The Gorgeous Larimar Dress and the Beauty of Plus-Size Dresses With Sleeves

Posted by on November 25, 2013

If I could go back in time to any time period at all, I would have to pick 1960s California.  I came across this style nostalgia video on The Atlantic the other day, and I put together an outfit inspired from the colors and shapes of 1960s fashion.  I love a bright print and I’m trying to capitalize on the remaining sunny weather (it was actually in the 60s in New York the other day!) with some equally vibrant colors. The Larimar Plus-Size Dress in Amber was exactly what I was looking for. The stripes with the deconstructed chevron pattern has a great vintage feel and this dress will transition well into the Winter with some tights and ankle boots.

The Larimar Plus-Size Dress in Amber is made from a Poly/Elastane material, which has a good weight to it, with long sleeves and an asymmetrical, very flattering, contrast draped waistband.

The Larimar Plus-Size Dress in Amber is made from a Poly/Elastane material, which has a good weight to it, with long sleeves and an asymmetrical, very flattering, contrast draped waistband.

The long sleeves make this dress season appropriate, but I would add tights and a scarf to take it the rest of the way, and maybe add my trusty brown leather jacket for a little extra warmth.

Whenever I talk to my friends about dresses and dress details, I feel like the two things they love the most are sleeves and pockets, and those are consistently my favorite parts of dresses, as well. I usually won’t even buy a dress unless it has some kind of sleeve since, in my experience, they are way more versatile than strapless or tank dresses for everyday. Pockets are also so helpful and practical, because every now and then I would just like to slip my phone and wallet into my pocket and slip out the door without a handbag (blasphemy, I know).

The dress is fully-lined, which is wonderful since it keeps everything looking smooth without the need for any shape-wear.

The dress is fully-lined, which is wonderful since it keeps everything looking smooth without the need for any shape-wear.

However, many designers rarely offer these options and it’s even harder to find them in plus-size offerings. Actually, IGIGI is one of the few plus brands that to include sleeves in a majority of designs.

Many women, myself included, are self-conscious about their upper arms. Adding a sleeve to a dress and getting rid of the need for a cardigan or a jacket it such a simple detail, and yet it can make all the difference with self-confidence. For me, adding a jacket to a dress that already has sleeves is a choice and not a necessity. It enables you to be in control of your look without letting your clothes and personal insecurities dictate your style.

I chose to style the Larimar Plus-Size Dress in Amber with simple black heels and minimal jewelry to keep the elaborate pattern the focus of my look.

I chose to style the Larimar Plus-Size Dress in Amber with simple black heels and minimal jewelry to keep the elaborate pattern the focus of my look.

Initially, I planned to wear some over-the-knee boots to keep my legs a little warmer, but since the pattern is so intense, the boots made the outfit feel a little too “costumey.” I definitely need to start looking for a new pair of ankle boots for the winter!

Putting together an outfit can be a test of patience, and you have to be willing to compromise and make changes even when you have a very specific plan in your head. Whenever I plan out my outfit the night before I rarely end up with the same look the next morning.

Plus-size women are frequently told to shy away from exaggerated patterns and to stick to strictly form-flattering, solid-colored, subdued frocks. While it is certainly true that a crazy pattern is going to make you stand out, it does not mean that the garment will be inherently unflattering.

If you’re looking for a different color palette, the Larimar dress also comes in topaz, for the women who crave a cooler color scheme.  How would you style the Larimar dress? Let me know in the comments.

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The Problem With Digital Manipulation in Selfies and the Media

Posted by on November 22, 2013

Now, I love a good Instagram filter as much as the next girl. It makes my skin look clearer, my eyes bluer, and it can hide some of those pesky roots in between dye jobs (that “Amaro” filter is killer, amirite?), but every once in a while I challenge myself to not use a filter for my selfie. To just go digitally “au natural,” as it were. Well, sort of.

Just to give some perspective, here is a picture of me (very late at night) with and without a filter.

Just to give some perspective, here is a picture of me (very late at night) with and without a filter.

Not to sound (too) arrogant, but I’m kind of used to being called beautiful on the Internet. I’m a big, big fan of selfies, so there are an insane amount a lot of pictures of myself on my blog, my Instagram, and, of course, on my Facebook. As a result, I somewhat frequently get messages with sweet words like, “Wow, you’re so gorgeous,” or “Gee, I wish I looked like you,” and while those messages are certainly flattering, I usually have to shake my head and laugh cry a little.

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The Wrap Dress: The Most Flattering Plus-Size Dress Style

Posted by on November 21, 2013

I feel like everyone occasionally has a morning when they walk into their closet, stare at all of their clothes, and just think, “Wow, I have absolutely nothing to wear.” On mornings like that, I usually gravitate towards fun, flirty patterns to try to break up the monotony. I stumbled across the IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi while browsing the Internet and it was a complete impulse decision since I thought that the pattern might be too bold, even for me.

A dress with 3/4 sleeves, maybe a light cardigan, and flats tends to be my work uniform on most days, so whenever I can make it a bit more interesting with a fun print, I’ll jump at the chance. The abstract pattern on the dress and wrap-style are great details and the shape of the dress is perfect, since the empire waist and a-line skirt are flattering for almost every body type. The color palette adds a great 70s-inspired feel and is so on-trend for the winter.

Spoiler alert: I ended up loving the pattern once it was on.

Spoiler alert: I ended up loving the pattern once it was on.

A true wrap dress is universally flattering on every body-type. The adjustable waist allows you to put the emphasis on the smallest part of your body, which for me, is directly underneath my bust. I chose to leave the tie in the back of the dress and just tie it in a bow, but the tie on this dress can be wrapped around multiple times to give a more belted look.

Personally, 3/4 length sleeves are my absolute favorite when it comes to dresses and tops. I don’t mind going sleeveless, but I very much prefer to have some sort of sleeve, especially in the winter, so I can have a little more coverage and not feel too self-conscious about showing a lot of skin at the office.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi runs on the longer side, so be prepared to rock some heels with it, or just lean into the longer length and make a statement. I opted for flats.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi runs on the longer side, so be prepared to rock some heels with it, or just lean into the longer length and make a statement. I opted for flats.

While it never hurts to go shopping a try on a bunch of different sizes, there is something utterly satisfying and relaxing about finding a great plus-size brand that you can buy without worrying about stretch or fit. Whenever I really need some good old-fashioned retail therapy I usually look over at IGIGI’s offerings to check out their newest collection.

Some of my other favorite a-line dresses that IGIGI is currently offering are the Sovana dress, the Elisha Dress and the Tiffany dress.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi is a Poly/Elastane, which glides over your body and hides any bumps or lumps that you don't want to showcase. It's so flattering and SO comfortable.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi is a Poly/Elastane, which glides over your body and hides any bumps or lumps that you don’t want to showcase. It’s so flattering and SO comfortable.

I chose to accessorize the IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi with simple, pointy-toe black flats, a bold red lip, and (since it’s been raining so much in NYC) my trusty umbrella. Since the pattern is funky, I didn’t want to go too crazy with the accessories. I felt that the dress worked really well as a stand-alone piece. However, I would also style this dress with a long black cardigan, black ankle boots, a chunky watch, and my favorite, multi-layered silver chain necklace for a different look. The black cardigan would be enough of a distractor that I would feel inspired to throw on some more bling.

I’m not much of a heels person, especially for the office, since I have to catch the subway to work, but this dress would also be absolutely perfect for a pair of chunky, vintage 70s heels to really go all out with the retro vibe.

How would you style the IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi? What is your favorite dress style to wear? Tell me in the comments.

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The Power of Plus-Size Women In Television

Posted by on November 20, 2013

I’ve spoken before about the lack of representation of plus-size bodies in most mainstream media. Now, that doesn’t mean that there is absolutely no media that shows plus-size bodies. People frequently mention “The Biggest Loser” to me whenever I comment about how I want to see more body types like mine on television.

Personally, I abhor “The Biggest Loser” for a number of reasons, but mostly because the show’s producers have been cited for promoting unhealthy weight loss practices. Kai Hubbard, a contestant from season three, said that she came away from her stint on the show with severe hair loss, an eating disorder and a distorted body image.

Kai isn’t alone. The season one winner, Ryan Benson, said that he dehydrated himself so severely on the show that he was urinating blood.

These horrendous testimonials aside, “The Biggest Loser” does not count as an actual depiction of plus-size bodies on television, since the entire point of the show is that contestants are trying to change those bodies. Everyone loses weight for different reasons: some lose for health, some lose so that they can have more clothing options, and some people lose because they are sick of society judging and demeaning them.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to diet or lose weight, and there is nothing wrong with not wanting to; that is something that fans of “The Biggest Loser” don’t seem to realize. Not every plus-size person wants a different body. Some people are completely happy with the bodies that they have and every once in a while, a television show or a film comes along where a plus-size person is depicted as a regular character without any hyper-focus on their weight. Instead, they’re just characters.

Here’s my list of my favorite television shows with plus-size female characters:

1. Mike & Molly:

Mike & Molly

Mike & Molly, starring the ever-popular Melissa McCarthy. Credit: CBS

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The Stylish Sisters Behind the Fashion Blog ‘Fatty Deschanel’

Posted by on November 19, 2013

Fatty Deschanel” is a blog about two sisters living in the San Francisco Bay Area who love clothes. Blythe and Emma Tai, also known as Ms. and Ms. Deschanel, started their fashion blog “Fatty Deschanel” in the spring of 2013 in Emma’s dorm room.

Emma, 20, enjoys speaking in her outside voice and stalking boy bands. Blythe, 25, is a young go-getter who works part time as a classical musician, serves on nonprofit boards, and cuts her own bangs.

Both ladies are hard at work when they’re not blogging. Blythe is a marketing and editorial writer for an internet start-up and Emma is sophomore at a top research university, but the two lovely ladies took time from their busy schedules to talk with IGIGI about their fashion inspirations, thrifting, and their experience of running a fashion blog together.

FD earned its name from the sisters’ enthusiasm for She & Him and fringed hairstyles.  Credit: Fatty Deschanel

FD earned its name from the sisters’ enthusiasm for She & Him and fringed hairstyles.  Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Jane: How do each of you describe your personal fashion aesthetic?

  • Emma: I like to make an impression with my clothing; subtlety is not my forte! Red hair is my signature, and my current faves include crop tops, chambray, and 90s-inspired fashion.
  • Blythe: I always try to dress like a proper lady. I would describe my style as feminine with retro influences. I’m usually found in a skirt, closed-toes shoes, winged eyeliner, and a cardigan.

Jane: When did you both start getting interested in fashion?

  • Emma: I’ve always been an individual when it comes to getting dressed. In middle school I was a big fan of bright outfits. I wore a lot of rainbow tights and bright dresses accessorized with DIY earrings. From there my style matured (slightly).
  • Blythe: I was the first-born daughter, and my parents were very kind to dress me in pinafores and eyelet blouses inspired by our mother’s Scottish upbringing. I’ve always liked the promise of a makeover, and I’ve done a gradual self-makeover or two in my life.
Blythe is fond of her small collection of vintage finds from local consignment shops and thrift stores. One of her recent favorites is a pale pink vintage nightgown inherited from her grandmother that she wears as a blouse or dress. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Blythe is fond of her small collection of vintage finds from local consignment shops and thrift stores. One of her recent favorites is a pale pink vintage nightgown inherited from her grandmother that she wears as a blouse or dress. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Jane: Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?

Emma's favorite wardrobe item is her vintage American flag Converse that one of her friends picked up for her at a flea market. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Emma’s favorite wardrobe item is her vintage American flag Converse that one of her friends picked up for her at a flea market. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Jane: What advice would you give to women who are finding no love in their wardrobes?

  • Emma & BlytheIt’s easy to get in a sartorial rut, especially if, like us, you don’t shop a lot. Try reworking the clothes you already have to create new looks. Emma is a fan of DIY-ing inexpensive T-shirts to create trendy crop tops. Every now and then, we look at our wardrobes as a whole and try to wear old clothes in new ways. Wear mini-dresses as tucked-in tops, try new color combinations, or add layers to transition a summer item into winter. One thing that stands in the way of a lot of women finding their personal style is self consciousness. Don’t be held back by your view of your body, perceived image, or the fear of standing out. Wear what you see your ideal self wearing, and pursue that full force.
'FD' understands that shopping is a difficult experience for many women. They've learned through trial and error what styles, cuts, and fabrics suit their bodies. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

‘FD’ understands that shopping is a difficult experience for many women. They’ve learned through trial and error what styles, cuts, and fabrics suit their bodies. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

If you want to dress like Emma, she recommends picking up the IGIGI Leigh Plus-Size Lace Dress in Gold. It’s very ornate and she has a soft spot for lace dresses. She would wear it with black heels, dangling black, door-knocker earrings, nude lips, and winged eyeliner. Blythe, on the other hand, recommends the IGIGI Melina Plus-Size Dress in Charcoal/Gold. She’s a big fan of the brocade and says that she would accessorize with a wide black belt and pumps, burgundy lips and nails, and a pale gold brooch bobby-pinned in her hair.

Blythe and Emma plan to continue being good at everything, loving life, and blogging regularly, but they want to leave everyone with some important words of  shopping wisdom: “Don’t put too much emphasis on a single outfit; instead, find pieces in a style or color that you love on your body and want to wear all the time. Self-confidence is key.”

To keep up with Emma and Blythe you can check out their blog “Fatty Deschanel” and leave your love in the comments.

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