The past two weeks we’ve been bombarded with pictures of pumpkin lattes and cozy sweaters and all the spicy brown tones…but really, that was jumping the gun just a bit! Tomorrow is the last day of summer, for real, so today I am showing my last summer outfit of the season (sadface).
It was my one big splurge slash birthday present to myself – this Johnny Was top in a lovely summer blue. Like my favorite Junarose dress, I feel so free and floaty in it, and apparently free and floaty is my favorite way to feel. Unrestricted. Like flowers swaying in the breeze.
I wish I could be more like those flowers, gently swaying, bending softly to the wind…
At least in this top, I sort of feel that way.
It’s important to have clothing that feels good to you. That feels good on you.
The end of a season is a good time to assess your summer wardrobe, whether it worked for you…whether it felt good for you. I’ll be going through my closet soon and reviewing my summer wardrobe – what worked and what didn’t. I’ll share that review with you. I hope it will help you with your own wardrobe.
I feel a little like the top of a beautiful birthday cake with tiny blue ruffles and roses.
What I Wore:
Johnny Was tunic top, size 3x. No longer available, similar here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.
Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans, size 22W short. Plus here and straight size here.
I LOVE Fashion Week…and almost more than the runway shows themselves, I love the shows happening out on the streets – the street style looks from guests attending the shows. The “real” fashion is, of course, amazing, but generally unattainable by us common-folk. I love to see what’s being worn out on the streets by the real life fashionistas, and to think about how it could be incorporated into the average wardrobe. So, in looking through hundreds (and hundreds!) of pictures from the past week-ish, I pulled out some that make some points or that I just thought were really lovely. Hope you enjoy my review (I’m feeling a bit like Joan Rivers…but nice!!!).
There was so much more I could have shared, I could do this Every Darn Day, but there’s just So Much! PS – GREAT BIG GRATEFULNESS KUDOS to all the street photographers being more inclusive this year than I’ve ever seen – plus size gals, transgender, physically disabled, little people, different races and colors – it was pretty awesome. There’s a LOT further to go, but at least we’re moving in a better direction of inclusivity.
Anyway, this was just a little peek into some real life trends appearing during New York Fashion Week. I hope you enjoyed my rundown. What was your favorite? Might you try something new? I hope so! I definitely will!
It is my birthday – September 5 – I am FIFTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD. 60 is hurtling towards me – but this is not my birthday post.
Here’s the thing – I had a sweet concept in mind for my birthday post, but I just couldn’t pull it together by myself. I need help. So rather than let the idea go altogether, I’m giving myself a week’s grace period and will try again to post a VERY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY SPECTACULAR next Wednesday, a week after my birthday. I know, it’s lame, but I’m determined to not give up without a fight.
So this is just a regular old blog post. On my birthday.
Tuesday was the first day back to work after two weeks of vacation. We all know how THAT feels. So I wanted to make things as easy for myself as possible, so I wore this easy-peasy white blousy plus-size peasant top by Catherine Malandrino. It’s a nice gauzy cotton with just enough colorful embroidery that it’s not a big yawn. It is So Roomy!!! My favorite plus-size Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans were perfect with the top…and while I wore sneakers to work (closed shoes only!) I changed into my Mephisto slides when I got home cuz STILL SUMMER. Still hot. Over 90 here.
It’s always nice to wear something easy and comfy on a day that you think might be tough. It’s just one little gift you can give yourself. I don’t think we gift ourselves nearly enough, do you??
And I wanted to share two things with you – to all of you finishing up your vacations and going back to work this week. These are two of my favorite blog posts I wrote back when I was doing my “I Saw a Dragonfly” blog, which was just…my thoughts and photography, etc. One is How to Enjoy the Last Day of Vacation and the other is How to Survive Enjoy the First Day Back to Work. How to Enjoy the Last Day of Vacation REALLY made me miss Caleb. There are so many things I don’t do anymore because I don’t have him to do them with.
Okay, not going to get all sad again. I did enough of that over vacation. I *am* going to apologize for the lack of photo quantity and diversity. It was a selfie day AND very very hot. And mosquitoes. I’m in a bit of a photo slump. I have ideas galore but not currently the means with which to execute them. Bear with me, I’ll get it figured out eventually.
What I Wore:
Catherine Malandrino white peasant top, size 3x. Only available in plus-size thru GwynnieBee. Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.
We all know how to make a shopping list. It’s a list of things we need or want. Simple. Want to bake a cake? Make a shopping list: eggs, flour, sugar, cocoa, butter, etc. What’s maybe NOT so obvious is an “anti” shopping list – things NOT to buy. You know, those things that keep ending up in your wardrobe cuz you thought you wanted or needed them, but you FORGOT that a, b or c. You forgot that you already HAVE two light-blue tencel sleeveless summer dresses in your closet. You forgot, as much as you coveted that white denim jacket, that you MUST have a jacket with pockets. You forgot that wearing a sheer top means you must wear a cami underneath and YOU HATE CAMIS. You forgot that fixed seams at your waist aren’t doing you any favors. You forgot to measure the arm hole on that sleeveless top to make sure your whole bra won’t be showing. You forgot to do the “sit test” in that button-front blouse and now, seated at your desk at work, it is gaping open at the bust and the v-neck is falling so low that your whole cleavage is showing. Grr.
It’s easy to fall deep in love with a beautiful item…and to overlook the little things that will make it end up on THAT side of your closet again – that side where things go that you never wear.
So I have an “anti-shopping” list. I keep it right on my phone with the regular “want/need” lists, so I don’t get love-is-blind-ed by that perfect color/cut/pattern and overlook the detail(s) that will render it unwearable once I get it home. Some of the things on the list are obvious to me because I kept forgetting and making the same wardrobe mistakes over and over. But to be really thorough, I actually went item by item in my closet and noted what downfall (if any) each item had…so I knew to try and avoid that again in the future.
This is my list. Yours will be different:
Now, these are just rules – not a life and death credo – and sometimes rules are meant to be broken (ha ha). But I like to be reminded of the rule before handing over my hard-earned money to be really really sure there’s a good reason for breaking it.
And My Number One Rule of Shopping: Just Because You Like It Doesn’t Mean You Have to Own It. I think that’s what causes a lot of us to bring home way too many things – clothing, home dec, etc., and then it goes unused, unworn…and just causes clutter and then stress when we realize There’s Too Much Stuff!!!
I hope you consider making your own Anti-Shopping List so your wardrobe stops ending up with mistakes in it!
And now…I went shopping! Ha. I’ve been buying some “heading into fall” items and some basic “wear all year” items over the past month and just letting them pile up so I could do one big haul video. I’ll share links to the items below and in the description box of the video itself. And hey, video production quality much better – yay! I tried out a new camera and the lighting situation is so much better and there’s not that constant annoying sound of the lens motor maintaining focus. If you watch, let me know what you thought!
Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans in autumnal abstract print, size 22W average (not my usual size but I’m going to have them altered). I can’t find this print online anywhere to link to, Kohls has a good selection of all the solid colors in many different sizes.
While I’m the first to rail against the end of summer, even I must admit that the season is definitely winding down. It’s still miserably hot and humid, but NY is like a ghost town with so many people away, grabbing their last chance for a summer vacation. Some trees are already dropping their heat-browned leaves. Next week I’ll have to leave my house earlier in the morning to again compete for road space with school buses, teachers, and parents dropping kids off. The end’s not near…it’s here. So many endings recently. I’m melancholy.
Some friends and I took a drive out east last week to Springs, which is a lesser known part of East Hampton township. We enjoyed the quiet seaside roads, deer grazing at woods’ edge, an old bridge crossing a pond, the gentle dusk sky and late dinner at a busy diner.
We got home late and I was exhausted. I was grateful for a good night’s sleep that night.
Look familiar? I’ve worn (and shown!) this dress exactly 3,289 times (Give or take. Let’s just say it has long surpassed the 30th wearing!). It’s the infamous “invisible” black swing dress from asos. They almost always have some variation of it – right now they have a long-sleeved turtleneck version here.
The point is, I have worn it A Lot. If you’ve been following me for awhile you’ve seen it here, where I wore it to work everyday for a week to see if anyone noticed or cared (they didn’t); here, where I showed how to take a summer dress and wear it all year-round; here and I’m sure in many “what I wore this week” posts. I bought it in 2015 so it’s 3+ years old. I’ve worn it under cardigans, kimonos, vests, a denim jacket, an unbuttoned chambray blouse, and this day under a Tencel utility jacket. Suffice it to say I’ve gotten my money’s worth!
On this day we were headed into Brooklyn for the day, looking for a thing I’d seen on Instagram, a cute little Mondrian-style greenhouse. I knew the approximate location, but reckoned there’d probably be a lot of walking to find it exactly. I wanted to do a photo shoot (cuz Brooklyn) and started to “dress up,” but then said nope, that’s not what I would really wear when traipsing around who knows where, on a cool and sprinkly day.
So, on went the easy black dress, a light hooded jacket and Keds sneakers with Vionic arch support inserts, and off we went! I know this outfit is not exactly the stuff of great fashion blogs, but it’s real. And it couldn’t be easier.
Speaking of “the stuff of fashion blogs,” it’s so fun going into Brooklyn or Queens or the city because you actually see girls dressing the way you see in blogs. As opposed to (yawn) Long Island where they look like the product of a giant conglomerate of shopping malls, churning out the same stores, the same clothes, creating the same looks. I know, I know, look who’s talking, Miss Worn the Same Black Dress Times 27,000 times. But it’s a nice change of scenery.
Here is the story of the little colored glass house. And now it has ended up in this nice little community garden…but it seems they’re not sure if it will stay there.
Do you have one item that you’ve worn again and again and again with many different items to change the look?
What I Wore:
Black asos swing dress. Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.
Green Target Tencel utility jacket. Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.
It was…a pretty good week. A work event was behind us, and it always feels good to move beyond the mad rush leading up to an event. I got some good photos for the blog I do at work, and that felt good. I had a good mix of social evenings and “at home alone” evenings. My only real complaint (well, besides a friend who is ignoring my emails, grr) would be the weather. It is just SO so hot, I don’t even want to go sit at the beach in the evening and watch the sunset. I just want to go home to the aircon (ps, I’m watching too many UK youtubers and watching too much British tv, I’m starting to pick up and use some of their slang without even realizing. and even when I do realize, I like it, and keep doing it).
While I’m still on the subject of ME (!!!), I’ll also mention that FS was also included in Independent Fashion Bloggers Links à la Mode Summer Round Up Party: A listing of fashion bloggers (below) you might want to check out. I love looking at accounts I’ve never seen before and finding new favorites (I’m definitely going to take a look at that second one!).
My friend Linda and I went to a cool open studio gallery thing in Brooklyn – it was a huge space with art exhibits and installations, appies and wine and interactive workshops/sessions.
I got a kick out of this artist (I picked up her card and now I can’t find it!). She combined crochet (aka yarn bomb torture activity) with lighting and 3D images.
It doesn’t come across in the photo but the leopard in the center of the piece is actually 3D. How do people come up with this stuff? I’m so ashamed of my mind when I see things like this, like why can’t you ever come up with anything original??
Vintage tin ceiling tiles and moss.
Scraggly yarn (?) curtain in front of film of hand.
This put me in mind of Noah’s Ark.
we become everything we love
We did marbling. Mine’s on the left, Linda’s on the right. It was so cool. I wanted to do more.
We did the most amazing meditation. In the past when I’ve gone to meditation classes they were Buddhism-based, and I liked them very much. And a couple times a week I use a guided meditation app on my phone and just do a 5-10 minute breath-based meditation, and that’s fine. But this was like…SOUL meditation. Heart meditation. The woman who led it had us think on different things and there were different movements we did…it was just very different and it really moved me. Tears were streaming down my face halfway through. I wish I could go to her for more but she’s all the way in Brooklyn and that just doesn’t fit for me right now. But…wow. It was memorable.
This was the note on the chair I chose…that’s a pretty good message. For all of us.
Then there was a photographer taking portraits of people in a dark room with crazy lighting…
Everything about the evening was…I would say “perfect,” which is a term I rarely use…but for the HEAT. And humidity. The venue was air conditioned but it wasn’t even touching me, I was drenched the entire time. But other than that, it was really really really good.
Oh, this was one of my favorite things. Super tacky (intentionally?), but I love the beaded saying:
I play the game where I imagine my friends as old and silver. I like this game the most. Because in it we survive the hateful, warful years, all of the terrible things that will inevitably happen.
It was one year ago this week that I had my head shaved 2 weeks into chemo. THAT was a day, oofah. A year later I’m still going to Morgan at POSH to have her try and shape my crazy curly regrowth. This is what it looks like when I get up in the morning (!).
The sides and bangs are pretty cooperative. It’s that poodle top bit that’s so crazy. It’s long enough to curl up and frizz in the humidity but not long enough to get my curling iron around to smooth. So at best, it’s smooshed down waves. Not cute like a “best short haircut” post on Pinterest.
Okay, here’s a thing I’m doing (ohhh I’m not happy about this but)…for the month of August – NO MCDONALDS SWEET TEA. I forgot I’d planned to make this resolution til Friday so I missed the first couple days…and Normal Me would say OH WELL, TRY AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER…but Trying to Be Better Than Normal Me is going to try and stick with it for the rest of the month. I was going to do “no sweet tea OR chips” in August but. I’m having a hard enough time getting my head around the tea part. Let’s just see how this goes. Chips can be the next step. BABY STEPS.
I have A Big Project on the agenda for this (Sunday) afternoon. If I complete it I’ll post a little before&after video. If I don’t, I’ll delete this paragraph and through the magic of television you’ll be none the wiser.
This is the kitchen table I wanted, but…not happening.
Okay, that’s it for this week! I’m going to to watch the last episode of Last Tango in Halifax (I didn’t realize when I started watching that it was only on for 3 seasons!) and then bed.
I frequently see posts about the pros and cons of using your blog as a source of income. I recently read this post on Nancy’s Fashion Style on that very topic and it prompted me to respond. I know I wrote briefly about this once before but I’ve wanted to go into a little more detail about my experience.
As for “blogging for money,” all throughout my life I’ve had hobbies that turned into businesses – and I think that’s the best kind of “business” to have! When I was younger I was a horse lover turned riding instructor. Then I fell in love with graphic design and started a newsletter about gardening (another hobby!) which got me a job as a desktop publisher, creating newsletters for nonprofits. The love of gardening turned into a floral design business. My love of thrifting and treasure hunting turned into an ebay store, and then following my love of clothing, morphed into an online vintage clothing shop. I started more serious photography when I was shooting the vintage clothing on live models and then people started asking me to photograph them and their families and events and I had a photography business.
Now all these things – graphic design, photography, writing, fashion – have come together gloriously as My Little Blog 🙂 And while I haven’t yet, I hope to someday get an income from it so that when I semi-retire I won’t need to spend my days collecting runaway shopping carts at the Piggly Wiggly.
How lovely it is to make income from doing something you love to do! I’ve blogged for many years on other topics (photography, vintage clothing, lovely inspiration, my home(s), even a long-distance mother/daughter blog a la 3191 Miles Apart). For free. Just because I loved doing it. And I love creating Fashion Schlub. But I’m at a point in my life where I need to be considering additional income sources so that I can retire before I die. And since I LOVE doing this and there are ways to use it for income, why not?
I do see blogs that are like one big ad, and no, those are not much fun to read. They’re just like watching commercials on TV – who likes to do that?? But I don’t mind at all reading a blog I like and them telling me what clothes they wear or what products they use, if they do it in a non-selly way. I don’t mind seeing and clicking on affiliate links in a blog or reading a sponsored post…as long as I feel the blogger is sincere in their feelings for the product.
I know I’ve said this before – I would only recommend an item on the blog that I truly feel is good or that I would use or have used. I’ve gotten so many reach-outs that make absolutely no sense for my blog…and I have turned them all down. So know that when I do work with a brand it will be because I truly like the brand/item and feel good about sharing it with you.
A lot of time and effort (and expense) go into producing a quality blog. Why would someone resent a blogger making money from it?
So yes – I intend for this eventually to be an income-producing blog. I don’t expect the quality or character to change. I think it would only get better!
About six months ago I started sharing affiliate links – primarily so that readers can find items like the ones I show in the posts. If that exact item is no longer available, I try to find the closest possible match, or at least that shares some of the best qualities of the original item, just as though I were shopping for a duplicate item myself. I like to share several links for each item so they can be found at higher and lower price points, and in plus and straight sizes. I make, literally, pennies each time someone clicks on an affiliate link…and I won’t even get the money paid to me til it reaches $100….and I’m not even a quarter of the way there! So at the rate things are going now, I’m looking forward to getting a nice hundred-dollar check in about another two years! PAR-TAY!!!
It was a hard decision for me to add the banner ads at the side and bottom of my posts because I have no control over what the ads are for or what they look like. And again, bloggers make very little money from them and, like the pay-per-click affiliate links, you have to reach a minimum dollar amount before you get a pay-out. I hope they’re not horribly offensive. If there’s just a few on other blogs, I barely notice them…I hope that is your experience here, too. I certainly haven’t noticed any decrease in views this month as a result, which is promising. But please let me know how you feel about them.
All that said (!!!) let’s get to the outfit! I started the month in a kimono and I’m ending it one, too. It was another super hot day just like before, so I was hoping this easy-breezy kimono would be just the right thing, but…nope. Ha. See?? I’m being honest! It’s a Gwynnie Bee item, so not a keeper, but I’d thought it was more of a light chiffon-y fabric that air would pass through easily, helping to keep me cool. But it was actually modal (a rayon blend that feels more like a stretchy cotton knit). I’ve had modal dresses – winter dresses – and leggings, and it was a lovely fabric for them. But this just felt HOT. It was a fun print and shape, but it was a “one and done” item for me and has already been returned. I’m wearing it over an old, slightly too small (couldn’t find my usual grey tee!), Just My Size tank top and white Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans that you’ve seen many times this year.
I recently had a little convo on someone’s blog about my love for summery white dresses in my youth…
(Ugh, my computer is flashing obnoxious messages at me – I’d written this post in advance and had intended to put pictures of my two favorite white dresses from my youth right here….but now I can’t access the computer at all and I’m just finishing this up and scheduling it from my phone, so the pictures are not happening.)
It’s been a long time, though, as I just felt a white dress wasn’t right for my size or shape. White has so many rules around it…”darker colors are more slimming,” light colors jump out at you, seeming larger, versus dark colors which tend to recede…BUT…I’m starting to feel the pull, in spite of those things. Maybe it was Anna’s white dress + black moto jacket look that pulled me back over to the bright side.
So I’ve started looking around online to see if I could find something that might feel right…something easy, not too precious…that I could wear to work with a little cardi and white sneakers or out in the evening dressed up with a pretty sandal.
White dresses can be a little challenging to get just right, so here are a couple guidelines for buying and styling:
We’ve discussed quality of fabric before, especially for summer…and I think fabric quality is even more important with white. Check to make sure it’s either lined…or heavy enough material that it’s not see through (unless that’s the look you’re going for). Again, unless you’re going for That Look, keep your ‘wares neutral-toned so they’re not visible under the dress. People sometimes think white is the best color for undergarments under white clothing, but what you see then is the contrast against white bra and skin-toned skin. If your bra is skin-toned, there’s no contrast line and it’s creates a more invisible undergarment look.
Like a black dress, a white dress is like a blank canvas and almost anything goes! Black, naturals, neutrals, pastels, hot colors, cool colors…there are limitless ways to style a white dress. Not just as far as bags and shoes, but also jewelry, scarves, jackets, belts.
Here are some white summer dresses I’m liking, that aren’t too fancy/dressy or bodycon (read: tight-fitting):
A LWD (Little White Dress) can be just as classic as the LBD. I personally would love to wear it with natural colored accessories…or orange! How fun for summer, right?? My only concern is SPILLING. I’m the worst. When I eat out I eat like a baby, keeping a napkin hovering under my fork in case I spill. And I still get food on myself! Am I the only one with this problem? I swear I’m going to design an adult bib to take out with me. Why are people only given bibs with lobster? Other things are messy…and stain more than lobster and butter!
Do you love a white dress as much as I do??
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click on them.
I’ve had this olive green plus-size Bobeau tunic for three years, I can’t believe I’ve never featured it on the blog! It’s older than the blog! And I usually wear it over black leggings and under a black duster length cardi (shocker. what don’t I wear under a black duster length cardi??)
I broke up all the black with my cognac espadrilles. Up til this summer I’ve worn this outfit with black flats, so I’ve branched out a little. I’m loving the richness of cognac with black. It warms up the darker color and adds a little interest without being too in your face. It’s just a gentle accent vs. a POP of color.
I’ve been looking for a cross-body bag in a similar color. Like this or this.
Here I am with my rare coffee! Ha, didn’t I just say I only drink 1-3 coffees a week? I really only got this one as an excuse to go into Starbucks twice to change outfits in their bathroom. Technically, they now have to let you in whether you’re a paying customer or not but I didn’t mind getting a cold drink on that hot day.
I’ve been thinking more and more about sustainable fashion, “slow” fashion. I’m not ready to jump in with both feet, but it is on my mind and I do feel ready to put a toe in the water. It’s definitely a thin line to walk, being a fashion blogger and trying to limit your clothing purchasing while increasing the lifespan of the pieces in your wardrobe. But I think it can be done.
Have you heard of the 30-Wear Campaign?? The premise is, rather than purchasing items that you only wear a few times (The Daily Mail UK states that “…almost 2,000 women found that the majority of fashion purchases see the light of day just seven times.”), that you ask yourself these questions before making a purchase:
* Will I wear this at least 30 times?
* Is this a high-quality piece?
* Will it last at least 30 washes?
* Will I still want to wear this in 6 months time?
* Will I still want to wear this in a years time?
The principal is selecting clothing you will keep and wear for a long time, specifically, at least 30 times. That may not sound like a lot, but if you wear Item A once a week…it will take you over seven months to wear it 30 times. And most items, due to weather variations during the different seasons, are not in your closet for seven months at a stretch, so you would be asking yourself if you will be content wearing it throughout this summer (for example) and again next summer. And not only would you be content wearing it, but will it hold up for that many wearings…and the commensurate cleanings? This could rule out a number of lower-priced, fast fashion items, as they were just not made to last season after season. I’m not saying they never do, but in general, cheaply made, lower quality fabric content pieces, will not last as long as more well-made items.
Of course, that’s the rub to starting to build a slow fashion, sustainable wardrobe. It’s expensive. But remember you’re not trying to fill your closet with a hundred (or however many you have now) articles of clothing. You’re just looking to buy what you need. I can speak for myself here that I know I have more clothes than I need…and I know I have lot less than many people. So the goal for me might be to just add 1 new item each season…a high-quality item that has timeless appeal for me and that I will want to have in my wardrobe for a long time to come. Okay, maybe 2 new items! Ha. Remember, just my TOE is going in right now. It’s a big concept to wrap your head around.
And to bring it full circle, this is my olive green tunic’s 3rd summer with me…and it won’t be its last.
We’ll talk more about this in the future…but I’d love to know your thoughts about this. Discuss 🙂
On a different topic…UK-based plus size retailer Simply Be has shared a blog post with quotes about body positivity from some well-known bloggers in the plus size community…and I’m included! I feel like I’m up on the Oscars stage all “Win or lose, I feel honored to just be in the company of these amazing actresses!” Seriously though, I’m proud to have been offered the opportunity to share my voice on this subject. Take a look (I’m mumble mumble down at the bottom)…discuss!
What I’m Wearing:
Bobeau olive green lace-up tunic, size 3x. Old. Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.
Old Navy black duster length cardigan, size 2x. Out of stock (gasp!). Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.
Black Faded Glory knit leggings, size 3x. Out of stock. Comparable here and here in plus size.
Note: I feel a little hypocritical preaching fashion sustainability then giving you links to Buy! More! Clothes! But no one is saying “don’t buy clothes,” we all need clothes…I’m just saying I for one could be more mindful with my purchasing.