Sunday, February 28, 2016


Hey style loving babes! How are you? I’m doing well!!! Today’s style story features this blushed plus size romper from Forever 21’s plus size line. Confession: I recently spent a large chunk of time in a wonderfully stocked plus department/area by the retailer, and I must admit- I was equally shocked and delighted with the variety of styles on hand!
As a result, for several posts I plan to feature items from my mini impromptu shopping haul- just for you! Because I care! LOL! But seriously, what woman doesn’t love a god deal?! This blushing beauty is under twenty-five bucks in-store and online. Oh, and I’m loving the color up against my melanin. Rompers have been trending for a while now; Perfect for date night or Girls Night Out. I wore it out with my husband of 16 years (we recently celebrated our sweet sixteen anniversary) and let me tell you- it was a hit!
With Spring is on the horizon, now is a good time to take inventory and restock your personal wardrobe. My style habit for a number was to seasonally reassess what stays, what goes, nd what gaps I noticed. Now that I live in a predominantly warm climate, I find myself doing this bi-monthly versus seasonally. In the beginning, it took a period of time for me to understand/determine what items I really needed and would wear in my new climate. For instance, back east 50 sweaters made perfect sense, here- not so much. I found that if I even had the opportunity to wear a sweater, it was only once or twice a year, so I downsized my sweater inventory significantly.
Currently I’m in the process of adding more onesies, in the form of rompers and jumpsuits =) I’m also rethinking my shirt selections and skirt needs. Although I could hardly refer to my wardrobe as minimal, I am experiencing a sense of satisfaction with its current inventory and the reduction measures that have been taken.
This fun blush number is super versatile, I could easily see adding layers in the form of a long sleeveless vest, transitioning it to cooler temperatures with tights, or dressing it up even further with statement pieces. I love how it’s made, YES plus size women can rock rompers too! 
Until next time Beauties,

Necklace: Ross Dress for Less| Romper: Forever 21+, size 0X| Shoes: Enzo Angiolini| Clutch: Lord & Taylor

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Crash Color Course

Recently over at Already Pretty, I discussed what what I like to call “Size Segregation”. I said, and I quote: “Would it be horribly wrong if designers and retailers made a commitment – or shall I say, the SAME commitment- to ALL consumers, providing them with ample options in ONE central place, both in-store and online?! What exactly is the benefit of forcing prospective customers to limit their fashion options based on what is available in, for example, rare petite shops, mail order catalogs for tall women, or specialty venues that offer plus sizes?” My thoughts got reader engagement, and several women mentioned that they actually don’t mind sizes being segregated. They would prefer to go directly into a store, straight to their applicable size section, without having to muddle through items that are not their size.
I genuinely appreciated their feedback, it helped me to appreciate that my circumstances may be somewhat unique and to see the matter from another perspective. You see I shop juniors, misses, petites, and plus size! I have to trump all over a store to find clothing, from petites, to misses, up or down to plus, and so on! What would be ideal for me is if all items sized 14 were grouped together, for example: 14 P, 14, 14W and so on. However, I realize that I have different circumstances based on what readers shared, and I can understand that there is not a 'one size fits all' rule that can be applied in this instance. For me, size segregation is an irritant, whereas for others, it is a matter of convenience. I’m curious, what are your thoughts and or preferences when it comes to size segregation, that is, when designers and or retailers insist that clothing be grouped separately, versus in numerical order, all in one section? Do you feel that plus size clothing from the same designers should be showcased on separate social media platforms versus one, as a unified front?
Today’s look features a classic dip in color-blocking bliss. I am very much team monochrome (example here and here), but am also equally team color-block too! Bright colors have been my 'go-to' long before it was in style and or trendy. I love playing in color, and often times that means wearing pieces that don’t "match". A simple way to color-block is to choose three colors that you like and that look well together. Then incorporate that color palette into a look. As time goes on, and you feel more comfortable, you can continue to build on that basic foundation.

Until next time Lovies!
Sunnies: Nordstrom| Blouse: Liz Claiborne,14W |Skirt: Vince Camuto, worn here {L}|Suede pumps: Audrey Brooke, worn here and here

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lemon Meringue

For today’s style story, we take a trip back in time, circa the 1940's. I absolutely love the fashion options from that era, and have even thought how amazing it would have been to live back then and to enjoy those fashions firsthand. However, I quickly remember that I am a woman with brown skin, which means that life during that era would have been particularly difficult. You see in this country, people were hated, solely based on the color of their skin. My grandparents lived through that era, and have shared with me the challenges that arose simply because a person was: black. Yes, life would have been much more challenging for me then, than it is today- and I will say: It is still a challenge being a black woman.
It’s been said that hatred is learned; I have witnessed that truth time and time again. For instance, I was standing in line the other day at a store, and I overheard a little boy directly behind me ask his mother: ‘Why are there people with red skin?’ I couldn’t hear his mom's answer, she seemed embarrassed and subsequently mumbled something under her breath. Although I was unable to hear her reply, it brought to my mind another experience that I won’t forget anytime soon.
One afternoon I was sitting leisurely with a family that I had known for a little over a year. They are natives of another country, and as it happens, they do not have brown skin. Their youngest child (age 4) began to ask me a series of question, starting with:  Why are your knees black? Why are your gums dark? Why is your skin different than mine? Why is your hair like that? Do you wish your hair was like mine? As so on... The tone of her questions reflected more than curiosity, instead it was actually a sense of superiority. Despite my shock and discomfort, I answered each of her inquiries as simply and gracefully as possible. However, my thoughts wandered over to her parents, my relationship with them, and the type of people that they must truly be, given the fact that their child felt that her race/features/color indicated that she was superior to me. Also I was shocked and stunned by the obvious: At no point did they interject into our conversation, seizing the opportunity to teach/show her that people come in all shades and sizes, and that we are all equal and beautiful. You see, I am of the belief that parents have a responsibility to teach their children to love and value people of all colors.
With that said, I know that I would not have enjoyed living during the 40's, but fortunately that doesn't mean that I have to miss out entirely on the fabulous styles that stem from that time!
This beauty from Shabby Apple resonated with me, I was siked when they reached out to me and offered me the opportunity to try it out. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about sizing (as I always am when trying out a new brand), so I ordered this dress in a size 16, hoping that would ensure that I'd have some extra room. However, this dress actually runs small, and fits truer to a petite size 12 in my opinion. Nevertheless, the color, the cut, and the print are gloriously designed and happily take me back to my dream style era.
Please share: What is your dream style era?!

Until next time Style Lovers!

Feather hat: Vintage| Fishnet gloves: Vintage| Dress: Shabby Apple, gifted| Mink stole: Vintage| Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spring Forward

We have officially entered the countdown for Spring! ! ! Can you believe that it is less than six weeks away?! Most of the US is in a freeze zone, but in my neck of the woods we’re experiencing a glimpse of Summer 2016, complete with near record breaking temperatures. Highs peaked at 89 degrees the other day, simply unbelievable in the middle of February- but nonetheless wonderful!  
I opened the windows in my office, cracked the sunroof while driving, and happily peeled off a suddenly unnecessary sweater :)
The vest that I’m wearing in today’s post boasts a gorgeous floral print, completely reminiscent of all the glory that is springtime. I mean, isn’t floral print synonymous with warmer temperatures?! I’m not saying that floral print can’t be worn effortlessly all year around, however there is something distinctive about florals that always make me think of Spring days back in the Midwest…  This vest is fabulously simple, I feel like it does all of the work. I’m so happy that I didn’t leave it in the store, as I most certainly debated about it over and over again… You see, I have a notorious habit of talking myself out of buying things, and then later on languishing over my poor decision, wishing that I would have bought the item. The advantage of making the purchase when in doubt is that the item can always be returned (at most retailers)! However, if you leave it in the store, you never know if it will be there when you go back, especially in your size O_O 
Now that we’ve gone through confessions of #ShoppersAnonymous , I'll keep it moving...
This vest is easily dressed up or down, layered, and can simply be worn over the shoulders in cape-like fashion. The winning factors for me were the print, length, and functional pockets. Oftentimes pockets are not deep enough to be fully functional, so I always appreciate a pocket that can actually hold my keys, cell, and so on….
Now let's chat about this fitted beauty by swak designs- I fell hard for the side ruching detail right away. The body con design is fabulous on curves and with strategic ruching can camouflage a multitude of indiscretions, if you know what I mean ;) I've been experimenting with wearing more neutral colors and gray has become a fast favorite. It goes with everything, and easily subs for its close cousin, black.
Until next time lovies,

Sunnies: Betsey Johnson| Vest: Daniel Rainn |Dress: swak designs, gifted| Sandals: Call It Spring

Friday, February 5, 2016

Power Lines

My absolute favorite pattern to wear by far is STRIPES!!!
See several examples here, here, and here
For years on end women have been told to steer clear of stripes because they will make you look big, or goodness forbid, you might appear BIGGER than you actually are... Alas, those days are finally long gone – stripes reign supreme in absolutely every category and for every body type and size. You can find options practically everywhere, from Walmart to Neiman Marcus - in accord with you style and budget. Yes, stripes are totally accessible for the everyday woman and the variety currently available seems endless. I love it!
Black & white combinations always pack a powerful style punch and is actually my favorite color palette, for the moment. See examples here, here, and here. Yes, pairing the two basic colors together serves doses of bold and fierce in equal proportion. Now add to that a stripe pattern and wa-la ---> you have instantaneous electricity!
The beauty that I’m wearing in today’s post (SWAK Designs, see another post here) differs considerably from the other stripe sweater dresses in my collection. I think that the solid black panel that runs down the center of it and the corresponding stripes on the arms and silhouette is pure genius! Yes, yes, a prime example of the absolute ideal plus size dress for the curvy woman!
This is such an easy wear, and a perfect for sweater weather or perhaps more fittingly, what I like to think of as, “Pre-Spring” season-LOL! 
Note: If you order this number, or one similar to it, you may want to size up for added comfort and a more relaxed fit. I ordered a size 2X.
The weekend that I wore this, it was particularly chilly, even for my neck of the woods. I could have easily paired a white button up blouse underneath, along with furry outerwear, leather gloves, and knee-high boots. However, this was clearly the more fun to style it -LOL!
As I mentioned earlier the temperature was a bit nippy (especially when not in direct sunlight), so I added my staple legwarmers for functionality, and a wool hat for an additional measure of warmth. 
Oh, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I also wore this sweater dress as a sweater, with pale blue skinnies and a camel coat. If I do say so myself: Not only was combo fab, but I also had warmth in an overdose- which is just the way I like it!

Until next time Beauties!


Hat:Shiraleah (worn here)| Sunnies: Tildon| Dress: SWAK Designs, gifted| Clutch: Kate Spade| Legwarmers: Loehmann's| Shoes: Pour La Victoire