Browsing Tag



Win a Trip To The Races!

I’m a huge fan of the races. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given that it combines three of my greatest loves; champagne, low stakes gambling, and wearing ridiculous outfits. My first trip was to Sandown for a hen do, and I’ve managed to rack up half a dozen trips since then, including a last minute trip to the Derby, and three very memorable trips to Royal Ascot. I love choosing my hat, then choosing the outfit to go with it (the only way to do it). Here are my looks from the last couple of Ascot trips, in 2013 and 2014 respectively.



Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to Royal Ascot this year as I was in San Francisco (yes, my diamond shoes are a little tight now you mention it) so when an opportunity came up to go to another big race meeting this year, I jumped at the chance. The Hennessy Gold Cup (during the Bet 365 Festival) takes place at Newbury Racecourse in November, and not only will I be putting on my cold-weather gladrags for the occasion, you can too!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be my date. I’ve got a pair of tickets to give away, plus a £30 John Lewis voucher to put towards your outfit for the day. They have a contest for the best dressed, so it’s definitely worth putting in the effort!

Of course, given the time of year the weather will be a slight fly in the ointment when it comes to outfits. Unless you’re lucky enough to be in hospitality, the majority of your racing day is spent outside, so dressing up is not as simple as my usual Ascot combo of pretty dress + statement headpiece. Instead, it has to be all about the coat. With that in mind, I’ll be wearing my Collectif Annabelle coat.


I’m now in the process of hunting down the perfect vintage-inspired headpiece to go with it. Newbury Racecourse doesn’t set out strict wardrobe rules like Ascot does, and any smart outfit is fine, but we have few occasions in life to truly dress up, and as far as I’m concerned there is no such thing as overdressed when it comes to the races. Though this will be my first time at this particular racecourse, I have it on good authority (and I’ve seen photos to prove) that plenty of people do opt for smart outfits and headwear. Yay!

If you fancy joining in the fun, enter my competition to win 2 tickets plus a £30 John Lewis voucher.

PLUS, you can also get a discount on any tickets you buy. Just use the promo code FUN15 to get £5 off premier or grandstand tickets for Saturday 28 November, Hennessy Gold Cup Day. Then look out for me on the day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you enter by tweet, remember to use the hashtag #WinInStyle and include @NewburyRacing and @gemmacartwright.

Competition T&Cs
This competition is open to UK residents aged 18+.
Your email address will be used for promotional purposes by the Company in question but will never be used by external third parties.
Transport to Newbury Racecourse is not provided.

Offer T&Cs
Offer applies to Premier or Grandstand admission tickets only.
Does not apply to existing bookings, three day tickets and cannot be used with any other offer such as group discounts or bumper packages.
Expires at midnight on 12th November and cannot be used on the day of the event.


Win a glamping trip plus loads of Summer survival goodies & spending money

A very exciting looking box arrived a few days ago. It contained a whole bunch of treats that will make Summer trips and festivals just that little bit easier. Containing everything from a solar charger to an energy bar, bluetooth speakers and a filter water bottle, this is Get The Label’s Ultimate Glamping Getaway Kit.


It’s been created to promote a pretty fabulous competition the brand is running in which you could win a chic Glamping holiday (like camping but with more creature comforts) plus £150 to spend at Get the Label and, of course, one of these boxes for yourself.

You might be thinking “you? Camping?!” but you’d be surprised how handy I am with a tent (or indeed a yurt, which I once put up as part of a hen do). I had a fair few camping holidays as a kid, not to mention guide camps as a tween, and even spent two weeks on a campsite in Cornwall in my early 20s. I’ve even had the festival camping experience, albeit only once (V 2002, and I have the sun damage to prove it). I actually like roughing it occasionally, though I have to confess the idea of a posh wooden wigwam with heating and power sockets does sound a little bit more suitable for me now I’m old and grouchy and less able to sleep on nothing but a ground sheet.

If this sounds like your kind of thing too, and if you fancy a new pair of Havs, a bunch of cash to spend on impractical clothing, plus a two night stay at a Wigwam Holidays site, get a wriggle on and enter now – the competition closes on 14th June.

Disclaimer: The box was a gift, and I also have the chance to win a holiday in a separate draw.


CLOSED Dressember giveaway! Win a Pepperberry party dress worth £89!

I promised special Dressember treats this year, and here’s one that I think you’re all going to really love! My good friends at Pepperberry are offering one Big Girls Browse reader in the UK the chance to win a gorgeous party dress worth £89. The competition will run over the weekend and a winner will be picked early next week so hopefully the winner will receive their prize with plenty of time for New Year, if not before Christmas (if you’re lucky)!

I chose the jacquard full skirted dress as the prize because I knew the retro style and 50s shape would really appeal to readers of this site. It’s a timeless, universally flattering shape and I think it represents this site very well – we all know I love a full skirt and a cinch waist and this is the dress I would want to wear if I won!

Pepperberry dresses are designed with larger busts in mind, so this dress comes in three cuts (Curvy, Really Curvy and Super Curvy) and sizes 8 – 18. I find Pepperberry sizes come up relatively large because I quite often size up due to my bust – I wear a 12C or 12SC in Pepperberry, so if you’re a busty size 20 don’t be put off entering as I bet the 18RC or SC will fit you perfectly.

To enter the competition, just leave a comment on this post telling me when you’d wear the dress. Anyone who has sponsored me this Dressember gets an extra entry instantly. I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday and the dress will be shipped out ASAP by Pepperberry. Please ensure you leave a valid email address or twitter with your comment so I can contact you to check your size should you win. You can find a Pepperberry sizing chart here. Please ensure you check this – Pepperberry sizes are different to those you’ll find on the high street.

Terms & Conditions:

1) The prize is one Pepperberry jacquard full skirt dress worth £89 in your chosen size (8 – 18 C, RC, SC)
2) Only one entry per person – IP addresses can be tracked on comments
3) This competition is open to visitors in the UK only (sorry!)
4) The prize will be sent as soon as possible but we cannot guarantee delivery before Christmas
5) No cash alternative is available
6) Closing date is Monday 17th December at 11pm (UK time). The winner will be notified shortly after.

The prize:

Lace Jacquard Full Skirt Dress £89.00
Available in sizes 8 to 18 in Curvy, Really Curvy and Super Curvy
To view the full collection visit



Win the INES Collection Graphic Pop dress!

The response to my review of two pieces from INES Collection got some great feedback both through the comments and on twitter, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a few of you haven’t already taken advantage of that amazing 40% off code and bought some of their printastic items already. If not, you might fancy throwing your name in the hat for this giveaway, as I’ve decided rather than letting it loiter in the back of my wardrobe because it’s a tiny bit big, I will give away the Graphic Pop dress (worth $72) to someone who’ll really get some wear out of it…

The dress is a size XS, which is a US 10 – 12. That translates to a UK 14-16 though it has plenty of stretch and is generous all round, so I think it would fit most size 18s as well. I only really wore it to take the review photos, but rest assured it’ll be washed and ironed before being sent to the winner! I’m happy to send it to a winner anywhere in the world, though I’m not responsible for the package getting lost in transit – I’ll send by airmail from the UK and we’ll both cross our fingers!

I’ll keep entry as simple as possible, just do these two little things:

Follow this blog (via the widget in the right sidebar, below the categories & tags —>)
Leave a comment on this post to let me know you’d like to enter

It’s as simple as that! The competition is open for two weeks, so I’ll pick a winner some time after the 7th Feb.

Good luck everyone!

Events & Launches

Are you the next face of plus size fashion?

Just a quick note to say that I’m honoured and excited to be involved in the latest project from UK-based size 14+ retailers Simply Be. I’ll be helping out as one of the judges of their search for the new Face of Plus Size Fashion.

This is an amazing opportunity for all those women who feel they could give the current crop of plus size models a run for their money (and I know there are a lot of you). There are no height or weight restrictions except that you need to be at least a size 14 (and over 18 years old). The prizes are amazing; you’ll become the face of Simply Be’s Style Files, you’ll win a massive £10,000 to spend at Simply Be and you’ll get a consultation with 12+ Model Management.

Click here for everything you need to know to enter. And good luck!

Clothing, Dresses

One dress, three ways

The team at TK Maxx recently got in touch to see if I’d like to take part in their bloggers challenge. It sounded like fun, so I threw my hat in the ring. For the challenge, I had to create three outfits around the same item, each outfit matching a scenario picked for me.

I find these kind of styling challenges quite difficult, but I’m always up for having a go! I have no problem putting an outfit together at home, but faced with every accessory on the internet I get incredibly matchy-matchy. Still, it was great fun to try creating different looks around the same dress, though I could have spent another three days looking for just the right things!

The dress TK Maxx picked was a bright coral dress with frilled trim – quite a statement frock which is totally my style. I’ve worked on the assumption that these outfits are for me, so though I’ve picked from mainstream stores rather than plus size this time around, I’ve gone for items that’ll look good on a curvier woman, so hopefully these outfits might provide some inspiration even if you don’t like the finished looks.

Outfit 1: Meeting the boyfriend’s parents

There’s a real temptation to just team this dress with black because of the trim, but I wanted to add another shade, and Topshop’s printed jersey blazer was perfect. I don’t think you should shy away from your own style just because you’re meeting the parents, but I thought the heart print was apt for the occasion! I then added a pretty flower necklace with some pearls (moms love pearls, right?), black tights to make the look a bit more demure, patent mid-heel shoes (this is the not the time for f**k me heels) and a simple clutch in the same shade as the dress.

Dress (throughout) from TK Maxx
Heart and spot jersey blazer £55 Topshop
Spring Romance necklace $24 LakeShoreCreations4u on Etsy
Black 80 denier opaque tights £6 Topshop
KG Erin patent Mary-Janes £45 Kurt Geiger
Metal tip clutch bag £15 ASOS

Outfit 2: A job interview

A job interview is the one time when sticking to simple black with such a bright dress might be a good idea. You want them to remember you for your answers, not your outfit (unless it’s a job interview for the fashion industry). To make the dress interview-safe, I went for a smart tailored jacket from Reiss with a double hem, thick black tights and a classic pair of court shoes. I then finished the look with a classic handbag – the Mulberry Bayswater – and just one piece of jewellery. I decided on some coral earrings because I’d probably wear my hair up for an interview, so they’d be on show.

Otis formal double hem tailored jacket £179 Reiss
Black snake court shoes £35 Dorothy Perkins
Black 120 denier tights £12 Oasis
Chunky teardrop earrings £8 Accessorize
Bayswater handbag in black £595 Mulberry

Outfit 3: A night out with the girls

A night out for the girls is a chance to go all out, so my first find was an absolutely killer pair of shoes. I like my going-out heels to be completely ostentatious and over the top, and you don’t get better than Nicholas Kirkwood for that! I’d team with suspender tights, which would just peek out from below the hem of the dress. The embellished jacket adds a splash of another colour but still pulls through the coral from the dress, which is also picked up in the bag. Finally, some funky jewellery – a vintage style necklace in the same burnished gold as the threading on the jacket, and a brooch in coral and pink that I’d pin on the bag.

Embellished jacket £95 Miss Selfridge
Vintage style pendant watch £22 ASOS
Heart suspender tights £10 ASOS
Coral suede clutch bag £99 Karen Millen
Comet bas relief brooch £105 Vivienne Westwood at My Wardrobe
Snakeskin and black shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood

So there you go – I hope you like the finished outfits! TK Maxx will be putting the entries from the bloggers onto their facebook page, so if you want to see what others came up with, take a look there in the next few days, or see the other entries I’ve located so far – from Tor at Fab Frocks and Pearl at Fashion Pearls of Wisdom.

Disclosure: TK Maxx sent me a gift as a thank you for taking part in this challenge.