Aussie Curves {Vulnerable side}

Aussie Curves

So today’s the day shit gets real. Its Vulnerability Week in the Aussie Curves Challenge.

As a general rule, I don’t talk about my weightloss on my blog. I get emails, I respond to comments on Facebook or Instagram – but I’ve never posted about it. Why? Because its intensely personal and related to our struggle with fertility. Other very brave women have been open about sharing their TTC (long term trying to conceive) journey online. When I started my blog, my husband and I worked out what was ok and not ok to share. Our quest for children is one of those things on the ‘not ok’ list.

So, the weight loss? The short version: I was sick – doctors, many doctors, dismissed me as a lazy fat girl who obviously made poor food choices and didn’t exercise enough. I wasn’t in some medical ‘too hard‘ basket – I was in a medical ‘can’t be bothered basket‘. That assumption by those doctors has cost me and my body dearly. Until one doctor, decided to listen with her ears instead of judging with her eyes. She put her faith in me, I trusted her, and after many months and a lot (a lot) of tests, she was able to diagnose my issues.
I began to lose weight. 10years worth of weight. The real reason I don’t talk about my weight loss is because of this great expectation about how much happier I should be now. There’s two things that really irk me about that assumption. Firstly, it came at a cost. The weight loss and my ‘recovery’ are tied to feelings of anger, inadequacy, loss and grief. Secondly, my life is not better now simply because I now weigh less.

Lets get something straight – my life is fabulous. It always has been. I’m lucky. I’m charmed. I have a beautiful family, great friends, I’ve travelled the world, met and married the love of my life. My weight did not make my life any less fabulous, and being skinnier does not make my life any better. It doesn’t even make my wardrobe any better!

Vulnerability week was my suggestion. Why? I guess it’s because I feel like a bit of a fraud when people ask me about my weight loss secrets. I have no secrets. I feel like a big of a fraud when I get compliments about my body. Yes, I dress well, I know how to stand in photographs, I edit all my pics and only post the ones I’m happiest with online. It’s like an edited version of my life where I always look my best. I feel like a bit of a fraud when girls write that they wish they had my body, or my confidence. Confidence is not something you can just sit there and wish for – you have to work at it – consciously put effort it to change your own way of viewing your world.

I am fairly confident, but being confident doesn’t mean that little voice of doubt in your mind doesn’t exist. It exists. Some days, it’s only a whisper and it’s easy to ignore. Other days, it screams at my reflection in the mirror and makes it hard to walk out the door. I don’t have many of those days, but they do happen.

So, as far as I’m concerned, vulnerability week is about de-powering that voice, by accepting all parts of myself.

In many ways, my vulnerability about my arms has only come about since my weight loss. When my arms were round and in proportion with my body – I never really took notice. I wore strapless dresses without a second thought. I only ever wore a cardigan or bolero when I was genuinely cold. 70kgs later, and the skin that used to house my lovely plump arms now bothers me. It’s bothers me more than I would like to admit.

If you follow my on Instagram (@iCurvy) you would have seen a cute version of this photo the other day. Here’s the real version.

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It actually caused a mini breakdown in the shopping centre when I saw it. A quick re-shoot, change of pose, edit, and a different version was posted online.

But this photo has affected me for the last couple days. I came home from shopping and immediately changed my outfit. I thought about it when I was trying to choose what to wear on Sunday, and this morning. I thought about it when I was about to run and scoop my 2 year old godson up at his birthday party, I thought about it again at my husbands football game when I saw a family friend in the crowd and went to wave.

I believe that it takes conscious active effort to build your own confidence – compliments from others, and a supportive community (like AC) is wonderful, but it only goes so far. YOU have to decide to be OK with your body. You don’t have to love it all (although I firmly believe that life would be better if I could). I’m not sure I will ever get to a stage where I love every part of myself. But I will work towards it – and right now, I’m OK with the parts of my body that make me feel vulnerable. Those arms are the same ones that carried my backpack around the world, they are the same arms that embrace my husband each day, the same ones my dad proudly walked down the aisle, the same ones that accepted my degree, the same ones that I use to cuddle my nieces, nephew, and godson. They help me to express my love and warmth to the world. They fly about in animated conversation – the same way my Italian grandmother’s used to… They are mine. And they are same ones that, hopefully one day, will hold a baby of our own.

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For the record, yes, I thought about that picture when I picked out my outfit on Sunday… But it was 28 degrees so I wore a singlet top anyway. Yep, I thought about that picture when I saw my friend at the footy, but I still waved my arms around like a crazy woman so we could catch up and share some laughs sitting in the sun, and absolutely, I thought about that picture when I was about to scoop up my godson, and it didn’t stop me – he was up, off the ground and flying around above my head in a second – giggling his head off. That’s the stuff life is made of… I hope I never let my insecurities hold me back from the stuff that really matters in life.

I hope that yours do not hold you back.

I figure, as an old lady, looking back on my life, I’m not going to remember all those times I covered up and was relieved that no one noticed my arms – it’s the moments with friends in the sunshine, it’s the giggles of the children that mean the world to me, and the embraces with the man I love. Right now, I owe it to that old lady to pack my life full with as many of those moments as possible.

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So not many pictures this week – for the record, my “Fresh” outfit – the muscle tee is from New Look and the skinny jeans from Forever 21. Today’s peplum dress is also from Forever 21… Which means… You guessed it… I have a haul post coming later this week!

I look forward to seeing how the other Aussie Curves ladies have interpreted this weeks theme. I thank each and everyone one of you who likes and comments on my pics or blog for helping to grow my confidence strong. I hope that I am able to do the same for you.

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Aussie Curves {Work}

Aussie Curves

This week’s Aussie Curves Theme is Work… and I’m going to tackle an issue that comes up on the AC wall all the time… Where to find great work pants.

Plain Black Work Pants are an absolute staple of my work wardrobe. Like a great canvas for a bold cami or statement necklace, great black pants are an essential wardrobe piece… But finding the right style can be very hard… I struggled for years finding great plus size work pants, but i think I’ve finally got the formula right, so I’m going to show you my three favorites.

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These are my favorite pants *in the world* and I wear them to work all the time. I actually own three pair of these pants – one I keep for ‘good’ occasions, and the other two get worn weekly. Dorothy Perkins Supersoft Eden Skinny leg Jeggings are available up to a size 22. Size down for a great long lasting fit. I’ve had these 16R for months and months – still no bum sag! My ‘good’ pair are 14R and are the newest pair. They also come in Tall – not required for me, but I know it’s important info for some of you!

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They are the least corporate of my work pants, and often get a run on days I have a lot of internal meetings (or those rare gems when I have no meetings!). I pair them a-lot with my slouchy Best & Less Blazers (yes, I have them in all the colours) or patterned/coloured blazers for a funky yet professional look. In these pictures, I’m wearing them with a plain black singlet, statement necklace from New Look, and my collarless OmbrĂ© blazer from Suzanne Grae…

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A few weeks ago I was sent these gorgeous Wide Leg pants from Christine Kardashian after being named their In-betweener Blogger of the Week. The cut and fit of these pants are impeccable and they have quickly become a wardrobe staple. I love how dressy they are – and I can effortlessly look corporate, stylish and comfortable at the same time. I’m wearing a size 2.

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The high waist is uber stylish – I tend not to wear a jacket with these pants – and if I was going to, it would have to be crop length to emphasis the great cut and line of the pants. Heels are a must for me in Wide Leg pants – the higher the better to elongate my shape.

To show these pants off properly, I always wear something tucked in – like my Dorothy Perkins Alphabet Shirt with cut out shoulders, and I’m also wearing a blingy necklace from eQuip.

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The City Chic TDF work pants range coped a lot of flack – but I’m not sure why – I love them! And because they were unpopular – I got them for only $10 at the City Chic Factory Outlet in Campbelltown (naturally I bought a few). I’m wearing the pear shape, size 14. They are vanilla – easy to wear, easy to style, but a bit bland and safe. But, play a very important role in my work wardrobe, and regularly are paired with a peplum top for an easy no-thinking-required outfit (usually Monday morning!) that always looks good.

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Here I have gone with a plain black singlet and this cute City Chic pinstripe jacket with suede elbow patches.

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There you go – that’s my round up on Plus Size Black Work Pants or Trousers. I know it used to be something that I struggled to find, so I hope I’ve been able to show some different looks and you can find one that works for you!

What cut do you prefer… Skinny? Wide Leg? Or Bootcut?

Make sure you check out all the fabulous Aussie Curves ladies and look out for the #aussiecurves on Instagram.
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Aussie Curves {Feminine}

Aussie Curves

It’s feminine week in the Aussie Curves Challenge, and I started out this week the same way that I start most mornings… staring blankly into my wardrobe hoping that inspiration will jump out at me. This week it did – it almost knocked me completely off my feet as I was digging around right in the back. You see, I have a collection of tshirts carefully packed away into a storage box way tucked in the back of my closet. I picked them up from all over – backpacking, concerts, tours, pub crawls, music festivals… While the smells (thank god) are long gone, just looking at them I am transported back and can hear the sounds and laughter, and remember an incredibly fun and carefree part of my life.

But I never wear them. They are boxy. Man-ish. Masculine. And then, I saw this post by Liv at Wait Until the Sunset. She solved the great puzzle of how to make a band tshirt feminine – a girly floral skirt! Genius!

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So the other day, this cute floral skater skirt was on sale at New Look, and it made its way into my cart, across the world, and into my wardrobe!

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As I began digging through my box of treasured memories, I got so excited about the thought of wearing them again. So many memories, so many wonderful places – I couldn’t possibly pick between them. I pulled out my Splendour In The Grass festival tee, and one I picked up my first time at Oktoberfest in Munich (I’ve been three times). Both of these tees mean so much to me – its lovely to have them out and about instead of locked up in the back of the closet. So instead of picking one over the other, I have done the look with both – and you can see how versatile this look is as I think it looks great with either shirt!

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So short and sweet today – thanks Liv, I’m a total convert to the floral skirt/band tshirt look!

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Make sure you check out all the fabulous Aussie Curves ladies and look out for the #aussiecurves on Instagram.
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Aussie Curves {Celebrate}

Aussie Curves

Today marks the start of the 2013/2014 Challenge List, and we are kicking things off with the theme of Celebrate.

I joined the AC Challenge half way through its first year, and I cannot wait to start the new year and be pushed by all new challenges. In the last 6 months, the challenges have gotten me completely out of my comfort style… And loving it. My personal style has changed quite a lot as a result. If you are an Australian or New Zealander, size 14+ and love fashion – I can’t encourage you enough to join the Aussie Curves group on Facebook and be part of the fun in your own way. It’s not only for bloggers – you can play along on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, or you an just be part of the community – you don’t have to post outfit pictures to be part of the fun. The yearly Aussie Curves Challenge List is also published on the Facebook page, and it’s the best way to hear about sales and get online shopping advice ever!

It’s going to be an exciting year!

So, to Celebration Week – and being in Sydney, I was lucky enough to attend the 1st Anniversary Party for Aussie Curves. So much anticipation. And talk about outfit pressure – what to wear to a fashion celebration to be attended by a bunch of fabulous fashionistas?? I decided to Celebrate the dawning of a new year of Aussie Curves, by packing my outfit full of as many themes as possible… what a smart arse

So, I’m wearing a cutesy Feminine dress from New Look, which is a beautiful pastel Pink! It has the cutest little Birdie print (hello Feathers) and a Leather bow Belt! Are you keeping score? There’s more… I’m wearing an Oversize leopard print watch (ahem Animalistic) and rose gold Spike earrings. I finished the look with black wedge Heels. My Harlow Sequin bomber jacket was the perfect black Metallic addition to the outfit. Oh, and then there was my Home Made cake, which was covered in… You guessed it… Ruffles! phew!! And of course, I have my Timesavers– eyelash extensions and a spray tan!

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That’s 14 themes in one outfit! Way to Celebrate Aussie Curves!

iCurvy_Aussie Curves_Celebrate.jpgDress: New Look
Jacket: Harlow
Watch: Crossroads
Earings: New Look
Wedges: Target

Thanks to the Fabulous Danimezza, founder of the Aussie Curves Challenge, and superwoman. A great night was had by all – and I can’t wait until our next catch up. I took nowhere near as many photos as I wanted to, but have no regrets as I had a great time chatting with everyone that attended.

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Umm, yes… My cocktail is on fire!

Dani (Danimezza) also made a beautiful video of the night, check out her Celebration post to see the whole video!

I’m so excited for the year ahead!

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Aussie Curves {Homemade}

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Ok, so a seamstress I am not – but here’s what I can do – cakes and customising…

So, first up… My obsession with Pinterest coupled with a whole two weeks off work due to illness lead to me buying the full rainbow pack of sharpies and going to town on all things canvas.

These shoes are the result.

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I love that they are monotone so are a funky addition, without overpowering an outfit.

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Jacket: Best and Less (Oxblood slouchy blazer)
Singlet: New Look (Stag Print Singlet)
Pants: Dorothy Perkins (Black Eden Jeggings)
Necklace: eQuip
Shoes: Plain canvas sand shoes from Big W – customization by ME!

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Secondly, it’s time to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than with cake… What are we celebrating? Aussie Curves 1st Birthday!

Happy Birthday to AC. If you have had told me a year ago I would have “Internet friends” I would have laughted hysterically in your face. I am humbled and honored everyday being involved in AC. These ladies have provided, not only a space for plus size fashion and an extensive network of bargain hunters and shopping enablers… But a supportive group of friends whose body positivity, confidence, humour, courage, and lets face it, overwhelming hotness, inspire me each day.

You will have to stay tuned for the actual cake – it will be making an appearance at the AC 1st Birthday Party on Saturday night… So you will just have to check it out in my round up next week!

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Aussie Curves {Ruffles}

Aussie Curves

Stumped. Absolutely, positively stumped by the theme of ruffles.

I don’t know when I stopped buying them. I used to have a wardrobe full of ruffles – on everything – dresses, shoes, cardigans, skirts. But as I stare into my wardrobe… I’m coming up completely blank.

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I just must have stopped buying them.

I considered doing peplums as a ruffle – but I recently did a post that included almost every peplum I own to compare and contrast different brands (read it here). It would be a bit of an easy out. So I decided to head to the shops to see if there were any ruffles that took my fancy, not to buy, just for inspiration… and I still couldn’t find anything ruffled that I really liked…

I was completely prepared to be sitting this one out.

Then I was sitting at my desk and realised that my cardigan had a waterfall edge – a ruffle!

A couple of happy snaps in the office later, and I have a very very brief post for ruffles week!

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Cardigan: Crossroads

Sweater Dress: Vitru

Belt: City Chic

Boots: Torrid

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Yes, its a long bow to be drawing – but better to be involved than sitting on the sidelines!

Oh, and please excue the Security pass which I forgot to remove. But on a side note – how CUTE is my new badge reel? It’s from Etsy

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