If you are anything like me, Christmas Day is the perfect excuse to buy a new outfit. A new dress, some summery shorts, perhaps a cute pair of heels to show off at Christmas lunch;… More
As a plus size women, events and functions can be a daunting experience. With race season fast approaching (or basically already here), it dawned on me that the races are not exempt from the feelings of anxiety and awkwardness that many plus size women feel. Uncomfortably shuffling through a crowd, sweating body parts and chafing thighs, unhealthy food and drinks that result in bloating; how good does going to the races sound right now! I know, pretty terrible, why would you go? Well if you’re anything like me, AN EXCUSE TO GET DRESSED UP! Woo! My favourite thing!
So basically, I spent a little time shuffling through my wardrobe trying to find the perfect races outfit to share with you beautiful ladies, because also, going to the races shouldn’t send your broke before you even get there! (Take note younger me) That said, if you feel like a new dress is on the cards, I’ve made some suggestions below. The two looks I’ve come up with, while you may not be able to replicate perfectly, I hope you can take the tips and tricks behind them and apply it to your own perfect race day look!
My first look was built around this gorgeous last season Sheike dress that I had in my wardrobe from a Christmas party. Sheike is a great place for those inbetweenies looking for beautiful pieces (I’m more around an 18 at the moment and I can squeeze into some of their more generous size 16 pieces). Although this particular dress is not available anymore they have very similar styles online (and instore) now in the Spotty Satin Dress, Night Noise Maxi and Exclusive Dress. The reason I’m backing these styles is because I find them sooo forgiving for many different shapes. They all draw in at the waist (on a stretchy band) creating a faux waist and then flow out over those gorgeous womanly hips we’re carrying around, creating a beautiful shape on the body. Also they are more of a straight cut style that many women like, however because they have that flow and don’t sit directly on the skin you can fit in a few more champagnes and canapes without worrying about bloating (that’s a big one for me! 😉 ). If you find a few drinks does make you bloat, or your prefer not to wear fitted clothing, these dresses are the perfect shape while still looking feminine and giving you shape.
I paired this dress with nude accessories and a bright lip! A good lip on race day can act as an accessory in itself and you can use it to tie your accessories into your dress by using a complimentary shade to a colour in your dress. I picked these Novo shoes up a few months ago for a photo shoot and have worn them with everything since! You can find a similar pair online. The best part about these heels is the wedge, my biggest races outfit tip is always, always, wear a wedged or thick heel. There is nothing worse then trying to walk through the grass in a stiletto heel and sinking into the dirt! For my fascinator, I like to match it back to either my shoes or with my dress (and then wear different complimentary coloured shoes). In this case I have stuck to the nude theme with this beautiful Max Alexander leaf headpiece. I personally love that it is on a headband, not something you have to pin in, as this gives me piece of mind for the entire day!
My second look was a little more ‘sultry’. This City Chic dress is one I picked up from one of their outlet stores during winter, figuring it would come in hand for many occasions during the warmer months. Right I was, it’s the perfect races dress! I love the style of the fitted bodice with the big A-line skirt, for those ladies who don’t like things clinging to their hips or just feel more comfortable that way, this is the perfect style. I love the flower/leaf detail in this dress as it makes it appear nearly transparent underneath, and breaks up that full on block colour.
For this look I have gone with classic black accessories that I had in my wardrobe. If all else fails black is always a good way to go accessory wise, and if you are struggling to match your black staples to a dress try to tie them together by using a colour/black combo earring, or adding a black belt into your dress. Again I’ve gone with a pair of Novo shoes from last season that I had in the back of my wardrobe, falling back on my ‘solid heel’ theory these ones will keep my feet comfortable all day. Underneath (both dresses), I am rocking my most attractive pair of spanx, it’s important for me to stay comfortable (and as un-sweaty) as possible on a long day out, so a good pair is worth the investment (and avoiding the embarrassment of a visible panty line!).
My beautiful black fascinator is a trend I love at the moment, with the lace pattern built up all over it. It also matches this particular dress perfectly! Once again, this Morgan & Taylor headpiece is on a headband to keep it secure on my head all day without having to worry. While some might object to having a headband covering your entire head, you can always style your hair to sit over the top so it is less noticeable. I’ve pulled my hair up and into a flat bun for this particular look, this way I don’t have to worry about curls dropping or humidity wrecking my straightening efforts. Also on a day out in the sun and crowds this is an easy and subtle way to keep your body temperature down. Personally, I over heat very easily, and there is nothing more mortifying then getting sweaty at a classy event, so by having my hair pulled up and off my neck I’m already keeping myself just a tad cooler.
So if you are heading off to the races in the coming weeks, I hope this has been slightly helpful! But the most important thing is that you feel amazing about yourself! Use the excuse to dress up, have fun, and embracing your own #prettyforplussize. Show me how you’re dressing up for the races by commenting or tagging me on IG!
Warning: This post contains themes of women’s health, specifically Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, fertility and Diabetes. If this upsets you or make you uncomfortable, please do not read on, as that is not my intention. I am not a medical expert and do not have professional knowledge in these fields, this is simply my own experiences and my point of view, if you have health concerns please contact your GP.
Last week, I asked my IG community if they were interested in hearing my story and experiences dealing with PCOS and Type 2 Diabetes. I was met with an over whelming response to do this blog post as well as many private messages from women reaching out about their own experiences or asking for advice. As mentioned above, this is only my story; my experiences, how my body works and the struggle I have been though.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (or – PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition. ‘Polycystic’ literally translates as ‘many cysts’. Women with PCOS commonly have high levels of insulin, or male hormones known as ‘androgens’, or both. The cause of this is unclear, but insulin resistance is thought to be the key problem driving this syndrome.
PCOS is relatively common and affects 12 to 18 per cent of women of reproductive age (between late adolescence and menopause). Almost 70% of these cases remain undiagnosed. To be diagnosed with PCOS, women need to have polycystic ovaries and be displaying some of the most common symptoms: irregular menstrual cycles , amenorrhoea (no periods), excessive facial or body hair growth (or both), acne, scalp hair loss, reduced fertility (difficulty in becoming pregnant), obesity, sleep apnoea or mood changes – including anxiety and depression..
In January 2016, I visited to doctor with concerns of my missing period, at 23 and having been on the same contraceptive (the pill) since I was 16 this missing period had me slightly concerned (yes, I originally went to the doctors wondering if I was pregnant). After confirming that a) my period had been absent for at least 3 months and b) I was not with child and c) I had put on a substantial amount of weigh in the last 6 months (around 20kgs) my GP took me through a list of questions and discussion that I can now see revolved around the symptoms for PCOS.
Had I been struggling with my weight? Did I have excessive hair growth? Hair loss? Acne? How were my sleeping patterns? Was I moody? My strongest responses were to weight, hair growth, and sleeping patterns (maybe I was moody, but I just put that down to my no nonsense attitude and intolerance for people’s bullshit). From this initial appointment I had months of doctors appointments, specialists appointments, x-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, more poking and prodding then I have ever experienced before. And by June, after numerous visits to an Endocrinologist it was confirmed that I did infact have PCOS and that this condition needed to be monitored and supported with medication. Two weeks later I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
If I am honest, the diabetes diagnosis hit me harder than the PCOS initially. I specifically remember getting an email from my Endocrinologist at about 10.30pm at night confirming that I had diabetes. Boom. Diabetes. I was 23. Doctors assured me that I had Diabetes due to my PCOS and the effect that condition had on my insulin, that I was only ‘just’ diabetic, and that it was a easily manageable condition in my case.
I’ll admit it was nice to finally have answers to a lot of things. Although this wasn’t the end of the poking and prodding, particularity because of my Diabetes diagnosis there were more specialists to see and groups to attend. I went to a group on how to manage my diabetes in the first month, once a week, and I remember sitting there every week surrounded by people at least 40 years older than me just thinking “I shouldn’t be here”. I also started seeing a podiatrist (foot specialist), which then resulted in me seeing a HEART specialist, as we discovered the blood flow in my legs wasn’t ideal. On top of this I was seeing a Diabetes Educator, an Exercise Physiologist and a Dietitian. So by August, I was taking Metformin (for diabetes and PCOS managment) and Crestor (to open up my veins and promote blood flow). Due to the concerns about my blood flow it was recommended I go off the pill (to avoid encouraging blood clots), and find another type of contraceptive. Under the guidance of my GP & Endo specialist (Note: I do not have Endometriosis but PCOS can effect fertility in a similar way) I had day surgery to inset the Mirena into my uterus to manage my hormones and use as a contraception.
The Mirena is quite a common form of contraception and you only have to switch it over every three years, winning right?! Eh. I am not so convinced. While it didn’t seem to cause me any extra trouble with my cycle (still no period since 2015), it did give me a huge bout of acne. Being some one who had never struggled with acne before (beside the random teenage pimple), this is something I really struggled with, like ‘didn’t want to leave the house’ struggled with. I have gone from some one with very clear porcelain skin, to someone with red angry skin across my entire chin, lower cheeks and jawline, and it has scared that way. Unfortunately the type of breakouts I have had don’t seem to be innocent teenage pimples, rather angry hard boulders that sit under the skins surface and scab all across my face. I’m not putting this reaction 100% down to my Mirena, but also, I am. (More on this later).
Oof, are you still with me?
If you are, the next place I went was a Natroupath. There is a lot of conflicting information online with just about everything, and of course this was no different, but I personally am I believer in natural remedies coupled with medicinal so I wanted to give it a try. I went through the process with a Natroupath of trying to re-balance my system and improve my gut health for about 3 months, and I will admit many of the herbs I was drinking and vitamins I was taking did seem to be improving the symptoms like hair loss and my sleeping habits and energy levels. However, at one stage I was taking about 40 tablets a day (and this was quite a costly experience). This just wasn’t a solution for me. I couldn’t keep taking that many tablets and believing that they were all improving me THAT much, so I finished up with the Natroupath in hopes of seeing both how and if it had helped my body by comparison. Granted now that I am taking no herbal remedies I have been able to notice that a few things definitely did help (particularly with the sleep and energy levels), so I am in the process of looking into those again on their own.
In April of this year I took off on a 2 month holiday around Europe (which was amaze by the way). How is that relevant to my story, you may ask? Wellll. Remember the weight that I stacked on earlier? Yeah. Well it hadn’t been budging. In fact, working with a Dietician and Exercise Physiologist still hadn’t helped it budge. There had actually been times when I had put on MORE weight. Women with PCOS typically find it very easy to put on weight, and very hard to lose it (see earlier about my reference to insulin), and this had definitely been a massive struggle for me. The only thing, that I had found successful in trying lots of different diets and meal plans (under my Dietitians guidance), was meal replacement shakes. 3 shakes a day, equal to about 600 – 800 calories a day, was the ONLY thing my body was responding to in my weight loss effort. And if you have ever done any research on nutrition, that’s just a tad (about 1000) calories under the recommended intake. (Please note I am not in any way condoning this method for weight loss, I myself only do it for a week at a time under the guidance of a qualified dietitian.) But, I digress, the other thing that helps me lose weight… Europe?!
Yep, you read that right, I went to Europe for 9 weeks and came back 9 kilos lighter. Now trust me, if I could cruise through Europe drinking every second night, eating pasta and pizza till I exploded and having gelato every day for the rest of my life I definitely would. But alas, that is not my life, and those nine kilos have crept back on (plus 3, sigh). But really, the major change in my lifestyle when I travel is my activity level, I did a lot of walking the streets of beautiful European cities and climbing coastal Italian mountains, and I find this is the biggest thing that helps me lose weight. Exercise all day = weightloss… I’m working on it.
The other difference in this time was that I was very poor at taking my medication, and when I returned, my blood work was surprisingly promising (I have a diabetic test kit at home that I use for emergencies if I am feeling unwell, and I get blood tests about every 3 months at the moment). Because of that it was agreed that I could stop taking my doctor prescribed medication and I have been off all forms of medication for 4 months and just had my Mirena removed yesterday.
The next step for me is to go back to my specialist and check my blood again to see how my body has reacted to being off medication. The biggest change I have seen in getting rid of the medication is that my hair has started falling out A LOT. Luckily there is still some left on my head for now and this will be something I talk through with my specialist next visit. I am now also (with the Mirena out) putting no hormones into my body, which is something I would like to continue in hopes that my body will be able to balance itself out on it’s own after being on contraceptive for so long (since I was 16) and encourage fertility (in the future, calm down Mum). For those curious, because PCOS can effect your fertility due to it’s involvement in the menstrual cycle, I do very much want a family, and it was very scary (probably one of the scariest parts) to think that this might be effected by this condition. I am currently looking into more traditional therapies like acupuncture and Chinese herbs as this is another route that has been recommended to me and can be particularly useful in assisting fertility and preparing the body to reset itself.
My weight is a constant struggle for me and I am constantly battling my own demons to try and over come that and make progress. For me, this blog is a big part of that journey, of showing that I’m not of less value because of my size or struggles. I hope that to anyone going through a similar situation, this story helps you feel just a little bit less alone. Again, this is just my experience, this is what I have done and the results I have had, every single person is different and you may find something that made me worse makes you better! I am very lucky that I have found a wonderful team in my doctor, endocrinologist and dietitian (although I have stopped seeing her as frequently) and am happy to share these with anyone who is wondering. In any case I hope that this little insight into someone else’s condition can help you handle yours, and if this blog has sparked any questions in you, always feel free to get in contact with me and I will help in any way I can.
Hello gorgeous women of all shapes and sizes! I feel like it’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog post, but I have found something so fabulous I need to share it with you. It’s a tee. But it’s basically the best bloody tee I have ever put on my body.
So, back story. A few weeks ago, the gorgeous Rachael at Ruby & Lilli gifted me with some of her gorgeous product, 2 tees and 2 scarfs, to try out, take them for a spin around town. Now, as you may have noticed, I am very much a dress and skirt kinda gal. We’re coming out of winter and my baby elephant thighs (which I love, just fyi), are just not ready to be out on display yet. So in styling these t shirts, I wanted to put my thinking cap on.
The two shirts I’ve styled are 2 different sizes, an XL and a 2XL. Both tee’s fit me well (Note: If you’re looking for a size guide I have 110cm bust measurement), with the bigger style a much more relaxed and longer fit. I now have, in my ever expanding wardrobe, the Tout Va Bien and Sparkle and Sass tees and firstly the material is so soft and comfortable that they are perfect to wear for absolutely any occasion or activity. Secondly, the fit and cut of the shirt is such a nice style, it curves in the right places and even the XL is a great length to wear untucked over shorts or jeans. But my biggest realisation was how much I love the sleeves! The length of the sleeves are short enough to still be classified as a tee, but have just that little bit of extra length in them that means they don’t awkwardly cut into your arm.
I wanted to team my tee’s with something a little different, and style them in a way that I was hoping would appeal to you, gorgeous curvy women, as I know wearing shorts can be a confronting experience for many of us. So I stuck with my skirts! (I’m also obsessed with the whole skirt/sneaker trend right now so I ran with that). My first look was soft and feminine, colorful and flirty, and I adore this Modcloth skirt just as much as my new tee!
My second look was just a little bit edgier, with just the change of my skirt! I teamed my second tee (the larger one), with my City Chic pleather skit, and I loved this look too!! This tee was much more relaxed in a bigger size and you could do it tucked or un tucked, or even a sneaky half in/half out! I love this look for a concert or afternoon drink, comfortable but stylish! I’ve also taken to wearing this tee as part of my ‘activewear’ look, as its a perfect length to pair with tights! (Stay tuned on the IG for this look)
Overall, I’m definitely back on the tee train (choo choo!) and perhaps I’ll even try out a pair of shorts for a new look. I’m holding onto a few gorgeous Ruby & Lilli scarves as well that I cannot wait to team up with some new outfits! Either way, I’m definitely adding these gorgeous styles to my wardrobe staples for sure!
For those of you who follow me on IG, you will have noticed that over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Monique at Revive Spa and Beauty! A few weeks ago Monique approached me to visit her salon and treat myself to some of her beauty services; being the (novice) beauty addict I am, I couldn’t say no!
So Saturday afternoon I set off to Revive Spa & Beauty located on Brisbane’s Northside in Joyner. Monique greeted me at her home salon and because I’m completely brow obsessed, we decided to jump right in with a complete Brow & Lash makeover! After settling into her beautiful salon room, Monique took me through the process that she would undertake to completely transform my overgrown brows and virgin lashes. (Note: I have never had any lash extensions, tines or lifts before, hence they were ‘untouched’)
The final outcome was so perfect even my #instaboyfriend commented on how amazing my lashes looked! But not only did my brows andlashes look amazing, I felt amazing too! Taking the time to relax and unwind (while someone else was working hard), is something I think is really important to feeling good from the inside allll the way out. And treating yourself to these special ‘self care’ moments, whether it be getting your brows done, spending time at the hair salon, getting a manicure, any thing that gives you that ‘YOU’ time, is so important to building that self love and self confidence that so many of us are lacking. There is no reason why, at any size, we don’t deserve to have someone look after us or pamper us, and I’ve heard to many women’s stories already who just don’t feel like they deserve these moments or their self confidence is shattered. Which is exactly why we need to take time to ourselves to build it up! Getting my brows done is something that I enjoy during the treatment, and something that gives me a massive self confidence boost about my look. And if you have something that makes you feel THAT good, it is definitely worth investing in.
If you find yourself needing some me time on Brisbane’s northside, definitely do not hesitate to contact Monique at Revive Spa & Beauty and head to her IG ReviveSpaBeauty to stay constantly updated! Monique is passionate about all her treatments and aims to help every client “Feel beautiful from the inside out!”. Revive Spa and Beauty offers a huge range of services that will help you feel #prettyANDplussize
Note: This treatment was gifted to me from Revive Spa & Beauty, this content in no way is paid or sponsored, merely a reflection and review of the services I received as part of this gift. No money has exchanged hands to alter my perception or view in any way, I am committed to sharing my experiences as honestly and openly as I can.
Ah, the off-the-shoulder. Everyone who is anyone is wearing it, has been wearing it, is planning to wear it. This is one trend that I am very, very on board with.
The off-the-shoulder trend has been around for a while, summer, winter, day or night; it doesn’t seem to matter. This is one versatile style. Also one that for once, does NOT depend on your size!? Remember last summer when EVERYTHING finished above the belly button, well I became very un trendy that season, I don’t make friends with crop tops. I’ve been rocking off-the-shoulder everything for months already and I’m so pumped to carry this trend into summer with more boho dresses and colourful blouses. As we head into warmer weather, this style is continuously developing with new variations and silhouettes at every retailer. The original ‘straight across’ off-the-shoulder still exists, but now there is the one-shoulder, the subtle-shoulder, the detailed-sleeve-shoulder, the strappy shoulder and the cold shoulder too! Couple that with the fact that this style works on tops, dresses, jumpsuits and jackets, how’s a girl to choose!
In general, my favourite thing about this style is it’s just a little bit of sexy. A little bit of shoulder is taunting enough to make your man’s mouth water, but feminine enough that your grandma still thinks you look cute (sorry grandma 😉 ). As i mention it looks flatting in a top with jeans, a dress with heels or even corporate styled as a blazer! With all the different sleeve variations it is actually possible to have the perfect shoulder for every occasion! I personally love a standard ‘detailed-sleeve’ or ‘full-sleeved’ for date night or dancing. Whereas a good ‘cold-shoulder’ or ‘straight-shoulder’ is perfect for lunch with family or a day trip with your besties. Just incase your shoulder knowledge isn’t up to speed – I’ve headed to ASOS to find my favourite ‘shoulder’ styles to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about!
Embellished Cold Shoulder Shift Dress available here.
ASOS Curve Sundress available here.
Halter Cold Shoulder Dress available here.
John Zach Off Shoulder Ruffle Dress available here.
Although I’ve gone with a ‘dress’ vibe above, with summer approaching you best have your off-the-shoulder tops at the ready! Super easy to style, these tops look fab with both skirts and shorts and my go to pairing – denim! Whether its jeans, a denim skirt or a pair of cut offs, coupled together this is such a carefree and comfortable style. To dress it up I love to add a pair of statement earrings, particularly if your neckline is quite plain.
If you have read my previous blog posts, you will be aware of my frustrations regarding my well endowed chest. While the girls are great sometimes, an ‘off-the-shoulder’ sleeve does require a strapless bra. Now if you haven’t found your holy grail of strapless bras just yet (note to self: another blog post), this is where the cold-shoulder sand strappy-shoulder styles come in, because ladies, you can wear a regular bra! If you head to @prettyforplussize on IG you can check out how I have styled the cold-shoulder top for maximum support and comfort. And f you take a look below, you can see how obsessed I am with off the shoulder tops 🙂 🙂
Until next time! Stay #prettyforplussize
So my IG post this morning (follow @prettyforplussize) said that I wanted to let you guys in on a few things, share some secrets and break down some digital walls we might have. Basically, I just wanted to have a chat a little more about why I’m here, what I am hoping to achieve and why I am doing what I am.
Obviously my IG page is my greatest portal right now, it’s where my passion and focus is. My original concept for P4PS was only an Instagram page, just to share my outfits and different looks with the plus size community. It was only after starting an IG page, that I realised, I had more to say than those little IG comment boxes would allow – hence the blog appeared. Don’t get me wrong, I am learning every single step as we go here, and winging it a lot of the time, but that is part of the fun!
The biggest idea behind Pretty For Plus Size was to break down the stigma that follows young women who fall into the plus size clothing category, that they don’t want to look beautiful or dress in nice clothes. We are seeing so much in the media currently about plus size models and runway shows and women coming into their own in the fashion industry, but as a 20-something year old who was dying to be trendy, I still felt such a gap. I can’t go shopping with my friends, or when I do, they wonder why I won’t try anything on (when they know how much I LOVE to shop). It’s because I know nothing will fit me, and I will do anything to avoid that embarrassment. There is approximately 1 boutique plus size store that slightly caters to women my age, that I will now venture into inside a shopping center, but other than that, I do all my shopping online. My realisation was that I am not alone in this predicament, that if I was struggling to find places to shop and buy new clothes, surely other girls my age were to! That’s why I have set out to share with you the brands I love to wear, styles I find flattering, stores I venture into and clothes that make me feel pretty and plus size! Along the way I’m hoping to even find some NEW brands and businesses that cater for my body type, and hopefully share those with you as well!
However it’s not just about the clothes and brands that I manage to get my hands on, I want to share the other little things that I find help me feel pretty. There seems to be this odd misconception – built in the phrases ‘Oh you’re pretty for a fat girl’ or ‘You’d be beautiful if you lost weight.’ That we CAN’T be beautiful just because we haven’t lost weight, ah no. So along with the clothes, it’s about the details; my nails, my brows, when my make up looks good, all these things make me feel beautiful and good within my self. And at the end of the day that’s the vibe I’m trying to give off to you! So if I can tell you where to go to get your #browsonfleek or which salon is good for #nailgoals, then I’m going to do that as well.
I want to build you up, exactly the way you are.