I remember when I first really noticed a woman in a maxi dress. It was sometime during the mid 2000s, and she had “the perfect body” (or at least the body I hadn’t realized yet, wasn’t the only kind anyone thought was beautiful). I’m sure I had seen others before her, sashaying about in ankle-length dresses, but this girl just caught my attention. In my still unaccepting-of-my-own-body mind, she was everything I wished I could be. Slim, large-breasted, beautiful, and she seemed to almost float along in that long, flowy dress like nothing else mattered but her and the breeze that lifted her hem every now and again, to reveal her ultra chic gladiator sandals, and perfect pedicure…
She was noticeable, right down to her bohemian, beaded necklace, and bangles that slid all the way up her slender arms, to her elbows when she lifted her hand to brush the hair from her face.
I realize now, all these years later, that what I was so captivated by wasn’t this girl’s seemingly perfect silhouette, but rather, her confidence.
I never would have guessed then, that I could feel as good as she looked in that dress… I never could have imagined that her intoxicating vibe was something that I could have for my very own… But now I see it. Now, finally after all these years, I love my body, and when I step out the door in a gorgeous maxi dress, I know I look just as striking as she did. I know I walk with the same ease and carelessness as I remember her doing so well… And I know others see it too.
See, it’s not about having the perfect body. It’s not about having slim arms, or large breasts. None of those things will ever give you the intangible quality that I couldn’t quite pin down, until I experienced what self-love truly was for myself.
That woman felt beautiful, and that’s what drew me to her. I feel beautiful, and that’s what was shining through when I wore this stunning maxi from SexyPlus Clothing.
Once I stepped into it, I didn’t want to take it off, so I decided to take my look from day to night!
For daytime, I paired it with pretty, embellished sandals, sunnies, a straw hat, gold bangles (of course) and my Lilly Pulitzer for Target straw bag (my only score from the great Lilly for Target fiasco/triumph).
And for my evening look, I switched out my sandals, hat, and beach bag for a cute pair of cork wedges, a vintage clutch, a great necklace, and a fab black tuxedo style bolero from SexyPlus, and headed off for a date night with my hubby!
Maxi dresses are super versatile, and really transition well from day to evening. This particular one is so fun, because it combines animal print and paisley, for a really fun combination of wild and classic.
Just a little note, I actually sized down in this dress, as it is made very generously, but I would recommend ordering your usual size if you’re particularly boobalicious (which I’m not). I have very big hips, and as you can see, even when sizing down, the cut is roomy.
So, while I must admit, I still yearn for a set of bangles that can actually slide all the way up to my elbows (seriously, where can I get some of those?)… I feel pretty f*cking fabulous in this dress!!!
I can say with a huge degree of certainty, that if I had known then, back when I first saw that woman looking effortlessly cool in her maxi, that the greatest detail of her outfit was her confidence, my life would have gone a lot differently… But the important thing is that one fine day, I did learn her secret. I did start to love myself, and now, I can rock a maxi like nobodies business, and it feels glorious!!!
Because you’re all so amazing, please use, code FREEFLIGHT to get free shipping from SexyPlus from now till May 25th 2015! Don’t miss out! This dress is still available in this print, as well as in a couple of others!!!
Parlez-vous français ?
Once again, it’s time for my contribution to the French Curves Challenge – an outfit photo challenge with the french touch, taking place each 16th of the month, and founded by the fabulous and inspirational, Vanoue of The Curvy and Curly Closet.
The theme this month!? Crop top!!! And don’t worry, I wouldn’t do all my Anglo readers like that! An English message will follow!
Le thème de mois: crop top !!!
J’ai porté mon premier crop top de ma vie adulte il y a un peux plus qu’un an. Sans mentir, c’était une idée intimidante pour moi.
J’ai mis quatre enfants au monde, un par césarienne. Mon ventre est recouverte de vergetures, et il est la partie de mon corps que j’ai eu le plus de mal à accepter depuis aussi longtemps que je peux me rappeler.
Mais ce jour là je me suis mis au défi, et j’ai tombé amoureuse de mon ventre, malgré ces défauts. Depuis ce jour je n’ai jamais regardé en arrière, et maintenant le crop top joue un rôle récurrent dans ma garde-robe.
Un de mes favoris est celui-là en rose pâle, de ZELIE FOR SHE. Je l’ai mis pour la première fois avec un tutu et un moto pour un look de princesse/motard, mais il s’est vraiment prouver comme une de les pièces les plus versatiles dans ma penderie.
Cette fois-ci, j’ai décidé de créer un look classique et sophistiqué, toujours en portant un crop top, mais d’une façon modeste, sans montrer beaucoup de peau, qui pourrait même marcher au bureau !
Je l’ai porté avec une formidable jupe fourreau en bleu marin et une veste orange construction d’ELOQUII.
J’ai accessoirisé avec des boucle d’oreille en argent, ma belle pochette Moti de Ted Baker, et les chaussures les plus magnifiques dans ma vie présentement – ces jolies pumps à talons carrés, paré de bijoux, en vert menthe, de ASOS.
Dans les années 90, quand montrer son ventre était la tendance, jamais dans un million d’années, j’allais croire qu’un jour je me retrouverais dans un crop top ! Ils me font sentir rebelle, coquine, super sexy, même quand je ne montre pas de peau, et ils m’ont poussé à embrasser la partie de mon corps que j’avais toujours détesté le plus. Ils m’ont aidé à montrer au monde que ce ventre que j’ai, n’est rien à cacher, mais au contraire une fierté et un symbol de la force qu’il m’a pris de surmonter mes insécurités et un petit rappel de les quatre belles personnes à qui j’ai donné vie.
Et un gros merci à mon mari d’amour qui a fait ses débuts come pjotographe avec ces jolies photos !!! Je t’aime !!!
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Jupe, ELOQUII – ici
Veste, ELOQUII – d’autres couleurs disponibles ici
Chaussures, ASOS – ici
Pochette, Ted Baker – d’autres couleurs disponibles ici
I told you I wouldn’t leave you hanging! Here’s the translation:
I wore my first crop top in my entire adult life just a little over a year ago. It was an intimidating thought for me, I’m not going to lie…
I’ve had four children, one of whom was delivered by C-section. My stomach is covered in stretch marks, and it’s the part of my body that I’ve had the hardware accepting for as long as I can remember.
But I challenged myself that day, and I fell in love with my stomach including its flaws! I’ve never looked back, and crop tops now play a reoccurring role in my wardrobe!
One of my favourites is this delicate blush coloured crop top from ZELIE FOR SHE, that I wore for the first time with the matching tutu and a pleurer jacket, for a princess-meets-biker look. It has truly proven to be one of the most versatile pieces in my closet.
I’ve paired it with this great navy blue pencil midi and construction orange blazer from ELOQUII.
I’ve accessorized with my beautiful Ted Baker Moti clutch, and the most stunning shoes in my life right now – these totally gorge, seafoam green, block heel, bejewelled pumps from ASOS.
In the 90s, One bearing ones tummy was all the rage, never in a million years, would I have imagined that wearing a crop top would feel so empowering for me, but it truly does. Even when I’m not showing any skin, they make me feel flirty, rebellious, super sexy, and most of all, they allowed me to embrace a part of myself that I used to detest, and to show the world that my tummy is nothing to be ashamed about, but rather a symbol of the strength it has taken me to overcome my insecurities, and a reminder of the four beautiful people that I brought into this world!
A huge thank you to my amazing husband, who made his debut as a photographer with these fab shots!!! Love you!!!
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Crop top, ZELIE FOR SHE- similar
Skirt, ELOQUII – here
Blazer, ELOQUII – other colors available here
Clutch, Ted Baker – other colors available here
Shoes, ASOS – here
Yesterday I came across a picture on Instagram from a Canadian owned and Toronto based company, Revolucion Jewelry who’s entire line is inspired by the fabulous, Frida Kahlo. On their website they state:
Our mission is to encourage and give women the confidence to dress bold and make a statement with their jewelry. It is a hand picked collection of statement pieces for fashion revolutionaries, free thinkers and daring women alike. These statement pieces are inspired by Frida Kahlo, Mexican artist and revolutionist that began wearing statement necklaces before any of us.
Can I just say? I LOVE this! Frida has not only become somewhat of a pop culture icon, representing body positivity, feminism, and freethinking, but also, just so happens to be a major inspiration of mine, both as an artist and a strong woman who broke the rules of fashion and beauty.
Since I was feeling inspired, I decided to use her notoriously vibrant, flower and statement jewelry wearing image as the basis for my look.
Re-creating her famous unibrow would have been going overboard, so instead, I applied winged liner to get that same intense look about my eyes that Frida was known for in her many self-portraits.
This wasn’t an easy task for someone with hooded eyelids and a lot of facial asymmetry due to three bouts of Bell’s palsy in the past, but I think I pulled it off. Since I have very fair, freckled skin, I went with a dark brown liquid liner, instead of the typical black, to soften the look, and not create too harsh a contrast.
As for her moustache – I’m due for a wax, so it’s there… That counts, right?
Hot pink, red and aubergine coloured flowers up around my top knot, a sheer, red, peasant style blouse, a bold, blended lip, and bold jewelry were the perfect details to really capture Frida’s signature look; but the challenge was all in making it wearable in real life, and not just a “costume.”
A black pencil skirt, cream coloured blazer and pretty, pink, pointy-toed flats complete the ensemble, for a chic, yet whimsical Frida Kahlo inspired look that truly captures her essence.
I recently shared a Daily Mail article on my Facebook page, about how women are fat-shamed three times a day – a sad reality.
The outpouring of comments that I received truly touched me, because so many of you have dealt with being humiliated based on your sizes, just as I have in the past.
I was tormented by my peers in grade school. I endured teasing, name calling, cow noises… You name it. And when I look back, the saddest part of it all was the brave face I had to show till I got home and could cry into my pillow.
I thought the bullying of my school days was behind me, until coincidentally, last night I was publicly, and directly FAT SHAMED, while enjoying one of my favourite unhealthy treats, poutine; and for those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s a sinful Quebec specialty, consisting of French fries smothered in gravy, and curd cheese – definitely not waistline friendly, but it’s my weakness. That and an ice cold Coke.
I posted about it on Facebook almost as soon as it happened, because I was just so taken aback by it that I felt an overwhelming need to share it with all of you.
As many of you know, I recently shared an article on fat shaming, and your wonderful, and heartbreaking comments blew me away and really touched my heart. I haven’t been TRULY made fun of in many years, and just tonight, while eating out (poutine of all things) a drunk jerk made waddling and fat belly gestures at me and yelled out “oh yeah, eat that poutine” (in French). I thought I would have been less humiliated than I was, in all honesty, and while I’m not upset, I was really embarrassed, and felt like finishing my food in my car. I didn’t, but the fact that I thought about going to hide to finish my meal makes me realize I still have a lot of work to do.
Just thought I would share…
It felt like elementary school all over again. That feeling of being mortified doesn’t change. Same anxious ball of stress in the pit of my stomach, same feeling of fighting back tears, same anger. I had forgotten what it felt like to be coldly, and deliberately humiliated. I’ve been embarrassed in other life situations, due to my size, the mortifying airplane seatbelt check, for one; and people have made comments or assumptions that have bothered me. “You really shouldn’t eat that”, or servers in restaurants asking me if I want Diet, when I odered a Coke – like, would you ask a skinny person that if she ordered it? Maybe, but when you ask me, I can feel your judgement as I say “no, a regular Coke, please”. Is it so unbelievable that I would want to treat myself to something that I love?
Now, I know that the server could have just been checking, to make sure she got my order right. And yes, it’s possible that it had nothing to do with my weight; but here’s the problem – fat shaming has now become so ingrained in people’s minds, that they do it unknowingly, without even realizing that they’ve been programmed to see us as weak, undisciplined, incompetent, and unworthy.
Big words, I know. And I’m sure my server had no idea how she was making me feel, and probably never thought of herself as someone who humiliated fat people, because society as a whole had told her that viewing me that way was normal.
The @#$hole last night, was doing it on purpose, his buddies snickering along with him, and I’m ashamed to admit it, but all I could do was look down and pretend I didn’t hear them.
Like is said,
I still WE STILL have a lot of work to do, because through years of humiliation, we’ve learned to just accept being laughed at; and I know we’ve probably all been the victims of our own imaginations before, but the double takes in the street for eating an ice cream cone, or when you can’t fit in the booth at a restaurant and the other patrons can’t help but steal a second glance at the fat girl trying to squeeze in, the walk of shame to a different table as people whisper amongst themselves, they’re real. That @#$hole in the street – he was real.
But we’re real too; and we deserve to be treated just like everybody else.
Although I’m disappointed in myself for not speaking up last night, I know that I’ve come a long way. The journey continues, and I’m so thankful to have all of you, my amazing followers, alongside me for the ride!
Well, I’ve been working up the courage to actually get out there and do a photo shoot in swimwear, and believe me, the struggle has been real! So real, that this amazing Sexy Lips midkini from swimsuitsforall.com has been sitting in a drawer since I purchased it at the beginning of the summer.
But I’ve been so inspired by bloggers like Garner Style, who rocked the hell out of a black and white bikini (and made me fall in love with round sunglasses & body chains and was totally the inspiration for my look today), as well as my amazing followers who are so confident and gorgeous, that it was about time that I face my fat girl fears, and do a photo shoot in my very own fatkini!!!
I’ve paired it with two separate, but matching, black, sheer coverup pieces, which I love the idea of, because this way you can cover up less or more depending on the heat of the sun, or how cool the breeze is too. Also, it allows for a more modest option without sacrificing style, if, as was my experience at a beach resort in Haiti, you are required to cover up on top to go into a beachfront restaurant.
No swimwear look would be complete without the right accessories, so I went with my favourite gold, metallic flip flops, big gold hoops, my bangles, (no surprise there) and this fantastic body chain from Forever 21 (note, this is not a plus size piece, so I removed the chain link that connected the two shoulder pieces in the back and replaced it with a longer chain for a better fit).
It really took a lot for me to share these photos with all of you; and I only hope that I can inspire someone who, like me, felt that she wasn’t “perfect” enough to be seen this way. I hope to show that regardless of stretch marks, cellulite, and fat rolls, we can still be beautiful, confident, and enjoy a day at the beach, or an afternoon, poolside like me, in our own backyards, just as any other woman would.
I’m truly am feeling fabulous and empowered in my fatkini and this definitely won’t be my last one!!!
From the minute I first laid eyes on it, I just knew… This is the one. The flattering length, bodycon cut, and the print… Ohhh, the PRINT!!! I can’t even!!! When I look at it, it evokes images of coconuts, sand, and ocean waves… A dusty roadside marketplace, colorful linens and mangoes for sale… It is, in a word, perfection.
I’ve pulled my hair up in a big, luxurious bun for an elegant, exotic look that definitely lives up to this dress’s fantastic tropical print.
And so… I’m just gonna come right out and say it – I look HOT!!! So hot, in fact, that I couldn’t help myself… I even took a belfie!!! That’s a butt selfie, by the way!
I wear short shorts! I DO!!!
Before buying these adorable printed shorts from Forever 21+, I hadn’t worn a pair since gym class in my early teens. I had long believed, been told, and heard said that they were reserved for thin legged, gap-thighed ladies with no cellulite – that a girl like me had no business subjecting anyone to such a sight. But lately I’ve been feeling inspired. I’ve been seeing more and more voluptuous, curvy, plus size ladies breaking through society’s beauty barriers and rocking short shorts confidently, and I just had to try and get in on some of the action!
I have to say, it was not the easiest task… When you’re fat, your thighs tend to rub together while you walk and things can get a bit tricky. Wearing my shorts wasn’t as simple as I would have liked, but I found, once I stopped trying to pull them down constantly and gave into their short short length, the bunching at the crotch stopped being an issue. To my absolute joy (and moderate disbelief) I was actually able to wear them without looking like I had a banana in my pocket!!! (Or was I just happy to see you?)
But in case, due to body type or style, your shorts refuse to cooperate, there exists, a product called NoRiders, which I am now dying to try! The product consists of iron on and sew in strips for your inseam, which are apparently very effective at preventing shorts from riding up at the crotch. I will definitely be letting you know how they work out once I’ve gotten my hands on some!
Anyway, all fat girl, thigh rubbing, crotch riding (sounds like some new painful Olympic demo sport) aside, I felt amazing in my new shorts! I paired them with this great boohoo.com black, oversized t-shirt dress, (seen in cream color and styled differently in my older post “Winter Is Coming, And Coming… And Coming“) belted at the waist, and accessories like this beautiful statement ring from Forever 21, my favorite black turban from BABOOSHKA, and these amazing, inexpensive black and gold sandals from Walmart, to create the perfect boho-chic, summer look that works for anything from a day at the park chasing after the kiddies to a sun-filled afternoon on the lido deck with your glorious, dimpled upper thighs proudly on display, letting everyone know that you have the right to be cool and comfortable in the heat too!!!