Browsing Tag

Plus Size Fashion

Autumn Wardrobe at Kew Gardens

Boden Yellow Duffle Coat Housewife Confidential

With the mercury dropping by the second and a chilly winter ahead of us I am ready to embrace the warm and snuggly clothing of Autumn.

Recently Rachel and I headed up to Kew Gardens to revel in the Autumnal explosion of colour and shoot some of our autumn looks. Yes, I changed multiple times during the day in public and felt no shame!

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Failing My Fitness Challenge?

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The time in between years is a time we use to reflect on the year gone by. As part of our Solstice & New Year rituals we light a candle each night and towards the turning of the year our discussions centre around the past 12 months and the coming year.

Last year I crossed a mental barrier and had joined the local gym. I had spent a long time thinking about my increasing lack of activity and I wanted to be strong and fit for Blogtacular in the Spring.

When I went for my induction I snapped the photo above and uploaded it to Instagram. The response and support was so incredible that I added a hashtag, #katfit52, on a whim. Standing there at the foot of the mountain in January I figured it couldn’t get harder to go to the gym each week.

So it turns out that doing something every single week is tough. There are several reasons for this: my childcare hours got cut, I tore my calf muscle and I was really really tired. I think the overriding issue was that after Blogtacular my singular focus had gone and, compounded by squeezed time and injury, I let it slip. When the first week I didn’t set foot in the gym passed it became easier to let it slide down the priority list and I don’t think I’ve been in there on a Monday morning in the last six months.

Of course I am almost deliberately looking at this from the negative point of view. If you flip it around I went from pretty much zero active weeks to 37/52. That’s 70% and I’m taking it as a win.


I learned a lot from not completing my 52 in 52 weeks; sometimes setting a challenge isn’t as straight forward as it first seems.

One: I was so out of tune with my body. I knew that I wasn’t feeling right but until I started to actually focus on what my body could do that I realised just how much it couldn’t. The first time I did the cross trainer I couldn’t manage more then three or four minutes.

Two: finding plus size workout gear and shoes is in and of itself a nearly impossible task. This time of year is your best bet as big businesses cash in on our resolutions. My solutions – sports bra from Simply Be, running leggings from Sainsbury’s, (men’s wide) shoes by New Balance and t-shirts from ASOS although these are cotton rather than technical tees.

Three: July and December are a write off. It’s taken me a long while to realise that school events and the flurry of trying to get work done before the end of term leaves little time for anything else. I need to factor this in next year, lots of frustration came from trying to carry on as normal.

Four: people assume I’m trying to lose weight. I’m not, I’ve said so from the start. I know I would feel better if I did but I also know enough about the complexities of my body and weight to know that it’s not that simple. I’ve ended the year on the same weight as I began; no more, no less. I’m good with this and I hope everyone else is too.

Five: and this is the big one. It’s ok. It’s ok not to do it all. It’s ok to cut yourself some slack. The world doesn’t end, you can fail and start over.

So that’s my year of fitness. 37/52 weeks and proud of it. I’m undecided on whether I will finish the hashtag or begin a new one. One thing I know for sure is that this is important to me and I’ll be making time for it in 2015.

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Plus Size Fashion and My Personal Style

Buying Cool Plus Size Fashion


I both love and hate clothes. I don’t know if there was ever a time when shopping for clothes wasn’t a burning shameful reminder that I and my body were other.

I am differently shaped to many people but frankly, I am not alone and it constantly baffles me that capitalists hate fat people so much that they would rather not have our money than have us wear their clothes. The impact of this rejection is that I have such a small selection of clothes to choose from when expressing myself.

So clothes shopping for me is hard work. I feel like I have to look three times as hard to find something which suits my style and I am constantly making compromises. A lot of people ask me where I shop and as I know the pain of searching for clothes you like I wanted to share a few of my current go-to places.

Where to Buy Plus Size Clothing in the UK


Lady Bird Likes Butterfly Necklace

Boden: I spend way too much money with Boden (and always right before a bigger discount comes along, not cool Johnnie) I don’t regret a penny though as I am incredibly comfortable in their dresses and cardigans.

I find I need to be careful with what I buy, always a stretch fabric and long length. Dresses, tees, cardigans and jumpers all work well. Trousers and skirts never seem to and tops are a bit hit and miss. Big love for Boden – without them I would have been in a tight spot for clothes the last couple of years.

Monsoon: I have been a Monsoon fan for years. There was a time when most of my wardrobe came from their racks. I haven’t found much for me in there for ages then recently I stopped in to find a wedding outfit and hit upon the striped dress I’m wearing in the top image. I love that dress so much even if I do seem to get pit stains in it (no idea why and don’t much care!)

The green cardigan I have on in these pictures is from Monsoon too and I look forward to wearing it each Spring, it has a three quarter bell sleeve which is so gorgeous. I have lots of their clothes which have lasted years which when you wear through clothes like I do is a major plus.

Sainsbury’s / Asda: I feel so conflicted about buying clothes in supermarkets. It boils down to not having the choice or money to rule them out completely.

Sainsbury’s do a reasonable range of workout gear and I also bought my favourite Autumn dress here last year – I loved it so much I picked up a second when I saw it on sale. I used to buy jeans here but they reduced their size range this year (why?) so I either have to go down a couple of sizes or hope they don’t wear thin any time soon.

Asda do amazing linen trousers, they sell quickly but I grab a pair each year. I adore linen and just can’t resist it even if it doesn’t stand up to the rigours of plus size wear.

Simply Be: I really struggle to find simple Summer shoes but thankfully Simply Be do wide shoes and I’m on my third pair of these red canvas shoes. I also picked up the maxi skirt in the picture above. Sure, I have to wear it pulled up to my bra line but it’s my favourite skirt this season.

I recently went back to underwired bras after over seven years in maternity/nursing bras. I bought a pair of simple bras here as they have a good range of back sizes along with a sports bra for the gym.

We Love Colors: Colour is definitely good for my soul and when I found We Love Colors a few years ago I knew I’d struck gold. They make the full spectrum of colours in tights, fishnets and footless tights. I’m a big fan of their footless tights which I wear instead of leggings under dresses. What I love about them is they have such a huge range of plus size tights <– check them out.

If in doubt, accessorise: there is no doubt that you have more flexibility in what you add to an outfit. I’m a fan of perspex jewellery, Tatty Devine is a particular swoon-fest (oh for some of the RobRyan collection!). The butterfly necklace in the pictures above is form Ladybird Likes and came in my Blogtacular goody bag. I love my new glasses, I got them from MyOptique (although have since been disappointed by their customer service), and when you have to wear them all of the time I think it’s worth getting glasses right.


Plus Size Fashion and Personal Style

So I’m not shopping anywhere ground breaking I just work on selecting the pieces that really fit with my style. I wear everything until it has holes in (happens a lot) and track discounts so I don’t spend a fortune. I’m interested to know where you shop if you have trouble finding clothes you like too.

It does depress me that my choices are so limited. I know I should really be making my own clothes and boycotting the industry that rejects me and exploits others. And maybe one day I will but for now I trawl the internet looking for the clothes that suit my personality.