Good-bye Chafing…

No. 1 RULE: To prevent chafing, you have to prevent moisture/sweating

Here’s some tips for you on how to prevent the dreaded chafing:

Leggings/Bike Shorts

A lot of women swear by wearing leggings or bike shorts under their dresses or skirts during summer. I personally find this too hot, too many layers. But, it does work as the fabric provides a barrier between your thighs that does prevent chafing – if you can stand feeling overheated. It also adds another layer and can create unwanted lines. For some women, a positive of wearing leggings or bike shorts is that it  adds a level of shaping assistance – holding curves in place. With some clothing styles, for example a tunic, leggings looks great and give you the added advantage of protecting your thighs.

Powders & Creams

A great, simple solution is to use a cream or powder to prevent the chafing. 3B Cream is a must have, I usually apply my moisturiser and then if I know it’s going to be a scorcher I add some 3B cream to my inner thighs – prevention is better than the cure! In fact, I find that a lot of body creams or mositurisers can be used in the same way. There are also a range of powders, like this one from Curash that you apply in the same way. Both these creams and powders can be used under your breasts to prevent sweating and chafing (especially if you’re wearing an underwire bra – arhggh).

Bandelettes

These babies are AWESOME. Think, sexy lingerie, think good-bye chafing!  I found these during a google search some years ago for a customer and have heard nothing but good things. Recently Julia at Bandelettes sent me a pair to try for myself and I couldn’t recommend them more highly. It feels so special to slide the lacy bandelette up your thigh, position it just where you need the protecting and off you go. All day I felt like I was wearing some gorgeous lingerie, instead of a chafing preventer! How luxe is that.

how-it-works

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The Bandelettes come in Black, beige, red and chocolate, and come in 6 different sizes to from 21″ – 32″ sized thigh and are anti-slip, in fact they fit perfectly and feel so comfortable.

What works for you?

Love your shape!

Janine x

Realistic & identifiable marketing for plus-size brands…

Every Friday my inbox gets inundated with marketing from plus-size brands advertising their new stock or current sale. Every Friday, I have the same thought when I double click to open the email – why are the marketing gurus of these brands so determined to continue to market their wares incorrectly?

Over the past six years of working with curvy customers, I am constantly asked about why Industry models that are size 14 are considered plus-size? When from many plus-size customers’ perspective a size 14 is an average size and probably doesn’t even fall into a plus-size category. To be honest I find it completely frustrating too. In my Real Women Australia Plus Size Survey 2010, I polled 100 women and 100% of respondents answered YES to the question, “Would you like to see plus size models, larger than a size 12 in campaigns, advertisements and marketing of plus-size products?” and interestingly, many also went on to elaborate in the “comments” section about why this bothered them so much.

I’ve tried my hardest every time I get an opportunity to get in the ear of a plus-size brands’ management or marketing representative and my pitch has always been this…

Present each garment on two types of body shapes – giving the target customer an opportunity to identify with the garment and visualise how it might look on her own figure. More specifically, go ahead and continue to use your Industry “plus size” model, and add in another model – preferably around a size 20 plus, with perhaps say an apple figure and/or a variant such as shorter, small busted etc. Let’s face it, if your target market is women size 14-26, and your garments are designed to flatter curves, why market such a garment on a model with minimal curves?

I just don’t understand it. From my perspective it’s a basic principle of marketing to identify your target market and appeal to their needs to get their attention and more importantly ensure sale of your product! By continuing to market your product incorrectly, you are not only irritating your target market, but you are impeding your opportunity to prove to your market that you understand their needs. Again, a basic principal of marketing. It’s not rocket science.

There is much debate across the globe around the term “plus-size model”.  Laura Wells, a well-known Australian plus-size model who is an AU size 14, was quoted in this article about being referred to as a “plus size’ model in the modelling industry that “I am between 3-6 sizes larger than a normal, industry standard model.” “The term is there as a job title. But in reality, in the real world, I’m not a plus-sized person. That’s where the confusion comes about. It has a lot of negative connotations attached to that word. People don’t look at my body and think I’m plus sized. They think that I’m normal, because I am. I’m an average sized person.”

Robyn Lawley, arguably the most famous Australian “plus-size model” and designer in her own right, speaks openly here in an interview about her struggle to find work as an AU size 14-16, of how she was “embarrassingly sent home constantly” and grew to hate her figure before she learnt to embrace her shape regardless of the Industry standards. Her struggle relates to living up to the standards of the traditional Modelling Industry.

Indeed, two agencies, Bella Models and BGM Models have revolutionised the Industry by providing models over a standard size 10 to the Fashion Industry as a whole. Their models are beautiful and do an amazing job, and I fully support and admire the shift that they’ve been able to create in not only the Fashion Industry, but overall as to the acceptance of larger bodies being “normal” in print media and advertising.

Plus-size modelling however is quite different to plus-size womens’ bodies in general. The criteria for becoming a plus-size model is usually that you need to be between a size 10-18, aged between 16-35 and 172cms or above.

Curvy Revolution OIn 2009, I decided to test the waters and founded Curvy Revolution, an agency representing exclusively size 16+ women. Here’s a summary of what I promoted:

Our Philosophy

You can be the most beautiful woman in the world, but if you don’t have a positive body image and REAL body acceptance, that attitude projects through the lens… all our models are vetted for not only their unique physical beauty, but most importantly their attitude to their own bodies… thus they are beautiful both inside AND out.

Our Mission

  • To represent realistic, plus-size figured models that women can really identify with.
  • To promote positive body image, a healthy life-style and body acceptance in all women, regardless of size.
  • To break the mould of female model representation in Australia.

What is a Curvy Revolution Model?

  • She projects positive body image and has a REAL body acceptance.
  • She leads a healthy lifestyle.
  • She is beautiful both inside and out.
  • She is not robotic, but understands the importance of technical accuracy & training.
  • She is passionate about breaking the mould and pioneering a change in model representation.
  • She believes in REAL representation of plus-size clothing.
  • She believes she is deserving of making the MOST of who she is TODAY regardless of size.

What are the basic physical requirements of a Curvy Revolution Model?

  • Size 16+ figure
  • Fluid & confident body movement
  • Good posture
  • Clear Skin
  • Even, healthy teeth
  • Healthy, well cared for nails
  • Great smile
  • Open and clear eyes
  • Healthy and well-cut hair (no roots showing please)
  • Well groomed eyebrows

I was absolutely INUNDATED with applications, not just from Australia but from around the world. I didn’t have to work too hard to convince some brands to come on board and try us out. Now whilst I admit that my Curvy Revolution girls were not professional models, they were very passionate and dedicated to what we were trying to achieve, after all, they were the customer too, and believed just as much as did in what I was trying to achieve. They worked so hard, sometimes pro-bono just to get our work out there and prove a point. We proudly worked with brands such as Plus Maternity, Lisa’s Lacies, Fashion Exposed 2010, Plus Size with Style, Big in Black, Tekiero Boutique, Work, Rest & Play, Hope & Harvest, Mineo Bridal, Sequins & Sands, Capriosca Swimwear and Maggie T.

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In 2009 I ran a fundraising event for the Girl’s Night In where over 75 women attended. The format was a catwalk event promoting local plus-size retailers. The models varied from a size 16 to a size 24, and Kate was a size 18-20 and 7 months pregnant! It was sensational, the vibe overwhelmingly positive. The Curvy Revolution ladies and I received a standing ovation and I was inundated with feedback:

  • Every-body was represented, I’ve never seen that before, I loved it!”
  • “The models were incredible, so professional”
  • “I was so inspired to see a size 24 body shimmy down a runway – it was awesome!”
  • “I loved being able to meet the models afterwards and shop with the retailers, I wanted to buy everything after seeing the clothes on a body I could identify with”

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The momentum was building and the response was so encouraging. In 2010 I was rewarded with the news that I had been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Melbourne by The Age M Magazine, I was so proud and so hopeful that this acknowledgement would help drive the expanding of boundaries and encourage a broader range of realistic and identifiable representation that would include bodies over the standard size 16.

I’ve stood behind and publically supported some great achievements such as TS14+ who are regularly featured at the annual Melbourne Fashion Festival with their own catwalk show, and City Chic who had an incredible reception with their Sidewalk catwalk show also at the Melbourne Fashion Festival where some of the Curvy Revolution models and some of my customers met me in Federation Square to support the show.

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Alas, all the hard work and dedication from myself and my team of Curvy Revolution models, and committed Industry businesses who saw the vision, and supported us was just not enough. I could no longer maintain the work pace without a sustainable income and I had to close the doors in late 2011.

I have however never faltered in my quest to impress upon the Industry the importance of effective marketing and encouraging the use of realistic & identifiable bodies.

“This is not only my own opinion,  but my voice echoing the thoughts of the vast majority of my customer base” Janine Mison, Love your shape!

With the explosion of the Blog Culture, we can now easily google plus-size blogs and see copious amounts of posts of images of everyday women off the street sharing their outfits and clothing recommendations with other like-bodied women. It’s become a lot easier to source information and more importantly to view images instantly. Danimezza founded Aussie Curves, one of the original Facebook closed groups where like-bodied, like-minded women could share information, offer support and so much more. This has spawned a huge number of similar groups and all of these resources help to add value to us the customer, and assist us with deciding on our purchases and styling our outfits. It’s never been easier in fact.

Just last week US blogger and well known plus-size identity Jessica Kane posted this image showing an outfit on an Industry Model AND the same outfit on her own US size 26 figure entitled “But what would it look like on me?” – she gets it!

Jessica Kane

In fact, this is exactly what I’m talking about.

I started to look around and take a bit of an inventory of brands that do in fact use larger than a size 16 Industry model… Hope & Harvest and Sonsee Woman sprang up immediately, but then I was really having trouble finding anyone else?!

Now of course in the past, I’ve spoken in detail about the pros and cons of this with brands. I’ve been told many, many times in the past that the key issue with shooting catalogues and campigns in larger than an AU 14-16 is that the “Samples” – which are the garments that are the final approved version – are sent to the Brand to be photographed for marketing purposes usually prior to the actual stock arriving and being available to the customer. Of course there is quite a lengthy process to photograph the range and then convert that into a marketing campaign (sometimes this can be months in the making). I’ve also been told that to change the sample size of the standard AU 14 (in most major brands case), to anything different would involve “Significant cost” to the business and is just not viable. So there you have it, that’s that.

Except I’m not willing to accept that as the answer.

You see, I’m a firm believer that if we could in fact motivate brands to move outside the standard marketing campaigns we’re currently seeing, we could in fact see a major shift in the buying habits of plus-size customers. With online shopping also being a huge influence on how people shop, this is even more important, because is most cases purchasing online involves not seeing the garment beforehand and more and more of us are relying on our trusty bloggers, instagrammers and Facebook resources to make decisions.

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So I’ve been thinking more and more about this, and I thought I’d ask the question of a colleague of mine, Harvest, head designer at Hope & Harvest, here’s what she had to say:

Janine:                  How do you choose a model for your campaigns?

Harvest:  

“When I’m deciding how to market a season campaign I look for “the person”, not the size. I want to represent the garments in a realistic way, and this translates into our sample size for that campaign being made based on the model. For example, with Katerina who is an Australian size 20-22 we sampled that season in a size L (20-22) and shot the range on her. However, when dealing with Industry partners we are still asked to send our standard size which is generally a 12-14 for our stock that will be promoted via their sites. For us, it serves us well as then we have images of both ends of the scale represented online, and we find this helps our customer identify with our garment and how it will look on their own figure”.

Janine:                  So you’re flexible with which size you sample your garments in?

Harvest:

“This doubles up the cost of our samples but because of this at least all women at both ends of the spectrum can see what our garments would look like on themselves, not having to use their imagination to guess! We see the added cost as a reasonable expense as it serves our customer well, and that’s our focus”.

Janine:                  Do you ever get feedback about your choice of models?

Harvest:

“OMG absolutely, Katerina & Suzie have a growing fanbase, the customer loves that we try to represent all types, body shapes, large/small busted, tall/short etc. We get nothing but positive feedback, so that reinforces to us that we’re on the right track for what our customer is wanting from us”.

Sonsee Woman is another brand that springs to mind whose advertising just tells me everything I need to know without having to look too hard. It’s right there in front of you, don’t you agree? Can you identify? See what I mean?

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This image sends me the message IMMEDIATELY that they UNDERSTAND what I’m looking for, that they understand me, their target customer. I have them committed to memory as a GO TO brand when I’m looking for hosiery. FULL STOP.

In a few weeks time, I’m off to attend the Curvy Couture Roadshow being hosted in Melbourne. This event is something close to my heart as about 4 years ago my good friend Erika and I put our heads together and invested a lot of time and money trying to get a similar idea off the ground. Our event was promoted as Real Women Revolution (those of you who’ve been following me a while will remember), we made quite a hit and got lots of press interest, in fact, we also got a lot of Industry interest as well as from the target customer, Australian women size 16+. Erika and I went from phone, to shop, to warehouse to boardroom all around the country and we talked until we were blue in the face. After 6 months of hard yacka and an encouraging amount of verbal support from the Industry, we were devastated that when it became time to put their money where their verbal agreement was, it didn’t translate. We had to shelve our idea. This hurt…it hurt really bad. My followers were devastated, we were devastated, many in the Industry were devastated as they could see the value in what we were trying to achieve but we just couldn’t get the dollar support we needed from sponsorship. So it was with great surprise and a lot of pride last year when I heard that the girls at Curvy Couture Roadshow which began in Perth in 2013, hit with a bang with their first Melbourne Event. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it as I was overseas at the time, but this year I’ll be there with bells on! They get it! They will be using a mixture of professional Industry models from Bella Models and Melbourne women trained by Bella to realistically & identifiably represent garments on the runway – they get it! – I LOVE IT! I hope to see you there.

A lot has changed over the past 6 years, and it’s very encouraging. Just over a week ago the gorgeous Tess Munster, a fashion model got a contract with UK modeling agency Milk Management. Standing at 5 feet 5 inches and wearing a size 22, this gorgeous lady is the first of her height and size to model for a major agency. HOORAY!

Ok so it’s in my nature to push those boundaries a little harder with putting this post together, and at the risk of rattling a few cages, I’m happy if that results in another shift, no matter how small.

Feel free to post your comments below, I always love to hear from you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Melbourne Peeps – join me for some curvy yoga?

I find exercise a chore. There you go, I said it out loud…I know I shouldn’t, I DO exercise, but I seem to go in spits & spurts of committed exercising. I enjoy walking, dancing, bike riding and so much more, but when it comes to doing something regularly my mind always dreams of Yoga, Pilates or Zumba.

I’ve been procrastinating about these things for too long. You see, I have a knee injury (2 operations later 🙁 ) and it has fuelled my fear of injuring myself further, and my mobility is something I value highly.

A little while ago I started asking around my curvy friends and colleagues about what sort of exercise they do or don’t do, and about what motivates or stops them from exercising. There was a mixed response including fear, injury or lack of a buddy to do it with, as well as a host of ladies who DO regularly exercise and attend classes or a gym, and would love to expand their range further. By far the biggest response was that when it came to a gym, or regular class, nearly all of them wanted to attend, but felt too intimidated by a room of non-curvy members. Some even went so far as to say that they have given up exercising as they felt judged by others for even attempting to exercise. (VERY SAD FACE 🙁 ).

I’m not one to worry too much about others in a room, I love to loose myself in music, and find that if I’m exercising with music I don’t notice much of what’s going on around me. But speaking to so many other curvy ladies, I know that being in a room full of women dressed in Lorna Jane is a little confronting and overwhelming.

So I decided, it’s time to lead by example, conquering my own fear, might help someone else conquer their fear.

Body Positive Australia Logo

Sarah Body Positive Yoga

Enter, Sarah from Body Positive Australia. I’ve been following her for a while now, and we recently got in touch and talked about this exact topic. Sarah holds Curvy Yoga classes in her studio in Ashburton, Vic and after a very inspiring and encouraging discussion with Sarah where she dispelled all the myths and concerns (read: fears!) I had about my knee hindering my ability to do yoga, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and GO FOR IT.

I’ll be attending my 1st class ever on Wednesday 4th March 2015 at 8:00pm. Sarah’s offering an 8 week introduction course.

I’d LOVE it if you would join me? Go for it, bite the bullet too, get in early make the resolution today to move past your fear and TRY. I did, and I feel better already 🙂

I recently ran a competition via Facebook for a chance to win a 5 class free pass to attend courtesy of Sarah, I asked you to write in 200 words or less about your exercising phobias or successes, I received some amazing entries, but this one from Kate stood out, here’s her entry:

I’m so close to falling in love with my body all over again. I love my heart that is full of compassion. I love my brain, full of both silliness and wisdom. I like my legs, they are strong and take me to beautiful places. I like my arms, they allow me to hold the people I love. I like my big bottom that gives me a soft place to rest. I like my  tummy, a soft pillow for my cats. But I yearn to love my body, not just celebrate their respective parts and tasks. To find my curves, my heart, my wisdom and my body, whole. In yoga.

Kate

I look forward to seeing you on the yoga mat!

Love your shape!

Janine x

Jewel in the crown of a hustle & bustle market

Living in the Bayside suburbs of Melbourne I’m really lucky as I am within range of five sensational fresh fruit & vegie markets. My favourite would have to be the Dandenong Market. It’s so multi-cultural, I can buy my fruit & vegies and enjoy the thrill of chasing down the best produce for the best price, amongst the hustle & bustle of so many different cultures all mingling and enjoying the experience. Everyone is happy, and I love hearing the vendors call out their specials in loud confident voices whilst trying to grab your attention away from the other enthusiastic vendor next door.

Dresses Dandenong MarketThis morning I was walking through the selection of stalls offering clothing, technology, homewares etc. when I spotted a stand that had dresses in Indian Cotton. For years I have coveted Indian Cotton clothing, it feels so nice on your skin, especially in the warm months we experience here in Australia, but it is also the most beautiful quality. I love the random patterns, and my most favourite is the patchwork fabrics bringing so many opportunities to accessorise a dress differently each time you wear it.

I was warmly welcomed by Amin, who told me I was his lucky 1st customer of the day! (reminds me of my trips to Bali where that indicates that they’ll bargain fairly with you). Amin is from Afghanistan and came to our country 16 years ago. He is really passionate about offering “something different to everyone else”. I was admiring a couple of the dresses when he pointed to a pile of bags on the ground that he was busy unpacking when I walked into his stall. Out of the bags he pulled at least 8 different designs of maxi dresses that were made of the most incredible Indian Cotton. LOVE at first sight!

Indian Cotton Fabric 2Indian Cotton Dress Fabric

I fell in love with one dress in particular – this one – oooooh! Unfortunately it was too tight around my arm, so Amin reassured me that he had “lots more at home” and that he will be bringing more over the next few days and there is definitely one larger there. This one was noticeably smaller in cut than the other maxi dresses (typical of me to pick the one that isn’t in stock!) so I’m hanging out for a call from Amin to come in and try on the other ones in the next few days. Oh and did I mention the prices? The dresses in the pic at the top are $30 each or 2 for $50! And the one I’m after below, $35! WOW, quality & affordable 🙂

Indian Cotton Patch Dress

While I was there at least 4 other curvy ladies popped in to have a look. It was clear that Amin’s mission is to make his customers happy, and they were 🙂

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you drop in and have a look. The store is called “Plus Size Outfit & Bollywood Fashion”. The sizing goes up to 6XL. You won’t be disappointed, and Amin’s customer service is top notch – please tell him I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Costumes – for curvy girls just in time for Halloween…

I often get asked “Where can I find costumes for my plus-size figure”? This week my in-box is overflowing with requests on where to find plus-size Halloween Costumes…

If you’ve left things too late and you don’t have time to scout around the local op shops or order from e-bay, I highly recommend Costume Box. They have a selection of over 150 styles to choose from, everything from female Ghostbuster, to witches, to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz!

The styles come in a “true-to-size” range up to Australian size 24 and in most cases it’s next day delivery! How easy is that.


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Happy Halloween and happy costume shopping!

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

My Winter favourites for my curvy figure…

Living in Melbourne it’s easy to be confused about what season it is. Technically we’re still in Autumn, but earlier this month the weather was so chilly that I dove into my wardrobe and started my wardrobe revamp for the new season. Out came my beloved boots, knits and stockings, and away went the summer staples. About a week later, the weather changed and we have been experiencing some beautiful mild weather with 20 degrees consistently. Frustrating, but I’m not complaining.

My secret to a versatile wardrobe is simple. Ensure that your wardrobe selections are trans-seasonal and mix & match for all types of weather. Whilst I readily admit I am much more comfortable and feel better in my winter wardrobe (I’m just a winter girl), over the years I’ve also learnt to become just as comfortable in my summer wardrobe. Living in a region that offers sporadic weather just ensures that a good trans-seasonal wardrobe will take you a long way.

My philosophy is that dressing a curvy figure is an art, not a science. Let’s face it, time and time again I prove that the standard, generic formulas given to us by the image and fashion industry don’t take into consideration the MOST important part of dressing a woman’s figure – how she FEELS in what she is wearing. I’ve written about this is my Top 10 Tips when shopping for your curves…

ESTABLISH YOUR OWN STYLE: Don’t be overwhelmed by current trends, it’s easy to feel like we’re not “trendy” if we’re not wearing the latest and greatest, but let’s face it, not everyone looks great in bright yellow and black! (I certainly don’t). It’s important to establish your own style, make it unique and let it reflect your personality. Choose garments that add value to your image and flatter your body shape, whilst staying true to what you love. For me it’s vests, jeans and lots of accessories with a bit of a boho feel. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you must be wearing the latest trends to look great. This is simply not true.

My style is all over the place, I love colour, I love black, I LOVE boots, I want to be comfortable yet stylish, sometimes I just want to dress down but not look like I haven’t made an effort. I’m classic, yet relaxed, boho yet structured… either way, I’m just ME.

DenimVestJust the other day Pete and I we were heading out for dinner and I grabbed my trusty Igigi wrap dress (a classic maxi wrap that I’ve had for years and just adore) and paired it with my old favourite Autograph denim vest. Trends didn’t come into it for me, for me it’s always about what looks good and feels good on my figure.

This season I’m grateful for my new wide-calf boots. I have 4 pairs in my wardrobe. I often get enquiries about Wide calf boots and where to find them. A few years ago I found THE perfect boot, the Jessica Boot from Pergoni Sisters. I wore those boots to death (and yes I admit they are still in my wardrobe, with holes in both soles from so many wears, but I just can’t bring myself to part with them, they were the perfect fit, perfect length and perfect heel height which I’ve never been able to find since). I’ve asked the girls at Pergoni to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE repeat that style, but alas no luck 🙁 I have another pair of Pergoni Boots and I love them but they are just not my Jessicas.  Of course I have some gorgeous black Louvre Bennetts Boots which I love too, but alas, as I wrote in a previous post, Bennetts Boots have gone into liquidation and they will be no more 🙁 My Louvre’s have lasted 3 years with lots of love and care, and lots of wear, but it’s time to inject some NEWNESS into my collection. I started hunting and have found lots, but have to admit that as they are all available online only, I’m a little nervous to assume that they will fit correctly.

Whilst I was trying to overcome this fear, I was also hunting for a wind breaker/rain jacket to replace my old favourite that I purchased at Autograph many moons ago, and regrettably left on the back of a chair at a café some months ago – I’ve been lost without it, until… a beautiful friend and I spent a weekend together for some girl time and she pulled her own jacket out and I screamed – “that’s it – where did you get that???”

We were in rural Victoria at the time away, it was after 5pm and I was away from my PC, but I jumped onto my iPhone and started started searching for the garment immediately…The Sara Spray Jacket – YES!

SaraBackJacketSaraFrontJacketThis jacket is amazing, it’s so light weight it scrunches up into my handbag, pocket or backpack, it buffers me from the wind on those squally days and keeps light rain off me (note: it’s not waterproof, but it does a good job in my opinion). I love the cuteness of the little white ducks on navy, but I opted for the animal print 🙂 And if that’s not enough, it’s stylish and can be worn open, closed, cinched or not cinched – in a nutshell – it’s DA BOMB! It retails for $49.95 (I would have paid more it’s THAT good!), but to my surprise it was (and still is today) on sale for $29.00! Bonus

Bootts2Boots1Whilst I was placing my order I decided to check out their boots too, just in case. I’ve looked at Sara’s boots before, but have never been compelled to try them. This time was different. I found a large selection of wide-calf boots (be careful to check your calf measurement to ensure they are a correct width as they do vary a lot) and fell in love with these ones… The buckle trim boots for a tidy $79.99. I’m a big believer in buying quality, BUT, the style also needs to be right and to be honest I haven’t found the correct style in the higher-end offerings – yet. $79.99 bought me a style I’m really happy with in a synthetic material boot. I know they won’t last long, but I was extremely happy with the quality of the finish and they are super comfy too. I especially love the detail at the back of the boot and it’s flattering to my leg.

Colour is also important to me, I’m a big lover of black, but it’s rare that I wear all black. I find it important for me especially during the dark & dreary winter months to add a splash of colour, it helps lift my mood. A simple way to do this is to invest in some great accessories such as scarves.

Some of my favourite accessories (as you’ve read before) come from Coussinet a fashion accessories company that believe in beauty inside & out. This season my winter selection of accessories include another two beautiful Coussinet choices, the Italia Scarf and the Val Gloves. 

VAL_GLOVES_FUSCHIA_largeThe colour of the gloves sets off the gorgeous complimentary colour in the scarf, so I can accessorise with reds (as in the photo below) or I can wear a black outfit with my gorgeous scarf and bring out the fuschia colour instead of the red in the scarf. The gloves fit – well – like a glove! They are soft and warm, and feel just right. I want to wear them all the time!

Scarves shouldn’t be tricky, there are literally hundreds of ways you can tie your scarf! Here’s a great video I’ve referred to that is a great resource for getting the most of each of your scarves.

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I could go on forever about my favourite winter garments & accessories but let me end by raving about a new product that I KNOW you’re gonna LOVE!

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Hosiery. My experience (and I know from the hundreds of questions I get each season, yours too) is that hosiery is a tricky subject. I have scoured the globe for the perfect hosiery over the years and I have to admit that I’ve always been happy with my super stash of we love colors. They’ve served me well over the years. However, new to the Australian market is an amazing brand called Sonsee Woman. Sonsee Woman have actually cracked the jackpot! Their hosiery is Australian designed, made in Italy. Apart from the fact that they fit, the thing that stood out to me was that they are supportive, without that uncomfortable feeling of being restrictive, they’re stretchy whilst being supportive and not rolling down or sagging, AND they last much longer than usual – in fact I’ve worn the same pair three times so far! Here’s some key points about the brand:

• 3D & 360 degree elastane stretch technology allows Sonsee Woman hosiery to fit the lower legs, thighs, hips and waist without sagging, bagging or the dreaded “muffin-topping”.
• An Anti-Roll Waistband so hosiery can be worn high or low on the waist.
• Extra reinforcement at the thighs for greater durability.
• Unlike shape-wear – this product is both comfortable & smoothing with broad ranges in sizing, products and seasonal colours.

With options from a basic sheer 20 denier right up to 100 denier, and in both normal or footless, they have it covered. WOW! The price tag is around the AUD$25 mark – but take my word for it, they are a super investment (these aren’t your wear it once and throw them out type tights!).

meetsonsee1Oh, and if I wasn’t already convinced by trying the product for myself, a quick visit to their website sold me on the spot. I LOVE a company who knows how to market to their target market (yep you got it, real size curvy women in tights – completely identifiable). Yep I know, you know how passionate about that I am already 🙂

So ladies, there you have it, my loved items for the winter season.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Need some help with where to shop for your curves… check out my e-book “The Curvy Girls Guide to Shopping” with everything you need to know