The Anti-Shopping List / Plus Size Try-On Haul

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: anti-shopping list

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!

What I’m Keeping:

What I’m Returning:

I’m still on the fence about the burnt orange boho top from Venus.com. Thoughts?

I’m linking up today with Shelbee at her Link-Up on the Edge

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

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Olive You Long Time: #30WearCampaign

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Bobeau olive green lace-up tunic, size 3x. Old. Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size. 

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??)

 

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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. 

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.

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Black Faded Glory knit leggings, size 3x. Out of stock. Comparable here and here in plus size. 

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.

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Aldo cognac espadrilles

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

Want some more inspo on this topic?

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.
  • Aldo cognac espadrilles

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.

I’m linking up with Tina of Tina’s Pink Friday linkup!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Mini Try-On AND Plus Size Sizing Rant

I never know if all y’all who read the blog actually watch the videos when I share them, so I feel compelled to repeat myself in both so you won’t miss One Sparkling Gem that I have to share. Heaven forbid.

So, as I explain in the 10-minute video below, I recently massacred two of my favorite summer dresses (this one – my heart! – and this one) by washing them oh so carefully…delicate cycle, cold water, no dryer. And still, they shrunk. The Grapes of Wrath dress to the point of being unwearable…and the lavender field dress is wearable but is no longer like wearing magical gossamer wings. Now it’s a little snug in the waist and bust and definitely shorter…so I may not be spinning in it in flower fields anymore. I’m so so sad. And that loss of two of my favorites led me, in some desperation, to the internet. I might have “forgotten” to pay a medical bill this month and bought two dresses from Asos instead. Don’t tell anyone. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

As I also explained in the video, I’m always forgetting how to convert my usual US size to UK size…and when the two dresses I wanted were out of my size American, I took a chance on UK sizing. My long-time fave black dress that I’ve worn 3.2 million times is an Asos UK 28 (US 22). But, it’s a swing dress so a little roomier than a “waist-ed” dress. Both these dresses were available in a UK 24 (which is a US 20, which I KNOW is too small for me but I got confused. BUT WAIT.) so I took a gamble.

Dress 1: ASOS Curve ASOS DESIGN Curve Floral Print Gingham Button Through Sundress

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Ugh. Ha. Nope. Just nope. You can see how charming the dress was on the model (shocker) by clicking the link above. Even the colors in the print seemed more subdued on the website than in person.  But the point is the size. Clearly too small. Way too snug in the sleeves, shoulders, bust and waist. UK 24 (US 20). I would have to go up a size or even two to get this to fit nicely.

So then I tried on Dress 2 ASOS Curve ASOS DESIGN Curve casual midi tea dress. Same size – UK 24 (US 20). Same maker “ASOS DESIGN.”

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And it’s GI-NORMOUS. I realize it has that sort of depression-era slouchiness, but this is far beyond that. This was just huge. You can see it more in the video than in the still shot here. Same size as dress above – UK 24 (US 20). I would have to go DOWN a size…or maybe even TWO to get this to fit nicely.

How are people supposed to shop successfully online when sizing is so inconsistent like this?? Using the “size guide” on retail sites is useless because they put one set of measurements – for all their products, across the board! Both these items, when I checked the size guide, gave the same measurements. Clearly…so clearly…they are not even close to the same measurements!

And I get that this situation is difficult for everybody, but for size categories that are so poorly represented in brick-and-mortar stores, it is especially egregious. I am non-plussed!

Big. Sigh.

So. Moving on. Yesterday I called my local Loft store to ask (again) if they were carrying plus sizes in store yet and I learned that while they still do not technically (yet) carry plus sizes in stores, they do accept returns of plus size items at the stores. So she told me that I was welcome to come in and browse the return rack which had about 80 returned plus size items on it. She also told me they will be stocking plus sizes in stores soon (yay) and I’m on a mailing list for an in-store event in August when they will have an array of plus sizes to try and buy.

So, Loft Plus, one step forward (thank you)….ASOS, one step back. I still love you, ASOS, but you’re going to need to work a little harder to keep me.

I did find a few of the returned items to try on at Loft…

Loft Plus Bar Back Sleeveless Swing Dress, size 24-26. I did like this very much. I love the color – I love non-colors and in-between colors. Colors that are hard for people to identify (is it grey? is it green?). It was a slinky swishy rayon-spandex blend and had an interesting back detail…

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But…it would need something over it (can you say BLACK CARDIGAN…AGAIN???) for work and I’m feeling weary of “the black cardigan over this and the black cardigan over that” right now. I’ve got enough of those already. And it’s no replacement for the lavender filed dress, so…..pass.

I had this LOFT PLUS STRIPED SQUARE NECK TEE, size 24/26, in my online shopping cart during the last sale but I just wasn’t sure about the sleeves. I’m okay in sleeveless. But cap sleeves and little tiny ruffle or flutter sleeves, just don’t work for me (note to self). Plus, snugger in the belly than I like. Oddly, Loft dresses fit me well through the hips and belly…but tops are too snug. Pass.

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These next two I can’t find on the website, possibly because they were returns that might have been purchased awhile ago and so may no longer be available online.

This sweet little black and white geometric print was right up my alley, but…again, too tight in the belly. Pass.

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And this, I ADORE. It’s either a heavy silk or Tencel, chartreuse (chartreuse is my JAM!!!) band collar utility jacket. They just had the one in a size 20, so too small…and it was a little pricey. I’ll keep watching the site for a possible return and a price markdown because I would love this for fall and spring.

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So that is my little try-on and mini sizing rant. How do you deal with sizing issues?

Watch the video to see the dresses in action.

Thanks for reading and commenting and all the things!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

 

Old & New Faves

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For years I’ve been hearing about a lavender farm, oh…70 miles east of me on the north fork of Long Island. I just never got myself there…but finally on my vacation last week I learned that my girlfriend had also never been and wanted to go, so Girls Day Out! I now have a new favorite place. I’m actually not a big fan of lavender scent, but being among the blooming plants the scent was Just Perfect. Maybe next time I’ll even plan to coordinate my outfit with the lavender (duh. bad, bad blogger).

It was actually supposed to be a coolish rainy day with thunderstorms and flash floods. But we decided to tempt fate and go anyway.

Here I am in the downpour. If you look very, very closely you can just make out some raindrops in front of the tree green, but…downpour? Not so much.

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I am wearing my super duper favorite dress by Junarose that I got last spring from plus BKLYN. I’m never quite sure if it’s a leafy print or feathers…but it’s in a lovely colorway of faded aqua, pale pink, soft sulfer yellow, and a darker greyish purple. The fabric is so lightweight…you hardly even feel it on you, it just sorts floats along with you. And for cotton it has a nice drape, it’s not fluffy or poofy or stiff and crisp. Sadly, it is long gone from stores but if I were to try to replace it (impossible, but), I might go with something like this…

Lucky Brand Plus Printed Flutter-Sleeve Dress

I realize it doesn’t look the same, but it shares some of the best elements of my Junarose dress: muted colors, loose drapey fit, shortish flutter sleeves. It has the same sort of ease to it.


Or this one…

NIC+ZOE Plus Nights In Mojave Abstract-Print Dress

Same here – at first glance you wouldn’t think this similar to my dress at all – but the busy print hides lumps and bumps like my dress, the easy fit through the body makes it comfortable for moving or sitting, the long flutter sleeve doesn’t need a sweater over to cover bare shoulders at work, and the print is sort of different. It’s a lightweight rayon vs. cotton but the attributes are the same – it’s light and nicely drapey.


That’s how you “replace” a favorite item. Don’t try and match it perfectly, you may never find anything exactly like it again. But consider what your favorite elements are and try to find those, even though the actual item may look totally different.

Now, I plan to wear this dress til it falls off my body in tattered shreds, so you can expect to see it on the blog at least once a year (like here from last year).

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I wore my comfy trainers cuz I knew we’d be walking a lot, my turquoise drop earrings from a handcrafted fair in Brooklyn years ago, and carried my hooded jacket in case of flash floods. Ahem.

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Thanks to my photographer friend Who Shall Remain Nameless (you remember her from here and here, among others).

I’m linking up today with Emma Peach’s Style with a Smile link-up – go check out all the bloggers who have joined in!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We All Make Mistakes

Right??

As cheap careful as I am, sometimes I end up making purchases I regret.  I try not to make impulse purchases and I try to stick to my lists of things I truly need in my wardrobe. But…I’m human (sigh) and sometimes I get it wrong. But hopefully I can take some lessons away from my mistakes…and maybe they can help you, too.

So, this blouse I really loved when I first bought it. But when I finally tried wearing it, it just wasn’t good. I tried it on over all my pants and it’s just too short. My “low” belly shows, my rounded thighs show…and while I’m not ashamed of them, it just looks nicer when something skims over them hiding them from view.

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Melrose & Market floral shirt, size 3x

The Lesson: Don’t get so caught up in a color or print or style that you overlook fit.

This next top was an in-person impulse item. The colors and print grabbed me. I liked the bell sleeves. And it was very inexpensive (like $11.99 at Rainbow Shops). So I didn’t pay enough attention to the too-revealing neckline. It’s too much cleavage for work…and the whole top is too frou-frou for going out with friends. So I’ve worn it One Time since I bought it last fall.

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Floral top, no longer available. Comparable here in plus size and here in straight size.

The Lesson: Similar to #1, don’t get so caught up on color and print and price that you buy something you really have no place to wear.

I apologize for my wacky white balance here – the middle picture is actually the correct color. I just did the latest Photoshop update and there was a new color option and “vivid color” looked really nice when viewed in Photoshop, but is way too yellow anywhere else.

Here I bought a dress that’s really the same dress as one I already one. I’ve had the light blue Tencel “nightgown” Old Navy dress (far right) for two years and still love it. Last year I bought the Style & Co light blue Tencel dress when I rented it from Gwynnie Bee and I really liked it. But really, they’re the same dress. Light blue, sleeveless, lightweight Tencel dresses. They’re interchangeable. But because I really like the Old Navy dress better, when I feel like wearing a lightweight light blue dress, I always reach for the Old Navy dress. So the Style & Co dress is really underutilized and I’m not getting my money’s worth out of it. Not that it was a lot, I think it was marked down to $15 but that’s not the point. I don’t like having unnecessary clothes hanging in my closet.

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Dresses no longer available. Similar styles here in plus size and here in straight size.

The Lesson: Don’t keep buying the same thing over and over.

This one is not a purchase, it just arrived in today’s mail from Gwynnie Bee. It’s too small, but besides that, it really is not a good style for me. It’s too much. Of everything. I’m already a lot just on my own. To add multiple colors and patterns and crinkle fabric and bell sleeves and lacey ties…it’s too much. It’s cute on other people, but it just feels like too much for me.

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Vintage America Blues top, size 3x. Comparable here in plus size and here in straight size.

The Lesson: Remember what works well on your body and don’t buy everything you “like.” You can like things without having to own them. Buy things you feel good in. There’s a difference.

So, I’ll continue to try to be mindful when purchasing. Hope my mistakes can help you make less of your own!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

My Body vs. The Retailers

There are many posts out on the interwebz about body positivity and feeling comfortable in your own skin, etc. This applies to all body types, shapes and sizes. This is not purely the domain of the plus size person.

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Mostly, I do feel comfortable in my body. Emotionally comfortable. I don’t feel that I need to be thinner or different to be “better.” I’m neither less nor more than anyone else based on the shape or size of my body. And I’m proud of myself for feeling that way. I know many people struggle with their size, be it bigger or smaller than “the norm.”

7.24.18 –> This seems the perfect spot to interrupt and update this blog post and link to a quote of mine that was featured on SimplyBe, a UK-based plus-size retailer. I’m in the company of some real plus size powerhouses and I was honored to be asked to share a quote about body positivity. I hope you’ll go take a look and comment and wave…

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That said, I don’t always feel physically comfortable. I’m a lot of weight for my body (and joints and feet and knees and hips and heart) to support and carry around. It can be hard to get up, hard to move around, forget about steps or inclines, lordy! And especially after last year, a year of not feeling well and being very sedentary…and then this year when my feet got so painful…I have barely moved, and I am really out of shape.

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I don’t think you need to be “thin” to be “fit.” I know there are plenty of people who disagree with that, but I have seen overweight people run marathons (with no resulting health crises), I have seen fat people doing yoga, weight training, swimming, cycling, and more.

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To the title of this post, I see many debates about the clothing industry and how they’re not meeting the needs of every body out there. Do I think they can do more? Sure. Do I think every clothing line is ever going to accommodate every size and shape out there? Probably not. I’m normally a size 24. I see other women who are size 24 who are shorter or taller than me, have flatter stomachs or wider hips than me, who carry their weight all on the top or all on the bottom…there is no way One Size Will Ever Fit All! There is no way multiple sizes will ever fit all!!!

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And there are factors besides size when it comes to selecting clothing. I know several retailers who carry my size and even higher, and the clothes fit, but I don’t care for the fabrics, colors, or prints they use. Another couple of retailers carry my size and above and I really admire the styles, but the items are priced much higher than my budget allows.

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Can you see where I’m going with this? For any number of reasons, retailers may always fall short of my needs – size, style and budget-wise. And I can’t control that. What I can control is ME. While others may say “it’s not your fault” that clothes don’t fit, and that may be true, the fact of the matter is that if I want more than three tops in my closet <- gross exaggeration for purposes of making a point, *I* can be proactive and not wait around for retailers to cater to me. I know this may be an unpopular opinion in the plus size community, but I can do something about this. If designers can’t make a top to fit my stomach…I can make my stomach smaller to fit their tops. Is this right or fair? Perhaps not. But I would like more clothing selection than is available that fits me. So I can meet them part-way.

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This is my very roundabout way of saying I AM GOING TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT. Ha, how odd is it that in the current environment I feel I need to defend that statement. The world is crazy, yo! But yeah, I have no intention of going nuts with this, but I want to get to a place where clothes shopping is not so frustrating and difficult…and where just getting from Point A to Point B is not so challenging and exhausting. It will not be the focus of this blog, but I’ll let you know from time to time how I’m doing.

PHEW.

Onto the clothes! As serious as my thoughts were this week, my outfit was anything but! I got this fun, bright, easy-breezy Johnny Was top from Gwynnie Bee and I love it! Johnny Was makes beautiful boho-inspired items – tunics and kimonos and dresses, in plus and straight sizes. You’ve seen me in other Johnny Was looks here and here and here. They always make me feel happy, but quite honestly, I could never in a million years afford them! So Gwynnie Bee allows me to rent them to wear and enjoy…and then send back, without the high price tag! If you’re interested in learning more about clothing rental service Gwynnie Bee and getting one month free (!!!), follow this link.

Beyond the beachy tunic, my new Target sunglassesYAY FOR NO MORE SQUINTING (!!!), my long-time fave skinny jeans from Charlotte Russe and Sam Edelman chestnut brown sandals (sold out, similar here) round out the look.

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My sister sent me this cool book called “Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir: With the lost photographs of David Attie” by Truman Capote. I love the black and white photographs of old Brooklyn. It’s sad to see the landscape so modernizing these days. Interesting side note re Truman Capote, my cousin was in the 1967 movie “In Cold Blood” as “young hitchhiker.” He must have been 12 or 13. I’ve actually never seen the movie. Someday.

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What do you think about mainstream sizing and retailers’ responsibilities to their potential customers? I’d love to hear in the comments. 

look a crab collage 5.22.18

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This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Spring Plus Size Try-on Haul AGAIN

I feel weird preparing something as “normal” as a blog post…but I’m trying to find my way back to some sort of normalcy…I guess really to a new normal…and fortunately, the blog is something Caleb didn’t really have an imprint on. Not like the apartment and the car and every beach and park on Long Island. So in trying to throwing myself into something and distract myself away from…You Know Who…I think blogging is as good a distraction as any. Actually, the first day I’d thought of trying my hand at watercolor painting, but that required all new equipment, yadda yadda yadda, so in the end I just watched countless hours of YouTube watercolor tutorials, which was actually quite soothing and I highly recommend it.

So while “clothing” isn’t feeling all that important to me right now, hot weather *is* coming…and whether I feel like it or not, I will need to put something on my body before going to work (new dress code and all), so….a few things arrived in the mail last week and I did a quick try-on video to share with y’all. Uh-oh, I’m lapsing into my mother’s Texas roots. I don’t recall her actually saying “y’all,” but…whatever. I’m living in topsy-turvy land. Bear with me here.

Three of the items I tried on in the video are from Amazon Prime Wardrobe . This is a new program open to Amazon Prime members where you can “try on” between 3 and 7 pieces of clothing (or shoes, bags, accessories, etc) at no charge for up to 7 days, and they only charge you for what you don’t return. One of the problems with online shopping is your money is tied up for the time it takes for the store to send you the items you bought, then the time it takes for any returned items to go back through the mail to the retailer and then the time they take to actually refund your credit card. It can take up to three weeks, from start to finish, to get the money back on items you didn’t keep. I don’t know about you, but I do not have an infinite clothing budget. I need to get my refund from Items A, B and C before I can then purchase Items D, E and F. So this is a beautiful thing. That’s the good news. The bad news is I found the selection, at least in the plus sizes, to be a little limited (so what else is new). But hopefully that will improve with time…and maybe that’s just me, so don’t go by my experience, take a look and make your own decision.

DR2 by Daniel Rainn Lace Detail Peasant Blouse (Plus Size)

No longer available, similar here in plus size, or in straight size here

Melrose and Market Bell Sleeve Button Back Floral Print Shirt (Plus Size), size 4x

Image of Melrose and Market Bell Sleeve Button Back Floral Print Shirt (Plus Size)

From Gwynnie Bee..

lucky brand Keyhole Back Ruffle Top, size 3x

And these are the Amazon Prime Wardrobe items:

Star Vixen Women’s Plus-Size Long Sleeve Open Hem Peasant Top With Keyhole Tie

Blu Pepper Women’s Plus allover Printed Tank With Embroidery

Ruby Rd. Women’s Plus Size Button-Front Striped Dobby Top

And if you’ve got a spare 13 minutes, you can see the rundown on each of these items as I try them on. Janey makes a cute appearance during the 4th item…at minute 5:14…if you just want to see Janey and not me 🙂  I won’t be offended.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Month in Review: April

Wow, I feel like April really flew by! We started the month still in snow and we’re finishing it up with a sunshiny day in the 60s. As this was a very work-busy week for me I don’t have much to share in Week in Review, so I’m going to do Month in Review again like last month and will resume WiR next week, when hopefully I will have something a little more interesting to share!

First I will say THANK YOU to all you lovely people who have been reading and following and commenting on my little blog…thanks to y’all, April was my most viewed month to-date, beating out the previous winner, August 2017, when my head-shaving post (see it here) was so widely shared and viewed. I’ve made such nice connections and friends…and have met some kindred spirits with interests beyond fashion. For someone like me who is naturally pretty introverted and what I call “a bad meeter,” it’s been such a nice way to connect with people without all the usual “in person” social anxieties. But that’s a story for another day (okay, Julia??).

All that said, my most viewed post in April was All Dressed Up & Yadda Yadda Yadda where I wore a colorful dress and sparkly cardigan…for no special reason. Sometimes you just gotta, you know??

img_1089

My personal favorite outfit in April was this colorful Russian doll looking peasant top over white jeans…maybe because it felt spring…and the temperatures finally felt the same! How sick is everyone getting of talking and hearing about The Winter That Would Not End?!?

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 4.23.18 9 resized

Favorite Blogger Looks

My top three favorite blogger looks in April were:

Jenna Marie of Sincerely Jenna Marie has the casual-yet-modern look nailed with a basic white tee, faded blue denim and comfy sandals…but it’s the extra touch of the scarf tied on the bag that elevates this to me.

How cozy does Cheryl of Cheryl Shops look in this pretty pretty pink duster-length cardigan?? I love a basic white jeans + tee + cardigan look and this one is just dreamy. Not to mention that round straw tote!

(The last one did not respond in time to my email asking permission to share her photo here so I’m just including the link to the outfit and I hope you’ll go look!)

And the outlier of the bunch for me, this metallic pleated skirt with gorgeous teal blue sweater on Daniella of LellaVictoria. This look is so extra with all the metallics (those boots tho!) and yet so relaxed at the same time. Like, “Oh, do I look amazing?? I hadn’t noticed!”

Favorite Books

I did not do as much reading in April as I had been – my day job and blog work have been leaving me exhausted by 9pm most nights and if I try to read at that point I fall asleep within minutes. So I only read the one, but it was really really good. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and I give Very Few 5-star ratings.

It’s the emotional story of a Jewish family living in Poland during World War II, how they each have different experiences over the span of a decade. I don’t want to tell the ending, but it was a very moving, well-told story that I highly recommend – based on the experiences of the author’s own family.

We Were the Lucky Ones

Hopefully I will have more time for reading in May!

Favorite Movies

I *did* make time to go to a couple movies in April. I am subscribed to MoviePass, an app where for a sum below the price of going to ONE movie, you can go to a different movie EVERY DAY (this is not a sponsored post, I just really like the app). My favorite was “Outside In” with Edie Falco and Jay DuPlass. It was a quiet story about nice people – as a young adult he had taken the rap for a shooting and spent 20 years in prison. One of his high school teachers maintained a correspondence with him all that time and really advocated for his early parole. Once released his new life is difficult and their friendship is challenged. And that’s all I’ll say. But it’s well-acted, nice story. (click image for trailer)

outside in

Favorite Products

A favorite product I bought this month, and this is a little embarrassing (!), but I can get stinky feet (probably cuz I don’t wear socks. i hate socks.) and I’ve tried all kinds of sprays and powders over the years and nothing has ever done a really great, long-lasting job, BUT…after reading a ton of reviews on the internet, I finally invested a whopping $12.95 on a shoe deodorizer/foot odor eliminator from Amazon. I spray it in my sneakers 1-2 times a week and it has greatly improved the situation. If I really stick my nose into the shoe, I can still slightly smell the foot odor…but the scent of the spray really masks the foot smell from a reasonable distance away (most people would not be sticking their noses into your shoes). And then the whole apartment has this nice lemon verbena/mint/eucalyptus scent that is both refreshing and energizing. Oh, I also sprayed it on my car seats when Caleb had a bit of a messy accident back there (don’t judge, he’s an old man) and the poop smell was gone the next day!

Lumi Outdoors Extra Strength Odor Eliminator

Monthly Mash-Up

I’ve been enjoying an app called 1 Second Every Day where you post a picture or video to it daily (or catch up whenever you want, it doesn’t judge) and at the end of the month (or week or year or whatever time frame you select) it “mashes” them together as one-second clips that are savable and sharable. I’ve been posting them on Instagram but they fit into the Month in Review theme here, so…

And that is all there is for April! Week in Review will be back next Monday….

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

 

Lists, Lists, and More Lists

I have a tendency to get locked into routine. I can get a little lazy and I find I do best if certain things (blog posts, for example) are on a schedule. But sometimes I get so locked into that schedule that I miss opportunities. I’ve got this little stockpile of drafts and saved posts and pictures that I want to share with y’all, but I keep not posting them cuz they don’t fit into the Mon/Wed/Fri schedule. And that’s just silly. So I may be throwing some extra posts at you willy nilly,  NOT on schedule, if that’s alright. Oh, I’m living on the edge now, my friends!

Also, I’m a big list maker, I have lists of everything. Things to do, things to make, places to go, things to photograph, movies to see, books to read, and, as you know, clothing to buy. It occurs to me now that maybe you’d be interested in some of my lists even when they’re not in a formal “blog post” format. I’m already making them…why not share them?? So I’m gonna share this “revised shopping list” with you since I was making it anyway for myself…let me know if you like/don’t like this or if you’re interested in any other lists. Some, of course, are local to my area so wouldn’t be of interest to as many of you, but who knows. I don’t know where y’all live or if you’re ever going to visit the Long Island/New York area, so…

Updated Plus Size Spring Shopping List

Since apparently the plus size black and white striped tee is, for me, the rarest of rare sparkle glitter unicorns,  and my clothing cupboard for the warm weather is bare, bare, bare…I am revising my original spring/summer clothing shopping list and looking for some alternatives.

This black and white polka dot blouse could go over my white jeans, medium wash blue jeans, and the black summer-weight pants I’m still looking for (!). It can easily go into the fall as well under a black cardigan. I like that it has the look of a blouse without the potential button gap hell.

I know that polyester in the summer is not the greatest idea, but my office at work is air conditioned to the max from May-October, so I always dress to accommodate the chilly building.

DR2 by Daniel Rainn Polka Dot Blouse (Plus Size)

This next one has the more the coloring of a black-stripe-on-white tee. I could wear it to work under the lightweight black cardi or maybe even the light pink silk cardigan…or I could add a real pop of color with turquoise, teal, hot pink, lilac – almost any color…and I can wear it after work or on the weekends (aka out in the Long Island humidity) on its own.

 DR2 by Daniel Rainn Ladder Inset Blouse (Plus Size)

I’m definitely in a polka dot mood today! This navy and white dot top could go over blue or white jeans…or those elusive green pants (I’m like a dog with a bone once I decide there’s something in particular I want). This is perfect for work under a cardigan and on its own after work and on weekends.

Caslon Pleat Front Tank (Plus Size)

This ivory peasant blouse would go over any wash jeans, my tan linen pants (that I just found and didn’t know I still had, score!), and the sage green pants should I ever find them to fit. This is sort of an outlier item as I did not have anything ivory on my list, but  ivory/cream is always a good basic and goes over most any color or type of bottom.

DR2 by Daniel Rainn Lace Detail Peasant Blouse (Plus Size)

Ahh, a pretty floral blouse! This is just like what I’ve been looking for. I love these colors and it can stand alone over white or blue jeans, or I could put my pale pink cardi over it. I would even try it unbuttoned over a white tee, like a short kimono. Sweet!

Melrose and Market Bell Sleeve Button Back Floral Print Shirt (Plus Size)

These are just some things I saw in a quick online peek. Since I’m having such a tough time rounding out my closet for the warm weather with what I originally wanted, I realize I needed to broaden the search a bit or I was going to be wearing the same outfit every day! I’ll be sure to let you know what I order and how I make out with them!

Have a good rest-of-the-weekend!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Creating a Spring/Summer Clothing Shopping List

I’ve been on the fence about whether or not this would actually be of interest to people…but a good friend said that *she* would be interested, so…here goes!

Long ago, I used to do what I call “recreational shopping.” By that I mean that I would go to the mall, without necessarily anything specific in mind, just to see what there was. Inevitably I would see things I liked, many things, and I figure if I LIKED them, that they would work in my wardrobe, because…If I Like All the Things in My Closet…Shouldn’t They All Go Together? So I would just buy things indiscriminately because I liked them, with no real thought to whether the purchases made sense.

It took me many years and MANY wasted dollars to realize that the answer to that question is NO. And I’ll be honest, it wasn’t out of any real wisdom that I came to this conclusion, it was more out of necessity. Once I was divorced (21 years ago) and a single mother of a young daughter, I no longer had “unlimited” (not that they were ever unlimited but I had not yet learned The Very Hard Lessons about overspending and DEBT) funds for my recreational shopping. Now I had to make my “first real office job” salary stretch as far as it could. So recreational shopping became a thing of the past and I had to learn how to build a working wardrobe as efficiently as possible. And it took me almost all 21 years to do that, ha ha!

Hang on, I could tell my stories all day long…let’s get on to the list making!

I start by assessing what’s already in my closet from last year – most seasons the majority of items stay, and I only let go of the few things that are no longer in good condition, no longer fit, or are just things that I find I no longer reach for in my closet. It’s okay to fall out of love with things! They served their purpose for awhile, but when it’s time to move on, let them go, maybe to someone else who will enjoy them more.

Then I consider each and every item in the closet (and drawers). How many outfits can I make out of this item? Just one? Then I consider what new item I could bring in to make that already existing item more versatile. Will the new item go with multiple items already in my closet? That’s a plus. I don’t want to buy something new if it’s only going to go with one other thing. I want every piece to do double- or even triple-duty. I want a closet filled with mostly basics, that will mix with almost everything else.

So now I’ve gone through all my items and made a list of missing pieces. The pieces that will go with what I already own to make new outfits.

Here’s my list for this spring/summer

  • black and white striped top, summer weight
  • basic white tee
  • basic grey tee
  • 2-3 patterned tops – floral, paisley, something with some color
  • 1-2 patterned kimonons
  • oatmeal/tan lightweight cardigan
  • white summer weight pants/jeans
  • black summer weight pants
  • sagey green summer weight pants

A dozen items might seem like a lot (it does to me) but I know from experience that I’ll be lucky to find just a few of these items – due to size, cost and personal taste. This list doesn’t include shoes and accessories. I’ve already shared some of my shoe and bag wish lists with you here and here.

I’ll confess, I got a little confused with what I was posting this week. I wrote this post several week ago and I should have shot a little video showing a couple samples of how I put these steps into practice…but instead I shot a try-on haul of items I’d bought trying to fill out my shopping list above (because everything came in within a few days and I wanted to try on so I could return what I wasn’t keeping and start over).

So just imagine, if you will, me taking my Bobeau sleeveless floral top out of the closet, inspecting it, thinking of what I might wear it with besides just my medium wash skinny jeans. Sage green cotton pants! And those pants would also be perfect with the black and white striped top I don’t have (ha) AND the navy and white striped top I just ordered. And then I’d move onto the next item. Make sense?? It’s not nearly as much fun as just perusing online retail sites or catalogs and going I like this and this and this and this  and ordering a bunch of random unrelated items…but it’s much more organized and you’ll end up only with things that actually go with things you already own. Cuz I don’t feel that I need or want dozens or hundreds pieces of clothing. I want to wear everything I have a LOT. Getting my money’s worth and not having any wasted investments hanging in my closet.

Here’s What I Bought and Tried On:

Loft Plus Textural Sweater Tee, size 24/26

Loft Plus Girlfriend Chinos, size 24

Target Who What Wear Plus Size Rib Trim Elbow Sleeve T-Shirt, size 4x

Asos Curve Stripe Top in Baby Loop Back, size 24

Old Navy Relaxed Plus-Size Sleeveless Boho Top, size 3x (floral no longer available)

Old Navy Plus-Size Linen-Blend Cropped Soft Pants, size 4x

Old Navy Plus-Size Mid-Rise Soft Utility Cropped Pants, size 3x

Macy*s Say What? Trendy Plus Size Long-Sleeve Swing Top, size 3x

Macy*s NY Collection Plus Size Pointelle-Knit Draped Cardigan, size 3x

And there’s a video! Caleb makes a couple cameo appearances 🙂

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.