Fashion · Products

Let’s Talk Jeans!

Hello Beauties! While I’m sitting here sweating in 90 degree weather, my mind is already days ahead to the cooler weather and JEANS! Colorado weather is nuts, y’all! We had 70’s for about a week, then it jumped back up to 90. I was so ready to start pulling out sweatshirts, pullovers, and sweaters! Now, jeans, one of the topics I used to HATE as a young teenager, and up to the beginning of my 20s. Being a curvy being, and having a butt and thighs AND calves that are well endowed, finding pants/jeans that fit was nigh impossible. I believe my first pair of jeans was a size 6 (?) and that was around the age of 13. I wasn’t able to find anything else that fit my butt and thighs. I think my remembrance of the sizing is a bit off, especially since my parents (and consequently myself) didn’t believe in jeans being fitted or tight. I still remember how weird it felt to put on skinny jeans for the first time and how “exposed” I felt having pants that practically clung to my legs. Over the past 4 years, skinny jeans have become a major closet staple in my wardrobe and I’ve discovered some of my favorite brands and not only that, I know which brands will fit the more curvy shape! Okay, let’s start with one of the cheapest pairs of jeans I’ve bought [brand new] and that fit phenomenally well. Wax Denim Slim Fit Stretchy Jeans – $18 [average cost] I got a pair of these last fall/winter and boy oh boy are they quite comfortable, stretch well, and my only complaint is that the inner thigh area is starting to sort of wear thing. At the very least, that area is getting a little pilled. I typically wear a [stretchy] size 10, but since these seem to run in juniors sizing, I got a size 11.

TIP: if you add these to a wishlist on Amazon then turn on lightning deal notifications, you will get notified if these ever go on sale.

Me wearing the Wax jeans at the beginning of the year
So these next few brands are going to be pricey, but to be honest, I have never bought any of these brands of jeans full price. I find most of my jeans at the thrift store, or online thrift stores, or deeply discounted on places like Nordstrom Rack.
Articles of Society Carly Prague Cropped$64 [average cost] Bear with me, yes these are pricey, but it is possible to get them ridiculously discounted. I got my pair from Nordstrom Rack during their bi-annual sale (i think?) for $14. Having never tried this brand before, it was a risky move getting them. But I checked the sizing chart before hitting order, and wow I wear these jeans almost daily. That is, besides when it’s 90 degrees outside! They have a lot of stretch, but not too much as they still hold their shape even after multiple wears. My abdomen is really sensitive to pressure and I have found that I can comfortably wear these jeans for several hours without my stomach starting to both me. Because I’m so short, even though these are specifically cropped, they are literally exact ankle length jeans. I almost always have the hem rolled up though on my skinny jeans.

TIP: If you like to wear booties (short ankle boots) during the fall, always roll your skinny/straight jean cuffs up so there’s at least a half inch of skin between the top of your boot and the bottom of your jeans.

Kut From The Kloth Catherine Boyfriend Jeans $89 [average cost]  I fell in love with Kut From The Kloth jeans about 5 years ago when I got a pair in a Stitch Fix box. It was so exciting to find jeans that actually fit and were so comfortable! I remember spending hours browsing eBay looking for the same fit and style of jeans. I ended up getting three pairs of Kut jeans for about $35 for all 3. I wore those jeans constantly, but for some reason I got rid of them. However, I have come back around to Kut jeans over the past year and a half and have found a pair at the thrift store and a few pairs from eBay that are still in my drawer. What I love about Kut jeans are how well made they are. The material is on the thicker side (more durability) but there is still a bit of stretch to them. I will say that for these jeans, make sure to know your measurements well before trying to get a pair. Another note, if you like skinny jeans that are fitted around the ankles, these aren’t the jeans for you. Their skinnys are always way too loose/big around my ankles, and even rolling up the hem doesn’t really correct that issue.

TIP: if you find a brand of jeans that you REALLY like and fit you well but are super pricey, look them up on eBay, Swap, Schoola, ThredUp, and Poshmark!

American Eagle Skinny Jegging – $39 [average cost] I am hesitant to add AE jeans into this list, because as I mentioned in my bralette post, I have a very strong love/hate relationship with AE jeans. I do not feel like their sizing is very consistent nor is it reliable. I was so frustrated the last time I actually bought jeans from one of their stores. I had lost a bunch of weight post-pregnancy and yet instead of going down a size or two, I had to go UP a size! BUT! If you can find older styles in thrift stores or online, go for it. The two pairs I have currently of AE jeans are both thrift store finds and are older styles.

TIP: If you are dependent on jeans having a good amount of stretch in them like I am, avoid the Artist style at AE. Avoid any style that does not contain at least 20% or more of stretch or elastane. Stretch is an absolute must for any amount of curves.

Okay, before I wrap up this post, I want to talk a little bit about how to measure for online jean shopping. As I do most of my shopping for clothes online (I know, I know, it’s risky), I have had to get really competent with knowing my measurements and knowing how to look up different brands’ sizing charts to see where I fit. There are really only two measurements you need to know when buying jeans online, okay, well three measurements. Waist. Hips. Length – for if you’re really short like me.
Measuring the body is one of the most important things when making clothing. If you measure wrong or don’t measure at all chances are your item will not fit correctly. Below is a guide that…
Just pay attention to the bottom two measurement lines https://www.pinterest.com/pin/36521446960604469/
Once you know your waist and hips measurements, you can usually find both of those measurements on any sizing chart. For example my waist is about 29-30″ right now, and my hips are almost consistently 40-41″. This puts me almost always at a size Large for pants or a size 10 in most brands.

One last TIP: when looking for jeans at an in person thrift store, look for the material or color that looks like really good quality. You should be able to tell by touch too if the jeans are a good material. It also takes time and hands on tactile experience to figure that out, so don’t get discouraged!

I’ll add more in another post, but I hope this helps for now!   **This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 
All Things Beauty · Fashion · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Capsule Wardrobe = Yes or No?

Hello Beauties!

We are closing in to my absolutely favorite time of the year; FALL!! I adore the cooler weather, the weather when I can comfortable wear jeans and a sweater, or start pulling out my leggings and longer tunic like tops. But as we get close to pulling out those fall/winter wardrobes, I wanted to take a minute to talk about capsule wardrobes.

Now, the people who know me know that I have thing against capsule wardrobes. I am equally for them and against them. But before I get in to my reasons, let’s talk about what a capsule wardrobe essentially is.

Capsule Wardrobe –

  • Focused on minimizing one’s wardrobe/closet
  • Typically neutral colors with the emphasis on mixing and matching 10x over
  • Includes accessories (hand bags, shoes, jewelry, outerwear)
  • Usually includes 25-50 pieces (clothing AND accessories…50+ if it’s a year round wardrobe)
  • Focused on having clothes and accessories you really love and actually wear

There are a lot articles praising the pros of a capsule wardrobe, and even one of the things that drew me to researching them was the idea of only having what you completely LOVE in your closet/wardrobe. One of the deepest, consistent ideologies that go with capsule wardrobes is this idea of using what you love and using it consistently. Basically, if you don’t like a piece of clothing or an accessory in your closet, get rid of it.

This mindset of the pin above is where I sit with capsule wardrobes. I don’t think it’s helpful at all to have a closet full of clothes that you never wear or are only keeping because you liked it once. Or even hanging on to clothes that most definitely do not fit or have utterly worn out. There are creative ways of keeping or hanging on to clothes that you adore but have worn out and are not longer wearable the way they are. But, I’ll do a post about that another time!

Minimizing your wardrobe down to pieces you consistently use and wear I think it a smart use of space. It certainly cuts down on time getting dressed in the morning if everything you see when you open your drawers or closet are pieces you love. But here’s where I differ with the idea of a capsule wardrobe.

Almost every sample capsule wardrobe I’ve seen in my research consists of pretty neutral toned clothes, and styles that just do not work for my body shape. Now, okay okay, the beauty of capsule wardrobes is that you can create a capsule wardrobe around pieces you love. But for people who need a visual of what a capsule wardrobe “should” look like, all they’re going to find are blacks, grays, and beige! I get that having a basis wardrobe of neutral colors means there is a lot of room to play and add in fun accessories, but what happens if the clothes you gravitate towards are brightly colored, not quickly so easily mixed and matched?

That’s where my gripe with capsule wardrobes begins and ends. Like I said above, I LOVE the concept of having a closet full of clothes that you adore and love to wear. That is such a good mindset to have. I find that if I love what I’m wearing then that only helps me feel good about myself and my appearance and helps towards having a positive outlook about your body. So how do you have a capsule wardrobe when your clothes just don’t quite fit the “standard” guidelines of a capsule wardrobe? Well here are some tips that I’ve come up with.

Maeve’s “Capsule Wardrobe” Tips 

  • Wear what you LOVE – if this means having super bright colors and patterns, then go for it!
  • But keep it limited to only pieces you wear consistently
  • If you haven’t worn a piece at all during that season, get rid of it
  • If you only wear one (or however many) piece at least once during a season, then hang on to it


Getting More Detailed – 

My current summer wardrobe consists of the following –

  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 5-6 tees and tanks
  • 3 t-shirt/swing dresses
  • flip flops
  • sandals
  • hiking shoes
  • Converse
  • tennis shoes that I can work out in or just wear

I do technically have 3 other short sleeve tops, but those work better in the winter as they are thicker material and don’t work so well with bralettes, which is what I’m wearing about every day right now. All three pairs of shorts can be mixed and matched all of my shirts. One of my pairs of short is literally falling apart at the hem, so I’m trying to make those last until the end of summer. Almost every one of my t-shirts has a pattern and certainly doesn’t fit the standard capsule wardrobe “guidelines. But that is what works for me. I am still whittling down my wardrobe and getting rid of tops I’ve saved from the past two summers, and now they’re going in the give away pile. I am constantly tweaking things and re-evaluating if I still wear something or if I haven’t worn it enough to warrant keeping it.

I read a tip once that said if you saw that certain piece on the shelf or rack would you grab it? If the answer is no, get rid of it. If yes, then keep it!

So I guess, long story short, yes, I recommend and love the mentality of wearing only what you love and what you feel comfortable in. But no, do not feel so rigid with your wardrobe. “Break the rules” and have those bright colors if they make you happy, or stick with the neutrals if those make you feel safe! Either way, whether capsule wardrobes are for you or not, I do strongly recommend going – at whatever rate is comfortable with you – through your closet and drawers and getting rid of the pieces that make you feel bleh, uncomfortable, or just never get worn. Not only is that a cathartic exercise, it also helps you see what exactly you like to wear and gives you the knowledge that you have clothes that you LOVE to wear.

Cheers, Beauties! I’ll see you next week.

 

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Bralettes – My latest *COMFORT* obsession

Hello Beauties,

Ugh, I just can’t seem to keep up with posting. This past break hasn’t meant bad things though. I have been doing fairly well lately and the month of July was actually “crisis” free with my health. Considering every other month this year has contained at least one crisis with my health, it was a welcome break.

I’m going to do double posts today because there is something I want to write about that has been on my mind for a while and I think I’m at a place now where I can comfortably write about it. But first, let’s talk BRALETTES!

When I was a young budding woman, I was so desperate to having bigger breasts, that I almost exclusively wore push-up/padded underwire bras. I picked out and tried on and bought all of my own bras, and because of that, ended up wearing the wrong size for many years. However, when I had my first child, nursing changed things a lot. And that’s when I found out that I had not only been wearing the wrong bra size, my bra size had also changed! I used to wear a 36B, turns out I’m a 34D, and was a DD when I was nursing the first time around. Second time, second kid, I stayed consistently a 34D. Even after having gone through the post-nursing deflation, I’m still a on-the-smaller-side 34D. One of the things I worried about as a young girl, was having even a smidgen of a shadow of a nipple poking through my bra. I will not elaborate on this, but I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor, and from a very young age, breasts, the female body, was over-sexualized for me and not feeling full “protected” around my chest made me feel not safe.

This was part of why I felt like I had to look bigger “up top” than I really was. It was difficult for me to accept my body shape and size and it’s only been in the past three-ish years that I have been able to get to a place where I not only am okay with the shape and size of my body, but I actually have a decent relationship with my own skin.

With the addition of several more chronic illnesses, having dealt with significant rib pain the past 4 1/2 years, I have found myself surprisingly drifting away from underwire bras. Which, okay let me see if I can get the significance of this across – as a young girl, and most of my current adult life, I have felt a deep drive to make sure that my breasts look big, or at least bigger than they possibly/probably are. So to feel 100% comfortable NOT wearing an underwire/push-up bra is kind of a really big deal. My mindset has shifted, and for the past year and a half, my sole focus on my body has been comfort; still adoring and loving staying fashionable, but comfort is definitely key.

I went to visit a friend in April and she mentioned that she wears just bralettes now. I was still wearing underwire bras, but the idea of wearing bralettes began to get more and more appealing. I had my gallbladder removed 2 1/2 years ago but my ribs still both me on the right hand side. I strongly suspect my endometriosis has crawled up there, but eh that’s a topic for another time.

Anyway, since April I have kept my eyes peeled for bralette sales and specifically kept a look out for padded bralettes. I absolutely cannot do unpadded. Which is a bit annoying since there are some gorgeous UNpadded bralettes out there! I have managed to find some really good and comfortable bralettes. I don’t believe I’ve spent more than $15 on one pair, most $10 or less (or even for a few, $5 and less). I used to feel really uncomfortable about having any bra lines showing through my shirt, but one of the things I really adore about the bralettes I have, is most have gorgeous lacy straps, and when those show around my neckline I feel like it doesn’t matter if a texture shows through my shirt.

Really quickly though before I start sharing links, there is something super annoying about sharing my joy of bralettes with you. Bralettes are made with A-C (and some D’s) cups in mind. Anyone really bigger than a D/DD will find bralettes aren’t supportive enough. This is really frustrating to me because I’d love for all of my friends to thoroughly enjoy the comfort I’ve discovered in bralettes. So keeping that in mind, I am always on the look out for a supportive AND pretty bralette for the bigger gals. 

Okay, so! Here are links and references for bralettes I’ve found that are super comfortable, easy to wear, and decently priced.

Let’s look at American Eagle Aerie first. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see some of Aerie’s latest ad campaigns. I’m glad to see more body types and presentations being shown in their ads. That being said, I kind of really hate AE’s clothes. I feel like their jean sizes are getting smaller and smaller. BBbbuuuttt, that’s a gripe for another time! I have had at least one Aerie bra in my drawer at almost all times. I really liked some of their older styles, but lately, I did get two bralettes and it was worth it grabbing them while they were on sale!

 

Aerie Bralettes (all images from American Eagle ae.com and all prices current of post time)

Product Image   Aerie Boho Padded Bralette – on sale for $17.97

(there are consistently deal codes, so I’d recommend waiting for one of those codes to show up)

 

Product Image    Aerie Lace Racerback Bralette – on sale for $14.97

– uhm, so the model wearing this one is definitely a much larger size than a C or D cup!! This makes me excited! I would love to hear if any of my friends who do not fit a typical bralette size can fit comfortably in this particular bra!

 

Image for the product   Aerie Softest Lace Classic Bralette – on sale for $13.77

– this one is actually NOT padded, but I happened to have extra removable cups I wasn’t using and cut two small slits on the lining of this bra and just wear it with cups. The cups do shift funny since the bra wasn’t made with removable cups, but I’m going to try to stitch something in place to keep the cups where they need to. BUT! I will say that this bra in particular is incredibly soft and comfortable. I really like that it is convertible – i.e. regular straight straps can be turned in to an “x” back.

 

Here’s the link to all of Aerie’s bralettes! I am loving the selection, and the one thing about AE or Aerie bras, they are made to last…at least for more than a year!

 

Target Bralettes(all images from Target.com and all prices current of post time)

   Xhilaration Longline Bralette – on clearance for $11 (but I did see several IN STORE for $4-5)

– I have this bra in a navy blue (found at a thrift store) and the mint. This bralette is very comfortable, but the only thing that can get annoying is because I’m short-waisted, the longline part rolls up when I wear it. Not enough for me to not want to wear the bra, but enough that I adjust the bra several times during the day if it bothers me.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Lack Back bralette – $14.99

– I do not have this bra right now, but I love the comfort/sleep bra look of it. It is padded, and looks like it would fit smoothly under a top.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Nursing Bralette – $16.99

– I will never need a nursing bra again, but for my nursing mama friends, I have LOVED Gilligan & O’Malley nursing bras in the past!!!

 

  Xhilaration Push-up Racerback Lace Bralette – $12.99 with a 15% coupon code for online and cartwheel code in store

– I have this bralette in a gray and I should have gotten a Large instead of a Medium. It just doesn’t fit as well as my other bras. It is still comfortable, but I also feel like if I were to get a bigger size it would fit in the cup area, but the band would be way too loose.

Here’s a link to all of Target’s bralettes 

 

Aeropostale Bralettes(all images from aeropostale.com and all prices current of post time)

LLD Classic Lace Bralette  LLD Classic Lace Bralette – $12.00

– this bra runs small and it about the same quality as the Aerie bralettes

 LLD Geo Lace Racerback Bralette – $24.50

– I didn’t get this bra, but one similar to it, again, I’d say they run small, but are quite comfortable. Also, I’d say this isn’t worth spending almost $25 on. Wait till it’s on sale.

Here’s the link to all of Aeropostale’s Bralettes 

Those are all of the bras I either own, or have tried on in store. I know there are a few other that are considered “cult favorites” but when I realized that first of all, they’re not padded, and they’re pricey, I didn’t want to share a link to those. I am all about affordable fashion and paying over $30 for a bra that I wouldn’t even be comfortable in is not worth it. Let me know what you all think, or if you have an obscure place to get bras and would like to share!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

For All That Is Curvy – Jumpsuits, A-line, and Pencils

Hello Beauties!

Well, I think I have discovered something to keep me consistently blogging! Fashion! I adore fashion, it is something that makes me feel alive, and I love talking about it and sharing the things that have made dressing my body shape easier.

Alright, so before I jump in to some of the things I’ve recently came to a significant conclusion on, I want to share my review on the jumpsuit I just got! I purchased it off of a website called Zaful.com. I will say that the sizing is Asian sizing, so I would highly recommend paying attention to the measurements for each size.

 

 

I kept seeing this jumpsuit on my suggested pins on Pinterest. Every time I saw it pass by on my feed, I got this little starry-eyed feeling creep up in my chest. I LOVE the colors and style, but every time I went to click on the link I’d see that it was a jumpsuit. I have never owned a romper or jumpsuit, but decided to take the plunge with this one. As with several things I’ve gotten online before, this will require a few modifications, but for once I know exactly how I want to modify it and I just have to go get the extra material and things I need.

I am so thrilled with this outfit! The only thing I don’t like is that the back has this smocked elastic band at the top of the “pants.” That means it is easy to pull on, but there’s a lot of excess material there, and if it’s going to show off my butt, then it needs to be fitted! I’m planning on cutting off that elastic band, getting it fitted, putting in a zipper, and a wide black band at the top instead of the elastic. Being a seamstress, this is an “easy” project, and I know exactly what I want to do. I’m really excited because besides the extra material at the back, it fits really well and actually feels comfortable!

There is this weird stigma of sorts against women who are curvy and jumpsuits or rompers. Like for some reason, if a person has a wide butt and hips (hello, it me) and is short or wider than they are tall, then they shouldn’t wear rompers or jumpsuits. For some reason “no one wants to see your fat or cellulite.” Well, I say screw society’s ideas! Show your curves! Show your dimples! Or heck, cover them up if that makes you more comfortable. But please? Do what really makes you happy and love your own skin? Please don’t cover up if you’re only doing that because that’s what the culture around you says is best.  If there is something you have always wanted to try but have never felt brave enough to do so, here’s my hand, hold it, and you go for it! Me ordering this jumpsuit is a perfect example of just going for something I adored and have always wanted to try. You’ll hear me big a HUGE advocate for wearing whatever you want to wear.

Okay, so this space is not the place for me to talk about my past, but one of the things that still sticks with me today is having spent many years wearing long skirts and dresses. To call them fashionable would be a massive overstatement. They were long denim skirts, very a-line, swishy, and very “modest.” When I was my thinnest (thanks to constant severely high levels of stress) I had a very thin waist, but could never hide or get rid of my hips and butt. Do you know how hard it is to dress a curvaceous butt and hide its shape?! Nearly impossible to do so. Because of those years of wearing loose and non-form fitting skirts and dresses, I still find it hard to wear dresses and skirts in the present day. I went through a period of only wearing pencil skirts and sheath dresses, but even though were still triggering. I put a lot of effort into what I wear because I know that if I am comfortable, I like the garment, and it feels good, then I will feel better. So if I feel like something reminds me of the days that were my own personal hell, then I can never touch that garment again.

However! I believe I have found a work-around. But first, can we talk about something? Inner Thigh Chafing?!

This may be one of the biggest reasons I haven’t worn dresses or skirts over the past 10 years (outside of the association with my past). I would try to wear a dress or skirt in the past and would end up with painfully red and inflamed inner thighs because of that darn chafing. And let me tell you, ingrown hairs in that area are totally a thing! And chafing only makes ingrown hair and blisters even worse. So obvious solution, never wear dresses and skirts, right? Well, kind of wrong. The past two years I’ve done some experimenting with shaving and waxing and hair removal creams. I have discovered that if I wax my inner thighs, then I don’t get ingrown hairs and the chafing is significantly decreased. I purposefully don’t wax until I have plenty of hair for the wax strips to grip. Too much personal information? Oh well, it is so difficult to find solutions for this problem. Trust me, I’ve spent hours trying to find anything that would help.

I personally prefer Veet Wax strips (commissioned link).


It’s quick, easy, a little painful (not really though…but then I do have a pretty high pain tolerance…), and when the hair grows back in, it’s softer, thinner, and not prickly at all. And for something like me who has a pretty significant sensory intolerance, not being prickly or feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin as hair grows back in is a big deal.

Alright now that that is out of the way, let’s move on!

Having done the whole shapeless, unfashionable dresses and skirts, and slim fitting, form fitting skirts and dresses, I think I’ve found a middle ground; swing dresses. At least for the summer, t-shirt dresses are the perfect companion to the hotter weather. I have actually been wearing my two dresses more and more frequently. With my tip of waxing my thighs instead of shaving (because yay dark hair) I have discovered that wearing a dress or skirt that is looser around my legs and hips means that a. I don’t sweat at much and b. I have a significantly less amount of chafing. Also, big plus! The swing style dress conveniently hides my uncomfortably swollen abdomen from the antibiotics and hormonal imbalance that I’m dealing with right now.

 

Here’s the thing, I ADORE curvy beings in pencil skirts or sheath dresses. I think those styles were made for those of us with curvy bodies. But, they just aren’t very conducive for summer wear! At least that’s what I’ve found so far. So for the summer, it’ll be swing and t-shirt dresses when I want to just throw something one. Here are a few swing and t-shirt dresses on Amazon that are rated really well and decently priced!

BELAROI Womens Comfy Swing Tunic Short Sleeve Solid T-shirt Dress – commissioned link click on picture)

levaca Women’s Scoop Neck Pockets High Low Pleated Loose Swing Casual Midi Dress – commissioned link click on picture – this one has pockets!!!

Viishow Women’s Swing Dress Casual Loose T-Shirt Dress – commissioned link click on picture


Well, I’m going to wrap up this post and give myself a congratulatory pat on the back for having written it through an episode of antibiotics induced nausea. Gosh, I really hate that stuff.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

For All That Is Curvy – Starting out with Undertones

Hello Beauties!

Thank you so much for the response I got on yesterday’s post! Like I said yesterday, I have gotten so tired of trying to find fashion bloggers whose style I find inspiring. Not that I find the fashion bloggers I follow uninspiring, but they aren’t even close to my size. There is nothing quite so frustrating and disappointing than adoring a certain style only to find out that it is so not a style that works with your body type.

Same goes for colors! I am a huge advocate of knowing your undertones (warm, cool, neutral) and knowing what colors compliment YOU. This is not me saying you can *only*  wear the colors that go with your physical attributes. I think there is certainly merit to wearing the colors that make you happiest and feel the most alive, even if that means a wardrobe full of grays and blacks. That is 100% okay and if that makes you feel the most like yourself, then by all means do it! But, may I put a little bug in your ear? Something to think about? Do a little research and figure out the colors that line up with your undertones. Consider it an experiment and in no way something you absolutely have to stick with.

I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered something called Dressing Your Truth. Yeah, yeah, I know, sounds super cheesy. However, their approach to colors and clothes and makeup is rather different. The founder of DYT uses a method similar to personality tests and she calls them energy types. There are 4 energy types, but each type has one of the other three types as a sub type. From what I recall of the tests that I went through to find my own type, I don’t believe a lot of consideration is given to undertones. And I was a bit surprised by some of the makeovers (and not in a good way). Honestly, I think it’s because of my energy type and personality. I don’t like super bright colors, I prefer to be a bit more in the background, and some of the makeovers on the DYT website are very very bright. But I think those actually matched the person who was made over. I personally believe that one’s fashion, beauty, style is reflective of a whole person, as cliche as this is, inside and outside. How you feel about your body and yourself as a whole being includes what you wear and how you feel in your clothes.

Okay, now, let’s move in to undertones. This is important, especially if you’re into wearing any colors other neutrals. Every person’s skin has an undertone, whether those be warm, cool, or neutral*, one of those three is present. Frankly, I think undertones when it comes to fashion and ESPECIALLY makeup because if you don’t have the right undertones in your makeup then you can looked very washed out and sick. I’m sure this seems overwhelming, so here are two examples of what I mean when I reference undertones.

Here’s a better visual of the colors the pin above is referencing

The veins on my wrists are quite prominent, especially when my carpal tunnel is flaring up. The colors of my veins tend more towards neutral, but I believe I’m halfway between cool and neutral undertones. This means that I gravitate towards colors that have blue and purple-ish tones to them. Please know that matching undertones is something that gets easier over time. I’ve been matching undertones of fashion and makeup items for years and even still I have trouble at times trying to see the undertone of a certain item.

Here’s an example of cool and warm undertoned colors

See how the warm shades have a more yellow undertone to them? I know this is only a small sampling of colors, but I don’t want to get in to seasons of colors! That’s a whole other ballgame, still fits under the cool or warm undertones category, I just feel it complicates things.

I hope this is simple enough. I know it can certainly feel overwhelming trying to add color to your wardrobe. I am speaking as one who had mainly blues, blacks, and grays in my wardrobe for a long time. When I added color,  deep cool colors in particular, I discovered an entirely new love of fashion. There are a few outfits I have that make me feel refreshed and awake merely because of the colors. Colors and how the clothes fit.

Next post I’m going to review the amazing jumpsuit I just got and talk about some of the things I’ve found work best for curvy fashion bottoms (skirts, dresses, pants, shorts…).

* quick note about neutral undertones. Neutral is basically the free for all undertone. If you are neutral, you can pick and choose colors that are on the cool side AND the warm side. However, take my own undertones as an example, as I am what I’d call a cool neutral, I tend to stay away from warmer tones. 

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Curly Curls · Fashion · Self Care

Brain Dump, Counting Spoons, Body Image, & Strep Throat

Hello Beauties!

Ugh, so life have been…a whirlwind to put it lightly. We were in Maryland two weeks ago, came back home to our A/C being broken, and the apartment complex not being able to get it fixed right way (took an entire week of 80 degree weather, no A/C, and uncomfortable children), then both my boys got sick, my spouse got sick (possibly allergies??), and then I came down with strep throat and an absolutely nasty cold (possibly sinusitis?). I have had so many fantastic blog post ideas and things that I want to do with Chronically Curly, but have just not been able to find the energy to make them happen. But, here’s a brain dump on something that has been at the back of my mind like a busy bumblebee for the past few months.

I follow several fashion insta-bloggers (women who post a lot of affiliate/commissioned links to fashion items, skin care, and makeup that they use or have been given to test) on Instagram and a few on Facebook. I have found several good deals through those women, but there is something about them that is constantly slightly irritating. It has nothing to do with the women themselves, but more so the fact that I don’t feel like I can really relate to them. Almost every single one of the fashion insta-bloggers I follow are a size 4 or smaller. Let me make something abundantly clear here though before I move on.

I AM NOT SKINNY SHAMING AT ALL. I THINK THESE WOMEN ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB LOVING THEIR BODIES AND SHARING DEALS AND FAVORITE OUTFITS AND ITEMS TO THEIR FOLLOWERS. 

But, I am not a size 4, or 2, or even 6. I am a curvy 10, sometimes 12 depending on the brand and style. I am short, I have wide hips (my hips usually measure at 41″ around at the thickest part), and I love my body and am learning to take care of it more and more with each passing day. I struggle to relate to these fashion bloggers because half the clothes or fashion items they share or find deals on, I can’t wear merely because of the shape and size of my body. I have looked around for fashion bloggers who are more my size and shape, and quite frankly, those are very difficult to find. Almost non-existent. There is something I struggle with, and it has nothing to do with body image, I’m sure of it. I struggle with constantly scanning crowds or comparing friends around me, looking for someone who looks and is shaped like me. It’s a desire to have a role-model and stems out of never having had one when I was a young girl.

I was made fun of how I was/am shaped by my mother when I was growing up. She always made me feel ashamed of my body, and like I couldn’t love my curvaceous rear end and wide hips, and thick calves. There were multiple times I was so excited about an outfit I had found at the thrift store, went in to show my mother, and she made some snide comment about how she “guess it looks okay.” I have struggled with almost daily nausea for most of my childhood through current adulthood, I have struggled with losing a ton of weight to gaining weight because I was finally “free” of my parents’ abuse, to losing weight again, to gaining weight and then not being able to lose anything. I have often felt like I’m in a battle against my body, and felt like my body has betrayed me over and over again. I have felt completely disconnected from my body and felt like my body was no longer my own. None of these things are helpful for having a “positive body image.” All of these things means I’ve had to fight that much harder just to say I even LIKED my own body.

 

This is why fashion is so important to me. On the days when I’m not feeling well, feeling comfortable in not only my own skin BUT also my clothes is crucial. When I like what I am wearing, I feel comfortable, I feel like my clothes are a second skin, then I feel like I have the mental and physical strength and energy to face the day. But if what I’m wearing does not fit well, does not encourage or strengthen the bond I have with my body, then I spend my day shifting, pulling, and tugging on my clothes, and there goes all of my spoons or energy for the day. Think of it like this, when I feel like I look good and adore the way I look on the outside, it makes the pain, illnesses, and discomfort on the inside of my body that much more manageable.

Comfortable, affordable, cute, fashionable, and complimentary colored clothes are things I am not willing to compromise on. Living with multiple chronic illnesses means that my day to day life involves daily pain and discomfort and exhaustion. If wearing things I love and I think look good on me helps, then by all means I’ll do it! And now circling back to the fashion bloggers I follow, I love using their feeds as inspiration for discovering new styles and colors that I have maybe never tried before. Such as this adorable jumpsuit that should be arriving here tomorrow.

However, if I am struggling to relate to half of the styles they share because I know those things will simply not fit on my curvy thick body, it starts becoming depressing and discouraging.
Sooo, here’s what I want to do. I want to try to incorporate more fashion ideas for those who are the short/tall/wide curvy types. I’m sure there are other beings out there feeling the same frustration I am and I’d like to use this space here to give fashion tips and share deals I find on things that fit and work better for curvy body types. Once again, I am not skinny shaming, not at all, I merely want to create a space that’s more focused for those with curves because I know that space is still lacking. Although, I’m not even sure if I can really do this. With my health right now, it is difficult to stay consistent with anything, and frankly I quite hate myself for that. But on the flip side, I am finding more patience and compassion for myself because I know that right now the focus is on my body and health and trying to get things figured out.

What do you all think? Think it’s worth it? Is this all something you could relate to and would want to read/see on here?

Please let me know what you think!

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Curly Curls · Endometriosis · Fashion · Fibromylagia · Hair Care · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Makeup · PCOS · Products · Self Care · Skin Care

The Journey Begins

 

Hello Beauties!

Welcome to Chronically Curly! I am so excited you’re here, and am very much looking forward to what I can create in this space. I have had a burning desire to learn more about makeup, hair care, fashion, and beauty for several years now. The older I get, the more comfortable I am with my makeup, taking care of my curly hair, and being adventurous with my fashion and overall aesthetic. My dream is to become a makeup artist one day, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Something you will soon learn about me is that I struggle with two officially diagnosed and three suspected chronic illnesses. These are a HUGE part of my life, and during the bad weeks, I don’t always have enough spoons [more on this in another post] for doing a full blog post. So bear with me please. During those bad weeks, you will probably see posts about self-care, counting spoons, and how I’m functioning especially being mama to two young boys (ages 1 and almost 4).

I grew up very conservative Christian and didn’t get my first “stylish” haircut until I was 20. All of my teenage years, my hair touched my waist, and I often wore “modest” clothing and didn’t start really wearing makeup consistently until about 2 1/2 years ago (at 24-25 years old). I am no longer a Christian, my hair is in an jaw length curly a-line bob that is a dark brown and burgundy ombre, and I wear some sort of makeup daily. And let’s face the truth, most days I live in yoga pants or leggings and comfy, cozy tops! But! Stylish clothes are only what you’d see me in when I’m out in public. It’s all about balance, ya know?

Okay, let’s talk Chronic Illnesses quickly. My officially diagnosed illnesses are Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism. The three suspected are IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), PCOS, and Endometriosis. I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia February 2nd, 2009. Hypothyroidism was only officially diagnosed roughly a month ago on February 13th, 2018. I had surgery two weeks ago today (on March 8th, 2018) to remove my right ovary due to chronic cysts. Turns out my ovary was at least tripled in size, full of hemorrhagic cysts, and a large benign cyst. My surgeon also found a lot of scar tissue, including scar tissue binding my bowels to my abdominal wall. The scar tissue sounds a whole lot like endometriosis scar tissue, but I will have to get a second opinion about that.

Moving on!

I am short. Like 5′ 1″. So short. I wear typically a size 10/medium, but I have thunder thighs, a bubble butt, thick calves, and am short-waisted, and struggle with body image at times. When I’m in a lot of pain, or after both of my children were born, I have issues staying grounded and connected to my body. I started a habit a decade ago that each time I look in the mirror I will not leave until I have pointed out at least one thing I like. This has helped greatly with my self-confidence. That AND learning what clothes and styles look best on me and what I love and like the most <– that is important, I always tell anyone I’m giving fashion advice to, do not wear it unless you are comfortable and really LOVE it. Not just like, you need to LOVE the clothes and things you wear.

As I’m nearing 30 I have found skin care is becoming more important to me. So I will be sharing tricks and tips I’ve learned with taking care of my skin (more specifically my face). Also the makeup I use daily, the products I have found the easiest to use or cheapest, and hair care, let’s not forget about that! With my curls, I will be talking most about taking care of your own curls, so I apologize straight haired beauties! I don’t have as many tips for you as that is not something I’m as familiar with. But, I do know that several of my favorite hair care products are good for all types of hair, so keep an eye out.

Well, until next time! Stick with me as I continue to set up the blog and get it the way I want it looking. My hope is in the next few months to get my YouTube channel back up and running, but I am in need of several crucial pieces of equipment before I can start that again.

Hugs!