Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Fashion | UKPSFW

We are only weeks away from UK Plus-size fashion week - the largest plus event in Europe, where buyers, press, bloggers and oodles of lovely ladies and gents join together for a fashion filled weekend. This year, the event promises to be bigger and better with catwalk shows, a beauty bar, panel discussions and you might also spot a few celebs! It's so refreshing to finally have an event where we plus fashion lovers can meet up, and view next seasons hottest styles. 


Friday, 21 August 2015

Lifestyle | Beginners yoga tips

I previously assumed that yoga and meditation was something people did to look fashionable, follow the celebs and live the 'Tumblr lifestyle'. I most definitely ate my words as I've now been completely converted, and really wish I'd given it a go before now.  It wasn't until I saw online that practicing yoga can help to decrease lactic acid in your muscles, and also decrease joint pain, that I thought I needed to give it a go as this would be a huge plus considering I have a joint related condition. I've yet to find somewhere local to me for beginners classes, so for now I practice at home as often as I can. I can honestly say, it's one of the most relaxing and enjoyable parts of my day. I appreciate that for a lot of people it's difficult to find the time, but even if it's something you make time for a couple of times a week - you'll thank yourself!

I'm in no way a yoga expert, but from my experience so far, I've popped together some tips which I think could be useful to any fellow newbies!


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Lifestyle | How I gained confidence

I was pretty much always the 'chubby' kid. Even in primary school I was a little bigger than the others, which then followed on to high school. Near enough six horrendous years (at a school I felt ignored bullying) which I'm so relieved I'll never have to relive. Moving onto uni, I was yet again bigger than the friends I made - that didn't bother me as such, it was just inconvenient at times. I remember trying to make excuses as to why I couldn't go shopping with them, solely because I knew that Topshop, Riverisland etc didn't stock my size, so I saved myself the embarrassment and just didn't go. I used to try to get in and out of the Newlook inspire section as quickly as humanly possible, just in case anyone I knew saw me. When I think about all this now, I really really wish I could tell the me back then that all of that hiding just isn't worth it. 

I tried to act as confident as I could, but even that can become really difficult. I remember buying a beautiful, on trend hot pink pencil skirt, it was fitted and I remember thinking about sending it back as it showed off more than I was comfortable with, but in the end I wore it. My confidence was crushed within the hour when I heard a guy in a bar make some sort of fat-shaming related comment to his friends about me. I got obsessed with diets, skipping from one to the next when I didn't see much of a difference, I'd swim for hours instead of going out with my friends, and in general I was incredibly hard on myself. I couldn't get to the point of being happy with my body. 

Fast forward a couple of years, and I land my ideal job in fashion buying. Unfortunately 2 years later, that was followed by a diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis (kickstarted by a hell of an infection). It's at that point, when I felt at my very lowest due to the pain from my condition, losing then gaining weight due to steroids/medication, and having to sacrifice my job, that I stumbled upon a blog which was not only full of positivity, but encouraged me to celebrate my body, and enjoy fashion regardless of what others thought of me. That blog was From The Corners of The Curve by mega babe Callie Thorpe. Callie's positive nature, body confidence, and clear love of fashion really inspired me,  and her blog was most definitely what planted the seed to the beginning of my new found confidence. 

For me, the battle was just as much mental as it was physical. To drastically change your mindset takes time, and it really has taken me a while to get to this point. If you're wondering why I'm explaining all of this, it's because I want people who are going through the same body-hate as I did, to know that you can change your mindset, it just takes time and encouragement. I created ChloEllio.co.uk in October last year, and feel overwhelmed by the positive response I've had. I've been approached by brands I admire, and been included in some lovely articles - all of which have been a huge confidence boost, however the most rewarding thing is knowing that I'm helping to encourage others to love their body, whilst offering some plus fashion insight. I've read a lot recently (and had comments on my Instagram) that we plus bloggers are 'promoting obesity'. That is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. If I instagrammed a picture of me sat stuffing my face at McDonalds with the caption 'Come get fat with me!', then perhaps I could be accused of that. I'm simply trying to promote the fact that you can wear whatever the hell you want, and look however you want, regardless of what society tells us. 

We all deserve to have happiness, and to live our own lives the way we want to live them. I try to eat healthily, swim, and do yoga as many times a week as my body can handle, yet at times I am still judged solely on the way I look. It's perplexing how small minded and unempathetic some humans can be. The kind of human that thinks its okay to leave a comment on my Instagram page calling my picture 'disgusting' when i posted a picture in a bikini. The kind of human that thinks he has the right to shout abuse at me from a passing car. The guy in the bar that thought it was okay to body shame me right in front of my friends. The truth is, they are weak people that feel the need to bring others down to make themselves feel better, or to 'show off' to their friends. They don't know of the potential underlying illness or mental struggles a person might have. I do not understand why they feel the need to, or think they have a right to shame others. 

I wish I could tell the me back at school - and at uni - that I would accept myself, even after being diagnosed with a debilitating condition, that I would create a space which would encourage others to be happy regardless of how they looked, that I would meet the kindest, most supportive man I've ever met in my life, and that judging someone based purely on how they look is... pointless. So, if you're someone that wishes for confidence, or wants to look like someone else, please just be happy that you are you. Only YOU can bring out that confidence you're looking for. 


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Fashion | Navabi AW15 New In's

Navabi is the ultimate place to shop if you're looking for premium plus size fashion. The website itself is effortlessly stylish, easy to use and has some inspirational fashion content with tips and clips from the likes of supermodel Ashley Graham, and blogger mega-babe Nicolette Mason. As we're now seeing new season stock trickling onto the 'New In' pages, I thought I'd show you my picks from what's new on the Navabi website. Hope you love them as much as I do! 

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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Fashion | Newlook Off Duty OOTD

I cannot help but buy into new season styles early. When I see something I like from the season ahead, I know I probably shouldn't buy it quite yet, but then outfits start building in my head and before I know it, I've bought it. Although I don't really want to admit it, were almost at that transitional time between summer and autumn, so I thought I'd start early! 

I went on a bit of a Newlook spree the other day as I'm pretty impressed with their early peek into AW15, so here's a couple things I picked up.

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