plus size activewear on Mind the Curves
Fashion,  Opinion

Plus size active wear: Mermaids and Unicorns

Sometimes, despite the very best intentions, we fall flat.

Take, for example, my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ for 2016. Towards the end of 2015 I reached a point in my body acceptance journey where I was over rebelling against what I was told I could and couldn’t wear and pulling my middle finger at the diet industry, and felt ready to move into a phase of nurturing my body. I felt – and still feel – that loving your body means looking after it as best you can, by eating healthily and exercising. (The key to my belief here is that – different to what they had meant to me before – diet and exercise was to nurture a body I loved, not punish and alter a body I hated). And so, I got it into my mind that with the new year, I would start a new routine: one filled with frequent exercise and healthy meals.

One of the things I was most excited about was the activewear. In my ‘previous life’ gym garb had consisted of ratty old tracksuit pants, and scruffy t-shirts. I died a million deaths at the thought of anyone recognising me on the way to, during or at gym. But now, in my new body positive reincarnation, I would dress up to go to gym – a device that I hoped would make me feel excited about exercising. So, when I stumbled across Mermaids & Unicorns online and spied their funky and whimsical active-wear, it was love at first sight. Quirky prints, dinosaurs, unicorns, mermaids – and it was a South African brand. It was as if it was made for me! I jumped at the chance – the honour – to feature them on the blog.

Except that now it’s almost the end of June 2016 and can you guess how many times I’ve been to the gym? Yeah, it’s less than that. As disgusted and ashamed as I am of myself for not doing what I know is good for me, it’s all the more worsened by the fact that I let a brand that I admire and that has supported me down.

My gorgeous, funky, fun leggings have sat in my cupboard, unused. This is not what gorgeous, funky, fun leggings are designed for. These leggings are designed for for making you feel good, for making others feel good when they see you in them feeling good, and then in turn making you feel good again after you see other people feeling good at seeing you feel good in them.

So today I decided to get over myself, get over sucking it big time, to put on the leggings of awesomness I didn’t deserve to wear, and to break them in with some yoga.

This is how it went:

plus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the Curvesplus size activewear on Mind the CurvesI couldn’t touch my toes like I used to, but it was a start. And I feel good, because I did something good for myself.

The leggings fit me beautifully – not to be weird here, but how great does my ass look in them? I’m usually pretty petrified of anything tight on my ass. They are super high-quality and robust – both in the assembly of the garment and the heavier-weight fabric – and I suspect will stand up much better to the toll of chub rub in the groin region than my other leggings do.

Mermaids & Unicorns has a ton of other spectacular prints, and the entire range is limited edition, so check them out here.

And also heed a lesson I had to learn the hard way:
Don’t put off doing something because you feel you won’t be good enough at it. We’re often not good at it the first time – in my case I didn’t become an instant devoted gym bunny because the clock struck 2016. And the longer I left it, the more I hyped myself up about how much more I’d have to do to make up for what I wasn’t already doing, until it was easier just to forget about the whole thing. I didn’t need to become a pinnacle of plus size athleticism to be deserving of these awesome leggings – I just need to put the damn things on and do something. In this case it was half an hour or trying to touch my toes and balance on one leg, but maybe tomorrow I’ll go for a brisk walk. And if someone sees me, in my multicoloured wonderpants, they’ll smile and think ‘Oooh, good for her, maybe I should get out there, and where did she get those spectacular pants from?’

And then both my job and the legging’s job will be done.


Take some body positivity, add some plus-size fashion and lifestyle, sprinkle with humour and quirk, top with pearls and you have


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    You go girl!! It’s time you have a love affair with your body and basically nuture the crap out of it. It deserves all the love you can smother it in.

    And those leggings look AMAZING!!!

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    Those leggings are fabulous and they look fantastic on you.
    Great post once again 🙂
    You do you and I hope to hear more about your yoga progress. X

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    It’s so hard to find nice gym gear for larger people. I’m pretty overweight but force myself to go to the gym five days a week. But it’s taken me years to build up to that. I started slow with two days a week, then upped it to three etc. Now it’s just become part of my routine. It also helps to have gym buddies, making it a social event makes it much more appealing.

    • The Girl in the Pearls

      The Girl in the Pearls

      You’re totally right! The hardest part for me is always starting the routine – but once I’m in it, I always feel a million times better. What’s that saying about a journey of a thousand miles beginning with one step, and all that?


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    You go, girl! These workout clothes are super cute and you’re a rockstar. It’s so annoying how tough it is to REALLY get into a routine – I try to do some form of working out twice a week and even that is a struggle. You know, life and stuff. UGH COME ON!! But you got this, you also gotta give yourself a break sometimes. You just have to do your best (and wear awesome leggings in the process!)

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    This is a great post. (As are those leggings.) I’m just glad to read that you are not giving up and are getting back up again, it’s so easy to berate yourself and not change anything, whatever it may be. I wish you all the best with this journey.

    PS: Looked at the website, could you share sizing? For instance what size are you wearing?


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    And once again money stands be between me and great articles of clothing. And they have mermaid and unicorn print on them uuurgh. I think its time to resort to emotional blackmail. Heard my sister say she dropped me as a baby. Kaching ching.
    And also, all the best in your journey. Maybe an online community can help with consistency and routine too hey. Hopefully I will have gotten over my “gym issues” by next semester and put those babies to good use.

    Mvumikazi | URBAN MNGUNI |

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    I know this is an old post, but i just found your description so sad. Why force yourself to go to the gym when you hate it? I hate gym! It’s boring and loud and filled with people i don’t like. So i take classes instead – dancing, yoga etc etc. I look forward to them and get really upset when i have to miss one. Instead of berating yourself for not going to gym, why don’t you find an activity that you LOVE doing? Then it doesn’t even feel like work anymore!

    • The Girl in the Pearls

      The Girl in the Pearls

      Hey Datura – you are so totally right 🙂
      I’ve been taking pilates again for the past few weeks and loving it! My muscles don’t get so wound up and I have soooo much more energy 🙂 Now, just to find something in the cardio vein that ticks the same boxes…

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    What an awesome post! I am trying so hard to find cute plus size workout clothes and not having much luck 😔

    I know this post is over 2 years old but I went on the website and the largest size XXL is only a 16 and I need an 18. Do you know any other places I can look?

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