Fashion | The pink velvet midi skirt

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Firstly one photo? Yes… one photo. When we took this photo it was just before it chucked down with rain and it was also freezing… I don’t believe my face does justice to how cold it was!

On the other side I’ve also been really struggling with blog photos of late. As we continue on our gym journey I’m really feeling and seeing a discrepancy between my body and how i feel inside, thats most likely a post for another day, but it does explain the lack of photos on this post.

I have been in love with midi skirts for a while now and while I have a gingham one for the summer months, when I saw this pink velvet number on sale in Anthropologie I knew it would be a worthwhile wardrobe investment for evening wear and the colder, winter months.

Although I wouldn’t say it photographs perfectly, in real life it is quite lovely! (Also I probably wouldn’t suggest the crazy thick jumper I’m pairing with it either – unless like me you were freezing, even under sherling!) For a night out a pair it with a thinner black top and blazer, this would streamline the look or for something more relaxed a simple white t shirt can never be forgotten! If I remember correctly I also got this on uber sale, reduced from £98.00 to only £29.99… bargain or what?

Fashion | Big Sleeves & even bigger jeans

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Unfortunately only the shirt of this outfit are available (although the jeans are from New Look and only cost, £7!) (the faux fur was from Zara before Christmas, the jacket was onsale from Anthropologie and the shoes are from, Barefoot Tess).

Really this faux fur waistcoat takes pride of place in this outfit. I waited it out on the latest Anthro sale (£30 from £95! Bargain!) I love how cosy it is and I also love its lack of sleeves! That lack of sleeves means I can wear these fantastic wide sleeved shirts which are all over the place at the moment!

Now this shirt is quite short in the body but it actually flatters me really well! (Although perhaps a little see-through.) I’m in love with white shirts in Spring and Summer so this has been a great kick start into the warmer seasons! Now onto these jeans, I bought these a little larger for comfort but actually they have wayyyyyy too much fabric on the crotch. Why are jeans so hard to find in a great, overall fit? A fellow blogger worked with Dorothy Perkins the other day on jeans and I couldn’t help but wonder, should I try out the classic bailey jean again? There is also a great instagram blogger I follow who’s been wearing thrifted paige jeans which look incredible and it makes me wonder, should I spend more on jeans? Are these high in elastic jeans actually good on fit or not?

Oh denim thoughts do they ever end? While I mull it over however, I would suggest that you all purchase a white t shirt with wide sleeves, great with skirts and of course jeans, fitted or oversized.

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Fashion | Winter Layers and dark denim

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Pink Sunglasses: Tatler, Black batwing T shirt: Zara, Velore Kimono: Zara, Multi Knit Sweater Cardigan: George, ASDA, Brown Belt: Fat Face, Black Jeans: New Look.

Unlike most bloggers you might read, there is not one piece of this outfit you can buy off the high street right now. From free sunglasses from a monthly magazine to on sale denim from New Look 2015 its all about reusing those past seasons to make something new.

In terms of this look I have been thinking a lot about how to use the colder days to play with layers. Once it gets a little warmer I’m not such a fan of lots of layers, I get hot quickly and I like the freedom of running around unencumbered. So while its freezing (not necessarily so much right now) I’m making the most of it.

In terms of this particular outfit I wanted to play with proportion on the top. I love this jacket but I also know its perhaps a little too boxy for my figure. Trying to see how I could balance it out better I have layered my favourite black, velvet kimono from Zara underneath to elongate my figure where the jacket it cuts it.

One thing I have fallen in love with, within this outfit is the high waist denim and tacked in T shirts, this particular black one is quite voluminous so I tucked it in quite closely I love being able to look skinner than I am. Being an apple shape it is on occasion difficult to wear high waisted jeans because there is nothing worse than having a a giant arrow to the part of yourself you don’t want people to pay attention to and yet, somehow black denim hides an array of sins.

I wouldn’t say I’m a hundred percent sold on the jacket portion of the outfit, but I like the way the jeans and kimono out weigh its heaviness.

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Health and Fitness | Gym Attire and shopping plus size

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Suedette Hat: Zara Men, Blue Nike pullover (old), Purple Adidas top (I couldn’t find this online?), Workout tights: Next, Trainers (old) New Balance

Yesterday I discussed the awkwardness of walking into a gym feeling bigger than your comfortable with. As I found out, people of all shapes and sizes attend the gym so really its not something to be worried about at all. Going shopping for bigger clothes to work out in however? Near to impossible… offline that is.

Its not something I suppose you think of, struggling to find larger sizes but as we headed into TK Maxx to do you know what I found? XL accounted for being a size 14!!! In womenswear, to say I was horrified was an understatement! In the mens section however, there were all types of different sizes and their Large was a real large unlike the female sides which were truly lacking.

Thankfully the sports stores do think women over  size 14 exist but only to the size 18 in general. Shopping was almost like bra shopping for bigger chests, upsetting and disappointing. Honestly, the whole thing made me wish for a better shopping experience. I’ve been mulling one over for a while now and I would just like stores to be better accommodating to sizes and shapes outside of the mannequins, imagine feeling welcome no matter the size on the hanger, to find clothes made for you instead of putting yourself into a pattern.

Where I can suggest however, is sadly, online, Next have recently launched their own sports range for women, I love Adidas for good sizing, great quality product and affordable price tags and for something fun, mix it up with other store brands like Zara and New Look who offer fun athleisure wear.

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Fashion | How to make an outfit more flattering…

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How to make an outfit more flattering? Its simple, its in those pesky details!

I have recently decided that I do know how to dress, I’m just not entirely sure that I know how to dress my body sometimes. An outfit can work great in principal or even on hangers but sometimes on our own bodies? Not so much.

What I’ve been desperately trying to learn is how to A, not buy unflattering things (It should be easy, why is it sometimes its just not?) and B, make something unflattering, flattering. You might be surprised to learn that actually it can be done and sometimes, easily!

Whats unflattering on me, is the current trend for oversized knitted sweaters, If I’m being real, really I should stick with a v neck, fitted sweater or thinner cardigans that nip my waist in, they are far more flattering on me and simple and yet… there is something so appealing about being wrapped in a thick, sweater. I bought this particular one in the H&M sale a couple of years ago and its perfect for cold, winter days! So how do I make it more attractive? Its as simple as the following three steps…

1. Alter the proportions

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The shametuck is my first dressing, Bae. I feel like for my body I need to not have too many solid lines so by half tucking my sweater or t shirt it adds a little bit of flow and also does something similar to the next step…..

2. Distraction …

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You know forever ago when we focused on distraction? Or better said, bringing attention to the parts we love and distracting everyone from the parts we don’t. Now I don’t hate my chunkier parts but fashion is a killer on anyone over a size 10. Pulling up my sleeves seems ridiculously simple but it draws away attention from my bust and also highlights where my waist pulls in.

The final step for this outfit?

3.  Make the shape that best suits your figure

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Not only do I adore this faux fur stole from Zara last season but its the perfect finale to making my jumper go from frumpy to flattering. I find that having the v neck created by the scarf breaks up the wider parts of me and continues with the line from the shame tuck pulling all the elements together.

I am also finding that adding textures and different weights of fabrics also help in making an outfit more flattering when it might not be normally. It breaks up solid lines and diverts attention. Technically I should wear the heavier fabrics on my bottom half (your smaller parts can take more fabric) and wear the thinner, less complex ones – maybe with a detracting print on the top, but sometimes you need to wear something unflattering because you want to be warm, covered up and comfy, dressing rules be damned.

Fashion | How to compose an outfit and work with wide sleeves.

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(very unlike myself, the moody photo. It gives all of us the laughs 🙂 )

Working with different lengths of clothing can make an outfit work better instantly. Clothing like art is all about composition and with the lovely wide sleeve having made a come back, now is the perfect time to work on your outfit composition.

When I was a teenager the style was for short tops and low rise jeans, looking at TV shows like Gilmore Girls at the time you can see how this made our silhouettes so boxy and because I grew up with that being the ‘look’ I sometimes forget the rules to dressing better and how to make an outfit more flattering.

Even if you are tall like me, making a slimline silhoutte works both for making yourself taller and slimmer. To create that line, you have some choices, in this case, the long, sleeveless blazer elongates my body making a cohesive line, even though its actually broken up between my skirt and my top. Furthermore the reason everyone should have a wide sleeve top in their closet is because it helps creating more flow. It reaches further down our arms (great for those shorter in the body also) and the wide sleeve gives more movement to the outfit which in turn adds to that length. no sharp cut off points!

To keep that length as well, this faux fur stole from Zara adds the perfect distraction as to where my skirt and top meet as the shape of it leads the eye down and over that cut in my middle.

If like me however, you need to at least give the illusion of a waist, belt outside of the jacket, or the longest part of your outfit, then either side of that line is the same keeping the overall length you are trying to create.

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Fashion thoughts | Sex and the City, Fashion full circle?

Sex and the City I heart Ny Therealjlow fashion full circle

In the final episode of Sex and the City’s season four, “I heart NY”, Carrie is wearing a gold, pretzel necklace. Could this look come back, is it back and are we just embarking on an infinite fashion loop?

Re-watching Sex and the City, (the TV series), is an odd show to watch almost twenty years later. Why? Quite simply it may have just stopped aging. Or at least the fourth season has.

Watch the first season perhaps and you’ll see clothes so dated you can understand its no longer 2017, but in season four? The last episode in particular, Carrie is wearing cropped, flared jeans in a mid rise and later a pretzel shaped necklace in gold. My first thought of course was, I have that exact same pendant! The only difference is mine is a bottle opener from Anthropologie, that being said it didn’t stop me considering hanging it on gold thread.

Then I paid attention to the pale pink chiffon top. It has a frilled bottom edge and two horizontal slits up the side, quite frankly its Zara right now and I can’t decide whether fashion has just gone full circle or whether Patricia Field’s vision has just only now become mainstream.

It’s an interesting phenomenon to see how all these things have changed and at the same time not. Fashion has cycled back around to whimsy, to fun, to finding a look through pieces that for once focus on details rather than just simple, clean lines.

Perhaps it is also proof that real, honest style is timeless. Its not necessarily bought from the pages of Vogue but rather our own imaginations of dressing to play a character. If I learnt anything from a Saturday afternoon watching reruns it is this, whenever you purchase something look outside the box, go whimsy, go personal and look for details, because just like the girls timeless stories, details never truly go out of style.

Or at the very least, they might just come back around.

Fashion | Its still cool to wear a dress over trousers. Promise.

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I distinctly remember being 14 and wanting to learn to make my own clothes. Puberty had made me keenly aware that I was not quite like the others. I wasn’t small, petite or willowy like my friends, instead I had already hit 5′ 10′ and my body had filled out so that I didn’t just look plain odd. Big feet, wide shoulders but still no hips (heavens sometimes I think I’m still waiting.) and I wanted to look as cool as my peers, but the stores were not so accommodating, not just in sizing or anything like that but in being more inventive.

In fact to go on a limb I feel as though its only been recently with places like Zara that we are finally seeing exciting, and alternative pieces on the Highstreet. Back when I was fourteen however, I wanted to make something actually outdated for the time. The skirt over trousers look.

I got this idea because I watched an awful lot of Mary Kate and Ashley films and shows, I realise 14 is a little old but once I like something I tend to do a lot of re watching so my fashion style tips were still coming from these out of date sources. In terms of making my own clothes, I never got very far. I hated all the textiles teachers (believe me you would have done too) and honestly I’m an idea’s girl and at the time I just didn’t have the patience.

What I’m trying to tell you all is this, although a certain form or style is outdated it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep wearing it. That’s its not in a sense, wearable. Its the most interesting part of fashion in how the same ideas and styles resurface but they can do so in such different ways. After all current fashion takes after the 90’s for example but it doesn’t feel the same, because its been tweaked and the overall look and form has changed.

Its why a dress over jeans or trousers can still work. It works because its not quite the same, the shapes have altered enough to offer us that and this is where this outfit came from. The simplicity of a dress over trousers.

What i like most about this is wearing a shirt dress open like this almost feels like a cool, long jacket and especially whilst its cold, its always good to find yourself a good amount of layers to wrap up in!

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Fashion | How to wear your summer kimono in winter…

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Its finally the Monday before Christmas! Honestly, I’m not sure either me or Josh feel all that Christmassy yet. As I write this up on the Saturday before we are both watching Muppets Christmas Carol and I am in new Disney, Bambi PJ’s (obviously). It has become somewhat of our own Christmas tradition in fact, A muppet Christmas Carol and new PJ’s, hopefully with disney characters.

Part of this years oddness is it our first ever at home, just the two of us. It makes the event a little different to normal years of going to our parents and Grandparents and so have set aside a couple of our own traditions. A christmas day walk before lunch (post champagne however), christmas movies or more exact movies of our past, this year we intend to watch muppets again, Chanel fours 1998 straight to TV movie of Merlin, Love Actually and About Time and finally of course new christmas day clothes, PJ’s all the way….

Before Christmas however, you need a different type of outfit, one acceptable for outside and general company, thats where this post comes in. One of my favourite silhouettes at the moment is the high waist, soft harem trousers with a tucked in shirt and belt, in Marrakech I called it Annie Hall meets Indiana Jones and I’m still a little bit obsessed.

Whats not been helping our Christmas spirit is this warmer weather… it doesn’t feel like Christmas. However, in its place are outfits like these, where you can wear your summertime Kimono in the depths of winter.

Like many, I love a good jacket and this green kimono from Zara is the perfect jacket for an outfit like this, it takes an oversized polo and harem trousers and makes the outfit fun again. For my own figure it also gives me a little more shape by cinching my waist in. So how do you wear a kimono in winter, well, its as simple as layering your clothes whether that is sweaters and long sleeved T shirts or pulling a shirt over a tank and the kimono also works great on black colours as it breaks up the outfit without breaking the silhouette.

Fashion | How to make dressing for a holiday party easier

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Velvet Jacket+

When it comes to Christmas dressing I find that most people are in one of two minds. The person that dresses up for christmas and the person in PJ’s (or as close as). That being said however, when it comes to the christmas party there is often a whole other set of rules for what to wear.

Depending on what you want your outfit to say the Christmas party can often be a sticking point. Do you go smart casual or go full on, wear all the velvet and sequins you can get your hands on?

Personally I like to go simple, one thing to change the regular into the irregular.

When I saw this velvet jacket I knew it was perfect for the Christmas season, relaxed like you’re going casual, but velvet so you know your dressing up for once it actually makes getting dressed easy!

Finally I have the key, the dressed up jacket! Other dressed up options of course is a sequin jacket (hello sparkles), The silk bomber, Applique velvet jacket,  also I am officially in love with this sequin bomber jacket! Who said Christmas party dressing wasn’t easy?

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Flashback Friday Glitter Boots.

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A Chambray and black skirt? Add a sparkle boot and you’ve got yourself an outfit with a twist! 

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This was from an anniversary trip to London but these boots were so comfortable I could have and had worn them for whole days with no problems! I really wish that they weren’t so battered now!

Did you notice something satirical whilst you were watching the latest four episodes of Gilmore Girls? Did you notice that Rory regularly had something sparkly on? Her jacket, in Spring, the strap on her bag in Fall…. In fact barely into the series I was telling Josh, I’m gonna start dressing Gilmore again, just a pre warning to you all.

Now, going back over past blog posts on here lately I have been speaking a lot about making my dress sense fun again and that is dressing Gilmore. It wasn’t however, until Saturday morning when I was going through therealjlow blog archives on my computer (I’m running woefully out of space on my five year old MacBook..) that I had this sudden spark of inspiration, I’m going to wear my sparkle boots from this blogs very first year out today.

We actually only went out to the supermarket (for a walk) and to the cinema but would that stop me? Nope… It was the perfect time to wear very, very old boots for a few hours! With that in mind I wanted to show you the photos from my favourite sparkle boot moments. Lets take a second to remember the sparkle boots, my old friend. I love you still <3.
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I actually wore this exact outfit on Christmas day 2013. Yes I was fully dressed as part bauble part christmas tree. Also this was our rented flats hallway, how much do you love the scuffed up walls? 

By the way, this week will also have a Gilmore Girl style twist. Blame last Friday but its been on my mind a lot at the moment. How can I do anything when there is brand new Gilmore Girls to watch over and over?

Gilmore Girls Style and Shopping…

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(I’d rather be in Stars Hollow T …. Oh, yes I would…) 

If you’re a big Gilmore Girls fan I’m sure you watched the show this past holiday weekend and if you love your fashion and have maybe perhaps dressed like a Gilmore Girl in the past you were probably thinking a little about the clothes.

Now I’ve only watched it through once (and cried through the last two on and off… don’t ask. something about it being the end ok?) but it got me thinking about dressing like a Gilmore. Gilmore Girls style has always been fun and lighthearted and thats always been rather appealing so I’ve picked some lighthearted and fun clothes below to lighten you’re shopping fashion for a bit? It wasn’t until I started that I realised I should have split them up in seasons but….. I reckon you’ll do ok with what I’ve got 🙂

Fall-winter

Star embellished jeans: Zara, Embelished Sweatshirt: Zara (sensing a pattern), Check Shirt dress (I really, really want this.) Zara Crab Bag: Zara, bobble hat: Anthropologie

Spring-summer

Pink coat (must have) Miss Selfridge/via ASOS, Patterned shirt: Zara, Suedette boots: ASOS, Patterned Skirt: Anthropologie (love this so much) & Sweat pants with silver stripes: Next

As you can tell I’ve not gone straight up copy cat style but rather, what is GIlmore Girls style?

What I was majorly impressed with was that they never changed the innate DNA of the girls style in the new series. Rory, yes her style has changed with age to a degree but Lorelai? Her style stayed so true, slogan T’s, unexpected outfits for a 40 something … Dungarees anyone? and just fun. None of that was forgotten and for that I was so thankful.

If anything Gilmore Girls is a far better reflection of therealjlow’s out there. Its not so trend led, it moves on slowly but still takes its cues from our pasts. For instance we never got a slew of over the knee boots and shame tucks instead its stayed true to the characters.

To choose my favourite part of Gilmore Girls style its this, its whimsy. I want to be approaching my 50’s still wearing a sweater covered in patches, wearing cat PJ’s and dungarees. If my future kids want to embarrassed by me, well I’ve already decided the amo and yes that includes, “I’d rather be in Stars Hollow” slogan T shirts.