When mental health and self-image get in the way

Hello everyone!

It has been a long time since I have written anything.  It has been a long time since I’ve posted daily outfits consistently as well.  Why would this be?  It is simple and complicated at the same time.  I have been dealing with a lot of self-image issues which has taken a tole on my mental health.

I have had health issues for over ten years now suffering often with illnesses relating to some chronic conditions.  This winter saw me take more sick days than I had in previous years. These health issues directly effected my mental health.  And so I ate.  I gained a lot of weight and now I am a size 18/20.  This lead me down a shame spiral about having to  buy larger clothing, how I looked, and how all of this made me feel ugly.  These feelings lead me to not want to share my outfits (they have remained damn good but, I didn’t feel good about them).  I tried to share some nail posts, some make-up posts, but even these felt forced for me at the time.

Enter multiple doctors, including a therapist.

I started a journey in February to tackle every health problem (my chronic illnesses are being treated and I’m on the road to wellness!) and my mental health problem; my addiction to food. You might be sitting there thinking, how is this possibly an addiction?  We need food to survive! Plus, you should not be ashamed of eating or how you look because we are all body positive, right?

I agree, we need food and you should never be ashamed of who you are.  But, when eating becomes destructive in your life, then it needs to be addressed, and for me it became destructive. I started working with someone who specializes in trauma and cognitive therapy. This was very important so that I could identify and work on all the issues from my past that have lead to me being addicted to food.  It was something that I developed early in life to be able to survive and stuff emotions down deep.

Since this moment I have been hesitant to share about this.  It invites people in to talk about their ‘diets’ and things they do that work for them. So for anyone who is preparing to provided these things, first let me say, I am so happy for you! I am so glade you found the best thing for you!  However, I am not looking for your diet advice, your tricks to curb sugar cravings, or your exercise routines.  As much as I understand where you are coming from, it is the least helpful thing on this journey.  There is a reason why in Over-eaters Anonymous they do not let you talk about food or diets. Instead, I am sharing to be open and honest.  I am trying to remove any shame I have about it.  Hiding is not an answer to my problems either.

Looking Towards the Future, a better Self-Image

So, here is to many more steps on this journey to get myself back to a place where I am happier with my self-image.  Here is to feeling proud of myself again regardless of size and health issues. And here is to more full body photos, like this one! I feel like I need a better background and lighting for full body shots. Though, who doesn’t love all this art?!

Resources

Mental health awareness month might have been May, it’s never too late to talk about it.  If you are looking for resources, here are a few to start:

Mental Health America

NYC Well

13 Health Resources that are Free

Sweaters for cold Weather!

Winter is  here and that means sweaters and jackets!  Here are some things I am dying to get this season.

 

I am obsessed with blazers I realize.  I also love party/holiday ones! This sequined tux jacket one from Antropologie that comes in XS-XL is so much fun.  When it comes to Holiday parties, New Years Eve parties, I am all about the sequins. Normally, I hate them, but something about this time of year makes me feel bold and daring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always wanted a faux fur vest. However, every year I talk myself out of it because I don’t know if I’m ready to be this daring yet.  But, this pink vest just might do it.  Gap offers this from size XXS-XXL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This season I am seeing so much velvet. I am not sad. I love the soft, lush, and regal look of velvet.  The Gap has this jacket in size XS-XL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is by far the most unique and crazy fringed poncho I’ve ever seen.  It comes in cream and navy from the Gap. One size fits all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sweater from Free People comes in 7 colors, and I already own 3!  I want the rest.  It is so comfortable and the L fits me! I am an XL or XXL in Gap, so this to me is amazing and also makes me feel for thin!

 

Red Hair: make it long, healthy, with shine

I love my hair and I always have.  You can read more about that in my past blog post, My Hair is Not My Beauty. I love it so much I spend a crazy amount of time and money on it for upkeep.  This post focuses on the products I use to dye it as well as the products I use to style it.

Hair Dye:

OK, real talk. If we could all afford to go to the hair salon every 4-6 weeks to get our hair dyed, I know we would.  I LOVE going to the salon.  Dropping $200 every 4-6 weeks is not in my budget but if it is in yours, more power to you!  For this reason I try and ask as many questions about hair dying when at the salon for my cut.  I have learned that boxed color from the drug store is not that great. Basically, you should try and avoid it. My ultimate solution? Salon quality dye for at home use.

DISCLAIMER: ALWAYS consult a professional before dying your own hair. If you are in the market to go bleach blond, NEVER do it on your own.  Please. You will kill your hair.  I’ve done it.  Don’t be me.

Products I use:

DeveloperDeveloper- Oreor 30 Volume Creme Developer

The developer is what allows the color of your natural hair to lift so the new color can deposit into the hair shaft. I use 30 because, as my hair guru said, it is a great lift for red hair when you have a medium ash blond hair color naturally. They usually come in 20, 30, and 40.  I used straight 40 with blond to do my own ombre, and it turned my ends into a gum like texture and frayed them beyond repair.  This is why I plead with you to go to the salon for bleaching.  It has to be timed so perfectly and they have products to save your hair.

I got every creative and decided to mix two colors from the same brand.  This gave an orange copper red tone.  Again, be prepared to cut off all your hair if this doesn’t work.  In my case it works great!

Intense Copper Hair Dye CreamColor: L’Oreal- HiColor Red HiLights Copper Permanent Creme Hair Color

This is a cream based intense orange red.  I like this for adding lighter tones to my color and also I am convinced that when my hair fades, this is why it looks like a strawberry blond color.

 

 

Intense Copper Hair DyeMega Reds MR1 Light Intense Red Copper Permanent Hair Color

This is a liquid base that has more cherry tone to it, which makes it very bright when I first dye it. It fades well, but if not applied all over, can be obvious where the dye was placed and where it wasn’t.

To help avoid this, make sure to “glaze” all  hair with dye. You do this by running water through the hair and the dye for a bit and letting it sit for 5-10min resting on all parts, before washing it all out.

When dying hair, be sure to wear gloves, use a mixing bowl or two,  and a tint brush. Also, since you are doing this at home, and it’s best not to get dye all over yourself, a cape is a good investment. I also cover my surface under where my supplies are with an old towel.  This makes clean up and furniture/floor protection guaranteed.

Once you are happy with your color, how do you keep it nice between dyeing? Proper hair care products are essential.

Hair Care Products:

Products can be very costly and it is hard to find good products that wont break your budget. My hair no longer tolerates products like Suave, Tresume, and has never ever been able to handle Pantene. [BTW, Pantene is literally one ingredient away from mop and glow, don’t use it!]

Aveeda was my go to hair care product line. Now I am 100% converted to R+Co. This brand is mid-cost, less expensive branch of Oribe. If I could afford Oribe ($300 for a shampoo and conditioner liter set?! Who can afford this?!) I would get it exclusively. However, R+Co is just as great and has made my hair so happy!  I mix and match between the BelAir Smoothing Shampoo and the Gemstone Color Shampoo. Then for conditioners I mix it up between the BelAir Smoothing conditioner and the Atlantis Moisturizing Conditioner.

High Dive from R+CoThese are best paired with High Dive Moisture Hair Creme. This product keeps your hair so soft and smooth after styling.  I feel like it was a gift from the hair gods. I also love the hair spray (which smells DIVINE!) and prep spray.  I recommend mixing and matching as you see fit!  They also have mouse, gel, texture sprays and dry shampoo.

 

 

 

 

Initialiste from Kerastase Kerastase Initialiste serum was recommended to be my by my hair Guru after I chopped my hair to my chin and wanted it to grow quickly. And boy did it work. My hair is not past my shoulders after a year and a half, is silky, and healthy. She recommends it for men and women both who think their hair is thinning as well. I’m a believer!

 

 

 

 

Dry shampoo I wash my hair every two to three days if I can.   Batiste Dry Shampoo  helps my roots not look greasy.  Beware, using too much dry shampoo is not good for your hair. Be very picky about the product you use.  If you want to be sure you know what you are using on your hair, you can make your own.

 

 

 

That wraps it up for what I use for my own hair.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Have a fabulous hair day!

Skincare: good, expensive, necessary

Ah, skincare. The necessary evil of life, am I right? If you are like me and have suffered from acne, redness, dryness, oily skin, or more, you feel me. These  are not easy to to have when the entire world is telling you you would just look so much better without [fill in blank here]. There is no one-size-fits-all model to help when it comes to your skin.  It has taken me ten years to find the perfect routine and products that work well and leave me feeling happy with my skin.  With that said, I am going to share with you what I use and my routine in hopes that it might help you in your quest for the perfect skin. (Side note: my personal goal is to never need foundation or concealer, even under my eyes!)

To combat Acne:

I have been a long time sufferer with Acne.  From the time I started puberty to today. After high school I went right from adolescent acne to adult acne in zero seconds flat. I take a birth control (TriNessa) mostly for my chronic serious menstrual issues, but an added bonus to this one is it helps with cystic acne.  Now, even with the assistance of the pill, my acne was still quite prolific.

The first brand and products I used to help was Murad. For a few years this worked really well helping to keep my skin looking good. However, after a few years, it stopped working and made my skin red and rash-y.  Just because this happened for me does not mean it will happen to you.  It is a little more cost effective than the brand I went with next, and for some if the perfect amount of support that is needed!

 

Next I turned to Dermalogica. The Metabolic series is what I use now.  I have never been so happy in all my life.  When I do get a pimple (usually one or two around that time of the month, thanks Aunt Flow), it is not obvious as there is no red accompany the pimple, it goes away quickly, and is usually not painful if I need to squeeze it and get it over with. I swear by this product 100%.

 

Sunscreen:

My dermatologist has informed me that my skin is starting to show the signs of too many years in the sun (thanks Phoenix, AZ!) and the best and only way to fight it is to apply sunscreen daily.  You would think living in New York City where the sun is hardly on my skin would not be an issue.  It still is.  He recommended Neutrogena Healthy Defense, SPF 50. I have been very happy with it. No break outs or side effects of the sunscreen except happy skin!

 

 

 

Moisturizer:

Acne treatment face products are only the beginning.  Now we get into the territory where I scream and holler at the gender disparity in our products.  I have figured out for me that though it might seem counter intuitive, moisturizing is absolutely necessary!  And each freaking product is $50 a pop!  Want to cry.

In the winter I use Josie Maran Argon Oil, a few drops, every day.  The dry air caused by heating and the weather used to ravage my skin.  This has been a miracle worker on my skin. However, in the summer, with the humidity, it is too much and makes me look like I am constantly sweating.

 

 

 

 

I decided this summer to try a new moisturizer, and I am equal parts ecstatic I did, and sobbing as well.   is an amazing product.  It is light and perfect for the summer, cool when you put it on, and it is no lie the rose in it helps with any red patches. They disappear after you put it on. However, at $70 a pop, I need to be a billionaire to afford it.  So far, after two months, I’ve not used even half of the container, so you might say it is worth it in the long run, but I might not be able to afford this baby again until next summer!

 

 

For the night time I use Origins Night-a-mins.  Origins is an excellent brand and I have loved everything of theirs that I have tried. This baby keeps my skin super happy all night long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND, if you want to get into the Charcoal Mask trend without ripping off all the hair on your face (I mean those videos are cringe worthy) look no further than the Origins Acne Charcoal Mask to clear pores. This little baby is great and in the summer helps keep the oily skin at bay.

 

 

 

 

 

Hydrate:

I know, I know.  Everyone says this and the thought of peeing every hour is terrible.  However, making sure to stay away from a lot of sugar and caffeinated beverages is great for the skin.  I drink a lot of water to make sure that I can flush out anything that might be bad for my skin.  Plus if I don’t I get terribly groggy and a foggy head.  So water it is!

That is my skin care routine.  Let me know in the comments what works best for you or if you try any of these and like them.  Until next time!

(also, maybe if we women all ban together and demand better prices we can you know, afford great products?! still makes me so mad.)

 

Commes des Garcon; avante garde fashion

Commes des Garcon

I LOVED this top row. ‘Unfinished’ garments that I would straight up wear.

Commes des garcon

The architecture they created to display the show was just ineradicable.

Forgive me for not posting sooner on the MET’s Spring Costume Institute’s exhibit, Rei Kawakubo/ Commes des Garcon: Art of the In-Between. This show is smaller than last years, but in my opinion, exceedingly more impressive. The layout and architecture that the curator used to display the show was a work of art itself. The Architecture creating two stories and abstract shapes  made this show almost be sensory overload, but in the best way possible.  Seems like a contradiction right?  Well, Rei Kawakubo is not here to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and neither is this show. Her brand, Commes des Garcon translates to “Some of the Boys.”  She is a Japanese artist who was not interested in keeping with tradition.  She turns traditional ideas on their head. Take the journey through the show though photos below.

Comme des Garcon, dealth dress

There are little black dresses sewn into this dress. Creepy as hell.

Commes Des Garcon

The cut and style here was so dreamy and a little creepy.

Comme des Garcon

This front dress, I’d wear it.

The first thing that caught my eye was the Birth/Marriage/Death section.  The Victorian era cut and look speaks to my romantic soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commes Des Garcon

The tailoring on these jackets reminded me of Alexander McQueen. Just loved these sleeves!

The suites were amazing.  I loved the tailoring.  This grey one does not seem to be very practical, but that was a trend I could tell though the entire show.  She does not care if the garment is practical or adheres to some fashion ‘standard.’ She just creates what she likes.

 

 

 

 

Commes des Garcon

Red tartan completely made me think Alexander McQueen.

Commes des Garcon

The sleeves. I’m in love with the one on the right behind the grey.

The rest of the show really got into abstract creations.  It was a wild ride into the art of “I really am creating art and not functional fashion.”  And I liked it.

 

 

Commes des Garcon

I could see how this influenced other styles. I liked the cage-like black ribbon detailing.

If you are looking for avant garde fashion,

Commes des Garcon

This was crazy! Looked like baby bottoms sewn onto an outfit.

there really is no one better than Rei Kawakubo.  I felt like this was an art show that happened to be clothing.  Truly an interesting and fun exploration into what is fashion, what is art, and is there really a difference? Perhaps not.

 

 

 

 

I really loves these colors and feudal Japanese influences.

Commes des Garcon

At first glance these seems normal, and then you see there are random bumps and lumps where they would not normally be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commes des Garcon

I would wear some of this in the heart of winter in New York.

Commes des Garcon

The head pieces here reminded me of Tim Burton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a Museum fun: laugh, joke, & hashtag

It has been too long since I have written about art. A trip to the museum can be an excellent source for inspiration. Last Saturday night instead of taking myself out for dinner and a movie I opted to book a tour with Museum Hack. I picked the VIP tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museum Hack is a company dedicated to making museums fun.  MH are not interested in you silently walking around a museum listening to a docent talk.  They are committed to making sure you can enjoy, laugh, and drop an F-bomb if you want to. I went into the tour hoping to experience the museum with fresh perspective. I was not disappointed.

Hot Cocoa Mayan Mug

Hot Cocoa Mayan Mug. Fart Jokes making us laugh since the dawn of mankind. Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection.

My tour guides were Matt and Jen. They were funny, engaging, and made sure to include each participant in their witty banter.

One of the highlights of the tour was when Matt and Jen lead us through the Mayan collection. We paused at what looked like a vase with images and ancient Mayan text [to the left]. Jen informed us that this was not a vase but a cup for hot cocoa. At about twelve inches high that’s enough hot cocoa to last through a NYC blizzard, right? Maybe that’s just me. According to the curator of this wing the text on the cup is a fart joke.  That’s right.  I learned that farting has been hilarious since the dawn of human civilization. Who knew that a culture known for killing people to appease the Gods had such an excellent sense of humor? I sure didn’t.

George Washington Crossing the Delaware. MET Museum Collection.

George Washington Crossing the Delaware. “Why is Meryl Streep there?”-Matt

Another highlight was in the American Wing. We  got to think of Intsa worthy hash tags and admire “George Washington Crossing the Delaware” [to the right]. I had no idea this painting was in the MET.  I also had no idea it was so huge!  Fun Fact: In the late 1800’s when this painting was created, American’s didn’t care a lick how factually inaccurate the painting was, they only cared about the possible insinuation that GW had tiny balls.

Around this point in the tour we learned that the guards do not like it when you have fun and quickly “shhh” you if you laugh too loudly.  This spoke volumes to how much fun we were having (pun intended).

I don’t want to spoil everything I got to see in case you decided to take this tour yourself.  However, here are some more objects I enjoyed seeing while there:

Lilith Scuplture by Kiki Smith. MET Museum Collection.

Kiki Smith. Lilith, 1994. Bronze with glass eyes. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This sculpture is hanging on a wall.  The artist, Kiki Smith, who I LOVE, does her best at creeping you the F out with these glass eyes in a bronze sculpture making them seem real.  As a fan of horror, I love it. Nightmare fuel art should be a new classification don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Creepy Girl Painting. MET Museum Collection.

I was unable to snap a photo of the plaque to tell me whom this is by. Oil on Canvas.

This young lady has quite a stunning outfit, but as an artist I can only see how off the proportions are.  As Jen said, American artists weren’t really good at painting until a few hundred years after this was created. Painting is hard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bamboo Tornado. MET Museum Collection.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV. The Gate. Bamboo.

The Japaneses wing has a collection of art pieces made of bamboo.  The versatility of bamboo is astounding. Did you know there are 600 different varieties and that it is classified as a grass?! These are Jeopardy facts that I am happy to have in my back pocket now.  Bamboo facts for $600 please!

This sculpture is floor to ceiling, impressive, and stunning. If you want to see a time lapse of this being build you can see it here.

 

 

 

 

 

Pixell Deer. MET Museum Collection.

Kohei Nawa. PixCell Deer 24. Mixed media; taxidermied deer with artificial crystal glass. 2011

It is really nice to see more contemporary and modern art making its way into the MET. This sculpture was beautiful and reminded me of Christmas and snow. Until Jen let us know what was under the glass.  Not Christmas-y at all.

 

 

 

 

 

MET Museum Collection Rodin Sculpture Hall

We got to pose like the statues. This turns into a surprise. I LOVE surprises!

In three hours we covered almost the entire permanent collection of the MET. We posed as some Rodin statues, had a competition (prizes were awarded), and never once did I get bored. If you want something fun and different, book a tour, bring some water, and wear some comfortable walking shoes. Museum Hack offers specialized tours focusing on themes like Game of Thrones and Baddass Bitches (this one sells out quick so book soon!) as well as the VIP tour at the MET. Additionally they offer a tour of the American History Museum. Visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. or Chicago? You can book tours there as well. I always say, art is meant to be seen in person so see some art and get inspired!

Make sure to comment below on some of your favorite museums or tours you have been on.

Summer time; this season it’s bows!

Happy summer everyone! Hope you have your sunnies (sunglasses) and some suntan lotion.  It’s time for heat and ice cold drinks.

I for one have been IN LOVE with the clothing that is coming out for this season.  Why?  BOWS!  Bows as far as the eye can see.  Normally I would say to you that I don’t go in for this sort of style. However, I cannot get enough.  I’m as shocked as anyone.

So, if you don’t want to browse through every web site to find bow friendly wear, I did the work for you on the sites I frequent and purchase from the most.

Banana Republic:

This dress is super cute and simple with the bows as the only embellishments.  A great summer work to night out outfit. It comes in regular and petite sizes XS-XL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This top is technically not a bow, but a tie, but how cute is this?!  I think this is a great way to have the suit look but remain cool for the summer and a less formal approach.  It come sin regular and petite XS-XL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I personally think the one shoulder thing is something I could never wear, until I saw this and thought, “I might want to give it a try!” The big shoulder bow just screams at me, “WEAR ME, but be cool in the heat.” This comes in regular size 0-16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthropologie:

This shirt I saw and straight up bought the next second.  I was SO HAPPY with the fit.  The fabric is light, the cut is perfect, and the bow accents are so fun and unexpected for people who watch you walk away.  You so fabulous coming and going. Worth every cent. This shirt comes in regular and petite in XS-XL.

 

 

 

 

 

Need something for a night out that is fun?  Look no further than this dress.  It hits two trends for the season, the off the shoulder look and bows.  AND the bows are not tied in the traditional way, making it unique from any other one out there. This comes in size 0-16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.Crew:

J.Crew is going through it, so they need some love these days.  Fortunately for them they have some cute stuff this summer.

This top is a great two tone, pattern play with gingham and bow accents. This can be worn in the office or for a day out. It comes in XXS-XL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This top is great as well, I bought it in light blue. It also comes in yellow! It goes great with a skirt or jeans for any occasion.  I got about five compliments on it the first time I wore it.  A sign in my opinion that it was a shirt worth investing in because it looks damn good on! This one comes in petite, regular and tall sizing 000-16.

 

 

 

 

 

H&M:

This top will be able to help usher in Fall with you and keep the summer bow vibe going. Also, if work needs you to be more conservative, or you want a fun cover-up for a day at the the beach or on a boat (if you sail or know someone who does). It comes in size 2-14.

 

 

 

 

 

And if you want to have more bows than you know what to do with, and believe me I’m tempted, this shirt is for you! It comes in size 2-14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Fancy, the plus size story

Hello all!  It has been quite some time since I have written a post.  I have been very busy with my art and getting a book together.  In fact, I’ve been so busy with my art that there is a great show I’m working with this summer, the Chashama 2017 Art Gala: Art is Everywhere. In case dear reader you could not tell, I LOVE any excuse to dress up.  And when I get an opportunity, I create an idea, a look, in my mind that I try to achieve.  This blog post is about, me trying to find something to wear for the gala.

Now I am a little backwards and decided on all my accessories and hair first.  Green pendants, green bracelet, green earrings and green shoes all to accent the red hair.  The next thing I needed was a black dress. I had visions of being Katherine Hepburn with stunning Hollywood waves hair and a long 1940’s black dress. I just wanted to feel like I could tackle the world while looking for my pet tiger Baby, is that too much to ask?!

Now for those who know, Rent the Runway is a great place to get great dresses for events like these at a fraction of the cost. The idea is simple: choose the event, choose the dress, pick your dates and they ship it to you with a back up size for free! But when you are a plus size person, you know that this could be the worst case scenario, get the dress and nothing fits and you are shit out of luck for the event.  I wanted to prevent this from happening.  I chose about ten dresses I liked that according to the web site came in my size, 16/18.  So, with accessories and undergarments in tow, I went to go try on at the flagship store in New York City.

Rent the Runway’s flagship store in New York.

I recommend making an appointment and NOT going on a Friday or Saturday.  And if you are plus size, maybe call first and ask if they have your size in store to try on on. These were all my first few mistakes.  After I signed up for their waiting list, I went to look at the dresses.  A few things looked good and seemed great choices, and I was told, “Don’t worry about the size, we have more in back to get your size if the sample on the floor is not correct.”  So, I was unfazed by sea of size 4 or 6 that surrounded me.  I gave the dresses I liked to be held and waited my turn.  Fortunately, I did not need to wait the whole hour.  I was greeted by this clearly busy and well dressed and very tiny woman.  I explained to her why I was there and when she found out that my event was a month out it was as if her eyes said “Why the hell are you wasting my time then, can’t you see these other girls have things this weekend?” But, I persevered and told her my size, 16/18 and she went off to fetch what she could from in the basement.  A few minutes later she came back with two dresses in my size from my favorites list.

I changed into the proper undergarments (seriously everyone, try on clothing with the undergarments you will be wearing!) and accessories and was ready to get these dresses on.  Dress one, was a size 16 and it did not fit.  At all.  I was like, “OK, clearly I’ll need an 18 for the day!” (BTW, this is usually because dresses like this are cut on a bias which means, this dress is actually three sizes smaller than the tag so the fabric is super tight and ‘looks good’ on you). The next dress was actually a size 14.  Nothing makes you feel worse than trying on a piece of clothing three sizes too small.  I poked my head out and waited to catch the consultant.  When I did and told her I would need an 18, she said “We do not have any in the store.  But you can order backup sizes for when you need it.”  I decided to just get back into my clothing and give them back the room.  This was not off to a great start. And I know I am probably projecting, but I swear this consultant was judging my big butt. The other girls there, thin, pretty, and fitting into everything with too many choices at their disposal, were easier to serve and help than someone like me.  This is 100% why I hate going to the store.

That night I went home and thought, “J.Crew will save me! Wedding line here I come!”  Little did I know, J.Crew stopped making their wedding line a few months ago. SOB!  Then I scoured Nordstrom’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Davids Bridal and everything was just not my vision.  The choices were just so boring or would take a long time to custom make, or really crazy expensive for a dress that I might only wear once? I tried the vintage stores, Pin Up Girl Clothing (they have a perfect dress but it is two sizes too big and at $275, plus alterations, I could not justify the expense), Unique Vintage (I’m getting a 1920’s dress from them later!), and more.  Nothing was right.  I just want to look like a pretty 1940’s film goddess, is that too much to ask?! Apparently for a plus size person with limited funds and time it is.

Plus size women deserve to have fancy clothing they can buy or rent and wear.  We deserve to be pretty.  I 100% get why movie stars who are not a sample size get so frustrated.  You want to look good and feel pretty.  It’s really hard to do that when the entire rest of the world is telling you that you should just be happy to put on a sack with sequins and call it an evening gown. After looking at the White House Correspondents dinner photos, and women showed up in short dresses, I decided to adjust my idea, and be willing to have a short dress. I ended up getting this dress from Banana Republic. Gap Inc for the win, again.  I swear, the only clothing that fits me is from this brand.  If they go out of business I am screwed. (Oh, BTW, this dress has pockets! POCKETS!! I will be 100% happier for this reason alone.)

Lesson: Ladies of the plus size world, I don’t know about you, but basically I feel that we have to shell out more money and keep our wardrobes at the ready for any and all events because we cannot expect the rest of the world to have what we need.

All in all I think this will be a great compromise for my outfit and I can wear a bolero or tux jacket with it and now I have an excellent LBD for all occasions.

If you have a great go-to store for fancy attire, let me know in the comments below!

Holiday Party Time!

It is that time of year when everyone gets to dress up and attend holiday parties! I personally love being able to get dressed up and enjoy festivities with friends, family, or co-workers.

If you are like me and have multiple parties to attend, thinking you need to buy an outfit for each one can be daunting.  Last year I got a white Tux Blazer from H&M and used it twice!  Once for a holiday party at work and once for Christmas itself!

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I had already owned the other elements to the outfits.

Also, you don’t have to feel married to red and green!  Feel free to change it up and wear whatever you wish!

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I always tend to go the fancy path.  However, nothing says holidays like sweaters!

16a38113efdcf8e4a3b10f5c5a001846This one from ModCloth is cute, traditional, and comes in sizes S-4X.

cc374ba495b3e65b3c53ca7379dfce26If you actually hate the holidays, and want to subtly show it, this sweater from ModCloth is amazing!  Sizes XS-4X

cn12234690Sometimes a simple sweater, like this Gap snowflake one, is also just as fun. Sizes XS-XL.

 

Also, for an added bit of fun, you can go non-traditional with your nails and try painting the inside portion as well, like I did here.

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Do you have a favorite outfit for your holiday parties?  Comment below and let me know.  Cheers to a great season!

 

Winter; What to buy to stay warm

Ah, Winter.  Time for mittens, scarfs, big old boots, hot cocoa and marshmallows. Winter can be hard to dress cute and still remain warm.  Luckily, the fashion world has been paying attention and the cuteness abounds!

Snow Boots:

157006_6_1400x1400If you live someplace that snows, you know snow shoes are essential.  SOREL is my absolute favorite, but they can be so expensive!  Fortunately Payless has an excellent option! These come in black, red, and white. Warm feet in the snow is really the key I think to happy thoughts.

 

Warm Jackets:

3592423_fpx-tifOnce again, snow can destroy your cute ensemble.  Big puffy jackets can tend to make us all look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  This is why I like to make sure to get a warm puff jacket that cinches at the waist like this Micheal Kors jacket from Macy’s. A nice winter jacket is one place where you can justify investing in a good coat.  A good puff jacket can last you a decade! Now, weather or not it is $500 like this J.Crew Jacket, or $80 for this Old Navy jacket, make sure that when you try it on you love it, can still move in it, and that none of the stuffing is poking you! And if you want to make sure your coat is animal friendly, here is a great list of jackets to get!

Fleece Lined Leggings:

50988558I never thought I could ever wear skirts and dressed in the winter without freezing.  That is until I discovered fleece lined leggings! I can wear tights, these leggings, and some socks under my boots and I am a happy toasty and cute winter wonder woman! These ones are from Target, there are many options from Atheta, Victoria Secret, and you can even get them in plus size from companies like Lane Bryant! Long legged ladies, we still struggle. Fortunately Long Tall Sally has us covered to.

 

With these items you can basically wear whatever you want underneath and be a happy warm human being.  Then together we can complain in the middle of February that it’s too dang cold. 😉