Sunday, 28 September 2014

M&S Collection - Striped Padded Non-Wired Full Cup DD-G Bra review

There’s a new wirefree bra option for fuller busts on the market, thanks to the latest innovation from the Marks & SpencerThe new bra took more than a year to develop, and instead of an underwire uses compression foam technology in the cups to provide the shape and support required in larger sizes. I had read a lot about this bra in the press and was very intrigued. I was pretty certain that a bra without wiring would never be able to hold me and support me so I was a little sceptical when M&S offered to fit me with one of their new bras. 
M&S COLLECTION Striped Padded Non-Wired Full Cup DD-G Bra

M&S COLLECTION Striped Padded Non-Wired Full Cup DD-G Bra

M&S COLLECTION Striped Padded Non-Wired Full Cup DD-G Bra

The fitting experience was very pleasant and my fitter has been working at M&S for over 20 years and really knew her stuff. The sizing in this bra differs from a regular bra so I advise popping into the store to get a fitting or ordering few sizes online to make sure you get a good fit. I'm normally a 36FF-G but found that a 38F was the perfect fit with this style. The back comes up a little tight (a few of the M&S site reviews have mentioned this too) so I would size up. 
The moulded cups are trimmed with a lace underband and wide lace wings that help smooth the back and support the bust, while the shoulder straps are made from a high density fabric for additional support. I found that this bra didn't give me the round shape which I normally like to have as I wear very moulded bras and this was a softer cup but it looked lovely under clothes and there was none of that dreaded back fat over spill or digging in. The wide lace at the back really did a great job of smoothing me and creating a clean sillouette under my clothes. 
The bra is very affordable at just £22.50 and comes in sizes 32-40 DD-G. I typically pay around £30+ for my bras(a definite downside to having a fuller bust) so I think the price is great.

I picked up this bra from M&S Cardiff Capital which has been transformed from a Home and Food store to one offering over 20,000 sq ft of Women’s, Men’s and Kids’ fashion, as well as Food and Beauty.  The fashion-focused redevelopment establishes an entire ground floor dedicated to Womenswear, showcasing M&S’ sought-after Limited Edition, per una and Indigo clothing collections, as well as footwear and lingerie. 

This bra has definitely opened my eyes to non-wired options on the market now and it's so refreshing to not be wearing something with uncomfortable wiring. Do you ever wear non-wired bras?

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

London at Night

Between the romance of a skyline filled with multicoloured light and centuries-old buildings illuminated with floodlights, there’s something undeniably dreamy about London’s post-sunset glow. Wandering around the city is the best way to get to know it so Martyn and I took a late night walk to work off all the burgers and shakes we indulged in on our trip.

London at night

We started in Covent Garden where our hotel was and walked down to the Southbank, taking in some of the never additions to the skyline like the London Eye and admiring the beautiful hotels along the Thames.

This is a picture of the London eye at night

Parliament at night

No matter how long you’ve lived in London or how many times you visit, the sight of the city’s most famous building, the Houses of Parliament’s clock tower, looming over the Thames never gets old. The tower looked beautiful in golden light and I loved hearing the bell ring out minus all the noisy day time traffic. 

This is a picture of Big Ben lit up at night

This is a picture of Westminster Abbey at night

This is a picture of tower bridge, London at night.

Tower Bridge remains as much of a London icon in the 21st century as it’s always been since it opened over 120 years ago. If you get off at London Bridge station you can exit one way to visit the Shard and another way to walk down to the river for views of the Thames, HMS Belfast and buildings like the Gherkin

Our walk around London felt very relaxed and romantic despite it being a Friday night in one of the busiest cities in the world. What are your favourite spots for a nighttime stroll in London?

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Fearne Cotton SS15 Fashion Showcase – “Circus Rebel”

On the eve of London Fashion Week, TV and radio presenter, designer and all round Fashionista Fearne Cotton invited guests to the ‘Greatest show on Earth’. A glittering, circus inspired fashion spectacle showcasing her SS15 collection for, the catwalk also featured live circus performers.

Fearne’s Spring Summer ‘15 collection has a glamorous, eclectic style, drawing its main inspiration from rock and roll heroines of the 1970s –Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks and Debbie Harry.  Continuing to build on last season’s designs the range fuses metallic star prints, leather, optical stripes and faux fur contrasted against delicate vintage florals and baby doll shifts. The collection is feminine but a little rock and roll which I think reflects the unique style that has become Fearne’s trademark.

“I wanted this collection to celebrate all the fashion references I love but retain a sophisticated handwriting that reflects how my style has evolved!” said Fearne.

The collection isn't available until January but I have some images to share with you of some of my favourite looks from the catwalk.

The SS15 collection houses new cuts and fabrics including coordinated separates featuring longer line midi skirts and box line tops, neat tailoring through cropped trousers and precision cut blouses and cute puffball baby doll dresses. Leather makes the look a bit tougher but still has a girly flourish in a biker jacket adorned with a floral blooms. I think bloggers like Laura from That's so Yesterday would look amazing in this super fun and 'out there' collection.

“For Spring Summer ‘15 I really wanted this collection to be edgy and stylish but with feminine, girly pieces to keep it fun and wearable. I also wanted the pieces to be versatile and accessible, with lots of separates you can dress up or down throughout the season.” said Fearne.

The fashion forward collection is Fearne’s 16th for the online store, and I think it will be a big hit next summer as it's both pretty and affordable. What do you think?

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

#GetUpAndGo - Covent Garden, Emirates Cable Car and Fat Tire Bike Tour.

Travelodge might not necessarily be a hotel that you would first think of when booking a couple's weekend away but my recent stay in the Covent Garden hotel was very enjoyable. It was the perfect base and was an enabler for me to get out and explore and enjoy the hotel locale. London hotels don't come cheap and when I was planning my trip away it really had an impact on how long I could stay and what I could afford to do. Staying at a more budget friendly hotel can mean you have extra cash to eat out or spend on tours and attractions.

The chain has undergone a £57 million refurbishment programme that has completely transformed the look and feel of more than 30,000 of its rooms in just 18 months. The new Travelodge room includes an upgraded new luxury king size bed, a stylish new colour palette, a larger desk, new carpet, artwork above the bed and a white contemporary en-suite bathroom.

Martyn and I felt that we had everything we needed in our room. There was plenty of under bed storage for suitcases, tea making facilities, two sets of double glazing to keep out the noise of London traffic and blackout blinds which meant I enjoyed a long lie in on my city break which was a rare treat for me.
Kids under 16 stay free in the room with adults and checkout is at midday which is a lot later than most hotels. The only thing I would have liked that they didn't provide is a left luggage facility but you can lock up bags at train stations in London so it's not too inconvenient.

The hotel was in the perfect location and just a five minute walk from Holborn Tube station and five minutes away from Covent Garden. We headed to the London Transport Musuem on our first day which I've already shared with you and on the second day of our trip we went on a bike tour and down to Greenwich to see all the sights.

I highly recommend the Fat Tire bike tour, it was only a few stops away from our hotel on the Central line, departing from outside Queensway station twice a day. It was just under 4 hours long with a break for refreshments half way through. It was the perfect tour for someone new to cycling like myself because we mainly rode through the royal parks. We took in all the major sights and I thought the tour was a really good alternative to those expensive open top bus tours. The tour is normally £20 each but because we travelled to London on a FGW train we got 2 for 1 tickets (so many bargains to be had via this scheme)

Our tour had a Royal theme and we stopped off at lots of palaces, Westminster and various monuments on the way.I'll definitely be booking on of their other tours on my next trip to London.

We managed to eat loads of lovely food on our trip including tasty burgers and shakes in Covent Garden. I tried Shake Shack for the first time and loved the fries and shake but the burger wasn't up to Bleeker St, Byron or Five Guys standard.We also went to see Richard III with Martin Freeman playing the title character. I loved the play and Gina McKee put in an excellent performance but I wasn't overly fond of the staging.

I would also recommend a 'flight' on the Emirates Air Line cable car. You can pay for the trip with your oyster card and get spectacular views of the city from heights of 90 metres as you travel between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.

I really enjoyed my trip to London using the Travelodge as a base to #GetUpAndGo. I took hundreds of photos so still have a few posts to share about my trip. I've got the the travelling bug now and can't wait for my weekend away in Bath next month.

*hotel stay was provided by Travelodge

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Fat Frocks wears A/W Joules collection

Dress: c/o Joules - Bag: Zatchels -Shoes: Topshop - Cardigan: Joules - Necklace: Pandora (gift)

I've been really looking forward to sharing these photos with you for a couple of reasons. Joules are definitely one of my favourite brands (Martyn says that it's very Librarian so that suits me to a tee). The photos were taken by the lovely Ella from She & Life whilst we strolled around Tredegar House. Tredegar House is an impressive Grade I listed Restoration period house with beautiful grounds, well worth a visit if you're in South Wales. The photos are much better than anything I could have captured with my camera and remote.

Joules was started in the 1980s, selling country clothes at equestrian events and country shows to more ‘urban’ customers. The company established a colour-led theme so it's country clothing was practical but still fun and stylish. Joules are currently celebrating their 25th year in business (their Joules Jubilee) and I think that their success can be attributed to their attention to detail in things like hand drawn prints and a commitment to a British country heritage look.

The lovely tunic dress like the Annette dress I'm wearing is cut to sit below the knee, it perfect for tall girls and sits mid calf on me (I'm 5ft 5.5). I love the slightly longer length which makes it very work appropriate and demure. I love the high neckline which means I don't need to wear a slip underneath and polka dots are definitely my favourite print, I must have over 10 items in my wardrobe in this pattern.

My shoes are a well worn pair from Topshop, I wore flats because Ella and I went for a walk but this dress would look great with some heeled boots or some red heels.

The Tansy yellow/mustard cardigan is so soft and warm. I love the pointelle detail to the front and the added cashmere makes it feel very luxurious.

If you liked these photos and you're looking for a photographer in South Wales for any type of event make sure you contact Ella.

What are your favourite items from the Autumn/Winter collection at Joules? Are you a fan of the country look?

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