When I’m in the mood to keep things casual, I love a cheeky graphic tee! So, when Addition Elle hooked me up with this What The F* T-shirt, I knew I’d make good use of it!
The “F” in What The F* of course, stands for Fashion (yes, fashion, you potty mouthed fiends… just kidding I love you), but the ability to interpret that F* in any way you want is basically the whole point!
Paired with my fave distressed jeans, a thick gold chain and my Fenty Puma slides, this What The Fashion tee says it all.
Although I would love to see more size diversity in Addition Elle campaigns, I do love their concept of Fashion Democracy, and I agree with them, and this tee on the fact that fashion is something that is totally up for interpretation!
T-shirt, Addition Elle – here
Jeans, Penningtons – similar
Shoes, Foot Locker – here
When I look back upon my younger days, my angsty, early teenage years play in my head like old yearbook slideshow on a school projector screen. Images of dark lipstick, sticky eye makeup, and blonde hair with dark roots flip to a grungy 90s soundtrack of alternative rock, and I can’t help but feel nostalgic.
I’m not gonna lie, I don’t think I could pull off most of my nineties looks anymore even if I wanted to… Let’s just say, my days of greasy hair and beaten up skater shoes are behind me, but I have been finding myself drawing a lot of inspiration from the grunge trend that is in full force this fall!
Dark roots for example… Um, yeah— got that covered. Peeling nail polish, check! If there’s one thing about 90s style that I love, it’s how low maintenance you can be and still get away with looking trendy! Also, eyegloss is now a thing. That’s right! I no longer need to fight with my mom or get turned down by a boy (story of my 90s life) to get that trademark just-broken-up-with, been-crying-all-day look! If only I had known that I had to do was slap some gloss on my eyes, and finish up with a deep burgundy lip to look perfectly, gorgeously, existential.
I wore a lot of men’s clothes back then (mostly because I couldn’t fit into a lot of the women’s stuff that I liked), so my grandfather’s old Burberry trench and scarf (which incidentally, have lived through the 90s just like me) are a definite homage to that. Besides, they look freaking gorge over this stunning cutout dress from SmartGlamour!
Its silhouette is reminiscent of the 90s slip dresses that I never wore because they showed too much belly, and the cutouts are a shoutout to the bare midriff that never had the courage to show off when every girl and her BFF were rocking crop tops!
As much as a pair of Doc Martens would have worked with this outfit, I didn’t wanna go full grunge, so I slipped on a pretty pair of lace up flats to complete my 90s inspired look!
It makes me feel super old, but I love that the iconic style I grew up with is cool again. I also love how it’s been stripped down to its dirty, dingy core, and has come back minus the butterfly clips (not gonna pretend I’m not relieved). So give me all the 90s Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morrissette and Courtney Love vibes, because I think it’s about time that teenage me got a style do over!!!
Dress, SmartGlamour – here (use discount code CynthiaSG for 10% off any SmartGlamour purchase, plus free shipping)
Trench, scarf – vintage Burberry
Shoes, Aldo – similar
No, I’m not a creep, I swear… It’s just that my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Tess Holliday, her amazing husband Nick (who is so supportive and delightful, by the way), and their adorbale newest wee one, Bowie, last month when they were in Montreal, and I’m still in awe of her just a little bit (okay, a lot).
Tess was in town, of course, working on her clothing line, MBLM by Tess Holliday, at the Penningtons head office which in conveniently located in my city. She had just flown out of Montreal to NYC and back again in the same day in true boss babe fashion when we grabbed our late supper, which to be honest, was hella impressive because I don’t think I would have still been standing after a crazy day like that, let alone giving blogger fan girls like me the time of day! Alas, She was incredibly gracious and we ate, and chatted about our kids, our families, and of course her clothing line!
As it turns out, this busy beauty has been working really, REALLY hard on this, and honestly, it shows! Looking at the whole line, you can really see her in it… And I don’t just mean you can see her wearing all of it (which you totally can), but if you’ve been following Tess Holliday for any amount of time, you can see how she brought all of herself into this line truly making it her own. Tess never shies away from bold fashion choices and turning up the sex appeal, and thanks to her, now Penningtons customers, and plus size women, especially in Canada (although her line is available in the US as well), who are looking for affordable pieces that that are youthful, fashion forward, and sexy, can enjoy some long needed edgier options!
One of my favourite pieces (although it’s pretty hard to choose) was this little black dress— simple at first glance, but it’s all in the details! The 3/4 sleeves, tone on tone coated trim, and studs are super cute, and my favourite part is the the sexy thigh high slit! I love showing a little leg and this dress definitely does just that.
Patent leather oxfords, a gold choker, some dangly chain earring, and a totally chic “doggy bag” (so I can tote my pretty little chihuahua girl around in style with me like the shamefully obnoxious small dog owner that I’ve become), have just the right amount of glam and attitude to compliment the dress perfectly.
It’s the breath of fresh air we so very much needed on the Canadian market where the choices for young plus size women, especially when it comes to options that are available in brick and mortar establishments, remain somewhat limited.
Shop Tess’ entire line here!
Dress, Penningtons – here
Shoes, Aldo (from ASOS) – here
Choker, Forever 21 – here
Dog Carrier (“doggy bag”), Mondou – here
Is it really almost August!? In just over a month, will I really be back to fighting with my kids to wake up in the morning, packing school lunches, and arguing over homework!? Ugh. Where has the time gone? Am I the only parent that dreads the start of the school year every fall? I’m sorry, (not sorry) but those “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” Staples (or, Bureau en Gros, here is Quebec) commercials are all lies, and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise.
We still have another month to go though, so rather than get ahead of myself, which is hard to do with my daughter already breathing down my neck about locker accessories (She’s probably the only kid I’ve ever known who was actually excited about back to school, and did you know they sell locker chandeliers and carpets? Me neither.), I’m trying to make the most of what’s left before the leaves start to fall off the trees, spiralling downward, alongside my sanity.
It’s all about bright colours and all things summery for me these days (except when I just feel like wearing back, because black) and this dress from IBBI is basically my whole life right now.
I wore the magenta version of it recently on the blog, and you can imagine my surprise when its turquoise blue sister showed up on my doorstep! It’s not everyday your blogger mail is so absolutely perfect, and unexpected, to boot!
Now, I joke (mostly) about dreading the the end of summer, but if there’s one thing that can remind me that it’s not over yet, it’s vibrantly coloured leopard print! It’s bold, flashy, and everything summer clothes should look like! The irony is, that because of its incredibly versatile fabric, oddly enough it will actually be the ideal fall dress too!
It kind of makes it hard to resent a whole season when you realize that one of your favourite dresses will be perfect for it. So what if happy summer mommy transforms into her alter ego, stressed irritable mommy? At least she’ll look fab, right!?
I kid, I kid… But for real though, it’s always awesome when great clothes have the undisputed potential to transition effortlessly into another season, especially summer to fall. Let’s face it, for many of us, that’s already a frustrating enough passage, so not needing to rethink our wardrobes is a definite bonus!
This gorgeous leopard print dress from IBBI, paired with cute, lace-up wedges from Penningtons, and flamboyant yellow earrings is everything I need to keep me in the present. Its ability to be the perfect fall dress too, however, is a friendly reminder that it’s okay for me to plan for the future without getting ahead of myself.
Sometimes we just need to live in the here and now, and while it’s still summer, I will do my best to savour it instead of (as my mother would say) wishing my life away (which I have a tendency of doing each year around this time).
I have no choice but to think ahead. I’ve got my oldest son commencing his final year of high school (holy crap) and my youngest son starting his first day of kindergarten (um, also holy crap), not to mention my two middles (that’s what I like to call them) going into grades 5 and 8. Life now requires more planning than ever, but those little things that keep us focused on the present moment are key.
The important thing to take away from all of this is that we all need to recognize the little reminders that the universe sends out to us. They come in many forms, in my case, in the form of a surprise package on my doorstep. Don’t find yourself worrying so much about what’s to come (back to school, yuck), that you don’t let yourself enjoy what already is (summer, yay). We all need our own leopard print dresses every now and again… Mine just happened to be a literal one this time. See blog post about pink version of this dress here.
Dress, IBBI Collection – here
Shoes, Penningtons – similar
Earrings, eBay – old
(A special shoutout to my bestie, Crystal for the awesome shots!!! 🙂
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…
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
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).
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!
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
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 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.
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.
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.
Clutch, Aldo – similar
Shoes, Shoes Of Prey – design your own here