The Future of Fashion Schlub

plus size, fashion, 50+, 50 plus, over 50, fashion schlub

When I started The Schlub in February 2016, I was SO excited and had so many ideas. What I didn’t realize was how much support I would need from other people (GIANT THANKS TO ALL MY FRIENDS, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND NON-PHOTOGRAPHERS ALIKE!!!) to get good blog photos and how much time it really took to create quality content. But I still managed to meet all my goals in Year One – number of followers, regularity of posting, that sort of thing. And in the beginning of 2017 I created new goals…and then dum dum dum DUMMMM….stupid cancer, and the accompanying surgery and treatments and feeling crappy and exhausted all the time…and this year really just became about keeping my head above water. A lot of people would say “don’t worry about the blog, just take of yourself!” But I really needed something else to focus on so I didn’t just lay around feeling lousy and sorry for myself. So I tried my best to keep the blog going. I definitely had some slow spots but I feel I’m back now, at least where I was before. And now I’m feeling ready to grow again.

And I’m asking for *your* help. Yes, Fashion Schlub was started to follow my journey, but I would like it to be *your* journey, too. So if there are things you would like to see or learn about, please let me know. If there are things other bloggers do that you think are fun/interesting/etc, and you’d like to see me do it, too, share that with me.

That’s it. I just wanted to say I know Fashion Schlub was not all that exciting this year, and that going forward I plan to make it better. And thank you to all of you who continue to read and post comments, I appreciate every one of you and the fact that you’re still here!

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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!

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

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And tummy…

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But with the cardigan all that just disappears…

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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! 

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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.

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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…

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What I Wore:

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

I’m Feeling a Little…

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Okay, a) lookit my cute boy!

b) I’m feeling a little Sporty Spice in this outfit

c) A little spunky

d) A little…NO EVIDENCE OF CANCER-Y!!!! Yup. Got my scan results back and finally heard the words “no evidence of cancer,” which is what you want to hear at this point. That’s not the same as “cancer free,” they can’t say that yet. Once you’ve gone five years with no evidence of cancer THEN they can declare you cancer free.

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So, yeah. Good news. Funny thing though, I don’t feel like I’m as excited about the news as other people! Honestly, I never felt that this cancer at this time was going to be the end of me. Not in a “I’m such a positive person” way, just in a “in my bones” way. Like when I knew I was going to have a girl when I was pregnant with my daughter. I just KNEW.

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So, the chemo stuff hasn’t worked its way out of my system yet, my blood cell counts are still low so I still don’t have much energy and they have me going back weekly to monitor my bloodwork…but I’M ON WAY TO FEELING BETTER. And I don’t have to have anymore *(*%&(*!! treatments, YAY.

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So Caleb and I are getting out a little more.

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The one-eyed kitty was distracting him.

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And perfect for a little stroll around the neighborhood is this Junarose dress from Alexis Krase at plusBKLYN. I love pairing the blue tie-died dress with the grey thermal knit cardi from Avenue and sneakers.

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Thanks everyone for all your thoughts, prayers and good wishes throughout this year – I appreciate every one of you. And now I just want life to go back to NORMAL!!!

Pictures by my friend Karen.

Til next time….

Transitioning….

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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The paint. Not really wet.

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

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What I Wore:

Keeping it Simple

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So I’m realizing how simple I’ve made my wardrobe this summer. I typically like an outfit to consist of multiple items. But this summer I guess I just threw in the towel on “outfits.” Even a dress and cardigan seemed too complicated. One-piece dressing. That has been my jam this summer. Easy peasy.

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BUT…I admit…a little boring! For me…and definitely for you guys. There’s been no layering, no pattern mixing, no clashing colors. No “three ways to wear a ____.”

Yawn.

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I WILL get back to some more interesting outfits. I WILL mix it up. I WILL make sure there’s (almost!) always a takeaway from each post. But this summer I gave myself a pass. I was just happy to get SOMETHING on my body that would allow me to leave the house 🙂

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That said, let’s look at this, yet another easy look. Not to mention what has become one of my signature styles – the nightgown look, ha. Or, in this case, sort of 1940s depression and or pre-war mental hospital dressing gown – and I mean that in the best possible way! I love that look! It’s simple to put on and easy to wear. What could be better in the heat of the summer?

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The dress is by Junarose, from the lovely Alexis Krase at PlusBKLYN. It’s a super lightweight breathable cotton w a darling indigo blue geometric print. She has such great stuff!

My photographer was my daughter when we took a drive out east looking for a sunflower field but finding a wine tasting instead 🙂

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Back home later in the day it was a little cooler and I topped the dress with my cropped denim jacket.

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What’s your go-to simple outfit?

What I Wore:

When Life Hands You Lemons…

…turn them into a duster and wear them!

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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.

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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??

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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!!!

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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.

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

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

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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!).

Week in Review: Week 78

I really really tried to get a blog post up this week but. Work has been busy, evenings have been busy. I’m pooped. I’m sort of trembly all the time, sort of hard to explain but suffice it to say I GOT NO JUICE. But there were still a couple high points this week, so…

I got goodies from plusBKLYN !!! Look how fun their packaging is with hearts all over. I heart YOU, Alexis Krase! My favorite summer dress is from there (see below) and now I have a NEW new favorite that I will share soon!

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New favorite summer dress from plusBKLYN

I’m living on the edge. Yes, I kept driving.

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Ooh, one of the new plusBLYN dresses, this awesome indigo tie-dye dress. Was a chilly day so I needed a cardi over, but. The boxes are encroaching.

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My lovely friend at work gave me these two tiny elephants. They kind of look they were sculpted out of teeth. Which makes them weirdly even more appealing.

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A super-sweet parent from work gave me this tropical print bandana and I’ve been waiting to wear it with this outfit. I never did really pull all my summer stuff out this year so this was buried in the winter clothes and needed a trip to the cleaners. I can’t wait to have access to a washer/dryer in the new apartment! ps, I feel like my eyebrows are disappearing 😦

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Me and some friends went to this wacky “movies on the river” night to see Jaws. It was an interesting way to see a movie…but wet and cold.


We’re the second row back, second raft from the left. You can’t really make out it’s us, but it is.

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My “new mom” raided HER mom’s scarf collection for me and they are UH-MAZING!!! Lots of vintage, touristy ones, one has dance steps on it, another nautical terms, awesome 70s colors. This was a Rome tourist scarf (it says “ROMA) and is perfect with my favorite black dress.

My sister sent me an eyebrow pencil and was like USE THIS. I rebelled for awhile but gave it a try here…and it’s good. It’s very subtle but looks like I have full eyebrows again.

See the picture hanging on the wall at photo left below? I scooped it up at an auction many years ago and have always loved her…walking along a seaside cliff, looking so JOYOUS. I always said I want to feel like her. And now, with my headscarves, I sort of LOOK like her!

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We made a trip to the new apartment to move everything I’ve already packed…but there are Still. So. Many. Boxes. To. Fill. This weekend is IT. I MUST finish up, no matter how trembly I feel. The week ahead is moving and chemo so I really need to get’er done!

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I *will* have a new blog post up this week that includes an embarrassing video of my current apartment in its current state and a throwback outfit that somehow never got blogged from way back in May!

I can’t believe “summer proper” is almost over. I hope y’all are having a good one.

xoxo Bettye

 

Free’n’Easy

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

What Did I Buy?! Plus BKLYN

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Me, owner Alexis Krase and Marcy Cruz

It’s my last week of radiation – yay. It’s a good thing, too, cuz at this point I am beaten down. Life is pretty much work, treatment, home to lay down. But this past weekend I dragged myself up and out, picked up my buddy Marcy, and headed into Brooklyn to a new plus size boutique I’ve been seeing all over social media called Plus Bklyn.

Plus Bklyn is a funky little shop at 455 Graham Ave., Williamsburg, that caters to trendy ladies from size 14-26. Owner Alexis Krase and colleague Ivy were so charming and hospitable when we visited. We tried on bunches of fun things – there were dresses, tops, bathing suits, sunglasses, bags, jewelry and so much more!

So let’s play What Did I Buy?!

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Junarose, size 24
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Junarose, size 22
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Magical Unicorn dress, size 24

What do y’all think?

It’s so nice to have a new in-person plus-size shopping destination, I’ll definitely be back!

Week in Review: Week 62

Hey, my title rhymes! I love that 🙂

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My week started with a super nice day out with friends. We headed out east to Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton, which is one of my very favorite places to visit on Long Island. Not only do they have an abundant sales area of anything you could want to plant in your garden or yard, they have all these lovely little spots to enjoy or sit and appreciate the quiet and nature. There’s a little wooden rocking swing thing for two down by the river, I could sit there for hours.

I dressed for walking in my favorite Avenue leggings, grey long-sleeved tee, and super soft and cushy Adidas trainers…and instead of my usual grey hoodie, I wore a very light oversized button down blouse from Walmart. You can’t really tell from the pic but it’s a narrow vertical blue and white stripe. I’d originally gotten it to wear under cardigans, but the fabric is too drapey which makes the collar and neckline all loosey-goosey and a fail. But I finally found a use for it here.

Here are some sights from around the farm:

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Strolling in the the warm sunshine made us hungry so we went to this super nice spot in Riverhead…if only I could remember the name of it (!), I’ll fill it in later when my girlfriend reminds me in case anyone wants to go. It was just an average looking roadside pizzeria…but out back was so so lovely. It, again, is right on the river, and there’s a soft grassy lawn with charming red picnic tables and a never-ending show of ducks and geese and swans drifting by…and sometimes marching past to get to anyone who ignores the signs and FEEDS THE BIRDS.

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That was such a nice day and way to start my week, because it was sort of downhill from there. Ugh.

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Two days in a row of dead car battery.

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An unpleasant set-up thing for my radiation treatment which starts this coming week and sadly, did NOT include “Easy Air.” I think all medical visits should include sweet air like you get at the dentist. Why is that not a thing?

I got a bit of a runaround this week from the cancer treatment center…appointments were made without my knowledge, a 7-hour chemo treatment was scheduled without anyone talking to me first, we’ve never even discussed the chemo schedule At All, you can’t just spring that on me! One nurse (in the endless stream of phone calls) made me think my whole protocol was going to be vastly different from what we *had* discussed…and the doctor was unreachable while away on vacation. Boo. It was an anxiety-filled, non-fun roller-coaster week, medically speaking. But that week is behind me, I have a consult with the dr first thing Monday morning and hopefully all will be sorted out.

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On a brighter note, Caleb is feeling SO well. He was treated to a vet visit and now has more pills than me but he has not scratched or bit at his skin in days and his hips seem stronger and more pain-free and he’s like a FIRECRACKER. So I’m trying to up my walking game so he’s not jumping out of his skin…but I overdid it on my bad heel so that was in A Lot of Pain for a couple days.

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The Big Boss treated us to some lovely daffodils (will take a better picture this week while they’re blooming) for Administrative Professionals Day. That was very thoughtful.

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I stopped into Avenue to pay my bill, repeating to myself as I walked from car to store, “DON’T LOOK AT THE CLOTHES, DON’T LOOK AT THE CLOTHES.” Sigh. I’ve been loving this dress from the website (WHY DO I KEEP LOOKING AT THE CLOTHES???) and it was hanging front and center when I entered the store, so. Come on. I’m only human. Sadly the largest size they had in stock was more snug than I like around my belly&hips (helly? bips?) so it was a pass and I managed to just pay my bill and escape with no new purchases.

Friday I was back to the podiatrist where I got more cortisone in my heel (which did not work last week at all) which made me very jittery so my evening plans were dashed. In the meantime he’s sending me for an MRI because he suspects a tear in a ligament. And what does one do for a ligament tear in the heel? One wears something called a WALKING CAST. For 6-12 weeks. Yay!

I hate that I’ve become this person that talks about her aches and pains and maladies all the time. I remember saying to someone when I first went into the hospital back in February that I need a new hobby so I have something else to focus on. I just haven’t found it yet. I’d love to spend more time blogging but am still looking for an Instagram husband (or wife, I’m not picky) to help me shoot more often.

I was thinking of doing a “what’s in my closet” post as I change out winter for summer, showcasing the win and fail purchases of last season, in hopes of not making similar mistakes in the future. Any interest in seeing that?

Anyway, this felt like a very long Week in Review post, hope you all  enjoyed the herb farm pictures. Speaking of pictures, are we all friends on Instagram? We should be! I’m at @fashionschlub…and if you’re interested in more life and sunsets and animals, you can follow me at @bettyerainwaterphotography.

Hope everyone has a peaceful and joyful week!

xoxo Bettye