Thursday, 20 February 2014

Jeans for Plus-Size

So apparently some women, like myself, have difficulty finding the right pair of jeans. This is a must-have in our wardrobe, darlings. Yes, jeans. Every women should have at least a pair. Not going to waste time talking about the history of jeans. But we all crave to own a Levi's 501. Unfortunately for me, being a plus-size, I never owned one. At least not the original. Unless you are rich, the only way to get plus sizes is from abroad. The problem with Malaysian fashion buyers for big brands are they just cater to slim women.

Growing up, I always had a problem with jeans. I am what you'd call a pear shape. Bottom heavy. My butt was so big that my mum would always tease me. As we all know, jeans are great to accentuate your butt. Heck, we women oogle over men's butts in jeans. Yummy! Anyway, back to us ladies. Especially us plus-size women, it is hard to find one that fits well. For me personally, I've always had to buy jeans 1 size bigger. And this is to fit my butt. I dare not tuck in my top because it would just show how loose the jeans is around my waist. And now, as I got older, surprise surprise, I start losing my butt and I can no longer buy pure denim jeans.

What's my solution? Spandex! Jeggings! Anything that makes the jeans stretch! And being plus-size, you have no choice but to buy mommy jeans. Yes, those high-waisted pair. Please stop being in denial, and admit that we cannot really feel comfortable in those sexy low-cut jeans. Yes, those young sexy Guess? models may be able to pull it off, but that's just it...they're young and sexy!

So, where would I buy them? 3 retail stores come to mind.

1. Dorothy Perkins
2. BHS (I only know of the store in Bangsar Village)
3. Marks & Spencer

Now, what types would suit what body? Let me share my own personal opinion.

For those vertically challenged plus-size women like myself, there are only 2 types you should wear. Skinny jeans and bootcut.

Skinny is good when you have something long on top. Or if your tummy isn't as bulat as mine, then keep the top short. But what skinny does is that it makes your legs look longer. Unfortunately if you have big hips and small ankles, DON'T wear skinny jeans! It just makes you look even shorter and bigger really. It then shows your heavy parts. Skinny jeans are denim mix with spandex. So it stretches. My hips are huge, but I think because my calves are and ankle are proportionately big too, it just looks ok. This skinny jeans I got from Dot Perks! On a good day (during sale of course), they go at RM96 or sometimes RM169 for 2. Great bargain for Me!

Bootcut is another good silhouette for plus-size. What it does is it balances our heavy parts. Bootcut jeans with spandex fabric infused in the denim is an overall body slimming magic! But again, the top plays an important role nonetheless. Don't wear long tops with bootcut. Then everything looks big from top to bottom. Bootcuts are good to hide big calves. What I am doing wrong in the photo below is that I wore bootcut with slippers! Selipar jamban tak sesuai. But what the heck, I was on holiday in Mauritius here! So what shoes would work? Well, boots for sure. But yeah, we're in hot and humid Malaysia and boots are not recommended as they're suitable for winter or some extra fun that we wont go into here... So, no boots for bootcut? Of course with the right occasion, go ahead. But what would look nice is a pair of wedges! and of course sexy red high heels!

If you still can't find the perfect jeans, tackle jeggings instead. This is godsend, I tell ya. Jeggings are flattering and comfortable. Go playful with colours. Red, blue, pink. Have fun with it. Check out the photo below...need I say more?

But before you make any purchase, please do try them on. When you do, try sitting down. Walk in them, jump if you can. Make sure it fits you nicely. And seriously, don't attempt low cuts unless you are ready to constantly pull up your jeans all the time, especially when you get up. It's not flattering, darling! Another important thing to consider, the butt part. Make sure that fits nicely too. Loose behind just makes for sloppy style.

oh! Another important thing when choosing your jeans...when you try them on, pull it up nicely, and make sure there is no CAMEL TOE!!! yucks!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Plus-size Dress tips

How was your Sunday? I had gone out with my bff for some dimsum and did some window shopping. Yes, you heard me, window shopping. After Bangkok, I've successfully refrained myself from shopping. Sure, a little here and there for my daughter is not shopping. Then again, I am saving up for my next trip.

Anyway, considering I have not gone shopping, nor trying out clothes so much, I thought why not make a list of some of the obvious tips for us plus-size girls in picking the right dress. I've tried em all, and will share with you what I personally think works for us big girls. And then, I will also point out what's a no-no for us too.

Dresses - my favourite. I must admit, at one time, I hated wearing dresses. I always felt it made me look even shorter. But with the right length, and the right design, dresses are great silhouette for plus-sizes. The most important factor is your body shape and size.

If you’ve got a lot of curves, but not so much height, shopping for a dress can seem like a daunting task. You’ll drown in a floor-length dress, and ankle-length hemlines will make you look even shorter than you are. What does work for you? Dresses that falls right at the knee. Keeping your calves visible will elongate your legs, while covering your thighs will create sleeker lines in your figure. Me...I am a shorty! So, ideally, knee-length dress is the way to go.

Swing dress helps create waistline. It will provide an hourglass look that all women seek. Of course not including waifs. With swing dress, nice to add in a belt. Thin belt. Unless you really do have shape, then by all means use the wide belt. Please don't wear figure hugging dresses if you do not have a flat tummy. In Malay, we call those who wears close fitting clothes - SARUNG NANGKA. No, we do not want to look like those fabric farmers wrap their jackfruits with. We celebrate our curves, not our tummy.

When wearing these dresses, pick designs that aren't too big. For example, big flowers will just make you look wider. It will look as though you are wearing your curtain.

Even a dress in the same shape and size, when it has bolder wider prints will just make you look bigger. This is more obvious when it is a shift dress. Shifts are good as long as your tummy does not show. Also to consider, the size of your arm. If you, like me, inherited big arms from the glorious gene pool, avoid sleeveless.

But if you are tall, and plus-size, you can get away with anything. Height definitely helps hide your fats. Below are photos of my bestfriend wearing the exact same dress as me, and looking gorgeous. The kaftan dress looks way better on her, and she is not overpowered by it. On me, it just became top heavy and seriously frumpy! I looked like a midget it in. Now, with this, make sure to pair them with a plain handbag and shoes either in black, or brown. I don't agree with some that says to wear with bright colours. I just feel it would add on to the already busy design.

Other dresses to consider are of course the timeless vintage style. These are dresses that anyone can pull off. Ok ok, with the exception of ME! The strapless figure hugging dress works for plus-sizes. You don't have to be skinny to look good. Add a statement necklace with it, and a contrasting purse, and you are set for a great night out. You should wear high heels with this dress. Flats will be too boring when you have such a hot dress on.

I love the wide collared dress. Very 60s. It adds drama to the rather plain dress really. And if you have these wide collars, DON'T wear any necklaces. Keep the earrings small. Do not wear with dangling earrings. This dress is cute to wear with flats. Can't help but imagine Maria walking to meet Captain Von Trapp for the first time, singing her way to win the hearts of the kids. I love vintage design!

I hope these tips helped you. Any more ideas would be great too. I would love to hear your opinions as well. Some of these dresses are for sale. Let me know if you'd like to have a view of what is available from my collection. Do leave your comments below! Cheers!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Somewhere over the rainbow

Today was made special when I got to catch up with my girlfriends over dinner and drinks...and lots of laughter. Of course it also came with some sulking and bitching. And when we left the restaurant, Juanita gave me the third compliment for my favourite red shoes. Yes, the third. And honey, having people to say they like what you wear is definitely a pick-me-upper.

It all started in the morning. As usual, I woke up with heavy heart. When you are unhappy with work, waking up will always be difficult. And of course it doesnt help that my car has been misbehaving. So, all in all, it hasn't really been a great few weeks for me. I also was at a lost as to what to wear for work. Found a black and white top from Debenhams that I haven't worn for quite a while, squeezed my fat ass into a Dorothy Perkins pencil skirt and rushed out to work. And if my cute new neighbour saw me scoot off to work, he'd probably shake his head. There I was all dressed up, but wearing my cotton on slippers! Selipar jamban as we would lovingly call it here in Malaysia!

You see, my car is basically a shoe rack. I have at least 4 pairs of shoes on standby in the car. In assorted colours for different clothes. After a rather surprising smooth drive to the office, I parked the car in my reserved bay, I looked back at my choices and decided to wear my favourite red shoes. As I had chosen a rather dull ensemble of clothing, I knew I had to add in a pop of colour. With my laptop bag saddled on my shoulder, an unfamiliar lady smiled at me and said, "I love your shoes." Ting ting ting...a smile crept up on my lips. What a great feeling that got me. I suddenly catwalked my way up to my desk. You know that effect you see in the movies where the actor appears as though they are floating? That was how I felt...funny how a compliment from a perfect stranger could make you feel good. 

Now, that's just the morning. Of course by now you'd realised how easy it is to make me happy. I was feeling confident and on top of this world. Today was supposed to be a full day for me. From organising and delegating work between my staffs, having lunch with a colleague and then 2 meetings to attend back to back. But when you know you look good, it boosts your confidence, and trust me, it shows. See, even a plus-size woman can exube confidence. I was absolutely motivated today, despite waking up like a zombie.

After lunch, I was filled with ideas and feeling very productive. Happily chatting with my staff whom I know absolutely hates me. Even came up with some last minute idea for an event! And as I was preparing to attend my first meeting, a male colleague came up to me, and whispered, "I love your shoes." Yes, the exact same words. Second time of the day! I knew there was a good reason why red is my favourite colour!

My confidence went up sky high. Again, I continued walking with my head held up high. I absolutely love this feeling. This is why I believe we should always make an effort in choosing our wardrobe. Being plus-size doesn't mean it's the end of the world. 

Then by late afternoon, my day got better when my bestfriend buzzed me for a catch up. Made even better when another friend also managed to join us. It is always great when you get girlfriends together, chit chating, bitching, grumbling, laughing. Genuine friendship.

Then as we were leaving Delicious, Juanita said, "I love your shoes" and that just made my day complete. I told them about the other two identical compliments, and how it has absolutely made my day. My top and skirt were like the accessories today.

And I am still smiling as I typed all this down. Somewhere over the rainbow...tap it, Dorothy.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Plus-size at the Beach

It's been over a week since I last posted. Sorry about that. Have been busy at work, and now a long break. Been busy planning my next holiday trip too.

I was recently in the company of over 20 shallow Malay men. Sadly, it just reinforces my perception of them. More than mere perception when I got to experience how narrow minded they are too. Perhaps it is men in general and not just that specific race. But alas, this experience was with that race. But who would want to hear my rant about being the "butt" of their fat jokes, right?

Anyway, as I mentioned, I am planning a getaway. Been so busy with work, and traveling for work, I realised I needed a real break. One that does not involve shopping. I've yet to decide on a destination, but a beach holiday would be ideal. I know not many of us big girls like beach holidays. Wearing swimsuits scares the s%$# out of me. I haven't gone scuba diving for this very same reason. I hate wearing those weights just so I could sink into the sea. I hate wearing wet suits because it shows my unflattering figure. So many people are surprised that I have a diving licence. As usual, people are surprised that fat people have hobbies. They just assumed we are lazy and not into extreme activities. I just get so uncomfortable when people who are thin says they look like whales when they sun bathe. So, I've been avoiding beach holidays for the longest time until I lose my weight. But I love the sun, sea and sand too much. And I miss it so bad now.

Well, lucky for us plus-size gals, there are brands which carries swim wears that "covers" somehow. A favourite of mine is Marks & Spencer. I love their tummy control swimsuits. It has a concealed control panel within the swimsuit, just at the tummy area, obviously. The swimsuit stays tight at the belly part, but you may bulge a little. Of course, when you're not in the water, best to wear a kaftan.
Debenhams also carries plus-sizes swimsuits. But they do not have the tummy control types here in KL. If you travel abroad and come across Debenhams, try to scout for the plus sizes tummy control ones. They are far cheaper than Marks & Spencer.

Shirt dresses are also an option to the beach. Thin cotton types or chiffon are suitable for the beach and the pool as it won't get heavy when wet. But I prefer kaftans. I would usually wear my kaftans with shorts. And of course as a silhouette, pick bright colours. Being by the sea, black is not an option unless you want to keep warm and sweaty as the heat is absorbed. Choose bright colours or design. Being our size, AVOID big white kaftans. As cliche as the idea of a white shirt being sexy, unless the shirt is cut with a waist line, big girls should not wear big white shirt as it really adds on the pounds! I personally like chiffon kaftans as they dry up so fast. In fact, you can just wash it and still wear it again the next day. Of course, fashion forward people won't want to be seen in the same clothes 2 days in a row. But hey, to the beach, it's the swimsuit that matters.

You can also opt for a maxi dress, This is an easy choice as you only need to slip it on. Again, choose those made of chiffon or anything thin. It will dry up fast and wont cling to the body. Plus-size ladies should try to avoid thick cotton t-shirts. Wet look is just not appealing on women our size.

Jerseys which are often made into beachwears are only for times when you know you won't get wet. This is an excellent example of heavy wet clothes. Maybe a night out or during lunches. But not to cover your wet suits. They tend to get real heavy, and do not dry up fast enough. Tie & dyes are the trend right now. Wear that for the night out to party or dinner. Or just a walk on the beach.

Now, these won't be complete without accessories. Bead necklaces are perfect to wear as it won't get spoiled by the water. Even those made of wood. But try to get them in the city, and not at your holiday destinations. Usually those sold at beach holidays are double the price it is actually worth. However, if your clothes already has a busy design, try to avoid chunky accessories. These blue stones I bought in Bangkok would be suitable for plain thin cotton dresses for those evening outings.

During the day, wearing a chunky wooden bangle will add colour to your look, especially if you do wear those plain kaftans or even the swim suit. And they don't spoil easily. Accessories for beach holidays should not be those flashy diamontes. Those made of beads, fabric, shells are better options. Again, wearing these are meant to compliment the clothes you wear, not overpower them.

Other accessories that would look good for island getaways are these:

To finish-off this look, add on a big straw hat - which I know we all love but have no opportunity to wear in the city - put on your favourite big sunglasses and wear your head up high.

Lets go to the beach!!!