“Plus Style” is a new series that will be featured on the Dose of Vitamin F blog. These posts will focus on style advice or tips for the plus size fashionista. Feel free to leave comments or email email@example.com with any suggestions for what we should write about or what you would like to see more of under this category.
For the first post in the Plus Style series, my client Theresa asked me to show her a few examples of how she could wear the popular trend – the kimono.
This past Thursday, I had the pleasure to attend an Exclusive Blogger Event hosted by Full Figured Fashion Week. It was a collection preview event to hear about, look at, and try on both Hal Rubenstein and Marla Wynne’s newest collections for HSN! The event was held at the Nation Design Showroom and it was a lovely and very welcoming space full of the most popular Plus Size bloggers and influencers… and I was definitely among them as a newbie and excited for the opportunity to be in the same room.
Please join us in congratulating PLUS Model Magazine and Madeline Jones… Five years never looked better!
The anniversary issue brought to use by City Chic includes a beautiful cover with Lizzie Miller – with equally nice photo spread and interview of the international Plus Size model; New York City Chic Model Search winner Nicole Zepeda; Spotlight Model Winner Kelle Coleman; Link to short film starring Fluvia Lacerda “This is My Body”; The Plus size Shopping Experience- “Where we Shop and Why” by Fashion & Style Editor Marie Denee; Stylist Reah Norman- Reah’s Stylefile for July.
To every Plus Size woman that reads this; be good to yourselves, love yourselves, and take care of the body you are in right now. With all of the demands by society to be thinner, in order to be “healthier”, it’s no wonder we all second guess the body we are in, and even ignore it sometimes. I’m here to tell you that you are beautifully and wonderfully made, and there is no one else like you. Your health is not determined by a number on a scale or the inside of a clothing tag; however, it is your responsibility to take care of yourself so that you rock your curves in a healthy way.
Thrive in your curves,
Editor, PLUS Model Magazine
Anyone in the United States who is over a size four in the fashion industry is already considered “too big.” Plus size begins at a size fourteen…
Which as we all know by now, is the average size for a woman in this country. There is a lot of stress around not fulfilling the size two frame that everyone else is trying to become. It definitely puts a damper on my mood making patterns for top design houses in the United States, and never being able to wear any of it. The reality in the fashion industry is, they are still too stubborn to change their negative ways. I am not just talking about the models though who are skinny. A lot of the people who work in the fashion industry are also very thin. I pretty much was the largest intern at every company I worked at. I am only a size 12/14. I don’t let that stop me from working at design houses that only go up to a size ten. I look at all these beautiful clothes and tell myself that there are designers out there that do cater to the plus size woman.
I mean real designers that understand a plus size women’s body. Although there are stores that do have plus size women’s clothing, but the fit is just awful. They never do a fitting on an actual plus size fit model. All these companies do is grade their clothes from a size six, up until 26 or 28. They don’t see what problems will occur when you do it this way. The plus size industry is increasingly gaining more popularity. Women are starting to become more aware that they no longer have to continue to squeeze into clothes that will not fit. Now we have many companies such as Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Fashion to Figure, Sweet Tooth Couture, La Dan’s Closet, and many more who actually understand the plus size women’s body.
Why is the United States the only country that isn’t as open to larger size women as in other countries? Spain has fashion week with plus size models in their shows. France has plus size models featured in their top magazines. Italy has Vogue just for the curvy women. Australia has plus size designers in their fashion week. Why is it the country with the most amount of full figured women, is the worst to meeting the plus size women’s needs?
Well luckily that is changing now. Plus size women we have our fashion week! Within 3 years of it starting, it has reached internationally. Yes women from Switzerland and France flew down to attend Full Figured Fashion Week. Good ole United States is going to have to start changing their negative outlook on woman who are not willing to starve themselves to fit into a designer’s couture gown.
“When in doubt, wear red.” ~ Bill Blass
This Bill Blass quote was in my head this week as I picked my first dress to use in my Shopping My Closet challenge. Red is a nice color that every woman can pull off. You just have to know what shade of red to wear. That is key in wearing any color.
I bought my little red dress two years ago by chance at a Lane Bryant Outlet store in Pennsylvania. I was in there looking for shorts and tees for an upcoming vacation and saw this dress hanging on a rack by itself. It happened to be my size AND it was on sale for $10. It was meant to be.
I wore it once during my vacation, by itself, no accessories, with just some sandals. Then it went in “The Closet”, never to make another appearance in my fashion everyday wardrobe. Two years later, as I am looking in my closet “shopping”, I see this dress hanging on my closet rack and I thought, wow, I totally forgot I had this great dress in my closet. Perfect for this challenge!
The fabric of the dress is polyester/spandex, which is a nice fabric to wear because it’s wrinkle-free, stretchy and drapes well. The color is a deep red, which works well against my pale complexion and doesn’t wash me out. The length is below the knee, which I love as well. It shows off my legs, which is one of my best assets. My problem area is my middle and the dress drapes in that area well.
I decided to try to take this dress and create 2 outfits, a day look and a night look.
Outfit #1: My Day Look
I added a shrug in the same color as the dress, which made it look as if it were part of the dress and turned the dress into an entirely different style. I then added a black flower pin, a black wide belt at the waist and shiny patent leather black pumps. To finish the look, I added a zebra print handbag.
I LOVE how this outfit turned out. Amazing! I loved how the bag pops and stands out. Red is a great color to mix with black and white. I also love adding a hint of leopard print to a red outfit. It just works.
So here’s all the items I shopped from my closet for this look:
Red shrug: Curvy Girl Clothing (bought last year – $20)
Black Flower Pin: Torrid (bought last year – $8)
Black Wide Belt: Torrid (bought last year for $4!)
Black Pumps: Avenue (bought 6 months ago for $5!)
Zebra Print Handbag: Avenue (bought 2 years ago – $16.90)
Outfit #2: My Night Look
To take this dress into a night look, I went for a black shrug that had some shiny detail on the shoulders to add a little “bling” to the outfit. I took the flower pin from the day look and used it as a hair accessory – it has a pin and clip on the back so you can use it for both, which I think is very clever and useful. I kept the belt and replaced my pumps for some wedge sandals with a flower detail on them. I couldn’t find a bag to complete the outfit so unfortunately, I went without a handbag. But I do think a clutch in this case would have made this outfit perfect.
So here’s all the items I shopped from my closet for this look:
Black shrug: Eliza Parker (bought last year – $43)
Black Flower Hair Accessory: Torrid (bought last year – $8)
Black Wide Belt: Torrid (bought last year for $4!)
Black Wedge Sandals: Evans UK (a gift)
So what do you think? I hope I have inspired you to create your own hot red number. Next week, I will be tackling a print dress. Many plus size women are afraid of prints but you should not be! It’s a myth that prints make you look heavier. It all depends on the print you choose. So please come back next week when it will be all about prints as I shop my closet!
To help create your own Day or Night Look, check out these items from the Dose of Vitamin F Boutique:
This bag is so cute! I love quilted details and the color is so neutral that it will go with any outfit and make it look like a sophisticated day look. And it’s in clearance at $29.95 – a steal!
You don’t have to wear pumps like I did for your day look. This sandal is comfy and very pretty – not your normal flip-flops. At $10, this would be an excellent addition to your day look that can be worn with jeans or a dress.
These earrings are great for any night look – they’re simple yet very dressy. They would make an outfit pop. And they look much more expensive than the actual price, which is $8.95.
Golden Chain Necklace
This necklace would look wonderful with a simple black dress…it would really make the dress look stunning. It’s always nice to have one statement piece in your jewelry collection. Decently priced at $14.95.
Who doesn’t love to feel sexy underneath their clothes? Lingerie is a beautiful fantasy world that women can have fun with. Most importantly though, it should fit correctly! When your bra fits properly, and everything is in place, you feel extra confident when you put on your clothes and are ready to start the day. Or when you go out at night, maintain your sexy by not having to keep adjusting your undergarments. So that’s why you should have a proper bra fitting.
These days there is no excuse to wear the wrong bra size. Plenty stores offer free bra fittings. To start, Nordstrom has professional bra fitters. Their associates in the lingerie department actually have been trained specifically to do bra fittings. They will tell you how to determine what bra is right for you. You don’t have to purchase a bra either. Department stores such as Sears, JCPenney, and Macy’s also do bra fittings. Other stores like, Victoria’s Secret and Fredericks of Hollywood also have bra fitting. Now for my plus size girls, definitely you have to checkout Lane Bryant who also does bra fittings. Their Cacique line, which is the lingerie department in Lane Bryant, actually has some beautiful bras.
After all that, now you want to know who has the best fitting bras right. From my experience I actually like bras from Target and H&M the most, because they are in my price range, they are super cute, and the quality is decent for the price you are paying for it. From what other women have told me though the best fitting bras are Victoria’s Secret and Hanes. I actually knew a lady who was a patternmaker for one of the companies that worked with Victoria’s Secret. She said, “Victoria’s Secret has very little or no tolerance at all when it comes to their fittings. A little mistake has to get sent back and be redone.” Basically she is saying Victoria’s Secret does not play around with the construction of a bra.
Who doesn’t love Agent Provocateur? They have the most beautiful lingerie I have ever seen. Also Dolce and Gabbana has some beautiful corsets. If you are like me, and can’t afford those labels, then you can definitely find alternatives. As for example H&M’s lingerie sometimes can resemble those of Agent Provocateur and Dolce & Gabbana.
When you purchase your bras cheaper, you do run the risk of it falling apart easier on you. The wires can come out, lace can unravel, straps can stretch out, and basically so many reasons can ruin a great bra. To avoid this though, always wash your bras in a bra garment bag! Also remember to wash your bras in cold water, and dry in gentle cycle. Even your more affordable bras can last.
Please do me and yourself a favor though. Never, never, never, purchase a bra that isn’t your size just because it is on sale! The unflattering fit of your undergarments should never take the focus away from your attire. There are so many cons to wearing a bad fitting bra including: tight cups that may cause increased health risks, you may sufer back pain from tight straps, or you can have spillage outside your bra. Why on earth risk the embarrassment? Now you know where you can find affordable, beautiful, and good bras at. No reason to risk a fashion don’t and feel uncomfortable when you put on that sexy dress or even at work when you are a wearing a great suit.
Elena Miro Fall 2011
Elena Mirò is one of the historic label of Miroglio Fashion, the clothing division of the Miroglio Group which was set up in 1985 to cater for the need to give a positive response in terms of style and taste to all the women with Mediterranean-style fuller figures. Over time Elena Mirò has acquired in-depth knowledge and expertise in the skills required to follow fashion, style and trends, adapting them to shapely sizes. The label has become a focal point for all these women, and at the same time has developed a philosophy of positive, ironic and effective communication. Since 2005, Elena Mirò has been the only plus-size women’s fashion brand to show at the Milano Moda Donna fashion week.
Here are a few of my favorite picks from the F/W 2011 Runway Collection:
Oscar winner Mo’Nique wore Tadashi to announce this years Academy nominees…
I feel like she has truly found the fit that works for her over the past couple of years. This dress is a reflection of that very idea. It has all the elements that work for her shape: hugs her curves, covers her arms but not a full sleeve, draws your eyes to her face with the great neckline, accentuates her legs by hitting at the right hemline, and the color is a great compliment to her skin tone. Mo’Nique girl you get an A+… who says curvy girls can’t wear it all… Yes we can!
Enjoy this dose of Mo’Nique at her best!