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Hallelujah for inclusive fashion!

Fashion retailer ASOS have proven how sound they are by designing a new piece of clothing, suitable for people with a disability.

The rainproof jumpsuit is modelled by Great Britain paralympic Chloe Ball-Hopkin.

Speaking to Newsbeat, Chloe explained that she wants to ''make fashion that is accessible to everybody."

The athlete and BBC Bristol sports reporter was contacted by ASOS, who wanted to see if she would be interested in a collaboration. 

The idea for the jumpsuit came to Chloe after she got drenched while at a festival with her boyfriend.

"You get the same version whether it's you or I buying it – that's the point. It is exactly the same for me as it is for you,'' the 21-year-old said. 

The support she has been getting has reached a global level. 

Social media have shared their delight, with one Twitter user saying, ''this jumpsuit is cute, and better yet, inclusive of people who use wheelchairs. Excited to see more inclusive clothing coming out!''

Another commented, ''just ordered from ASOS for the first time! Love that they’re collaborating for accessible fashion!''

Disability blogger Shona Louise has written a moving piece championing the brand for catering for differently-abled bodies. 

She wrote, ''for so long accessible clothing has been ugly, ridiculously expensive and generally unappealing. Actually designing something with disabled people in mind is a whole other amazing and important step. It's not the extra step either, it's the equal step.''

This is not the first time ASOS has included a model who has a disability in a campaign.

Model, blogger and leg amputee Mama Cax was featured by the brand in one of their activewear campaigns back in in January. 

So what other brand will be next to follow in their footsteps? 

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Everyone has their insecurities and hang-ups about their bodies – and we are our own harshest critics.

In the world when images of Instagram and Victoria secret models are accessible at a touch of a button, it's easy to get discouraged.

That's why you NEED to heed this advice from our one and only, Louise McSharry. 

 

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As the broadcaster cooled off in the Irish sea with her little man during the heatwave, it sparked a pang of regret.

Taking to Instagram, the body confident expert said: "I feel a tinge of sadness about all the times I didn’t swim growing up because I was too afraid to be seen in a swimsuit. There are a lot of things I didn’t do in my teens and twenties because I was ashamed of my body."

"Thankfully I came to the conclusion that I deserved to enjoy my life rather than hiding away because of something as superficial as my body’s appearance."

 

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"I decided that if people judged me, it didn’t matter, that what mattered was living my actual life and not sitting on the sidelines watching other people going on sun holidays or swimming in the sea," she continued. 

"As it happens, I’m not aware of anyone making any judgement or comment since I started doing and wearing what I want. Maybe they do, but I think because I’ve decided I don’t care, I don’t even notice it if it is happening."

 

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"Not ‘when you lose the weight’, because you might never ‘lose the weight’ and actually you’re probably just fine as you are."

"One thing’s for sure, you won’t find yourself lying on your deathbed thinking ‘thank god I didn’t take my cardigan off on that really hot day’ or ‘I’m really glad I didn’t go swimming with my friends all those times.’ You deserve to LIVE, whatever body you’re in." 

 

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We couldn't agree more.

Now get out there into the freezing Irish sea and rock that swimsuit! 

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It's the shop that just keeps on giving.

Our beloved Pennys is now becoming more inclusive and we are DELIGHTED.

The launch of the new sizing will get underway over the next couple of months.

The store is currently switching up their number sizing from the traditional 8, 10, 12.

In its place will be S, M & L.

However, it isn't stopping there, as the retailer has planned to expand the range from XXS (UK4) to XXL (UK24).

You'll begin to see the new sizing as Pennys spoke to Pretty52 and said the line is trickling in.

"We have updated our sizing for a more comfortable fit – we will be grouping sizes into S/M/L etc, rather than 8/10/12 etc.

 

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"The new sizing is trickling into stores now and will be used for a small amount of lingerie plus a large selection of womenswear including: Jumpers, cardigans, jersey tops, sports tops, casual bottoms, workout apparel, shorts (not denim shorts), light jackets and some swimwear," said the retail giant.

It wasn't long before people took to Twitter to express their sheer joy at the move.

Here's hoping that this is only the beginning of more inclusive sizes being introduced.

If you'll need us, we'll be in Pennys!

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There's not much that Queen Bey can't pull off.

This can be seen with her recent Instagram pics which showed her enjoying an impromptu photoshoot session on her private jet. 

And how fab does she look? 

 

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The singer first posted a video collage, featuring several pictures of herself rocking a Zimmerman pink paisley ensemble.

Known for her killer fashion choices, she paired her ruffled paisley shirt and matching high-waisted shorts with a boxy white handbag and clear heels. 

Her hair up was swept up in an epic blonde top knot and the look was finished off with pink sunglasses, hoop earrings and a statement red lip. 

 

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Bey decided to ditch the caption and simply let her images speak for themselves – which they did.

Her 115 million followers showed their support with comments such as, ''SLAY PRETTY IN PINK'' and ''You are PERFECT in every way. No matter what you do, what you wear, what you sing'' while others simply opted for love hearts or fire emojis. 

 

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However, even Beyonce suffers mishaps, which was seen recently on stage during her On The Run II Tour in Warsaw, Poland.

She lost her balance during a cover of Ed Sheeran's Perfect, as the "flying stage" she was standing on suddenly stopped. 

Thankfully she wasn't injured and was helped down a ladder by crew members.

And if anyone can make climbing down a ladder in high-heeled PVC boots look stylish, it is the Queen of Pop. 

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Victoria Beckham has been rocking the pavements of the French capital this week.

Paris is playing host to fashion week, which means tight schedules and a lot of running around.

All the high fashion seems to have caught up with one member of the Beckham family, and Victoria was having none of it – rookie mistake!

The mum-of-four called out her son's sleepy antics like the lady boss she is.

The 44-year-old took to her Instagram story and owned Brooklyn. 

The teen was seen trying to sleep on route to London via the Eurostar. 

Victoria captioned the snap: "Love spending quality time with @brooklynbeckham."

To our sheer delighted, the fun didn't stop there as Victoria added another photo, just in case Brooklyn wasn't mortified enough the first time. 

The fashion queen asked her 21m followers if she should take her the 19-year-old's sleeping personally.

It's fair to say, Brooklyn won't be falling asleep in his mother's company again. 

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If you're looking to stock up on statement pieces this autumn, then River Island is full of your must-haves.

With fur and sparkles galore, RI has exactly what you need to work that cocktail party, day-to-night, boss lady look. 

But just don't take my word for it. Let's have a look at how you can build your very own River Island staple wardrobe. 

 First you get the fur, then you get the money…

Just kidding, but in all seriousness, River Island is a fluffy haven this winter. We're loving this brown leather trench with the fur collar, layer it up with a plaid skirt or over a print dress and you're ready to rock the high street. 

Need more bulk to fend off that wintery weather? I know it seems like ages away but you'll thank us later with his white leopard print fur coat. 

Or if you're more into a grizzly than a polar bear this teddy bear coat is right up your alley.

Team it with a pair of white chunky healed boots and a Baker Boy cap for a medley of 90s and 60s vibes.  

Oh and did we mention that oversized furry bags are a thing? In love isn't the word. 

What winter wardrobe would be complete without a cosy chunky knit?

We adore this muted toned polo neck, worn loose for maximum comfort. 

Go slouchy with a pair of skinnies or dress it up with this delectable plum leather skirt. 

Tis the season to sparkle and shine- and these party pieces are guaranteed to steal  the spot light. 

Are you more cutesy in oversized baby pink and blue sequins or sultry and mysterious in black and gold polka dots?

 Animal prints are everywhere for autumn, even in our two piece suits!

Be the queen of the jungle AND the cocktail party with this fushia sequined suit.

The best part? Use them as separates with either block colours or go bold with clashing prints and textures.

Of course no River Island mooch would be complete without an accessories haul dahling.

Go chic and classy with these elegant pearl and gold drop earrings or bold and show-stopping with massive costume earrings (pictured below). 

Also we NEED these heels! Who ever said that tartan was just for skirts? Eh, not us, we'll take two please. 

Have a gawk at the rest of the collection on the SHEmazing Instagram story at @shemazingie – pieces soon landing in a River Island store near you! 

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Sitting here on the 20th anniversary of Sex and the City's premiere, we couldn't help but ask ourselves – what are the most iconic looks from Carrie and co.?

SATC has provided us with some phenomenal fashion inspiration over the years, as well as some tales of warning.

The series' fashion was notable as much for its hilarious missteps as it was for its breathtakingly gorgeous looks.

So, dear readers, sit back, relax, and enjoy all of the iconically wonderful (and occasionally terrible) sartorial moments from Sex and the City.

1) The Witches of Eastwick LBDs

Picture via Pinterest

First off, we could not relate to this episode from season one more.

Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte all attend a friend's wedding together, dressed like a stylish coven, and end up at the singles table. And to make matters worse, it's the BAD singles table.

Nothing's going to rain on their parade though, at least fashion-wise. We love how each of their little black dresses subtly matches their personalities.

2) THAT fur coat

Picture via Pinterest

Oh, you know the one. Nothing felt more cosmopolitan growing up than Carrie's (hopefully faux) fur coat, giving her that devil-may-care look.

3) Miranda's overalls

Picture via Pinterest

Yep, these were pretty bad. At the time we couldn't help but think she looked like an overgrown toddler. Now, though, she just kinda looks like a guy you'd run into at District 8.

4) Samantha's gingham getup

Picture via Instagram

Sam was serving some sexy Pollyanna realness in this gorgeous checkered print. If we're throwing a BBQ, we'll definitely be needing this outfit.

5) Charlotte's second wedding dress

Picture via Pinterest

Charlotte's first marriage was a hot mess, and that included the wedding dress. Actually maybe hot mess is the wrong term for it – it was too cold and stiff. Her second dress, for when she tied the knot with Harry, felt much more like the real Charlotte: sweet, romantic, and pretty much perfect.

6) Carrie's first wedding dress from the film

Picture via Instagram

While our haphazard heroine may not end up actually getting married in this Vivienne Westwood dress, it's a dream. A literal dream. That is all.

7) Carrie's 'beach party' outfit

Picture via Pinterest

Sorry, but… in what world does a beach party warrant a cowboy hat? She does vomit at the end of the episode though, which pretty much sums up our feelings towards this errant accessory.

8) Carrie's opening look

Picture via Pinterest

We'd be remiss to pass over her classic tutu and tank top combo (That get bus water on them! The horror!). It's bubbly, it's fun, it's Carrie.

9) The FLOWER

Picture via Pinterest

Okay, so this is just one of Carrie's bouquet of fabric flowers. There's something so lovely about the simplicity of this purple blossom, though, and we love that it's paired with coloured trousers.

10) Carrie's tutu outfit in Paris

Picture via Pinterest

It's difficult choosing just one of Carrie's Paris looks – from the ladybird print dress to that stripey number with the gorgeous floral design, her wardrobe is holiday GOALS. 

This one feels especially poignant, though, because not only is she wearing it when Big comes to see her, but it also looks like a more sophisticated version of her look in the opening credits. Carrie's all grown up!

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Exam season is officially upon us, and while we're loving all this glorious Leaving Cert weather, we can't help but be reminded of our own experiences. 

To mark the occasion, we've a taken a little trip down memory lane and compiled a list of all the cringiest  fashion trends from the years gone by.

From Ugg boots to Kanye glasses, we've all had style moment we'd rather forget about – what's yours? 

2017 – Plastic jeans 

2016 – Emoji clothing 

2015 – Furry sliders 

2014 – The naked dress 

2013 – Wedge runners

2012 – Over-the-forehead headbands 

2011 – Drop crotch pants 

2010 – Boot sandals 

2009 – Military jackets 

2008 – Kanye sunglasses 

2007 – Low-rise jeans 

2006 – Charity wristbands 

2005 – Ugg boots with everything 

2004 – Jeans under dresses 

2003 – Von Dutch hats 

2002 – Thin scarves 

2001 – All over denim

2000 – Wearing ties as belts 

 

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This year has been quite a milestone for Orla Kiely. The acclaimed Irish designer is celebrating 20 years of presence in the Kilkenny shops, as well as the launch of A Life in Pattern, the first exhibition dedicated to the Dublin-born designer at the Fashion and Textiles Museum in London. 

Based in London, Orla Kiely was in Dublin recently to answer some of our questions. 

After her long successful career, there is one piece of advice she wants to share with young designers. 

 

‘A Life in Pattern’ now open at @fashiontextilemuseum #orlakiely #alifeinpattern

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It is important for young designers to know what they are really good at and to follow through with who they are”, she said.

“I think it’s essential to be aware of what is going on in [in the fashion world] but to find they own identity is very important. Once they really know who they are and what they love, then they can follow that through.”

Known as the Queen of Prints, Orla Kiely wears pattern on a daily basis, but for some of us, including prints in our wardrobe can be quite a challenge. But her answer is simple: start with accessories! I think print on a bag isn’t challenging”, she said. 

While her designs have been worn all around the world, one person has offered some great exposure to the brand in the past few years: the Duchess of Cambridge. Every time the mother of three wears an Orla Kiely dress, the outcomes are extremely positive and the designer couldn't be happier about this "Kate Middleton effect". 

“It’s great!”, she says enthusiastically. “She has worn us four times and it’s always unexpected, we have never planned it. She looks great, she is tall, and she wears things so well.” 

As she is celebrating two decades of design, Orla has seen the world of fashion evolving over the years, and sometimes, for the better. Customers seem more and more interested in investing in statement pieces that will last longer, even if it means buying less the rest of the time. 

'People are definitely buying less and better quality”, she notices. “I like to think that our clients can buy something this season, but they also are still happy to use the items that they bought ten years ago.”

Never really interested in trends, Orla wishes that her timeless pieces will keep being used by her customers over the years.

For the many of us who adore her 70's aesthetic, this certainly won't be an issue

 

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Feminism has gained momentum in recent years as a movement with more visibility and a modern cause to fight for. 

Globally, women have felt the pressure of the patriarchy, as the USA ushered in a new presidential era headed up by a man who advocates grabbing women by their genitals. 

In Ireland, women have just won the right to obtain body autonomy, as the 8th Amendment to the constitution which deprives women of their rights to make decisions about their own reproductive organs has just been repealed, as well as petitioning for more transparency on the gender wage gap issue. 

More and more celebrities have put their name to the F-word, and the popularity of feminist podcasts like The Guilty Feminist and Women of the Hour show a social interest in the movement. 

It seems that the increased popularity of feminism has led to an attempt to sell the social movement, with companies and brands attempting to capitalise on the notion of female empowerment and making a buck on what they see as a passing trend of woke women.

Recently, I was in a high street store when I noticed that from all angles I was being bombarded with feminist messaging. 

From 'Empower Women,' complete with a female gender symbol, to 'Girls Support Girls,' the shop had clearly tapped into the idea that feminism is visible and was attempting to profit from the ideology. 

While keeping these slogans visible is seriously important, there is a question to be asked about the integrity of seeing what was once written on the hand-painted sign of a women's march attendee on a €9.99 T-shirt.

Yes, visibility matters, but treating feminism as a fashion trend rather than a social and political stance can minimise the necessity of the movement, especially when those T-shirts and necklaces will be in the bargain bin in a few months time. 

Every blogger worth their salt is rocking a Girl Power T-shirt or Girl Gang slogan necklace, but the use of these terms is hollow when the influencer or brand does nothing to further the movement themselves. 

Some influencers with a platform have donned these garments as evidence of their trendiness rather than their awareness of gender equality issues. 

To be on-trend is to be 'woke,' but how can one morally put on an 'empower women' top and then fail to use their platform of hundreds of thousands to discuss feminist issues?

I mean no shade towards any women who choose to wear the garments without speaking about issues facing Irish women, everyone has the right to speak about issues they hold close to their hearts, but it is a point to consider. 

 

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Now I know I sound like a bit of a spoil sport, but it's kind of like wearing a football jersey for a team you don't follow. 

That being said, there is nothing wrong with experimenting with your fashion choices, and if donning a Fearless Female top will make you feel like a total bad ass, then go for it. 

High-end designers such as Dior recently debuted feminist slogan T-shirts on the runway, and a recent Chanel show finished with a protest formation of models with signs proclaiming feminist ideals, so it's no wonder the high street is following suit. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with showing your support of gender equality through a piece of clothing.

However, the capitalisation of the word does minimise its impact somewhat. 

The cause in itself is essential, but it's also worth checking that the female factory workers sewing your 'feminism' shirt aren't being paid a dollar a day in an overseas factory, so make sure you do your research on whatever company or brand you buy from. 

 

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As an owner of a Girl Gang T-shirt, you might say I can't talk, but along with making me feel like a boss b**** while wearing it, I also try my best to involve myself in feminist discussion wherever possible ( I know, I'm so woke). 

However, feminism is also all about women making decisions for themselves, and I'm not trying to shame anyone into feeling like they're not a 'good enough' feminist by purchasing these pieces of high street clothing. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're going to buy the T-shirt, make sure you buy the message too. 

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Is it us or does it feel like we all deserve a bit of a treat at that stage?

While shopping doesn't solve problems (or so we hear), a quick trip on the Zara website definitely makes us feel better. 

These hot new releases are perfect for the summer season and we just can't wait to wear them!

1. Rustic pareo

2. Cat's eye sunglasses

3. Embroidered jumpsuit

4. Slides with shiny tubular straps

5. Textured weave trousers

6. Floral print dress

7. Raffia minaudière bag

8. Sequin dress

9. Long floral print dress

10. Metallic-effect bermuda short

 

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Monday is an awful bitch.

Well it was, until we got that glorious email from ASOS informing us of their latest flash sale. 

20% off EVERYTHING. Yep, absolutely everything, until Wednesday. 

Don't mind if we do. 

We're about a week from pay day, so money is pretty damn tight – but summer is also coming, and I need new sandals. 

So honestly, this sale couldn't have come at a better time. 

So, here are a few things that I will 100% be purchasing on this grey, dark Monday morning:

 

 

 

 

 

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