Happy Saturday everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I am going to continue to rest up so I can go back to work 100% on Monday but I am looking forward to getting out of the house a bit. And the forecast is calling for sunshine which I am super excited about.
Well they say all good things come to an end but I am sad to say this is the final instalment of my swim look book. I had so much fun putting this together and it has been the bright spot of my week while I was feeling crappy. But not to worry I will do some more swim looks when everyone is getting geared up for summer. Can one person own too many swim suits? I clearly don’t think so lol.
This post is a pretty personal post for me because it brought up some body issues that I realized I still had/have. You will hear a lot of women in the body positive community talk about self love being a journey, including myself. So for everyone who follows and supports me yes you see a confident person. But it doesn’t mean I don’t have insecurities or doubts. It doesn’t mean that I don’t deal with hate from within my own community because I am “too” fat, I shouldn’t use the word Curvy etc. And honestly that can take its toll sometime. I am after all only human.
And this is why it was so important to me to be a part of the Succulent Six series and participate in the swimsuit episode. ( I don’t want to give away all the details if you haven’t watched yet! For my US peeps, the show is available on YouTube and a new episode will be uploaded every week. I am in episode 6 which will be available April 3rd – to watch click here. If you are in Canada you an watch all episodeshere). I can’t wait to hear what you guys think! But I realized that when I decided on this look that I wasn’t quite finished with my mission from the show. So this post is an extension of the mission and another step on my self love journey.
I am super excited to introduce you to another up and coming plus size brand that has taken the swimsuit business by storm, Curvy Beach. Curvy Beach is the designer of the original plus size string bikini. The brand was launched by designer and founder Elizabeth Claire Taylor, a plus size model with over 10 year of experience. Born and raised in Southern California, Elizabeth knew there was something missing in the swimwear market – she found herself longing for the luxury swimsuits that her smaller size friends were wearing. So she went ahead and combined her passion for 80’s vintage silhouettes and the fit expertise of a garment industry pro into her own line.
Elizabeth is confident these new and exciting styles will accent the female form in a way no other current brands can. At Curvy Beach, they aim to serve the ‘forgotten woman’ who no longer feels sexy or powerful at the beach. Their sizes range from 8 – 26 and B-J cups. They breech the gap between ‘straight’ and ‘plus’ sizes – giving their customer the high fashion styles, fabrics and trims that are not often (or ever) seen in this size range.
I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth when I was in NYC in September for Curvy Con and NYFW and we immediately hit it off. I had her suits on my radar and I was so excited to talk to her about her brand. Her passion and dedication radiated from within and I knew I wanted to support her brand. And most importantly she felt it was important to show case body diversity. She also doesn’t airbrush any of the images that are used for her brand, she encourages the celebration of the female form in its natural state.
Based on the sizing I was confident that the top would fit but wasn’t sure about the bottom. Based on seeing me in person, Elizabeth felt the size 4 bottom would work so I went for it. I am wearing a 4 in both the top and bottom and I am an H cup. The suits are manufactured in the USA and are made of high quality swim fabric and is very stretchy. If you are between sizes, they recommend sizing down.
So why did this suit bring up body issues for me? While there are many reasons, the number one is I have never showed this much skin. Yes I wear bikinis but I typically wear high waisted bottoms with full coverage. I also almost exclusively wear tops that have underwire in them. I like my cleavage and I feel more confident when the girls are held up high. It also in my mind highlighted that I don’t have an hour glass figure. I have a “spare tire” above my belly button, I have a lower stomach apron sticking out on the sides and well my thighs are my thighs.
And while the design of this suit is amazing with its surprisingly supportive triangle top that still gave me great looking cleavage and the magic shape of the v bottom that elongates your leg and makes your booty look so darn fabulous, I struggled to get past my insecurities in it. My photographer loved it and was so supportive but there were still frames where I remember trying to hold my stomach in. And you know what? You could totally tell when I saw the proofs. Looking through those proofs was scary for me, my first reaction was holy crap, can I do this, what are people going to think? But I shared them with some friends, including my girl Steff Ivory Conover from the Succulent Six and all she could see was my beauty and my personality shine through. And because when I got out of my head and let go of my insecurities, I was able to embrace the suit and how great it made me feel. Ivory thank you for helping me get over that last hurdle, I needed it.
Elizabeth shoots a lot of her suits in Miami and I definitely see myself wearing this look there. The old Lisa would have been so intimidated by a place like Miami which is known for its display of “perfect” bodies by society’s traditional standards. But this Lisa doesn’t care anymore because I am worth it. So I might just have to tag along with Elizabeth sometime! I chose to pair the suit with this one of a kind top from designer Courtney Noelle that I scored at the TCF Style Expo in Atlanta and this light weight skirt from Full Beautythat I had in my closet. Some gold sandals, bamboo earrings also from Curvy Beach and my fave bag completed my off the beach look.
Well folks that’s a wrap on this look and my first look book for 2018! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, I would love to hear your feedback. And thank you for being apart of my journey. Fashion is personal and I feel that sharing my process, my story and my ups and downs is being authentic and true to me. xoxo Lisa
Bikini Top by CURVY BEACH | Bikini Bottom by CURVY BEACH | Skirt by FULL BEAUTY (alternative here) | Swim cover up by FULL BEAUTY (alternative to my custom top) | Sandals by FULL BEAUTY (alternative here) |