What to Wear: Thanksgiving

ASOS Curve Red Skater

When it comes to a holiday that is centered on eating and lounging around with family, comfort is key.  That does not mean you are resigned to sweats, however!  If you want to look cute and festive, I recommend the most food-baby friendly style: The skater dress.

Forever 21 Metallic Flecked

 

 

Forever 21+ Metallic Flecked Skater, $27

Skater dresses generally hit at the natural waist and have volume in the skirt.  If you pick one in a jersey material with an elastic waist, you’ll feel as comfy as you would in PJs, but much more stylish.   [Read more...]

OOTD: Colorblock and Checks

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I’ve been a Gwynnie Bee member since September of 2012, and I’ve never been more excited about their offerings than I am now (and I’ve been excited!). This season, they launched a game changer: COATS.  NYC is a sea of black wool in the winter, so the idea of being able to wear a variety of statement coats instead of the same old thing every day appeals to me to no end.

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This coat in particular illustrates why my GB membership is the most valued component of my wardrobe.  Working at Gwynnie Bee has allowed me an inside look at how hard the buying team works to get the best selection of clothes for an underserved population of women, not only by scouring the market for the best of what’s available, but also by pushing for collaborations with straight size designers with vision.  Corey, the namesake contemporary label of designer Corey Lynn Calter, is offering fashion forward plus size pieces true to the brand’s aesthetic, exclusively for Gwynnie Bee.

IMG_4666.JPGThe gorgeous oversized plaid is totally on trend, and the cocoon shape and envelope sleeves are both structural and soft at the same time.  I’ve been swooning over this coat forever, and in person it does not disappoint.  Because there are no deadlines with Gwynnie Bee (you can keep an item as long as you like while you are a member, just like with Netflix), I will be holding onto it for a long time.  I mean, look at how perfectly it pairs with my favorite Miista booties!

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Gwynnie Bee is also great for trying statement pieces from some of my favorite established plus sized labels, like the always-cool Mynt 1792.  I wasn’t sure if this bold colorblock dress would work for me, but I ended up loving it.  It was the perfect piece for a blogger event at Marina Rinaldi – I always have to bring my A game when surrounded with such stylish women. It’s also not something I’ll wear all the time, so shipping it back for something new was awesome (I got an Anna Scholz dress in my next shipment – post to come!).

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Now that it is freezing, I can’t imagine wearing this coat without sleeves, but it was just the right temperature for it last week (*sigh*).  Next time I take it for a spin, I’ll be layering a sweater or a Uniqlo heattech top underneath.  The thick wool of the bodice is incredibly snuggly, so as long as my arms are covered this will take me all through winter.  Sidenote: My desire for a pair of long leather gloves increases exponentially every time I put this coat on.  Wouldn’t they look so good with it?

Outfit details:

Plaid wool cocoon coat: Corey (capsule plus size collection exclusive to Gwynnie Bee)

Colorblock sheath dress: Mynt 1792 (sold out, available at Gwynnie Bee)

Opaque leggings: Flexees by Maidenform (These are a key winterwear staple for me – super warm, and the shapewear panel smooths without squeezing you to death like Spanx.  Some sizes on sale here)

Colorblock booties: Miista Aile

All photos by Courtney Stack

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate or referral. All opinions my own, as always!

NYC Deal Alert: United Nude Sample Sale

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If you are in New York, this is a sample sale not to miss.  United Nude is famous for their fashion forward, architectural shoes, and if their last sample sale is any indication, this one will be chock full of goodness.  They are actually billing this as their largest ever, so I’m confident it’ll be worth your time (unlike so many disappointing sample sales). Go before work or on your lunch break for room to browse.  It is on from November 18th-23rd.

Wardrobe Wants: This or That, Fall 2014 Edition

IMG_4662.JPGEvery season, there are a few standout pieces that call my name, begging to be added to my closet.  This year, I am happily finding that there are options for every style, so I thought I’d share my two favorites of each with you.  Let me know which one you love the most: This or That.

Glacial Blue Winter Coats

Eloquii Glacial Blue Coat

This: Eloquii Ice Blue Wool Blend Coat, $168

or

Simply Be Blue Speckled Coat

That: Simply Be Blue Speckled Coat, $125

[Read more...]

OOTD: Last Day for Bare Legs

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On Tuesday, I headed to Chelsea for the Lela Rose for Lane Bryant preview.  The weather was surprisingly pleasant for November, with highs in the 60s.  With forecasts of dropping temps the next night and rumblings of polar vortex effects this weekend, I knew it was the last day for bare legs this year.  Basically, I had to wear this outfit.

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The top may seem familiar to long time readers (or anyone who loves designer collaborations) – it is actually a bodycon dress from the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection for Target.  I originally wore it as intended, but the colors were too perfect not to wear it as a shirt with this textured A-line midi skirt from independent plus label Lucie Lu.  This is a great way to get more mileage out of your wardrobe – just repurpose a formfitting dress by wearing a skirt with volume on top, whether it’s a structured midi or a fun tutu.

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I also planned on wearing this awesome perforated navy suede jacket as intended, but it was even warmer than forecasted in the afternoon.  It was still an integral part of the outfit, though, so I found myself doing the old fashion blogger coat on the shoulders thing.  It had to happen one day ;)

Outfit details:

Mustard leopard print dress (worn as a top): 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target

Textured cobalt midi skirt: Lucie Lu (via Gwynnie Bee)

Perforated faux suede bomber jacket: Mynt 1792 (on sale at Lord & Taylor!)

Pebbled leather handbag: Kate Spade

Suede ankle booties: ASOS (sold out, similar here and here)

All pictures by Sandra of La Pecosa Preciosa

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate or referral. All opinions my own, as always!

Wardrobe Want: Tongue In Cheek Slogan Tees

RebDolls #OOTD crop top that I snagged at the Stylish Curves Pop Up Shop

RebDolls #OOTD crop top that I snagged at the Stylish Curves Pop Up Shop

For the longest time, the term graphic tee gave me cringe-inducing flashbacks of the “sassy” slogan tees so popular in the early aughts – not a sartorial high point by any means.  But lately, I’ve seen some lighthearted, tongue in cheek slogan tees (in the same vein as this one from Moschino) that work even if you are not a rebellious teen.  For me, the key is to avoid random adjectives (“Beautiful,” “Perfect,” etc., can come off pretty juvenile) and cliched sayings (i.e. “Young, Wild, and Free”).  Instead, find something fun and fashion focused – a tee shirt shouldn’t take itself too seriously, after all.

Boohoo LBD Tee

My favorite is this cheeky twist on the LBD – a black tee dress that technically fits the description, but is way more lighthearted than the classic wardrobe staple.  I’d wear this with tights, chelsea boots, and an oversized pastel coat now.  In the summer, it would look amazing with sporty flatforms, or a serious statement heel for a night out. [Read more...]

OOTD: Navy and Black

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I often talk about rejecting outdated fashion “rules,” most of which are rooted in restrictive ideas of what is “flattering” or not.  Some fashion don’ts are just silly, however, like the old ban on wearing navy and black together.

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This rule only holds water when it comes to unintentionally mismatched suits (a clear and present danger when a skirt is dark navy and your closet isn’t well lit).  As long as the combination is intentional, and the navy hue is rich enough for a visual contrast with the black, it is no longer a sartorial faux pas at all.  Adding a textural contrast (like pairing this delightfully nubby coat with sleek black denim) highlights the color combination.  I decided to mix textures for the entire outfit, with an open weave sweater, pebbled leather bag, and suede ankle booties.

IMG_4624.JPGThis was my look for the Stylish Curves Pop Up Shop, which was a fantastic event – it was great to be able to shop online retailers in person.  It was also a full house (and thus quite warm), so my coat came off the minute I hit the door.  Blogger Sandra from La Pecosa Preciosa snapped this picture of me in my monochrome look.  I have been on such a pattern kick for the last year and rarely wore all black looks, but I am feeling more inspired by them lately.  Part of that can be chalked up to these perfectly fitting Fashion to Figure black skinny jeans (an essential piece for fall) - I basically want to wear them all the time.

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And of course, spending a day on the Lower East Side presents plenty of great street art photo backdrops, like this wonderfully illustrated shipping container on 1st Street.

Now for the outfit details:

Navy textured coat: Elvi (more details here)

Harness back sweater: Forever 21+ (sold out; try this asymmetrical hem option for another sweater with a twist)

Black skinny jeans: Fashion to Figure (these run true to size)

Suede ankle boots: Matt Bernson (sold out; similar heeled option here)

Pebbled leather handbag: Kate Spade (similar)

Wool bowler hat: H&M (similar)

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate or referral. All opinions my own, as always!

Sale Alert: BOGO 50% off at Fashion to Figure

25% Off Coats at FTF.com with code COAT25

Guys.  This is a big one.  Fast fashion fave Fashion to Figure is having a BOGO 50 off sale this weekend.  If you have been eyeing anything on their site, this is the time.  I recommend shopping ASAP, because popular pieces sell out fast during these sales.

Let me know what you snagged in the comments!

Shoe Crush: Kate Spade Sedgewick Rain Boots

Kate Spade Waterproof Chelsea Boots

 

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but I’m hoping for your sake it is better than this gross, cold rain we are having in NYC today.  If it’s not, feel free to commiserate with me in the comments, and we can take solace in my latest weather-specific shoe crush: These perfect waterproof Chelsea boots from Kate Spade.  The classic shape always looks good, and is particularly hot this year.  Bonus: These look like real boots, so if the weather suddenly clears up, you won’t feel silly tromping around in your galoshes.

If you prefer to never have your feet in rubber, check out these waterproof leather Chelseas from my comfy-shoe favorite, Cole Haan.  I want to buy these and wear them all winter with cozy socks.

 

Finding Your Personal Style

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I was honored to be a panelist at the Redefining Healthy conference, organized by blogger Darlene of  Suits, Heels, and Curves.  The focus was holistic health, with the morning dedicated to yoga and emotional health and self love.  I was part of an afternoon session on “Discovering Your Inner Fashionista,” which turned out the be an amazing experience.  There was a lot of fantastic talk about body positivity and how to cultivate personal style, and interaction with the attendees was the best part.  Because it was a true discussion, I didn’t get through all the points I prepared below, but I think the spirit of them definitely came through!

For everyone who couldn’t be there, I want to share my four steps to developing a personal style that is authentic to you and who you want to be:

1) The first part of the process is letting go of all ideas of what “works for your body type.” Now, I’m not saying wear any old thing, but a lot of the fashion “rules” we’ve heard and absorbed over the course of our lives are based on body shaming, misogynist ideas about beauty. In order to really find our own style, we have to consciously let go of these outdated rules. So many of them are about hiding or fixing your body, not self expression, which is what fashion is really about. Letting go of these thoughts is not instant or automatic, and it takes some mental work, but it is SO worth it.

2) The second step is to find inspiration. There’s this idea in fashion that designers often employ, asking who is “the girl” for a style. Putting aside any ideas about what you don’t think you could pull off, who has style that inspires you? It could be a celebrity, a blogger, someone you see on the street – NYC is the best for that – or even someone you spotted on Pinterest. Does a certain designer’s aesthetic really appeal to you?  How would you describe their designs? Write down adjectives, collect images, and use that as a starting point.

Helmut Lang Asymmetrical Cropped Sweater

The edgy, minimal style of designer Helmut Lang is a big inspiration for my personal style.

3) The next step – and this is important – is to find a supportive community. For me, it was Gwynnie Bee, which is a clothing rental service – kind of like Netflix for clothes. One of the things that inspired me to start my fashion blog was seeing how vibrant and positive the Gwynnie Bee customers were, and everyone was sharing pictures of their outfits and uplifting each other. This helped me build confidence to press outside of my comfort zone, which is an essential part of cultivating your own sense of style. If you find yourself in a community that thrives on tearing other women down in the guise of “tough love” or “just giving my honest opinion,” get out of there! I’ve found that a lot of that type of body shaming is nothing more than projection of their own deep seated insecurities. That is somewhat understandable, because we all have an uphill battle with that, but you don’t need it in your life. It is definitely not conducive to developing personal style. You want to surround yourself with adventurous creative people who aren’t slavishly devoted to making everything “slimming.”

4) Finally (and this part is the most fun), TRY STUFF ON! Try it all. Prioritize pieces that work with your ideal vision of style, with the girl you want to be, but don’t feel restricted to just that. Try on anything that catches your eye. Try on styles you never thought you could wear. You might be surprised. And if it doesn’t work, don’t feel like you failed, or that your body isn’t good enough. There are clothes made for all different shapes, so if it doesn’t fit right, that doesn’t say a single thing about you. It only says that that piece of clothing is not worthy of a place in your closet. And don’t feel weird about the number on the size tag, either. I’ve always suspected it, but now, working in fashion, I know it’s true: Women’s sizing makes NO SENSE. Sizes are as much about fairy dust and unicorns as they are about actual measurements. There can be crazy variations in sizing within a brand, let alone across them. Don’t worry about the number – just focus on getting the fit that makes you feel awesome.

That’s it!  Not too complicated, right?  Now let’s chat about personal style: Where are you in your process of developing yours?

As for the outfit details:

Asymmetric hem sheath dress: T-Bags Los Angeles (via Gwynnie Bee; available in straight sizes here)

Long line vest: Worthington (old, similar here)

Ankle strap flats: BCBG (sold out, love this similar 10 Crosby Derek Lam pair)

Handbag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)

OOTD picture by Georgette of Grown and Curvy Woman

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate or referral. All opinions my own, as always!