Closet check: Do your clothes make you feel good about your self?

by byanika on 05/07/2011 · 58 comments

in By Anika,dresses,leopard,self worth

 

Hi Sweethearts!

Have you ever walked into a clothes store only to have the shop girl helpfully point out to you that nothing in the shop is likely to fit you? I have.

I experienced a personal breakthrough a few years ago when I tried on a white frilly dress sized XL that did not fit, proving the shop girl right. I felt humiliated, ashamed, belittled and completely imperfect. Standing there in the dressing room, looking at my deflated self in the mirror I made a choice. 

I promised my self that I would never accept shaming my self ever again.

So,  I picked my self up from the dressing room floor and walked out of the store with two matching dresses, exhausted but determined that I was going to wear the beautiful white frills no matter what, hips and tummy and all, even if it meant sewing a new dress from the two. 

What had finally dawned on me was this: If the dress doesn`t fit it`s not me that needs changing -it`s the dress. Can I get an AMEN?!

I then decided to take this defiant I-will-not-be-belittled-by-clothes-approach one step further. I took it home. Think about it. When you open your closet, how do you feel looking at your clothes?

If my dresses don`t make me feel A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. about my self, they go. If I feel I need to hold my tummy in when wearing a dress, it goes. If a dress might fit if I only loose some weight, it goes. If the colour of a dress doesn`t work on me, it goes.

This approach to my clothes has made dressing up a lot more fun, and you know how much I love to dress up.

These dresses are some of my best friends at the moment. Each one of them love me, my curves, my imperfections, my humor, my personality.  My closet feels like a lovely box of sweets that make me feel good about who I am today. Each one is designed or reworked by me, each one is Eclectic Chic with Sass and Soul.

Tell me sweethearts, what do your clothes to reflect back to you?

 

 I would love to connect with you!

For the full impact of your wonderful comments go to #byanikareaders where I quote and share your best ones!

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ClaireNo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

For me it hasn’t always been about what fits but what I was brainwashed into thinking what shouldn’t fit. I hate to admit how long I have played it ‘safe’ because I thought I should. Granted my daring to dress has come with a certain amount of weight loss…. but that wasn’t a fashion decision but a health one ( when I couldn’t climb stairs I got scared)….. suddenly I realized that my curves ( and I still have them!) are actually to be celebrated and what in the world was I doing hiding them under pants and t shirts when pencil skirts and blouses make me happy? Why in the world was I just admiring those fabulous rockabilly curvy girls when I can BE one? Why shouldn’t people look at me?

Another ‘fear’ I fight is age. For so long I was sure that my 30′s was far too old to pull off the victory curls, the fun colors streaked into my hair, the cat eye eyeliner… wrong wrong wrong…. age is only a number, style is timeless. I don’t mean fashion dictated style… I mean MY style…. and so what if I want to be rockabilly today and goth tomorrow and nautical the next day? It’s all part of me….
Slowly my closet is beginning to reflect back all the facets of who I am… the curvy athlete, the curvy retro girl, the curvy goth girl, the mom, the educator…. I’m starting to realize that I don’t need to pick A style…I need to pick MY style… and my style is a little of everything and a whole lot of me.

Wow, that felt good….I think I may cut and paste and throw that onto my personal blog. Thanks Chica!

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byanika 2 byanikaNo Gravatar
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July 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm

THANK YOU my darling. Responses like yours is why I blog.

I can so relate to what you are talking about here, I was going mmm! out loud reading your comment. As for the weight thing, I have lost weight too, and did so to take care of my health, not because I stopped wanting to be plus sized, no, it was the opposite, I wanted to be the best me I can be, health and curves included. I came out of the fatshion-closet over this, you might find this post interesting as a follow up. http://byanika.com/2011/01/17/who-gets-to-label-me-and-my-worth-i-do-2/

Also, I am in my 30`s now, I have wrinkles and grey hair, and I still what I bloody well want, in fact, I could never pull my clothes off as well as I can today I feel. I am just being my self, who the heck else am I supposed to be?!?

I think you should go for it on your blog, and let me know when your post is up, will you? I am so happy for you that you are taking back the control of your own life, it is YOU who get to define your worth after all.

Sending you much love. And a big MWUAH!

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3 TheNotoriousZAGNo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I’ve been given the side eye many times when I walk into stores whose clothes “shouldn’t” fit me, such as H&M, Rue 21 and Forver 21 (before they had plus sizes). I can find something to fit in all those stores, not to mention jewelry, shoes and handbags typically know no size (well, shoes do but they don’t know ‘fat’). It’s bothersome and discouraging at times, but I know what I like and don’t like, and as you’ve said… if you have to change yourself to wear it, then it’s not meant to be! Great post, and I LOVE those dresses; they’re not me, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking they’re amazing.

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4 SACRAMENTONo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm

You are amzing, Anika, wowwwwwwwwww. You have 76 comments on your feature…
Most impresive.
Love you.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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byanika 5 byanikaNo Gravatar
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July 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I do? Goodness gracious me. That is something. Thank you so much my friend! I love you. Thank you for being so authentic and inspiring. You are beautiful soul indeed. Hugs and kissess and besooooooossss . Olè! xo

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6 Gazel M.No Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

You’re so amazing Anika. You really inspire me to feel better about myself.
I’m glad through all this you persevere. Your dresses are also great as well.

Bisous,

G
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byanika 7 byanikaNo Gravatar
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July 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Gazel, ma cherie! Merci bien. You are so wonderful, please know that. I am such a fan of yours! Love, Anika

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8 Señora AllnutNo Gravatar
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July 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm

really love to read your post, so honest and positive thinkings!, and I absolutely agree with you about never feel miserable when a shop assistant tell me there’s nothing in the shop in my size; well, it’s their problem if they don’t want my money!!.
I like to feel fabulous when I dress up, I love the clothes that make me feel happy (specially some wild colorful pieces!) and I’m glad to find your blog, thanks to Sacramento!
besos

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9 Judy CarpenterNo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I think I have come around. I bought a couple of tops the other day because I love the fabric. They are too big for me even though I am a very large size. But I love the fabric. And I am going to love making them over to suit me. If it weren’t for blogs like yours I’d still be stuck with thinking I need to fit the clothes and not the other way around. Thanks.

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10 GRIT & GLAMOURNo Gravatar
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July 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Amen to that! And I loved seeing all your frocks hung up. They’re so exotic and eye-catching, just like their creator!
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byanika 11 byanikaNo Gravatar
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July 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Such a great compliment! Thank you Vahni. xx

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12 The girlie bloggerNo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I love your defiance and your confidence. You are one of a kind girl!

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13 KenyettaNo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm

love your take on this. confidence is key, im gonna adopt this to my closet, if it doesnt work…it goes!

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14 Gracey at Fashion For GiantsNo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I think my closet reflects who I am and therefore makes me feel good about myself, but it was a tough row to hoe. I spent my high school years being a tomboy and not giving a rat’s hind end about fashion and my college years trying to follow every possible trend in a bid for popularity. Post-college everything I wore was body conscious because I thought I had to show the goods to feel good.

But, finally (FINALLY), I got to the point where I know what I am comfortable in which for me means I know what looks good on me. I’m more comfortable in this new, hippier (not necessarily hipper), boobier (pretend its a word) body than I ever was when I starved myself down to a size 6 after college and I think my clothes reflect that. They’re a reflection of my many moods while always still being true to me and I’m very happy about that.

Lovely post, Anika. Thank you!
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15 LorenaNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 12:01 am

I liked reading how you stood up for yourself.
I agree with you, we should feel fabulous in what it is we wear…. I’d like to go into that direction too.

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16 AniebluNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

Love love love, the way it looks the dresses over the white wardrove!!! love that kind of pictures, never enought of them!!!!
http://lahabitaciondelaspequenascosas.blogspot.com/
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17 vanessaNo Gravatar
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July 6, 2011 at 12:43 am

Those dresses are so beautiful. I love that they all have a fun print and scream ANIKA!
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18 kerryNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 12:48 am

love this – I am on my way way to this mind set, thankyou for helping me get one step closer xox

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19 RocquelleNo Gravatar
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July 6, 2011 at 2:35 am

AMEN!! this is my philosophy too! I realized about two years ago, that the size on a piece of clothing does not define me and it’s ok if something doesn’t fit (that’s what tailors and sewing machines are for, though I don’t really know how to use mine, lol). If anything in my closet doesn’t speak to my heart, it gets tossed! Each day when I get dressed, I allow my clothes to speak to me and go from there! This results in a woman who always feels good in her clothes, without a drop of insecurity. I love you Anika for always writing such beautiful post that make me smile :-) .
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20 ofeliaNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 6:26 am

For me clothing is an expression of my emotions, surroundings, future events and my interest and hobbies.
It also gives me the opportunity to be creative with my accessories and to create a mood or a representation of myself at an specific moment of my life!
I adore your dresses they are an expression of you even before you put them on!
Con mucho amor,

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21 MyFavouriteThings aka NanneNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

Jeg har vel ikke opplevd akkurat det samme som deg, men jeg føler også av og til at det må være klærne det er noe galt med, for jeg vet jo utmerket godt at jeg ikke er vanskapt! Velsignet med en timeglassfigur med smal midje og fyldige lår/rumpe er bukser mitt største problem, spesielt jeans! Og jeg er ikke noen kjoleperson til hverdags, det er jeans som gjelder, så jeg er stadig på jakt etter den jeansen som yter kurvene mine full rettferdighet samtidig som den faktisk passer både over baken og i midjen:) Så langt har jeg ikke funnet den, men jeg gir ikke opp! Ha en fantastisk dag:)
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22 Kirstin MarieNo Gravatar
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July 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm

All of your dresses are so lovely, and so you. That’s one of the things I really love about your style. Everything screams Anika, instead of you trying to make the clothes work for you.
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23 MJNo Gravatar
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July 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Oh Anika, I know that dressing room scenario all too well! It can be very disappointing and frustrating to try on something that you love knowing it would not fit nor flatter you. You are soo right that your clothes need to be for you and look good on you. No need to change yourself to fit them!

I did a purge of my closet not too long ago, not because clothes didn’t necessarily fit me anymore but more to see if my clothes fit the stage of life that I’m in right now! The little bit of clothes I had from my partying twenties finally went and only keep those, like you said, that are a reflection of me right here, right now!

Love this post!!

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24 AdrienneNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I agree entirely! I go through my closet often and get rid of the clothes that aren’t doing anything for me. I usually sell them on eBay, then I have funds to buy something I really love!

I love your beautiful dresses, they make me swoon :)

Adrienne
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25 anitaNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm

ugh yeah thanks for reminding me, i gotta clean out my closet! :P I also have to add that i really like how you create an awasome dress out of 2 or 3 other ones, its super creative. I always thought of doing it, but never really had the courage cuz im really not all that great at sewing lol but yours look really nice.

xo
A_Riot
http://www.thickthreads.net
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26 Susan TinerNo Gravatar July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Your dresses are really pretty. My own closet is kind of bare at the moment, waiting for me to make things. Then I decided to lose some weight, so now it doesn’t make sense to sew stuff — the few things I already bought/made are already too big. So, I’m busy making scarves :-) . And finding cool earrings on Etsy to go with the scarves.
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27 Fajr | Stylish ThoughtNo Gravatar
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July 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I used to have a closet full of clothes for a person I was trying to be. This dreaded hipster girl that was the total opposite of who I was. While some of those clothes remain, my style and wardrobe have become closer to who I am at the moment. I have stopped buying clothes in hopes that I’ll lose weight to fit them (what a waste of time that is) and only buy clothes for my body and lifestyle now. I can honestly say that I love my wardrobe, with all the crazy haphazard color, prints and frocks. It’s me! :)
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28 UN-stitchedNo Gravatar
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July 7, 2011 at 4:43 am

Anika, this is such an amazing, insightful post. So true lady – why bother holding on to anything if it connotes negativity! First, those dresses look amazing and I think I may be doing this exercise in my closet – regarding my purchases and then yearly purges – but unconsiously. So thank you for putting this into words for me. I do always say to myself that it’s not worth buying if I don’t absolutely love it, which means: if I feel great in it. One of the happy things about my wardrobe is that many pieces are made to last, and I know my daughter, once she gets of age, will adore wearing much of it too!
xoxox to you !
Christine
http://un-stitched.com/
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29 JamillahNo Gravatar
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July 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Aaaaaaaaamen! I used to have a bag of clothes that I put aside “when I lost weight” last year I brought them all to a clothing swap my friend threw and got to see those pieces on beautiful women and it was so liberating! Why hold on to things that were for my 18 year old self…truth be told that girl was not as confident as the 29 year old woman I am today. LOVE YOU . Ummm LOOOOOOVE your frocks. I would love to wear one of your beautiful creations.
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30 JessNo Gravatar July 8, 2011 at 12:22 am

I finally realized that the “wait, that’s too much, it’s over the top” message from me to me about a piece of clothing means that I actually really like something. I want that pop of happiness every day! Thanks, Anika, I get that feeling when I read this blog.

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31 MetsyNo Gravatar
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July 8, 2011 at 12:43 am

I love that you make your clothes your own. I am thinking about finding a seamstress in my area to help me create some designs. I have edgy but modest tastes, and the stores don’t have much in that space. Thank you for illustrating that fashion in the stores is only a starting point… not the end-all-be-all. :D
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32 poetNo Gravatar July 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

I absolutely agree! I’ve had my share of experience with ill-fitting clothes – both too wide and too tight – and I know it can be a real source of unhappiness and negative body image. So kudos to you for taking the initiative! We can all use some frills and happiness in our lives :) Your dresses look great!
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33 YvonnaLiviannaNo Gravatar
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July 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I used to have that problem and I am overcoming it slowly as I re brand and re evaluate myself. I have for the most part things that are true to me and I love, although I will get the occasional ” I do not like that together”. But overall, I am starting to care less more and more everyday, I live for my band tee shirts and a leather jacket with a crap load of jewelry it makes me smile and feel like a total bad ass and I will not let anyone take that away from me. Again love another GREAT POST!!

XX!
YvonnaLivianna
YvonnaLivianna.blogspot.com
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34 VeronicaNo Gravatar
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July 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm

AMEN!
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35 JoyNo Gravatar
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July 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

You’re always a source of inspiration. Great style, genuine voice – you got it all, girl :)
Joy x
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36 AngelaNo Gravatar July 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

I recently did a closet cleanse too and got rid of all the clothes that don’t make me feel good about myself. I love the dresses you’ve pictured – they have such beautiful colour and print combinations!
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37 WendyBNo Gravatar July 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I was in Hong Kong and Seoul in 1996 and apparently my companion and I were looking pretty huge to the locals. A salesgirl came over and yelled, “You large!” pointing at my friend and “Nothing for you!” pointing at my friend.
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38 Oh to Be a MuseNo Gravatar
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July 12, 2011 at 12:16 am

oh i love all of your dresses pictured. they are so original and creative. i am trying to only shop for stuff that i really, really want and that i will always look at and say, ‘yes, i look great in this’. :)
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byanika 39 byanikaNo Gravatar
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July 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

That sounds great darling! My test when shopping is simply asking my self “do I LOVE it”? That does the trick every time :) Hugs to you sweetheart.

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40 Michelle of ChellbellzNo Gravatar
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July 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Hey lady! I love your dresses! I love the idea of making your clothes work for you and your confidence. I too have a serious issue of avoiding malls now because I know that It’s very rare that I will find something in my size, and cute at the same time. Thing is my reason for this is being overweight. i love myself, and even though It takes me forever to find certain things I love myself. It wasn’t until i went to the doctor, and they told me that my health was ridiculously bad because of my weight. With this thought in my head, now I feel crazy wearing my clothes, it means something different to me now. It means that I’m failing myself and that i really need to get my health in order. At least I feel that way. I now have to loose weight, and it’s sad that I’m kinda thinking, jeeze all the cute curvy clothes I have. I won’t be able to wear and that makes me a bit sad. It’s like a double edged sword, and a bit vain when i guess my health should be number 1 right.
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41 Lynsey MichelleNo Gravatar July 12, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Amen to that. I have always said that every trend, dress or pair of pants is not for me. There are some things that are going to look wonderful on women with curves or women with height, that will never do anything for my squatty 5’1″ frame…no matter how high my shoes. I think recognizing what makes you feel good about yourself, and expressing yourself through those garments will do more for your sense of style and self esteem than trying to change yourself to fit a trend or a dress.

Best,
Lynsey Michelle
——————————————–
LAW OF FASHION
http://www.law-of-fashion.com
twitter.com/lawoffashion
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byanika 42 byanikaNo Gravatar
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July 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Preach my sister!!! True style is about having the confidence to choose what works for you, and not feel belitteled by the trends that don`t work for you. Will visit you soon sweetheart. Hugs!

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43 umbrellamomNo Gravatar July 18, 2011 at 1:02 am

I can so relate to your article. I, too, have had the same experience where I could not fit into anything and a saleslady told me I had a size problem. I applaud you for giving voice to what so many of us want to say and only after reading your posts are gingerly stepping up to the plate. Thank you!
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44 Sally ThompsonNo Gravatar September 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I am back again.. I really admire your dresses! You are to creative.. Looking forward on your new designs!
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45 deanNo Gravatar April 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

great Dress up!*Dean :)

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46 mmsgzfyxmzNo Gravatar
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November 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

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