Oh 2016; what a bloody year it’s been eh? I can honestly say that I am delighted to see the back of 2016 as it’s been filled with nothing but randomness, deaths and tragedy worldwide. That isn’t to say however that there haven’t been some good parts too. In today’s post; I’ll be talking about my favourite outfits of the year, as well as some high and not-so-high points, and my goals for the future. With the outfits, just click on the corresponding link to take you to the post. You may wanna brew yourself a hot beverage because it’s going to be a long’un!
Horsin’ Around: I absolutely love this look. In this post, I teamed the gorgeous Elvi Faux Pony Skin pencil skirt with an old River Island plus shirt and the pièce de résistance item that was the Manon Baptiste Houndstooth bomber jacket. Red in all its tones is a colour i’ve never really attempted before, so to wear this and see how much of a positive response it attained was really heartwarming. I love it!
A Flutter of Metallic: The metallic trend was HUGE this year and I thought I’d take a bit of a dab at it via way of a simple shift dress & shoes. I wasn’t 100% sure of this look while I was shooting it to be honest; but I love the end result and have since developed a love of pairing chunky knits with glam/formal pieces.
Hey, Mom: I have to thank the lovely Bethany to thank for my obsession with Mom jeans; I’m pretty sure I wear these at least 5 times a week and I cannot get enough! It seems I wasn’t the only one as loads of you guys loved it on social media too! Luckily for you, the jeans are still available at ASOS and fit true to size.
Jumping Around: Another ASOS Curve beauty comes in the form of this gorgeous peach oversized jumpsuit that I shot back in May. Pairing it with strappy heels and a killer top knot completed the look and I feel it looks quite chic! Unfortunately, this particular colour has sold out, but ASOS have a whole range of oversized jumpsuits in different colours/styles!
Having a Wiggle: I remember this shoot as if it had happened yesterday; this ASOS Wiggle Dress was my first foray into semi-tight fitting dresses and it was such a turning point for me. I began to explore other items of clothing that I had been told ‘not to wear‘ and it really opened up a whole new world and allowed me to develop my confidence even more. I cannot recommend ASOS Curve Wiggle Dresses enough!
Brights n’ Pastels: This was just an excellent look in general tbh. It combines two of my favourite things: midi skirts and crop tops and you can’t really go wrong.
My Mesh Obsession: It all began with this post, lads! It was at this time that I began to get a bit more daring with my outfit choices and when I saw this ASOS Curve mesh shirt, I fell in love. I’m very much into showcasing my body and normalising the ‘fat’ body. It felt like a bit of a risk at the time as I was anxious over how colleagues/family would react, but at the end of the day if I feel I look good in it, you all are gonna see it!
Light Layering: I never need an excuse to get my legs out and I feel like this look captures that perfectly. I absolutely love my legs and I just thought while shooting this look that they looked amazing! This was my first denim dress also and so I thought to try the whole layering thing with this River Island waterfall coat. A lot of you guys really liked this look online too and I just felt so pretty at the time. 🙂
PINEAPPLES!: This is what happens when I combine some of my favourite things: yellow, pockets, pineapples and oversized denim jackets. This has fast become of my favourite look of all time. Yellow is a relatively new colour for me and once I found out that it complimented my skintone, I NEEDED ALL THE YELLOW THINGS. This Manon Baptiste dress is currently available (and on sale!) at Navabi and also comes available in red.
Palazzo Please!: This look is another great one for me also as it was the first time I used a professional photographer for a shoot, as well as my first time wearing something that 3 years ago, I would NEVER have worn. I am in love with these palazzo pants and how I styled them with the Forever 21 swimsuit.
Moving into my first apartment. Myself and my boyfriend Ian decided that the shared accommodation life was too much to bear so in May we upped sticks and moved into our own little flat. It’s been an incredible transition and having our own little space to call our own is so stress reliving!
Working with brands. This year, I have felt very very blessed to be able to work with an assortment of different brands and work on many campaigns this year. I still consider myself small potatoes in the plus size blog game, and thus treasure every single opportunity, big or small that I have been given. My blog is my world and while I am unable to do it full time which would be the DREAM, I feel so so grateful for all the wonderful brands, PRs and bloggers I have worked with over the last year!
Rediscovering Photography. I have been into photography for over 10 years and I’m so glad that I have finally taken the plunge to be able to hone my skills within this department. A few months ago, I decided to bite the bullet and start coordinating photography shoots for fellow influencers/bloggers and anyone really who wanted photos taken. I’m so pleased to say that it seems to be going well and I have a few bookings in January i’m really excited about! To know more about this, just click here :).
Meeting Tom Hardy. This may be superficial but I don’t care. I’ve loved him for years. I met him. I nearly cried from several orifices. Job done.
Black Girl Magic. This year has introduced me to some amazing black influencers, both based in the UK and overseas and it has really encouraged me to rediscover a sense of who I am, what my goals are and how my actions influence other black women online and in the UK. Since following awesome ladies such as Chidera (The Slumflower), Danielle Dash and Melanin Millenials, I’ve developed such a strong sense of identity as a black, female online influencer and how important my voice is. I will continue to speak about my experiences as a black plus size woman living in the UK because we are often the forgotten demographic and it’s so important for our perspectives to heard. I strongly suggest you follow the above as they are all awesome individuals.
In the interests of being broad and covering all aspects of this year, I have decided to include the rubbish parts of 2016, however they will be short and few as we don’t want to dwell on negativity!
Brexit woes/body-shaming antics. This year has been a funny one for racists and fat shamers to really come out of their shells, haven’t they? From being called a gorilla on Planet Earth by strangers in Marylebone to having racists chanting ‘make Britain white again!’ at me on my way to work, it’s been crazy. What you can’t allow these people to do however, is dim your shine. Radiate your awesome because that is what is important!
Anxiety. This was a bit of a weird one for me because I think I developed this throughout the last quarter of the year. Due to illnesses, triggers and general drama, i’ve definitely felt the beginnings of what could be anxiety, having never suffered it before, with more than a fair share of panic attacks. I plan to read more on the subject and how to prevent it within the coming months.
While writing the above post, I kept thinking about all the brands/people I had worked with or have come to know and what great work they have done, so I thought I would highlight those who have been exceptional this year!
MOST WORN BRAND OF 2016: Has to go to none other than ASOS Curve. I’m pretty sure about 90% of my wardrobe is now made up of the brand. They’ve released some excellent pieces this year.
MOST VERSATILE BRAND OF 2016: This is going to Navabi as the brand is always choc-a-block full of wearable, transitional pieces that you can wear during all seasons.
THE ‘OMG THEY FIT MY ARMS!’ AWARD: This is an easy one for me: River Island Plus. River Island have done what many mainstream brands find it hard to do: create well fitting pieces that are an extension of their main range. Their pieces are SO TRUE TO SIZE it’s not even funny, and they fit over my massive arms and shoulder area with ease. This may not be important to some, but it’s hella important to me, especially where outerwear is concerned.
THE ‘I NEED THEIR ENTIRE COLLECTION’ AWARD: Again another easy one for me: It’s gotta be none other than Eloquii. Eloquii are a New York-based online plus sized brand and I have completely fallen in love with all their clothes. Their aesthetic is simply perfect. It’s me.
MOST PRISTINE CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD. We have a two time winner in Navabi today! I’ve always found their customer service to be on point. From the lovely PR’s to the customer services team, everyone I have encountered has always gone above and beyond to make the customers feel special and it’s definitely been noticed. Y’all are just so lovely!
THE ‘MATE I NEED YOUR ENTIRE WARDROBE PLS’ AWARD. So this award is going to someone whose wardrobe I have obsessed over the most all year. From liking the same ASOS pieces to me furiously adding item upon item to my basket after seeing an inspiring blog post, this lady is just an excellent human being with a GREAT eye for style. The award goes to the force that is Bethany of Arched Eyebrow for services to Steph’s fashunn.
As a prize, all the winners will receive the most epic of online kiss GIFS via the medium of Twitter. Yay!
Now I have to get all serious for a minute and talk about the #goals I want to set for myself next year:
Improve my writing. I have a lot of thoughts on issues that affect us daily, however I sometimes find that I cannot convey it in an eloquent manner, which is why I turn to Twitter and thread my thoughts. I really want to improve in this area so I can speak my mind and it’s something I’ll definitely look into doing next year.
Use my platform to talk about issues more. This links a bit into the first goal. Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely LOVE talking all things style because it’s a huge passion of mine but I have a platform where I can discuss issues that are important to me and to help provoke a change. My big thing has always been the exposure (or lack thereof) and representation of black people within the media and in the community and it’s something I will keep talking about until there is a change.
Working out. I’ve been a bit of a lazy shit this year and I need to move more. Self explanatory! What I also think will help is perhaps doing a bit of yoga, as that also involves breathing and that could be beneficial for the whole anxiety thing!
Continue my photography. I’m having the time of my life shooting gorgeous fat babes and I want to do more of this next year and really build up my portfolio!
Continue working hard on my blog. Bigger and better things in 2017!