Hey Everyone

For fear of breaking up consistency of my weekly advice, I had a family emergency this weekend and I let today’s entry completely pass me by. Please forgive me! In the meantime, here’s a pretty sweet documentary on Tom Ford. I used to let my students watch this for extra credit. I know it’s super lame, compared to my usual advice, but it will have to do.

 

Enjoy!

❤ Evelynlouise

Denim Comes Clean, Well… Kinda

It’s not a new fascination of mine to be obsessed with our consumption. We already knew that I was going to go on about this topic this week anyway.

Levi’s, finally released some known data on how denim is helping to destroy our fresh water supply. Why? Because One pair of jeans used 3,781 liters of water in it’s lifetime. Processing fibers, dying the denim, making it, processing it, specialty finishes, and then laundering. Here why don’t I just link you to the article.

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They project that in 10 years 1 in 3 people will have limited access to drinking water. Over what? Clothing? Seriously, not worth it, even with how much I love clothes. But the solutions are being given on how you can help to reduce your water consumption. However, if you’re like me and you live in an apartment sometimes you don’t have the option of changing toilets to lower water efficiency, or being able to replace your shower heads with eco-sprayers that reduce the overall amount of water used during a shower. So for those of us who are city bound here is how you can get yourself on your way to being a bit greener, not to mention keep us all from dehydrating to our deaths.

Here are my top 5 ways to get started on the road to reducing your water consumption:

1. Wear your jeans 10 times before washing. For that matter, stop washing everything so much! I thought this was going to be way worse than it was. You can always use a quick spritz of febreeze to keep jeans smelling good, or a drop of essential oil on your hands rubbed over the fabric. It helps tremendously with body odor. People did not wash laundry as frequently back in the day as we do now. It was not uncommon for clothing to never be laundered in it’s lifetime before the invention of the washing machine, think on that! Generally unmentionables are what you wash, camisole, bras, underpants, socks. The rest has at least 2 wears before it needs to go in the wash. And if you’re woodgy about putting your worn clothes with your fresh clothes. hang things on a drying rack or fold in a separate place to be re-worn.

2. Use one towel a week. Listen, you come out of the shower clean why are you using a new towel everyday? Use a towel hang it up. Good quality cotton towels will stay good for several uses. Let’s not forget jeans are not the only water hog.

3. Stop brushing your dumb teeth with the faucet on!

4. Replace your nozzles with aerator’s .  They are inexpensive, you can buy them at a hardware store, you can replace all the nozzles on your faucets by simply screwing new caps on. It reduces the amount of water coming out of your faucets. Sometimes, if you have an awesome apartment complex they will install them for you, ask them, it saves them money in the long run!

5. Rebell against your Dish Washer. This one is very hard for me. Dishwasher’s save so much time!!! But they use anywhere from 6-15 gallons of water per load of dishes! Holy crap! Washing by hand can use as little as 2-3 gallons of water. Not only that, but when you wash by hand, by filling the sink with hot water, you’ll find a significant difference in your electric bill as well. Even choosing to only run your dishwasher the 2 days over the weekend, versus all 7 days a week has a huge impact. Think about how many millions of galloons of freshwater we could conserve if everyone washed their dishes by hand for 2 weeks out of the year!

 

I hope that we can all work together to continue to aid in conserving this fantastic planet of ours! I would like to see people’s kids not end up living in a Tank Girl Comic.

Take care!

❤ Evelynlouise

Pattern: Fashion Where I live.

I live in Indianapolis. Many people see Indiana as a po-dunk nowhere state where corn is grown and meth labs are housed in Wal-mart Bathrooms. In fact,  it was that exact Wal-mart, where the  bathroom meth lab was found, that I purchased most of my groceries while in college. Which, to say the least, is embarrassing. We aren’t known for a lot of super awesome things to the general public especially in the elite world of clothing. Indiana is mostly known for the Indy 500 and the Colts, neither of which are things I am interested in.

I, like many, had a preconceived notion that Indiana had nothing to offer in the way of fun and innovative ideas, let alone a place where fashion thrived.  However, it only took about a month living in the city to find that there were freelancers and successful small business owners all over the city. This and in the last 5 years a small group of individuals from Carmel decided it was time to change the way we looked at our midwestern city. They decided there needed to be more spaces in which fashion could thrive and a place where those small fashion business owners could network. This laid the groundwork for a group in Indy called Pattern.

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My main reason for highlighting them this week is the fact that they just released their 7th issue of the Pattern Magazine. The great thing about this magazine, was that it was never intended to be as widely distributed as it has become, but the most awesome part was, not only did this awesome idea start here in Indiana, it features mostly if not all Indiana designers and artists and it is now being distributed internationally!

When the magazine first came out, I have to be honest I had my doubts about the longevity of the project, but not only have they continued to find new and innovative ways of using the creative minds to create fun and new publications they have also stepped out in to the world of commerce to support these local talents. In August of 2014 they launched a store that sold garments from local designers and since then have been given a state grant to create what they are referring to as a makers space. An intended small scale manufacturing operation that will give local designers and artists to utilize the tools and equipment they need to continue to work. The support of the local economy and the visibility of the magazine are continuing to put Indy on the map as one of the best places to have a small business and at that a fashion business!

So, check them out at Pattern Indy. You can also subscribe to the magazine if you are interested!

I hope you enjoy!

❤ Evelynlouise

It’s time to pay attention

My dearest readers,

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This is a water supply. I love clothing, I love expressing myself visually, but when I think of the long term implications my consumption has, I know we have to change the way we think about it. Bored Panda released a visual photo essay about the pollution in china and it’s horrifying! Quite frankly this isn’t just about the physical toll our consumption takes on the environment, it’s also about the impact it has on the people who work and live in these conditions.

My good friend send me this article Bloggers sent to work in Cambodian Sweatshops, that links to the videos so you can watch the online reality show that is attached to the break down of this 17 year old blogger. There is a concept that my students and I discuss when we talk about the ethics of outsourcing that I think many of us overlook. The notion that because we are advanced as a culture that we have tied up all the loose ends of the highlighted issues of children in sweatshops, or the deaths of hundreds of women in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. The reality is these atrocities are happening today, they happen everywhere. Even with the green movement there is not enough  being done to make our clothes more ethical or sustainable. I feel the only way we change this is by knowledge and discussion.

I,  just like you, love new clothing, I love to buy new stuff to put in my closet, I love to look my best and I have an unnatural obsession for looking my best. However, there is no handbag in the world that is worth the loss of human life or the degradation of others or the places they live. I think of it this way. I love clothing and I love new designs and the innovation and creativity that is associated with the fashion industry, but if we don’t make severe cuts and changes in the selections and mass productions associated with this industry we may not get to look forward to many more Mercedes Benz Fashion weeks. Why? Because we are going to eventually run out or ruin farmable land for all of that cotton for all of those t-shirts and jeans we love so much. It already depletes soil nutrients that could be used for growing food. And not to be too dramatic, but when we’re all dying of cancer from the amount of caustic chemicals we have put in to our water supply from pesticide run off for those crops and the chemical dyes we use to give them colors, I wonder if we’ll regret the damage we have done.

I’m not saying that first thing tomorrow you should throw out all of your unethically sourced clothes or that we all have deep pockets that allow us to buy 100% organic 100% sustainable 100% ethically sourced clothing. However, we all can start in acknowledging the problems and start facilitating discussions on how to make a difference. It’s time to start paying attention.

My partner and I have started this journey in baby steps by shopping the majority of our clothing through second hand clothing stores. While these present their own challenges and are dependent on a primary market to create the clothing that supply these stores, they do allow us to keep a large quantity of textiles out of landfills and keep those garments worn until the end of their intended life cycles. I think of it as starting in a place of waste not want not. I am also saying it is time to be more choosy in your wardrobe decisions and start finding your own answers about your consumables. Companies want you to buy their product, they don’t want you to know hundreds of 15 year old girls were killed in a factory fire that made those goods.

I also give this piece of advice, support your local economies, buy local and buy less. For those of you interested I’ve been reading this fantastic book Wear No EvilShe has some pretty hard hitting facts about our clothing and so far some pretty sound advice on how she changed her own consumption.

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I don’t think that any one person has all of the answers, or that any one person is 100% unbiased and accurate when it comes to discussing how we use, waste or manufacture. However, it starts with educating yourself and researching the things that important to you. For me, I would like to see us continue to have fashion weeks, and have new an innovative fashion ideas. In order to do this in the long term, we have to change. It’s lovely to look good, it’s awesome to accept yourself for who you are, but it’s amazing to be aware enough to take care of your surroundings.

Some food for thought my lovely fashionistas!

Yours,

❤ Evelynlouise

Changing The Way We See Our Bodies with Bodies that Look Like Ours

It’s difficult to have a realistic depiction of what a short sleeved, horizontal striped v neck t-shirt is going to look like on a plus size body when we only sample our garments in a size 8. If you and I are anything alike this garment is the epitome of unattractive on my body type. A simple v-neck for me goes from being simple and conservative to utterly pornographic because of the size of my bust. What started as a simple way to dress myself ends up being an ordeal of layers and questions about what else I need to make this ridiculously mundane garment less complicated on my shape.

Not to mention, some of us don’t look at a garment and see the 50 other garments in our closet that will easily match what we are about to purchase. Some of us need a bit of extra guidance and that is okay. But to the point, readers. Introducing, plus sized model Tess Holiday.

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She’s been creating buzz around the Internet for the last 2 months or so, but what is so significant about Tess that differs from the other plus size models on runways? Well first she’s a size 22 not a sample size 14 (which translates in to a size 10), and secondly she’s only 5’5″. Even more the point? She, in my opinion, is showing women of a short and larger stature that you can be beautiful at whatever size. It really comes down to confidence!

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When it comes down to it, for me, I think that all of us have something beautiful about each of us, and I am not about to start slamming the gorgeous women who won the genetic lottery and get to play their hands at the big bucks, walking catwalks in Paris and Milan. Let’s face it for those of us who love fashion, getting to be a designers visual muse is an untapped dream and the ladies who get to be a part of that most definitely have our envy. The thing that is significant here is we are beginning to see diversity in body type rep-ing the garments we wear. I don’t have to guess what a two piece high waisted suit is going to look like on a girl with thick thighs anymore, and I definitely don’t have to feel bad about myself leaving the poorly lit store to decide it is or isn’t for me.

Look her up, it’s nice to see another plus sized gal crushing it in the fashion world! Plus size women do make up one of the largest untapped markets of clothing! Keep rocking it, Tess!

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Be fabulous, as always!

❤ Evelynlouise

Being a more effortless dresser

When I was in college I had this ugly long sleeve grey converse t-shirt that had 5 navy blue stars down one of the sleeves and a giant navy blue star on the front. It was oversized, the sleeves were too long and generally I wore it on days when I had spent the night before crying and I woke up feeling bloated and ugly. The biggest problem with this shirt? It made me look bloated and ugly.

We all have days where confidence, piece of mind, or ample time are at our disposal. On those days you don’t have time to stand in front of a mirror and grab hold of any roll you can to jiggle it and berate yourself. Quite frankly, if I could get rid of this in any woman’s daily ritual I would.

In learning how to better dress myself and not go for the long sleeve shirt that was easy for wiping tears off my face, it took me years to find pieces that made me feel comfortable and beautiful (and were flattering on my body. My ultimate Ah-ha moment came when I was watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Have you seen the scene where Paul and she are talking and she is getting ready to go visit her friend in jail? The effortless ease in which she slips in to her little black dress, puts in some earrings, slips on some kitten heels, adds a hat and leaves the house looking marvelous! I mean common! She didn’t even do her hair! But, to me dressing for your everyday should be this effortless!

I was asked to elaborate on what my stress pieces were, what I go to now when I’m in a pinch or on the go, and I feel that before I even get into my go to’s it is important to talk about how to simplify your wardrobe so that being a nicely dressed individual is over all a less stressful task. So this week I’m focusing in on effortless dressing.

Evelynlouise’s Steps to being a more effortless dresser:

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1. Get a haircut you love and love to do. Have you seen the new Aussie hair product commercial? the motto is “ditch the hair drama.” It’s a truth though. If you hate standing in front of the mirror with a straightener, then stop doing it! There is no reason to spend as much time on your hair as the girls from Jersey Shore, every time you leave the house. Go to a real stylist have them help you find a haircut that is right for you, that frames your face well, that you love and has a level of maintenance that you are comfortable to upkeep.

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2. Think ahead to the event you are dressing for. Last minute stress over whether or not you can find that one pair of shoes for that job interview the next day can be avoided by laying out your outfit the night before. Think through your whole look for a special event, especially if it’s one where appearance is important.

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3. Stop buying clothes that you’re never going to wear. I don’t care if you are standing in Goodwill and it’s only $3. If you don’t fall in love with it on your body the minute you put it on. PUT IT BACK! It lessens the clutter in your closet. That mountain of stuff you have to wade through to find the clothes you actually want to wear.

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4. You don’t need an apothecary’s equivalent to skin care. Sunscreen, lotion, foundation, mascara, 2 good pallets of eye shadow (one for evening, one for day), and chapstick. When I wear make-up this is about it. I own 2 shades of lipstick that I wear about 3 times a year. Again, it goes back to my advice with the hair. If you love a high maintenance routine, then power to you, but you have a face under there, it is beautiful stop filling it with crap. It takes me 10 minutes from beginning to end to put on make-up. Unless you’re headed for a photo-shoot or a wedding, I don’t see why it should ever take more time than this.

Tune in Next week for my personal go-to’s for a more comfortable and simplified wardrobe.

In the meant time keep building yourself up!

❤ Evelynlouise

 

 

Great Plus Vintage Buys

You don’t think I would leave you with that intellectual entry with no redemption did you? At the heart of it all I still do love fashion, I just want to see more of us take care of our earth as much as we take care of ourselves.  To be honest it doesn’t matter how cute you look if you’re dead because there is no more oxygen. As you start adding must haves to your wardrobes I always love getting back to vintage fashions to keep up classic looks. However, sometimes finding vintage fashions that fit is a difficult task, so I’ve linked some of my top picks of vintage plus sized garments and the stores where you can purchase them.

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Hello, Joan Holloway just called and said anyone with a lots of curves should wear this dress. Can you imagine this with the array of colorful cardigans in your wardrobe? I can, especially since Pantone has been using this blue and it’s like shades as a neutral color for several years now. The dress needs a little TLC, possibly a new buckle but for $44, why not!Vintage Etsy dealer Size is Just a Number, has a large assortment of vintage fashions all sorted by bust size so you can find a better fit. From what I’ve seen on this dealer, her clothes go all the way up to a modern size 24.

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This totally gorgeous number comes in a size 18 for $28, the measurements the seller sites are across only one side of the garment. It is a knit and judging on the color, closure and skirt length this bad boy is from the 1970’s It is also a knit. Can’t beat that! This store called the Babery Underground, totes a cute tagline, and affordable prices! You could change this up with mismatched tights, belts, and some great jewelry.

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I couldn’t help but post this gorgeous 1960’s size 16 jacket from Etsy seller Roly Poly Vintage. Her garments may have a higher price tag, but from the images I’ve seen, you are getting garments that are still in amazing shape! I can’t help but think with the new trend of mixed patterns being forecasted for the spring, this jacket would go amazing paired with a fantastic stripe or subtle plaid.

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And I have to leave you on this gorgeous note, because Audri Hepburn called and said, beautiful curvaceous lady wear my dress! Please wear it with a large hat! This dress is so versatile I could go on for months, but instead I’ll leave you with the link to Thrift Store Mafia, so you can shop their plus sized vintage finds.

I hope some of you find a gorgeous piece to add to your wardrobe, a sense of confidence, the feel good feeling from supporting a small business, and the appreciation for how well these garments were made. Don’t expect to find anything from H&M or Forever 21 in a vintage store in 40 years, looking this good!

Have a wonderful week curvaceous fashionistas!

❤ Evelynlouise

 

Solid Color Illusions

Not to get too Portlandia on you, but “I read recently” that when you have a difficult shape to dress, and more often than not plus sizes fall in this category, that keeping a consistent color through the majority of your torso can lead to an uninterrupted line that slims the figure. For many this means lots of black, and if you work in an office that requires you to wear business or business casual attired you instantly go for black as it seems to be the most readily available. However, Don’t neglect the idea of color to create a slimming line on your body! This season and next brings with it an array of bright and bold shades that can be just as flattering but offer more details than the old standby.

So what do I mean when I say keeping consistent color throughout?

Most of us will take a black skirt or solid pants and pair it with a patterned top as seen below.

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While these two outfits are still pretty cute, and they both use elements of slimming such as faded wash jeans or belting to accentuate the waist. It breaks up the space of the body. The White floral on the left in fact widens the hips as the line of definition between the shirt and the jeans accentuates this portion of the body. The stark contrast of the pink shirt on the right compared with the black in the pants and the belt also breaks the body up in to 3 sections breasts, tummy and hips. Now, I’m not saying that these styles can’t be flattering on your body, or that you should give up your cute patterned tops and forgo anything that isn’t denim colored while wearing jeans, but when you utilize monochromatic styles you end up with an elongated silhouette that flatters your curves and creates a slimming effect. Think of it as a way to both simplify and flatter an outfit.

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Lets take for example this lovely fashionistas take on the same dress. The look on the left while still very cute makes her shape look very blocky. She is wearing the same tights and colors of accent on her legs and upper torso, but see how the jacket on the right opens up her posture, her waist is slimmed by this uninterrupted color and the use of a belt and the line created from the neck to just above the knee gives the appearance of slimming and elongating the legs.

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In a casual use, colored jeans and textured pants paired with their color matched top as ween in the outfit above,  shows off the lucious curves of the wearer without creating an abrupt and broken line from bust to waist, waist to hip, hip to knee, etc. It is one soft line that flatters and when using garments in darker tones it is also incredibly slimming. Dresses often achieve these looks best, however with colored jeans, you can create an array of looks for yourself.

Don’t neglect the gorgeous array of prints that are out and about in these lovely seasons, but when going for sleek and elegant, you can never go wrong with a rich solid to show off your curves. The look below embraces the rich and gorgeous peacock blue but brings in accents in the form of a statement necklace to bring attention to the face. When looking at this garment however, the details in the construction pull your eyes throughout the garment rather than focusing you on one area. Your eyes don’t sit to rest an only one part of this gorgeous piece.

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As always, find something you love and makes you feel beautiful. I personally am a fan of the monochromatic look, but who can pass up some of the beautiful patterns we see out this season!

❤ Always,

Evelynlouise

Trend Watch: Kimono wonder!

So I know that most of you are probably already aware that Kimonos are hitting the fashion scene hard this season, but I have to say I have been taking note of them since early this summer. A royal blue silk chiffon and lace kimono at Urban Outfitters crossed my path, and though I couldn’t wear anything from that store if I tried. I am in love with these gorgeous and comfortable garments.  I had the pleasure of trying on this number at Torrid this weekend.

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I know, I know, I’ve been on kind of a Torrid kick lately, but it’s been the one store I’ve successfully walked in to and found everything I wanted for the latest trends in my size in a flattering cut. But don’t let me get in to a rant about their sale racks. That said this gorgeous burnout velvet number is light weight, moves beautifully and is completed with some 1960’s flair fringe. The picture doesn’t do the fabric justice. It is so rich and dimensional with elements of sheer in between the velvet flowers. My only beef is the high low front and back, which for those of us who are shorter this in an open style garment rather than a dress has a tendency to dwarf.

Top 3 Tips for finding a Kimono that is right for you:

1. If you have rounded shoulders keep in mind that kimono and dolman sleeves are not going to help define those bad boys. Sometimes this can have a negative affect turning your upper torso into a body with no definition. Try kimonos like the one on the right that have pattern in specific locations instead of an ALL over affect, try for Kimonos with shoulder defining detail like the one on the left, or choose a kimono that actually has separate sewn in sleeves. These will all help to give your shoulders some say in your style. kimono2 Collage

 

2. If you are like me and you have very wide hips look in to finding a kimono that is shorter and ends above the hip or just below it as garments that end at the hip, especially garments like a Kimono that have lots of volume will only help to add emphasis to the width of your hips. OR for those of you with no hips, look to Kimonos that focus fullness in this area as it will  emphasize and make your hips look wider balancing out wider shoulders.

3. Find a pattern and color that suits you. There are so many different patterns out right now, find one that makes you feel as elegant as these beautiful garments are. My personal Favorite is this purple number from Nordstroms.

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And just to leave you with some fun, if you are like me and you enjoy making things. Here is a great compilation of some easy DIY Kimonos! I think I will be making a few of these myself! To be honest I may lengthen a few of these and turn them in to beautiful lounging robes for some christmas gifts. I just made my first one. Here’s a poorly taken picture of me modeling it!

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Keep looking beautiful curvy ladies of the world!

❤ Evelynlouise

 

Lovely Lady Leggings…

I live in the mid-west, and for those of you who live around here, or for that matter lived anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere for the last winter knows how insanely cold it gets. The biggest bummer about the colder winter months is that you have to say goodbye to summer dresses and wonderfully full and colorful summer skirts! To add an extra bummer to ushering in the colder months, the ads for late fall and winter wear start coming in masse because the holiday seasons are on their way and stores want you to buy buy buy! I always see these adorable Christmas time spreads of unbelievably thin women rocking out their tube sweater dress and some leggings, with a big comfy fuzzy scarf and they look so warm and happy! You know what I’m talking about see this amazing walking Land’s End/ Loft/ Macy’s look below!
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The underlying tones of what you have to have and who you have to be are all there! So, I’m getting a touch off point. Last year I decided I would not give up wearing my dresses. I am a dress wearer, I prefer dresses or skirts almost 9 times out of 10 over pants. So I went in search of some leggings and what a disaster!

Now Good news! For those of you who wear up to a size 18 you will be able to find an array of cute leggings and tights at your local Target! But for those of us in the larger half of the plus size spectrum, unless you want to wear only black leggings always and forever, you’re kind of screwed when it comes to selection. I finally found a pair of wide calf boots I actually like in a price range I could afford at Payless shoes this year, and I came home to look at my pitiful two pair collection of tights in burgundy and black. I knew shopping in stores was going to lead to tears, but the places I’ve found great tights, such as Mod Cloth are kind of disappointing this season. So I am raising my pumpkin spice latte in a toast this year to Torrid for having the most amazing selection of plus sized leggings on their website that I have ever seen. I own a pair of their black tights and I have to say, I absolutely love them! They are true to the sizing on the package and the cool thing about Torrid is that they have lots of online exclusives!

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After also Looking through the Leggings, I remembered many of my peeves with these pant like garments. So with this I am going to throw in my 2 cents in the form of a top 3 things larger women should remember when wearing tights.

3. Just because they make it in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it. Plaid, horizontal stripes, and horizontal pattern tights are tights anyone should be wary of wearing. I love that plus size tights mean that you aren’t just stuck with solid colors, but it would be nice if they designed some patterns for larger ladies.

2. Always make sure you get the proper size. Leggings are supposed to be form fitting, but people shouldn’t be able to tell whether or not you’ve had a hysterectomy. Ladies, we are all guilty of it, but seriously I would rather have a properly fitting pair of tights that allow me to be comfortable and move freely, than a pair that are so tight that I have to constantly pull them out of my butt crack.

1. Leggings, especially in a professional setting can not be confused with pants. There are awesome new comfortable pants that are yoga pant fabric that have the cuts and shape as dress pants. They are made to be pants, but leggings were made to go under things. If you want to wear leggings as pants when you go hit the club, this is your prerogative and kudos to you for having such a positive body image, but please don’t do this to your co-workers. It looks sloppy and unprofessional, pretty wherever you work.  At least Jeggings have pockets so they just look like skinny jeans, keep this in mind as you dress for your job!

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