VERY Last Minute Gift Ideas from M&S

Hands up who still has Christmas gifts to order? If you do and you're in full-blown panic mode, can I alert you to the gift section from M&S. Marks and Sparks literally has something for everyone, and this year I have pretty much done all my Xmas shopping there.

The homeware section is my fave. I've bought pot plants and side tables, candles and reed diffusers and I have found it so hard to part with them all as I want them for myself hahaha. I must admit, I've done a fair bit of 'to me, love me' shopping this year. Listen, 2018 has been wild, and I've felt the need to treat myself hahaha.

Take a quick look over this post if you're in need of some gift ideas, I've not put them into categories like 'For Her" etc. as I feel like all these gifts I've selected could be for anyone.

ORDER BEFORE 5 PM TODAY FOR NOMINATED DAY DELIVERY or pop into your nearest M&S store. 

Photographs by Bethany Elstone 

11. Vases

 *This post is written in partnership with M&S as part of an on going collaboration. 

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Tips & Tricks: How to shop straight sizes as a plus size person.

A lot of people are often shocked when I tell them that something I am wearing is from a well known straight size shop. Now, for those who are unsure of the term 'straight size', what I mean by this is a shop that you can find on the high street, that typically only goes up to a UK16/18 and that generally doesn't typically cater to the plus size person. Think Zara, Topshop, COS.

As a plus size woman, I have always had to be very creative with where I shop and how I dress. When I was a teenager, I wore a lot of items from menswear shops, I wore stuff from brands that were too mature for me such as Wallis and I learnt how to shop with an open mind.

My first tip for shopping straight sizes as a plus size person is to know your measurements. Knowing your measurements makes online shopping a lot easier. Often, pieces are oversize, cut in a boxy way and could easily work for your shape/size. If you know what you're working with, you can often end up coming away with some fab items that you might never have even contemplated rocking.

Look out for oversize items. I think I had subconsciously been doing this for all of my teens/early twenties, but it wasn't until I lived in Stockholm, Sweden that I truly understood the importance of hunting out oversize items in straight size stores. Scandinavian fashion focuses a lot on boxy, minimal, contemporary cuts and with shops like Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday - it is no wonder my love of oversize pieces grew once I lived there. I used to spend my lunch breaks trawling the rails of these stores and my love of Monki blossomed. Do your research and make a note of brands that you spot on social media that often produce oversize items.

Letting go of expectations is key! We all know that Zara aint for fat people. We all know that Philip Green doesn't like fat people, so Topshop will never have a plus size range. We know all this. What we have to do when shopping as a plus size person, is let go of what we expect and look outside the box. There are gems to be found on the shop floors; we just have to have the patience to hunt and an open mind.

Head to the charity shops. Charity and vintage shops are a haven of mix matched, oversize, exceptionally random garments. You never know what you're going to get and you can more often than not stumble upon a killer piece - don't forget to look through the menswear racks as well.

Don't forget the indie brands. A few years ago, I bought something from a brand called Isolated Hero's. I hadn't seen anyone wearing this sequin obsessed brand before, but they made something for me, and as soon as I posted about them, they became really popular. That might sound arrogant, but it's how it went! This brand then went on to extend their sizes! Woo Hoo! A few of my fave indie finds can be found on ASOS Marketplace.

Go, Designer. Now, this is obviously not for everyone, BUT it is an option to some, so I wanted to make a note of it. I often browse Farfetch. It is one of my fave online stores to browse, and I can get lost on there for hours. I love looking at all the new in, designer pieces but what I often notice is the fact that although most high-end designers do not like fat people or cater to us; they do often make cool, edgy oversize items that would work on our chub bodies.

Shop My Look 

1. Shirt - Zara similar here | 2. Skirt | 3. Boots - old H&M similar here  | 4. Headscarf | 5. Handbag | 6. Heart Locket - ASOS similar here | 7. Double Coin Necklace 

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