Seeing an outfit of the beautiful Austrian blogger Curvy Claudia made me realized that I can create a very similar all white outfit from the existing pieces of my wardrobe. Why this outfit has not happened to me earlier? I really couldn't tell. But I have a suspicion that maybe I felt that all white is not really for me - I don't believe I ever had many white things. All the three pieces here are relatively recent purchases (and all, weirdly enough, from Lane Bryant, bought of course on a really good sale, each piece at a different time). I remember having a snow white short Spring coat as a teenager - my auntie donated hers to me, and it felt so luxurious and out of a different world in the small working town where I grew up. Later, when I already was working for a publishing company and made my own living, I ordered a custom made long off-white coat - I ordered it from my other auntie (as a matter of fact, they are twins) and loved it to no end. It was elegant, dreamy, very dandy, and I was getting tons of compliments wearing it.
After moving to the US, everything about my outfits slowly got much simpler, much more casual. And when it was still fresh to me (women in Russia do love dressing up, it's only in the last few years they started adopting a more casual style, but still not nearly as much as American women did), I had fun with it, and I think I knew how to look stylish even in my least stylish years, which were right prior this blog, when I was building a community like a mad scientist, or rather mad artist. Things all white were out of the question for me. Raising a child, being practically every day on the go and behind the wheel, working with little children - there was absolutely no time or energy, or inspiration for white things. On the top of which, I gained weight. And it traditionally is not advised to wear white if you are even a little plump - "it will make you look bigger", blah blah, blah. Now, honestly, whoever wants to look bigger? Not too many folks, I bet.
I don't typically make a big deal out of my size - I'm learning to really accept myself for who I am the way I am now. I was different yesterday, and will be different tomorrow. The one thing we all have is now, and why not live in the now, being aware and grateful for what it is, instead of wishing for things to be different, whatever these "things" may be. Why be unhappy if we actually can be happy? I realized that happiness is a choice very early on - I think I was not even 20 yet. It does not mean, of course, that I always feel happy - I do have my ups and downs as much as the next person. But I simply don't accept unhappiness as something that "happens" to me. It's a choice. I always know, even in my weakest, darkest days, that happiness is my and only my own choice. Always, no matter what. And if I instead choose to be miserable, then that's what I choose - no other reasons, explanations, excuses for it. Just because there are always plenty of reasons for both - reasons for being miserable and reasons for being happy. And there always will be. The choice is mine. It really is as simple as that.
So living in a larger-than-I-used-to body, even though it was not my conscious choice, still somehow is my own choice, and since there is no huge desire to make another choice now, I accept that this is the way it is for now, and I'm going to be OK with that. I don't really join any movements, though I sure respect people who do - including the body acceptance movement which bloggers are a huge part of (and size is definitely not the only thing that challenges us to really, truly accept our bodies and, to be honest the more importantly - to accept ourselves the way we are). But if you struggle with loving your body just the way it is now, you can find many inspiring bloggers who write about this topic all the time - and show the world that beauty is definitely not defined by size.
The delicate mesh back detail of the sleeveless blazer.
To name a few of such blogs, other than Claudia's:
and there are many, many more talented, gorgeous women who demonstrate daily that beauty and style have nothing to do with a size. Go visit their blogs, get inspired - and stop hiding from the world, but more than anything, hiding from yourself and your dreams. That's exactly what I did a year and a half ago, when I wrote the very first post here, In The Writer's Closet. I stopped hiding.
Like Claudia, I opted for a little edgy take on styling this soft chiffon blouse. It's a little too edgy for America (might not seem so to my European or Russian readers) - but hey, I'm not quite American either. I'll admit that I tried to wear this blouse without a tank top the very day I bought it - it just is so beautiful. And yet, I never want to attract the wrong kind of attention - so to me, wearing this blouse with a bra instead of a tank top is for occasions when I am on a date with my love.
I also admit that it is only after seeing Claudia showing off her gorgeous curves, I decided to do it too. I tried to talk it over with my family before posting. You'll never guess what my Dad said to me. "Why do you ask us? Just wear what you like!" Papa, you are so right! I don't really need anyone's approval. I'm soon to be 42 years old, grown up woman who had a courage to change her life more than a couple of times. I certainly am able to make my own decisions about what is right for me to wear.
We took my dearest parents to the airport today - as long as their stay might seem (5 months), time flew quickly. It's not easy. At times, the sadness is so overwhelming, you feel like your heart is being torn in two halves - one in America, another in Russia. And yet, as Justin often reminds me, there are not many people who spend so much time with their parents even if they live in the same city. To share a home together, to share our life, to live as one big three generations family for as long as we were able to do, and to actually like and respect each other, even though it is not always smooth and easy, is such an exceptionally rare gift.
Have a safe trip home, our dearest. Our little cottage feels empty now. It is very difficult to not feel your presence. I love Justin's idea to think of it as a preparation for our next visit together.
Blouse, vest (waistcoat, or sleeveless blazer, whichever term you prefer) and jeans - Lane Bryant
Coat - J. Jill (7 years ago)
Shoes - Rockport (via Nordstrom Rack)
Purse - B Makowsky (via TJ MAXX)
Jewelry and scarf to add Spring to my all white outfit - Chico's
Photos, as always, by Justin