Sunday, May 26, 2013

Horizontal Stripes, four ways.

Horizontal stripes are a huge trend for spring this year and we might be more than a little happy about this fact. So, when we all got together last weekend we decided to showcase some of our favorite stripey pieces and give our own takes on this greatest-of-all trends.  The lovely Rachael Santillan took us back to her photography studio and snapped some lovely pictures of us modeling them.

Brittani went with a City Chic pencil skirt and moto jacket, pink tank from Wal-Mart, and Avenue heels.

Ginny illustrated her newfound love for color with head-to-toe Old Navy.

I went with a dress by Just Love, Lane Bryant cardigan, Naturalizer sandals, and an orange bag.  The heart brooch is vintage; I picked it up at an arts and crafts festival the other week.

Rachael is wearing a tank from Fashion Bug, Old Navy jeans, and a Van Heusen Cardigan.

Personally this was my first photo shoot and it was really hard not to dissolve into giggles every time the camera was pointed in my direction, but it was so much fun.

Keep checking back for more trends, four ways.  XO, Kelly

Friday, May 17, 2013

I don't mean to rant here, but...

The goal of this blog is to empower women. Have them accept their bodies as they are, nay, embrace them! Therefore, we are going to try and keep things pretty positive. But every once in a while, one of us will see something that gets our blood boiling, and then… Well, then, it’s time to rant!

Those of you who follow the news, may have heard of the flap caused by plus size consumers in April when Target gave a plus size dress an unfortunate name. See, in the standard size line, the Target Kimono dress was called Dark Heather Gray. The plus size version? Manatee Gray. Yes. Manatee. As in Sea Cow.

The incident caused a commotion in the news and on the Internet. Target took the dress off their website and apologized for any “accidental” insult they may have caused. But I don’t think it was an accident at all, I think Target – and some other stores like it – are sizist!

Check out YouTube user ImFashionablyLate’s video on a visit to Target where there is no decent plus size clothes to be found:

I too have had a similar experience recently when trying to search for sleepwear at Target. Tons of cute stuff, all ending at size L or the occasional XL. No extended sizes whatsoever. What confuses me more is I don’t live in a town full of health-conscious, skinny, exercise freaks. I live in a southern North Carolina town full of women who like to eat. I know there is a market for plus size clothes in my area, so why are stores like Target no responding to the need?

And yes, I know they still carry a selection on the website. But I don’t always want to take a week to find a new top, waiting for it to come to my house trying it on and inevitably returning or exchanging it when it doesn’t fit. Never mind the fact that I then have to pay return shipping. That’s a whole other blog post!

How are we as plus size women meant to feel like valued consumers when we can shop for everything under the sun at these stores – we can buy bedding, groceries, even motor oil for our cars, but we can’t clothe ourselves?

I’m not feelin’ the love, Target. And your little PR gaffe in April has me thinking you mean it that way. That you hold the plus size consumer in very low regard. Who agrees? Has anyone else noticed a sharp decline in the amount of plus size clothes offered at your favorite store? Sound off in the comments!

Irritated in Carolina,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cut As Straight Size or Plus Sized? That is the question!

Greetings Gals!
Since Kelly posted some of those fabulous sales I know you all went out to take advantage of all the floral prints, fabulous frocks, and sexy swimwear that was on sale! A few more sales have popped up as well at Ashley Stewart, Kiyonna, and OneStopPlus just to name a few. Also, don't forget you can take advantage of the Mother's Day sales going on. You don't have to be a mama to dress with a little drama! Anyhow I'm rambling, so to the topic at hand! I thought it was important to write this post about sizing because often we as women are taught to and do hate our bodies when something doesn't fit. Quite honestly not everything will fit everybody or every body! There are so many things that make us different and make us beautiful! The term "plus sized" is used as a catch all term that lumps anyone over a size 12 into a category. Yes ladies, you heard me! Some retailers consider a size 12 plus sized! You and I both know a size 12 woman is not plus sized, but I digress! After reading this crazy article I was more incensed than ever to give you gals some great information, so here goes!

Image courtesy of Ms. Diane Kennedy

This is not the average body type/how to dress your shape post. While I find those particularly helpful, there are many blogs I love that have covered them well. You can check out one here, as well as by clicking on the link underneath the image above as well.This is a post of a different kind. I am going to talk about fit modeling and what that means for you and the way clothes fit.

Fit models are basically people who are hired for use as living mannequins by fashion designers or clothing manufacturers. They help a designer check the fit, drape, and visual appearance of a design. Models can also give feedback on the way fabric feels, whether or not something is comfortable, and if the design moves with the body or not. It's important to note that fit models are chosen by the designer or manufacturer's ideal combination of height, bust-waist-hip measurements, arm and leg length, shoulder width, and any other combination of measurements necessary to fit the creator's specifications. That means a fit model could look like this:

Image courtesy of Fit Models LLC

Image courtesy of  Fit Models LLC

                                                 Image Courtesy of  Fit Models LLC

Or This:
Image Courtesy of Fit Models LLC

It really is up to the designer's discretion. Many specifically plus sized brands actually hire plus sized fit models which they use to create the correct darting, seaming, and drape for a fuller figure. I say many because a model is considered plus sized at a size 6, while many plus sized customers wear a larger size than this (12 +). Many straight sized brands simply use the pattern of whatever fit model has been chosen and then just enlarge the pattern to create a larger size. The problem with this is, if you are trying on a garment that was intended for a body shape more like models 1-3 and you're actually built more like model 4, an enlarged version of a garment that fit well on one of them may not fit so well on you, even if you've bought it in a larger size. It is more effective to size patterns up and down within the plus sized range when the fit model is plus sized (12+), as opposed to trying to create a size 22 garment from a size 2 fit.

This is not to say plus sized women cannot wear straight sized clothes. Just don't get so frustrated with your body when something doesn't fit. That particular piece just may not be for you! Likewise, you may feel the difference in the fit and feel of clothing from plus sized brands because their fit model is larger. Some brands that you wouldn't suspect are cut in juniors sizes, so it's helpful to do some brand research when planning to shop. So the burning question is, why don't more brands use plus sized fit models to fit larger ( XL-XXL)/plus sized versions of their clothes? Quite simply, some designers don't feel that the expense to do this is worthwhile, like there really isn't the demand out there, or like our good friend in the above article, that their brand is only for an idealized version of a certain type of person.

Thanks Pinterest

Don't let the size on the tag ruin your mood! If it fits you, no one else will ever see the tag, so don't sweat it! Also, know that sizing is not universal! If you're an internet shopper you know that a size chart does not a size equal, and even when you know your measurements like the back of your hand, that's no guarantee something will fit. Don't hate your body! Of course we all have parts we like less than others, and sometimes we feel less than our best, but you don't have to live in a state of body hatred. Learn what works for YOUR body, and stick with it. It takes trial and error. Don't ever be afraid to wear what you want! Keep taking care of your curves, and they'll take care of you!

Until next time ladies!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring Sale Round-up

After a long winter of boots, leggings, and neutral colors, spring arrives with its florals, pastels, and strappy sandals and my little heart skips a beat.  I do more shopping in the spring than any other time of the year.   Seriously, I am currently waiting for four dresses, one pair of sandals, and one cardigan to be delivered to my doorstep right now.  The clothes are just so fun this time of year that I can’t resist them, no matter how hard I try.   (Ok, so I don’t really try very hard.)

If you are looking to pick up some new pieces for your spring wardrobe, there are a lot of great sales and promotions going on right now. 

Lane Bryant has BOGO on almost their entire site from May 1st-5th.  They will have the same promotion in-store starting tomorrow.  I scored a couple of pairs of workout capris for $26.

Asos has had a big end-of-season clearance going on for a while now, but they just did some new markdowns.  I just picked up this dress for $16.63!

Old Navy has a 20% off online, today, for the entire site.  I always pick up a bunch of lightweight, colorful cardigans this time of year from there.

Talbots has a 30% off, site wide today, also. 

And as always, Simply Be has a 30% for first time customers, online.  I just placed my first order with them recently.  I’ll report back when my goodies arrive.
Happy Spring, ya'll!  XO, Kelly