Tag "Psbloggers"

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!

Slay Sista Slay!

You know it’s funny, sometimes the oddest things can make you adopt a different posture, mindset and even attitude! I was recently sent the most amazing statement t-shirt from one of my favourite brands Lane Bryant. I opened up a pretty little black box sealed with a bright red ribbon and the words “SLAY SISTA SLAY” were speaking loud and clearly to me! I know it sounds weird but when I saw the slogan gleaming up at me from the box I thought to myself ‘OK then, I will!’ I use the term slay a lot, I find that when I see someone totally rocking their style and pushing forward in their lives doing big things the term is often applied. I guess you could call it a seal of approval that is used all the time in street lingo and internet speak. It got me thinking though, why don’t I just throw on something fabulous hit the streets of London and do my thing!

You guys know how much I love monochrome outfits! I have a series of different black and white styles that I enjoy wearing but when it comes to t-shirts I tend to keep it more comfortable than anything else. I knew that my Manon Baptiste sequin bomber from Navabi was going to compliment the outfit I had in mind perfectly. I do enjoy wearing sequins and I love the fact that they are making their way into more casual clothing items. All Michael Jackson fans have sequins somewhere in their wardrobe and I’m most definitely a sequin wearing fan lol. I got this one in a size 24.

Hanna and I were out for lunch and she borrowed me her pleated leather skirt from Lane Bryant to go with my look. I love this skirt and i’m sad that it’s no longer available because I would have to get my hands on one for myself. I really like the length and the style. This is definitely an item that could work for edgy, sexy and sophisticated looks. A tutu might make for a more playful version of this outfit also. I slipped on a pair of black tights, my Vanity Boots from Hotter and I was almost slaying! I pulled out my twists, let my hair hang free applied a coat of Divine Wine (shade 975) lipstick from Maybelline New York and I was ready to hit the road…

It’s funny how fashion can dictate how you feel sometimes. Some styles can make you feel like a dainty princess, others a sexy vixen and many items have been known to make a woman feel like a boss bitch! You can’t help but walk with confidence when an outfit requires that you SLAY SISTA SLAY! I’m going to be on the look out for more fun slogan tees and I look forward to playing around with different looks.

Lane Bryant continue to be a brand that is pioneering body confidence in women of all ages, colours, shapes and sizes. Their latest campaign #This Body is all about how we as women can do anything we want! Dream big, sing big, dance big and pretty much do whatever makes you feel good whilst loving the skin you’re in and smiling hard! The commercial is amazing and I definitely see myself in this campaign. So ladies I say slay hard, do what makes you dream and reach high!

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!

My Finnish Winter

I love getting to know new people and see new places. I have always been intrigued by what makes someone who they are and, I have found that learning a bit of someone’s history is a great way to connect. When I met Hanna a few years ago I had actually been following her blog for quite some time! If you know Hanna’s style you’ll easily see why she continues to inspire many women like myself. Like many girls in the bloggersphere our initial connection was about fashion and lots of it. Our bond was strengthened by many things including our love of boy bands and music. Hanna and I have been through a fair bit together these past few years laughing and crying together at times. I’m lucky enough to say that she is by far one of my best friends and I would have been lost if she hadn’t been there for me to rant with on occasion!

I have been hearing many stories and tales about Finland since meeting Hanna and have since made some connections and new friendships of my own with other Finns. I had wanted to visit for a while now and so when Hanna and I were invited to Mimmi’s wedding party (you can see some of the photos on my Instagram) we made plans for my first visit! I was really looking forward to seeing friends, catching up with Hanna’s family and seeing the very country I had heard so much about!

Hanna was seriously worried that I might dislike Finland because of how freezing it can get over there! Everyone knows my distaste of winter and the cold so she made sure I knew that almost all of the homes out there are kitted out with saunas and that we’d not only get some time to relax but be more than warm! When she said it was cold she was not joking! The minute I stepped off the plane I felt a cold wind that made my teeth feel like shattering glass! The temperature was at times below 20 degrees Celsius! Having said all of that it’s absolutely gorgeous out there! The snow is a fluffy like powder and the bright sunshine makes it sparkle. Trees and wide spans of forest can be seen for miles and overall the countryside is a really tranquil and calm place to be.

Now when you’re heading to a winter wedding on a freezing cold day what does one wear?! I thought my Collectif Claudette dress would be the perfect dress. It is rather glam but I felt that the emerald green colour would be perfect for the season. The velvet provided some much needed warmth and comfort. As this is a very booby sleeveless dress I borrowed a green turtleneck from Hanna and went with a layered up look. My Georgette heels from Hotter and a silver clutch and I was set! I was so excited to get to the wedding that Hanna and I started taking pictures before I applied my lipstick lol.

I’d like to thank Hanna’s lovely family for having me at their home. They made me feel so loved and welcome and like a member of the family. I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

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

Karina Curvy – An In The Style Curve Review

*This Is A Gifted Outfit

Plus size fashion, curvy fashion, full figured fashion. There are many ways to describe clothing for us bigger voluptuous women and, there are many more than what I have listed here! I remember when curvy women weren’t even talked about at all, our clothing options were limited; often making many of us look and feel drab and older. In the past few years we have seen a rise in plus trends, popular curvy personalities and of course an increase in available fashion brands. The conversation about plus size is very much an ongoing one and like most things out there something that is quickly growing and evolving with the moving times. I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t state the obvious fact that the internet is the catalyst for a lot of the changing developments and thank goodness for that! With the current sweep of online outlets and stores, companies from all industries are having to take up more of a supply in demand approach to how they do business and often the girl next door is out there setting the trends for what’s to come!

Internet stars have risen and taken the world by storm, bigger women are now not only considered sexy in the Western part of the globe, we are in a position where everyone is noticing us for many of the right reasons. The past few years we have seen many fashion brands come and go and they all had the same thing in common, they wanted to give the big girls some choices. I will be honest, in my opinion many of the brands that have come forth have been in the habit of thinking that big girls can’t and shouldn’t wear certain styles. I am happy and ecstatic to say that not everyone feels the same way and many are more than delivering the goods when it comes to bringing us forward thinking, sexy and chic styles that also have the quality behind them. I was recently at a launch party for the brand In The Style. Launching their Curve collection, I can honestly say for the first time in a long time I was seriously excited by what they were showcasing. The entire collection was full of fashion forward styles that would suit women of all shapes and enable them to have that sassy sexiness that many of the current A-list stars are sporting. The look book was not only filled with gorgeous clothing but beautiful curvy models who looked amazing! It was really refreshing to see a brand not get women at the smallest curvy size and pin them into clothes meant for the larger woman.

When I first saw the Karina White Skater Dress I knew that this was an item I could wear at work for a sophisticated look but one I could easily sex up for a date night or drinks out with the girls. The crisp white stretch material is really comfortable on and moulds perfectly to the curves, hugging and hanging in all the right places. I really like the long sleeves with fold in cuffs and the hanky hem detail at the back. I find that not a lot of skater dresses out there allow for the rise of a large behind or the curve of a belly and often times dresses can hike up at the back leaving you with the requirement of leggings to cover your dignity. I found that this dress was perfect for my 5’5 frame stopping just above the knee and falling a bit longer at the back. I’m wearing this one in a size 22 and found that with all the buttons closed it falls nicely across the bust with little to no gaping depending on the bra you might be wearing.

As soon as I got this dress I knew I wanted to wear it with my over the knee faux suede boots from Lane Bryant with nothing else but a pair of large hoop earrings as an addition. Having said all of that you all know I live in London, and the winters here can be more than frosty! I decided some black tights and my old faux fur coat from Yours Clothing would work well for a sexy winter monochrome look. I thought i’d keep my makeup pretty simple with a pop of a deep red lipstick from Maybelline New York I’m wearing shade 975 called Divine Wine.

I can’t wait to see what else is to come from In The Style Curve! I really like every single item in the collection which is rare for me with any brand! I’ll keep my eye out for their SS17 look book because if the selection of styles is anything as fresh as their AW16 collection, I know it will be a strong range with something for everyone!

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

 

 

Hair Raising

When it comes to selecting the perfect hair and beauty products the infinite amount of options can make the task at hand rather daunting! The vast majority of us are left with the few options that we see in the stores and our choices are usually made for us by the constant stream of magazine and television adverts out there. When it comes to hair care people with Afro hair are a lot more limited here in the UK; not only to the available products but also to the stores where we can buy them from. In truth I can’t complain being in London but even I have to pretty much take out half of my day if I am running low on supplies! Travelling across the city to the specialist stores that carry products for my hair type is one thing, getting advise and guidance is quite another…

A few months ago I started collaborating with the amazing app the Entertainer, available here in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa. The app is geared at bringing incredible deals and offers to people all over the place with a vast interest in entertainment, fine dining, travel and leisure. I was recently given the opportunity to have a personalised hair consultation and treatment in one of the incredible salons teaming up with the app and of course I jumped at the chance!

The team at CV Hair & Beauty were incredible and gave me a fresh and new salon experience. I was literally made to feel like a VIP from the minute I arrived, everyone was extremely friendly, fun and helpful. I have to say this is the first Salon I had ever been to who specialised in all styles of hair from European to Asian and of course Afro styles. I’m used to being in a jam packed Afro hair salon for appointments that stem for HOURS full of endless chit chat. I was really pleased to find that I was not only quickly taken care of and given a series of treatments, I was also getting a whole new education about Afro hair care! The amazing stylist Ian and his team treated me to my first ever Indian head massage (something you must try if you haven’t already) and they helped me put together a series of products perfect for solving some of my many hair problems…

As some of you may already know my hair type is described in the Afro hair community as 4C, this basically means that I don’t have a defined curl pattern and my hair pretty much grows in every possible direction and can also be very dry and coarse. During a deep shampoo and conditioning treatment Ian and his assistant were asking me some really interesting questions about my hair and about some of the issues I face with styling and general maintenance. It was mentioned that my scalp is warmer than most people’s which can result in build up from product, flaking and dandruff. There was me thinking I just had problems in that area for no identifiable reason! Seeing my hair in it’s natural state the team were then able to put together an amazing hair care package for me using a series of products from the System Professional Collection by Wella. These products are only available in selected salons and I have to say they are incredible! I was surprised that these sort of products would even be suitable for my hair type but they are created to work for people of all hair types, each item geared to target specific problems. What I loved is that the products recommended to me were created to repair damaged, broken or split strands, deeply condition and treat the hair and they all smelled absolutely incredible! If you head on over to the System Professional website and fill out the quick questionnaire a selection of products specifically created to help your problems will be recommended to you, generating what’s known as your personalised care system and energy code. I would definitely give this a go regardless of what you hair type may be!

The products recommended to me from my personalised energy code.

To finish things off my hair was then topped off with the most gorgeous chocolatey scented leave in product, Dark Oil from Sebastian. Created with sandalwood, cedarwood and argan oil this amazing product will deep condition, smooth and protect your hair from UV damage and will help with styling.

The team at CV Hair & Beauty gave me a series of samples to use on my hair and I have to say I loved how soft and healthy my hair felt after my treatments and following the various washes that took place afterwards. I left the salon with a perfectly trimmed and pulled out Afro! The first time I had ever worn one, just before my shoot with Studio52. I felt like the ultimate Afro diva and thoroughly enjoyed the experience! I will most definitely be taking another trip down there in the future only this time i’ll be sure to get some beauty treatments in too! A huge thanks to the team for their time, care and expertise, I loved letting you loose on my fro!

For more details about the Entertainer and the amazing deals they have check them out here or head on over to the app store on your phone. Here’s a little something I filmed with them when I was at the London Bridge Experience And Tombs.

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!

Battling The Cold

It’s December and everyone is counting down the days as we approach Christmas and the New Year. I have to admit I really dislike the winter, for me summer is where it’s at; but I have to say despite my distaste of the season I still try to make the most of things. I may hate that the days are darker and daylight is scarce, the cold temperatures will always disagree with me and being around so many people full of cold is never fun! Having said all of that there are some things I enjoy about winter. For some reason people make that extra special effort to re-connect with their friends, family fun is visible everywhere and the incredible food available always makes social events even more appealing. We all have things that we do during the day and we all have places to be. The winter season is one time of year when we all need a good winter coat!

I was on the hunt for a new winter coat when I was contacted by the incredible team at Lovedrobe. I have many items from this brand (mostly dresses) and in truth I hadn’t seen much of their winter collection this year so it was great for me to be able to select one of their great winter coats to try out. I know it’s mental but I have to say in all honesty this is the first Parker I have ever owned! I tend to keep a basic approach when picking out a black winter coat but as time goes on i’m finding our winters even colder and, having to be up and out of the house really early made me want something with a warm and fluffy collar or hood. I really like the quilted pattern on this coat and that it has a fitted look. In all honesty most of the winter coats I have owned in the past have concealed my figure and many times I was left feeling as though I was wearing a sack!

The Faux Fur Quilted Coat is a really nice fit. I picked this one up in a size 24 and find that it’s roomy enough to wear with a nice thick jumper, the collar is extremely silky soft (even after I had been caught out in the rain). I love a good pair of jeans and I tend to gravitate towards black or indigo skinny jeans of some sort. In this outfit i’m wearing the black ultra stretch skinny jeans from Evans in a size 24. I didn’t want to wear all black on the day that I took these photos. I thought it would be fun to pair the coat and jeans with a lighter top. I decided to wear the Ivory Asymmetric Stripped Top from Evans, size 22. I love how light and airy this feels on and the slit down one side ads a fun detail to the shape.

In keeping with the black and creamy theme I wanted the perfect pair of winter boots to keep the cold at bay! In all honesty how I came to acquire these boots is a bit of a funny story. I was wearing a pair of slip on trainers one day at work when the glue came apart on the sole of the right shoe! My foot literally came right through the shoe! I quickly ran over the road to my local Sainsbury’s and picked these suede borg boots up for an emergency lol. The shoes I was wearing were falling apart on my feet and these boots literally saved the day (and my outfit lol). Their toffee brown colour really appealed to me and I really like the faux fur trim.

For me the winter is when I like to wrap up warm and be cosy. I still bring elements of my usual style into my look but in all honesty the priority for me is comfort and warmth this time of year. Having said all of that it is party season so I know it’s only a matter of days before I pull on a sexy little frock for a dinner somewhere.

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!

One Step From The Sun

*This Is A Gifted Outfit

Hey everyone, I hope you’re enjoying the autumn season and getting into the festivities that are taking place out there. I personally like to spend as much time as I can playing around in the leaves, enjoying the amazing food and of course the fashion! At the moment I’m going through an experimental phase when it comes to my look. I still have those elements that will always creep into my outfits but recently I have been trying to get the most out of the bright days as possible, especially seeing as it gets pitch dark before 5pm! I have been lucky though, there have been some great options out there both on the high street and online.

The UK’s longest running fashion brand to cater to curvy girls is of course Evans. I have been shopping there for as long as I can remember and I have to say their options have expanded so much over the years! They have been collaborating with a series of brands, new and innovative designers and at expanding their collections with each season. Just a few days ago I was at the SS17 press event by Arcadia and there are some incredible new lines coming next year. Top Shop in addition to their amazing clothes have an incredible new makeup range, Dotty P are playing around with a series of beautiful feminine styles (there is a silver pair of stilettos I must have) and of course Evans are bringing us fabulous denim, funky florals, dainty lace items and a series of botanical prints.

Recently I was given the opportunity to pull some looks from their current collection and I have to say it took me an age to make my picks as the options were just endless! There was something for everyone with a strong and large range of sparkly and dazzling threads for the upcoming party season. I will be sharing many of these items with you right here on the blog in the very near future, but to start with I went with some items that can be adapted into a series of both casual and dressy looks. Hanna and I decided to go to lunch on a Sunday afternoon and of course took full advantage of the warm sunshine. I was wearing this incredible Black Animal Print Shirt Dress from Live Unlimited. The oversized shirt dress has hanky hem detail and a long fitted cami underneath. This is one that could easily be worn open as a duster jacket or worn as more of a floaty dress i’m wearing this in a size 22. I decided to put it with a pair of the Ultra Stretch Skinny Jeans, size 24 (a must have item) and I was almost set. I really like the length of this one and the loose feel and have found this can also transition into a more sophisticated outfit perfect for the work environment.

There are only a few days left where we can pull out sunnies and incorporate them into our outfits. I am a huge aviator fan and I have probably around 6 or 7 pairs! I won’t lie, ever since I saw Michael Jackson rock these as a kid I have been obsessed with them so when Ray-Ban brought out a pair of gorgeous mirrored shades in a series of colours I wanted a pair! The blue ones of course were the colour I fell in love with and I was lucky to have been given this amazing pair on my birthday by Hanna and Sarah. My hair has been in small tight twists for a couple of days so my curls were extremely tight and small, making my hair look slightly shorter, what better excuse does a girl need to show off her favourite pair! I also love that the blue tints bring out some of the blue undertones in the shirt dress.

I’m proud to say that my shoe collection is starting to grow and take some shape. I have to admit I put a lot less attention to my footwear than I do my clothes but recently I have found myself drawn to some really fun and interesting footwear. I like to feel comfortable when I’m out and about so this amazing pair of woven slip on sneakers from Lane Bryant were my shoes of choice.  A really bouncy and fun shoe that made for a great casual feel.

A simple long chain, my hoop earrings with some basic makeup and I was ready and set for my day. I like to be playful in my style and whilst keeping things simple sometimes I still try to wear an outfit with a bit of flair. As the cold starts to creep in i’ll have to play around with some more sweaters and jackets but while the sun still continues to shine I will most definitely include some light and floaty options into my look.

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