Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Sunday, April 25, 2021

My Magical Tanya Taylor Dress

Let me tell you the tale of my magical Tanya Taylor dress and everything it represents. 

A few months ago, Tanya Taylor had a Instagram giveaway and offered anything from their site for someone worthy. I nominated my little sister (she's 44 to my 46) for taking care of my Grandma Rhoda for the past few years until she passed at 97 last summer. If not for my sister, my Grandmother could have ended up in a home and we probably wouldn't have had as much time as we did. While we would all call and check in during the pandemic, it was my sister who was hands on and doing everything we couldn't do. So long story longer, she won. And then she gave them my address with my size & picked this dress for me. When I opened the box I cried. 

While I'm relatively new to plus sizes, my sister has been plus for her entire adult life. Growing up she didn't have a lot of options. So she never fell in love with clothing like I did. (I've spoken about my sister D and our relationships with plus sizing before here.) I hoped to share my joy with her with this Tanya Taylor win so she could choose something beautiful in her size...and she just gave it to me. 

As for fit, I'm wearing the 14 Cynthia dress (which my sister decently guessed as my size). I wish it had a little more room in the hip but I couldn't have sized up as it's a little large on top—but it might have needed to be tied tighter in the back. As a style hack Ella looped the ties around my bra to keep it hidden. Overall I love the colors and the poof sleeve. So perfect for summer! 

If you need it too, it's available in sizes 0-22 and it's now on sale! I just ordered some matching TT face masks on the new app The Yes (apple only) which I strongly recommend trying out. They offer $25 off $50 your first purchase if you complete their style quiz. They have lots of plus and size inclusive brands—and they have high and low like Anthroplogie, Balenciaga, Prada, Staud, and even Zara. You create a wishlist and make recommendations of other similar styles and let's you know when your favorites are on sale. Feel free to splurge and treat yourself or just grab the Zara dress you've been eyeing for $25 off. Click here to download. 

Dress: Tanya Taylor, c/o
Bag: Ange Libby, c/o 
Scrunchie & clips: Belle Fixe, c/o (Ava loves their silky ones!)
Shoes: Ann Taylor, c/o

For 2021 I've made it a mission to discover more colorful designer, sustainable, and women-owned brands (bonus points if it's all of the above) in larger/size-inclusive sizes. I actually just started a new hashtag #fatincolor for my colorful looks. I keep seeing smaller sized women in colorful streetstyle blowing up all over Insta and Tiktok but I don't see many larger bodies doing it. My bestie @greivy is actually a genius at that game and can make anything look expensive. But feel free to join in by tagging me and using the #fatincolor hashtag :) 

My message is that we are all worthy. We deserve beautiful clothing in our size—whatever size or shape we may be. When I first started gaining weight a few years ago I didn't know what to do. I was nearing the top of straight sizing and not quite plus yet so I focused on my designer accessories and worked it in with fast fashion. And lots of kaftans. Kaftans are awesome but they represented me needing to hide and cover my body instead of finding things that celebrated it. Celebrated my 40+ years on earth and celebrated carrying & delivering 3 healthy children. Speaking of which, shoutout to mini-me @missellasophie for taking my pictures. 

And as much as I love my new dress, I wish my sister would have tried to push herself outside of her comfort zone and picked a Tanya Taylor piece for herself. Love you D!


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Twinning With Mini-Me, NYFW Edition

Fashion Weeks of the past have included a parade of shows, events and parties. This year there were exactly three in-person NYFW shows—and Ella and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the Rebecca Minkoff Spring/Summer 2021 Presentation. Months ago I spotted these Selkie rainbow puff dresses and I immediately envisioned a magical mother-daughter matchy-matchy fashion moment...and I have to say these dresses delivered. 

Now say that five times fast :)

I love that Selkie cuts their designs in a decently inclusive size range of XXS-5X, and I'm wearing the 1X and Ella the XS. Honestly I'm not sure who would fit the XXS as it was snug on the super tiny Ella, but then again Ella does have my broad shoulders. With the puff dresses you select your size based on your bust measurements—otherwise they have lots of room for all your curves. It might not be the most traditionally 'flattering' design as even Ella looked like she was several months along, but if you're looking for colorful and impactful as I do, these dresses are a dream. Selkie does have several dress silhouettes that give you a defined waistline and Ella already has her eyes on a few of those. Another note, even at 5'2" Ella's puff runs super short and biker shorts, leggings or tights are required unless you're comfortable sharing your nether regions with the world. For a little more coverage go with my midi length French Puff or their maxi styles. If you want to see our dresses move, check out our Tiktoks (here and here).

We've come a long way since Ella's first fashion week which you can check out here. Ella and I had multiple photos make it to Getty Images (see a few here, here and here), and made New York Fashion Week roundups in both InStyle and Huffpost. And while we've been photographed before, we've never had that that paparazzi experience where we were surrounded by flashing cameras and people asking us to look their way—and it was a little overwhelming. If I'm ever lucky enough to have that experience again I plan on living in the moment and having a little more fun with it. I may have frozen a little. Ella told me she felt famous. 

My formula for NYFW street style usually involves a whole lotta color and a focus on a statement coat or dress. We left our coats in the car because it turned out to be a beautiful day. And in NYC anything over 50 is pretty much summer. But we were prepared. Ella layered her Selkie Puff Dress with a turtleneck, plush nude fleece lined tights with both lace tights and lavender biker shorts for extra coverage. She also had on wool socks to keep her feet extra warm (one of my Fashion Week winter hacks). Just the day before was a good 20-30 degrees cooler and as a mom I make sure we are always prepared. I even gave her my furry knit fingerless gloves just in case. I kept it simple with my Selkie French Puff Dress, my white boots (that literally make an appearance every fashion week) and a mask that I DIY'd the night before because I couldn't find the perfect mask that I envisioned in my head. I love the fit and comfort of my Jill & Ally masks and I stocked up when I found them on clearance at TJ Maxx so I knew it would make the perfect base for my project. I wanted it to be a little bling-ier but I couldn't find my good glue (I needed E6000 for this project but my Target was sold out and my old one disappeared—thanks kids!) so I had to make do with dollar store glue which is basically garbage. Broke out a needle and thread and voilà!

Read about some of my past NYFW looks and experiences including my first NYFW as a blogger, one of my favorite OOTDs, and my controversial How to Sit Front Row at NYFW post that may have ruffled a few feathers.

Note some links are affiliate links and some are not. All it means it that I may make a few cents every time you click & purchase. Thank you for your support!

My look:

Choker: Shein, $1
Mask: Mask by Jill & Ally, with DIY Dollar Tree Flowers 
Gloves: Shein, $3
Bracelet: Stella & Ruby, c/o
Boots: Daniella Shevel c/o (seen here and here) *I did see a bunch available on The Real Real and they have a 20% off coupon right now too

Ella's look:

Dress: Selkie Puff Dress, c/o
Mask: Shein, $4
Gloves: Amato NY, older sample sale find (similar here and here)
Bag: Nina Hauzer c/o (seen before here)
Tights: Shein plush nude tights and lace tights, $5 & $3 
Biker Shorts: Charlotte Russe, $6 (these were next to impossible to find because kids cuts are too wide for her and adults are usually too big)
Boots: Daybreaks by Nina, c/o

Safety measures were in place at Spring Studio and even stricter than last round. You had to wear a mask, you were given a time slot to enter, and had to pre-register and complete with a health and safety survey—as well as wait on numerous lines inside. Social distancing was in place every step of the way. They did let Ella & I share a waiting spot together with my argument being that we were clearly together and basically the same person in the same dress. Even inside our dresses caused quite a stir with numerous compliments. One women correctly identified our dresses as Selkie and told us about her Selkie dresses. Several people asked to take pictures of us with their cellphones. I think I was most impressed with one street style photographer actually knew our dresses were Selkie and even included it in our Getty photo description. 

I typically don't share smaller coupon codes but if you're in the market, use code LEHOARDER for an extra 10% off your Selkie order. Selkie does have occasional sales and surprise bags that sell out in minutes, but if you have a specific piece on your wishlist, just go ahead and treat yourself. Puff dresses have a bit of a cult following and are at a premium even second-hand...when you can find them. Most dresses are available for pre-order on the Selkie site so you have to wait a few months for your dream dress to arrive. 

But back to the show, Rebecca Minkoff did not disappoint. Another East coat meets West Coast mix of bohemian rockstar glam. Once again lots of prints with matching face masks and a few new bag shapes that were most definitely drool-worthy. And the best part is that the collection is instantly shoppable and you can head to her site to start grabbing some of your favorites. Must haves for me include the Edie Fringe, Edie Maxi and Love Too Small crossbody. Check out my coverage of Rebecca's last NYFW September 2020 presentation here.

After the show I met up with my girls Greivy and Wendy who I had not seen in months. If felt good to feel normal-ish, even if just for an afternoon. I'm so thankful for all the brands that support me and for all of you for your love and support. A huge thank you to Greivy's husband for taking all my pics and Wendy for jumping out of the car with me and taking that shot by the water. It takes a village...

It's been just under a year since quarantine began and I've come close to losing my mind several times. I'm grateful for my family and our health and other than losing my Grandmother (not Covid but we couldn't be with her in the hospital for her last days due to Covid) we've been pretty fortunate. Ella's 14th birthday next week marks the last time we went out freely sans masks and before the world shut down. I'm looking forward to celebrating with mini-me and enjoying my last year with just two teenagers—which multiplies into three next year. 

It's crazy what a difference a year makes...

Stay safe everyone! 



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Not Fat Enough?

A couple weeks ago in my Instagram stories I started asking if size 14 is considered plus—and in my most voted poll of 2020, it came out to nearly a 50/50 split. So here's my question, if you voted size 14 is not plus-sized, WHY?

A few people answered they thought plus started at 18 (and some people seemed to get really angry about it) but riddle me this, how is that ALL my clothing pictured here—my Eloquii jacket, and Betsey Johnson x Torrid shirt, bra and dress, all come from traditionally plus size stores? 

My jacket is a 12 from the Eloquii collab with Refinery29 (Note, most Eloquii starts at size 14) and all my Torrid pieces are a size 0, which is a 12 plus as well. Pro tip: if you're a straight size 14/16 you're probably gonna have to size down to a 10/12 in plus.

Sunglasses: Amazon, $10

Earrings, top, bra & dress: Betsey Johnson x Torrid, gifted (More about that collab here.)

Jacket: Eloquii, gifted (Shop similar here.)

Gloves: Amato NY, sample sale, $10

Boots: Sergio Rossi, sample sale, $25! (Read about that epic sample sale here.)

Personally I don't care if you call me plus, midsize or "not that big." As a 46-year-old woman, I've been around the block a few times and I've heard it all. Once you hit your 40s you really don't care about other people's opinions as much. 

But I also get that I didn't grow up plus so I have a completely different experience with the word/space than someone who did. I may not have the same triggers or trauma, but as someone who struggled with her relationship with food and body image her whole life, I can identify with other women who use any of the aforementioned terminology. 

Ironically, growing up, my younger plus size sister was way more popular and accepted. But I get it, I was a weird kid with my own laundry list of bulliable offences (short, skinny, buck teeth, not a lot of $, learning issues...) and I didn't have the confidence to stand up for myselfwhereas my sister and most of my siblings clearly did. And honestly it wasn't just the kids who were mean back then, it was the teachers who were the worst offenders. But that's a story for another time...

So now, at 5'5", short-waisted, 230 lbs. with a pear/hourglass shape, I'm gonna carry my weight differently than someone taller, shorter, apple-shaped, etc. In some ways I'm lucky that I can straddle the line of straight and plus, but I'm left confused when both sides seem to push back and I find myself in this space where I'm not fully accepted by any of the above. Again, why? Now I'm not skinny enough, not fat enough...where does that leave me?

And I really don't get why the plus size space is so quick to exclude women and push them into yet another category (midsize or not-plus) in a community that fought so hard for inclusivity? 

What I love most about my life as a creator/influencer or whatever you want to call me is the community. I love connecting with other women (of all ages, sizes, ethnicities, and life experiences) who all share a common love of fashion and shopping. For the first time in my life, I finally feel like I've found my people. And I don't feel so alone anymore.

So how about for 2021, how about we think about ways to connect instead of focusing on our differences. Don't get me wrong, differences are what make us special and beautiful. But instead of using them to exclude, let's find ways to celebrate them TOGETHER. After the last year, I think we all could use a little more love, tolerance and acceptance. That's the lesson I want to pass on to my kids.


Monday, October 26, 2020

Betsey Johnson x Torrid

Teamed up with my bestie, Greivy to share how we styled pieces from Torrid x Betsey Johnson's limited edition holiday collection that launches today on Torrid.com and in select Torrid stores. Not only does the designer’s iconic mashup of punk rock and girly-girl aesthetic fulfill our fashion dreams, but the fact that it comes in plus-sizes means we can actually fit into the pieces. 

We're also excited to share that we published an article on StyleCaster where you can read about all of our must-have picks from the collection. Check it out here.

The Torrid x Betsey Johnson collection is available in sizes 10-30 and includes 60+ pieces of clothing and accessories, and its inspo comes from the designer’s archives and sketches from the ‘80s, reinvented with a fresh twist and we are here for it. As teenagers, we both girl-crushed on everything Betsey Johnson (hello, prints, plaids, and florals!) and couldn’t resist once again outfitting ourselves in head-to-toe Betsey. 

We had the opportunity to receive pieces from the collection before it was available to the public and couldn't resist taking them out for a spin. Like, how can you not with this collection? The red plaid pieces totally gave off Clueless vibes and brought out our inner Cher and Dionne as we walked arm-in-arm in coordinating looksthe #greivyandmichelle way. As we shot, strangers down the street cheered us on, and some even honked and rolled their car windows down to get a closer look.

We loved the quality and comfort of every piece we tried (lots of stretch!), and how authentically Betsey the collection felt. Even more impressive was the pricing, which started at $15 and topped out at $228. Thanks to Torrid, plus-sized Betsey Babes are no longer left on the sidelines. For sizing reference, I'm wearing a size 0 (12) in both pieces and Greivy is wearing a size 1 (14/16). Even if you're not plus and you have a wide foot, now is the time to stock up on super cute Betsey footwear!

I went a little mad for plaid with three pieces from the collection in my look: a lightweight coat, corset-style dress, and kitten heel booties (that have a pop of leopard print to go with my hat!). What I love most about these separates is that they can be worn together or with other pieces from my closet. I'm also wearing mismatched hoop earrings from the collection (oops!) but somehow that still feels very Betsey.

I also added in my Lola fashion week hat, my 75% off Chanel bracelets and a $5 Target cropped tee. Ella actually has a whole stack of those tees in every color because they're so perfect for layering—and they come in sizes XS-4x! I borrowed Greivy's blue Joseph and Stacey bag so I could coordinate with her tights. And I glued on nails from Kiss to pop the yellow in the plaid. I typically swear by press-on nails but I have the say, as messy as the gluing process can be, they definitely hold on waaaay better.

Be sure to head over to Torrid to check out the collection before everything sells out! Which pieces are your favorites?

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Minkoff and Fashion Week Madness

This year NYFW didn't look like previous years. Presentations were streamed online and you could easily watch from the comfort of home in your tie-dye PJs. There were a few exceptions, and last week I hit the City and headed to Spring Studios for my one IRL rooftop presentation—Rebecca Minkoff

I'm proud to share that I've once again been included in InStyle.com's plus street style roundup. As I said, I channeled my inner J.Lo with this Baacal maxi wrap dress that reminded me of her iconic Versace dress. I was looking for something with color and movement for my one IRL NYFW presentation at Spring Studios. Added these green Valentino sunglasses and a few pops of white (no white after Labor Day isn’t a thing anymore) to complete the look.

Shutting down the big shows leveled the playing field and probably saved the designers hundreds of thousands of dollars in production costs. But as a blogger/influencer it meant the loss of priceless networking and photo opportunities with which we hustle and turn into collaboration opportunities. So when this invite turned up in my inbox a week before the presentation, I couldn't resist. 

What I love about Rebecca's shows is that they're immediately shoppable. Unlike other designers that make you wait months, you can head to her website and shop the looks on the spot. The show was very much her boho chic, rocker girl esthetic but I loved most was her nod to motherhood with a pregnant model and her new Medela collab pump bag hidden in plain sight. My only note is that the models weren't as diverse as years past. I did see a mix of ethnicities but not much for size diversity which was a little disappointing. There were a couple models who looked larger than a size 4 but I guess I shouldn't be surprised because right now there isn't anything larger than an XXL (which is a size 12?!) and that's not even for most items. What she did do right were matching masks for every look—I seriously need them all. I keep checking the site but they haven't seem to have dropped yet. With designer face masks being the new it-accessory, I'm sure they will roll out with the rest of the collection soon.

Can you spy the Rebecca Minkoff x Medela pump bag?

And frankly after months of quarantine, I missed my fashion friends. Fashion Week usually feels like a reunion when I see my online friends from all over the world amidst the crush of shows, and madness of photographers swarming to catch the shot. It was so good to see Greivy and Wendy—and a bunch of my New York crew who popped up. Overall it felt pretty safe with everyone wearing their masks and keeping their distance. When you entered Spring Studios they took your temperature and guests had a 15 minute time slot for the presentation. Each slot was extremely limited and I went in with Wendy (Greivy had a later slot) and we enjoyed the fresh air and fashion. It was a welcome change compared to last season where you could have easily waited on line for hours only to get in...and still have to battle crowds. Although I confess that last time Ella and I waltzed in to the preview with a connected friend and skipped the line completely. 

I had less than a week to pull together this look so I immediately reached out to a few brands and designers, including Baacal who graciously came through with this maxi wrap dress No. 27 in green superbloom silk chiffon. If it looks a little familiar it's because I already own it in blue--and you may have seen me wear it last NYFW or more recently on my feed on a daytrip to Manor Farm in Long Island. 

Quick note, I've linked what I could (some affiliate, some not) which means I may get a few pennies when you click thru. My shoe habit thanks you.

And for me, because fit is so key, I wanted something I knew I could take out of the box and put right on without needing to tweak anything. So I really had to choose wisely. Although it did not help that my package got delayed in shipping and I had to drive to the UPS pickup center the morning of the show to grab it so I'd have it in time. I was literally down to the wire. Within hours my sunglasses arrived (also got delayed and I nearly had a heart attack from the stress) so I matched up a few accessories and ran out the door. Ideally I like to plan my fashion weeks looks weeks if not months in advance, but I've always been good at the make-it-work scramble.

I personally look for forever pieces to add to my wardrobe. From this look, only the dress and sunglasses are new—the rest are from my closet. Cynthia Vincent designs sustainably with limited run collections (and with upcycled, vintage and existing materials) in sizes 10-22 that are made in the US. Fashion isn't supposed to be disposable and I'm honored to work with designers like Cynthia who focus on sustainability, luxury and fit for larger sizes.

I should note that these dresses are sheer so I wore this one with a white Torrid slip from this dress but I'm wishing I went with a nude. I already have a yellow Staud belt and bag from their sample sale set aside for the next time I wear it...

Earrings: Stella and Ruby c/o
Sunglasses: Valentino, Sunglass Hut c/o
Dress: Baacal c/o (I'm wearing the size 1 which is 10-12)
Ring: Lagos c/o
Nails: Popsocket c/o
Boots: Daniella Shevel c/o

You can shop this look and similar styles here:

And as always, everything worked out in the end. Although I wish I remembered to stop and take a breath, and really enjoy the moment. 

Did you watch the shows online? Which was your favorite?


Friday, September 18, 2020

What Mid-Size (or Almost Any Size) Gals Need From H&M Right Now

With the change of seasons I often feel a little anxiety about what I'm going to wear. Thanks to age and quarantine I've added a few more pounds to my frame. Every time I put on weight I try to take things in stride and challenge myself with finding new pieces to add to the mix and build off of what I already own in my closet. As I moved into the mid-size & plus-size space I had a harder time finding affordable pieces that looked luxe. While most of H&M's pieces run XXS-XXL (and I typically take a large), they do have more and more plus pieces which runs up to a 4XL. Just know that stuff sells out fast (and no guarantee of restock) so if you see something you like—grab it! 

This post is not sponsored by H&M but they did gift me several of these pieces—thanks guys! And I'll try to link up what I can with affiliate links, which basically means I get a few pennies when you click on and purchase from my links. 

First let's start with my "shacket." I'm still not clear on exactly what a shacket is but it translates to a shirt-jacket. And frankly I like saying the word. Shacket, shacket, shacket. I actually spotted this one in a photo display in their store window over the summer and I think I may have screamed a little. I stalked the site until it finally dropped online. It was love at first sight and I knew it was going to be my go-to jacket for fall/winter. Don't get me wrong, it's not for everyone. Going to back what we discussed in my last post, it may not be something traditionally "flattering" but that shouldn't matter if it's something you love. It may not work for you because it is a lot of material and can overwhelm you, but there was something so chic about it so I just had to try. Note that most of their shackets size up to XXL with a only a couple shorter versions in the larger sized. Mixed it up with my Miu Miu velvet platform booties that I scored for almost 90% off at the end of season last year. 

From top to bottom:

Hat: Zara, sale rack $5.99

Sunglasses: Mulberry & Grand c/o

Shacket: H&M (sold out but check back for restock and they have other patterns available) c/o

Belt bag: H&M c/o

Dress: H&M sale rack $4 (I grab their basic tee dresses by the handful)

Boots: Miu Miu, $148 (RV $990), The Outnet

Nails: Popsockets Mani-Phoni (press-on nails have a matching Popsocket for your phone!) c/o

For my next look, it was all about this dress. As a dress girl, I usually focus my shopping on dresses (and coats) in shapes that will work for my curves. Because I'm short-waisted, I would have preferred a higher waistline but this one was workable. I know that my friend Greivy has this dress in blue and she belted hers. I also love a voluminous sleeve to cover the little extra I'm carrying on my upper arms. And if you were looking for a Bottega dupe, this quilted vegan bag from House of Want for under 100 bucks may be just what you need.

Hat: Zara, sale rack $5.99 (hey, I'm a repeater)

Sunglasses: Valentino, Sunglass Hut c/o

Necklace: Sequin NYC, c/o

Dress: H&M c/o

Bag: House of Want c/o

Sandals: Nicholas Kirkwood, sample sale (90% off—a few years old already)

Shop these styles (and some inexpensive versions too) here:

They also sent over a few looks for the kids for back to school. I decided to try to do more coordinating than matching to showcase their own personal style. 

A few of my secrets to shopping H&M:

1. Create an account and heart your favorites. I check my hearts daily to see if any of my out of stock faves were restocked. Not to mention your favorites may come back in another color. 

2. When shopping online, you can stack 2 codes. 

3. If you have very thin teen or tween girls, be sure to check out women's not kids. Ella can fit the XXS & XS women's (especially their younger Divided line) perfectly yet the size 12 girls may fall right off of her.     

4. In-store sale racks at the end of season will often have tons for $3, $4 or $5, so always be sure to take a peek when you pop by the store. 

Is H&M one of your go-to stores? What's on your fall wishlist?




Monday, August 31, 2020

The Problems With Plus

My latest Instagram caption was running waaaay too long so I decided it's time we talk about plus and mid-size fashion—and size-inclusivity. If you're looking for body positivity this might not be the place for you. It's something I struggle with. I work off of a fake it till you make it attitude with most things in life, so while some days I'm feeling it, there are plenty days that I'm not. So if you're easily triggered you might want to stop here.

In high school I was a size 4 and my younger sister (who's 2 years younger) was a size 14. People called her fat or told her she had a pretty face and all that BS. But what she had (that I lacked) was confidence. Boys flocked to her. Meanwhile I hid in my room with my girlfriends and we giggled because were too afraid to speak to boys. They actually called us "the gigglies".

That said, she gave up on clothing at an early age. Back then there was nothing cute or age appropriate for a young girl to wear if she was a bigger size. It was all matronly, frumpy, and not much fun. And forget shoes. She wears a 12WW which is next to impossible for anything other than sneakers. I did find her a style of Fit Flop size 11 slides that worked for her wider flat feet and high instep and she's been re-buying them ever since. She even wears them in the winter. Luckily I'm only a 9.5 (and not wide) or I don't know what I would do. To this day she hates to shop (even though plus has come a long way) and we just don't share my love affair with fashion. And frankly, I don't blame her.

I was a teenager in late 80's & 90s so even I found myself in oversized fits and a lot of Gap clothing from the men's sale rack. Grunge was a thing. But growing up in a Jewish religious/orthodox household I was also more covered up for modesty (tzniut) and the message I received was that our bodies had to be hidden (fat or skinny) and coupled with being naturally thin and being told I was too skinny—it was years before I was comfortable in my own skin.

So when I found myself in the mid-size/plus space a couple years ago I initially panicked remembering my sister's childhood shopping trauma. At first I would squeeze into 12 and 14 straight size pieces but it was a challenge finding the right shapes for my figure.

I finally starting playing around with plus brands and ran into a few fit issues: 

1. Why so do many plus styles have narrow fitted upper arms? When I gained weight, I gained there too. And when you're over 40, weight loves to stick there.

2. Not all plus people have huge boobs. I'm a D but most plus pieces are cut for even larger. What about gals who are smaller?

3. 99% of plus wrap dresses are mock wraps. But I prefer true wrap dresses to fit my proportionally smaller waist and bust. And half the time brands don't disclose if it's a true wrap or not so I'm left guessing. I love Tanya Taylor but I've learned the hard way that the hips are too narrow, top is too big—all because she only does mock wraps. If they did a true wrap version I'd be wearing them daily.

4. Not all plus women have the same shape. I'm still a pear. Well, more hourglass these days. But I'm finding most plus styles are for apple shapes. All these shapes need to be represented in a plus collection. Last year when Eloquii offered free alterations at a few of their stores I grabbed my trusty Ikea bag, filled it with every Eloquii piece I owned, and ran to the NYC store.

5. Most plus seems to be cut for taller women. I'm an average 5'5" (but short-waisted) and I have a hard time drowning in designs that seem to be made for a 6 foot woman. What are even shorter, petite-plus women supposed to wear? There is a HUGE gap in the market there.

6. Not every garment needs pockets and/or lining. I know some people like them but I don't. I'd rather wear my own slip or shape wear. And I don't like when pockets fall on the widest point on my hips. I'm already self-conscious about that spot. I don't want to add any bulk there.

Which brings me to this Torrid dress. It's a freakin unicorn. Unlike so many plus wrap dresses, this one has a true wrap so I can fit my bust and waistline to perfection. And I was able to cut out the inner slip (it's a great slip and I can wear it with other stuff but I always prefer lighter weight fabrics to skim the body) and wear with a nude bra and nude shaper shorts. I love the upper arm coverage and the subtle peek of shoulder. 

There isn't a lot of sizing left but it initially came in 10-30 (I'm wearing the 12). If you're lucky you can score one for just $22.79 right now (was $75.50). I was nervous to order it because on the website they didn't have a lot of reviews and there were zero pics on a model or reviewer, but I'm guessing it didn't blow out for those reasons alone. I was surprised I couldn't find any Insta pics of this dress on anyone because it's so good. It was tie dye-ish in the summer of tie-dye and it's so light and airy—it really is the perfect summer dress. I also think it will transition into early fall if I switch up the bag.

You can shop my unicorn dress, and the rest of my look here:

Sunglasses: Lafont Paris, c/o

Necklace: Sequin NYC, c/o

Dress: Torrid, was $75.50, now $22.79

Bag: Staud, sample sale score, $35? It was last day markdowns...

Shoes: Daybreaks, c/o

(Note: some links are affiliate links and some aren't. Meaning I make a couple pennies if you click on some. And the others I share anyway because I hate those people who won't link up just because they won't make any money on it.)

Also including some favorite size inclusive and/or plus styles that have caught my eye:

I'm finding that some plus brands are more size-inclusive than others. I personally look for sites like 11 Honoré and Torrid that start at size 10/12 and go up to 30 (sometimes higher). Don't get me wrong, I love Eloquii but I wish they regularly included 10-12 too. Their last special collection with R29 started at a 12 and I snapped up a bunch.

Sites like ASOS and H&M are not traditionally plus but now have lots of plus options too. ASOS is awesome because it has petite, plus and tall sizing for women. My pink NYFW dress was featured (with me in it) on InStyle.com and on their Instagram feed—and still gets random likes on my feed (seen here). It now comes in green in curve sizing too. Universal Standard goes next level with inclusivity with sizes 00-40.

Overall, I consider myself lucky. I have so many more options than my sister had. I also acknowledge that I have a different experience than so many in the plus community (like my sister) because I didn't grow up plus. We're not even gonna get into who's marginalized and not marginalized today, that's a whole other post. It can still be challenging, but when I find clothing that fits (it seems I can no longer use the word flattering because evidently that's triggering for some) and makes me happy, it makes it all worth it. And don't get me wrong, clothing that's traditionally "unflattering" is ok too if that's your choice. Fashion rules went out the window ages ago. Fat girls can wear crop tops and bike shorts too. Do what makes you happy.

I'm almost a little embarrassed to say that I used to refer to clothing as skinny Michelle clothing (which was my idealized version of self) and fat Michelle clothing (makeshift clothing to get by until I could fit my skinny clothing again). I also used to use a term called punishment clothing (ugh) which was when I would get a few pieces in a larger size to wear until I lost the few pounds I gained. So while the concept was good (it's so important to always have clothing that fits and makes you feel good about yourself to motivate you to get yourself out of bed in the morning) the term was terrible. I shouldn't punish myself for gaining a few pounds. What we all need is a little more forgiveness around here.

I had a fellow mid-size/plus influencer friend recently tell me that she had cut back on posting because of all the hate she was getting for promoting a "unhealthy lifestyle" just for sharing her killer style and basically just existing. She's not even that big—she's tall and stunning. And that made me so mad. I'm guessing she had an influx of these losers because of a few recent viral-ish videos and posts. Which is why I told her she had to keep up the momentum and and keep representing. All that extra attention (even if negative) means her voice has power and you can't let anyone take your power or your voice. EVER.

Why do we exclusively judge and define people by weight alone? How can we ever make peace with our bodies and feel good about ourselves if that's the only conversation? How about we start normalizing all bodies, shapes, colors, sexuality, races and religions. It's 2020 people. Different is okay.

So there ya go. I'm putting all my truths out there. I think I've been silent for so long over here because I wasn't ready for this conversation. I have so many started half posts that I just couldn't finish. Until now.

© Le Hoarder

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