Plus-size fashion & beauty

6 Reasons Why You Need to Go Bra Shopping Every Year

Bras. Swimsuits. Jeans. Bridesmaids dresses.

What do all these things have in common?

They’re all things most women would rather get a root canal than go shopping for. (Full disclosure: I’ve never had a root canal. But I can’t imagine they’re fun.)

I used to work at Lane Bryant and was a certified intimate apparel expert. (Second full disclosure: I watched a video and took an open-note quiz. But I was actually known as a pretty damn good bra saleswoman.)

I can attest to the fact many women only shopped for bras every two or three years. Other women I know—specifically ones who gave birth to me—do it even less often. (Full disclosure: I love my mom.)

Trust me: I get it. I understand the many reasons to put off bra shopping, from cost to the time factor to the stupefying number of choices.

But the reality is you need to go bra shopping at least once a year.

I have a list of six reasons to consider why you need to go bra shopping. You’ll be doing yourself and “the girls” a huge favor:

  1. Chances are very good you’re wearing the wrong size. Depending where you read it, anywhere between 65-85% of American women are wearing the wrong bra size. And having worked at LB so long, I believe it. No store charges for a bra fitting, so at the very least, it costs you nothing to find out how far off the mark you are. Because of hormones, weight gain/loss, and many other factors, you are probably not the exact size you were five years ago.
  1. You’ll boost your fashion IQ. I am amazed at all the different types of innovations bra designers and manufacturers come up with. Back smoothing. Moisture wicking. Bralettes. Demi cups that fit a DDD. Lace that doesn’t show under knits. Hundreds of gorgeous patterns. You’d think such a simple garment would be pretty dull, but there’s a lot you can do with it!
  1. You will find a new best friend. Once you are properly fitted and find a comfortable bra with good support—yes, they do exist—you will seriously wonder how you ever lived without it! Imagine being at work without having to adjust your bra at a staff meeting. Or if you went running without pain because you had a proper sports bra. Did you just improve your quality of life? Yes, you did!
  1. Your clothes will look stunning on you. I see so many shirts or dresses that don’t look quite right because of an ill-fitting bra. I see boobs that are pointed up and down. I see uniboobs. Quadriboobs. And other types I can’t even mention. When you are fitted with the right bra for your frame, I cannot even tell you how well your clothes fit. You can be proud of your figure and wear clothes that are sleek or tailored instead of boxy and baggy. Believe me, others will notice.
  1. You could get the chance to treat yourself and your SO. Hell, I don’t even date, but even I occasionally splurge on something lacy and/or oh là là for myself. Why not? It’s fun! And if you enjoy something black or sparkly or with ribbons, I’m guessing your SO does, too!
  1. It will save you money in the long run. A good fitting bra is an investment. Stop throwing your money away on cheap bras that don’t fit. And definitely stop buying expensive ones that don’t fit and you don’t take care of! A quality bra will last approximately 180 wears, or even longer if you wash and store it properly.

The next time you put on a bra, ask yourself:

  • Does the back ride up?
  • Are the wires rubbing scabs into my skin?
  • Do I spill over or under the cup?
  • Do I often fiddle with the straps?
  • Is it cutting red marks into my shoulders or chest?
  • Does it hurt so badly that I take it off right when I get home, even before I take off my shoes?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to go get fitted for a new bra. Block an hour out over lunch, after work (Mondays and Tuesdays are typically the slowest nights in retail), on a Saturday morning, or when the mall opens on Sunday. Take a sister or a trusted friend. It doesn’t have to be torture.

You deserve to be comfortable and look great. With a bra that fits great, you are ready to conquer the world like the amazing curvy goddess that you are!

Be honest…when was the last time you had a fitting? Comment below!

Project 333 and Me: A Review

As nerdy as it sounds, I am obsessed with simplicity.

I want things easy breezy.

I have long sung the praises of the capsule wardrobe, so when I saw the 333 Project on the Becoming Minimalist Blog, I thought I had to give it a try. I want to introduce you to this super easy minimalist wardrobe, how I did it, and what I learned.

What is Project 333?

Created by Courtney Carver in 2010, the 333 Project is pretty straightforward for those of us ready to leap into the capsule wardrobe:

  • You are limited to 33 items. That includes clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes.
  • It does not include sentimental jewelry you always wear (I always wear the same necklace and right-hand ring), undergarments, sleepwear, loungewear (leggings, t-shirts), and workout clothes (but you can only wear those when you actually exercise).

How I Did It

You can buy her $19.99 mini-course on how to get started, but here’s what I did for the price of zero dollars:

  • The day after Christmas, I laundered all my clothes and threw them on my bed.
  • I was shocked that I still had quite a few clothes that no longer fit. Except for three shirts, they all went in the donation bag. All of them.
  • After that, I considered which clothes would be best for work and play. I tend to wear my work clothes out, just changing the trousers or skirt for jeans.
  • I only picked what I really, really loved and needed.
  • I don’t know what this says about me, but I gravitated towards my most expensive and/or high-quality clothing.

Here is my list:

OUTERWEAR

  1. Wool coat
  2. Fleece vest

SHOES/ACCESSORIES

  1. Black flats
  2. Red flats
  3. Converse sneakers
  4. Black knee-high boots
  5. Tan-and-cream Burberry scarf
  6. White gold hoop earrings
  7. Watch

PANTS/SKIRTS/DRESSES

  1. Black work trousers
  2. Black jeans
  3. Black cropped pants
  4. Blue jeans
  5. Leopard-print pencil skirt
  6. Little black dress

SHIRTS/TOPS

  1. White t-shirt
  2. Black t-shirt
  3. Grey t-shirt
  4. White tunic
  5. Denim shirt
  6. Black boyfriend blazer
  7. Igigi shirt
  8. Breton t-shirt
  9. Floral tunic
  10. Black cami
  11. Black cami with lace
  12. Nude cami
  13. Fuschia cami
  14. Leopard print cami
  15. Black flyaway tank top
  16. Cashmere sweater
  17. Lightweight cropped sweater
  18. Black cardigan

Project 333 Hacks

Though it’s not mentioned in the rules, I swapped out items as the weather got warmer. I live in the Great Plains; I’ll be damned if I wear a cashmere sweater or wool coat in March. They were traded for a t-shirt and another pair of cropped pants.

Sunglasses are considered accessories, but since mine are prescription, I cheated a little and didn’t count those.

I also bought new clothes as needed. My black dress was several years old, pilled, and showing signs of wear, so I got a new Igigi dress on mega-sale thanks to eBay. As Courtney says, this is not punishment. This is only taking what you really love and wearing it in heavy rotation.

What I Learned

The 333 Project was super easy to do. Laundry loads were a little smaller, getting dressed was a heckuva lot faster, and I still got tons of compliments on what I wore by people who’d seen me wear them countless times. If my coworkers noticed I was wearing the same things over and over, they never said a word.

I realized it really is OK to spend money on quality items. My stuff from Lane Bryant (about half the clothes) isn’t expensive but still good quality. My Breton shirt and blazer came from Target. But I shouldn’t feel guilty about spending $100 on quality shoes for my poor, deformed feet. I spent a pretty penny on the Burberry scarf, but I’ve gotten more value for wear out of that than any other scarf I own.

The one thing I am scratching my head about is my jewelry collection. I have a lot of silver jewelry. A. LOT. Some of it is from my grandmother so – duh – I’m not giving it up. But I have so many rings and earrings I never wear. I want them to go to a good home, so I am going to have to figure out how to dispose of them. I will keep you posted!

Do you find Project 333 intriguing? Could you live with just 33 items? Comment below!

Why You Should Wear Red Lipstick

Marilyn Monroe. Taylor Swift. Dita Von Tease. Gwen Stefani. Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

What do all these people have in common?

Red lips. Crimson. Scarlet. Vermillion. Ruby. Cerise. Carmine. Matte, shiny, or glossy. Whatever you call it, they know how to take the color red and rock it as their signature color.

I don’t wear red lipstick every day, but when I do, someone often tells me, “That’s such a great shade on you. I wish I could pull it off!”

Well, I’m about to let you in on a little secret. You can pull it off. For those of you who have always wanted to wear red lipstick, I am going to give you reasons why you should and what you need to do when selecting a shade. Hopefully it will give you the boost you need to try it yourself!

There are a lot of reasons to even consider wearing red lipstick in the first place:

  • You can wear no makeup except a red lip and still look pulled-together. I wear very little makeup as it is, but when I wear red on my lips, no one cares if I did my eyes or am wearing foundation. Your lips will be there front and center!
  • Red complements nearly every color you wear. There’s just something about it – it matches every color under the rainbow (except maybe pink…I personally don’t mix the two), so you will always look polished.
  • It makes you stand out in a crowd. Do you ever see a woman wearing a beautiful shade of red and envy her for it? That could be you. In a sea of colored lips, the red is definitely a show-stopper!
  • It is a timeless color. Think of every old-timey actress you can. How easy is it to imagine her in red lipstick? It’s not hard at all. Purples, pinks, corals, and earth tones come in and out of style over the decades, but red is eternal.
  • There is a shade of red that will perfectly match your skin tone. Not all hues of red were created equal, but some time at a makeup counter will not be wasted!

Below is a chart from InStyle magazine about which shades of red will work best with different skin tones:

Skin tone Undertone Lipstick shade
Fair Cool Raspberry
Fair Warm Red with an orange undertone
Medium-light   Pinkish red
Medium Yellow Tangerine
Medium Gold True red
Medium Neutral Blue-red
Golden   Berry
Tan Warm Orange-based
Tan Neutral Bright cherry
Tan Cool Merlot
Dark Warm Opaque blue
Dark Cool Ruby or wine

 

Note that “cool” undertones mean you have more pink or blue hues in your skin. “Warm” is more yellow or peach, and “neutral” means you have a combination of all the above.

Again, if you’re completely confused by this chart, make an appointment at a department store makeup counter. They’re almost always free, and their expert advice can get you started. Many will even give you a sample to try. If they do, take it to your local drug store to find a budget-friendly substitution!

I hope this post has inspired you to consider buying a tube of red lipstick. Because it is so eye-popping and timeless, you really can’t go wrong. And there is definitely a shade that will flatter you, so what are you waiting for?

What is your all-time favorite lipstick shade? Comment below!

An Interview with Hackwith Design House

(photo credit: Hackwith Design House)

I am so excited to bring you Plus One Woman’s first interview with a fashion line! Founded by Lisa Hackwith in 2013, Hackwith Design House is a leader in minimalist design and sustainable fashion. Best of all, they carry plus sizes!!!

Every piece is a limited edition, handmade at their studio in Minneapolis. I love their high-quality fabrics and durable wear. Each item really is a wearable work of art.

Enjoy the following interview with Erin Husted, their Director of Operations!

  1. What is your definition of slow fashion?

Slow fashion is about creating pieces that are meant to last and sustainable. At Hackwith Design House, we strive to use natural and sustainable fabrics as much as possible, and we make every single piece in our Minnesota studio. You can read about our whole team on our website, and you’ll know that one of those women made the clothing you buy from us.

  1. Many of us are on a budget but would love to embrace slow fashion. What would you suggest as one or two key pieces she should consider investing in for her capsule wardrobe?

We believe that women are as diverse as their skills, talents, and accomplishments, so what I might want as a key piece will be different than what someone else might want. But I’ll give my two cents, anyway J. Any piece from our HDH Basics line (which is sized through XL right now) is a great first start to a capsule wardrobe. We also have a beautiful Trench Coat that will work with anyone’s closet, and it is available in HDH Plus.

  1. What was the catalyst for launching HDH Plus?

Lisa and I both have friends who consider themselves plus-sized, and they are beautiful, fashionable women. It didn’t make sense to us that there weren’t more lines catering to these accomplished women who wanted to buy sustainable, well-designed clothes. As soon as we had room in our budget, we decided to launch HDH Plus. We hope to be able to expand the line over time as our budget allows.

An Interview with Lottie L’Amour

 

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For Plus One Woman’s first interview, I want to introduce you to the fabulous Lottie L’Amour, a fabulous British plus-size blogger who is based in London. Lottie has been blogging for nearly two years. Her bright affinity for patterns is what initially brought me over to her site, but her articles on living as a plus-size woman, body positivity, and unapologetic confidence reeled me in, hook, line, and sinker. I can’t be the only one – she has thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As if that weren’t enough, she has also branched into the world of vlogging!

Enjoy this interview where Lottie shares her insights on British designers, mixing trends with classic pieces, and being at peace in her own skin.

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PoW: More and more UK designers are offering shipping to the States. For those of us who are completely uninitiated, how would you describe the styles of: River Island, Simply Be, Lovedrobe, ASOS Curve, Evans, and Elvi?

LL: It’s funny because this side of the pond, we’re jealous of places like Society Plus and Torrid! UK fashion is pretty progressive for plus size women, we’re getting more choices than ever before but unfortunately these choices don’t always reach all the way down the larger end of the plus size spectrum. Places like ASOS Curve, Evans and Simply Be do fashion all the way up to a UK 32, so they are leading the way in offering a wide range of sizes, but newer brands like River Island, Boohoo and Elvi are adding more sizes as time goes on (those three do up to a UK 26).

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ASOS Curve is second to none for fashion forward pieces, closely followed by River Island and Boohoo, who’s curve ranges are basically an extension of some key pieces from their straight size ranges. For girls needing workwear or occasionwear, Evans, Simply Be and Elvi are perfect to find those high end pieces mixed in with some regular staple items. Just make sure you read a few UK plus size fashion blogs to check up on the fit of the items – some of them can come up small, so it’s worth reading up so you know when to size up!

(PoW note: ASOS has a good size conversion site here. But remember to always, always check measurements & ask if you aren’t sure!)

PoW: You wear such fun, bold patterns! How do you like to mix up the trends of a season with classic staples like the little black dress, a white button-down shirt, skinny jeans, Breton stripes, etc?

LL: I love to mix in elements of the past with outfits that I put together – whether it’s going full hog and wearing a 1950’s dress, or just a little nod to the 90’s with a choker, I constantly take inspiration from bygone eras and make them into something trend-led in a street style. For example, if I’m wearing a plain black dress, I’ll always rough it down with a giant novelty clutch bag or a pair of biker boots and a glittery bomber jacket! Skinny jeans go with absolutely everything – my black ripped skinnies are a staple in my wardrobe. I often wear them with a cute breton stripe bardot off-the-shoulder swing top and a pair of metallic trainers for when I want to make a little bit more of a subtle statement.

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The beauty with using plain staples is you get to choose how much you want to stand out that day – life isn’t all about making a statement all the time, it’s perfectly cool to tone it down and have a little nod to your love of bright prints and sparkly things with your accessories if you’re not feeling it that day.

PoW: What is the best advice you ever gave or was given to help you love the size you are?

LL: The first thing you need to do is make the decision to not give a crap about how anyone else views you. The minute you decide “actually, I’m living my life for me, and I’m happy as I am” is the minute your whole perception will change. That’s a decision that only you can make – there’s no magic formula or guidebook on how to get there, you just need to decide to be kinder to yourself. For me, I decided that I’d spent too much time attributing my worth to my size, and that was wrong. One of the most radical things I did was actually just looking at myself in the mirror – and I mean really looking at myself. Not skimming over the chubby bits I used to. Not focusing on what I thought were my best bits. I focused on every single part of my body and I told myself that I loved my body, every inch of it. My body has done wonderful things for me – it allows me to hug someone I love, it allows me to explore the earth, my soft stomach protects my organs, my wobbly thighs help me to walk… it really is an amazing, beautiful thing, just as it is. All bodies are deserving of love, yes, even your own!

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To find out more about Lottie, visit:

Note: All photos (c) Lottie L’Amour and used with permission.

Carmakorma: A Review of a Danish Plus-Size Retailer

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Plus-size shopping. Blech.

If you’re not confined to Lane Bryant, Avenue, Torrid, or the hidden plus-size section of major department stores, you have to go online to find gems that you want to wear. (Please note I am not knocking the above-mentioned retailers, but let’s face it…our straight-sized sisters have it a lot easier!).

Being your crash-test dummy, sit back, relax, and let me tell you the story of one e-tailer I found and my opinions of their clothes.

I was reading a recent article of Glamour magazine online. It’s not a magazine I habitually read, but it was really well done article entitled “Finally, There’s Good Fashion for Everyone! Here’s How to Master Plus-Size Style.” I read about a Danish retailer named Carmakoma, who the article called, “cool, of-the-moment pieces.”

I was game to try. After all, I am a sucker for all things European and I wanted to try a new brand. Carmakoma brands itself as “Luxury Fashion for Curvy Women.” Armed with a 15% coupon for signing up for their mailing list, I ordered two black-and-white tops for about $120, which included taxes. They offer free shipping and handling from Denmark for orders over $100.

I was pleasantly surprised that the shirts got here in less than a week from Denmark. I wish I could say I was just as excited about the shirts.

The first was their Gemma top. I am looking for a summer-weight Breton t-shirt, and the website branded it as “…a summer top in a soft and heavy jersey fabric. The fabric is very flattering because it shows the curves, but without revealing too much. The top has a ‘tight fit’, without being uncomfortable. The short sleeves are flattering and the top can be styled in many ways…”

Well, here it is:

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Unfortunately, this top did not live up to the stellar write-up. I did like the color and the interesting way the material met at the neckline for a twist on a classic silhouette. However:

  • The fabric is 87% viscose, 10% polyester and 3% elastane. It was hot, heavy, and it clung mercilessly to my spare tire.
  • I think the worst thing about it is that it is unforgivingly boxy. I can’t stand boxy clothes, and there is no way I would feel confident wearing it. So up on eBay it goes.

Next shirt was called their Avi top, which is, “…a flattering sleeveless top featuring a V-neck at front and back, and a button closure along back. The top has vertical stripes. Its a soft fabric with a little bit of stretch and a perfect top for springtime use under a blazer.”

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I liked this one better. It had dart seams that ran across the bust for a more tailored look but it didn’t cling. The vertical stripes were very cute and I loved the cream color. However:

  • I didn’t like the 92% polyester, 8% elastane material. It was a heavier, stretchier, and cheaper version of a crêpe de chine.
  • The material is doubled up over the neckline and it doesn’t sit very well. I kept having to adjust it to make it sit flat.
  • The neckline was too plunging and the armholes too low to wear without a cami.
  • I know buttons on the back are “in” right now, but it just looked weird on this shirt.

So, it’s a nice enough top, but I don’t adore it enough to keep. Up on eBay this goes, too. Why eBay? Because the returns form is in Danish, I am not paying to ship them back to Denmark, and there are a lot of horror stories I read on their Facebook page about trying to get refunds or exchanges from America and Canada. At least on eBay I can recoup a little of the money I spent.

I don’t think I will buy from Carmakoma again. They do have nice things, fast shipping, and the prices are mid-range. But the bottom line is that they are simply not my taste. The material is too heavy, the clothes sit funny on me, and I wasn’t impressed enough to want to make their items part of my capsule wardrobe.

Have you ever ordered from a new brand and been disappointed? Comment below and share your story!

Glamour’s Special Plus-Size Edition: Worth the Cover Price?

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Would you plunk down $12.99 for a newsstand magazine? Most of us probably wouldn’t.

But when I heard Condé Nast’s Glamour magazine was doing a 96-page special summer edition for women size 12 and above called Chic at a Any Size!, I happily shelled out the hefty price for my own copy.

I want to share with you my thoughts on this expensive magazine before you get your own copy. Was it worth the investment?

 

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Yes and no.

For the most part, the magazine is has pretty standard, run-of-the-mill photo shoots with the lovely models Ashley Graham, Precious Lee, and Iskra Lawrence. Plus-sized bloggers, designers, and models offer style tips. There are good interviews with Zac Posen on the importance of tailoring and Lena Dunham about not giving a rat’s ass what you look like no matter what size you are.

The content is evergreen and besides the good style tips, the best piece in the edition is the article “How Do You Feel About Your Body?” Sadly, American women surveyed feel worse about their bodies than in the 1980s. Social media makes it harder for women to stop comparing themselves with images they see of their friends and celebrities. I was interested to see:

  • 47% of women think they don’t need to be skinny to attractive (down from 80% in in 1984).
  • 76% of American women hate their stomachs the most. The thighs were the most maligned body part in the 1980s.

The most buzzworthy piece was a reprint of an insipid 2015 interview Amy Schumer written by her own sister. Schumer addresses sexism in comedy, rules for hooking up, and muses about her size, “…I think it’s good to see someone saying: I have a belly. And I have cellulite. And I still deserve love…And not to apologize.”

While that sounds nice, Schumer went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week to address that. Sitting in an awkward, unladylike pose, she proclaimed, “What I learned is that people don’t really like being classified by plus-size. We don’t need these labels. It should just say what size you are, right?” To which the sheep in the audience burst into applause.

While this issue is geared to women size 12 and up and Schumer claims to be a size 6 or 8, I think she does women a disservice by calling for an end to labels.

I cannot think of a single store where plus-sized clothing is identical to the straight-sized ones. Schumer needs to realize that labels do exist. I wear many labels in the day: I am a woman, plus-sized (or even fat, I don’t mind the word), white, Midwestern, single, childless, an employee, single breadwinner, pet owner.

Labels describe me and help paint a picture, but they are not the essence of who I am. Words I use to describe myself like funny, generous, intelligent, and loyal are closer to the core of who I am than the words that pigeonhole me into categories. I’m fat. So what?

And it actually took me the first 22 years of my life to be comfortable enough in my own skin to embrace the “plus-size” label. So why is Amy Schumer knocking the term, which the issue of Glamour never uses to describe her? They say she is a “Woman We Admire,” right there on the cover with the hilarious Melissa McCarthy, eternal Adele, and the beautiful Ashley Graham (who has also been known to eschew the term “plus-size”).

If you want a pretty coffee-table caliber magazine, I think the $12.99 is worth the price. If you want some good style tips, learn about a few new clothing lines, and see body positivity in action, I highly recommend this edition.

However, almost everything here is prettily repurposed content. You probably don’t need to spend the money, but sneak a peak when you are in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Whatever you feelings, my hat’s off to Glamour for this magazine. I am excited to see their collaboration with Lane Bryant for a fall collection!

Have you seen the magazine yet? What are your thoughts on Amy Schumer? Comment below!

8 Key Pieces for Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe

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WINTER IS OVER. I’m done scraping my windshield, I can actually turn off the damn heat, shaving above the knee is a reality, and I can finally open the windows to let some fresh air in!

With the change of season goes a change of clothes. Bulky sweaters, knits, jackets, and boots give way to t-shirts, pastels, shorter skirts, and sandals.

It’s high time to go through your closet and rotate in clothes for the warmer weather and longer days. As you go through your closet and get rid of old items that either don’t fit or you no longer love, think about what you can do to cultivate a capsule wardrobe and keep only the pieces you really, really love.

I’ve opened my closet doors to give you a sneak peak of what I am rocking this spring to inspire you to examine what would work best for you.

Keep in mind I work full-time in an office, and what I like may not be your style. Feel free to use this as a guideline or template as you decide what you will wear this spring:

  1. Two dresses. I have two dresses for spring—one is all black and the other is this delicious Eliza J shift dress I purchased from Nordstrom’s.

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  1. Skinny jeans. I have worn everything from mom jeans to flares and everything in-between. Nothing fits me so well as my Silver Suki skinny jeans. The 2% stretch is just enough. And being apple-shaped, it sits on my stomach well while showing off my comparably thinner legs.
  1. Two pairs of trousers. I have one pair of long black trousers and a pair of navy cropped pants to wear at work. My blouses and the Breton shirt are neutral enough they look great with both pairs of trousers.
  1. Two pencil skirts. I confess to having no less than four pencil skirts because I like the way I look in them, but for the spring, I prefer my grey and khaki-colored ones.
  1. A blazer. I am utterly besotted with this piece I picked up at Lane Bryant in February. It will be light enough to carry me through June and a colorful cami underneath just makes it pop.

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  1. A Breton nautical t-shirt. These are fun shirts, usually cream-colored with navy or black stripes and a bateau neckline. They are an iconic piece to most Frenchwomen’s wardrobes. They can be worn under a blazer or paired with jeans for the weekend. I dare you to find a chic-er, more versatile top for your wardrobe.
  1. Two blouses. One of my spring blouses is from Igigi, which is a favorite label of mine for both dresses and tops. After years of searching for The Perfect White Button-down Blouse, I actually found it at CJ Banks, of all places! I just love it.

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  1. Two light cardigans. The ones I am rocking this spring are both from Lane Bryant. I usually wear camis underneath, but I also do wear them with t-shirts.

Of course there are other things I have that I rotate into my capsule wardrobe: camisoles (I have a serious cami addiction), t-shirts, colorful flats, and scarves.

Even if you don’t buy into the idea of a capsule wardrobe, it is definitely empowering to go through your wardrobe and take stock of what you own. If you can edit your wardrobe to a few key pieces that you love, I guarantee you will never play the “I have nothing to wear” game this spring.

What’s in your closet this spring? Have you purchased anything new this year? Let me know by commenting below!

Title image credit: Aussiegall @ Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lots_of_Blossoms_(6021502431).jpg.

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe and Why You Need One Right Now

There are women in my closet hanging on hangers, a different woman for each suit, each dress, each pair of shoes. I hoard clothes. –Marya Hornbacher

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Does this quote sound like a familiar refrain in your life? Is your closet crammed so full of clothes that it’s taken on a life of its own? It’s OK if it does. Let me introduce you to the capsule wardrobe, and why taming your closet is one of the biggest favors you will ever do for yourself.

A capsule wardrobe can be defined as only having a few set items in your closet—between 10 and 20, depending on what works best for you. It usually means dresses, shirts, pants, and skirts. It does not include shoes, accessories, outerwear, t-shirts, camis, jammies, or workout clothes

Here are the greatest advantages of the capsule wardrobe

  1. Getting dressed in the morning is a snap. How much time do you spend fussing over what to wear in the morning? Because I only have 15 items to choose from, it makes my morning routine a breeze.
  1. You become much more intentional in your clothing purchases. I have a very specific list of items I need and I don’t deviate from it. If you hate shopping, you will really find this liberating.
  1. You have the opportunity to invest in quality pieces. Yes, my jeans cost almost $100 at a department store. But because they are my only pair of jeans, I have worn them so much more and they have held up so much better than jeans of a lesser quality.
  1. It saves you money in the long run. Have you ever done the math on the cost per wear for your clothes? I have worn my $100 jeans well over 100 times, which is well less than $1 per wear. If I bought I $40 pair of jeans and wore them 20 times…$2 means I haven’t gotten my money’s worth out of it.
  1. Accessories steal the show. Because my clothes tend to be solids, I have lots of fun with accessories. Scarves, jewelry, and shoes provide that pop of color or element of surprise to ensure no two outfits are exactly the same.
  1. Shopping with a purpose is oh-so-easy. I don’t buy something “just because” it’s on sale or get something at Target that I kinda-sorta-not-really like. Because I have a very specific list, I don’t settle for “like.” I only buy what I LOVE.
  1. There is a freedom in owning less. I can’t even begin to describe the joy I derive from owning less. My life is defined by the experiences I have in these clothes; I am not a slave to worrying about my out-of-control closet. Retail therapy doesn’t hold as much power over me. (Don’t get me wrong—I still love to shop!)
  1. Editing your wardrobe allows you to express your true (fashion) self. I was all over the map before I switched to a capsule wardrobe…a little bohemian, a little trendy, a little classic. But after I found my fashion voice, I realized I prefer classic pieces more than anything else, and this helps me even more when I go shopping.
  1. You will love each and every thing in your closet. I can honestly say there is nothing in my closet I am “meh” about. Each and every thing fits beautifully and I love it. If I haven’t worn in a year—out it goes.

I had first heard of capsule wardrobes when I was a little squirt in the 1980s, working on my Fashion badge as a little Girl Scout. It was always in the back of my mind, but I didn’t actually drink the Kool-Aid until I read Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned Living in Paris. I cannot recommend that book highly enough to teach you how and why of editing your wardrobe.

How full is your closet? Is a capsule wardrobe something you are willing to try? Comment below and stop by next week for a pee

The Lane Bryant Ad That Was Banned & Why You Should Care

Size discrimination. The final frontier.

From mainstream media to how people treat us in everyday life, far too many people still judge us women by the number on the scale and our clothing labels.

You would think in the tolerant 21st century we would have to put up with less and less of this crap, but sadly, this is not the case.

This became sadly evident in a recent 30-second Lane Bryant commercial that was banned from the airwaves by both ABC and NBC:

Starring SI cover girl Ashley Graham, new mom Tara Lynn, Denise Bidot, Georgia Pratt, and Precious Lee, this ad features plus-size models, rolls, curves and all. They boldly proclaim what their bodies allow them to do while they nurse babies, kick box, do yoga, and sport denim in stiletto heels. From wearing flowing dresses to nothing at all, these women are celebrating Lane Bryant’s #ThisBody campaign.

It should be a celebration of all bodies, but instead, ABC has flat-out refused to run the ad. NBC won’t air the spot either, citing that the ad doesn’t meet the FCC’s “broadcast indecency guidelines.”

What’s the big deal? Why should you care?

This just goes to show that size discrimination continues to be real. OK, I get this ad isn’t appropriate for daytime TV. But let’s face it—network TV has thrown us far worse. From Paris Hilton or Charlotte McKinney selling Carl’s Jr. burgers to famous vegans stripping down for PETA, advertisers always use women who wear less than these five models to hawk their wares. But a size 16 woman?! Apparently the double standard is very real. And very not cool.

The commercial depicts very normal-sized women just like us. Lane Bryant does still have a long way to go in diversity (all the models are 14/16 and hourglass shaped), but since the average American woman is a size 14, what is it specifically that ABC and NBC object? Why shouldn’t all bodies be celebrated? Are they trying to alienate a key demographic?

What does your body allow you to do? I love this ad’s message because it celebrates our bodies’ victories no matter what the size. My size 18/20 body was made to run 5Ks, do yoga, and love this one life I have.

You have the power to make your voice heard. There are a few things you can do to make your voice heard on this subject:

  • Contact your local ABC and NBC affiliates via social media to voice your opinion.
  • Thank CBS for keeping a more open mind and allowing the commercial to air.
  • Get in touch with Lane Bryant to let them know you support their message of love at any size and their #ThisBody campaign.
  • Support Lane Bryant with your business.
  • Don’t let this be a one-and-done headline. Keep this topic of discrimination in advertising alive by discussions with your friends and family.

While this may seem like a trivial topic, it is sad two of the major three networks have intentionally decided not to air this commercial. It shows women whose size is very much the norm and it carries a message of empowerment. However, ABC and NBC have decided to cite vague obscenity laws to mask blatant size description. In the end, we, the plus-size community, lose out because our voices and images continue to be underrepresented and ignored altogether.

What do you think about the video? Are NBC and ABC being discriminatory? Comment below!