The Urge to Purge (This is NOT About Bulimia)

I’ve been driving myself mad the past few years-ok, decades-to become willing to whittle down my wardrobe to just the basics with a few WOW pieces thrown in for good measure. It’s like yoyo dieting, only with clothes instead of food.  I’ve stopped dieting from my supposed “bad food” list this year and it’s felt great (most of the time).  But my failed attempts at putting the kibosh on my fashion addiction are catching up with my conscience.  To be blunt, I feel like the consummate consumerist.  I find the joy in purchasing things transformative and calming, though momentary at best. 

I will, 99% of the time, walk into a store for a specific item, not find it, silently say to myself, “I’m already here. I may as well have a look around,” and purchase something(s) else completely unrelated. I basically get high off of acquiring new things and believe I’ve somehow improved my life.  And that, my friends, is a lie. 

The reason that I struggle is I go back and forth between the ideas that I’m a creative who sees fashion as wearable art, and the overwhelm I feel at trying to easily find something to wear on a daily basis.  On the one hand, I love the diversity of my closet and all the fun looks I can create.  Plus it’s a political choice for me to wear things that challenge people’s ideas about what fat people should or shouldn’t wear.  But on the other hand,  I tend to wear the same tried and true items over and over.  They are my favorites, which not only look good, but feel really good too.  The extra clothes get tried on when I’m playing dress up (which happens a few times a week at least), and then I discover that something just doesn’t fit as I remembered, or it simply doesn’t go with anything else.  Or worse yet, I already have something exactly like it.  I mean, how many black crochet peasant tops does a gal need?

Having a closet full of stuff is hard to keep up with.  And my closet is actually an entire room, with a closet of its own-which is also filled to capacity.  Zoinks! My husband is in awe, or maybe it’s disgust, at the amount of shit I have.  I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not just a drain on my pocketbook, but on my psyche as well. What’s a gal to do?

Shot of my closet.  This is just one small section.

Do I buckle down, find some willpower and purge like crazy? Or do I accept the fact that I LOVE clothes and this is just a part of who I am?

Perhaps this is a plea for advice from my readers.  I invite you to share your experiences with me so that I might have a chance at finding peace.  Yes, I’m asking for help.  So bring it on ya’ll.

Ciao for Niao,

P.S. I have a gift card to Zappos that I’m dying to use.  Fuck.  This is not going well.  Or is it? 

Aida Cosmetics Launch Party

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Aida Cosmetics Launch Party at the Spot Bar near downtown L.A..  Aida cosmetics is the brainchild of Aida Danielle, a former french model.  Her partner is Amberly Olguin, who joined the company in 2011.  The Aida Cosmetics brand is about quality products at affordable prices so that every woman can feel beautiful.

The big news: Aida chose celebrity Chenese Lewis to be the face of the brand for its national launch of the Confidence & Glamour campaign.  Last night Ms. Danielle explained that so many beauty brands use straight size models to promote their products, and that using a plus model like Chenese was a perfect way to let consumers know that beauty comes in all sizes.  Ms. Lewis was absolutely stunning in a long black gown that hugged her every sexy curve.  

The event was lovely. There was a beauty bar, where I got to try on luscious lip gloss and an eye shadow called Green Eyed Lady.  It was a fun evening and a chance to mingle with the Los Angeles plus size community.  Angela Rene’ of Purple Diva Designs was there looking gorgeous as usual.  My pal Jana’e Holmes of Naturally Kinky Curly was also in attendance.

So, keep your eyes peeled for the new campaign and be sure to try out all the fun products which are:
  • Manufactured in North America
  • Hypoallergenc
  • Fragrance Free
  • Allergy Tested
  • Non-comedogenic

Ciao for Niao,

Plus Size Office Chic

Last week, or maybe it was 2 weeks ago–I can’t remember because I’m getting old–I promised I would feature my co-worker, whose style I very much admire. She has clued me into some really great plus size fashion sites that I had never heard of, or just hadn’t really explored quite yet.  My co-worker, we’ll call her M, is very chic and always has on something great. We talk shop in the afternoon (when most people are taking coffee breaks) to chat about what we’re wearing, why we like it, and most importantly, where it’s from.  It’s fun to have someone in the office who shares my passion for fashion and style, and doesn’t keep all the good info to herself!

M. workin’ it at the office!

Now of course you’re wondering where she got the fab gear. 
Don’t worry, all the info is below.


Goes up to a size 22

Sahara Shoe from Shoe Dazzle
Up to size 11

These days dressing for work doesn’t have to be dull.  Spice things up with a dazzling shoe and wrap dress that does everything for your hot body.  Happy shopping!

Ciao for Niao,

Nearly Naked Plus Size Models Strut at Fashion Weekend

I am so freakin’ excited I can’t stand it!  As I was researching a topic for this week’s blog, I came across an article on Brazil’s recent Plus Size Fashion Weekend, featuring women with hips, breasts, cellulite and real curves strutting their stuff on the runway in not much more than their bras and panties!  I was immensely inspired and simply had to share it with you.  These women make me proud to be a feminine creature, with my own unique set of dips and dimples!  The fashion show, which is the biggest in Brazil, was created by journalist Renata Poskus Vaz.  The plus size journalist has a blog of her own, called Mulherao, where she is an advocate of plus size women.  The Fashion Weekend has been instrumental in the growth of the plus size industry in Brazil.  

It’s interesting to compare the body types of these Brazilian models with what we are used to seeing in the U.S. market.  Plus models, like Fluvia Lacerda, Tara Lynn and Denise Bidot seem to have firmer, more toned figures.  Is the Plus Size Modeling industry perhaps a bit hypocritical?  I don’t know.  I suspect there’s a some photo-shopping going on there as well.  Yes, there are great strides being made, but there is still a great amount of pressure on plus models to be keep in shape, and yet not get too small. Don’t get me wrong, I think Fluvia, Tara and Denise have bangin’ bodies. I’m simply offering that plus size models and women who have some jiggle in their wiggle are just as beautiful and just as worthy.  I hope we continue to see progress in this area, so that young girls and women everywhere will begin to celebrate their bodies, instead of hating them.  As plus size bloggers, we have a responsibility to embrace all types of beauty.  And I think collectively, we’re doing a great job.  There is always much to discuss, and like anything else worth pursuing, there is always more progress to make.  So, let’s support one another and keep creating forums where we can talk about creating a world in which a woman’s worth is not determined by her dress size, but by virtue of her value as a human being.  Keep on keepin’ on!

Ciao for Niao,

Updating My Wardrobe, A Day at a Time

Lately I’ve been feeling like my wardrobe needs a lift.  I’ve done some major purging, so now I actually have space for new things.  I specifically wanted something with a bold print to liven things up a bit. So I took myself on over to Forever XXI.  They now have a plus size section with some super cute stuff.  I grabbed tons of things and headed to the dressing room.  I tried on some surprisingly flattering pieces, including dresses, sweaters and tops.  What I ended up buying was an adorable abstract print top that I can’t wait to wear. It features ruched gathering  in the front and back, and an adjustable neckline that can take  you from conservative  nighttime chic!  to  I plan to sport it with a cute cardigan, skinny jeans, knee  high suede boots, and my new fedora..  So CHIC!!!  I’ll upload a pic of the new outfit as soon as I can, so keep checking back.  ciao for niao my darlings!

Body Acceptance & Empowerment

It’s a new year–a time for new beginnings and leaving the past where it belongs.  This year, I finally decided to embark on creating my website,  I’ve gotten such loving and wonderful feedback from my friends (male, female plush and not), who are telling me that this is a great idea, that it’s long overdue.  I’m so grateful that I get to be a part of the body acceptance movement, and for all the women before me who have taken the bold leap in creating spaces for us to be adored and cherished.  I already know that this year is going to be full of success and adventure. I welcome it with open arms and look forward to creating a community of women who are willing to support each other in a safe and loving environment.  This site is not about bashing thin women, but about celebrating and empowering women of all shapes and sizes.  It can be difficult to change things by ourselves, but together we can accomplish anything.  Today I choose self-love and acceptance!

The Plus Size Girl’s Guide to Skinny Jeans (Part 1)

If you think you’re too thick to wear skinny jeans, think again!  It’s  all about styling and proportion. First of all, make sure your skinny jeans fit.  There is nothing worse than ill fitting jeans.  They should be fitted close to your body, but not so tight that the seams look like they might bust. For plus size women, skinny jeans look great with over sized tops or tunics.  Top it off with a short cardigan or cinch your waist with a cool belt to show off an hourglass figure.  It’s all about layering! If you carry your weight up top, then go with a shorter top (above the hip) and show off those gorgeous legs.  Skinny jeans can be paired with a chic pair of flats for a casual look, or spice it up with a pair of sexy heels to dress things up for evening.  Skinny jeans look especially great with boots.  Tuck them in to a pair of riding boots and top it off with a great jacket for a look that is modern and sleek.  Or you can do a short boot like our idol, Queen Latifah (pictured left).  You can buy skinny jeans and cargos almost anywhere.  I just bought a great pair of ankle-zip skinny cargos at Old Navy for the bargain price of $15.  At that price you can afford to experiment with your personal style.   Keep checking in for more ideas on how to sport this hot trend!

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