Today is my birthday…

Today is my birthday, I turn 28 years old. This year has become unknowingly about re-learning who I am. New Goals, new beginnings. I didn’t think that I could actually make it with a blog for over a year, and as I keep writing I find new things to focus on all the time. I believe next week will be about the importance of limiting water usage and how we can all do our part to save the world, but re-wearing our clothes.

In the mean time… I speak so often about learning to love your body for what it is, but I so rarely post of myself. Some of this is lack of space in my apartment for proper lighting to take non-terrible mirror selfies in my thrift store outfits and some of it is my desire to desolve in to the background. I suppose my readership doesn’t know I also play guitar and I was recently invited by the lovely and talented Zed Martinez, a local artist and photographer and friend of mine, to do a photo shoot.

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What started as a fun and somewhat comical shoot resulted in a series of photographs that had me re-examining the way I see myself. I think readers, there is a different between being a conceited narcissus and learning to just inhabit your own skin unapologetically. I don’t particularly feel I am photogenic, but what a trip to be presented as such!

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Thank you to all my excellent readers, I hope that you have days where you feel this insanely beautiful! You do only get one body! Might as well make the best of it!

❤ Evelynlouise

 

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Curvy History

Hello Readers,

This week is a very busy week for me, but rather than completely phone it in I thought I would share someone else’s awesome and interesting blog. 🙂

It is unfortunate they are not on wordpress, or I would have just re-blogged it. Anyway, I digress. As many of you know I teach history of costume at the college level, and so I am always looking for awesome and interesting facts and tidbits about history.

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This article in particular caught my eye, because it is all about our plus size sisters from different misters all the way back in to the 1800’s. Curvy & Dressing Historical is mostly how to successfully dress in historical fashions, but it has some awesome tidbits about how curvier ladies dressed in the past!

Hope you enjoy!

❤ 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

The ‘This woman is beautiful’ Challenge

Sometimes, life has a way of bringing even the most confident people down. I’ve been continuing to re-examine what I talk about in this blog, as I want it to be a place of positivity and motivation for those who come to it. So this week I am going to tell you a story and follow it up with a pretty simple challenge.

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When I was in college I knew this absolutely fierce woman. When I look back, I often think I put her on a pedestal because she possessed many qualities that I was envious to have. She was cool and calm in almost all of the right situations. Cruel and calculated when the occasion called for it. But in the privacy of her home she was kind and unapologetic. I know her now to also be incredibly sensitive and just as damaged as the rest of us, maybe more, but her fervor enamored me. I would spend hours on the floor of her one bedroom apartment listening to her talk, listening to her music, listening for how I would somehow absorb some of this tenacity.

 

There are many things I remember well about her apartment, but the one I always like the most was the fact that she always wrote at the top of her mirrors in dry erase marker. Messages to herself, messages of things for her to remember. The mirror in the hallway, which was the mirror you saw last before you left her apartment, said, “this woman is beautiful.” It quite frankly offended me. I thought, that’s super conceded, but as I chewed on the idea it grew on me. As copying is the sincerest form of flattery, I decided to discretely go home and try it on my mirror in my bedroom. The difference those words make in the way you feel before you leave the house is astounding. I started changing the text a little:

“This woman is beautiful.” “This woman is smart.” “This woman is hilarious.” “This woman is not a door mat.” “This woman deserves to be loved” “This woman is a bad ass.”

I even annoyed my roommate by leaving these messages on our bathroom mirror with the collective, “these women.” Self positive talk doesn’t have to be as ridiculous as that old SNL skit.

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But sometimes we need to remind each other how awesome we are. So It isn’t a leap to where I am going with this weeks challenge and it’s certainly not a new concept. Get a dry erase marker and have at it! Mirrors, windows, shower doors. There is only one stipulation, it has to be something positive. Try it for the whole week. If you find it works, try it for a month. I find it helpful in those months where I’m having trouble motivating myself.

Keep positive my lovely readers,

❤ Evelynlouise

Stress Dressing: Dressing in a Pinch

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The reality of my world as far as stress dressing is concerned, and I confirmed this with my significant other, usually has two modes. The first is when I am just having a general day of being busy, frustrated, or down is usually improved by the ability to wear jeans (this can’t always happen with my job, but I have a nice pair of black dress slacks for those days. I have one pair of jeans, that no matter what kind of day I’m having fit like a glove (Thank you stretch denim). I usually always pair this with a comfortable cardigan or sweater. Sweaters to me look classy and they just feel really good on your body. The second mode is on the other end of the spectrum. When I am having a day of high stress or uncertainty and I am feeling really uncomfortable with myself, I will make sure to take the extra time to put in to my appearance. The simple task of putting on some mascara and eye shadow, a pair of earrings and a very nice dress will change my whole outlook on the day. I guess it’s that old “dress for success” concept.

Whatever your level of stress dressing, my basic advise is to simplify everything. Overthinking gets us all in trouble. To build off of last week’s entry about simplifying your wardrobe, I think it’s really about being more comfortable in your skin. I’ve said before and I will say it a million times, if you feel terrible about who you are, no amount of stuff is really going to make it better. It may temporarily relieve your feelings, but you’re looking to lighten your load over all. Stress is usually caused by this oppressive amount of stuff that has to be completed in a timely manner. It can be caused by a multitude of things you can’t control, and wouldn’t it be nice if looking your best wasn’t anywhere on those lists?

I was asked to elaborate a little about my personal go-to pieces for days when I’m not at the height of my game, so here are my best suggestions for on the go wear that makes the whole process a bit more streamlined. You may not like my choices, but that’s the glory of fashion. Find your own go to pieces that make you feel awesome! It is in the end you who has to wear it.

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Evelynlouise’s top go-to pieces.

  1. Shoes. Own at least one pair of classic black flats, that have enough arch support and padding that you can stand in them for hours or just slip on for a day of lounging. A pair of slip on flats will dress up an outfit more than a pair of sneakers, but they should be comfortable enough that you don’t mind doing a multitude of tasks in them. Some women feel this way about kitten heels. Personally, I say black leather flats.
  2.  A little black dress that fits like a glove. It is perfect for almost anything except for a rodeo or a formal event. You can dress it up with jewelry or sweaters. Color or go as simple as possible, just like Audrey Hepburn. If you’re not a dress person I would say a nice pair of black slacks is a good place to start and a well fitting black top. Why black? It’s slimming, it hides lumps and bumps, it creates an elongated and continuous line with your body, it matches anything including the aforementioned black flats, and it’s just classy!
  3. A cardigan that you just can’t stop wearing. In my not so humble opinion, the perfect cardigan sweater should feel like a hug on your bad days, a snuggle on your ‘sitting at home reading a book’ days and a professional asset on your work days. I suggest splurging on a good sweater, heathered or tweed to punch up the class, and something that has some shape (not just a sack). And you know what’s great about a cardigan? You can wear it with that Little Black dress and your flats and feel amazing.
  4. A pair of classy earrings. Single set diamond, pearls, something that you find beautiful. You would be amazed at how far a pair of earrings goes to class up your whole look and make you feel like you put more effort into your look than you really did.
  5. At least 1 blouse. I usually go with a color that compliments my eyes or black as it is slimming.  I love blouses that don’t cling to my midsection, I tend to also lean toward knits, and I like a blouse to have at least one interesting detail such as a lace neckline, or princess seams. If I can wear my cardigan with it, this is a bonus for me.
  6. A nice fitting pair of jeans or slacks. Again right now I have a pair of dark wash skinny jeans that just feel amazing on my body. I’ve discovered as I get older, nothing makes me crabbier about wearing pants than a waistband that digs in to my stomach. Buy a pair that fit. Hem them, and you are good to go.

I think for me the elements of stress dressing come down to having those interchangeable wardrobe pieces. I hope this was helpful fashionistas!

❤ 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

 

 

Hair: Just Do it!

So, I’m going to get on my soap box for a second about you ladies out there who torture your stylists with the words,

“I want something completely different, but I don’t want to take any length off.”

It’s hair for god sakes, it grows, even after you die! I know that we attach to it the source of all our mysterious mystical lady powers, but seriously sometimes you can change your whole perspective, outlook on yourself and demeanor with a new hair cut. I have had hair style ranged from the quite crazy.

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All the way to tumbling past my shoulders (now, my hair was only past my shoulders for 3 life events, my senior pictures, my senior prom and my wedding).

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I have had every color of hair you can think of as well, Green, blue, hot pink, brown, black, neon red, purple, yellow, orange, etc. My natural hair color is red so I know this puts kinks in a lot of tails when it comes to my choices to destroy the ever loving crap out of my hair with boxes of bleach, but sometimes  girl has to give things a whirl.

What is the point of this meandering soap box? Cut your damn hair! Pixie’s are super cute right now, and just because you are a big girl doesn’t mean you are going to look bad in short hair. Rocking short hair shows a lot of confidence. Pay attention to face shapes. If you have a square shaped face, don’t pick a pixie cut on a round face, even the best stylist isn’t going to make you look like the celebrity who’s photo you bring in to style your hair. In 2015 take a leap of faith and find a hairstylist you trust and go for it! The worst that can happen is that you hate it and in a few months, you can go back to that boring straight mane of hair that you sweep into a pony tail half the time anyway.

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Get brave go short!

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Take before and after shots, and the best part! I’ve been able to do this twice and it feels amazing, if you’re losing more than 8″ of hair, you can donate it to locks of love even it it’s dyed or permed.

This year for me is about figure out some more details in this life puzzle, and I can tell you ladies confidence makes all the difference! If you don’t like the way you feel or look, you have the power to change it!

Take care lovelies!

❤ Evelynlouise

Evelynlouise: New Years bring New beginnings

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What a serendipitous event that my last entry of the year should fall on the last day of 2014. I have been contemplating for weeks how to end the year on a note of positive and encouraging advice for all of my readers, and what a better way to discuss that than the false hopes of New Year’s resolutions.

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My goal with this blog over everything else was to create a positive space for fashion to exist for plus size women. I wanted to be inclusive to anyone who loves fashion and I wanted above all else to do the opposite of what many fashion magazines do. I wanted to create an encouraging environment for positive body image and social awareness. Fashion is supposed to be fun and an expression of self, not a place of doubts, self loathing and body fear. The industry is good at playing on these insecurities to get you to buy more things.

New years resolutions are touted at you from your television and will be for the next few weeks leading up to and shortly after the new year begins. Gym memberships sky rocket during this time as do health food sales and the sale of exercise equipment. New year’s resolutions at this point for adults tend to center around weight loss or body image. You will undoubtedly have an absolutely beautiful co-worker who grabs hold of there flat stomach and say, “Gawd, I gained so much weight this year, my new years resolution is to stop being realistic about my body expectations and set myself up with a plan to fail.”

Okay, maybe they won’t say that, but the message they deliver is essentially just that. And it’s the same for everyone, fit or not that we will some how miraculously become lovers of kale and juice cleanses and relinquish our desire for french fries and chocolate.

For 2015, I would like to put forth to you my readers a challenge of setting positive realistic goals instead of resolutions. I feel that goals are more obtainable in the sense that we understand as a culture that a goal is something you work toward. We understand it takes time and effort. Resolutions are so tied with our societies need for instant gratification, and when we don’t obtain that immediate result or we don’t gradually build up to whatever high feat we’ve set for ourselves, we always fall short.

I think it’s also important to share positive goals and to encourage those around you. I hope you all find a positive goal to work toward in 2015. Here are my top 5 goals for 2015 as they pertain to this blog and where I hope we will journey together in the new year.

Evelynlouise’s Top 5 Improvement Plans for 2014:

1. Be more positive about my body! I will not be motivated to go the the gym if all I do is beat myself up about my bowling lady arms. In fact, this self hatred will only lead me down a deeper rabbit hole of body hate. I will have bad days, but I will take time in my journals, in my speech to try and speak more positively about myself.

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2. Be more encouraging of myself to realize goals. I think we all experience that sense of defeat from time to time. Sometimes we really are our own worst enemy. This year I will continue to try and use positive speech to keep pushing myself forward, learn from my mistakes and move forward.

3. Be less judgmental of other appearance. As I’ve been writing this blog it has become more apparent to me how many times a day we judge another person. It usually always comes down to someone’s appearance. Because of this I have already been taking steps to stop and ask myself, “why am I being such a mean girl today?” Who is that person? Maybe they are more happy with who they are than I am.

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4. Be more encouraging to others. In follow up to not being such a mean girl, I think that sometimes you’re positive self talk only goes so far. We as human being seek the approval of others. This year as every year I hope to find ways to be more encouraging and loving to those around me, to keep their positive fire going. I really do think it’s a group effort

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5. Be more conscious of the ecological and social impact my consumption has on the world. I’ve already started doing more research on the ethics of the fashion industry. It goes so much deeper than learning to donate your clothes to Goodwill. We as a culture have to stop consuming at such an alarming rate or discussing fashion will be the telling of a horror story that contaminated all of our water, and used up all of our farmable land. We not only have to continue to strive to consume less, but to understand we drive the markets that are creating such a negative impact on not just mother earth, but the lives of people making the products.

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Thank you for following my lovely readers! I hope to see more of you in 2015, and please, if there’s a topic you would like to see me discuss, feel free to leave it in the comments below! I love suggestions!

Happy New Year!

❤ Evelynlouise

 

Happy Holiday’s!

Hello Everyone,

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, or a Happy (insert the holiday you celebrate). I am taking this week of informing you about loving your figure and caring about the environment on a hiatus. Go out there, give lots of hugs, drink some wine, enjoy your families and friends and have a happy Holiday! I will see you all next week as we say goodbye to 2014!

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Truly Yours,

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