Size Matters

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 10.20.17 7 blogsized

No, I’m not talking about THAT. Jeez, get your mind out of the gutter.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 10.20.17 2 blogsized

I’m talking about clothing sizing. And how *annoying* it is. It’s hard enough to find clothes that fit, but when you have roadblocks all throughout your shopping travels, it’s nearly impossible. Things like: clothing manufacturers not adhering to a global sizing standard, items being available in straight (and even petite) size that don’t exist in plus sizes, or one of my biggest pet peeves, clothing that gets taller/longer as the sizes go up.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 10.20.17 6 blogsized

According to Livestrong.com, the average height of non-Hispanic white women is 5’4.” And here’s a shocking fact: as we gain weight, we do not also get TALLER. We get WIDER. But in my search for Sizing that Works for Me, I keep finding lines that get taller as they get larger. Melissa McCarthy’s plus line is very “tall.” Target’s Ava & Viv does this. So does Lane Bryant. I was excited to try something from the new Target line, A New Day, but guess what? Same fit issue as Ava & Viv. As I sized up to accommodate my hips/belly (my largest part), the item length stretched down towards my knees and the sleeves were absolutely ridiculous! UGH!!!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 10.20.17 3 blogsized

So, imagine my delight in coming across Loft’s (soon to be released) plus size collection. First I tried a swing dress – my go-to default style. Very good. THEN I got brave and tried a more straight cut dress (shown) and BAM! Not only were the measurements hip-friendly, the proportions stayed true to an average height woman (I happen to be 5’3″ so am just below average height) – the shoulders were not swallowing my upper body, the sleeves were a good length, and the dress length itself was good.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 10.20.17 5 blogsized

I. Am. So. Pleased. THANK YOU, LOFT. I understand their plus-size line will go live in early 2018…but they did a small release to Gwynnie Bee and that is how I was able to try several pieces.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 10.20.17 4 blogsized

I now have several companies/designers that I know I can buy from, and as long as I stick to certain styles, items will fit. That sounds simple but it was a long time coming and a LOT of trial and error. Avenue tends to fit a wider, shorter body. Old Navy Plus can get a couple inches long in larger sizes, but the shoulders fit well and you can always have the length shortened. Asos Curve items *usually* fit a shorter, wider silhouette (though I’ve had the occasional ridiculous outlier there). And now Loft. I am grateful for these baby steps designers/manufacturers are taking in the fashion world. I do long for a day when everything I see in a straight size will also be available in a plus size, but til then…things are better than they *were,* by FAR.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 10.20.17 1 blogsized

PS: if your brain is still thinking about sex, maybe take a look at a recent post by Shelbee On The Edge, she  wrote about “The Midlife Sex Conundrom.”

I’m happily linking up with #iwillwearwhatilike

What I Wore:

 

Did you know you can try Gwynnie Bee FREE for 30 days?? Just follow the banner ad below for more details and to sign up.Fall Collection 2017

Advertisements

Cardigans Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Okay, first of all, forgive me as I have selfied. I had no available photographer this week so I figured out I could use a light stand as a tripod workaround. I always lose the little piece on the tripod that attaches the camera to the tripod, rendering said tripod useless. But the hard part of selfies isn’t where to put the camera or how to take the picture from umpteen feet away…it’s how to get yourself in focus!!! So, my apologies in advance for a high percentage of not-quite-in-focus pictures.

That said…I really enjoyed wearing this Karen Kane floral dress from Gwynnie Bee…BUT it was only wearable with a cardi over top. It was a little too clingy to my hip bumps and my tummy on its own…but a cardigan is magic and just glides right over those things and you’d never know there were any problem areas at all!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 3 resized

Aforementioned hip bumps…not quite as evident in the photo, but trust me, they’re there.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 6 resized

And tummy…

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 7 resized

But with the cardigan all that just disappears…

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 2 resized

Interestingly, my friend Julia over at When the Girls Rule just posted today about a top she calls “the fixer.” And I think a loose-fitting cardigan falls into the category of “fixer,” as it fixes whatever’s underneath. I’m borrowing your term, Julia, cuz it’s brilliant! 

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 5 resized

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 1 resized

So if you have something that seems a little too snug for you in spots, don’t necessarily discount it. If you love it, you can “fix it” with a loose cardigan over top.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 4 resized

Plus, they’re wonderful for extending your summer wardrobe into the cooler months of fall. I’d had this dress in my Gwynnie Bee closet for some time, and it just arrived now in the middle of October. Layering the cardigan over it made it autumnal!

Speaking of autumnal, just some borrowed scenes from my girlfriend’s front porch…

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 9 resized

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 8 resized

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 10.10.17 10 resized

What I Wore:

  • Karen Kane floral dress via Gwynnie Bee, 24
  • Old Navy black duster cardigan, 2x
  • Hat from Headcovers Unlimited

I’m Cranky, but…

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 9.25.17 5 blogsized

I’ve been feeling very cranky this week. Everything is pissing me off: my keyboard, the mouse, the dog, the bug that keeps buzzing in my ear at night, the return of heat and humidity, this %&(&^!! acne. And more.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 9.25.17 3 blogsized

In trying to figure out what the REAL issue is…I think it’s the waste of this entire year to stupid cancer and the accompanying surgery and treatments. I’ve felt crappy for too long, I’ve been stuck inside and sedentary for too long, I’ve missed out on doing fun things with friends and Caleb…and myself.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 9.25.17 6 blogsized

So, treatments are over. I certainly don’t FEEL better yet…but I’m trying to force myself out a little more. A teeny tiny walk with the dog. Sitting in my chair at the beach at sunset. Having ice cream with a friend in town. Easy things but…IT’S GETTING ME OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE!!!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 9.25.17 2 blogsized

So, as the title said, I’m cranky, but…I’ve tried to keep things as easy for myself as possible this year (well, except for moving, ha ha – that was not ideal timing but it’s done). A dress like this helps. The Sharagano dress is a drapey chambray (I think it feels like a Tencel blend) and SO easy peasy to wear. It’s a loose swirly tent-fit and hardly wrinkles. I rented it through Gwynnie Bee and when the sale price went to SIXTEEN DOLLARS I snatched it right up. I love this spicey orangey rust color and it goes well with several of my duster length cardigans so I can wear it well into the autumn.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 9.25.17 7 blogsized

And oh yeah, POCKETS.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 9.25.17 4 blogsized

So, yes, I’m cranky, but…things are GOING to get better. Each week a little more of the chemo poison will leave my body and I’ll start feeling better and better. I’ll be able to start living MY life again…not CANCER’S life. Stupid cancer.

Soon I’ll be spending less time laying in bed and more time watching sunsets.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 9.25.17 8 blogsized

Pictures taken by my friend Karen. Thanks!

Transitioning….

Transitioning from summer to fall…transitioning to my new hood….so many ch-ch-ch-changes going on!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 7 blogsized

There’s certainly no shortage of lovely scenery around here for shooting…this is a park and marina a half mile from the apartment. It’s *really* nice at sunset.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 2 blogsized

This dress is from a special collection by Ann Taylor Loft via Gwynnie Bee. No, Loft does not typically do plus sizes (sadface). But I was able to rent a couple pieces from the collection through Gwynnie Bee, and I really love this dress. It’s a blue/grey paisley print jersey knit sleeveless swing dress (MY FAVORITE!!!). And by just adding a lightweight black longline cardigan over top, I could extend the outfit well into the cooler temps of fall.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 3 blogsized

I haven’t done much exploring in the area yet but yesterday after the shoot I did drive around just a little bit and found the yacht club which also had a lovely view.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 9 blogsized

It’s a very “walky” and “doggy” area. Parks, many restaurants, etc. welcome dogs and that’s so nice.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 1 blogsized

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 8 blogsized

The paint. Not really wet.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 6 blogsized

I look forward to feeling better SOON and being able to walk around more and bringing Caleb with me.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger northport 9.11.17 5 blogsized

What I Wore:

New Beginnings

Well, this weekend I moved into the new place! That was H-A-R-D, between not feeling well while packing, having chemo two days before moving, etc. Fortunately I had a lot of support on moving day and we got’er done in record time. Unpacking is another story, but at least everything I own is in one place again. More or less 🙂

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 8.17.17 1 blogsized

I’ve felt a little disoriented all weekend – sleeping in a new place, not knowing where my things are (I mean, they’re all in boxes, but WHICH boxes?!), feeling more tired than usual. It’s making everything feel a little surreal.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 8.17.17 3 blogsized

Everyone keeps asking “aren’t you excited for your new beginning?” And I AM, I just can’t really FEEL it yet, if that makes sense. I have to come out of this disorienting fog and exhaustion first – new beginnings are great, but they’re also hard. Big changes and all that. Change is exciting but exhausting.

bassett hound, lemon bassett, dog
My honorary niece, Gracie The Warrior Princess.

My daughter is coming over shortly with some groceries (and a garbage can!) and to help me get a little unpacked, so I can locate things like underwear and a pot to make soup in. I’ll feel better once I REALLY know where things are, not just “here somewhere.”

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 8.17.17 4 blogsized

This was the first time I wore this dress – and THAT was an easy “new beginning.” Another loose and easy-fitting dress, which was a blessing at this time. It’s a Style&Co dress via Gwynnie Bee, in a 3x. Lightweight blue Tencel, my favorite dress fabric, with a subtle white bandana print – you can see the print best in the last photo. On my head I’m wearing a vintage silk scarf that belonged to my mother. And my favorite Superga velcro sneakers.

Halloween
I found the Halloween decorations, I’m so relieved!

AND we did this little photo shoot at the new apartment! There’s a little new apartment tour at the end of this blog post, which is WAY less embarrassing than the old apartment post from last week – be sure to watch and “like” on YouTube!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 8.17.17 6 blogsized

I *know* this is a good new beginning for me and as soon as I feel better I will jump up and down and shout HUZZAH! Well, maybe I’ll stand up and say Huzzah. But I will definitely FEEL like jumping up and down.

And let me know if you want to see further apartment adventures along with the outfit posts…I’m going to be videoing anyway so I can easily share if you’re interested.

Hope you’re all enjoying your week!

Bettye xoxo

When Life Hands You Lemons…

…turn them into a duster and wear them!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 5.27.17 9 resized

So, this is a throwback to Memorial Day weekend. Somehow I’d forgotten I had these pictures or, more honestly, I didn’t like my hair that day, ha, so I kept skipping over them. Not quite so critical of my hair now that I don’t have any, ha ha.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 5.27.17 7 resized

This story is certainly testament to the adage “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.” Hair, health, loved ones – I’ll let this be a reminder to not take things or people for granted…and to appreciate and acknowledge the wonderful people in my life. I say this sitting next to an unopened box of thank you cards I’ve been meaning to write out since MARCH, acknowledging all the wonderful, caring and generous things people have done for me this year when I’ve been so…compromised. Ha. I don’t like to say I’m sick because I don’t feel SICK…but I have been compromised by the treatments. And people have been so helpful…or at least they’ve tried to be! I’m not good about accepting help. I always feel like *everyone* has problems/issues/weaknesses, etc., why should *I* get special treatment??

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 5.27.17 3 resized

But preparing for my move this week has really whooped my butt and fortunately I have some wonderful people helping me out so everything can get done. Because *I* am DONE. There’s very little juice left in this body right now and I have another chemo treatment later this week, so…THANK YOU to everyone who is helping me survive this move!!!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 5.27.17 10 resized

Anyway, I got this dress from Gwynnie Bee, the Alice & You striped button down shirt dress, in a size 26. I don’t really know what I was thinking, but when I got it it was GINORMOUS. I still really liked the look of it, so instead of wearing a striped tent, I rolled the sleeves up, left it unbuttoned, and wore it as a duster over one of my favorite bases: black leggings and tee.

fashion schlub collage

So while it wasn’t *exactly* what I wanted, I was able to turn it into something I liked.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 5.27.17 1 resized

And there were some beautiful irises blooming there that day that reminded me of my beautiful friend, Iris 🙂

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size blogger 5.27.17 8 resized

So…make some lemons work for you, one way or another…and don’t forget to appreciate the beauty in your life.

AND, a special treat – witnessing me in my utmost embarrassment…before I share the new apartment with you I thought I’d show you where I’ve been living for the past five years. Please Be Kind. It’s been a helluva year, cleaning has not been anywhere near the top of my list, and add “packing” to that and…oofah. The apartment is…well, you be the judge. Ha. The good news (for me!) is that viewing this a week after filming it, I can see how much progress I made in the past week (thank goodness! there was a night last week when I had a little meltdown because I was sure I was not going to be ready in time. But I will. Phew!).

It’s Not All Good

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 4 blogsized

So. I have to talk about The Cancer today. Through most of this time I think I’ve been pretty good at keeping my Game Face on. I am not by nature a perky, positive person. I consider myself more of a realist and prefer to face *all* things, good and bad, and not pretend bad things don’t exist. But I *have* really tried to find the good in the situation…to find some beauty along the way…small joys, blah blah blah.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 2 blogsized

But yesterday I hit a brick wall. With all the rashes and diarrhea and queasiness and infections and sores and exhaustion and other joys that I have mostly kept to myself…the thing that I’m having the hardest time with is…losing my hair. I knew it was going to happen. I knew the particular chemo drugs I’m getting have that as a side effect. But I still hoped I would somehow escape it.

Nope.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 5 blogsized

You know how a little hair always comes out in the shower? That’s normal. But yesterday…it just wouldn’t stop coming out. Big clumps and handfuls. And tears. Then when I tried brushing it out…it wouldn’t stop coming out. My brush was full of hair, my hands were full of hair…if I touched hair, it was coming out. I finally just wrangled it all into a messy bun and called it a day.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 7 blogsized

I don’t know if it’s really noticeable yet because pulling hair back into a bun is sort of like a glorified combover (ha ha) but I’m sure in bright light it’s visible. And is only going to get worse.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 6 blogsized

I’m afraid to take a shower this morning because so much more is going to come out. I’ll just wash my bangs in the sink. And hope for the best.

So I’m seriously stressing out about what I’m going to put on my head. I KNOW there are 12,000,000 options…but I don’t really see anything that looks like ME to me. I don’t feel sick, I don’t want to LOOK sick. I don’t want to look like someone ELSE. I’m not a hat person EVER – not in the winter to keep warm and not in the summer to shade my face…so this concept of having to put something on my head in the morning and leave it on All Day Long – at work, shopping, etc, just feels so awkward and foreign to me and I DON’T LIKE IT. I DON’T WANNA. WHAAAA.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 8 blogsized

There. This is my time I’m allowed to be mad and sad and bitchy and complainy. I’M ALLOWED. I don’t want anyone trying to cheer me up, cuz you CAN’T. No one’s words can change the way I’m feeling. I’m terrified and angry. And I’m just gonna roll around in that for awhile.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 1 blogsized

So, now that I’ve alienated half of you (ha ha), I can proceed with my outfit. I LOVE this dress. It’s by Rachel Roy via Gwynnie Bee. It’s dark dark grey and feels like velvety slinky silk. And it has this cool drapey effect on the front that hides EVERYTHING. It’s light and flowy. It’s EASY. Which is exactly what I needed yesterday.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 3 blogsized

And we found the perfect location to shoot – this abandoned movie theater. Crumbly and littered…and yet even it had a little spot of wild flowers still growing. Even when I only WANT to focus on the ugly, I find some beauty. Damn it! Ha.

Weeks in Review: 68-74

Week by week it doesn’t feel like I do much…in fact, I’m doing a whole lot of Not Much. But when I looked back at the past 6 weeks since I last posted a Week in Review…yeah, there’s some stuff. So I’ll share.

I finished radiation. 28 treatments. That really felt like an accomplishment. I hope to never be back for more.

IMG_7173

I got my appetite back.

IMG_7238

I was so sure this baseball tee dress was going to be a win. But it wasn’t. I thought it would be cottony but it was more polyestery. And too long.

FullSizeRender

This floral silk Lucky Brand top from Gwynnie Bee was a win.

IMG_7220

Nope.

IMG_7251

Got my blood clot filter taken out.

IMG_7264

I left on a jet plane. I did come back again.

IMG_7269

Florida! I stayed overnight with my daughter in her cute Tampa apartment.

IMG_7270

Cool bathroom where we had brunch.

IMG_7273

Katie found Tommy.

IMG_7277

I found the ocean. I floated and bobbed for hours. A manatee swam right past us!

IMG_7278

There was a beautiful sunset every night.

IMG_7301

IMG_7330

My fambly ❤

IMG_7321

My grand-niece Annabelle is the sweetest.

IMG_7340

My boy was happy I finally came home.

IMG_7349

I got a present!

IMG_7363

And started real chemo.

IMG_7391

Meet Bruce: IV site gone wrong. One of several unpleasant issues. 9 days out from Treatment #1 I’m back to feeling almost normal. Just tired.

IMG_7397

Caleb got some new meds and feels good.

IMG_7403

Janey had a bath.

IMG_7443

And today I will be…PACKING…because my exciting news is I’M MOVING!!! More details and pictures to come….

Free’n’Easy

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 5 resized

I. Love. This. Kimono. To me it represents freedom, peace, joy, beauty…EASE. Things that have been sort of missing from my life lately. I’ve been so exhausted from treatments that my only time outdoors is pretty much walking from the car to wherever I’m going…and back again later on. I’ve missed beautiful spring evenings and beach sunsets.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 4 resized

But this day I managed to spin a couple times…and walk in the grass barefoot…and feel a little easy and free.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 3 resized

Fashion can do that for you. It can transport you, make you feel like a different person or like you’re living a different kind of life. And right now I need some of that.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 6 resized

Do you have something special you wear when you want to feel better?

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 2 resized

And the good news is, I finished radiation last week…and I’m starting to feel a little more human again. Not SO exhausted all the time. Staying up past 7pm, ha.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 1 resized

So here’s to feeling free’n’easy…whether in spirit or style.

What I’m Wearing:

  • Johnny Was embroidered kimono via Gwynnie Bee, 3x
  • Charlotte Russe skinny jeans, size 24
  • J Jill linen blend tee, size 24

Week in Review: Weeks 64-67

Wow, I’ve essentially lost the month of May. May was the bulk of my radiation treatments – I still have seven left to go so they’re reaching a little into June as well, but hopefully I’ll be able to reclaim some of June for myself. I’ve been too tired to do much of anything, but here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

IMG_6895

I photographed our 5k Jack’s Run for Autism up in Port Washington. It was like The Windiest Day EVER. We couldn’t hang signs or put out balloons to mark the course or anything. But the runners didn’t seem to mind. Those athletic types don’t let *anything* stop them. Respect.

IMG_6912

And then I went for my first chemo treatment. Scary. They kept referring to it as an “all day treatment.” SCARY. But in reality, it was a lot of prep, counseling, two hours of IV hydration and anti-nausea meds before and another two hours after…and the actual chemo was only one hour. But it *was* a long day of not really knowing what to expect so I had my bag well-stocked with activities, snacks, water, super soft kitty blanket, book, etc.

IMG_6919

I was anxious all day waiting to feel awful…but that really never happened. I felt *queasy* for the next week or so but never really nauseous. I will be repeating this procedure on Monday. Hopeful for same outcome.

Ugh. This dress. Not good. It went back to Gwynnie Bee immediately. You win some, you lose some.

IMG_6973

I brought some lilacs in from outside our office door. They smelled so so so so good. And I haven’t killed my succulent terrarium plants yet! Yay Me!

IMG_6976

Caleb is such a sneaky-peeker.

IMG_6977

I found a rock on the beach that looks like a heart. Or a butt. You choose.

IMG_6978

Ahhhhh. I need more of these.

IMG_6985

Don’t work too hard, Caleb.

IMG_6984

Sunrise outside my door.

IMG_6991

How fun is this beachy cake? I just looked, I did not touch.

IMG_7009

A family from the school brought me this card. They’re having their own struggles and yet they took their time to do this for me. HUGS TO YOU.

IMG_7011

My kooky kid.

IMG_7029

Her kooky mom.

IMG_7024

Sunrise out my girlfriend’s door.

IMG_7034

I dog-sat last weekend. They’re a tough pair to handle. Not.

IMG_7018

We had lots of lovely porch time.

IMG_7041

Some things never change.

IMG_7080

Ruh-roh. I killed one of the succulents. It rotted away. I think I overwatered. I put a turtle in its place. That will be harder to kill.

blr 10 1

Here is a pic of me at 10. It was part of a video I just saw for the first time, so I apologize for poor quality due to screen grab. I guess my father filmed this back in 1970? Isn’t it weird to see pictures of yourself from the past (well, duh, all pictures are from the past but you know what I mean) that you have No Recollection of? You know it’s you cuz you can SEE you, but. I have no memory of this day or this dress or even my father having a movie camera! And this is funny, in 1970 girls were not yet allowed to wear pants to school. But we were wearing dresses this short (you can’t see the groovy white Jan Brady knee socks I had on but they’re there). How did THAT make sense??

blr 10 2

For some reason this “I Am the Champion” muscle man bicep pose was my go-to photo pose around that age. Who knows. That’s my sister, cheery in yellow.

And there you have it. This month was a LOT of laying around, staying close to home. Hopefully I’ll be able to venture out a little more this month. Fingers crossed!

On another note, I have STILL not switched out my winter clothes for summer! It’s been just cool enough that I haven’t needed to. Maybe this weekend. I kind of think that was the same last sentence from my LAST Week in Review post!

xoxo Bettye