A Vixen Of Coincidence

I’m a bit of a fashion chameleon. I love changing things up and incorporating elements of all the styles I love into my wardrobe. Sometimes the clothes I wear may have a bit of a gothic flair, other times they may be ultra modern or classic and timeless, but one thing is for sure, I always make sure to find a way to make it my own. 


I’ve never been the kind of person to look at an article of clothing and say, I love it, but I could never wear it (except for leather pants, but not that I haven’t tried). I think this is how I’ve ended up with such a unique style, because when you never say no to trying a new piece you truly adore, what starts out as a mishmash of a personal style, quickly evolves into having a veritable personality of its own! 


One of the styles I draw major inspo from, yet oddly enough, rarely utilize in actuality is pinup style. Like, I’m actually obsessed with it, believe it or not, but for some reason I have always found it a wee bit intimidating because there are so many beautiful babes out there already knocking it out of the park when it comes to 50s fashion. 


I had been thinking a lot about working more retro inspired styles into my wardrobe lately, so when Voodoo Vixen happened contact me and offer me one of their gorgeous pinup style dresses, I jumped on this one like, well, myself on cake! It was like they’d been reading my mind!



The floral print is just so bright and cheerful, and I love the fact that there’s a little bit of grey incorporated into the mix. The details on it, like the fabric covered buttons and the pleats at the bust give it an authentic feel, and I honestly couldn’t help but twirl in it because I just felt so pretty! 


Of course, I wanted to add my own personal touch to my look, so without overpowering the total retro fabulousness of it, I decided to go with some trendy accessories to be sure to achieve the right melange of styles. A pair of silver strappy flats from Aldo, and some colourful midi rings were the perfect accompaniment to compliment the dress while staying true to my eclectic aesthetic. 


In case anyone was wondering, the bright orange umbrella just coincidentally happened (I swear) to match my outfit, but I actually think it made my look even more fun if that’s possible. It had been raining that day and there was still a fine mist in the air when I stepped out to shoot, but for pretty much the first time in my life I was actually prepared and had an umbrella stashed away in the trunk of my car for quite literally, a rainy day. 


Like they always say though, everything happens for a reason. Some coincidences were just meant to be and that’s exactly how I feel about my style— born of a lifetime of beautiful coincidences, and I’m certain it will continue to evolve. 

Voodoo Vixen and I would like to offer you a discount which can be used from now until the end of July!!! Just enter code flight20 upon checkout! 

Dress, Voodoo Vixen – lots of styles available here 

Shoes, Aldo – here 

Rings, Forever 21 – here 

Silly Little Reminders Of A Not So Silly Reality 

A little while ago I took a brief, unplanned blogging hiatus. I had been feeling extremely exhausted, I’d been sick, and I was also dealing with some stressful family stuff as well. I kept meaning to blog, and went to bed each night with the idea that tomorrow’s going to be the day, but no matter how much I tried to convince myself, I always just ended up putting it off because something inside of me just wouldn’t let me be productive. 

That’s all I thought it was… Just me procrastinating, but when I look back on those couple of months, the reality was that I was having a bit of an anxiety induced melt down. I was still functioning— going about the motions, putting a brave face on, but inside I was at the point of breaking down. 

I did my best to remember to keep up with those little self-care rituals that helped keep me sane. I cooked, cleaned, took care of my kids. I took bubble baths, got my nails done, but my struggle with blogging slowly began to weigh on me… I started resenting it, because I hated the feeling of having an obligation, even if it was self-imposed. 


It’s strange because, I love being a blogger. Blogging is at the top of my list of self-care activities because it makes me feel good, from getting made up and dressed in beautiful clothes, right down to the writing process, which I find calming and therapeutic… So why was I running away from it!? 


The answer: because I was in denial about what I was really running from. It was much simpler to tell myself that I was taking a nap instead of blogging, rather than taking it to avoid my own thoughts, not to mention that writing would have forced me to confront myself about how I was feeling. In that moment, my only defence mechanism was to flee my own brain altogether.  


You may be wondering what all of this has to to with this dusty pink/blush coloured dress I’m wearing… It’s such a silly little thing, yet it’s all I can think of when I look at these photos… My nails don’t match it. 


I had purchased it (as well as in another colour) from ASOS as an attempt to rekindle my blogging spirit. I remember being excited because I had gotten my nails done in the exact same pink to match. I never shot any blog pics though. Hell, I never even wore it, and my nails grew out. Still determined, I got my refill and asked for the exact same colour again! Dusty pink nails, take two, but again, I just couldn’t make myself get dressed for a shoot. Slowly, they grew out once more and I forgot about the dress. 


At some point in May, I came out of this difficult period. I had blogging obligations and had no choice but to fulfill them. Once I started back at it, the anxiety was lifted. I remembered that this wasn’t some cruel form of punishment, but rather an activity that fills me with joy!


It felt like coming home, and I couldn’t believe that for a while there, I had even debated going ghost on my followers. I had felt unable to keep the blog up, but feared the imagined humiliation of actually formally excusing myself from the community and exposing myself as a failure who just couldn’t cut the mustard.


I’m glad I didn’t, because getting up every morning, getting dressed, and maintaining the dialogue with myself that blogging requires me to uphold was what helped bring me back; and my followers, your kind words upon my return were more uplifting than you can imagine! I have once again been given the gift of being reminded of just how much support I have through blogging, and the amazing body positive community. 


So even though my manicure doesn’t match my dress, I wanted to wear it as a very personal symbol of the power we all have to give another person hope, encourage them when they feel hopeless, and raise them up when they’re feeling low, and also as a reminder that anxiety and mental illness are invisible. 


Coming from a person who, in the moment, when things get tough, is very guarded, and tends to withdraw into herself, you may think someone looks fine. They may smile, engage in conversation and list all the right reasons for why they’ve been acting a little differently— I’m just tired, I’ve been sick, I’ve been busy, etcetera etcetera… But it can be next to impossible to notice when those reasons begin to spill over into something more debilitating. 


I was fortunate that this was just a minor bout with anxiety brought on by temporary stressors, and solvable problems that pale in comparison to those of others, but not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has an amazing support system, or are able to recognize when it’s time to seek professional help. 


So, like this dress and my mismatched mani remind me, let me remind you to be kind, because your words can have more on an impact on a person’s life than you may ever realize. Remember that someone’s struggles may seem trivial to you, but are very real to that person, so be mindful. You can never truly know how someone is feeling inside, unless they are willing and able to express it, which I can tell you honestly, isn’t an easy thing to do. 


Dress, ASOS Curve – here 

Shoes, Aldo – here  

Bag, Louis Vuitton – here 

Necklace & Earrings, Walmart – old
 

My Uniform 

Have you ever had an outfit you just feel like you could literally wear every single day and never get sick of it? 




That’s how I’ve been feeling about this look for the past few weeks. Basically, I call it my uniform now because I wear it so often. It got to the point where, the other day, I got ready to go out and didn’t wear it, and my kids were like, oh! Wow! You changed!!!



It’s bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong… It’s good, really good… But it’s getting in the way of my style evolution, and I’m pretty sure my neighbours, whom are wonderful people, are secretly judging me every time I walk out of the house wearing the same thing. 


But come on!!! How could one not want to wear this gorgeous chiffon tunic with crocheted detail and soft jersey longline vest from Addition Elle everywhere!? They’re so perfect!!! 


Of course, I change the bottoms around all the time, wearing these cute, inexpensive Walmart jeggings, distressed skinny jeans, and jorts interchangeably; but the overal look remains the same— kind of like a super chic hair stylist who definitely charges an arm and a leg for a blowout, and you probably couldn’t even afford a cut from unless you were a Kardashian. 


(Note to self: learn to cut hair so you can charge an arm and a leg for a haircut, and become the Kardashian’s hairdresser. Legally change your name to just Cynthïa, with the two dots because it looks cooler, and start your own hashtag… Something catchy… Like, #CynthïaWillCutYou or #GetCynthïaed. Maybe both.)


Where was I…? Oh yes! Can we also talk about how cute these Aldo flats are!? At this point in my life, I’ve all but ditched heels completely in lieu of comfort, and needless to say, flats have definitely become an integral part of my wardrobe lately, even more than they used to be; and they definitely look adorable with my outfit!!!  

So if you’ve ever had a favourite outfit that has reached repeat offender status, just know that you’re not alone. If you love it, wear it! Wear it every damn day if you want to! Never worry what anyone thinks, because A) once you walk out of the house past your judgy neighbours, chances are that nobody will have seen you in it yet, and B) even if they have, who cares, they’re probably jealous of how cute you look anyway!!!


Tunic, Addition Elle – here 

Longline vest, Addition Elle – here 

Jeggings, Walmart – similar

Shoes, Aldo – here 

Why I Wear White 

I used to be afraid to wear white. I loved the way it looked on others, clean and crisp, but on myself, I thought all it did was exaggerate my flaws and make me look like a refrigerator. I did everything to remain inconspicuous back then, assuming that being noticed equaled being laughed at. Needless to say,  I never really wore much white. 



I think a lot of women have had similar feelings towards white. We are taught that it makes us look bigger, and we all know that’s the worst thing a person could ever be, right? Ugh… 


That’s the problem though… From very early on, as soon as the world realizes we’re fat, we are given this set of rules to live by, which are drilled into our brains so deeply that we forget how ridiculous they are, and we end up truly believing them. 



Society is sitting there thinking they’re doing us some wonderful favour by teaching us how not to look fatter than we already are, while its really they, who are in need of a lesson, oh, perhaps on how not to be a complete A-hole? Yeah. That sounds about right.


So I wear white proudly now. I wear it as two middle fingers to the rules that have been laid down by generations of self-loathing people before me who never knew the joy of unapologetic self-love.


I wear it because, unlike society, I don’t believe that looking bigger is among the greatest of all evils. 


And most of all, I wear it because I love it. I always have, and it makes me feel beautiful! 


No fictional set of rules will ever be able to convince me otherwise. I make my own rules about my bod, how I dress it, and nobody can take that away from me!!! 


Top, Tess Holliday for Penningtons – here 

Jean capris, Penningtons – similar 

Scarf, Penningtons – here 

Shoes, Aldo – here 

Clutch, Aldo – here 

Post-it Notes

Every once in a while, I get an amazing reminder that I deserve to love myself as much as anybody else does. This time it came in the form of this stunning, sequins embellished dress from SexyPlus Clothing. 


Seeing beautiful pieces like this reminds me just how far plus size fashion has come since I was growing up and struggling to find clothes that didn’t make me look like my grandmother (no shade, granny got style— just not mine). 


It may only be a little black dress, but this Joseph Ribkoff design is in no way ordinary. The sparkle, the detail, and the curve-hugging style scream look at me!!!! 


The simple fact that options like this exist now, which are very obviously not designed to mask our bodies, but to celebrate them, is proof that the world is recognizing that us fatties are refusing to hide in the shadows any longer!


We have the right to be viewed and admired if we wish it, and most of all, to feel worthy of wearing the fabulous clothes that we love without thinking we are somehow undeserving of style because we’re overweight. 

I know we’re not quite there yet when it comes to inclusivity, but I’m more than happy to rejoice in tangible victories like this dress, because bold, attention grabbing pieces validate my belief that I, as a plus size woman, am worthy of shining, turning heads, and feeling sexy. 

Obviously, I don’t need that validation, but it sure is nice to have it. It feels good to know that all those years I spent being crushed over not being able to wear what I wanted are behind me, and that speaking up in the name of fat women everywhere hasn’t been in vain. It feels good to be heard. 


All of this is to say, be aware of those reminders, life’s little Post-it notes telling you to remember that the frustrations of your past were for a reason, and your hopes for the future are possible! 


While you’re at it, let me remind you that you are important. You are worthy, and your existence, fat, thin, or anything in between, has more meaning and influence than you may ever even know…


Dress your body the way you want to, wear the clothes that make you feel beautiful, do the things that make you feel empowered and strong!



Be grateful when your opinions are validated, but never depend on that validation to come from anyone but you. Remember that to love yourself, you must listen to yourself. Don’t dismiss your feelings because you think you don’t deserve to have them… I did that for a very long time, and one of the greatest gifts I’ve given to myself has been allowing myself the right to acknowledge how I feel as a fat person, with a voice as true as anybody else’s. 

Dress, Joseph Ribkoff from SexyPlus – here 

Shoes, Aldo – here

Clutch, vintage 

 

My Montréal + Fashion Week Score

Well, it was a success!!! Montréal + Fashion Week, which took place last weekend and brought diversity and visibility to the plus size scene in my amazing city, was an absolute honour to be a part of! 

Although it was super scary, I managed face my fears and host alongside Emily Roy, the creator of the event, (without passing out) all while draped in the showstopping designs of Pheline Couture and Amadora JewelryWe showcased a fantastic selection of brands at the fashion show on Friday evening, ranging from active wear, evening wear, to bridal, and our models, including my boo, Sabrina Servance of Big Women Big Love, the beautiful Rosie Mercado, and Montreal’s own Joby Bach, along with an entire lineup of inspiring women, totally ripped the runway!!! 

Saturday, after coming down from the euphoria of such a high energy event, I enjoyed day one of the Montréal + Fashion Week sale expo where one particular piece really caught my attention—this gorgeous hot pink leopard print dress from i.b.b.i. Collection!


It was more on the pricey side, but I tried it on and instantly fell in love! I knew I couldn’t leave without it.

The quality of this garment is beyond superior. Luxury plus size clothing lines are few and far between, but i.b.b.i. Collection is getting it right! It’s really exciting to see more high end options available to the plus size consumer, because for a very long time, our choices were extremely limited. There is a whole world of curvy women out there just waiting to drop some dollars on some luxury pieces and I love that there are companies like i.b.b.i. who are taking notice of this! 

 I was honestly really impressed by the whole line, and if my wallet had permitted it, I would have walked out with an armful of fabulous frocks; but I definitely went home with my favourite one of the bunch!As I was trying it on, already wearing a thick gold chain, Rosie Mercado, the face of i.b.b.i., pointed out how great it looked with the dress. Needless to say, when I rocked it out on day two of the sale expo, I wore it with my fave piece of bling, this extravagant, layered chain necklace from Ready To Stare, a designer whose jewelry seems to have been made to pair with leopard print! 

These golden baubles and a simple pair of embellished, black leather flats from Aldo, and my look was complete! 


Even Rosie approved! 


I look forward to seeing which brands come out to play next year at Montréal + Fashion Week, and I am definitely looking forward to all the places I will wear my new dress! 

A huge thank you to my bestie, Crystal, for snapping these awesome graffiti shots! 

Check out more of Pheline designs at Pheline.ca or on Facebook and Instagram

Amadora Jewelry at Amadorajewellery.com

Dress, i.b.b.i. Collection – here 

Chain necklace, Ready To Stare – here 

Shoes, Aldo – here 

VBO & A Burger In MTL 

It’s all happeniiing!!! Montréal + Fashion Week is going down this weekend (May 20th-22nd) and I am incredibly excited!!! 


Lots of you who are coming will be local Montrealers, but I know many of you will be stopping in from out of town, some for the first time, and it is a true pleasure for me, as well as the rest of the MTL + FW team to welcome you not only to this exciting event showcasing plus size fashion, beauty, and style, but to our beautiful city! 

Knowing that so many of you will be visiting got me thinking about all the best stuff my city has to offer! The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Saint Joseph’s Oratory, and Montreal’s historic Old Port, including a sandy beach in the middle of the city, just to name a few; but being the fat girl that I am, there is one aspect of this city that, even being born and raised here, still awes me — the food!!! 

I started feeling nostalgic and craving some classic Montreal fare, and one iconic spot that every Montrealer has been to, and if not, will definitely recognize, came immediately to mind! Gibeau Orange Julep, (AKA The Big Orange) of course!!! 


I haven’t been there since I was a kid, riding shotgun with my grandfather up to that gigantic orange dome for a cup of their frothy, milky, pulpy, orangey signature beverage, and I just had to go back! 


I slipped into a simple black maxi from Forever 21+, some cute gold gladiators, fringe earrings and my usual bobbles adorning my hands, and set out for a taste of my childhood…


The sun was shining on me as I sipped a julep, savoured a poutine, and sunk my teeth into a burger that if you’re from Montreal, just tastes like home. 

As I sat there reminiscing, I realized that I’ve come a long way since I was that young girl who loved cheeseburgers, but didn’t love herself… Back then I would have walked up to the counter with a hoodie tied around my waist to hide my visible belly outline, then hidden in the car to scarf down my food where nobody would notice me. 

This time, as I stood on the very ground where when last I stood, I was ashamed to exist, it felt like a celebration! Through plus size fashion, and becoming a part of the inspirational community of plus size bloggers and retailers that are changing the game for fat girls everywhere, stepping out with my VBO in plain sight to enjoy some greasy, glorious food at a picnic table in front of the world, was not only one of life’s little pleasures that I had long missed out on, but a sweet victory over the insecurities of my past.

When I said I was excited about Montréal + Fashion Week, it may have been an understatement, because I can’t even put into words just how proud I am to see an event like this take place in my beloved city, let alone be a part of it! 

I look forward to seeing all the beautiful faces in attendance this weekend, and whether you’re a Montreal girl, like myself, or in town to take it all in, I hope you know just how much your support of this event, and the plus size industry as a whole, means to me! 


If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, it’s not too late! You can purchase them here. You can also visit the Montréal + Fashion Week website for more info and details on the event at www.montrealplusfashionweek.com


Dress, Forever 21+ – here 

Sandals, Forever 21 – here 

Earrings, Forever 21 –similar 

Rings, Forever 21 – here 

Bracelet, Penningtons – similar

Stained Glass 

I used to shy away from attention. I would keep my head down, avoid eye contact so I wouldn’t get noticed. I walked around like a ghost, somehow making my large, fat body melt into the background. 


I could hide behind any pillar, disappear behind any wall, and though my ample hips would protrude, they were invisible… I, was invisible. 


You have such a pretty face, she said to me… She was my thin, beautiful, popular cousin’s thin, beautiful, popular friend. 


The words stung like hot blades cauterizing the wound as they cut, numbing me with the smell of my own burning flesh… Flesh. Pounds of it boiling over, seething, bubbling and molten under my clothes. 


I went crazy for a while. I watched them be attractive, be desired, be lovable. I wondered what it would feel like to be lovable too. I thought surely, there must be no better feeling than that of being wanted. 

I opened myself to any attention people payed me. I searched for it wherever I could. Just flaunt what you’ve got, they said, so I flaunted my fear of being alone.


They came running, saliva dripping down their necks, drawn by the intoxicating aroma of a woman who believes she is worthless. I let them abuse me, use my fears to control me. I let them break what was left of the girl with the pretty face and send me to my knees in a cloud of dust and broken dreams. 


But I was lucky… As I peered into the rubble that was left after I crumbled, the sun shone and I saw a glint of light, dusty, cracked, but twinkling. 


I pulled away the debris, brushed off the dirt, frantically rummaging for those shimmering bits of myself that I might still be able to salvage, and the flecks of smoked light began to transform. 


Before my eyes, the shards came together to form spectacular patchwork panes, stained by my memories, my shattered hopes, and the beauty in my reflection that I had never been able to see. 

I watched myself become whole again, or arguably, for the first time, bound together with lead, only toxic if I let it in; and the colours, they were glorious, refracting the sunlight, swallowing the darkness, all the while changing any light that passed through, making it fascinating and magnetic. 


Coloured glass, the proof of my existence, brittle yet magnificent. Lead, the reminder of my past, reinforcing my fractured pieces and making me strong. 

When I rose to my feet, I was not the girl with the pretty face. I was the girl with the pretty colours, all shades of light bouncing off one another, emanating from the core of the body I once thought unworthy of shining. 

My design, intricate. My pattern, complicated, but mesmerizing, and my colours, true and indelible. 


Dress (custom) – K Couture Customizable Formal Wear – customize your own here
Trench, Eleven60 by Kierra Sheard- here 


Clutch, Aldo – similar 


Shoes, Shoes Of Prey – design your own here 

Showing Some Skin During Montreal Spring

I’ve been waiting for it to warm up this April. I mean, there have been a few warm teaser days, but it is still very much a brisk Montreal spring. 

By the end of May, when Montreal + Fashion Week rolls around, it will definitely (hopefully?) be feeling more summery, but until then, I’m not fighting the cooler temperatures. By the end of July, when it’s 30°C, humid, and my thighs have fused together from sweat, I’ll be looking back on today thinking I should have appreciated it more… So I may as well just enjoy it!

This gorgeous hi-low top with a plunging neckline from Point Zero Curvy Woman + is perfect for enjoying Montreal in the spring! I’ve paired it with some other pieces from their collection to create two fun, bold looks!



For a daytime ensemble, I simply tucked it into this grey knit skirt and topped it off with this cute, cozy cardigan!


It’s very vavavoom, with my black strapless bra peeping out, but when worn with a simple pair of printed flats, it keeps the sexiness of the outfit in check!


For a racier evening look, I took a risk and wore the top over a gorgeous handmade harness bra from HARNESSBRALOVE!


Lets just take a moment to appreciate the girls in this bra and deep V… Like, for real… Scroll as slowly as you like, won’t be mad! 


I paired the seductive duo (the bra and too top, silly) with these fab PZ Curvy Woman + leggings, and faux-fur trimmed vest, and felt incredibly sexy and empowered! 


A chic pair of black linen flats and a vintage clutch were ideal for a night out downtown! 


Sure, I may still drool a little in anticipation of warm weather, when I see my blogger boos sitting poolside, basking in the glow of the wherever-they-are-that’s-obviously-warmer-than-here sun… But springtime in Montreal, complete with its cold breezes and chilly nights, is a beautiful thing because, furry vests, cardigans, and of course, my cleavage. 


If you’re looking to enjoy all of what springtime in Montreal has to offer, be sure to get your tickets to Montreal + Fashion Week here (English) or here (French). 


Hi-low top, skirt, cardigan, leggings, vest — Point Zero Curvy Woman +, available at pointzero.ca (international, point-zero.com), or in store at SexyPlus Clothing 

Harness bra, HARNESSBRALOVE – here 

More On Montreal + Fashion Week (And My Wedding Anniversary Too)

As promised, my next few posts will be all about Montreal + Fashion Week — a bilingual weekend-long event celebrating plus size fashion, beauty, and style, taking place this May 20th-22nd at the Crowley Arts Centre, but today’s post is extra special! 

My husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary today, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to show off the arm candy I’ll be toting around with me at the even next month! (Yes! Boys are welcome to the event, so if you’re planning on bringing yours along too, be sure to get him a ticket when you purchase yours!)


I’ve been blessed to have married a man who is, not only my best friend in the entire world, as well as an incredible artist, but is also as style obsessed (if not more) than I am! I mean, this guy can dress, and I freaking love it! 

He also has a profound appreciation for, and understanding of plus size fashion (although the I credit myself for that part). 

I’m am also blessed that this lace dress from SexyPlus Clothing came into my life, because let’s face it, I look pretty hot in it, and my hubby agrees!




When Montreal + Fashion Week rolls around this May, you will be seeing us both there all weekend!  


If you’re coming for the fashion show, to the fabulous sale expo, to hear some of our inspirational speakers, or if you’re taking in the entire event because you’re just a boss like that, I’d be willing to bet that at some point, you’ll bump into us, doing what we do best, being awkward (me) and snapping pics of me being awkward (him)! 

Whether you’ll be wearing your man on your arm, or saving that space for more shopping bags, we are looking forward to seeing you there, and adding Montreal + Fashion Week to next year’s list of memories as we celebrate another year of surviving each other as husband and wife! 


Montreal + Fashion Week tickets available here (English) or here (French). 

For more details visit www.montrealplusfashionweek.com, and remember to follow @montreal.plus.fashion.week on Instagram, and use that #MTLplusFWstyle to show us your fave looks for a chance to be featured! 


Dress, SexyPlus – here  

Shoes, Aldo – here 

Clutch, Aldo – here