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!!!
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!!!
We’ve all got at least one, right, ladies? Haters. In life, there will always be those people who just can’t handle your success, your desirability and your confidence; and there’s only one thing we can really say to them:
YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS
And that’s what it all boils down to – jealousy. They want what you’ve got and hate you for having it. But here’s a little reminder; and I am quoting myself on this one… Be kind to your haters, ladies!!! They’re just feeling threatened, and I can only imagine why! A sexy, confident woman can be a very scary thing to a person who is feeling inferior. The best thing you can do is to help them learn to love themselves. Their fear only exists because they think they aren’t as beautiful, as important, or worthy as you are, of being loved.
So, today, in honor of my haters, (they know who they are, even if I don’t) I am rocking this awesomely honest, graphic tee from Forever 21+, super comfy, black cotton leggings from Addition Elle, and these fab clear boots from boohoo.com that I’ve been unhealthily obsessing over for a while now.
And in parting, I will leave you with these final words of wisdom:
Wearing color has long been a somewhat terrifying experience for me… I usually tend to stick mainly to neutrals and very dark shades, which are lovely, timeless and classic but have a certain safety about them that I am often afraid to venture beyond.
So, with 2014 fast approaching, and ideas of resolutions on the tips of everyone’s tongues, I’ve decided on a new years resolution I know I can keep; I WILL CONFRONT MY FEAR OF COLOR!!!
As a matter of fact, why wait till the new year? Why not get started early? And what better way to jump right in than by wearing the whole rainbow all at once? I’ve always said, go big or go home and this gorgeous multi-colored, curve hugging, head turning, envy inducing, covetable piece of wardrobe magic is absolutely the best physical embodiment of the expression!
I have never received so many compliments in my life! My husband (who is Haitian and speaks Creole and French) described the dress as “mal élevé” which directly translates to “rude” or “ill-mannered”, but In the good way; and I couldn’t agree more! This maverick of a cocktail dress, from Monif C, does what it pleases, shows no mercy and the result is epic!
In this fearless frock, paired with a peep-toe, sling back, black patent leather heel (I RARELY wear heels but this dress deserved them) and some simple gold jewelry, I turned heads all night and showed myself that I should be as fearless of color as this dress is of everything in its glorious, rainbow path!
(A shout out to the hubby for looking spiffy, as usual, too!)
Shoes – Nine West
Photo taken in 2008
From a very young age, I started hating myself in pictures. I couldn’t stand how huge I looked next to everyone else, how their flared, low-rise trousers looked so effortlessly cool and my men’s straight leg jeans just didn’t compare. I felt awkward, ugly and embarrassed and made every effort to destroy any copies of said pictures before my mum would have the chance to say ‘What are you talking about, honey? You look fine!’, which was, as anyone who remembers being young, THE single, most annoying thing your mother could say to you, whether she was right or not.
As a teen throughout the 90’s, the nightmare, that was clothes shopping (this topic deserves an entire post all to itself), became a little easier when I was finally mature enough to accept that I could no longer fit into an XL pair of black, stretch pants from a “regular” store and I discovered that there were a handful of boutiques carrying plus size clothing, albeit, geared to a much more mature market than me. But it was a start, and it was definitely better than muffin tops over too tight pants, or only being able to fit into men’s Levi’s, which didn’t have a cute term, like they do today with the “boyfriend jean”. So, while shopping became less frustrating, I still hadn’t found my groove and when I look through old photographs from high school (the ones which somehow managed to escape my clutches back in the day), I would describe my style as a mish-mash of poorly fitting jeans, tear-away track pants, too tight & too short baby T’s, matronly silhouettes of navy blue, brown lipstick and of course, chunky heels with stripper-esque platforms. It was an awkward look, to say the least.
As the years passed, the plus size market evolved. By the year 2000, It became less and less unheard of for a fat girl to sport a trendy look, and less difficult to find the components to put one together. Things were looking up! I was probably at my heaviest weight at that point, having just given birth to my first son, but remember going shopping and finding more clothes I loved, than I could afford to buy! This was a first! I remember thinking ‘this must be what skinny people feel like when they go shopping!’. This time, at least, it wasn’t that I couldn’t have it because it wasn’t made for me. For once, I was faced with the same dilemma that normal girls my age faced – Too much choice! I still looked awful in pictures, though. Most of them being taken by my 5’1″ mother who was just short enough to take pictures from the perfect vantage point to really capture all the aspects of my double chin. I remember thinking ‘do I really look like this?’… Little did I know how drastically the way viewed myself would change.
By 2003, I had really started taking an interest in fashion and between then and 2006 I had yo-yoed in size and had lost a dramatic amount of weight in a very unhealthy manner, and gained it all back within that 3 year span. I had a second child and another on the way, and I struggled quite a bit at that point with self confidence. Some days I felt great, sexy even. Most days I just felt like I could never be as beautiful or desirable as a thin girl. But I still always made the effort. I always left the house looking good, even if I didn’t believe it at the time. I would soon buy myself a digital camera. How amazing was it, getting your first digital camera, right?!?! I had used one before, but I had never had my own. Once I got it open and figured out what I was doing, I took a picture. A selfie, which I don’t think was even a term anyone really used much back then. It was just of my face. Nothing major. It was summertime and I was on my way out to get groceries with my kids. Anyway, I remember looking at it, and realizing ‘HEY! I look good!’. I really couldn’t believe that I, ME, the girl who always thought she looked terrible in photographs, the girl who most days, felt too fat to be loved actually looked like a pretty, sophisticated and stylish young woman in a picture, nonetheless! Well… Needles to say, I went on a selfie rampage! Never before was it so easy to weed out the unattractive shots and fine tune the angles at which I took my pictures so that my beauty could actually be appreciated in a picture. I started to believe that maybe, just maybe, I was attractive! YES! Through taking selfies and seeing concrete evidence that was indeed a pretty, even sexy young lady, I began to truly embrace the way I looked!
I never stopped taking selfies. I am sure some view me as conceited or self-absorbed, but that is so far from the reality of why I take them. I take pictures of myself because they prove to me that I am beautiful. I’m not talking inner beauty here, I have all kinds of that, and that was never in question. I’m talking straight-up physical attractiveness. For some, that comes easily, but for a fat girl, who spent her life not being able to shop in the same places as her friends, who was teased from an early age and who struggled through a series of personal hardships, if they help me to feel good about myself, then I say, why not!?!? My selfies remind me, even on those days where I truly have a hard time seeing it (which are more frequent than I’d like to admit) that I should never feel like I am not worth being desired just because I wear a size 22. They remind me that I have style, that I am beautiful and that, yeah – You know what?!?! I AM HOT!