Tagged: Style

Lower Belly Love

I have a confession to make… Although  y’all know I’m all about that self-love, I’ve had a really hard time making peace with my lower belly for most of my life… 

This shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise if you’ve been following me for any good amount of time, I’ve said it before, but I think it’s important to keep bringing it up because it serves as a reminder for those of you who are struggling out there, that even the most body positive, fat accepting individuals still deal with self-doubt. We don’t exist in a bubble of unattainably heightened self-esteem contrary to how it seems on social media, and we all have our hang-ups just like anybody else. 


Most days I love my belly, and have no issues flaunting what I’ve got, but there are those times when I feel like it’s stopping me from being great. They’re usually fleeting moments, they come, I remind myself how my body deserves to exist as it is, and they go… but there is still one particular thing that I have a tough time with: allowing my lower belly to show while wearing pants. 


I’ve done it already and I was happy with how it looked, but I’m not going to lie, I definitely felt exposed. I refuse to let my I securities win though, so just like I’ve challenged myself to accept other parts of my body that I’ve been conditioned to believe were flaws, I continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and wear clothes that push my own personal boundaries in the best possible way! 


The pairing of this nude mesh bodysuit and lace-up jeggings by Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle do definitely that. On their own, Wearing these pieces wouldn’t be such a personal challenge for me. I could wear the bodysuit under a skirt, or wear a long top with the jeans and hide my lower belly with ease… but no. Seeing these two pieces together inspired me to confront my lingering belly insecurities, and the outcome was pure fierceness!!! It totally erased any feelings of self-doubt. It’s so perfect, so chic, and most of all, unapologetic AF!



I love the nude mesh because it’s almost like going topless, and the lace-up details on the jeans are sooo sexy!!! I topped it off with another piece from Nadia’s collection which just happens to be one of my favourite accessories ever, this super cute and totally practical plus size fanny pack! 




When it comes to overcoming our insecurities, we tend to leave the toughest hurdles till last, but with my bodysuit obviously tucked into my pants, and not even a purse to hide behind, I flaunted my belly like nobody’s business, and took one more very much needed step towards total body love! 


Bodysuit, Nadia Abouhosn for Addition Elle – here 

Jeggings, Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle – here 

Fanny Pack, Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle – similar (sort of)

Shoes, Aldo – similar  

Long Sleeves For Fall 

I love a dress with long sleeves. There aren’t as many out there as I would like, especially when it comes to dressier dresses, but when it comes to fall in Montreal, a pretty long sleeve dress is a must have!


I’m long past my days of wearing long sleeves for the sole purpose of hiding what I thought were my hideous upper arms. It’s just that it’s nice to be able to keep my arms out of the brisk fall breeze without having to cover up, which is in the case of this adorable dress from SexyPlus, an absolutely gorgeous neckline! 


Its off the shoulder style and ruffle detail is flirty and fun, and I love that I can show it off while still keeping things seasonally appropriate. 



The fall transition period can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to dressing up. More often than not, it comes down to a a choice between style and comfort, but this dress is the best of both worlds! 


Super chic, with its classic polka dot print, and sleeves long enough to extend no-coat-check season for at least a few more weeks— what’s not to love!? And can we talk about how it hugs my curves!!! Yassssss!!! 


Paired with silver shoes and accessories, and a rhinestone clutch, this a fabulous look for atending any fall event! 


I can always count on SexyPlus when I’m looking for the perfect dress, and this one does not disappoint. 


Dress, SexyPlus Clothing – here 

Shoes, ASOS – here 

Clutch, Aldo – similar 

Fall Off The Shoulder 

Well, it’s officially fall! Time for all the layering, all the scarves, sweaters, and boots… Right? Well… Maybe not just yet.

Just because it’s fall, doesn’t mean we have to start tossing out our fave trends from summer! Most of them carry just beautifully over into fall, and this (and last) summer’s off-the-shoulder trend is no different! 


This stunning royal blue dress from SexyPlus is a must have for any fall wardrobe. It’s incredibly comfortable yet impressively structured. Look at those gorgeous pleats! Look at them!!!


Its off-the-shoulder style is elegant and alluring, and its rich jewel tone is perfect for the current seasonal transition period as well as the cooler months ahead.  



Paired with a pretty lace choker (also from SexyPlus), a great pair of sunnies, a vintage clutch, and a cute pair of black leather gloves just in case it does get a little chilly out, this whole ensemble has a classic, old world feel about it that I seem to find myself drawn to like a magnet this season… Maybe it’s my hair (which has taken on some sort of retro vibe of its own as I’ve been trying to grow it out), but I can’t seem to get enough of it! 


And can we talk about how good this dress looks with these galaxy coloured, sparkly kitten heels? If perfection were one inch of the ground, this look would be it, and I’m not sorry! 


So don’t be so quick to stash your more summery pieces at the back of your closet just yet. You’ve still got plenty of time to take them out to play this fall, and who knows, you may even find yourself reworking them again come winter! 


Dress, SexyPlus Clothing- here

Choker, SexyPlus Clothing- here  

A Dress Of A Different Colour 

I recently wrote a blog post speaking of a bout with anxiety that I had in the not too distant past, and in it, I shared photos of myself wearing this same grey dress from ASOS, but in a nudish, kinda dusty rose colour, where my VBO (visible belly outline) was very prominent. It was a meaningful post, where I discussed what I had been dealing with and how it related to the dress. 


I shared my article, as well as some shots from the post on social media, and I was really surprised by how much people hated the colour of the dress on me! I mean, I’m used to the hate I receive online, so it didn’t bother me, but it just struck me as odd that, aside from a few “with the proper undergarments she’d look great” comments, (which honestly, come with the territory of showing off your belly in a world where we’ve been taught to hide it at all cost) the comments were of a much different nature than what I was expecting. 


Instead of pointing out the parts of my body they thought I should be ashamed of, or mocking me for being fat and not giving a fuck, the way they usually do, they criticized the colour of the dress. Over and over again, the same type of comment popped up…


Stuff like, “she looks beautiful, but that colour isn’t flattering on her at all!” “The dress is cute, but that colour washes her out.” 


The thing is, people always like to make their unsolicited suggestions of how they think they can improve my outfits, but there was just such a unanimity in this case. They felt really passionate about their disdain for the hue, and all I kept thinking was why? Was it that they were attempting to disguise the fact that what they really wanted to say was “that nude pink really emphasizes your fat stomach which is unacceptable in our society,” or did they genuinely hate the colour? Personally I think it was a combination of the two, but for much more profound reasons than one might assume. 


Judging by the commentary, I feel like people seemed uncomfortable with the vulnerability of how I presented myself. A neutral shade that didn’t hide my body, paired with a similar, monochromatic  makeup palette consisting of variants of my own skin colour, which to me looked velvety like pudding, but to them, it would appear, looked like everything that scares them about looking at themselves naked, ironically, embodied in an outfit.


I think this is what scares people so much about wearing nudes. Regardless of skin colour, when we dress in a scheme that blends into our own bodies, we become human clay, a homogenous mass of flesh and fabric, melded together as one with nothing to hide under— and not hiding, can for many people, be downright incomprehensible. 

Oddly enough, when I purchased the dress, I loved it so much that I actually bought it in two colours— the oh so controversial dusty rose, as well as this gorgeous grey. I thought about not sharing it in this colour— about not letting the haters win, but I came to the conclusion that doing that would be more of a victory for them than if I just wore it and called them out on the fact that their negative comments were just a reflection of their own insecurities. 

The post in the pink dress was proof to myself that I could be both emotionally vulnerable and vulnerable in my style choices, but this post is to prove that I can also be anything else I want to be, too. 



Paired with an elegant felt hat, an absolutely stunning, and unique necklace from Amadora Jewelry, a rhinestone clutch and some flashy, neon yellow flats, this grey dress is now a reminder for me as well…

No matter how much anyone criticizes what you wear, whatever their reasons may be, they’re not seeing you, your clothes, or the thought you put into how you chose to present yourself, no. All they’re seeing is an image of themselves looking back at them and challenging that voice inside their heads that’s telling them they can’t. 

View the original post in the dusty pink dress here

Dress, ASOS Curve – here 

Necklaces, Amadora Jewelry – gorgeous pieces available here 

Shoes, Aldo – here 

Clutch, Aldo – here 

Hat, Addition Elle – old 

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
 

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 

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 

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 

Montreal + Fashion Week Is Comiiing

As most of you know, I’m a Montreal girl, born and raised! I love my city, especially its rich history and diversity—a veritable melting pot of culture and language, and just an amazing place to call home! 

The plus size community here however, has faced many obstacles. We are a group of people desperately in need of the unity it takes to raise each other up and support one another, so when I was asked to join the first annual Montreal + Fashion Week team as the official blogger I was, how you say, f*cking exciteddddd!!! 

  
 
Led by the fabulous Emily Roy of the blog Entre Montréal et New York, and Nadine Moore of the plus size boutique Catapulp, and moi of course, Montreal + Fashion Week will be a celebration of plus size fashion, beauty, life and style, right here in my own beautiful city from May 20th-22nd. 

I’ve been helping out behind the scenes, and was lucky enough to attend all three model castings, first in Quebec City, then Toronto, and finally wrapping up right here in Montreal. It was such a blast to see all those beautiful babes show us how it’s done! 

With all that running around, I didn’t get a chance to do a post about what I wore, but luckily I managed to shoot my favourite look of the bunch this week! 

  

This fly AF quilted gold number from Your Big Sister’s Closet was what I wore to the Quebec City casting.

   
 
It’s literally everything… Like seriously!!! 

  
  
  
It’s total perfection paired with my fave pair of white jeans from Penningtons!

  
 
And with its edgy fabric and elegant cut, it may possibly be the most glorious springtime piece I’ve ever worn! Just saying.

  
  

Especially when accessorized with a little LV, some baubles from Aldo, and my chic Coach flats! 

  

  
  
  

  
The absolute ideal look to wear to a fashiony (yes, fashion-y) type event!

I hope to see all of you at Montreal + Fashion week! I’m really looking forward to meeting and mingling with my followers and plus size fashionistas, so be sure to get your tickets (here) before they’re gone, and come see me this May!!! 

For more details on the event, please visit: www.montrealplusfashionweek.com and check out the schedule here

Purchase tickets at here (English), or here (French). 

Be sure to stay tuned all this week and next, as I will be bringing you more info, special announcements and discussions about the event, as well as tips for making the most of your visit to Montreal if you’re coming from out of town! 

In the meantime, don’t forget to use the #MTLplusFWstyle hashtag on social media for a chance to be featured on @montreal.plus.fashion.week’s Instagram! 
  
Top, Your Big Sister’s Closet – similar 

Jeans, Penningtons – here 

Necklaces: Aldo – similar

Bag, Louis Vuitton – here 

French Curves: THE STATEMENT NECKLACE 

It’s the 16th of the month, and after being on a little break for a couple of months, I am once again ready to get back into the French Curves Challenge – an outfit photo challenge with the French touch, created by the stunning Vanoue, of The Curvy and Curly Closet!

If you don’t speak French, I’ve got you, boo! As always, an English translation will follow, just keep scrolling down!!! 

  
Il est encore le 16 du mois, et après quelques mois de pause, je suis prêt à nouveau à participer au French Curves Challenge – la collaboration entre blogueuses francophones de taille plus avec la touche française, crée par la ravissante Vanoue, de The Curvy and Curly Closet !

Le thème ce mois-ci: THE STATEMENT NECKLACE

   

Un collier audacieux a le pouvoir de compléter n’importe quel look. 

  

  

  
Quand vous portez un, il est la première chose que tout le monde voit quand ils regardent votre tenue, et comme son nom l’indique, il envoient un message très clair qui déclare, je suis fabuleuse et je m’en fous qui le sait !!!

   
Ce collier splendide a été fait à la main par Djénéba, une femme malienne, incroyablement talentueuse, qui fabrique des bijoux merveilleux avec des matériaux provenant de son pays natal. 

   
    

  
La fabrication méticuleuse de ses  précieux bijoux est sa plus grande passion dans la vie, est ce-ci est très évident si vous avez la chance de visiter sa “caverne” remplie jusqu’au bout de perles scitillantes qu’elle a procuré petit à petit avec chaque retour au Mali pour visiter avec sa famille.

  

  
  
     

J’ai laissé le collier être la vedette du tenue, et je l’ai porté avec un look très simple et chic, mais avec assez de panache pour lui faire honneur. 

    

     


Un simple legging noir, et ma tunique asymétrique en tissu léopard extra-fin par Nadia Aboulhosn pour Addition Elle sont les pièces parfaites pour complimenter cet accessoire impressionnant !

 
   

  

  

Dans le style de Nadia, une chaussure à talon met la touche finale sur le look. 

   
N’oubliez pas de jeter un coup d’œil à tous les statement necklaces de les autres French Curvettes ici, ainsi que sur Facebook, et Instagram aussi ! Aussi, rappelez-vous d’utiliser les hashtags #FrenchCurvesOOTD et #FlightOfTheFatGirl sur touts vos looks de mode !!!
 

The theme this month: THE STATEMENT NECKLACE

A statement necklace has the power to complete any look. 

When you wear one, it’s the first thing everyone sees when they look at your outfit, and as the name suggests, they send a very clear message that you’re fabulous, and I don’t care who knows it!!!

This necklace was hand made by Djénéba, an incredibly talented Malian woman who crafts gorgeous jewelry with materials purchased in her home country. 

The meticulous craftsmanship of her jewelry is her greatest passion in life, and it’s very evident if you ever have the chance to visit her “cavern” filled to the gills with sparkling beads which she’s gathered, little by little, with each trip home to Mali to visit her family. 

I let the necklace be the star of this outfit, and I paired it with a super simple, chic look, but with enough pizzazz to do it justice. 

Simple black leggings, and my sheer, asymmetrical, leopard print tunic by Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle are the perfect pieces to compliment this striking accessory!

And in true Nadia style, a pair of heels put the final touch on the look. 

Be sure to check out the statement necklaces on all the other French Curvettes here, as well as on Facebook, and Instagram too!!! Also, remember to use the hashtags #FrenchCurvesOOTD and #FlightOfTheFatGirl on all your style pics!!! 

Collier/necklace, La Caverne de Djénéba 

Tunique/tunic, Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle – old 

Leggings/leggings, Addition Elle – similaire/similar 

Chaussures/shorts, Payless – Ici/here