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Sporting a Comfy, Casual Look with the IGIGI Virginia Plus-Size Dress in Cobalt Blue

Posted by on December 26, 2013

There’s something so cozy about a flannel shirt when it’s rainy outside and you don’t really feel like going anywhere or running those last minute Christmas errands.

The little cobalt blue lace cap sleeves are dainty and feminine while providing some coverage and allowing the dress to transition the seasons well.

The little cobalt blue lace cap sleeves are dainty and feminine while providing some coverage and allowing the dress to transition the seasons well.

I decided to wear the IGIGI Virginia Plus-Size Dress in Cobalt Blue with my favorite flannel top for the cool weather. I added my chocolate brown suede riding boots to round out the look for a casual day of weekday shopping and lunch out with a few friends. Plus, whenever I wear flannel, it always kind of makes me feel like it’s 1996 and I’m headed to a Hole concert to hang out with Courtney Love.

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What Guys Really Think About Fashion ‘Trends’

Posted by on December 3, 2013

If you don’t spend much time on social media, you may not have seen a recent article featured on the Huffington Post called “23 Trends Guys Hate (But Women Love).” It appeared in the Style section and it quickly became a heavy traffic piece, earning a lot of page views, hundreds of comments, and thousands of Facebook shares.

The 23 trends ranged from peplums to leggings to hair bows, and each “trend” (keep in mind that that term is being used loosely) was punctuated with comments from various men who had been asked to sound off on what they like and don’t like in the wardrobes of their respective friends and girlfriends.

The very concept of seeking a man’s validation for your clothing choices is inherently problematic. I firmly believe that as long as you are comfortable, happy, and confident with your wardrobe, there is no reason to change it. Believe it or not, boys – women do not dress for you when they’re planning their outfits. In fact, there’s a great blog that the HuffPost article linked to, called The Man Repeller, which is run by wonderful women who don’t give two hoots what guys think about their outfits.

In case you’re wondering what a man repeller is, check out this convenient description on the blog, because trust me – it’s a good thing.

Since I feel like the HuffPost article may have been unkind to boykind (surely not all of their judgments are that ridiculous and offensive), I copied the list down and sent it to the boys in my life to get their impressions. This is what they said:

1. Peplums

Peplum top

Credit: Instagram @brightside_boutique

“What is a peplum? Is that like that shirt you were wearing at that thing on Friday? Yeah, it was nice.”

“A cheerleading uniform? Like “pep?”

“Kim Kardashian wears those a lot. They’re pretty hot.” [ed note: It's true Kim K. does wear those a lot].

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7 Plus-size Winter Fashion Trends

Posted by on October 28, 2013

It’s tricky keeping up with trends. It requires really great budgeting, a keen eye for design lines and some commitment to reading Women’s Wear Daily. Sadly for me, but luckily for you, I obsess over new trends and I start putting together my seasonal wish lists before the models even leave the runways at fashion week.

So just for you all, I put together my list for the top seven plus-size Winter fashion trends and accessories for 2013-2014.

1. Sequins On Sequins On Sequins

Sequins

Blogger Curvatude is killing it with his pencil skirt, silk blouse, and feather scarf. Credit: Curvatude

We’re moving into holiday season, which means everyone and their grandmother is looking forward to strutting out to their various seasonal parties in shiny dresses and sparkly sweaters. For me, it’s as close to princess status as I let my wardrobe get. Personally, I’m a fan of a sparkly dress (like the IGIGI Nezetta dress) with a soft sweater over it and a pair of ankle boots for a more casual get together.

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Flower Power: Making Any Floral Print Work For Your Plus-size Shape

Posted by on October 7, 2013

It takes some guts to pull off a great maxi dress. When you’re wearing a floor length dress ,or even a midi dress (meaning a dress that hits you at mid-calf), you are automatically making a statement. You’re saying, “Hey, what’s up. The queen is here.” Now, for some women that’s not a problem at all. Attention, especially positive attention, can be great and welcome, but for some women (myself included), wearing a dress that is quite honestly a showstopper, like the Samantha Maxi Dress, takes some courage, because you will absolutely be the center of attention in it.

I added boots to make this sweet dress a little more edgy.

I added boots to make this sweet dress a little more edgy.

I’m a sucker for all floral prints, so naturally I was drawn to the vintage-inspired Italian floral mix on the Samantha Maxi Dress. The sheer sleeves and hem with the sweetheart neckline add a modern touch to the floral print, and the asymmetrical high-low hem is current and stylish. I chose to pair the dress with a low pair of brown leather cowboy boots to capitalize on the “high-fashion Laura Ingalls Wilder” thing that I was feeling in this dress. The dress is fully lined, which I absolutely love, and it is a Nylon/Elastane material, making the floral pattern look and feel like a lace overlay, which adds even more drama to this dress.

When you’re plus-size, people love to make rules for what you can and cannot wear, or what is the most flattering look for your shape. For example, I refused to wear horizontal stripes for years because I was told that it would make me look wider. However, your size really does not dictate what will and won’t look good on you at all – it’s your attitude.

I feel that patterns, especially bold patterns, tend to scare most women, whether or not they are plus-size. It’s more of a risk because people will notice you, and it’s much less of a challenge to throw on jeans and a white t-shirt and call it a day. However, you really can make any pattern work for you. The key is to pay attention to where the pattern falls on your body, and to consider which layers and accessories you pair with it. If you love floral prints like I do, you’re in luck, because I’ve put together a list of the most common floral patterns that you find while shopping, with tips on what pieces to look for and how to wear them.

So without further ado, here are the top five most popular floral patterns and some gorgeous women showing how to pull them off:

1. Abstract: Abstract florals are one of the easiest to pull off, and to pull off well, because of their graphic nature. An abstract floral will always look clean and current, and it’s easy to mix and match with other colors, or even other patterns. The blogger “Grown and Curvy Woman” paired her abstract floral top with lime green bermuda shorts and a lemon yellow blazer for a bright and tropical statement, and she looks fantastic and fresh.

2. Modern: “Modern florals” usually means that the pattern has brighter, more modern coloring, like the turquoise, pink, and teal pants that the blogger “Hems for Her” is wearing, or that they are a completely revamped graphic floral like many of Orla Kiely’s awesome designs. Wearing a floral in a slightly unconventional way, such as a great pair of floral print jeans, is also a way to make any floral pattern seem automatically more modern.

Hems for Her

Credit: Hems for Her

3. Oversized: Oversized patterns are the type that I am most often told to stay away from, because of my size; however, an oversized pattern like the one below is incredibly flattering. The pattern circles around her figure and complements the wrap dress perfectly. Oversized patterns can be tough because it can make you look like your garment is wearing you instead of the other way around. A way to combat that is to pay careful attention to where the pattern is falling on your body. On the dress below, for example, the pattern is curving perfectly around the model’s figure, giving her a perfect hourglass.

Ms. Full Figured

Credit: Ms Full Figured via Plus Model Magazine

4. Vintage: Vintage florals can basically do no wrong, in my opinion. There’s nothing softer or more feminine than a great vintage floral. However, scale can be an important factor: let us all remember poor, pregnant Kim K. at the Met Gala this year. Vintage florals, especially when they’re on a small scale, like the dress that blogger “Rosie Vintage” is wearing below, give extra dimension to clothes without looking overpowering.

5. Realistic: Realistic florals are not usually my thing, but this awesome blazer being worn by blogger “Style Chic 360″ is making me reconsider that. When wearing a really realistic floral pattern, keep it is going to be a statement piece, so an item like a blazer or a top is perfect for this type of pattern.

Regardless of which floral pattern is your favorite, remember: never let any so-called “fashion rules” keep you from wearing clothes that you like or clothes that make you happy. If you feel good and confident, everyone else will take notice of that too, and you’ll be the best-dressed person in the room.

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Peplum Novice: Making Any Trend Work For You

Posted by on September 18, 2013

When they made their comeback about a year ago, I did not understand the appeal of peplums. The peplum was first seen in Ancient Greece on both male and female togas, but the trend as we know it with the more sculptural aesthetic, appeared in the 1930′s when women’s suits started to become very popular, as seen on celebrities like Joan Crawford. After fading away in the 1960′s and 1970′s when loose, draped silhouettes returned, the peplum came back with a vengeance in the 1980′s complete with the obligatory shoulder pads to create a “balanced look.” (See: Sue Ellen Ewing of Dallas). Last spring, the peplum once again made a reappearance and I simply decided to sit back and watch it die out, just like I did with the velour sweatsuit craze of the early 2000′s. Lately, however, I have started to notice some more subdued peplums in tops and jackets that piqued my interest and I thought that it might be worth a try so I picked up the IGIGI Florence Peplum Top.

The IGIGI Florence Peplum Top comes in cobalt with a green tank or in black with a purple tank.

The IGIGI Florence Peplum Top comes in cobalt with a green tank or in black with a purple tank.

Don’t miss out on peplum style

As soon as I tried it on, I knew that I had been missing out. Initially, I was not overly enthused with peplums because I knew that the style is designed to make your hips look larger and add a bit of volume and my hips are large enough as it is. However, I completely underestimated how small the peplum would make my waist look. A peplum, even a relaxed peplum, can give you a perfect hourglass figure and the Florence Top did not disappoint. I paired it with a pair of jeggings and black heels to balance out the vibrant cobalt and green. I wore this outfit for a movie date with some friends. Ironically, I decided to go with a pair of skintight jeggings instead of some wide-leg jeans or trousers because I liked the super curvy affect that the Florence top gave my hips.

I would also wear this top with a pencil or a body conscious (body con) skirt to play up the shape even more. If you wear a peplum skirt try it with a fitted top for a similar silhouette.

Part of my initial issue with peplums was their tendency to fly up and therefore look shorter than they are intended to. However, the Florence Peplum Top comes with a detached, layering tank which erases that problem completely.

Part of my initial issue with peplums was their tendency to fly up and therefore look shorter than they are intended to. However, the Florence Peplum Top comes with a detached, layering tank which erases that problem completely.

All peplums are not made equal

After I had such a success with this top, I thought that I would give a more structural jersey, peplum dress a try. I did not even make it out of the dressing room. The peplum started too low on my waist and the jersey bunched oddly, looking almost like a napkin. For a peplum to be truly successful on a plus-size frame, it is vital for the cut above the peplum to hit you at your natural waist (i.e. the smallest part of your body) allowing the flare to float away from your midsection. Otherwise, the peplum can make you look twice your size, which is a look that no one is interested in. The peplum creates an utterly feminine silhouette so feminine fabrics, like lace, or floral prints really play up that femininity and can be demure while still be sexy especially since lace and florals can make your bust look larger. For an edgier look, try a leather peplum skirt or a studded peplum belt to vamp it up and add a biker chic look to your wardrobe.

How do you like to wear peplums? Tell me in the comments.

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