If you've ever gained weight and confronted the mirror with a grimace, then you know how hard it is to find clothes that fit well if you're not tiny. Or worse, a decent dress. You pull at the waist, you give up on style, or you just figure (as you listen to the inner naysayer) now that you're all fat, you should wear muumuus. You assume that women that are not small aren't entitled to lovely things- because at the heart of it- you're not lovely. Or so that's what those Victoria's Secret ads seem to say to me. Or those magazines....or your skinny neighbor with a butt like granite. And it hits a sour note of truth as I look at the mirror feeling frumpy and lost in a dressing room.
You feelin' me?
Who decided this nonsense? Women are appealing in any shape and size and thin is not the only way to be. In light of this goofy, depressing issue, I've been dress shopping. I've been shoe shopping. Girl, I've been hunting high and low to find THE outfit for my nursing school graduation. But what should be fun is laced with dread. In the back of my head I keep thinking, 'there's gotta be a dress that will make me look good in a style I like, even if I could lose some weight!"
Picture this: I've got a stack of books and a 30 page care plan I'm trying to edit. I open another window on my PC and type into Google, "plus size dresses." I'm nervous. I'm imagining drapey gowns like Mormon Tabernacle Choir...
|No girl, don't give in to dresses like drapery.|
Now I love me some good chorale, but that doesn't mean I need to dress like I want to blend into a crowd and compete with a three story tier of organ pipes.
In my head this was my inspiration for my graduation- swingy skirt, bow heels, cinched waist, and color! Can't a size 14/16 girl score this somewhere? I was hoping by searching Google, I'd have a place to start that wouldn't involve boob swags. Here's what I was dreaming of-
|Dita looking BANGIN in red!|
|Swing skirt and waist bow|
|Valentino Bow pumps|
|Valentine Bow pumps in GREEN!|
Do you see my inspiration there anywhere? I sure as heck didn't. Not only that but I am not going to wear some slinky number as I get pinned as an RN. Way too classy of an event to be heavin' myself up to the stage in some lycra getup like I'm imitating a popped can of biscuits on the prowl, dipped in sequins. Uh, no.
Page after page of the same ol' thing scrolled by as I hunted. I looked at Dress Barn. I looked at Torrid. I checked out Nordstrom, Macy's, and even Lane Bryant. Nothing! Everything was either too short, wasn't what I wanted, or cost $200. Or worse, like it was meant to hide me in something that resembled a cross between a stage curtain and a burqa. Am I supposed to be ashamed or worse, shameless? What the heck? If I were a size 4 I could go to Forever 21 and knock this out of the park- or shoot, even Target....but here I was, feeling like I'd either have to wear a club dress or a nightgown. It's bad enough I don't feel 100% about my figure, but geez, I want to look good, yeah? And why shouldn't I? My worst MoTab fears were mounting when....
I thought, I'll check ebay. Shoot, who knows, right?
Ladies....I found this:
Oh sigh! Perfection! In a size 1x/16 that I knew would be just right! Hallelujah!
I loved it! Green is the main color of my university. It has birds on it to remind me of my friend Robin who struggled with terminal leukemia and made me promise her I'd finish school. It was cinched, had swing, and a BOW!
I had to have it. This was non-negotiable- that dress was meant for me. Planetary plus size alignment does not happen often but I was a girl on a mission. Might I add I was on a budget too. The shop was Curvy Girl Dresses and this little number was going to hang in my closet come hell or high water or Spanx.
Cost: $69.99 and free shipping. FREE!
Julie Johnson, owner of curvy girl dresses was a dream. She was lovely to communicate with and once I purchased the dress (sight/tried on unseen), it arrived in 2 days. Two! Lo and behold, the package was on my doorstep like lightning and I was giddy. I opened the wrapping with trembly little fingers. So much was built into this- would it fit, would I look like a Minecraft garden patch, blocky and floral? Or would this give me a waist, a swish when I walked....could I feel in fact, beautiful?
I tried it on and it fit like I tailored it. My bosom looked perky. My waist looked smaller. It wasn't too low in the bust- the fabric was silky and the sash was long enough to tie into a generous bow. It hit just below the knee with a bit of swing that reminded me of June Carter Cash. Best of all, I felt like a million bucks. No longer was I worried about how big I looked. I was in love with the kelly shade of fabric that had a bit of sheen, the birds, and the idea that not only was I two seconds from my graduation- but I was honoring my friend and nodding to my nursing program by wearing green. Might I also mention the dress is fully lined, has lovely edging on the hem and is made by Dress Barn, so it's not some sweat shop hack dress. For the record, I hate the name 'Dress Barn' too. Like we gals need further humiliation by insinuating we're buying clothes from a barn or resembling needing a dress as big as one...egads, you know some man cooked that store name up.
Anyway- back to the DRESS!
Score! *energetic fist pump*
Now I won't post full photos yet until I am wearing it all gussied up for my pinning. But here are some teasers...
Now don't judge the dress by the wrinkles- that is entirely my fault. When it's hanging up the bow ties at a different place than when I wear it, so it's crinkled from me tying it at my waist when I tried it on. I'm going to starch that bow when I wear it- bang! Gonna be rockin' this dress with a bow at my hip!
To make things even better, because there is not a prayer of me buying Valentino, I bought these red heels from 6pm.com:
|Diba heels in Flame Red|
I am so excited! I feel like my inspiration magically became real-life and I'm not wearing spandex or a shower curtain!
Between you and me, I am pleased as punch. And in case you're eyeballing my gorgeous little dress and pumps (hands off, minx! ha) here are a few examples of other great frocks from Curvy Girl Dresses. I've not seen prices higher than $69.99 and shipping is always free.
You can't tell me that these wouldn't look great on you- serious- smokin'!!
Seriously, thanks for shopping with me for my nursing grad dress and listening to my whine about my dressing room woes.
But thanks to Curvy Girl Dresses, that sun has set. It's a lovely relief to have something to wear that is like a dream come true and feels great on my skin. I know I'm going to look fabulous and I'm so excited! Thankfully too, I'll keep lookin' fly because I've found someplace that caters to a larger size demographic without sacrificing price or style.
Check out their shop and let me know if you see something you like. When you checkout, tell Julie that Tianne says hello and sent you her way. I want her to know how grateful I am for her lovely store and excellent customer service.
Have a great day,