Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer Suddenly


It feels like SUMMER! So sunny and warm - my favorite kind of temperatures, mid 70s to lower 80s, not too hot and not humid. Just PERFECT! 
I think you can probably tell that I'm pretty happy today. Why yes, I am! I do apologize for less than usual quality of photos though. It's all because Someone forgot her camera at home when she was hurrying to meet Someone Else in the early afternoon. That Someone would be me, of course. And the Someone Else would be, yes that's right - Justin who offered to take pictures with his phone, bless his soul and the modern technology.


I think this sudden perfect Summer weather makes people extra happy. How else to explain the abundance of gorgeous looking women everywhere today - in Justin's office, in the restaurant where we had a light seafood lunch and in the park where we took a walk later. They all could have their own style blogs, I kid you not! You see Seattle (and Pacific Northwest in general I would say) is not especially known for their stylish people, and it's a shame because everything, everything with no exceptions whatsoever is so beautiful out here - the sea, the lakes, the forest, the mountains, the islands, the volcano, the valleys, the downtown areas of Seattle, Tacoma, or more modern Bellevue, cute little villages... I mean, literally everything is amazing! Why can't the way people look be equally amazing? Well today was one of those days which showed that it definitely can. I wanted to photograph all of these women and give them a big hug. 

This orange is actually much brighter in reality!
Want a tip how to update your manicure for a new outfit without much hassle? Just repaint one "accent" nail on each hand and voila - you look fun and creative, and very together at the same time!


The necklace has a tiny cute story. It actually was my daughter's, but she got tired of it and gave it to me. I am pretty sure it's by Claire's - Anya used to be a huge fan. I really like this pendant - it has a brassy antique feel to it, and I can safely say that this is the very first time I am wearing something which belong to my kid! What about you? Do you wear your kids' stuff?


The dress is new, by Ashley Stewart, linen/rayon mix, very well made and fully lined. I couldn't wait to wear it - it is very "me". I don't know why, but safari style and military style women's clothing just really appeal to me, and I think I look good in them too. Ashley Stewart is a brand I discovered last year. If you think it's easy to find fun, contemporary, good quality clothing being a plus size woman in America, I will disappoint you - it's not very easy. The vast majority of popular brands which you can find in malls do not carry clothing over size 14. And those who carry... well, let's not go there. Often it's grandma style - not especially stylish grandma at that. (Same goes for plus size clothing at thrift shops! It's always less selection and less fun pieces...) If you are a chubby girl who want to look stylish, you need to get really active - not to loose weight, you will never hear such advice from me - but to get creative and find what brands make interesting, fashionable clothing in your size. Ashley Stewart is one of them.

It offers plus size clothing for women (US 12 to 24), in fun colorful styles - cute, bold and sexy. If you recognize yourself in this description, there is a good chance you'll find something to your liking there. We do not have this brand in stores where I live (at least I don't know of any store carrying this brand), so I order online. This dress is size 18 and fits me like a glove. (I usually go for size 14/16 for tops and 16/18 for skirts at Lane Bryant - just to give you a sense of sizing). I have a few items in my wardrobe from this brand. Here are a couple of military inspired ones:

AS Jumpsuit from my very first outfit post & AS Jacket from my earlier post Strong Female

As I said, after lunch we took a stroll in the park, to be precise we walked on a paved trail and on a loopy kind of pier and enjoyed the breeze from the lake. It was lovely and so romantic. On the photo below, you can see the restaurant where we had lunch - it's an old local seafood chain called Ivar's - fast food, but it's pretty good, or "cheap and cheerful" as Justin, Anya and I like to say. Fish'n chips and clam chowder (famous American seafood stew) it was.



Dress - Ashley Stewart (available here). Sandals - Tsubo (have a better look at them in this post).
Clutch - Urban Expressions. Jewelry - variety of places, including Claire's.

Location - Gene Coulon Park in Renton (more photos from this park in one of my very first posts here)


23 comments:

  1. and it looks like summer!
    sooo beautiful. you make orange look very elegant. and yes - safari/uniform style is a cool contrast on a curvy woman.
    cant believe that you have to buy at special plus size brands - tss, america. because you are not "plus size" in any physical way, just curvy and feminine and gorgeous.
    in a non-physical, soul-y way you are huuuge...........
    the german in me has a hard time to say "love you" - we even say it very sparing to our spouses (ok. not i and hubs, but we are "not really german ;-)")
    LOVE YOU! for the sunshine you bring in our lives with your smile, writing, outfits, pictures and comments!

    that restaurant looks great - and seafood is a fav food of us. but living in the mountains ca. 600km away from the next sea (baltic) it´s a rare treat - at least the fresh sort. but we have delicious trouts in the creeks......

    can you tell me how i came from orange safari dress to trouts??? :-)
    xxxx

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  2. Beate, you made me laugh and cry all at the same time! THANK YOU! And I LOVE YOU TOO! It's always warm right here in my heart when I read your words and see your posts and pictures!

    I know exactly what you mean. Russians too don't say much "I love you" or "thank you" or "you are a treasure" or other beautiful things like that. They might even say "I told you "thank you" 3 years ago - remember? what else do you need?" Sad. I think our both cultures need to loosen up a bit and just trust more...

    Anya and I and Justin say "I love you" many times a day, every day. I don't know how to live without "I love you" any more. There is nothing in the world more important, beautiful and true than these three words.

    You see all what you describe in me because you have it in you - so you know how to recognize it... it's rare, isn't it? :)

    xxxxxxx

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  3. Beautiful dress: so colorful and fun! It looks perfect on you. Speaking of finding decent and affordable clothes -- I struggle too, because I'm petite, short and curvy :). You're right -- you just need to look harder and find a brand that makes something that fits your body type. In my case it's LOFT. Their carry petite sizes and their designs are for women who have curves :) Have a wonderful day! Hope the weather will be pleasant this weekend too.

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    1. Thank you, Oksana! Hey, maybe it's a good idea to mention in the post when something is available in Petite (and Tall as well) sizes when I buy a new thing? I know a few brands which carry both (Chico's for one of them of course, I am just such a Chico's kinda girl). I had a few pieces from LOFT - great designs and quality, and pretty affordable too (I usually run for clearance rack right away :). Talbots has Petites for sure too. I think Old Navy might. I will pay attention. :) Happy day to you too! Hugs!

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  4. Glorious sunshine - we've got it this side of the Atlantic, too! Doesn't it make you glad to be alive? It can get as hot as it likes, I adore it.
    Your orange outfit is like a concentrated shot of Vitamin C. After a busy day I feel much more alive after feasting my eyes on you. Loving the jumpsuit and the parka with a sassy hint of leopard.
    xxxx

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  5. Vitamin C! I like it! :))) I am glad you enjoyed it! Have a great weekend, Vix, I hope it'll stay sunny on your side! Hugs!

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  6. Love the orange dress - it's one of my favourite colours, and it suits you wonderfully well. If you find a label whose clothes fit and flatter, that's good, although I must say I agree with Beate, I never think of you as plus size so I hadn't imagined you would have difficulty finding clothes for those fabulous curves of yours. The green jumpsuit is a great piece, you look amazing in it!
    How delightful to meet Justin for fish and chips and a stroll, it looks beautiful.
    Interesting to read your chat with Beate above about expressing affection; we Brits have a reputation for being reserved too, but it's a joy to see individuals overcoming their national stereotypes and saying "I love you" frequently and happily! And there is definitely a LOT of love for you in the blogosphere, Natalia! xxxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Curtise, for your wonderful kind words! :)

      It's not difficult find clothes here, of course - I do not want to give a wrong impression. But the selection for "plus size" (which I am) is significantly smaller compared to "regular size" (up to size US 12). But there are a few wonderful brands which specialize on clothing for women like myself - the clothes which is designed for a slim body will not fit us right, so it's a fantastic thing to have designers who specialize on plus size clothing. I think I will talk more about it on my blog because I am learning about it as I go - I did not know so many things and many stores and brands before I started blogging.

      xxx

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  7. Beautiful colour, Natalia! It looks great on you. I only discovered it for me a couple of years ago and it is so flattering.
    Your wedges are fabulous (great you mentioned your other post) and seem to be comfortable too.

    Being German, I know what Beate means ;-)

    Have a lovely day and enjoy your sunshine; it is miserable over here, we even had some snowfall (!) this morning.
    Annette | Lady of Style

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    1. Snow!!! In May!!! WOW, that's probably very rare for your part of the world, Annette! It's not that rare for Siberia where I am from, but it disappoints every time it happens... everyone is soooo ready for warm weather by this time of year!

      Thank you for your kind comment, Annette, I am very pleased that you liked my choice. I love orange. I think I discovered it in my 20s, but in lighter hues - more apricoty I would say. I was not a big fan of bright colors when I was younger. :)

      xx

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  8. I have a similar dress only it's beige and not orange. Oranges are great for you but you look superb in greens! I like your happy attitude and how friendly you are with people ,things or ideas! I also love to paint one nail with different color. It's so much fun!

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    1. Thank you, my dear! I'd like to experiment with nails more, but it seems too much work. :))) I remember that dress of yours - it's wonderful!

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  9. You are like sunshine in your beautiful orange dress! I adore the style and fit on your gorgeous figure, those other pieces from AS are striking and chic (and very you!) and isn't it lovely when our daughters no longer want something and we get it!! I was surprised to hear about the lack of choice with plus size clothing in America, especially with a size 14 limit in the malls, I thought there would be so much more choice! the UK isn't too bad, they have increased their sizes a lot more now, but for some reason they can make massive, huge arm holes, drives me mad!! x x x

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    1. Thank you, Sandra!! It's fun to be a sunshine. :)

      I did not mean that there is not enough clothing in plus sizes- of course, there are plenty, one never will be left naked. But the selection is way more modest compared to fashionable designer's clothing for "average" sizes. There are a few great plus size brands though, we just have to dig dipper than girls of "regular size". :)


      It's so fun to be a mother of a girl! :)
      xxx

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  10. It's summer here too! Though we know darn well that can change at any moment. Like you, I don't care for the temps too high and like the 70s to low 80s at most. Because of that I've got the idea that northern California would be my ideal climate. I love that dress on you and I think you are right, that military style really suits you. I love the green jumpsuit too. It's so great to find clothing that fits properly, whether that's a brand or a particular shop that carries it. I don't really have a go to brand for fit but I certainly do experience my share of fit challenges. Clothes for regular people generally assume a height maximum of 5'6" or 5'7" and then clothes at specialty shops for tall women start around 5'10" or 5'11" so those of us who are 5'8" or 5'9" don't fit in either category. Even if I had the skills to make my own clothes I would also have to know how to alter patterns. I don't dare order things online, not only because there would be the additional hassle of customs and out of country shipping costs, but the chances of things not fitting would be really high. Even for people who are within the height and size range carried by most shops, there is much inconsistency of sizing. Most women I know have at least two or three different sizes that fit them. I have sizes 8, 10 and 12 with a few 14s or XL. I have shirts marked size L which are too small for me and some marked size L that are too big. It's crazy!

    Okay that's enough ranting. You look gorgeous in your dress!

    Oh my little story about clothes handed down...or up? My son abandoned a hoodie when for a brief time it was more the trend to wear them in a quite fitted style. It was black and had Egyptian hyroglyphics all over it in white. He said I could have it and I usually just wore it around home and called it my badass hoodie. It was a bit large on me but very comfortable and I liked the idea of wearing something that had been his. However, about a year later he decided he wanted it back. LOL
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Shawna! You know what I mean - we just have to dig deeper than fashionistas of "average" size or height. There are gems though, which is rewarding! :)

      Sweet story of the hoodie... of course he wanted it back - it sounds pretty cool! :)

      xxx

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  11. You look adorable in all colours, but I have a soft spot for you in that orange, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Have a fabulous weekend, my dear Natalia
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. So good to see you here, Sacramento! I love orange myself, so there will be more outfits like this one. :)
      xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  12. Lady in orange! Looking stunning! I used to have a top in bright orange, used to receive many compliments while wearing it. Lovely pendant, just the right thing to accessorize this dress. Oh, I have many things from my daughters. They are in such age when they get bored with things quite quickly, and they give them to me - clothes, jewelry pieces, sometimes cosmetics as well.

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    1. Olga, you are DOUBLE lucky - so many goodies from two stylish daughters! :) I bet you were a stunner in your orange top, but then you always are! :)

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  13. You look fabulous Natalia!! You are such a beauty!!!

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    1. Thank you, sweetie, it's sooo nice to hear! xxx

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