Week in Review: Week 109

Another week. Those suckers are really piling up, huh??

Cat-sitting.

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The podiatrist did magic and I had practically pain-free feet for a couple days. It’s wearing off now and I go back tomorrow to see what’s next.

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Puppy-sitting.

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The trees have eyes.

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Snow….

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And more snow. Caleb had a really good week. I’m grateful.

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Hide-and-seek.

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The kids.

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I went for a new mop-head, ie, Target is the Devil’s Work.

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Lots of busy things in the week ahead – work is very busy, some things are going to get done around the apartment so I need to ready my space for that and I have another podiatrist appointment. I’m sort of feeling on auto-pilot, trying to get done everything that needs to get done without stressing. If I can get through to Friday this week I think I’ll be okay.

Hope you’re having a calmer week.

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My 10 Favorite Outfits of 2017

AKA It Was Too Cold Last Week to Get a New Outfit Photographed (if I’m being honest) So Let Me Recycle Some from Last Year. In my defense there WAS a snow bombogenesis cyclone, or whatever they ended up calling it. Translation: there was a lot of snow, a LOT of wind, and temperatures in the single digits all week. I thought I would be able to make some new outfits out of the items from last week’s winter haul, but in reality I sent everything back except one thing – that’s a conversation for another day. So, blah blah blah, I have nothing new to post this week. But I do like taking a look back over the past year and revisiting my outfits, sharing with you what worked or didn’t work for me. So. That’s what I’m gonna do!

#10 – Old Navy striped dress with Charlotte Russe tencel button-down and my beloved Superga velcro sneakers. I love an easy outfit. I love stripes. I love this tencel blouse over just about anything. Win win win.

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#9 – Hey look, the tencel button-down again! This time with a grey long sleeved tee from Avenue and this amazing Lucky Brand cardigan (rented from Gwynnie Bee), over Charlotte Russe cropped skinny jeans. I love the concept of layering, and it looks so great on slim straight bodies. I have a hard time making it work right, or look right to me, on ME. Still, this was a good attempt.

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#8 – This time I’m repeating the Charlotte Russe skinny jeans…now with a white linen blend tee from J. Jill and a dreamy Johnny Was kimono rented via Gwynnie Bee. This kimono was so so pretty.

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#7 – Hey, guess what I’m wearing again? The Charlotte Russe skinny jeans and the linen blend tee from J. Jill. This time with a lightweight cardigan from Torrid. And my Supergas. First day wearing them. And I fell on a hill and almost rolled into the pond in them!

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#6 – Ah, the much-loved (and much-worn!) magic black (or maybe it’s black magic!) swing dress from Asos…with the much sought-after denim jacket from JC Penneys, a borrowed leopard scarf, my Gorjana hoop earrings from Nordstrom, with lined footless tights from Maurice’s and black booties from Avenue. Super comfy and can go just about anywhere.

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#5 – Another Old Navy jersey knit dress with the ochre chenille cardigan from Target that I am UB-SESSED with. The color is amazing, it’s super soft and cozy…and the length is perfect for dresses or pants. Same tights and boots as above.  Vintage Echo scarf that belonged to my mother. Thanks, Mommy!

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#4 – A super cute botanical print top by Junarose from PlusBKLYN under olive green fleece cardigan from Rainbow, black leggings by Faded Glory from Walmart, with my comfiest sneakers from Adidas.

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#3 – Uh-huh. I wore a dress that looks like vintage Christmas wrapping paper. I’m a real bad-ass. Come on – how cute is it?? The dress is from Cow Cow, the black cardi is Old Navy…tights and booties same as above.

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#2 – Nothing dramatic here, but a solid pulled together look that I’ll wear a gazillion times. Old Navy striped jersey knit dress (yes, I have a lot of them!), Old Navy cardigan, golden mustard scarf from TJ Maxx, otk boots from Avenue.

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And my #1 Favorite Outfit of 2017 is this amazing bird print dress by Junarose, from PlusBKLYN. I know this isn’t much of an “outfit,” it’s just a stand-alone dress. But that’s what makes it So Perfect!

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I’m sure you noticed there’s a lot of repetition among my favorite outfits. I’m grateful to have so many pieces I like enough to wear repeatedly! I feel like I’ve chosen well when something gets a lot of wear.

I’m not putting links to the items cuz they’re all old and out of stock (well, the two Junarose items might still be available on the PlusBKLYN site – they were still there the last time I browsed there). But they’re mostly such basic items, each of the mentioned sites probably has something extremely similar.

Thanks for taking the little walk down memory lane with me!

xoxo

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:

  • Junarose Pattern Detailed Dress, size 24. Old. Comparable available here and here.
  • Women’s Fashion Scarf, Target
  • Superga Velcro Strap Sneaker, no longer available. Similar here and here.
  • Cropped denim jacket, Maurice’s – no longer available, similar here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.

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.

How to Wear a Summer Dress All Year Long

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 a few years ago 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). This technique allows me to get wear out of this summer dress all year long!

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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ASOS Curve Sleeveless Swing Dress, size 22 (old). Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size / Who What Wear polkadot blouse via Target, size 22 (old). Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.

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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Bongo Plus Size Faux Leather Moto Jacket, size 22 (old). Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.

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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Plus size chambray blouse from Charlotte Russe, size 3x (old). Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.

Side Note: At the time I wrote this post I did 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 sometimes 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 🙂

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.

Exmas Eve

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My ex-husband and his new wife and family are thoughtful enough to invite me to their house each year for Xmas Eve dinner and festivities (do you get it now? EX-mas Eve? How long do you think I’ve been waiting to use THAT title?!?). Modern Family, amiright??

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It had been rainy all day but we had a little sun-show in the late afternoon so the girl and I ran out to do a quick photo shoot of my Christmas Eve outfit. I opted for low-key and comfy in this (favorite) black and white striped swing dress from Old Navy under the army green cascade vest by Ava & Viv at Target. A super cute infinity scarf from one of my sweet work officemates (the other one gave me Peppermint Moonshine !!! So no less sweet) kept my neck warm. I find that if my feet, neck, hands and ears are warm, I’m good. I can manage with just a light jacket. I think my knee-high brown boots would have worked here, too, but…they shrunk since last winter.

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At what age is it still appropriate to sit on the floor with the animals at parties and social gatherings? Cuz I’d like to go back to that age, please and thank you.

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Do you dress fancy or comfy for the holidays? Being plus size, comfort is paramount. I try to be color appropriate, but over the years I have definitely moved away from “dressed up” to more comfy. I remember the days of buying a “holiday outfit,” that would only get worn once or twice. Those days are gone! I prefer to invest my clothing budget in a coat or bra or something that I’m going to wear Every Day.

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I usually bring my boy Caleb to the ex’es…but he’s just been so dotty, I didn’t want him to get in trouble for not hearing people tell him to move or go lay down or whatever. This is Hannah, the matriarch of the family. She’s the sweetest dog on the planet. And that’s my baby girl, fancy in a red dress.

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I feel like I belong in the woods in this outfit. I am a Holiday Woodland Sprite. I may or may not have had a nip or two of Peppermint Moonshine this day.

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I love watching the kids open their gifts.

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These booties from Avenue are super comfy. They’re wide width and have like a tongue opening at the front so they’re not tight across the front of my fat shins like most booties are. I wish I could find something a little sleeker looking that also fit well but…such is life.

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The universal sign for DON’T. TAKE. MY. PICTURE. Not hard to guess whose sister SHE is.

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Do you ever shop online at ASOS? You should. Besides having amazing selections of both straight and plus sizes, they have a video feature called “Catwalk,” where you can see each and every item worn by a model and walked down the runway. In video you can tell much better what the fabric is like. Is it stiff and unmoving? Is it flowy and drapey? I love fabric that moves nicely like this vest.

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Somewhere in the world is a picture of me at 9 years old in a weird bathing suit at a park overlooking the ocean in La Jolla, California…making That. Same. Exact. Face. Apples, man.

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Thanks for joining me for Exmas Eve…I know I’m a little behind with this post but I’ve been busy. And sick. I have The Cough That Will Just Not Die. I think I need a milkshake.

What I’m Wearing:

  • Black and white striped swing dress from Old Navy, size 3x. No longer in stock, comparable here and here
  • Ava & Viv army green long layering vest from Target, size 3x, no longer available. Similar here
  • Avenue Myla Oxford Bootie No longer in stock. Similar here and here

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.

Target Try-On

It’s almost the winter solstice and I’m still trying to round out my wardrobe for the season. I am definitely lacking The Things that Go Under the Other Things. I have a few cardigans that right now really go over ONE thing, like a dress…and all the items in my closet need to do double or triple duty, so I’m looking for more layering pieces. I’m STILL looking for a white and grey tee or lightweight knit…a white button down blouse…and maybe a blushy nudey pink top. And a couple warm stand-alone (don’t need to go under or over something else) sweaters. So…as I hit Target weekly for tampons, etc., I always take a look through the plus size section. Here’s what I optimistically took into the dressing room with me last weekend.

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NOPE. Clearly.

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This was a better fit and more of a lightweight sweater vs. the first one that was a stretchy tee. But I don’t like having such a big “v” in the cold weather. This is an ongoing challenge I find with plus size tops – the neck-holes are too damn big. They’re too low and too wide.

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I have really wanted a grey heavy knit sweater. This is not it.

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Here’s what I’m finding about Ava&Viv fit – for ME. It seems to be sized for tall columnar bodies. I am neither tall not columnar. I am short. And stout. Like a teapot. I find Lane Bryant (and Ralph Lauren Woman, come to think of it!) are this same silhouette. As sizes go up, items get taller/longer rather than wider. I’m not a big Avenue fan anymore, style-wise, but they have more of a boxy, wide fit I find, which suits me better. I think I should stop wasting my time on Ava&Viv.

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And the trend continues. This wasn’t AWFUL. I like the color, I would like some wine in my wardrobe…but while it was long in the length and sleeves, it was too stretchy/clingy in the back. I felt like I was playing dress-up in grown-up’s clothes.

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And the last item, the only piece that was not Ava&Viv, was this camel Merona sleeveless blazer/vest. It was on the clearance rack and even though it was a 16 I thought maybe because it’s worn open and there are no sleeves, it MIGHT work. Nope.

Note: most everything I tried on was 40% off the ticket prices shown. But even with that discount, nothing was right or worth spending the money on.

The search continues. Sigh.

Where have you been finding nice winter plus size clothes, like sweaters with necks?

 

Simple Formula for Umpteen Outfits!

How many is umpteen? A LOT!

Like my favorite summer dress (seen here), an “invisible uniform” is a wonderful thing to have. Over the summer it was a simple black dress. Now in the fall it’s black leggings and a black tunic top. That’s the base. It’s comfy, it’s easy…and it’s invisible. It’s so…unremarkable…that people really won’t notice if you wear it again and again. It’s what you wear *with it* that makes it an outfit.

In this case, for fall, I’m layering several lightweight pieces over the base.

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A lightweight chambray tunic from Avenue creates one look…

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An army green rayon waterfall vest from Target creates another.

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And lastly, a faux suede fringed Cuprio vest over a chambray blouse from Target makes up a third look. I would also wear the vest alone over the leggings and tunics but I was trying to see how many looks I could create from my closet.

The only “rule” I give this, is the “over” piece should be at least as long as, if not longer than, the tunic.

As the weather gets colder I can switch out the thin leggings and flats for black skinny jeans and booties or knee-high boots and cozy long cardigans. I’d love a plush, deep wine longline cardi over the black base.

And a more casual “base” can be as simple as jeans and a white tee. The same “invisible” rule applies. You can put so many things on top of those two pieces to make completely different outfits – a colorful kimono, a blazer, bomber jacket, cardigan, etc.

This is just an easy way to make many outfits out of just a few items.

Forgive the ucky photo setting. I’ve lost my “after work daylight hours” with the time change and will need to resort to indoor selfies from time to time.

Do you have a “uniform” you change out with different items? I’d love to hear about it…

 

Fat Ladies Shouldn’t Wear Horizontal Stripes….

….and other ridiculousness…

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I ADORE this dress. I love me a swing dress. And I Love STRIPES. The horizontal stripes don’t make me look fat. *I* make me look fat!

Stupid fat rules.

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Another convo I just had in an online forum was about not buying button-down items that don’t button-up! I disagree. I have button-down items that I like just as layering pieces – that show the item underneath, or even a lightweight jacket like this one. Buttoning is just not really in my styling vocabulary, it doesn’t work for my body as-is and I’m okay with that.

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I guess those are all the “rules” that I’m breaking in this outfit…I’m sure I’ll break tomorrow. And that’s okay!

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What rules do *you* like to break??

What I’m Wearing:

 

All Aboard to New York City

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It’s funny, whenever I’m anywhere else and someone asks me where I live and I say New York, they always immediately assume New York CITY. I try to explain that NY is very large and diverse with beaches and mountains and farmland and suburbs…and that Manhattan, “The City,” is a VERY small part of it. They never buy it. They have their perception of what New York is like and they’re sticking to it no matter what *I* say.

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I think we all have perceptions and assumptions about places…and people…that are unfounded in anything other than our own minds and imaginations filling in gaps. I know my mind, especially, is prone to filling in gaps. Like, if you hear a description of someone without seeing a picture of them, your mind creates a picture FOR you! At least mine does. I don’t know if everyone’s does. That can be dangerous because it creates impossible expectations.

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I’m sort of going to the dark place today, sorry about that! This dress got me thinking about New York City with its great graphic print. Some might call it busy. I call it CAMOUFLAGE!!! A busy pattern does a great job of concealing lumps and bumps because it hides shadows and highlights. Your eye is drawn to the pattern. In a solid dress, fat rolls create highlights and shadows that are easily seen. I’m not saying you should feel ashamed of them and try to conceal your body…I *am* saying that some outfits create a little magic…and who doesn’t like a little magic worked on them once in a while!

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This is another Gwynnie Bee dress, designed by one of their house brands, Isabel & Alice. It’s called the NYC Belted Shift Dress. I had fun wearing it one time with this distressed denim jacket from Target. The outfit was just right for the touch of fall we’ve experienced so far.

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Whenever my daughter shoots my outfit there’s at least one shot with me throwing my hands up in the air. Those of you with Daughters Who Know Everything will know what I’m talking about.

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But fortunately there’s usually one of these, too. And life goes on.

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 it has helped me on the road to finding my fashion style because I can try so many different things without filling up my closet or emptying out my bank account!

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

What I’m Wearing

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This past week when *hot* finally showed its face, I realized my wardrobe was lacking in HOT weather clothes. I can still do sleeves and cardigans at the office cuz we have arctic ac, but to go to Beach Hut with friends in the evening for a drink and some music…I had nothing. And since I was at Target doing the weekly stock-up on tampons and kitty litter…no one had to twist my arm to get me into the fitting room with a couple things to try on.

#1. Really cute army green lightweight rayon dress by Ava & Viv $29.99, size 4x. I wasn’t even minding the VBL (Visible Belly Line). But the pockets (and who doesn’t love pockets?!) were very…protruding. Can’t think of a better word. I should have taken a pic with my hand NOT in the pocket so you could see how obtrusive the pocket bump was.

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#2 Black Sleeveless Popover with Pockets by Ava & Viv, $19.99, size 3x. Very flattering, have several bottoms I could wear this with. It has the same “sleeveless” issue I always have – too big an arm hole and my bra and side show. It’s the Bra Sideshow! Ha 🙂

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#3. Mauve/rose Ava & Viv tee shirt, CLEARANCE FOR $5.99 (I NEVER find the things on clearance at Target! I was so excited!), 3x. This was ginormous. I think the size was mislabeled. It would have been big for a FOUR-EX. Would be good over leggings or jeans for weekends or evenings out with the dog or to watch a sunset.

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#4. Black and white striped tee by Mossimo, $16.99, 3x. This was nice and drapey but with a slightly more flattering fit than the mauve/rose top. I’ve been on a stripe kick for two years now and it shows no sign of abating.

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Okay. I got two of the four items I tried on. Do you know which I bought??