Happy Friday everyone, I hope you all have had a fantastic week! Sorry that I haven’t posted this week till now but I was in bed sick for the last couple of days. I am feeling much better now and a little bit guilty that it is the weekend already! But that’s the way life works sometimes and one thing I have learned is to listen to my body when it says enough is enough.
Today’s post features another designer that I got to know this summer, Melissa Masse. Melissa is based out of LA and has the cutest little shop in Beverly Hills. When I planned my trip to LA in August I knew that I definitely wanted to visit her store as I had heard so many great things about her and I love her designs.
Melissa has been designing for a long time but I find that it is not very well known that she designs for ALL sizes which includes plus sizes. I was always hesitant before to try anything because I thought she only went up to a 3x but Marcy Cruz of the blog Fearlessly Just Me visited Melissa’s store when she was in LA in April and noted that the sizing was generous and that she did have some larger size options available.
My visit to Melissa’s store ended up being an experience I will never forget. I had the opportunity to go to the store with the two beautiful babes behind the amazing vodcast Plus This! Show, Eva Tingley and Kathy Deitch. If you aren’t following them or haven’t listened to their vodcast I highly recommend that you do! These babes are beautiful inside and out and are not afraid to tackle the hard issues. And then you added Melissa to the mix who is also hilarious and has a no holds barred personality and it made for one of the most amazing body positive women’s bonding sessions that I have had in awhile.
It turned out that Melissa knew who I was from Instagram and the blog so when I got to the store a little early and she started to pick things for me to try I was surprised. I guess I still don’t think about the fact that people will know me. And when I said I was unsure about the sizing and whether it would fit me, she told me not to worry about it, that her sizing was generous and she could always make me custom. As a size 28 it was so nice to feel welcomed and reassured and not like I didn’t belong because of my size. And true to her word her sizing is generous as there were many pieces that were a 3x that fit me.
As I was trying things on, she made a comment that she wanted to see me in something bodycon that showed off my curves because she noticed that I tended to favour an A-line silhouette. As I stood there I was excited that this well known designer who is a straight size was excited to show off my curves and thought they should be celebrated. I explained to her that its not that I don’t like a bodycon silhouette but that it is very hard for me to find something that fits me properly given my pear shape and the lack of options out there beyond a 3x. Of course that was a challenge that she was ready to take on!
She brought me this knot shoulder dress in black in a 3x and in my head I was like there is no way this is going to fit me. But I have been proven wrong before and I was again because it fit and looked pretty darn good for something straight off the rack. I felt sexy and sassy and it really accentuated my assets. Ultimately though it was a little too short for my personal taste and I could use a little more breathing room in the hips. And I think you can all guess that black would not be my first colour choice.
What happened next I have to admit made me a little bit emotional although I didn’t tell Melissa at the time. She offered to make me this dress in a custom colour and to adjust the length and hips so I would love it. I was so excited and beyond grateful. As an extended size I often feel left out in certain aspects of fashion and it is hard to hear about a new line coming out that is supposed to be for “every body” but only goes to a 3x. It’s like my body is not acceptable and that sometimes makes me doubt my self love. But with people like Melissa on the scene I am confident that we can continue to move forward and I will continue to fight for more options beyond a size 24.
This gorgeous dress in this amazing purple blue shade arrived at my hotel in NYC when I was there for fashion week and when I put it on, it literally fit like a glove. I felt like a million bucks and I was ready to slay. I immediately knew I had to give it the special attention it deserved and include it in my photo shoot with Stanley Desbas. And then I was going to a special dinner at Tao that night and I rocked that dress like nobody’s business. There was a confidence in me from wearing this dress that was obvious. The CEO of the brand that I had dinner with told me she was in awe and that I had never looked better.
With this dress you can see that she really knows how to dress a women’s body. The ruching is perfectly placed, the hourglass silhouette that it creates is simply amazing and it also provides the perfect tummy camouflage. I like that it has a small cap sleeve so you can wear a normal bra but it still shows your arms. And the knot detail provides visual interest and a cute cut out detail. This is the perfect cocktail dress.
To style this look I kept with some metallic pieces because I really wanted the colour of the dress to pop. These earrings are by new Canadian brand Meri Peti. I absolutely adore the uniqueness of the natural stones used and the way the amethyst played off the dress. Some simple bangles from Lane Bryant and a pair of metallic shoes from my closet completed the look. I didn’t pair the look with a clutch because I didn’t know the colour of the dress and was trying to travel somewhat light lol but I have provided a link to something that would pair great with it.
The bottom line? Ladies if you are looking for high quality pieces that enhance your curves and make you feel like the rock star you are then I highly recommend you check out what Melissa Masse has to offer. And if you can’t quite find what you are looking for, remember that she does custom pieces. I mean did you see the dress that Sterling K Brown’s wife Ryan Michelle Bathe wore to the Emmy’s? That yellow stunner was a Melissa Masse original. Melissa, I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for me and the love you have shown me. You took me one step further on my self love journey so thank you for being a part of it.