SLIMMED DOWN "GIRL'S TRIP" WARDROBE
PLUS SIZE 9 - 5 ENSEMBLE
You would think that inclusivity is a good thing, right? And yet plus size clothing remain relegated to speciality retailers. You would think that technology in the 21st century means designers could design clothes to fit the diverse shape of plus-size bodies – Right? WRONG!!! Despite more women than ever branding themselves as “plus-size” we remain poorly represented by certain designers/retailers and flat-out ignored by others. I am fed up with the “plus-size” label altogether. To this day, the plus-size label remains synonymous with a poor fit, drab styling, and inexpensive material that can only be found online or shunted into dark corners next to “maternity”.
With over 60 per cent of women wearing sizes 16 and above, we shouldn’t have to celebrate whenever a fashion brand announces that it is offering extended sizing—or suddenly focusing on dressing plus-size women. What have they been doing all of this time? I will tell you what, justifying the “plus-size” price tag by using “more material” upsizing the same old patterns designed for the “standard” body. In short, why not apply “more material” in certain areas namely the back, bust, arms, hips, thighs, and waist to ensure that the finished product looks balanced and isn’t riding up, pinching or uncomfortable when wearing it?
We were taught that if a plus-size woman wants to know what looks good on them they first have to know their body shape. Why are the clothing designers exempt from that directive? Why is it left to us to up-size or down-size as necessary to counteract the sloppy miscalculation of designers/retailers? There is no reason why designers cannot design fashionable or trendy clothes that enhance the curvy woman body type and look great on us.
Shopping for plus size women’s fashion is maddening when designers continue to perpetuate an outdated, impossible-to-achieve and even unhealthy ideal of the female body shape. Too many brands, still hesitate to support the diverse range of body types. Designers and retailers “get with the programme already”. Change is desperately needed. How long is the fashion industry going to continue to ignore the plus, petite, junior or tall woman in favour of our “standard” counterparts? Until you stop designing from a subjective, defined, narrow view, or your idea of what female beauty is, you will continue to shut out women who aren't within the industry's loosely established ranges.
Designers/retailers let me give you the “HEADS UP” - plus-size customers with a sense of style and money to spend are loyal and if you want to tap into the significant source of revenue plus-size shoppers generate then you need to start making clothes that FIT. When we find a brand that no longer lumps us all together (excuse the pun), understands that plus size women DO NOT all look alike, identifies our diverse body shapes and go on to produce clothing that is sexy, fun and stylish at a reasonable price point, we’ll order more of it! Duhhhhhhhhhhhh! It is not rocket science.
That being said, I will get off of my soapbox now and turn my attention to the upcoming “Girl’s Trip” to Portugal. In the past when carrying extra weight, I felt self-conscious and would be drawn towards clothing that would hide my problem areas. Today, after all of my hard work on the treadmill over the past 11 months on Saturday 10th August, you will hear me say “anxieties be damned”!! With your continued encouragement and support I think I have well and truly hit the refresh button on my vacay wardrobe. Inch loss has meant new possibilities in my clothing choices and new ideas. Amalgamating my fresh holiday wardrobe has truly kept me on my toes but has been fun. Come with me let’s take a look.
MY SLIMMED DOWN HOLIDAY WARDROBE
My “Girl’s Trip” wardrobe is filled with clothes and swimwear that not only sets the mood for our girly holiday but make me feel good. It is less about the fact that my vacation clothes are a smaller size due to my sustained inch loss and more about the impact of style and image in both my professional and personal life. Inch loss has meant that I interact differently with my reflection. Whether I see myself in the mirror, the side of a bus, shop window or glass partitions throughout the open plan office, I love what I see looking back at me. In fact, I cannot help but sneak another look. I feel gorgeous and more importantly comfortable in my clothes. I stand taller, I smile more, I make eye contact and my whole vibe is one of the unlimited possibilities. I intend to wear my bikinis and swimming costumes with confidence and show off my curves.
My loyal subscribers and social media followers have been with me from the outset of my blog and the driving force each and every day of my exercise journey back to health. I cannot wait to feel the Mediterranean sun beat down on my skin as I lounge by the pool, cocktail in one hand my phone in the other, trying to capture that perfect photo or video to share with you. My wardrobe for this girly trip is not designed to hide my body, but “FIT” my new found shape while in keeping with what mum would have referred to as “decent attire”.
Like it or loathe it, in confined spaces i.e. on the plane, check-in desk, bus, tube, a lift, dance etc. we are subject to a “captive audience” where people have little choice but to look at you and what you are wearing. With a Black Tie Dinner, All White Party, Catamaran and Beach Party to attend over 6 days, being on holiday it will be no different. Eminent DJ’s are flying out from the UK specifically to entertain us at these events and with easy access to social media, I am aware that many are coming to see and be seen, to gossip and be gossiped about, to flirt and be flirted with. Unfortunately, too many women make others the focus of unwarranted critical attention simply because they are a WOMAN!
Being abroad is not the time to forget my life long issues with body image, throw caution to the wind and bring out tight clothes, short skirts, low necklines, and overly high heels! But a time to remember my upbringing and that my clothes are not just about me and that how I dress reflects on others too namely my girls, my fiancé etc.
NO HOLIDAY MAKEUP TECHNIQUE THE GLOW – While on holiday a tinted moisturiser will be the foundation (excuse the pun) of “make-up” routine. As my girly holiday draws ever closer I am still trying to navigate the world of highlighters in search of “the Glow”. My quest for a highlighter that delivers a healthy luminosity to the high points of my face has meant a lot of experimenting! I am familiar with where to apply highlighter - top of cheekbones, under the brow, the Cupid’s bow and the bridge of the nose and that the colour and technique have to be right for it to work. Now I have to be honest, there only so many YouTube “how-to videos” before losing the will to live!!! While on holiday I simply need to radiate as if "lit from within" and I do not believe it should be that complicated or time-consuming to look as if I have swallowed the sun! Like Sweet Brown Wilkins said, "Ain’t nobody got time for that"! It should be a case of dot it around the aforementioned high points of my face, blend in with a brush and voila without looking like Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz!
Body Glow on a Budget
Sol Body kicked off with four shades of the Shimmering Dry Oil ($15 at ColourPop) on July 17 and my order, Bronze, was on its way to me the morning of July 18. If like me when on holiday you feel naked without the glistening effect that the sun has when the light hits your skin this vegan, cruelty-free, multi-dimensional pearl infused with nourishing oils inexpensive Shimmering Body Oil is for you.
There is a shade to flatter a variety of skin tones: Platinum (a shimmering ivory-gold with highlights of silver and gold pearls); Soft Gold (a champagne-gold with highlights of silver and gold pearls); Warm Gold (a warm-gold with highlights of gold, pink and silver pearls); and Bronze (a bronze with highlights of copper and gold pearls). There’s also the flat kabuki Body Brush ($12 at ColourPop) to blend the dry oil onto your skin – unfortunately, the kabuki body brush was sold out at the time of writing but applied mine using my hands the minute it arrived with mind blowing results.
I am not the kind of person who packs “light” but look forward to sharing my fab holiday outfits and how I have styled/accessorised them in my September pre-holiday blog. To avoid the age-old habit of packing “just in case items” I know I will not end up wearing/using, I have planned my outfits, consisting of daywear (swimsuits while lounging around the pool area) or places visiting i.e. Catamaran day out followed by a beach party and for smarter events like the Black tie Ball and Wear something White Party, not forgetting those all-important finishing touches - my evening bags and jewellery. I will take a photo of each outfit so that it will simply be a case of, flicking through the holiday outfits folder on my phone while I am away.
SWIMMING COSTUMES & BEACH WEAR
Inevitably I will be living in a costume throughout the day and I have selected those that I feel really fits my body well, gives me support in the bust and tummy areas and will look great in Instagram photos. My beachwear will not only keep the sun off my shoulders but allows for modesty if I am lounging or standing at a bar chatting, while allowing my swimsuit underneath to shine through.
Black Pearl Detail Strappy Bikini - This pearl detail strappy bikini with high-waist brief giving full bottom coverage and is certain to turn heads on the Catamaran. Be sure to check back with me to see how I dressed up this Black Pearl of the Sea!
Black Figleaves Curve Rose Gold Hardware Plunge Bralet Bikini – I
am ready to TAKE THE PLUNGE and emerge glistening like bond girl Ursula Andress!!! This underwired bikini top with sexy strappy detail and eye-catching rose gold hardware is what you need for maximum impact if you want to emerge from the ocean or pool and pull off that wet, just-from-the-water look that even James Bond would not want to miss.
Marigold Crinkle Halter Neck Maxi Dress – This bright, crinkled fabric of this bohemian inspired maxi dress, with thigh high splits was the ideal choice for me to embrace my sexiness and an elegant way to exhibit my legs and stimulate the sensual woman in me - win win!
Black Jersey Halter Beach Maxi Dress – The quality of this beach maxi dress means that I will be able to dress it down as the perfect throw-on as I lounge by the pool or dress it up to wear out of an evening. The plunge halter neck will keep me cool in the blinding sun.
Tropical Underwired Bikini – I bought this bikini over 2 years ago dreaming that one day I will be able to wear it. AT LAST that day has come. I was overjoyed 4 days ago when due to inch loss I was able to source a smaller matching bikini. YEAH!!
Tara Black Chunky Sole Studded Caged Sliders - Thankfully
Rihanna reinvented the “not so easy on the eye” but poplar slider worn by dads and granddads alike with a luxe faux-fur, wallet friendly design of her own that sold out in seconds another trend was born. Rhianna’s busy lifestyle were designed with comfort and style in mind. I have found a few luxe/blingy pairs that I cannot wait to slide my feet into at the beach, pool or out on the Catamaran.
MIND MY HAIR - My faux locs up do hairstyle will not prevent me from taking my straw hats with me. I found these E-Bay Adjustable Folded Empty Top Straw Beach/Sun Summer Visor Cap £3.99.
LET’S UNLOCK MY FULL WARDROBE POTENTIAL
Holiday accessories are the quintessential finishing touches to any outfit. It points to your
personal style and brings a glamorous, polished look to your outfit. Enjoy
the sneak preview below of some of my vacay wardrobe purchases.
White Ruched Plunge Maxi Dress – Risqué? I know!! While I instantly fell in love with this Jennifer Lopez inspired white figure-skimming maxi dress I hesitated over the plunging neckline. I tried this dress on with 9 weeks still left to go before my Girls Trip. When I saw myself in the mirror a lump formed in my throat, tears stung the back of my eyes and I felt suddenly breathless. I stood still as my mind and body grappled with a new reality. The dress was ever so flattering, hugged my new found waistline and skimmed my hips down to the floor. Once I follow the ancient old Greek tradition and decorate my faux locs with hair accessories I will truly feel like a goddess!
White Mesh Ruched Bardot Midi Dress – I SAID YES TO THIS DRESS - Now this
white mesh midi dress with flattering Bardot neckline, ruched front and a
bodycon fit to show off my shape to advantage COULD NOT BE LEFT
BEHIND. I hope to wear this the first evening to dinner and give my fiancé a taste of things yet to come!
Black Mesh Panel Long Sleeve Midi Dress – Cut to the Waist on this LBD!! Can I entice you to once again to check out my next blog for a photo of my complete Black Tie Dinner outfit which I guarantee is full of Eastern promise!
Canvas Beach Bag – (Width 20 inches, height 15 inches, depth
5.5 inches) £12 (SOLD OUT) I am so glad I bought this beach bag
yesterday (28.09.19) as it was sold out today!!!! Large enough to hold a beach towel and other essentials with statement gold poker dots on one side and bold gold stripes on the other.
CONCLUSION: Join me for my September pre-holiday blog to see what quintessential finishing touches I have added to complete each outfit combination. I do hope that my choices not only reveal my personal style but bring glamour and a polished look to both day and evening outfits.
My holiday wardrobe reflects a side of me that has been bursting to come out. I knew that sustaining regular exercise was going to difficult but not insurmountable. Don't wait for it to happen. Infuse your life with action and make it happen. Make your own future, your own hope, your own love. I did and I am savouring and enjoying every minute of every day.
10 MONTHS BACK IN THE GYM COMPARE PHOTO
The results as can be seen in my 10 month compare photo above means I am unapologetic about having tunnel vision, about getting at least 8 hours sleep each night, drinking water, working out and celebrating completing everyday tasks albeit the laundry, ironing or simply getting my “to do list” done. To focus on what I have achieved and not what I didn’t. And last but not least NOT to only celebrate major milestones.
My mind has not adjusted to my change in size and sometimes, particularly when shopping on line, I miss not knowing what size will fit me at any given time. At the time of writing I feel as if I am in between two worlds, no longer belonging to the old and certainly not yet belonging to the new. But will allow my body time to settle down.
Until my next blog when I am sure to be experiencing pre-holiday excitement and nerves. X