Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: Gwynnie Bee
Showing posts with label Gwynnie Bee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gwynnie Bee. Show all posts

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Thoughts on Fast Fashion

Hi guys,

This week marks my last week trying out Gwynnie Bee (a plus sized clothing rental service), which has come with just one real success.  Everything else just didn't work for me in some way or another.  Which is why I love being able to try things on before buying them, but when it comes to shopping Bryan is not such a fan of going with me.  It means I buy more online and try to make my shopping trips fast or with someone other than my husband.  I always look forward to our week at the beach each year knowing I'll get to have a trip to the outlets where I can spend an afternoon trying all kinds of thing and hopefully coming home with a few good finds.  This year was no exception, however I'm waiting to unveil new things with my fall capsule.  However, I did find myself trying to buy more than I needed, which is something I hope to continue changing with the capsule wardrobe.  I want to get to a point where I'm less tempted to buy things I already have a similar one of and also move towards more ethical and perhaps sustainable clothing.

Ethical and Sustainable Clothing

I know it's not something most of us think too much about, but more often these days I think it should be.  Almost all of us buy these clothes, and we don't often think much of it.  Perhaps we feel some guilt, but it's a habit we like.  For some of us it's hard to afford more expensive clothing after all. But clothes are often made by people, frequently children, in poor conditions who are underpaid for their labor.  This is covered up by subcontractors who sent jobs to cheaper factories and workers so that we can have the trendiest and cheapest clothing that fast fashion can offer us.  The process is explained more fully in this John Oliver video. (Warning - he's funny and informative, but uses foul language)

My goal in the next year is to transition to more ethical brands, which can be tough in plus sized fashion.  But I know I can at least move closer to this ideal with each capsule I build.  At the moment I'm compiling a list of places that carry plus sized fashion that fits this description and will be sharing it with my readers and keeping it updated as well as I can.  You'll be able to find it in the top navigation bar along with more information on some of my other goals and a more detailed profile, so that all you new friends can get to know me better.  You'll also notice I'm transitioning to a new look for this blog, so feel free to give feedback along the way.  And if you've heard of any great plus sized clothing brands who are doing things right let me know and I'll include them on my list!


And now here are a couple of the outfits I've worn over the past few weeks, including a new kimono which I am in love with, which replaces the geometric top in my capsule.  I found I wasn't comfortable in the top, so it will be finding a new home soon as I prepare to give away/sell more of my clothes that don't properly fit while I create my fall capsule.  This first outfit is from a date night right before the family reunion.

Kimono - ASOS, Camisole - Kmart, Shorts Levis via Amazon, Sandals - Modcloth
This next outfit is from our double date night at the beach with Davey and Keri.  We dressed up a little, I ended up being the least dressed up since I decided not to wear the Gwynnie Bee dress I'd brought with me.  More details on that further down.
Kimono - ASOS, Necklace by my friend Amber Goulet (detailed view below, you can find her blog here), top - City Chic, Shorts - Lane Bryant, Sandals - Modcloth

I love this pendant to death, it used to have a leather cord, but it wore out and I switched it onto a silver chain I had.
Earlier this week we went to the memorial service for our nephew who passed away recently, so this is what I wore to that.
Top - Catos, Skirt - Torrid, Sandals - Modcloth

Gwynnie Bee Tests

So now for the Gwynnie Bee picks, first off the clear winner, a lovely asymmetrical top that's a Gwynnie Bee exclusive by Isabel + Alice.  I ended up buying it because I loved it so much.  I wore it to this week's date night in fact!

Tunic - Gwynnie Bee, Necklace - Forever 21, Jeans - Torrid, and Fjip-Flops - Old Navy

Dress by Adrianna Papell, just a bit too big.


Dress by ABS, fit ok, except for that zipper.


Dress by Triste, fit fine, but required shapewear to be smooth looking....and I wasn't going to put up with that as hot and humid as it was at the beach!

There you have it, loads of stuff about clothes, and so far not a lot about more ethical ones, but we'll get there.  So hang on tight,  I look forward to making the journey with you all.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fashion Friday

Hi everyone,

I'm out for the weekend to a family reunion, so this will be a shorter entry.  I'll have travel pictures and possibly some good stories when I return.

This week I have a couple of outfits to share with you all and a quick "How-to" for the method I use to dye my hair (with help from my husband).

I start off by using Beyond The Zone bleach on my hair.  It comes in a great kit that contains powder and a bottle of developer, gloves, a hair cap you can use to highlight or just protect your stuff from bleach/dye, plus a little highlighting wand and a brush for applying the bleach.  I always use this kit because it works incredibly well.  It takes 30-90 minutes depending on your hair, mine usually works at around an hour.  And this is the result:

I could wait for it to get more white blond, but I also run the danger of waiting too long and frying a bit of hair.  I've only had this happen once, and serendipitously it just gave me some cute bangs.  But it scared me enough to never wait too long again!

After the bleach process is washed out of your hair you have to it's fully dry before dying it.  The bleach makes hair dry, but the color I use by Manic Panic is a stain, so it can sit on hair for hours and not hurt a thing.  I find it actually moisturizes my hair really well as long as I leave it on for a couple hours.  This time I left the color on overnight, and put on the hair cap from the bleach kit to protect my pillow.  When I went to wash the dye out very little came out because it had soaked in so well.  As for the color I started by adding bits of After Midnight (blue) and Enchanted Forest (dark green) strategically where I wanted them to show best, then I put Atomic Turquoise on the rest.  Bryan helped me spot and fix places I couldn't see.  I'm blind without my glasses, so I'm very glad to have him helping me.  Here's what it looks like with the dye in my hair:

and then after it's washed out and complete:

Other than sometimes using a hairdryer to help the dye or bleach soak in better (use sparingly for the bleach unless you really know what you're doing), I don't really do anything fancy.

Anyway, now for the outfits:

The top is from Maurices, the jeans are skinnies from Torrid, the flip flips from Old Navy and the necklace was made by a fellow artist at the Crafty Cotillion Handmade Expo back in 2009.  I tried to track them down, but I couldn't find her site.  I love this piece though! 


This top is one I tried from Gwynnie Bee, I was going to wear it on the trip today, but at the last minute decided I really wasn't so into it, for several reasons - the fit and for comfort's sake.  So I switched to the top pictured below from Anthropologie instead, but brought the floral button down from Anthopologie in case I needed it, and kept the zip ankle jeans and converse sneakers too.

That's all for today, but I'll be back to talk about my garden Monday.  Till then do you readers have any suggestions for new ways I can try wearing what's in my wardrobe?


Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Fun and Fashion

Hey everyone,

This week we welcomed Bryan's brother Michael home from a year in Jerusalem with a party celebrating all the holidays we'd missed.  (You all should check out his blog, he's a fantastic writer!) We started with Michael giving kids Halloween candy, then had a thanksgiving dinner together (with most of the people who come for thanksgiving!), then had Christmas presents, counted down to the new year, celebrated Michael's birthday, and finally finished off the night with 4th of July fireworks. (Easter was skipped since his parents visited him then)  We're really glad to have him back, and were excited to hear all his stories.  Here are some shots from the festivities.

Lots of fun with family and friends!

Now for the fashion part of the post.  Here are a couple of the outfits I put together from the Sunday of the party, running errands Wednesday, and Thursday's date night.

Sunday - Top Catos, Skirt Torrid, Sandals Modcloth

Wednesday - Top Anthropologie, Necklace Forever 21, Shorts Lane Bryant, Sandals Modcloth

Thursday - Top Anthropologie, Necklace Charming Charlie, Skirt Catos, Sandals Modcloth

And what happens when my camera falls off its precarious perch on the windowsill.

I'm hoping to get a nice mini tripod that will help with this for or after my birthday in a few weeks though, so hopefully we won't have too many more blurred action shots.

Finally I'm doing a free trial month with Gwynnie Bee, a clothing rental service for sizes 10-32 that lets you try new brands and styles you might not otherwise try.  I've tried them in the past when I was job hunting, but it's been a while and I wanted to see what new things they might have.  My first 3 pieces all fit wrong, the top hand length issues in the arms, the solid dress fit like a sack, and the printed dress just hung wrong on my frame.  I didn't even like them well enough to photograph them, and sent them back immediately.  I should get another 3 pieces to try tomorrow, and I'm hoping I have better luck with them.
Details: Nic + Zoe Misty Striped Top size 1x, Lucie Lu Collared Shirtdress in Navy in 4x(Gwynnie Bee Exclusive), and Jete Floral Remix Tank Dress in 2x.  They all fit about right in size, it's just the cuts that were wrong.  It's crazy how sizing can be so different from brand to brand too.  In general I wear a 22/2x for dresses and bottoms, and a 20/1x for tops on a pear shaped frame..

That's all for now, but I've got plenty of posts in the works and lots of great book reviews, travel fun, and more to share with you soon.  Have a great weekend!