Belonging | Sponsored by Old Navy

This post is sponsored by Old Navy.

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Hi babes!

 

Welcome to July! Can you believe we are officially in the latter half of the year! I keep seeing a meme that says “6 months til 2020. Don’t let anyone waste your time” and well I couldn’t agree more! You’ve got to have the right people around you! It is so important to find a group of friends (or family) where you truly feel like you belong!

 

Belonging is that feeling when you can be your most honest, silly, and vulnerable self and know that you’ll be accepted no matter what! #BelongingLooksLike someone going out of their way to show you that they care! Belonging is that assuring feeling that when you’re down, there will be someone there to pick you back up! Or you know…give you a piggy back ride!

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My fiancé, Paul, has been one of those people for me since day one – which I why he’s now my fiancé, haha! He has always made me feel like I belong and he is *almost* always down to support me in even my silliest moments! Like when we were taking this photo and I convinced him he should get on my back instead of the other way around!
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This year is Old Navy’s 25th birthday and their bday theme is belonging! I couldn’t be happier that such a big brand is making such an important statement about inclusion and support! From model choices to in store plus size shipping, Old Navy has always done an amazing job of making me feel included as a plus size women! That’s why I shouted “YES!” to the opportunity to share their new Americana collection with you! Both Paul and I are wearing head to toe Old Navy and I can definitely see us repeating these looks all summer long!

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Thanks for reading and I hope you have an amazing July!

 

Alex

 

Thank you to Old Navy for sponsoring this post! #OldNavyStyle #BelongingLooksLike

 

Wedding Dress Shopping with Stella York

Hey beauties!

Today’s post is extra exciting and truly a long time coming! I’ve been engaged for 7 months already and I’m finally starting to plan the wedding! We’re looking at venues, brainstorming the decor, and writing out our guest list. But without a shadow of a doubt, the thing I was most excited about was shopping for a wedding dress! Over the years, I’ve been offered a few different modeling jobs where I’d get to model wedding dresses, but I’ve always passed. I wanted the first time I tried on a wedding dress to be for the real thing! And here we are!

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I officially went wedding dress shopping for the first time and it was seriously so incredible! I tried on over ten dresses by Stella York and was blown away by how beautiful I felt! Not only was the experience super emotional, it was educational. There’s a lot to know when you’re looking for a wedding dress and I’m so grateful for the team at Bridal Elegance who helped me for my fitting! Today, I want to share all that I learned from how to prepare for your fitting to how to pick your dress!

 

 

I prepared for my fitting with no actual knowledge of what would be happening that day! I did basically no research and I don’t suggest that at all lol! Luckily, I learned a bunch and I hope this post will be helpful for you if and when you go in for a plus size bridal fitting!

When preparing for your bridal fitting, it is important to know the Who, What, When, Where, and Why!

Who should be there with you? For my fitting, it was just me and my mom; and that was perfect for me! But it’s pretty normal for your maid of honor, sisters, and friends to come too! I suggest inviting 1-4 people to join you for your fitting! Some brides do come alone, but I know that I loved every moment I shared with my mom that day! It was a special moment and it is so nice to have your loved ones there to share in that joy! Some brides invite their whole bridal party and that can get really messy, really quickly! Too many opinions can be tough and this day is supposed to be about you! Don’t let anything or anyone else steal your shine or influence you to choose a dress you don’t love! And just know, that it is completely normal to have multiple brides trying on dresses at the bridal shop, so your group won’t be able to overflow into other sections!

What should you bring to the fitting? This was my biggest question when I set my appointment and I ended up bringing so much unnecessary stuff, haha! First and foremost, you should definitely bring a good range of nude colored undergarments! I brought regular and strapless bras, spanx, and underwear! It’s also a good idea to bring a few pairs of shoes! The bridal shop I went to had a few different pairs, but it’s better to try on your dress with shoes that fit well and have a heel height you would actually wear to your wedding. I also suggest bring your makeup or having it done beforehand. If you have your hair and makeup done, you’ll be able to see the full picture once the dress is on! And don’t worry about getting makeup on the dresses. There will be a dresser there to help you put on all your dresses carefully! And lastly, you can wear whatever jewelry you want to the fitting, but you will be asked to remove anything that might snag the dress!

 

When should I make an appointment? My fitting was on a Monday at 10am and I had the whole place to myself until noon! I know that you might work a 9 to 5 job, but the bridal shop assured me that you should try to schedule your fitting on a weekday instead of a weekend. Most bridal shops are open after work hours, so you might find it helpful to schedule your fitting on a weeknight! It’s important to start shopping for your dress 8-9 months before the wedding! That seems like such a long time, because well… it is! But they are making the dress specifically for you and that takes about sixteen to twenty weeks to receive! Then you have a few months to make any final alterations!

Where should I make my appointment? This one was easy for me, because I went where I knew they would have a wide selection of Stella York dresses! The best way to find out what bridal stores carry plus sizes is to simply call! Most stores will be extra kind and accommodating! If they don’t carry plus sizes, they will often point you in the right direction of what other bridal shops will have the best selection! And if they do carry plus sizes, they can check their inventory to see how many options they have in your size and even request more samples from brands – if there’s enough advance notice!

Why should you go in for a bridal fitting? Because you want to look and feel your best on your big day! There are other ways to order wedding dresses, but fittings allow you to try out different kinds of dresses all at once and play with the accessories too! The staff will have SO much knowledge and experience; and that will be extremely helpful in eliminating some of the stress that can come with wedding planning! Also, the fitting is free; so… why not?

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Okay, so let’s talk about the dresses themselves! I walked into my fitting with absolutely no clue what kind of dress I wanted! I had never really thought about it, so I decided that I should try as many styles as possible. And I seriously recommend that plan of action! When you try on all the different styles you can find what silhouette, color, and detailing you love – in that order!

I tried on four different silhouettes: ballgown, fit & flare, soft A-line, and full A-line. Each cut can come with different necklines, fastenings, and fabrics! And then I moved on to color selection! Pro tip: Pure white is actually a bit blue; so choose Ivory for a more traditional look! Each and every dress you try on can be made it multiple colors, so all the dresses are worth trying on even if you don’t like color. It’s also noteworthy that the hem and size chart can vary from brand to brand! All of the Stella York dresses I”m wearing below come hemmed to 5’9. I’m just an inch shorter so it was too noticeable! Bridal shops come equipped with plenty of tools to help you see how it will fit once tailored for you! You can see that I needed several clips here in this first photo!

 

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This first dress is a ballgown with a horsehair trim and sweetheart neckline! The ivory trim sits over a moscato colored base.

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Stella York style 6810

This is an ivory, soft A-line dress with a sweetheart neckline and an off the shoulder top.

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Stella York style 6385

This is a two tone, aline dress with a sweetheart neckline and chantilly lace detailing. The ivory lace sits over a pewter base.

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Stella York style 6257

The next dress is an ivory, fit and flare dress with a sweetheart neckline and a corset back. The belt is added separately.

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Stella York style 5922

This gold fit and flare dress has a V-neckline and beautifully detailed bedding.

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Stella York style 6025

This ivory, A-line dress had a sweetheart neckline, lace edging, and a tulle bottom.

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Stella York style 6776

The last dress is an A-line with a sweetheart neckline, corset back, and lace detailing. The ivory lace sits over a glittery champagne colored base.

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Once you find a dress that you love, there are so many extra details that can be added to make the dress your own! The seamstress can alter, adjust, and add extra beading, lace, ribbons, rhinestone layerings, and even extended trains. Most bridal shops will also have veils, belts, and other accessories for you to try on! No matter how you choose to make your dress yours, make sure that you feel comfortable, beautiful, and overall bridal!

 

 

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this was helpful! Be sure to comment with an questions and I’ll do my best to help! And if you’re ready to find the Stella York wedding dress of your dreams, you can view a complete list of retailers using the store locator.

Alex

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This post was sponsored by Stella York.

 

Bra Talk | Sponsored by Torrid

Sponsored by Torrid
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Hi there!

 

Spring has sprung and I know my house isn’t the only place that could use a little bit of spring cleaning! This year, I’ve decided to Marie Kondo my closet and leave behind all the things that aren’t actually bringing me joy!

 

Today, I want to talk to you about something that has rarely sparked joy! Bras. *collective sigh* I know, I know… bras can be a frenemy that are amazing sometimes and other times just down right rude. And can I be honest with you? I wasn’t convinced I could actually find a bra that didn’t make me feel trapped, hot, or uncomfortable.

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I’m so excited to share that I’ve found a go to everyday bra that gives me the support I want, but also gives me the comfort I absolutely need. I’m wearing the new 360 Push Up T-Shirt Bra from Torrid and I’ve worn it the last 5 days in a row. For me, my number one concern about shopping for a bra is comfort! Then there’s fit, function, and style.
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After a couple weeks of wear, I can definitively say that the Torrid 360 Push Up T-Shirt Bra is surprisingly comfortable. When you can roam around your day and not think of your bra once, that is a win! The name 360 comes from the patent pending back-smoothing technology used in the band! This technology keeps your bra basically invisible under your clothes and it really helps prevent any digging along the band.
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I’m wearing the Push Up version of the bra, but they also have a regular T-Shirt Bra and a Plunge version as well! It felt fitting to pair my bra with the matching 360 panties that are also super comfy! Be sure to check out the full collection, just click here! They offer band sizes 36-54 and cup sizes C-H!
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Have an incredible day! And, as always, thank you for reading!

 

Alex

 

Thank you Torrid for sponsoring this post!