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Top 8 Swimwear Trends for 2018


Top 8 Swimwear Trends for 2018

2018 swimwear has several incredibly exciting and fashionable trends. To help navigate the options, we’ve put together our favorite top 8 swimwear trends for 2018. All of the plus size swim styles featured below are sure to have you feeling on-trend and confident this season, no matter where it takes you.

1. Off-the-Shoulder Ruffles

Ruffles are a great way to flaunt your favorite features and highlight your curves. This season, the hottest way to wear ruffles is off the shoulder. Wearing ruffles that sit off the shoulder moves the eyes upward toward your décolletage. The ruffles also visually broaden the shoulder line, which creates balance if you have wider hips. This one-piece maio style below also nips in the waist, creating a slimming, curvy hourglass silhouette.

Raisins Curve Off-the-Shoulder Ruffle Plus Size One Piece in Black Floral (Click the link above to learn more) Available in sizes 14W-24W Style# 840581


2.  Macramé

Macramé continues to be a strong trend for the 2018 season. Macramé is a fancy word for knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) fabric together. This trend first appeared on the music festival scene at Coachella and Bonnaroo, and has become a popular style detail that works great in both solids and prints. Macramé is a great way to show off a little skin, without showing too much. Best of all, this detail doesn’t sacrifice support or comfort.

Kenneth Cole Plus Size Sunset Macramé One Piece in Tie Dye (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8VB09W


3. Metallic Details

Metallic details such as stitching and foil print are very fashionable this season. This detail is great for drawing attention where you want it. It’s perfect for highlighting your curves in all the right ways and adds panache to solid swim styles like this black one piece below with both silver and gold metallic thread woven into the edging of the bust line and leg openings.

La Blanca Black Plus Size Cross-Back One-Piece Swimsuit (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8KE26W


4. Bandana Prints

If you like more classic prints, 2018 is your year! Bandana prints are back this season, including those with strategic placements. This trend offers a new take on a bohemian classic and looks great on all body types.

Christina Swimwear Navy Print Plus Size Drawstring Side Tankini Top (Click the link above to learn more) Style # PP40X8D


5. Color Blocking

The color blocking trend has been around for a few seasons, and we are excited to see it get an update for 2018. This season we see color blocking not only with solids but also with dynamic, bright prints. Color blocking creates a slimming effect when darker panels are placed on the side of the torso to highlight the curves you want to show off and minimize those you don’t.

Anne Cole Navy & Striped Multi-Colored Halter Plus Size Swimsuit (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 12830


6. Cheerleader Skirts

If you’re looking for a little more coverage but don’t want to sacrifice style, look no further than this years’ swim skirts. Cheerleader skirts offer a fun and flirty way to cover up while still looking fashionable at the pool or the beach this season. Everyone needs a little encouragement during the swim season, this year be your own cheerleader and look fabulous doing it.


Beach House Pleated Plus Size Swim Skirt in Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 58212


7. The Flirty Swimdress

If you are looking for a trendy style with more coverage that isn’t as form fitting, we recommend the flirty swimdress. These fit-and-flare silhouettes offer a wonderful slimming effect, coverage around the stomach and hips, and easily draw attention upwards towards your face and bust.

Maxine Watercolor Tropical Printed Plus Size Swimdress in Blue Multi (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8P940


8. Vintage Pin-up

The vintage pin-up styles from the 1940’s and 50’s offer some of the best ways to show off your curves in a playful and sexy way. Lucky for you, they are trending for 2018. Polka dots are both fun and flirty and can be surprisingly slimming while offering a vintage pin-up look that is sure to stun this swim season.

Our customer Kaliegh writes of our Daphne Plus Size Swimdress:

“Great fit. Just gorgeous and fits me perfectly! Love the retro polka dot print”

Always For Me Daphne Plus Size Swimdress Black & White (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 79780


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Interview with Straight/Curve Redefining Body Image Producer, Director and Journalist: Jenny McQuail

Interview and article by Sarah Jankowski

Always For Me asks Journalist, Director, and Producer Jenny McQuaile about getting started in the film industry, swimwear, body image in today’s world, and her new film Straight/Curve (out May 18th, 2018).


Jenny McQuaile Director and Producer of Straight Curve


Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get started in the film industry?


My background has been in journalism for the past 15 years.

Six years ago I decided I wanted to learn how to tell stories visually, not with the written word, so I moved to NYC and studied documentary filmmaking.

I produced and directed a documentary TV series called The World Cup Project about 11 countries around the world that use soccer for social change.

That was an incredible experience! After that, about three years ago, I started working on Straight/Curve. It is my first feature film.



Why did you decide to make the film Straight/Curve?



This movie is for anyone who has ever looked in the mirror and thought they were not good enough.

Body Image is a very serious issue affecting young people more and more today. As is say in the film – this is a serious public health crisis. We need to start talking about it.

That is what we are doing with Straight/Curve and our new House Party Project!

In our film, you get to see and hear first-hand from teenage girls and adults about their struggles, insecurities, and what WE as adults are doing to fail the next generation.

The images we are putting out in the world and the messaging we are perpetuating is damaging and destructive and it is time we start being accountable.

With our film and our House Party Project, we want people all over the world to start having conversations in their homes about body image, representation, diversity and social media responsibility, as we believe this has to start in the home.

We want mothers to host a house party for their kids and their friends, we want sisters and best friends to have a movie night, we want co-workers to gather around a screen.

House Parties build community and we are using this to bolster the even larger body positive community.

To help facilitate house parties we have built a special Conversation & Activities Kit which will be on our website for FREE from May 18th – the same day our film is released on iTunes/Amazon and VOD.

So start planning your girls-night-in movie event!

To see a preview of the film, click here.



How did you go about the making of the film? What was your starting point and did the direction change at any point?



I started the process by meeting with some plus size models in NYC.

I was introduced to one of my Producers, Jess Lewis, who was a straight size and a plus-size model. Together we started exploring the fashion industry and where the conversation was heading around body image.

We knew pretty early on that we had to make a film about EVERY woman, not just plus size women. The conversation should be about representing people of all shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicities, abilities, and beyond.

We wanted to make sure our film was representative of that.

Straight/Curve group photo Photo by: Anastasia Garcia



How/what was the response from the fashion and magazine industry once it got out you were making Straight/Curve?



The response was amazing! We spent some time getting to know agents, models, designers, photographers, and industry professionals and began earning their trust.

I think everyone realized we wanted to make a film that was empowering and uplifting and could lead by example, not tear people down. We had no interest in ruining anybody’s reputation.

We wanted to show the fashion industry, media and society at large the damaging effects of NOT being inclusive on our next generation of young people, and also how your bottom line can increase if you diversify your clothing.

By including brands like Aerie and Lane Bryant, and designers like Christian Siriano and Becca from Chromat were able to showcase industry people who are fighting back against society’s narrow standard of beauty and are successful because of it.



Was there anything you personally learned through the process of making this film? Did anything shock or amaze you?



I am constantly shocked by the fact fashion design schools do not teach their students how to make clothes for women over a size 6 or 8. Especially since 67% of women in the US are a size 14 or over and people leaving design school have no clue how to make clothes for them. It’s a huge disconnect.

I was also amazed at the young teenage girls in the film and how openly they discussed feeling “disgusting” and “less than” because of the images they see out in the world.

That really shook me to my core.



How do you think swimwear (click to see styles at AFM) can be used to empower women?



Swimwear is the scariest item of clothing to shop for, and for that reason, I think it can also be the most empowering.

Personally, I dread shopping for swimwear, but the second I pull on a good suit or bikini that fits properly and I feel good in that all melts away and I feel like a queen.

I think most women feel this way. The key is proper fitting swimwear.

I think many women with larger chests, hips, thighs and a thinner waist haven’t always had options that provide a good fit.



What do you hope people take away from this film?



My hope is to show young girls and older women out there that you are not alone in your body image struggles.

The film also challenges the notion of health and the idea that we can judge someone’s health by just looking at their body, which is very important messaging in our oftentimes fat-phobic world.

It profiles the people who are fighting for change. I truly believe in leading by example and we hope this film shows other stakeholders out there that representing ALL women is good for business.

The goal of our House Party Project is to encourage people to have these sometimes awkward – but important – conversations in your own home! Use our conversation & activities kit to plan an event that makes you, and your friends, feel more empowered.

We want sororities to have a movie night, girlfriends to come together, moms to host screenings for their kids and their friends.

House parties are about building a community around an issue that affects us all and we hope women around the world will take us up on this offer.

Imagine if a quarter of a million women and girls gathered together for real talk about body positivity? What kind of change would be possible if women everywhere loved themselves?

That’s our goal for Straight/Curve – 250,000 conversations – 250,000 women and girls ready to spread the message about body positivity – and we want YOU to be a part of it.

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Top 6 Tech Accessories for the Beach

Article by Maddie Levin

Top 6 Tech Accessories for the Beach

The beach and technology usually don’t go hand-in-hand, but fear no more we’ve uncovered 6 technology accessories that are all about keeping your devices charged, dry, and sand free!



  1. Kobo Aura H20 Edition 2

This waterproof reader lets you take your favorite books to the beach or pool stress-free.

The anti-glare screen makes it perfect for use on bright sunny days, while the case itself can withstand 60 minutes in 2 meters of water! (Click the link above to learn more)
  1. JBL Clip 2

This portable Bluetooth speaker is waterproof, lightweight and can play up to 8 hours in one charge!

The JBL Clip even has a carabiner so you can attach it to your clothes or beach bag.

This speaker comes in five different colors that will definitely match your favorite plus size swimsuit. (Click the link above to learn more)
Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the link above to learn more) Style# AFM1236
  1. Lifeproof FRĒ Waterproof Phone Case

We all need our phones for a long day at the beach or pool.

Not only is this phone case waterproof, it’s also made to withstand drops from up to two meters!

This life-proof phone case is ready for any adventure!

FRĒ FOR iPHONE 8 AND iPHONE 7 (Click the link above to learn more)
  1. SAFEGO Portable Indoor/Outdoor Lock Box Safe

A lock-box is a must for anyone who hits the beach with more than their towel.

This lightweight box is small enough to easily pack for a day at the beach or pool, but large enough to fit your phone, wallet, keys, and any other valuables you may have brought.

The SAFEGO is water, salt, and sand resistant and also comes with a steel cable so you can keep it locked around your beach chair or umbrella while you take a dip in the water to cool off.

Available in 5 colors, it conveniently doubles as a small purse that easily matches back to your favorite plus size swimsuit! (Click the link above to learn more)
Always For Me Flutter Plus Size Two Piece Swimdress Set in Pink (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82316
  1. Two-in-One Mobile Phone Dedicated Mini Fan

We all love summer, but sometimes long days outside can get pretty hot and sweaty.

Sweat no more with this phone accessory!

This mini fan is powered by your phone and can plug right into the charging adaptor of your iPhone or Android!

The fans’ blades are soft, so it won’t hurt to touch or break rolling around the bottom of your beach bag.

The best part… it’s only two dollars! (Click the link above to learn more)
Always For Me Vineyard Paisley Two Piece Plus Size Swimdress Set (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82314
  1. Fujifilm Waterproof Digital Camera

With this camera, you can capture every moment on the shore AND in the water!

The LCD monitor is anti-reflective, so it’s easy to use in the sun and features ten different scene modes to capture every beach or pool memory you can make.

Once back home, simply connect to the internet, press the Wi-Fi button on the camera, and presto! – All your new pics are uploaded directly to your phone or tablet! (Click the link above to learn more)
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Shifting into Spring & Summer: 4 Ways Your Mindset Can Smooth the Transition

Article by Kaylee Friedman

Shifting into Spring & Summer:

4 Ways Your Mindset Can Smooth the Transition

After months of snow and cold, we all know the excitement that comes with the beginning of spring.

Before long, visions of afternoon’s at the beach or pool begin to dance in our heads.

It’s easy to get swept up in the romance of spring and overlook that shifting from one season to another can be challenging in some ways.

Below are 4 tips to transition into spring and summer without missing a beat.


  1. Be Realistic with your Spring/Summer Expectations

There is a tendency to become attached to warmer temperatures the second we have our first nice day of the season.

We begin to expect that the weather should be warm by now, and any day that we wake up and this is not so we have set ourselves up to feel deeply disappointed.

We invite you to let go of your expectations this spring. Instead, enter each day with a sense of curiosity and acceptance. “What will today be like? How I can I best enjoy it?”


Pro Tip: If you just can’t wait to rock those summer looks, your favorite sarong pareo can be a great item to hold you over until the weather is ready. Click here for ideas on how to style your sarong pareo.
Always For Me Plus Size Water Waves in Black and Blue Batik Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9025
  1. Stay Flexible

Spring can mean more than just a change in the weather, for many, it also signals additional changes such as the end of a school year, the need to spring clean, or a time to “get fit” for summer.

During this time, remember to be flexible. Whether it’s your children being out of school, or additional “things that need tending”, remember that life can’t always be planned.

Understanding that spring and summer are times of change and remaining flexible to these changes will ease the transition.


  1. Slow Down

Spring and summer aren’t without their drawbacks. The warmer weather often means increased allergies and spring colds.

Remember that our bodies need time and space to adjust to new weather conditions.

Now is the time to focus on self-care. So don’t forget to slow down and take a moment (or 2) for yourself.

Pro Tip: If you need ideas on how to create “me time”, check out our blog post here.


  1. Plan Ahead

Between barbecues, pool parties, and rocking your favorite Always for Me Plus Size Swimsuit on the beach – it’s important to have a plan.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to plan out the entire summer, instead focus on a few major events such as a road trip or family BBQ.

Planning ahead gives you things to look forward to!


Pro Tip: Start looking for that perfect plus size swimsuit now!


Pro Tip: Want to work on your physical flexibility and clear your mind? Check out our blog post here with easy yoga moves that can be done anywhere.


Always For Me Marilyn Plus Size Swimdress (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 79378
Always For Me Plus Size Convertible Tankini Top with Matching Bottoms-10 Ways to Style It (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82331
Always For Me Color Block Plus Size Bikini Skirtini Set (Click the link above to learn more) Style# AFM1076
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Always for Me asks a Designer Cat Oshman – Designer at La Blanca

Interview and article by Sarah Jankowski

Always for Me asks a Designer

Cat Oshman – Designer at La Blanca


Always for Me recently interviewed Cat Oshman – Head Designer at La Blanca to pick her brain regarding La Blanca’s 2018 swimwear trends, designing and fitting a plus size swimsuit, shopping tricks, and what she’ll be rocking this summer.

Cat Oshman – Designer at La Blanca

Always for Me:

Which key trends did you draw upon for the 2018 La Blanca plus size swimwear collection?



Global Chic was the overall inspiration for the 2018 collection. Tropical island vibes with a modern approach. Colors ranging from saturated brights to deep jungle hues. We want her to feel sexy and confident for any travel destination.

“The Great Escape” Mood Board by Cat Oshman and team
La Blanca Beyond the Jungle Plus Size Tankini Top (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8KD85W

Always for Me:

What are some of the differences that into constructing and fitting a plus size bathing suit?



It’s important that she feels supported and sexy in our La Blanca Women’s swimsuit.

We want her to know that the plus size swimsuit she’s wearing is part of our premium collection, just built to complement and flatter her curves.

For these reasons, we are very strategic when constructing a plus size swimsuit.

We add extra support at her bust, tame her tummy with a discrete special lining, lower the leg openings, and add adjustable shoulders straps so that everything stays in the right place.

Photos from a La Blanca “Leaf It To Me Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit” fitting
La Blanca Leaf It To Me Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8YC23W

Always for Me:

What role do you think the fashion industry has in helping to promote body positivity?



The fashion industry, as a whole, plays a huge role in promoting body positivity.

For so many years the standard of “beauty” was tall, slim, and basically “perfect”. The industry has come a long way in broadening the definition of “beauty” to be more inclusive.

Now you see women of different heights, weights, color, age, and ethnicity featured in fashion editorials and flooding all media types.

It’s great to see more women being able to relate to fashion and promote self-confidence.

West Orange County Women’s Conference, September 27th, 2017


Always for Me:

Are there any common mistakes you feel women make when selecting a bathing suit?



I think that both shopping for a swimsuit and going out in public in one can be as horrific as public speaking. After all, you’re basically half naked!

Generally, I would advise women to find a swimsuit that fits well. This is especially important if you plan to get wet, be active, or will be running around with/after your kids.

Look for a suit with bust support, seat coverage, and a style that you feel confident in.

Big picture – If a woman feels great in a swimsuit, I say “Go for it!”


Always for Me:

What will you be wearing to the beach this summer?



I’m loving one pieces this season.

To me, there’s nothing better great one piece that’s sexy, cute, flirty, and complementary in all the right places.

La Blanca Black Plus Size Cross-Back One Piece Swimsuit (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8KE26W
La Blanca Bora Bora Off The Shoulder Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8YA11W


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7 Activities to Carve out “Me Time”

Article by Courtney Obeirne

Most of us know and agree that self-care is essential to a happy life.  While this includes eating right and being active, a commonly overlooked element is “me time”.

Yes, carving out “me time” between work, kids, friends, and your significant other can be difficult but we at Always for Me feel it’s a must!

Below are a few “Me Time” ideas to get you started.


  1. Facials

Facials are a great way to relax and to take a moment to pamper yourself.  A professional hour long facial allows you to relax or even catch some Zzzz’s as the technician works her magic.

For those on a budget, there are a range of at-home products that can help you achieve that spa like “glow”.

Facials can be a great activity to do for a “girls night in.”

Pro Tip: For added relaxation, put your phone on silent. Trust us, it’s worth it! (Click the link above to learn more)


  1. Massage away your worries

What better way to relax than to have a massage?

The benefits of massages are started to be recognized, in fact, many offices and Universities have started offering massages to help encourage employees and students to take a “me moment” and relax.

There are many options, from high-end professional massages to at home products that work out the kinks of life.

Pro Tip: Think outside the box. Try that new roller you saw online, or ask your significant other to trade massage sessions with you. (Click the link above to learn more)


  1. Channel your Inner Yogi

Yoga is a great way to help you center your body and mind.

Whether you go to a class or find some moves online to try in the comfort of your home, yoga can be a great “me time” activity.

Since yoga encourages everyone to focus on their breathing, it can be the perfect way to slow down our busy lives.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to incorporate yoga on your next trip to the beach. To get some ideas for yoga moves that are perfect for the sun and sand, check out our blog post here.


A Big Attitude Plus Size Capri Pant Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9553


  1. Mani-Pedi 

Between all the juggling you do on a daily basis, it’s understandable that our nails and their appearance get pushed aside.

Take an hour and treat yourself to a professional mani-pedi, or host a nail party at your house and catch up with friends.

Pro Tip: Many salons offer weekday deals and some even offer punch cards that can be used towards free nail sessions in the future. (Click the link above to learn more)


  1. Escape with a Good Book

One of the best ways to unwind and create “me time” is to escape through a good book.

This summer head to your favorite coffee shop hit the beach or pool, or find a quiet place in your home and allow yourself to get lost in that best-selling novel or trashy magazine.

Pro Tip: Look for our upcoming blog that features great summer reads that inspire, coming soon!


Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the link above to learn more) Style# AFM1236
  1. Take a Bath

Don’t have time to leave the house?

That’s ok, simply run yourself a warm bath and catch up on the latest fashion magazine or book that you have been wanting to read (see above tip #5).

Don’t forget to turn off your phone to maximize your “me time”.

Pro Tip: Create your own little oasis of calm. Try lighting candles, adding some bath beads or powder, or playing soft music. (Click the link above to learn more)
  1. Shopping

Ok, this one might not be ideal for everyone, but a little retail therapy can work wonders!

You don’t have to break the bank, try taking a walk through the mall or around your city and window shop.

Pro tip: Now is also a great time to check out all the new Plus Size Swimwear and cover ups at Always for Me.


Always For Me Plus Size Festival Tankini Set (Click the link above to learn more) Style# AFM1080




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6 Easy Summer Looks for your Locks

Article by Kristin Goffinet


Looking cute for the summer can be tricky, especially when it comes to being beach or pool ready.

Don’t let the hassle of your hair stress you!

Below are 6 easy summer looks for your locks that will keep you feeling amazing while you rock your favorite Always for Me Plus Size Swimsuit.

  1. Topknot

Topknot buns are everywhere and for good reason – this style is quick, easy, and looks great on almost everyone with longer locks.

This hairstyle works with either damp or dry hair, which is perfect for when you’re in a hurry or just popped out of the water.

Pro Tip: This style easily transitions into beachy waves the moment you let your hair down or pair with stylish sunglasses for a killer look!
Timothy Snell Harper Mesh Sleeve Plus Size Rashguard (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 1860X
  1. Au natural

Summer is a time to let loose – why not share that philosophy with your hair?

If you have naturally curly hair, send your flat irons and hair dryers on vacation this week and let your locks air dry.

Pro Tip: If your locks need some extra love, use a leave-in conditioner with the twist out style method to help give your curls some definition.
Jessica Simpson Plus Size Crochet Tankini Top in Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 189420B
  1. Braids

There seems to be a braid for every occasion, and this summer is the perfect time to try a new braid style.

Braids work great on textured hair and can be a lifesaver as a 2nd or 3rd day hairstyle.

French braided pigtails are a cute summer style for any hair length– and don’t worry about making it perfect, a few loose pieces give off a relaxed vibe.

Pro Tip: Know your hair texture to determine if you need to start with wet or dry hair.


Low side braids are another great option, especially if you have longer locks.

Pro Tip: This version works great for a variety of hair textures. Don’t be afraid to play around with how “clean” you make your braids. Sometimes sloppy just works!
Daphne Plus Size Swimdress Black & White (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 79780
  1. Loose Waves

Loose beachy waves are a favorite go-to summer classic.

A quick way to create this look is to start with pulling hair into a pony tail and then curling the ends. Don’t forget some hairspray so you waves stay put.

Pro tip: You can also get this look from taking down your braids or high bun (see above).
Control Raven Plus Size Swimdress (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82301
  1. Headbands, Scarves, and Wraps

Headbands, scarves, and wraps aren’t just for bad hair days, they are a great accessory your favorite Always for Me Plus Size Swimsuit and create a beach bohemian vibe.

Your pareo sarong can quickly serve as a headband or wrap that is sure to turn head, while keeping you cool and stylish this summer.

Pro Tip: For more ways to style your Always for Me Plus Size Pareo Sarong check out our blog post here.
Bleu Plus Size Coast to Coast One Piece in Aubergine (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 18799A
  1. Hats

Ok, we admit this isn’t technically a hairstyle, it IS an effortless way to protect your skin and stay cool without compromising your style.

Besides, who doesn’t love a good beach hat?!

Pro Tip: Check out other tips on how to protect your skin and hair in our blog post here.
Beach by Florabella Sun Hat (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9104NN


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Always For Me asks Reality TV Star, Author, and All-Around Body Positive Diva Whitney Way Thore about Fame, Her #NoBodyShame Campaign, Swimwear, and Living Life to the Fullest Regardless of Your Size.

Interview and article by Sarah Jankowski


Whitney Way Thore is the star of her own reality TV show on TLC called “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”.  The show focuses on Whitney’s life as a plus size woman in today’s world. From the first episode, it’s clear that Whitney is determined to live a great, body positive life, regardless of her size or what haters have to say.

Whitney is the leading force behind the #NoBodyShame movement and is truly an inspiration for people of all ages and sizes.

Always For Me recently chatted with Whitney to pick her brain on what it means to be plus size, how she deals with haters, her newfound fame, and what she loves about plus size swimwear.

photo credit: Joseph Bradley

Always for Me:

You started as a YouTube star, what made you first want to post videos?


It was actually kind of by mistake.

I was working at a radio station at the time. We were starting YouTube channel and the station needed content. Someone at the station suggested I post a video of me dancing, since I love to dance, and title it “A Fat Girl Dancing”.

One of these videos went viral overnight, and suddenly I was asked to appear on news outlets and talk shows.

Always for Me:

How were you first approached to do your reality show?


A month after my television appearances, in March of 2014, an executive at TLC who was watching emailed me about collaborating on a project and the rest is history. I was very lucky.

Photo credit: Joseph Bradley

Always for Me:

What has changed since the first season as far as dealing with the media and people knowing who you are?


I thought dealing with the recognition from the viral Fat Girl Dancing video and television appearances was pretty rough, but after season one of My Big Fat Fabulous Life aired, all the attention, both positive and negative, really exploded.

 Being on TV definitely added another layer, and it became harder to avoid the negativity.

 Even though I never seek out the nasty comments; I only look at my own social media, you can never completely avoid them all.

 I definitely can’t read YouTube comments!

Always for Me:

What about fans?


It’s weird to me to even call them “fans,” because I just feel like a regular person.

 I try to interact with them online as much as possible and I always take time to have conversations with people I run into in public.

 If I’m on a real tight schedule or running late (which I always am), it can get a little tough, but I know that it means a lot to people and it means a lot to me.

Always for Me:

How about paparazzi in particular?


I don’t deal with paparazzi at all at home, which is a perk of living in North Carolina.

 I remember standing outside of my hotel in New York when I was doing press for the first season, which hadn’t aired yet, and there were paparazzi photographing other people at the hotel.

 I thought to myself, “Hmm, I wonder if they’ll be wanting my photograph too in a week or so once the first season airs…”

 My first real paparazzi experience was in London, and after that in New York and LA. But when I’m home, I am left alone.

Always for Me:

Do people change their “tune” when they hear your story about how polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) changed your life and lead to your weight gain?


I actually never talked about PCOS much until I started doing interviews, and PCOS seemed to be an important part of the story.

 Even when I was thin, I’d always thought I was fat, so to me, not a whole lot had changed.

 I’ve had so many women and even doctors thank me for shedding light on PCOS.

 A lot more women are getting diagnosed who had never heard of it before, which is unfortunately common. PCOS affects roughly one in ten women, but so many of us are completely oblivious about it.

 Of course, now that it’s out there, I also get all the comments like, “But my brother’s girlfriend’s sister-in-law has PCOS and she’s not as fat as you!”

 PCOS is a contributing factor with my weight, but not the sole reason I am as big as I am.

 PCOS can look different on everybody; it’s a collection of symptoms: insulin resistance, thinning hair, extra body and facial hair, ovarian cysts, irregular or absent cycles, acne…I’m lucky enough to have all of them, but you can have just a few symptoms and still be diagnosed.

Photo credit: Joseph Bradley

Always for Me:

What was the inspiration behind your #NoBodyShame movement?


About six months before the initial Fat Girl Dancing video went viral, I’d written a blog post about my newfound acceptance of my body (but I’d never even heard the phrase “body-positivity,” and I hash-tagged it with NoBodyShame.

 After that, I kept getting asked about it in interviews, so I thought: “okay, I better really commit to this and make it a thing.”

 I decided to make it my life’s work to help others feel happy and confident in their body, no matter what specific challenges they face.

Always for Me:

How has the response to the #NoBodyShame movement been?


The response varies. There are people who will never understand it and accuse me of promoting obesity, whatever that means.

 But then there are all the other people, old, young, fat, thin, differently abled, every color of the spectrum, people struggling with their sexuality or gender…and those people tell me that it’s really helped them to see a person who is not conventionally attractive or acceptable on television and that it’s helped them so much.

 Visibility is important, and at the end of the day, My Big Fat Fabulous Life is a vehicle for me. It puts a fat woman who is not on a weight loss journey in people’s living rooms all around the world and shows them that if I can be happy, confident, and loved, they can too.

Always for Me:

I’m sure you’ve received your share of love and hate being a public figure.  What do you tell your haters? Or what would you want them to know?


I absolutely see a lot of hate on social media and in real life.

 I can’t lie and say it never gets me down, but I really do try to focus on the positive.

 I know that people who are so nasty are miserable inside and my highest self really hopes they can shed their own shame and develop some compassion and acceptance for themselves.

Always for Me:

What would you tell a young man or woman who is being bullied for their weight?


There’s no magic answer, really, but I think the best you can do is find people who support you. It takes a village.

 From there, focus on doing things that help build up your own confidence.

 We can’t change how other people will treat us, but we can change how we feel about what they say and how we feel about ourselves.

Always for Me:

What are your thoughts towards swimwear?


I actually love to swim and used to be on the swim team!

That being said, even when I was 120lbs in high school I didn’t love my body.

I think shopping for a swimsuit is hard at any size. I think when you’re plus size it can be especially difficult to find styles that are appealing and that actually fit you properly.

I feel it’s really important plus size women have access to all plus size fashion, especially swimwear. As a plus size woman, sometimes I feel like we don’t have the “tools” to do things we WANT to do such as swimming.

When I say “tools” I’m referring to things like: plus size bathing suits and cover-ups, great sports bras or leggings, and running shoes that offer support.

In fashion, I think it’s the most important for plus size people to have options in active wear and in swimwear. We can’t DO those things if we don’t have clothes that perform.

Always for Me:

Is there anything that draws you to a swimsuit when you’re out shopping for the upcoming season?


Honestly, I didn’t wear a bathing suit for years!

It’s been exciting to see more plus size swimwear options on the market.

I tend to like classic suits with a hint of something special like sexy mesh inserts.

 Bikinis are the most comfortable for me because the less material that is on my body, the more comfortable I will be.

 Right now I’m loving supportive plus size bikini tops paired with a plus size high waist bikini bottom.

We started hosting a #NoBodyShame cruise, and the turnout has been really great. For many of these women, this cruise might be the first time they’ve worn a swimsuit in YEARS!

Our next cruise is from November 11th – 18th of 2018 so I’m looking forward to that! To learn more about the No BS at Sea cruise, go to

For me, it’s been very liberating to put a swimsuit on again!

Always for Me:

Thank you so much for your insight and taking the time to chat with Always For Me. It was a really fun interview!


Yeah, the time flew by! Thank you for having me.


Photo credit: Joseph Bradley
Posted on

6 Ways to Rejuvenate Summer Skin and Beyond

Marisa Garten

Summer brings a lot of great things: the beach, barbecues, and summer skin struggles.

Too much fun in the sun, sand, and various water bodies can result in a variety of skin and scalp issues including: dry, flaky, oily, burnt-out skin, and clogged pores.

Below are a few simple tricks to help rejuvenate your summer skin.

  1. Use sunscreen, and LOTS of it!

We know, we know, you’ve heard this before but it’s a must!

Sunscreen is key to keeping your skin soft and protected from those rays! Dry skin is never fun skin, so keep that face and body hydrated at all times!

Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more with a built-in moisturizer.


Pro Tip Product to Try:

Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: The great thing about this sunscreen is that it is Broad Spectrum, meaning that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays while being 100+ SPF.

Neutrogena has a variety of sunscreens to choose from including: Anti-aging, sensitive skin, hydration, and acne protection all without an oily residue

Available on (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Plus Size Convertible Tankini Top with Matching Bottoms 10 Ways to Style It (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82331
  1. Protect your eyes and surrounding areas

The skin around your eyes is some of the most sensitive on your face or body, so taking care of it is essential.

A great way to look stylish AND protect your eyes is to rock a great pair of sunglasses. With so many options to choose from, don’t be afraid to try a few new looks.

For the sensitive skin around your eyes try using eye creams. There are many options for all skin types and most contain SPF, an added bonus. Use daily/nightly or apply as needed.


Pro Tip Product to Try:

Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Water Gel: This is a great option if you’re looking to hydrate under your eyes.

What makes this product unique is it’s a liquid gel instead of a cream so there’s a cooling sensation when applied.

Additionally, this gel boasts SPF 15 for added sun protection.

Available at Target (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Luxury Racerback Plus Size Tankini Set in Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82312
  1. Cover up Your Tresses

It’s not just you skin and eyes that need a protection during the summer months, with all the sand, sun, and saltwater, your hair is bound to need some rejuvenation and protection this season.

Hats, especially those with a wide brim, can be a fun and functional way to protect your locks.

Pareo sarongs and wraps are some additional options when you’re looking to cover-up and protect your hair and body.

Hats and head wraps also make great accessories to rock with your favorite plus size bathing suit.

For hints on how to style a pareo sarong, check our blog post here.


Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Beach by Florabella Sun Hat (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9104NN
Always For Me Plus Size Water Waves in Black and Blue Batik Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9025
  1. Makeup that Protects

Wearing makeup during the summer is always a challenge and worrying about powdering or having oil-absorbing sheets on hand is never a fun experience.

If you’re looking for lightweight coverage that will hold up in the heat, try a BB or CC cream, or opt for a daily tinted moisturizer.

For those who prefer full coverage regardless of the weather, look for liquid foundations with SPF.

Regardless of your makeup choice, we suggest starting with a face-specific SPF sunblock.


Pro Tip Product to Try:

L’Oréal® Paris Magic BB Cream: This BB cream boasts Vitamin A & E, and a sheer tint for light coverage. With options to match your skin type like Anti-Redness and Anti-Fatigue, this BB has got you covered.

Available on (Click the link above to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Plus Size Festival Tankini Set (Click the link above to learn more) Style# AFM1080


  1. Lip Protection is key!

Many people tend to forget how damaging the sun, sand, and saltwater can be on the delicate skin of your lips.

To help combat and protect lips, reach for a lip balm with SPF. There are also lip lotions, scrubs, and moisturizers made specifically for your lips.


Pro Tip Product to Try:

 Sun Bum Lip Balm – SPF 30: This sun balm boasts SPF 30 to protect your lips from sun and wind damage. It also has Aloe Vera and cocoa butter to softens, soothe, and repair.

Available at Target (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Twist Front Bandeau Plus Size Swimsuit Black (Click the link above to learn more)
  1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate!

An often-overlooked way to rejuvenate your skin is exfoliation. Exfoliating helps refresh your skin by sluffing off dead skin, prepare your skin to accept moisturizers, and reduce clogged pores.

There are many ways to exfoliate from head to toe, so reach for your favorite loofah, face/body wash, or foot scrub and rub rub rub!


Pro Tip Products to Try:

Clean and Clear® Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub: This exfoliating scrub uses microbeads instead of salts, which makes it a little gentler on your skin.

Check out the entire line, which has options to cover you from head to toe and everything in-between.

Available at Target (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Plus Size Rio Cheetah Tankini Set (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9104NN


Posted on

5 Easy Yoga Moves You Can Do On The Beach

With its peaceful winds, salty air, and soft sands the beach can be the perfect place to unwind. So why not maximize your relaxation with a little beach yoga?

We’ve compiled 5 easy yoga moves that even the most inexperienced yogis can master.

The below poses can be done in the order listed or flowed together however you see fit.

Go ahead, grab your favorite plus size swimsuit or plus size activewear and get your Namaste on!


  1. Modified Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a great position for stretching your calves and back.

Begin on all fours with hands shoulder width apart and feet hip-width apart.

Next, bend your knees and lift your hips up and back.

Then drop back down so you’re resting on your forearms.

Pro Tip: Try to sink your heels down when you exhale, but only as deeply as you personally feel comfortable with.

 Once you’re ready, try advancing to a standard downward dog (with arms straight).

Feel secure as you practice this move in your Always for Me Plus Size Sports Bra.
A Big Attitude Plus Size Ballet Back Sports Bra Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9555
  1. Warrior 2

Warrior 2 will stretch your hips and legs. It will also help you to strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Begin standing straight with arms by your sides and feet hip distance apart. Then, step one foot forward and turn your back foot so it is perpendicular to your front foot.

Next, as you exhale sink down so your front knee is directly above your front ankle.

Finally, lift your arms and hold them straight above your center, pulling up through your whole body, then slowly lower right over right and leftover left to mimic picture below.

Pro Tip: Remember to keep your heels in line with each other, and don’t forget to breathe.
This is a perfect pose for our ¾ legging.
A Big Attitude Plus Size Capri Pant Navy (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9553-Navy
  1. Child’s Pose

This pose is relatively easy to do and has been shown to reduce stress and help with back and shoulder pain.

Start on all fours, with your shoulders directly above your wrists, and your hips directly above your knees.

Next, move your feet so that your big toes touch and bring your knees out so that they are slightly farther apart.

Then, sit back on your heels, and lower your head down to touch your mat.

Pro Tip: You can keep your arms straight, reaching ahead of you OR move them back so that they are along your sides.
This move is ideal for clothing that moves with you. Try our biker short!
A Big Attitude Plus Size Bike Short Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9557A
  1. Cobra Pose

Cobra pose is perfect to work your arms, shoulders, chest, and back. It will also help to stretch out your abdominal muscles.

Begin by laying on your stomach.

Next, place your hands underneath your shoulders and push into your mat (or towel) to lift your shoulders.

Pro Tip: Make sure that you are engaging your abdominal muscles, and lengthening your spine. This position is perfect to “sneak in” right before you head to the water.
Since you’re lower half is on the ground or sand, this move is perfect to practice in a plus size yoga pant.
A Big Attitude Plus Size Yoga Pant Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9502
  1. Easy Pose

At the beginning or end of your practice, easy pose will help you relax your mind and body.

Simply sit with your legs crossed, forearms on knees and palms facing up.

Pro Tip: Elongate your spine, focus on your breathing, and let your body relax.


Remember yoga is all about knowing your limits and listening to your body.

Regardless of how long you hold each pose or how many you do, be proud of yourself for making an effort and taking the time to center your body and mind!