Happy Friday everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic week! As I mentioned in my last post I have a tonne of content to share with you and I spent the week catching up so I will be posting a lot over the next little while and I am super excited. Hopefully you like what I have in store for you.
Today’s post is an important one because it features a collaboration with one of my favourite blogger boos, Nikki of the blog Nikki Free Style. I fell in love with Nikki before I started blogging myself. From her love of colour and prints and statement making pieces to her kick ass accessories and designer bags I felt an instant connection. She was a winner of the Real Woman Style Awards by Redbook magazine and has been featured in many other publications such as Plus Model Mag, bustle.com, TheCurvyFashionista.com and Fashion Bomb Daily.
We are both women in our 40s who embrace our bodies, wear what we love and ignore the stupid so called “rules” plus size women think they have to follow. I love this girl’s smile, it lights up my page and the room every time I see it and is this women not only smart but funny as hell, I am always laughing when I am around her.
We have been talking about doing a collab forever and we finally got around to it when I was in Atlanta for the TCF Style Expo at the end of July. And we knew that it had to feature a brand that we both adore which I think if you look at our feeds it’s obvious that ELOQUII is that brand. Their fun fashion forward designs are representative of both of our aesthetics. And there is just something about the brand that unites us plus size fashionistas together.
And speaking of unity, I am going to delve into something a little personal and what I hope proves to be thought provoking. Originally we were going to share this collaboration last Monday but with everything that happened in Charlottesville we both decided it was important to take some time to reflect and to deliver what I believe is an important message.
As a Canadian I have to admit that I don’t always understand the full extent of the racial and religious divide that still exists in 2017 just south of the border in the US. Canada is a country that was built by many different ethnicities, religions and cultures and an attitude of respect and tolerance. After all ,we are known as the Melting Pot. And while we are far from perfect I appreciate my country, especially in light of the current climate in the US.
As an educated white woman I will admit that I struggle with knowing what the right thing is to do and say so that I can make a positive contribution to important causes like ending racism. Yes I have a large social platform and some people think staying silent is only contributing to the problem but I also don’t want to offend anyone by saying the wrong thing, using the wrong terminology or being thought of as a person of “white privilege”.
But what I realized is that I can share what I feel and what I know. When I see people I don’t see the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation or anything else that makes them different from me, all I see is a person. And I strive to engage with every person I meet with an open mind and heart. Sure I have my own beliefs and opinions but I have always been curious to learn about others.
Since I was young I have always been particularly interested in learning about different cultures and religions and how they shape who someone is. I have had so many interesting and stimulating conversations that have enriched my life and provided so much perspective about the world we live in. And it has challenged me to question the beliefs I was raised with and ultimately shaped who I am today.
Someone had this quote from Nelson Mandela posted on their Instagram page just after the events in Charlottesville occurred and it really resonated with me:
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
You see I grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario and at the time I was not exposed to cultural or racial diversity. There was one African American family in my high school and my gym teacher’s husband was African American and her children went to our school. There were no Indian or Asian families, I didn’t know what it was to be Muslim or Hindu. So can I say that my family was perfect when it came to their beliefs? No I can’t.
But what I can say is that I am forever grateful to have been raised by a mother that showed me that true love, friendships, family and relationships are blind to colour, background and religion. That what truly matters is on the inside. That our differences are meant to be celebrated and they are what make us special. So yes I was taught to love and so I know first hand that it can be done, that hate doesn’t have to exist. I ask each and everyone of you to reflect and ask yourself what are you doing to teach love?
Ok so now that I have left you with some food for thought, let me talk about these super stylish looks we are wearing from the Pop Shop Collection. The collection is an ode to the end of summer that is rife with bright colors, graphic prints, and fresh silhouettes. These pieces were designed to carry you throughout the rest of the summer and into fall with ease.
I chose a classic combination of red, black and white but with a twist. I love this one shoulder blouse with its rich wine colour and flowing exaggerated ruffles. It’s girly romantic feminine vibe is definitely true to my style. I am wearing the 28 but I found the bust area to be a little large. The shirt has side slits and some stretch so I could have probably sized down. But it’s nothing a little tuck by a seamstress under the arm can’t fix.
You can never go wrong with a great geometric print so I decided to pair it with an ELOQUII staple, their amazing neoprene pencil skirt. This is by far my favourite pencil skirt I have ever worn, it fits my pear shape perfectly in a size 28 and is super comfortable with its stretch fabric and wide waist band. I also love how it falls just below my knee. This skirt comes in a variety of different colours and prints so you are sure to find one you love.
To complete the look I added this black studded mule from Full Beauty, this gorgeous African print clutch that I picked up in NYC when I was at FFF Week from new designer Obioma Fashion and some colourful statement earrings in a pop of yellow.
Overall I loved how simple yet chic this look is, it is perfect for date night or drinks with the girls. And I love how it pops with Nikki’s statement making dress. For more on Nikki’s look be sure to check out her post.
Part of what I love about blogging is the wonderful people it has brought to my life from all over the world and from all walks of life. Our love of fashion and the plus size community unites us. It allows us to have a voice and the opportunity to spread love and not hate. And while I may not be an expert on the issues we are facing I know that I can spread love and teach it and I know that I can support others who are fighting this head on. And Nikki you are one of those people. Girl, I want you to know that you are beautiful inside and out and I support you no matter what. I stand with you, UNITED.
Special thanks to Amber of Gossett Photography for capturing our friendship perfectly.