Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Learn About Clothing Grading: Why It Is Important for a Perfect Fit

By: Tori Stiles

Ever wonder why clothing does not fit the same across all brands?  And even why some brands have different fits between sizes?  One reason is that each brand uses real people as fit models.  They find people that match their size criteria, but as we all know, the human body is variable, so each brand has a slightly different fit.    Most brands use a size 4 or 6 fit model.  At Junonia, we use a full size 1X fit model.
Junonia started the company with research on plus size women, and we adjusted the sizing to better fit the full-figured woman.  With our research and lots fine tuning, the ideal Junonia woman was identified, and we have found fit models that come very close to that ideal.  This vision guides the fit for all apparel on the Junonia website.  Whether she is an XL, 3X, or 6X; the clothing on the model is proportionate for all sizes. 

So What is “Grading?”
The research and fit model result in a perfect size 1X that is our base size.  From there, the grading process allows the garment to be mathematically adjusted for each size in length & width. 
By following established grade rules, Junonia ensures that all shirts fit the same way.  If you wear size 1X in 419029, then you should also wear a size 1X in 448023.   The same can be said for bottoms, swimwear, and outerwear.  All of the Junonia Private label clothing is designed and manufactured to Junonia’s strict quality and size standards.

It also means that each size should have the same fit and appearance of the 1X.  If you purchase the 397503 Center Seam V-Neck Tunic Length Tee, it will have the same fit features from size to size.  The overall garment length grows about 4” from size XL – 6X.  This length is spread out evenly between sizes and ensures that the garments fit the same for each size.

That’s why you always look great in Junonia.  And not all companies are as careful with grading as Junonia.  For example, we really watch armholes carefully so they don’t’ get too big, and rises so they don’t get too long!  Here’s a short list of other things we watch carefully to give you the most comfort and the best appearance:
  • Short sleeves ending just above the elbow
  • Long tunic length ending mid thigh
  • Non- clingy fit around the bust, waist, and hips
  • Slimming Center seam

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rules for Patterns for Plus Size Women

by Anne Kelly:

Rule #1:  Trust your Eye    Sometimes a pattern that is quite loud can be fabulous if it has a certain “swirl” or “movement” to it.  Try everything that appeals to you, but check it out in a mirror to make sure it works.  Look for sophisticated prints with depth and richness.  Avoid overly simple prints that call look juvenile or wall-paperish.

Rule #2:  Horizontals must be treated carefully.  Look for micro stripes and medium to medium tones that can add a texture to a fabric.  Keep a horizontal stripe to an accent.  Look for dynamic striping instead, vertical, asymmetrical, diagonal, color blocked.

Rule #3:   Find the scale that works for you.  If you are tall, you can go with large scale prints that would overwhelm a shorter woman.  Mix a large scale print with a solid for a bold statement.
Rule #4:  Explore.  Try non-patterns that work as patterns, such as the newest tie dyes.    And two patterns that work perfectly together are wonderful.  Again, trust your eye!

Rule #5:  Accessorize with pattern.  Even if you always wear black, add drama with bold patterns in scarves, purses, tote bags, even your water bottle.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to Maintain Bone Health

How to Maintain Bone Health
by Anne Kelly

The body is just so amazing.  Bones actually increase in density the more we use them for everyday living.  Lifting, walking, running, pulling, stretching, all signal to your bones that you need them to stay strong, and to grab nutrients from your body to keep building bone.  You probably have heard the scary statistics on how fast we lost bone after the age of 30, especially women!  But what you don’t hear as much is that you can slow that decline dramatically with simple steps. 
  •  Calcium.  Learn about how you can add calcium to your diet and if you should supplement with calcium.  There is a lot online about this, but you must check with your Doctor for maximum results.  Did you know that your body can only absorb about 400 mg at a dose?  Did you know Vitamin D is an important booster of calcium absorption?  Did you know Calcium can interfere with other drugs and reduce their effectiveness?  Your doctor can help you figure this out.  Or ask for a referral to a good dietitian.
  • Eat Well.  Lots of green and some dairy.  I like goat products as they are easier to digest.  But don’t go overboard on the dairy.  You body can only absorb so much at one time.  Did you know cottage cheese doesn’t have much calcium in it?  There is some evidence that diet drinks aren’t so great for bones, so check it out if you are a diet soda fan. 
  • Weight Bearing Activities.  As much as I love to swim and do aqua classes, to build your bones you need to use those bones!  That means fast walking, using weights, and increasing those weights as you get stronger.  Jumping rope is fabulous, climbing stairs, lifting hay bales, gardening and doing the heavy work, volunteering for neighborhood cleanups and lifting and playing with 2 year-olds. Those of us who are heavier usually have denser bones.  Makes sense!  But don’t worry about losing weight, it will be offset by your increased activity to keep your bones strong.
  • Serious bone loss?  Don’t despair.  Amazing medications are coming.  Ask your Doctor.  Don’t take a diagnosis of weak bones sitting down!  Be your own advocate.  You want to be a feisty old woman, so pull on the tennies and start walking!
  • Consider a personal trainer or class.  Some of these weight bearing activities are hard work.  They are a lot more fun to do with other people.  Considering joining a boot camp class that does planks, push ups and even some pull ups!  You don’t have to do the exercises well or even completely to get the bone benefit.  And whining and sweating with friends is a benefit, too!  Classes can keep you distracted and working hard.  They often use different tools and toys to keep you motivated.
  • You’ll love the results!  Your balance will improve, too, and your risk of a break will go way down. You’ll notice you are so much stronger not just in your bones but muscles, too.  Your clothes will look great because your posture will be the envy of your friends.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

10 Reasons to Feel Confident in Your Body

10 Reasons to Feel Confident in Your Body
  1. You have a heart that can be broken.  Be confident that you can feel the pain of others.
  2. You have a gut that sometimes feels fearful.  Be confident that you have great instincts.
  3. You have a brain that thinks clearly.  Be confident in your opinions.
  4. You have eyes that observe.  Be confident that you see things others don’t.
  5. You have hands that reach and hold.  Be confident in your ability to help and comfort.
  6. You have feet that move at your command.  Be confident you can go anywhere.
  7. You have a shape that speaks of femininity.  Be confident in your appeal.
  8. You have legs that are strong.  Be confident that others will follow where you lead.
  9. You have a face that smiles.  Be confident in your ability to encourage others.
  10. You have a voice.  Be confident in your song.

Anne Kelly, founder  www.junonia.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Knowing when to Come Out of Your Shell

Written for "Goddess Magazine"

Anne Kelly, founder and president of Junonia.com, specializing in active and casual plus size clothing.

Prehistoric they may be, but turtles have a great idea.  They carry their protection on their back, and when they feel threatened, they can pull it all in and be safe.  Have you ever seen a dog encounter a turtle?  They are so frustrated it is hilarious.

I recently have found myself foster parenting my son’s two large red slider turtles. I’ve been fascinated by them. I didn’t expect them to have such distinct personalities. And they are quite smart, learning patterns very quickly--especially where food is involved.  I love to watch them swim and play.  Although that might be mating behavior, I’m not sure!   They are surprisingly beautiful. I’ll be sad to see them go when they find a new home.

The most interesting thing is that they rarely go into their shells, only when surprised.  They just don’t stay there. They are either in constant swimming motion, lounging under a heat lamp, or sleeping suspended in the water with one foot to hold them in place. Their shells are their LAST defense, not the usual strategy for their life.

We humans do not carry our shells on our back, although sometimes we would love to have one!  As we evolved, we probably discovered that, like the turtles, we didn’t often really need to be inside the shell. Even for protection, we learned that if we lived in groups, we have people around us who would “have our back” and help protect us.

So the next time you are afraid to come out of your shell, think about the people around you who have your back.  And come out of your shell.  

So what have I learned from the turtles?

  1. You can’t go forward unless you stick your neck out.  
  2. If you stay in your shell you stay in the same spot.
  3. Never bite the hand that feeds you!
  4. Play with your partner, and give them space when they need it.
  5. Bask in the sun.
  6. To grow you have to shed your shell (it sheds in beautiful translucent sections.) 
  7. Be watchful, but not fearful.
  8. Keep a clean tank.
  9. Share the food.
  10. Keep swimming!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Best Natural Medicine is a Smile

Anne Kelly, founder and president of Junonia.com, specializing in active and casual plus size clothing.
Do you like it when people smile at you?  Most often the answer is yes, because it feels really nice to be noticed and appreciated with a genuine smile.  But the real power of a smile is the one you give.
You’ve probably heard all the good things smiling and laughing can do for you: Releasing those positive chemicals in your body, relaxing your body, putting yourself into a more creative mind frame.  And those are all true. 

But the interesting thing is that you get those benefits even when you fake a smile!  Try it!  Right now, while you are reading this, just slap a fake, sloppy and silly smile on your face.   Turn up the corners of your mouth, open up your lips and make a toothy smile.  Notice what is happening to you.   You are probably sitting up straighter because it is hard to slouch      and smile at the same time.  You are probably looking out and around, because is it hard to smile with your eyes closed, and you are probably getting a little antsy sitting in your chair, because it is hard to sit still when you are smiling!  And although you might not be able to tell, your blood pressure probably just dropped a couple of points.

And that was with a FAKE smile.  Think what will happen to you when you are REALLY smiling. 
I’ve heard is said that children laugh about 40 times every hour.  Adults, well maybe 4-5 times?  Why is that?  Why did we stop smiling and laughing?  An adult who always seems to be smiling is the Dalai Lama.  Now there’s a guy who would have good reason to never smile, a refugee who had to escape his homeland to survive, leader to a his far flung people.  Yet, there he is, finding as much happiness in each moment as he can, and sharing it with everyone through his smile.  He has a child’s impish quality, and yet is among the most serious of people. 

Research seems to be pointing to social connection as a factor in living a long and happy life.  When we are really connecting with others, we are smiling!  The more smiling the more social connection.  Who knows what is the beginning of that virtuous circle! 

You can do your own social research.  Watch what happens when you smile.  Try it on the bus, in the elevator (OK they might think you’re a little off), at the next sour meeting you have to go to.  Fake it if you need to,  and watch what happens.  When someone smiles at you, it is really hard not to smile back.  And now you have put that person in a better frame of mind.  Gosh, where could that go?  And how fun is this for you!  Not only are you getting the biological benefits of smiling, but now you can enjoy watching people be people as you pay it forward with a smile!  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Be Happier and More Positive in 10 Simple Steps

Be Happier and More Positive in 10 Simple Steps

1. Decide. 
This is the most important step, and there is no recipe on how to do it.  But once you decide to be happy, you’ll find yourself finding lots of reasons to be happy that you never noticed before.  Just try it.  Decide to be happy.

2. Don’t wait.
A priest once said this in my church, “Crying babies, like good intentions, should be carried out immediately.”  

3. Do.
The path to happiness will take you toward action.  Look for things to do that make you happy.  

4. Make Others Happy.
The surest way to increase your own happiness is to make someone else’s day. 

5. Share Happiness.
Do a random act of happiness.  Smile and thank sincerely the next person you meet, at the store, the coffee shop, the bus.  Take a few minutes to connect, and really hear their story.

6. Tip, Donate, And Appreciate.

7. Stop.
Just sit, listen, relax, and enjoy the moment.  OK, pet a dog or cat, too.  

8. Smile.
So simple, so easy, and it gets so many endorphins going, that even with a fake smile, you’ll be smiling genuinely in no time at all!  

9. Congregate.
Find other happy people and spend as much time as possible with them.  You know the ones, they are smiling and laughing and getting things done almost effortlessly!

10. Infiltrate.
Be happy wherever you are.  Happy is subversive.  It changes things – and always for the better.  There is a reason Buddhism considers happiness the highest virtue.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Backyard Olympics

Getting kids involved in activity is such a great thing to do.  It’s so important for adults to be a role models for an active life, and to show kids that being physical can be as fun as playing computer games.
 Many Junonia customers love our QuikWik specially for its playful attitude, excellent stretch, and quick drying characteristics.  These are the play clothes you’ll love with kids  because you can keep up with the little ones and who cares if you get wet?

Set up a mini Olympics in your back yard.  Fun ones are the long jump, the 100 yard dash, and some gymnastics events, including a low balance beam.  String them all together with a few water features in   a great obstacle course.  Be ready to dole out the Golds, Silvers and Bronzes (by age category of course.)  Bouquets of flowers are always a nice touch.  Be sure to have your official photographer on hand.  In four more years those photos will be the true gold.