Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Making Under America?

I just watched my first episode of "Making Over America" on TLC.

My feelings after watching it were mostly positive. I love that they love juicy big butts and full breasts. I love that they encourage a woman to accept herself as she is, not as she was or could someday be.

My only criticism would be that I don't share their fashion sense and I think they encouraged their fashion victim to wear things that seemed too tight.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Size It Up" - Lucky Mag, August 2009

This is my new challenge to myself - take an outfit from a skinny fashion mag and "Size It Up" to plus size.

Here's today's inspiration: a beautiful, polished look with bohemian details to soften it up.

Here's my take: A peasant blouse from alight.com (wear it unbuttoned for a more flattering V neckline) with a pencil skirt in a hot coral (color not shown in picture) from Jessica London. Unless you're model-tall, you'd probably have to hem the skirt to the appropriate length for you.

Not all plus sizers wear wide shoes, but for those who do, here's my pick for the "Size It Up" shoe: a chocolate brown slingback sandal (instead of an ankle strap - to keep the leg line long) from amazon.com.

Obviously, the earrings, necklace, and clutch from the inspiration photo (Page 126, August '09 Lucky) are already perfectly sized. And the clutch is only 25 bucks! :)

P.S. The Jessica London skirt doesn't do the inspiration one justice, admittedly, but pencil skirts were in short supply at the plus size stores I shopped for this look. This is a shame because I think they're great for plus sizers who are smooth through the hip (no saddlebags or as I call them "ledges and bumpouts") or are smaller on bottom than top like apple shapes (so this look does NOT work for my bumpy pear body type...woe is me!)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Summer Look

If you see me at the Saturday Market or breezing around town in the sultry weather, here's what I'll be sporting:

What I love about this maxidress from Fashion Bug is the underarm coverage, the width of the straps, the empire waistness, and the over-the-top color & pattern. So summer.

I would rock it out with these Embellished cork wedges from Zappos.com (just about my absolute fave place to get shoes.)

Safety definitely comes first with Prada sunglasses. (Ok, I'm not really gonna shell out the $290 for these, but a girl can dream, right?)

Add this great, inexpensive woven tote from Target (pronounced Tar-zzzhjay) - I went spendy on the sunglasses, so I can get the bag on the cheap and still look fansational, right? Throw on a couple of mixed metallic bangle bracelets, and heat up the place!

(Only $140 for the whole outfit if you wear your old sunglasses but the Prada ones do kind of glam it up.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Way to Wear a Summer Dress Out-of-Season

I saw this cute little number at Alight and thought it would be an ingenius way to wear some of my summer dresses that feel too short for any season other than summer. Make a longer slip and waist cinching panel out of a fabric that complements the dress, add a jacket or cardigan, and there you go!!!

(I might forego the big bow at the side, but that's just me. I like cleaner lines.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lucky, April '09

A most excellent issue!! I tore out a hundred things for my scrapbook, and here are a few of the best:

I'm in love with the sweetly feminine but modern outfits featured throughout. Obviously, the editors were in a Springtime frame of mind, starting with this sweet cotton floral top embellished with rosettes on p72:

Part of a multi-page spread, page 174 is a veritable treasure trove of put-together looks. Suitable for any body shape - just add a bag and some jewelry and run out the door feeling fresh and lovely!

I'm digging the sort of bathrobe sexiness of a coat or shirtdress over another dress. (P171 and 175.)
Makes me want to go to a garden party!

Only one accessory I want to show you this month (besides shoes of course.)

I found this ring so unique and intriguing, I plan to use it as an inspiration for a bracelet. I can imagine it having the feeling of a vintage wrist corsage.

I picked out 3 pairs of shoes to feature this month. (What, me? Shoes?)

If you're a person who has traditionally found high heels too uncomfortable (or too scary), I highly recommend a wedge heel. They are SO sturdy and SO comfortable you won't even know you're wearing heels, and they have all the benefits of less-comfortable heels, like giving you a little extra height and a longer leg line.

These on page 88 are amazing and (depending on your skin tone) will make your gams look a mile long! I'm logging on to Zappos.com right after I get done here...
The outfit is nice too, but as a pear, I don't do pencil skirts. Great for an apple though!

This next pair is adorable, but ugh - the price tag! (p72, $240) When I saw them, I thought, why not get a cute pair of flats at Payless and add a coordinating butterfly embellishment?

Savings = About $200. Send me a picture if you do it! You can keep your $200. :)
Add Video

This last pair is pure fantasy. Ridiculous really, as they're probably WAY too tall for your average girl. They're definitely too tall for me and I wear heels every day. (p72)

But how deliciously, dreamily ridiculous.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lucky Magazine, March, 2009

Even with a somewhat unimpressive cover and strange headlines that didn't quite match the contents, this was still a great issue.

The cover article that promised "Body-flattering outfits for normal sized people" should have been called "...for A normal sized PERSON" because it was a one-page, one-person deal, but she was a really cute, curvy gal. To be honest though, I liked her in her "before" jeans and curve hugging tshirt best! (Page 100)

The best corporate-without-being-an-automaton look can be found on page 190. Girls with good legs and smaller bottoms can go with this skirt; I'll wear mine a tad darker and several inches longer. Otherwise, kudos forthe whole look. ---->

Best look in the book: an ad actually - on page 56.
Banan Republic model/singer/songwriter Ayo
(didn't know her before this ad) has such an effervescent smile
I want to kiss her.
And the trench aint half-bad either.
(Hope the belt is faux python however.)

Clothes: Adorable boxy jacket/top on page 82.

<---- Would try this on an apple-shape over a pencil skirt?

Bright windbreaker on page 112. Everybody needs a pop of color! ----->

<------Cap sleeve peplum top also on 112. So flattering for a pear girl.

Beautiful classic sillhouette dress on page 122. ---->
It's Armani - $895. (Wow.) Let's have a contest to see who can knock it off best on their home sewing machine. I can name that tune for under $50...

I'm not usually a white-dress person,
but this little dress/belt/vest combo makes me think Meditteranean vacation and swarthy greek gods. (p169)
I'd wear it to the knee of course,
with a low heeled gladiator sandal.

Page 179 has a whole mix and match outfit I love! I'll just circle the items you need and you can go shopping. Pair with a simple brown or black wide-leg trouser and some garnet or ruby earrings, and you're set.
Even if you're not Sporty Spice, you gotta love these cute kicks with this retro-inspired T. (Avoid the top if you're an apple-shape though, you might look a bit unbalanced.) P182

When did romantic, sweetheart tops like this come back into fashion? And may I also say, "YEAH!" (184) ---->

Accessories: Stunning flower hair clips on page 70.

Lusciously pretty floral ring! I tried to find it at forever21.com and couldn't. :(

Love Love LOVE this necklace from page 94. Only $35 bux!
Shoes: Ok, shoes are accessories. But I love them too much to lump them. Fricken-satisfyingly-substantial-without-being-too-chunky red sandal. I gave up being vegan for shoes like this. (I still don't eat anything that comes from a creature, but this leather is a cast-off waste-product from other people's meat habit that would have just gone into a landfill. Right? Oh the justifications I'll make for really good shoes. )

And these little floral flats are adorable.

Ok, so it wasn't all good. Worst look in the book: seersuckerish romper page 192.
What. Ever. Twice. I can't even bear to include a photo here.

Overall Review: Darned good issue. On the downside, I think their cover is starting to get further and further away from what's ACTUALLY in the issue, but what was in there was juicy and full of goodness, so a solid "A" for their March effort.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Favorite Subject - Shoes!

People have been embellishing their clothes, their accessories, and even themselves since, well, forever. But I'm always so excited when something is easy, creative, and cheap! Here's a pair of shoes I got at Payless for $10 on sale. They're a perfect fit, a deep burgundy color, and a classic almost-retro style. And the V shape and the pointy toe add to the length of the leg. As soon as I saw them I knew they would look great - with a little embellishment.

I went shopping. Craigslist, eBay, Goodwill - I hit 'em all. What was I looking for? A pair of vintagey crystal brooches (matching) or some gaudy old sparkly clip-on earrings. I found these old Avon earrings at eBay for under $5.

Not sure how anyone wore them on their EARS - they're huge! But I think they transform these shoes from ho-hum to hot!

Maybe I haven't found just the right pair of clip-ons (that's another nice thing about this technique...you can change it up for every mood!) since I was looking for rhinestones rather than pearls, but I still think they look quite special.

Ideas for embellishing shoes: add jewelry, crystals, paint, feathers, silk flowers, fabric, leather, tassels, bows, trim, coins, paper, buttons, beads, or gems! Here are some sites I found - but there are a million out there!





Friday, January 23, 2009

Tights Tip - Never Run Another Pair!

How many times have you stuck a finger right through your nylons/tights pulling them up? I haven't run a pair since I thought of this trick.

I keep a pair of inexpensive knit gloves in the bathroom at work and in my purse. Not because my pitty-pattys are cold - but for pulling up my tights! It's just the right amount of insulation to keep your nails from going through the fabric, and you can get a good grip on your legwear with the gloves.

Works like a charm!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lucky - February '09 - The Bargain Issue

This was a great issue, lots of good deals in here! I'm starting with my footwear fetish because these beige d'orsay suede heels on page 16 are going to make my legs look a million miles long (which would be a miracle for my short, trunk-like gams) plus a portion of the proceeds go to a good cause. How much better does shoe shopping get? I don't know who makes 'em - have to stop by luckymag.com to see.

I've always wanted to try a pair of "architectural" heels, but they hadn't been in my budget. Until the February Lucky that is...these are only $29 bucks at endless.com! They may not come in 10W, but we'll see.

Last shoe, I promise...these peep-toe spectators, p63. I've been watching the trend for months and really digging it, but of course when most trends start they're only available through high-end stores, and I'm on bargain-bin-budget right now. Here's my chance - Payless to the rescue! $30?!? Yes!

P62 features this 2-tone moc-croc structured bag that's giving me a bad case of the wants. What can I say? I'm into two-toned structured bags.

Last bargain - p101, a classic wool 3/4 sleeve boucle jacket from target.com. It only goes up to size 2XL so I'll have to see how generous it is. It's both classy and ladylike. They have a different boucle jacket in Women's sizes but I'm sorry, it's ugly. Hello Target, just because we're bigger doesn't mean we want to be less stylish!

<-- It's far from a bargain, but it's a great inspirational piece. I'm not usually a fan of lace dressing except in small doses - I think it's a bit overwhelming on most people when worn overall, but this gorgeous lace vest/top is just dreamy. (p41)

Speaking of vests, how cute is this outfit on P54? I'm going to reproduce for myself, only on me the skirt will skim the knees and maybe only have one or two flounces around the bottom. I'll rock it though, you have my word.
Thanks, Lucky, for a darn good read this month.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Silk, Satin, and Everything Sweet

Special occasion dressing becomes more important to me the further I progress in my career. I'm no New York socialite attending uppercrust soirée's but I have the occasion to fancy up now and again. The December People StyleWatch (PSW) had a number of sophisticated and lovely items that would KILL on a girl with some curves.

This Bebe top in creamy satin chiffon is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. (P 87) On a girl with a big bottom and a small top, (like me) it could be worn over a dark skirt or palazzo pants adding balance to the body and perfectly accentuate milky soft shoulders and a winning smile. Ok, so I'm a princess in my dreams.

This next one (same page) from Express is a little more practical but no less beautiful. The neckline is just the thing to add some bling, but the comfortable shape is basically a glorified t-shirt! The cap sleeve is beautiful for those of us who like a little arm coverage and the slight ruffle at the bottom lets it flow away from a larger tummy. Love this. Make it in my size!

I had some difficulty this year with shoes. I am something of a shoe-aholic, but this holiday season I was called on to host a red-carpet event, give a stage performance, and MC a holiday banquet...all of which called for special, elegant shoes which would also allow me to stand/walk/survive on my feet for up to 4 hours.

I ended up ordering four pair from zappos.com - trying them all one - and returning 3 of the four after choosing this satin pair with its sparkly jeweled button in a not-too-high heel.

Page 36 of PSW had this amazing suede and rhinestone pair --> they're more elegant that mine but maybe not as wearable. I haven't gone to ninashoes.com to see if they come in my size, but at under $120, they're not ridiculous to consider if they could be worn year after year with cocktail dresses. I just don't know about the skinny heel for stompin' around.

There are so many delicious thing on page 26, I ripped it out and rolled in it like a beagle rolling in raccoon poop. (They do that. Or at least mine does!) Of the 9 items featured on this page, 6 of them would work beautifully on a plus-size diva. Ok, so four of them are accessories, which work on women of any size, but I'm of the opinion that women of size should wear accessories with oomph, and these have plenty of it.
Sport any of these sparkling black beauties -->
and expect attention. (Don't wear them all together, that's not the kind of attention you want!) And not a single one over $70. One of the reasons I like PSW!

This silk Armani Exchange blouse is gorgeous and could be flattering on a number of skin tones. I'm not sure the palest blondes could pull it off, but the shape could be great for a pear.

This velvet stunner from Target (yep, Target - so in my price range but still not in my size) would be great for an apple, a pear or any fruity girl in between! It's automatically waist defining with the one-button rise and the slash satin pockets. Can you see this over a crystal studded silver cami and a floor-length skirt? Two words. Lush-Us. :)
All in all, this was one of my favorite issues of People StyleWatch!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I've Been Readin'.

I spent the day exploring a few different sites. The common theme was fatness. Sites like:
http://fatrantblog.wordpress.com/, www.bigfatblog.com, http://manolobig.com/, http://fatgirlslikeniceclothestoo.wordpress.com/, http://fatfu.wordpress.com/, and http://kateharding.net/. There are some funny, beautiful, talented, amazing people on those pages. They should be honored, celebrated, and accepted just as they are.

I myself weighed 10 pounds, 1 ounce at birth and have been larger-than-life ALL my life, and I recognize my own goddessness, but I don't know if I can get-all-the-way on the FAH. (The fat-acceptance horse.)

A lot of what is said in FA circles makes sense. Obesity is not inherently gonna kill you, but eating crap and not exercising is a problem at ANY weight. More of us are large than are thin, so WE are the norm. And fat can be beautiful...

But...the societal norm for beauty is pretty deeply buried in us. I don't think most of us could say that we deny that standard in total - otherwise we better not be putting mascara on our lashes, wearing high-heels, or styling our hair (cultural norm= big eyes and certain hairstyles are attractove, taller is better). We better ONLY be wearing a bra for comfort and not to lift and separate (cultural norm=have perky boobsters).

And we oughta think long and hard about whether we ever judge anyone ELSE on their appearance before we look down on others who have made friends with our "extra pounds," (cultural norm=thin is in) but still wouldn't mind minimizing our "flaws" (cultural norm=don't have a fat ass) with good fashion.

So I guess I'm always going to want my clothes to make me look taller and thinner. I'll probably keep having strong opinions about what looks "good" on myself and others. And if someone hands me the magic bean tomorrow that if consumed will make me tall and "fashionably thin"...I'll most likely have scarfed it down before they have a chance to explain that I must now give up my firstborn child in trade. Oh well. Color me old fashioned AND a bad mother.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Me & Jessica Alba: Different People, Same Sole

I was leafing through the November 2008 InStyle magazine... (I know, I know, it's January, so why am I just now reading November when InStyle is one of my favorite magazines? Well, my sweetheart loves to tidy up after me, and tends to pick up any magazines I leave lying around and stash them in strange places. So I just re-found this partially read issue plus the December People Style Watch which I never even cracked under a couple of blankets in the storage chest in the living room!)

...Anyway. This photo was featured in an article about the charming and talented Jessica Alba. I immediately sensed in her a kindred spirit! She converted her 4th bedroom into a closet. I converted my 3rd bedroom into a closet/dressing room. She has built-in, wall-to-wall shoe display shelves. I have not-quite wall-to-wall shoe display shelves (see my own poor-man's version below.) She has a bazillion pairs of fabulous shoes, appropriate to a movie star. I have an embarrassing number of shoes, probably inappropriate to a middle-income workaday schmuck. To top it all off, she stores her shoes right-shoe toe out, left-shoe toe in. I store my shoes right-shoe toe out, left-shoe toe in!! Could we be "brutha's from anutha mutha?" Perhaps!

Here are my shoe shelves. I bought inexpensive Walmart bookshelves ($30-ish on sale), and took one of the adjustable shelves to my local Lowe's Home Improvment store. I picked out long planks of similar-width shelving material, and asked the helpful hardware man to cut me some lengths to exactly match the sample. Lowe's also sells shelf support thingbots, just make sure to get the right diameter - I had to go back twice.

I arrange my shoes right-shoe toe out left-shoe toe in so that I can easily choose the style (do I want pointy toe or peep-toe today) and heel height (am I giving a presentation, running all over tarnation, or just sitting at my desk all day?) to match my outfit and needs for the day. I also exhibit my shoes caringly to justify having so many pairs. They're not just footwear for me, they're treasured possessions. Art even.

Maybe everyone displays their shoes this way and I wasn't aware. Or maybe it's just me and my new BFF Jessica. Either way, it gives me joy.