LTK – The App That Makes it Easy

By Nazanin Abbasi, @ggbeautyz

You see them on Tik Tok, you see them on Instagram, but now here you are in front of your closet feeling lost again.

This article is part 2 of where to get inspiration for your day to day look.

I’m going more in depth this time with an actual styling app that one of my followers turned me on to.  

LTK is a FREE app that actually shows you what an outfit looks like on a real body that looks like yours.  And many of the influencers (the people who post the outfits are called influencers – they are “influencing” you) will tell you where they bought an item, and how much it costs.

Naz, the follower who suggested LTK to me, is a 40 something, mid-sized woman like the rest of us who believes in inclusive fashion and has given us a step by step EASY breakdown on how to download the app, and use it.

1. Go to the app store (literally called “App Store” on your phone – blue background, white “A”).

2. Type LTK into the search. It’s a white and black logo with a circle and a heart.

3. Create an account (it will prompt you to give your information so don’t worry about figuring out how to do it). You can still use the app without an account, but it won’t save your favorites so having an account is ideal.

4. Once you’re in, click the “Discover” button at the bottom.

5. Clicking “Discover” will provide you with categories to choose from. Just scroll through and pick a category.  I (Naz) usually select “Over 40,” or “Midsize.”

6. Once you select a category, influencers (remember from above?) in that category will pop up.  See an influencer or outfit that you like?  Just click on their picture! 

7. Clicking on their photo takes you to their profile (their own account – you have yours, they have theirs) and it shows you every single item they are wearing, with exact links on where to purchase those items. Some influencers will also list their measurements and what size they are wearing to help you gauge how the outfit will fit on your body!

8. Happy Shopping!

What’s Your Advice for Young People?

I love the answers I get when I ask people, “If you could go back in time and do it all again, would you?”

Almost without fail, the answer I get is, “If I knew what I know now, and I get to take my ‘now’ brain back to my 20 year old body, then yes.”

We almost unfailingly don’t want to go back to our youth. So what is it about aging that we love? And what, in retrospect, do we feel we could have improved when we were young?

This is the question I’m posing this week. If we can each give young people advice about getting older, what is it? What wisdom can we share that we wish we would have known then?

We may have crested mid life, but the lesson we can get out of this is that even now we don’t know what we don’t know. But there are people who do know, and can help us live our best lives, every step of the way!

I’ll leave you with this: If you were to ask this same question to someone who is 30 years older than you, would you be able to take their advice about the age you are right now?!

Happy thinking!

Tailoring for Masc Womxn

You’re a big, masc queen with a rockin’ (femme) bod. You love an andro look, but masc clothes don’t fit your body and you’re stuck wearing the least feminine women’s clothes you can find (I’m picturing a lot of you in your collection of hoodies and sweats).

Now, there are stores in Vancouver that cater to this demographic and I don’t want to take away from them. They are an excellent resource and I applaud their pioneering. I think everyone should pay a visit to Cos, Peau de Loup, etc. But this article is for people who don’t have the time, or means to visit these places during their open hours. Or perhaps you just don’t like their styles, simple enough.

My advice for you is: Tailor. That. Shit.

“That’s your advice? That’s it?”

Yes. That’s my advice.

Perhaps because I grew up cis femme, or perhaps because my family culture included tailoring, but I have never known a day of feeling *totally* stuck when it comes to what to wear. And it’s certainly not because I have an easy-to-fit body (do any of us?). I get almost everything tailored.

Gurl, go to that menswear store you love. The one that is in your budget, and geographically available to you. Buy the garment that fits the largest (hardest to accommodate) part of your body. Then take it to a tailor and get them to alter the other parts of the garment to your specific body. Got a chest that pops buttons? Buy for that, and have the arms and waist taken in. Or thick thighs, but no booty? Buy pants that you can get up over your legs, and have the “seat” taken in (tailor speak for your ass).

“But Karyn, tailoring is expensive and tedious.”

Yes it is. And I’m really sorry about that. But it isn’t any more expensive or tedious than having clothes custom made for your body. Not to mention the hunt for andro stores in your area, and opening hours that work for you. And I promise you are not the only one. There is a reason tailors exist. No body is the same. It’s impossible for most people to buy anything off the rack and have it fit like a glove.

My 2 besties are butch queens with curvy curves. Their personal favourite (affordable) menswear are RW and CO., Gap, and Ralph Lauren (buying RL second hand makes this option much more affordable – get yourself to a thrift store or Poshmark).

As a society we are so much about fast fashion we have forgotten that clothes are supposed to fit a human body, not just mannequins. YOU have a human body, worthy of being represented in the way that YOU want.

So please go treat yourself to the store you want to buy from, and can afford. Put aside extra $ for tailoring and make that $50 shirt look like $500.

Your (Easy) Guide to Styling a Thick Body

by Karyn Rudance

You’re standing in the store. You love the dress. You buy the dress. You take the dress home and put it on. You look like a sack of potatoes. “Intimidaaatiooon” (in Lowered Expectations sing-song – Mad TV 1990’s? No? Just me?).

Let’s talk about how to elevate that idea of a garment into a “look.” 

I’m talking to the 40-something who got caught up in life, forgot to pay attention to what “the kids” were doing, and now looks in the mirror and doesn’t recognize what decade they’re in.

FIRST – Girl, get on Instagram.  There are people on there (literally millions) who are creating content just. for. you. 

“Content” is anything from a video, to a list, to an article, or a picture, that fills the space on their social media account. “Content” refers to whatever they are posting.

It is the job (yes, content creation is a job now) of so many people to create outfits and film themselves putting that outfit on their own body. If we’re lucky, they will tell us where they bought the individual pieces in that outfit, but more often than not they’re shopping at the same Old Navy and H&M we are.

Most of the content creators follow the same formula. They show you the garment while they stand there in their undies, then they put it on in front of you. After that they start to add accessories, shoes, hairstyles, and outerwear to show you how to make that garment go from just a dress, to a “look.”  In other words, they’ve “styled” it. 

Maybe you have some of those accessories, maybe you need to buy a few things. But it’s a brilliant resource to have these creators guide you through putting an outfit together that elevates your style. 

“Where do I find these creators?”  Good question! It’s not like they’re in a line in front of you, asking for your business. 

Instagram search makes it really easy to find what you are looking for.  And the algorithm (the internet thing that keeps track of what you search for and automatically shows you more of that content) will start suggesting more accounts you should follow, based on the searches you’ve typed in.  Before long you’ll be following everyone from Canada to Africa watching people get dressed (if our past selves could see us now…).

Type keywords into the search.  Keywords are words that are “key” to the content you want to find. Are you a size 16 and want to watch someone get dressed, for inspiration? Type in “Size 16 GRWM.”  That’s an acronym for Get Ready With Me, an important phrase you NEED to know, as this is what the kids these days call this type of content. A number of accounts will pop up with size 16 women who are showing themselves getting dressed. 

Type in 50-year-old GRWM.

Big belly GRWM.

Mid size GRWM.

That’s it. End of story. The quickest, easiest way to learn how to style your body is to ask instagram to show you people who are doing exactly the thing you want to see. 

Eventually you’ll find people who look exactly like you and you’ll probably be loyal to them, using their content as daily inspiration.

The lesson here is that there is SO MUCH available to help with styling your mom bod, or elevating your mid life look. Get it, gurl.  You deserve to be included!

Slimming Doesn’t Mean Flattering

“Flattering” is not synonymous with “slimming.”  I’ll say it again: an outfit doesn’t need to make you look thinner in order to make you look good!

We all know the old marketing gimmick of encouraging woman to strive for “thin” to make her want to buy a product. But what if we started seeing our body’s size as just another feature.  Because let’s get real, if we tend toward the plus sizes, we take up some space.  Are we really making ourselves less visible by dressing to minimize our size?

Karyn Rudance - Curly Hair Vancouver

“Perfectly Average” by Karyn Rudance

When I hit 40, I gained 30 lbs, got glasses, and my curly hair went straight.  Most women I talked to laughed it off casually as “welcome to your 40’s!”

So here I am now, middle aged, mid-sized, and no feature so notable that it’s worth a brag.  Except I keep getting compliments on my “style,” or the way I carry myself.  Women ask me “where did you get that outfit?”

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