SUMMER ESSENTIALS: 10 Things Every Fat Girl Needs This Summer

Ten of my current summer essentials include. . .

1. Good facial sunscreen
Hopefully everyone is using sunscreen on a regular basis! Although I can usually get away with an SPF 15 or SPF 30,  I have a special sunscreen routine for my face. I use this amazing mineral powder sunscreen that provides a powder veil that blocks the sun but doesn’t add any extra grease to my face. It also is a nice oil absorbing powder that I can easily whip out and reapply throughout the day.  (Sometimes I also wear my liquid foundation that contains an SPF and then apply the mineral sunscreen over it.)

2. coconut oil.
Coconut oil is, by far, my favorite moisturizer! It is also a great hair deep conditioner (or leave in conditioner, depending on your hair type) and cooking oil! (I also know some folks who put in in their smoothies.) It’s amazing for after-sun skin care, including sunburns, and is perfect for sensitive skin like mine.

3. a fabulous fatkini.
Due in large part to Gabi Fresh, bikinis are now fab and flattering for plus-size ladies! For the last few years they have become more widely available. Now you can find them in several stores and in a variety of price points. You need one! ;) And, yes, “fatkini”! I support calling it this. If you haven’t gleaned this from my other content, and the title of this post, I like using the word “fat” to describe myself in order to take the stigma and “ick” away from the word.

4.  a sensible swimsuit.
I qualify a “sensible suit” as something that you can swim laps in or jump off a diving board in and not worry about a nip slip or exposed booty. I wear a sensible suit to water aerobics and in situations when I want to be my fabulous self but not reveal all of my fabulousness ;)! (Not that fatknis aren't sensible. . I just can't resist a good alliteration!) 

5. a light scarf to protect you from the sun.
I love a thin, summer scarf as an everyday accessory or at the beach. I wear a scarf in my hair for sun protection or, in instances where my skin has had too much beach time but I have not, I will wear it damp around my shoulders to protect my skin and keep me 

6.   bright polish for your nails and/or toes.
I am usually attracted to brown, purple, grey, and maroon tones for my nails but I love to go bright and colorful for my toes (and nails) during the summer. It’s a fun time to try some new colors!

7.  a new journal or pens.
Summer is a great time for reflection! For me, journaling is my mode of choice. Opening up a new journal (or putting a fresh, new pen to paper in a journal that I am already using) while sitting outside, laying on the beach, or enjoying an iced coffee on a patio is a great way to reflect.  

8. shorts, spanx, bandelettes, (etc.) that are comfy for summer
If you can wear skirts or dresses and do not have irritation from your thighs rubbing – count yourself very, very lucky! I need protection from this. . .and, something stronger than a little body glide or deodorant. Thinner spanx brand shorts and bandelettes are the most comfy for me. (I am sure you can find spanx-like shorts that are thinner and more comfy for summer but my thin pare are spanx brand and the most comfortable for warm weather.) Note: bandelettes are a lovely option but not for long walking adventures.

9.  a good set of podcasts in your iPhone.
With summer travel and beach or pool time, you’ve got to have some great podcast on deck! My favorites are a combo of small business podcasts and women-centered podcasts.  I’d LOVE to hear about what your favorite podcasts are. (As I listen to more and more of them, I am becoming very tempted to start my own. Would you listen?!)

10.   body-positive sisters in your (real or virtual) life.
Feeling confident in summer styles can be tough. Y’all, it takes bravery to go out on the beach with your tummy or wear a crop top.  You will be ok. And, so will everyone else, but sometimes it is hard!
Aside from simple practice (the idea that the more you do it the easier it gets), I think that seeing other women confidently bearing their bodies and surrounding yourself with body-positive people are invaluable ways build your body confidence. Some of us are lucky to have folks around us that can serve in that capacity. Other of us might need to find that online. Either way, be sure to be getting that community somewhere and surrounding yourselves with a variety of bodies in summer styles.

Love this suit paired with a flowy maxi skirt. This suit is actually for sale right now in my shop! Check it out! 

Love this suit paired with a flowy maxi skirt. This suit is actually for sale right now in my shop! Check it out! 

Tummy out and a scarf in my hair! 

Tummy out and a scarf in my hair! 

Bright toes and a tumbler from The Golden Girl Shop! 

Bright toes and a tumbler from The Golden Girl Shop! 

This vintage, thrifted suit is one of my current favorite "sensible suits"! 

This vintage, thrifted suit is one of my current favorite "sensible suits"! 

These are ten of my summer essentials. What are your must-haves this summer??

SUMMER STYLE: Black, White, & Gold

Because most of my clothes are thrifted or bought on major clearance, I am not often able to do outfit posts where I can link items. Recently, I have been wearing a few pieces that are still available – so, I have to share!

I centered this outfit around a strapless top I found at Old Navy. Actually, I recently purchase several fun, summer items there. Old Navy is very hit or miss for me. But, at present, it’s mostly “hits”! They have lots of great extended size clothing (from 1XL-4XL) online. When someone returns online items in the store, it automatically gets reduced by 50% and then continues to be marked down from there. These items can usually be found in the clearance area. And, I can usually be found digging for treasures in the depths of Old Navy’s notoriously haphazard clearance racks.

Top – Old Navy. I am wearing a 2XL. I like this mix between peplum and baby doll cut. Also, it’s comfy and supportive. There is no shelf bra – but it kind of naturally happens with the cut – and there is a line of rubber at the top to help it stay up. I also found this top in an amazing floral print. It’s no longer available online (as far as I can tell), but I might post it to sell on my site once I get some wears out of it!
NOTE - My one regret about this top is that it is reminiscent of tribal print which I try to avoid in clothing. As I am looking at it more, it does look quite "mass produced tribal knock-off" to me.  Although I find it aesthetically appealing, i acknowledge that "tribal print" and derivations of these prints are culture vulture (culturally appropriating) fashions. 

Watch – Lane Bryant. I love how Lane Bryant bracelets and watches actually fit my wrists. This watch comes with three removable links. I am using two of the three. I purchased a "gold" watch from Lane Bryant a few years ago and it was tarnished within a few days. I am hoping the different material (this sort of painted metal) will hold up better! 

Sunglasses – Lane Bryant. My summer favorites, so far!

Bag – Christian Siriano for Payless. I was looking for a fun cross-body bag for traveling (and thrifting). This has been perfect! 
I go in to a Payless every few months to see if there happen to be some decent size 11 shoes. I rarely find anything. But, the Christian Siriano brand shoes and accessories are the absolute best of what Payless has to offer. Payless always has been the price conscious go-to for us size 11 ladies. Unfortunately, like most places, the size 11 (not to mention 12 and 13) sections are always a fraction of the size of other sizes. ALSO - Chrsitian Siriano is doing a line for Lane Bryant. Eeeek! I am excited! 

Pencil skirt, earrings, bracelets, belt and shoes – all older.