Birthday Blues in Newsprint Navy

I picked up this navy Jax Leatherette newsprint dress from SexyPlus Clothing last month at the Fall Preview Blogger Exclusive.

As you saw last week during my Fall Double Feature collaboration series, both Leather and Blue Hues are trending this season.  This dress combines them both perfectly.

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I’m loving the leather details on the shoulders and above the hems of both sides of this dress.

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This Zebra clutch is my new favourite piece right now, I try to bring it along with me whenever I can 🙂Profs II-43It was my birthday last week and I got to unveil this dress over that weekend.

Another year older –  uggh – and not at all wiser.  Or maybe not as wise as I hoped to be at this point.  But in these pics I don’t look a day over 28 😉

Must be magical camera tricks of LawrenceKerrPhotography – I’m loving the images from this shoot!

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I’ve been having mixed emotions about turning older this year.

Not really being up to organizing & celebrating a non-milestone born-day, I took the day off instead and spent some quality time with me, myself and Irene 😉

Happy Birthday Cupcakes with candles and white background

 

The lovely Elmwood Spa – a true urban oasis – treated me for a birthday lunch, which I ate in my plush robe & slippers.  After that I was rubbed down by a giant man, whom I’ve decided to remember as spectacularly handsome ;), for an 80-min Hot Stone Massage followed by Water Therapies which included pool, steam room and the hot tub.  I was determine not to leave until I looked like a raisin!!

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Lunching in fluffy robes and drinking in the afternoon ….Happy Birthday indeed!

In the evening a gf and I met up for dinner (tap pas and sangrias at Carmen – delicious!), followed by tickets to see HEDWIG and the Angry Inch  at the Lower Ossington Theatre where we were entertained by talented rock bands, drinking and great singing by an interesting transsexual with lots of stories and rock songs.  The performance was fantastic!  Buuuuut the story, which I found sad, went over my head.  I had to come home and google exactly what I just spend the last 90-mins sitting through.hedwig-300x164

I got a lovely birthday card that read:

In this world where things move so fast and change before our eyes, I take comfort in the precious and few things that are constant and true…your friendship is one thing I can count on; one thing I keep safe inside my heart.  I celebrate you on your birthday and I honour the friendship we share day after day, year after year.

Between this card, invitations to dinners, brunches and drinks, and the numerous phone calls, voicemails, texts and the 101+ Facebook messages of Birthday Wishes – I felt pretty damn’d loved all day.  I’m a very blessed and lucky girl! 🙂

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Overall, a pretty freakin’ fantastic birthday weekend!!!

And now, let the next 365 days of this new year in the life & times of Irene be awesome!  Cheers!

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How I Got The Look:

Blue suede platform shoes from Payless; Zebra clutch from AlterEgo Clothing; Newsprint Jax Dress from SexyPlus Clothing; Leaf earrings from …yikes, I don’t remember friends, they are super old.

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PPMEOW logo1IMG_4668Photo credit: Lawrence Kerr of LawrenceKerrPhotography.com

Fall Double Feature: Sporty Chic

Here it is folks ….. the LAST outfit post from our week long Fall Double Feature special. Hazza!!!

I hope you’ve been enjoying and following this FIRST SERIES on PPMeow!  Cassie from Style Cassentials and I had so much fun putting together this collaboration.  And we’d love to know what you thought too (use the comments section below to do just that, friends).

We’ve been discussing and putting our own unique twists to Fall trends ALL week.  If you missed any of my previous posts I’ll list them at the end of this one…so you can get yourself caught up and Fall ready! 🙂

Let us end this series  by being Sporty Chic!

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Waddya think of this triple-split shot taken by LawreneceKerrPhotography …whist I was ‘getting camera ready’ in the mirror? Kinda clever huh…

This was the hardest of all the Fall looks for me to put together this week, from my existing wardrobe.

Truth be told, dressing down or sporty isn’t something I do regularly.  Seeing as I work from home, I revel in the opportunities to leave the house — and when I do I always wanna dress up, rather than dress down 🙂

So this was a good challenge for me.

Profs II-17My entire mauve-toned outfit is from Reitmans.  I’ve totally become a skirt-and-dresses-type-of-chick days, so I paired this simple pencil skirt with a tri-coloured striped button down v-neck cardi.  For some reason anything in a stripe seems ‘sporty’ to me …

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Of course, these high-top platform sneaks help give the whole look a more casual-sporty-vibe.  I try to avoid wearing sweaters with jackets in the Fall – so in an effort to keep warm for Fall temperatures, a simple black n’ white patterned pashmina scarf worked out perfectly.  And then for a third pattern, my zebra clutch.

Profs II-18How I Got The Look:

Tri-colour stripped cardi & mauve skirt from Reitmans; High-top kicks from Torrid; Zebra clutch from AlterEgo Clothing and the black n’ white pashmina scarf and hoop earrings were gifted

How much do you love this diagonal zip jacket Miss Cassie is wearing? And that fabulous cuff – LOVE IT!  Head over to Style Cassentials for all the details on how Cassie has styled the trends.  Or visit her Facebook page here.

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Cassie of Style Cassentials

And just in case….if you’ve missed a few from the special Fall Double Feature?  Not to fear…

Loving Leather click here;    Sweater Glamour click here;       Modern Monochrome click here;

Blooms on Black click here;       Blue Hues click here;     Mad for Plaid click here

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Photo credit: Lawrence Kerr of LawrenceKerrPhotography.com

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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).

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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. 🙂

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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.  😉

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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.

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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!!! 🙂

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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!

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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!
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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 😉

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Zebras & Birds

As summer winds down, retailers have enticing sale signs in their windows….and for an addict like me, it is VERY difficult to walk by without shopping.  But I’m doing my best to create my outfits of the day from the items that hang proudly in my closet that deserve my love and attention 🙂

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I threw this look together today – keeping things simple for lunching with a gf + her baby, followed by lindy hop lessons in the evening (minus the sandals for that).

IMG_4263I picked up this sheer bird top during the Spring from Reitmans, from their regular section (it’s an XXL).  The berry bandage skirt is from Forever21+ and was cheap-cheap-cheap ($6).  The blue sandals were picked up earlier this year on a cross boarder shopping extravaganza.

The only ‘newness’ is the Zebra clutch – what I love about it: large enough to hold my laptop, while still looking oh-so chic!IMG_4258How I Got The Look:

Sheer bird top and black tank from Reitmans; Berry skirt from Forever21+; Blue sandals from Payless; Zebra clutch from AlterEgo Clothing; Drop earrings, handmade and gifted.

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