulousness. Its such a gorgeous statement piece and I knew it would be perfect for Ben's birthday cocktails!

Sequin cape: c/o Meri by Design
Slip: City Chic
Necklace: Colette
Heels: Torrid
Clutch: a rocking vintage find

I've never felt more luxurious. The weight, feel and movement of this jacket just feels luxe! I wanted to keep the outfit otherwise simple, so styled it with a plain black slip and minimal jewellery. A cape like this doesn't need much, its such a wow piece by itself that it makes everything look like understated glam. I used my vintage gold clutch to carry my essentials and I love the way it picks up the subtle gold tones.

Based in New South Wales, I first came across Meri by Design when I saw them on the runway at the Curvy Couture Roadshow (check out my post about them here!). From the first opulent piece until the last, I was hooked! I adore the cuts and elegant design of the brands collections, each one is so distinctive and eye-catching. I love that there is a high fashion plus-size label like this that is Aussie made and designed. It makes me proud to see the leaps and bounds Australian plus-size fashion is taking. I can put this cape on and feel like a movie star, its everything a wardrobe investment piece should be: high fashion, luxurious, timeless and glamorous.

How would you wear this sequin cape? 

26 Sept 2014

In review: teeth whitening

In the last few (very celebratory) months, I've noticed a steady decline in the shade and colour of my teeth. Its one of the things I've always been concious about. Did you know, that when I smile you can see 18 of my teeth. Seriously, eighteen, I counted. That's a whole lot of pearly white showing when I'm laughing, happy, smiling, talking or singing. It also means, I have nowhere to hide the evidence that I quite enjoy a few glasses of cab sav and my morning coffee. So teeth whitening time it is!

I've been chatting with the team from Smile Brilliant for quite some time and am really excited to bring you guys this review of their teeth whitening package. I'm most definitely not a teeth whitening virgin, in fact, I'd go so far to say I'm smile-vain and a bit of a whitening connoisseur. That said, I always do my research before I try a product out and was super impressed when I read the Smile Brilliant reviews. 

The team sent me out a full custom made kit with moulds, whitening gel and desentistizing gel to review. The moulds you prepare yourself and then send back to the Smile Brilliant factory in the USA for them to prepare. This was SB's biggest draw card for me. I hate fumbling around with generic mouth and teeth trays when whitening, the personalised trays make it all so much easier and more comfortable. 

The moulds were easy to make. Following the instructions I mixed the two puttys together, smooshed them out into a cylinder and then fit it inside the tray. I bit down in the middle of the tray and left them in for about two minutes before removing and leaving to dry. Once hard, I popped them in the envelope and off they went into the post!

After sending them off, there was less than a 3 week turn-around before I had my custom made whitening trays in my hot little hand. From the very first wear, they fit perfectly, snug and comfortable at my gum line.

I used the whitening gel and trays daily for a full week, usually for about an hour or so each evening. The first day I used the de-sensitizing gel as suggested and felt barely anything while wearing the trays. The second night I was a bit rushed for time so skipped the de-sensitizing and jumped straight to the whitening stage. I felt a light tingling for about the first ten minutes, but nothing even close to uncomfortable. For the rest of the week, I used the whitening gel only, popping the trays in while doing a bit of emailing, blogging or reading a few chapters of a book. The instructions were easy to follow and I found I actually used a lot less product as I got used to the tray size.  I didn't keep too close of an eye on the clock and time spent each night wearing the whitening trays varied from about 60 to 90 minutes- depending on chapter length or cool stuff happening on Facebook.

So.....moment of truth! Here is my before and afters! I've always thought I had pretty white teeth anyway, but seeing this change is incredible! To say I'm impressed would be an understatement, I'm loving my new pearly whites!  I am particularly impressed with the difference at the base of my bottom row, that area has always held the stains the worst and they are just about gone in my week later photo!

So, you want to know what's even cooler than how rad my teeth look now? I've got a complete, custom made whitening set valued at $180 to give away to one of you guys too! I would never do this for a brand I didn't really love and this (extremely) smile-vain lady is stoaked about sharing this with you all! For your chance to win, all you need to do is leave a comment below telling me what you think about teeth whitening and then fill in the Rafflecopter giveaway widget! For extra entries you can like some awesome 
Facebook pages too! I'm all about the extra entries, plus if you haven't liked my Facebook page yet, you should get on that quick smart! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The competition will close next Saturday the 4th of October and is open to entrants world-wide. So skip down into the comments and tell me what you think!

21 Sept 2014

OOTD: Grunge

I've never denied my inner grunge-goddess; I'm pretty sure I was wearing platforms, low ponytails and flannel before it was cool, just ask me about it. A true 90's girl to the core, I was heavily influenced by my older siblings' music tastes while growing up. Pearl Jam was (and still is!) my lullaby and emotional and brooding muso guys were my crush of choice. The new BooHoo Plus collection grabbed me from the get-go with its sports-luxe and grungy feel. As soon as I saw this sleeveless waistcoat, I knew I had to have it!

Jacket: c/o BooHoo
Dress: BooHoo
Slip: City Chic
Necklace: old stock Colette
Platforms and Clutch: Betts
Sunnies: Markets

I'd picked up this dress in the sales a few months ago and have worn it quite a few times. I'd actually forgotten it was a BooHoo dress until I looked at the tags when doing the list above. So, funnily enough, pretty-much this whole outfit is from the one shop! I wanted to keep a monochrome look for the waistcoat and I love how it all came together. The dress has a swing shape that works perfectly with the waistcoat's structure, plus, without sleeves its going to transition easily into the Summer months as well. I'm wearing a UK size 24 in these photos and its a little big under the arms (I find I'm pretty consistently a UK24/AU22 in the BooHoo range, but its nice to know the jackets have the little bit more room in them).

These platforms are my absolute faves, they always add that extra oomph to an outfit. Plus, I love that I can wear them all day - I pretty-much only wear heels if I know I'm going to be spending the majority of the night sitting down! Lastly, for a rainbow pop, I wore out my Betts floral clutch, its surprisingly roomy and fits everything I need - even my huge hangover-hiding sunnies!

I couldn't resist adding in these snaps of Nadia Aboulhosn, brand ambassador for this BooHoo collection. She just absolutely nailed it and the photos literally make me want to buy every piece!

Which of Nadia's looks do you like best?
How would you style this sleeveless waistcoat?

14 Sept 2014

OOTD: Springtime

I love the layer shedding that happens in Spring. There is something about this wonderful transition season where you can still wear jackets but not have to cover your legs up. Fashion wise, I wish it was spring all year long! 

Dress: c/o Scarlett & Jo available via Evans
Necklace and handbag: Colette
Heels: Target
Earrings and sunnies: eQuip

This gorgeous dress is part of the Scarlett & Jo Prom dress collection and it's not hard to see why it's become a wardrobe favourite. With it's bright colours and mesh d├ęcolletage, I literally feel like I could wear it anywhere and be the best dressed babe in the room. 

My favourite thing about this dress (apart from the fact its available in sizes 14 to 32) is the cut. I have unbelievably short legs. I'm 165cm tall and about 120cm of that is torso. Okay, a little over exaggeration yes, but the point is that the cinch of this dress hits right at my natural waist, a modern wonder in fashion today. Never once did I feel like I was pulling or rearranging the lines of my outfit, it sat perfectly over my curves and draped in a way that I felt confident in all day- sitting or standing. Sizing wise, I'm wearing the UK24 here and it's a little big around the bust and shoulders, I think the 22 would have been a spot on fit for me. 

I styled the outfit up with some basic platform heels and monochrome stripes, I'm a huge fan of floral and stripe mixing. Plus how rocking is this zebra necklace with its fluffy eyelashes, it gives me lash envy every time I look at it! Lastly, big hair, a dress this chic and classic deserves big hair! 

How would you wear this dress? 
What's your favourite fashion season? 

9 Sept 2014

My Favourite: Shopping as a plus-size bride

Wedding dress shopping is a pretty bid deal. Obviously. And for us plus-size girls, it can be a scary experience. Everyone has an idea about what they want and I know you could tell me where your local bridal shop is, but I'm also pretty sure you could tell me about a friend/cousin/sister who's had a nasty bridal shop experience. I had read some horror stories about shopping as a plus-size bride and to say I was anxious when I started my search would be an understatement.

So I'm going to throw it straight out there and say I LOVED wedding dress shopping- and I think its because I went in prepared. I did a bit of research and had an idea about some of the dresses I wanted and I goggled places near me that stock plus-size. Once I had a plan, I seriously enjoyed every minute. Yes, you end up pretty much naked in a change-room with someone you've just met, yes you are going to get hot and sweaty so make sure you wear the industrial strength deodorant and YES not every dress is going to look good, no matter how much you want it to. BUT, the most important thing to remember is that this is YOUR day. Get the dress you want, the one you feel comfortable in and the one that means the most to you. And hopefully you start your search with a little less worry by checking out some of the stores I stalked below- enjoy!

Henry Roth

With an amazing array of breath taking gowns, Henry Roth is an Australian based company with some pretty rad history. Back story aside, I literally spent hours pouring over images of the Henry Roth collection when choosing my own dress. They are stocked in a wide range of Australian stores (easily found by using their 'where to buy' link) and come in sizes 2 to 30. What I loved most though, was their album of real weddings featuring a bunch of gorgeous plus-size brides rocking their designs!

Dress: Zoe

Dress: Elma

Dress: Alexi

Dress: Camille

Dresses: Chloe and Eden

Michelle Roth

Available in sizes 0-30, Michelle Roth is sister to Henry and her dresses are available for purchase in Sydney and Adelaide (check out the website for international stores). Her collection is a wonderful continuation on the sophistication and elegance present in Henry's creations. I love both the simplicity and the opulence of these dresses, its not hard to feel like a princess on your big day when wearing a dress as exquisite as these.

Dress: Reina

Dress: Rhoda

Dress: Rosalind

For Her and For Him

I stumbled across For Her and For Him while doing some on-line bridesmaid shopping- in fact, all of my ladies hot pink bridesmaids dresses were purchased off of this site using their measurement guide! Based in New York, their collection of dresses range from the eclectic and modern to a definite vintage twist. By the time I'd found these guys I had already purchased my dress, but I didn't hesitate to order the girls dresses from them. The ordering, shipping and customer service was flawless. They pre-make dresses in size 2 to 26 but also offer the opportunity to fully customise and make your dress to measure- including a variety of colour options. They have easy to follow, step by step measurement instructions to help you find the best fit for you and with most wedding gowns falling around the $500 mark, there are some sure fire beauties up for grabs on this site! (Skip down to the bottom to see my bridesmaids in their For Her and For Him dresses)

Sydney's Closet

Sydney's Closet specialize in plus-size, glamorous gowns and with the outrageously reasonable prices (some from as little as $150), they should be your first stop shop when hunting for the dress of your dreams. AND they stock wedding dresses from a size 14 to 44! To have such a wonderful inclusion of sizes takes all the stress out of wedding dress shopping and with a flat international shipping price of $65, I'm sure you will find what you're looking for here.

Alfred Angelo

Alfred Angelo was my stand out choice when I thought about the type of dress I wanted to wear. Their dresses are ethereal and romantic with exquisite attention to detail. Size wise, the vast majority of the Angelo dresses are made from a 0 to a USA 26- with some going up to a 30, I love that I can choose a brand that fits me and my skinny-minny besties. AND they have a Disney Princess inspired dress collection, yes, how freaking cool is that?! So if you truly want to look like a princess, these are the dresses for you!

Check out the stockiest directory on their Australian website for places you can go and see these beauties in real life. Local babes, I tried on quite a few of the Angelo dresses at Brides By The Bay in Capalaba. 

Mia Solano

And then, saving (my favourite, obviously) for last, I bought my Mia Solano dress from Luv Bridal, a boutique bridal store that can be found in most major Aussie cities -check out the list here! Available in sizes 2 to 28, the Mia Solano range is classically dramatic. Here are a few of my favourites and then skip down to my happy snaps of my Mia dress on our day!

Dress: Amalie and M1347l

Dress: M1325I and M1219Z

You hear stories about when people tried on THE DRESS for the first time and I always thought they were rubbish, until, I kid you not, I cried when I saw myself in this dress in the Luv Bridal mirrors. Ridiculous but true. With its hand beading, boned waist and bust, chapel length train and eye catching runching, I knew it was the dress that I had to have! It was paid for and in my car half an hour after that first try-on! Size wise, I'm wearing a 20 and paid to have the bust tailored in- never under-estimate the power of a good tailor!

My ladies in their For Her and For Him Dresses

What are some of your wedding dress shopping experiences?
Do you have a 'horror story'??
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