The Push For More Plus-size Mannequins

Posted by on October 30, 2013

There is a very devoted push in the fashion community for designers to use more plus-size models to showcase their lines. Obviously, any time the fashion community wants to show more diversity on the runways, whether that is through women of different body-types, women of color, or transgendered individuals, that is a step in the right direction.

Plus-size mannequins

Retailers like H&M and Gap have been called out for using emaciated mannequins. Credit: Beauty Skew

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The Miwa Top and the Importance of Wardrobe Basics

Posted by on October 29, 2013

We all have those special little checklists that we make when we’re looking for a new outfit. Does it have sleeves? Is it fully-lined? Can I belt it? This can certainly be limiting and I definitely have shied away from wearing more adventurous pieces because it violates too many of my personal outfit requirements, but on the whole, women tend to know what looks best on them and what they will be most comfortable in even before trying it on. We often have a closet full of wardrobe basics that meet these requirements.

So when I saw the Miwa Top in Black, I knew that this top would be perfect for me since it hit almost every single item on my checklist: it has  loose, bell-style, three-quarter sleeves (which are my personal favorite), it has an empire waist, is fully lined, is made of wrinkle-free jersey material, and it even comes with a great fabric belt. The Miwa Top can be worn with or without the belt so you can customize this wonderfully basic, black jersey top for anything.

A good black top is my go-to for almost every outfit.

A good black top is my go-to for almost every outfit.

As a so-called “plus-size fashionista,” I feel a certain amount of pressure to always push myself with outfits, and as a result, I get a little stressed out when I’m wearing a “basic” item like a black top or a gray sweater. I think this anxiety comes from the sense that, as a plus-size woman who cares deeply about fashion and who is incredibly invested in style, if I wear a pair of sweats, even to the grocery store, then I am betraying myself. I’m trying to get over this self-imposed mental block and rock anything that I wear from ratty t-shirts to formal dresses, but it takes a certain amount of practice.

The Miwa Top, at its core, is a basic piece. Without the belt, it is a simple, flattering black top. It is even made out of a cotton jersey, which is essentially the most basic material you can wear. However, the cut on this top makes it special. And that is really what I’ve been looking for in my wardrobe – “special basics.”

I paired my staple, black Miwa Top with black jeans and yellow flats. The great belt kept me from being monochromatic and kept the focus on the tiniest part of me - my waist.

I paired my staple, black Miwa Top with black jeans and yellow flats. The great belt kept me from being monochromatic and kept the focus on the tiniest part of me – my waist.

Maybe it’s just because the word “basic” seems to have negative connotations to me, but I really struggle with it. As a result, here’s a list of five staple pieces that every plus-size woman should have in their wardrobe.

1. Structured black top: This can be a t-shirt or you can even do something a little more elaborate (like the Miwa Top), but it’s important that there is some good seaming and structure. This top should be a wear-alone piece meaning that you shouldn’t feel the need to pair it with a jacket or a cardigan. Although, of course, you can.

2. Comfortable pair of jeans: Yeah, I value comfortable jeans over stylish jeans. If you can hit both, that’s great, but in my experience, if you aren’t completely comfortable in your clothes, you probably just won’t wear them. Who wants to feel self-conscious all day?

3. Blazer: Blazers can go with everything and anything, from jeans to dresses and everything in between. They immediately add a sense of presence to any outfit, and so they’re perfect for dressing up a casual look for work or a nice dinner out.

4. Boots: Good boots can be hard to find. Especially if you need wide-calf boots. However, they really are one of the most universally flattering and convertible shoes if you need something to transition seasons.

5. Simple Jewelry: Statement necklaces and earrings are wonderful. They really, really are. However, on those days when you either don’t feel like over-the-top sparkle, or when it wouldn’t be appropriate to wear an oversized, sparkly floral collar, make sure you have your minimal jewelry pieces picked out. For me, it’s a pair of gold heart studs and a few simple rings – just enough so I have a little bling without it being overwhelming.

How would you wear this top?

How would you wear this top?

If you have your own list of staples or if you want some shopping tips, you can always hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.

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7 Plus-size Winter Fashion Trends

Posted by on October 28, 2013

It’s tricky keeping up with trends. It requires really great budgeting, a keen eye for design lines and some commitment to reading Women’s Wear Daily. Sadly for me, but luckily for you, I obsess over new trends and I start putting together my seasonal wish lists before the models even leave the runways at fashion week.

So just for you all, I put together my list for the top seven plus-size Winter fashion trends and accessories for 2013-2014.

1. Sequins On Sequins On Sequins

Sequins

Blogger Curvatude is killing it with his pencil skirt, silk blouse, and feather scarf. Credit: Curvatude

We’re moving into holiday season, which means everyone and their grandmother is looking forward to strutting out to their various seasonal parties in shiny dresses and sparkly sweaters. For me, it’s as close to princess status as I let my wardrobe get. Personally, I’m a fan of a sparkly dress (like the IGIGI Nezetta dress) with a soft sweater over it and a pair of ankle boots for a more casual get together.

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5 Thrifting Tips for Plus-Size Women

Posted by on October 25, 2013

There are actually some really great shopping options for plus-size women, especially online. It’s not too challenging to find great dresses, tops, skirts, and pants that are designed to fit and flatter curvy women. However, sometimes you just need a fashion fix, and the wait time post-shipping does not always make online shopping the “funnest” way to get your fashion fix.

If you have a few hundred dollars a season to revamp your wardrobe and a saintlike patience with your UPS service, then online shopping can serve you very well as a plus-size woman. However, for those of us who don’t have unlimited means and patience for week-long waits, thrifting is a great alternative.

Unless you’re going to a thrift store that specifically caters to plus-sizes, of which there are unfortunately very few (one of the most well-known is the formerly NYC-based, now Cleveland-based, Re/Dress), it isn’t going to be easy to find a lot of options that work for you if you’re a US size 12+.

Re/Dress

The Re/Dress CLE is located at 2678 W.14th street in Cleveland and I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. Credit: Zero Style Blog

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Learning How To Become Your Own Plus-size Role Model

Posted by on October 24, 2013

As a plus-size woman who is completely comfortable with her size – I tend to attract a lot of haters. Body image issues are ingrained in our collective psyche at a very young age and as a result, people generally tend to have very opinionated views on what an ideal form should look like. My figure is not praised by the mainstream to be ideal, so I have to fight for the respect and courtesy that straight-size women can take for granted. Now, I’m not saying that every thin women has it easy. That is certainly not the case. Women are criticized for their heights, for their noses, for their posture, for their hair color, and for so much more. However, it is so important for thin women to recognize that they have a certain privilege for being thin.

Plus-size women are far too often made the butt of jokes or treated like novelty items in the media. While there are a few plus-size women in the public eye who are successful and popular, it is important to remember that there are only a few and for every fat Hollywood actress there are at least 50 thin starlets. Melissa McCarthy, Gabourey Sidibe, Rebel Wilson, and Adele can only do so much.

So, as a plus-size woman, it really falls on you to be your own role model, since there are so few celebrity models to aspire to, which is no easy feat since we are all prone to self-doubt. In order to combat feelings of inadequacy or insecurity, it’s important to practice radical self-love. Here is my personal list for taking care of my mental health by loving my body.

1. Take Some Selfies

Selfies

Taking selfies is a form of self-care. It really is. Credit: @Jane_czko

As I’ve said before, taking selfies is one of the best forms of therapy. It makes you feel good about yourself, you get to control the image of yourself that you are projecting, and you get to enjoy positive feedback from friends and family about the results. What’s not to love? A little vanity is good sometimes.

2. Put Together Your Ideal Outfit

On Polyvore you can curate everything from your favorite outfit to your favorite bedroom decor. Credit: fashionduchess

On Polyvore you can curate everything from your favorite outfit to your favorite bedroom decor. Credit: fashionduchess

Now, not everyone can necessarily afford their “dream outfit,” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get close! Spend some time online window shopping and search for your perfect ensemble. If you can’t afford it right away, put it on the back-burner and spend a few months saving up for it (that’s what I do). It’s important to spend both time and money on yourself every now and then. Because you absolutely deserve it. I recommend trying out Lookbook or Polyvore for outfit inspo.

3. Spend The Day Doing Beauty Treatments

Home manicure

I call these my Pepsi Cola nails. Credit: @Jane_czko

Personally, I prefer an at home spa day to one at the salon so I treat myself to clay facemasks, Moroccanoil treatments for my hair, moisturizing every inch of my skin, and attempting really detailed manicures, all from the comfort of my own bathroom so I can binge watch episodes of 30 Rock on my laptop while I beautify myself.

4. Get A Haircut

Haircut

I always try to make my good hair days from my blowouts last as long as possible by dousing my locks with anti-humidity hairspray in the morning. Credit: @Jane_czko

There really isn’t a bigger ego-boost than a good, new haircut. It basically is a tailor-made excuse to take car selfies. Plus, for some reason I can never blow out my hair as well as my hairdresser can. Not only do you get to feel incredibly confident, but it’s nice to be pampered.

5. Take Some Time Away From Media

Unplug

I LOVE my laptop, but that doesn’t mean that I need to be on it 24/7. Credit: @Jane_czko

And by media, I mean both social media and the actual media. As much as I love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and the Internet in general, I never regret turning off my phone for a few hours so I can just enjoy interacting with the physical people who are around me. There’s really never anything so important that you need to check Facebook while you’re out to dinner with a friend, nor will anyone care if you’re a little late responding to a text message. Unplug, relax, and unwind.

6. Go To Lunch or Dinner With Your Besties And Refuse To Count Calories

Break your diet

Like these scallops with cheese grits and pesto aioli. Credit: @Jane_czko

There’s nothing more freeing or satisfying than going out with your friends and having a good time with no strings attached. Your diet will still be there tomorrow. Try something new and delicious, and don’t let anything stop you from enjoying time with people you love.

7. Send Someone You Love A Card

Send a card

This card made me laugh out loud. Credit: @Jane_czko

Everyone loves getting mail. So pay it forward and drop a card in the mail for a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Worst case scenario – you’ll be out $0.46.

8. Read Some Body-Positive Prose

Body positive

Darling Magazine is always a great option. Credit: @Jane_czko

Again, as I have said before, reading magazines that are put together without photoshop and seek to empower women can be such a wonderful outlet. Surround yourself with love and positivity.

What do you do when you’re feeling down? How do make yourself feel beautiful and valued? Let me know in the comments.

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