fashion · fitness

What to do instead of extreme dieting to get into an old dress for 5 minutes on social media: tips for Kim K

CW: mention of extreme dieting.

In case you’re not a big Met Gala red carpet fan (don’t judge me; it’s a way to avoid end-of-term grading), Kim Kardashian (who I still can’t figure out why she’s a celebrity) showed up wearing a dress of Marilyn Monroe’s. She wore it for a few minutes– long enough for selfies seen ’round the world– and then changed into an identical dress for the rest of the evening.

Stick figure is confused. Me too!
Stick figure is confused. Me too!

This was a very elaborate and expensive publicity stunt, which I think is Kim Kardashian’s stock in trade. That’s not why I’m bringing this to your attention. Rather, it’s the fact that this stunt involved very extreme weight-loss methods in order to fit into a fragile 60-year-old dress for less than 10 minutes– basically long enough to pose and ascend the stairs at the Met Gala. I won’t post anything about those methods, but you can read more about it in the Teen Vogue article.

In my view, Ms. Kardashian was ill-advised in her desire for attention on the Met Gala. Had she asked for my input, there are lots of other ways she could’ve drawn attention to herself without doing potential damage to her body and encouraging lots of women and girls to do the same:

1.Ms. Kardashian could have set up a sewing machine and table to sew a one-minute dress, put it on and strut up those stairs. Yes, it’s possible– check it out here:

Karma B shows us how to sew a dress in one minute and be fabulous.

2.If Kim didn’t want to go to all the trouble of sewing, but wanted to make an impression, she could’ve taken tips from these folks, who certainly went all-out for the Met Gala too, but didn’t worry about fitting into too-tight clothing:

Honestly, a great hat can really spruce up an otherwise-ordinary outfit. Had Kim’s people done their research, they would have found these examples to help turn the spotlight on their client:

My fashion take-away: there are so many fun and elegant and whimsical and hilarious ways to go all-out for special occasions. Why focus on clothing that doesn’t fit in the first place (which isn’t your fault or the clothing’s fault)? Imagination and a little courage can send us all out there into the world and onto whatever red carpets or boardrooms or conferences or galas with panache.

I don’t currently have any fancy dos on my agenda. Do you, dear readers? What do you wear when the dress code is schmancy? I welcome your advice.

aging · birthday · fashion

Catherine turns 60: what to wear?

This week I turned 60. It’s kind of exciting and also a little daunting. I’m excited at reaching what feels like a milestone. My father died 15 days shy of his 60th birthday, of metastatic lung cancer. My mother is 78 (yes, she had me young) and still chugging along. At 60, it feels like I’ll be joining her, my aunts, and older women friends, being inducted into the membership of… some metaphysical organization of which I currently know not.

So, given that some aspects of my future seem ineffable, I’m pragmatically turning to the mundane: what does turning 60 mean for my wardrobe choices? What do various clothing styles mean for women, 60 and older?

Again, I find myself soaring into abstract territory; perhaps it’s just pre-birthday flutterings. Maybe I should just talk about clothing now. Okay, I’ll do that.

Last week, I posted Style secrets for women over 50: Catherine has thoughts.

Most of what I read online was a miscellany of what NOT to wear, of which I’m choosing to ignore ALL their ill-considered tips. However, I continued searching for articles on style, and style for older women. What are my choices?

There’s always classic and elegant:

They look lovely (the women and their outfits), but this look doesn’t really suit my personality, lifestyle or bank account.

I do love me some color, though, and you see bright-colored costume-y ensembles on some fashionable older women.

These are fabulous, but… not really for me. I like the harem pants and also the flowing green coat, but these are bolder style messages than I think I want to send on a day-to-day basis.

There’s a lot of commentary on what older women wear, and most of it isn’t good. They get lampooned on TV and elsewhere. Who can forgot grandma Yetta from the TV show The Nanny?

By the way, here is what actor Ann Morgan Guilbert, who played Grandma Yetta, looked like in real life:

Actor Ann Morgan Guilbert, looking elegant and stylish as herself.
Actor Ann Morgan Guilbert, looking elegant and stylish as herself.

You may be beginning to get the message that, for older women, style means bold and extreme, maybe bordering on satire. That’s fine if that’s what you want. But I don’t want these to be my only options:

I mean, they’re totally fab. But not to go into my wardrobe rotation.

Don’t despair for me, gentle readers; I did find a fashion exemplar whose style works for me. I present, for your consideration, looks of Queen Latifah:

Queen Latifah’s looks feature comfortable shoes, unfussy components, some tailored style, and above all functionality. These are clothes to live in, not pose in. I admit I might pick some pieces with bolder colors too, but I like the combo of useful and chic. Thanks Queen Latifah!

Now, time to go shopping in my closet and see what combos come out of it. Stay tuned for updates.

Readers, what kind of looks are you sporting these days? Any fashion tips or aspirations you want to share? Let me know.

fashion · fitness

Style secrets for women over 50? Catherine has thoughts

As if life weren’t already hard enough… Town and Country came out this month with “Style Secrets” for women over 50. Whenever I read “blah-blah for women over 50”, I feel like I have to either 1) step away from the breakables in my house; or 2) put on my mouth guard while reading to keep from grinding my teeth away.

And yet– I couldn’t resist sharing a few tips with you, dear readers. Worry not, though, as I have accompanied them with healthy (or at least, amusing) commentary. And pictures, too. So here we go…

Town and Country says to us: Opt for daintier jewelry.

Hell to the no. First of all, I can barely see the catches on itty-bitty necklaces to put them on. Secondly, I enjoy color, texture, dimension and materials. That translates for me to having fun with jewelry, which is sometimes large and in charge. I present to you exhibits 1a and 1b.

Next tip from Town and Country: Find the right jeans.

I hardly know how to respond to this. Every woman over 50 knows that the “right jeans” is one of the big lies of our time. They don’t exist. Or, maybe they did (I found the perfect pair of Marithe Francois Girbaud jeans in 1993), but then they stopped making them. We know this: we go out with the jeans we have, not the jeans we might want…

They go on, offering us more sage wisdom: Wearing a skirt? Mind your knees.

What is this? Random orthopedic advice? Nope. Some bozo named Paul Cavaco dropped the following quote:

“I think that after a certain age your skirt should really be at or below the knee, no matter how beautiful your legs are. It looks more appropriate and it doesn’t look like you’re trying to look young.”

That’s a load of crap. Take this, Paul:

Don’t we all look super cute? I thought so.

Their next tip sounds okay, but it’s actually bad: Chose where you want the most attention. The creepiness is in the details below, from creepy guy Andrew Gelwicks:

“A lot of the women I dress have a certain area of their body that they don’t feel as confident of. If you’re going to be more conservative with one part of your body then you need to compensate by highlighting another area. Have a leg moment if you don’t want to draw attention to your shoulders.”

No No No No No No No! I can choose to highlight NO areas of my body if I want. In fact, that is my preferred default state moving through the world. If I have to pick one part of my body to highlight, it guess it would be this one:

I'd like for my brain to be highlighted, but of course not literally, like in this picture.
I’d like for my brain to be highlighted, but of course not literally, like in this picture.

Town and Country clearly doesn’t like women over 50, as they then suggest the following: Shapewear is key.

In case you don’t know what that is, they’re talking about spanx and other sorts of tight elastic garments designed to constrain our bodies and render us less like people and more like sausages. Why? Because over-50 bodies and movements of those bodies are seen as less smooth or graceful or uniform by some in the fashion world and everyone on the Town and Country Editorial staff. All I have to say here is this:

It’s a trap!

It *is* a trap, in more ways than one. First, once you manage to get into these elastic torture garments, it’s not easy to get out of them again. Second, it traps us into thinking that our own unfettered bodies are not acceptable for public outings. A pox on all shapewear and the truck they rolled in on.

They go on to make lots of suggestions about high heels (always have a pair at the ready), as well as what color of high heels you should have (black is a requirement, but color is okay). I’ll stop here.

In summary: my style tips for women over 50?

  • Find your own style
  • Ignore the whole idea of style
  • Follow trends
  • Find your trends at your local thrift shop
  • Wear pajama bottoms all the time
  • Do whatever you want

That’s my plan. What are your style tips for women over 50? I stand before my closet, awaiting your advice…

fashion · fitness

Relatable bodies in the news this week

It’s been a week. Even though the COVID numbers are heading downward in my area of the US, they’re still very high. And I also spent more time than usual in grocery stores, caught up in pre-nor’easter shopping mania. I now have 1.5 gallons of milk in my fridge. I guess it’s time to make a LOT of pudding…

Large bowl of banana pudding with vanilla wafers.
Now that’s what I’m talking about: Vanilla wafer banana pudding.

While trolling around for a blog post topic, I discovered that, while I was standing in line at the Cambridge, MA Star Market, fashion’s last taboo was being challenged in Paris. To what am I referring? Well, it just so happens that one designer decided to use what the Guardian called “models of average size” in his couture show.

I know. I should’ve warned you to sit down before reading this. I hope you’re okay.

The fashion media were all aflutter over this.

In runway shows, sometimes there are 50 skinny models and one bigger-sized. I feel like you don’t really relate to that. You don’t believe that. You just tick the box,” Piccioli told Vogue. Instead, he cast 10 models with “differently proportioned bodies,” to the delight of fashion fans and dispelling the notion that it’s too difficult or expensive to design clothes for different body types, an oft-cited excuse for designers unwilling to become more inclusive.

Let’s take a look at some of these “relatable bodies” (as the Guardian put it):

Some poor woman trapped in a sea of purple bows and a big flouncy skirt. If I could see her body, I could tell you if it was relatable. Alas...
Some poor woman trapped in a sea of purple bows and a big flouncy skirt. If I could see her body, I could tell you if it was relatable. Alas…

Maybe these are better examples of what the enthralled fashion writers had in mind:

I know– it’s silly and perhaps unkind to the above-mentioned working women to poke fun at them just doing their jobs. What I am poking fun at is the idea that these women have “relatable” bodies. They’re clearly models, with model looks and body structure and body size (and also those inimitable model facial expressions of distracted ennui). If fashion designers wanted to present actually relatable bodies wearing fancy clothes, they might have shown something like this:

Now, these are women I can relate to. You can read more about them here.
Now, these are women I can relate to. You can read more about them here.

This week DID, in fact produce an image of the most relatable and adorable bodies I can think of– this one:

Serena Williams and her daughter, resplendent in matching coral and black active wear.
Serena Williams and her daughter, resplendent in matching coral and black active wear.

Now these women are ones I can relate to. And I WANT Serena’s outfit. Will report back when I track it down…

Readers, what sorts of images do you find relatable? Do these slightly-larger-sized models do it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

blog · camping · canoe · cycling · family · fashion · fitness · illness · nature · season transitions · Seasonal sadness · traveling

Blogging in September: My birthday, the blog’s birthday, back to school, and other themes

There are lots of things I could write about today. I’ve spent a fair bit of time pondering my choice of topics.

I was going to write about my annual thyroid cancer check up. It’s today. And if all goes well it’s my last annual check up. (Fingers crossed.) After today they’re every five years. My birthday last week was also mammogram day. It’s as if September weren’t a busy enough month for an academic. It’s also cancer screening season for me.

I thought about writing whether Tracy and I want to write a turning 60 book, to follow up our turning 50 project, Fit at Midlife: A Feminist Fitness Journey. We’re having dinner together tonight and no doubt the subject will come up

Let’s see. It’s also blog birthday season. As Tracy posted, happy 9th birthday blog! We’re nearly at 5000 posts too. That’s hard to believe. This post is 4990!

And the blog’s birthday and my birthday, not surprisingly given how the blog got started, are pretty close together. Another possible topic, what does 57 mean anyway?

Here’s a photo from my birthday bike ride!

Jeff, Dhurin, me, Kim, Ellen and Sarah on the birthday bike ride

At this time of year I often write about back to school and trying to stay physically active as work gets busier and busier. This year, unlike last, I’m back in my office. I’m not yet back at the gym.

I’m having big busy days filled with work and people. So many people! I gave a lecture to O-Week students (photo on the right) and hung out with incoming College of Arts students at our Food Truck lunch meet and greet (photo on the left.)

I also biked around meeting parents and students on move-in day. (Round photo at the bottom.)

Sam’s pink Bromption outside Zavitz Hall at the University of Guelph

I’m back in the office now, wearing (mostly) real clothes. I looked at my clothes the other day and wondered why there were so many pairs of yoga pants. Who needs five pairs of yoga pants? Oh right, work from home and the pandemic. I could write about wearing clothes again. I’m working my way back to real shoes but I am not there yet.

In recent years I’ve been suffering a bit from seasonal sadness and trying to tell myself new stories about fall and winter, leaning into the time of cold and dark. I’ve been trying to extend outdoor activities into the fall. We’re going canoe camping again one more time this fall. And we are also looking at more fall gravel riding plans. So there’s that.

I’m a bit nervous that the no travel thing is continuing and it looks like this will be another year in which I don’t get to go somewhere warm with my bike for the winter. I miss the southern US! I miss Florida and Arizona for winter cycling.

In the end, I just want to let you know how much we’ve been enjoying our time in Prince Edward County and likely will continue that into the autumn too.

How’s your September starting out as we move into the fall?

Here’s a farm frog and a some pumpkins.

Frog and pumpkins
bras · fashion · fitness

Will we go back to wearing ‘real’ bras in a post-pandemic world? Sam isn’t sure

Image: Women’s peach bra on white background with matching peach roses
Photo by  Kapil Tejwani  on  Scopio

It’s spring and I’m swapping clothes around, from winter to summer. The fall and spring stuff stays out year round. But I store out of season clothes in the basement in plastic storage tubs, as one does if you only have one closet and a chest of drawers. I have friends who don’t swap clothes between seasons but generally speaking they are friends who live alone and who have year round access to multiple closets.

Even with the swapping about, I’m still pinched for clothes space. So I looked about to see what I’m not wearing and came across a full drawer of bras. Prime clothing real estate taken up by fancy underwire things that I haven’t worn since the pandemic began. I moved them out and relegated them to a storage box on the bookcase.

What have I been wearing if not those bras? Sports bras mostly. But not even my most serious supportive sports bras. Instead I’m wearing the comfy, soft sports bras, the kind people market for yoga or possibly low impact activities. Frankly, I’m not sure if I’m going back to the serious, substantial ones.

I recognize that this is a privilege that follows from being a B cup and not a D or larger. I know some friends who are more comfortable wearing a serious bra. I’m just not one of them.

After a bit of searching for non sports bras that are still soft and comfortable, my newsfeed is full of ads for them. I’ll buy some maybe and report back. I feel it’s the underwear equivalent of Cate’s discussion of “hard shoes.”

I’m still in love with lots of my formal work clothes but never again will I wear a bra that pokes in my ribs.

How about you? What’s your “return to workplace”–whatever stage of that you’re in–bra life like?

May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text that says 'Kate Lambert @itskatelambert I see women out and y'all are wearing bras again. I THOUGHT WE HAD AN AGREEMENT'
fashion · fitness · inclusiveness · link round up

Fit is a Feminist Issue, Friday Link Round Up #95, Inclusive Fitness Fashion

Today’s link round up focusses on fitness, fashion, and inclusivity.

Athleta’s Latest Launch Is The Inclusivity Push In The Fitness Industry I’ve Been Waiting For

“Those of us trying to be more active who don’t fit society’s image of what “health and wellness” looks like can often feel excluded. While the fitness industry has made strides in recent years, shopping for activewear can still prove challenging at times. I mean really, how can any of us be expected to start hitting the gym when it’s a challenge to even find workout gear that fits us? The double standard has been weighing on a lot of us for a really long time. But Athleta’s latest push for inclusivity is moving the needle forward.”

6 Women And Brands That Are Making Fitness More Size-Inclusive

“There’s no denying that a lot of work needs to be done to make fitness a happier, more fulfilling relationship for women everywhere, of any size. For so many women, diet culture has morphed movement from a joyful activity to an unsatisfying means to an end. Not only can this rob exercise of fun, but it also continues to make women (myself, included) feel pulled to move for the sake of shrinking ourselves. Luckily, there’s a growing movement of incredible women and initiatives leading the charge towards change. Through their own journeys of rejecting diet culture’s influence over fitness and embracing their bodies, they’ve nurtured a healthier relationship with movement that’s inclusive of all shapes and (finally) filled with fun.”

Sure they’re comfortable, but those leggings and sports bras are also redefining modern femininity

“In our own research, we argue that wearing activewear in public is a way of saying “I am in charge of my health” and conforming to socially acceptable understandings of femininity. In this sense, activewear (not to be confused with its less sporty “athleisure” offshoot) has become the uniform of what we might term the “socially responsible 21st-century woman.” Part of the appeal of activewear is that it is comfortable and functional. But it has also been designed to physically shape the body into a socially desirable hourglass female form.”

Attention Plus-Size Athletes: Superfit Hero Extends Their Size Run To 7X

“This week activewear brand, Superfit Hero, announced that they will phase out their smallest sizes – extra-small, small and medium – in favor of extending their size run through 7X permanently. The change starts with their newest collection, also released this week, which includes sports bras, leggings, and shorts in sizes 12 through 42.  CEO Micki Krimmel said in a statement that this decision came after extensive research that focused on the unique needs of plus-size athletes. During interviews, customers described many of their shopping experiences as “traumatic,” stating that “lack of access, inconsistent sizing, and ill-fitting, low-quality garments” led to a feeling of disenfranchisement. She says Superfit Hero wants to solve this problem.”

Can evil companies change their ways? Yes, that’s you we’re talking about Lululemon

“Me, I like their yoga pants and I guess I hope companies can change. We’re all works in progress, even Lululemon. And yes, capitalism and yes, co-opting. But there’s no pure path. This is the world we live and work in.”

I know it’s an ad but I like it, thanks Under Armour

“This looks, to me, like an inclusive ad done right. It’s not thin white women. They don’t have perfect bodies. They’re working hard and having fun. Count me in.”


fashion · fitness · inclusiveness · yoga

Can evil companies change their ways? Yes, that’s you we’re talking about Lululemon

Last year I wrote a blog post called Lululemon might still be a little bit evil but now they are also plus sized evil!

“Over the years I’ve gone from thinking that Lululemon is BAD ( Just walk slowly away from that rack of $100 yoga pants) to thinking they are an annoying company (Is Lululemon trying to annoy me?) to buying their leggings when I could find my size online. Sell-out, I know. But I love their high waist Align. In black. Size 14 please. Thanks Ann!

And now you plus sized friends can have them too. Wow.”

They’ve gone from saying that their clothes don’t work for larger bodies to selling clothes designed for larger bodies to appointing one of my fave plus sized fitness spokespersons as a brand ambassador. That’s a pretty big shift.

See Lululemon’s new campaign star has a body-inclusive message: ‘Running is for everyone who has a body and wants to run’

“The athletic apparel brand has tapped ultramarathoner, author, speaker and former Fat Girl Running blogger Mirna Valerio to front its new global “Feel Closer to Your Run” campaign and offer better representation of runners whose body types are typically overlooked within the fitness space. The Vermont-based Valerio tells Yahoo Life that she hopes to inspire and empower both people who have felt excluded by activities like running, and the brands that have the power to provide better quality gear for bigger bodies.

“Make no mistake: All kinds of people in all sorts of bodies want to be able to engage in movement that is meaningful to them, and they need apparel that fits, is functional and well-made,” Valerio says. “There was this prevailing idea that plus-size folks didn’t do or want to do things like running, cycling, swimming, etc. But guess what? We’ve always done those things and have had to contend with ill-fitting apparel — because we’ve been forgotten and ignored — poorly constructed clothing that is not fit for any athletic activity, or if they do fit, pieces in limited colors and styles.”

Never has a post attracted so many likes/comments as this one on our Fit is a Feminist Issue Facebook page. I asked some of our readers if I could share their comments. Mostly, as a group, they weren’t convinced by Lululemon’s efforts at inclusivity.

Whitney writes, “No thanks, Lulu! Not only are their sizes not inclusive, their clothing is prohibitively expensive!”

“Love her but I abhor lululemon and everything they represent is antithesis to this. I hope she gets loads of money out of them and carries on then continuing with her work leaving them in the dirt,” says Sivapraya.

Jessy says, “Well that’s quite a change from the ripping pants at the crotch because “some women shouldn’t wear their clothes” (not verbatim but we get the point).”

What brands did readers suggest instead? Superfit Hero, of course. Here’s my first post about them: I’m a super fit hero and the gym is my phone booth.

Pretty much everyone was a fan of Mirna.

Marlena says, “Yaaaaas Mirna is a goddess, so glad to see her being featured by larger and larger outdoor/athletic companies!”

And I think we can all agree about that.

Here’s Mirna:

Ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio hopes that her work as a Lululemon ambassador shows that
Ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio hopes that her work as a Lululemon ambassador shows that “running is for everyone who has a body and wants to run.” (Photo: Lululemon)

Me, I like their yoga pants and I guess I hope companies can change. We’re all works in progress, even Lululemon. And yes, capitalism and yes, co-opting. But there’s no pure path. This is the world we live and work in.

And I’m happy that the world now contains this billboard.

May be an image of standing and outdoors
Lululemon, Toronto

What do you think? Share your opinions in the comments.

clothing · fashion · fun · gadgets · gear

Christine H. Finds Fun in Small Things

Even though I felt ridiculous about it, I bought a winter hat with built-in wireless headphones and it has turned out to be a terrific and useful purchase. (I can listen to my fave podcasts while I shovel snow!)

Owning this item has also spawned three new things that delight me:

1) My son J connected my hat headphones via Bluetooth to my phone under the name ‘hatphones.’ It makes me laugh every time I see it. HATPHONES! HA!

2) I get to say ‘Oh, I have to remember to charge my hat!’

3) I get to say ‘Hang on, I can’t hear you yet, my hat is still talking to me.’

Yes, I find my fun where I can.

Don’t you?

PS – I sometimes wear my hat inside for practicing TKD patterns or doing yoga. Unlike my other wireless (in-ear) earphones, my hatphones are sitting comfortably OVER my ears and while they reduce how well I can hear other sounds they don’t block them entirely. Also, I can easily pause (by pressing on the button over my ear) the video without having to scramble for my phone or for the remote control.

A drawing of black hat with a wire attached that extends to a plug and a drawing of a phone screen with a few icons and the word 'hatphones' displayed next to bluetooth symbol.
Not my greatest sketch ever but you get the point. 😉 Image description: A drawing of black hat with a wire attached that extends to a plug and a drawing of a phone screen with a few icons and the word ‘hatphones’ displayed next to bluetooth symbol.

accessibility · clothing · covid19 · fashion · fat · gear · snow · winter

Winter fun is for every body

This post brings together two common themes here at Fit is a Feminist Issue.

Theme one is making our way through COVID winter. Winter isn’t easy for some of us at the best of times but this year hiding out indoors until it passes isn’t really an option. You can cozy it up, sure, hygge style, but you might be lonely. Possibly also depressed. Maybe both.

So along with hygge, people are recommending that we adopt the attitude of friluftsliv. Read about the latter concept here.

Friluftsliv is a word used by Swedes, Danes and Norwegians. It translates literally as ‘fresh-air life’, and is all about embracing the great outdoors whatever the weather, being active, and immersing yourself in nature.

Scandinavians spend time outdoors no matter what season it is. For Kim Lindqvist, a volunteer with the Swedish Outdoor Association, Friluftsliv means “to be outdoors and in the air, and just enjoy it in nature. To listen to the leaves, or watch the clouds”.

Friluftsliv sounds like a good fit for the FIFI blog community. We like to spend time outdoors. We’re active. And we all want to enjoy the company of friends through the pandemic winter.

Here on the blog we’ve been worrying about this since the end of summer. Catherine wrote about making plans to spend time with friends outside in the winter way back in August! Cate waited until September, after Labour Day, to post about her plans for a fit distanced winter.

I completely agree that spending time outside is key to enjoying winter. I’ve been recommending winter biking, here and here. But the thing about friluftsliv is you’ve got to dress for it.

If you choose not find joy in the snow, you’ll have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.

OK, on to the second theme that we talk about lots on the blog. Theme two is about finding gear that fits all bodies, in particular plus sized bodies. It’s not always easy. See our post about finding plus sized cycling and hiking gear.

It’s not a far away problem. It’s an issue for some of the fit feminists who blog here, me included. See Catherine’s post and my post about the challenge of finding winter coats that fit. We’re not even particularly large plus sized people, shopping in the L to XXL range. Also, we’re professors with reasonable salaries so we’ve got the option to buy new. It’s harder still if your income means you’re trying to find discount clothing or used gear.

This matters because of the message we send about which bodies belong outside in the winter. It’s symbolic and meaningful and all that. It’s also practical. Winter (in Canada at least) means we worry about frostbite and getting cold. Spending time outside–even just walking the dog–sometimes requires snow pants, parkas, hats, mitts, scarves, and good boots.

This year, more than ever, we’re all going to have get outside and spend time with friends and family during the winter. My kids are talking about winter camping in backyard so we can all spend Christmas holidays together!

So I was thinking about these themes–getting outside and enjoying Canadian pandemic winter–and the necessity of finding the right gear, when along came these guys Plus Snow.

I first read about the company in this story: Online entrepreneur launches plus-size snow gear store in North America. The article talks about the company owner Mon Balon and her motivation for making plus sized snow clothes.

“What she wants to see is more of the joy that her customers share when they can finally play in the snow with their kids.

Balon said she is looking for people to model the clothes she sells. She currently uses #curvystoke to raise awareness and celebrate people who wear plus sizes playing in the snow.”

What I didn’t expect when I shared the story on our Facebook page was thanks from Mon Balon herself,

“Omgosh you guys!!! Thanks so so much for sharing this article about my business and my launch in North America! It’s not a perfect model (you have to wait about 2 weeks to get your gear) yet but I do have lots of CHOICE and lots of measuring charts and our help and customer service is unparalleled (I think anyway!) Shop Your Shape is our brilliant feature which helps you find the perfect fit if you need it https://plussnow.com/shop-your-shape/

I also didn’t expect the flurry of readers with their own issues finding plus sized snow gear. There were a lot of comments on that post.

One of the commentators was Richelle Olsen who owns outdoor wear she bought from Plus Snow.

Here’s Richelle modeling her gear.

Richelle: “All my current wet weather gear is from these guys, they don’t just do plus snow gear, but they do plus outdoor gear in general. Love that they celebrate that adventurers come in bigger bodies 💚 Plus Snow – Plus Sized Snow Gear. Plus Outdoor.”
Writes Richelle, “Here’s one extra pic of our group of body positive adventurers, near the Tarkine, at a place called Cradle Mountain.”

I asked Richelle if I could share the photos and she said yes.

Thanks Richelle.

Here’s what else she had to say:


“I’m in Tasmania, an island off the south coast of Australia. I lead body positive adventure trips for Escaping Your Comfort Zone 2-3 times a year, and each time I go a few days early and just drive and see where I end up. This time I ended up in this prehistoric rainforest called the Tarkine, in the rain, camping amongst giants with no one else around.


I’m wearing the Raiski Fuchu R+ Women’s Longline jacket in size 22. I love it because it’s super long and covers my butt, its slightly stretchy and is reliably waterproof after days of constant rain in Tasmania. It’s from Plus Snow – Plus Sized Snow Gear 💚💚


Fun fact: The Tarkine Wilderness Area is one of the last undisturbed tracts of Gondwanan rainforest in the world, and one of the highest concentrations of Aboriginal archeology in the Southern Hemisphere. This place, which remains largely as it was when dinosaurs roamed the planet, is currently at the mercy of destructive logging and mining. There’s an amazing short film about this called “What if running could save a rainforest?” Featuring a good friend of mine, Nicole Anderson, who is a doctor, ultra runner and passionate rainforest protector”

Are you a plus sized snow loving person? Are you planning to get out this year? Where’d you buy your gear? What counts as essential for the snow loving activities you do?

FWIW, and in case you’re wondering, this is isn’t a promotional post. I didn’t know Richelle or Mon prior to sharing the story on our Facebook page.