Backpacks & Basics

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Recently, one of my favourite bloggers, Zoe from IKIWN, made a post about the tiny backpack trend, and a few other SS16 trends that seemed to come straight out of the 90s. I commented that I was pretty sure I liked everything except the backpacks, Zoe lovingly replied that she enjoyed the nostalgia of the trend and that’s when it started to sink in for me. I thought about my resistance to a lot of trends from the 90s and suddenly it hit me full force. The last time these fashion trends were in, I was in elementary school, extremely insecure about my body, and barely fitting into the clothes in the youth section. As a result, I couldn’t participate in wearing the most fashion forward items simply because I was already shopping at the adult stores that understandably offered a different aesthetic. However, in many cases, I just didn’t want to wear certain trends because so much of it seemed to call attention to a body that I desperately wanted to hide.

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I claimed I hated crop tops for other reasons but really I knew I was never going to show off my tummy. I thought high waisted pants made my butt look big, and at that time, I didn’t think that was a good thing so I totally avoided them as much as possible. I also remember a teen magazine I read back then (Seventeen or Cosmo Girl, IDK) saying something about making sure your purse was at least as wide as you were from hip to hip, so it would be slimming when you carried it. Basically, the rules were telling me that fat girls need to carry big bags. As a result, I didn’t think a tiny backpack purse would suit my body type without emphasizing how much space it took up. It is hard now to even imagine basing an accessory purchase on its ability to flatter one’s body type, but at the time, it was a message I had internalized. Needless to say, I’ve given up that bullshit message and I got myself a tiny backpack. This one is from the brand Diophy and I picked it up from Winners. It was marked as $75 but I got it for $40, I love the gold stud details!

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You will have also noticed that I got into the bodysuit trend recently, thanks to Tess Holliday’s mblm collection for Penningtons. So I’m starting to embrace a lot of the trends that I had previously assumed my size prevented me from enjoying. The one thing the 90s got right, and that even I knew embraced back then, was pockets in skirts. I remember my grade eight grad dress (circa 1999) had pockets and it was one of the main reasons I loved it. It was a typical taffeta dress, poofy skirt, tight top, with tiny spaghetti straps. But it had pockets, so the rest is forgiven. I’m still not sure why all skirts, okay maybe not body con/pencil skirts, but most skirts don’t have pockets. Basically, if it is possible to include pockets, I want pockets! Consider this a note to all designers who are willing to listen. I have never heard a woman or other skirt wearing person who has disagreed with me. We love skirts with pockets! It is easily the main reason I love the Pull On Flared Skirt I am wearing in all of these photos, currently on sale for so cheap I don’t know why everyone doesn’t already own one. It is the perfect skirt!

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Penningtons stores make you feel so welcome. This is in part because they are often staffed by women who are also plus-size. They have curvy mannequins and use inbetweener models in their advertisements. Walking into Penningtons is a pleasurable experience because it says goodbye to the small back corner of a mainstream store and gives us all the options of a well-developed department store. Penningtons has everything, a true one-stop shop that beyond the fashions it is well known for also carries an active clothing line, casual and dress shoes, jewelry, swimwear (currently 40% off), and lingerie (bras are currently BOGO Free and undies are Buy 3 Get 3 Free). I picked up this new basic white Formed Fit V-Neck T-Shirt as well because they currently have a 2 for $26 deal on their basic tops, making it the perfect time to stock up on new tees. The store itself is clean, large, and open. The change rooms are bright and spacious but if you would prefer to try stuff on at home, they have a fabulous return policy whether you shop online or in store. I can personally attest that the process was simple and seamless, even when returning an online order to your local store.

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I love being able to shop online because even when you have a local store, they may not always have the selection offered online. For example, my previous outfits from the mblm collection by Tess Holliday were made up of items that were almost all ordered online simply because they weren’t available in my size at my local store. The bodysuit itself wasn’t even shipped to this area because of the age demographics of the population in this area. So it’s nice to have both options as I got to try things on in their store so I could be sure of my size before ordering online. The skirt and necklace featured in this post were purchased in store with Penningtons’ additional 40% off sale, currently running. The Pull On Flared Skirt was originally $56, marked down to $19.99 and then with an additional 40% off, it was practically free at $11.99. I told you it was an amazing deal! I got the necklace for $9.99 but it came along with another necklace, that I will include in an upcoming blog post, for free. I usually just consider BOGO deals to mean 50% off each item, so a $5 necklace that I absolutely love! Its natural wood and crystal design are what attracted me to it. I left the store with a skirt, a scarf, and two necklaces for just over $30. Tell me about your last discount fashion haul in the comments, please.

Outfit Details

Pull On Flared Skirt from Penningtons

Wood & Crystal Necklace from Penningtons

Basic White Formed Fit V-Neck Tee from Penningtons

 Gold Studded Backpack from Diophy via Winners

Sunglasses from Ardene Accessories

Faux Velvet Flats from Torrid

Backpacks & Basics

Penningtons is currently offering free shipping on orders over $120, click here.

These photos were taken, by yours truly, on location in the park at Gilles Lake in Timmins, Ontario. This website contains affiliate links, when you click on them I may receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase.

8 thoughts on “Backpacks & Basics

  1. I got in on the Pennington’s sale. 2 dresses, skirt, belt and 2 necklaces for $120.00. I find Pennington’s style has improved over the last few years. Quite a bit more fashion forward now. Might have to take your advice on the skirt with pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you! Glad you got in on the sale! Did you find stuff in your size in store or go with online for a better selection?

      I am so in love with the skirt! I was just working on a 7/11 challenge post and the skirt just makes sense as one of my 7 essential wardrobe items.

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      1. No I went into the store but I had checked online first. With either Penningtons or Addition Elle I find the stock system they have is fairly accurate. I have not yet bought clothes online.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s good to know. I find their sizing is so accurate I actually don’t mind shopping online with them. Most of the stuff in my posts came that way. I’ve been living in really small towns for the last 8 years so online shopping is sometimes my only option.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The dresses I picked up are the best fitting dresses I have ever owned, I am so happy with the purchase. I live in a decent size town so we have both Pennington’s, Addition Elle and a Laura. Have lots of options.

        Liked by 1 person

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