Styling Four Plus Size Looks from One Blazer!

I have been dying to add a longline blazer to my wardrobe since I started following Lizzie Hadfield of Shot from the Street a couple years ago…and now I also drool over the outfits of Emma Hill for the same reason. They’ve both got this super cool, minimal, slightly-masculine-tailoring-but-in-a-very-chic-way thing down. They make it look effortless. Us mere mortals have to work at it a bit more…and on a round plus size body, that lean minimal look never looks quite right. But I just keep plugging away and one of these days I’ll get it! In the meantime I’m coming up with some outfits I’m pretty happy with – and this Karen Kane soft structure blazer has starred in several of them.

First I created an office look, with a black and white polka dot blouse and black cropped trousers with black loafers. I don’t know what was up with my face!

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Polka-dot blouse from Who What Wear/Target, no longer available. Similar here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size / Black cropped Harper trousers from Old Navy 

Adding the Third Piece of the blazer pulled the outfit together and made it more office appropriate. And, yay, face back to normal!

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Karen Kane Open Tweed Blazer, size 3x, no longer available. Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size. 

The second look is very casual, maybe weekending with the girls or running errands.

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Striped cold-shoulder top from Rainbow Shops, size 3x. No longer available. Comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size. 

Take it up a notch with blazer and scarf!

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The third look is a little more artsy, starting with a solid black base layer…(ooh, there’s That Face again!).

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Black Joan Vass Plus Tunic, size 3x. No longer available, comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size. Black denim skinnies from Charlotte Russe, size 22. Booties from Avenue, no longer available. Comparable here and here. (old)/Turquoise Necklace: Vintage. Comparable here.

Dress it up a bit with the blazer over top!

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And lastly, another very casual look, but this time in pastels and white (GASP! WHITE JEANS IN FEBRUARY?!? WHAT IS SHE THINKING?? I’m thinking I can wear white denim whenever the heck I want).

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Pink long sleeve tee from Old Navy, size 4x. No longer available, comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size. White denim Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans, size 22W short. 

And a blazer makes it a little less casual and a little more polished…even though it’s still basically an outfit with jeans and trainers!

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Do you have one piece that can complete many different outfits?

There’s a little video if you want to see all the outfits in action (and hear me blather on about one thing or another). If you watch and like the video I’d really appreciate if you’d give it a thumbs up on YouTube.

I’m linking up today with Emma at Style Splash and her Style With a Smile Link-up! Make sure you check out her blog and the other lovelies linking up there this week! I’ve made many new bloggy friends through link-ups…you might, too!

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

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Week in Review: Week 94

Busy week. Busy busy busy. I’m making myself busy with blogging and vlogging and vlogmassing (spellcheck wanted to change that to massaging and that sounds really good). I tend, when I get into something, to go all in. And I’m really really trying to learn video editing. And while my vlogs are still crappy, they’re getting a little less crappy each time (smile).

Did a photo shoot last Saturday with a new photographer. I look tired but the pictures are nice.

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Then I made a video about increasing your wardrobe by incorporating the use of base layers.

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Caleb and I made it to the little local beach.

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Sunrise.

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Designing a graphic tee.

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A walk in the park.

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Caleb makes friends wherever he goes.

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Katie went through TWO chocolate-filled advent calendars in about four days.

She’ll be home this Wednesday – yay!!!

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Santa Claus is coming to town.

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I did something a little extra this time cuz I heard about a new Adobe video app called Spark so I gave it a try. It’s basically the same as Animoto, but it’s free. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments!

Using Base Layers to Build Your Wardrobe

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This week’s video is all about using a couple simple base layers to build your wardrobe.

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I did a little “fashion math,” and realized that once you start using base layers + third item, you will start increasing the number of outfits you have in your wardrobe, exponentially.

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For example, a black tunic and leggings as the base layer + 5 different “third pieces,” whether a cardigan, vest, kimono or blazer, creates 7 different outfits. If you add another base layer – say a black turtleneck and black jeans or slacks + the same 5 different third pieces, you now have another 7 outfits, just by adding 2 additional items. Add a white tee and a pair of denim to the mix as another base layer, and those 2 items add ANOTHER 7 outfits…and so on.

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It’s kind of brilliant when you think about it. Rather than just buying things willy-nilly…”oh, I like this so I’ll buy it,” ask yourself the question, does it go well over one of your base layers. If it does, then that’s a wise purchase.

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Of course, you’re always going to want to have some “wild cards” in your wardrobe to spice things up a bit, like this black floral print. But I try to limit the number of outliers I purchase and stick to “things that will go with many other things.” That way I can make the most outfits.

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I explain it more fully in the video and you’ll see the theory in action, as I make many different outfits from just a few items.

What I Wore:

* Pink chenille cardigan from Charlotte Russe, size 3x. Out of stock, comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight sizes.
* Black floral top by American Rag from Gwynnie Bee, size 3x. No longer available, comparable here and here in plus size and here and here in straight size.
* Black skinny jeans from Charlotte Russe, size 22.

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.

 

Learning Curves

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They say old dogs can’t learn new tricks. When my now ex-husband and I were first dating his father had two dogs that lived mostly out in the yard. Seven-year-old Princess kept herself entertained by chewing on rocks (and had whittled-down razor sharp teeth to prove it!). I figured she was bored…and since sometimes I would be there while my then boyfriend was sleeping (he worked odd hours) or working, I decided to spend some time with Princess. We started out just going for walks but she was so attentive I figured I would try teaching her a couple things. She ate it up and we were soon in the obedience ring claiming trophies and perfect scores. The point of the story? At seven years old, she was the fastest learner I have ever known. The other point of the story? Old dogs CAN learn new tricks.

I’m a pretty old dog…and I’m trying to teach myself some new tricks – film-making, vlogging, and now, shooting myself with a wireless shutter release. It sounds so simple, but there are endless mistakes to be made.

Like this…

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And this…

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It’s one thing to make the camera take a picture from a distance. It’s another thing to get the subject in focus! And get all the desired body parts in the frame! So I hope you’ll bear with me as I master this new trick. This time of year (early darkness) it’s harder than ever to get people to take blog pictures for me so I’m going to have to rely on this new method quite a bit. I *will* get better (woof!) but it may take a little time.

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The other new trick I’m working on is video-ing (it’s probably a little optimistic and premature for me to call what I’m doing “film-making”!) and vlogging. It’s *really* time-consuming and not nearly as “fixable” as photography. So my YouTube vlogs are going to be bad…until they’re not. I’m a person that learns by doing, so…I’l just keep doing until I learn.

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Me standing in a hole, next to a garbage can. I’m knocking it out of the park with my selfie photography, oui? 

This mauvey pink chenille cardigan is the one from the newest video “Plus Size Fall Haul Part 2” (could that BE a more compelling title? How can you NOT watch it?). I put it over the polka dot dress that you last saw under a wine-colored duster in a What I Wore This Week post, here.

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It’s finally cold enough for the fleece-lined footless tights. Yay? The polka-dotted Karen Kane dress is my favorite swing dress style and this one is in a nice weight fabric that just skims over the body and doesn’t show off any lumps or bumps.

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PS – here’s a long-ago picture of Princess (photo right) and skinny 20-something me with two of my girlfriend’s dogs.

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And I have a new plus-size fall clothing haul up on YouTube – there are clothes from Charlotte Russe, JC Penney, Target, Gloria Vanderbilt and New Look.

Thanks for sticking with me and my learning curves!

What I Wore:

PPS – take a chance at winning a $500 shopping spree at Karen Kane, woohoo!

Win A $500 Shopping Spree

I’m linking up today with Linda at A Labour of Life: Life & Style for the Woman Over 50  who is wearing THE most amazing plaid suit today! Go check her out.

This post contains affiliate links and if you click on them I may be compensated. Compensated (whether via affiliate links, sponsored posts, etc.) content will always be labeled as such and I do so solemnly swear to always give my honest opinion and only recommend products that I truly believe to be useful, beautiful, wonderful and sometimes even magical.

Switching Out My Wardrobe from Summer to Winter

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So, I FINALLY got around to switching out my warm weather wardrobe for cold. We had such a lovely long pleasant Indian summer here on Long Island, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it any earlier even though I’d had to pull an item or two out for the few chillier days…and I had already bought a couple new things (see Fall Haul). The video got so so long as I explained my reasons for leaving this in or taking that out…that I decided to split it into two videos. So, Part 1 is taking out warm weather items…and Part 2 is putting in cold weather items. Ha, it kinda sounds like watching paint dry, but I know I LOVE watching this kind of stuff, so…maybe you will, too!

I’m still working on improving the production quality of my videos. I realize that in my Fall Haul video it got so dark it was practically impossible to tell a black item from a dark green one from a plaid one. My apologies. I’m very aware of the imperfections and will rectify them asap. I begged a good friend to go with me to my storage unit yesterday so we could dig out (among other things) my tub of lighting equipment from my vintage clothing selling days, so hopefully that will be better soon. And I think I’ve resolved the lens focus motor noise.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to round out my cold weather wardrobe by online shopping like a madwoman…and returning like five things for every one kept – online plus size shopping is a Very Slow Process. But so there will be ANOTHER Fall Haul video soon…I promise not as big as the first!

Thanks so so much for sticking around while I learn the ropes about videoing and YouTube. I appreciate every like and view I get! I hope you’ll watch “Switching Out My Wardrobe from Summer to Winter: Part 1” and give it a thumbs up!

What Am I Going to Wear This Week??

So, THIS is a terrifying thing. I’m sharing my first real vlog with you today. Have patience. Be kind. I was going on the “don’t go live til everything is perfect” model but realized…I will NEVER go live! So here goes, for better or worse…

I know there are some issues. Focus is going in and out. The focusing sound the camera makes is quite loud. I feel like I roll my eyes a lot (ha) and I sound a little nervous. I have to figure these things out. And it *will* get better (dammit).

The video explains my process for putting together a weekly wardrobe, so I don’t waste precious time every morning when I could be sleeping or scrolling through my Instagram. Maybe everybody does this already, but maybe it will help *someone,* and that is my hope. It also talks a bit about how I organize my closet so putting outfits together is easier.

If you enjoy the vlog I hope you will give it a thumbs up and comment and even subscribe. Tell me what you liked and didn’t like about it so I can make future videos more helpful and interesting.

Okay. Here goes nuthin’!!!

Ha ha, nice picture, Bettye! I have to figure out how to make a nice thumbnail!

Gwynnie Bee Try-on Haul

So…before I get into the trying on, I wanted to share with you one of my goals for the blog for 2017 – VIDEO. Not instead of the written blog, but in addition to it. I think it’s nice to feel like you’re sort of having a conversation with a person (albeit one-sided) and video can help things feel more like that. Also, it’s helpful to be able to see the movement in clothes – how does the fabric fall and drape, what happens to the dress when you move or sit…all shown better in a video than a still photograph.

My defined goal was to have a YouTube channel up and running with some decent production quality vlogs…by July. But it’s all harder than it seems (!!!) so guess who gets to be my test audience? YOU! Ha. I don’t know if I should say “You’re Welcome” or “I’m Sorry,” but I’ll be sharing short videos here as I practice this new skill. Please share any thoughts or critiques. I know in the beginning these will be pretty rough – I don’t really have proper videoing equipment or lighting or anything, I’m just using what I have for now til I see if this is something I even really like doing.

So. That brings us to today’s post. I hadn’t really meant to share anything so soon, but…I video’d two Gwynnie Bee items that arrived this week for a Gwynnie Bee Facebook group I’m in (we like to share our “try-on’s” with one another so other people can tell if the item is something they’d like to put in their online closet), so I wasn’t thinking of things like, oh, sweeping up the dog hair off the floor, or maybe brushing my hair or putting away all the mess in the line of the camera. But I just had a little fun with it and then thought, you know what? I could use this on the blog with the caveat LOW EXPECTATIONS = SMALL DISAPPOINTMENTS, ha. It’s really a mess. But that’s why this blog is called Fashion SCHLUB and NOT I’m A Pretty Pretty Princess.

So here you go. Note: I don’t always hate *everything,* ha. And pardon my voice, I’ve been on and off sick since Thanksgiving.

SCARY.

Week in Review: Week 44

This week was work work work cough cough cough. I’m just feeling a lot of negative input from around my life and the people close to me. A lot of illness, sadness, loss. I really need to find a little bright spot in the week ahead.

This was the night I said goodbye to my daughter…as she is returning to Florida to live. Caleb and I went over to see her one last time. I know she’ll be back soon to visit…but it is just not the same.

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If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen this – a Throwback Thursday to my Very First Outfit of the Day post back in September 2015.

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Karen Kane swing dress, 3x; Kohl’s Apt 9 cardigan, 3x; Old Navy flipflops

Getting ready for a photo shoot that didn’t happen.

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Most every night this week I came straight home from work and got on the sofa with a book. I didn’t even feel like being on the computer. And I ALWAYS feel like being on the computer. So I was very happy when a friend was able to go into Brooklyn with me yesterday to see the Marilyn Minter “Dirty Pretty” exhibit at Brooklyn Museum. Very interesting.

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We sat and watched this film several times through, it was mesmerizing, this is just about 30 seconds of it. It was the size of the wall, so maybe…14′ high by like 20′ across.

And this one also…

We looked at some other exhibits but as soon as we realized it was snowing we hightailed it out because driving in snow is one of my least favorite things to do! This was as soon as we left the museum…but it took over 2 hours to get home and by that time the roads were not good 😦

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And now I’m on day two of a three day weekend and then it’s back to work…and some sad things. So…I’ve got my eyes open for a “nice” opportunity because I could really use that this week.

Hope you all have some joy this week ahead.

My Favorite Style Vloggers

While I’ve been a fan of reading blogs about various topics for a lonnng time, I’ve recently gotten turned onto watching YouTube vlogs. Watching style vlogs has become my evening dinner companion. Some people are addicted to reality television – I’m addicted to watching shopping hauls, seasonal capsule wardrobes and fitting room try-ons.

I thought I would share some of my favorite vloggers with you!

Plus Size

  • Fat Girl Flow Carissa is so down-to-earth and really real. She does great online shopping haul videos and is very body positive. I just love her attitude!
  • CeCe Olisa: The Plus Size Princess Look, this gal got me to do EXERCISE. What’s not to love?? She does in-store fitting room videos, workout videos, lookbooks and more.
  • Learning to Be Fearless Alexandra is THE most darling girl! If my mother was alive she’d say, “go make friends with that cute Alexandra!” She looks amazing in pretty much everything and her hair and makeup skills are incredible. She’s a real life pretty pretty princess.

Capsule Wardrobe/Ethical Fashion (while I haven’t actually *committed* to shopping more ethically…it’s rolling around in my brain and eventually….)

  • My Green Closet Watching Verena’s vlogs is almost like meditating…she’s lovely and speaks in such a gentle way about living a simpler more ethical life. I feel better about myself just *watching* her.
  • Viviana Does Makeup I have really tried to not even Go There with the makeup videos, but I do enjoy watching the Viviana Does Style videos about her capsule wardrobe/wardrobe makeovers. Her outfit videos usually have me yelling at the computer “WHY DON’T ZARA/REISS/WHISTLES HAVE PLUS SIZES?!?” because I love EVERYTHING she wears.
  • Mademoiselle More capsule and ethical fashioning…but she’s also into Project 333 which is a whole *other* topic for me to get obsessed over…

Hair. Sigh. This is the most frustrating category for me because while I long to wear THE MESSY BUN my hair just doesn’t want to do that. I keep watching the video tutorials, though, and hopefully will someday hear the magic words that will make it all click for me.

  • The Small Things Blog Okay, aside from her simple and lovely hair and makeup tutorials, Katie just feels like your best friend, know what I mean? She’s the cutest, her husband and little boys are the cutest, her house is the cutest. I’ve been following her blog and Instagram for years.

If any of these are new to you, I hope you’ll give watching them a try…and I would love to hear some of *your* favorites!