Tag "Confidence"

Loving The Skin You’re In

Photography By Studio 52

It’s funny how some people think that they know all that there is to know about a person just from meeting them once or from the persona they portray. I often have people writing to me or telling me in person how confident I seem and they ask me what things they can do to let their guard down and just feel comfortable in their skin. To be totally honest with you I don’t think there is a magic formula or series of steps one can take to achieve a feeling of confidence. I always refer to my own confidence as a journey, I have my good and my bad days just like everyone else but in my case I think a combination of different things has all contributed to my being the way that I am.

My family is massive! I have tons of family members on both sides and a bunch of people who may not carry the same blood line as me but they are very much a part of the bunch also. Being around so many people who have large bold personalities can make it a challenge for some to find their own way and stand out in a positive light. Many of my friends have come from situations where they found it hard to find their voice in a sense. In my case my childhood was filled with my family, friends and of course many tumultuous times. As many of my readers know I was severely bullied in school from the age of 4-18 and always struggled with fitting in and being comfortable. My weight has always been with me despite countless diets, exercise regimes and emotional headaches. I always had a constant war going on in my head because I had the confidence of a raging bull when it came to taking the stage and entertaining people whether that be singing my heart out, acting, public speaking or otherwise. The thing is, knowing that your talent shines bright is one thing but it can easily be diminished when you’re not comfortable in your own skin…

For me I had to go through many situations and experiences with people all over to realise that I get my confidence from truly knowing who I am, what I stand for and having the courage to stand by whatever it is that I believe in. I have never been the quiet silent type unable to express myself and I know already that I’m not the sort of woman who will ever become a shrinking violet. I stand high on my morals, my faith and my relationships with the people who matter most to me in my life. All of these things have allowed me to feel confident. I guess it’s that fight of flight sort of thing; you can make a decision to panic which more often than not does nothing and can exacerbate a situation or you can stop, pull yourself together and do the best you can in a situation. I tend to be someone who takes the latter option and with this my self confidence when it comes to my self image has started to get the message.

When I was 25 years old I came to the realisation that I love who I am as a person and a woman. I figured although I had a lot to learn and a lot of growing up to do I couldn’t continue to spend another day hating the way that I looked. I had pretty much spent a quarter of a century beating myself up for not looking like other women and I eventually realised that I’m not meant to be like anyone else. I need to be the best Mayah that I can possibly be and that instead of looking at my glass as half empty I needed to look at it as half full, focus on all the things I love about myself and build on those; eventually overshadowing the doubts I had in my own mind.

Confidence isn’t something that I feel you can buy through any sort of beauty product or clothing item. These are things that can help enhance what may already be hiding beneath the surface. I think the key is learning to love parts of yourself that you previously may have hated. Take my hair for example, I have always had a constant war with my hair and when I finally realised that it is the way it is, I learned to find things about it that I enjoy and I build on those. I think the same can be said in other aspects of who you are. If you love to be creative then surround yourself around creative people who will uplift and inspire you to do the same for yourself. If you want to be more introspective then find ways to channel that energy in a positive light and the rest will follow. The old saying can also be true “fake it until you make it” it worked for me on many occasions. I think basically it’s a trial and error sort of thing and is a process that takes time. I have those days when I look in the mirror and think ewww I look hideous but I try and just take it for what it is, a bad day and I keep pushing on. What I’m saying is that when you’re having a down day try and focus on the aspects that you love about yourself and don’t feed into that negative energy. Eventually the paradigm of your thoughts will change.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

A Different Kind Of Vintage – A Dolly And Dotty Review

I love getting a pretty new dress. There’s just something about a cute dress that can make you feel girly and beautiful; I always find myself thinking of exactly where I might want to wear it and how I would style my look. I tend to gravitate towards vintage dresses that have a deep cleavage and a wide circle skirt but, when vintage inspired company Dolly And Dotty contacted me recently to see if I would like to try out one of their styles I was really excited. I love vintage clothing and I find that more often than not most vintage style brands on the market don’t cater to my dress size or proportions. I’m always on the hunt for vintage brands which include plus sizes and it’s often difficult finding that perfect little dress with something a bit different. Things have most definitely improved in that area and most of my readers would have seen some of my favourite looks that I like to wear. Give me a swing dress and a petticoat and I know exactly how I’ll wear it!

I wanted to try something a little different this time and so I selected the Anna dress to try out, a special little number that reminds me of something that the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn may have worn. I love the navy and white mix with block colour bodice and horizontal striped skirt, for me this gave a slightly new twist on a sailor dress. The weather in London has been pretty dire the past few months and so I didn’t want to wait until the summer time to try out this gorgeous dress. I decided to bring it along as one of my looks during my recent shoot with Studio 52. In most cases I would wear this dress with a white jacket, white heels or trainers, blue bandana and hair my hair in a series of twisted curls. This time I’m wearing the dress without a petticoat and no other accessories.

Looking back on these photos and seeing myself in a vintage dress sporting a full afro got me thinking. I wonder how times were for women who look like me back in the 40s and 50s? A lot has happened over the past few decades and a lot of things we begin to talk about today with regards to politics leans towards more of a negative feeling about where we are as people. As a woman of colour though I am aware of the changes that have happened throughout history and I am happy to say that for the most part we have all come along way with how we look to other people and how we treat them. I know that very few women who look like me would have been able to wear a beautiful dress, in a beautiful setting with a gorgeous velvet chaise lounge, feeling glamorous having lovely photos taken of them… I’m pleased that times have and do change and i’m happy that this is an experience to which myself and others like me can thoroughly enjoy.

I look forward to wearing this dress in the warmer seasons of the year and having fun playing around with different accessories and vintage style items. I do love that even though this is a vintage inspired item that it can easily be worn with some more modern items with a little creativity and flare.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Embracing My Blackness

*Photography By Studio52 Clothing From Evans Clothing, Live Unlimited And Hotter Shoes

It seems that the entire planet is talking about America at the moment. They have just elected the new president, enjoyed the Superbowl Halftime show and black history month is in full swing. I’ve been watching a lot of American TV shows and news postings lately and even though the celebration of black history month doesn’t come to the UK until October, it got me thinking about the icons who have inspired me, important people in my family and of course my own blackness…

I come from a multi racial family as many of my readers know. My mother is half Irish and Trinidadian and my father is Jamaican. In both sides of my family the Caribbean influences have hints of Indian and Chinese. Having said all of that people are often interested to know where my family are from and having been exposed to all sides of my culture I have always identified as a mixed race person. I personally find that embracing a part of myself doesn’t have to mean ignoring the other and I try to merge the different areas of my background into the various areas as life such as my diet, the music I create and listen to and of course when it comes to my looks to name a few.

For the past few months I have been wearing my hair natural and it has been an interesting journey. I had no idea how much work and upkeep is required in taking care of my hair or how I would be perceived with the different styles I might wear. I’m still trying to get used to it to be honest with you and at times I find myself frustrated. I am finding that the most supportive people around me on my hair journey actually happen to be my white friends. I had expected in all truth that I would be bombarded with people asking questions about my hair and wanting to touch it out of a somewhat negative interest but, I was pleasantly surprised in that area and was received with positivity and enthusiasm. My friends seem to really love the “REAL” part of me and think that I should take my look to the next level with more experimental hair styles. In contrast to this I have found that some of my own family members have had some minor issues with my hair and how I have chosen to style it on occasion. I have been teased quite a lot recently and given the nickname Harriet Tubman. What’s awkward for me is that this has been given to me in a negative sense. I guess wearing my twists with scarfs or bandanas reminds some people of the kind of images we see from times past or what we see from documents surrounding slavery or something. In truth I am slightly saddened by this for several reasons. For one thing I have a lot to learn when it comes to taking care of my 4c hair but I find that using a woman like Ms Tubman as an insult is insane! For one thing she was a humanitarian, abolitionist, american spy and armed scout during the civil war, what an incredible women with an amazing legacy.

I will always enjoy a variety of different hair styles, wigs, natural and styles in between. One thing that is apparent though is that a black or brown woman wearing her hair natural to some people looks like a rebellious action or a political statement. I never would have thought that sporting the very hair that grows from my scalp would be viewed in such a way. The thing is, I will continue to use these situations as a talking point to raise awareness to things. Many of my friends and even some family members had no idea how time consuming, expensive and difficult wearing natural hair could be until they were witness to what I go through. Washing your hair can take between 3-5 hours sometimes, luckily stylists advise that women with hair like mine only wash their hair every 1-2 weeks!

I am enjoying embracing myself and learning more about influential and special people who play a huge role in black history. As a Londoner I can honestly say that what is taught in schools about black history is so minimal and it’s a shame because there are so many amazing things that can be shared. I don’t think of myself as a particularly political person but I do have a big opinion and the readiness to share it if asked or if the moment requires it.

*Photography By Studio52 Clothing From Evans Clothing And Live Unlimited

I simply think that with what’s going on in America at the moment and to a degree here in the UK; that it’s important for everyone in the world regardless of their ethnicity or their experience to speak out and share their stories. I really believe that the only way barriers are broken down, people come together and change is a possibility is through talking and sharing. People don’t understand or they can be fearful or what’s new or different and I find that even something as simple as one’s hair can be an interesting place to start and get the dialogue going. These are the things that brought for the civil rights movement, feminist movement and spawned the welcoming change to the LGBTQ community all of the world. We all have rights, we all want acceptance and love and I just think that people really need to listen to that old saying our parents told all of us “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. The thing is we have become able to experience different genres of music, various styles of cuisine and even adopt customs from our brothers and sisters. I really think a lot has been achieved but  we need to take the time to look at the topic of skin colour and the areas around it, otherwise we stand still or even worse move backwards in our way of thinking.

I may see myself as a woman of mixed race but I have always embraced areas of my blackness and I’m proud that I can do more of this through something as small as wearing my hair the way God intended for me to have it!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Take The Jump – A Navabi Fashion Review

Hi everyone I hope you’ve all enjoyed a lovely Christmas with your family and friends. I’m sorry I’ve been quiet here on the blog over the past couple of weeks. I have pretty much been working non stop running up to Christmas and have barely had the chance to get online. I’m enjoying the end of the year and taking some much needed me time to catch up with friends and loved ones, eat loads of amazing goodies and just kick back.

This time of year people tend to dress to their best wearing stylish and elegant items to the family dinner or work Christmas do. In my case I have wanted to keep things smart, sophisticated and comfortable. I enjoy trying new things and experimenting with my look and 2016 has been the year of many fashion firsts for me. This year was the first where I have found the perfect strapless bra, incredible high heeled shoes and discovered some new hair and beauty tips. A few weeks ago I also picked out my first ever jumpsuit. Now I will be honest my body-shape and the way I like to look has been the reason for my delay in getting a jumpsuit…

I have what I describe as a split belly lol. The waist line where most of my jeans and trousers sits is across an indent in my stomach area, many curvy girls have this issue and I don’t like to enhance this as I find you can have an over-spill situation where the top half of your belly pokes out lol (thank god for spanx lol), the other reservation I had about wearing a jumpsuit was the chance that I may end up with a camel toe lol.

I had seen some of my friends wearing jumpsuits and looking amazing doing so, i decided it was finally time for me to try one out for myself! I picked up this gorgeous two tone pewter and black one from Navabi. This has fast become a favourite outfit of mine to wear and it was actually a Christmas outfit of mine this year. I loved the wide legs, batwing style arms and heavy fabric. This jumpsuit comes with a zipper at the back but to be honest I have been able to get this off and on without ever using it, simply stepping into the garment. What I love about this piece is that it works as a multipurpose item and can pretty much be worn anywhere.

I will be honest though, this is a little long for my 5’5 frame and so I decided some high heeled sandals were a must to go with this one. Velvet being the fabric of the season I had to wear these gorgeous platform heels from Evans. I really love the way they fasten around the ankle and I should also note that these are also available in cherry red. I thought I would keep the rest of my look fairly simple by just wearing my signature hoop earrings and basic makeup.

I say you can look incredible as well as feel comfortable and this is the time of the year when everyone is focusing on looking and feeling glamorous and stylish. I am so glad I finally took the plunge and picked up a jumpsuit and I should let you all know, I’ve already selected some more that have been added to my wardrobe.

I also wanted to say to you all that if I don’t get to post again before the start of 2017 let me just say have an amazing new year, I hope you all get to experience some amazing things next year and that many of your Christmas wishes come true!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Another Part Of Me

A lot has been happening recently. I’ve been on a train that just doesn’t seem to want to stop with loads of things happening with the blog, a busy work schedule and making an effort to pack in more time with family friends. Whilst things have been hectic and a lot has been shifting and changing; I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and evaluate on some things, of course the first thing that needed some personal attention…me.

I’ve experienced a year that has been full of drama and so I had to take some time to take care of a few personal health issues. With all the time I’ve had to address with regards to my body I have also been looking at how I think about myself and, how I treat myself. I’ve come to realise that being in my twenties has been a really awkward period. Of course you hear people speak about how much they loved this time in their life and how they wish they could re-live it all. In my case i’m really looking forward to getting into my thirties. I have heard many women say that this is the decade when you really start to embrace yourself, find your feet and really take life by the reigns. I’m in the final year of my twenties and with that I have lost some very special people in my life, made some incredible friends, seen some amazing countries and ended some personal and professional relationships. The one thing I have spent a lot of time on the past few years is building my self confidence.

I spent many years working as a professional singer and musician alongside doing boring and mundane day jobs. Music is and will always be my biggest passion and I will always spend my days and nights with something amazing playing along and surely enough, becoming the soundtrack to some of my memories. I miss the stage, I do. It’s not something I’ve hidden but the truth is, in time I came to realise that the music industry is full of many corrupt people and circumstances and I never wanted anything to dull my love of the craft or the art form. With this and my increasing age I decided to keep music as a huge love and passion that I will always create and perform but without putting so much pressure on myself.

Confidence is something that for me comes with experience. People who have known me forever will say that I have an abundant amount of it but in truth that would only be in some areas of my life. I can take a stage and sing at full force in front of as many as fifteen thousand people and do it with conviction and confidence. Why is this? Music is what I do and it’s one of the things I know how to do best and something I have always excelled in. Having said all of that everyone knows that a huge part of a good performance is the look of the performer, whether that be in their clothing, make up or body type. The music industry is one that appreciates and puts a strong emphasis on image, beauty and sex appeal. Many years ago talent was at the forefront but as we came into this new century in some parts of the world this took a back seat to image.

I was always aware of my weight and my dress size and until I reached 25 years old, this affected every area of my day to day life especially my life on stage. I have always loved fashion and it wasn’t until I started to really see myself as a beautiful, sexy woman that I embraced fashion for myself and didn’t just appreciate it on others. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and into new circumstances is how I build my confidence. I started with bright and bold colours, edgy and fresh clothing options and wearing clothes that previously I would have been to scared to even try on! I felt empowered, liberated and fun and, with this my blog was born 3 years ago. I try to get women to see what they can do with their look despite whatever demons they may have to face from their past or present life using myself as an example.

A few months ago I was challenged once again when financial circumstances and the voices of many friends encouraged me to wear my hair natural. I spoke about his in detail in my ‘Back To My Roots‘ post. Being of mixed race I have always made the joke that my hair is the blackest part of me lol. My hair totally natural, right out of the shower without blow dryers, wide tooth combs and various products shrinks down into a tight Jackson 5 style afro! I have what’s described as 4C hair; meaning that I have an undefined curl type and my hair is extremely tight, coarse and can be rather dry. I decided to do a photoshoot to mark the final year of my twenties and so, I returned to the studio that shot me on my milestone 21st year; Studio 52. In many ways I feel I have come full circle and have learned to really love every part of myself including my insane fro and, even though I will always enjoy wearing a good wig or weave, I wanted to shoot myself without any barriers and so I donned a full afro!

A couple of shots from my shoot marking my 21st year with Studio 52

For clothing I decided to wear some hot an sexy items from one of my favourite brands Lane Bryant. Wearing their Lightweight Strapless Bra with detachable straps (the first ever strapless bra I have found with perfect fit and support). With this I pulled on their Point D’Espirit Tie-Neck Top. I don’t wear this one as well as Ashley Graham but I still had to have it myself lol. I thought a pair of wet look leggings that I’ve had for ages would go great for the look I was after. Finishing off with these amazing Over The Knee Faux Suede Boots, some large gold hoops and I was set. I wanted to bring out the R&B diva in me, only this time with a new swag and new found confidence.

By and large i’m still the same woman i’ve always been, only a little older and now with a new perspective of life, myself and others. You know what I always say…

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

It’s All In The LBD!

There are many terms and phrases that are applied to the clothes that we wear and many of them are amazing at describing a particular garment or style. I have my very own fashion phrase, I often refer to wearing a power colour. For me there are 3 power colours that I always enjoy wearing, can easily and comfortably style and know that whatever my makeup or hair style I can rock! These would have to be red, blue and of course black! Black is that staple colour that everyone has in their wardrobes. Some people rely on this shade for their signature look and work it into all of their outfits, others like to use it as a statement choice or for a more sophisticated finish. I used to pretty much live in black and it’s not hard to see why, every other colour works with it, any season appreciates it and everyone knows how to rock it!

All women are pretty much told that it is essential to own at least one black dress that can work for all occasions and situations. I have to be honest whilst I have many black dresses I have only recently gotten one that works for any occasion and it would have to be this amazing midi dress from Zizzi. This is a brand I have loved since I was first introduced to their fresh and fun style and, I have to say everything I have worn of theirs I have felt amazing in! This dress in particular is from a previous collection of theirs. I should note that they have some fab options similar to this available from many online and in store outlets in Europe. We Brits are fortunate to be able to get some of their hot items from UK outlet Navabi.

I can’t quite say I have a particular style of dress that I favour but I do tend to gravitate towards dresses that are midi length with 3/4 sleeves. I guess it’s because I know what shoes I would pair with them or what jacket lol. What I loved about this dress when I first saw it was how simple it is in it’s style whilst still having some small but very striking features. I really love the split at the front with the asymmetrical cut and the broach detail at the waist for a little added bling. The gathering is really flattering and also can help on those days when you just don’t want to wear any shapewear. I like the scoop neck detail and long sleeves with baggy upper arms. This is a dress that nips and hugs all the right places and flows across the curves beautifully.

You all know how I am when it comes to colours, coordination is key in my look and lucky for me having black hair makes things easy at times. I decided when styling this one I would keep things simple. My Vanity ankle boots from Hotter were a must for height and comfort. I wanted a boot that was simple with a little added flair and the gold zipper detail was perfect for my choice of accessories. In keeping with the gold of the boots I wore a supper long, skinny gold necklace. I’ll be honest I couldn’t find my gold hoop earrings anywhere and so my silver ones were worn. It worked out well though because my black, gold and silver bangle came in handy and my sequin clutch was the perfect bag to pull it all together. I just so happened to be wearing silver chrome nail polish too lol. My look was simple staple colours and tones but it all tied in together well. This dress is fast becoming one of my favourites to wear, I have worn it to work, out with friends for dinners and as somewhat of a modest party dress.

When I took these pics I was in a pretty good mood. You know when you’re having a day when you like how your make up came out and you think your hair is pretty much on fleek? I always wear a rich red lip when i’m wearing a fully black outfit. I find the small but sharp pop of colour adds a little extra something to the look. I also love how the contrast between my hair and the outfit combined with the red lipstick makes my teeth look so bright and white.

Confidence is the most important accessory you can bring to any look. I always find that if you feel good in what your wearing you tend to feel better during the day. You feel ready for whatever task is at hand, can walk with pride and get the job done! A Little black dress may be an essential element to the wardrobe of every woman, but it has to be something that makes you feel a million dollars when wearing it! I have to say I have a lot of fun wearing this dress and find that I get a little extra spring in my step as I feel so amazing wearing it!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Sophisticated Chic – A Junarose Review

*This Dress Is A Gifted Item

There are many things I love about the current options plus size women have when it comes to fashion and beauty. One in particular are the multipurpose clothing items out there. Many of us are busy working women, some even have the added challenge of raising a family. We all have our things to do and time can be taxing so it’s nice to have comfortable casual style options that work between personal and professional, night and day.

I love dresses of all shapes, colours and styles but I have to admit my closet holds only a few strapless items. Like many curvy girls out there my arms have been a sore spot for me confidence wise and it’s only been about a year or so since I realised having my arms out doesn’t bother me at all anymore. I guess you could say I was worried about my biceps being a little too chunky. As time has passed things like that don’t really bother me in the same way that they used to. Those of you who are familiar with my blog will know that I’m all about wearing what you like and not really thinking about what other people’s opinions are…

I was recently given the chance to go through some amazing Junarose samples and one dress that caught my eye is this wrap front maxi dress. I instantly knew that this dress would be perfect for some casual wear, a day out with friends or even a business lunch. Stopping just across the calf this one makes for a nice length on my 5’5 frame. Perfect if you want to show off a little skin without showing too much. In a soft periwinkle blue with added tie detail this strapless number is most definitely a multipurpose dress! The wrap front with lapel detail gives off a tasteful amount of cleavage and the ties are a small but really nice addition.

I decided to wear this one with some strappy black sandals and a simple clutch. A cute blazer, denim or even a biker jacket would help in bringing this dress into more of an evening look. The block colour also makes this one work with gold or silver adornments and accessories. I recently had my hair in braids so with this look I decided to sweep them up into a bun and wear simply diamante stud earrings. I kept my makeup simple, wearing a deep pink lip for a bit of added colour.

This dress is currently on sale, available from the Junarose website.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

From Summer To Fall

*Skirt And Shoes Are Gifted Items

It’s official, summer is over and we are well and truly into Autumn. For me one of the things I hate about this time of year is not being able to wear some of my summer threads that have made their way into my wardrobe. This past weekend we experienced a final burst of summer heat and with that I knew it was time to finally take some pictures in a couple of my favourite summer looks. This beautiful print circle skirt is a an item I have had for a few weeks now that was sent to me by the amazing American plus size brand, Lane Bryant. I have to say their summer collection this year was just gorgeous, there were so many amazing items I had my eye on, this skirt was one of many.

I took a look look at my wardrobe and a realised that one thing I lack, is great skirts! I love skirts but for some reason I have been gravitating towards pretty dresses. The thing is though, skirts make for a great separate they can be adapted into a variety of looks and styles, be made suitable for business or personal endeavours and, can work as a fabulous signature item in an outfit. I love the midi length and the gorgeous coral colour with peach shapes. The are 2 pockets in this skirt which are pretty deep and would be great for holding your phone or some cash while you’re on the go. I wanted a summery and casual look so I paired this skirt with a simple grey t-shirt and coral statement necklace. I look forward to experimenting more with this one and seeing if I can incorporate it into some autumn looks.

I love a good pair of heels, I find that just like a great staple item in the closet they too can be paired with a variety of styles and looks. I was recently given an opportunity by Hotter to visit their Bromley store and select a new pair of shoes for review. I have to say their AW16 range is really gorgeous this year. There are so many nice shoes, boots and heels for the season; each pair in a series of colours. I selected the Georgette shoes in pale bronze colour. I love the metallic shimmer detail and the gorgeous champagne tone. I find that with shoes they also needed to be treated in the way your wardrobe is. Every woman in the land would say you need to have a little black dress in the range and I feel that with shoes not only are black heels a must, but so are nude tones! When you want a shoe to work in with a pale outfit, sometimes black can be a little harsh and nude tones not only work with most colours and skin complexions, they create a really gorgeous soft feel in the shoe.

What drew me to this pair firstly is that they are the same height and shape as the Michelle heel from a previous collection. As you know I have worn those heels so many times on this blog we have all lost count lol. The truth is that they are my go-to heel, not only for their amazing comfort but because they are high enough to look sexy yet modest, but adaptable enough to work with a series of looks. I knew instantly the Georgette heels would be a good choice. This time though, Hotter have yet enhanced their amazing technology and the insoles have an even more cushioned and airy feel. The softness and bounce of the soles adds an extra spring to your step and being even more comfortable than any heel in the previous collections. These are also available in a beautiful navy and black colourways.

Summer may be over and the cold is starting to creep it’s way into the days but you know what I always say, have fun in what you wear! I still plan on bringing in bright and fun colours and prints to my looks and will enjoy playing around with some fun winter styles. Stay tuned….

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

The One And Only MJ

So I tend to speak mostly about fashion and beauty here on the blog and I felt I should really share some of the other sides of myself with you guys more often. It’s no secret that music is my first and biggest love and passion. Some of you may or may not know but I used to sing professionally and have been writing and recording music since I was a child. Every musician out there has that one artist or performing act that just tipped things over the edge for them. That one performer no one else could come close to or even equal in stature and, more often than not the musician in question is their biggest inspiration when it comes to the work they create themselves. For me that artist has always been and will always be the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Those who know me personally will know that I am a super fan of Michael, one that the fan community would dub a die hard. I have been a fan of Michael’s music since infancy and my love of the man and artist has never died out. In fact my fanship has expanded and grown in more ways than I can explain in one post and for a number of reasons. If I showed you guys some pictures from my adventures with the fans during Michael’s trips here to London, events, parties, going to the theatre with the King Of Pop himself and trips around the world you would see a whole other side of me (I may well share some of those with you one of these days!). Having said all of that I am still going to include fashion in this post, how could I not lol? There isn’t a fan of any major artist or music genre out there who doesn’t want to own a cool hoodie, t-shirt, cap or jacket of their favourite star. For me doing this as an MJ fan has been a struggle for many years…

Myself Pez and Seb at the Bad25 Premiere 2012

Of course we always wear an MJ T-shirt when we can!

Being that I’m 28 years old I missed a lot of the glory days when it came to Michael. Bad, Dangerous and HIStory had all come and gone during the course of my childhood and of course Off The Wall and Thriller before I was even born! I was only able to enjoy the music and merchandise that was available back in the day and I unfortunately had to pick up a lot of my vinyls and things many years after these incredible albums were in the charts. By the time I was old enough to do the “fan” thing and travel around to try and meet Michael I was 18 years old and he hadn’t released an album for several years at the time. As you can imagine trying to buy an MJ T-shirt could not have been harder! At this time back in 2005 the online shopping bomb hadn’t quite taken off, eBay was pretty new and places to buy official collectors t-shirts were pretty slim. Of course bootleg options were around but even those were few and far between, usually one size only and not exactly female friendly lol. It’s no secret that I’m a larger woman and I have a pretty large bust. Because of this if I wore a tee with a photo or illustration of Michael his face would usually distort across my bust. Of course I proudly wore what I could get but I was never really able to have fun in an MJ T-shirt until 2009 when Michael sadly passed away. Previously fans had to pick up whatever second hand goods they could get at car boot sales, events and hand me downs from older friends.

In 2006 My best friends and I started an MJ fanclub and after some time were running websites, events and a magazine publication. We were given an amazing opportunity to handle some of Michael’s famous costumes working with Julien’s Auctions, at the Bush And Tompkins exhibition which was held at the Getty Images gallery. You can only imagine how incredible the experience was for us as fans and I definitely appreciate it as a fashion lover too! MJVibe and Iconic has since gone from strength to strength over the years. After a few years since launching our first website we were able to take things to another level with a fresh online presence and expansion. We were able to broker an incredible deal with Bravado, they were the official company who have been behind all of the amazing items that we have had since Michael’s passing. The official exhibition to commemorate Michael at The 02 had finished and they offered us the chance to buy all of the remaining merchandise and apparel that had initially been made for Michael’s ‘This Is It’ residency. The memorabilia was sold in the exhibition’s gift shop as the concert series was of course unable to take place. Of course we jumped at the chance to bring these products direct to the fans. This was major for us as we were able to bring official merchandise to the fans at a rate cheaper than nearly every online and in store retailer! I’m so thrilled about everything we have achieved over the years. King-Of-Shop is where it’s all happening and we have tons of t-shirts and collectables for fans all over to enjoy!

Handling the legendary Silver Suit, worn on Michael’s Bad World Tour with the 2 most iconic jackets from the Dangerous era at the Bush And Tompkins Exhibition 2012

2 of my best friends Pez and Seb went over to Las Vegas to see the Cirque Du Soleil production of MJ One last year. The show is going from strength to strength and has been a big hit with the fans. The sad thing about it though is that since it’s opening the availability of official merchandise both wholesale and retail has dwindled and the options to source new things is pretty slim. Fans are having to rely on stores who still have old stock and what some have been able to source from what’s left out there in various warehouses and record stores. Of course this has meant that there has been a slight rise in bootleg merchandise. The boys however were able to source some great new items direct from the gift shop at MJ One and we are one of the only European and worldwide outlets to have some of the official and new items out there. Unfortunately the only new and official merchandise on the market are the products sold in the gift shop and there is no official online store to buy any of the memorabilia. There are sadly fans all over the world who are unable to get to Las Vegas who have been left without an outlet to buy new and official merchandise for quite some time now. Lucky for me the guys found a t-shirt that is specifically cut for ladies and available in all sizes!

I absolutely love this t-shirt and it has become one of my favourite MJ tees. I have so many I’ve lost count so this is saying a lot! I love the scoop neckline and loose fit feel. The fabric is really light weight and super soft and I love that the image of Michael used is from one of my favourite short films, the ending scene of Black Or White where we see Michael tap dancing in the street and morphing into a panther! The illustration was done by artist Nate Georgio for the cover art of MJ One. There is one short angel sleeve and a twisted sleeveless effect on the other arm, a really fun and funky little detail. The production title for the show is in a shinny gold of course complete with Michael’s autograph.

Still image used to create the t-shirt illustration, from the incredible Panther Scene of Michael’s Black Or White
Courtesy of MJJ Productions

I decided that I would take on my own twist of a classic MJ look. In the short films to Bad, Speed Demon and Dirty Diana we see Michael adopt a tough biker look complete with skinny jeans, biker jacket and white tee! I thought my skinny ripped jeans from Evans would be a perfect fit and my old biker jacket from Simply Be. As MJ himself loved some sequins and a little sparkle so of course my glitter brogues were a must! Sometimes you just have to embrace your inner rock chic, in my case my inner MJ with a twist!

I’ve had a lot of fun over the years at MJ events, ALWAYS wearing an MJ T-shirt and I will continue to do so! I just hope that the options we get for apparel begin to improve soon because there isn’t a fan out there who is tired of wearing MJ, sticking their favourite hits on and dancing it up! As you guys know this isn’t the first time I’ve spoken about MJ on this blog but it is the first time I have shared this much of my history as a fan with you, I can assure you it won’t be the last lol!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

I still have to get out to the states to see MJ One as the former MJ production by Cirque, Immortal was incredible! The good news though is that the boys and I will be throwing a huge bash on September 10th in London to celebrate an incredible album and era of music, Michael’s Dangerous! We will be having some incredible guests joining us including Grammy Award winning technical director and engineer Thom Russo, dancer and choreographer Yuko Sumida Jackson and Former SVP Marketing & Sales Manager at EPIC/SONY (Dangerous & HIStory) Era Dan Beck. We’d love to see you there! For ticket info, event schedule and more check out our website www.kingvention.com

 

Girly Girl

There are some things that all women have in common regardless of what their background or personal style is. We have all found ourselves sifting through everything that we own in our wardrobes unsure of what to wear, and we have all woken up with a random need to feel somewhat girly. Now girly for some would be dressing in bright pink with their hair in pigtails and cute makeup. For others it might be wearing a set of lingerie that makes them feel that extra bit feminine. In my case when I feel the need to be girly one thing comes to mind. What sort of skirt am I gonna wear and how big do I want it? I tend to gravitate towards sexy bodycon dresses, vintage swing dresses or tulle skirts.

The sun was shinning bright and strong the other day in London and I knew that I wanted to wear my navy tutu skirt but I had no idea what I should pair with it. The last time I had worn this skirt the weather was a lot cooler and I was able to pair it with a sweater and some nude heels. This time around I wanted to be bright in the summer sunshine but I also wanted a look that would transition well into an evening look. The plan was set I was going to go bare legged and pair the skirt with a cute t-shirt. Now I should note that this particular skirt was from Asos a while back and from their standard range. From what I have seen they no longer stock this one but they do have some similar options here. Last summer Scandinavian brand Zizzi released their summer collection, Wardrobe of wonders. They had some amazing items including some cute school girl inspired items, check out my previous review here. In the collection they had a really cool digital print line featuring midi skirt and crop top tee. I was lucky enough to get the skirt and borrowed the top a few times from Hanna. The good news is that both the top and skirt are still available from uk outlet Navabi.

What I love about plus size fashions now is that there is something for every kind of curvy woman out there. Should you choose urban street styles, vintage classics, current casuals or smart sophisticated evening wear there is something for everyone. I have said many times I like to dress to my mood which I why I like to carry a wide range of clothes in my wardrobe so that I can be ready to attend whatever event or occasion in appropriate items. My personal trick to save space and money is to buy clothes that can be worn in more than one way preferably for a casual and smart look. Of course I have some items that are exclusive to specific occasions but this is why when I pick my separates such as skirts and tops, I tend to go for colours I can easily incorporate into my style. Anyone who knows me personally will know that I try to colour coordinate almost everything I wear. This is something that was ingrained into me as a child and a particular style trait I still practice.

I thought I would wear my pleather biker jacket for additional coverage and to offset the black heels I chose. I opted for my number 1 go to heels my pairs of Michelle shoes from Hotter. A simple black clutch was required, my signature hoop earrings and a pop of red! I chose my new favourite lipgloss, Forgive My Sin from L’Oreal Paris. I tend to keep my makeup the same with pinup style winged eye liner, mascara, my brows of course and a touch of foundation. I play around mostly with my lip colour but it tends to be reds and pinks I gravitate towards the most. Specifically deep reds. I love how they look against my complexion and I find that my teeth looks miles whiter when I wear red which is always a bonus lol.

Every now and again it’s fun to dress up in a way that makes you feel fun, feminine and bright. Sometimes you just have to do what makes you feel good and be mindful that you may draw some attention to yourself which is always good if you’re feeling confident! Have fun with your look and if you haven’t already ladies, try out a tutu or tulle skirt! They are a lot of fun to wear and can make for some great outfits!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!