Every now and again, a new trend hits the scene that manages to combine style and comfort in the best possible way. The latest of these trends to really tickle my fancy: athleisure.
It’s a little sporty, a little fancy, and a lot perfect. The combination of athletic pieces like baggy sweats & sneakers, with more luxurious fabrics, all topped off with some bling just speaks to my soul in a way that very few styles do.
These joggers from ASOS are probably among the most interesting pieces in my wardrobe right now. I mean, faux sweatshirt arms are both the strangest and best thing I’ve seen in a long time. Like, really though… they’re super weird, but I’m kind of obsessed.
Also, they are the perfect thing for rocking with a dressy, structured crop top as an unapologetic homage to the very apologetic 90s hoodie-around-the-waist style from my teens that I wore very strategically to hide my exposed belly from a society that didn’t approve of it, and that I hadn’t yet learned to just tell to fuck off.
The sweats, this gorgeous crop top, and soft jersey longline vest are the ultimate pieces for a little fall warmth and layered style.
Paired with my beloved gold chain necklace from Ready To Stare, hoop earrings, and these sexy nude sneakers from Aldo, this look is the definition of what athleisure is all about, with the added bonus of challenging societal beauty standards as well.
Athleisure may not be for everyone, but it is definitely one of my fave fall trends! It combines all of the things my fashion loving soul likes best, with the comfort of athletic wear. These days, there are very few things I value more when it comes to how I dress, than comfort that requires no sacrifice, or limitations on style, and athleisure is definitely the business!
Sweatpants, ASOS – here
Vest, Addition Elle – similar
Crop Top, ASOS – here
Necklace, Ready To Stare – here
Sneakers, Aldo – here
I love a dress with long sleeves. There aren’t as many out there as I would like, especially when it comes to dressier dresses, but when it comes to fall in Montreal, a pretty long sleeve dress is a must have!
I’m long past my days of wearing long sleeves for the sole purpose of hiding what I thought were my hideous upper arms. It’s just that it’s nice to be able to keep my arms out of the brisk fall breeze without having to cover up, which is in the case of this adorable dress from SexyPlus, an absolutely gorgeous neckline!
The fall transition period can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to dressing up. More often than not, it comes down to a a choice between style and comfort, but this dress is the best of both worlds!
Super chic, with its classic polka dot print, and sleeves long enough to extend no-coat-check season for at least a few more weeks— what’s not to love!? And can we talk about how it hugs my curves!!! Yassssss!!!
Dress, SexyPlus Clothing – here
Shoes, ASOS – here
Clutch, Aldo – similar
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
I love my body. I didn’t always, but this pasty white, jiggly mass of flesh and bones that is the vessel of my consciousness, we’re cool now.
It’s a good thing too, because this bod and I, are kind of stuck with each other. We may as well get along… After all, life is a lot easier when you’re in a mutually beneficial relationship, especially when it’s the one you share with yourself!
I used to avoid taking my body out to certain places. I didn’t want to be seen in public with it. I was ashamed. This hurt my body very much. It also hurt me. I began to resent it. I wished it looked better. I wished I had a different one.
I didn’t like eating in out because I would worry that my body might not fit into the booths. I worried that people would stare at us as we ate. I rarely went to places like the pool, or the beach. I couldn’t bear the thought of people seeing my body in a bathing suit.
I wanted to love it. I wanted to be able to look at my body and like what I saw, the same way everyone on TV and in magazines seemed to be able to. I just didn’t hadn’t yet realized that the answer wasn’t that I needed to change my body, but rather, I needed to change the way I saw it.
I started looking for beauty in the parts of my body I had convinced myself weren’t beautiful. I began looking, and I mean, really looking at it in the mirror and in photographs, and changing the language I used to describe it. I started feeding it the foods it liked without worrying about their calorie count. I stopped treating my body like it deserved to be constantly punished for looking different than the way the movie stars and magazines told me it should.
You see, I spent most of it telling myself how good I would look if only I had a better body, how I wished I could have somebody else’s— how much I hated it. The disassociation I made between my body and self became my reality. I separated myself from it as an act of self-preservation, and it took me all these years to get up the courage to apologize to my body for how badly I had treated it, and promise to it, that I would never let myself do that again.
So to you, I may just look like a fat girl on the beach, strutting around showing off my swim body in a floral bikini, and on the surface, you’d be right… But if you dig a little deeper, what you’ll really see, is the foundation of a newly rekindled relationship between a once very broken girl, and her body, that never was.
A big thank you to this bikini babe for these awesome shots!!! (Except for this one, which I can thank my mum for!)
Bikini, GabiFresh for Swimsuits For All – here
Sandals, ASOS – similar
Cover up, Zellers – old AF (Zellers doesn’t event exists anymore, haha)
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
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