Friday, May 31, 2013

Black, embellished trapeze dress

No time, no time. No time to take fancy pictures.
Thanks to Liz, my co-blogger, for keeping the homefires burning!

So instead, I now take shots in the bathroom at the office. But hey, you get the idea right? And who doesn't think that cardboardboxes make the BEST decor...

Today's OOTD!

I love this dress. Its a smidge short for my comfort level (that's the shortest I will go with a skirt; I am almost 40 *sob*), and when I wear it, I am always checking to make sure that my goods are covered (because I can't "feel" the dress on, so I feel nekkid), but I absolutely adore the detail on the top, so, I dream about wearing it all through the cold and dreary winter, until it is time to take it out of the back of the closet and let it see the sunlight of summer day again...
Yesterday — crazy hot here in TO. Heat advisory, so this baby made her appearance.
Its kind of a trapeze dress, but I have yet to see anyone but skinnybitches look good in trapeze dresses, so I belt it. Nice and high, under my bust, empire-waist styles...

Check this detailing!

On me: Dress AVON (can' you believe it?? It was gifted) Wedges Old Navy (last year, or even older).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cherry Velvet Plus Shoot Results!

     As you may be aware, I did a shoot for Cherry Velvet Plus a few weeks ago. I blogged about the actual  photo shoot here. The results of the shoot are now up on the Cherry Velvet Plus site and are ready for me to share!

     All photos were done by Shimona Henry of Pinup Perfection. Have a peek and let me know what you think!

     For it being my first major shoot, I am pretty thrilled with the results. However, I do need to find my angles and work on posing just a bit more. That means I need to crack the whip and do more OOTD's!

Here they are!

If you are curious about the dresses, here they are from left to right:

      I admit, I snuck in one of the Diane Kennedy shots. Oh the joys of shooting in flats! I think Diane is Canada's answer to Eileen Fisher! I love her clothes. If you are looking for some good quality leggings, look no further than Diane. They don't become sheer when you wear them! That comes from good design and good fabric. 

      I digress! I hope you liked my shots! I am so thrilled that a company would put an actual plus sized woman in their clothes and on their site. How cool is that? If you like what you see, let them know. If we want to see models in our sizes, spread the word and let other businesses know that is what you want. I am not simply saying this because I would like to do it again, I am saying this because I think it is time to show what the clothes will look like on a truly plus body. It breaks my heart when I hear that plus models start at a size 8. What a strange message that sends. 

     Take Neiman Marcus for example. The above is a cut and paste from their plus size section. I kid you not. The models they use for the plus section are easily sizes 2 to 4. How in the heck am I going to know what that dress, pair of jeans or sweater is going to look like on me? I am curious why they are going about it that way. Is it a cost saving measure of shooting with a roster of models they already have? Are they afraid that plus bodies do not sell merchandise? There is nothing wrong with the bodies of our more slender friends, but we need to have full figures modelling plus sized clothes!

      I hope that things change, and perhaps they are. Models like Tess Munster and Rosie Mercado are seen regularly in ads online. Perhaps I will be in some more, too! 

Have a great day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Maximum Style: Black and White Edition

     As promised, I have rounded up the most delicious black and white maxi dresses I could find. They are so crisp and chic! Regardless of price point, a black and white maxi always looks so put together. You can also wear it with a variety of jewelry to really make it pop. I like to pair b&w with turquoise. I find that it looks absolutely stunning. Same goes for fucsia and yellow. If you have a chunky yellow necklace, now is the time to wear it!

See what I mean! Crazy!
You can find this necklace, here.

On to the fashion!

What a diverse spread of dresses. We have bold and graphic to batik. 
Starting from the left moving right:

What I like about the Addition-Elle dress, it has detailing just under the bust, where many of us are most narrow, creating a nice high waist. 

You might be wondering why in the name of all that is holy did I add a dress from the Gap? I wear a solid 2X, often a 3X. I can fit into their XXL. I thought I would give them a kick at the can. The XXL is available exclusively online. This weekend, they have a 15% off sale!

The Monif C dress has a back zip, which gives a dang good fit. I personally LOVE this dress. However, I am the messiest eater. Sauce goes everywhere. Oil gets splattered. I would ruin this dress fast. Because of the high neck detail, I would avoid a necklace. However, a cuff would look amazing, as is pictured. 

What I like about the ING dress is that it gives a bit of white, but not in the lap zone. I would feel safe eating whilst wearing this dress. Thumbs up!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

MAXImum style!

My official Summer uniform starts and ends with maxi dresses. I love everything about them. They are so easy to wear, they skim my curves and I don't have to shave my legs. I have assembled some choices pieces from all over the web for all sorts of price points! I have also included garments that are exclusively machine washable. As much as I love Rachel Pally, she won't get my business until she makes a dress that I can toss in the washer.

On to the Fashion!

First off is the Under 50.00$ Finds! 
(Starting from the left heading right)

With the Sophie Maxi, you want to size down. It also comes in a dusty rose pink. 

Tomorrow's Installment is Black and White Maxi's! Stay Tuned!

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Me!

     I will keep this post on the shorter side, but I wanted to show you the results of my last photo shoot! I was so fortunate to shoot with Shimona Henry for Diane Kennedy's line. The clothes are made and designed in Canada of comfortable and long lasting fabrics like organic bamboo, modal and cotton. If you have ever had anything bamboo, you will know that it lasts and lasts and holds colour like nobody's business. 

     If you ever have the chance to do any modeling, go for it. It is fun, often times you have your hair and makeup done and you get to pose in all sorts of configurations that end up looking so flattering. My only suggestion would be to practice some yoga a few days before the shoot. Goodness knows you will   need the strength and balance to hold poses. However, it is such a hoot. I would jump at the chance to do it again. 

     If you are curious about the lipstick colour, it is schiap by Nars. I love the hair, too. I see some back combing in my future! It was done by East Vanity Parlour

Here is the run down of the garments that I was wearing

In each of the garments, I am wearing a 2X. I am a 22W.  

Each of you have a lovely weekend!

White and Denim

One of the combinations that really say "warm summer months" is denim and white. This outfit of white jersey (I think) shirt and my ever-present skinnies was one of the first things I was eyeballing in my closet when the warm weather finally starting kicking in.
I personally have this ingrained fear of tucking anything in. But at the same time, its not every shirt that you can leave untucked without looking slobby. Shirts like this with the banded bottom address both these concerns... which is why I have a lot of them.
And, its the perfect neutral backdrop for the killer statement necklace!
White and denim... hello Summer!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Cherry Velvet Plus Shoot!

     "Tits out, tummy in, buns out!" This is what I learned from Shimona Henry, photographer extraordinaire on the set of a Cherry Velvet Plus photo shoot.  Being a plus sized woman herself, she knows the tilts and angles that lengthen necks, smooth chins and emphasize curves.

     But, I am getting ahead of myself. I was on set because I was asked to model by the talented designer, Diane Kennedy, after liking what she saw on the blog. I was excited and flattered, naturally. 

     I have read that many fashion models don't eat on the days leading up to a shoot. I didn't follow suit, as just an hour before I was in the studio, I was in a diner dribbling egg yolk and hollandaise sauce on my shirt from the benedict I was enjoying. You know you are working with good, supportive people when they don't tell you to "tone" or "tighten" or "slim down" before the shoot. 

    After lunch, I made my way over to the East Vanity Parlour, a bustling salon on Main Street, for some victory rolls and hair curling. What in the heck is a victory roll, you may ask? In essence, victory rolls are a hair rolls that are curled and pinned to the top of one's head. They hail from the Second World War when women wanted a fashionable style that kept hair out of their faces whilst working in munitions factories. With the right tools, hairspray and pins and know-how, victory rolls can be quick and easy. I saw model, Ellie Mayday bang them off in a few minutes. Because I am all thumbs and tend to burn myself when faced with an iron, I had them done for me by Sophie. She has four Cats, so she and I got along well. 


They started by just curling my hair with an iron, and began to back comb. 

And pin! And voila, they were done!

My hair was kept pinned up the back, so that I didn't lose my curls while waiting for my shot in front of the camera. 

I made it to the Pin-up Perfection Studio and was greeted by a rack filled with beautiful clothes!

I got to watch Elly Mayday work the camera! She is such a pro. She made some very awkward poses look effortless and flirty whilst wearing 6 inch heels. 

Here is a shot of Shimona's rack and the back of Logan's head. Logan is working on a video for the Cherry Velvet website. 

It was finally my turn to get in front of the camera!
I got to wear all sorts of pretty dresses with flowers in my hair and shoes that deviated from my usual repertoire of flats with orthotics. Read: heels!

You can find the above dress, here. 

Damnit, I love this dress! And now it is mine!
And it is found here!

In the interest of keeping the shoot moving , I took a few quick selfies. However, I will share the actual pictures once the finished photos are released. 
For working at the shoot, as if that wasn't exciting enough, I was given two Cherry Velvet dresses that are just lovely! I will do an outfit post in the next few weeks. Maybe I will try a victory roll!

My thanks to everyone involved: Diane Kennedy for cherry picking me, to Danielle Keil for keeping me informed, to the East Vanity Parlour for doing my 'do, to Elly Mayday for showing me the ropes and to Shimona Henry for the amazing direction. 

Stay tuned for the results!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cherry Velvet Pop Up Shop This Weekend!

     Very few times are fun, plus sized fashion events happen in Vancouver. It is usually Toronto or Montreal for Canada and L.A. and New York for our friends down South.

     However, this Friday and Saturday, we have an event! 

     Cherry Velvet Plus is opening up its' doors and letting everyone in to come in and shop. There will be amazing dresses that fit a generous size range; from XS-3X in all sorts of pretty fabrics. Heck, some of the fabrics are from JAPAN. How cool is that?

     If you are worried about the fit, let me put that to rest. The designer is Diane Kennedy, herself a full figured woman who shares many of the same concerns that we have. The biggest one I have is bra straps. I love a cute little summer dress, but who can be bothered to wear a strapless bra all the damned time? Diane designs around the bra, and makes all bands and details generous enough to hide those sneaky straps. Amen for that alone. 

     I am a 20/22W and I fit the 2X with no difficulty. The 3X is a full 3X and will fit a 24W/26W with ease. This is refreshing, in that so many lines go up to a 22W and hit the brakes. 

     Another fun thing I like about Cherry Velvet is that their dresses have pockets. POCKETS! This is perfect for Summer nights out, walking along the beach and not having to lug around a purse. The pockets are generous enough to accomodate your basics and they are not bulky. I don't know their secret, it must be science!

     I recently went down to the Cherry Velvet lair and was delighted with what they have in store for the pop up shop. They have dresses with long sleeves, short sleeves, no sleeves, some with collars, others without. Some skirts are quite full, while others prefer to skim. Some dresses are solid colours, others have mini Eiffel towers all over them! Best of all, all of them are designed in Vancouver and made in Canada of amazing quality. 

     The neighbourhood that the studio is located in is very cool. Heritage buildings, cool businesses and a flat out amazing place to eat called the Railtown Cafe. OMG! Slow cooked meats in between bread! 

Here is a sneak peek and what is available at Cherry Velvet!

     In the interest of full disclosure, I stole these images off of Diane Kennedy's Instagram. My phone camera is a tad sneaky. Secondly, I am doing a full blown photo shoot with this line on Monday! I am so thrilled to be working with a business that hires plus sized models that are genuinely plus sized! 

Here is the address!
Cherry Velvet
#301 – 343 Railway Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V6A 1A4

The hours of the Sale are:
Friday, May 10th: 2-7pm
Saturday, May 11th: 11am-5pm. 

Enjoy Mother's Day weekend and we will chat soon!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

James Jeans: Celeb Brand that YOU can wear, too!

     I was clicking through People Magazine's Style section on their website, as I am often do and I came across an amazing pair of jeans on Rihanna. The mag informed me that they were James Jeans. So, I decided to check out their online store and see if my some miracle they had plus sizes. Hold the phone! They did. And not just a token couple of pairs. But....dozens! Skinnies, flairs, bootcut, straight name it. They even had coloured and coated denim. All into a size 26W! Often times, premium denim goes to a 22W, on a good day. Sometimes even a 20W. But, a 26W! That shows a genuine commitment and embracing of women of all shapes and sizes.

     The more I learned of James Jeans, the more I loved the brand. The company was started by a woman named Seun Lim and is names after her husband, James. The cotton used is organic, and the dyes are natural. The denim is also dried and aged outside in the California Sun. No joke or exaggeration. These are truly premium denim!

     This is just a sampling of the arsenal of styles, shapes and colours that James Jeans offer:

From left to right:

1) Neo Beau Z Wimbledon Distressed: $229.00
2) James Twiggy Z Coated Black: $211.00
3) Carrie Z Carolina: $167.00
4) Neo Beau Z Poppy: $172.00
5) James Twiggy Z China Doll: $163.00

Each of these jeans can be found on the James Jeans website, Saks Fifth Avenue site, and on Nordstrom has a lighter blue skinny on for $79.03!

Happy Shopping!

Orange & Blue (dress, denim jacket)

Sorry about the crap pictures, but I am taking these pics all by my lonesome, and I don't have the best camera. But, I think you get the gist, right? And see how good I am being about the "less talky talky" part?
Orange dress, paired with a denim jacket, turquoise earrings and gold beaded sandals

Sans jacket, and with jacket; changes the look completely, eh?

On me: Dress Target (bought last Christmas); Denim jacket Forever 21; Gold sandals Unknown; Earrings Unknown
Orange and Blue

Chiffon dress
71 CAD -

H M h m jacket
47 CAD -

Accessorize summer shoes
69 CAD -

Tarina Tarantino lucite earrings
64 CAD -

Friday, May 3, 2013

Why We Need Cult of California

     This afternoon, I received some disappointing news. The label, Cult of California, has had their financial backers, back out. This came as a shock to the head designer and owner, Jen Wilder and frankly, to all of her fans, myself included. In the wake of the tragedy in Bangladesh, we need labels like Cult more than ever.

     You see, as much as getting a pair of leggings for $9.99 is fun, it hurts fashion. You vote with your dollar.  Each dollar sends a vote to the powers that be letting them know that you not only condone but support business models that use cheap fabric and cheaper labour. Everyone in the chain loses, apart from the corporation. The designer is uninspired, the labourer is exploited and you end up with a product that might last a few washings, but probably not. 

     Wouldn't you rather invest say, $42.00, the price of a pair of leggings at Cult of California, and have them last over 2 years? This way, you are supporting a business model that gives a designer that creates a product *just* for plus size bodies a chance, employs workers in the first world, (the USA in Cult's case) and gives you a product that will last and last. 

     I have personally had enough of fast fashion. It truly kills. 500 people were killed in the factory collapse in Bangladesh . All of them working for well under $50.00 monthly. We need to make clothes all about loving our bodies and celebrating our shapes. Garments made in death trap factories are celebrating nothing but corporate greed and frankly even our own greed. 

     I am not going to support brands that have their garments made in sweat shops any longer. If that means less clothes, so be it. Less will be more.

     I will keep you abreast on the Cult of California situation. I know there has been talk of a kickstarter. I also know that I will be taking a peek at the site and snapping up a few pieces that I have had my eye on. You are worth good fashion. We all are. Shop Cult of California

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Finally defrosting...

It's been uber busy lately, at work, in life, blah blah blah. So, in an effort to still keep posting OOTD, I'm trimming down the content. Maybe I blather too much, anyway. So, here's a post, short and sweet...
On me: denim capris Old Navy; Floral top Winners (Brand: Poet); Wedges Old Navy

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