How to Dress Up Your Statement Pieces For Less

The challenge many women can face with high fashion statement pieces is cost. Once you have it, what do you do with it? Wear it only once? No! When you purchase high fashion or couture pieces, you are essentially investing in a quality piece. So, how do you dress up these pieces more than once without draining your bank account or sacrificing on style?

My solution has always been to go simple, classic, and elegant with basic pieces you can find in your everyday wardrobe and pair them with a statement piece. Let that expensive signature piece stand out.

I was elated when I got the chance to style up this high fashion floral embroidered duster from Eleven60. The “Pinky Promise” A-Line Bomber is a sheer floral embroidered A-Line bomber jacket with pink trim. It is a unique, beautiful piece and perfect addition to any plus-size queen’s wardrobe.

For my first look, I went to my closet to find all shades of pink. I pulled a ribbed knit pink dress from Forever 21. The rose colored dress compliments the floral bomber perfectly. Combined with Nude Chunky Lucite Heels, rose gold mirrored sunglasses, and a rose gold bangle set from Forever 21 accessories, it makes for an elegant and chic look.

For my second look, I paired the bomber with a white Sleeveless Bodysuit and Drawstring Pants in blush to create a chic yet casual look.  I accessorized the look with a pink Satin Bow Choker and floral stud earrings.

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Both looks, excluding the bomber, were obtained at a little over $100. That’s an amazing deal considering all the clothing, shoes, and accessories I was able to purchase. And, these basic pieces can be used to achieve many more looks.

Being able to dress in the latest styles shouldn’t mean breaking the bank. Investment in high fashion pieces can be easily styled with everyday affordable, trendy, and basic pieces from brands like Forever 21.

PHOTOGRAPHY: TOMMY KIM HTTP://WWW.TOMMYKIM.NET

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Items Featured

“PINKY PROMISE” A-LINE BOMBER – Eleven60

Plus Size Sleeveless Bodysuit – Forever 21

Plus Size Drawstring Pants – Forever 21

Chunky Lucite Heels – Forever 21

Satin Bow Choker – Forever 21

Similar/Suggested Items

Plus Size Cami Swing Dress – Forever 21

Plus Size Bodycon Henley Dress – Forever 21

Mirrored Bangle Set – Forever 21

Mirrored Cateye Sunglasses – Forever 21

Glow-in-the-Dark Flower Studs – Forever 21

 

 

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Facing Your Fashion Fears: From Street to Chic

As a plus-size woman, I was limited on what to wear. Whether it’s avoiding horizontal stripes, or being encouraged to wear all black because it’s “slimming”, many of us have these parameters drilled into our head that our wardrobe reflects what’s called “safe pieces”.

Wearing clothing shouldn’t be revolutionary. Rather, it’s a form of expression of your personality and style. And as an ambassador for an apparel brand, Artista Apparel, I decided to take my active wear from street to chic.

First, the circus pants by Artista Apparel are dance/yoga pants designed for style and comfort. They aren’t like leggings that form tightly to your body and curves. While I am definitely the first to flaunt my curves, it is not the only thing I consider when putting an outfit together. I think about style, comfort, and confidence when I put together an outfit.

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A big girl wearing baggy pants? Isn’t that going to hide a curvy figure rather than accentuate it? I think the end results prove that as a curvy woman, my figure will look lovely even in clothing that may be deemed to make me look bigger and, therefore, unflattering according to societal standards. Pairing the black and red Aztec print circus pants with a black crop top, heels, and a bomber jacket elevate the look to an edgy high fashion ensemble.

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The black snakeskin crop top offers a little peek-a-boo at the midriff, which I am perfectly comfortable with and actually really love. The thought of having any sliver of my tummy peek out seemed like a horrendous idea, and one I avoided at all costs. Now, I think it’s actually kind of cute.

With the right accessories, you can certainly take pieces that would normally be seen as serving one purpose and see their versatility. I wanted to showcase how versatile these pieces from Artista Apparel can be, and show the quality and return on investment in these pieces. Additionally, I wanted to challenge myself and wear pieces that are normally off limits for plus-size women because when it comes to fashion and style there should be limitless possibilities.

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Photography: Tommy Kim http://www.tommykim.net

Curvytrend 

Items Featured

Crop Top: Black Snakeskin Crop Top – Artista Apparel

Pants: Black & Red Aztec Print Circus Pants – Artista Apparel

Enjoy 10% off with Code: ABASL10

 

Body Positive Artist Susan Ruiter & Two Curvy Ladies

Last winter, I commissioned a painting from artist Susan Ruiter. I found her work on Instagram and fell immediately in love. The way she paints women: curvy, round, happy, sassy. All the words that can describe what it is to be a big beautiful woman in the world and the way we move are what Susan captures so perfectly.

 I knew I had to have one of her paintings. I reached out to Susan with full trust in her craft. I asked her to draw inspiration from a series of pin-up photos of myself in a polka dot bathing suit. The result was just magic: two wonderful, beautiful, and curvy ladies.

I wake up every morning to these beautiful ladies. Even if I am in a rush, I always catch them out of the corner of my eye. There are days where I stand in front of this painting and just stare. It is truly a wonderful feeling to know that I could inspire such beautiful art. 

The two ladies are a reminder that I exist outside of my routine, outside of these four walls. I exist in a world where I move beautifully. 

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I like to see the ‘two ladies’, as Susan calls them, as two parts of me. We always have two sides to ourselves, intriguing, similar in some ways, but inherently different.

 Photo Credit: Solight Photography

As a supporter of body positive artists, I wanted to know more about Susan and her process. Below is an interview conducted with Susan.

 

 As a child, did you have an interest in art?

Not especially in art. But I was very creative. I loved drawing, painting, making clothes etc.

What draws you to paint women?

I like to draw people and animals and love round shapes (curves), humor and color. The combination of these made me start drawing the colorful, happy ladies. And I was inspired by Botero, a Colombian artist.
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Where do you draw inspiration from?

From daily life. I can get inspired from a walk through town, from magazines, pictures. Anything.
When you have a commission piece, like mine, where do you start? What is the process?

If possible I visit your home or company, so I can see your interior and talk about your wishes. If I do I bring along some paintings, it’s so you can see what size and colors you would like the painting to have. Then, we talk about: What colors you would like, if you would like a personal touch (car, animal, company logo, daughter)? Etc.

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After this, I make a few sketches and mail them to you so you can tell me what you do or do not like, and if you wish to change anything. When you agree with the sketch, I start with the actual painting. It takes about 8 – 16 weeks before it’s done. When the painting is finished, I mail a picture. Again you can tell me if you’d like anything different. When you’re happy with the painting as it is, I varnish the painting and bring/send it to you.

Is the painting I commissioned your first one to make its way to the U.S.?

Yes, your ladies were the first to travel this far. Since then, I had another one commissioned for the U.S. and shipped one to Australia.
What has been a highlight in your experience being an artist?

Opening my own gallery in Vlaardingen (town near Rotterdam), were I have a workspace as well.
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I feel that often an artist’s work reflects part of them. What would you say about your paintings reflects who you are as a person, artist, or woman?

My paintings reflect me as a person. I draw confident women who enjoy life. That’s how I like to see myself as well.
Many body positive advocates and plus-size bloggers are very familiar with your work. How has the response been to your work?

Are they? I did have a lot of positive reactions, one of my favorites is: “Your view on confident, curvy women is inspiring.” And I loved your response to your commissioned work too! You said: “I love it, it is a reminder to me that I’m beautiful every morning.”
A Dutch plus-size magazine placed an article about me once and I’m currently in contact with a plus-size magazine in Canada/U.S. about placing an article.

What are some of your favorite artists?

Botero, Lita Cabelut, Nico Vrielink
What would you say to young artists who are starting out?

Find your own way and stay true to yourself.
Your artwork is certainly making an impact on the body positive community. What message or beliefs do you hope comes across in your work?

Enjoy life and love who you are. Confidence is the most beautiful thing you can wear.

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What future projects do you have in mind with your artwork?

I just had the first bronze statue of one of my ladies made and I hope to make more in the future. I keep trying new things in paintings, to keep developing myself.


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Photo Credit: Galerie Sille

What parts of the world would you like your art to be showcased?

All over the world!

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It is not hard to see why Susan’s work is so captivating and even more at how wonderful she is. Celebrating the beauty of the female body, its curves, its movement, its existence, is imperative. We need to see the celebration of plus-size, curvy bodies. We need to be reminded just like I am every morning that big is beautiful.

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Read more about Susan and view her work at her website.

Make sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Swimsuits Just For Us: Plus-size Fashion from Summer to Fall

Summer never truly ends in southern states like Texas or Florida. So, what is a plus-size girl to do when you want your wardrobe to match the beautiful sunny weather, provide comfort, and be fashionable? The answer is Swimsuits Just For Us.

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Their mission is to create beautiful swimwear pieces for plus-size/full-figured women without sacrificing style or comfort.  And, I am absolutely in love with their swimdresses. They translate so well from summer to fall fashion when places like Austin, Texas still have hot and sunny days.

The Delta Burke Waterfall Halter Swimdress is perfect for its color, pattern, and design. The black and white printed bust area gives just enough pop while the black dress bottom drapes my curvy figure perfectly.

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Pair this beautiful swimdress with white jean shorts and take a stroll in the Zilker Botanical Gardens or slip them off to take a dip in the famous Barton Springs Pool. While there, don’t forget to snap some pictures against the tropical backgrounds located near the waterfall of the garden. You will truly feel like an island princess.

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I will certainly be looking to Swimsuits Just For Us (SJ4US) for other swimwear pieces like their cover-ups, swimsuit rompers, and aqua fitness wear. Pieces like these are versatile and fashionable. Who doesn’t love the idea of getting more for your buck?

And, I was so elated when I found that SJ4US also carries sizes 28W-32W. There aren’t that many plus-size brands that carry sizes beyond 24-26, which is not only limiting but discouraging. SJ4US creates “Plus-size swimwear made to fit your body!” As a plus-size model and body posi advocate, I am all about fashion at any size.

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You can shop at SJ4US here.

Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter & Instagram: @SJ4uS.

Photographer: Tommy Kim

 

I went to a Plus-Size Pool Party in LA and guess what happened?

Last weekend I attended the second stop of the Golden Confidence Pool Party tour in L.A. Created by blogger and model Essie Golden, the #goldenconfidence hashtag has taken social media by storm. Women around the world are posting pictures in two-piece swimwear, body-hugging dresses, and any fashion piece that was previously deemed off limits for plus-size women. It is certainly empowering women everywhere and here is proof of that.

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I started off low-key, sipping on my drink and eating some delicious tacos away from the large crowd. I had planned my outfit perfectly and couldn’t wait to show it off, but I was in that familiar place. Remember  your first party, the first school dance, or any social function where you have on the perfect beautiful dress, but you just can’t seem to summon up the courage to dance, talk to the boy you like, or be a social butterfly? Well, that familiar feeling crept in as my friend and I shied away on the top deck.

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But soon enough the fear started fading away as we took selfies. And, guess what? No one was looking at the two big girls taking selfies in their swimsuits.

Everyone was eating, laughing, dancing, taking selfies, and checking out each other’s outfits. Let me say this about the fashion at the party, #SLAY ! You can check out some of the amazing looks captured by Cosmopolitan.com here.

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Thanks to City Chic and Essie Golden, I was one of five best dressed at the event along with @bougie_chic , @jazzmynejay , & @cocoscurvycloset . Dare I say ultimate #squadgoals?

And, look who was featured in Cosmopolitan.com? Read the article here.

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Essie Golden’s pool party inspired me to form a community for body positive and plus-size women in Austin, TX. I told Cosmopolitan.com that women should feel like this anywhere they go. More importantly, I felt free. Free to wear what I want, wherever, dance, and just be me.

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Get the look at Artista Active Wear. I am wearing Halter Monokini in Amethyst Mermaid.