IKEA fashion hack – DIY Straw Handbag

Hellooooo Everyone!

Today’s video is another Ikea hack! I love a good ikea hack but todays one is extra special because it has a bit of a twist. It’s not just an ikea hack … it’s and Ikea FASHION hack! Check out my video to see how I turned some plain old ikea bits and pieces into a beautiful Straw bag. perfect for the beach or any casual occasion!






My plus size tips and tricks!

Hey there everyone! And welcome back to Holly of all trades. Today I want to run you through the thought process of a 21 year old, plus size Holly, looking for an outfit for a snazzy event. The stages are as follows:

Step 1: Receive invitation and experience enormous excitement at having an opportunity to wow people with your exceptional fashion prowess.

Step 2: Come up with the exact idea on what I want to wear based on what I’ve seen in magazines and shops aimed at “average” sized women.

Step 3: Frantically spend all of 20 minutes scouring the only four or 5 socially accepted “cool” plus size places to shop.

Step 4: Don’t find exactly what I picture in my head.

Step 5: Depression.

Step 6: Comfort eat an entire tub of Ben and Jerrys, mixed with my tears as I sob over the tub, while watching Sex and the City and be depressed I can’t share a wardrobe with Carrie Bradshaw.

Step 7: Wear one of the 2 dresses I’ve had for years, that I love and feel good in, but spend the whole evening wishing I could have expressed my inner fashion goddess through the outfit in my head.

These are the 7 stages of plus size fashion grief! It has taken me many years to get out of the loop of looking for my clothes in the standard places. I love having a shopping day with my girlfriends (all of whom are petit and gorgeous) and I used to yearn to do as they did and walk into any old high street store and walk out with an outfit that made me feel like the goddesses I am with no stress and no fuss, but no longer. As I have grown older I have realised that I love the challenge! It is a lot harder for a plus size chick to scrounge up a fabulous outfit than it is for the average Josephine! So I learnt to be creative and I learnt to love it! The hunt is almost as exciting as the actual outfit these days! So I’m going to let you in on the little secrets I have in my back pocket that help me feel fabulous even though I can’t always shop at the “cool” shops!


The rules

Lets start of with the most important thing when it comes to plus size outfit creation. There are no bloody rules!!! Ok there are certain useful guidelines that if one wanted to one could follow. For example cinched waists and deep V necklines will help you look smaller, but these guidelines do not work the same for everyone!!! I cannot stress this more! For example I carry a lot of weight on my tummy and I feel like a cinched waist does me more harm than good these days. On the other hand however I have exceptional knockers so a V neck is my best friend when it comes to a flattering neckline. IF you’ve got a smaller chest however a high neckline may be your friend. My suggestion is take a good long look at yourself in the mirror, something us plus size ladies are sometimes hesitant to do, and work out what works FOR YOU!!! Everyone is so different that there is very little chance something that looks amazing on me will look amazing on other people. We are all different and that is what makes the world beautiful. So throw out the rule book and wear whatever you want. Get to know your own body and find out what shapes work for YOU!!!


Shop everywhere

My next tip is to shop EVERYWHERE!! And I mean everywhere. Don’t discount a shop because they stop at a size 16. Some of my favourite items of clothing are size 14 (I’m a size 20) oversized kimono’s that, granted are no longer oversized when I put them on, but are pretty f$%king fabulous none the less. So go into any and all shops and try on! Be realistic though and don’t go trying a size 12 pair of skinny jeans, it will only make you feel bad about yourself! Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find anything you love every time you walk into a store, you just won’t, but every now and then you’ll find a real gem and you’ll feel like a rockstar when you wear it!

Also under this topic when I say shop everywhere, I literally mean everywhere! Some of my favourite outfits have come from the supermarket, and that little old granny store down the road may be where you find the most gorgeous pleated maxi skirt you’ve ever seen. There are hidden gems everywhere and if you only shop at the few allotted “cool” plus size stores you’re going to arrive somewhere and everyone will be wearing the same thing as you!!! And thats not cool! For me fashion is expressing my creativity and it takes a lot more creativity to see past the “granny store” label than it does to just go down to any old high street store and buy the latest trend. Don’t count anywhere out because you think it doesn’t go with your aesthetic. Mix it up a bit. Theres nothing more exciting in fashion than rocking a goth, leather heavy look one day and then a dainty tea dress with flowers in your hair the next!

create and customise


Fashion is all about creativity! This sentence sometimes scares people. If you don’t consider yourself creative this doesn’t mean you can’t create. Seen something in a magazine you like but cant find anywhere … make it! Get yourself down to a local sewing class, buy a cheap sewing machine and get crafty. Youtube has got a tutorial for literally EVERYTHING under the sun. If you can follow instructions you can be creative. There is a hack for everything!

If the prospect of making something from scratch intimidates you more than the thought of your first pap smear, then embellish! Add trimming to a cuff and a collar, fabric paint epic designs (find a tutorial to do this over on my youtube channel, linked at the end of the post. No artistic talent required) Iron on some patches, cut, rip, distress, add layers of fabric, dye a white top bright orange, replace plain buttons with fancy ones, shorten hems, make things longer by adding strips of lace or fabric, take things in, let seams out by adding interesting fabric, the possibilities are endless. There is no excuse, if you don’t know how to do it then google it! You’ll love your clothes even more when you’ve made them completely your own and they personally reflect who you are rather than something you can buy of the street.

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Accessories are my secret weapon! From chunky statement necklaces I picked up for nothing at thrift stores to fabulous fancy looking shoes, to my eclectic sunglasses collection, I take accessories very seriously! The right accessories can take a plain outfit to a fabulous outfit, and lets get real here for a minute. Sometimes, as a plus size lady, it can be super difficult to find clothing that isn’t just a plain black dress or jeans and a t-shirt, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make that outfit the most fabulous outfit in the room with a few careful accessories. Go bold and be brave! Wear a fabulous hat or hair piece, a big chunky statement necklace or an all black outfit with luminous pink shoes. Touches like that show a real flair for style!


Screw the price tag

And by screw the price tag I don’t mean what you think I mean. Some people think that style and fashion is all about having the right $3000 designer handbag and the shoes to match. True style, in my opinion, is having those items if you LOVE them and can afford them, but equally is pitching up in your outfit from the thrift store and supermarket and having everyone in the room tell you how amazing you look, because you look as good, if not better than the chick in the corner with the $3000 handbag. If you paid $1 for something and you love it thats what matters. You don’t need to spend a fortune to look f*$king fabulous! In fact I respect someone way more if they look amazing and it’s something they’ve had to think about and not spent a huge amount of money on rather than walking into a shop and dropping shedloads of cash on the “it bag” because it’s the right bag to be seen with. Express YOURSELF through clothes. If you wear what everyone else does you’re expressing society not yourself.


Long gone are the days where I used to go into a shopping trip with a preconceived idea in my head of the exact outfit I neeeeeeeeeeded, but it can still get frustrating when looking for the perfect outfit. Lets face it, it does take a lot of patience. Trawling through 10 different websites looking for the perfect white shirt that will suit your shape, or making something from scratch, it all requires a lot more patience than being able to walk into any shop and pick something up off the rack and walk out looking fierce, but your patience will be rewarded, and you will be unique and beautiful and rock your outfit that you worked hard on!



My last bit of advice is to own it! As much as I love flipping through the pages of vogue for inspiration and guidance (plus I just like to look at all the pretty shiny things) I think the most important thing when it comes to fashion is to wear what you love and own it. If it’s different to what everyone else wears who cares!!!! Dare to be different. Not just for the sake of being different (nothing annoys me more than someone with an attitude of being different just for the sake of it.) Be who you are and if thats different to what everyone else is wearing then own it and be brave and proud of who you are. Take inspiration from fashion but don’t let trends or “rules” define who you are and how you can express yourself. IF you love it then do it and own it! The sexiest thing a woman can wear is confidence and for me part of my confidence comes from feeling fabulous!

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So those are my tips on dressing for the plus size lady, but to be honest I think a lot of that applies to everyone. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try new things, make something or venture into a shop you’ve never been into before! It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it that makes you the most stylish in all the land! Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most stylish of them all … the answer is YOU!

Graphic Denim Update! Now even easier!

Hey there everybody and welcome back to Holly of all trades!

You may remember a little while ago I did a post on how to transfer images onto denim … well good news! I’ve found an even easier and more simple way to update those drab items of clothing in your wardrobe that you never wear because just looking at them bored you! If you want to see how I made the items of clothing below then check out the video at the bottom of the page!


xxx Have a great day xxx


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Fashion is hard – HOAT couture!

Hey there everybody!

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been a big girl but loved to dress up and express myself through my clothes. Being bigger, this has always proved a challenge. Even today, where there are so many more options for plus size women, I still find myself uninspired by the majority of plus size clothing available. Instead of letting that get me down it’s inspired me to become more creative with where I shop, how I wear things, how I accessorise, and even to create my own or customise items of clothing. I will shop anywhere that carries my size and it’s lead me to be less brand driven when it comes to fashion. If it fits me and I love it I don’t care where its from! It just goes to show that sometimes being pushed out of your comfort zone and trying something thats a little bit hard can be the making of you, wether it’s developing a sense of style, or going after your dreams, being uncomfortable can be super useful!

So I challenge you all … no matter what shape or size you are to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Shop somewhere you wouldn’t have shopped before, create something of your own, embellish, bejewel and glitterify anything and everything but mostly just remember it’s meant to be fun!

Here’s a few of the looks I have put together…