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
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
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