Category Archives: fashion

Fascinating Fascinators!

Now that I have some new hair to flaunt, I am totally in love with the concept of hair fascinators.
What are they, you ask? Well let me inform you!

Hair fascinators are lovely little (or big!) hair decorations, usually made of silk flowers, ribbons, feathers or all of the above! They’re not quite mainstream yet, and are more common as a bridal accessory at this point, but the creative folks over at Etsy are catching on quick and producing some lovely pieces!

To celebrate the hairdo (and because my birthday is coming up in a few months) I bought a couple of fascinators from a vendor on Etsy:

I really can’t wait to wear them!

I stuck with the more simple designs because they were cheaper, less fussy and will go with more of my wardrobe. If I had a reason to wear something more exotic though, I would be all over it!

Others that I love:


All of these can be found on Etsy, just search under hair fascinator, hair clip, etc.

The pieces I purchased were between $12-$15, but some of the more extravagant ones can be over $100. I plan to wear mine with my hair down, and also to spice up my boring ponytail.

I’ve also found them in a couple of the trendy fashion supply odds n’ ends stores on Queen Street in the Fashion District in Toronto, but they’re all around $40 which is a little out of my reach! Beautiful pieces, though!

Vidal Sassoon: New Look!

So, I did it!

I went to the salon last night and had a pretty good experience. It’s much more posh than I thought it would be. There’s a coat check and assistants to get you drinks and stuff…

My stylist was good, turns out she teaches at the school at the salon which made me feel much better about using her!

In terms of the cut, she gave me the professional opinion I wanted so desperately. She said that longer hair suited me best, but that I should go with my natural curls and enhance those. Normally I go for a straighter look, so this was different! She cut about 5-6 inches (!!) off, gave me more layers to add volume and movement, and reshaped the fringe at the front.

The best part I thought was that she took the time to show me a simple way to do my hair without too much effort. I’m about to give it a go on my own tonight and see how it works out! I am optimistic that the cut will also look good when I don’t do anything to it, or if I straighten it. Time will tell!

Anyway, below are a couple of photos of the new hair. I would like to mention however, that it was raining when I left the salon, and I forgot my umbrella :( So it’s a little flatter than it should be, and also looks a little wet and dark in the photos. Oh well, you’ll get the gist.


So what do you think? Did I do the right thing, going shorter and curly? Or should I have stuck with long and wavy/straight? Was the cut worth $85? I welcome all honest opinions!

Oh, and yes, I would recommend the Vidal Sassoon salon, if you’ve got the extra cash and can make it to Toronto! My cut cost me $85 + tax, and I also purchased some chi-chi Kerastase product for $40 (ouch!) but I had a 15% off coupon so it wasn’t quite as painful.

Having my ears lowered

That’s right, folks. I’m giving the old chop chop to my goldie-locks tomorrow!

Much like the wonderful and soon-to-be President Obama says, it’s time for change. I’m starting fresh with a new haircut.

Now here’s the funny thing: I’ve decided to go to the Vidal Sassoon salon here in Toronto, and while I was googling for reviews, it turns out FB went there last year and did a review. Not only that, but she’s also getting a ‘do done there next Friday!

Upon discovering this, we’ve decided to post some photos of our hair before and after our Sassoon cuts. Hopefully y’all can tell me if I did the right thing!

Why did I choose Vidal Sassoon? Well, I had a simple hairstyle done at a charity spa event done by a Sassoon stylist. She offered me some suggestions for my hair that I really appreciated. Most stylists I’ve seen don’t put thought into their cuts, they ask YOU what you want, but don’t bother to make any suggestions that would truly suit you.

I’m hopeless with my hair. I know I’ve got very rare and sought-after hair (according to all the stylists that have seen my hair up close), but I have no clue what to do with it, so when a stylist asks me what I want done, I just look at them blankly.

I want someone with experience and training that will help them look at me objectively and give me the best cut for me. I wanna look HOT, y’all!

I also want it to be wash and go. Ginger + product =/= success.

So without further ado, here are some photos of my hair… professionally coiffed for the most part so that it will be comparable with tomorrow’s look.
At a special event

At an advertising event

Trial run using my curlers

Plus-sized Fashion Part 1: Shopping Resources

When it comes to style, being fat ain’t easy.

The fashion industry seems to think that larger girls like me do not require stylish, flattering or comfortable clothes like the rest of the population. There are very few retailers that cater to anyone above a size 12, even though the average North American woman is up to a size 14 now, and our segment is growing steadily.

Curvy, Rubenesque, voluptuous, BBW, large, zaftig – whatever you want to call us, we deserve our place in the fashion world. Just because we’re not tiny size 6’s doesn’t mean we don’t have style, flair, beauty or fashion sense.

Here’s an interesting excerpt on the plus-size apparel industry in Canada I discovered via fashion industry research company fashion.infomat:

“One of the most under-served markets in the fashion industry is the women’s plus-size clothing market. As the average age of women in Canada rises, so too does the need for larger size apparel. This market offers great opportunities in clothing women who not only demand more variety, but also have the income and desire to spend. Very few retailers specialize in plus-size women’s clothing in Canada, but as demand for such products grows, U.S. clothing suppliers should find plenty of opportunities in the Canadian market.

1. WOMEN’S PLUS-SIZE APPAREL MARKET OVERVIEW

Presently, the average North American woman hovers between a size 12 and 14, and in Canada, roughly 30% of women wear size 14 and over. As the largest consumer group in North America of 35-45 year old women continues to age, so too will the percentage of women requiring plus-size clothing. The 5% of retail space that is currently devoted to larger size clothing scarcely meets the needs of women today, and in a few year’s time, will certainly not suffice.

[…]
Presently, Canadian children and young adults are less active than they were two decades ago, resulting in not only increased health concerns, but also mounting obesity figures. As the population of obese children ages, so too will the demand for larger size adult clothing.

[…]
Compared to the choices that are given to women sizes 0 to 12, the plus-size clothing selection is truly lacking. In Canada, companies such as Cotton Ginny Ltd., Shirmax Fashions Ltd. and Reitman’s Canada Ltd. dominate the plus-size clothing market. Very few other chains carry clothing in sizes greater than 12, for example Laura Plus.

Shirmax Fashions Ltd. operates 195 retail stores specializing in women’s plus-size clothing in Canada under the store names Addition-Elle and A/E Sport & Co. In 2001, they saw their market share grow from 4% in 1999 to 6.8%, a growth that was partly explained by the aging baby boomers’ needs according to their vice-president of marketing.”

So where does one go to find fashion that will fit? Well, here is a list of stores (Canadian and some American) that I know to carry true plus sizes. I base this list on whether I can actually shop at these stores and find a wide selection of decently-fitting clothing.

Pennington’s
If you’re large, you already know about this store. They have a good collection of clothing for all age ranges as well as basic wardrobe staple, business, lingerie, sport, outerwear, casual and some hoochie club stuff (MXM line).

Addition-Elle
Another plus-sized staple, they carry higher end and some designer items, and are sister-store to Pennington’s. A good place for younger, more fashionable styles (a better collection in my opinion) however they also come with a higher price tag! Staples, business, fashion, sport, casual, hoochie club, formal, lingerie, outerwear.

Reitmans
This store is a split between regular sizes, petite, plus-petite and plus. They have some good wardrobe staples and I find their pants fit me better. You won’t find anything flashy here, but they’re my go-to place for comfy casual and some work apparel. Also winter coats. Their prices are more reasonable than AE or Pennington’s, yet they are part of the same company! Staples, casual, business, sport, outerwear.

Cotton Ginny
Another split store, they carry mostly casual, comfy clothes, and their style could be expressed as “active mom”. I like their eco-organic cotton t-shirts and yoga/athletic wear and wardrobe basics. They don’t really have anything super-fashionable, but the price is right and they are decent in fit and quality. Staples, casual, sport, outerwear.

Sears
They carry a plus-sized section, and some of their regular designs also come in plus sizes, too. I find their clothes run more towards the dowdy older woman, but you can occasionally find some nice, classic pieces. Their prices are average and the quality is good, and you can order from the catalog for more choice. Staples, business, casual, sport, outerwear, lingerie, formal.

The Bay
Similar to Sears, but a little more up-market. They have a small plus section in their stores and tend to carry higher-end items that appeal to an older business demographic. They can be good for some really nice formal or business stuff, as well as designer items, but they also cost a lot more. Fashion, business, formal, casual, sport, outerwear.

Maximum Woman (GTA Only)
This is a great little boutique I recently found. They carry different lines of clothing (compared to the heavy hitters AE and Pennington’s) and have friendly staff. The store owners are plus-sized themselves and hand-pick all the fashions. They cater to the younger crowd mostly, but have good items for the middle age, too. They have some formal and some designer stuff, such as the Baby Phat line. Fashion, business, formal, lingerie, hoochie club, outerwear.

Voluptuous (GTA Only)
This is another boutique that has recently expanded to several locations and specializes in club wear and fashion items. They have some nice stuff, but you definitely need to have a special kind of confidence to be able to wear some of the items! They also run a bit smaller, only going up to a size 20 or small 3X which sadly shuts them out of a large part of the plus-sized market. The prices are a little high for a lot of viscose, rayon, lycra and polyester, IMO. Hoochie club, fashion, outerwear, lingerie.

Wal-Mart
They carry a small selection of plus-sized clothing in their store brands as well as the slightly more fashionable George label. They have great prices, however most of the clothing is cut poorly and made of cheap materials and likely to fall apart shortly after purchase. However if you’re on a budget, want some basics or want to try a new style with minimal risk, they are the place to go. Staples, casual, hoochie club, lingerie, outerwear, sport, cheap fashion.

Lane Bryant (US Only)
If you get a chance to visit the US, make sure to hit up this store! They carry a wide range of everything for most ages. I find their clothes generally more flattering and well-made than anything in Canada, and also just the right mix of fashionable and classic. They have a special lingerie section with the best bras and undies I’ve ever found, and have decent prices. They also offer online ordering in Canadian currency, but watch out for those shipping charges! Staples, business, formal, casual, hoochie club, lingerie, sport, outerwear, fashion.

Torrid (US Only)
I love Torrid because it is the plus-size version of Hot Topic. They cater to the younger crowd with edgier fashions including bondage pants, skulls and corset tops. Love it! They have a decent selection of items, some are higher quality than others, and the prices are a little high. But you won’t find some of these things anywhere else! Fashion, goth, hoochie club, casual, lingerie, formal.

The US has loads more plus-size shopping options so I’m not going to detail them all, but here is a short list. Please email me if you have any additions to make!

JC Penney
Macy’s
Catherine’s
Fashion Bug
Dress Barn
Kiyonna
Avenue

This list I have provided may seem as though there are lots of options… but if you compare this measly list to the multitude of “regular” sized shops, you’ll see just how few plus-sized retailers there really are!

Are you plus-sized? What kind of challenges do you encounter when shopping? Have you found any great new stores you would recommend? Do you feel that our plus-sized shopping options are getting better, or worse? (Selection is increasing, but the ridiculous prices are, too).

Please share with me your thoughts on this issue, and pass the link to this post onto your plus-sized friends—maybe it will help them find more shopping options!

Stay tuned: I’m going to do another post featuring some stunning plus-sized models, and additional fashion resources!