Gussied Up & Tess Munster!

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Gussied Up, a plus size clothing boutique owned by the lovely Victoria McGroarty, celebrated the store’s 3rd anniversary this weekend – with a Meet & Greet with Miss Tess Munster!

 

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This delightful Bathurst boutique has classic pieces and Canadian designs in sizes X-3X.  With versatile pieces like day-to-evening dresses, casual blazers, leggings and cute but practical undergarments.

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This past visit I had my eye on the vintage-inspired bathing suits — any era with fashions that celebrates hips & tits wins my heart every time!  The feminine details for belts and bling is what I go weak in the knees for (ended up buying a sweetie-pie one I’ve had my eye on since seeing it on Instagram).

MINE!  The Black Bow Belt!
MINE! The Black Bow Belt!

 

With the weather oh-so gorgeous, I walked up from West Queen West (a significant distance) – so I decided to dress down cozy and comfy with my navy faux Toms (Airwalk from Payless), pink stripped maxi (from AdditionElle), cat-eye sunnies (from The Public Butter), pink moustache scarf (from Winners), faded denim-hoodie jacket (Jessica Simpson from HBC) and my MK grey cross body bag to make my Saturday afternoon stroll to meet Miss Tess Munster!

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The line up to meet Tess nearly wrapped the corner of Dupont!  Lucky for me….Rebecca (of Rebecca Northcott Photography) and I had a “tag-team approach”… and who ever got there first would save a spot for the other, regardless of the dirty looks to come our way by fellow-in-line fans! 😉

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Tess is a Plus-Size Model, Make Up Artist, Body Positive Activist and Blogger based in L.A., who turned her hobbies into a successful career.  She is a petite woman with an amazing smile that truly does light up a room!

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She recently founded the #effyourbeautystandards movement which has over 65,000 shares on Instagram alone, that changed her life. She receives letters and emails from different women every day thanking her for empowering them to love their bodies, and to not be ashamed of being short, pale/dark, or dare I say…Fat.

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The features that Tess was bullied about in her youth, that she now embraces, that has led to her success.  She really is an inspiration, encouraging other women to embrace and accept who they are, as they are.

Tess hopes that girls who are bullied, and women who lack confidence will begin to see their inner and outer beauty at whatever size.

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For everyone that says we can’t show our tummies, wear a pencil/form-fitting skirt, wear a bikini, wear sleeveless tops… YOU can!

That’s the main message of the #effyourbeautystandards campaign   — Tess wants YOU to join her in wearing “daring” fashions & stop hiding your body because society tells you to.

BE a total babe regardless of our size..big OR small we all deserve to feel beautiful.

 

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Take a look at some of the beautiful shots Rebecca captured at the Meet & Greet with Miss Tess Munster at Gussied Up:

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Tess was a delight to meet!  A genuinely nice person — happy to give hugs, pose for pictures …even TAKING SELFIES with her adoring fans!

I’ve got a massive #girlcrush on this woman – even more now that I’ve met her!

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Tess with Rebecca, of Rebecca Northcott Photography

Tess is proof that determination, relentlessness, and positivity can look beautiful on anyone, and that there is a wonderful life past a size 20.

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Gussied Up located at 1090 Bathurst St (at Dupot) in Toronto, Ontario.  You should def make a visit to see what fabulous fashions finds need to be yours!

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Here are a few shots taken by my iPhone camera too:

Me with Gussied Up owner, Victoria
Me with Victoria, Owner of Gussied Up!

 

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Shots taken with my iPhone: Me + Victoria and Me + Tess Munster

 

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Swing Fever!

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Thursday is the NEW Friday after all….sooooo when this invite popped up on #TVS calendar and then again on Facebook, it was clear that I needed to be in attendance.

Swing Fever! is an authentic 1940’s themed dance party that will transport you back in time to a defining decade in history. This epic evening of entertainment  featured a stellar live band, dance performances, classic cocktails, delicious war-time grub and more.   It is a non-profit event, where all of the proceeds raised from Swing Fever!  went directly to the Royal Canadian Legion and the Humber Business School.

The Great Hall apparently is where many of the scenes from the earlier season’s of Bomb Girls was filmed.  It really is a beautiful venue!

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Now, I’m still a total novice/beginner and don’t really know HOW to swing dance (only been to TWO officially lessons so far).  Lucky for me there were complimentary lessons from the Toronto Swing Dance Society.  Plus, a ton of strong Leads on the floor who patiently taught you steps and made you look good on the dance floor (special thanks to David and Joy for twirling and dipping me!) 🙂

The Pickup Swing Ensemble, featuring Toronto’s most talented musicians, performed classic tunes of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and more!

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There was a specific Dress Code for the evening: Vintage! 1940’s glam, tea dresses, stockings, victory curls, allied uniforms and utility clothing.

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I had my heart set on wearing my recently purchased hi-waisted polka-dot pin-up skirt (that I was yet to remove tags from) and since I finally got a pedicure to show-off my pink toes, my navy & white peep toed heels.  This was sort of pushing the specific time period a bit, so I was determined to study YouTube and get my hair into proper Victory Rolls if it killed me!

 

20140225-194921.jpgNavy & white peep-toe, from Naturalizer

 

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These were taken AFTER I got home from the event… I was dead tired and sore from all the dancing. Notice, my faux bangs stayed intact! What a fab night!

 

For 1940s Hair & Makeup …. I checked out this YouTube vid to help me create a more authentic look for the night.

 

Then I realized, I should probably look for some makeup tutorials for BROWN SKINNED faces 🙂

 

Buuuuut since this was a Thursday night… it meant that I was rushing after work to get to LHRevolution Swing Lesson, then walked home to shower and change for this party.   I ended up having limited time to really apply the teachings in these vids.  (I sadly, also forgot to put a flower in my hair for the evening and pearls around my neck too…sigh) 😦

 

I did however, use Pin-Up Look #4 from this Beginner’s Quick & Easy Vintage vid instead!

 

The hair results below – Faux Vintage Bangs:

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Overall, it was a fantastic night of dancing and fun!  My feet, legs and hips are all so sore this morning, but I’m still smiling – totally worth it! 🙂

Here’s a few shots with some TVS-ers and fun-new people I met last night:

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How I Got The Look:

High-waisted polka-dot pin-up skirt from Your Big Sister’s Closet

Navy & white peep-toed heels,  from Naturalizer

Giant pearl earrings, vintage (gifted to me); Extra long pearl necklace from Toronto Vintage Clothing Show (forget which booth)

Yellow cotton tee from Reitmans

 

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#TVS: Rock-A-Billy Shake-Up!

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Last year upon finally jumping on the Mad Men bandwagon, discovering and falling in love with the Rockabilly/Vintage scene Toronto has to offer, the Toronto Vintage Society organized a meetup event last night’s one-night-only live music:  “Sweet 16th” installment of the Rock-A-Billy Shake-Up, at the Junction’s – 3030 (3030 Dundas St. West).

My friend Liz, a fellow TVS member and blogger of The Vintage Inn, has done a fabulous post about the bands of this event, click here to read all about it 🙂

TVS on FacebookSome of you may remember this cherry-bomb pin-up dress from a previous post.  I love this dress!  It was meant for an event like this!  I wore it with my rocker-chick buckle & zip booties (as winter does not want to leave Toronto yet), in hopes it would yield better results with the men-folk than it did the last time. Uggh!

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The plan was to meet grab dinner at 3030 with a few TVS members prior to the show.  The menu looked fantastic….plus it would give us a chance to giggle & catchup, whilst securing us a solid spot to enjoy the music for the rest of the night, winter coats and all. 😉

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Although the food items were all pretty delicious, the ordering system is very interesting.  Patrons must first acquire a seat, then go up to the crowded bar to try and nab a bartender’s attention, only then is a menu of food offerings shared with you (no menus at the table).  If you’re successful at this point you are given an order number on a stand, to put on your table and someone will search the venue for your little number and bring you your food.  Popcorn chicken, Blue cheese MacN’Cheese, Tostada of sorts and a plate of Bacon, were just a few of the items various people from our little possy ordered.

Also interesting is that their offerings of beers is different at both of the bars in this venue.  Soooo say you’re a fan of Mill St. Organic — and you happen to be sitting in the backroom where all the performances are, what you must do is order your appies at bar one, pay, and then walk yourself over to bar two through crowds of people to order your pint of choice.    Annoying? Yes..buuuuut it does allow a girl to strut all over the venue at least once to check out the crowd and for the crowd to admire your outfit 😉

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First up was a London, ON band called The Hi-Tones (above) – I totally fell in love with the lead singer’s sailor inspired dress!  I’m totally crushing on the nautical look these days – anchors away crazy!

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Since this was a #TVS event, I got to catchup with a bunch of members I haven’t seen since the Vintage Holiday Party, and even got to meet a few new members who recently joined this fabulous group.  I also got to meet a fan of Petite Plus, Meow!  She came up and introduced herself and sang prasies of my wee blog!  In fact, my post about shoes inspired her to run out and buy the exact same ones 🙂  My heart smiled all night with her compliments – thank you, thank you, thank you, lovely girl!

20140315-011901.jpgThere were a ton of folks from Toronto Lindy Hop in attendance, many of whom tore up the dance floor with fancy swing-spin and twirls and whirls.  Very impressive!  Think I’ve found my next ‘fun’ to fill the void that the lack of BollyFuze classes have left in my heart……stay tuned for more on that. 🙂

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I’ve been bombarded with work commitments this week and haven’t been able to blog as regularly as I like.  I’ve been so busy that I was considering working late instead of going out Friday night.  I’m soooo glad I attended – what a fantastic way to end the work week!  A big Thank You to Toronto Vintage Society to introducing me to such a fun scene…can’t wait for the next event! xo