Archive for August 17, 2012

OOTD August 17, 2012

It’s Friday, and the first day of student move-in weekend, so Jeans were the order of the day.

This outfit is simple, light-weight and comfortable.  It consists of:

Black jeans from Avenue Jeans from their old Denim Lite collection.  Boot cut.  (Skinny jeans are next on my “Trends that should end” hitlist.)

Red print top is from last fall, Lane Bryant.  One thing to note is that there is a seem around the bottom that USED to contain a band of elastic.  I removed it in order to fix the shape.  If you’re not sure what I mean, check out this post.

The necklace was made by an artist friend of mine.  You can see it more clearly in this picture:

The stone is actually a fossil, which is then wire-wrapped.  You’ll see a lot of her jewelry over time, since one of the advantages of having an artisan friend is that you end up with a lot of their art!


Have a nice weekend!



Trends that should End – Bottom-banded tops

(This is the start of a series on Trends that are taking over plus fashion, especially those that are generally unattractive or unflattering.  I know that there are people who will LOVE each of these trends, and on whom they will look terrific.  But they will end up in this column when there are few other options or the trend is nearly impossible to avoid.)

One of the trends for the past few seasons has been tops that have a band around the bottom, usually that hits at the hip and brings the top in tight.  This needs to end.  The look doesn’t flatter most women’s figures, and more often detracts from her great curves.  Here’s an example.
MICHAEL Michael Kors Plus - Plus Size Mission Tie Dye Crinkle Peasant Top (Vine) - ApparelThis Michael Kors top from Zappos is quite lovely, but take a close look at what it is doing for the model’s figure.  She has lost her waist, has almost no chest (despite the site saying she is a 38D and looks kind of like a blob.  In contrast, here she is in a top without the bottom band puffing out her shirt:

MICHAEL Michael Kors Plus - Plus Size Abstract Camo Cap Sleeve Top (Rich Olive) - ApparelNow she has a waist, smaller hips and more curves.  The overall result is more flattering.

This difference is made worse on those of us who don’t have model figures and stylists to make sure everything is laying correctly.

For those of us with a pear shape, the band hits at our widest part and the blouse-y middle covers up our best features.  For those who are apples, this type of shirt can allow some breathing room around the middle but can also make you look even rounder.

I have tried these types of tops on, and the only ones that made it out of the store had an actual elastic band at the bottom that I could remove.  Otherwise they have NEVER looked attractive.  Designers should move on from this trend sooner rather than later.

OOTD, August 15, 2012

Most women have a few outfits in their closet that they can pull on without too much thought.  You know, the outfits you go to when you oversleep, just aren’t waking up, or realize you have to get out of the house quickly that morning.  This is one of mine.

It reflects a current trend that, as far as I’m concerned, can stay in style forever: Color blocking.  I love the look.  It allows you to add color, geometry and style to an outfit without overcomplicating it.  In this case, the top is made by Cable & Gauge and was purchased at TJ Maxx (size 3x), while the black trousers are from Lane Bryant (when they had their weird sizings, so I believe these are a Blue (curvy) 4).  I skipped a necklace and instead wore a leather studded wrap bracelet in a similar pink, very similar to this design (although they have different colors).

Behind me, you can just barely see one of my two favorite bags.  I took a better picture to show the details.

This is a Michael Kors Pocket Tote that, at the moment, is my go-to bag.  I have it in this pink (which matches the shirt better than the lighting in this picture shows) and in a cheetah print, which shows up from time to time on ebay for a MUCH better price (under $100).  Both are made of a nice cangas with leather details, have two large outside pockets (one for my phone, the other for sunglasses) as well as lots of interior pockets and a zippered compartment.  What I love most about this tote is that it wil hold anything and everything, but doesn’t look drastically different whether it is stuffed to the gills or has almost nothing in it.  At 14x10x3, it looks sleek but still will hold a LOT of stuff.

For shoes, I went with a pair of comfortable shoes that have a 1 inch platform by only a 3 inch heel; this is equivalent to a 2 inch heel without the platform and makes for a very mild, easy to walk in pair of shoes.

The company is Fly London, and these are from this summer’s line, a style called Glam Glaze.  Having said that, I cannot find them on the net anywhere anymore.  I do think these border on too young, but between the comfort and the staid nature of the rest of the outfit, I think it works.

Sexy Sensible Shoes

One of my pet peeves is the idea that sensible shoes have to be ugly.  I personally hate wearing shoes that make my feet hurt, but that doesn’t mean I wear Birkenstocks all the time.  So when an Ebates offer showed up in my inbox today offering an extra $20 rebate if I spent more than $100 at FootSmart, I was all over it.

First things first:  If you don’t have one already, get an Ebates account.  Even without the deal, connecting to a site by way of Ebates will earn you a few percentage points back as a rebate, and they often have great deals for additional cash back or discounts that aren’t otherwise advertised.  Once you have an account, you can log in and connect to the FootSmart site through there.  Doing so will make you eligible for the base 6% back, free shipping if you spend more than $59, and an extra $20 if you spend more than $100.

FootSmart is a terrific site that focuses on foot-friendly brands and styles.  Some are every bit is ugly as you might remember, but you would be surprised how sexy some of them are.  For me, it is important that shoes be walkable, have decent arch support and good cushioning, and make a statement (something other than “what was she thinking?”)!  Here are a few of my favorites:

Aerosoles RED COMBO Women’s Brasserie Sling Sandals
*, shown here in Red Patent: These are moderate in the heel, not so chunky that they will be out of fashion soon, and snappy in Red.  They have enough arch support that walking to lunch isn’t such a big deal.  Also available in Black and Taupe at $49.99

Earthies SAND Women’s Carmona Sandals – Size 9 M/B
*, shown here in Tan: Earthies have fabulous support and are very well-made.  I love the cutwork leather on these.  Available in Black and Red as well as Tan.  $119.99

Aetrex Women’s Ashley Strappy Dress Sandals
*, available in Black or Nude, could well allow you to dance the night away and still be able to walk the next morning.  They have a solid enough heel to make you feel stable as you tango, but are strappy and pretty enough to go with your best dress.  Expensive, at $129.95, but a great choice for a night out.

Soft Style by Hush Puppies GRAPE LEAF Women’s Pleats As Punch Slingback Shoes
, available in a closed toes, have great arch support and cushioning.  You could wear them all day to work, then go out dancing all night.  And they come in a variety of colors: Navy, Black, Bone, Coral, and Grape Leaf which is the dark olive green shown to the left.  In addition, they are available in Narrow, Medium, Wide and Double Wide, making it possible for anyone to get a great fit.  Best of all, they are 20% off at only $34.97.

Personally, I am ordering these:

Naturalizer JUNGLE ORCHID Women's Glee Strappy Sandals - Size 8 W/C
LifeStride BLACK Women's Nile Slides Shoes - Size 8 W/C
LifeStride Women's Taco Thong Sandals Except in a TEAL color
Dr. Scholl's BLUE PRINT Women's Jessie Thong Sandals Shoes - Size 9 M/B

These are not all sexy, and a couple pairs are just on a lark.  (I’m not sure what I have to go with the teal, and the patterned Dr. Scholls are just kind of fun looking.)  However at $134 for 4 pairs of shoes, it’s definitely worth a try.

There are dozens of other pairs I would love to show you, but your tastes and mine may differ.  Take a few minutes, look around, and see what you find.  You may bring home a stack of new shoes at a great price.

* I know, I know.  Sandals.  Not EVERYONE lives in Arizona.  (It would be too crowded, and THEN think about just how hot it would be.)  But in the middle of a heat wave, I just cannot bring myself to look at boots yet.

OOTD, August 14, 2012

Today I pulled out one of my favorite summer dresses.  While I usually shop somewhat higher end, this dress is from Roaman’s and  has held up very well to repeated wearings all summer.

I am wearing it with a black short-sleeved cardigan from Coldwater Creek that is no longer on their site, but just about any solid cardigan would do.

The necklace (which isn’t visible in this shot but will be down below) is from Forever 21.  Their clothing is too young, but I’m all for inexpensive accessories.  Unfortunately I don’t see it on their site any longer.

On the Roaman’s website, this dress is styled with a yellow cardigan.  I LOVE this look, but can’t wear yellow.  I have a long-sleeved cardigan (in the blue/purple color that is sprinkled throughout the dress) from Cato to wear once it gets a bit cooler.

What I love most about this dress is how it hugs my curves.  I have no problem wearing it outdoors without the sweater.  Let me show you what I mean:

As I mentioned before, I am a pear – my hips are wider than my shoulders and I wear a good size larger in pants than in tops.  Nonetheless, this dress does some things that I LOVE.

  1. It clings to my curves and gives me a waist.
  2. It doesn’t cling to my lower half, so it launches off my hips and falls straight to the floor
  3. the busy pattern conceals most figure flaws, like the previously mentioned fat tire you can see just below my chest in the side picture
  4. The straps at the shoulders are WIDE, which allows me to wear this dress without a cardigan on hot days (like today; 113 expected) and which will always cover my bra.
  5. The skirt is full but the fabric is light and gauzy, making it cool but still fun.
  6. The fabric is NOT see-through.

All in all, one of my favorites.  I have it in the Magenta as well, although I should note that the solid color shows wrinkles from sitting in funny ways.

One other point – this dress is a bit example of why the right bra matters.  I have two bra styles that I wear most of the time, but only one has the right shape for this dress.  It makes finding the right bra well worth while.