I am not a UK standard size 10. In fact I’m not entirely sure what size I am and every shop is different, but I’m definitely at the larger end of the size range. I am no fashion expert. I do not care what’s hot on the high street or what’s sending waves down the catwalk. I am a busy Mum and my main concern is do I look god-awful or not and is this clean (or clean enough?).
I usually wear leggings or jeggings with a top, maybe a cardigan too. See, I am NEVER going to set the fashion world on fire. I wear stuff I feel good (or at least ok) in and I try and wear stuff which enhances my good bits. In my case my good bits are my boobs and my legs. I try and disguise the bits I’m less keen on (mainly my tummy), but I’ve learned that trying to cover up by wearing tents only makes things look worse than they are.
I do most of my shopping in Asda, Matalan and Primark with the occasional M&S purchase. I’m grateful that I can find some clothes which I like in my size in these shops. I am aware that there are some fashion rules for big girls but I ignore them and wear what I want. I have my own rules (or fussy preferences, whatever) and my own personal fashion hates (why is EVERYTHING made from polyester and why is EVERYTHING so bloody flowery?).
My style may be casual, I dress a bit boy-ish, but I have some curves which I love and I’m making the most of them in my own way. Fashion rules about horizontal stripes, or the cut of a neckline or the length of a skirt can sod off. I’ll dress how I want and I’m comfortable doing so.
I wear horizontal stripes because they suit me, I (increasingly) wear animal prints because I think they are quite playful and fun, I rarely wear skirts or dresses, but I’m trying to like them. I like being the scruffy side of casual. I have an obsession with underwear and love really fantastic lingerie, especially stockings and hold ups. My husband thinks I’m sexy and gorgeous and do you know what, I am. Every woman is. Wear what you want, rock the body you’ve got. You are adorable. You really are.
You might also be interested in my blog post about body confidence in which I am wearing just underwear (or you might not, I dunno).
For more information about the #WeAreTheThey campaign please visit their Facebook page.
I was sent a pair of Miss Matahari Capri running tights for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.
A wise man once said “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration” and boy he was not wrong. I have a chunk of weight to lose for medical reasons and because of the state of my back I’m very limited in the kinds of exercise I can do and how much I can do. It’s also very dispiriting to stand at the bottom of what looks like an impossible mountain, stare up at the top and wonder how you will ever get there. I’m pretty determined but it’s still hard.
I got chatting online to Natasha a PT and running coach who created the Miss Matahari range of exercise clothing. Natasha was very encouraging and pointed me in the direction of some inspirational stories on her website. They are stories of ordinary women who had achieved extraordinary things in their lives. Reading how they’d overcome illness and serious injury gave me hope that I could too.
Quite rightly Natasha was frustrated that many fitness brands appeal to the slimmer end of the market and don’t cater for plus size fitness fanatics. She explained to me that she spent two years developing the of the fit of her clothes to flatter as many body types as possible; enhancing the parts we love whilst helping to disguise the bits we don’t. The biggest selling sizes are S and XS (which cover sizes 8 – 12), but sizes go up to XL and XXL.
I am unable to run or do anything with bounce or impact, so walking and swimming are my exercise of choice. I am lucky and live by the river, so when it’s dry I often take myself off for a good walk. Usually I’d wear some cheap leggings and a t-shirt and hoodie with a pair of walking trainers or boots. Natasha suggested I might like to try the Athena Capri Tights in plain black for walking in.
These are running or workout capri tights. They have a flattering high waistband these can be worn up or rolled down. If like me you’ve got a muffin top you can keep it safely tucked away. They have a small back pocket just big enough for your gym membership card or for taking a bit of money out with you. Natasha has carefully selected the right fabric; so it does everything it’s supposed to and smooths any cellulite you might have.
I opted for the XL size. I’m a funny shape, my top is bigger than my bottom and I have comparatively slim legs. I usually wear a size 18 trouser, but with an elasticated waist. A size 18 is usually still baggy on my thigh but any smaller and they’re uncomfortable on the waist. Natasha told me Miss Matahari would comfortably fit at least one size above due to the stretchy fabric. I reckon the XL could fit a 22/24 with a bit of wriggling.
The material is really soft inside and quite warm. I gave it the ultimate test by wearing my Capri running tights for a very cold and blowy walk on the beach in February and I was surprisingly cosy. These lovely black Capri running tights are water repellent, breathable and boast “superior moisture management”. They are very obviously incredibly good quality and well-designed running tights. They are wrinkle resistant and designed for enhanced comfort and softness.
But enough of the science, how did they feel? As I mentioned they kept me warm on the beach. The fabric hugged me in all the right places so I felt supported. The support was actually the thing that I love the best. There’s minimal jiggle without feeling like you’ve poured yourself into something industrial. The Capri running tights showed me off by enhancing my nice bits and actually made me feel quite sexy. I’m pretty sure my bum doesn’t usually look as good as that!
I loved wearing them, they made me feel great. I walked further than usual that day too and they made me want to put them on and go out in them again and again. They have a reflective strip which runs around the leg which is useful if you’re out on a dark evening. The logo is discreetly located near the back pocket and is made up of 100% black Swarovski crystals; a little touch of glamour and sparkle.
After my walk I met up with the boys and went for lunch. We accidentally ended up somewhere a little bit smart. I was worried about looking scruffy when I walked through the door; but actually the only things that gave it away as exercise gear were the fact that they were Capri pants in February and the quite discrete reflective strip above the knee. I think I got away with it.
It’s never occurred to me before that looking good and wearing things that will support me and make me feel good while I’m exercising can help to motivate me. It’s especially good to find really great performance wear which is designed for big girls too.
I am absolutely 100% in love with my Miss Matahari Capri Pants. I know I’ll get lots of use out of them this summer. These Miss Matahari Capri running tights cost £85; which I’ll admit is considerably more than the cheap supermarket leggings I’d usually wear. But I’m converted. I know pulling these on before a walk will make me exercise with a bit more determination and a bit more motivation; and make my bum look pretty darn good too.
I know I will be buying another pair of these running tights in a few months; hopefully in a smaller size. I’d like to be like one of those inspirational women on the website and if a pair of exceptionally good running tights can help me; then so much the better.