Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It's December 25, and so far, it's been a quiet day in our Melbourne cocoon. We have been spending the day bumming around and holed at home since both sides of our family are in another continent.
I've been watching chick flicks - Bridesmaid, The Heat (yes, I've adored Melissa McCarthy eversince she played Sookie St James in Gilmore Girls where she wore those adorable outfits) and eating spaghetti bolognese and baked chicken drumsticks (mine - The Guru is not as carnivorous). He, on the other hand, is catching up on Quora (we're both hooked, but he's more addicted) and studying/programming - he's one of the lucky few whose work is their passion and entertainment.
I don't know what exactly I did to deserve quite possibly the most amazing guy in the world but everyday I am thankful for this blessing.
Here's me in my favourite under $5 Valley Girl cobalt top and Kmart watermelon headband (and dirty kitchen, but pretend you don't see that!) wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Does the top go with my Brianna Midi Prom Skirt from Forever New?
Tomorrow we are going to brave our first ever Boxing Day. We plan to buy some new non-stick cooking pans. Oh, and I should stay away from clothes stores! Unless of course I see some fit-and-flare cobalt dresses...(I am definitely in a cobalt phase!)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Aussie Curves - Pastels

I have a limited wardrobe - I've bought A LOT the past few months, sure, but it's nowhere as extensive as the one I had back home. But even then my clothes were mostly, well, black. And white. And dresses with fruit prints or polkadots or hearts.
I was never a pastel girl. Partly because, well, I always buy black as default, and partly because if I HAD to buy coloured clothing, I gravitate toward jewel colours. I get the most compliment when I wear cobalt, and bright blue-based pink.
I only have one pastel dress in my closet right now - and it was an op-shop find! I featured the dress in my Boathouse OOTD post.
One warm December afternoon, on my way to the tram stop, I saw the Brotherhood of St. Laurence op shop sign at the Royal Arcade and decided to check it out. The dress was in the first rack I checked. I was even hesitating on buying it, until the nice staff yelled, "all clothing 50% off!" So for $4.50 down from $9, I did not have much to lose right? I actually ended up paying just $4 for it, because the nice lady said just give her $4.

The dress is by Glassons, and it's a fit and almost-flare (now I am just inventing dress styles!) cut that works for my apple-shaped (well, more like refrigerator-shaped) body. The base is a very light pinky-lilac and accented by navy and violet flowers with green leaves. Truth be told, if I saw it in a shop, full-price, I would not be drawn to it because, well, flowers.
I proclaim my love for heart/fruit prints and polka dot unabashedly, but I think floral prints are too girly. Go figure.
Also, there's violet. And green - I stay away from warm colours because they wash me out.

The thing I like the most about this dress is, it has sleeves. I don't understand - why is it so hard to find a plus-size dress with sleeves? My arms are my biggest body insecurity because they're large and saggy, and I find three-fourth sleeves are the most flattering. Here I threw a thin cobalt Valley Girl cardigan over it and I think it made the dress more flattering on me. I finished the look with Payless sandals, cheapy aviators from H&M, and my beat-up big black Coach bag (not in picture).
I haven't worn the dress since - I am such a shorts and shirt girl I wonder why I even bother to buy dresses. Maybe on Boxing Day - we're planning to see the St Kilda penguins. Hope the pastel lures them out of hiding! :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pretty Dresses for Christmas Day

Here are 10 Pretty Dresses that will wow on Christmas Day:

City Chic Contrast Spot Dress

The sweetheart neckline, the sweet little belt, the contrasting colours, and most especially, the polka dots - this is a fun party dress that can take you from Christmas day to New Years Eve!

City Chic Off Shoulder Stripe Dress

Bonjour! Channel your inner Parisian with this elegant dress with adorable striped bardot top showing your sexy shoulder and solid skater skirt. With the right shoes and accessories, this dress can take you from day to night!

City Chic Solid Peek-A-Boo Dress

This amazing dress looks very similar to my Portmans Emmy Cut Out Yoke Dress. The cut is very, very flattering. The front cut out is a little bit daring yet cute, giving this dress that bit of sexiness while still maintaining its lady-like charm. One of my ultimate favourite dresses! ♥

Portmans Pretty Party Dresses

Sorry for the small pictures but I couldn't figure out how to save the bigger ones. This pretty party dress comes in two amazing colours: Cobalt and Magenta. Perfect for us cool-toned girls this Christmas day! Portmans goes up to a size Aus16. I think the dress is generously cut too, so it might even fit Aus18. And the best part? It's currently on sale from $89.95 to $49.95!

ASOS Curve Skater Dress with Bardot Neckline

This adorable ASOS Curve dress features a bardot neckline (can you tell I like off-shoulder cuts? ;)) and skater skirt (my favourite!) and comes in rich wine and elegant black. Now down from $48.08 to $28.85, you can get both colours for under $60 and still have money left for a pair of strappy silver or black heels and a sweet sparkly clutch!

Hell Bunny Louisa Dress

Featuring a smorgasbord of prints - polka dots, cherries, strawberries, and flowers - what more can you ask for? Perfect Christmas day dress for Aus/NZ's summer! The flattering cut has a fitted top, loose skirt, adjustable straps and shirred elastic back, and goes up to size XXL (approximately Aus20).

ASOS Curve Exclusive Knit Dress with Crochet Collar

Simple and sweet, this ASOS Curve dress is made of fine knit and adorned by a contrast crochet collar that ups the feminine factor a notch. Also very affordable at $67.31.

Phosizzle Angler Submarine Dress

Modeled by the gorgeous Kobi Jae of the alternative plus size blog Horror Kitsch Bitch, this navy rockability-style halter dress is accented by three white adorable front buttons, a high waist, and a wide skirt featuring a cute little fishie that looks like a submarine from the depths of the ocean. Added bonus: the dress is designed by the very talented Jacqui of Fashion and Pho and owner of Phosizzle. Absolutely perfect for a day at the beach!

Hell Bunny Orlando Dress

And now for some Lolita fashion, this charming polka dot dress is made even cuter with a bow on the bust. With adjustable straps and shirred elastic back, the dress goes up to size XXL, approximately Aus20.

So what's going to be your Christmas dress? Depending on what The Guru and I end up doing, mine will either be this:

Bow Dress from MANGO, 40% off from $79.99 to $48.

or this:

Floral Dress from Valley Girl, 50% off from $39.95 to $19.97.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Horizontal Striped Dress

Plus size dressing Rule No. 1: AVOID HORIZONTAL STRIPES.
I say we throw that rule out the window.
I love horizontal stripes - especially black/white. I think I look really good in it. And that's what matters right?
While some striped clothing make me look large, I think the colour combination goes really well with my skintone so I usually end up purchasing them anyway.
I got this Zara dress because I found it really cute, but had to return it because of the open back. I felt like there was not much support in the front, and because I am not that, ok, unlike the rest of the plus sized population, I am not (so not) "gifted" in the boob department, when I wore it, I ended up with some space for air in front, which eventually crinkled. So with a heavy heart, I returned the dress.
My favourite striped dress used to be this striped skater dress which I bought from Debenhams. I used to wear it with a cardigan, a slim belt, and my trusty Payless scrunch flats. I wore it when we watched Wicked with a black trench coat from Target, my favourite Dr Martens Nappa boots and semi-opaque black tights. The dress is too big for me now. It was a size UK18.
Here are my other striped dresses that made the migration cull:

ELLE Striped Ponte Dress

I also have the Elle dress in black, but I can't find stock pictures online. And I'm too lazy to look for it in the blackhole that is also known as my pile of clothes.

First Mate Dress from Dangerfield.

I also have the dress in coral. Coral does not really agree with me, but I couldn't pass it up. Plus, Clear It was having a Buy 3 Get the 4th sale.
I also have a lot of striped tops, from Dotti to Cotton On to Bossini which I hoarded in Hongkong last January in anticipation of migration.
But my love for stripes does not stop there! Yesterday I bought a black/white striped midi skirt from Dead Ivy Clothing, Melbourne Central - on sale for $30! It looks very similar to the striped skirts sold by Dotti and Portmans.
And today, I saw this Gap rugby striped dress earlier and I thought it was very cute - and 40% off, so it comes to around $60.

What do you think? Buy, or not?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Boathouse Party OOTD

I have been obsessing over what to wear to The Guru's work Christmas party since I found out I was going to be a +1. It was a big deal for me because:
1. This is our first Christmas in Australia, after migrating on February this year. Ergo, first Christmas party as well.
2. It is a work party, so I did not want to be over/underdressed.
A month and countless browsing of online/physical stores later (did I mention I have no life?), I was down to two ensemble:

Liarna Dress
Colour and the fit and flare style suit me.
Thick dry-clean only fabric so may not be appropriate for a boathouse party.
Erica Dress
Pros: Fit-and-flare style suits me. Dress looks summery because of the flowers - my friend insists I should wear floral to an Aussie summer party.
Cons: Colour clashes with my skintone. Truth be told, I don't really like floral prints. I like plain clothes. If printed, the print should be fruits, polkadots, hearts, or interesting like my laughing apple dress. Exception would be this skirt - I like the princess-y cut.

This morning, I woke up and asked The Guru what he'd wear. He said, "where's my How to Start a Start-up shirt?"
Ok, thanks for telling me on the day itself that the party is very, very casual.
I also have my own start up shirt but decided against wearing it (I accidentally ordered the wrong size - bodycon-level-wrong-size). I ended up wearing this:

Dress: Glassons but bought from the Brotherhood of St Laurence Op Shop at the Royal Arcade in Bourke St. $9. They were having a 50% off clothing sale that day so I got it for...$4. Dress tag says it is a size 10. It's tight but I was able to zip it fine. So maybe it was supposed to be roomy.
Cardigan: Valley Girl, Large. $9.95, bought 50%off, so around $5.
Sandals: Payless, size 9. Bought on sale for around $25.
Not in picture: Old, big bag from Coach which housed our phones, phone chargers, cables, water, protein bars, diet soda cans...yes, I bring my house with me everytime I go out.

Here's a closer look at the dress' print:

I know I said I don't really like floral, but come on, for $4, wasn't it a freaking steal? :)
Oh, and the party was nice. Such a fun day!

Aussie Curves - Metallic

I am currently on the hunt for my Forever 21+ metallic tapestry skirt which I got last year, but I still can't find it.
Almost a year in Australia already and my things are still thrown around somewhere. (*cue mom's voice in my head*)
It looks like this:

I wore it to my workplace's Christmas party last year. The theme was Arabian Nights, and I exerted "so much" effort and came in, well, just Arabian colours. :P
I have not worn it since, but I asked someone bring it to me (it wouldn't fit in my luggage) when he came to visit because, well, while it's impractical, I love it.
Anyway, meanwhile, I want to show you a super cute Forever 21 (can you tell I love the brand? Oh, how I miss the store that made being a plus size girl in Asia easier!) sweatshi...errr, jumper with red metallic (see, not cheating!) print. I wore this last week on the way to the grocery (story of my life these days: library, Coles/Woolies, market, wash, rinse and repeat; I am currently what you might call a highly-educated bum.)

Jumper from Forever 21, Large, inner top and shorts from Emerson at Big W, size 14, Birkenstock-like sandals from Forever New, size 41, my obviously favourite (and only!) sling bag from Dangerfield, and shopping trolley from Ikea.
See? Metallic can be casual as well!
Now let me get back to looking for my skirt! To be continued...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quick GP Visit OOTD

What I wore to my visit to my GP today:

Quilted top from Dotti, size Large. The only thing I don't like about this top are the sleeves - they emphasize my big arms. But I like the length. It's made of a somewhat thick material though, like a thick scuba fabric. For $5.95, I really shouldn't complain. :)
Jeggings from American Eagle Outfitters, size US12. My ultimate favourite brand for denim. Sadly, they do not have presence in Australia. Very soft fabric. So comfy.
And of course, my favourite sling bag from Dangerfield. I was actually debating against myself if I was going to get this. I came back and left so many times but in the end, decided to fork the money (it was, I think, $25 down from $40 or so - from the Clear It Melbourne Central store.
I really should take a closer pic of my very cute watermelon knotted headband from Kmart. This was my second most expensive purchase yesterday, for $5. I got a $3 floral scuba crop top on clearance, $2 mispriced skater skirt ($10, but the check out girl gave it to me for the wrong price), and $7 polkadot skater skirt on clearance.
Oh, and I found this very nice blazer from Zara. Decided against buying it because I don't need it. But it's very cute. Zara at Bourke St has it in black, ecru, and yellow as of this morning. They go up to XL.

I'm wearing Large in this picture. So the XL should fit 14+.
So that's it for now. I'm pooped - after the GP visit, I made food for the week: baked chicken ala KFC (they didn't taste like KFC though), salami/olives/tomato/caper pizza with almond/flaxmeal/psyllium husk, coconut flour brownies, and cauliflower/chicken frittata.
Goodnight! :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Forever Expensive

So I think I found the perfect top for the skirt I have been obsessing on.

But the problem is, I don't know if I'm willing to pay $59.99 for the top. It's made of crepe material, but I find it expensive for what it is. Plus, I don't think it's worth it because I can't really wear it with my other bottoms.
Why do simple clothes cost so much, Australia?!
This is almost a dupe. It has these annoying cheesy cut-outs though - why oh why, TEMT? It's $7.50, though. I got it for half-off from the Valley Girl - TEMT store in Melbourne Emporium .

Decisions, decisions! Oh, and while I'm size AU12 for the skirt, I'm AU14 for the top - and there's only one piece left at Bourke! And none left at the online store so I need to decide quickly!

Of Bardot Tops and Self-Confidence

Yesterday, I was sitting near the fitting room of Forever New Melbourne Central and a girl comes out, all giddy (I recognised the giddiness that comes with finding something you really like) wearing this cute top and was looking for her friend. Her friend came over, and the conversation went like this:

Girl: Hey, I really, really like this. Do you think it's cute?

Friend: Uhm...

Girl: Be honest. Is this cute? I really want this.

Friend: *looks at the girl's arms* Well...

Girl: Ok. *sad*

And then the girl went back to the fitting room. She did not buy the top.

This scene broke my heart for two reasona:

1. She looked really cute in that top.

2. I was hoping she would buy it anyway, despite the obvious disagreement of her friend. I actually wanted to say something but I was afraid I'd be accused of eavesdropping and told to mind my own business. In hindsight, well, maybe I was eavesdropping, but they did have the conversation near me!

Next time something similar happens, is it socially acceptable here in Australia to jump in on a conversation like this?

I know it's fat chance, but if ever someday, the girl comes across this blog post, I have this to say to you: you're beautiful - don't let anyone ever tell you what and what not to wear.

#Aussie Curves - Favourite Feature

My favourite feature would have to be my legs.
They have scars - I was not a pampered kid growing up. I played in the background, I tripped, I was an only girl with two brothers - these left marks on my legs.
Growing up I was always in jeans. Back home (and back when I was growing up), the default is jeans + anything. Jeans + singlet, jeans + shirt, jeans + blouse - when you go out, expect girls to always be in jeans. Me, it was always jeans + some band or polo shirts for me. It didn't help that back then there was not many options for plus size girls. You either wear boys' jeans (girls' clothing line did not extend) or you risk looking like a grandmother (I can't say mother, because my mom dressed - and dresses - younger than I do!).
I remember when I started becoming confident to rock mini skirts - it was around 2005, and Dorothy Perkins has just arrived in my home country. I debated with myself against buying the DP mini skirt I saw on display, because, well, I was not used to showing my legs. And I wasn't confident. I asked a friend (who was plus-sized, but very unlike me - she wore everything she wanted to wear, without giving a flying f to the world) for advise and she said, "just buy it and wear it if you like it."
So I mustered my courage and I did.
Past forward one decade, and I've rocked all kinds of clothes with short hemlines. Denim mini, mini-dresses, denim shorts, twill shorts, you name it, I've worn it. My favourite pieces of clothing would have to be my beaten-up denim mini skirts though - I think I must have had around ten or more since. I like my mini skirts short, A-line, and not tight - something that's cute but comfy and I can move in. This looks like my favourite DP skirt. Sadly, I can't find anything I like here in Melbourne yet (but I have a feeling Forever New is going to come out with one - just a gut feeling, since they remind me of a more girly Dorothy Perkins) so if you find something that looks similar, let me know.
I brought two of my Dorothy Perkins mini skirts with me when I moved, but they're two sizes too big for me now. I'm keeping them though - I'm not yet ready to let them go.
Here's an evolution of my mini skirt looks through the years

Around 6.5 years ago, taken in a dressing room in H&M in North Wales, PA, USA. I was wearing a generic I Love NY shirt, one of my Dorothy Perkins mini skirts, random tights, and my Nine West wedge boots. It was my first ever winter experience, and I loved it! ♥♥♥

Same year (2008), taken in a dressing room in an Old Navy in a mall in Philadelphia, USA. Wearing an Old Navy top, Dorothy Perkins skirt, and a pair of Nine West flats.

I don't remember where this pic was taken, but still Winter 2008. Turtleneck fleece top from Old Navy, my favourite plaid skirt from The Gap (which I left in the USA and never saw again), and gray suede Serena van der Woodsen boots from Chinese Laundry. I was obsessed with Gossip Girl - although I was a fan of Blair, not Serena. I remember owning all three colours - grey, black, and brown.

Taken a year ago, back home. My past life. Me on the right. I accepted the Best Industrial Clinic award for the Lafarge clinic in Batangas, Philippines. I was wearing a Dorothy Perkins pussybow top, festive skirt from Forever21+, and Gold Dot wedges..
And these pictures you have seen:

Dress from Forever New.

Laughing Apple Dress from Dotti.
So there. My favourite feature are my legs. They are not without flaws, but I love them. And I show them - bare, in tights, in skinny jeans like this:

Jeans from Forever 21+, US12. Top from Dangerfield - which I ended up taking home. Pic taken at the Clear It outlet store in Fitzroy. Oh, and my ubiquitous favourite fisherman sandals from Wandering Souls.
This is me today, on the way to watching Mockingjay (I love you, JLaw!!) in a very short breezy dress with ♥ print from Valley Girl. If you ever find this dress (found this for $10 at the Harbour Town clearance store), grab it! It's very, very generously cut - I'm wearing a size AU10! When I'm normally AU12 (bottoms and dresses from Portmans) - 14 (usually for tops and dresses). Cardi from Valley Girl too, bag from Dangerfield and my favourite Wandering Souls sandals.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Baby Bag as a Regular Bag?

This is on sale right now for 30% off.

The one I like looks the same, but with silver hardware. The bag has a large strap, so there's an option of carrying it messenger-bag style. It has many pockets, and large space inside to hold my laptop and books.

Oh, and what I really, really love is that it has two containers inside for feeding bottles, which I plan to use to house my favourite drink.

Now I do not have a baby, but I do need a big bag for my daily library trek. My backpack is close to dying, and my market tote cannot hold everything - it seems I bring my whole house with me whenever I leave the house!

So what do you think? Can I pull off using it as a regular bag, or will people wonder if I left my baby somewhere? :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Laughing or Screaming Apples?

Today, I was giddy.
You see, even at my ripe age, I adore this store. I cannot afford their items most of the time (which is why I always, always enter their online contests - hope I win someday!) so when I discovered their clearance store in Fitzroy, I was in heaven. But that deserves another post.
Today, I wore my Dotti Laughing Apple dress, size AU14, for the first time.

Pic taken at the Basement, Myer Melbourne.

Pic taken at the ladies toilet (as always) of Melbourne Emporium mall.
I got the first "I love your dress! Where did you get it?" from a staff of Dangerfield in Myer Melbourne CBD. She said it was "so quirky"!
Then I went to check out Hell Bunny dresses at Off Ya Tree in Swanston St. Two heavily tattooed girl staff complimented me on my "screaming apple" dress.
So yeah, I'm a weirdo but I'm a giddy weirdo.
Here's a close-up of the print:

Here's a pic of me being all dorky and very Asian in the library

Excuse the thick unruly brows - a visit to Miss Browbar is in the agenda soon.
Hope you're enjoying your Thursday!

Midi Skirt? Me?

So I caved and bought this skirt.
Now I have a whole new problem - what top do I wear?
Now I am apple-shaped - actually, more like refrigerator-shaped, since I do not have small arms and big boobs like apple-shaped girls do. I am usually a full size larger up top, but most of it is my torso.
Because of the shape of the skirt, I reckoned it should be something fitted. So I tried this at the Melbourne Central store. Size AU14.

It shows every fold of my body, but that's what spandex does, doesn't it?
I also tried a cut-out cropped top from TEMT which I bought during the opening of Valley Girl/TEMT Melbourne Emporium. Size XL (They're still on sale, 50% off everything, as of today.)

What do you think? Which top look better? Or do I just give up my dream of wearing midi skirts and stick to tried-and-tested short skater skirts?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Quick Yay or Nay?

I do no own any article of clothing with this print. Is this tribal? Or paisley? (Ok, did some quick googling and found out this is tribal - both prints look really confusing to me, and truth be told, I'm not drawn to any of them, and also to animal prints. Give me polkadots, hearts, and fruits all the time!)

However, I just really want a light, airy cover-up to put over singlets (normally I'd say tank top, but hey, I'm a pseudo-Aussie now) and wear with shorts - this Melbourne heat is unbearable! This is the only one I found that was not in an earthy colour (all shades of brown + warm colours do not suit me).

Plus this is on sale for $10 at Valley Girl Emporium. This is a size AU12.

Actually, the whole store - a Valley Girl - TEMT collaboration - is on sale right now. Everything 50% off! The sale was supposed to be just during the store opening, but the staff told me earlier it will go on until further notice. If you're not so fussy about clothes, it's a good place to stock up on your everyday cardigans - some go as low as $5/cardi!

A closer (cleavage-less) look.

Full-length mirror at Valley Girl Melbourne Emporium. Fit and Flare Dress from Little Lies Clothing - bought on sale for $15, yay! size AU14 - a bit loose on me. Thump Footbed sandals from Forever New, size 41. Sling bag from Dangerfield. Shoppers bag from Topshop.

So, is it yay or nay?