all round retro

Hey fam!

Thank you for reaching out after I wrote that extremely personal post about how chronic illness and my injuries have impacted my body positivity in only the best, most surprising of ways 🙂

There is plenty where that comes from, so much to talk about and it will be a running theme on the blog. It’s part of what makes me ME and my road to body positivity.

But this post is a lighthearted one, I had NO fashion concept whatsoever with this hahaha but it seemed like a mish mash of several decades gone by. Hence the title.

I Guess this look is a homage of sorts to my Mother, my Father and Me. I’ll tell you why as I go along ..

flutter sleeved blouse : Forever 21 Plus in size 1X

clear aviator glasses: Ali Express

statement earrings : Ready To Stare (not available anymore, I’m afraid)

high waisted leggings : Asos Curve in size 20

I believe I might have mentioned before that I will no longer be wearing heeled shoes because of my knee so I am still updating my flats collection as I really do not own that many pairs of flats that are comfortable and fashionable – hard to find a mix of that to be honest! This pair of sandals are knock off Birkenstocks haha, from a local store. Very comfortable but I admit I am getting tired of wearing them with everything!

I will always love wearing flutter sleeved, bell sleeved blouses or dresses thanks to being in love with my mother’s bohemian fashion sense when she was a young adult. Even later on, she rocked the hell out of sheer retro dresses and blouses. I remember watching her applying her trademark bright red lipstick for a night out and I loved watching her mix and match from her wardrobe.

My Father no longer wears clear aviator glasses now – he is a sharp dresser with cooler glasses than me! But my earliest memories of him are with a pair of silver aviators that framed his face and Apple cheeks just like they frame mine here. Mom always jokes around that she was the ‘cooler’ one of the two when they were younger but I think dad did pretty okay for himself! A modest and humble man who dressed for function and setting; his style has definitely rubbed off on me in that way. I still remember his monogrammed handkerchiefs he carried for work. Today, he enjoys more casual work wear (which isn’t That casual if you ask me the blogger in pajamas).

I have always been a jeans and T shirt kind of girl. I hated fussing with skirts or dresses, preferring something I could move around with more flexibility .. without having to fidget. Today, I have an eclectic style sense but I still feel most at ease in a pair of jeans. Denim shorts, jeans/jeggings, denim skirts – they have been a staple in my wardrobe for 3 decades. I cannot declare my style androgynous, Nor is it overtly feminine or masculine. It is authentic to who I am.

This shoot was such fun! The seasonal rain was quite literally raining on my parade – I detest gloomy weather. It was the perfect sunny evening and I am so pleased these pictures captured it.

I added a tiny bit of the 80s – the decade I was born in – with statement earrings. They were all the rage back then and they are back in trend now, how about that!

To be honest it doesn’t matter if statement earrings or necklaces ever go out of fashion because I will always adore them.

Makeup for this look was probably the most full coverage I have ever done for a fashion post – it was interesting, certainly fun to dabble but I reckon I will stick to light to medium coverage makeup looks. I prefer a more natural finish. For me, Makeup enhances what is already there and I do not wish to find myself obsessing over how much better I can conceal my facial imperfections. The much darker eye circles will always be there, as will the hyper pigmentation and scars. It’s fine. If they show through the images, I don’t see problems to be fixed – I see a face and a person behind that face who does not always love her reflection but does not hate it either.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this all round retro ensemble! You don’t have to buy all of the trendy things to be stylish; pick and choose what you feel works for you. Make trends work for You instead of the reverse.

Take care of yourselves fam! Sending you so much love.

Aarti xxxo

P.S: I do intend to post less about fashion on the blog as the year progresses although it will still be a part of what I do. So I will not plan elaborate looks as I have done in the past. I would much prefer to focus energy on write-ups and other forms of advocacy. Fashion can be a political statement, but so can other kinds of creative expression.

SWAK Designs:Crystal Halter Dress

Hey fam!

A feverish old me is reporting in the midst of dinner and copious amount of water consumption. But blogging beckons, and I love blogging so here I am. I hope you’re in much better health than I am this weekend!

This is the second outfit from my mini-haul from SWAK Designs, and just like the previous look it isn’t something You will typically see me wear and its a print I have always  wanted to try!



Crystal Halter Dress, SWAK Designs in size 1X

statement necklace, Lovisa 

As a lover of all things prints, I’d never worn a houndstooth print before. Its a much coveted print for me and I was wondering when the right outfit would come along. Jumped at the chance to nab this wrap dress.

Wrap dresses are a personal favourite. I have a number of sleeved wrap dresses that I wear for casual nights out, really simple and without prints, very comfortable. I don’t wear halter neck tops or dresses much though, I think I’m still self-conscious about how I look in them. But then I thought to myself, really Aarti? you wear swimsuits and bandeau tops. This is just an old insecurity talking. So I made that leap, and I am glad I did.


Since this dress seems a lot like a classy evening number, I glitzed and glamoured it up with some silver eyeshadow and a silver necklace.


For some reason I felt a glossy purple lipstick would complement the look, I’m still discovering makeup so I could be wrong but ah well!


The ruching on this skirt is so pretty! Its a nice touch.


Thats me for now, I will be putting up a post in a day or two to elaborate on the blog carnival (see previous post) I was a part of. For now, I send you my love and remind you that style can be had at any size. So no matter your age, size, height – have fun with fashion! xx

Olive green and Rust 

Heya fam, 

I wasn’t planning on doing an outfit of the day post but I realised I had one to shoot for Already Pretty – I contribute fashion posts there once in a while. This is not the same look for that post, I obviously cannot divulge those pictures before they get published on AP. I thought, why not get one done for my blog? No time like the present! 

I enjoy mixing and matching colours and figuring out which combos I love, which ones I don’t mind and the ones I feel meh about. This was one idea I had in mind for a while. I normally lay in bed conjuring up styles possible outfit of the day ensembles instead of getting some quality shut-eye…one of the many thought processes that keep me up at night! 



Olive green maxi dress, Rust cardigan – Forever 21 Plus 

ankle boots – Zalora Singapore 

I don’t own that many cardigans because I don’t see the need for it in this humid climate but it is definitely handy to have around for travel. The dress was purchased a few months ago and what I like about it is the lining – jersey dresses can be quite unforgiving but the quality of the lining and thickness of the jersey for this dress makes it less so. Not that I mind VBO, I just don’t like outfits that can have someone discern the intimates you have on! 

Boots are one of my favourite kinds of footwear, so when this pair was on sale online there was little deliberation. Admittedly I was nervous when it arrived because I do not typically shop for shoes online. My injured wide feet are not of the same size (one is half a size smaller than the other) so you see my predicament. Thankfully this fit very well and yes it is faux leather ! I have never worn real leather and I never will. 

Makeup wasn’t too complicated. Dark lipsticks are really beginning to grow on me again and this particular one from Jeffree Starr looks much better in person. The photos just do not do it justice. 

This is me for now, will update the blog when my AP post is published! Have a good weekend! 

xxxo Aarti Olivia 

Curves Become Her turns 3 – a belated blogiversary edition 

My dear CBH Fam,

I hope you have been keeping well and that the year end is coming along nicely. It’s been quite a year hasn’t it? All I hope for everyday is respite for weary souls and a little more understanding between people. Be it 2015 or 2020.

It has been a while since the Halloween post! While the eerieness of those photographs was exactly what I was hoping to capture, it was a last minute decision in all honesty. Halloween and Diwali give me the annual ultimatum of Which festival will you dress for?? My answer to that for 2015 was Neither! Forgoing the usual route of an ethnic top or Punjabi suit, this time I rustled up a festive dress from my Dec 2014 shopping haul and made it work..

Diwali 2015


bardot sleeved dress – Pink Clove, maroon shrug – Marks & Spencer’s earrings – Ankara at Tekka Mall, Little India

My mother who has been doing rather poorly this year had yet another fall a few days after Diwali. She sustained a right hip bone fracture and underwent surgery for a steel placement where the fracture happened. Mom had one too many falls this year which slowed down her walking a fair bit and made her quite miserable with having to manage the pain. Thankfully she is a tough cookie and within two days of surgery she stood on her two feet with the walker but my little family unit was understandably distressed during this period. November passed by in the blink of an eye and I had other things to attend the blogiversary post just did not happen.

What has kept me so busy? For starters I have been writing weekly articles for US online magazine Wear Your Voice. The issues I tackle in those write-ups are diverse and are not limited to ones of a body positive nature. I have written articles from the perspective of being part of the South East Asian and South Asian diaspora. I have penned posts about the agency for body positivity in my region. It’s been a great platform to speak up and I could not ask for a better editor in chief and colleagues. They are so supportive of my pitches and ideas, they encourage me to be outspoken and to harness all that anguish I harbour into words. The team is so dynamic and they discuss topics ranging from politics LGBT issues to intersectional feminism to pop culture. You can check out my latest article pertaining to body image in Asia here.

It’s a learning curve; migrating from writing informally on the blog to penning articles with an air of professionalism. But it feels So Good. Okay I’ve said that already but yes it’s exciting for me 😀

Honestly I would not have made that leap had it not been for my editor-in-chief Ravneet. If she hadn’t reached out to ask me if I was interested in writing for WYV, I might have stayed in my rut. It’s difficult for me to self promote and I know that’s what we have to do in order to get ahead but loves I have not done anything of that sort in my life. It’s hard for me to see my strengths or capabilities like an outsider can, I’m sure some of you know the feeling.

2 weeks into my new post as weekly blogger for Wear Your Voice, I took another leap of faith. I reached out to Velvet D’Amour, whom many of you familiar with the plus size industry would know was The model who walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier in 2007. She is an acclaimed fashion photographer and editor-in-chief of magazine Volup2. She was looking for weekly guest bloggers for her magazine and the chance to work with Velvet was too good to pass up on. I would have been kicking myself if I let my insecurities get to the better of me and let this go. To my surprise, she was enthusiastic about having me on board and you can read my latest article where I interview Corissa of the blog Fat Girl Flow here. I look forward to my weekly write-ups for both magazines and promise to share them here for your reading pleasure 🙂

So as you can see, there has been some settling in to do aside from my personal life. Which unfortunately left my blog unattended but it is a matter of time before I manage it all with more ease.

Before I launch into my Blogiversary Outfit of the Day look, there is another announcement I have to make. A lot of you must be well aware of who Tess Holliday is and her successful Eff Your Beauty Standards movement. (This is when I say, kindly leave your opinions of Tess out of my comments section because I know people are testy about her right now). She was enquiring for bloggers who would be interested in representing Asia along with the rest of the EYBS team. I thought I’d let her know that I would be keen, it is so important to rope Asia into the body positive movement..we have a lot of work ahead of us here. When she signed me on along with the wonderful Harnaam Kaur, it felt surreal that I was doing all these things I had not dared to venture into. Which also means, MORE effective time management!

I Cannot even think about forsaking my blog any longer than I have. I have missed my little nook and it’s just so comforting to write from this space. This is where it all began. What an adventure these 3 years have been!

Righto so Onwards (finally) with my belated blogiversary outfit of the day look that I shot over the weekend :

thats me screaming Happy Blogiversary to Meeee!!!


Can I just say after the weeks of sitting with bed head and my fingers typing away from the laptop, this was a welcome breath of fresh air! There should be a scent concocted that makes you feel exuberant as if you are dresses to the nines because it is a delectable feeling.

I am beginning to veer away from ‘fast fashion’ because of what I am learning about ethical fashion consumerism but I had to wince and get some items from Forever 21 Plus for Nov-Dec because my medical and dental bills were not going to get paid by a mysterious donor (I wish. Actually I don’t. Sounds creepy).

Plus Size Velvet Tonal Sequin Dress in 1X

Rubi black pump heels

Lovisa beaded green earrings

I was in the mood for a glitzy party dress and aside from this number on plus size store Jibri ‘s website that was just far too expensive for me, this mermaid-like number caught my eye.

Not wanting to take attention away from the dress, I opted not to accessorise as much (you must be quite accustomed to my accessocrazynes). But I did go for a bold lip from my LA Splash liquid liner collection. This was from the Hocus Pocussed bundle that was released during Halloween. The shade I am wearing is Til Midnight. Aptly named.

Hurrah! The blogiversary post is done! Ootd posts are just so much fun and I cannot wait to get more done in the near future.

Thank You for the love, the support, the well wishes through my meandering as a plus size woman rediscovering aspects of herself that were previously buried beneath self loathing and fear. I am constantly learning so much and although it can get challenging, I know I am right where I want to be.

Chat Soon 🙂                                          

All my love xxxo

Aarti Olivia


Take me as I am

Some of you might have been wondering what that previous post was about. Well I am here to shed some light. 

This year has been a struggle. In a good way and a not too fab way. 

I made efforts to go beyond my usual capacity of social interaction, particularly with family. My folks have moved about 5 minutes away from me so I decided this was a good time to get acquainted with my extended family and become closer to my parents. 

To a certain extent, it has been positive. My father and I have put the past behind us as much as possible (although it is human to get reminders now and then of the bad blood we had). Our relationship is less civil, less strained..which is a marked improvement. 

I put myself out there as a kind of announcement: This is Me, take it or leave it. I am not going to lose weight to make you speak kinder to me nor am I going to allow you to walk all over me with fat shaming. I am Visible. I exist in the world as a fat person and I have no shame in that. 

These encounters bore down on me heavily. There is no doubt that I care for my folks but it is still tough. It is tough when you know that your food portions are still being watched over, or that they mention how a family friend still looks slim as ever despite childbirth. It is there in the questioning looks of family friends who want to ask you – Why are you okay with yourself? It is there when uncles who have seen you grow up look at you and don’t know what to say, so they ignore you. Instead heaping praise on the rest. 

Do I want an award for this? No. Did I expect acceptance? No. My goal did reach its fruition. I existed in all those settings I had kept myself hidden from for almost 10 years because I am no longer ashamed of myself. Self-Conscious, but not ashamed. 

Naturally, the younger ones have questions as well. How can she be satisfied being the size that she is? Isn’t she glorifying unhealthiness? 

I am not here to answer those questions. I am here to say again and again, until my very last breath “My appearance does not make me any more or less of a person. I am what I am. Take it or leave it”. 

Some of these evenings have left me emotionally fatigued for days. I have got to say the fat shamers on social media have been having a field day this year. I’m more or less immune to that now. But still. It can be tiring. 

When you make it a point to dress up and suddenly become the point of derision from a group of other Indian girls..that was harsh. I had two panic attacks in a row. But, I got out of the house and made it to the event. I left early, but the point is I got out of my comfort zone. I struggled. I survived. 

I went for important functions and heard hurtful things being said about me. I survived the functions. I cried in bed for days after. But I was visible. There Is a point to this pain and I am realistic about ‘leaving the table when love is no longer being served’ (that’s a fav from Nina Simone). 

I would like fat shamers to know that what I do by staying visible in the public eye is something they could never do. If they really mean to be ‘concerned’ they’d realise that the effect of telling someone to be healthier based on their appearance garners the very opposite reaction. It makes the bullied want to hide behind their comfort food, hide in their homes, hate themselves. It has Never worked, this sort of negative reinforcement. 

When I spoke of changes and discomfort in the previous post with all those quotes, this is what I have lived and learnt. 

I have learnt that in order to learn a great deal about yourself and to come to a place of inner acceptance for all that you are, you will be uncomfortable at first. You have to ride those choppy waves out and when the waters are calm again, you don’t feel a sense of jubilance or euphoric joy. You do however make sense of the pain you have put yourself through over the years. You realise how much you have ignored Living all this time.

I am now learning to Live a proper existence, after spending years merely surviving. When you see me vanish from blogging once in a while, I am hurting and healing during those times. But I will not shrink back into the person I was before. 

If something isn’t easy we push back, harder and make more room between what we Can do and what we Cannot. 

I have spent the past two years having so much fun with blogging and now the personal work is underway too. I cannot possibly sit here typing away ‘You can do it’ when I am unsure if I can. 

There is a newfound confidence in this uncertainty I have discovered. 

And it feels good. 

Just thought I would update you with what’s been going on with me personally aside from my typical health woes. This doesn’t mean fashion blogging or my other posts are on hiatus…this is a concurrent journey. 

Our bodies are not all we have. There is a place for coming to love all of who we are.