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Friday, 19 May 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Dappled Florals

I've always liked the end of spring/beginning of summer: it doesn't usually start to get warm in Yorkshire until this time of year, the lilacs & bluebells are finally out & my birthday is at the beginning of June. You know I can't remember it ever raining on my birthday, when I was a little kid I thought it was because I'd been really good all year & I still kind of feel like it's at least a little to do with me lol.
Obviously this time of year is also exam season in the UK so for 4 or 5 years before I had to stop going to school I was kind of stuck indoors during this time of year. It still feels very luxurious being out this time of year, like this one time I skipped class in the middle of my GCSE exams & sat in a park with friends eating ice-cream instead. It was pretty incredible, I think I'd done 12 exams that week it felt so incredible just to relax & not to think about tests for a while.

I don't do exams anymore but I still don't get out that much, the joys of M.E. lol.
It's always wonderful when I do though. It's usually the first outfit photos of the year where I'm properly warm (you wouldn't believe how many outfit photos a year I take whilst freezing cold), the light is always super pretty (which makes taking photos much easier) & it's generally just so beautiful everywhere that it's a joy to be out of the house, especially after a long winter. Yes, all my thoughts are about outfit photos but seriously without the outfit photos I would never get out.
For the past few years I have really wanted to do outfit photos near lilacs but lilacs are surprisingly hard to find. Surprisingly because there seems to be a bush in every garden you see....but not in parks or formal gardens. I guess lilac bushes were considered déclassé when they were planted or something but they are nearly impossible to find. Finally I found some in Golden Acre Park (quickly becoming my new favourite place to take outfit pictures) although I had quite an adventure getting to them.

I don't know golden acre park very well so just finding the lilacs was tricky (they are tucked in behind the cafe near the staff car was confusing) & they are then up a not very wheelchair accessible lip? The edge of the path, which is all grass, has one of those kerb thing like on a pavement or something & it is seriously hard to get on or off in a wheelchair. On involved getting out of the chair & my mum lifting it over the kerb & off involved closing my eyes & trying not to squeal as I went over the edge unexpectedly whilst I was trying to find a shallower part of the lip lol.
Totally worth it; the lilacs were beautiful, it was a nice quiet area to take photos & I was able to realise an ambition. And realise it with style, these photos are stunning. I don't even feel like I'm looking at myself.
It's hard to believe that my mum & I took these photos ourselves, they remind me of photos I've seen of Miss Victory Violet & Idda van Munster....although their photos are much MUCH better. I still feel like I've unlocked some kind of secret blogger achievement. I think this one is called 'wheelchair's next top model?'. What do you think? lol.

Outfit talk time. The only place I could find the dress is on Unique Vintage where I got it. It is on sale but it's also only available in a 4XL....which was handy for me because that's my size :) It's a Bernie Dexter Paris dress like the 'summer dress' (not the official name) I had last year. I love the Bernie Dexter Paris dress shape but they are expensive, similar to a Pinup Girl Clothing jenny dress but the skirt isn't as long or as full so it can be slightly hard to justify. Moreover the place I buy them from (Unique Vintage) doesn't have my favourite international shipping. It just takes such a long time......often by the time it arrives I've forgotten I ordered it. Not really ideal I have to say.
Anyway, for this reason & a few others I don't buy a lot of Bernie Dexter dresses so I didn't get this one last year even though I couldn't stop looking at it. However this year I saw it on sale with only my size left & I kind of felt like it was fate. I actually think I like it more than the summer dress I got last year!
The shrug is from Collectif Clothing. It was a little pricey (£32.50, sizes XS-XXL) but I thought it would be a great staple for wearing with summer dresses & it totally is. It is super soft, stretchy, warm but not too warm & really comfortable. I don't know if anyone else has ever had this but I have always found that this kind of bolero/shrug type thing always digs into my neck & curls up all over the place & is generally a nuisance. This was actually amazing. It didn't dig in, it wasn't uncomfortable & it was generally wonderful. 100% recommend.

The petticoat is my regular white petticoat, I would love to get a more colourful petticoat but I can't decide which colour to get. If you have any ideas I'd love to hear them, I really need advice :)
Make sure to check out my Instagram I have loads of other pictures that I'll be sharing :)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Casual Wheelchair Fashion: A How To

A while ago I kind of bumped into a convo @Ixzianna & @mindmagicnatter were having on twitter. They were talking about how hard it is to look as fabulous as you want to in a wheelchair.
I have always thought that sitting down is the main problem, sitting is crazy unflattering because clothes are designed to be stood in. Most of the time wheelchair users don't sit ramrod straight in their chairs (for all kinds of reasons, I sit like that because it's less exhausting) which exacerbates all the problems of sitting. You can be the most stunning person in the world but still look disproportionate when sat awkwardly. So what clothes can you wear to combat the problem?

When I went into this post I thought I was going to write a 'do this, don't do that' like the hundreds of articles we've all seen on 'how to dress for your shape'. My understanding of clothes & how to dress my body comes from a thousand Gok Wan re-runs talking about bodies as apples and pears and hourglasses like something out of Alice in Wonderland. This stuff worked for me as a teenager (in the days before my chair), it built me back up from a shy, uncomfortable teenager who'd been told too often that she was fat & that her clothes were ugly into someone who was able to wear clothes as armour.
The problem is this stuff doesn't work for wheelchair users. It's not just a matter of "apples, pears, hourglasses and, oh yes, those on wheels". There's guidelines I guess, "don't wear a huge flowy satin ball gown" being one of them (satin is shiny & makes it hard not to slip off the chair & all that fabric is bound to get caught in your wheels) but I'm pretty sure there is no-one who wears huge flowy satin ball gowns for casual anyway...

I think my main problem is that these are my 'casual clothes', this is what I wear when I'm not all dressed up (& I usually only get properly dressed two or three times a month). I used to wear casual clothes, one of the things I aimed to achieve in the early days of my M.E. was getting dressed every day, but it has been a lot of years & even more flares since then. I don't even change my pjs every day anymore. I've gone back through my old posts & tagged all my casual outfits so you can find them easily but as you can see, it's been a while.

The best advice I can give you can be simplified into 4 tips:

Buy from places you can return things to easily
I get most of my clothes online (for so many reasons) & I have totally learnt this the hard way, mostly ordering clothes from America that would have cost more to send back than I would have got in the refund. I call it a learning moment (although it doesn't seem to teach me not to do it again) but it can be quite well as making your bank balance angry with you lol. Even trying things on in the shop isn't an exact science so I always like to be able to return things.

Get your clothes altered (if necessary) 
Everyone has their own personal bugbears with how clothes made for 'regular' people don't fit right (mine is skirt lengths) & most of these can be fixed. Where I live there are loads of shops that just do alterations on clothes & I think there are even places online. If you explain what you want doing they are usually more than happy to help.

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!
However carefully you pick clothes they aren't necessarily going to look quite right in a wheelchair. There's not much you can do about it....except accessorising. You can't imagine how many outfits I have saved by adding a belt or a super cute necklace.

Most importantly...
Follow as many wheelchair users who post ootd/full body selfies as possible
Wheelchair user are massively under-represented so it can be hard to see yourself. I get a lot of my outfit inspiration from outfits I see other people wearing & it's much easier to come up with outfits that work in a wheelchair if you see outfits that work in a wheelchair. Does that make sense?

The best thing I can do now is introduce you to some wheelchair users with AMAZING fashion sense.

Let me introduce you to Cat. I think I first came across Cat back in my Tumblr days, before I even had a proper blog. It wasn't until I started following her on Instagram however that I realised how much I adore her style. Like I knew but I didn't KNOW.
I think part of the reason I love her style so much is that it reminds me of my black clothes years. I don't wear black much anymore (I don't like it much & I feel like it kind of merges me back into my chair) but I used to be a total emo/goth/scene-girl teenager. I was never as cool as I thought though & definitely not as cool as Cat Sierra.
So, in my opinion the things that make Cat Sierra's style work so well in a wheelchair is that she keeps all the 'bulk' up top (also her awesome taste in jackets). Please keep in mind that I am not a fashion expert so when I give an analysis I have no idea what I'm talking about but I think one of the important things in a wheelchair is that if you are going to have volume in your outfit, have it on the top OR the bottom, not both.
I also think that Cat makes the all black theme work, it looks super chic  it gives a look know that 'fashion rule' where you are supposed to wear the same colour of shoes as your tights? I feel like all black fashion is like the ultimate expansion of that, although the pops of colour are the coolest part of it for me, there is nothing quite as cool as a monochrome look with something bright & cool & chic like the jackets in these pictures.
These are the links to Cat's twitter, instagram, her etsy shop (where she sells really cool enamel pins) & to her GoFundMe where she is raising money for a foldable powerchair. Go follow her :)

My next introduction is Robyn Lambird. I also first came across Robyn in my Tumblr days but she's even cooler now than she was back then. Wheelchair athlete, style icon & disability activist there seriously seems to be no end to the awesomeness of Robyn Lambird. I'm focusing on her style though & seriously it is so cool. I'm pretty certain I have never been this cool and it's hard to narrow down exactly why her style is so cool. Part of it is the effortlessness, part of it is the cool androgonous...ness? of it & part of it is that it always looks like really cool active-wear street style.
Mostly though it's the fact that her style is everything I am scared to wear in a wheelchair.
I guess everyone has their fashion fears & mine is this cool, effortless, relaxed look. I place so many rules on my style because I'm terrified that I'm going to look like a sack of shit with a string tied around the middle (mostly because I do, seriously the reason I wear high waisted skirts is that underneath them it looks like I shoved a very large, very sad, bean bag under my top). It's totally a wheelchair based fashion fear, I was much more casual before I became a wheelchair user & I actually didn't wear that many skirts (pretty much just this really cool tiered tulle mini skirt from H&M that I adored, it was purple & it drove the head of my 6th form crazy) but the wheelchair changes things & it lead to me accessing a very different part of my style :) Seeing wheelchair users dressed like this makes me so happy.
So what makes her style work so well? Well Robyn's signature look is actually a wheelchair user standby - baggy tops & tighter bottoms with comfortable shoes. The thing that makes her look so special is that she injects so much personality into it; there is nothing shy about the way she dresses & that's good! It's interesting, Robyn rarely wears colours that are especially in your face or even very bold patterns but the way she puts things together impels you to be aware of her. Part of it is the clothes but I would say that part of it is 'The Beyonce Factor', just simply being awesome & knowing it. Not exactly helpful I know.
Another part of what makes Robyn's style work so well is that she breaks all kinds of 'rules'. I mean if anyone was going to write a set of Rules for wheelchair fashion I'm pretty sure one of the big ones would say no short skirts, especially not without tight/leggings. But as Robyn proves in the first picture, it's not so much what you are wearing as how you wear it.
You can find Robyn on her Youtube, InstagramTwitter & Tumblr. I totally recommend following her on as many of these as possible :)

This is mermaiddisguised. A while ago I was looking for other wheelchair users who did fashion &/or beauty blogging (I was feeling kind of like the odd one out) & I ended up coming across Beth. Just knowing Beth was out there made me feel more confident as a blogger, I wasn't alone anymore & I would credit it with a lot of the braver things I have done as a blogger.
Representation in action :)
Beth doesn't post quite as many outfit posts as some of the others but I love her style, it is the perfect combo of comfortable & cute. It's kind of my approach to casual fashion- simple-ish, classy clothes, loose tops, tight bottoms & comfortable shoes - but much MUCH cuter :) It's weird, because this is so close to what I would choose to wear it is hard for me to break it down....
The reason I wear my clothes baggy on top & tighter on the bottom is that I carry my weight in my stomach & butt so that when I gained all my I'm-comfort-eating-retaining-water-and-not-moving-that-much weight it was easy to hide with baggy tops (or high waisted skirts). It's a pretty good look even if you don't have any extra weight to mask because it tends to sit pretty well in a wheelchair.
Why Beth in particular? I don't know really...there is an element of that kind of ineffable Parisian Chic-ness to it - simple pieces worn in interesting & appealing ways. About the most helpful thing I could possibly have said huh? I guess that's just my jam today :)
Her hair is also always really cute which totally helps (a good hair cut can make a big difference).
You also totally have to check out her blog it's a lot of fun & a good read. You can also find her on instagram, twitter & facebook.

Finally Sitting_Pretty. I love Rebekah, she is the person I want to be when I grow up (possibly merged with Bianca Del Rio and Marlene Dietrich...which would also be the coolest, most badass kind of Manticore ever). One of the things I lost through my M.E. was my voice, not my physical voice but my writing voice. I was never going to write the next best seller or the next prize winning piece of investigative journalism but I wrote really good essays & it is this skill that I miss the most, more than walking. reading & getting dressed by myself. I lost the voice my brain spoke in & it feels weird every day. Partly that is why I love Rebekah's feed so much, for every single selfie she posts there is a wonderfully crafted pocket memoir, essay...I don't know what to call it, a wonderful piece of writing that blurs the lines between poetry & simple exposition.
Don't get me wrong though, Rebekah's style is also super cool. It's got that great ModCloth geek t-shirt vibe (if that makes any sense to anyone but me). This is yet another style that I ADORE but would never wear - mostly because these cool geeky t-shirts usually come in high neck styles that make me look 90% boob &/or they don't come in big enough sizes to get past my the sad beanbag that is my stomach would be way too visible. However there is something really cool about wearing something as simple as a t-shirt & making it look put together & pretty. Plus there is nothing better than a really cool geek-y t-shirt.
Whilst it is really simple (& I'm sure Rebekah didn't spend an hour putting her looks together) there are a few little tricks being employed her that make it work especially well.
First, the t-shirts are over-sized. This is subtle, 'womens' fit t-shirts are usually designed to be worn skin tight but these are maybe a size bigger than that, possibly two? Perfect sizing because it sits better in the chair & honestly it's also a lot comfier than form fitting clothes.
Second, she tends to pair them with tighter bottoms. Yes I have gone on about this one a bit, it's not a required wheelchair user fashion thing but it really does look good & makes putting together outfits easier.
Finally, she carries it all with confidence. Rebekah always seems to be ready to take on the world & honestly she could wear one of those big yellow IKEA bags & she would still look amazing because she presents as being so confident.
Find Rebekah on her instagram, on her website & on many guest posts around the web.

To sum up: 
Wheelchair fashion, much like all fashion, is subjective. It depends on your tastes, your body shape & your personality (as well as how forgiving your bank balance is). As with many things in life there are no hard and fast rules, what you like & you feel good in is going to work better than anything I recommend.
However what I have gleaned from looking at many MANY wheelchair users' ootds is as follows:

  • Cute hair styles help, as does liberal application of hair dye
  • Larger tops & tighter bottoms (in a clothing sense, my mum has a dirty mind & made this sentence seem gross)
  • Dress for you, people who say crap things are saying more about them than they are about you
It can be hard being confident in who you are & what you are wearing, especially when so many people feel they need to talk shit. My Grandma (mum's mum) is a total bitch about this, she's been telling me I'm too fat for as long as I can remember & it got even worse after I got sick & started using the wheelchair, she has said some truly unforgivable things. Her words really used to chip away at my confidence & self esteem making me feel disgusting.
I would say it wasn't until I started doing outfit posts that I managed to develop some confidence in myself & my body & I would totally recommend it to anyone, wheelchair user or not, who is not feeling body/style confident. The internet is not a 100% positive place but it does contain a lot of wonderful, supportive people & there is very little better than the friends you can make online & the support they can offer.

Other people to follow:

Erin Clark: Instagram Website Twitter
Ruby Allegra: Instagram Twitter (I wish I had known about Ruby when I started this post because I 100% would have included her, she's amazing!)
Elianne Speksnijder: Instagram Youtube Twitter Facebook
Claire Freeman: Instagram 
Rachel Marie: Instagram Blog 
Michelle Roger: Instagram Blog Twitter Youtube
Jacqueline van Kuilenburg: Instagram Blog Twitter Facebook
Jillian Mercado: Instagram Tumblr Twitter Youtube

The wheelchairfashion hastag on instagram (which has grown so much since I first used it, it used to be like two or 3 people & a lot of disability aids, now there are so many people using it it is amazing).

P.S. the top in the first image is from Scarlett & Jo.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Aqua

Writing my outfit posts seems so unreal sometimes, today especially. I'm not quite sure why, but there's something about sitting in a darkened room, with freezing cold feet hearing the semi-muffled voices my brother & his friend talking at the top of their voices that makes it seem like there is no way that only a few days ago I was out taking outfit photos & that it was relatively warm...or at least it felt so at the time. But then maybe it isn't all that real, the lake looks kind of clean in the photos & I can tell you from experience that it's really not (I used to kayak on it in my pre-M.E. days & it is super gross).
I guess a touch of unreality is part & parcel of the blogger's life. No-one would want to see a picture of me looking as I do right now. Trust.

Semi-philosophic musings aside this skirt is seriously amazing. It's one of the best things I have ever owned, not just based off of the print. I know I say that all the time but I am serious for this one. The only thing it is missing is pockets. Other than that, the shape, the length, the print & the quality are A++ standard. Seriously Heart of Haute are really amazing. The only place I can find it in stock is on pinup girl clothing. I would still look on heart of haute though, they may not have this one but the ones they do have are stunning.
Talking of things that are near impossible to get, the top is one of pinup girl clothing's old style of peasant blouse (they changed the underbust from straight to a curve...) so it's not instock anywhere I could find. I think they released a similar colour recently though if you were looking for something in this colour family.
The cardigan, shoes & hair bow are simpler. The hair bow is a scarf from collectif clothing (£6.50), the cardigan is from Deadly is the Female (£25 uk sizes 8-24, 11 colours) & shoes are from B.A.I.T. footwear ($72, US sizes 6-11).

Sorry if things got a little abrupt there at the end but my cat has decided that my laptop taken up enough of my time and that it's now her turn so she's taken over my lap & keep looking up to make sure I'm not doing any more work. I'm having to finish this via the voice to text feature on my phone lol. Cats are adorable but they are definitely in charge Yes, yes you are

Friday, 17 March 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Lilac Snowdrops

I believe in clothes much as Audrey Hepburn believed in pink & Marilyn Monroe believed in shoes. (Doesn't that sound good, doesn't mean anything but it sounds good lol.)
Seriously though I believe that the right clothes at the right time can change the world just a little bit. My world anyway & I have an 'emergency dress fund' precisely for those kinds of clothes.
I tend to be quite practical with my clothes choices, vintage style clothes can be really expensive so I can't just buy whatever looks cute. I pick separates over dresses every time because they can be worn multiple ways & I only buy anything if I can think of 3 ways I can wear it with the pieces I already have. Whilst this is sensible & means that most of the things in my wardrobe work well together, it can be a little joyless. I can't count how many dresses I adored I've had to let pass because it's not really the practical choice.
That's where the 'emergency dress fund' came in. Once a season & no more I can pull the emergency dress fund card & buy some ridiculous dress that I can't live without. Surprisingly I've only bought 3 so far. Even more surprisingly they have all become staples for days when I can't stand to wear pyjamas one second longer.

This dress is the 3rd 'emergency fund' dress I've gotten (1st & 2nd) & it may be my favourite. It's definitely the most obviously me. I mean all those pretty lilacs? I literally have a tattoo of lilacs! It's my favourite flower 100%. Plus there is all the lovely deep purple roses & the great blues...this print could have been made for me, it contains all my favourite colours. It's got that great timeless English rose floral print type look. I could have been wearing a dress with a print like this going back to the Georgian period. It probably wouldn't have been in purple but historical accuracy is not really the point, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been tattooed, in a wheelchair or showing all this much leg either. Little details.

So dress, it's a Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny Dress (capitalised with good reason, it's a title with heritage & dignity lol).
The dress cost $168 (you can see why it was an emergency fund dress...) & comes in XS-4XL. I am EXACTLY in between a 2XL & a 3XL in the Jenny Dress (the 2XL being a 36 inch waist & the 3XL being a 40 inch waist). The last jenny dress I got was in the 3XL....possibly a mistake. SUPER comfortable & great for casual wear without shape wear but it doesn't look quite right otherwise. I got this one in the 2XL, 100% by accident (I'm a 2XL in most Pinup Girl Clothing items so I didn't even think to check the size guide). I'm so pleased I did mess up though because this dress is exactly the right size, especially with a tightly laced corset (I get my corsets from Orchard Corsets & I wore a mesh one under this dress because it was the only one I had that I could zip my dress over...).

So, the jenny dress. I am a massive fan of the shape of the Jenny skirt; they are pretty much what converted me to the whole pin-up/vintage life. That should mean that I am an equally big fan of jenny dresses but I have to say I'm not 100% sold on them. They are lovely dresses, don't get me wrong, I just have a few quibbles.
My biggest quibble is the zip in the back, how the beep are people supposed to get dressed by themselves if they can't even reach the zip? It's weird, especially as hidden zips in the side are so common place now.

My next big quibble is the waist. I'm not a true hourglass anymore but I do have quite a small waist in proportion to everything else & I look best when my skirts sit on that waist (it's why I wear statement belts & cropped cardigans & big retro style's kind of my signature look). The jenny dress has quite a long bodice, dropping a good inch & a half below my natural waist. It takes some creative accessorising to make my proportions look right, worth it but slightly annoying.
(My mum tried on the dress & the waist hits her perfectly, so I guess it's a body shape thing.)

My only other quibble is the price. Jenny dresses are pricey, depending on your budget I would say they can be worth it but they are decidedly not cheap, especially after postage to the UK.

On the other hand I am totally in love with this dress & have worn it 3 times already (which might not seem like a lot but I normally only wear non-pj clothes 3 times a month maximum, you can see how this is more than is normal for me). I would totally recommend it if you have a lot of weddings to go to this summer, or if you just really adore a good floral print. It's one of those dresses you have in your wardrobe that works for any occasion you know?

Plus I got loads of compliments on it when I was out taking pictures & I almost never do, at most one person will say something. This time I was complimented three times! It's just that kind of dress.

P.S. How nice are the snow drops? Snowdrops are one of my favourite spring flowers & it's so unusual to see more than one or two at a time!

P.P.S. Notes from my Mum. "The pockets are really handy and it looks good even on a fat old lady."

Friday, 3 March 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: It's winter till I say so

It was SO GOOD to get out to take these pictures! I have been flaring really badly & until earlier this week I hadn't left my room in almost a fortnight. Being able to be outside in the sunshine & fresh air was pretty amazing. It was possibly very slightly reckless of me but it was totally necessary right then, like how winter festivals aren't practical but were historically necessary for people staying happy & sane...
These aren't the best pictures & I didn't get many of them but right now this feels like the best outfit post I've ever done ^^.

Weird outfit to post in the first week in March but hear me out. First, I missed most of winter being trapped in my room & I still had this top to wear, second, it's still the last week of February really and lastly...does it really count as spring if the temperature is below 5゜C? I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Although honestly I remember springs where it didn't get above that until nearly May. My logic may be flawed here.

Regardless I had this top to wear & it was too cute not to share.

This is one of the heart of haute Lily top (currently available in 8 colours, $40-$42 sizes XS-3XL). I ADORE these tops - my white one is a total staple although this one may take its place, especially in winter.
There are lots of reasons why I love these tops so I thought I'd list a few...
  • They are super comfortable - being a stretch fabric means that they are so much more comfortable than the more structured pin-up girl clothing tops I wear a lot
  • They are versatile - they can be dressed up or down, I gave one to my mum & it works just as well with the casual jeans & t-shirt look she rocks as it does with my retro look
  • They are amazing quality - they wash & iron really well & despite being a stretch fabric the boob area never gets that deflated balloon look....
  • That bow!
Literally the only thing I don't like about them is that - because I am insecure about my arms - when I look at pictures of myself in this top all I can see is the flabbiness of my arms. But again, that's my issue & nothing to do with the top.

I'm wearing the skirt from the last post (it is so cute!). Normally I don't like skirts this long in the wheelchair, for a whole bunch of reasons including them getting caught in my wheels & then making me look like I'm wearing a maxi skirt, but this one flirts with the line of being too something about the fabric manages to make it not look as 70's as some other skirts I've worn that were this length.

When do you feel spring starts? Also do you think I should dye my hair again this spring/summer? I have the past few years but I'm not sure this year...

Friday, 10 February 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Rockabilly Cat Lady

I hope you don't mind but my cat kind of crashed the party a little for this ootd post. Of course you don't mind, she is totally adorable & cats do rule the internet after all. Of the many MANY things that prevented me from posting over January getting Renata (my cat) was one of them.
The last time I had a cat I was maybe 3? I don't remember her at all but I have been pestering my mum for a pet ever since I can remember. There were always so many good reasons why we couldn't get one that it didn't seem like it would ever be possible.... I guess I finally wore her down though because last month we went to the RSPCA & adopted Renata (formerly Lulu). She is a 9 year old former stray with a food allergy & the sweetest, most cuddly cat ever. She will literally snuggle up to anyone who has a lap spare & spends most of her day on the end of my footstool pushing me off 😊

I get the feeling I might be talking a little bit too much about a cat in what is supposed to be a wheelchair fashion post...that isn't even in a wheelchair. There are two very good reasons for that 1) it was -2°C & raining & 2) my chair is broken again. Also inside I can put my pjs back on as soon as I've finished. Which I did.

Not that I didn't like this outfit, super cute & really comfortable for being real people clothes, I especially like the jumper (collectif clothing £14.75 on sale, usually sizes 8-22). Now I usually don't pick things that aren't a deep scoop neck because I realised in high school that high necklines make me look like my boobs start at my chin & end at my waist (not a flattering look) & that I generally can't pull them off (otherwise I would have some of the miss fortune knitted tops). But 2016 was a year where I took a whole load of fashion risks, totally changing my style being one of them) & I'm trying to keep that doing in 2017 so I bought the top, it was on sale anyway so I wasn't loosing anything...I seriously love it. Cute top, cute print, flattering cut. Can be dressed down, can be dressed up. Light enough to layer but warm enough to wear on it's own. Would work in all seasons, especially spring/English summer though, you ever notice how nautical is in every year?

The skirt is also on sale btw, although I got it at full price. You know, usually I would regret that but I have gotten so much wear out of this already that I can't be mad about it you know? It's quite a long skirt, not really the length I would choose for wearing in my wheelchair usually, but it's not too long if you're not sitting down. The fabric is nice & heavy, it's cute with a petticoat & that sparkle is EVERYTHING! I don't particularly like the belt but that's a personal preference thing, not a problem with the belt.
Plus the zip is good, nice lining & the cut with the cool panelling....awesome.

The headband/scarf/whatever thing is also from collectif clothing. It's my first one, I've never had anything like it so I don't know how it stacks up to any others but it's nice & wide, long & very soft which makes it pretty multi-purpose. You can tie the bow any which way you like & I have to rate it just for that. It's a good introduction to the whole hair bow thing if nothing else.
I am totally hooked, I already ordered a whole bunch more on etsy.

So you don't think the whole look is from collectif clothing, the belt is from modcloth (too old for a link I'm afraid). I'm truly not sponsored by collectif clothing, their store is just in the UK & has a good range of well made clothing so when I am being brave I tend to pick them as I can always return something if I hate it. Only one return so far & it was my mistake not anything wrong with the item.

How was your January? Do you have any pets & any advice to a new pet servant owner?

P.S. I call this 'wheelchair fashion' because it is what I would have worn in my wheelchair if I'd been able to use it.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Only 8 more Sleeps till Christmas...

The festive season is very low key in my family. The house really isn't big enough for a Christmas Tree - we used to have one when we were kids that went up Christmas Eve & came down Boxing Day - & we don't really do any other decorating. That's not that we don't celebrate in our own way but it's more 'Happy Holidays' than 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' you know? Plus I'm always extra sick over Christmas so we are even quieter than we were before I got sick.
The one, over the top, glitzy, 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' thing I go nuts for is the festive clothes. The festive season is the one time of the year where you can wear the most fun, sparkly, glamorous clothes. Or at least buy them, put them in your wardrobe & never wear them. I have totally done that, like more than once.

Christmas fashion being the best part of the whole thing (in my opinion) I was really happy to treat myself to this outfit. I had thought it was a massive splurge & that none of the pieces would be re-wearable but I actually really love them, despite their quirks.
The top is from Collectif Clothing (£53.50, UK sizes 6-22. I chose an 18). I seriously love this top, it's comfortable, easy to get on & it feels like I'm wearing shapewear even if I'm not. Plus that neck line is incredible, I wouldn't have thought it would work for me but it is super cute & is making me re-think what looks good on me.
It has a few quirks though. Firstly, it hates boobs. Seriously. I had 4 safety pins on this & it still kept moving around. It was literally impossible to keep the shawl bit at the back down without the safety pins, I was thinking of adding masking tape at one point. Now this may be because I got it smaller than my usual size based off of the size guide on Top but I'm not sure that it would have looked as good if I'd gotten it any bigger though.
Also the zip is a bit tricky, after the first few times it stopped going up over the area where the ruching starts. That's pretty standard. waistbands & ruching are really hard to set a zip into but it's a little annoying. It's a pay off though, I'm happy the zip is in the side, even if it means that it doesn't totally unzip...
Don't let that put you off though, it is totally possible to hide the safety pins. Plus, I got my younger brother to try it on to see how it would work on someone with no curves. I was convinced it wouldn't work but it was AMAZING. This top creates curves, it's legitimately magic. I recommend it to anyone wanting something sparkly to wear during the festive season.

The skirt. Legitimately the best skirt I've bought all year, if not the best item of clothing I got all year.
The skirt is also from Collectif Clothing (£69 UK sizes 6-22, I wear a 22). The fullness is amazing, the fabric is stunning & there is a light layer of netting inside it that acts as a very thin petticoat. It's thin enough that you could wear a petticoat if you wanted but enough that it gives the skirt shape.
My only problem is the length of the skirt. In my chair it's not too bad, & as most electric chairs are even taller than mine it probably wouldn't be a problem for them either, but it might be one to avoid if you use a manual chair simply because it's so long & full.

The belt is from Modcloth (£29.99, sizes S/M & M/L, available in 4 colours) it's actually slightly too small for me but I extend my belts with ribbon when they are too small, yet another quirk of this outfit. The tights & shoes are old, M&S & accessorize respectively I think.

Oh & the necklace is from a small independent sell that doesn't sell online unfortunately because this is really cool, it's both a necklace & a broach making it multipurpose. It's a piece of coniferous tree (I think a kind of fir?) that has been coated in silver. Very festive no?

What's your idea of festive fashion? How do you celebrate Christmas?

Happy Holidays everyone. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Freezing in Wonderland

Why do I persist on taking photos in the freezing cold? I don't look happy & it makes it hard to get good photos....mostly because the shivering makes it hard to focus on posing...

I have been wanting to take photos in this skirt for AGES! It's really, really pretty but autumn was incredibly beautiful this year so it kept getting pushed back & now it is way too cold to be wearing this outfit. I mean it's got to be pretty bad when the fleece lined ballet pumps are the warmest part of your outfit... I'm thinking of investing in a pair of cute thermals for next time.

 I am totally incapable of making sentences at the moment. I wish I could explain how much I love this skirt - it's probably the only wonderland themed item of clothing I have ever fallen in love with - but that would involve my brain making sentences.
It's a lovely 50's style skirt, not a true circle but it is full enough that petticoats still work underneath it. The button came off the first time I wore it but it's easy to sew back on & I'm pretty sure it was my fault. Plus the pockets are good & the waist band is a nice width.
I sound really boring but it really is pretty. I got mine on Unique (XS-4XL, $72, I wear a 3XL) but it's also available on deadly is the female.

The top is from Heart of Haute (XS-3XL, $40, I wear a 2XL) & is one of my favourite pieces from last year. It's such a good basic, coming in such a lovely range of's also SUPER comfortable since it's in a lovely soft, stretchy fabric. Very different to the Pin Up Girl Clothing tops that I usually wear (very structured with only a little stretch).
The belt is years old, from a Spring/Summer Hell Bunny collection. I wish I could find more belts this width, they seem to have gone sadly out of fashion which is awkward for me as they look best on me. I've been wearing belts this width for 7 years, random but true. It's pretty much my signature, the only part of my style that hasn't really changed at all...seriously in that time I have gone from wearing leggings, plaid shirts & long vest tops to wearing a LOT of black to the vintage style I wear today...

Gosh it was difficult to focus whilst reading, or more accurately trying not to read. It's hard to avoid when you are holding one of your favourite ever books... (I wanted to be holding 'Alice in Wonderland' but I actually don't have a copy & the copy of 'Through the Looking Glass' was so worn that I didn't want to expose it to the elements, or the rough & tumble of my handbag. This is actually one of my much loved Eva Ibbotson romance novels).

Thank you for bearing with me through this very incoherent post. I will try to be better next time.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Hurricane Plaid

Autumn/Winter weather is kind of crazy in England, or at least in Yorkshire it is. It gets cold & grey & very very wet. This makes it tricky to get photos, especially as I can't cope with going out on a weekend. (P.S. Did you know that the North of England closes 90% of it's gardens & stately homes during the week in winter? It's super frustrating.)
Anyway the last two weeks I have been waiting & waiting to have sunshine....or at least no rain. Today I managed it & boy was it fun, I swear I saw boat row by in the air & a mean school teacher cycle past as she turned in to a witch.

A.K.A. it's was really windy. Like ridiculously windy. And there was a torrential downpour part way through. Also the temperatures were sub-artic & now I am just feeling sorry for myself. It made for beautiful photos but a very sore & uncomfortable body, I am however thinking of getting a wind machine. Hair-o-graphy doesn't work when you have a pixie cut but I've invented skirt-o-graphy instead. I'm expecting to see it on the next season of RuPaul's drag race.
As I am writing this I realised that binge watching 3 seasons of Gilmore girls over the past 5 days has definitely influenced the way I am writing this post. I have a tendancy to take on the personality of my favourite female characters when I binge watch TV, I used to watch Veronica Mars in high school for this exact reason (I become a bad ass when I watch Veronica Mars, I become Lorelai meets Lane meets Paris when I watch Gilmore Girls for too long). So if this post is weird, that right there is your reason.

I'm just lucky the photos turned out so well, it's 100% down to the dress. It's from Miss Candyfloss (107.50 Euros, I'm a size 3XL), mostly out of stock there but it's also available from Top VintageDeadly is the Female (deadly is the female is your best bet).
Nothing about this dress should have worked for me, it's quite high necked for me (I have too much boob for high necklines), the plaid looks really dark indoors & the way the shoulders are set makes me look microscopically broader in the shoulders which doesn't seem like a big deal but when you are already built like a rugby player...quite honestly I was freaking out when it arrived. I also made the rookie mistake of trying it on without shapewear, I was convinced it looked awful.

It's actually stunning. Firstly it has an almost true vintage feel; no real 40s/50s clothing comes up to my size, it just doesn't happen, so items like this that look & feel like they are really vintage are real godsends. Secondly the fabric is super soft, it has a felt meets real plaid texture but much finer woven than either of those, it's feels almost wooly which is perfect for a winter dress. Thirdly my petticoat fits underneath it nicely, it fits in my wheelchair & the skirt doesn't get in my way. Fourthly there is a side zip! Praises & halleluiah. Whilst it is not possible for me to get dressed by myself, I like the idea & that zip gives me the illusion that if I wasn't too sick to stand up long enough to get dressed without help I would be able to put this on without anyone else zipping me up. That illusion is nice.

Seriously if this dress had pockets it would be the best Autumn/Winter dress I have ever owned.
Actually it's already the best Autumn/Winter dress I have ever owned, I just like things to have pockets.
Plus it is one of those dresses you can wear for absolutely anything as it can be dressed up & down.
There are seriously so many good things about this dress I could go on for ever.

Also I want to mention my wheelchair is finally electric again!!! The wheelchair it's self isn't fixed but they lent me the part I need until my part is fixed, if that makes any sense. I have never been happier to go out, possibly ever, than the first time I went out after getting my controller back. I'm pretty sure my mum was even happier lol.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: The Spirit of Autumn

The electronics on my wheelchair are still out of commission (they've found the problem though so hopefully I'll get it back soon) so I've been stuck in the house a lot. Unfortunately we have also ben having the roof fixed & it's driving me insane! Seriously, how much hammering does fixing the roof take? Also why do people feel the need to set off fireworks during the day? Or ever? I am getting the worst headaches...

Anyway, all of this combined meant that when I had an opportunity to leave the house I did so as fast as possible. As in it took me more than a week. More like two weeks. Eh, that's fast for me.

This is such a cool autumn look in my opinion; you can't really beat a good warm toned orange & red type look for autumn but this very different colour palette looks so fresh & yet warm. It's kind of like a Summer/Autumn transitional look but better. It's made by the skirt, the skirt is totally the best part of the whole outfit...
It's from lindy bop & whilst it's not the same quality as some of the other skirts I have, the print totally makes up for it. It also doesn't work quite as well with my, it's still totally cute & it looks adorable with my pinup girl clothing pink polka dot top (limited edition & no longer available) & this olive green cardigan (sizes XS-4XL $29.99).

Unfortunately the skirt is no longer available. I should probably check these things before I take outfit photos...

(My obligatory throw leaves in the air autumn photo. There must be a knack to this cause I was rubbish at it lol)
I don't want to talk too much about the skirt or the top since they are out of stock & unlikely to come back in. I'm pretty sure they changed the shape of the pin up girl clothing peasant top & it doesn't sit quite right on me anymore. It could just be this one but I'm nervous to buy any others...
The fabric on this skirt is also super slippery & kept sliding around, plus I was half way in between two sizes which didn't help....
Also I got the cardigan in my actual size (a 2XL) & it is way too big on me, I should have got it in a 1XL....basically this outfit was a comedy of errors that only worked on pure luck & stubbornness apparently :)

The necklace is another etsy find from ages ago, I am incredibly marginally obsessed with trees. I feel like trees are magic, I never feel like I am really breathing unless I am around trees & I could swear that trees are more aware than we give them credit for. It might be a little crazy but when I dot sick & couldn't go out as much I got to feel cut off. I live in a terraced house in an area where the only greenery is the tiny amount we can grow in our yard. There isn't a tree anywhere within sight, even when I used to be in the attic I couldn't see any trees. So I started buying these necklaces, I have quite a collection at this point & this is one of my favourites :)
The lady who makes them is on etsy, the shop isn't running right now. It's worth waiting but if you can't there are lots of imitations around :)

This is the photo the name of the post comes from (the one above the bit of text). When we were out & my mum was taking photos she said something along the lines of "You look like the spirit of autumn."
My mum is the best, for every ten times she manages to say the exact wrong thing (accidentally & because she has no tact) there is at least one time where she says something really awesome that makes me feel kick ass for the rest of the week. This was totally one of the second times & it was an awesome name for a blog post.

Honestly I think the last post was more a spirit of autumn post but it's still a good name to use. Plus autumn is 100% the season I would like to be the spirit of.

What's your favourite autumn colour palette? Do you have one? Do you believe in magic or that anything specific has magic like properties? If you were the spirit of a season which season would you pick? And how on earth does the throwing leaves in the air picture work? :)