On Plus Size Advancing Style

Lately I’ve been drawing inspiration from some of the women of Advanced Style. Now I realize I’m not in the Senior Citizen category, but I so greatly admire women older than me – as mentors, as icons, as wonderful friends. 

I am solidly over the age of 35, which still feels like a surprise to me. As a queer person, I never really knew what my life-path would look like, but I knew it didn’t have a lot of roadmaps. The folks I knew growing up that were older than me fit a very heteronormative path. They got married, had kids, wore J. Crew, strived to be a certain size.  I never felt those people were my people. I have known for a long time that I have a different path. It’s been such a journey! In my late teens, I found new role models like drag-queens Divine and Leigh Bowery and oh goodness the fun I had experimenting with all sorts of pieces of me.  It took me a really long time to learn to accept  myself in the body I have and get over a plethora of self esteem issues.

Oh and what does that have to do with fashion? Well a lot really – in that I always assumed  when I was younger that women in their late 30s dressed in frumpy shit – I mean there’s a reason why the term “mom jeans” exists. And frankly most of the options for plus size women women of any age were just embarrassingly bad and frumpy up until very recently. Posting photos of my outfits has always been to fight against those assumed norms.  

So here I am, a 36 year old plus size woman. I have no kids. I am (queer) married. I love fashion. I hope that my life can be a marker of what is a possibility. Now on to the clothes…(and my sweet little pixie hair cut that i’m just loving this summer) 

Cricut Plus Size Maxi Dress – via Gwynnie Bee – Sz 2X
Black Faux Leather Belt – Forever 21 – 2X
Black Faux Suede Shoes – Urban Outfitters
Glasses – SEE Eyewear
Clutch – Vintage
Bar Necklace – Dana Rebecca

Just a few photos from the birthday trip to Palm Springs

Going to the desert in the middle of summer is probably not the best decision – it stayed in the 100′s the entire time we were there. But since several of my favorite bloggers had made posts about it in recent months, I really just needed to see what all the fuss was about.

Where we Stayed:
The Saguaro Hotel – A colorful hotel with a great pool and decent location.  About a mile from downtown – but near the ACE and a lot of really lovely little spots. 

What we Ate: 
Date shakes and lots of snacks at Hadleys Fruit stand in Cabazon on the way in to Palm Springs. Personally I wasn’t blown over by the Date Shakes, but I LOVED the dried fruit and veggies and nuts

Absolutely delicious brunch at Cheeky’s – perfect iced coffee, cute outdoor seating and beautiful art

Sweet little hippie meal at Nature’s Health Food cafe – love vegan options and I had a great red bean taco and a smoothie

There were tons of ice cream and candy shops downtown.  We stopped in a few while shopping during the Thursday evening Market.

What we Did:
Of course we had to stop and see the Cabazon Dinosaurs and take some photos

We took the Aerial Tram up to the mountains and hiked around. I highly recommend this excursion, but wear decent shoes and bring some water. The shortest hike is about 2 miles and I was totally unprepared.  It is $25 to go up and honestly it’s completely terrifying to travel 9,000 ft by tram, but once you’re up – it’s totally gorgeous and about 30 degrees cooler than it was in the desert.

A visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum is a MUST. Absolutely lovely collection of modern art and we had the pleasure of enjoying a contemporary woodwind quartet while we were there. It was one of my favorite museum experiences ever

And I’m obsessed with succulents, so we had to make a stop at the Moorten Botanical Garden. I was amazed by how many different types of cacti they had. However, it was too hot to enjoy it too much – my fault for going in the middle of the day.

Overall the trip was wonderful, but off-season when it is over 100 degrees the entire time was not super pleasant.  Even the pool was too hot to enjoy a dip in.  And shopping wasn’t happening either because it was too hot to even walk around from store to store.  NEXT TIME there will be a lot more shopping and hiking.

Summer Days in Los Angeles

My birthday is smack dab in the middle of the summer and when I was a kid, I just hated the fact that all my friends were away on vacation when my big day came around. It made for a lot of family filled birthday events – I guess it helps that I have FOUR siblings.

Keeping with the family theme for birthdays this year, I planned a trip to visit my sister in L.A. Usually when I visit, I stay on the west side (UCLA area) and stay with her and my lovely nieces and nephew.  This time, I still spent lots of time with her, but S and I wanted to check out some stuff in other parts of L.A. We booked a gorgeous little airbnb in Silverlake – our hosts had two sweet pitbulls and a lovely patio area for us to hang out on. We spent a lot of time between Silverlake and hollywood.

Our trip was so fantastic – I want to share my favorites with you!

The best coffee in Silverlake was Dinosaur coffee by far – they had delicious almond milk lattes for S and I am an iced coffee or iced mocha girl and all were perfection. The pastries were also just to die for – the strawberry croissant just took me to a new level. I also loved my rice bowl from Sqirl – a hearty and filling breakfast at this hip brunch spot.

Of course no trip to LA is complete without a visit to Lucky Scent’s Scent Bar where I sampled lots of delicious perfumes and bought Kilian’s Imperial Tea which smells like sticking your nose into a big glass of iced tea (and it was my wedding day scent!) – perfect for a summer night.

There was record shopping at Amoeba Records and browsing for tchotchkes at Wacko/Soap Plant. My favorite dinner of the entire trip was the vegan mexican food at Gracias Madre. The patio was perfect and the food was unbelievably good (and with a hot queer chef to top that off!)

I also experienced the largest Forever 21 plus size section I’ve ever been in while at the Ontario Mills Mall – I highly recommend a trip if you’re anywhere in the area.

OH! Also I chopped off my hair! Fat girl pixie cut and silver toned 🙂

Gray hooded dress – 2x – Forever 21+
Necklace – Forever 21
Glasses – SEE eyewear
Bag – Rebecca Minkoff

White/Black shirt – 3x – Forever 21+
Black skinny jeans – 18 – Torrid
Silver sandals – Sam Edelman
Glasses – SEE eyewear
Bag – Rebecca Minkoff

How I wear a #croptop

The topic of fat people in crop tops has been trending recently because of the statement in O magazine. I haven’t really weighed in with my fellow plus size friends because frankly, I don’t really wear crop tops all that often and honestly I’m of the option that everyone should wear whatever they want to whenever and don’t go making big statements about it.

So I personally don’t like showing my midriff skin, but I do really like this chopped up crop top sweater vest that I layered over a sheer button up top. It gives me the layered look I love and a way to wear a shorter shirt.

I love seeing how all of you are rocking and styling your crop tops. I add mine to the mix and recommend trying this if you’ve been feeling shy about trying it!

Outfit Details
Polka dot sweater – thrifted, chopped
Sheer shirt – forever 21+
Black shorts – city chic
Espadrilles – Aldo

It’s the little things that keep me feeling good at my office desk job.  It’s sometimes a bit weird to dress up in corporate drag and so I wear my tattoos out and put on accessories that wink at my non-corporate life. My lovely friend Natalie of Bake & Destroy lovingly refers to these little rebellions as “Office Punk.”  I’ll take it. 

And so my little object today is this lovely Heart Lolli Pin from Tuesday Bassen. I adore her zines and little objects. Very girl gang. Femme. Perfection. You also get a little sneak peek at my Moon Phase Baggu bag (it’s my go-to carry-all in my purse) and of course my favorite denim jacket from the GAP a million years ago.

Someone asked yesterday about my nails – they’re an essie no-chip color that I didn’t catch the name of. I am currently growing out my (real!) nails into little sharp almonds. 

Not a lot of make up today – just some NARS lip pencil and Buxom Mascara (and Mac studio fix always). I mostly just wanted to share this awesome Tuesday Bassen pin and encourage y’all to check out more of her work!

Summer Road Trip – Detroit/ Ann Arbor

Why not a road trip? Why not the sheer maxi dress that has become my summer uniform this year? 

I needed some art and some fun, so S and I headed to Detroit to see the Kahlo Rivera exhibit at the DIA. What a perfectly fantastic museum experience!!!! It was breathtakingly beautiful and I could have spent days there. I was just overwhelmed with the Dutch Masters rooms and the Contemporary spaces specifically. After many hours of looking at art, we drove around Detroit spent some time at the John K King book store after our museum visiting. Since S had to do some work in Ann Arbor, we stayed there, visiting several of the great indie coffee shops (we loved Roos Roast) and we had a great vegetarian dinner at the Arbor Brewery. It was such a good time.

Oh and how can I forget our side excursion to middle-of-nowhere Indiana to stop at Albanese CANDY FACTORY – holy moly! 

Sheer Floral Maxi – 3x – Proud Mary Fashion
Denim Cut-off Shorts – 20 – Ava & Viv (destroy wash)
Tank – 1x – Forever 21
Dr. Marten Boots
Nail Necklace – Redbud Jewelry 
Sylvie Rose Diamond Necklace – Dana Rebecca
Glasses – SEE Eyewear

Watery Print Dress

One of my favorite american artists is

James McNeill Whistler – his “Nocturnes” specifically are so evocative of a specific space. His color palette is often quite muted, in lots of greys and blues – with wispy weird light sources that seem to really glow. When I saw this dress on Gwynnie Bee, it immediately made me think of Whistler’s work.  I love the tunic shape and subtle drop hem. I wore it to work with a sweater and dark blue wedges. I wore it this weekend with my favorite birkenstock sandals and a belt (seen above). 

This weekend was so humid and I wanted to be by the water – isn’t chicago just so pretty in the summer? Watercolor print clothes are just perfect for a nod to summer.

Jete Watercolor Hi-Lo Tank Dress – Size 2x – via Gwynnie Bee subscription
Birkenstock sandals
Turquoise leather and gold belt via Asos
Long Necklace – Forever 21
Short necklace – Dana Rebecca
Glasses – SEE Eyewear

Hi y’all!  I’ve teamed up with Maranda Powers and LastCraft to bring you this amazing giveaway aimed at my lovely plus size readership.

Maranda has provided me with a size 9 Super Moon Bronze Ring that is made with white howlite stone. I just ordered one of these myself and i absolutely ADORE the earrings I got from her a few months ago – her work is modern and is made with gorgeous powerful stones.

LastCraft has provided this lovely canvas cotton tote which is hand-screen printed with Good Witch on one side and Bad Witch on the other.  It’s pretty awesome and the bag is a perfect size (15″x16″) for carrying around just about anything. These are not even available for sale on the LastCraft store yet.

HOW TO ENTER (you must do all 3):
1) follow LastCraftDesigns IG
2) follow Maranda Powers IG 
3) Share this post with a friend use #witchygiveaway 

Contest ends Midnight on Jun 7th

You must be 13 years or older and comply with instagram’s rules of use – see more details there.

ProudMary’s Plus Size Fashion Show –  Fashion on the Fringe

This week was super fun for me. I spent a lot of it with Jessica the owner of the perfect online plus size boutique Proud Mary. She held an amazing fashion show and shopping event Friday night at Fringe Salon (this is where I get my hair done BTW – by the amazing Patrick McAfee). 

Seriously I am almost without words about how cool this event was.  It was filled with my people –  gorgeous wonderful fat women 🙂 I honestly have never had such a positive response from walking a runway – everyone was so kind and generous. It was also great that there was so much shopping and this amazing photobooth by GlitterGuts

Above are all the outfits I wore – and they’re all available now at Proud Mary

My nails are by gigi at fringe salon find her on her tumblr thegigijigglesnails and IG @thegigijiggles 

Makeup is by Liz find her on IG @itslizmedaris 

Farmers Market and Striped Maxi Dress

I’ve been a vegetarian for several years now and one of my favorite things about spring is that the farmers markets finally start up again in Chicago and I have access to loads of gorgeous fresh fruit and veg. My favorite market is in Logan Square on sunday mornings.  I usually meet up with a friend or two for coffee at one of the many coffee shops in the area and then head over to buy delicious foods. 

This week I bought a new squash plant and some lettuce and spinach. My lovely pal M bought a giant loaf of sourdough that I wish I had also purchased because I’ve been thinking about it ALL week. That is on my list for this weekend for sure.

I decided to wear this lovely sheer striped maxi from eShakti over some shorts and a cami with my birkenstocks.  It was a perfect choice for the windy but warm weather – I love nothing more than a breeze blowing my maxi dress around me. I feel like I’m conjuring up something fun – hah! 

Sheer Striped Maxi – eShakti – Sz 20
High-Rise shorts – City Chic – Sz 18
Cami – St. Eve – Sz 1X
Braided Belt from Nordstrom
Gold Moon earrings – limited edition top shop
Black Diamond Necklace “Sylvie” – Dana Rebecca
Backpack – gift
Strappy Birkenstocks via zappos, Sz 41
Glasses – SEE Eyewear