All hail the tiki Paloma dress!
Hello beautiful people! I hope today's blog post finds you all well and enjoying yourselves as we peruse nicely into the summer months that will hopefully bless us with warm weather and lots of sunny days (keep in mind I'm Scottish- so this may be slightly optimistic on my part!)
Please accept my sincerest apologies in the delay in writing this blog post- I was away in London last week and have been busy making preparations for my move into Glasgow come September time so I've been chasing my tail for the past week and a half. Luckily though I do have plenty to share with you so please keep your eyes peeled - today's post is all about something very near and dear to my heart- body positivity. I'll also be pulling the body positivity theme into an outfit of the day post featuring a stunning new frock from vintage reproduction favourites Collectif.
Since discovering the world of tumblr back in 2011 I have been strongly involved in the body positive movement online. Discovering that there was a whole world out there for women to reclaim their identity and feel beautiful regardless of what societal standards and confines of beauty dictated was completely mind boggling to my not-so-little 19 year old self and to be honest couldn't have come at a better time. Full of anxieties and crippling self-doubt, I welcomed these powerful, beautiful women with bodies of all shapes and sizes into my life with open arms. Women with big bellies, small boobs, freckles, spots, tattoos, piercings, women of colour, trans-women, tall women, chubby women... each and every one of them gorgeous in their own way. Following blogs such as the Body Confidence Revolution and Chubby Bunnies helped me to normalize not only my own body, but the bodies of all of my fellow women.
This movement was a breath of fresh air to me- I began realizing that I, in my own quirky oddball little way could also be one of these women. I too could be viewed as strong, powerful, beautiful - all I had to do was believe in that notion. I began telling myself that I was a woman of worth, a woman who was strong, resilient, kind and yes- even beautiful. I began to
Enter 2015. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I've recently been spending a little bit of time down in London and whilst on my travels I came across a vintage Valhalla - a mecca of all things bright, beautiful and oh-so my style - the Collectif Spitalfields store. I have previously visited the Brighton, Covent Garden and Camden Collectif stores but had never ventured across to this little gem nestled in the middle of Shoreditch before. I've spoken widely about my love of Collectif many a time, however this shopping trip happened to hold something very special for me.
After perusing the rails of gorgeous Spring/Summer 2015 wear - my good friend Kirsten pulled out a dress that had taken her eye. This dress was absolutely breathtaking but most definitely outwith my regular comfort zone. Not only was the dress black (a colour I am almost never seen in) but it was a .... wiggle dress.
Now, for a little bit of context I dress pretty much exclusively in swing dresses or swing skirts. I don't even own a pair of jeans or trousers! For as long as I can recall I've always felt more comfortable wearing a big floaty skirt with a petticoat or two underneath whilst the notion of wiggle dresses have always instilled a mild panic in me. As much as I consider myself a body positive activist and as much as I try to embody a positive self-view, I too still struggle with insecurities. One area of my body I've not been so comfortable with in the past is my stomach, which is the overarching factor in my wiggle dress fear.
The benefits of dressing exclusively in dresses and skirts with lots of fabric is the ability to mask a great deal of perceived "flaws". Big bum? No problem! No one can tell in a full skirt. In a wiggle dress it's much harder to hide your lumps and bumps, however I'm nothing if not adventurous- It was about time to live dangerously and embrace the very thing that i'd been previously so afraid of.
The moment that I tried on the Collectif Paloma dress in tiki print I knew I wasn't going to be leaving the shop without it. I'm almost certain that I let out a little squeal of excitement. This dress was drop dead gorgeous and flattering to boot- the way it skimmed and squeezed my curves made my figure look lovely- yes you could see my giant bum, tum and boobs but I actually enjoyed looking at what I seen in the mirror- I thought I looked hot!
I added a little black cardigan for when the weather isn't so nice (This is Scotland, after all!)
The dress I'm discussing is of course none other than the the inimitable Collectif "Paloma" which just so happens to have a number of wonderful features. Not a traditional wiggle dress- the Paloma hosts a lovely wrap-around sarong skirt that creates a beautiful waterfall effect as well as a sweet detachable belt with a bamboo buckle. This dress also has thick straps and a gathered bust details- incredibly flattering on my 36G chest!
I'm wearing this dress in a size 18 -my usual size- and it fits like a dream. The back zip was initially a little stiff but this is something that will ease off with wear. The dress is fitted without feeling too loose nor too tight - it's a bit of a Goldilocks situation; just right!
Wiggle wiggle wiggle
A view of the Paloma dress from the back, featuring the giant butt I've been so afraid of hiding for so long!
I decided to pair this dress with lots of tropical accessories to add to the overall tiki vibe that this ensemble was giving me. I added some banana earrings that I picked up during my time in London at a delightful wee stall in Camden market. This stall was filled with unusual items masquerading as jewellery- barbie doll heads, toy legos and assorted plastic fruit to name only a few! I wish I could remember the name of the company but for the life of me I can't- I shall update in due time if this comes back to me.
I also added a lovely little hair flower from my new favourite company ever Alternate Normality - this little gem lovingly referred to as the "tiki nights" flower features an assortment of brightly coloured flowers with a sweet tropical bird perched oh so gingerly on top. It has a crocodile back clip for easy hair placement and makes such a fun and whimsical addition to this outfit! I'd definitely recommend checking out Alternate Normality either via their online store or over on Instagram- they stock a wide variety of pinup style hair flowers and at incredibly reasonable prices (this lovely little flower was an absolute steal at only £8!)
My final touches to this outfit were understated (not a word I use regarding myself very often!)- nude tights and plain black ballet pumps. I decided to keep this fairly simple and let the curves do the talking. This outfit has definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but I'm absolutely loving it! I'm more ready than ever to move onto the wiggle dress way of life and continue being a body positive warrior - perceived flaws and all!
Tights: George at ASDA
Hair flower: Alternate normality
Shoes: George at ASDA
Earrings: Camden Market
And so my darlings that it from me for another wee while! I'll make every endeavor to post more regularly as I have lots of fabulous outfits hidden up my sleeves to share with you all, as well as this month's Alternative Curves Blog Hop (it's a doozy!)
Lots of light, love and positivity to you all!