Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hippie Chic

Bohemian Chic is kind of a thing right now, but a lot of those kinds of clothes are not very plus-sized friendly.  It's all sort of big and shapeless and drapey.  So I sometimes try to think of how to put together an outfit that gives that sort of natural, casual look without being a caftan or adding 200 pounds to the wearer's frame.

The pants are my favorite part.  It's hard to see in the picture, but they're a printed straight-leg jean.  I love a printed jean, and on this one, it's a jacquard print that's subtle enough that you can wear it with other prints without it looking weird. $45.

The Bracelets are from JCP.  As always, they have decent jewelry at great prices. 14 piece bangle set for $15.

The shoes I've linked to a couple times before I believe.  The All Walks of Life Wedge in Nude $50.

 The necklace is from Stavroula, one of my favorite jewelry places on Etsy.  The Coral Red and Black Modern Rubber Statement necklace $28.

The jacket is a burnout velvet kimono jacket I found from Velvetcocos on Etsy.  It's one of those great accent pieces that gives a wardrobe some flair. And a steal at $38.

The purse was also from Etsy.  It's a nice place because you can get little cute things that no one else around you will have and also support indepedent artisans.  This is a dandelion printed purse from SweetPeaTotes $46.

The blouse is a sleeveless surplice top from Macy's.  A nice blush color to compliment the colors in the jacket, but simple since there's so much going on elsewhere in this outfit.  $55. (on sale now!)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Springtime in Paris

The weather's been so nice, I thought something colorful, casual and light today!  Maybe it's the Spring coming on, but I'm a little bit in love with this outfit.  I like the colors a lot, though I might choose a bigger pink purse.  I just like pink, though.

The top is the Hold the Francophone Top from Modcloth.  $30.  It's a nice color and looks comfy and the text on the front is cute and fun. 

Gloria Vanderbilt Avery Rail Straight-Leg Jeans from J.C.Penney's. $31.  It's a dark denim with a straight leg and I thought some Gloria Vanderbilt jeans were a nice 80's flashback.

The Pearl and Ivory Bracelet from Stavroula I've shown before, so you could reuse it here.  $19.

The scarf I found on ebay.  It's something very lightweight so it'll make a lightweight, floaty and voluminous bow.  The print on the scarf is whimsical and the color and lightness of the fabric is romantic, for Springtime.  I struggled for a long time with wanting to wear scarves, but not being quite sure how to tie them gracefully.  So, here's a link explaining how I would tie this one with this outfit.  The internet knows everything. $7.

The jacket I found at Torrid.  I almost used the gray asymmetrical jacket from Too Cool again, but with the big, slouchy shirt, I felt like wearing a jacket with some structure was important.  It'll give some shape and moto jackets are flattering, generally, in my experience.  Plus, the faux leather adds a different texture element and also it dresses it up more than a slouchy cotton jacket over a slouchy cotton shirt. $79. (This weekend, jackets are buy one, get one half off at Torrid.  They seem to have good, regular sales online)

The Purse is from J.C. Penney's.  It's a wristlet, which is tiny.  Looking back, I should have looked for something bigger, but what's important is the pop of color.  Specifically the bright pink.  If not with the purse, you could go for a brighter pink bracelet or a bright pink headband or sunglasses or earrings.  $21.

The shoes are again from DSW.  The Aldo Precia Flat. $50.  This is a shoe that you can get a lot of wear out of, too.  Metallics are a nice way to do neutrals, it adds a little something interesting, and flats are easy to wear and comfy but look good for office wear, and can be worn with a variety of clothes like skirts or jeans or a suit.

Friday, March 27, 2015


It's time to talk about what to wear when you're going out in the evening! Fun subject, but sometimes fraught with stress especially if you're a little bigger than the average lady.  The main thing that gets me about evening wear is who wants to buy a dress or dresses that you almost never get to wear?  Who out there owns a cocktail dress and honestly gets a lot of use out of it?

This is where the Little Black Dress comes in so terribly handy.  Every woman has heard those words, but maybe not everyone knows exactly what a little black dress entails.  But, it's pretty much just what it says.  It's generally a cocktail length (to the knee) black dress.  Period.  Black is flattering, simple and elegant and can give a dressier impression for evening, and it's kind of a blank canvas color.  If you get the right black dress, you can wear it to a whole range of different evening occasions.  Some black dresses can even be dressed down with  a blazer or cardigan and a change of shoes and accessories, depending on the dress.  Some LBDs are a little shinier than others, of course, and you wouldn't want to wear a beaded dress with spangles to the office, but to each her own, right?  I'll give a few examples of LBDs and then some nice alternatives to the LBD that can be just as versatile and talk a little about why. 

This is the "Stop Staring" swing dress from Unique Prom.  It's a prom website, which makes me cringe a little, but the dress is rayon, which is one of my favorite fabrics, as it hangs and moves so much nicer than polyester, but is still a real bargain.  It's a little pricey at $166, but I think it's so incredibly cute for a person who wants to inject a little element of fantasy into their evening wear.  And it can be dressed up or down for the occasion.  For instance, imagine it with some less dressy accessories, something whimsical with a splash of color:

And you could wear this to a casual party or to dinner and a movie and you'd be looking sharp, but not so formal.

But imagine wearing it with more dressy accessories:

And it's good to go for the ballet or opera or something else more formal.  I put in a colored shoe there because I'm think it's really easy for an outfit to become boring if its all black-black-black.  I like color.  You could do a silver shoe instead, though.  Also, a note:  If you're wondering what makes a shoe more or less formal, look for a narrower heel.  For jewelry, more shine and something more delicate.  Colorful, chunky jewelry is more casual.

Another black dress: 
Chiffon Petal Gown from Nordstroms.  I love this dress!  I love the layered chiffon ruffles.  I love the defined waist and the v-neck and cap sleeves.  It's elegant and very, very feminine, and definitely qualifies as a little black dress.  Because it's so feminine and delicate, it'll be a little trickier to dress down, but I'll try. 
There's how I would dress it down.  It's still pretty dressy, but the off white lace over it makes the whole thing sort of old fashioned and romantic and the cosmos bib necklace gives a little whimsy.  Some pink or pale blue shoes would have been nice, too, and dressed it down more, even.  And to dress it up, you could just use the same dressy accessories as the outfit above.  Or a very delicate lace shawl would be lovely with this dress.

So, just rapid-fire, here are a few great little black dresses:

Ralph Lauren from Macys.  Once I bought Kate a Ralph Lauren dress for a dance (from an outlet store).  The quality was fantastic.  It had all this internal structure built into the dress that really helped support and smooth everything out.  This photo reads navy to me, but Macy's website assures me it's black.  GREAT LBD,  The shirring of the fabric to the side and under the bust will forgive a multitude of little lumps and bumps. With some heels and a sparkly necklace, a bracelet and a clutch purse, you could dress it up for a night out.
A cool faux wrap dress designed by Michael Kors.  A wrap dress is every woman's friend.

Crossover Ruched Dress from Kohl's is a great buy and an example of something sleeveless.  The little drapey bit on the side is pretty cute.

Sleeveless embroidered dress with Jacket from Macys.  Why not try a little navy dress instead of a little black dress?  Navy and charcoal are my favorite neutrals.  I find them so tailored and proper looking.

Or, you could repurpose a nice suit for evening.  Put this one-button suit together with a low cut, silky camisole or a sequined tank top, some hot shoes, sparkly accessories and a clutch and you can paint the town!

Last but not least, why not a little red dress?  It's fun and different and if the dress is simple enough you can wear it in other contexts, too!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sunday Sophisticate

Something cute for Easter Sunday!  Or whatever day you want, really.  I just like the idea of a sweet new ensemble for Spring and I love the floral print and colors in the skirt.

The blouse is from Modcloth and has a little of that sexy secretary look.  It will also work as a nice staple under different jackets and sweaters.  Just be sure to pair it with lots of nice color or the off-white will wash you out. Happiest of Hours Top in Ivory $35.

The skirt is the Bea and Dot Ikebana for All skirt, also from Modcloth.  This whole outfit is off Modcloth, really.  All but the jewelry.  Love the floral, love the colors.  And the flare of it is flirty and makes me think of Spring. $70.

It's the All Walks of Life Wedge in nude again!  $50.

The Full Course Load Bag in Stone is a good match for the outfit.  It's a fairly large bag, which I like, but it has a sort of tailored look to it that matches the primness of the outfit and the little bit of shine from the buckle on the front dresses it up.  $80.

The sweater is the Charter School Cardigan, which is one of my favorite things on Modcloth.  A nice close fitting cardigan can compliment a host of outfits and add a little splash of color, and the Charter School Cardigan comes in a rainbow of different colors.  You could wear a t-shirt and jeans and if you threw on a cardi with a color that coordinates with something on the print of the t-shirt, it becomes an outfit and not just something you're wearing because it's laundry day. $35.

The jewelry is from Sweet Romance.  It's the same bracelet and necklace I suggested for the Drinks at the Carlyle ensemble a few posts back.  It's a little expensive, so, if you'd prefer something less pricy, any old faux pearl jewelry would work with this outfit and would be very, very ladylike.  Just make sure the necklace is short enough to be framed in the collar of the blouse.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Geek Girl on the Go

I feel like people like the dresses. Here's another one with a bit of a retro feel to it.  You can replace the cropped sweater with a longer one if you like that better.  I'm a cropped sweater kind of gal because I'm short in the torso.  But, I like the berry color of the dress and the marigold shoes.  And the map necklace is adorable.

The necklace is my favorite bit.  It's from Modcloth, and right now it's sold out, but you can set it up to notify you when it comes back in, if you're in love.  $30.

The bracelet is from Wearitoutjewelz on Etsy, and it's on sale for $21.  It's got sort of that charm bracelet look that's popular right now, but with a nerdy twist that's fun.

The dress is from Modcloth.  I like the berry color and the v-neck and the floaty, romantic skirt.  It has a little bit of a retro feel to it. $80. This one is almost sold out, but there's another very similar called the Meet me at the Punch Bowl dress in Berry that I might even like a little better. $55.

The shoes are once more the One Cute Three heel from Modcloth.  $50.

The cardigan is the Dream of the Crop cardigan in Ivory $30.

The purse is adorable.  It's hard to see from the picture, but the little pattern on it is little galloping horses.  It adds a little whimsy.  It's the Scenic Commute Weekend bag in Gallop.  $70.

Monday, March 9, 2015

City Safari

This is a casual, daytime on-the-go look.  If I wasn't going to the lab before or after class every day, I would totally sport this around campus and be the cutest 41 year old Sophomore that ever was at UTA.  I'd wear this to brunch, to run errands or out for shopping and lunch.

The shirt I've put in another outfit before.  It's the Amore than Meets the Eye top from Modcloth. $30. It skims the body, so it's slimming and the deep v-neck gives a long narrow line up to the neck, which gives the illusion of length.  The diagonal stripes going down toward the middle repeats that pattern creating a nice visual illusion that'll be slimming as well.  It's really a great looking shirt.  The downside to looking at this stuff online is that I can't say how it fits in person!  But, on Modcloth, one of the people who bought this in a plus size posted a picture of herself wearing it and in the photo it looks super flattering.

The jeans are going to be a little controversial... that is, if anything is controversial on a fashion blog.  But, I say so because they're a little high-waisted and that's not really the thing to do these days, but bear with me on the reasoning here... it has a double button at the top, and that, plus the high waist and the fact that the denim isn't the stretch kind help to smooth down a bit of a tummy.  They are the trouser style jean I've talked about, so they hit the hip and go straight down from there and are quite wide around the bottom.  It gives a nice illusion of length on the legs and who doesn't want to have nice long legs?  I have two pairs of these and wear them nearly constantly. Consider getting the "Tall" length as the petite were too short for me and the regular length were perfect for me, and I'm quite short.  They're sold by Woman Within  $20.

The jacket has that military style that's fairly trendy right now.  I also like that it's cropped, so it should end right around the hips, which helps with that long leg line.  American Rag Military Double Breasted Jacket from Macys $62.

The scarf is the part I really love.  It's where the outfit starts to get interesting, to me.  I love birds and I love wearing a scarf.  For a long time I loved the idea of wearing a scarf but I admit I didn't actually know how to wear a scarf.  But, do you know what the internet can teach you?  How to wear a scarf.  This scarf I found a couple different places, but cheapest on Etsy.  It's the Cream Bird Scarf from DaftDaisy $14. (it's shown as sold now, but I'm betting that one comes back.  If not, it's over at Modcloth for $20.)

The shoes are from Modcloth, but when I looked, they were sold out, but finding a pair of leopard print flats is easy as pie.  I went over to DSW and found a pair for $50.  Those are Dr. Scholl's brand so they're probably comfy, too. And the modcloth ones, if you like those better, will almost certainly restock.  I get the feeling they run their inventory pretty lean over there.  Animal prints can be way tacky, but sometimes a little tacky done the right way can add a lot of fun to an outfit.  Having a zebra or a leopard print shoe is a great way to add whimsy to your wardrobe.

The sunglasses are on Apopo Women's St. Louis Round sunglasses $11.

The watch is the Red SH Flower Print Round Analogue watch $13.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Drinks at the Carlyle

I thought I'd show an evening outfit and also reuse one of the shirts from earlier.  It's my hope to do a lot of that, showing how pieces can be used in different ways in different outfits.

The shirt is the Lacy Afternoon Top from Modcloth again. The all over lace, close fitting cut and interesting neckline allows this top to transition into evening. $35.

The skirt is a black pencil skirt.  This is one of those things that can really be a key piece to a wardrobe.  It can go in a lot of different outfits for day or evening.  I'm not linking to a particular place to get a pencil skirt because it's the sort of thing you should go to a store to try on.  I link to jeans, which everyone should also try on in person, but I intend to do a whole post on buying jeans at some point.  My suggestion would be a skirt that goes straight down (though this photo curves in) and ends at the knee. 

The wrap is an ivory shawl from mycoverup on Etsy.  It's duchess satin and will add a nice dressy touch that's a pretty, evening appropriate replacement for a jacket.

The bracelet I found on Overstock.  There's a company called Sweet Romance that makes all sorts of really pretty costume jewelry.  This one is the Silvertone Gypsy Lace Crystal Bracelet and goes for $81.  But, you can also find something on JCP that's comparable and cheaper.  I was just shooting for the moon there.  Pay attention to the scale, the metal and the sort of romantic touches.

The necklace is the same company, Sweet Romance.  It goes for $68.  A similar necklace on JCP is $13.  So, your choice.

The purse is once more the vintage black patent leather number from the Joan outfit.  You can find these black patent leather purses all over Etsy, ranging from $25-35 on average.

The shoes I found on DSW.  It's the Nina Raven Wedge Pump in silver.  $50.  How hot are those shoes?

Also, feel free to throw on your fishnets with this outfit, or some black stockings with seams up the back.  Nothing wrong with a little sex appeal.