IS Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery??

So, a couple weeks back, Julia at When the Girls Rule posted a photo on her Instagram of this look…

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…and I commented that I liked it so much that I was going to steal it (and she said she was waiting to see it). And I did!

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I didn’t have a wine scarf or a gold bag…but I DID have a gold scarf, so I improvised there. But otherwise, I was able to pretty well replicate the look that I liked so much on her, with clothes from my own closet, with my own spin. I was inspired by her outfit.

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I think sometimes in fashion (and blogging…and photography…and really any creative endeavor) there is a fine line between inspiration and imitation. If I’d gone out and bought the same dress and bag and scarf and created an exact duplicate of her outfit, that’s imitation…and these days I don’t know that most people are all that flattered by that (imitation may not be the sincerest form of flattery) imitation. In fact, in most applications, direct imitation is a form of copyright infringement! It would be pretty hard to prove anyone guilty of that in retail fashion, I mean, all the stores sell all the same things, eventually you’re going to have some pretty similar outfits out there, purely coincidentally….but you get the point.

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While it’s nice to look to others for inspiration (and to copy someone for fun, as I did here), it’s best to use your own creativity–don’t just copy someone else’s look, create your own! Do you!!!

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This is a favorite easy-to-wear dress from Old Navy, in it’s second winter with me. It goes with a lot of other items in my closet. The black duster cardigan is also from Old Navy, but this current season and still available – it’s a fine knit, so very lightweight. With pockets!

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The scarf and crossbody bag are from TJ Maxx, last season. The over-the-knee boots are from Avenue, two winters ago. I’m really getting my money’s worth out of all these things!

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I wore my new Gorjana G Ring hoop earrings from Nordstrom. I have been coveting these exact earrings for a lonnng time – well over a year, maybe even two. I first saw them on Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper and loved the movement the hoops had – you know how hoops are usually sort of still and fixed in place on your ear? Because these hoops are hanging on the S-hook thingie that goes through your ear, there’s a lot of movement and I really like that. I never ever buy myself nice jewelry but I’ve been watching these for a long time and they finally went on sale on Black Friday and I snatched those babies right up!

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I shot with a new photographer this day, I’m really happy with the pictures – what do you think?

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Also, I’m still doing Vlogmas every day on my YouTube channel. I realized today from trying to film “the interesting parts of my day,” that most days do not have interesting parts! Not this time of year, anyway. In spring summer fall I get out a lot more and it would be much more fun to watch. Today the big excitement was scraping ice off the windshield, Caleb making new friends at the park, and new packages in the mail. But…hey, I’m giving it a shot. Stick around, maybe something good will happen eventually!

Photography by Robert Mitchell Photography.

ANNND…I’m linking up with the #IWillWearWhatILike linkup on Not Dressed as Lamb. Definitely take a look at the other bloggers sharing things – you might might find a new favorite!

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What I Wore This Week

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Monday: This is my favorite cozy, cold weather outfit. The dress is 2 years old from Alice & You, so no longer available. The thick cushy deep blue cardigan is last winter’s from Michael Kors at Macy*s. I can’t remember what brand the booties are, they’re pretty generic taupe, faux suede with a low rubbery heel. The rubber soles and heels are so nice to walk in. The plus size navy tights are from Amazon like 3 years ago and purchased through someone else’s account (oh, how did I survive in the olden days without Amazon Prime??) so I don’t have a link but I’ll try to get it for you. And my new hair, ha ha!

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Tuesday: Snuck in one more bare-legged day. The dress is THAT dress. The never-ending sleeveless black swing dress from Asos. That particular one is no longer available but there’s always something similar. This is a US 22 and the width and length are perfect. Then I put my new olive green fleece duster cardigan from Rainbow over top for some lightweight coziness. I’m wearing a 2x and it’s just right. I should never wear these shoes again but I’ve yet to replace them so…they’re Christian Siriano for Payless, like 3 years old. Nothing against the shoes but I need serious arch support at this point and these do not have that.

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Wednesday: I was a little casual because I knew I was headed to the storage unit after work and it’s dirty there. Karen Kane brown waterfall cardigan, 3x, this is it’s third winter. It’s looking a little sad and old but…I keep reaching for it, so it stays. In its fifth winter is my beloved Tahari merino wool camel/taupe sweater from TJ Maxx – and they always have comparable lightweight merino sweaters and tunics, reasonably priced – like this or this. Charlotte Russe plus size cropped high waist skinny jeans, size 22. I don’t think this exact style is available right now, but many extremely similar styles are. I wear these a LOT. They’re super comfy and stretchy but don’t stretch out. Same booties as Monday.

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Thursday. I WORE THE SAME JEANS TWO DAYS IN A ROW OH THE HORROR. The weather changed at the last minute and looked blustery and stormy and the dress I’d planned to wear this day did not look appealing at all, so I did a last-minute switcharoo. And lived to tell the tale. See above for info on jeans and booties. Cream-colored long-sleeve tee from Avenue, no longer available but it’s pretty basic. Plus-size duster-length draped waterfall cardigan from INC International, no longer available but similar here. And my cream cloche is from Headcovers Unlimited. This exact style is no longer available but this is similar.

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Fri-yay! Another blustery morning so I broke out the fleece-lined footless tights (sorry, I don’t remember where I got them) AND my brand new silk ankle socks from WinterSilks. Two-year-old black (it’s not navy, it’s NOT!) and white striped 3x dress from Old Navy (no longer available, similar here. And the wine-colored fleece duster from Rainbow. Last year’s black booties from Avenue.

My favorite was definitely Monday’s – every element is comfortable and cozy and I like the geometric print of the dress with the slightly textured look (close-up) of the cardigan – it’s a subtly interesting combination.  What was the favorite outfit that *you* wore this week?

I’m linking up today with Shelbee on the Edge and her Edge of the Week link-up!

Playing Dress Up

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Clothes are fun in that you can dress up as whatever you want. Want to be the center of attention? Wear something that people can’t miss – bright colors, sequins, extreme lengths, etc. Want to disappear in the crowd? Wear monochromatic, bland tones. Want to command respect? Wear a well-fitted suit. Want to make people laugh? Start an argument? Attract the opposite sex? There are outfits for all those things.

But when your clothing options are limited by size–and that can be either end of the spectrum, large or small (I hear ya, Iris!)–sometimes your clothes can make you feel “not like you.” Mostly I have a way I *want* to look, but the available clothing in my size can keep me from looking that way. This is really the one thing that motivates me to try and slim down a bit. Not for my health, but cuz I want to look the way I want to look! It’s so so frustrating to look online at straight size clothing (and I don’t really do that intentionally, but I follow mostly straight size fashion bloggers) and think, I love THIS, I want to look like THAT…THAT THING would be perfect with many things I already own, but when I look in the plus size section, nope. It doesn’t exist. Not even a reasonable facsimile. And I end up with things that are not REALLY what I wanted, or in a size that’s MOSTLY right, but not quite perfect, cuz hey, I have to wear SOMETHING. And so I’m often out in the world feeling not EXACTLY like who I want to portray, who I want to BE.

Maybe some of you straight-sizers feel the same way, but you have 10,487,362 more options than us plus-sizers do and MAN, THAT JUST AIN’T RIGHT.

I may sound like a broken record on this topic, but it is brought to my attention ALMOST EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE when I get dressed. And it’s SO much better than it used to be, really. But we still don’t have anywhere near the options that other sizes do.

Designers, fashion retailers, manufacturers, buyers – LISTEN UP! We want the same options that everyone else has. That is not an unreasonable request. If you make it and sell it, we will buy it. We’re STARVED for it.

I don’t WANT to play dress up. I don’t want to look like a pink-kitten-sweatshirt-wearin- granny…or a lookin-like-i-was-painted-into-this-dress-hoochie-mama. I want to look like ME. And I’m not the only one. So, more options, please!

Okay, that’s all. For Now.

PS – how cute are my darling co-workers as Jen 1 and Jen 2? And they’re not just adorable – they are smart and open-minded and kind. They are the future. And if they are the future?? The world might just be a better place.

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:

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

Keeping It Simple

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I’ve been keeping my life very simple lately. Work, treatment, home. That’s pretty much every day. Sometimes during the day I THINK I will go home and accomplish One Thing – wash the dishes or sweep the floor, etc. But no. By the time I get there I’m so shot that I get almost immediately into my nightgown and head to the sofa. I’m not even reading or watching tv, I’m just…resting.

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So this kind of outfit is my mainstay right now. A simple base with something over top. Easy peasy.

This dress is so easy to wear. It’s a rayon spandex blend that’s stretchy and swingy and feels like silky cotton. The blouse is Tencel which is a drapey lightweight denimy material. Both fabrics are very comfortable to wear.

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Fashion doesn’t always have to be fussy or fancy. It can be easy and relaxed and comfortable…and that is totally my jam these days.

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I’m kind of liking my life like this. I feel like the beginning of the year started with so much drama that I’m enjoying this simple time. Kind of weird, right? I never feel good anymore, I’m always exhausted, but overall, life feels good. Count on me to be contrary 🙂

What I’m Wearing

Photos by Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me – thanks, Marce! Make sure you check out her blog cuz she is a  BOSS!!!

Stepping WAY Outside the Box (in more ways than one)


I was trying SO hard to get an outfit post up this week as promised. I did a little shoot on Sunday…and then Monday found myself in the ER. I debated sharing my story vs not, but figured in the interest of “keeping it real,” I would. This is not a pity post, an attempt to garner “oh, poor you”-s, or even really a cautionary tale (Don’t Do As I Have Done)…it’s truly just a…What I Did This Week. With some outfit pictures!

So, I’m not always so good with adulting when it comes to the medical realm. If I’m not incapacitated or in unbearable pain, I generally avoid doctors. There’s also, at the risk of TMI, a financial aspect to this. Even with insurance all that medical stuff is EXPENSIVE!

I don’t want this to be too long and drawn out, so here’s the bullet point version:

  • Went to emergency room on Monday for blood transfusion due to anemia due to long-term heavy bleeding (of the female kind) – *I* thought due to fibroids.
  • How did I know I had fibroids if I never go to the doctor?  I DO go the doctor for kidney stones cuz those things are painful AF. And a kidney stone scan awhile back showed fibroids. So I just assumed they were the cause of the bleeding.
  • Wednesday they did a D&C to try and stop the bleeding and to do an endometrial biopsy to rule out cancer (hospital protocol) as a cause of the bleeding and other things.
  • After the D&C a blood clot (small) was discovered in my left calf and Vascular Guy recommended a blood thinner (even with the bleeding situation, cuz clot seems more significant than the bleeding. Clots are bad mothers. My father died from a blood clot. I’m doing what the doctor says).
  • All this took 5 days and I was just released today, Friday. There were some mix-ups with scheduling things and everything took longer than it should have and I spent MOST of the five days hooked up to one IV or another AND on a “no food or drink” order. I think I had 4 meals in 5 days.
  • I will follow up next week with the OB-Oncologist from the hospital, she’ll have the biopsy results and we’ll go from there.

SO – that was Part 1 of my Stepping Out of the Box post – seeking medical attention. I had NO IDEA I would be there all week. I thought I might be there overnight so I did pack some things in a bag – and have been making mental notes all week to comprise a list of Things to Bring to the Hospital. I’ll share the list with you guys when it’s done.

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Meanwhile, Part 2, the more fun part, was this cute outfit! I LOVE this black-and-white striped top with the trendy bell sleeves. As I’ve mentioned, I was never really a trend gal, but I can feel that sort of changing. The REAL stepping out of the box element here was that the shirt was snug across my belly…and shorter than I normally wear shirts, so it showed my belly and butt more than I’m used to…or really comfortable with. BUT….I liked the concept of the outfit so much I wore it anyway. STEPPING OUT, BABY!

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I wish I had more pictures, but it was really really cold and windy that day and I was not feeling so great, so…we got what we got.

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There’s always one!

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I love my red sneaks. I haven’t worn them in awhile cuz lace-up sneakers are so hard for me. My feet are so so so far away.

What I Wore:

  • INC International Concepts Stripe Bell Sleeve Top, size 3x, via Gwynnie Bee
  • Bongo black faux leather jacket, size 3x
  • Plus Size Refuge Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans, size 22
  • Red converse-style sneakers from Target

My friend Marcy from Fearlessly Just Me was my photographer du jour. She’s really doing a great job, don’t you think?

Just Keepin’ It Real

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So, I know I’ve been sharing a lot of casual outfits lately…and especially “jeans’n’sneakers” looks, which is not really my normal MO, but….

a) I think I have worn every cold-weather item in my closet multiple times for the blog, I’ve mixed and matched just about every possible combination I can come up with. Soon I’m going to be wearing things inside and out and upside down just to show things in different ways. I keep a really small wardrobe and I’m still a couple items short of completing a couple different outfits (HOW CAN A PLAIN WHITE SHIRT BE SO HARD TO FIND???). I repeat outfits a lot in my daily life, but it would be pretty boring for you guys to see that on the blog, so…I’m trying to stretch it out as far as I can but we’re getting down to the bare bones. Pretty soon it’s going to be “you can’t see it, but I’m wearing a different bra today,” ha.

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b) When I get items from Gwynnie Bee and they’re not something I would actually wear in my actual life, I don’t share them in an outfit post. My aim with outfit posts is to show what I *actually* wear in my actual life.

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c) My heel really really really hurts! I have plantar fasciitis in my left heel and it is so so painful…that I wear sneakers a LOT more than I usually do just in an effort to keep my feet a little more comfortable. All day long I look forward to getting home and putting on my wonderful orthotic slippers (oh MAN do I sound old!) and getting some relief. Next is a pair of orthotic sneakers. Oh yeah, this is one sexy fashion blog 🙂

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So, the point is, I’m just trying to keep it real. Bear with me. It’ll be spring soon and there’ll be some new looks…and lots of try-on hauls!

These pictures were taken on a cold day in Rockaway Park, Queens. Me and my blogger friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me were looking for an interesting spot and I just loved this old “Sea-Port” building. We decided we really need to do a behind-the-scenes vlog because shoot days are pretty hysterical with us changing clothes in the  car, trying to sneak into places, climbing on things for “that perfect shot,” etc.

I love this soft Style&Co sweater. It has an interesting detail of cable stitch along the hemline and allover on the back. Kinda “business in the front, party in the back.” It’s nice and loose fitting so a silk tee or turtleneck fits easily underneath.

And this has been my favorite scarf this winter – it is so so long! Which is very nice on a plus size body (read: fat neck) because there’s actually enough length to wrap it around several times and not just have little stump ends left over like with normal length scarves.

I’m looking forward to maybe a big snow later this week! Ooh, and a super secret work trip…but I’ll share that when the time comes…

What I’m Wearing:

Mixing It Up. Again.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know about The Invisible Dress, because I have mentioned it 12,483 times…and have worn it almost as much. It’s just a simple black sleeveless swing dress I got from ASOS Curve last spring and I’ve dressed it up and dressed it down, worn it alone and with other pieces over it. If you’re not familiar with The Dress, you can see it here and here .

Well it occurred to me recently that not only can I put things OVER it, I can also put things UNDER it…and wear it like a proper jumper (not an English “jumper,” which is really a sweater).

So that’s what I did here. I actually had done a little video with the two outfits, but I, in my vast experience, managed to accidentally delete one clip and that was the better one, so…I need more practice.

Enough talking, here are the looks:

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I paired it here with a lightweight polka-dot blouse, sleeves rolled up, collar buttoned up. I would wear this to work or to a professional meeting away from the office.

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I like the juxtaposition of the faux-leather moto “bad a**” (ha ha) jacket over the more, literally, buttoned-up conservative outfit underneath.

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Side note: it’s so funny, when I look in the mirror I feel like I have SO much make-up on…but when I see the pictures later I’m like, do I have ANY make-up on?? Need to work on that.

The second look is more casual. I would wear this to work but also to meet friends after work for coffee or dinner.

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Side Note: I do not own a full-length mirror…and sometimes shoe choices look alright in my mind’s eye or in the bird’s eye view I have of them from above…but if I see myself in a mirror somewhere else later or in a picture…I am horrified. Like right now. In the video clip I talked about how I would really pair this look with a pair of white sneakers but one of my white sneakers has been missing for months (think it’s with the black duster??) so these seemed casual and appropriate. In my head. They. Are. Not. Please pretend I am wearing almost anything else on my feet here.

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Okay, so this blue Tencel chambray blouse dresses this look down a bit I think, to a more casual level. In the video I rolled up the sleeves and it looked better but you’re not seeing that here.

If I was going out I might put a denim jacket over this or an olive green utility jacket, to keep with the low-key vibe.

So I now have like 3 dozen different ways to wear this one dress, ha. Do you have one item that you accessorize a gazillion different ways? Can you think of a piece of clothing you have in your wardrobe that you always wear a certain way…that you could maybe do something completely different with? You’d be surprised.

I apologize for all the technical difficulties. Between the video attempts and the fact that my computer has been dying a rapid death for the past weeks and I’ve been working on an ancient laptop without full *anything* capability, I’ve been a little out of blogging sorts. I hope to only get better from here 🙂

What I’m Wearing:

  • ASOS Curve Sleeveless Swing Dress, size 22. Sold out, similar here (this actually looks like the identical dress to me)
  • Who What Wear polkadot blouse via Target, size 22. Sold out, similar here
  • Blue Tencel blouse from Charlotte Russe, size 24. Sold out, similar here

Your Mama Ain’t Always Right

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I. Love. This. Dress. I love it almost as much as the invisible black dress I’ve worn 12,657,921 times since I bought it from ASOS last March. Guess where I bought this dress from? ASOS! ASOS Curve, to be exact. They have such a great selection of plus size clothing. I was asked the other day what plus size brands are my favorite, and I have to say if I had to purchase from only one brand forevermore…it would be ASOS (this is not a sponsored post! I just love them that much).

It looks kinda like a sack, you say? HELL YEAH IT DOES!!! That’s exactly what I love about it. It just skims away from my body, there’s nothing to shift or tug or adjust. It’s like wearing your nightgown out in public. And we all know that’s my Fashion Holy Grail 🙂

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In spite of it being sack-like, I think it falls nicely in the category of “minimal.” It has very simple, clean lines…the only detail being the ribbing on the body (the sleeves are smooth), which seems a little spage-agey to me. It reminds me of the Robot’s arms&legs from Lost in Space.

My mother used to say you couldn’t mix black and navy. I happen to think black and navy is very chic. Mama ain’t always right.

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What did I tell you?? There’s always one…

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We shot this in the West End of Long Beach, a charming beachy community. It turns out there’s a story behind this be-flagged box in the street. A resident of the street turned the car-blocking (it’s a narrow one-way street) planter into a memorial when he discovered that a neighbor’s daughter was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. He painted the planter, added the flag pole and flags and put a protected September 11 remembrance flag on the base. He regularly updates the memorial with plants or flowers and decorations appropriate to season or holiday.

My friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me took these photos. We’ve been taking turns photographing one another for our respective blogs.

What fashion advice do *you* ignore?

What I Wore:

  • Asos Curve Ripple Stitch navy knit dress, size 26
  • Black faux leather moto jacket by Bongo, via Sears, 3x
  • Black footless fleece-lined tights from Maurice’s, 3x
  • Faux black leather booties from Avenue