How to dress for the beach…

bikinibodymeme

I posted this picture on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fatgirlskinnyjeans) a while back, but thought I’d share it here for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I think this is the perfect advice for this heatwave! People complain constantly about people keeping it covered up;  just because its sunny doesn’t mean you have to have everything on show and whilst I agree that just because there’s a bit of sunshine (think bright day in February) doesn’t mean you have to whip your top off, the fact that we are having an EPIC heatwave means it might be a bloody good idea!

There is no point sitting there feeling self conscious, roasting to death because you’re worried about what someone might say or think of your arms and legs or your lumps and bumps. If you are on the beach and you want to prance about in your bathing costume, then do it! Don’t let everyone else have all the fun. I can say this with full confidence because I did in fact do just this yesterday.

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Bird and I had an impromptu trip to a local beach (we are lucky in that we have quite a few to choose from) and both decided to sport our swimwear for a bit of paddling; Bird in her snazzy swimming costume and me in my tankini. Let me tell you I am rather glad we did as it was absolutely scorchio, albeit with a lovely sea breeze! There was no greater feeling than letting it all hang out like a beached whale; bliss! Most people were wearing their bathing suits so it wasn’t just us, which was nice and reassuring. I for once felt completely fine with the situation, it was just lovely to keep cool and not have to worry.

I have absolutely zero body confidence, or at least I did. I like to keep everything covered (unless I’m baking hot apparently) but for once to just throw caution to the wind and go for it was awesome. I have been like this before when on holiday abroad, but doing it here on a local beach is another matter; we could have very easily bumped into someone we know and that could get awkward and embarrassing. However I didn’t feel embarrassed, I didn’t feel ashamed (though some people probably think I should have) or stupid or in fact anything negative other than boiling hot.

At the end of the day, you should dress in whatever makes you happy and feel good. Yes there are plenty of different ways to dress for your shape and inevitably if these do look good on you, show off your waist line and make the rest of you look smaller, you will feel happier and more confident. But there’s no point wearing that burgundy dress for example if black or even pink are more your thing.

So if you want to get your pins out whilst building a sand castle or two (with a moat and a flag of course, how else would you build one?!) go for it! You will feel happier in yourself if you simply just wear whatever the f*** you want! A heatwave is the perfect excuse to forget what you should and shouldn’t be wearing. Enjoy the sun while it lasts, whether that be completely covered up (which is good if like me you burn easily) or let it all hang out (which feels marvelous) just don’t forget the sun cream!! Regardless of what you wear (or don’t wear) red and peeling is not a good look.

Oh Cambridge Satchel Company, how I loathe thee…

I am the kind of person who thinks getting back with an ex is like putting on your dirty under crackers after a shower, which is why it will come as a shock to you all (probably not)  that I caved and briefly got back together with the Cambridge Satchel Company and purchased a bag…

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This lovely 14” purple classic satchel comes courtesy of my fabulous husband, and is my new best friend. Now the customer service was brill, the girls in store knew their product and were happy to let you fondle the bags and try them on in front of the mirror. However…

I was highly disappointed when they said for 8 letters or more embossing, they would need to get ‘a quote’ and not the new and higher £28 cap. I was told it would be £35, but the overall price she quoted was way higher. I realised afterwards that was actually too high and a lot more than the extra £7. So £35 from the original max of £20 from a few weeks ago –yeah right! I still fail to see how it is suddenly worth that much extra.  I told them I would just leave the bag, as regardless of the letter count it is still only £28 online and attempted to walk out, but the manager kindly waved the extra and said, “it’s only £7” to which I pointed out “I don’t earn much money, to me £7 is a lot” I however was cut off before I managed to point out £7 on top of their recent increases was sheer greed! They said it was because it takes a lot of their time, but as the shop was incredibly quiet, they were hardly rushed off their feet with purchases of satchels and orders of embossing.

And then, just to add insult to injury, they are having their ‘end of season’ sale as of today! Why mid week?! That’s a tad bizarre and horrible to behold, knowing EXACTLY how much my bag ended up costing.

I love my bag, despite the fact it’s very heavy, and hard to fit things into as the leather needs time to soften and stretch. It smells amazing and feels like it will last a long, long time but I doubt I’ll be buying another unless it is in the clearance. So many people have ‘bigged up’ the company, raved about their amazing customer service and how the price is amazing in comparison to their quality, but I just feel highly disappointed. I really do love my bag and will be using it for my work bag (its bigger than the little one I wanted for just nipping out with, so a bit too heavy for running to the shops etc) job interviews and for travel, I just feel very disappointed and somewhat heartbroken with a company who I have championed for what feels like a long time.

So thus proving that is ALWAYS a bad idea to get back together with an ex, even if they do make very lovely bags…*sigh*

Men, looking for jeans that actually fit? Head to Next!

Jean shopping with the husband…I did promise to buy him some (that actually fit) for his birthday but still, the thought of actually going through the pain of jean shopping for someone else still filled me with dread. So off we popped. He, like myself, has recently lost a good amount of weight and wanted some nice fitting jeans in a smaller size.

My husband claims to have quite short legs despite being tall, and often has the trouble that short is too short and regular is sometimes too long. I personally decided he was being daft, as his jeans always hang too low and made him try on long. What do you know, perfect fit! However, before this amazing discovery, we had to actually find somewhere with his size in a long…apparently only regular and short were available (perhaps the reason he came to his odd conclusion).

We tried New Look, Burtons, Top Man and anywhere else you can think of and were about to give up when it dawned on me, “we haven’t been to Next!” So with a big sigh and an, “alright then…” we went to work.

Within minutes we found some in his size with long leg, success! He tried on several pairs including a pair of slim fit  (which have the skinny jean effect on him) it was a good giggle but it did show us exactly how thin he is these days and my was it impressive (his weight loss, minds out of the gutter please)! He opted for 2 lovely pairs, one straight leg and the other loose fit, both in a very nice dark denim.

I posted a while back that Bird and I went in search of some jeans for her partner who needs an awkward leg size as (unlike my husband) he actually does have short legs despite not being short and found the only pair in the country it would seem of the correct size in Next.

So there you have it folks, if your men folk need jeans that actually fit , look nice and are a reasonable price, get straight to Next, don’t spend needless hours in search of that perfect pair (as we all know how much they hate it).

My break up with the Cambridge Satchel Company

It is with deepest sadness I have to inform you of my break up with The CSC.

On Friday after a very brief 24 hours notice, they ended their clearance section. What they didn’t warn customers about was their up and coming price increase which came into effect today. Their bags have increased in a rather bizarre fashion, The 11″ has increased by £5, the 13″ by £10, the 14″ by £12 and I can only guess at the 15″ as I didn’t pay much attention to this previously.  The embossing has increased to £7 a letter from £5, and the price cap has increased by £8 to £28 from £20. So the 13″ with embossing which should have cost £118, would now be £136, which is more expensive than buying a 14″ designer satchel at £133* with free embossing. The oxblood is now also £12 more expensive than the other colours as well. For a bag that was £81 or there about last summer, this increase is STEEP.

Had I known about this, I would have purchased a bag sooner, but I had the crazy idea that it would be more fun to buy in person from their Covent Garden store. Silly me, what was I thinking! Those of you who are regular readers of this blog (and indeed have to put up with me on a daily basis) will know how much I have lusted over these bags and driven you all mad talking about them non-stop and may understand exactly how hurt I am and how personally I have taken it.

I am most upset and went as far as to send them a strongly worded email, even including the fact they had failed to update their FAQ to indicate the price increase. They have since fixed their FAQ but no response as of yet. Considering they hold bloggers in high esteem and often thank them for their success, it would appear unless you have millions of followers and a rave review of their bags, they couldn’t care less. Hopefully, they will change my opinion of them somehow, but so far, it’s not looking good.

I am sure after copious amounts of chocolate, alcohol and drunken renditions of ‘All by myself’ followed by ‘Without you’, I’ll be able to move on and find a new bag from another company that will appreciate me more and treat me with the respect I deserve, but right now I just want that one *sobs*. Please be on standby for the follow up ‘what a f***ing liberty’ (anger) and ‘well it was just a stupid bag anyway’ (acceptance) posts.

*Since posting this, the cost of the 14″ designer has now gone up to £135. Only £2 and hardly worth mentioning, but still…

Facing the demons and the Yorkshire Soap Company

As you know I went with some friends back to the place that started this blog. We somehow successfully avoided any clothes shops and decided to stick to nice smelling shops and pubs (not necessarily nice smelling). We did however manage to visit one particularly interesting shop: The Yorkshire Soap Company.

The shop was epic. Classical music floods your ears as you peruse the vast expanse of soaps and ‘bath truffles’.

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The products are displayed in an amazing fashion, on cake stands and in bell jars on a piano.  The smell is amazing; floral, delicious, yet mellow. It was hard to decide where to look next, with such a variety of colours, shapes, textures and smells. Everywhere we turned customers were taking photographs of pretty much everything in sight, which was handy as it made me feel much less conspicuous. The shop oozes class and charm in spades and as if it couldn’t get anymore classy, this shop does not contain baskets, no, to purchase your items you take them to the till on nothing less than a silver platter!

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It was an exciting experience, thus proving I am in fact a classy bird. It was possibly too posh for the likes of even me mind, so we decided to tone it down afterwards by buying a pasty.

I also spied several Cambridge Satchels on my travels during the day, a gorgeous red 13″ with gold embossing, and later on an 11″ pink metallic. Both very pretty, the red especially. Whilst on the topic of the Cambridge Satchel Company, they have rather sadly ended their clearance section. This means, unfortunately, I am being forced to buy a full priced satchel…such a shame…

Quick update

It is rather scary and somewhat depressing to see another 2 weeks (and then some) has gone by without a post. I can only apologise and bloody well get on with it! Haha.

So far so good with the survey but we still need a heck of alot more before I can start contacting retailers, so please pass this on to your friends and family. I have some cards with the blog details on, if anybody wants some to hand out, just let me know. I also have some stickers in a variety of colours to stick on the envelopes when I send the survey results off to add a professional edge and to show them I mean business!

Not long now till our summer hols and whilst I am keenly stalking the clearance section of the cambridge satchel company, there isn’t long left till our visit to the Covent Garden store, where (hopefully) I may pick one up in person.

I am also visiting the place that started it all for me here at Fat Girl, Skinny Jeans again this weekend with some friends. I am still traumatised from my last shopping trip there, so I may just avoid the clothes shops altogether!

It has been busy here at FGSJ central lately (hence the lack of posts) but hopefully that will calm down. Take care gang, until next time.

Shopping in your own wardrobe!

You could say (or at least I would) that it was fate that my handbag broke, that it was a sign (or at least the perfect excuse) that I should buy that Cambridge that I’ve been lusting after. However, I’ve taken the opportunity to follow the trend for ‘shopping in your own wardrobe’.

I rooted through our downstairs cupboard and the unopened boxes from our move last year (we’re bad, I know) in an attempt to find a bag. I pulled out my purple patent leather ‘smart’ bag, a bag I bought with my mum when shopping for an outfit for a job interview (for the job I currently have) but last time it was used ‘for best’ was about 2 years ago. So I’ve taken the opportunity to use it for work.

The bag

It is rather lovely and as one of the most expensive bags I own, was the last bag I truly lusted after. I saw it in House of Fraser during a shopping trip with bird, but decided (being unemployed at the time) that there was no way I could afford it. I had wondered if I could get it for Christmas, but even then, being flat broke, it would be stupid to waste that kind of money on a bag I couldn’t afford to take anywhere nice (she is a lady after all). However, shopping for interview clothes in the January sales proved to be genius when I came across it with a 30% discount tag. Mum agreed that if there was money left over from my suit, I could spend it on any accessories I may need. One suit and a pair of fabulous boots later, there was enough for the bag. I was even more excited at the till when it proved to have been discounted further and was in fact 50% off.

I really do love this bag, and can’t believe that I’ve let it sit in a cupboard for so long. I know I wanted to keep it smart, but it has unfortunately been squashed a bit and now also smells a bit musty from being kept in our moldy old flat (we have a rather lovely house now, that doesn’t smell). It seems silly to let it sit, sad and alone in a box when she could be keeping me company on a regular basis. So out she comes! Conveniently, the shade of purple perfectly matches my leather kindle case, as well as the new Kipling purse I have recently purchased.

It was during this rifling that I also managed to dig out an old band t-shirt I loved, but didn’t fit properly (I got it on eBay and it was only available in the one size) I was convinced I’d slim into it one day. Well, it turns out that today is in fact one day (or rather bank holiday Monday was) as it now fits and looks awesome!

I will at some point have a proper mooch and see what other gems I can find! Rifling through your stuff is in fact genius, I thoroughly recommend it!

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The most surprisingly anti-climatic trip to a shopping centre ever…

The rather lovely and large women's jean section in Next...

The rather lovely and large women’s jean section in Next…

This is not the post I expected to be writing today. Today, I expected a denim extravaganza. Bird and I had planned to try on as many pairs of jeans in as many shops as possible, whilst taking photos, possibly video footage and to put together a post of our epic adventure.

So off bird and I went, on our ‘epic’ shopping trip. The plan was, as I said, to visit as many shops as possible to try on/buy jeans (and many other places to boot) but… we didn’t get that far. I went armed with my camera, ready for us to try many jeans on. Unfortunately, there weren’t that many worth trying. Also, Next suck.

Allow me to tell you why. I have yet to find a pair of jeans in my size there, despite claiming that they do sell them. Their larger sizes (which, like their smallest sizes are only available in regular and long, both tall and petite have a reduced size range) appear to only ever be available online. This is a pain, as needing a shorter leg length I would have to try their regular jeans on.

...and not a single pair in my size!

…and not a single pair in my size!

I am sick and tired of forever being redirected to some store’s website, then going through the faff of having to order them, then return them and quite often pay the return postage as well or sometimes in a sneaky fashion, find after having returned them to the store for convenience (and thinking for free) that the return postage costs have been deducted from my refund. Frankly, that’s just plain rude if you have no intention of stocking those sizes in your store!

Plus, they stock many number of tops up to a size 22 in store, but no jeans over a size 18 (I have noted some do go up to a 20, but no larger). In my experience, very few people are smaller on bottom than top. If not the same size, they tend to be larger. So what do Next think customers who will be buying their larger tops will be able to wear on their bottom half, if they fail to stock them?! I am highly disappointed; I was looking forward to trying a pair from this range:

Lift & shape? Sounds good to me!

Lift & shape? Sounds good to me!

I consoled myself with an epic amount of Lush, plus a few bits and pieces for the husband’s and nieceling numero uno’s birthdays. We also had a good giggle trying on these shoes (or rather I had a good giggle at bird trying on these shoes):

Holy foot pain Batman!

Holy foot pain Batman!