Polyvore: Who on earth, and what does it do?

Today’s post is brought to you by my endless obsession for clothing. A word of warning before you too get lost into the swirling vortex of endless possibilities, this site is an amazing tool and a mean trick.

Bad news out of the way first, you literally have the internets fashion offerings at your fingertips to create fashion looks, plan out your wardrobe, and just generally cause mayhem on your theoretical budget for both fashion and housewares.  I will say that because it has an endless array of product offerings you can actually narrow your searches for plus size garments if you want. You may lose hours to this amazing site, but that’s okay, it does magical things!

Below is an example of a set I created for myself all centered around this gorgeous Modcloth dress that I now own! Thank the heavens for holiday presents! This said, I ended up building a look almost identical to this one in the real world through my love of knitting and second hand shops, it all started with the dress.

It all started with a dress!

It all started with a dress!

THE GOOD NEWS:

  1. You can search for garments, cosmetics,accessories and housewares based on color, price, size ranges and styles.
  2. You can paste them onto a board and edit the photos so that you can overlap them like a real world fashion magazine editor.
  3. You can add music, backgrounds, text and a general ambiance to your own personal tastes.
  4. After you have created your wonderful creation, it will show you your Set and an individualized list of each piece you used complete with the prices of those individual pieces.
  5. When you click on those pieces it will take you to the website where the piece is being sold and you can purchase it all in a one stop shop.
  6. If you are really creative and love to make collages it is infinitely less messy and it’s super easy to share as it has the ability to repost to twitter and Facebook.
  7. If you lack ideas, but get inspired by other people, you can peruse collections and sets from your favorite businesses and other individuals just like yourself.
  8. If you find pieces you like but aren’t ready to use them in your current collage, you can favorite it and it goes into your own personal stash which you can use later.
  9. Their items are changing as fast as fashion comes available which is daily!
  10. They rarely have pieces with models, so you don’t get down on yourself for not looking like an airbrushed fictional person.
  11. You can follow all of my crazy concoctions on this website, here is a link to my polyvore Evelynlouise!
  12. IT’S COMPLETELY FREE TO USE!

So give it a whorl! Polyvore. If it’s not your thing, then no big whoop! If you love fashion you can keep up to date on current trends and what your favorite shops are doing!

Picking Out the Perfect Sundress

The warm weather is on the horizon and any of you who endured the polar vortex  probably reached a point where you truly believed you should sell all of your warm weather clothes to individuals in even  slightly tepid climates. However, one of my favorite parts of the warm weather season is SUNDRESS SEASON! IT’S COMING!  Now for those of us with plumper frames sundresses can be as much of a blessing as a hinderance!

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Now, as you’ve probably come to realize I am about encouragement and less about judgement. I want you to find a summer time dress that makes you feel AND look good. So here are my top 5 tips for finding the right dress for a plus sized frame.

1. Don’t be afraid of your legs or your arms. If you are uncomfortable bearing your arms as many of the plus sized women I know are, I think it’s important to know you are almost never as big as you think you are. But this said there are hundreds of clothing stores such as Mod Cloth, Torrid, Old Navy, and even Target that have made a killing selling cropped cardigan sweaters that are usually 2/3 to 3/4 length sleeves that button right below the bust. These and bolero sweaters are usually made out of lightweight knit fabrics that breathe and feel fantastic. They also class up an outfit and they usually come in an array of colors.

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What about those thighs? One of the biggest hot button issues for woman in general is a hatred for their legs. I too fall in this category, maybe you have knobby knees or thighs that make your lower legs look dwarfed. Whatever your body shape, don’t think that covering up with a maxi length sundress is always the answer. Maxi length sundresses are certainly an option, but I find they are warmer than shorter dresses. Without going to the other end of completely scandalous mini skirts, find a dress or get one of your sun dresses hemmed to right at the knee. It lengthens the appearance of your legs in proportion with the rest of your body.  Asymmetrical skirts such as the “mullet” skirt are very popular right now. Try it on! You never know what looks good! In my experience the best mullet skirts on lucious curves are dresses like the one pictured below where the front comes right to the knee and the back is the length of a maxi dress. Or a Mullet skirt that is very slight. This also helps with the problem of skirts that tend to “ride up” because of curvier backsides. This is now a non-issue.

For hemming go to your local dry cleaner that also does alterations most hems are only $10-$20 to have altered.

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2. Sundress should not be synonymous with scandalous! Just because you can show some skin doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave something up to the imagination! I have had many busty freinds ask me “how can I look less like a stripper in a normal piece of clothing?” For those of you who have a large bust like myself avoid overlapping fronts as seen here. However, those of you who may feel you are small chested compared to your fellow curvy friends, these tops can enhance what you have and don’t look as revealing on your figure. In this same vein if you have a large bust and aren’t going for an impressive and eye pulling décolletage avoid v neck sundresses. Find something with a rounded neckline. You will find that a round or boat neckline in a sundress with pull more attention up to your shoulders and face. If you’re going for an everyday look avoid dresses that are more than 3″ above the knee as this is an appropriate length in professional dress codes as well. Wearing flattering clothing is about flaunting what you have, but not bearing all.

crossing front tops on larger busts can give the illusion of spilling out everywhere! but if you have a smaller bust it can be just the right amount of lift!

crossing front tops on larger busts can give the illusion of spilling out everywhere! but if you have a smaller bust it can be just the right amount of lift!

3. Please wear the proper support. Just because it’s that time of year where the skin is showing doesn’t mean you can neglect the proper support. Now I’m not saying pull out the spanxs, common it’s warm for crying out loud! You want to feel light and airy not like a hotdog at the gas station. If you wear a strapless dress find a strapless t-shirt bra, or t-shirt underwire bras make causal wear look so much better. Lane Bryant sells a very nice t-shirt underwire that is comfortable, it has the option to reposition the straps, and the ability to be switched into a crisscross or racer back bra! Plus it’s cotton! this means your girls can breathe too! Now for my more petite busted friends, just because you don’t have a lot for gravity to weigh you down doesn’t mean you should neglect your bust either. A nice cotton bandeau, or dresses with built in sports bras keep your chest feeling as cheerful as the newly sprung flowers!

click picture for link to this bra.

click picture for link to this bra.

4. Don’t be afraid of a print, but find a print that corresponds to your proportions.

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Prints are a perfectly acceptable and beautiful thing  in a sundress, however, I will say it time and time again. When you get past a certain size smaller prints are just an obstruction to your natural beauty. Take the dress on the left, if you were to make this in say a size 22, it now goes from being a cute yellow flowered sundress to looking like a gazebo couch cover. It’s nothing personal its an issue of ratio. Now take the pattern on the right, the flowers are larger, one cluster is roughly the size of a hand spread out, put on a larger figure it keeps you looking like a normal sized person and not a piece of upholstery. Everyone has different opinions and preferences on patterns. Find a pattern you both love and like on your body!

5. Find something that is comfortable and makes you feel beautiful! You can have all of the great advice in the world about what looks good on your shape, size and figure, but if you don’t love what your wearing and you feel uncomfortable it is going to show. Sundresses to me are about confidence and the feeling of the sun on your skin.

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This spring! Get excited about the warm weather and don’t shroud yourself in at tent, you are a unique and beautiful person, find a sundress that says something about you, no matter your shape or size!

Whoa 90’s go home you’re drunk!

Dearest Plus Size Ladies and Well Ladies in General,
This up and coming season of garments is terrifying! They are bringing back khaki’s in skinny jeans… I wish I was kidding.

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A word of caution. I’m not saying curves can’t look good in lighter colors, obviously this picture above is a fuller hipped lady, but on a whole lighter colors can make you look WIDER!!!! In addition from my memories of Khaki’s from the 90’s, they hide absolutely nothing. So this is my plea to all of you, don’t not wear them because someone told you not to, but when you inevitably stand in a dressing room trying on this disturbing cocktail of 90’s prep meets punk rock, be VERY honest with yourself! Don’t be upset if they don’t look good on you, find a more relaxed fit khaki or a boot cut khaki so you can stay on trend, but find something that makes your body look good, don’t get it because it’s in style and in your size. It’s a trap!
Your’s truly,
Evelynlouise

Naked Ladies and Handbags: The Minute I knew I was in it to win it

I have always been anywhere between a size 16 and 26 since I was in grade school. I look back at photos of myself at age 12 wearing size 16 ladies jeans trying to keep up with the late 90’s trends of peasant blouses and bell sleeves and think, why didn’t I feel more beautiful? I was a gorgeous and curvaceous red head with big blue eyes and a great personality. But the great beast of middle school can bring anyone down.

In October of 2002 I was sitting in my aunt’s salon while my mom got her hair done and picked up my very first issue of Vogue from the piles of gossip magazines laid out on trays in between dryer stations. Alexander McQueen was featured in this particular issue and this dress changed my creative life. McQueen-Fall_Winter-2002-4-200x300

Now at the time this dress was on a model with spiky black finger nails and it was photographed in motion, it was amazing! It combined my 15 year old love of gothic flowing fabrics and creepy creative details but his entire collection was just so full of imagination. I knew at 15 whether or not I became a fashion designer, an artist or a dentist I was going to love fashion forever. But my true love with fashion didn’t start until early 2003 with Dooney and Burke’s line of naked ladies  with handbags ads.

_Dooney_and_Bourke_The weird hair, the crazy braids, the awesome makeup, not to mention the amazing backpack purse made popular by movies such as Clueless and Ten Things I Hate About You. Fashion was a theatrical way of expressing yourself and did I ever express myself. I had a closet a clamor with neon shoes, lace and crushed velvet tops, corseted dresses, flowing sweaters, all in black of course, that told me I too could be part of this amazing theater production called life. Now when I look back at these photos it’s a tad embarrassing … As well, though I thought I looked awesome I could have dressed myself a tad more flattering, but my mother was more than encouraging of expressing myself, though I’m sure there were times she was embarrassed for me.

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Fashion has many facets, it’s important to wear things you love and are comfortable in. Some people will judge you for making poor fashion choices *coughs* but being experimental doesn’t kill you. Try new things you never thought would look good on your body! Find something in fashion that makes you feel good about yourself, obviously whether or not you are into following the latest trends or you are more practical in your approach to dressing yourself you still have to shop at the same stores as the rest of us, even if that is a thrift store. Find something that speaks volumes about you! I fell in love with naked ladies in handbags, and after this ad I spent 3 years making the most amazing custom purses. But why naked ladies in handbags you might ask? Because no one looks fat because of a handbag, just saying.

The real reason why nothing fits right

Every woman who is tall, short, has a big behind, no behind, or owns a body knows shopping for clothing can be a nightmare. For women with difficult shapes to dress or with plus size bodies it can be even more disheartening. You would think a consumer driven industry would at some point in time start providing the clothing that is so desperately in demand, but it just never seems to happen.

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Some Facts About Ready To Wear Clothing and Why You Shouldn’t Take It Personally:

  • Most of the standardized sized garments you see in stores are based off of a set of calibrated measurements that was created some time in the 1940’s. Women at this time were roughly 4-6″ shorter than the average woman today and also on average 40 pounds lighter.  Some businesses have taken to remedying this problem by using fit models to cater to a demographic.
  • Fit models are a person of one shape who are used to fit all or most of the garments for a company. If you’ve ever wondered why a button down shirt can fit in 50 different ways from 7 different stores here is why. Depending on the brand, it was most likely fit based off of one body.
  • Standardized sizing only sort of exists in the fashion world behind the scenes but even then it varies. We use something called Sample sizing. Most garments are based off of a sample size 8, which in most stores can range anywhere from a size 2-6 depending on the brand. Why such a disparity in sizing? it’s a phenomenon called “Psycho Sizing” or “Vanity Sizing.” Your favorite companies convince you you are a size 12 when in reality you are a size 14. To make you feel better? Maybe a little, but truly it’s because they know if you think you wear a size 12 instead of a 14 you will buy your entire wardrobe from their store.
  • In addition to this annoying inconsistancy many companies in order to save time and money will size up from this sample size 8 only checking for issues in construction instead of fit. So what does this mean? It means they are making a garment that fits this body size ( seen below) and proportion and only making it wider and sometimes taller. If you don’t share the shape or proportions of this model is it a wonder it doesn’t fit you? Some companies don’t do this, and base their sizing off of a variety of sizes and shapes a good example of this is Lane Bryant who offers jeans for women with variations in these proportions based on hip to waist measurements and also offers them in 3 different lengths.

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  • Ever wondered why your boobs just don’t look right in any blouse? This is because the majority of garments that are constructed are based on the “average” bust size, a B cup. So if you have a larger bust you end up having to size up to a garment that looks like you’re swimming in it  or if you have the opposite problem it deflates your chest and your self-esteem all in one poorly constructed blouse.
  • There are 6-10 recognized body shapes and yet most designs are made for pear or ruler shapes. This means if your hips are not larger than your upper torso  or if you do not have narrow shoulders and hips that are roughly the same width as your waist you are not the target demographic being designed for.

So as you drag mountains of clothing into the dressing room and begin to question your self worth remember you’re basing your opinion of your body on a system that is pretty flawed. The easiest way for ready to wear garment makers to make the most money is to cater to the majority of body types and the average sizes. So take a deep breath and remember there’s nothing wrong with your body, you just haven’t found the right garment. This or you need to remember there are people in this world called tailors and dress makers who can take basic fitting garments and alter them to fit you like a glove.