Archive | February, 2015

Spring 2015: Fashion Trends

25 Feb

Spring is in the air and warm weather is just around the corner, so it’s time to update your wardrobe with the freshest looks of the season. The Spring runway shows had an abundance of simple lines and cool, soft, natural colors. Curvy-girl friendly, this seasons look-book is less about one particular style and cut and more about evoking an overall feeling of casual romance and plein air chic, and with a palette that channels the beautiful colors of nature, you’re sure to be ringing in the first day of Spring in style. 

1) Easy Breezy Layers
Light layers of filmy natural fabrics are currently on trend for plus size fashion, according to stylists. Think cotton tank tops in creams and whites layered with sheer blue or gray swing tops or cotton peasant blouses and tunics topped with a sweater in a contrasting color. Pair these easy breezy styles with capri pants or cuffed jeans, and don’t forget properly fitted lingerie to ensure you have enough lift and support to pull off these looser, less structured looks. Lightly layered, you’re ready to spend the afternoon reveling in the sunshine or the shade.
Dress for Girls with Curves

Photo Credit: Dream Diva

2) Abstract florals
These aren’t your grandmother’s florals. This floral trend sports a less literal interpretation of Spring’s blooms. Abstract flower designs and bright patterns adorn spring dresses this season, and hem lengths are decidedly longer than in the fall. The universally flattering A-line dresses share the spotlight with longer, free flowing skirts and dresses. If you choose to go traditional with a fit and flair A-line, a waist-cinching corset underneath is sure to give your silhouette drama and old-fashioned sex appeal, while the fresh floral print will keep your look current and on trend.

Plus Size Floral Dress

Photo Credit: Igigi

 

3) Denim dreams
Soft, broken-in denim on denim looks are having a big moment this Spring. What’s so great about this for plus size fashion? Every woman has a favorite cut of blue jeans, and since the look isn’t limited to a skinny jean or a boot cut or a boyfriend, you are free to indulge in whatever cut and style best suits your figure… or your whim that day.

 

Denim for Curves

Photo Credit: Europa Woman

The key is making sure that your denims aren’t matchy matchy. Combining different washes and textures will keep you looking like a laid back goddess rather than a Denim Dan!

Isn’t it Romantic?

18 Feb Romance

With the success and controversy surrounding pop culture hits like Fifty Shades of Gray – I once heard someone say that if Christian Gray lived in a trailer and worked at McDonalds, it wouldn’t be a romance novel but an episode of Dateline – one has to ask, is romance dead? Or better yet, is it still important?

How do you keep romance alive and well in your relationship? Here’s some advice from the experts (and happily it doesn’t involve a sexual contract or pain, unless of course that’s your thing!)

1) Date night – As simple as it sounds, making alone time for each other at least once a week is a great way to reconnect and remember what you love about your significant other. Sure, you always read this little gem of advice in online articles and magazines, but do you do it?

Between kids, work demands, and keeping a household running this is surprisingly hard to accomplish!

Start small – aim for a date night out of the house once a month and schedule other stay-at-home “date nights” once a week, like watching a movie together or sharing a late-night dessert.

2) Evaluate your appearance – Yes, your partner loves you just the way you are, but if you want to up the romance factor then pretend you’re still in the dating stage again and dress accordingly.
 
Style your hair in a new way or an old favorite. Freshen your makeup before you see each other at the end of the day. Cook dinner in your sexy plus size lingerie instead of your standby yoga pants. Buy new underwear.

Seriously.  A little glimpse of something new, sexy and exotic showcasing your curvy assets before the work day begins will make him ready to come home, and you’ll feel like a whole new woman, too.

3) Communication is key – You can’t expect each other to be mind readers. Communicate what you want from your significant other and ask him to do the same.

I have a friend who owns mostly ‘ladylike’ lingerie, and one day her husband asked her to purchase a corset and garter belt because he had a fantasy of her in something more risqué.

So, don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone or ask him to! It’s a risk worth taking!

Health and Wellness – Blasting the Winter Blues

11 Feb Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s often said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. However, the last weeks of winter can often be the hardest for women, who are much more likely than men to suffer from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs during the winter months when gray, short days lead to a drop in serotonin production. These deficits increase irritability, anxiety, depression, and also increase hunger and sleepiness.

So how do you combat the winter blues while waiting for Spring?  Here are a few tips to increase serotonin and boost your mood.

1) Light therapy – Since SAD is triggered by a lack of light, increasing your indoor light to around 300 watts for at least 30 minutes is a sure fire way to get the serotonin flowing. Special lights are relatively inexpensive, so save the candlelight dinners for the warmer months and crank up the lights!

2) Exercise – SAD is an energy sapper, but if you can fight through the lethargy and put an exercise plan in place and stick to it, the increase in serotonin that results will make it easier to keep moving. Since SAD increases the appetite, it’s especially important to combat emotional eating with a good calorie burn.

3) Get intimate – Studies show that regular sex increases mood due to the release of oxytocin at orgasm and also boosts your immune system. What better reason to get romantic and slip into your latest plus size lingerie order? Warm up the cold winter nights with a sexy little babydoll, naughty corset, or lacy underwear and reap the rewards!

4) Schedule time to socialize – Lingerie and sexy times aren’t the only way to boost your mood. Positive interaction with friends and family are also a great way to increase feel good chemicals and combat the winter blues.

So here’s to happy winter days and even hotter winter nights!

Victoria’s Secret in Plus Sizes?

4 Feb

Free to Be You and Me?

Recently a petition has surfaced asking Victoria’s Secret, lingerie giant, to expand their product lines to include plus sizes. The petition, started by a plus size woman, has garnered attention online and across the air waves, but the questions that beg to be answered are:

1.  Does Victoria’s Secret have an obligation to sell plus size lingerie and clothing?

2 – Are they being discriminatory – one of the petition’s main points – or missing a business opportunity – the petition’s seemingly second main point by only selling standard sized merchandise? 

Let’s examine Victoria’s Secret obligation to market and sell a plus size line.

As long as free enterprise exists in North America, businesses have every right to control their product lines as they see fit.  Victoria’s Secret already dominates a majority of lingerie sales – with sales reaching 6.6 billion last year alone. Based on these numbers and the current price of Victoria Secret’s stock, it would seem that Victoria’s Secret is quite happily reaching and meeting the needs of millions of happy customers and shareholders.

So, back to the questions:

Are they obligated to sell to plus size women?
Are they being cruel and exclusionary if they don’t?

No, and here’s why.

As a business, they are meeting and possibly exceeding their current business goals, which only includes standard sizes. It isn’t personal, it’s business.   

Are they hurting their bottom line by not expanding and marketing larger sizes?

The free market is dominated by a set of economic rules. The first being there’s a cost to every benefit. A cost-benefit analysis is pretty standard when a company is determining whether to expand or redirect merchandise. I’m sure that Victoria’s Secret – a chain owned by the same company that used to own Lane Bryant – has examined the costs and benefits of offering plus sizes and has so far decided it’s not in their best interest….at this time.

At the end of the day, criticizing Victoria’s Secrets’ business decision not to offer larger sizes makes just as much sense as standard size women criticizing Lane Bryant in the USA for not offering styles in size 0 or size 1.

Businesses fill niches.  A business cannot and should not be expected to be everything to everyone. Plus size women have a myriad of fashion options such as clothing for fuller figures and plus size lingerie today that did not exist even 15 years ago thanks to specialty stores and the Internet.  

While there is still a long long way to go in terms of society’s acceptance of alternate beauty standards, taking issue with Victoria’s Secret for only offering standard sizes really isn’t one of them is it?   Their “Perfect Body” campaign – now that’s another thing!