What Did I Buy?! Plus BKLYN

IMG_7155
Me, owner Alexis Krase and Marcy Cruz

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

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

So let’s play What Did I Buy?!

IMG_7146
Junarose, size 24
IMG_7142
Junarose, size 22
IMG_7147
Magical Unicorn dress, size 24

What do y’all think?

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

Advertisements

Week in Review: Week 59

It is a sunny but still windy and cool day here on Long Island. I have a day filled with running errands, cleaning out my disgusting car, taking the dog (and me) somewhere for a walk and change of scenery, then a quiet evening with a movie and early to bed. The best news this week, I doubt I’ve ever mentioned my ^&%#! insomnia here, but it’s been EVEN worse since the surgery – as though things have shifted around and when I lay down something presses on my bladder and makes the worst ache if I do not wake up immediately to get up and pee. And getting in and out of bed is still enough of a process that it wakes me up even more, UGH. But the GOOD NEWS part is that just two nights ago I was actually able to lay for a little bit on my side again! I’m a side sleeper, but I’ve only been able to be on my back since the surgery 3½ weeks ago, so WHAT a relief to finally have a little bit of normalcy and comfort. In Medical-Land, so many things seem to take so much longer to return to normal than you think they should. So Yay.

I went back to work this week for a full week. My wonderful officemates Tori and Jen had decorated my desk with balloons and banners and there was a little “nest” of goodies on my desk – they are just the sweetest. I’m so fortunate to get to spend my work days with them.

IMG_6504

While I’m not feeling especially energetic, I’m powering through and trying to walk every other day. My baby step regimen is:

Week 1: Walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back for a total of 10 minutes

Week 2: Walk 6 minutes out and 6 minutes back for a total of 12 minutes

Week 3: Walk 7 minutes out and 7 minutes back for a total of 14 minutes

You get the picture. Monday will start Week 3. I’m very slowly working up to walks of 20 then 30 minutes. I may back-slide during chemo, I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel then. But at least it’s a schedule that I’m adhering to. And I am walking S-L-O-O-O-W. My heel still hurts and that keeps me slowed down as well. Caleb likes the walks when we’re somewhere he can be offlead and sniff around at his leisure. In his old age he’s gone pretty deaf so I can’t let him offlead when we’re anywhere near anything, like a road or people or other dogs, cuz he just doesn’t hear me calling him. And I think there’s a little senility as he just sort of wanders off and then loses track of where I am. Because it doesn’t seem to occur to him to turn his head to the right or left to look for me. It’s sad to watch someone you love get old.

IMG_6512

A dear friend did this cross-stitch for me, “What Cancer Cannot Do.” That was a lovely surprise to get in the mail this week.

IMG_6513

Caleb: Master of His Domain. He needs a good bath and haircut. But he loves the big tuffet that his Uncle Russell got for him.

IMG_6534

And just to keep this at least a LITTLE fashiony…here is a try-on of an outfit I ordered from Old Navy…that sadly will be going back. Old Navy plus size sizing is so all-over-the-place. Sometimes things are ginormous on me and sometimes they’re way too snug. These are really soft rayon blush cropped pants in a 3x and I couldn’t even zip them up. Part of that could be a little vestigial swelling still left around my abdomen and hips, though they’re feeling pretty normal again. And the top was also snug around the same area, while too loose in the bust. I’m really short on warm weather outfits and the flurry of ordering and returning continues until I hit on a couple wins.

IMG_6549

My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?

IMG_6552

This is a pic my daughter just sent me from while she was here and walked down a bit of beach to see the sunset. It’s just a nice memory of being with her and being OUTSIDE after being cooped up in the hospital for so long.

IMG_6553

So, in other news, I have had both the radiation and chemo consults with my “original” team – the doctors associated with my surgeon’s office. On Monday I have a consult scheduled with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to see what, if anything, they would do differently…and then I have to make the decision of who to go with so we can get this show on the road. It’s hard to make the decision because I can already see that I will not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. So wish me luck!

And Great News – I’m actually doing a photoshoot tomorrow! Yippee. Will feel good to be “blog productive” again. So you can look forward to a springy outfit post later this week.

Thanks for all your comments, emails, and kind words – I really appreciate them.

Wanted: A Plus Size Miracle

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-blogger-2-2-17-4-resized

This cardigan is one of my favorite purchases of the fall/winter. It’s soft and cozy and moozhy* and warm (love) without being overly thick and stiff and bulky (hate). I would love more like this. But here’s the thing – there are *very* few plus size options in the moozhy realm. Site after site, when you search on “sweaters,” there is a plethora of thin knits, mostly crew and v-neck, or cowl neck (a personal NON-favorite)…and they try and pass off jersey-type knits as “sweaters.” I am on the search for more textural knits, chunky knits. It’s like finding a needle in the haystack for this plus-size gal…whereas my straight size sisters have TONS of options. Maybe the designers think the plus size gals are fluffy ENOUGH, we don’t need fluffy sweaters ADDING to our “bulk”?? Ahem. It’s a hard cold world out there. This plus size girl wants all the comfy cozy FLUFFY she can get!

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-blogger-2-2-17-3-resized

Question: if the average woman’s size in the US is 16, then why are there SO many more sizes available UNDER size 16 and so FEW sizes available ABOVE 16?. If you search at, say, Nordstrom, which actually HAS a large plus size section (relatively speaking), on “sweater,” in the straight-size section you get 2000-ish results. If you search on sweater under plus sizes….184. Come on! And OF those whopping 184 plus size sweater options, how many are something other than a fine, thin knit?? VERY. FEW. Where’s the boucle? Where’s the chenille? Where are the super-soft chunky knits? Where are the big half-your-face covering turtlenecks? I’m not saying they don’t exist AT ALL, but there are very VERY few of them. I think there are two. And I own them both (funny not funny).

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-blogger-2-2-17-9-resized

And to complicate matters even further…I would like to start moving my grey cold weather palette towards blush, oatmeal, soft soft pink as we head (soon. right? soon?) towards milder weather. I see these colors EVERYWHERE online. In shops, on fashion bloggers, on Instagram. But guess what? That palette virtually Does Not Exist in plus sizes. WTF??? Is it too much to ask for a cozy soft textural blush knit cardigan? Is it? Apparently it is.

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-blogger-2-2-17-8-resized

Grr. You know what else is annoying (I’m on a roll now!)?? Going into a store that carries “straight and plus sizes,” and seeing rack after rack after rack after RACK of straight sizes…and I’m talking the LONG racks, like at TJ Maxx or Burlington or Nordstrom Rack or Macy’s Backstage…and seeing two racks – two SHORT racks for plus sizes. IF PLUS SIZE WOMEN MAKE UP HALF THE FEMALE CLOTHES-WEARING POPULATION, WHY DO WE ONLY HAVE LIKE 10% (this is an estimated “eyeballed” estimate) OF THE CLOTHING OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO US??? How does that make sense??

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-blogger-2-2-17-7-resized

Sigh. I just want a pretty sweater. I’m not talking a giant miracle here. Or maybe I am. I’d like a plus-sized miracle, please.

fashion-schlub-bettye-rainwater-plus-size-blogger-2-2-17-5-resized

So  if you have been challenged by this same thing, there are some things you can do. When I get those little pop-ups on online shopping sites that say “how’d we do?” or “how was your shopping experience?” I take the time to respond. I say, “Gosh, you have so many great items! I really want to buy Item X but I don’t see it in a Size 24. Where do you keep the sizes for ALL the ladies??” Now I know perfectly well they don’t CARRY size 24 (or 20, 18, 16, 14 and maybe even 12…and CERTAINLY not size 26, 28 or 30), but I’m trying to make the point that MY MONEY IS JUST AS VALUABLE AS THE SIZE 0-10 GIRLS, WHY DON’T YOU WANT IT?

I’ve also been thinking about getting together a letter-writing campaign to straight size brands saying essentially the above “we want your nice things, we want to give you our money, please make this possible.”

Blogger Sara Chiwaya at Curvily started a hashtag campaign a few years ago called #PlusSizePlease…in which if you see a straight size item you wish was in a plus size, you take a pic and put it on social media with the brand’s name and hashtag #PlusSizePlease. Read more about it here . I don’t know how active this is any more but it could (and SHOULD!) be resurrected.

Vent over.

*moozhy: my word for soft, cozy, warm, textural, maybe a little puffy

What I’m Wearing:

From the Fitting Room: Avenue

It’s all this shirt’s fault. I’d had no intention of clothes shopping so soon after Christmas…but Avenue is right next to the doctor’s office and this shirt was hanging in the window and it looked like something I could combine with several other pieces in my wardrobe, so…I drove away. Ha. Tricked ya!

Went home, had some lunch. Could Not Stop Thinking About the Shirt. Drove BACK to Avenue. Found the shirt inside…and as long as I was going into the fitting room anyway I grabbed a couple other things on the way.

img_5804

In the end, the plaid blouse did not pass muster. It was too…flimsy. It was a lightweight rayon and didn’t have enough body to stand up under a cardigan, which is what I wanted it for. So back it went.

BUT…I *have* been needing a couple more athleisure type tops to wear over leggings and sneakers, and this soft supple sweatshirt w cute asymmetric layered bottom filled the bill. It came home with me.

img_5812

AND…two very nice lightweight long-sleeved tees – a light grey and a cream (cream not shown)…also made their way into my bag…

img_5809

And THIS, waterfall thermal knit hoodie, very soft, very fluid, easy to wear…also came home with me. It looks nice over either of the long-sleeved tees.

img_5810

So, for once a SUCCESSFUL try-on…and just when I’d been sort of down on Avenue. Sorry, old friend. You can still be my resource for leggings and sporty tops.

What I’m Wearing:

Nordstrom Rack Dressing Room Try-on

I’ve been working on my fall/winter wardrobe for the past few weeks. I’ve bought mostly on-line from Old Navy, ASOS and H&M. But I was in Nordstrom Rack on a shoe hunt (the ongoing shoe hunt!) yesterday so took a quick peek through the plus section and found a few things worth trying on (why do they keep stores So HOT?!?). Let me know what you think…

img_3749

Without really intending to, I’m winding up with a very black/white/grey monochromatic palette this season. I did buy one wine dress from JCPenney’s Plus Boutique but I’m having such a hard time finding the right color/style shoes for it I think I’m just going to return the dress!

I’m *always* on the hunt for white shirts – a basic tee and a button-down at the very least. It sounds SO simple, “oh, they’re EVERYWHERE!” But…nope. I thought this was cute with the added interest of the diagonal pleating…but it is too sheer and clingy. Nope. Pass. The search continues!

This one just made me laugh. I liked the color, stripes, and the irony, but…nope. Pass.

img_3754

I knew this was gonna be a little too schlubby for me, and the color was lighter than I like, but it was marked down super low, like under $10 so I thought it was worth a try. Pass.

img_3755

This one I’m a little on the fence about. I’m going to need a slightly warmer coat than my olive green rayon one (seen crumpled on the shelf here) in another month or so. This was like thick but soft and stretchy sweatshirty outside with soft grey plush inside. It was hard for me to judge because I was SO hot in the store that I was afraid it would be TOO warm for me (I run hot) even in the late fall/early winter…plus, it had no pockets. A jacket needs pockets. And I’m afraid that plush lining will be very static-causing. Plus, I’m trying to move away a bit from the handkerchief/sharkbite/high-low type things and towards more classic cuts that will still look good next year and even the year after that. So, I liked it, it was comfortable, I need something sort of like it, but…I feel there’s something better out there for me.

I DID buy a pair of chestnut brown slightly platform sandals that I’d seen a couple months back but didn’t want to spend the money when summer was almost over…but I found myself thinking on so many mornings when I would get dressed, “if only I had those sandals, they would be PERFECT with this outfit!” Well, they were STILL THERE, Miracle #1, and Miracle #2, they were now on sale, so I grabbed them up – even though I may not get any wear out of them this year, I’ll be ahead of the game for Warm Weather 2017!

So the white shirt hunt continues, as does the one for fall/winter shoes. I know what I WANT in my MIND, now I just need to find them in REALITY, NOT in leather, that fit and that I can afford 🙂

How’s your fall shopping going? I feel that I always have something in my mind that I can never find in stores, it’s very frustrating!