Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 10 October 2016

Cabrini Studded Leather Jacket from Navabi (A tale of intense nervousness and the BBC)

"Just wear whatever you feel most comfortable in!"  

Was there ever a sentence designed to fill a fat lass with such dread?  I heard it from the producer of a BBC2 TV programme I'd been invited to take part in, and, well, the thought of making my national telly debut in a decades old pair of Coca Cola-themed pyjamas and a lightly Doritos-stained Motley Crue hoody didn't really appeal, if I'm being honest*. Particularly not when the TV show in question is a serious scientific documentary about my anosmia and parosmia problems over the last couple of years, anyway.  So for several weeks in September, I was in a serious tailspin over what to wear for making a documentary, I have NOTHING to wear!

Actually, not quite true, I have lots of clothes, and I scrub up quite well (for an accountant), but I wouldn't say I really had style, unless "cardigan chic" is the topic in question, that is.  As some of the filming was to take place on Shepherd's Bush market (and you haven't lived until someone calls you a wanker on film when you're trying to talk about your trials with potatoes whilst walking backwards through a market, let me tell you) I knew a coat would be necessary, but in September a winter coat would have been too much and my rain coats were all designed with thinner people in mind (that thinner person being me, two summers ago, but hey ho).  I harboured idle thoughts about a purple coat from Joe Brown for about two minutes before the idea of a leather jacket popped into my head and I remembered about Navabi.

Navabi, if you don't know, is a supplier of designer clothes for the more generously proportioned amongst us. I discovered it quite by accident last winter, and went a bit bonkers buying faux-leather trimmed skirts and dresses by the score ("Leather dresses!  For big girls! Wheeeeee!" went my brain), then I went on a total clothes no-buy for the summer, because I was busy buying furniture instead.  I love Navabi (and no, they're not paying me for this blog post) because unlike SOME plus-size clothing suppliers they don't a) feature celebrity "designed" ranges b) don't cover absolutely everything in sequinned appliqué butterflies and c) don't feature "celebrity" "designed" ranges covered in appliquéd sequinned butterflies.  Whilst I'm all for appropriate sequinnage - yes, I do wear them to the office, more regularly than you might think, actually - butterflies and applique can get stuffed, frankly.  I also love it because it's proper designer-wear (sometimes with prices to match), and whilst there are the occasional potato-sack-style couple of items, they're deliberately done so, and not your only option if you're above a size 14, unlike some websites. Whatever your style, and whatever your budget, and whatever the occasion (and your size), there's something you can wear.  I have a selection of their shift dresses and long jumpers from last winter, and the styles are both classic and timeless. A trawl through the website is always a treat - even for me, a confirmed clothes and shoe-shopping hater.  Oh yes, I went there.  Not even slightly sorry.

Anyway, where was I?  I spotted this Cabrini studded leather jacket, and I fell, completely, utterly head over heels in love.  A biker style, but so much more feminine (and flattering) than that, it had to be mine. HAD TO! And, luckily for me, Navabi were incredibly generous on hearing about my "plight" (such as it was, I know, I know) and agreed to send me a sample for the filming.  I haven't worn any other coat since it arrived, and, after a couple of years without a leather jacket in my wardrobe, I'm wondering how the heck I managed without one.  You know when an item of clothing turns up, you put it on, and it feels so completely like "you", you never want to be parted from it again?  Well, that's this jacket for me.  "Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in"?  No problem.  Thank you so much, Navabi!  You can find the jacket (and much, much more!) here: (not an affiliate link) It's buttery soft, comfortable, and aside from the studs being brass rather than the silver I'd expected, is exactly as advertised.

Me (sadly, sans jacket) with Sarah McCartney and the BBC Scotland production team

I'll talk more about the filming nearer the time of broadcast (providing, of course, that my section makes the cut!), but it was a huge amount of fun being a telly "presenter" for the first (and, no doubt, last) time, and, as well as being grateful to Navabi for solving my clothing woes, I'm also indebted a huge amount to the wonderful Sarah McCartney at 4160Tuesdays and the gorgeous Linda Pilkington of Ormonde Jayne, without either of whom the filming probably wouldn't have happened. 

Me in the jacket of joy - I had flu when this pic was taken
though, so please don't enlarge it, you won't thank me.
 I just have to save up BIG TIME for my next Navabi spree now ...

* And if you think I'm not wearing them RIGHT NOW as I type this, you'd be sadly mistaken, I'm afraid.
The Fine Print: PR sample.

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