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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 Jewelry. We 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!
A huge thank you to my bestie, Crystal, for snapping these awesome graffiti shots!
Amadora Jewelry at Amadorajewellery.com
Dress, i.b.b.i. Collection – here
Chain necklace, Ready To Stare – 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