Operation: Balcony Summer Ready

It’s August long weekend in Canada!!!  What prefect timing to post about a little project I’ve been working on called Operation: Balcony Summer Ready!

I’ve lived in my condo in downtown Toronto coming on to 5 years now…and in all that time, I’ve never really used my balcony. :/

Sad but true.  It’s main purpose all these years has been to house demoted furniture that I’m not ready to part with – staying true to my South Asian roots. 😛

 

0ed2d500-01d2-4235-b3e4-856c5676d60d
Oh yes, that is a LaZboy armchair out there within a weather resistant cover. Huge Transformation “before” vs. “after” riiiight!? 🙂

I spent hours on Pinterest looking at what design worthy people did to their wee outdoor spaces and had some faves pinned, in hopes to recreate something similar myself.

Now, my first attempt alone in trying to get this balcony pretty and useable was… um, pitiful!!! 😦

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 2.36.23 PM

Enlisting the help of a tall, handy and clever friend made all the difference to this space. Thanks Five Seventeen!!! ❤

What did we do & use to transform this space?

4 panels of curtains that I already had in storage – winning!  I bought a curtain rod from Ikea (cheap).  The rod was hung via zap-straps (already had those in my toolbox), which means I’m not technically breaking any condo rules. 😉

Then a string of outdoor bulb lights I bought a while back from a cross-boarder shopping trip.

The only major purchase to get the space to this point was a large lavender plant (who’s still alive and well –  FYI) from COSTCO $10.

Simply re-adjusting the location of some of my existing demoted furniture already out there, was key to getting the space to this level!

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 2.37.28 PM
Oh yah…I repurposed that Jug of Beer into a vase. Those faux flowers were $8 a stem (I think) from Ikea.
The best part of Operation: Balcony Summer Ready is that this new-found space has added about 30+ sq feet to my living space!!!  That may not sound like much…but that’s  kinda of a big deal for us downtown-dwellers living in shoebox-sized condos!!!

There’s been a lot of rain this summer, yet I’ve been totally dry and comfortable in my brick-enclosed cozy balcony space. ❤ Don’t believe me, check the video to see what I mean:

With a little imagination and perhaps a space heater… maybe I can make this outdoor space useable ALL-YEAR round!!! 😀

Oh!  You may remember that last scene with an out-of-place LaZboy armchair that totally not giving off  ‘balcony vibes’, right?

Solution: Flamingo fabric tablecloth.  Boom!

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 2.38.52 PM
It pays to shop all-the-time. How else would I have come across this perfect flamingo tablecloth at Winners! ❤
Since I’ve been off work and home for a little bit this summer… most of my time has been spent out here on the balcony, enjoying my new-to-me outdoor space with my two favourite things for company … 😉

I’ve even used this space to dry laundry – saving me $$ and avoiding being a strain on the grid. #morewinning

Plus, it was THE perfect venue for being barefoot with takeout and wine while hosting friends for Canada Day 150!  Yay!!!

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 3.32.06 PM
THIS was the view from my balcony!!!! Click photo for fireworks in full action 🙂
I’m just so thrilled with what this new-found space has allowed me to do these past months. ❤ ❤ ❤

But I think my most favourite activity is sitting out there solo, late-late night with string lights aglow, with a lil’ medical J ***inhales deeply, exhale slowly*** in my Zen Zone!

img_3062
Those are my crossed legs…relaxing in the evening hours in The Zen Zone ❤

Now, it’s not exactly “Martha Stewart” sophisticated and beautiful… It’ll do for this now. I’m pretty happy with it. 🙂

I’ve managed to update the insides of my place too.  It’s been a long time coming… but Operation: Apartment Refresh is has made some significant gains over the year.  Stay tuned! 

Then stay tuned every Monday and Wednesday for new content, plus throwback posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Hope I can count on you to join me then. ❤

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

PPMEOW logo1

Boobs & Bra-blems

Did you know that 90% of women are wearing the wrong bra size!? 😮

Did you know that many women (myself included) also take several different bra sizes, depending on the shape, cut, fabric and brand of the bra. :/

AND….did you know most women are not entirely symmetrical, meaning they may have uneven breasts! 😮

78348578_l
Photo taken from the article: New York Women Draw Their Own Boobs

Your shape is unique, which makes it sometimes difficult to find bras that are made in standard sizes, work for you.  I am desperately in need of a bra-shopping-haul.

Buuuuuuut with the CAD$ being in the toilet right now, cross-boarder shopping and online shopping has been put on pause until further notice. 😦

So I thought we could all use a good ol’ rant about boobs and our bra-blems!!!

Underwires stabbing you in the chest.

Straps constantly falling down.

Riding up back-band.

Oh and a personal favourite: The Quadboob…ugh! #TheWorst8c1dcb70-1761-0132-084e-0eae5eefacd9

Just writing these few frustrations is annoying enough.

But we – the boob having ones – have to deal with these frustrations on a daily basis, forever!!!

No wonder all of us women agree that ripping off your bra the moment you walk in the door at the end of a long day is THE MOST glorious feeling!12592515_10153563371154072_4260555242844716905_n

So, let’s look at some solutions to some of these common bra-blems…

BACK BAND RIDING UP

If the band of your bra rides up in the back (i.e. curves towards your neck, not straight across your back), that indicates that the  band size is too big.

Solution:  Go down a band size.

Remember that the cup and band are not independent; cup volume changes if you change only the band size. And every brand of bras is different … so its best to get properly bra fitted EVERY TIME you’re out shopping for a new bra.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 12.12.53 PM

QUADBOOB + UNDERWIRE POKE

Quadboob occurs when breasts spill over the cups, either on the tops or out the sides (like into the armpit area), giving an impression of four breasts.  If this happens, generally that means the cup is too small and you need to go up a cup size.

Sometimes even if the cups are the right volume, too wide wires can cause a bra to cut into the breast tissue, making the bra look too small. Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 12.12.43 PM

If the underwire frequently pops out the bra, the band is too large or the wire has been overly distressed by too small of a cup.  Typically, go up in cup size and down in band size.

To avoid underwire betrayal aka poke-outs and try to protect the longevity of your bras ….

you should never put them in a washing machine! 😮

fucking-bra-racket

 

How many of you actually hand wash your dedicates… like your bras? :/

I have to admit, the best I do is clasp them and shove them into a mesh bag so that I can toss them in with whatever load of laundry is about to be done.

Not a good move if you’re trying to extend the life of your bras.

Did You Know That….

Bras should never be washed in hot water ….

And they should never be put in a tumble dryer….

AND every time they are washed...you should stretch the wet underwire casing just after washing to avoid shrinkage??Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 12.33.12 PM

Me neither!

I had no idea I was taking such poor care of my bras.

It made me think… am I even putting on my bra the ‘right’ way?!? 😮

ThridLove published a Fit Issue  that has a few more tips for ya, if you’re interested.

What are some of YOUR bra-blems?

Share them with me and your solution (if you got any) in the Comments section below 🙂

 

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Comment. Share.

PPMEOW logo1

Asia: Clothes vs. Backpack

In exactly TWO Fridays, I’ll be at the airport on my way to the tropics to explore and live as beach bum for nearly a month with only the items I bring on my back – literally.

With all my many flights and connections, I’ve decided NOT to check any luggage.  Which means, I’ve gotta come up with 22-days worth of outfits NEEDS to fit into my 1 piece of carry-on below … yikes! 😮

My immediate thought:  Where Do The SHOES Go!??!?!

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 4.28.45 PM

When I did my big trip to India, I bought myself a sturdy Women’s North Face backpack with Opti Fit™ System provides an intuitive, adjustable, easy-to-use-tool to measure torso length to ensure a correct fit.  This was a big deal since I’m all of 5’2 – these adjustments were critical.  The shoulder harness easily slides up or down according to user’s back length, and cam locks pack in place. This pack is also tough enough to withstand the forces of nature and airport security.

It was pretty expensive (I picked it up on sale when I bought it back in 2012), but within the world of backpacks and suitcases it’s certainly worth the investment if you’re planning on traveling long-term.

 

Thank you for your comments and suggestions on the Petite Plus, Meow’s FB page … it has helped me come up with a checklist to pack the essentials.

I went out and bought myself a new Travel Purse aka Day-Trip Bag … its material is apparently slash-proof and has a cut-proof shoulder strap too.  I’ve been warned about aggressive pickpockets where I’m headed, so it’s kinda nice knowing my bag won’t be such as easy victim.  Especially since this will be the bag I keep my most prized possessions like money, credit cards, passport and snacks from airport to airport.

71TBcCCdhXL._SL1500_
Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag in black

 

The weather is expected to be tropical super-summer-heat for the month of  March (30+ degrees).  Plus, the main religions present in the three countries I’ll be exploring are: Islam, with significant Buddhist, Hindu and Christian minorities.  These are the two factors I’ve gotta keep in mind when coming up with outfit choices for the trip.

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you know that ROUND 1 of determining what to pack was an epic fail!!!  😦

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 1.52.16 PM

ROUND 2 was much better.

Tah-Dah!!!  This is what I’ve managed to streamline my choices.  Here’s what I’ll be bring in my backpack …

FullSizeRender-8

  1. Thin long pants.  I plan on wearing these on my flight days.
  2. Sun hat.  Packed one that bounces back into shape, regardless of being packed in my carry-on.
  3. Large, thin scarf.  This is great for a chilly night out and useful for covering up shoulders, head and cleavage as needed.   Plus it dresses up an ordinary outfit – cute scarves make it look like I’m at least trying.
  4. Belt.  Figured it would give me more options when mix and matching, giving an outfit a different/new look.
  5. Comfort tank tops (x4).  For daytime activities and easy beachwear.
  6. Sarong.  This not only can be a cover up at the beach…. but it can act as a fast trying towel, a sheet to picnic on, blanket for an over air-conditioned bus ride.
  7. Swimsuits (x2-3).  I just got my GabiFresh Swimsuitsforall – my first two-piece ever! These will be making their debut Fo Sho!!
  8. Sun dresses (x5). These are basically what I wear everyday.  Plus one extra one that currently fits me perfectly that I’m hoping to get copied by a tailor in Vietnam.
  9. Lounge shorts. I’m not a bit shorts wearer, but figured in 30+ degree weather I may want something quick n’ easy to pull for those lazy mornings.
  10. Nice tank tops (x3) for dinners out or party evenings.
  11. Sleep clothes.
  12. Small cross-body purse.  Great for heading out to dinner when I don’t need to carry much – this one has a wristlet strap too. The cross-body strap is nice because I never have to take it off, even when sitting.  And I can adjust the strap to fit across my waist (like a fanny pack) at swing dancing events.  This helps deter would-be purse snatchers.
  13. Sun glasses (x2).  I’m known for losing a pair of sunnies on every vacation I take, so I always bring along two … lesson learned
  14. Flip flops.  Bring one pair that can get wet for the beach.  Plus, need something to walk around in the hotel room (and possibly in the shower).
  15. Slip-on shoes.  I plan on swing dancing while I’m there, and my usual dance shoes needed replacement and more support.  So I bought myself some cute black Champions memory foam that can be sporty or dressed up.  These will likely be what I wear on planes too (with a pair of socks).
  16. Walking sandals.  Something light, breathable, and easy to slip on is fantastic in hot, beachy climates…, or if I have a big day sight-seeing.  I plan on wearing these the most all trip, so these are also memory foam supported.
  17. Black pencil skirt.  This basic piece will help transform any of the top options into evening/party wear.
  18. Tee-shirts (x2).  For travel days so my backpack doesn’t rub on my bare shoulders.

 + tons of panties & bras that go with most of my outfits above.  There you have it….22 days of outfits in 1 backpack…HAZZA!!! 😀

Happy to report that I’ve done a practice run at packing my pack — using the ‘burrito method’, where you layer clothes flat onto of each other and then roll them all up together and end up with one giant burrito of travel clothes…which then easily fit into a long backpack (like mine), maximizing the space.

I’ll likely bring along a simple solid cardigan too for the flights … I haven’t figured out my “Pearson Airport” outfit yet, but I’m determined to wear items out of the above in layers, reducing the bulk of my backpack a bit more.  And, am aiming to leave my winter coat at home.

So glad I tackled this well in advance of my trip, as I was really anxious.  I hear it isn’t easy finding larger clothes in the cities I’ll be visiting.  With all my many connections, the possibility of losing my luggage filled with PLUS SIZE clothing was terrifying.  Even more motivation to only travel with carry-on!

lost-luggage

I’m very proud of myself for being able to streamline my choices as much as I have.  And I’m determined to continue treating the world as my runway … even if it means wearing pieces that are wrinkled repeats that have been slightly re-accessoried to give me a new look from my travel backpack.

South East Asia … here I come!  Akkk! 😀

To find out where exactly I’m going click here.  To find out what to know before you go, click here.

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Comment. Share.   

PPMEOW logo1

A New Year, A New Start

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!

This month (January 6th to be exact) Petite Plus, Meow! turns ONE YEAR old!  I’m truly humbled by the positive response the blog has gotten so far.  Thank you.

My very first outfit post, entitled:   Peplum, Pencil Skirt and Pink Pumps really shows how green I was to the world of fashion blogging – complete with uncreative title, with no clue what I was really doing in terms of key words/tagging – simply publishing content with no one to read it, basically.   Somewhere over the 170 blogpost write-ups of last year (yup…that’s how many there were),  I think my personality, charm, wit and modesty 😉 began to come across – or at least I hope it has.

1-Year-Blog-Anniversary

As much as I love fashion  – I’ve never felt like an authority on anything fashion related.  This Fashion & Lifestyle blog started as a fun outlet – and continues to be a place to capture all those things I’m passionate about, new things I discover and try, thoughts and general musing that take place in my life, with the occasional quote/comic that inspire and amuse me …. shared with readers in hopes that you’ll enjoy them too.

Two years ago, the world as I knew it was turned upside down, and I got an opportunity to reassess and really focus on me again.   I began investing in higher quality fashionable pieces of clothing, shoes and accessories – decorating my outside in an effort to uplift my inside.  The more ‘grey’ I felt, the more dressed up I would get, sticking to that old adage of ‘fake it ‘til I make it’…if I LOOKED happy and put-together then I’d eventually FEEL that way too.  And it totally worked!

The last year of blogging has definitely helped boost my own self-image, self-love, body acceptance and self-confidence.  And for that, I am forever grateful. As much as I loved my life last year – I often find myself asking “There’s gotta be more to life than THIS?”

I’m not really one for New Year Resolutions… but this year, my focus is simple:  Getting and Staying Happy! 🙂

In an effort to figure out exactly how to get started with this lofty goal I applied the STOP-START-CONTINUE approach to behavioural change.  It is also often used in feedback surveys in Adult Instruction (i.e., my day job).  In business management before the new year begins management will often ask these three questions:

368_Stop_Start_Continue

1.   What can we STOP that is not producing the desired outcome?

2.  What can we START doing to produce the results that we are looking for?

3.  What are we doing that we should CONTINUE doing that is working/producing the desired results?

This same business principle can be applied to our own life in making this year the best year possible.  In order for this to really be effective, we do need to set goals and monitor the progress so we can make corrections as they are needed, but this is a good start to turning an idea into action.  Better than a New Year Resolution I think 🙂

OK.  Now that I’ve explained the concept, let me apply it … and by capturing it on the blog it will keep me accountable to monitor the progress of each item – win:win.

2015 will be the year I will STOP:

  • Making excuses for people.  When people show you their true colours – believe them, the first time.  This applies to everyone – friends – old and new, love interests, family members, co-workers and networking contacts.  “Family isn’t always blood.  It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are.  The ones who love you no matter what.”  
  • Being overly critical of myself and of others, when it comes to my career-expectations.  I need to adjust my expectations – personal fulfilment and satisfaction isn’t solely achieved in or by one’s work-life.  And that’s ok.

2015 will be the year I will START:

  • Shopping Less and Travelling More – with or without a travel mate.  Which means I gotta learn to drive.  Drivers and pedestrians of Toronto streets, you’ve been warned. Dun dun dunnnn…
  • Turning off Netflix to read more.  Perhaps we can start a virtual book club on PPMeow! Thoughts?
  • Cooking more using recipes I’ve never tried before.  And sharing my culinary accomplishments and fails on the blog.

2015 will be the year I will CONTINUE:

  • Blogging and Instagram’ing regularly about What I Wore AND What I Did. Outfits of the Day, shopping sprees, fashion collaborations and new collection launches,  as well as reviews of the various products I try, events I attend and other lifestyle activities I participate in …especially if for the first time.
  • Surrounding myself with positive, interesting, enthusiastic, fun people.  Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.  When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced — whether we like it or not — by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions.  Positivity begets positivity.  Negativity….ain’t nobody got time for that.

TA-DAH!!!  There you have it.  My Action Plan for 2015.  Are these things above gonna make me get and keep me happy?  Who knows.  But it’s a good start for the New Year ahead for PPMeow! 🙂

Hoping this first week of 2015 is starting of right for each of you….and that you’ll continue to follow me & the blog on our adventures all year long.

What do you have planned to tackle and accomplish this year?  Taking a look at things in your own life – what can you do to make this year better than last year?  Would you try using this STOP-START-CONTINUE approach to help you do just that?  Tell me about it in the comment section.

word cloud for year 2015

Happy New Year once again, and let me know what positive changes you are making in your life.

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Comment. Share.   🙂

PPMEOW logo1

 

Corsets: Let’s Get The Skinny

Ok friends… I’ve been working on this post for a little while.   I was worried about what the backlash would be from readers.  So I feel I must write this preamble first:

I believe there is not ‘right way’ to have a body. You can be the healthiest version of yourself and never come close to being model-skinny. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  THIS is the body I was supposed to have, and I’m determined to actively celebrate it …. now …. and as I see fit!!!   It’s taken me a long time to get to this level of self-acceptance, it’s a work in progress, but I’m thrilled to finally be here.   After all, isn’t owning your body the healthiest thing of all?

Having said all this, I am a huge fan of foundational undergarments that help smooth bulges and hides the lumps & bumps under clothes so that they lay more smoothly against the body.  Corsets have been around for over 100 years and many have rediscovered the corset’s versatility to not only accentuate a woman’s curves, but to provide relief and support for the back, in fashion, in costumes worn either under or over clothing, and in waist training to help achieve a different waist shape over time.

Recently I joined the #measuremebeautiful campaign and measured myself: 48 – 40 – 48.  My Bust.  My Waist.  My Hips.  Turns out I’m a natural “hourglass” shape.  But regardless of what your natural shape is, if an hourglass shape is what you want, you can have it … by getting yourself into a corset.

body shape chart

 

CheChe of AlterEgo Clothing reached out to PPMeow! to help a newbie  – ME –  with all the ‘need-to-knows” before buying a corset.

Types of Corset – which is best for You?

There are two main styles of corsets:  Over-the-Bust and Under-the-Bust.  Under-the-bust is probably the most wearable as it can be worn like a laced belt to tighten  and tame the waist. It’s basically a large belt.  The two most popular styles at AlterEgo are the “Waist Cincher” (i.e. without hip flare recommended for those who have a more straight physique)  and the “Waist Trainer” (i.e. with a hip flare recommended for those who are hippy-er….like moi).

corset1
The Waist Cincher (left) vs. The Waist Trainer (right)

What Makes a Quality Corset?

A Real Corset will have steel-boning.  The boning in corsets is necessary to keep that taut design that stops the corset from folding with your body.   Bodices, which look somewhat like corsets, will be much cheaper in both price and quality, and they will not have any boning of any kind in them.  True corsets need to have strong fabric, such as heavyweight canvas or cotton, which supports the structure.  You should be able to yank on a corset’s fabric without anyone worrying that you’re going to rip it apart. This is not necessarily the outer layer that people see, there is usually a fashion layer that has “prettier” fabric. 🙂

DSC03332
The inside of this corset: Notice the double steel boning and modesty panel (this is the extra flap of fabric to hide the strings once tied up)

How Much Do They Cost?

Corsets are investment pieces.   Translation: a good quality corset is expensive (upwards of $100).  When buying a corset you have to think about how often you want to wear it.  Everyday? Once in a while?  Very occasionally?  Go for an affordable make with steel bones to keep you rigid.  Remember:  you get what you pay for, so be prepared to get the type of corset you are willing to buy.   A high-quality corset will last for years. If you are not willing to spend, chances are you are not going to get anything of a decent quality.   AlterEgo’s corsets begin at the $130 price point.

What Size Should You Buy?

You should buy a corset which will reduce your natural waist by  4-6 inches. So if your natural waist line is, say, 40 inches, you should buy one that is 34-36″.  Incredible, but true!!  Now, the length of your torso is of great importance, so be sure to check all measurement charts and carefully compare them with your measurements when selecting.   Plus, so much can depend on personal tolerances for compression, your goals for your corset, what you wear under your corset, the “squish vs firm” factor.  AlterEgo will help you with the math and measurement – there is a bit of science to it.  😉

petite plus meow corsets
Same corset just with modest panel flipped to reveal lace-up. This one measures 32 inches.

How to Wear a Corset? 

Traditional corsets have a busk front (a stiffened section with fastenings like hooks and eyes) and a lace-up back. The strings draw together in a bow at the centre of the garment (not the top or the bottom as I assumed).  The idea is that you hook the front first then tighten the back (with help, if necessary) to your fit. Don’t worry if the edges of the garment don’t meet at first.  Eventually they will, I’m told.  🙂    There’s a ‘modesty panel’, which is an extra flap of fabric that can be folded in (like I’ve done in the photos below) so that you’re able to see the lace-up back more clearly.

How to Care For & Clean a Corset?

If you’re going to be wearing your corset underneath clothing, you might want to consider wearing  a thin tank top, rather than have the corset against your body, to maintain the life and freshness of your piece.  This will help prevent having to clean your corset often.  For spot-cleaning you can use a mild detergent and/or use a fabric freshener like Febreze.  NEVER use the washing machine.   From time to time you might want to have your corset professionally dry-cleaned if you wear it often.

corset before after
I’m wearing a 32″ cotton Waist Trainer style above… Tummy be gone! 🙂

Being top-heavy/busty/a member of the-big-titty-committee, I constantly deal with lower back pain.  I  was pleasantly surprised at how much pressure it relieved off my back instantly, while improved my posture and making me look taller!    I have to admit, I was and still am a little overwhelmed at the amount of boob that seemed to be at dangerously suffocating levels whenever I sat down..LOL (sorry for the blurry pics below).  BUT overall, wearing a corset made me feel like a sexy, brown  Jessica Rabbit …. MEOW indeed!!! 🙂

corset sitting
Sitting in a corset isn’t the easiest thing to do….lifting the boobs to suffocatingly dangerous heights!

Personally, wearing one of these on a regular basis isn’t for me.  I have no interest in wasit-training.  Nor do I have an extra hand in-house to help with the lace-up back … and I’m wayyyy too impatient to learn to do it myself.  But, I could totally see myself changing the look of an OOTD by wearing a corset overtop of it.  And for those sung-fitting outfits I’ve been avoiding, wearing a corset underneath would put them back into my closet rotation.  PLUS, with all the fun-filled events with the Toronto Vintage Society, I can totally see myself wearing a corset for an event or two!

With Cheche’s help, we spent a fun afternoon playing dress-up and finding a perfectly fitting corset, just for me.

The photos above were of a simple cotton “Waist Trainer” style corset.  But there are a ton of customizable options for you too!!!  AlterEgo‘s corsets are made in Canada and custom orders takes approximately 2-4weeks to arrive.  AND they can be shipped directly to your home!  I can’t wait for mine!

corset variety
There are tons of customizations available too (L to R): Gold satin, Black lace, Black Leather halter and Black PVC with laced up hip flare. There are also Bridal options too – just ask!
long corset
Talk about WOW – this custom black lace floor-length tail corset is amazing!

Stayed tuned to PPMeow! for an upcoming post showcasing previous OOTDs Before vs. After THE Corset – where I’ll recreate some of my previous Outfits of the Day pictures, only this time WEARING my new AlterEgo Corset to showcase the transformational differences.  Weeeeeee!!!

Thinking of getting a corset of your own? Mention that Irene from Petite Plus, Meow! sent you — Cheche at AlterEgoClothing will take extra special care of you 😉

 Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Share. Tell A Friend, friend 🙂

PPMEOW logo1

Do You Know Your Measurements?

I’ve recently been shopping with a couple of slender, vintage loving ladies in my life – both of whom have mad sewing abilities, who come armed with tape measure whenever they are hunting for fabulous vintage finds.  Both of these lovelies are avid online clothing shoppers as well.  The key thing I noticed with both of them is that they knew exactly what their measurements were.  Plus, they had a keen eye for what materials and fabrics … knowing what could be taken in/let out easily for possible adjustments to make these new-to-them-pieces work perfectly for their bods (mad skills I tell you).

So let me ask you……Do you know your measurements?

measure-sales-results

The majority of women don’t.  I certainly didn’t.  Perhaps I was too scared to know what they are.  Aside from us all getting over the bad habit of comparing ourselves to other women, society has taught us that only thin can be beautiful.   With most ads showcasing perfectly airbrushed tall and skinny women to promote impossible standards of beauty, it’s no wonder we struggle with self-acceptance.  Sigh…  But we – people – come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

You can be the healthiest version of yourself and never come close to a size 4. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  The#MeasureMeBeautiful campaign encourages women to know their bodies and their measurements, because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

And your measurements are just that – facts, information. In order to be an informed shopper – you have to know your size.  Become educated and empowered.  Show the world that your measurements are just that: numbers, facts, statistics. And that they do not measure your worth, greatness, or beauty.

Knowing your measurements will help you look at size charts and know what size you should be trying on in that store, rather than taking what you think is your “usual size” into the dressing room, having it not fit, getting discouraged, depressed and then telling yourself that you must lose weight immediately.

That’s just ridiculous.  Fashion should empower women with confidence rather than riddle them with guilt and sadness in retailer’s change rooms.  Every woman has the ability to be a fashionista, regardless of their size (or income level, for that matter).

Sizes vary from store to store, and every brand uses a different “fit” model for their line. So let’s throw away sizes all together and simply know yourself!  When you know your measurements, you are in control – not the clothing or their designer.

Right? Right!

Here’s mine (and with this knowledge I’ve been in online shopping frenzy mode folks! It’s nuts!!!  Stay tuned for blogposts on my haul soon) 😉 ….

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 7.14.16 PM

The #MeasureMeBeautiful campaign also seeks to reinforce that YOUR SIZE DOES NOT DEFINE WHO YOU ARE as a person!  These measurements, my size, the number on the scale do not determine my worth as a person.  And I will not let them determine my happiness.

I am many things besides a Size 14, 16, or 18 (at any given store). I am also  striving to be a body positivity activist. I am a writer & blogger. I’m a fashionista. I’m a friend,  a sister, a daughter. A Learning Designer.  An off-key karaoke singer. A lindy-hopper. A homeowner.  A grieving mother to a recently departed fur baby (R.I.P. Berto).   Why should we continue letting the fashion industry tell us we all must fit into their ‘sample size’ in order to be beautiful or fashionable?

Mallorie Carrington of SmartGlamour came up with this fantastic campaign. She’s challenged me.  Now I’m challenging you PPMeow readers, to get involved!

Measure yourself!

Not sure how? SmartGlamour has tutorial videos up here.   And for those Petite divas out there who’s not quite sure if they fall under this “Petite” term…here’s a vid just for you:

Visit the #MeasureMeBeautiful website to see what the movement is all about. Take a photo of you measuring yourself and share it along with your measurements on InstagramFacebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeasureMeBeautiful.  Let’s show the world that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Help us spread the word that your size does not define you. Measure yourself beautiful! 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 7.15.04 PM
Curious about my outfit in this pic? Click here for outfit deets 🙂

 Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Share. Tell A Friend, friend 🙂

PPMEOW logo1

As You Like It

Summer in Toronto is not complete without attending at least one Shakespere-in-the-Park ‘pay-what-you-can’ event! Pack a picnic, a blanket and a friend or two and it’s a perfect night of outdoor theatre.   This year, CanadianStage is offering both comedy and tragedy in High Park.  The shows will be playing on alternate nights through the summer.   Last week, a gf  via Facebook invite with a whopping 20+ of us who RSVPd a solid “YES, I’M IN”, were due to go.   Which only yielded a total of three persons who – actually –  physically – showed up to see  the light-hearted As You Like It under the stars.   (Why do people suck?  Let’s leave that difficult to answer question for another day, shall we?) 😉highpark_racoon2_1300x800

Witheth me doth be the most loveliest of maidens; healthy and svetly Sara and lusty and strong Natalie and in the bushes did lurk musical talents of a local school of young violinists.   We were merry and gay and mosquito burdened. It was a joyous night had by all.

The performance doesn’t begin until about 8pm (dusk-ish).  I got there an hour earlier to secure seats whilst the others were en route from their offices.  The three of us managed to get fabulous dead-center seats of the graduated earth seating  – cleverly lining our sit-on blanket with a $1 shower curtain  to keep the damp out.

Dressing for summer evenings in Toronto hasn’t been easy this year with unseasonably cooler nights.  Which means one must think about serious versatility when outfit planning to sit on one’s ass for 2+ hours, while the sun disappears and you’re left shivering cuddled under a blanket, while trying to stay cute. Plus, we can’t forget the inevitable use of a portapotty – dun dun dunnnnn.. 🙂

Keeping all of this in mind, here’s what I came up with to help keep me summer cute & comfortable while the sun was in full-force ,while protecting my freshly washed hair from bugs…

IMG_4170

IMG_4172

How I Got the Look:  White patterned crop top and Tribal pants both from Forever21; Pink leather floral sandals (uber old from The Bay);  Aviator sunnies from ElleHardware; Headscarf is vintage, picked it up at the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show earlier this year.

IMG_4178

My headscarf was a last-minute addition to my outfit of the day.   Since much of my outfit was a simple black N white colour scheme….I made sure that the scarf had loud vibrant colours in it – a Summery punch, if you will.    With light rain threats in the forecast that evening, I simply wanted to protect my hair…but didn’t want to wear a hat and possibly be an irritating obstacle to another play-goer with the unfortunate luck of sitting behind me in the park.  So this seemed to be the best solution.

I wanted to do wear a more sophisticated head wrap but alas, none of them looked right on my pea-head.  Maybe, with practice, I’ll rock a few more of these techniques in the near future — thoughts? 🙂

Fab video of 12 wraps in under 7-mins

IMG_4173

dream%20in%20high%20park

Shakespeare isn’t everyones cupa tea … I never read/studied this particular play in school before, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it…and I didn’t even need to read the Coles Notes before hand. 🙂

There were some fantastic lines in this one…with some hilarious female characters, one of whom is AUDREY who won me over with the following line:

I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.

Over the past few years, I’ve been more of a “skirts and dresses kinda gal”….but for sitting outdoors at dusk with bugs and cool temperatures, and the possible use of a portapotty at some point in the evening, made pants the best option!  These are lovely and light for summer-daytime, keeps your legs from getting bitten by bugs in the evening and comfortable enough to be sitting crossed legged cuddling on and under a blanket.

dream in highpark

Are you a fan of theatre – outdoor theatre?

Which ones have you been to….any recommends for me?

PPMEOW logo1

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Share. Tell A Friend, friend 🙂

IMG_4179

Custom Suiting – Thoughts?

Most of what I like to do on Petite Plus, Meow! is to write posts featuring “what I did” and “what I wore“.  Occasionally I’ve spoken about other topics, one in particular is how disappointing it is to see a handsome & eligible bachelor who’s wearing crumbled pants and a hoodie.  Even more rare, apparently is one who actually OWNS a pair of dress shoes….le sigh (click here to read what I wrote in that post).

I get that not everyone loves clothes and shoes as much as me.  Buuuuuut I don’t think too many people – men in particular – realize how important looking your best is when interacting with others – after all you only get one chance to make a first impression – and those first impressions are lasting impressions.   Looking your best is directly related to your ability to influence and persuade others and is the basics in the ‘Art of Manliness’.

Anywhoo, I recently received an email announcing a fantastic opportunity and deal and wanted to share: HIRAS are Custom Tailors based in London & Hong Kong now visiting Toronto – specializing in custom suits, shirts, jackets, coats and many more for men and women.  With a focus on bespoke tailoring.

image002 logo

Bespoke tailoring means to design garments from a bare canvas, and the client provides his/her personal choice of style in addition to those of the fitter. They do not have any established patterns. Individual paper pattern is cut from scratch using individual measurements of the clients. HIRA only keep individual paper cut outs of patterns and measurements in file for the client’s future orders.  This means your suit/shirt/whatever will be one of a kind and only for you!

Ladies – this means you too! Suits in softer silhouettes with feminine accents enhance a woman’s style to provide a distinctive form and fit with functional pieces that can go beyond the board room in any occasion.  From the sleek suit jacket to the silk blouse and shapely skirt, made to YOUR body – how are you not excited?!

Andy Hira, is exhibiting in:

Toronto (Richmond Hill) on Tuesday 10th & Wednesday 11th June 2014 (from 3pm on Tuesday to 3pm on Wednesday) at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North, located at 600 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1B2.

Toronto (Downtown) from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th June 2014 (all day on Thursday onwards) at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, located at 123 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON M5H 2M9.

Click here to book an appointment.

Now – if this is wayyyy outta your price range or lifestyle needs at the moment…perhaps you’ll find this video an easier alternative to custom suiting.

Antonio Centeno is one of the founders of A Tailored Suit, an online maker of custom suits and clothing. He’s put together this vid talking to men about the Top 10 Inexpensive Ways to Upgrade Your Style.  Included below for your viewing pleasure:

PPMEOW logo1

Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy!

I’m a huge line-dancing fan!  Unfortunately there aren’t many places within Toronto that have line-dancing regularly or at all…which meant I’d have to wrangle like-minded folk and travel out to Oshawa or Georgetown (total opposite ends of the city via GO Train.  And upon finally getting there, cowboy hat, boots and all, I’m typically I’m the ONLY brown face on the dance floor.

Sigh…But that has all changed friends as Toronto has opened two new watering holes specifically for country-line-dancin’-lovin’-cowpokes like moi!

gotrain

 

Rock ‘N’ Horse Saloon (formerly London Tap House, right in the heart of the Entertainment Dist) and Boots ‘N’ Bourbon (on Queen St. East) … both I’m told have fab food, drink specials, often live music for line-dancing and best of all a mechanical bull!

Here’s the outfit I’ve lined up to wear…to Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy…Giddy Up!

20140207-114302.jpg

20140304-092437.jpg   20140304-092413.jpg

20140519-105011-39011880.jpgSunday nights at Boots n’ Bourbon Toronto’s Country Music Line Dancing hosts beginner lessons at 7pm.   Jeff is the patient and handsome instructor who took us through a variety of dances to make us look good on the dance floor …which works out perfectly for us to bust out our newly learnt moves once the live band gets on stage for the rest of the evening! Plus, half priced appetizers and drink specials don’t hurt either 🙂

20140519-105006-39006931.jpg 20140519-105008-39008380.jpg

There were a bunch of names for the dances learnt that night — super fun and easy to do, with a bit o practice.  Here are few clips of the ones I remembered the names of – in case you’re looking to get a your country line dancing on in your living rooms:

 

Dance #1: Cowboy Charleston

 

Dance #2: Lil’ Yeller’ Blanket (that’s cowboy for “little yellow blanket”)

 

Dance #3: Country As A Boy  Can Be

 

Dance #4: Copperhead Road

 

The live entertainment this night was RORY GARDINER  — *hubba hubba*

Ladies, my distant iPhone pics don’t do him justice…check out his site…Meow indeed!!! 😉

20140519-105011-39011568.jpg20140519-105009-39009798.jpg

Overall….what a fantastic way to spend a Sunday night in the city during long weekend!

Yee Haw!!!

Now that you’ve got a few steps under your belt with this post — would you OR have you ever try Country Music Line Dancing yourself?

What did you wear?

How I got The Look:

Flowy short-sleeved dress from Damzels, Doll Factory by Damzels (Roncessvales & Dundas W Sts.)

Short brown cowboy-ish booties from Payless

20140304-092445.jpg

20140304-210654.jpg

Photo credit: Rebecca Northcott, Rebecca Northcott Photography

PPMEOW logo1

6 Chic Ways to Wear an Oversized Top (Guest Post)

We love flattering outfits, don’t we? Perhaps one of the most flattering styles in 2014 is the oversized top fashion. Oversized tops can look like dresses, they can be flowy blouses, or they can be chunky sweaters. You can wear them with only a few basics, or you can dress them up with accessories. Whether you’re looking to dress up or look chic and comfy, there are a number of ways to rock the oversized top. Take a look at how.

Way 1: Shorts

Image

One of the best things about an oversized top is the idea that it’s a blousy, breezy thing that moves easily around you. When this is true, you can’t wear a maxi skirt or baggy pants, because without the structure, you’ll look like one giant blob. If you have the legs for it, wear short shorts or a short skirt with an overflowing shirt like this one from Kaleidescope Sunday.

Way 2: Skirt with Belt

Image 1

Another option to show off your great legs with an oversized top is mini skirt. Be careful of how much volume is in the skirt because, again, you don’t want to look like a giant blob, but a skirt like this one from Delia’s.com has a flirty amount of skirt without being too full. The trick, however, to making this combination work is by matching it with a belt. If your oversized top and your skirt are blacks or neutrals, be sure to coordinate your top with a bright colored belt.

Way 3: Printed Leggings

Image 3

If you’re a cuddler, the type who likes to make sweaters and scarves work for as long as possible, this is the way that you’re going to like the best. Match your oversized sweater with some printed leggings. For an ideal look, make sure that the oversized sweater is a neutral color, in direct contrast to the brightness that the leggings are. If it warms up so much that you can’t justify wearing a sweater, use the same concept with a blousier, chiffon oversized top: match with leggings for a comfy look.

Way 4: The Hat

Image 4

When you match an oversized top with skinny jeans and a wide-brimmed hat, you can look very stylish. All you need to do is add a hat like these from Asos.com and your look is polished and finished.

Way 5: The Bag

Image 5

Whenever you have a bag in the crook of your elbow, you look like a girl who has all the answers. Get all the answers by matching a bag like this one from Cosmopolitan with your oversized top and belt.

Way 6: The Glasses

Image 6

Nothing says a comfy day out like an oversized sweatshirt, jean shorts, and flip flops. The best part about this lounging outfit: it’s chic. What makes it chic is the oversized top that Ashley Olsen selected, her bright purple bag, and these Gucci sunglasses. Ashley Olsen proves that you don’t have to be dressed up to be chic.

Post written by Kristen Kauffman for AllBrandsGlasses.com

PPMEOW logo1