Curves & Swimsuits

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Summer is here, at least for those in the US (since it’s always summer in Puerto Rico.)  If you’re swimsuit shy, like me, you may find this helpful.

I’ve dreaded swimsuits since I was 9 years old.  I started to gain weight at that age and began to wear one pieces when going to the beach with my family.  I was easier to socialize with back then and I remember meeting a boy once during vacation.  We would play volleyball in pools and had cannonball competitions.  He would always say I won because I was “husky.”  Yes, he actually said that.  I tried forgetting about it and pretended I was ok, but I still remember it.  I also remember the swimsuit that got me called “husky.”  It was a hot pink one piece with some beading around the waist.

I didn’t go to the beach for years after that and simply watched TV while my family had all the fun during summer.  Around ages 13-14 I lost a significant amount of weigh and got to a size 3, but I still thought I was that husky girl.  I gained weight again and forced myself to go have fun in a pool just a few years ago.  Everyone was in a bikini and I was too, but I wore a skirt to hide a bit of my cellulite and my post-baby pooch (although I haven’t had a baby.)  Needless to say, I didn’t like the way I looked in pictures and wondered why swimsuits in malls are always the same: itty bitty bikinis—Yeah, screw the curvy girls with a few extra pounds.  Don’t get me wrong, some of us curvy gals can confidently rock a bikini, but I can’t.  I would feel self conscious and wouldn’t be able to have fun at all.

Just a couple of years ago I started to embrace my curves because they’re here to stay and I can’t waste time hating them.  This is probably why I’m very into the Pin Up era.  Curves were considered beautiful and the curvy girl was always picked over the skinny one.  I have nothing against skinny girls, but it’s usually easier for them to find a swimsuit they feel comfortable in.

I purchased my first vintage-inspired swimsuit two years ago from a lady who was about to close her Pin Up boutique here in PR.  I was sad but at the same time, I scored a $102 bathing suit for $50.  Not bad.  She only had it in Medium, but I didn’t care, it was a steal.  I’m not really into the color, but I love the shape.  It has rouching that helps conceal belly pooches and love handles.  It also keeps boobies up high.  It comes in several beautiful colors and you can find it on www.pinupgirlclothing.com

SW1

If you just want to hide the pooch and nothing more, www.unique-vintage.com has many options for you.  I got this two piece baby and it fits great!  It comes in black as well!  If you’re short like me, you can pull the bottoms down a bit to hide some cellulite.

SW2

If you want to hide it completely, longer, cute-looking suits are available.

SW3

Or, you could get a removable swim skirt from Pin Up Girl Clothing:

SW4

Now that’s a skirt I wouldn’t mind wearing!

If you’re just curvy and don’t want to hide anything but still want to look retro, try a suit like this one:

SW5

You can also get it at Modcloth.  [http://www.modcloth.com/shop/twopiece-swimwear/cutie-pie-picnic-two-piece]
I hope you’re enjoying your summer and remember, there’s a suit for every BODY.

These are some of my favorite websites for vintage-inspired swimsuits:

unique

pinupgirl

mod

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Retro, Vintage & TV Shows!

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Today I had an epiphany!  Where’s my imaginary lightbulb?  Just when I was wondering why I’m obsessed with shows most of my peers consider crappy, I realized they all style at least one character in a retro-esque or vintage-y way.  Before I start defending The Carrie Diaries and Glee, I must explain the difference between vintage and retro.  No, they’re not the same, boys.

So what exactly is vintage?

A vintage item is one that was made at least 20 years ago.  It should fully represent and speak of the era in which it was made.

Your mom wants you to wear her late 1980s wedding dress with the big, poufy sleeves?  Congrats!  Not only are you getting married, but you have the opportunity of showing off a vintage garment—if you’re not intimidated by the cotton candy on your shoulders, that is.

A place to get great vintage dresses is Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique on Etsy.  Check out thrift shops as well!

Vintage

1950’s dress, Xtabay Vintage

Can I get a holey moly?

What about retro?

A retro piece is a modern item that revives a style from the past when accessorized correctly.  An example of a retro item would be a neon green (first day with a cold, booger color) swing dress.  Neon green, of course, wasn’t “in” when swing dresses were, making it retro, not vintage.

Warning:  Retro can turn costume-y or look outdated when it’s not accessorized referencing the era you and your piece are trying to revive.

Retro

 Tile and Tile Again Dress, Modcloth

Now that you know the difference between these two, I can now start talking about my favorite shows. 

Glee, other than being awesome, mainly focuses on Rachel Berry, who is probably the most annoying character.  If you’ve watched the show since the first season, you may have noticed that her style has changed—extremely.

                    loser                                       byada

They used to dress her in a preppy, yet retro way referencing the 1950s-60s and sometimes the Mod era.  They rarely do so now that she’s in college.

                                                  loser 2

Her style consists of sweaters and A-line skirts, mostly in a pastel palette.  It’s perfect for teachers looking for vintage-inspired outfits that are also comfortable.  Forever 21 sells many A-line skirts and button down cardigans for those girls on a budget, like me.  If you have some extra bucks, aim for New Girl’s Jessica Day.  As a matter of fact, you can be inspired by Zooey Deschanel’s everyday outfits.  She screams Modcloth!  Most of her pieces can be found there.

             jessica                    zooey
                      Jessica Day, New Girl                                         Zooey Deschanel, true life

If you’re going for a fun, bright look, focus on Tina, who is now dressed in a very Mod way.  Lots of go go boots, short skirts, bright colors and geometric patterns.  It’s pretty odd because she used to be the goth one of the group.  Maybe her style changed because she’s wanting to get those Rachel Berry solos?

               tina             tina2

Great for partying or tone it down a little to go shopping!

Want to look “muted” sexy?  Just look at Miss Pillsbury (hopefully soon-to-be Mrs. Shue) for inspiration.  She’s always covered up but is often dressed and / or accessorized to make her assets get attention.  She’s sometimes seen with a bulky necklace or with a shirt that has an elaborate collar, making her chest the focal point or with a pencil skirt, drawing attention to her curves.

pillsbury

Her style is absolutely perfect for a first date.  When having dinner, your date’s eyes will be on your face, but most definitely be on another body part when you walk away to powder your nose.  Tone it down a bit and wear something like this for a job interview.  Want her look?  Modcloth is the place to go.  You can also check eBay!

Love the 1980s?  Congrats, VH1 might contact you pretty soon.  It’s time for a remake of those “I Love…”  marathons.   After answering VH1’s call, you might want to check out The Carrie Diaries.  For those living under a rock, it’s a prequel to Sex and The City.  Viewers get to see young Carrie Bradshaw transitioning from high school student to fashion oriented woman.

If you want to dress with an 80s feel, go for bold prints, bright colors and tutu-like skirts.  Don’t be afraid to mix certain prints.

Carrie’s look is a bit expensive.  She’s sometimes dressed in actual vintage dresses.  When she’s not, they almost always dress her in Modcloth, J. Crew and Nordstrom, but some of her looks can be emulated with Forever 21.  Again, be sure to check eBay.  You never know what you might find.

           bold prints                        mix

Too “in your face” for you?  Want to go darker?  Dorrit Bradshaw might be sporting the look you want—at least in the first half of the season.

dorrit

A pretty helpful website for gals inspired by the fashion seen on TV is Worn on TV (wornontv.net).  I found it hunting down a matryoshka print dress worn by Zooey as Jess in New Girl.  Sadly, it’s almost $300, since it’s an Eva Franco.  Early xmas present, anyone?  Please?

matry

Go ahead, have fun creating new outfits with pieces you already have in your closet and make a list of things you want to add to your collection… But please, put away the Giza Pyramids when you’re done.

mountain of clothes