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Curvy Canadian

Curvy Canadian: August 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Penningtons Styled to Surprise Event

Hey Guys,

Recently, I (and 7 of my other Toronto plus size fashion blogger friends) were invited by the lovely people at Penningtons to the debut of their Fall/Winter 2011 collection at the Heartland Town Centre location in Mississauga, Ontario.

First, I had to decide what to wear! Whenever there's an event where I am meeting other very fashionable women, I want to look my absolute best and dress a bit more creatively than I normally would. I knew all the other wonderful bloggers in attendance would look awesome (and I was right), so I wanted to make sure I picked something that would look good even with the fashion bar raised so high! I love events like this because they provide the context for me to wear things that people might normally think is a bit "out there." When I was putting my outfit together I was inspired by 1970s Halston - blending really rich colours (aubergine, red, cream, bronze, gold, russett) and textures (lace, silk, leather, wool, feathers) to create a lot of visual interest.

Blazer - Tahari (sent to me by my friend and fellow blogger, the lovely Jessica from Chic in Every City)/Top - Costa Blanca/Earrings - Forever 21/Hat, Bag, Belt, and Scarf - Thrifted/Skirt - The Gap/Ring - Ardene/Necklace - Laura/Shoes - Beverly Feldman
Penningtons sent a stretch limo for us! I was so excited!

The lovely ladies from Flaws of Couture - Garcia, Sasha, and Valentine
Sarah from Garters and Stockings, and Sadia from Rawrmanifesto
Once we got to the store, there was so much to see and do...

They even had a make-up artist on site for touch ups!

There were lots of great hors d'oeuvres and beverages to keep us refreshed during the event. Penningtons kindly gave each of the bloggers a $150 gift card with which to purchase some of their beautiful items, so the bloggers were happily shopping all evening long. You'll just have to wait for Outfit of the Day posts to see what I got! I've already worn a couple of the items I got. 

One of the best parts of the night (if not the best) was meeting the members of Penningtons' retail marketing and buying team. They were full of questions for me about what I and my readers are looking for in a store. They were very receptive to all of my comments and suggestions, and I can tell that this is a company that is truly committed to participating meaningfully in the online community. They are also going through a major re-branding. My perception of the store has certainly changed from before I attended the event. While before I was invited to the event, I thought the store carried only fashions for an older demographic, I can see now that much of what they've added would appeal to a younger customer. They still carry many items that are geared towards their current customer base, but it seems that they are extending their line so that it suits a greater age range. So if you haven't been in awhile, it's definitely worth a second look. 

Some of the Penningtons execs I was chatting with
And at the end of the night - the bloggers got together for a final photo op. Alison from Round Raglan Road and Franceta from Frantic Dreams are here (they came in a different car so they weren't in the first couple of shots), and Adrienne from Big Girls, Bigger Dreams is missing from this shot. I bet she was still shopping!

All in all, I had a great night. It was great to spend time shopping with my bloggin' buddies, whom I can't wait to get together with again, and it was also wonderful to meet the faces behind the brand and have them be so receptive to what I had to say. Thanks so much Penningtons!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lane Bryant's New T3 Technology Denim

Hey Guys,

Lane Bryant recently rolled out a new denim collection called T3 (the 3 Ts stand for Tighter Tummy Technology) and they kindly sent me a pair to review! I was super psyched to receive them, since Lane Bryant announced their release at their blogger conference during Full Figured Fashion Week, (which I wrote posts about here, here, here, and here).

I was amazed to find out that the waistband was elastic. You would never be able to tell just from looking at them! On the inside in the front, there is a stretchy black fabric to tame your wobbly bits (should you wish them to appear tamed). A lot of thought and effort has gone into the design of the jeans (trust me, I met the designer and he explained everything), and if you're like me and you have trouble with gaping at the back of the waist, you won't have that in these.

They are a lovely, dark wash, denim, and they are very comfortable. I am about 5'4", and the length of the jeans would be perfect for heels, but I would need to hem them if I wanted to wear flats. They have a nice stretch to them and they keep their shape really well in between washes. The rise of the jean is very high. I guess this helps keep the waist from gaping and with tummy-taming, and rise is totally an issue of preference. I kind of like the high rise because I don't already have a pair of high rise jeans, and it's kind of a fun style to wear with a tucked in blouse and a big belt.

Overall, I think the jeans are great, and they have quickly become a wardrobe staple. I would love to have pairs in different washes (or even black) and also in a lower-cut waist. I hope Lane Bryant continues working on stuff like this. T3 is fantastic. I think Lane Bryant will be sending me a couple of items from their new Cacique Body line (lotions, fragrances, etc) in the next month or so, so keep checking back for a review of that! Also - great news - Lane Bryant will begin shipping internationally in September, so you can get a pair of T3 even if you're not based out of the US!

Here are a couple of pictures of me wearing my Lane Bryant T3 jeans over the past couple of weeks. What do you think?

Jeans - Courtesy of Lane Bryant/Shoes - American Eagle from Payless/Purse - Costa Blanca/Camisole - Forever 21+/Crochet Vest - Dots/Necklace - Dollarama

Jeans - Courtesy of Lane Bryant/Top - Old Navy/Shoes - Target/Earrings and Purse - Thrifted

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Coffee Date with Sarah from Garters and Stockings!

Hey Guys,

I've been a very bad blogger lately! I'm so sorry it's been so long. Peter is on vacation and I'm sort of just in relaxation mode...

Recently, Sarah from the blog Garters and Stockings (formerly La Grande Fille) and I went out for a coffee date. We had a great chat about all sorts of stuff, from fashion to body positivity to blogging and everything in between. It was a great time. We were both also at an event on Sunday hosted by Addition Elle (along with Alison from Round Raglan Road who I featured on here a while back). It was a great event and it involved a bunch of Toronto fashion (both skinny and fat) bloggers styling models with two looks using Addition Elle garments. All of the looks turned out fantastic, but I'm not allowed to share with you until mid-Septemberish. There will be a facebook contest where you vote for your favourite outfit, and the people at Addition Elle want us to wait to reveal our looks because they have to design a facebook app first that will support the contest. I can't wait for you all to see what I put together. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised with what was available for me to work with. Their flagship store on Yonge Street in Toronto is amazing. All I can say is that my looks involved red cheetah, aubergine, and a hooded jacket that will knock your socks off.

Without further ado, here are a few pictures of our coffee date. Stay tuned for a review of a new denim technology offered by Lane Bryant (who will begin offering international shipping in September) in the next couple of days. =D

Pants - Lane Bryant Icon Line by way of Redress NYC/Shoes - Target by way of Redress NYC/Top - Necessary Objects by way of Redress NYC/Bandeau - Dots/Necklace - Forever 21/Earrings, Bracelet, and Purse - Thrifted

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

OOTD and N: A Really Beautiful Wedding (and what I actually wore to it!)

Hey Everyone!

This past Saturday, Peter and I were invited to the wedding of one of my closest friends! It was such a beautiful wedding. It was held at the Toronto Hunt, and the ceremony was stunning. It was an outdoor ceremony with loads of flowers and it was right in front of the lake. There were a couple of butterflies flying around too. The weather was absolutely perfect for the outdoor ceremony, because it was lovely and warm, but not too sunny, and there was a nice cool breeze coming in off the lake. They had a classical trio playing music before and during the ceremony, and the music was so pretty. Peter and I got the musicians' business card, lol. The officiant was also really great! Sometimes the officiants can rush through ceremonies, but I really felt like all of her words were totally heartfelt and that she was enjoying what she was doing. Fantastic! When the bride, my friend Suzana, came out, she was absolutely breathtaking. She looked totally fantastic. She and her husband Jon are away on their honeymoon enjoying their first day in Paris today! Enjoy, you guys!

For this wedding, I decided to wear a IGIGI dress that's sheer black with a lavender layer underneath. I paired it with some chandelier earrings and a set of shiny black beads. I wore my (relatively comfortable) black heels and carried a vintage hand beaded black clutch which I think is from the 1940s. I decided to wear my hair up, since I always tear up the dance floor and get so hot that I just end up throwing my hair in a messy pony tail anyway... I thought a red lip would go really nicely with the luxurious look of the lace on the dress and the beaded clutch. What do you guys think?

Dress - IGIGI/Necklace - Ardene/Earrings - Forever 21/Shoes - Torrid/Clutch - Thrifted Vintage

Doesn't Peter look handsome? He let me pick out his outfit! I wanted to do his hair too, but he wouldn't let me :(

This is one of my new favourite pictures of the Peter and I. I think it might be frame-worthy!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

OOTDs: Showing a Friend Around Town


My friend Jen came over from Ireland (a couple of weeks ago, now, actually), and I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures of what I wore while I was showing her around town. On day one of her trip, we went to the Toronto Islands and visited Kensington Market and Chinatown. On day two, we took a bus tour of Toronto and went to Casa Loma, and on day three we headed down to Niagara Falls. I hope she had fun! I know I had fun showing her all of the sights!

I got this shot of the Toronto skyline as we made our way back into town on the ferry from the Toronto Islands. It was such a perfect day to go to the islands. The dreamiest sort of weather - warm, but with a lovely cool breeze coming in from the lake.

The next day, we went to Casa Loma, a castle located in Toronto that was built at the turn of the century by Sir Henry Pellatt, a very wealthy Torontonian with a monopoly on electricity. The provincial government decided that it was not fair to let one man have this sort of a monopoly, so they fixed that and started offering Hydro power to Toronto. This development, as well as a number of other poor investments on Pellatt's part, lead to his rapid financial demise, and he had to sell everything he owned for a fraction of its worth in order to avoid bankruptcy so that he could keep his royal title (I'm not sure if the British monarchy will still strip you of your title if you file for Chapter 11, but it's definitely interesting). He ended up living in a small apartment above the garage in his former chauffeur's home. 

It's just as beautiful inside, with stunning furnishings and an amazing ballroom and library. The opulence is astounding, especially considering Pellatt's modest accommodations after his financial ruination. Jen wore this dress that I'd been eyeing for awhile on Dorothy Perkins' website and I recognized it right away. I think I have an internet window shopping addiction problem! Still absolutely love the dress. It has a lovely bow in the back as well.

I also really liked what my sister Gill (right) had on, and it was sort of weird that we ended up in the same colours! So I decided to force her to allow me to put her picture up here too ;D She told me where she got the dress, but I can't, for the life of me, remember... Was it H&M? If you're reading Gill, can you comment with where you got it from? 

Top - ASOS Curve/Shorts - Dots/Bracelets - Forever 21/Belt - Thrifted/Purse - Costa Blanca/Necklace - Charming Charlie/Shoes - Target/Sunglasses - Gifted from Kmart

Casa Loma is a really beautiful sight, and the picture doesn't even do it justice. If you're ever in Toronto, make sure to check it out. My eldest sister got married there. So beautiful. 

The next day, we went to Niagara Falls. We did a walk along the falls, got some Linner (that's a combination of lunch and dinner) and decided to get on the Maid of the Mist. Hilarious! We all got absolutely soaked, so it was a good thing that we brought sturdier ponchos than the ones we were given by the Maid of the Mist people. My mascara was running like nobody's business. It was amazing how close to the falls you get though. Pretty incredible. We also got on the Niagara Skywheel, which is like a very high tech ferris wheel. You get your own completely enclosed pod, sort of like the London Eye, but with much smaller pods. The view is awesome. This is the (comfy) outfit I wore for our day (including a lot of walking) at Niagara Falls:

Sorry for all the nublies in this shot. I have to go over this top with my nubly shaver!
That's the Falls in the background. Top and Necklace- Forever 21/Tights - Torrid/Shoes - Target via Redress NYC/Belt - Redress NYC/Purse - Thrifted/Sunglasses - Courtesy of Kmart

And just to show you guys how seriously I take myself, and also that I can rock anything, even a translucent blue poncho layered on top of a bright yellow rubber poncho while soaking wet, I've decided to share this picture that my sister took just after I got off the Maid of the Mist. Enjoy! Rockin' a poncho.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Yay! My first blog award! I was so excited when Olivia from Wait Until The Sunset contacted me to tell me she nominated me for the "One Lovely Blog" Award! I am very glad to hear that people out there are reading (and liking) my posts!

The rules of accepting the award are:

- Link back to the person that gave the award
- Write seven random facts about yourself
- Nominate 15 lovely bloggers :)

So without further ado, seven random things about me are:

1) I read everything - novels, magazines, cereal boxes, poetry, cookbooks, newspapers, tweets, whatever! If it's in front of me, you can be sure I've read it. 
2) One goal I have is to travel all over the world.
3) I have the most eclectic taste in music ever. One minute I'll be listening to Simon and Garfunkel, and the next, Kanye will be playing. 
4) I eat toast and tea for breakfast pretty much every day, and often skip lunch.
5) I am a grammar freak. If you make a grammatical error, I will either correct you, or die a little on the inside. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who use the word "less" when they mean "fewer." "Less" is for things you can't count, and "fewer" is for things you can. For instance: "I have fewer apples than you, and less water." See, it's easy! Don't even get me started on the difference between "who" and "whom"! 
6) Muscato is my favourite type of wine.
7) I was born in Ireland, and my family emigrated here when I was 3. 

Here are my top 15 favourite blogs and I love them all! Go check them out and keep spreading the love! :)

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Six Take: A Tale of Six Cities (Toronto)

Hey everyone!

Sorry it's been so long since my last post! I've been working on this epic six-take featuring city-inspired style. Since I am from Toronto, and it's such a diverse city (both in population and in terms of its architecture and things to do, I couldn't just take pictures of one place and outfit, so I took inspiration from a number of different locations across Toronto. I've been putting together the outfits and shooting them for over a week! I hope you like it!

Toronto is situated on Lake Ontario, one of the 5 great lakes. The lake is a big part of Toronto culture and recreation, with residents and visitors flocking towards it on hot days. There are loads of beautiful yachts docked along the shore, as boating is a favourite pass-time of Torontonians. I interpreted Toronto's love of the lake with this nautical look.

Hat, Purse, Earrings, Necklace, and some of the Bracelets - Thrifted/Shoes - Penneys (Ireland)/Skirt and Camisole- Ricki's/Tunic - Forever 21+

Another really amazing part of the city is Kensington Market. It's crazy colourful community with lots to see and do. Since it is a market community, there are loads of vendors selling everything from fresh fruit to linens, meat and fish, chocolate, baked goods, and clothing. It is a very socially conscious neighbourhood, so you find a lot of vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, organic, and fair trade options there. There is a street in the community that consists mostly of eco-friendly fashions (more organic and fair trade, and of course, vintage), and I absolutely love getting lost in it on a Sunday afternoon. I interpreted this neighbourhood in my outfit as sort of nouveau-hippie/bohemian chic. 

This car is a project called the "Community Car Reclamation Project." It's an old car that has been totally gutted and has been reclaimed as a street garden. It's permanently "parked" in a municipal parking spot, but the city would never dare to try to remove it because of its significance to the community (not to mention the logistical difficulties of such an undertaking).
Earrings, Purse, and Skirt - Thrifted/Necklace - Dollarama/Top - Dots/Scarf - Costa Blanca/Shoes - Target/Sunglasses - gifted from Kmart/Hat - Domino Dollhouse
Another important part of Toronto that I wanted to highlight (probably because I am there so much) is the University of Toronto. It's my Alma Mater, so I couldn't resist! Many of the buildings on campus have been around since the 1800s, and it's one of the best preserved parts of early Toronto as there were a couple of massive fires around the turn of the century here. It's a beautiful place for a walk, especially on a hot day, since there are loads of shady trees to sit under. These pictures were taken in front of Hart House, which functions sort of like a student centre for U of T students. I interpreted U of T style as sort of preppy - the summer scholar...

Jacket - Thrifted/Shoes - Dorothy Perkins/Purse - a gift from my Dad (tag says Esprit)/Shorts - Dots/Camisole - Forever 21+/Bracelet - Dollarama/Necklace - Gifted from Charming Charlie

St. Lawrence Market is another really fun part of Toronto. The building that houses the market used to be Toronto's city hall (way back when Toronto was still called York). It also functioned as a jail for much of the late 1800s. Today, it is where Torontonians go to get their produce at the Saturday farmer's market and all of their spices, seasonings, meat and fish during the week. On Sundays, it even hosts antique vendors. I interpreted this Toronto site by wearing a fruit themed outfit. I kind of feel like I'm channelling Carmen Miranda a bit here!

Scarf and Clutch - Thrifted/Shorts - Dots/Top - Forever 21/Shoes - Target/Sunglasses - ASOS/Earrings - Etsy store called Bonjour Button

And the last area of Toronto of which I did a style interpretation is the Distillery District. The buildings in this district are some of the best-preserved examples of Victorian-era industrial architecture in the world, and as a result, have been the backdrop for quite a few films set in this era, including Cinderella Man and Chicago. The plant in this area was owned by William Gooderham and James Worts and produced rye-whiskey. In the 1920s, after the decline of the (short lived here in Canada) prohibition, the company was purchased by Harry C. Hatch and was renamed Hiram Walker (who still make Canadian Club). The rye-whiskey was produced at this site until 1990, after which it was converted into "the distillery district" which is now home to loads of trendy restaurants and boutiques, a excellent theatre, and functions as the backdrop to many important art exhibits (including Nuit Blanche). I interpreted this area of Toronto into my style by trying to emulate the style of the roaring twenties, just after the distillery was purchased by Harry Hatch and prohibition had ended.

Dress - Penningtons - Shoes - Redress NYC via Target/Purse - Gifted from Jessica at Chic in Every City (she's awesome) by Simply Be/Hat - Thrifted/Necklace - Garage Sale

So, lovelies, what do you think of my city and my style?

Make sure to visit all the other wonderful bloggers participating in this take of six cities!

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