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…

Untitled-1

…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!

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0001

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.

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0002

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.

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0011

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!!!

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0010

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!

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0004

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!

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0009

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!

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0005

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

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0008

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0003

Fashion Schlub Bettye Rainwater plus size fashion blogger20171202_0007

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!

Advertisements

One Dress: Three Outfits

penneys-dress-collage

a) HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Okay, so, one of my requirements for new items to be added to my wardrobe is that they must be versatile. I ask myself if an item I’m coveting can be worn three different ways. If not…it has to REALLY have something else going for it. I especially like pieces that can be dressed up *and* down just by switching out accessories.

This is one of those items. I got this dress from JC Penney’s Boutique+ plus size line. I love the fabric and fit, it floats across my body barely touching it and has a lot of swing and movement when I walk. And it’s simple without being boring – the lace-up detail at the neck gives it a little sumpn-sumpn. And it dresses up and down very nicely. I’ve styled it here for a date look, out for a drink with friends, and a comfortable work look.

For the date look, I’ve worn it with over the knee boots and a slightly sparkly cardigan…some swingy earrings and a little arm bling.

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-1-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-2

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-4-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-5-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-7-resized

I would wear the next look out in the evening for cocktails with friends (anyone wanna go out for cocktails?), with my faux leather moto jacket, black booties…and dangly brushed silver earrings that I forgot to photograph. Bad blogger. Bad!

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-8-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-10-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-9-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-12-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-11-resized

And lastly, a comfortable work or afternoon at the coffee shop outfit. A cozy longline cardigan, low-heeled booties and this darling ring my daughter got for me.

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-17-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-13-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-15-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-19-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-12-28-16-18-cropped-resized

I’d like to thank my new blogger friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me who took these photographs – she did a really good job, don’t you think?

What I’m Wearing:

  • Wine swing dress, 3x, JC Penney Boutique+
  • Black sequin cardigan, 3x, TJ Maxx (old), similar here and here
  • Black boots, Avenue (old), similar here
  • Black Bongo faux leather moto jacket (old), similar here
  • Black faux leather Myla booties, Avenue
  • Taupe longline duster cardigan, INC from Macy*s (old)

Fake Out!

My high school (and beyond) boyfriend used to call make-up “fake out,” which, really, I guess it is. We can say we’re “highlighting” or “accentuating,” but really we’re CHANGING. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s just interesting. That SO many women spend time and money on doing things to change the way we look. Talk about body positivity (which is a big topic for another day)!!!

I don’t wear MUCH makeup, not for any philosophical reason, just cuz I never really learned to apply things correctly and it’s all expensive and time consuming, yadda yadda yadda.

But I wear a LITTLE. Mascara is my “must wear” item, otherwise I feel like my eyes entirely disappear. WHO CARES? Apparently I do, ha.

And I went through A Lipstick Phase in the mid-90s. My (now ex-) husband would put a new lipstick in my Christmas stocking every year cuz he loved a RED lip. It was always too bold, too HEY!!! LOOK AT ME!!! for me, and I don’t think I ever wore any of the Christmas stocking lipsticks (sorry, ex). But it did get me to try OTHER (less in your face) lip colors…and 20-something years later I’m still looking for the right shade and formula!!!

It’s SO hard to tell how a color will look on you and it’s expensive to buy a new one, try it on and have it Not Be Right and be out the $4-25!!! Kate at The Small Things blog (this same post talked about how she researches makeup purchases online, I highly recommend reading it as I found it very useful) convinced me (well, not her PERSONALLY, but reading her blog, ha ha) to RETURN makeup and beauty products if they are not to your satisfaction. And boy, most of them are NOT!!! Amiright?!?!

Which is exactly what happened here. The pictures that follow may horrify you. You’ve been warned. They’re just crappy close-up cell phone shots. Again, YBW.

This is a lipstick, NYX (that I keep reading wonderful things about), they just didn’t have the shade I was looking for and I was in Lipstick Buying Mode, so I improvised. And things went horribly wrong. But I just want to point out HOW different the color looks in the tube (lovely) vs. on my lips (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane). Okay, here goes nothing (somehow this feels more terrifying to me than posting the pictures of me in the bathing suits!!!)

lipstick-travesty-9-24-16

Ha! How did THAT color come out of THAT tube? Egads! Not what I was going for At All.

So, what is the moral of this long story?

  • Do your homework before purchasing makeup/health&beauty stuff.
  • Know that you CAN return opened products! I’ve already returned the day-glo pink lipstick, No Questions Asked 🙂

What sort of experiences have you had with buying beauty products and having them NOT be what you thought they were going to be?

Boho: To Be or Not to Be

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-9-26-16-1-resized

This item is part of an ongoing personal exercise in “I like this style THEORETICALLY, but I just don’t Feel Like ME in it.” I’ve mentioned several times that I really like the boho hippie style. But I’m coming to realize that there’s a big difference between LIKING a style…and feeling RIGHT in it. And I’m finally really tightening my purchasing editing – I can LIKE things without BUYING them…because they’re just not right for me. I’m grateful for a rental service like Gwynnie Bee because I can wear items for a day that I liked the looks of…and decide over time, not just in a few minutes in a dressing room, whether or not I feel good in them.

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-9-26-16-6-resized

This colorful high-low vest from Hemant & Nandita was fun to wear one time. It was floaty and swirly. It made a great topper over simple jeans and a tee and served to elevate the basic outfit.

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-9-26-16-3-resized

Do you like trying things outside your comfort zone? I think it’s fun now and then…and helps me narrow down what my style *really* is. I’m getting there!

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-9-26-16-5-resized

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-9-26-16-4-resized

Do you think you might like to try Gwynnie Bee? It’s a clothing rental service for sizes 10-32. And the first month is FREE! If you want to give it a try (and you know you want to), just click the banner ad below. I’ve been a member for almost 2 years and I never stick with *anything*!

Fall_banner_30DF

If you do join through this affiliate link, I will get a small commission. But I wouldn’t recommend the company if I didn’t REALLY love them (and I do).

What I’m Wearing:

I Wore the Same Dress to Work All Week…and the World Didn’t End

I don’t even think anyone noticed! Maybe the girls I share an office with *noticed,* but they’re both too nice to say anything 🙂  But I do think the point is that maybe we don’t need as many clothes as we think we do – unless you wear really striking or outrageous things, most people don’t even really notice.

I wore the invisible black dress (MAN am I getting my money’s worth of that thing!!!) all week to work (granted it was a 4-day work week due to Labor Day Monday, but I wore the dress Monday, too – I just don’t have a picture), just accessorized differently every day. So the OUTFIT looked different even though the base was the same. And I did wash it in the sink Wednesday night…not that I’m rolling around in the dirt at work (usually), but I do spill food on myself a lot (I call my boobs “food catchers,” cuz that’s where stuff ends up).

And WHY did I do this, really? After a week’s vacation, one of the most annoying things to think about when returning to work is “WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR???” And I just thought it would be so lovely to wear my favorite, most comfortable, easiest to accessorize dress every day, so I thought I’d do this little experiment and see if anyone noticed, said anything, whatever. And it was a success!

Tuesday I wore the dress sleeveless with black floral sandals.

1

Wednesday I wore a thrifted flax linen shirt over top.

2

Thursday was Kimono #1 with a druzy pendant necklace from Charming Charlie.

3

And Friday was Kimono #2 and flats

4

So, the next time you’re in a quandary about what to wear and you’re tempted to wear an item from the day before…trust me, no one’s going to notice. Or care.

Now I’ve got to get ready to go to a fundraiser tonight…AND FIGURE OUT WHAT I’M GOING TO WEAR!!!

Plus Size Summer Outfit Review

I know, I know, I’m the leading proponent of SUMMER’S NOT OVER but…there will not be any new summer OUTFITS this year, so I feel I can do this now.

I think I did pretty well with my summer clothes shopping this year, I kept my “want” list tightly edited and really didn’t get anything that I wasn’t happy with or didn’t get a lot of wear out of. Usually there’s at least a couple duds that I have buyer’s remorse over. My only complaint is that I never got as *many* items as I wanted. My wardrobe is the opposite of many people’s, in that I don’t have too MUCH stuff, I have too little. Which is why the outfit posts got pretty spare for the past month, because I’ve already shown everything!

So I’m going to review my favorite outfits, and why they worked so well…and share one or two of my least favorites and why they got a little less wear than the others. I like to review like this, it helps me in shopping for NEXT season, in this case FALL WINTER, making note of lessons learned through success *and* failure…and what I might want to do differently next time.

My very favorite item was this black sleeveless swing dress from Asos Curve, “The Invisible Dress.” I’ve had it since March and it’s gotten a TON of wear, has washed well (hand washed cold water, hung to dry) and looked good both on its own and with secondary pieces over top. I would be very happy with this exact dress in navy and taupe and grey and…yeah.

img_3152

My second favorite item was this navy and white stripe dress from Rainbow. It was $12.99. Come on. I wore it tons as well, until I broke it 😦  I’ll explain that in an upcoming post.

My two other favorite dresses this summer were Denim 1 and Denim 2.

fashion schlub plus size fashion 6.20.16 10 resized
Old Navy Pintuck Trapeze Tencel Dress 

I had a bit of internal fashion struggle before I could wear this one to work because it seemed so nightgownlike to me. If I didn’t have to go to a workplace every day, this dress would be on heavy repeat. Because it IS like wearing a nightgown!

fashion schlub plus size fashion 6.20.16 2 resized
Rachel Roy Tencel High-Low Dress

This one was definitely more work-friendly, but if I had to choose (which I never did!) I would let this one go and keep the nightgown one.

fashion schlub plus size 6.23.16 4 resized

And a perennial favorite for like 10 years, seriously (though this may be it’s last summer)…this Target Mossimmo dress.

Some other summer faves were from Gwynnie Bee…

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 2 resized
Sangria Blue Dipped Floral Dress
IMG_2180
Alice & You Dress in Ditsy Floral Print

And moving away from dresses, the is the year I discovered I love tunics over leggings…and this was my favorite outfit of that type.

IMG_0795

Olive green sleeveless tunic from Bobeau via Nordstrom Rack. When it was still a little cool I wore this crochet knit black duster/cardi from Avenue, and as it got warmer and I learned the SO WHAT IF MY ARMS ARE FAT philosophy, I wore it sleeveless.

So what do *most* of my favorite items have in common? NO WAIST. No elastic or seam or belts. I feel so much better in a swing or trapeze style dress…no futzing all day with an elastic waistband or feeling like a maternity case when my belly protrudes out below an empire seam. They’re more challenging to find, but for me, worth the time and effort.

My *least* favorite purchase for summer was this sagey green knit dress from BooHoo…

img_0624

I fell for the color and the super-soft stretchy knit fabric…but see how the elastic empire waist right under my boobs makes my stomach appear to be BURSTING with child?? Ha. Not the look I’m going for.

So this fall I will be looking for leggings, tunics or oversized sweaters and blouses, and waistless dresses.

I think it’s valuable to assess at the end of each season and consider what worked for you and what didn’t, to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

What were your fashion failures and successes this summer?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Are you following Fashion Schlub? It’s easy to do by clicking the blue “FOLLOW” button over there on the right, and you’ll get a gentle email notification anytime I put up a new blog post. I love reading your comments, so please follow, like and comment!

My Week in Review: Week 24

As weeks go, this one was okay…my last week of work before VACATION (ahhh…and the angels sang from on high)…and missed two days due to kidney stone stuff…dog-sitting my landlord’s dogs while they’re in Portugal…and having evening outings with my girlfriend who’s staying with me while she looks for an apartment on Long Island.

IMG_2777

I went to my niece’s (really my ex’s *other* daughter, but niece is easier) 16th Birthday/Cousins Party…and got to see my baby for a bit. Isn’t she a pretty baby?? I saw a lot of my ex’s family that I haven’t seen in over 20 years. Wow.

IMG_2836

We went out for $2 Taco Night (but no tacos for me, just a sad pile of soggy steamed vegetables….excuse me I mean a GRILLED VEGETABLE TOWER – which is what they were calling it on the menu. Uhm…no). ANYWAY, we did a little photo-shoot beforehand along the dock…and there were DEER. I really shouldn’t be so excited, there are deer everywhere in Suffolk county (eastern half of Long Island). People refer to them as rats there are so many. But I still think they’re pretty and I still get excited to see them.

IMG_2799

On Tuesday I took Caleb to work with me for a little rest. He thought the deflated bounce house made a good dog bed.

IMG_2807

I went on a little road trip to pick up some invitations from the printer for our upcoming Wine Tasting…and saw this front yard. I’m practicing being less judgmental so I’ll just leave this here and not say a word.

I am truly a horrible person.

bowie 8.25.16

Then our way to Beach Hut for $12 drinks, we stopped at my friend Jen’s house to check in on her cats Bowie and Jameson while they’re in Thailand (is everyone away but me??). Jameson made himself scarce but Bowie is my new best friend. He greeted us at the door and performed tricks for us on command.

Yes, I wear that dress A Lot.

IMG_2843

After two days of pain and pain-killer withdrawal, I finally felt up to a little art lesson with my friend Debbie. She’s an amazing artist. She can draw and paint ANYTHING. I can sketch a pretty decent cube. And therein ends my artistic talents. But we practiced some basic concepts like shadow and…other things. Mostly I just dipped my paint in stuff and made blobs on the paper. My favorite thing is the little blob of wavy sea grass at the bottom of the page. I might become a wavy sea grass artist. But I won’t quit my day job just yet.

IMG_2870

Made it back to work for The Last Day Before Vacation (cue angels), wrapped up some things I’d been working on…then to celebrate we headed down to Northport for some music in the park with snacks and wine. And iced tea. That I spilled as soon as we got there.

And now it’s Saturday and The First Actual Day of Vacation. But I’ll save that for y’all for next week.

What are *you* doing for vacation?

Oh, Deer!

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

I feel like I say that a lot 🙂

Anyway, we did a quick photo shoot last night before dinner at a nearby marina…and there are deer there, too! This pic is not my favorite of me, but…DEER.

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.22.16 1 resized

My girlfriend Debbie has been staying with me for a little while, she’s between homes at the moment while deciding whether to return to Long Island after many many years…or to upstate New York after an absence of just a few months. Upstate seems to have many more items on the “pro” list, and yet…

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.22.16 3 resized

Long Island has beaches and marinas and parks and convenient shopping and roadways and it’s close to the city…and DEER. It’s a tough call. I’ve been pretty anti-Long Island for a long time because it’s not where I *really* want to be (Brooklyn), but…I have to say, after Brooklyn, it’s probably my second choice of places to live at this point in my life.

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.22.16 4 resized

Do you *love* where you live? Or is it just The Place You Ended Up…because that’s where your parents raised you or you or your spouse got a job or it’s where you could afford?

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.22.16 2 resized

Anyway…this is an easy-to-wear dress, perfect for an easy evening out with a friend. Super stretchy, loose swingy skirt. Kinda felt like a nightgown! I’m drawn to clothing that feels or looks like sleepwear. I’m my mother’s daughter.

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.22.16 5 resized

She’s so lovely!

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.22.16 6 resized

This dress is the Robbie Bee Multi Chevron Print Dress In Blue (size 3x) and I got it through my Gwynnie Bee subscription.

You can get a 30-day Free Trial with Gwynnie Bee by following the link below.

SummerEssentials_B_336x280A

There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you buy or join something as a result of clicking the link I get a little cash reward…at no cost to you.

The photographer du jour was my longtime friend and artist Debbie Bollman. She does amazing, animal, sport and landscape paintings. Take a look! Thanks, Debbie!

My Week in Review: Week 23

Whirl. Wind. This week has been a whirlwind. Not bad, just BIZZY. I have a houseguest. And her dog. And was finishing up some projects at work. And starting on new ones. And some other things. And thinking about OTHER other things. So my brain has been on overdrive. I need a little veg out time soon to re-charge. One more week til vacation. Then…NOTHING. I want a whole lot of NOTHING on vacation 🙂 Sleeping late. Napping in the afternoon. Reading in the air conditioning. Sitting on the beach listening to the surf. Yup. That’s The Plan.

But here’s some of this past week…

IMG_2524

The dogs liked the beach.

IMG_2560

Inspirational greeting card sky.

IMG_2581

The hushed pine forest.

IMG_2583

Photo shoot in 9million degrees.

IMG_2586

Watermelon gazpacho. Yum. Made by someone other than me. Even yummier.

IMG_2597

Nautical spirit day at work. Have you seen my missing white sneaker?

IMG_2694

Dusk at the beach.

IMG_2702

Puppy-sitting at work.

IMG_2713

$12 Long Island Iced Tea. They’re STRONG. Yay.

IMG_2715

Floating lanterns at a beach wedding we happened upon.

IMG_2719

Photobooth at Sibling Day work. I’ll have some cajun fries with that, please.

IMG_2765

HORSE!!!

IMG_2763

I went to this laser light show in the 70s and again last night. I believe I have filled my lifetime quota.

 

The Perfect Date Dress

Want to go out with me? Cuz I have the perfect date dress!

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 2 resized

What makes a good date dress? Anything that makes you feel flirty and pretty! It should be easy to wear and comfortable. No one wants to be worried about parts slipping out or having to suck your tummy in. It’s nice if it looks a *little* more special than something you’d wear to work or out with girlfriends. And I think a little bit of va-va-voom never hurts -it makes *you* feel a little sexy…and HIM feel excited and proud to be out with you. A bit of a neckline plunge, or some snugness at your hips showing off your curves, or a hemline that shows off your legs – pick one and have fun!

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 5 resized

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16  4 resized

This dress fills the bill for me with the bodice, the plunging v neckline and even the wide straps. It has sort of a “Marilyn Monroe standing over the heating grate” vibe to me. But then the skirt is pleated and full, very prim and proper – I like the contrast.

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 3 resizedfashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 7 resizedAnd it’s twirly and swingy. Those are high priorities for me. fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 1 resized

I’m wearing a new bracelet I actually bought for myself (GASP). It was from a cute little “reclaimed and vintage” shop in Northport Village. I didn’t get the jewelry-maker’s card but the name of the shop is True Blue Village. They had home decor and gifts and really interesting handmade jewelry. I already know the piece I’m going to get next – maybe a birthday present to myself.

fashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 6 resizedfashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 8 resizedfashion schlub plus size bettye rainwater 8.14.16 9 resized

This darling dress is the Sangria Blue Dipped Flower Dress and I got it through my Gwynnie Bee subscription.

You can get a 30-day Free Trial with Gwynnie Bee by following the link below.

SummerEssentials_B_336x280A

There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you buy or join something as a result of clicking the link I get a little cash reward…at no cost to you.

The photographer du jour was my longtime friend and artist Debbie Bollman. She does amazing, animal, sport and landscape paintings. Take a look! Thanks, Debbie!