Holy Holes! (And How to Avoid Them)

Have you ever started folding your clean laundry only to notice a t-shirt with holes near the bottom? Then one holey t-shirt turns into a few after the next load of wash. After that, you end up in my current situation; there are holes in about half of my band shirts and even in my work t-shirts I’ve only had for a month or two. (One of my Avenged Sevenfold shirts even managed to develop a hole in one of the armpit seams.)

Now, why does this happen? Sometimes it’s just the fact that shirts get old and they are giving the signal to toss them. (Which I don’t do, since I still have band shirts from middle school…don’t judge me.) But often, when the shirts are newer, it has a lot to do with the material as well as the shirt manufacturer being on the cheaper end mixed with abrasion against your pants and skirts.

Dealing with holey t-shirts during this move and facing the fact that they need to go after so many years, I discovered a few tips to try and salvage your tops for as long as possible:

Continue reading “Holy Holes! (And How to Avoid Them)”


Maya Brooke 3/4 Sleeve Jacket Dress – Trendy or Trash?

Dresses are still sort of a new style for me, since I spent almost half of my life as a “tomboy” type of girl. My current job, however, convinced me to incorporate more dresses into my wardrobe and fewer baggy band shirts and sweatpants. I want my look to project the professional I perceive myself as to others. (Not to mention looking good always helps you feel good in general.)

A trip to JCPenney surprised me, though, when I saw this Maya Brooke dress. Patterns usually fail to catch my interest; I think the red jacket drew me in the most, though. I’ve been missing a sharp, business-like dress, and it just screamed that to me. I totally bought it.

But is it trendy, or is it just trash? Let’s break it down.

Continue reading “Maya Brooke 3/4 Sleeve Jacket Dress – Trendy or Trash?”

Retail Affliction and How to Overcome It

Regardless of your body shape or size, one thing most, if not all, of us women deal with is the difficulty that comes with shopping for clothes and shoes. With the minuscule irritations that come with the process, other than a temporary sense of frustration (or blind rage, if you’re me), we all also tend to develop negative images of ourselves which affect more aspects of our lives than maybe we ever realized. My insecure thoughts as a preteen and teenager due to my inability to connect with others my age mutated into the way I viewed myself overall, which then linked into my fashion (or lack thereof) all the way until college.

When I tried clothing on in a store and things didn’t fit, I shut down and gave up after one store. I hated myself to the point where I would have rathered worn my baggy cargo shorts until they looked like Tarzan’s loincloth than keep trying to look for new clothes and wear my shoes until the soles burned out rather than get new pairs. Clothes shopping literally enraged me, which shouldn’t be the case.

With that said, here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in my own journey over the past year and that I hope you find useful as well.

  1. Don’t be afraid to browse other stores if nothing fits at one store. Like I mentioned before, the lack of universal sizing standards is absolutely ridiculous, and several department stores like JCPenney and Boscovs sell several different brands for you to explore. You’re bound to find at least find one item that will work as long as you keep trying things on and searching with an open mind.
  2. Challenge yourself to browse items outside of your fashion comfort zone. Believe me, I know this one is difficult. We all find that one pant cut we know will fit or that one color that acts as our go-to, so it’s much easier to grab those at the store and go instead of explore new options. If you have the ample time to spend in a clothing store, grab a little bit of every style that catches your eye even for a second and bring it in the dressing room. You never know which looks you’ll slay until you try!
  3. Spend a minute or two taking in the view you see in the mirror and experiencing your thoughts/feelings in those moments. Whether it’s a piece that works on you or doesn’t, look in the mirror and acknwledge the thoughts and feelings that come with that reflection. If your shirt makes you look wider than you’d like, what about it makes you feel that way (cut, rouching, color, etc.)? If your pants fit perfectly, how are they cut to make you look and feel so good? Stand and look at yourself in just that new bra and your jeans and take in your half-bare self so you can finally look at that and say, “This is pretty nice.” Be in the shopping experience rather than just trying to grab something quickly.
  4. Make it fun! This sounds cliche, but it really does help if you can manage to make it fun. When I’m in a dressing room and trying on pants, sometimes I’ll start wiggling my butt if I think the pants fit well. Even if something is too big or small, I’ll take a silly mirror selfie and laugh at how silly it looks. If you have a friend with you, make your own fashion show and strut to that 360* mirror like you’re owning New York Fashion Week (even at a Forever21). I always get a good laugh this way.

There are obviously other ways you guys cope with difficult shopping trips, so leave them in the comments!

Rising Like a Phoenix (Still Alive!)

Despite my silence, I haven’t died (yet, at least)

Greetings for the first time since January! I know it’s been a while since I caught up with everyone here, and I definitely don’t feel too great about it. Unfortunately, trying to figure out which direction my life may be taking while trying to maintain my sanity and balance other elements of life became a bit too overwhelming to work on this for a bit. However, my head is getting back into a better place again, so time to get back into the swing of things!

I may have been quiet here, but I’ve definitely still been alive on all of my social media pages, especially Instagram. Instagram is the perfect place to showcase my loves of makeup and fashion, so even if I’m slacking on here, my Instagram (@jessmckeownmua) is a great place to keep up with me. This shouldn’t be the case, though, if everything goes to plan and I can keep up on this better.

During my website hiatus, I’ve been working on pushing my own boundaries (as seen by my crop tops and bikini in the collage above). My whole goal for both myself and anyone else who visits my page is to get outside of the comfort zones we love so much so we love ourselves even more than before.

Get ready for even edgier, happier, and more chic content coming to you here. I’m excited to be back!

Why I Don’t Wear Spanx


The dress in this photo of me is one of the sexiest things I have ever owned. I love the black and grey leopard print on the front (since I absolutely love my leopard print), and the dress clings to every inch of my body just right. However, with a tighter dress come more visible rolls and a more visible tummy. Yet I wear it, and I wear it without Spanx.

When I look at the photo, is it hard to keep my eyes from darting right to that back roll or my prominent stomach? Absolutely. But that roll and that stomach are still me, and I like to keep it real. Now, I have no feelings whatsoever about people wearing Spanx, since I’ve considered it from time to time; wear it if it makes you feel amazing, or don’t wear it if it doesn’t interest you. However, my personal idea of keeping it real includes leaving my body as it is.

My thought process works like this; if I’m a “what you see is what you get” kind of person from the start, including with my body, it will help weed out all of the people who are too shallow to deserve a place in my life. Anyone who genuinely gives a damn about you, as a person, won’t care about your chub that much or judge you for it. And with my history of people staring at me and judging/picking on me, I don’t need people like that around. I need genuine ones, and so do you.

The other reason I don’t wear Spanx is to challenge myself and learn how to accept and love myself from the inside out. The more I can look at myself in a different way (like in that bodycon dress), the easier it becomes to see it and my flaws without feeling uncomfortable or insecure. I still feel a little uncomfortable looking at the photo sometimes, but I can also say I looked freaking beautiful that night. I felt amazing about myself, and it helped lead to my first kiss and my first date (which both felt magical).

So, there’s my little post about why I haven’t gotten Spanx…yet. (I’m thinking I can make it a treat for myself once I’m confident enough to wear it and not think that I need it afterward.)

How many of you guys do or don’t wear Spanx, and why? I’m interested in your voices, so start a conversation in the comments below!

Jess’s Shopping List #3: Torrid’s ‘Rebel Wilson Collection’

Hey there, lovely readers! I had some down time at work over the weekend and noticed that I haven’t posted any items that really struck my fancy recently. So I started putting together list after list by online window shopping, and Torrid was my first visit. I never gave Rebel’s collection a really good look to see what I like before, so here we go! (Let us also be proud of the fact that I didn’t buy anything while making lists.)

1. Embellished Surplice Dress ($68.50 normally, currently on sale for $51.48)

Photo courtesy of torrid.com

As some of you may have read in my last post, I never used to have any interest in dresses AT ALL. But recently that has changed drastically (meaning I now own seven or eight dresses). The majority of my clothing is black, but how can anyone go wrong with a classy black dress? It’s versatile for either a casual day of errands and walking around or for a formal event. Not to mention I love the way this dress hugs the model’s body. (Yes, I know we’re all not built like the model and it will look different, but it still looks gorgeous on her.)

While this dress primarily has good reviews from buyers, a few others mentioned that the fabric feels bulky, the sizing runs small, and one reviewer (Ashw9593) even said, “Word to the wise if you are bigger then a size 1 this dress is not for you. It is unflattering and will make your look bulgy. Trust me, save yourself the trouble of this disaster!” It’s still super pretty, so maybe I’ll buy it soon and give my own review. Let me know below if you want to see that!

2. Multi Zip Skinny Jeans ($68.50 normally, currently on sale for $51.48)

Photo courtesy of torrid.com

I need another pair of black pants like I need a hole in my head, other people would say. But black pants are truly my religion! Black is so neutral, and I can always create new outfits easily by making the black pants the base item. (Not to mention I like looking goth and kind of looking like a badass anyway.)

These pants look like they’d fit really well and hug in all the right places, so I’m definitely ready to buy these the moment I’m able to. The zippers on top are also a really cute detail that none of my other pairs of black pants have. I don’t tuck in my shirts too often or wear crop tops to really show them off, but I’d still feel cute knowing they’re there. Plus, I could always use these pants for an outfit where I actually would tuck my shirt in.

3. Coated Jeggings ($58.50 normally, currently on sale for $43.98)

Photo courtesy of torrid.com

If I had to pick one word to describe these jeggings, it would be “unique”. I love the addition of the zippers (as we know from the previous item I mentioned) to give the pants a more visible metallic pop, but I also love the panels on the thighs and the black ponte. I can definitely say I don’t own any pants like these, so these are a necessity.

So there’s my list for today. Also, in case you guys didn’t know, Torrid is currently running an online only promotion that is either “Buy One, Get One (BOGO) 50% Off Regular Price” or “BOGO $5 Clearance”. Just enter “CELEBRATE” at checkout to save and take advantage of such a good sale!

Happy shopping! XOXO

Fashion, Beauty & Mental Illness

My grandmother has a favorite picture of me from when I was a little girl, and it sits right on a shelf with some of her other knick-knacks. In that photo, I’m a five- or six-year-old little girl wearing a white hat, big sunglasses, and a dress and applying a clear little lipstick from an old mini kit. (Even at such a young age, lipstick was my favorite thing.) I have such an intent look on my face, making sure it’s on just right. I loved all of my little lippies as well as all of my nail polishes.

Fast forward to 2005. I’m 12 years old and starting my first year of middle school; that little girl has disappeared. Now, I wear nothing but baggy jeans, band t-shirts, cargo shorts, skater shoes, and backward-turned baseball caps. I messed with some eye shadow and whatnot in fifth grade, but that was two years ago. I don’t own a single bit of makeup, nor do I own a single dress or skirt anymore. I don’t care about my appearance; hell, I’ve stopped caring about much of anything, at this point.

My mom tries to buy me some nicer, more girly clothing so I’d look nice, but I never want any of it. Girly shoes? Forget about it. Why would I like shopping when I entered the girls’ plus section in fourth or fifth grade? I’ve always been a little bit bigger than the other girls, and it’s gotten me picked on and even pushed down a set of stairs (though that incident was probably more because I’m “weird”). Things suck at school, I feel like my family fell apart as a child and now, and I can’t explain the way I feel. Just…sad. Very, VERY sad. And, while I do enjoy “tomboy” things like sports and video games, I think that’s part of the reason I don’t want to try and look nice; I’m not worth it.

Junior high finishes, and I start coasting through high school. It’s basically a “same shit, different day” mentality every time I wake up. I’m a little more open to finding some girly clothes than I was before, and I at least start picking up some eyeliner and eye shadow every once in a while. But I still always suffer from that self-loathing, that feeling of emptiness and hopelessness that I haven’t been able to shake. I saw a therapist at 13 and again at 15 to try and deal with it all, but it never worked for long. Everything looks bleak. I don’t deserve to be happy. And after my friend died from cancer at 16 years old, it’s only harder to feel happy when life is so unfair.

Somehow I trudge through high school, make my way to college. My first year of college rocks; I’m meeting some new friends due to the roommate/suite mate situation, and some of the classes are pretty cool. I’m away from some pretty bad memories, so maybe there is room for me to grow here. Well, until my depression starts kicking me down just about every other semester, after that point. I like the idea of shopping for cute clothes now, but then I cry at Forever 21 when something in the plus size section doesn’t fit me right. My heart drops every time I try looking in Bon Ton only to find ugly pants with those god-awful elastic waistbands. My makeup skills are simple, at best. I’m nothing special. And, in my junior year, my dog (one of the only things that made me feel special) dies. And everything crumbles, including my school career.

Now, I should be finishing up second-to-last semester at the university and getting ready for winter break. Instead, I’m at home with my family working part-time while I see a therapist every Tuesday and go to the doctor monthly to check on how my antidepressant makes me feel. Even though I’ve gotten lost in my depression, anxiety, and fears of loss and abandonment in the past, this is probably the most lost I’ve ever been. I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing or want to do with my life. But I guess there have at least been a couple good things in the mix.

At 22, that love for makeup I had as a five- or six-year-old girl has made a comeback. I had to buy an even bigger Caboodle makeup case because I’ve gotten so much new makeup in the last year or two. And, rather than using it as a crutch for any insecurities, I use it as an art to make myself look as I wish on a given day. Winging my eyeliner just right, mixing my lipsticks into a unique shade, and styling my hair take my focus away from my issues and bring a smile on my face. I shop for cute clothes without concerning myself too much about the size; how I feel has to matter more, and I’ve lived hating myself for far too long. I take more photos of myself than I ever did before so I can look at myself and be okay with what I see, made-up or otherwise. Fashion and beauty have given me a passion I’ve been missing.

Battling is hard. Trust me, you guys have no idea how badly I feel like giving up and quitting life as I type this. But I shouldn’t let my mental illness win. And, to those who also suffer daily, neither should you. Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.