Beccy Dancer @ladyxboleyn is a UK-based artist, model, graveyard enthusiast and loyal Dare Fashion customer. When we asked to profile her for our Women Who Dare blog series, she informed us that she owns 18-20 Dare to Wear pieces!
At Dare Fashion, we love St. Patrick's Day! It's not that any of us is Irish, or that we have any particular fondness for chugging beer with green food coloring. But, we do identify with the Irish sense of humor, the determined, yet fun-loving spirit... and everyone can use a wee bit of Irish luck from time to time!
There are two kinds of people in this world. One who, as the middle of February nears, dons their sweetheart-print pajamas and nestles all snug in their beds, with visions of heart-eyed anime characters dancing adorably in their heads...
I slept through the Women’s March.
Yup, this girl - who protested on the streets of NYC against the invasion of Iraq, who popped champagne and danced in the streets in front of The Stonewall Inn when New York passed the marriage equality act, who drove five hours to attend Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (and missed it), who absolutely loves the community and comradery of a good march – this girl was tucked in bed with two cats sleeping on top of her for the majority of the day.
I had planned on attending, but was diagnosed with strep throat and, needless to say, travel on public transportation would have been irresponsible. So, why am I still writing about it? Because, regardless of politics – and I stress that my goals for this post are in no way political, that is not the purpose of this blog – millions of people came out around the world in solidarity of women. And that, regardless of one’s views, is a beautiful thing.
We at Dare Fashion wanted to seize this opportunity to make a statement on what we DO stand for. And that is providing women with clothing that is made in the USA, which allows them to feel beautiful, accepted, and powerful. Did you know that, unlike most mainstream designers, all of our clothing is designed on a 2x model, and then scaled up and down to fit sizes S-5x? Because no matter what your size or shape, we think you are BEAUTIFUL and you deserve the best.
There was a quote by singer/songwriter Janelle Monáe during the event that dovetails nicely with our values: “Continue to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. You are enough. And whenever you’re feeling doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear.”
You deserve to celebrate your uniqueness. You deserve freedom over fear.
We know that Saturday’s march was not everyone’s cup of tea. And we respect - indeed, we value - that diversity of mindsets within our own community. A quilt cannot be stitched together without a variety of beautiful squares. But we believe the most important lesson celebrated at the march is one we can all rally behind: the importance of all women having a voice – at home, at work, and around the world.
While I was saddened that I could not attend, I was still inspired by all of the warmth and positivity surrounding Saturday’s events. From Washington DC to Budapest to Antarctica, from San Francisco to Paris to Iraq, from Melbourne to Nairobi to Jackson, Mississippi – millions of human beings stood up to support the phenomenal global force that is women.
On that note, I leave you with some my favorite words by Maya Angelou,
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
‘Cause I’m a woman
Go. Be a phenom. <3
PS: Did you participate in any of the Women's Marches? Do you agree with our stand? Or do you have an entirely different opinion? Please let us know in the comments below! We want to hear from you!
I spent New Year's Eve at The Stone Pony - a legendary music venue in Asbury Park, NJ, where Bruce Springsteen famously became The Boss. It was a nineties-themed bash featuring bands playing as Nirvana, Weezer, Cranberries, etc. - and it was filled to the gills with plaid flannel (yup, that would be me), chokers, black lace, and babydoll tees layered under spaghetti strap tanks (yup, that was a thing). I was in high school in the mid-to-late nineties and boy did this night bring back memories.
Like literally every other girl in high school, I was unhappy with my body. My perfectly healthy, perfectly strong, perfectly wonderful body. Of course, I was also unhappy with my pimples, my nose, my underarm sweat, my arm hair, my voice, my hair color, my bra size, my shoe size, my <insert body part here> size. If you'd asked me then to pick a part of my self that I actually liked, I would have probably said my elbows. Because, in my then-opinion, the pickin's were slim.
I'm about 70 pounds heavier today, at 36 years old, than I was at 16. And somehow - while I still struggle every day with feelings of bodily inadequacy - I have just recently begun to feel a spark of self-confidence. A glimmer of self love. A brightening hope for a more self-powerful future. The idea of focusing this year on shaking off two or three decades of unnecessary body hatred is really exciting to me. And, like the best decisions in life, it's all because of a lightbulb-style epiphany.
I'll back up briefly: I consider myself a progressive-minded individual. I was raised on a small farm in the country for much of the first half my life, and I lived in major US cities (Baltimore->NYC->SF) for the second half. In the last few years, I've traveled around the world, backpacking mostly, through Latin America and Southeast Asia, and have been fortunate enough to have met people living lives that were wildly different than my own. I've had my mind opened so many times to realities that I previously knew nothing about.
So, as I sat through the last year ruminating about our current social climate of realpolitik versus idealism, I realized that I was betraying my own values every single day. How could I believe in rallying against the status quo - in shaking off societal tropes and fighting for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color - how could I believe these things and still body shame myself? How could I hypocritically disclude myself - and by proxy, my fellow curvy women - from my fight? That's when it really sunk in: the act of self love is the ultimate form of rebellion. And that self love directly involves our bodies.
I also believe that being open about your struggles can help us all realize that we're not alone. This is not everyone's communication style - and it's one I've been criticized for. But one day, a while back, in the depths of the depression I've fought for years, I got up the nerve to write on Facebook asking whether and how my friends had dealt with the feelings of pointlessness and immobility that I was aching with. I got hundreds - literally hundreds - of public and private responses from friends. Stories about themselves, about their mothers or brothers, about friends they had lost, and lots and lots of self-doubt.
And I realized I wasn't alone. And then I remembered that angst-ridden 16-year-old girl inside of me who hated so much herself. And I realized she wasn't alone either.
Sometimes we just need to hear from other people that we're ok and we're normal and we're loved. And that's why I'm starting to write for Dare Fashion. Some of the posts to come will be about their body-positive clothing and philosophy, some will be about the challenges we all face in this world today, some will be about other badass women whose stories might not otherwise be told, some will just be a check-in on my own struggle for radical self love. And I invite you to join me on the journey.
In 2017, I urge you to remember that you are not alone. Even in the darkest night, you're connected to everyone else by the invisible fibers of a shared human history. Don't let yourself be loved any less than you deserve. Don't let others take away your power. Don't let your trepidation or your indignation or your stagnation win out over even the slightest possibility of joy. You're worth it. You deserve it.
My name is Erin, and I love you.
We'll talk more soon.xx
Dare Fashion believes that women of all shapes and sizes have a right to clothes that make them look and feel beautiful. Subscribe to our email newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest: @darefashionusa
Erin is a woman in love with how words sing to the ear and the heart. She moonlights as a travelphile, a craft beer expert, an animal lover, and a committed karaoke singer. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram: @esavestheworld
Greetings Dare to Wear team,
I own several of your quality pieces and hope to add to that collection in the future. I have always been a larger figured person and have long felt depressed about the lack of choices in women's fashion for plus size ladies. You are so right - there is a real feeling that if you are plus sized, you had best be content in shapeless dresses or sweatpants and over-sized t-shirts. Finally, there is a clothing outfitter that understands what I want as a full-figured woman!
I am reminded about the superior fit and style of Dare to Wear when I recall a particular event from earlier this year. I had recently joined a band as a bass player. I was new, and it was only our third time playing out together. Well, having been through some stressors earlier in the year, I found that I was a little heavier than usual. Gig time came, and in show business, it is important to look your best! I had a few ideas for outfits, but thanks to my weight gain, nothing felt flattering, leaving me quite despondent.
When you feel good, you look good, and at that moment, I was at the other end of the spectrum -- not feeling confident about the night's performance because I was not feeling good about my appearance. All of a sudden, I remembered one of my favorite Dare to Wear tops - the Cinch top in Crimson Poppy. I hesitated. "Would it fit?" I wondered. I slipped it on, and like magic, even though I weighed more than the last time I wore it - it fit like a charm! This is a credit to Dare to Wear's wisdom in cut, style and adjustable ties.
Even though I was still at home, I could tell the difference in my mirror. My shoulders eased back, my body language became more relaxed and confident, my smile less tense, more real. Thanks to Dare to Wear, I was feeling good about how I looked again, and because of that I felt more confident...
And, the gig came off fine! I wasn't worried about how I looked, so I could concentrate on playing the songs well. My new friends gave me so many compliments on how I looked - a few of them stopping to admire the corset-styled ties. Even my band mates went out of their way to admire my style. I felt like a rock-star knock-out the entire night! I was so relieved - this was far better than the moping, unhappy version of myself I had encountered earlier! Just the feeling of the high quality fabric on my skin reminded me to be confident and the results were great, compliments from my bandmates and an evening of making new friends. The Cinch top became one of my "go-to" items while I was in the band, and continues to be one of my summer "go-to" pieces!
Now, whenever I am having a tough time feeling confident, I find myself heading to my beautiful Dare to Wear tops. No matter what kind of day I'm having (normal day, bloat day, thin day), I put one on and it hugs and flatters my shape. It seems like a lot of plus sized clothing is either too tight or made out of materials that cling to the fuller figure, emphasizing one's shape in an unflattering way. Or, they go the other way and are shapeless, sad and sack-like.
But not Dare to Wear! The prints are inventive and the fabric is high quality. They feel nice against the skin, skim the curves without digging in, and the details are amazing. I feel attractive and the confidence shines through in my attitude and expression. And did I mention that the pieces are also highly versatile? They can go from daytime professional to evening out rather easily.
Thank you Dare to Wear for a great product for an underserved population!
Ahoy! Did you know one of the most legendary pirates in history was a woman? In the early 1800s, Ching Shih DOMINATED the China Sea at the helm of the marauding Red Flag fleet. She personally commanded over 400 ships manned by about 30,000 pirates, and eventually had control of over 1,500 ships, totaling 80,000 raiders! She established an iron-clad code of conduct and her inspired fleet was never defeated, even when challenged by the Chinese Imperial Navy, the Portuguese Armada, and the British Royal Navy! If you're not offended by off-color, pirate language, click here for a lively account of her all-around badassedness.
This Halloween, "Dare" to express your own badassedness with a sexy pirate costume featuring Dare to Wear! Starrrrt with the Treasure Top in Burgundy, add some striped leggings or pants and top it off with a piirrrrate hat. Arrrgh, ye landlubbers, yer no match for this lady sea rrrrobberrr!
Ye can also harness your pirate swagger with the Dare to Wear Renaissance Top in Black. She came, she saw, she conquered. Later, Raider!
Our friend Emily suggests using the Sweetheart top in Blue Violet to showcase your swashbuckling style. In this outfit, you'll steal everything, including the show!
Need more ideas for bold buccaneer, curvy corsair outfits? Set a course for our Pirate Pinterest Board!
Finally, when you're dressed as a pirate, you'll need something to say besides, "Arrrrgh!" So how about some bad pirate jokes? Q: Why did the pirate cross the road? A: To get to the second hand store!
Know any other pirate jokes (bad or good?) Leave them in the comments for your salty sisters to use as they take Halloween by STORM!
"Hello, my dearies! Don't worry about your Halloween costume. A sprinkle of fairie dust and a wave of my magic wand, and you'll be on your way in the most fabulous costume of them all!"
"Hello, my pretties! Looking for a Halloween costume, are we? Well, step inside my little candy cottage in the deep dark woods and let me find one for you!"
Are you more like Glinda, the Good Witch of the South? Or the Wicked Witch of the West and her evil monkeys? Maybe you identify with the Salem Witches? Or the Blair Witch? Or maybe you really ARE a Wiccan Witch, practicing "The Craft" in that secret little room under the basement floor... No matter which witch you are, Dare Fashion has you covered for Halloween!
Our Renaissance dress in Black is a great place to start for all evil witches! You can pair it with our Harmony leggings in Black or some fun stripy socks. If your skin is not already green, you can use green makeup for a more dramatic effect. Pointy witch hats are easy to find... now all you have to do is ask Harry Potter for your broom back! Run newt, run! She's coming for your eyes!
For a fancier witch outfit, you can try the Renaissance dress in Starling. Your subjects will be so dazzled by the sparkles that you can cast all your spells without them noticing!
If you want to go the Good Witch route, our Renaissance dress in Icing is pure as the driven snow. You'll need a crown and a wand, of course... But once you have them, just put on the dress and hat, wave your wand, and you'll find your costume is complete - isn't magic awesome? Just don't wave the wand too hard - unless you want to wind up back in Kansas...
Already been to Emerald City and weren't that impressed? Oh, you saw the little dude in the booth, too? No worries, there are plenty of other ways to witch! Here's Natalia, the Dare Fashion creator and designer, in a witch outfit using Dare to Wear Victoria top in Blackberry Brocade.
Farija, who is working on a guest blogpost for us, suggested using the Bolero top in Ivy for a witch costume. If we only had thought if this earlier, we would have named the print "Poison Ivy"!
Diana, another Dare enthusiast, went with the black glasses - red lipstick look for her sultry, vampy witch costume using our Renaissance top in Plum. From her expression, the Pentagram necklace and the shining mystic crystal, we know she is conjuring spirits...
And finally, here's our sexy customer Dea, using Bolero top in Burgundy for her Evil Queen Grimhilde costume. We know, we know, Grimhilde technically isn't a witch... but do you want to be the one to tell her? Yeah, neither do we!
Q: Which witch should you bring to a picnic at the beach? Answer in the comments below, if you "Dare"...
Flitting through the forest on gossamer wings, casting magical spells, righting wrongs... who wouldn't want to be a fairie? Well, at least you can dress up as one for Halloween! Here's an easy Woodland Fairie costume that uses our Dare to Wear Ophelia top in Envy and our Harmony Leggings in Black. All you need to do is add a green choker necklace, some green fairy wings and some fresh flowers for your hair.
Prefer to be a specific fairy? Or just really love Disney? You can easily adapt this to a Tinker Bell costume by swapping the leggings for a green tutu and adding a fairy wand. Sorry, we don't have an exact image of this costume, but it will look something like this:
Yes, we know that fairies and elves are VERY different creatures, but you can also use the Ophelia top in Envy as the base for an elf costume. One of our favorites is the FIERCE Tauriel, "Daughter of the Forest" from The Hobbit. Get a set of leather wrist cuffs to tuck the sleeves into, and make sure you watch this easy tutorial (by Silvousplaits;) on how to get the braids right.
Let's see, we've mentioned fairies and elves... which enchanted forest creatures are we forgetting? Oh yeah, gnomes! Believe it or not, you can use the Ophelia top in Envy to make a fun, sexy Gnome costume, too. In the photo below, Crissy, our Operations Manager, is dressed as a Lawn Gnome... in its natural habitat. Is there a difference between a Forest Gnome, a Lawn Gnome, and Garden Gnome? We don't gnome for sure. We ARE sure that Crissy did not buy her hat at Gnome Depot. She made it herself! Want to know how? Ask in the comments below!
No matter what character you play in this Halloween's Fairy Tale (fairie, elf, gnome, or other), don't forget to take pictures for our Dare Fashion Halloween Costume Photo Contest. You could win a $500 shopping spree - now THAT would be enchanting and magical, wouldn't it?
"Vhat do you vant to be for Halloween?" All your friends keep asking you the same bloody question, and it's starting to be a real pain in the neck!
You started pondering at Twilight and have been thinking From Dusk Until Dawn and still don't know what to wear. So you call your friend Buffy to Interview her for ideas, but she had The Hunger and pulled out her Blade to chop up some True Blood sausage. Now it's getting sunny and you hate Ultraviolet light, so you duck into the Underworld to get into the Near Dark. But the door is locked! "Let Me In!" you cry, "Let the Right One In!" but you realize that Only Lovers will be Left Alive and you've developed a powerful Thirst and you still need to figure out your costume! It's a real Strain, Being Human, and you really don't want to look like The Lost Boys on Halloween!
Wait, but of course! You can be a Vampire! (The best answers are usually right in front of our faces, aren't they?)
We don't want you to bite off more than you can chew, so here's a great Vampire costume that needs only the Dare to Wear Renaissance Dress in Belladonna, a set of bloody fangs, and a red choker necklace.
You could also use the Renaissance Dress in Joan of Arc:
Or, if you prefer solids, the Renaissance Dress in Burgundy:
So there's your silver bullet to have an easy, fun Vampire costume! In it, you can live forever if you have a Bloody Mary and stay away from the garlic and the wooden stakes.
And when you put the "Vamp" in Vampire, don't forget to take pictures for our Dare Fashion Halloween Costume Photo Contest! You could win a $500 Shopping Spree! It would be a bloody shame if you didn't enter!
What's your favorite Vampire movie or TV show? Tell us in the comments section below!