One of the main reasons I started this blog back in 2011 was to show plus size women around the world that they should not be ashamed of themselves, of their bodies or of things they might have to do a little differently because they take up a bit more space than someone else. I have always been fat. I was a fat child, a fat teen and I have been fat all through my twenties up to now. This means that I have lived my entire life being told that my size will hold me back, that it will stop me having as much fun, that because I'm fat there are some things I just shouldn't do. Well you know what? F**K THAT. This is why I'm starting my 'fat woman's guide to' series, because I'm sick of being told that my size limits me and because I now know that this is only the case if I let it hold me back. 

Being plus size and loving fashion for my whole life believe me I have had a LOT of practice shopping both on the high street and online. In that time I've learned a lot about the best places to go, things not to be afraid of any how to find beautiful clothes that you love and I want to share them with you gorgeous lot... so here they are!

Disclaimer before we go on - I use the word fat a lot and I do not use it as a negative term. To me it is simply an adjective for my body type with no bad connotations associated with it.
  • First and foremost, know your measurements.
    I have mine saved in a note on my phone and doodled in the back of my diary and I also carry a little dressmakers measuring tape in my handbag. This means that when I'm shopping online I can make sure (as long as the retailer has listed the measurements) that I'm ordering the correct size but also means I can grab something I like the look of from the shelf and quickly measure to see if it will fit rather than having to go through the rigmarole of heading to the changing rooms.

  • Don't restrict yourself to plus size only stores.
    Some of my favourite and most worn clothes are not plus size and I'm on the bigger side of plus. Oversized styles and stretchy fabrics are your friend, you just have to give them a go! Some of my favourite stores for finding non-fat fashion finds that fit are Monki, H&M, Zara and Mango.

  • Step outside of the style box.
    I have been and am guilty of having a bit of a uniform that I wear most days and feel most comfortable in and sometimes I have to give myself a kick to make sure I'm not stuck in a style rut. Sometimes trends come around that I'm convinced won't work for me, but I always make sure to try them just in case I find a new fashion love and believe me it's happened on many occasions. Who knows, you might find your latest uniform in that new in section!

  • F**k flattering!
    Plus size people are all too often told that they must wear things that either hug your 'acceptable' parts like your boobs and nip in your waist for an hourglass look or cloak and hide their body - well I say sod that. You should never be ashamed of your body, it is yours and it is fine just the way it is. Nobody fits a cookie cutter mould despite what the media tells you a 'good body' is and believe me, yours is great because it is yours alone.

  • Go for quality over quantity.Sure, fast fashion is great and doesn't create a hole in your bank account at the time but in the long run your purse will suffer because it just doesn't last a long time. I will happily pay more for a quality item made to last from good fabric and with craftsmanship and when I do this I choose classic styles that I know I'll be happy wearing for years to come. Especially when it comes to key pieces that you'll use a lot like a good handbag, warm winter coat or great boots to protect your feet from the elements.

  • Shop for YOU!
    As much as I like to follow fashion, being bang on trend isn't my priority - finding clothes that I love is. I also don't often ask for others opinions of my outfits because the only person's that matters is my own - if I love it, I'll wear it. I believe everyone should dress to please themselves, not for their partner or to fit in with a certain group of people. You'll feel more comfortable and more you and that is what's important.