Electro Swing TO: Sweethearts & Singles Speakeasy

TVS on Facebook         

Guess who’s just been invited to represent the Toronto Vintage Society at this fab ELECTRO SWING TO’s sweethearts & singles vintage speakeasy shindig?

Moi!

I’ll be juding the FASHION CONTEST!  Looking for the most DASHING DOLL & DAPPER DUDE, and also the most CLASSY COUPLE!   Fabulous prizes to be won by our generous event sponsors!

Wanna come? Check out the deets below, and come!

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Featuring
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DENIELLE BASSELS QUINTET ~ Swing Jazz Diva
LINDY HOP REVOLUTION ~ Swing Dance Session
DJ MEDICINEMAN ~ Vintage Beats & Bebop Whomp
THE GREAT GRANTSBY ~ Swing Hop House & Retro Visuals
CHARLIE QUINN ~ Burlesque Striptease
TORONTO VINTAGE SOCIETY ~ Fashion Contest for Best Dressed Singles & Couple

Friday, February 14
Revival Bar
Doors @ 9:00pm
$15 advance @ http://electroswingvalentine.eventbrite.com/

Early Bird: $15 (no fees)
Door: $20

Early bird tickets are limited. And yes, all tickets include the swing lesson session!

Dress to excess in 1920s & 30s vintage style!

Where:    Revival Bar

783 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M6G 1C5
 
 

BollyFuze, now what?

bollywoodThis past summer I found a fabulous GroupOn deal for 10-classes of BollyFuze!  The instructor (Melissa K) was fantastic and the studio space was great + located super central at StreetDanceAcademy at Queen W/Spadina Sts.  With classes on a Sunday that started at noon, made it perfect for me to still go out Saturday night, sleep in a bit and make the 45min walk down to the studio with a Starbees in hand 🙂

BollyFuze (formerly known as BollyFIT) is a Bollywood dance based workout designed to get you up and moving! Each class runs an hour-long, blending together elements of Indian Classical, Modern Bollywood & Folk dance with main stream fitness techniques that gives you a full body workout. Best part – BollyFuze is designed for all levels, ages & abilities …and with the energetic beats of Bollywood you totally trick your body into getting fit with hip-shaking-fun!

My class was even featured in this article.  I was getting soooooo good at these BollyFuze moves…as you can see by my announcement on Facebook:

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Sadly, the classes were moved to a smaller-not-as-nice-studio located in a more sketchy-ville part of the city by the Fall (Habeeba’s Dance – don’t let their website fool you friends – yikes!)  And now, this company no longer seems to offer classes in the downtown Toronto area..sigh. 😦

I’m getting restless with this polar vortex that is keeping me home more often than I like. With Spring around the corner I need to find my next fun fitness/dance class.   Any ideas? 

Leave a Comment with your suggestions and details of what you’ve tried and loved. 😉

#BoPo Art Installation

20140209-151746.jpgEarlier this month I blogged about my friend Karen and her hubs, Peter’s store anniversary party.  Their store, Your Big Sister’s Closet turned 1 this month and I was asked to be a window model for their Body Positivity Art Installation.  The concept was to make plus sized women more visible and to address what is not usually addressed.

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I have to admit, putting myself out there in the “real world” was harder than in the virtual one I’ve created via this blog, but it was a great opportunity to make a statement.  Me, along with a few others, were asked to wear  whatever fabulous clothes we looked and felt great in, and were to stand in their store-front window holding up a sign that has either displayed our weight or measurements or some other indication that we were a curvy, bodacious lady, and an adjective that describes ourselves.  So for instance,  Karen’s sign read: Size 20 & Fabulous!

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Originally when Karen reached out to me as “one of the most #bopo ladies in the city she knows.”..  I have to say, I didn’t know if that was a good thing or bad thing.  And upon researching ‘bopo’ via Urban Dictionary, I was very alarmed at its definition. But Google said #bopo stood for Body Positivity, which relieved my initial concerns – once I stopped laughing hysterically.  (Wanna know what was so funny? Check out Urban Dictionary’s def here … Ahem! No doubt that would certainly draw a crowd and make the news! But for all the wrong reasons, haha!)
Karen lined up a designer who came from NYC for a trunk show called Curvy Couture – showcasing bras right up to H cup – Hooray!  Along with a full candy bar, coffee and complimentary hair touch-ups and nail care all day from event sponsor Donato Salon + Spa.  Check out my “before” and “after” shots – big thank you to Michelle & Tracy for making and keeping me pretty all day!
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Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet amazing, positive and beautiful women!
Even networked with other plus fashion bloggers and hob-knobbed with Toronto celebs like Sheena Snively from MTV and the Full Figured Model, Ophilia Alleyne.
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Together we brought awareness to the public promoting a simple message: ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES!  My sign read: Curvy & Confident! 

Sizeism is widely considered to be the last socially acceptable form of prejudice. Body shaming happens every day, all over the city.  This Art Installation entitled “There’s No Right Way to Have a Body” was meant to bring awareness surrounding our society’s obsession with size and size shaming.

Overall, it was a Saturday well spent being ogled as a full-figured beauty in the window of Your Big Sister’s Closet! 🙂

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How I got The Look:
Mint & black lace sheer hi-lo top from Carpe Diem, Your Big Sister’s Closet (Dundas W/Clendenan Sts.)
Black crop top from Forever21+, Toronto Eaton Center
Solid black leggings from Old Navy, Toronto Eaton Center
Grey tall boots from Payless
Silver Medina bib necklace from Stella & Dot
Silver sparkle drop earrings from Bitter Sweet
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Epic Sale Haul + AGO’s First Thursdays

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Epic Sale that Doll Factory by Damzels was having this week.  Yesterday this sale finally hit the 50% off mark on ALL items store-wide!  I hit the Roncy location to find that all the clothes were cleverly sorted by size (huge win) and I was surprised to see that the plus size selection was sprawled across multiple racks, rather than a single sad corner hidden in the back of a store

The store’s staff were fab, as always. At one point I had several shopgirls dotting on me running my collection of ‘try-ons’ into the fitting room.    I’m usually a solid size 18.  Depending on the style and cut of the dress, how much stretch/room there is in the hips and boobs are the ultimately what determine’s the size I’ll fit into.  The trick with shopping in a boutique shop like this one is that you MUST try on EVERYTHING, as the size you typically are won’t necessarily be the size you’ll fit into flatteringly. 

After trying on nearly half of their plus size racks, turns out I’m able to fit into their size 12s, 14s and XLs too. 

My mini-haul at 50% off included the following:

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I’ll be sure to provide ya’ll details on each dress once I’ve made them into outfits in upcoming blog posts friends…stay tuned. 🙂

That evening I had tickets for the Art Gallery of Ontario, AGO’s First Thursday’s event and decided to wear something from my above haul! 

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There were upwards of 500 tickets sold for this event!  And everyone was dressed very well and oh-so trendy.  My gf and I noticed how many fashion toques were among the crowd —  you get to hide your greasy-static-ridden-hair, whilst keeping toasty warm — think we both need to jump on this bandwagon soonest!

As we people-watched and got drinks at the bar, I immediately spotted MY black n’ white high-waisted flared skirt  glide past me several times that night.   Sigh…it’s a gorgeous skirt.  I ain’t mad at her for buying and wearing it.  But this is the problem with finding fashionable-plus-petite-pieces in shops like Forever21 – since they’re super cheap it makes it super easy for EVERYONE to buy it too!

That’s why when boutique shops like Doll Factory by Damzels have sales, it’s an excellent time to scoop up fab deals on outfits that ONLY YOU will have. 🙂

Tons of fun at the AGO last night.  Check out our foodie-sculptures, the live band complete with electric xylophone and duelling DJs.  Thursdays’ are clearly the New Friday!

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How I got The Look:

Zebra patterned long-sleeved sweater dress from Aryeh, Doll Factory by Damzels (Roncessvales & Dundas W Sts.)

Cherry pendent necklace & matching earings from Jubly-Umph Originals,  Doll Factory by Damzels (Roncessvales & Dundas W Sts.)

Rocker-chick buckle+zipper booties from Aldo

Making Old, New Again

I take pretty good care of my clothes, steaming and sending items for dry cleaning regularly.  So when pieces no longer fit right or get too big/small for me, I have a hard time simply donating them to Goodwill. As they are usually quality, expensive items which have often only been worn once!

In the past, I’d store them in Rubbermaid containers taking up valuable real estate in my storage unit.  Occasionally I’d swap a few pieces with a gf or two who, like me, go up-and-down in weight regularly.  Last summer, I discovered a fantastic first-time-event called BigDealToronto where various plus sized bloggers join forces and throw a pop-up sale where we get to shop their closets!  But since I wasn’t a blogger nor in-the-know about these things, I simply shopped their racks and picked me up a few new-to-me gems for crazy low prices!

Then later that year I attended an event called Consign Your Curves, similar idea where 22 plus size fashionistas, including blogger/model Karyn aka KillerKurves and fashion designer Jessica Biffi rented clothing racks in a warehouse to sell their gently used or never been worn plus size clothing.  This time I could actually participate and sell my items!  This was a huge undertaking as I ended up pricing, tagging and carting 6 containers full of fab barely worn clothes for an entire afternoon resulting in a total sales of upwards of $200!  Pretty damn good return on a Saturday spent in Guelph…considering these clothes were going to new homes to be loved, rather than just sitting taking up space in my storage unit.

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This year, I’m trying to keep a promise I made to myself – repurpose and refresh as much as I can from my current closet without buying more stuff.   So I began with taking inventory of my closet, pulling out the pieces in the back that I haven’t seen in a while and I noticed that much of what was back there was either too long, needed repair (loose buttons, torn seam, fallen hem, etc.) and to my delight, too big!

There were a number of pieces that upon second look, I’d like to have altered/fixed/adjusted and reintroduce them into my wardrobe.  Here’s a list of the items (sadly, it only occurred to me to take ‘before’ pics now, so I do not have any to share for all the items on my Fix-it List below):

  • 2 dresses I picked up from ConsignYourCurves event – one needs a seam re-stichted, the other needs the arms & neckline taken in which means a whole new zipper moved
  • 1 long dress from Reitmans I swapped a gf for many moons ago – it’s kinda of frumpy on me with its current length, so I’m shortening it significantly….dun dun dunnn
  • 1 lace-illusion skirt from Lane Bryant – this needs to be taken in nearly 4 inches (yay!)
  • 1 hi-low new-ish dresses from Forever21+… but being petite the entire hi-lo needs to begin higher.
  • And lastly…the below Groovy Polka Dot dress, also from Forever21+

This is what its suppose to look like…stopping mid-thigh.  Isn’t it cute?  

And here’s what it looks like on me: The front is wayyyy too long.   The back is super cute with the cutouts…buuut not so easy to wear a bra.  I love-love-loved this dress!  So much that I have already worn it to the office a few times with the lenght as is, wearing a long open sweater cardi with it.  But it def needs adjustments.

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Since moving to Queen West, I’m yet to find new VIPs I need in my life: a Vet, a Dog Groomer, a Nail Salon , a Dry Cleaner and a Tailor/Seamstress.  I’ve recently found a combination Dry Cleaner/Alterations spot on Duffrin @ King West Sts.  They’ve promised to work their magic and have all my above items ready for pick-up by Monday. 

Stay tuned for the results and for my review of their shop & sewing skills friends.  Fingers crossed they make me love these pieces again! 🙂

Valentine’s Day Outfit for the Petite Plus

When it comes to finding perfect outfits for special occasions, unfortunately, petite plus-size options are few and far between. Not so often I’ve stumbled upon an articles or blog posts that specifically speak to being petite and plus sized. They’re out there if you’re willing to do a little searching.

With Valentine’s around the corner – a romantic day taking place during Toronto’s first long weekend since Xmas holidays, I’ve allowed myself a few extra days off work to just enjoy being single in the city. My plan is to combine lots of ME time with at least one day of complete indulgence at a Spa with a gf(s) + a fab dinner + good wine, where we have an excuse to get all dolled-up and paint the town red…or pink, my fav!

 Marie Denee aka The Curvy Fashionista is a well-known plus sized diva and blogger who has put together a few Valentines Day looks specifically for the curvy petite woman. Take a look at what she’s come up with – just love her style!
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2014 Liebster Blog Award

 

This past weekend I found that the lovely and talented vintage diva, Shermy from http://www.shermette.com, nominated moi for a Liebster award!

What the heck is the Liebster Blog Award you ask….

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that lovely? Image
The value behind this award is for us to get to know other bloggers who might not be well-known, yet have a lot to share.  Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

Thank you Shermy for the nomination and kudos babe!   Especially nice to know that in the extremely short time I’ve been apart of the blogosphere, you – the collective ‘you’- You like me! You really like me! 🙂

Shermy’s questions for me were the following in bold, my answers beneath each:

1. What is your favourite non-vintage related hobby?
Dog-walking or ‘urban hiking’.  Can’t wait for the warmer weather to get here already so I can really explore my new hood and surrounding neighbourhoods of West Toronto.

2. Do you plan your blog posts far in advance, or do you post on a whim?
It’s a combination of both. Sometimes when I’m in ‘the zone’…I find writing multiple posts so easy. I try and save them as drafts and publish them sparingly so that I don’t bombard my followers inboxes. Also, when I’m less inspired to write, I’ll always have something pending to update and share.

3. What is your favourite place that you have ever visited?
Oooo that’s tough. The most recent trip tends to trump the last, likely because the memories of the most recent are still sitting in the front of my brain. This past October I explored Peru for a week on an organized tour group. Never done one of those before – and was pleasantly surprised at how many friendships that were developed that week, many of them have carried on via regularly Facebook chitchats and some even made it to Christmas Card exchanges this year. The trip itself was one that challenged me both physically and personally.  Climbing Machu Picchu…thought I was gonna die on that mountian…alttitue is no joke, let me tell ya.  The trip resulted in some major self-discovery and made me re-evaluate the types of people and friendships I’ve chosen to keep in my life.

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4. What is your favourite thing about yourself?
Yikes!  That’s a toughie. It’s taken me a long time to really embrace who I am…personality flaws, waistline, crazy upbringing and all.  But I can honestly say, now, today I truly do like who I am!  My most favourite thing about me is my ability to shine regardless of what cards are dealt to me.  It may take me a minute to lick my wounds, get myself on track and back on my feet.  But I always do.  Um, I also like my eyes…and I have a fantastic rack too! 🙂

5. Do you have any pets? If yes, what are they?
Yes! I’ve got a beautiful 12-year old Pomeranian pup named Bert aka The Berto!  He is by far the best well-behaved dog ever, and is a total flirt.  Can’t go out for a walk without people stopping to ooo & ahh him.  Can you blame them really…they’re only human.  He’s my heart! These pics were taken two summers ago at Toronto’s Woofstock – a festival for dogs. A photographer insisted Bert be his muse…yup…that’s the kinda of attention this pup elicits from strangers. How can you not fall in love with that face.

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6. What is your favourite makeup product?
To be honest, I’m not big into make up.  I’m a press-powder, eyeliner and lipgloss type of gal.  Occasionally I’ll find a fab shade of blush and eye-lash extending masscara that I’ll devour.  But once it’s gone, I tend to pick up whatever’s on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart.  Typically Cover Girl and Maybelline products. Easy peasy.  That’s me in the makeup department.

7. Are you an early riser, or a night owl?
Over the last year I seemly have given up sleeping at night.  My body just doesn’t want me to sleep anymore it seems.  Afterall, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.   I do seem to get my energies, gusto, enthusiasm to write and get work done in the wee hours of the AM.  So I’d say these days’ I’m more of a night owl type chick.

8. What is your favourite piece of clothing?
Well lately I’ve been all over this circle scarf I picked up back in November from Aldo.  It’s a light-weight simple beige toned bird patterned scarf, that I find myself adding to any and all outfits I whip up, especially on the weekends for running errands or impromptu meet-ups for brunch, drinks and the like.

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9. If you could go back in time and attend a party (think Cinderella), whose party would it be?

Hummm….so Disney Princesses…I’m thinking Little Mermaid’s Ariel.  She, by far, scored the handsomest prince of them all in the Disney sagas.  Yup. Def wanna party with that fishy chick! 🙂

10. If you could erase one fashion faux-pas from your teenage years, what would it be?

Hair Crimping!  It’s awesome! It’s always been awesome!  For thin-dead-straight-haired girls like me….the giant full-bodied crimped crazy hair is da bomb!

11. Favourite movie?

Princess Bride.  Hands down!  Can watch that flick (and do!) multiple times a year…especially if I’m sick.  And I can recite it word for word with the movie on mute.  “inconceivable!” “Anybody want a peanut?” “Hello. My Name is Inigo Mantoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare To Die!” “I’m Not A Witch! I’m Your Wife!”  “As You Wish.”   Classic!

I now have to nominate 11 other up-and-coming bloggers/blog sites and come up with a series of questions for them to answer.  Give me time friends…I’ve got to do more reading and exploring on the blogosphere before I can complete this step.  Stay tuned…xo

Mint & Lepoard

Ooooo….it’s -1 in Toronto today! Not quite patio-season, but pretty close 🙂

Sadly the streets and sidewalks are covered in ice and slush, which means winter boots are in full effect – cute shoes need not apply. Sigh…

mint stone neclaceI’m headed into the office for a workshop, one that I’m attending not delivering. And am hoping to meet up for an after work drink with a handsome new boy…so here’s the outfit I’ve put together for a Monday-at-the-office-straight-to-drinks look:

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My fave bit about my outfit today is the fab necklace!!! Found this cute lil’ boutique on St. Clair West last year (when I lived midtown) and totally fell in love with this piece. The shop girl informed me that they only purchased a few pieces from an exclusive supplier in NYC. There were matching earings, however the stones were off colour and I wasn’t feeling them.

Just downloaded a camera timer app to my phone…so these pics are a combination of mirror selfies + self-timer.  Enjoy!

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How I got The Look:
Mint lace shoulder top from Forever21+, Toronto Eaton Center
High-waisted lepoard pencil skirt from ChicStar, SexyPlus Clothing (Rosedale/Yonge Sts.)
Stone necklace from One Girl Who (St. Clair W/Bathurst Sts.)
Michael Kors white ceramic watch
Taupe pumps from Paylessmint6