Tag: plus size fashion

Straight and Blue Hair Tutorial

1972532_10152157768842239_1911689711_nHey guys! So today I must admit I felt beautiful.  My whole look came together in a way that doesn’t always happen.  I got a lot of positive feedback so I thought it would be fun to dissect the look so that you could try it out. This is something new for the blog so let me know what you think.

10152535_10152157765057239_115113178_nThe whole look is based on starting out with straight hair.  Some of the rules for straightening hair as curly and as long as mine is

1. It must be completely dry.  Any rain or moisture will make it curl up quickly.

2. Have at least an hour (I don’t do it very often because it takes a long time and to be honest my arm gets sore holding up the hair and flat ironing it.)

3. Make sure to use an iron guard to protect your hair from getting too fried.

So let’s start with the flat iron.  I have several but when I am straightening all my hair and it’s as long as it currently is (haven’t cut it since September) I use my full size iron.  These are hard to find and I couldn’t find a great link for you.

I got mine probably 5 years ago from a beauty supply shop that my stylist got me into.  This is the closest I found http://www.target.com/p/conair-infiniti-pro-tourmaline-2-ceramic-flat-iron-black/-/A-14653495

P1010512I like to start with dry hair. I usually shower the night before and then do the treatment in the morning.  It wouldn’t make a huge difference but saves you from having to blow dry your hair and given the beating it’s going to take that is a good thing.

Make sure to get the back of your hair and the underneath layers (that’s the part that takes the longest). I also have it on the highest setting because my hair is so curly that’s what it takes which is why…

You must use some protecting treatment on your hair.  My 2 favorites are:

CHI Iron Guard- I’ve had this bottle for years so it is $14 well spent.  It protects your hair from the heat and helps it look silky and smooth. It looks like hair spray but it’s not. You can’t feel it after it is applied and then your flat iron is used, and I put it on quite liberally.    http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod4730015

P1010513and VO5 Make It Straight Gel with Heat Protection.  A little of this goes a long way, but I couldn’t even tell you how long I’ve had this bottle. This is also hard to find but here’s a link but they are out of stock.  http://www.medshopexpress.com/095863.html

There are several different variations now of V05 straightening products but the reviews aren’t as good so I don’t know whether to recommend them.

P1010514I also make sure my hair is as tangle free as possible.  This usually means it is puffy and a mess before starting.  I have been enjoying this dry conditioner I got as a birchbox bonus item. http://www.birchbox.com/shop/serge-normant-meta-luxe-dry-conditioner

P1010517Then I literally spend an hour taking each section spraying iron guard and then flat ironing it.  Once I’m finished a section I use a high quality hair spray to set the area.

For today’s look I added blue streaks throughout using my latest friend Hot Huez Hair Chalk (any hair chalk will work fine but this is wildly available at Wallgreens and is under $15 for 4 colors). http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Huez-Temporary-Chalk-Set-Colors/dp/B00DRA91A0

101_PANAOnce you’ve applied the chalk set with hairspray again.  Also use a little bit of rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to get rid of any chalk on your face. This wears down after a few hours so I wouldn’t recommend it for an all-day affair like a wedding unless you have blonde hair but for an evening out or afternoon it’s a lot of fun.

Another good thing about the hair chalk is that it is just subtle enough to surprise people without being garish or over-the-top.  I love it.

So that was my hair.  Now for my makeup, which I think turned out great too.

Blue Hair Rachel 1First I used my borghese brightening cream foundation. I got this in one of my boxes and I love it.  It’s light and helps with my redness without feeling cakey. http://www.amazon.com/Borghese-Splendore-Brightening-Body-Ounce/dp/B000A85FP2

borgheseNext, I used Avon You’re Blushing Plum stick.  I’ve had this forever too, so definitely worth the cost. It’s so easy to apply and doesn’t look heavy (I’m not normally a blush fan). http://www.amazon.com/Avon-Youre-Blushing-Cheek-Color/dp/B00ADX52P2

P1010525For lips I used a Lip Do from Model and Co, which is one of my favorite brands of late.  A birchbox favorite I actually got this duo in my recent Popsugar Must Have box and I really like both the lipstick and lip gloss. The feel is really good.  It lasts a long time and doesn’t dry out my lips.

Here’s a great deal for all 3 color sets and their mascara http://www.modelcocosmetics.com/shop/lip-lash-kit

101_PANA1For my eyes I used 2 products-

NYC Eyeliner Duet You’ve Got the Power 883. In this case I just used the gray not the black side.  I got this in a box at some point but it is a low cost very useful liner. http://www.amazon.com/N-Y-C-Eyeliner-Duet-Youve-Power/dp/B000W99X4I

P1010523Next I used Covergirl Bombshell Shine Shadow Ice Queen as the eye shadow above the liner.  This is a sample I got in my Birchbox Finds box which featured products from your local pharmacy such as Wallgreens. It’s a really good shadow and not overly glittery or clumpy (I crease really bad with my eye shadow)  http://www.target.com/p/covergirl-bombshell-shine-shadow-eye-shadow/-/A-15013236 P1010524I think that is everything.  Let me know what you think of this concept.  Is this something you’d like to see more of?

Some of the photography I will try to do better next time.  The samples are small that the camera struggles to, but I enjoyed experimenting with it.

Have any of you used any of these products or companies?  Do you flat iron your hair?  What do you think of the look? I really felt beautiful and that’s of course more important than anything else.

Gwynnie Bee

Hi guys! I wanted to tell you about a cool new service for plus size fashion.  Readers of this blog may remember my feelings on plus size fashion as featured on this blog https://smilingldsgirl.com/2010/10/16/a-note-on-plus-size-fashion/ 

However, bad fashion aside one of the problems bigger girls like me has is that our sizes can fluctuate greatly depending on a ton of different factors.   I’ve changed sizes in as quick as a month both on the upswing and downswing.  This can be extremely discouraging and expensive.  Most of the time it leaves us girls wearing frumpy clothes that are too lose or tight (both depressing).  You don’t feel pretty but you don’t want to invest in new clothing that you may only wear for a couple of months.  So you end up buying something cheap that is hardly flattering.  Basically you settle.

Well, someone has finally figured out a solution to this problem.  Its called Gwynnie Bee.  It is basically the netflix of clothes.  You log on to the site and then build up your ‘closet’ full of shirts, skirts, dresses and blazers (no pants for some reason?) and all of them are size 10 to 30 and designer names.  You can then pick a plan ranging from $35 for one piece of clothing, $59 for 2, $79 for 3.  For basically the price of a pair of jeans you can look fresh and new.

It only takes 2 days to send you your clothes and it includes a usps bag to seal up the garments when you are finished.  Then in 2-4 days you get the next items on your list.  Here’s an overview

Don’t you think that is a clever idea?  My only concern is that I need pretty modest clothes because of my religion and they have too many short dresses (I am also 5 ‘8 so what is short to me may be just right for some).  Right now you can try for free for 30 days.


What do you guys think?

2 of the looks I got in my gwnnie bee.  What do you think?
2 of the looks I got in my gwnnie bee. What do you think?

I HATE Athletic Wear

athletic wear- the haven for the skinny

Hello fashion world- I would just like to vent to you for 5 seconds.  In your eyes all women are exactly the same and need to look exactly the same.  (or if they’re different.  It is the same way of looking different).  Want some fashion advice? Check out this post.

I’ve seen the look of horror on your face at the  fashion shows when you meet a plus size women.  How can you possibly be expected to design for such an atrocious creature? On Project Runway the designers panic and run for the exits when given a ‘real woman’ challenge.  It makes me wonder what type of woman are they designing for- the fake woman?  They might as well be for how many women fit into their clothes.

In a great article in the Los Angeles Times Emili Vesilind calls plus size women “Fashion’s invisible woman”.   Despite 14 being the AVERAGE size for women in America most designers would rather cater to their ideal woman, deluding themselves that they are somehow encouraging those fatties to get in line. Here is a quote:

“ When Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, who spent most of his adult life battling a serious weight problem, created a capsule collection for H&M in 2004, the newly svelte designer was incensed that the retailer manufactured the collection in larger sizes. “What I designed was fashion for slender and slim people,” he said. And in an interview in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar, he sniffed, “The body has to be impeccable . . . if it’s not, buy small sizes and less food.”

Another ‘fashion editor’ from Australia criticized the use of plus size models because they encouraged such laziness and disgusting body-types.

“While these women might make us feel better about our bulging butts and guts, the truth is, few women over a size 14 are in a healthy weight range.
And many need encouragement to lose weight instead of being told to feel good about being overweight.
Seeing big girls might give us healthier self-esteem, but it might not encourage us to lead healthier lives.”

Did it ever cross your mind that maybe these women need both- they need to feel good about their body and be encouraged?  Why are the two mutually exclusive?  It truly makes me crazy.
Some may counter that the market speaks and plus size doesn’t sell.  I find that hard to believe when again it is the AVERAGE size of women in America.  Surely there is a market to tap into there but the fashion industry doesn’t want to pander to fatties?  How do you explain the huge success of plus size chains such as Lane Bryant and Torrid?  I think the fashion industry wants to promote a particular type of woman and those that don’t fit can be left with their mumu’s and fast food at home.
Even if you buy their idiotic views- here’s the rub- try to find athletic gear in plus sizes and you will have a tough road on your hand.  Think you can roll into Big 5, Sports Authority, Cabellas and find plus size active wear- not so much.  What about target or Lane Bryant- nope.  It is practically impossible to find active wear for plus size women.
The only way is to turn to the internet and even that, on occasion, fails me.  In order to find something as simple as a sports bra I had to dig through websites until finally I found one on Old Navy.com.  Sometimes I am forced to buy men’s active wear (not with teh sports bra, of course!) but that is usually very unsatisfying and like a cloud around my body.
After much digging I finally found a plus size active wear bathing suit on Lands End and even though it was expensive I bought it because there was no other choice.  Socks, running shirts, yoga pants, workout tanks, anything ‘gym chic’, are all nearly impossible to find in plus size.
Which leads me to my next question- how do you, fashion designer, expect us to ‘lead healthier lives’ if nobody sells clothing to help us do just that?  Are we supposed to stay in hiding until we magically come out of the cocoon of fatness?  Then you will adorn us with your precious athletic wear.  It really makes me crazy!
triathlon wetsuits are my enemy. I hate them!
What has gotten me particularly fumed about this topic is I have been working for weeks trying to swim in the 1 mile open water race at Deer Creek Reservoir.  My swim times are good, my training has been intense but you know what could stop me from swimming- clothing!  That’s right stupid clothing.  Normally beginning swimmers use a triathlon wetsuit which is slick on the outside and breaths more than a traditional wetsuit.  The water is pretty cold and having a wetsuit helps your legs from freezing up and your arms from feeling heavy.
Unfortunately the stupid wetsuit manufacturers only make a woman’s size up to 160 lbs.  160 lbs!!  I still can’t believe that is their biggest.  It will probably take me 2-3 more years before I am close to 160 lbs.  I have to admit the whole incident was very discouraging.  Its one thing to not be able to do something because you are out of shape, but I’m in shape.  I can do the stupid race!  To be stopped by something as dumb as clothing makes me nuts.  I cried and cried when I first found out.
Even the man’s size was too small (particularly for my bust, there’s a shocker!).  So, my friends I am going to attempt to swim the race without a wetsuit.  We will see how my trial run goes tomorrow.  Its going to be hard but all I can do is my best.  I can’t control the stupid wetsuit situation but I can give it my all in that cold water.
Hear is my plea- PLEASE put out some athletic wear that we can actually use to help us lose the weight you find so unsettling.  PLEASE  put out socks that fit, running shirts, sports bras that support, high performance products and even a few cute gym outfits.  I know I would buy it- what about all of you? For goodness sakes I was willing to spend over $300 for my wetsuit but no.  Nobody makes one even close to what I need.  Nobody wants my money!
Maybe if enough of us could show interest we could do some type of petition to the major athletic wear labels?  It would certainly be nice to be able to compete when we’ve actually done the training and not be thwarted due to improper clothes!  So please make a comment, send this post to friends, twitter it and let’s see if we can get something done.
I will let you know how my trial run goes tomorrow. Let’s hope I can brave the cold!
Here are 2 sites that are pretty good:



A Note on Plus Size Fashion

While I admit I have fallen off my fashion game in the last year or so (working at home has been detrimental in that regard), I still think I have my own quirky sense of style.  I particularly love chunky jewelry and wrapped shirts/dresses that give me a slim silhouette.  Oddly enough my fashion highlights probably occurred the years I worked at JWA.  As the welcoming face and the only single girl in the office I felt it my duty to look my best.  I also noticed that the cuter my outfit the brighter my spirits (something that did not go unnoticed in that drab job).  I admit that most of the cute jewelry and true fashion items I own I bought during that time period.

Lately I feel like I’m always coming to or from the gym in my sweats or jeans with my hair in a ponytail 90% of the time (you know its bad when your mom visits and says ‘its nice to see you in something other than a ponytail”…)  The other current difficulty is I am in between sizes and don’t want to purchase much in the hopes that I will keep losing.  I did buy 2 pairs of size 24 jeans (1 size down) at Walmart and those feel great!  Walmart carries Just My Size plus sizes and I’ve been very impressed with the quality, not simply the low price, of their clothing- a real surprise.

So, having admitted my recent problems in this area I would like to say something about plus size fashion.  First of all, don’t you think the day where plus size clothing is hidden in the back of the store should be over?  My friend and I joke that plus size is the ‘pornographic section’  of the mall because it is like the old video stores where the adult films were crammed in the back behind a velvet curtain- ‘just pretend like the plus size people aren’t there and maybe they’ll go away’.   Also it would be nice if there were more than one or two options in cut, color, style etc.  Most of the time I bypass department stores all together and head right to the plus size chains such as Lane Bryant (good for career) and Torrid (great for a little bit of trendiness).  If these stores do not have clothes I like at the prices I can spend I often go online to purveyors like Lands End, Old Navy (they only sell their plus size line online) and Catherines (most of their line is very frumpy, but I got a good suit and winter coat there). I’ve had okay luck at discount chains such as Ross, Michael’s, Burlington etc.

This year I had such a hard time finding cute unique clothes that I asked my mother (an amazing seamstress) to make me some light, fun skirts.  She has finished 5 of them and I wear them all the time.   She even made them easily alterable for when I lose more weight.   I love them!Unfortunately not everyone has my mother’s tailoring at their disposal.  With this in mind I have a word to say to the designers of the world.  Listen up because here are my plus size fashion likes and dislikes (all right, its mostly dislikes…)

1. Just because we are plus size does not mean we need tons of fabric- we already have a lot of bulk, we don’t need more.

Bad look 1


Just keep adding fabric and maybe it will swallow her whole!


2.  On the same lines- stop adding ruffles to everything.  As a small decorative touch they are fine but some plus size designers add it to ‘cover the fat’- all it does is make you look like a giant bedspread.


this may be the ugliest shirt I've ever seen. Its like she has a giant ruffle bib.


3. Most of us like our curves- boxy shirts and dresses are unflattering and UGLY.  Some designers seem to get plus size shirts confused with their living room drapery- like they want to put on a play behind the shirt!


Don't you just feel bad for the model?


4. Don’t be afraid to give us trendy prints. Also there are a lot of ugly jungle type prints for plus size.  Not sure why- we can’t all be Beyonce!


Where do I start...



This is a print I like. With a cardigan wouldn't it be cute dress?


5.  On the same breadth do not be afraid to give us unique looks that will make us stand out- we don’t all want to be wallflowers.


I thought this was different and unique. Don't know if it would work for me because of the halter but I LOVE purple.



love, love, love this dress. Its awesome. Love the jewelry too!I would probably have to wear it with a cami but cute!


6.  Remember that sometimes we need accessories or under pieces that work with an outfit.  You have no idea how hard it is to find undershirts (companies like shade and modbod don’t make plus size and their XXL are very small).  Camis, bras, nylons, tights, leggings, exercise clothing, swimsuits,pajamas (so hard to find cute jams for plus size), shoes (especially boots) are all hard to find.   The other day I found athletic socks for plus size and it was the greatest thing ever!  You would be surprised how difficult it was to find a plus size sports bra (I had to order mine online because none of the stores, even the plus size ones, carried them. Ironic hah?).

I am grateful for the retail stores that do cater to plus size girls.  They fill a void and help girls like me from feeling ugly and discouraged. Plus, they allow me  to show off my personality with my fashion.  There is nothing more motivating in the quest to get in shape then feeling beautiful- when I can add a little bit of trend and sass all the better!

Even though I am in between sizes and exercising every day I am going to try and do better with my fashion.  It will help me appreciate and have fun with  my new body!  Plus size girls out there- what are your fashion pet peeves? or non-plus size girls too?