Plus size active wear: Mermaids and Unicorns

Sometimes, despite the very best intentions, we fall flat.

Take, for example, my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ for 2016. Towards the end of 2015 I reached a point in my body acceptance journey where I was over rebelling against what I was told I could and couldn’t wear and pulling my middle finger at the diet industry, and felt ready to move into a phase of nurturing my body. I felt – and still feel – that loving your body means looking after it as best you can, by eating healthily and exercising. (The key to my belief here is that – different to what they had meant to me before – diet and exercise was to nurture a body I loved, not punish and alter a body I hated). And so, I got it into my mind that with the new year, I would start a new routine: one filled with frequent exercise and healthy meals.

One of the things I was most excited about was the activewear. In my ‘previous life’ gym garb had consisted of ratty old tracksuit pants, and scruffy t-shirts. I died a million deaths at the thought of anyone recognising me on the way to, during or at gym. But now, in my new body positive reincarnation, I would dress up to go to gym – a device that I hoped would make me feel excited about exercising. So, when I stumbled across Mermaids & Unicorns online and spied their funky and whimsical active-wear, it was love at first sight. Quirky prints, dinosaurs, unicorns, mermaids – and it was a South African brand. It was as if it was made for me! I jumped at the chance – the honour – to feature them on the blog.

Except that now it’s almost the end of June 2016 and can you guess how many times I’ve been to the gym? Yeah, it’s less than that. As disgusted and ashamed as I am of myself for not doing what I know is good for me, it’s all the more worsened by the fact that I let a brand that I admire and that has supported me down.

My gorgeous, funky, fun leggings have sat in my cupboard, unused. This is not what gorgeous, funky, fun leggings are designed for. These leggings are designed for for making you feel good, for making others feel good when they see you in them feeling good, and then in turn making you feel good again after you see other people feeling good at seeing you feel good in them.

So today I decided to get over myself, get over sucking it big time, to put on the leggings of awesomness I didn’t deserve to wear, and to break them in with some yoga.

This is how it went:

plus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the CurvesI couldn’t touch my toes like I used to, but it was a start. And I feel good, because I did something good for myself.

The leggings fit me beautifully – not to be weird here, but how great does my ass look in them? I’m usually pretty petrified of anything tight on my ass. They are super high-quality and robust – both in the assembly of the garment and the heavier-weight fabric – and I suspect will stand up much better to the toll of chub rub in the groin region than my other leggings do.

Mermaids & Unicorns has a ton of other spectacular prints, and the entire range is limited edition, so check them out here.

And also heed a lesson I had to learn the hard way:
Don’t put off doing something because you feel you won’t be good enough at it. We’re often not good at it the first time – in my case I didn’t become an instant devoted gym bunny because the clock struck 2016. And the longer I left it, the more I hyped myself up about how much more I’d have to do to make up for what I wasn’t already doing, until it was easier just to forget about the whole thing. I didn’t need to become a pinnacle of plus size athleticism to be deserving of these awesome leggings – I just need to put the damn things on and do something. In this case it was half an hour or trying to touch my toes and balance on one leg, but maybe tomorrow I’ll go for a brisk walk. And if someone sees me, in my multicoloured wonderpants, they’ll smile and think ‘Oooh, good for her, maybe I should get out there, and where did she get those spectacular pants from?’

And then both my job and the legging’s job will be done.

Plus size OOTD: Black maxi dress from Captive8

The black maxi dress is a classic wardrobe staple – it can be dressed up or down, and easily modified to the season.

This one from Captive8 is made from the most wonderful slinky fabric – it has a great weight, and is not too clingy. I also love the V neckline, and the knotted feature at the waist – I find it super flattering. I feel like this dress could be style 1 hundred million ways – here’s my first go:

Plus size maxi dress on Mind the CurvesPlus size maxi dress on Mind the Curves Plus size maxi dress on Mind the CurvesPlus size maxi dress on Mind the Curves Plus size maxi dress on Mind the CurvesPlus size maxi dress on Mind the Curves Plus size maxi dress on Mind the Curves

Dress: Captive8
Lipstick: Revlon
Hair flower: Hell Razor 
Shoes: Queue from Spree
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya

Plus size OOTD: Watercolour shift dress from Captive8

If this shoot looks a little seasonally inappropriate it’s because these images lost themselves – and  I just unlost them. Unfortunately a bunch of the looks I shot aren’t available in stores any more – but this one is! Woohoo!

I fell in love with this comfy shift dress from Captive8 for its colours – it reminds me of that Monet painting with the lilies. It’s light and breezy for the warmer months, but for the colder seasons you could pair it up with navy leggings and gold shoes, with a cream-coloured cardi and/or scarf.

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Dress: Captive8
Nail art: Hallo Pragtig
Lipstick: Catrice
Earrings: Zuri
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya

Plus size OOTD: Black and white stripe dress from Captive8

Another gem revived from a lost shoot!

I have such a soft spot for the nautical look, which this dress totally pulls off, and all the bonus points that it’s soft and comfy too. The slightly wider neck-line and lower back gives it a classic look, which I really love – plus for all those pocket fans out there, guesss whatt ittt hassss?

This one’s for anyone who’s ever told a plus size girl they can’t wear horizontal stripes.

Striped plus size dress on Mind the Curves

Striped plus size dress on Mind the Curves Striped plus size dress on Mind the Curves Striped plus size dress on Mind the Curves Striped plus size dress on Mind the Curves Striped plus size dress on Mind the CurvesStriped plus size dress on Mind the Curves Striped plus size dress on Mind the Curves

Dress: Captive8
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya

 

My Superbalist Winter Wishlist

The chilly winter weather is setting in, and it’s time to celebrate those favourites of the winter wardrobe – boots, coats, hats and scarves.

Superbalist invited me to take a peek through their latest winter-wear, and I was thrilled to find some great plus size options to share with you.

Here are some of my favourite items:

1. Missguided plus size embroidery dress

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Not even the nip in the air can deter my love affair with dresses. Can you even deal with that gorgeous embroidery? I’m totally smitten. Would love to pair with some opaque black tights, booties and a big, black felt hat.

2. Liliana Midnight ankle boots

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It’s fair to say I’m a boot girl to my core. Boots with buckles, boots with studs. Combat boots, cowboy boots, shitkicker boots. I don’t discriminate. But when I saw these grungy velveteen beauties – I realised my collection was incomplete. I WANT TO STROKE THEM. Plus, how great would they go with the afore-mentioned embroidered dress?

3. American Apparel circle scarf

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.02.41 AMNow we’re starting to warm up and tie things together. How these match the boots is just symmetry. I LOVE IT.

4. Vero Moda Samantha Wool Hat

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.06.14 AMThis black wool hat just brings the chic that is the final touch. Head warm, style HOT.

5. Missguided plus size belted wool coat

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The final piece for heading out is a warm winter coat to bundle up in. I adore the classic cut of this woolen beauty, and love coats that you can tie at the place that flatters your shape the best. I’m sold!

Which superbalist items are on your winter wishlist? Share with me in the comments below.

 

 

Win one of 3 outfits with Isabel de Villiers A/W 2016

Isabel de Villiers is probably the biggest name in South African boutique plus size fashion, and the amazing lady behind the brand was one of the very first contacts I made when starting this blog and my plus size fashion journey.

I look back now and realise that when Isabel asked me to model for her A/W 2015 range it was something of a turning point – or maybe the springboard – that has lead to so many exciting opportunities since then. Suffice it to say that I owe a lot of the high points of my journey to Isabel.

Anybody who has had the good fortune to meet this talented designer will know that she gets it. She gets the beauty of bodies in different shapes and sizes, she gets how important it is for confidence to come from inside, from how you feel, and she gets the plus size fashion scene – that us larger ladies want to be edgy and fashion-forward sometimes too.

So when Isabel asked me to be a part of her A/W 2016 lookbook I didn’t hesitate for a heartbeat – I knew something good was in store – and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Now I’ve chosen five of my favourite looks from the range to give you a little preview – but you can see the whole thing here. Isabel has also kindly offered 3 lucky Mind the Curves readers an outfit of their choice from the collection, so get on entering below!

My five favourite looks from Isabel de Villiers A/W 2016

1. Drape Maxi DressMind the Curves for Isabel de Villiers plus size fashion South Africa

2. Wrap Dress

Mind the Curves for Isabel de Villiers plus size fashion South Africa

 

3. Drape Dress

Mind the Curves for Isabel de Villiers plus size fashion South Africa

 

4. Polo Shift Dress

Mind the Curves for Isabel de Villiers plus size fashion South Africa

 

5. Mesh Inset Jumpsuit

Mind the Curves for Isabel de Villiers plus size fashion South Africa

 

In order to win one of these gorgeous outfits, or another from the A/W 2016 lookbook, enter via the Rafflecopter widget below:

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Plus size ‘super model’ Ashley Graham stars in music video

A huge win for body diversity in mainstream media today as a music video by popstar Joe Jonas landed starring plus size ‘super model’ Ashley Graham.

While pop isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I totally love how Ashley’s beauty is celebrated in the video for ‘Toothbrush’ – every inch of it. She prances around in her underwear like it ain’t no thang (not that it should be!) and it’s totally gorgeous. She’s not treated any differently than I imagine they would have treated a thinner model, and that sends such a powerful message. Yay for Ashley, yay for Joe, and yay for everybody who celebrates bodies of every shape, size and tone as beautiful.

You can watch the video here:

#IAmMe – Evans plus size clothing is live in South Africa!

It’s with great excitement that we can finally say – UK plus size clothing brand Evans is now live on Spree!

I have vicariously been a long-time fan of the brand, seeing some of my UK plus size blogger/activist sisters taking part in their #IamMe and #StyleHasNoSize campaigns. The brand has a brilliant reputation not only for high-quality, fashion forward clothing for plus sizes, but also for championing a movement for confidence in larger women, and for empowering all women to feel beautiful – the same values that are close to my heart.

So, when Spree approached me with the news that they were bringing the brand to our shores and that they wanted me to be involved with the launch campaign – well, you can imagine my excitement!

Last week the big day came and in a hustle of outfit changes and primping and prettying, we shot this fabulous campaign:

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I was joined by plus size bloggers Lala Tshabalala of Plus Size is Me and Candice Bresler of A Gorgeous Life, and we each got to run a competition on our blogs and bring along the winner for a ‘model for a day’ experience. I was totally thrilled when I drew Robyn van der Merwe’s (of Curious Robyn blog) in my competition. I have had the good fortune of meeting her at a number of blogger events previously and was thrilled to have the chance to spend the day with her.

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Besides being a delicious dollop of lovely, how GORGEOUS is this chick? When Lala arrived she joked that she knew Robyn was my competition right off the bat – I guess our mutual love of funky hair colours was a dead giveaway 🙂

Getting to meet Lala and Candice was one of the major highlights of the day for me – there’s something to powerful about this sisterhood fighting to find the beauty in themselves, and to inspire others to do the same.

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What I love about this campaign – like the #JetLoveYourself campaign that I was recently part of – is the ‘realness’ of it. I’m reluctant to say that the campaign used ‘real women’ – all women are real – yes, even the supermodels – but the fact is none of us are professional models, and that this campaign shows a diverse range of skin tones, body types, hair types etc. – and I find that beautiful. And incredibly important! I think if people start to see more people that they can identify with in the media portrayed as beautiful, they will find it easier to feel that way about themselves.

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And damn, do these gals look good, or what? 🙂

The campaign was shot by Ricardo Simal, and styled by Spree Fashion Director Chris Viljoen.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the campaign? Do you like the clothes?
Drop me a line below and share your thoughts 🙂

Evans Plus launches in South Africa – Win a VIP modelling experience and R1500 voucher

One of the biggest gripes of South African plus size women is that there just aren’t enough fashion-forward plus size clothing options available. So, when I found out that leading UK plus size brand Evans was coming to South Africa via Spree – well, you can’t even begin to imagine my excitement!

I was given an exclusive sneak peek at the launch range, and had a bit of fun styling the Evan garments with other things available from Spree’s plus size offering, as well as my own closet.
These are some of the looks I came up with:

Evans Look 1:
Evans blouse

Jersey bar back top:  Evans at Spree
Skirt: Similar one available from Style Republic at Spree
Shoes: Footwork at Spree

Evans Look 2:
Evans outfit 1
Zip front dress: Evans at Spree
Shoes: Footwork at Spree

Evans Look 3:

Evans outfit 3
Printed hourglass fit dress: Evans at Spree

Evans Look 4:

Evans outfit 2
Pleat front maxi dress: Evans at Spree
Shoes: Solle at Spree
Choker: c(inch) at Spree

Evans Look 5:

Evans 4

Belted sleeveless trench: Evans at Spree
Mid-blue jeggings: Evans at Spree
Boots: Edit at Spree

I’m a big fan of online shopping – I loathe few things more than trying things on in a tiny cubicle and unflattering lighting. I keep my measurements saved at hand and after comparing them to the size chart available on site can order my size with confidence – and if it doesn’t look quite right Spree’s return policy means it’s not a big deal if it doesn’t look as awesome as it did in my head.

So now on to the exciting part! In celebration of Evans coming to South Africa, Spree is treating one lucky Mind the Curves reader to a ‘model for a day’ experience. The winner will join me, along with two other bloggers and their winners, for a makeover and photo shoot. The images will be used as part of the launch campaign, so this is a great opportunity for aspiring plus size models out there. The winner will also receive a R1500 voucher to spend on their favourite Evans garments.
NB – the winner needs to be available for the shoot in Cape Town, on 10 May 2016, and transport is not included. The Evans size curve is 16 – 28, so the winner needs to fall within these sizes.
Good luck, curvy readers – get your entries in here:

 

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Plus size OOTD: Teal fit and flare dress from Edit at Spree

I’m not even going to bother with apologies and explanations about why it’s been so long since I last posted.

Instead, I’m going to launch straight into the fact that a dress I really like is ON SALE at Spree!

Check out the below, and if you like it, score yourself a deal!

DSC_0127DSC_0151DSC_0144DSC_0158 DSC_0186Skirt: Edit Plus at Spree
Heels: Mr Price
Necklace: Penelope Frog
Lipstick: ‘Tramp’ by Manic Panic available at AnonaMiss Beauty Emporium
Photographer and Stylist: Simone from Yellow Papaya
Shot on location at the Woodstock Exchange

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