Okay, we are all aware of the perception that plus size women should wear BIG accessories to draw attention away from our big bosom or derriere. Thankfully, I'm here to tell you that this is absolutely not true (and more than a little ridiculous). Our nation is changing, and the last frontier of prejudice - being overweight - is finally beginning to fade. Perfectly normal sized women like Jessica Simpson are beginning to say ENOUGH and draw a line in the sand - saying that they are unwilling to be judged by their size. Little did Jessica Simpson realize that she would inspire a huge dialogue around weight, size, and just what constitutes beauty in this country.

So what does this have to do with accessories? Oh, nothing - and everything. My point is that we absolutely do NOT have to wear a huge scarf or carry a big saddle bag to hide behind. We are just FINE with our size. (Here's a secret: make that last statement true for YOU, and the rest of the world will follow suit. And hey, if they don't, well then that's their problem.)

Being okay with your body allows you to make entirely new choices around wardrobes, fashion, and the ever changing accessories that complement it all. For instance, if you have a great vest to wear, there's nothing wrong with wearing it buttoned up with only a plus size camisole underneath and a terrific long strand of pearls either loose or knotted at your neck. OR wear the same vest open over a plus size blouse with a great sequined pin on the lapel. Worried about tucking your blouses in? Add a wide casual dropped belt to the ensemble and toss that fear aside forever! OR wear the belt over the same plus size top bloused over a pair of jeans. Or get really creative and add a cowboy hat and a pair of boots - great with that same vest or a pair of plus size split pants, by the way!

And hey, never underestimate the power of a new pair of shoes and a fabulous handbag to makeover an ensemble or bring it into the next season (can you say espadrilles?). The bottom line is that great accessories can be used to literally multiply your wardrobe. Just two or three belts, a few stylish handbags, and a vest can turn four outfits into a load of different combinations!

For the plus size woman, accessorizing is NOT about hiding. In fact, it's really the opposite. It's about standing out a little in the crowd and adding that special piece of pizzazz to everything we wear. For me, it says that I took the time to look absolutely fabulous in whatever I'm wearing and celebrate my individuality! What's in my collection? On any given day, I might wear the following: A four-inch brass pin of a carousel horse, an antique silk scarf that my grandmother used to hide her hair under when it was set in curlers, a royal blue suede fringed belt, black suede thigh-high boots (a personal fave), a red beret, a burgundy leather backpack purse, and a red leather vest with the words "Sexy Girl" written on the back in metal studs.

Okay, now here's something worth noting. I have had ALL of those items in my wardrobe for at least ten years. So did they get used to death? Not even close. I didn't start featuring these great pieces until about a year ago, when I woke up one day and got tired of worrying about my weight, wishing I were thin, and basically putting my BEAUTY on hold until tomorrow. Like Jessica Simpson, I finally drew a line in the sand and said enough! I am here this moment, and my beauty is not up for debate.

And ever since, every single day when I get dressed, I stop for a few moments and think about that one extra piece that will make my outfit pop off the page and say, "Look at me, world - I'm fabulous!"

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