It’s that time!

There is really only time a year that I want to indulge in all lingerie goodies.

Valentine’s Day!!!

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Being that I love the colors pink and red could be why. Hearts and cherubs, lace and glitter, and chocolate are other reasons.

Plus many of your favorite stores will definitely have some kind of sale or new item that you truly desire.

I have some pieces that I have found over the years during this time that were keepers. You can read My Favorite Lingerie Shops that still stands true to this day. Until most recently I have some dream finds that I would love.

Hips & Curves

They are currently having a sale. Well they are always having sales. If you sign up for their email they usually have some pretty good deals on Tuesdays. In regards to Valentine’s Day shopping you can get your order in time by ordering as late at 02/13/2018 by 10 a.m. EST.  That is pretty good. It is kind of hard to pick just one for Valentine’s Day. But, I chose Plus Size Allover Stretch Lace Halter Chemise With Strappy Back. If red is not your cup of tea, they also have this in pink, turquoise, and black. It also includes a thong. All for $25.95

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Torrid

They have been improving every year with their selections. Now they have a credit card, a rewards club, and sales almost every single day. There is no way you would have to pay full price for anything. I am really liking their bralettes. This Longline Bralette & High Waist Panty are my pick. Not to mention this set is modeled by the new  Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Tabria Majors.

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Lane Bryant

Another brand that has some great selections during any holiday season. They have been having some more revealing finds too. You do not have to spend full price either. They always have sales and a credit card that offers rewards. I am especially excited that I found they have Sequin Heart Pasties and Lace Front Bow Back Panties

  Playful Promises Curve

 I have heard of this brand before. Although I never really checked them out until GabiFresh was featured as a designer. They have some beautiful pieces. I especially enjoy the Marlene Lilac 1/4 cup Bra with lace curve and the Marlene Wine 1/4 cup Bra with lace curve.  They look especially lovely with the Matilde Nipple Tassles. Unfortunately, they do not have the matching panties in a size larger than a US 20 and their bras only go up to a 42 band. Nothing wrong with mix and matching.

 

Elomi 

Another brand I have utilized. Their bras provide ample coverage and I feel are the most quality I have purchased. I was also excited when they came out with a collection featuring the popular Valentine colors. This one is called Matilda Flame featuring the beautiful Denise Bidot.

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Eloqui

After doing a search looking for plus size lingerie I was surprised I found Eloqui. I know they have been updating their brand to have swimwear and have included some wedding fashion but, did not know they also carried lingerie sets. This another brand that frequently has sales and a rewards membership. I do have a couple of their skirts that are one of the best in quality. This set is a Lacy Babydoll with a serious wow factor featuring the gorgeous Anita Marshall.

City Chic

Been following them for a long while but, after received an email about their outlet I became a customer. They frequently have sales and you can also buy this brand in other chains. I was really impressed. Such beautiful quality. I am really interested in some of their bra and panty sets. They also sell some of the Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection pieces. The Taylor Plunge Contour Bra and Panty would be perfect for V-Day.

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Yours Clothing

Known for their affordable plus size fashions based in the UK, they have really been stepping their game up on what is available. I am not sure how long they have had their lingerie section but they really have some affordable finds. They even have some popular brands too, 2 bra packs, and sets. You have to really act fact in this store and don’t procrastinate or it will be gone before you know it! I am really loving the Black & Pink Underwired Multiway Bra with Frill Detail and Removable Straps with the matching Briefs with Detatchable suspendersBlack_Pink_Underwired_Multiway_Bra_With_Frill_Detail_And_Removable_Straps_101414_626f

ASOS Curve

Another one of my favorites. Asos curve sells their own brand on top of some popular ones too. They are also based in the UK but in my opinion, their shipping is pretty fast. They also sell out of sizes quickly. I am really loving their Vedette Velvet & Lace Padded Bra Set (bra sold out in my size – sad face).

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Amazon

Don’t forget about the store that has everything. The greatest thing about Amazon is that when you have a Prime membership you get it in a day or two. You can save on Amazon Prime if you are a student by putting you student email in. Also, having a credit card has more perks. Both their Visa and Store Card have cash back programs. Anyway, I did not know their were some quality lingerie items instead I started seeing plus size models getting them off of their wish lists. Make sure when ordering like with any brand to check size charts because many of items that are on their can run small. I am really liking the Curbigals Women’s Floral Crotchless Bodystocking Plus Size Open Crotch Fishnet Lingerie.  the price of $9.90 and that it goes up to a 4X!

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Forever 21

I am a fan of their swimwear. I have two suits for a couple of years. This means I really do trust their quality and their price is so right. They do go by mostly junior sizes but, they do sell brands that are not. They have some really cute mesh bralettes especially, like the Plus Size Sequin Heart Mesh Bralette.

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Rainbow

I have been shopping at Rainbow Shops since I was a preteen. They have always had all sizes and some stores even sell children’s sizes. Their prices are super affordable. Plus, I have had some items in my closet for years. They do keep up with trends and unless you have a local store in your area you might find that their fashions sell out fast online. The Plus Size Floral Long Line Lace Bra and panty are super pretty something I would definitely wear for Valentine’s even if it is not red or pink.

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Spencer’s

Another place I have been shopping at since forever is Spencer’s. It use to be the place (if you are my age) that your mother dreaded going in. It has your favorite band t-shirts, posters, and black light decor for that first apartment lol. They started showcasing the beauty Ashley Alexiss which means plus size lingerie and clothing! This Plus Size Floral Lace Chemise is right up my alley! download (1)

 

Addition Elle

This is another brand that carries Ashley Graham’s Lingerie Collection and has bra and panty set finds. The new Ashley Graham Babydoll comes in soft pink and black. In all honesty it also looks comfortable. You can also mix and match her designs. This particular lingerie comes up to a 4X. However, her panties come up to a 3X. Bras go up to a 44DD.

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Simply Be

This is another popular UK brand that has been catering to plus size fashion for some time. They also sell popular brands. Mostly bra and panty sets they do offer some lingerie items such as bodysuits or chemise. This Figleaves Curve Wildife Embroidered Multiway Bra and Briefs seriously caught my attention. It comes in Black too which is also a stunning find.

Fashion Nova Curve

This place has really been doing things. If you are on Instagram and follow some plus size bloggers you already know. If you cannot get a coupon on a site be sure to look up your favorite blogger who wears this fashion they will surely have on for you to use. Everything is really affordable on this sight. They offer a trendy variety. Seriously, wish they were around when I was younger. They have a ton of options bodysuits, teddies, sets but this Love Me Forever Gown is just everything!

DeBlueDazzled

This designer’s brand name says it all. I have always liked the nude fishnets embellished with crystals especially, the ones Rihanna wore with her Carnival costume. When I seen a posting of hers on Twitter I am hooked! Her designs are literally made for the stars. When you get there you might get disappointed with her size selection but, she does do custom. Just email her and ask. I know that one day I will have one or several of her beauties. Note it does take time to receive as her items are made by hand but, you could gift yourself one. This is one of my favorites called “Toxic”.

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Other items you can find custom of course are on Etsy and there are lingerie designers that will make for plus size lingerie. If you do not see your size it does not hurt to ask. Cocos Retro Closet is where I have been looking. She has some classic retro looking lingerie. This Red Ruby Long Line Garter Belt is just fantastic. She sells her lingerie in different colors too so you can mix and match to your desire.

Well I hope you enjoyed my 2018 Valentine’s Day plus size lingerie wish list.

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I broke from my stumble

If you read my previous post Pain in the Knees I started my weight loss journey by skipping lunges, squats, and HIIT (High Intensity Tactical Training). To recap my a few years ago, when I was walking up a flight of stairs I noticed that my knees were clicking. When, I seen the doctor blamed it on my weight. Since I was offered no solution because, obviously I do not move at this weight I believed that I needed to work harder.  This only made my knee issues worse. On top of it, I didn’t lose any weight. Fast forward I started doing my own research on what exercises to do when you have bad knees and started doing less instead of more.

Now I am the weight I was in 2013, and I have dropped a dress size. I have had the opportunity to buy new bras and give away some of my size 3X clothing. My knees are not any better as far as clicking goes as I think the damage is done. If I have a flare up I am not working out. Not even yoga.

In the beginning of this new regimen I would do the elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike only on manual settings and strength training workouts on Popsugar Fitness’s Youtube channel.  At first, I would do cardio three days a week for one hour and two days a week full body strength training. Now that the strength training videos have gotten easier I started doing cable workouts so I can incorporate heavier weights. The gym I go to is in my apartment complex and only has this as a weight system. No complaints, since it is included in my rent I figured I better learn how to utilize it.

Below are some workouts I found on Pinterest. 

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At the time I have not talked about my weight loss because no one really noticed. I wear big scrubs at work. People on Instagram noticed. Yoga challenges…

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Not everyone will be happy for you. It only has not happened to me but, it happens to women who go on their journey whatever it may be. Therefore it is not a surprise. Yet, if I would have continued in the cycle I would have to leave my career behind. This is my life and I would like to live it my way.

At times, the advice I receive is ridiculous. Thinking I got here because of my eating habits or, that I never worked out. How to eat, when to eat, and that I should do HIIT. Been there done that boo. Once I was told that I would never lose weight with exercise that I would need bariatric surgery because, they walked 5 miles a day and did not lose anything. If no one is asking you for you advice then do not give it.

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Yet here I am. 

It has been a struggle. I have done some crazy things to lose weight. What works for one may not work for others. That was my issue I always was trying that new gimmick instead of getting to know my body or, at least remembering what it does not like. It helps me to read stories of others who have the similar story I do.

 Everyone is different.  Plus, it is not overnight. 

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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