Saturday, January 7, 2012

Occasionally Stylish : Party Time {Curvy Edition}

I am the first person to admit when I have screwed up, and frankly, I feel like I have screwed up big time! This week I posted another installment of Occasionally Stylish- which is my attempt to give you some outfit ideas for special occasions- first dates, weddings (eventually maternity and interviews and so on). These features take a TON of time. You'd think just posting some pictures would be super easy, but I have to find the outfits, download the pictures, save the links- it's a long process, but I do it because it's like the ultimate in window shopping and my hope is it will inspire some of you to think outside of the box.


However with my most recent Occasionally Stylish post, I unintentionally left out a major chunk of my readers. One of my comments said, "Cute outfits. My problem would be that the dresses only come in regular sizes. Bummer!" And I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Literally, I've lost sleep over this, and even though I don't think it was the reader's intention, I feel like I have gone away from the original point of Hems for Her. I created this blog because the number of "quality" plus-size bloggers out there was severely lacking. I wanted to show people that we don't have to be stick thin to be stylish and beautiful.


You may have seen this article floating around Facebook this week, but it really strikes home with what I am talking about. In Plus Size Bodies, What Is Wrong With Them Anyway? Plus Model Mag editor Madeline Figueroa-Jones shares some startling statistics, including:



- Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.
- Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. Today the need for size diversity within the plus-size modeling industry continues to be questioned. The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction.
- Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.
- 50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.
I personally fit most comfortably in a 14-16, so I'm what they call in certain circles "Small Fat", although frankly I prefer the circles that call me "thick" and mean it in a good way (you know what I mean?!) This may be the first time I've ever publicly said what size I wear. There's such a stigma attached to that little number, like our entire self-worth is tangled up in what section we shop in the department stores. I'm in a weird in-between- too big for regular clothes and too small for most plus-sized clothes, but I never want to leave out those plus-size ladies by not including outfits for them as well.
From now on, Occasionally Stylish posts will feature styles for all sizes- there is a huge world of plus-size styles available in stores and on the internet, and I am going to introduce my readers to companies they may have never heard of. Companies that are committed to embracing curves, not embarrassing them- which was my original intent with Hems for Her. So all of that being said, I want to show you some beautiful dresses for women with beautiful curves. I intentionally refused to feature any "Little Black Dresses" in this particular post- unless they were embellished with lace. I want you to realize you don't have to limit yourself to black dresses in an attempt to "blend in" or "look slim". When you shop with a company catering to curves, the quality and construction flatter you and fit your curves so you can be proud and smokin' hot!

Kiyonna is a company whose tag line says it all-- Sophisticated Style, Size 10+. Their sizes go up to a 5x and while most of their dresses are a little pricey (averaging $128), for a special occasion dress that you can wear to multiple functions for multiple years, I think it's worth the investment. Plus when you see how beautiful these dresses are, I think you'll agree! I also really love the website- it's clean and easy to navigate, and they feature real women as models and plus-size bloggers. Here's hoping one day I'm awesome enough to be featured there!


Another company I am very impressed with is Eloquii by The Limited. Now at The Limited I can buy scarves and jewelry and that's about it, but last year The Limited listened and created Eloquii- a plus-size line than features sizes from 14w- 24w. The website is awesome- great fitting guides, beautiful models, amazing sales. 





And if you are like me and you don't like to show off your upper arms, a classic Bolero Sweater is your best friend. You can wear it with almost anything! Eloquii has this bolero sweater on sale for under $30 but this is an easy wardrobe piece to find!

Be sure to tell me what you think! And tell me what you'd like to see!

 Linking up with What I Wore Wednesday and Transatlantic Blonde! Check it out!

15 comments:

janet murphy said...

Thanks for doing this. I am the same as you, in between regular and plus size. My goal is to embrace WHO I am and not WHAT I am and that is hard when you constantly don't fit into something you would like to wear just because a company says you shouldn't wear it. Argh!

ModaMama said...

I love that scalloped lace dress! Gorgeous! And I have to agree with what you said about the fashion and general standards - they are ridiculous. Marilyn Monroe would be considered "plus size" and she was a knockout! I find it frustrating in general how judgmental people are regarding sizes. I have friends who come from the place you come from, and I myself have faced much scrutiny but on the other spectrum of the pendulum. I'm very small and people assume that I am starving myself, or that they're allowed to say derogatory comments to me because I'm "thin" and somehow it's okay to be mean - but I'm built the way I'm built, just like everyone else - thick or thin - and that doesn't mean I'm not healthy, and all of it is beautiful. So yeah, what I'm trying to say is that it's hard out there and we should all be nicer and more accepting of ourselves and each other. So thanks!

Jenny kozar said...

Beautiful! I love every one of those picks and thanks for the new site find.

Amber said...

I love the new post. Thank you so much, I am already feeling better about myself. I did recently lose about 15 more pounds of baby weight (took about 4 months). My youngest just turned 1. Anyway I feel great about it and I will continue to have a moderate/healthy lifestyle and moderately exercise but I will not crash diet or work out for 3 hours everyday to fit what society thinks I should look like. Again I cannot tell you how beautiful you look right now and I love how you dress. It has inspired me to dress to impress everyday.

Tjstelmar said...

As you know shopping for plus size clothing can be very frustrating. It's hard to feel cute and stylish when the selection for plus sizes is so extremely limited. Thank you very much for your Occasionally Stylish "Curvy Edition" post. It's a huge help reading about new places to shop. I love the dresses you picked!

Katie said...

You are right. it can be extremely frustrating, Some of the clothes are so ugly. It's like they just expect you to not care anymore (I see it a lot with maternity clothes too). I'm pleased to see so many companies stepping p and producing chic clothing in realistic sizes!

Katie said...

Thank you so so so much for the compliments. And you are right about being healthy and living in moderation. I wish I enjoyed any kind of working out, but I don't!

Katie said...

Me too.... I wish I had more special occasions to dress up for!!!

Katie said...

You are absolutely right- there's hate and criticism all over the place. It doesn't matter to some people- you will always be too fat, too thin, too pale, too dark. And most of it comes from a place of self-loathing. I know I've been guilty of seeing a super slender girl and scoffing, "Gotta be anorexic." I'm not proud of that, but it's human. We grow up hearing so much body hate from family and media; it's no wonder we poison ourselves and each other. It's refreshing to hear form someone at the under end of the spectrum to realize the "grass isn't necessarily greener."

Amber said...

You are welcome, I love seeing your outfits and you look fabulous every time. I enjoy walking and biking the most. I used to box at home (with a bag and gloves) and do pilates but that is when I only had one child :) I started pilates up again. I do enjoy them. They are low impact but you can feel the exercises strengthen your muscles especially in your Abdominal area. I especially need to strengthen my core since that is my weakest spot due to 3 c-sections :( but I am determined :) Keep on rocking your looks.

Terri said...

I am so happy you post these wonderful dresses and where to find them. I have a wedding and a shower to go too. The last wedding I attended I felt frumpy. I want to feel beautiful even if I am a plus size girl. I am thankful that I found your blog. You made me realize that I can be in style no mater what my size.

Porcelain Complexion said...

What a great post.
I didn't know any of those facts you mentioned - really quite scary!
I love the dresses you picked out, the cuts and colours are gorgeous <3

ereddy%westliberty.edu said...

I love this! I have probably the most mis-proportioned body ever. On bottom I am 14/16 like you. Yes, I agree with you.My friends who are "bigger" call me "skinny fat". It is so hard to find clothes that fit and fit your style. I agree with what a fellow commenter said...a lot of clothes for those of us who aren't a size two are ugly. I do think it is something that the companies knowingly or unknowingly do to try to get us to fit into the mold society thinks we need to be in. Yes, like all women, I often hate the way my body looks but as someone who has overcome an eating disorder, I am HAPPY that I don't go to extremes to lose weight anymore.Awesome post!

Melaina25 said...

I think there is a real gap in the market for "real" sized clothes. To be honest most plus sized clothes are too big on me, but "regular" sized clothes don't fit either as I'm hourglass shaped. I think you do a great job so don't beat yourself up!

Katie Frost said...

New web site is looking good. Thanks for the great effort.

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