Fit Knows No Size

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I hope you are having a fantastic week so far.  I am going to be upfront and let you know that this post is particularly personal to me because I am going to share with you something I haven’t really discussed on the blog yet and something that as a plus size woman I feel very strongly about.


But it also highlights a fantastic new brand that I am thrilled to be working with – Vivacity Sportswear.  Vivacity is a lifestyle brand with stylish, easy care, flattering pieces that work to complement a woman on-the-go.  I was contacted by them in 2016 as they were working on expanding their line to include the plus size market as they had recognized that we were lacking options and they wanted to help fill that void.  Then in June I had the pleasure of meeting with Vivian Sayward, their founder and “Chief Enthusiastic Officer” while I was in New York.


From the moment I walked into the room I felt an instant connection to Vivian.  She has such a warm and inviting personality and she was eager to get my opinions on what she had planned.  We had a great discussion and I was able to provide valuable input to the design process and most importantly sizing.  When I told Vivian that I really wished the line would include a size 26/28 she listened and she DELIVERED.  I have the utmost respect for her tenacity and willingness to take my suggestions into consideration.


The other great thing about this company is that the pieces are American made in California and they are committed supporting local businesses by maintaining all Vivacity-related design, development and manufacturing activities in Southern California.


I was asked to test out the Mindy Top which is a short sleeve casual piece made of moss jersey that is easy to care for, has moisture wicking and is super soft.  And I mean it is so so soft, I absolutely love the material.  Vivacity pieces are made to last with high quality fabrics that are easy to care for and practical for everyday life.  They may be a bit of investment but I think that you will see from the quality that they are well worth it.  Compared to other athleisure pieces I have tried, I would say the quality is not even comparable.


And the fit is fantastic.  I am wearing the plus size XL or 28/30 and I liked that it was long enough to cover my booty and has a rounded hem.  It fits well in the shoulders and chest but still allows enough room in the hips.   It also doesn’t ride up when you walk or stretch as I tried in the pictures.  I hate when I am working out and I am constantly adjusting my shirt.


So here comes the personal part of this post…I was extremely honoured when Vivacity reached out to me because it was for activewear.  As a size 26/28 woman who is let’s face it fat (morbidly obese by medical standards), I have always felt left out when it comes to physical activity.  I have also felt judged by a society that assumes that I don’t do any physical activity and that I must eat 30,000 calories a day or only fast food because there is no other way that I could be as heavy as I am.


So while I am not perfect and I could sometimes make better lifestyle choices these assumptions that are made about me are not only hurtful but simply not true.  I have been side lined by a knee injury that is the result of a bad fall I took for the last year but before that I have always enjoyed some form of physical activity.  And I am capable of doing many things.


But something that I realized recently is that I will stop doing activities that I enjoy because weight loss is attached to them.  And when I don’t lose the weight that is expected from doing these activities I feel I am judged, I lose motivation and I give up.  Coming to this realization has made me quite sad and I am determined to turn things around.


You might me surprised to hear this but I actually quite enjoy working out.  I have worked with a trainer at different points in my life and I love how they push me to get out of my comfort zone and go further than I think I can.  I also did Orange Theory Fitness classes for a period of six months and absolutely loved the challenge they provided.  I also recommend them because they will work around any injuries you have.  And probably my favourite activity is swimming.


I strongly feel that there should not be so much focus in the media on physical activity being tied to weight loss.  I think that physical activity is important regardless of what size you are or how much you weigh and that we should all do it for our health and not weight.  The assumption that someone is not healthy because they are fat is one that infuriates me.  I have done more harm to my body being obsessed with being thin and trying extreme weight loss measures than I have from learning to accept myself for who I am and living in the body that I have.


We are all human and in the end putting so many pressures on us at the same time is detrimental to achieving goals.  I think if I could just learn to focus on how I feel when I am active and forget the scale that I will be more successful at sticking to something.  So in line with my motto for 2017 of #NewYearSameMe, I am going to focus on going back to doing an activity I love and leaving my dusty scale in the closet where it belongs.


I want to encourage each and every one of you to do what is best for you and your body.  Don’t worry about what the media, your family or your friends think because you know what is best for you.  Because in the end, the motivation you need to achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself is going to come from within yourself.


If you would like to give Vivacity a try, you can use the discount code MUSTANGSALLYTWO at checkout to receive 15% off.


Special thanks to Stefanie of SexyPlus Clothing for taking these fab photos.

Top by VIVACITY SPORTSWEAR | Capris by PENNINGTONS (alternative here) | Pants by VIVACITY SPORTSWEAR (coming soon) | Shoes by GRAVITY DEFYER | 

Snow Bunny

Happy Monday everyone, here’s to having an amazing week!

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For today’s post we are featuring a head to toe look from Full Beauty.  As a brand ambassador I have really enjoyed the opportunity to explore all the different options that they have and I am still finding new things that I look forward to sharing with you.

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One of the things readers have been asking for is outerwear options.  Unfortunately living in Canada I do need to wear a winter coat (what I wouldn’t give not to have to!) so I can definitely help you out with this one.  And Full Beauty has many options to choose from in a great size range.  I will be sharing some more options over the coming weeks.

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This entire look is centered around this gorgeous faux fur coat by Roaman’s.  Faux fur is one of the fall and winter’s hottest trends and the fact that it is available in sizes up to a 34/36 is honestly very impressive.

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It is often very hard to find fashion forward on trend pieces in sizes beyond a 24, maybe up to 28 but certainly not beyond that.  So kudos to you Roaman’s for making trendy pieces accessible to all.

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I have to admit that faux fur has grown on me when it became a trend this year.  I never really loved it before.  As a child of the 80’s and 90’s I remember my Mom, grandmother and aunts rocking theirs (some real because that’s what you did in the 80’s) and how I used to think how tacky they were.  That’s right I said it!  Clearly I had an opinion on fashion even way back then lol.

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But the weather was quite cold here in November and December and they are predicting more of it so I decided to get this coat because it was something I couldn’t stop looking at on the website, it was literally calling my name, saying yes Lisa you need to buy me, I belong in your closet.

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This coat comes in 5 different colours but I chose the Chinchilla because I loved the variations of grey and the way it looked like marble.  I was very impressed with the quality of the faux fur, it is very soft to the touch and authentic looking.

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The style is a relaxed fit with an attached hood and hook and eye closures down the front and a button at the neck to keep the wind out.  The sleeves are designed to be rolled up so that is great for those of you who have shorter arms to adjust it and have it look like it was intentional.  I know I had to adjust mine.  It is also fully lined and machine washable!

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I absolutely love this coat, it is cozy, very warm, stylish, fun, and practical for a cold climate.  I am wearing the size 4x and it fit well.  I do find that the sizing runs a bit small so I chose to size up to accommodate my pear shape.  We shot this on a super cold day and I was warm and toasty like a bun in the oven.

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I paired the coat with some simple pieces all in shades of grey to play on the texture of the coat.  Of course a little sparkle never hurts anyone in my opinion so first up was this simple cotton ribbed tank with sequins on the front in a beautiful pearl grey colour that has a little bit of a blue undertone to it, giving it an almost ice like quality.

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I topped it off with the matching shrug in the same colour that is just trimmed in sequins for a polished look.  Both of these pieces are from Denim 24/7 which is also by Roaman’s.  I am wearing the size 4x in both.

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I sized up because I bought a previous piece from this line and it was a little small but I actually should have sized down to probably a 2x in the tank and a 3x in the shrug.  Since Full Beauty has free returns in the US I am open to trying things out till I get the sizing chart down better.

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Call me old fashioned but I really like the look of velour and so when I saw this skirt, a simple A-line with an elastic waist and pockets in this dark charcoal colour from Woman Within I thought it would be a perfect staple for my winter wardrobe.  And this piece is very budget friendly, regular price is only $39.99 and you can often get it on sale for 50% off.  I am wearing the 3x in this skirt.

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Finally I had managed to score a pair of the teal wide calf boots that I have showcased in previous posts on winter clearance in grey.  They were the perfect touch.  Then I added this blinged out necklace from Lane Bryant in varying metallics for that luxe feel.

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So there you have it, I am officially a snow bunny, all bundled up and ready for my hot cocoa in style.  Tell me, will you dare to wear fur?

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for freezing his fingers off while taking  these breathtaking photos.

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Faux Fur Coat by ROAMAN’s via FULL BEAUTY | Tank by ROAMAN’S DENIM 24/7 via FULL BEAUTY | Shrug by ROAMAN’S DENIM 24/7 via FULL BEAUTY | Skirt by WOMAN WITHIN via FULL BEAUTY | Boots by COMFORTVIEW via FULL BEAUTY | Necklace by LANE BRYANT (sold out but alternative here) |

 

 

Frosted Lilac

Happy Wednesday everyone, I am feeling a bit better and so I am finally going to write my first post of 2017!

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I decided to start the year off with a sparkly look to defy the notion that we are bound to wear certain things for certain occasions or only during certain times of the year.  I believe that we can wear whatever we want whenever we want as long as we feel good.  And quite frankly if that means wearing sequins to the dentist then I say go for it!

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I also think it is a great opportunity to show you how to get a beautiful look on sale after the holidays for a fraction of the cost.  Maybe you have a winter wedding coming up or some other function that you might need something dressy for.  I also chose separates so that these pieces could give you extra mileage when paired with other items in your wardrobe.

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I have been in love with the pieces that Ashley Nell Tipton has designed for JC Penney for their Boutique+ line since her first collection was released back in September.  So when her holiday line came out and I saw this skirt in this magnificent shade of lilac I was stalking the website until I could put it in my shopping cart.

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My favourite colour is purple but lilac has a little bit of a more special meaning to me because of my great grandmother.  I was fortunate enough to have my Great Grandma Gale who was staunchly British with me until I was 10 years old.  Not only did she teach me how to drink proper British tea and how to act proper, she also shared her love of the colour purple with me and in particular lilac.  I had numerous outfits when I was little that she chose for me in this colour and I cherished everyone.

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The other great thing about this skirt being lilac is that it can be worn for spring and summer too.  It is made of a lightweight polyester that looks like satin so it would also be perfect for a summer wedding, graduation etc.  You could also totally dress it down by wearing it with a simple t-shirt or tank top.  And I think a floral print would look beautiful with it.

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I am wearing the size 30 in this skirt.  I ordered the 28 and 30 because I wasn’t sure and I wanted the box pleats to lay flat so extra volume would help with that.  The 28 easily fit me in the waist but the pleats just didn’t quite lay right.  The only complaint that I do have with the Boutique+ line is that I find the bottoms can run a little on the small size, I think particularly because I am pear shaped.

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I have to be honest and say that none of the coordinating pieces from Ashley’s collection really spoke to me for this skirt so I went on the hunt for an alternative.  And I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into Penningtons one day and found this sequin tank.  It was perfect for the skirt because the sequins have shades of purple and you can change the pattern of them by giving them a brush with your hand.

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I really liked the design of this tank because it had a plain knit back so that the sequins don’t drive you crazy and thick wide straps so you could wear a normal bra.  I am wearing the size 4x.  I could have sized down since I tucked it in to the skirt but if I want to wear it with something else, I liked the loser fit.  I would totally rock this for girls night out with a pair of jeans.

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I normally wouldn’t add something over top but let’s face it, its’ winter and it has been darn cold in my neck of the woods!  So I grabbed this oldie but goodie velvet jacket that I had in my closet.  Although trends come and go I just couldn’t let go of this jacket that I have had forever and I am so glad I didn’t because here it is back on trend again.  I have given you a link to a current alternative.

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I liked how the jacket pulled the look together and provided a sense of polish.  I personally don’t go to Church but I think with the jacket and some understated accessories this would be perfect for it.  And velvet isn’t  going anywhere for winter so this is perfect for the office with a pair of dress pants and a blouse.

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Finally I decided to recycle some of my favourite accessories from my collection to pull this look together.  Don’t worry, I have provided you with links to some current alternatives, I would never leave you hanging without options!  After all, a girl needs options!

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Keeping with the sparkly theme I added flats from Lane Bryant because I am just more comfortable in flats period.  If you like to rock a heel than I say go with what works for you.  Then there was this bag and bangle that both like bows from Torrid.  I felt they were statements that made a pop.  Finally there was my very special necklace from my bae.  It is from an exclusive Atelier collection designed by Jean Paul Gaultier for Swarovski.  Doesn’t he have great taste?

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Right now you can get this skirt, tank and a similar jacket for only $51 US.  I think that is a pretty great deal for some very versatile pieces.

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Well with that I am off, I wish all of you the best for 2017 and I look forward to continuing to bring you amazing looks that challenge the status quo.  And I will make a promise to you now that I will style this skirt for a summer look to truly show how versatile it can be.  And if you have any specific requests for the blog, please drop me a message.  Xoxo, Lisa

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for these beautiful pictures taken on what had to be the coldest day!

Skirt by ASHLEY NELL TIPTON FOR JC PENNEY | Tank by PENNINGTONS | Jacket is vintage (current alternative here) | Shoes are vintage (current alternative here) | Clutch is vintage (current alternative here) | Bracelet is vintage (current alternative here) | Necklace by SWAROVSKI |

 

Roaring into 2017

Happy New Years Eve my loyal blog family!  I hope you all have a wonderful day ringing in 2017.

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2016 has been an interesting year I must admit.  I have experienced some truly amazing highs and some unfortunate lows.  But through it all I have always had the blog to count on and writing here has indeed become my happy place.  I am beyond grateful to every single person that choses to read my posts or scroll through my pictures because I have learned that I do make an impact on how women think about their bodies and have inspired some to learn to love themselves just as they are.  In the end I think that self love is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.

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I wanted to do a really special look for this post so I reached out to Rojda Hoda, the designer and owner of GatsbyLady London to see if we could collaborate on this post.  I had the opportunity to meet Roj at Full Figured Fashion Week in New York and from the very minute we started talking I realized what a lovely person she was inside and out.

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Then when I saw her designs walk down the runway at the finale show I was truly in awe.  I have always loved fashion with a vintage flare and the 1920s are certainly no exception.  The glitz, the glam, the sophistication and the lady like qualities of the pieces worn and the way woman carried themselves speak to me on so many levels.

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I think the thing that made the biggest impression on me was seeing Roj use Jewelz Mazzei, a local Toronto model and body positive activist for her Vancouver Fashion Week runway show.  It was a powerful moment to see a visibly plus size model and a traditional runway model walk side by side.  And Jewelz killed it, I am so proud of you girl!

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I have great respect for designers that choose to make their clothes for woman of all sizes.  GatsbyLady London designs are available in sizes 0 to 30.  They are true to size and they are actually made with a little stretch.  This is definitely not something you see in traditional high fashion design.

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I am wearing the Beatrice Vintage Inspired Fringe Flapper Dress in Purple Plum.  I fell in love with this dress when I was watching a video clip from Vancouver Fashion Week.  Of course I was immediately drawn to the rich purple plum colour which is my favourite.  And then on top of that there is the gorgeous iridescent beading.  And the intricate design of the beading on the dress is perfectly placed to accentuate your curves in all the right places.

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This dress comes with a matching soft stretch slip to wear underneath.  It has adjustable straps to allow for the perfect fit.  The beaded overlay is made of stretch tulle and has a v neckline in both the front and back as well as beautifully embellished cap sleeves for those of us who like a little arm coverage.

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Did you know that GatsbyLady London dresses are hand beaded?  I almost couldn’t believe it when I found this out but Roj has carried on the tradition of this impeccable skill handed down through her family over the generations.

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The craftsmanship and quality that goes into her designs was clearly evident when I opened the package and pulled the dress out. The attention to detail is superb and the quality cannot be beat in my opinion.

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I was fortunate enough to have this dress made to my measurements and the fit is perfect.   I slipped it on and I was in heaven, I didn’t want to take it off!  If you have any concerns about fit or what size to order I would definitely suggest you reach out to the brand first, they are very helpful and want to ensure you get the right fit.

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To style this dress I kept with a traditional look for the era by adding the coordinating headpiece also made by them.  I chose to wear my hair down and curled but you could also easily wear it up with this piece.

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I then added this necklace and coordinating bracelet from Lane Bryant.  It was a bit ironic because I had ordered these before I got the dress and when they came in I realized that they matched the beading perfectly.  I liked that they were simple and understated and didn’t take away from the dress.

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Finally I added these patent sling backs from JD Williams USA that I have been wearing non stop since I got them because they have a bit of a retro feel and a modest heel.  Sadly they have sold out but I gave you a link to another low heel alternative.  I had this cute clutch that I got a few years back that was the finishing touch.  I gave you a link to a clutch that I just found that is even more perfect than this one!

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So there you have it, I am ready to ring in the New Year in style!  I would wear this dress to so many different events – a fundraiser, a gala, a black tie wedding, a 20s themed party, formal night on a cruise, a milestone birthday party, the possibilities really are endless.  A style like this is classic and will last you a life time.

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Thank you Roj for allowing me to share your beautiful designs and for a dress that has earned a permanent spot in my closet.

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for these stunning pictures.

Dress by GATSBYLADY LONDON | Headband by GATSBYLADY LONDONShoes by JD WILLIAMS USA (sold out but alternative here) | Clutch alternative here | Necklace by LANE BRYANT | Bracelet by LANE BRYANT (sold out but alternative here) |

Glitz

Happy Tuesday everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend.  It’s hard to believe but New Year’s Eve is just around the corner so this week on the blog I am going to share some NYE worthy looks.

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This post features an amazing dress from ELOQUIIELOQUII has certainly pulled out all the stops this year in bringing us a fantastic array of options for the holiday season.

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And they weren’t shy in providing us plus size gals with all the trendy options that are hot this year from full on sequins to velvet to shimmering metallics, body suits and rich jewel tone hues.

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I love that I can go on their site and know I will find something that is fashion forward, high quality and fits well.  And they have new arrivals come out every day so there is always something fresh and inspiring.

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I am wearing the Studio Lame Wrap Dress.  I first saw this dress when I was planning my 5×5 challenge and I had considered it for that but decided that it was so stunning that it needed to be showcased on its own.

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This dress is a classic wrap style with a fit and flare silhouette and full skirt.  I love the classic style of this dress combined with the twist of this amazing fabric that is so full of metallic goodness and takes on many different shades depending on the light you are in.

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I don’t like to wear long sleeves, especially for a dress for a party but the sleeves on this dress are actually very comfortable and not too tight.  The fabric is also very light weight so I didn’t get too hot wearing it.

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And although the fabric is lightweight, the dress is fully lined providing great coverage.  The other detail that they got right with this?  The tie at the waist is the proper length for us plus size gals so that when you wrap it around and tie it up, it is even!  I can’t stand when this doesn’t work properly.

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I am wearing the size 28 and I thought the fit was generous.  If you are really small on top compared to the bottom, I would definitely consider sizing down.

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To complete this look I had to add some extra special accessories and that started with these amazing sequined block heels that are also from ELOQUII.  I am absolutely thrilled with block heels being on trend again because it has provided me with some great options for being able to wear heels.

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These shoes are perfect for your party look and will provide you with style and comfort.  And the bow detail is just too cute.  I am wearing the size 9 and I felt they were true to size.  They also come in black.

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I wanted to stick to the metallic colour palette so I added this stunning topaz statement necklace that I got from SexyPlus Clothing.  With the deep v-neckline I wanted something that was a statement piece but it had to be long and narrow and this was the perfect choice.  I then added some simple stud earrings.

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Finally I had to add a Lisa worthy clutch and this beauty that I got from ALDO fit the requirements.  The gunmetal finish and large assortment of jewels was perfect to stand out against the dress.  A perfect red lip was my final touch for that dramatic finish.

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I think this outfit is perfect for NYE because it is full of glitz and glam but also understated at the same time because of its classic style.  Whether its an intimate dinner with your special someone or a party with friends you will be sure to stand out from the crowd.

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for these amazing night time images.

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Dress by ELOQUII | Shoes by ELOQUII | Necklace by SEXYPLUS CLOTHING | Clutch by ALDO |

Twisted Olive

Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have had a great week and are almost done getting ready for the holidays!  I am sorry it has been so long since my last post but I needed to take a little mental health break.  There has been a lot of change going on in my life the past few months (I hope to be able to share more in the New Year) and it had taken its toll on me.

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But I arrived in my home town of Sault Ste. Marie wednesday afternoon and I am feeling nostalgic and starting to get my mojo back.  I couldn’t believe it has been 2 years since I have been here and for a small town how much things change but also how they still stay the same.

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This post is all about this super cute dress that I recently got from eShakti.  You may have noticed that I haven’t featured eShakti on the blog for a while, I took a little break because I was buying a lot but I was going through withdrawal and so I had to get some new pieces lol.

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They have a really great selection of knit pieces which I find are perfect for comfort and a great fit but still looking put together.  The trapeze shape is a current hot trend and I love the movement that this shape provides.  As with all my eShakti pieces, I had it custom made to my measurements and I was thrilled with the fit.  The only thing I customized on this dress was the length – it was knee length and I chose to make it mid calf.

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The funny thing about this outfit is that it came together in a matter of minutes.  I was shooting with my friend Stef and thought I was done and she then offered to shoot another look for me because we had time.  I was like, I have nothing planned and she was like I am sure you can figure something out!

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So I grabbed the dress because I know you guys would like to see some more casual options from me and then I remembered the scarf which had been a blogger gift from Lane Bryant.  I love combining colours and patterns and adding the teal was totally unexpected till I realized there was olive in the scarf too.

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I then decided to add some additional teal accents in these mid calf suede boots from Full Beauty and one of my tried and true Phoebe style Coach bags.  Now I shot this look before we got the cold weather and snow but to make it appropriate for the cold weather I would just add a pair of tights and a sweater or jacket and I would be good to go.

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Because the neckline has the interesting strap detail I decided to just add a gold fringe earring that I picked up from H&M and then this fun fur pouf that I could at Nordstrom Rack that had a pop of purple that was also in the scarf.

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So there you have it, a polished fun casual look that I pulled together in 5 minutes!  Being stylish doesn’t have to be complicated ladies.  If you have good basics and some fun accessories you can put together something  very quickly.  And don’t be afraid to try new things.  I never thought I would do this colour combo and I love it.

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Thank you to my boo Stef of Stefanie Augusteijn Photography for the beautiful photos.

Dress by ESHAKTI (similar style here) | Scarf by LANE BRYANT | Boots by FULL BEAUTY | Earrings by H&M (alternative here) | Bag by COACH (old but new style here) |

Lisa’s #HolidayDoubleSlay – Amanda

Happy Saturday peeps!  I hope you are having a great weekend so far.  It’s hard to believe but this is the final instalment in my Holiday Double Slay Look Book! It’s been an amazing week sharing with you not only great holiday fashions but also my friendships with these fabulous women.

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For this final look I asked my bestie Amanda, the voice behind the blog Latest Wrinkle where she talks all things style, beauty and lifestyle related to join me.  Amanda is also a free lance writer with a regular column in Huffington Post Canada.  And she has a background and experience in fashion design.

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I met Amanda very early on in my blogging journey through Instagram.  The plus size community in Toronto is pretty small so I was fortunate enough to have gotten to know many people but I was completely surprised to find Amanda through other channels as she blogs about fashion for EVERYONE regardless of size as well as beauty and lifestyle.

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We went for high tea one afternoon and let’s just say our friendship was born while eating delectable treats and drinking delicious tea.  Amanda is a sweet, confident, stylish and well spoken women.  It is clear that she is passionate about what she does and has a wealth of knowledge as she has been blogging for over 5 years.

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Our friendship has been a natural evolution but going to Full Figured Fashion Week and The Curvy Con in New York in June this year really solidified things for us.  We had an absolute blast.  Amanda is so funny, genuine, kind, thoughtful and at the same time strong, dynamic and a tell it like it is woman.  And I completely respect that!  I honestly don’t know what I would do without her now so I hope she realizes she is stuck with me lol.

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Given our work with one of our fave brands Society+, choosing to showcase outfits from there was an obvious choice   We have both been so impressed with the work Society+ has done in 2016 as they rapidly expand their growing brand and in particular their in house design styles that are available in sizes 14 to 32.  It’s been an honour to be a small part of it and see their passion for making clothes that are accessible in an extended size range.

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Amanda and I share a love of all things girly and pink and floral.  So when we saw these Soiree Midi Skirts in these fabulous floral prints and variety of colours we knew we had to twin them.  For Amanda’s review of this look please click here.

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I have been so in love with the floral trend for Fall because they are by far my favourite prints.  So when I saw that this skirt came in 7 different patterns and rich vibrant colours I wanted every single one!  And I particularly love that they have options in non traditional holiday colours.

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Society+ has done a fantastic job of designing pieces with the plus size girl in mind and this skirt is no exception.  This skirt is my favourite midi length, in a full circle cut in a gorgeous satin like fabric and is fully lined.  And it has a thick 3 inch coordinating elastic waist band and pockets.

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I chose this gorgeous yellow and navy print because I wanted to showcase a colour palette that you wouldn’t normally think of for the holidays.  But because this skirt is such a special piece it definitely says I am ready to party and sparkle and twirl!

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Overall I absolutely love this skirt!  I am wearing the size 26/28 which is my typical Society+ size and the fit was perfect.  If I had to make one change, it would be the waist band.  I have a shorter torso so I find that 3 inches is a little bit too thick for me.

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And of course we had to pair this with one of Society+’s signature pieces – a crop top!  This fall they launched a colder weather version of their signature caged crop.  It is made of faux suede which is one of fall’s hottest trends and has elbow length sleeves.  It comes in 6 different colours and 2 different styles.

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I love a crop top like this because it works perfectly with a high waisted midi skirt.  You can show a little bit of skin or a lot depending on your preference.  For me, I like to show just a little.  And it is nice compared to full length tops that are bulky to tuck into skirts.

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I am wearing the size 26/28 in this top which is my normal size but I did find it to run a bit on the small side as the fabric doesn’t have as much stretch as its caged strappy sister.

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And I think it also depends on how busty you are.  I would definitely say that ideally my girls needed more room lol.  So my recommendation would be to size up if you are like me.

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To complete this look I decided to keep the colours in the same family as the skirt by adding these gold metallic flats from Full Beauty which have quickly become a staple in my wardrobe.  I love the bow detail and the sling back style with just a tiny heel.  And the metallic is a perfect neutral for any look.

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I then added this classic top handle style satchel from Aldo.  I loved the colour and the blinged out accessory tag that came with it.  And I added a little flare with my white fur pom pom.  After this all I needed was a statement necklace which I pulled from my collection and some bracelets with a little bit of sparkle.

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This look is perfect for so many different occasions this holiday season and it is easy to put together and comfortable yet stylish!  Finding something to wear for all your holiday parties and festivities shouldn’t be stressful and you should feel great.  And that is definitely how I feel when I wear this!  So who’s ready to celebrate the season with me?  Cheers!

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Both of our looks were provided care of Society+ but all opinions are our own.  Special thanks to Society+ for helping to make this project possible.  And thank you so much Amanda for agreeing to be a part of it all.

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for these gorgeous photos.

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Crop Top by SOCIETY+ | Skirt by SOCIETY+ | Shoes by FULL BEAUTY | Bag by ALDO | Bracelets by LANE BRYANT (alternative here) | Necklace is VINTAGE (alternative here) |

 

 

Lisa’s #HolidayDoubleSlay – Esther

Happy Friday peeps!  Can I get a woohoo to the weekend being here AND for the fact that we are on the 5th instalment of my Holiday Double Slay Look Book?

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My guest for today’s post is local model Esther Nakitende.  If you aren’t familiar with Esther you seriously need to check out her Instagram feed!  She has taken the industry by storm in 2016 collaborating and modelling for brands all over the world including a shoot in June with major US plus size designer Monif C.  She is also the Official Style Ambassador for SexyPlus Clothing.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Esther through the local plus size community and at first I was awe struck by her amazing beauty.  She is in my opinion absolutely stunning with an amazing hourglass figure, gorgeous bone structure and hair that you have to see in person to believe.  It was a little intimidating at first but once you have one conversation with this doll you realize how genuine and down to earth she is.  She is a true beauty both inside and out.

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Not only is Esther a busy model but she is in school full time and a single mom to 3 amazing kids.  I admire her devotion to her family and education and that she wants to make a difference for women’s issues in developing countries and to empower women of all shapes, size and race to love themselves.

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I have loved getting to know Esther better this year.  She is always so kind and warm hearted when you see her and doesn’t let anything phase her.  I really appreciate her support of my blog and my quest for size diversity and representation in the media.  Every time I see her she tells me I remind her of her sisters back home and that means so much because I can see in her eyes how much she misses them.

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I knew I wanted to incorporate a look from my fave Canadian brand Penningtons into this year’s look book.  And I also knew I wanted it to be from the MBLM by Tess Holliday line which I have been pretty much obsessed with since its launch this past spring.

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When I saw the latest collection (something new drops on a monthly basis), I immediately fell in love with the edgy holiday pieces and knew Esther would be the perfect person to help me rock them.  Since Esther doesn’t have a website, I have provided links below for her look and check out her Instagram page for more pics.

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I have found that the pieces in Tess’s collection have made me want to step outside my comfort zone.  I have to admit her style is edgier than what I would normally gravitate towards but for some reason they always draw me in.  This was certainly the case with this dress.

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This slip style dress has an awesome green and black abstract print that doesn’t scream “holiday” but still has a festive feel.  I seem to be feeling the bodycon silhouette lately and I think the fact that this is made out of a nice heavy weight ponte de Roma material with great stretch certainly helped.

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It has a v neckline which is my favourite style and while it has spaghetti straps I was ok with it because they are fully adjustable.  I often find that straps are too long for me so this feature is very important to me.  It fell just to my knee and it has a sexy little front slit.  I know, I am showing a little thigh – I break it out every once in a while!

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So I am wearing the dress by itself but this actually comes with a long sleeve sheer black top that is separate.  This provides such great versatility as you can choose to go bare like I did or if you like to have some more coverage, particularly for your arms you can wear the shirt.

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But because it is sheer you can still get that sexy vibe.  I found the fit on this dress to be large, I thought I would need the size 5 because it is a bodycon but I actually had to size down to the 4.

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When I styled this look I was inspired by the current trends that are a throw back to the 90s which was the decade of my high school and university years.  It is definitely a little more out there than you might normally see from me but I love the end result.

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First off I had to get another fur stole from my gals at Flaws of Couture as I absolutely loved the one I got last year.  And since fur is all the rage this year I was totally on trend.  But OMG can you believe the colour on this one?  This royal blue is electric and absolutely gorgeous.  I was literally mesmerized by it.  I love how it pops against the green in the dress.  A fur stole is the perfect accessory to instantly add the glam factor to any look.

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I continued from there with my print mixing and pops of colour by adding this new bag from Aldo.  I am totally obsessed with it – between the snake skin, the pops of green and pink and the gold hardware I don’t what I love more.  It is such a statement piece.  And because the print on the dress is abstract it doesn’t compete with it.

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To tie the blue and green together I  wore this statement necklace from Torrid that is a mix of metallic, blue pearls, rhinestones and iridescent coloured beads.  I literally just got this necklace and it has already sold out!  But don’t worry I gave you a link for substitute.  I then added my go to mixed metallic bangle set from Penningtons and a silver statement ring from Lane Bryant.

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Overall this look may seem a little unexpected for the holidays but I took the risk and I love it.  And if I am happy then that’s all that matters in my book.  I think this would be an awesome New Year’s Eve outfit.

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Both of our looks were provided care of Penningtonbut all opinions are our own.  Special thanks to Penningtons for helping to make this project possible.  And thank you so much Esther for agreeing to be a part of it all.

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for these killer photos.

Links to my look:

Dress is MBLM by TESS HOLLIDAY for PENNINGTONS | Shoes are vintage (current alternative here) | Clutch by ALDO | Fur Stole by FLAWS OF COUTURE | Bangles by PENNINGTONS | Necklace by TORRID (sold out but alternative here) | Statement Ring by LANE BRYANT (sold out but alternative here) |

Links to Esther’s look:

Bodysuit is MBLM by TESS HOLLIDAY for PENNINGTONS | Leggings are MBLM by TESS HOLLIDAY for PENNINGTONS |

Lisa’s #HolidayDoubleSlay – Stefanie

Happy Thursday my blogger fam!  It’s hard to believe but its already time for the 4th instalment in my Holiday Double Slay Look Book.  I hope you have enjoyed the looks and my special guests so far.

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For today’s look I asked my amazing friend, Stefanie the voice behind the blog SassyPlus to join me.  And for those of you who follow the blog you probably also recognize her as the owner of SexyPlus Clothing, one of my fave boutiques located in Mississauga Ontario and the photographer behind some of my wonderful photos.

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I had the opportunity to meet Stefanie at an event called The Big Deal in 2014 that started my inevitable journey into the blogging world.  In the summer of 2015 when I had just started blogging I reached out to Stefanie to see if she would be interested in working with me and from that very moment she welcomed me with open arms and our friendship began.

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What I love about Stef is how generous and caring she is.  She cares so much about the plus size industry and empowering women to love themselves as they are that she will do something not because it benefits her but because it is good for the community.

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And we have this amazing ability to collaborate together, we can discuss ideas and thoughts and projects and end up coming up with awesome ideas like the concept for this look book.

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But ultimately what I love about our friendship is that we get each other and have so much fun no matter what we do.  I don’t think I ever stop laughing when we are together, she always finds someway to make me laugh, even if I am down.  But she also is an amazing listener and supporter.  I admire her determination as a small business owner as I know the many challenges it brings and that she has chosen to do something she truly loves.

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Stef and I are both lovers of the brand SWAK Designs, so it only made sense that we teamed up with them to bring you this look.  We appreciate that they are an affordable brand that carries a very inclusive size range from 14 to 36.  They are also super supportive of the plus size community.  For Stef’s review of this look please click here.

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So yes Stef and I are twinning the same dress but it wasn’t planned to do this at first!  We both decided to take a look at the new arrivals and see what we liked and the first thing when we came back to each other with our lists was this dress so we figured what the heck, let’s go for it.

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I really believe in twinning a look because it provides such a great visual opportunity for women to see how a dress will look on women of different sizes and shapes.  It also helps that Stef and I two totally different sizes and shapes – Stef is wearing the 1x and is more of an apple shape and I am wearing the 5x and am pear shaped.

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I have to admit that I am not generally drawn to bodycon dresses but when I saw this one it just spoke to me and I knew it would be something special and I was certainly not disappointed.  I love wearing red, especially during the holiday season but it has to be the right shade of red and this one is rich gorgeous dark red.

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This combined with the black side panels which are simply amazing for accentuating your curves and providing a bit of an optical illusion that is oh so slimming sold me on this dress.  And then there is the details at the neckline.

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I absolutely love this mesh illusion neckline that is rounded with some ruching and short sleeves but also has a deep sweetheart neckline where it meets the red part of the dress.  It feels sexy but sophisticated at the same time.  And the deep v in the back just adds that extra wow.

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Finally I love the length of this dress as it hits me just at the knee so it doesn’t show too much skin.  I sized up in this dress from my normal SWAK size because it is a bodycon and I didn’t want it to be too tight.  I loved how it fell perfectly over my curves and I honestly felt amazing the minute I put it on.

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For me this is totally a date night dress and I styled it with that in mind.  I added my new patent leather sling back heels from JD Williams USA for a little height and class.  I absolutely love these heels, I can even walk in them!

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Then I added a super fun clutch that I recently got from Aldo.  Yes, I am a little purse obsessed and when I saw this sparkly creation that looked like a present I couldn’t resist lol.  And yes, my honey will be holding the phone for me because it isn’t necessarily as practical as it is cute.  But I am totally okay with just being cute lol.

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I wanted the neckline to stand on its own so I added a dramatic earring in black and gold from H&M and some gold bangles from Avenue for some festive fun.  Then I kept my hair down for that extra date night factor.

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There are always certain pieces that I believe will make a woman feel truly amazing and this is definitely one of those looks for me.  I think you can tell from the photos that it just gives me a certain je ne sais quoi feeling that just shined through.  And when something magical like that happens, it will make you feel like a million bucks.

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Both of our looks were provided care of SWAK Designs but all opinions are our own.  Special thanks to SWAK for helping to make this project possible.  And thank you so much Stef for agreeing to be a part of it all.

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for these stunning pictures.

Dress by SWAK Designs |  Shoes by JD WILLIAMS USA | Clutch by ALDO | Earrings by H&M | Bangles by AVENUE (alternative here) |

 

 

Lisa’s #HolidayDoubleSlay – Sarah

Happy Wednesday everyone!  It’s hump day (come on weekend, we miss you!) and also it’s time for the third instalment in my Holiday Double Slay Look Book.

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For today’s post I teamed up with my beautiful friend Sarah Taylor, the voice behind the blog Sarah Taylor’s Journey.  But not only does Sarah run a successful blog, she is also an amazing plus size model, she was crowned Miss Plus Canada 2014/2015 and she is a motivational speaker encouraging young girls and women of all ages to learn to love themselves.  She also become the Assistant Editor for Fabuplus Magazine this year.  And if that’s not enough, she also has a full time career!

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I met Sarah once I started blogging through the local plus size community here in Toronto.  I started following her blog and her Instagram page and I was immediately inspired by her story and the painful life challenges she had overcome.  I also had the pleasure of seeing Sarah’s personal growth through the course of her journey and how she transformed into the strong, confident, powerful, successful women that she is now.

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But it hasn’t been till the last few months that I have had the opportunity to spend more quality one on one time with Sarah and her zest for life and positive energy is contagious.  She is someone that you count on, someone you can trust and someone who has been there for me.

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I see so much potential in Sarah and I am honoured to call her my friend.  Boo, I thank you and wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to take on next, I know you will rock it.

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Both Sarah and I are lovers of Torrid so I decided it would be fun if we chose to collaborate on a post featuring head to toe Torrid looks.  I thought it would also be great to showcase the versatility and options that Torrid has to offer as Sarah is a size 1x or 14/16 and tall while I am a size 4x/5x or 26/28 and average height.  And let me tell you I can’t rock those killer heels like she can!  For details on Sarah’s look, head on over to her blog post here.

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For the most part, I like to put my own spin on my looks and pair pieces that not everyone would put together, after all, showcasing my personal style is what blogging is all about.  But every once in a while a brand will deliver a look through their website or a look book that I absolutely fall in love with from head to toe.  And if that’s the case then there is no point in reinventing the wheel!rsp_5861

This is most certainly the case for the Torrid look I am showcasing here.  As soon as I saw Philomena in a recent look book in this dress I was awe struck.  It just oozed with class, elegance and sophistication mixed with a little bit of fun.  I also love to showcase looks that you see the models wearing so you can see what it will look like on someone at the high end of the size range.

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I am wearing the Velvet Surplice Dress in sumptuous black velvet.  With its classic fit and flare silhouette, surplice neckline and thick shoulder straps this dress has Lisa written all over it.  And yes, I know, it’s black!  Every once in a while I do feel the need to rock some classic black and when it is in the must have fabric of the year then of course I couldn’t say no.

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The velvet is a heavier weight so it is perfect for holiday season and colder temperatures and falls nicely over my curves.  And to add to the fun it also has multiple layers of tulle underneath the skirt creating a definite wow factor and lots of pouf which makes it oh so twirl worthy.  I am wearing the size 28 and I was very pleased with the fit.  This dress is a little bit shorter than what I would normally wear but with the extra full skirt I found that it didn’t really bother me like it normally would.

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Now I am sure you can figure out that I just couldn’t resist adding the glam factor that is also so on trend for the holidays through all these amazing rich gold metallic accessories.  And this beaded scalloped capelet is certainly a showstopper!  I have definitely seen a lot of capes out this fall and turning out ones with beautiful details and beading like this are a unique way to add sparkle to your outfit.

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It is also a great alternative to a shrug, wrap, jacket or any other traditional method of covering up your arms if you don’t like to go bare.  This is a one size fits all piece and it fit perfectly.  I loved how it gave the look an old Hollywood vibe.  And the gold definitely pops against the black velvet.  And did you know that this piece was hand beaded by Torrid’s designers?  Awesome!

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Next up I added this great set of stacked gold bangles that also included one with a black velvet bow.  I love how Torrid thinks about all the little details and carries really unique accessories.  They also offer their bangles in 2 sizes which is great for accommodating larger wrists.  I am wearing the size 3/4.  I am also wearing these super cute stud earrings that unfortunately you can’t see in the photos but I can’t resist telling you that they are tiny diamond solitaire rings!  How cute is that?

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To complete my glitzy look I needed a stand out clutch and that is certainly what this gold sequined number is.  I love the size, it’s lightweight but holds its shape and it has a really cute tassel on the zipper.

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I would totally rock this look for a work Christmas party or New Year’s Eve and it can be worn throughout the year, not just for the holidays.  I do love a multi purpose outfit!

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Both of our looks were provided care of Torrid but all opinions are our own.  Special thanks to Torrid for helping to make this project possible.  And thank you so much Sarah for agreeing to be a part of it all.

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Special thanks to Robert of Robert Skuja Photography for these amazing pictures.

Dress by TORRID | Capelet by TORRID | Clutch by TORRID | Bangles by TORRID | Earrings by TORRID |