Saturday, 25 January 2014

Change for the Better

A recent read made Me decide to write about this matter a little more than just about fashion. The article was written by a woman who had lost weight and how her perception had changed. But above all that, she also realised how people's perception about her changed, and how they behaved towards her had suddenly made a 360 degree change too. Unfortunately for me, I have yet to lose weight. The article titled "What Losing 100 Pounds Taught Me About How We Treat Overweight People", seemed written by someone with a vengeance and I dont blame her. The writer, Jasmin, had lost almost 100 pounds in a year (I am jealous! and now I am looking for this juice diet she did). She soon realised that in general, once she had lost weight, her surroundings changed.

All my life, since I was a child, I have never been thin, slim, normal for that matter. Was a chubby baby. A big girl. And even in high school, I was overweight. But not grotesquely big, not obese. Well, I'd rather not call myself that, though I know some have used that term on me. I have always been that girl with that extra something to hold on to.

It's no fun having to always buy extra meters for fabrics to make clothes. It's no fun having to just search through XL sizes when you walk in a store. Worse when you can only enter stores you know sell only big sizes. It was no fun knowing I couldn't take My mum's hand-me-downs when she is so slim and fashionable. As a teenager, being big was traumatising. Seeing all the slim girls getting all the attention from boys and girls alike. I felt small despite being big.

At one point, I started dressing up like a tomboy. Only because it allowed me to wear baggy clothes and hide that extra fats I had. Fortunately for me, I was an eighties child, where fashion was about being comfortable and everyone was wearing big clothes. But deep down, I wanted to wear pretty clothes and in some ways, look sexy. I always wanted to get attention I know I couldn't. I hung around girls that would do anything just to get attention. Tried to be "cool" and break rules. Skipped school. Smoked and just tried to grow up too fast. All because I hated the way people treated me as a big fat girl. I was envious of those pretty girls who always seems to get the guys. I hated how people would call me baby elephant. I hated how boys only saw me as the other guy, and not a girl.

Things changed as I got little older. I changed. I started enjoying sports. I had always used asthma as an excuse to not do physical ed classes. But I began loving baseball. The closest thing to baseball back in school was softball. I decided to join, and train, and best of all re-acquainted myself with friends that made a difference in my life.

It was through this club that I realised friendship is far more important than making boys notice me. I believe it was also through this club that I discovered my bestfriend. Initially, I was told I was too fat for softball. But I think I got a great coach who believed in me. Of course there were some in the club that weren't too keen on me being in their team. But fortunately for me, there were more supporters than bullies there.

I gained confidence. I started loving myself. And I was just having fun. This feeling continued even into college. Despite being a size 12 then, I never saw myself as the fat one out...I was just being myself and having a great time. And people didn't treat me differently. Yes, there will be some bullies around with all the name-calling. But it never disturbed me as much as it did back in school. They were not important. I even found love and got married.

But things changed after I gave birth. I put on weight like nobody's business. I failed to look after myself and I ballooned up to a size 18. I hated the feeling so much. And I became somewhat of a recluse...I avoided old friends. I changed how I dressed. I didn't socialise. And I was so focused on keeping my then husband happy and doing whatever he wants. I was at my lowest then.

Before my daughter turned 1, my then husband met with an accident. He had fallen off a forklift clipper and crushed his spine. He became paraplegic and required my full attention. I was there for him for his journey to recovery. I even had to put my studies on hold for a whole semester for him. Once I graduated, I had a full time and a part time job so I could support the family. He had to go for physio every other day until he was able to walk again.

We had to move in with my family, as his was in another state. While at work and attending to him, my daughter was in my mother's care. For over a year, we lived this way. Unfortunately for me, he was never grateful. He became bitter. Treated himself like an outsider with my parents. Accused my parents of looking down at him and family because they came from the "kampung". We started fighting a lot. Worse when he'd start the fight in front of our daughter. He even asked me to stop working. And it slowly struck me how I had given up so much for him.

Anyway, to make this long story short, I asked for a divorce, and started focusing back on myself. At this point, I was almost a size 20. Yeah, some would go through stress and lose weight. I somehow managed to just keep gaining.

In order to lose weight, I tried so many things. I started taking this laxative-kind of tea. Slimming tea so they call it. Major horror story that was. I even took pills.

At the same time I chose to leave the very "government-like" Malay culture of a job, and applied for work that I have always wanted to do. Being an art director in advertising. Back in that "government" job, I was treated badly. Typically, men would never hold the door for you, nor want you seated next to them at lunch. They would make fat jokes whenever possible. I hated the environment. I hated how they choose to make me feel, against how they would treat women they find appealing. As a divorcee, you start seeing all this again. When I was married, I had put out that shield that says, "Who cares! I am married and only my husband matters".

So, when I got my divorce, I knew I had to change. I also found a diet that worked for me - Atkins. I avoided carbo, and lost a good 18kg. But of course, I was also in and out of the gym every other day. Lucky I had my bestfriend working nearby. That motivated the gym trips as we would go together always.

But yeah, people behaved differently soon after. Even though I was still overweight, it wasn't like I was obese. I had extra meat. I prefer to say I had more curves than the skinnies. But I was proportionate! hahahah!!

I chose to ignore the bullies. I started dressing well, and learned that it is a matter of how I carried myself. I started caring about my appearance. I began wearing make-up. Learned tips on how to make myself look slimmer. At the same time continued dieting. I was a hot single mother I would say. I was dating again. I had a good life. Despite not getting a single cent from the divorce and having to be my daughter's sole provider, I was doing ok.

Then work got in the way. Advertising is a crazy industry. Trust me, it's not glamorous as how some would perceived it to be. I just needed to make more money to support my daughter and so I lost focus of looking after myself. As my daughter got older, more money was needed. And so I enslaved myself into work, and gained weight again. I was not eating properly, nor eating at the right time.

I hardly had time for myself, let alone for my daughter. I was forced to work odd hours and even sacrificing my weekends. When the offer came to leave agency life, I took it with open arms, thinking how lucky I was. But what really happened was, I left the lion's den only to enter the dragon's cave!

I was back in a very Malay culture. I am Malay, but I can never resonate with the community's way of thinking. The fat bullies returned. Name-calling came back to haunt me. Men would say nasty stuff to make it clear to me that fat women were not accepted in social situations. They will say it too clearly that unless I am thin, I am not welcomed. Stupid things like their car cant hold my weight to avoid giving me a ride. They will say things like I alone will fill up a photo. I really do hate this situation. I hate that they have no care about how I felt. I did sulk a bit before. In fact, I have been called a racist to my own kind. But I don't care anymore. I've come to an age where all I should care about is making money for my daughter and feeling good about myself. I choose to now ignore those bigots. I dress however I like - yes, skirts and dresses are frowned upon by the people around me at work. But now I say, WHO CARES!

This is why I chose to start this blog. To share my experience and to help where possible. I am not a shrink nor a psychologist, but I can help you dress better to make yourself feel good. I chose to be happy. I cant change how people think of fat people. But I can change how they see me. Recently, I got complimented for my looks by the same fool that made fun of my size...may just be 1 person, but it's a start.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Our World Epic Fail

Recently I went to get my hair washed and blown at My local hair stylist's. And you know how they will always give you a few magazines to keep you entertained as your hair gets full attention. An array of magazines were placed on the table, one of which had my favourite actress on the cover. It was the Malaysian Her World.

So, what I wanted to talk about today is how oblivious their editors are. One of the sections in this magazine is called herStyle Workshop. For this October issue (Ok, so I am reading 4 months backdated stories), they had 8 pages of fashion tips titled "look 5kg thinner now". I think the tips were excellent. I'd vouch for them.
From what I could recall, first tip was to wear pencil skirts. For curvy women, this work wonders. Which is why I wear them a lot to work. I think I have so many pencil skirts in many designs and colours. Also, you can wear at any length and it will still help to make you look slimmer, even for plus-size women.

Second tip was to wear shirt-dresses. Sooooo agree too. Shirt-dresses are great to create the silhouette of a slimmer figure. Add a belt and maybe leggings will help too.

I cant recall anymore what was the rest. But if you get a chance, and come upon the magazine, read up. Because they were good tips.

But the thing that baffled me was how they used stick thin women to model their recommended clothes. And the model was really really thin. You look at the legs and you know the model is skinny. So, basically the magazine failed to show that the clothes and the style actually helped to give the illusion it's suppose to.

Why write articles and tips for curvy women, when you use stick thin models? It just does not make sense. Weird really. Epic fail as my daughter would call that.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Long Weekend Away!

Hello, lovely ladies...So, another long weekend came and went. With Thaipusam on 17th January 2014, we Malaysians got our last long weekend before Chinese New Year.

Whilst you were out enjoying yourself, unfortunately for me, I was at work. Work weekend or not, I prefer to be well-dressed. Or so I hope. Here's some weekend look I think any plus-size person could pull-off:

Jeans are always welcomed over the weekend. With a plain white shirt, I added this beautiful pink Versace scarf to add more colour to it. And weekends are when we'd wear our big-ass bags. So, what would match it best if not the coral YSL easy bag. This is a casual but stylish look, I would say. But yeah, a bit of effort needs to be put in from the wearer.

So, if you are the lazy kind, here are 3 solutions:

Simple casual clothes, dressed down and comfortable. But these are clothes for your off days. Please don't wear them to work. I have seen some plus-size women guilty of dressing down for work. Of course it depends on your work environment, but being plus-size, wearing it too casual can be bad. If you still insist, at least team them up with the right accessories.


Monday, 13 January 2014

Weekend Plus-size Style

If you are outgoing, not shy and just wanna feel good, then how would you dress? Well, for today's outing with my daughter, I chose something to complement my new hairstyle. Ok, so some would say I was trying too hard to look younger. Maybe! But why not? I am an independent woman who loves life. And guess what? My daughter don't mind, so shouldn't you.

Anyway, I had a choice between 2 dresses from Dorothy Perkins. The first one is a maroon dress with white flowers. Very casual, fitting for weekend shopping day. The wrap dress has cap sleeves and a waist tie. 100% Cotton. It is quite low neck, hence I had to wear an inner in white. Decided to match this with a pair of Schutz wedges in nude tone, and the brown Jim Thompson bag is a neutral choice.

My second option was a light cream dress with black and gold motives. It is a little high waisted, with a ribbon tie at the back. Bought this dress in Dubai Dorothy Perkins. However, I bought it in size 20, because I have thick arms. But this made the area under the armpit and the waist a bit frumpy. Think I will wait until I lose more weight before I wear this out in public! Anyway, I thought to match it with my Wallis tote, and again the nude Schutz wedges.

This is why I love Dorothy Perkins. They do come in sizes beyond 12. Plus-size heaven too!

So, between the two, I finally chose the maroon dress as the waistline is where it should be. So, plus-size girls, head on to Dorothy Perkins as they do have options for us.

Even though it was the weekend, I think we plus-size ladies still needs to look good. Don't go out wearing baggy boring clothes, coz it does reflect your personality. Don't give up. Perhaps, like me, you'll be even more motivated to lose the weight. So, in the meantime, dress well.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Plus-size hair makeover

It's now two weeks into 2014, and I thought maybe it was time for a makeover. Something to start the new year...a fresh new look. I'll be turning 40 next year, and yet I dont feel it. I remember as a child how I saw 40 as OLD. But here I am at 38, and still think I am in my early 30s instead. I know some would say I am just in denial. But truthfully speaking, I dont feel my age. Is that bad? I see women younger than me looking older. Or maybe it's their behaviour. So, maybe it is me being in denial. Hahahah.

Anyway, this afternoon, I went to my hairstylist and told him about my problematic curly hair. Of course it was all freezy and dry. So naturally, a typical stylist will insist treatment first before anything else. Then I told him I needed a trim as I do have thick hair. And I said I needed a change. Out came the book and he suggested 4 inches and more to dispose! After 5 mins of deliberation, and half an hour of treatment and shoulder massage, I agreed to the cut. And here's the end result.

I am wearing another version of the tie and dye dress that I bought in Bangkok, along with a synthetic leather (aka PVC la sebenarnya) bag that actually has my name on it. Match that with the blue shoes I bought from Opera, that helped elongated my figure. I looked taller! The hair definitely made me look younger too. So, heels do help to give you length!

I feel great. And I am ready to rock 2014!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Prepping for the weekend

Weekend's finally creeping up on me. Finally smiled today. Has not been a great week at work. But business definitely going well. Made more sales the other night. Friends asked me to upload photos of dresses that I have for sale here on my blog. Tapi macam malas aje. Not lazy to sell, but I'd want them to be professionally photographed, or at least decent enough to look appealing. Remember some earlier post of them dress? Not up to the standard I'd expect from someone selling clothes ya! hahahah!

Will try to make time this weekend to shoot them clothes ok. But will need models. Any takers? hehehe..

So, what are your plans for the weekend? Weddings to attend? Shopping? Class? Getaway perhaps? It is a long weekend after all. Yes, here in Malaysia, next Tuesday is a holiday. So, safe to assume many would be taking Monday off.

For me, I'd make the best of this weekend as I will be working next weekend the 18th, and it is in some rural area....yikes.

Think I need retail therapy....

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Plus-size Animal!

So we're now in the second week of work. Are you still wearing boring work clothes? Still sticking with plain black and whites? Still wearing boring pumps?

Ever thought of wearing animal print? Well, here's a few tips on wearing animal prints.

1. Don't use big prints - if it's leopard, make sure it's the smaller or actual size. Again, being plus-size, we do not want the prints to overpower the outfit. The fact that we're big, there are more "space" for these things, hence big prints will just add to the weight.

2. Don't wear full print unless it is a dress - Leave it either on the skirt or the top, never both. Or if it's on your shoes, don't wear it on anything else, except for bags. Again, I can't stress enough how important it is to keep prints small or minimal if you are a plus-size. Always complement the print with plain items. Make sure the colour matches. my belt was a bit loose here, but that just means I've lost weight and need to do some shopping! Yay!!!

3. If you are already wearing the print on your clothes, don't have it as accessory. Lets not over-do it. It's just an eye-sore. We know how plus-sizes are often bullied. So, don't give opportunity to these bullies to call you animal names!

4. If it's a jacket, make sure the top and bottom are plain. For example, a plain white or black t-shirt with jeans, or slacks.

We're all in leopards..and it wasn't planned!

5. Wear animal prints that are in their natural colour, or closer to it. Don't go wearing pink leopards, or purple zebra lines. Again, being plus size, we'll just make it too loud. That's not appealing. Yes, we do want attention. But not negative attention.

So, who said plus-size can't and shouldn't wear animal prints? Do I look bad? Please be honest!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

My 1st Great FashioBIGsta Sale!

Yesterday, I had a soiree at Linda's place. Though it was a small get together, it had put a smile on everyone's faces. Yes, I had my little flee market. My shopping collection from all around the world was on sale. My collection of plus-size clothes, along with Linda's was on full display. Our friends got to try them on and given advise on how to best wear them too. It was a mini fashion show for us!

Perhaps next time you could host and I will bring my collection and you could see how it works on your own fashion items. Dresses were matched with own jacket and belt. It was a fun session indeed. Don't just buy an item because it fits. Make sure it looks good, and it is also versatile.

Unpacking the clothing items

We had a blast and had a great red velvet cake to end the afternoon. So, if you'd like to host and see my collection, leave me a comment!


Friday, 3 January 2014

Swing Out Sista!

How was day 1 at work in 2014? I know many would still be on holiday and will probably start afresh next week. Today, I decided to get dress for success...lame! For work, I chose to wear a lovely swing dress I bought from Wallis. This is another versatile dress. Sleeveless and knee length. The skirt however is not straight. It is actually a mullet. But just about 4 inches fall at the back. It also comes with a thin black belt. Now, to ensure I get the waistline for this, I wore my corset.

So, for work, I needed to make myself look professional. For that just add on a jacket. And anyway, work won't allow sleeveless. I guess it was my only choice really. With this kind of dress, dont wear long jacket. Keep it short or otherwise it will hide the flow of the skirt. It is a swing dress after all.

So, this very same outfit can also be worn in the evening. Just remove the jacket! As simple as that.

Good start to the new year? I think so. A senior management person in my office actually complimented me for the first time today :) That sure made my day.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Twenty 4teen

Wow...Happy new year, dear friends!

Did you usher in 2014 in style? I believe I did. But silly me, I forgot to take a nice shot of myself last night. A few of my friends and I decided to go to a 5-star hotel for their New Year's Eve party, which also had 2 bands playing. Thinking there would be a massive traffic jam in KL, we head downtown as early as 7pm, only to arrive in 15 mins and able to have dinner first without rushing.

Anyway, it was my first ever New Year's Eve party to be honest. Usually, I would spend it with the family at home, and would head uphill to see fireworks from multiple places. This year, I just felt like being with my friends, surrounded by a bunch of strangers...

I must say, it was great fun!

Yes, each time we get to the end of the year, everyone will start laying out their new year's resolution. Typically it would be to lose weight, or to make more money, and many more. Often, we never fulfill them. So, what is your resolution for 2014? A friend sent a link on an article about resolutions on Elite Daily. It is rather interesting, and I agree with her, it was a good read.

But instead of it being a new year's resolution for me, I think I am already doing half of what is on that article. I am making a change in my life, with small measures. For one, this blog. My love for fashion and shopping. I realised I may as well put it to good use. And since I've launched the blog, have gotten great support from friends and slowly, but surely, it will be a hit (Like the little train says...I think I can...I think I can...).

So, here's hoping that 2014 will turn out great for me, and for you as well. Happy 2014 people!!!