Posts in body image
3 Reasons To Get Your Portrait Taken NOW

Hello Dear Reader! 

I'm a big fan of local photographer,  Amy Catherine.  She helps Seattle women look and feel beautiful. So, as we dive into the New Year, let's celebrate YOU. Below is a guest post from Amy as well as a super fabulous deal for Poplin readers. Enjoy! 


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Cocktail Dresses, Your Prom and How a Dress Can Change Your Life.

I would never allow someone to talk to me the way I talk to myself.

-Anonymous/ A large number of people on the planet


Feeling beautiful on the outside has an indisputable impact on the dialogue happening on the inside. 

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Valuable Reminders For Us All Courtesy of Trans Youth.

The Ruby Room Fashion Show is THIS Sunday. The Ruby Room provides prom dresses for girls who wouldn't otherwise have the right dress for such an important occasion. Tickets are affordable, the show will be AMAZING and every dollar goes to this worthy cause. (Plus, I'll be a judge and I've already picked out my outfit. So, there's that.) 

It got me thinking about the trans youth that also enjoy this benefit thanks to organizations like The Ruby Room, YouthCar & so many others. So, I'm reposting this from February. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to help trans women cultivate their personal styles. 

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How Do I Make Functional Undergarments Look Sexy?

Let's be real. There are undergarments (we're talking about panties, bras and the like) that are crazy sexy. When you were them, you feel desirable, powerful, gorgeous. 

Then, you try to layer those under your clothes. Lacy bras result in bumpy t-shirts. Low waisted underwear means a muffin top. And the list goes on. Of course, thongs are the exception. But, I'm willing to guess that most women aren't wearing those everyday. So, what to do.

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The End of Labeling Women's Bodies.

I met with a new client yesterday. As she was talking about her style challenges, she mentioned weight gain. She said, "I used to look like you. Thin. Able to fit into anything at the store. Now, it's much more difficult." 

Like me? Let's be clear, I'm on the heavier side of my weight continuum. Thin like me is not what I expect someone to say. But, it was the reminder I needed exactly when I needed it. Really, we are our own worst critics when it comes to weight. And, this battle over plus size, medium size, extended sizes and the like has me thinking a lot about this. So, I ask you:


Why Do We Need Body Labels at All?

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Lessons From Trans Youth.

I'm very lucky to have the opportunity to hold monthly styling sessions for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Poplin styling sessions are limited to the youth in the Barista Training Program, who are in this eight week program to learn everything you need to know to be a Barista including customer service, job skills and life skills. You can learn more about the program here. 

Over the last few years, I've noticed the population changing. And, I'm doing my best to change with them. Last year we saw more young women who were pregnant. So, we offered assistance with clothes that are appropriate for job interviews but also practical as your body changes. This year, I've been really amazed at how the younger generation sees gender in such a fluid way. I've tweaked the sessions to included an opportunity for attendees to identify their pronouns (she/her, he/him or they/them). I've learned a lot. 

I've also had the extraordinary experience of repeatedly helping trans youth transitioning from male to female. This one has really had an impact on me. Nationally, LGBTQ youth are estimated to be about 40% of the homeless population. I'm especially proud of ISIS House, a transitional living house designed to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth and their straight allies. It's the only one in Washington state and one of the few programs like it in the nation. YouthCare never disappoints.

During these sessions, I'm struck by the lessons that trans youth have to teach the rest of us. So, as your very own personal stylist, I'm passing these learnings along. 


Valuable Reminders From Trans Youth.

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What Your Clothes are saying to YOU.

It's no secret that people make judgments about us based on what we are wearing and how we look. It's also no secret that nonverbal communication (aka body language) is one way that we send messages to those around us. Something that is often overlooked is what we are saying to OURSELVES through our body language and the way we adorn ourselves. 

An enthusiastic and thoughtful client of mine sent over this video of a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy. (You may or may not know that I am obsessed with TED Talks. I digress.) If you haven't seen it already, you certainly should. It's about how powerful we become when we use power poses — when our nonverbal language communicates that we are powerful. It got my client thinking about how this relates to what we wear and how we feel in those pieces. 

This is something I think about quite a bit. 


What Your Clothes are Saying to YOU and How That Affects Your Behavior.

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The Modernized 70's- Plus Size Edition

Editor's note: Below you'll find another blog post from Poplin contributor and plus size fashion guru, Jordan Richardson. 

Hello Dear Reader,

As fall encroaches on our summer I am sure you are noticing the magazines and stores beginning to bear a striking resemblance to store fronts, fabrics and prints of the 1970's. Now dear reader, whether you have already lived through the 70's and its fashion extravaganza, or you missed it, this fall seems to be bringing the whole tidal wave back again. So how do you survive it!? Whether you are a fan of suede and fringe, or not, there is ways to inch around the biggest trend of the cooler months, or dive right in.

Personally, my favorite parts of the revival are layered flapper fringed dresses, the color orange, and long flare jean with platforms. Other highlights are long duster coats in various fabric textures and weights, suede for days, itsy ditsy floral print, shift dresses, acid colors with neutrals, and mock turtlenecks. So what may work best for you? I've cultivated some of the highlights of the next season and matched them to some tricky styling points to ease you back into shag carpeting.



Athletic Thighs + Long Flares + Platforms = Legs for Days

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A Pop of Power! Plus Size Style

Editor's note: Below you'll find another blog post from Poplin contributor and plus size fashion guru, Jordan Richardson. 


Hello Dear Reader,

I hope you are all staying cool in these record breaking warm days. Who knew the PNW could sustain such heat, Yowza! In the hotter times I know I feel a bit more sluggish and have trouble motivating myself to dress up; so I try to look for throw on pieces to make it easier. Lately I've been thinking about power pieces, pieces that stand out and look instantly put together. I've culled together a couple eye catching, easy to wear pieces that will see you through the summer and into the cooler months.

Stand Out Styles

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Summertime Solutions

Three things: 1. Below you'll find another blog post from Poplin contributor and plus size fashion guru, Jordan Richardson. Like what you read? Jordan's research on Sizeism was recently featured in an article in the Everett Herald? Check it out!  3. She wrote this prior to this beautiful weather. Love her and you will, too.

Hello my dear readers,

As spring settles into full swing with its hectic weather patterns, I cannot help but cherish and look forward to those sunnier warmer days ahead. Though with the sun and heat comes a potential deluge of new styling challenges that can be difficult to traverse. A lot of us are uncomfortable with certain areas of our bodies, and with the warmer months approaching that usually means less layers and clothes, which can at times be uncomfortable. I am hoping to offer some solutions on minimizing the areas you're not as hot on, and maximizing the ones you adore, while remaining comfortably cool in these months to come.

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Date Night for the Authentic You.

As a personal stylist, I identify each client's body type and help her learn how to dress to flatter her figure. Equally important, I ask her a zillion questions to get to know who she is and how she sees herself in the world. The apex of this process is the identification of style key words. I ask each client to identify key words that she'd like people to use to describe her personal style. Then, we use those words as filters when determining what works best in her closet. You can see examples of these three words on the client page

These next few weeks are all about romance. Whether or not you are planning an outing on February 14th, the holiday's existence has likely inspired you to up your game for a night out. With that in mind, you, dear Reader, inspired me. Below you'll find ten pieces I adore that convey specific key words. Perhaps integrating them into your current collection will help you find your personal style. Need a little more guidance? That's what I'm here for.

The Authentic You on Date Night

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Gonna Have a Good Day.

I am all about the music. If you put on just the right track, it inspires just the right outfit and inevitably just the right day. 

So, today, my Dear Reader, I am going to give you a little window into the life of this personal stylist. When I'm styling someone, I try to get into her head, to figure out what she REALLY wants to look like. Then, match that up with her body type and get her there. When I'm creating wish lists, I find it especially helpful to put on music that reminds me of that client. When I'm getting ready in the morning, if I can tear myself away from NPR, I gravitate toward something that is going to set me up for a successful day. 

So, let us begin.

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Are You Playing the Comparison Game?

I used to feel guilty every time I purchased a new piece of clothing or pair of shoes. Until, one day my husband said the most amazing words to me. He said, "you shouldn't feel guilty. That's your art form."


Some people paint, others sculpt, I create outfits in my mind. That is my art form. 

As a personal stylist, having the opportunity to create while helping to teach someone else is incredibly gratifying. Why am I bringing this up? 

In casual conversations people often share with me their admiration for a style guru in their lives. Perhaps it's someone at the office who always looks incredible, a friend or family member. Looking fashionable seems effortless to this guru. She (or he) is always put together, stunning, current. I love hearing about this style guru because that person can be a helpful inspiration during the style transformation process. Seeing someone else's success can inspire us to work toward our own goals. 

The danger is when you start playing the comparison game. When looking at that style guru again and again makes you doubt your own look, feel insecure about attempting a riskier approach to style, or give up all together, we have a problem. That's when I need to step in. So, here I am, stepping in.


Gut Check: Are You Playing the Comparison Game?

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Yes! YOU Can Wear a Jumpsuit.

Poplin: "I've been meaning to write a blog post about how to wear jumpsuits for months. Personally, I'm obsessed with them."

Blog reader Carly via Facebook: "Indeed. The people are clamoring for it. We need to know how to wear them, Mellicia." 

Give the people what they want... especially if what they want is what you are dying to tell them. And, I AM dying to tell you how to wear a jumpsuit. After all, they aren't just for the uber cool woman you aspire to be. They are for you. You are that uber cool woman.


How to Find the Perfect Jumpsuit for You.

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What I've Learned From Fashion Shows

Last night I attended Fashion First Seattle- a fashion show to benefit Inspire Youth Project. It was an evening to remember, for sure. Flying solo at the event, I was reminded of all the lessons I've learned from Fashion Shows and I have a feeling that you, Dear Reader, will find them useful. Here we go!


What I've Learned From Fashion Shows

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The Plus size Coordinating Set- Not just sweaters anymore

Below you'll find another blog post from Poplin contributor and plus size fashion guru, Jordan Richardson. This time, she teamed up with Poplin Style Direction Intern, Ellie Emoto to bring you up to speed on this summer's Must Have.  This week's Poplin newsletter includes Ellie's take on the LWD for straight sizes and Jordan's perspective for plus size women is below. If you aren't receiving the newsletter, make sure to sign up!

Also, did you know that Jordan's research on Sizeism was recently featured in an article in the Everett Herald? Check it out! Love her and you will, too. Enjoy!


Dear Reader,

Although I usually try and stay away from flash trends, opting instead for more classic pieces, sometimes I get roped in. I struggled against the coordinating set but then finally gave in to the matchy matchy patterned sets that felt fun and funky. Well, my jumping into this trend was my best fashion decision of the past six months. After acquiring a matching monochrome patterned sweater and skirt set I found a dozen ways to wear each piece separately, and another dozen ways to wear them together with various accessories and shoes.  Even better, I felt powerful, stunning and oh so cool every time I put them on together.

So I want to share that feeling with you. I've found some coordinating sets or co-ords that align with some keywords; making this trend accessible no matter what you are seeking to communicate.



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Feeling Overwhelmed? Life Just Got a Little Easier


I've said it before, we all have a little Seasonal Affective Disorder in us. If for no other reason, but because our calendars are on hyper drive this time of year. Every day has a zillion commitments and even though the days are technically longer, we still can't do it all. So, if this time of year has brought you a feeling of overwhelm, you are not alone. I thought you might enjoy some streamlining from your very own personal stylist.

Here we go!

5 Ways to Take Control of Your Style

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Weight fluctuation got you down?

One of the most frequent replies when I tell someone that I'm a personal stylist is, "I'd love to do that. I'll definitely call you after I lose X number of pounds." Ugh. And, the holidays are the worst when it comes to weight gain.

With the exception of my very slim husband who has some magical gene, there are very few people who don't experience some sort of weight fluctuation. Sadly, as we gain, we tend to stop investing in ourselves and taking pride in our look. 

As a member of this club, I thought I might share some strategies for feeling good about how you look at any weight.

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