Fashion Shopping Online

When you live in a place that has limited fashions to choose from buying online is essential. These days I find there is much variety shopping on the Internet. Sometimes I find fashion by accident either by scrolling on Instagram or they follow me on Social Media. My mother was a catalog shopper back in the day. It was taught early on how to shop long distance. Plus, I learned to sew when taking home economics in high school, knowing all of my measurements in order to make fashions for myself was important especially, when buying patterns. Buying online is something I have to do most of the time because some of my favorite designers and stores I can only buy from online due to their location. Finally, I found that when I do go in store they do not have the same benefits as they do online.

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Know your measurements. I basically know my bust, underbust, waist, hips, and inseam when shopping online. Sometimes you might need measurements for other parts of the body especially for custom fit. You also need to take your bodytype into account. This is why some brands fit others differently and why sizes vary. For example, everyone’s waist and hips are in a different area and most go by the smallest part of your waist and the fullest part of your hip. You can find plenty of information on how to measure and some stores will have their own way. Considering myself as an example some will say go 8″ down from my waist. Due to the fact that my waist is considerably high if I go 8″ down to measure my hips, it isn’t going to be the fullest part of my hips. Another tip I use for my waist is to measure the area that bends when you lean to the side. If I went at my belly button it would not be accurate. If you are doing this yourself to stand in front of a body length mirror to make sure the tape is in the right location.

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Eventually, when buying from a designer or brand often enough you know how their items will fit your body and which do not.  I find most stores go buy an hourglass shape. My shape is a between an apple and a pear which means that not everything is going to fit like advertised. The model in the advertisement has different measurements, they have the item pinned on them, padding added on, or they could have been photoshopped, or the fit model that they made the design against is not my shape.

 

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It is important to read the size chart! I cannot stress this enough. If they do not have one, I am not going to buy from them. Trust me they are out there. Just because they list the size you wear does not mean it will fit. This is why I cringe when fashions are promoted for selling ALL sizes when their size charts say otherwise. What I learned stores that cater to trendy looks will be different from a store that cater to classic looks. Usually, stores have Junior, Junior Plus, Petite, Tall, Misses, Women, or Plus Size. An item that is Junior will have smaller measurements than an item that is Women. Plus the length of clothes such as Petite or Tall are going to have different measurements. If I buy clothes that are Tall I find they fit bigger so I might have to size down. Some have their own measurements especially, if it is from an independent designer.

 

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All these tips can also be applied to men too! 

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Sometimes the right unders can change the shape of your body to make things fit correctly such as bras, corsets, shapewear, or hosiery. I know that some of my pin up style dresses I need to wear a corset in order to get it over my waist. Or, the dress that is too big on the top works well with a push up bra. The plus side of buying lingerie is that most stores will measure you for the right fit!

However, do not go too tight… 

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Shopping online does not have to be expensive. If I want the item right away because I know it will be sold out I will buy it full price. Sometimes waiting for a sale you could lose out but, I have other priorities in where my money goes which I am sure other do too. Most of the time I take advantage of sales when I buy something.  Signing up for sale notifications by opening an online account or email with the store also can have priority over people who do not use this feature. Another way is to follow the brand on social media. Many will post upcoming sales in their thread. It helps to have a credit card with a store too because they give even more discounts. Thrifting is another option where you can save. I know I donate my used clothes to Savers.  When you do they give you a coupon to buy from them at a discount. You can even thrift online such as Etsy or Facebook Groups.

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Following fashion bloggers with your similar body shape or measurements can be a benefit because they will post outfits or clothes that they enjoy wearing. Some will post what they did or did not like about the item. Although in the blogging world bad reviews are cringed upon and some are paid to promote products. Lately, some bloggers have been designing their own fashions and even designing for other brands.

You could Google about the brand to see what others experienced or you could read reviews of the item. However, I purchased some expensive yoga pants that claimed they did not roll when exercising and that they were made for all body shapes. Unfortunately, it was not true. My review was not posted all the positive ones were. I also have bought from an independent designer in which I received the item months later. Does not help when you order something in the winter and it arrives in the spring where it is already 80 degrees here.

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Online shopping for your fashions does not have to be a negative experience.  Just like any online shopping if you educate yourself it can be a positive one. Sure there will be some bumps in the road. Make sure to check out return information because some do not accept returns, you end up paying the shipping costs to return, and some will take a percentage. Learning how to sew can help because you can tailor it yourself if there are mishaps. Of course if you really want the item you can always bring it to a seamstress or tailor.

Happy Shopping!

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Swimwear 2017 Picks

Swimwear 2017 Picks

Over the years swimwear for the plus size woman has become more fashionable with more variety of options available for each individual. It all started when Gabifresh designed the fatkini in 2011. I had seen plus size fashion vendors make two piece bathing suits before in which I did not have them long, Gabi’s were different. Instead of being like every other bikini it was made for a woman who are looking for more support or coverage.

Ever since, I have a swimwear wardrobe that was more vast than the one or two swimsuits or one pieces that I had to choose from in previous years. This is especially true since summers in the Southwest are much longer I am at the pool several times a week versus the short summer in the Northeast in which I only went a few times a year or modeled a suit once or twice a year. It has even given me a chance to figure out which brands or styles I am not interested in.

Depending on your size and the designer buying early is sometimes key. The suits that I bought last year I purchased in February. Some I was able to find on clearance by the end of the summer in which it was still hot here. Therefore since I have not won the lottery I am unable to buy them all at once. Let’s hope that I can catch them before they sell out!

 With this being this is my summer 2017 swimsuit picks!

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Gabi works with Swimsuitsforall every year. Her collection usually drops after the holiday season. I am addicted to cactus so this is the first one on my list! What I find great about her collection is that if you are interested in a two piece you can order the top at a different size from the bottom. This is especially true for me since I am pear-shaped and usually wear a smaller size on the top versus the bottom. This year she dropped some fabulous cover ups as well which unfortunately have sold out in my size but, Swimsuitsforall does let you be put on a wait list. Just check out their “SOLD OUT IN YOUR SIZE” link, check the size you want, and add your email address.

Milestone Underwire Bikini

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Midnight Fireworks Dress

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I have been buying from Rue 107 for some time now. They are by far one of my favorite Indie designers. Not only do I have swimwear from this designer but, also clothes. Constantly get compliments on the designs. Most of the tops that she sells can are versitale that you can wear them as swimwear. Look for the sheer designs for a cover up. Plus, I love the long sleeve options as coverage is everything when I am spending a day at the beach.

Chanel Bikini Top and Chanel 2.0 Full Coverage Bikini Bottom in Midnight Nude 

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Monif C. is another designer that made options fashionable for the plus size woman. Every year she provides unique colorful options such as neon and metallic. Sometimes if you missed the previous years options she might make a similar design for the next. Last year, I missed out on her rashguard/long sleeve designs.  This year thankfully, she has them again!

Rashguard Plus Size Bikini Top 

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Last year I think I discovered Curvykini by a plus size blogger. The collection offers bright now it offers bright colors and fishnet cutouts on her suits. Reminds me of the suits I had in the eighties. I really hope to dig into this designer this summer.

‘BREE’ 1 PIECE 

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Torrid has been adding great options every year. You can easily find Disney themed suits here. Plus they have some basics with trendy prints. This year I love the retro styles and the coverage.

Striped Halter Bik i Top and Striped Skater Skirt Swim Bottom  

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Lastly, an affordable option is Walmart. They have an array of designs that are basic, retro, and trendy. Since their stores are almost everywhere you can easily buy swimwear on your trip. However, I find that most of their swimwear is not offered in the store but, online. If it is in the store they only seem to stock limited quantities so when you go back it sells out quickly. Online is a little bit slower but, if it is a trendy print it will go. I have a couple of their swimwear and they are pretty decent and have lasted me years.

Suddenly Slim by Catalina Plus Size Slimming Retro Ruffled Swimdress

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There are all kinds of options out there this year for plus size swim. These are what are listed right now. With people into the resort season and Spring Break designs are out before it even gets warm in some place. However, by the time the summer comes there will be more. Who knows maybe I will have another post. You can also check out my previous blog post Fav Swimwear for reviews of what I do own from previous years.

Make sure you check out these plus size fashion vendors that offer swimwear to see what catches your eye!

Asos 

Macys

Ashley Stewart

Chuck Handy

City Chic

Full Beauty

Alwaysforme

Unique Vintage

When you cannot get out to workout

When you cannot get out to workout

After moving to a new place and with my job having me to move around I just do not feel like getting out. Over the years I have seem to become more introverted. Lately, I rather stay home then get out and do things. It has not been easy losing mostly all my friends especially, when I am not to cool with the whole Facebook thing to keep in touch. It was different when I lived out East I was either here or there so I was use to it. I was pretty active. Everything was either a short drive or subway away. Even if I was having one of my depression episodes.

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When I moved to the Southwest things changed. For the first few months, I did have a gym membership and dance classes available to me which I utilized. Then, I had to leave the area where there was nothing available to me that sometimes includes space where I am living or even the location of where I live. Then, LIFE which started having car problems so driving somewhere far was not feasible. Finally, I did not want to have to start somewhere new only to meet new people and then leave them again. This did not make my depression any better sitting around moping about my life not working out. The only moving I had been getting was yoga challenges on Instagram and well work where I get my steps in.

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Currently, I am staying here for a while much to my dismay in order to get my career in focus and finish school already. Still California dreaming. There is a small gym in the complex. Hence, I was not getting there either. The fear of getting there to find the one machine that they have available taken was not cool. Plus, ugh… I am so bored with gym equipment. I was supposed to hook up with a coworker to do Crossfit as it is a different gym atmosphere than I am bored with but, I took a permanent position at another hospital so we lost contact. Hoping that I get to Crossift as I bought my knee sleeves and wrist wraps.

Sigh, introvert problems…

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Anyhow, I have a ton of Beachbody DVD’s. Some of them are too easy and then some I get bored. They just end up sitting on the shelf. However, Shaun T’s Insanity and Fifteen minute trainer are great if you are just starting out or if you are a novice. They have a demand channel but the reviews are iffy and it is kind of expensive. Although, when I did them I lost weight and then when I got bored guess what I gained back. This time I was noticing in my yoga challenge photos.

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In the past, I had saved workouts on my Youtube. I use to just play it on my laptop and follow along. My last apartment I was able to do some in the bedroom. I even used PowHow once and ordered some classes with Sadie Marquardt. Unfortunately, it was a routine and not what I was looking for at the time. It was not really giving me a workout. Probably because when you are a dance for almost two decades you have to add-on more to dance. However, if I was actively in classes and performing I think this is great. They do have some personal and fitness trainers on there but, I was not looking to spend anymore money. They are so right that the weight loss industry is booming.

Lots of excuses I know but, there has to be someone out there like me who will find this informative… and know that I am struggling with you… 

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I can’t just sit here though… it is not good for my pysche or let alone my body… Working out is just another way for me to destress. With my disorder and my job I exercise is really important to my life. With my family history if someone is not moving well you do not live long.

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Now that I have moved into my own place I remembered that I have the app on my TV!!! So I started with some ballet lessons with Kathryn Morgan. This ballerina had to stop working but, she made it a point to keep going and do her own thing. I actually found her on PowHow and somehow found her on Youtube. Her videos not only help ballerinas but, they are full of warm ups and drills for the post ballerina. I had not taken a formal ballet class for some time now so it was a positive experience to do something. Once I settle down with my new work schedule I will be taking ballet and bellydance for sure! With that being said I have work to do!

Then, I had a video saved from womensworkoutchannel. This channel is mostly geared for women looking to have a bigger rear but, the workouts are short and really intense. Great for the days you do not have much time, or you want to mix your workouts up. My bumb and thighs hurt for two days after! After the first day I could not move too much so I did some yoga with Kino. I have done some of her yoga challenges on Instagram in the past. The difference between me doing my own yoga and following someone else is that I do poses that I can do easily which is not very challenging. This way she incoporated poses I won’t do in my yoga challenges.

Finally, I kept searching and found Popsugar Fitness videos. Can we get a YAS? They have EVERYTHING! The other day I did a 30 minutes cardio session and I was pooped. I only hurt for one day probably because I had to do the modified version of some of them. Will be doing this more often.

Well if you are like me who has problems getting it in…

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..there are still things you can do without having to leave the house.

Find something you like. Pinterest and Tumblr  has some nifty workout memes you can do without instruction. If you cannot find it, Google it! Of course if you get bored change it up. There are plenty of pay for options out there. If you have a DVD you enjoyed in the past or that are no longer for sale can be on Youtube.  Furthermore, some people have their own channels that you can utilize for free.

 

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Accepting your body without social media approval

Accepting your body without social media approval

It is apparent that over the years with the advancement of the Internet all you will surely negativity about every single topic. People have their own opinions and views that they learn from their personal experiences, parents, family, friends, peers, media, or the Internet. Some just do not have the ability to filter out that we are all different and just because they went through something it is not the same for the other person. For example, the person who had a loss, grieved for a brief period thinks the one who suffered a similar loss taking longer to grieve is making excuses that they can’t get over it. Next, the person who lost weight with eating right and exercise assumes that every fat person is them. Lastly, not checking the privileges that they have over someone who grew up in a bad neighborhood, their sexual orientation, their marital status, or their nationality. Do not think someone who is educated on the basics of these differences will be sympathetic or empathetic as some will not get it. Therefore these views are everywhere and can make someone feel insecure about who they are and what they look like.

You see stories about persons who have lost their jobs for being racist or complaining about their workplace. Has anyone ever been fired from a job from practicing online bullying? Probably not. Would it solve the problem. Not really. Bullying is not even a way to get fired in the adult workplace. However, maybe they could lose friends because they do not realize many of their comments are not posted in private.  Especially, on Facebook in which when a person comments on a public page such as a Fan Page their comments could be see by their friends online. Although I know of circles of women that feed on this type of behavior. We already know that social media does not even take these comments seriously and if reported their photos banned. Furthermore, we know that women bodies are a huge money making business. Funny, I have seen people who work with women or make money off of women who talk about another’s body. Is this what you say to your clients or your customers? Doubt it, as they presume they are hiding behind a computer screen so it is okay. With this being said it is easy for someone to make a fake account or a troll account to propose bullying.

There are many articles posted about being a plus size woman experiencing body shaming versus someone who is not plus size. One great example is:

The real difference between skinny shaming and fat shaming lies in one key term: privilege“.

It discusses how you see it way more on someone who is fat versus ones that are thin. It is true. I follow pages that have all sizes. No matter where you go in the comments you will see someone body shaming. However, it is more apparent when a plus size woman is posted.

Recently, I seen a post that Allure posting the new Torrid campaign that had a plus size women posted next to plus size models. The comments were just so negative in majority of the posts especially the assumptions of their health. It always looks like a debate with high school females.

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Compared to the Chanel fashions that were posted there were a mere two comments about the models figures. There are considerable differences.

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It does not stop there. A magazine posted a plus size model who isn’t even standard so it was pretty much a miracle she had made it as far as she did. There was still backlash from the plus size community that she wasn’t big enough. It makes no sense to me as when I was in my teens or twenties there was no such thing as seeing anyone such as this in advertisements. It happens to women who do not fit the persona of anything like there is no happy medium.

Wouldn’t be nice if these comments were removed from the page? Torrid and Lane Bryant have been taking a stand to prevent the shaming but, there is much work to be done for others to do the same.

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For me I do not have a high enough following on social media to be affected as some of these ladies are. It did not happen in the past on Myspace or on the online forums that I was a member of. The forums usually did not allow that type of behavior to happen or you would be banned. When it did I left. Unlike Model Mayhem in which fat hate prevails and since it was the way I obtained work I just ended up staying away from their forum. It did happen to me when #effyourbeautystandards’ Instagram posted a unretouched photo of me there was an “Ewww” comment. I wanted to ask them to remove it but, I sucked it up and was just happy that they reposted my photo.  Sometimes it happens to my old model photos or my workout pictures but, least I can remove any negativity there.

It really urks me when people use someones weight to end an argument.

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Truly, it affects me when I see it happen to others. I even have gotten into some deep arguments with people about their shaming. It really has not gotten anywhere because in the end they usually shame me next. It was becoming a relentless battle of me trying to change the views of others.

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Just not one of those people who can voice out change on the Internet. Trying not to read the comments helps. Sometimes though that is not enough. I have decided to unfollow pages that allow these comments to happen. It took me years to follow Lane Bryant, shop there, and open a credit line because they would not until this year stick up for plus size women of all sizes that spend their money there and not just their models. Other things to remember is what I mentioned in the beginning everyone has their opinion from learned experiences in which they compare themselves to everything. Lastly, people are just not nice. Judging someone from a photo is like judging a book from it’s cover.

Keeping your life positive with people who appreciate you and your body are key to live a healthy life. This includes people you know personally. It is important to have a good mental state. I cannot even tell a person’s health by their photo. It takes an assessment from head to toe. Sure there are studies out there that say otherwise but, there are also studies done and being done on the opposite end of the spectrum. If you think about it you cannot have one without the other. Do things, live your life, and treat it right.

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Work Lingerie

If you did not know I am a RN for my day job. I work in Critical Care. On a slow night I walk 6K steps and on a busy night I walk up to 20K steps! Finding lingerie that is pretty for an active job isn’t easy. Some wear sports bras as this job can be a workout but, I only like wearing them when I am actually exercising. With the lifting and moving around it can get hot and down right sweaty.

Over the years I have found that a cotton bra and panties work best. I would find most of these at Walmart which was okay but, I was out of luck if my size ran out or if the style was discontinued. Plus, they really did not last long. Lastly, they only come in neutral colors which is great if you NEED to wear a white uniform. Where I work I wear navy uniforms so I can play around with different options.

Last summer, I purchased some of Lane Bryant’s cotton no wire bras. They always have Buy One Get 50% off sales on their bras which does not break the bank. Theses bras lasted, had a vast selection of colors, and were supportive. On the other hand, when I was super active they rode up and dug into my sides in which I found myself adjusting the bra too often. After caving in to get a Lane Bryant credit card I decided to find something different. My first purchase was their cooling no wire bra. I thought of all the countless times I was hot at work “cooling” sounded appealing. Plus the color was something I like. However, the slippery material slid and dug into my sides worse than the cotton version did. Neither were a waste as I could wear them on the days I was not so active.

 

Next, I bought the cotton full coverage bra. I must say it doesn’t dig and fits fab. It even has some cute color combos and options. I will definitely will be buying more and maybe trying different styles like their cotton t-shirt bra or cotton plunge bra.

 

As for panties I usually buy what people might call “granny panties”. I am not really into the high thigh as I feel I am still hanging out. Sorry but I just don’t find wearing silk or lace panties an option. Once I tried wearing shapewear at work it was not comfortable. Thongs no way! I am way too active at work. To each their own, I would never wear something that nice working out why would I wear it to work?

First, I tried their high waist but they only come in Polyester type material. They fit great but, they are too silky for work. At the time they had more color selections. Now it seems they only have nude and a teal. Maybe they can make a cotton option but not sure how the fit would be.

 

However any of their cotton panties are do able. I would wear a hipster design as my scrub pants are usually have a lower rise. Again, they have great prints and color combos that coordinate with their bras. Lane Bryant usually sells them for five panties for $35. When I spend $10 on a package of cotton panties they usually do not last as long as these do.

 

Wish I could make some more references to other brands that make cotton underwear but, I just have not found a great selection as of yet. When I do I will update this post.

Halloween Creativity

Halloween Creativity

Ever since I was a little girl my mother always was creative with Halloween costuming. She did not have a sewing machine so some of her ideas were made by hand. Her ideas came from magazines and a dancewear store that listed ideas that could be created from a simple dance leotard. My mother was never into the plastic masks and costumes that were available to children in the eighties. She would never cave when I wanted one. At first, I hated it because sometimes you want to be apart of the crowd but, it really got me to be creative and love the preparation involved of getting ready for Halloween. When I became a dancer and model I was able to use much of my wardrobe that otherwise would have gone to waste.

With this being said, you really don’t have to spend much to make your Halloween costume idea come to life no matter what your size. Truthfully, for years as a plus size woman it was really difficult for me to find a costume. Even though plus size fashion and selection have changed for the better, I do not want to be seen with another person having the same costume or only get to wear it once. Therefore, using clothes that you that you already have in your wardrobe such as a corset, leggings, or a little black dress is sometimes all you need. If you need additional pieces you can always make or buy them and you can buy a regular item of clothing that you can wear regularly. If you can sew or have a sewing machine, and are crafty even better. This of course depends on what you are making as sewing can be expensive. Thrift stores are another option to find clothing or accessories without breaking the bank.

Finding ideas can be simple as searching the Internet. Pinterest  is my go to website as many users upload tutorials on Halloween costuming. My folder that I look back to: Halloweenie.

Another place for Halloween related ideas is YouTube, especially makeup and hair tutorials. My favorite makeup blogger is Julia Graf. She always has some great ideas for Halloween season and other popular looks. I actually followed her Dark Fairy tutorial for this look one year.

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Another blogger that I used for my hair is Iris J. She has many pin up looks. My hair at the time was long, if it wasn’t for her I would of never been able to perfect my victory roll. She also has makeup tutorials in which I followed her tutorial on Dia de los muertos.

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Furthermore, if you follow your favorite brands they usually have a costume lookbooks posted as early as September. My favorite to look out for is Hips and Curves Halloween lookbook as their ideas stem from using a corset as the base and their accessories can be affordable. If you do not own a corset look for their weekly flash sales weekly by following them on their social media outlets or sign up for their newsletter. Furthermore, if you do purchase anything from their apparel or lingerie selection you surely will be able to wear them again and again.

On the topic of corsets they can be expensive especially if they are real or custom. Although you can find sales or clearance sections that will significantly decrease the cost. However, if you buy one for $20 like this one below but, it won’t last as long as and might not give you the look you are seeking. I find that they are perfect if you are going to wear them a few times. This one I purchased on EBAY years ago.

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Orchard Corset, sells corsets that use metal which are sturdy thus gives the hourglass shape. You could also get creative and add the accessories you want because they sell solid colors and different material textures.

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Torrid has their own Halloween selection in which you can purchase apparel that can be utilized in your daily wardrobe, accessories, or full costumes. If you are looking to incorporate pin up looks Pin Up Girl Clothing and Unique Vintage have fantastic Halloween costume ideas. Especially, if you attend the Pin Up Girl Parade or Dapper Day at Disneyland. Finally, if you are a bellydancer like myself Bellydance.com also released their Halloween ideas. The tights that I have in my photos were all from We Love Colors. They carry a selection of tights in every color including stripes, fishnet, and tiedye. Futhermore, they have coordinating apparel. If your ideas stem from a leotard,  You Go Girl Dancewear has a selection of dancewear such as leotards, dance tights, and other accessories for an affordable price.

Etsy is one place that you can find anything for Halloween. Not only will it support small business owners but, it will give you something elaborate. Be aware that if you plan on having anything custom or if you are ordering a whole costume, that it will take the designer time and needs to be ordered well in advance. Some designers have Halloween policies because their orders are increased for the season. My favorite designers on Etsy that I would dream to order a costume from AuralynneKMK Designs LLC, and Romantic Threads.

In my opinion it is fairly easy to purchase accessories for Halloween costumes on Etsy as they usually are already made so they ship faster. The best thing to do is look at the seller’s policies or you can message them. The fairy wings in the top photo was purchased from an Etsy vendor called Barbed Lotus Designs. They are no longer listed but, it an example of trying to have something that is made especially for you. Sister of the Moon has a vast selection of tutus. I have ordered from her several times. This look was from an eighties themed jazz routine that was done for a dance recital. 

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If you do not want to shop online for accessories many stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target have what you need. Plus, you can make a pit stop for Halloween Decor and candy. Fabric and Arts and Crafts stores can be informative. Another place is Party Stores or Halloween shops that open up during the season. If you are lucky and live in Worcester, MA they have the Halloween Outlet open year round. It is even just fun to browse but, they literally sell everything Halloween. I purchased these black angel wings there.

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Happy Halloweening!

 

 

In the Sun Hun

In the Sun Hun

Summer is here! While everyone is talking about what swimwear to buy, who thinks what a beach body is and what to wear; how are you going to protect your skin? Well summer for me is pretty much all year where I am and it is no lie that I love being outdoors in the sun, swimming, and where there is water. When I use to model I made it a point to find someone to shoot me in my bathing suit. Or, was it an excuse to go to the beach? I do not know I think I only shot three times in a bathing suit. At the time it was not as trendy as it is now.

However, I do have to protect myself while doing it. Even though I have a background of Samoan with an olive skin tone I do burn  and have no desire to try to tan. Although lately after living here by the end of August I am pretty dark. Literally, I have to wear a SPF of 50 or over in order not to burn. When outdoors I spend over 8 hours being outside. Sometimes I can burn being outside a for just an hour with no protection. When I mean no protection that is just with my face lotion that has an SPF 15. It is just is not enough for me.

Unfortunately, I am not the mermaid I desire.

 

Living in the Southwest I have the opportunity to be outdoors all year round whether it is for exercise, in the pool, at the beach, or even for family adventures. So that means more than my head is exposed to the sun more than ever. Before when I lived in the Northeast I use to just worry about my face, unless I was heading to the beach which was not that often as most of the year was spent covered up. Now I find myself having to worrying about covering my whole body including my head, lol.

You can check out my Keep it Real what I use for my face as I do use for my face everyday but, when I am outdoors for exercise, at the pool or beach it is different.

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It is important to protect yourself from the sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggest that people wear at least SPF 15 or higher every single day. You should apply it 30 minutes before you go outside and every two hours or immediately after swimming. Another important factor are your shades. Make sure they have UVB protection. There are other ways you can protect yourself too such as wearing clothing or beach hats. Beach hats are super cute are a great fashion statement. Even when outside exercising or spending a day with the family just a baseball cap can be cute. Or, of course there are other options if you want to make a fashion statement. Read my blog Dare to Prepare as I had to buy a cap because, I totally did not protect my head the day I went to Disneyland trying to be cute. Tops are usually called “Rash Guards” and can be found with more coverage for better protection but, if you want something more trendy they are out there. Even if you just cover up with a long sleeve t-shirt would be fine too. Umbrellas and shade cover are also options that you can buy too. These days they are affordable and easy to use.

As for sun lotions products I have to buy year round. When the winter months come around there is not much to choose from. I noticed they were stocking their shelves for the Spring Breakers in February but not with much. Plus, the only thing that smells like coconut is the low SPF oily products that I cannot even use. In March, I was already at the pool because it was already hitting the nineties her in Arizona. People are in their pools here all year-long. Not only do people have hot tubs but, their pools are heated. Furthermore, it is warm enough to do anything outside. Since everything is so beautiful to look at people really do take advantage. Walking, running, biking, and hiking is the to do thing out here.

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Anyway, this year Hawaiian Tropic came out with some great scents for their Sunscreen line. It has a sweet smell Smell sweet and have a little coconut twist. They have for your face, water-resistant in SPF 30 that will not clog your pores. So far I have not had an issues with break outs or when I sweat in this 100 degree heat nor does it not burn my eyes like my other skin care products would. I would even use this for working out! I do not wear makeup during the day so I am not sure how this would work for those who wear it on a daily basis. I use the other one for my body on the days that I am walking, running, or hiking outside. It smells really nice.

CVS is pretty my go to for bulk sunscreen. It comes in high SPF for when swimming and at the beach. Probably because their brand is always on sale. Plus, I do like their lotion it is thick enough as my skin gets pretty dry from swimming in the ocean and the chlorine pools all day long. I like to also use Spray when I am not up to having to lotion. However, make sure you still rub it on your skin afterwards. Just because you spray it on does not mean it is on. The spray is also great for children who well if you have one like mine that will just not stay still for you. They also sell aftercare lotions, gels, and sprays as well.

Next, is Banana Boat. They also have high SPF spray products. The only downfall is they are pricey but, if you can find them on sale you are good to go.

Another I like to use is Avon. Their products have bug repellant too so if you are at one of those beaches with horse flies, mosquitoes, or and if you are worried about the Zika outbreak this is probably the best choice. They are perfect for those cookout outings.

Have a great summer and do your thing. I know I am!