Category Archives: Clothes

Alabama Bloganistas: Let’s Talk!

Bloganista-defined

I am very excited because in a little more than one week I will have the opportunity to gather with an amazing group of women to gab about blogging — my favorite subject next to what inspiring outfit Beyonce recently wore!

via The Daily Mail, Beyonce in Manhattan on July 2 in a figure-flattering and very on-trend striped dress. That structured bag, though!

via The Daily Mail, Beyonce in a figure-flattering and very on-trend striped dress. Love how her heels mimic the trim of the dress. And that structured bag, though!

Just like Beyonce puts in hours training for a tour, anyone interested in blogging needs to put in some time learning the ins and outs of the blogging biz. The See Jane Write Bloganista Mini-Con presented by Laura Vincent Printing & Design is the perfect place to do so.

mini con graphic

The Mini-Con will be Aug. 1 at the Vestavia Hills Public Library from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Lunch, snacks and more are included with your ticket (buy your ticket here!), and you will hear from a variety of bloggers, including myself! I will speak on the “Blog Like A Boss” panel about addressing body image issues in addition to fashion and fitness and how my professional experience has helped my blog, and vice versa!

To get us pumped up for the Mini-Con, Javacia, the founder of See Jane Write, is hosting a mixer at Collage Designer Consignment in Vestavia from 6-8 p.m. this Thursday, July 23. The event is free, but please register here. And get more details about the special offerings for the night here! I plan to be there by 6 p.m., so I hope you will introduce yourself — I know I plan to try on some clothes, too, so let’s shop!

If you’re a blogger in Alabama, I can’t express how valuable last year’s Mini-Con was for me — learning more about blogging but also making wonderful contacts with inspiring women. I hope you can join us on Aug. 1!

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Summer Whites

I definitely have one thing lacking in my wardrobe: whites!

I think I’m scared of them. It’s probably leftover from my childhood, during which I promptly spilled anything I was eating on my shirt or pants or dress. I think I’m a neater eater now, but the idea of trying to bleach out guacamole from a new white blouse makes me nervous!

Still, this time of year especially, I envy those girls in pretty white sundresses or white jeans. They look so fresh and crisp! And I love the way metallics and pops of turquoise or bright orange liven up an all-white ensemble. So I’ve had my eye on a few white pieces that I thought I’d share with y’all!

Get ready to do some shopping (and buy some bleach!)!

How do you like to wear your summer whites? Did any of these pieces catch your eye, too?

Shopping For Plus-size Swimsuits

Finding a swimsuit is never easy. Finding a swimsuit and being plus-size? About damn near impossible at times. I knew I had to have a new suit this year, with a week-long Florida vacation on my horizon. But I also knew I didn’t want the typical swimsuit I’d had in years past.

Baring your skin — whether it’s your arms, your thighs, whatever — is never easy when you’re not considered by society’s standards to be “ideal.” But I think everyone deserves the right to enjoy a day by the pool, or a walk on the beach, in something that makes him/her feel confident and, yes, a bit sassy.

So hence, my search began.

My gotta-have-a-new-swimsuit journey started about a month ago. I checked for plus-size swimsuit posts on some of my favorite blogs, like Gabifresh and The Curvy Fashionista. I sent Gchat messages to a friend who, luckily, was also searching for a new bathing suit. And perusing stores online became somewhat of an obsession.

Finally, I ventured out into the actual stores, hoping to try on some of the suits I had seen online. Sadly, Torrid didn’t have much of a selection in their stores. I worked on summoning my courage, building up my confidence, to finally try the scariest swimsuit of all: the plus-size two-piece. Unfortunately, neither Torrid nor Lane Bryant carried many of these in their stores. And the pieces I wanted to try on at Target were largely picked through, with very few sizes left to choose from.

(from top left) Target top and bottom, $28 and $23; Target, $28; Lane Bryant

(from top left) Target top and bottom, $28 and $23; Target, $28; Lane Bryant top and bottom, $60 and $50; Lane Bryant top, $70; Lane Bryant top, $65

All of these suits were strong contenders. The ruched bottoms from Target are high-wasted and very flattering. If I didn’t already own a pair of black bottoms that I like a lot, I would have bought these in a heart-beat. At $23, I still might! While I liked the two tops at Target, the top left didn’t have as much support as I’d like, and I definitely wanted to add the optional straps onto the middle tie-dyed tankini. The other three suits from Lane Bryant were pretty good — the orange/pink one had a decent amount of support thanks to the straps, but not a ton, and the bottom pink was a little snug throughout the stomach. The black-and-white striped top was my favorite, but too similar to the bathing suit I’ve been wearing for the past few years. And I loved the mini-skirt bottom — I have never tried this style before and, though I don’t care about having to bare my cottage-cheese thighs, I do like the little skirt!

Finally, though, I found my winners:

Lane Bryant, bottom $??, (left) top, $??, (right) top $??

Lane Bryant, bottom $50, (left) top, $70, (right) top $55

I loved the bright orange colors of the left tankini, and the top holds me up — hello, underwire! — and the wider straps are flattering and a little retro. I love the way it paired with the swim-skirt, too. Same with the … bikini top! Yup, I did it! I wanted to stretch my wardrobe this summer, and with this top, I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.

Of all the bikini tops I tried on, I had a good feeling about this one because of the coverage it provides. I’m shy about my back, but with the high-waisted swim-skirt, and the thicker bands of this top, I feel comfortable. I love the V-neck — very flattering — and the gold detail in the middle adds a little glamour.

If you’re venturing into buying a new swimsuit — especially if you’re plus-size — I recommend taking the time to try a lot of options on … even if it takes you a total of five hours, like it did for me! I also ordered more than $350 of swimsuits from Lane Bryant (shipped to the store for free!) before deciding on these two and returning the rest.

It took some work, but I’m happy with my purchases! Are you looking for a new bathing suit for the summer? Where do you usually have good luck?

What I Want Now: Spring Dresses

I had every intention of writing about running and the 5k I’m planning to do in late April and my desire to start changing my eating habits … and I will post all about those things this week! But, then my sister sent me a photo of my cute little niece in her Easter dress on her way to meet the Easter bunny, and all I wanted to do was 1) hop on a plane to go visit her (hop intended), and 2) go buy a new spring dress!

Here’s a few that I found while shopping online. I admit, I fell down the Lane Bryant rabbit hole, but I threw a few picks in from NY&Co for a little size variety, too!

I love this floral pattern and the nip at the waist is undoubtedly flattering. Plus, blues and purples are my favorite hues!

This dress has two of my favorites: florals and houndstooth! For anyone who wants to mix patterns but is afraid to put something together on their own, this dress is for you. Throw on a blazer, and off to work you go!

Oh, the jumpsuit. I’m going to take the plunge and try you, and a romper, this season! I love the classic navy blue and white, and it comes with straps you can take off if you want.

This dress reminds me of a Jackson Pollock painting! And the pleats. The pleats! (Love the double strap detail, too.)

Great romper! I want to see how the length will work on someone my height (5’7″), but if it doesn’t look frumpy, this romper might just work at the office with a blazer. Again, this comes with straps, if you want them.

Ruffles, florals … can you get more lady-like and girly? I’m in!

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NY&Co, $52

I love orange! I think this color looks good on so many complexions, and it’s not worn enough. I love the pattern of this tunic, too.

Again, with the pattern! And this color green is so bright and fresh. I think white and gold accessories would be perfect with this dress.

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NY&Co., $60

This dress is so romantic. I love the shades of pinks and reds, and the silhouette looks like the perfect fit for a lot of figures.

Finally, the neckline of this dress is to die for, as is the floral pattern. Can you tell I’m into florals? I know it’s a little cliche for this time of year, but I love ’em!

floralsDo you have any dresses that you have your eye on for spring?

Spring Window Shoppin’: Ava & Viv, Belk

Last week I took a quick hour to attend a spring fashion event at one of our local Belk department stores. The weather has been getting nicer here in Birmingham, if a bit rainy, but I’m already feeling the desire to throw on dresses and sandals!

I’m still trying to stick to a strict budget right now, so although I’ve been checking out the new styles in stores, my wallet has remained closed. Still, I thought I’d show you a couple of pieces I like, in case you’re in the market for some new duds.

First up, thanks to Belk for the fun Girls’ Night Out, including yummy snacks and a free makeup application! I had my eyes done by Jonathan Reign at the MAC counter — my favorite makeup brand! And I used what he taught me to create a look for my friend’s wedding this weekend. He was a great teacher!

photo 4 (20)photo 5 (14)Next I made my way to the plus-size section of the store. Admittedly, when I first walked up, I wasn’t too impressed. It baffles me why so many department stores put a lot of their styles for older women up front. What I mean is: Not all plus-size ladies want to wear shift dresses with jackets over them, a la the 70-year-old ladies you see at church on Easter. There’s nothing wrong with these dresses, for certain ages. But show off the younger styles as well, so you can attract a broader customer base!

Luckily, I didn’t give up after that first glance because as I wound my way through the racks, I found cuter dresses (I didn’t even look at the other clothes; I wanted dresses!). I had spring weddings and tunics to wear with leggings on my mind, so here’s two dresses I liked:

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London Times, $68 (on sale); Beige by ECI, $58 (on sale)

The dress on the left would be great for a wedding, shower or even work with a blazer or sweater. And while I like the tunic on the right, especially the colors, it may hug my body a little too much for my taste. I am trying to branch out and wear more body conscious styles … but I think I need baby steps!

Next up, my try-on sesh at Target to check out the new Ava & Viv line! I wrote about this new line quite a while ago, so this post is a long-time coming. I loved some of the styles, especially the patterns and colors. But the fit of some of the clothes left me a little disappointed.

Let’s start off with the so-so finds:

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Ava & Viv blouse, $25

So I’m sure you can see my issue here. The 2X, my usual size, was snug around the middle. Sure, I could’ve left the last button open and it would’ve worked, but sometimes I wonder if that looks sloppy. So I tried the next size up:

photo 2 (50)Clearly too baggy. In the larger size, the shape just doesn’t do anything for me.

Next I tried the palazzo pants. The idea of palazzo pants has had me excited since last season, and I sadly failed to scoop up a pair from TJ Maxx that I loved, and then couldn’t find again when I returned to the store. These from Ava & Viv feel a little too wide for my taste. What do you think?

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Ava & Viv palazzo pants, $30

Maybe a better fitting top would’ve made a difference in my feelings about the pants!

Now, on to the successes! I did love these ankle pants, though they run a little small. I think they would go with a lot of items I already own, so I may purchase them soon! (Focus on the pants!)

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Ava & Viv ankle pants, $30

I also loved this lightweight sweater, even though I usually shy away from high-low styles because I’m not sure they’re that flattering for me. This worked, though! (Sorry it’s so blurry!)

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Ava & Viv sweater, $28

I also loved the flowy blouse you see in the photo above, on me below! This would be my #1 pick to purchase, for sure.

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Ava & Viv flutter top, $25

Finally, I loved this blazer, but forgot to take a pic of me in it! It would be a great staple for anyone’s wardrobe.

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Ava & Viv blazer, $35

Did you like any of these pieces more than another? What are you looking for to add to your wardrobe for spring?

Right On Target: The New AVA & VIV Line At Target

AVA-VIV-Header-924x462

via Target

When I heard the news today about AVA & VIV, the new plus-size line coming to Target, I was so excited I may have thrust my fist victoriously into the air, a la Judd Nelson in “The Breakfast Club.”

A few months ago, I wrote about the #boycotttarget movement after another designer collaboration at Target failed to include plus-sizes. Not long ago, we learned the upcoming Lilly Pulitzer collaboration at the store will include plus-sizes … but they would only be available online.

Just when hope seemed lost for us curvier gals, today Target announced that AVA & VIV is being designed in-house, will be available in stores (and online) and will include input from three plus fashion bloggers who I greatly admire: Nicolette, Gabi and Chastity.

In fact, these ladies got to model for the line’s spring lookbook! Target also listened to their ideas on the initial offering, and the fall collection. Check out their video here:

According to the release from Target, the line will arrive mid-February (start saving now!) and will run from $10 up to $79.99. According to Nicolette’s post, there will be as many as 90 different pieces in the first few deliveries! Sizes will run up to 26, or a 4X. You can see the full lookbook on A Bullseye View on. Jan. 22.

I am extremely excited about this new line. The patterns and colors look amazing, and many of the pieces look fashion-forward. I caught a glimpse in the video of some great-looking palazzo pants, and I love the striped skirt on Chastity in the photo above. I can’t wait to see the whole line!

It’s wonderful that Target not only listened to its buyers and chose to offer stylish clothes in plus-sizes, but they also brought in people that many plus-size women look up to and seemed to really listen to their constructive criticism. It’s nice to feel that our voices were heard, especially since so much of the fashion industry doesn’t seem to value our input.

What do you think of Target’s new line? Do you feel they’re really listening to their customers?