Long time, no talk

Hey everyone!

First, I would like to thank each and every one of you that has kept up with my blog and requested that I post more. Secondly, I want to say I’m sorry for not posting for a while. I have been traveling to visit family and just had a lot of stuff going on lately, so I apologize for that.

Updates on me:

1. I am currently hanging out with family while my husband is in a military school.

2. I had a wonderful Nashville, TN girls weekend with some of my long lost sorority sisters (we need to keep in touch better)

3. I am down 70lbs (3 month post of gastric bypass)

4. I am having to buy lots of new clothes…well, im using the word HAVE loosely here. I AM buying new clothes because for the first time in a while I am actually enjoying the process. I have gone down 4-5 sizes so far. woohoo!

5. I just recently jumped on the Birchbox/Ipsy bandwagon. I will be receiving my first boxes in July. I am so stinking excited. These are two sites that, with a $10/month fee, will send you beauty product samples and some full sizes and Ipsy even sends a cute beauty bag. Join me!!! I get referral points if you use the links below. Beautify yourself!

Birchbox

Ipsy

Anyways, this post will be about some of my recent finds and some finds that I didn’t buy, but I thought they were worthy to share…

I am looking for summer”y” items that are fun!

picture courtesy of walmart

picture courtesy of walmart

No joke, this is WalMart. I didn’t buy this, but I have a blue/white/teal one very similar to this I got from Lane Bryant around Easter. They have this red one and the same blue/white/teal look I have too. It is on clearance for $15! I’m. Dead. Serious.

picture courtesy of walmart

picture courtesy of walmart

WalMart again. I never saw this in stores, but I liked the look online and came in many colors.

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

Torrid. I love the way these look. I got some recently similar to this at Lane Bryant when I used my real women dollars.

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

LOVING the Torrid jackets. I need one.

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

I’m sure you can tell lately, or you will be able to soon, but I am all about the cold shoulder style tops. Love them. I have to cover my arms up, but I still like to show a little skin and be fun. : )

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

Ok, so this may look a little Halloween to you ,but I like it.

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

All about the summer looks and the crochet and thin tops.

 

 

picture courtesy of Torrid

picture courtesy of Torrid

I don’t have any yet because I haven’t found a perfect fit (I’m in between sizes it seems), but WHITE pants are IN IN IN! Go get some, but just make sure they are flattering. There are all different cuts and lengths out there. Try pairing them with a bright top or neon top. YES!

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

Did not see this in the store at Lane Bryant or I would have bought it. Love this light, airy type CHEVRON sweater

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

This color is great and I’m a fan of the skirts like this.

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

I bought these at Lane Bryant in clear. I’m addicted. I should have bought another pair because I wear them constantly with everything. They are amazing and very summer”y”

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

I bought this in white. I wish they would have had the other colors in the store when I was there. I wanted it in black…unfortunately, not even sure if they make it in that color…

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

I bought this in the red/orange color AND the black/white color…that’s how much I liked it.

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

picture courtesy of Lane Bryant

I bought this top too. Now, the cut is meant to be loose. I think it is TOO loose on the model. I bought it in a size down from what I usually wear in their shirts and it’s still loose around the mid-section. I might even take it up a bit. The colors do not show very well in this picture either. It is very pretty in person…peach and gold.

Stay tuned for more from me soon!

Thank you!

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GO! H! and M!

So, a friend of mine sent this article to me. She thought it would go nicely with my blog, and she was so right. I had actually seen this article at plus model mag online as well, but had not written about it yet. However, with Kelli’s agreement, I had to get it in a post.

Article from Plus Model Mag

First of all, GO H&M! I have to admit I have never owned a single piece of clothing from H&M. Once I read this article, I had to look online and see what they offered. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. They only had 20 plus size items. I truly wish they had more.

However, on a positive note, H&M is doing something great! They are integrating plus size model, Jennie Runk, into their collection. After reading the article and seeing her pictures, she is on the small side of plus…probably a 12/14, but still, she looks good and is curvy! In my opinion, she looks way healthier than her H&M tiny counterparts (pictures below). H&M chose not to do a big press release about their new plus size model and look. Nobody is sure if H&M kept this transition quiet because they were worried about pushing this out into the world and getting backlash from their customers, or if they did it simply because they didn’t think it should be something so “crazy” that it deserved a big press release. Whatever the reason, I’m glad they did it. Apparently, per the article referenced above, they STILL got backlash when people spotted the new print ad campaign and still didn’t really like it. I do understand switching it up so drastically from a size 0-4 to a size 12/14 will get some notice, but I don’t think it should be bad publicity, I think it’s a good thing and it is showing more acceptance from brands and the industry, in general. I truly hope more brands continue to do this and start integrating plus size models into their campaigns.

Image from Plus Model Magazine: Jennie Runk

Image from Plus Model Magazine: Jennie Runk

Image from Plus Model Magazine: H&M

Image from Plus Model Magazine: H&M

the bottom photo shows Jennie Runk (most likely a size 12/14 compared to another H&M model for regular sizes…most likely a 2/4 or smaller)

The link below shows the H&M plus website for you to peruse. Enjoy!

H&M + (sizes 14-24)

Shopping should be fun

So today, I broke down and went shopping.

This is the first time I’ve gone clothes shopping since I had gastric bypass March 5. For all the plus size ladies that I currently relate to and write for, I want to assure you that I did not get gastric bypass to get into a smaller size (although that will ultimately happen). I had gastric bypass to lose weight for health reasons. I know that some women are “healthy” in plus sizes, but once I reached a certain weight/BMI/size, I was no longer healthy. I have lost 50lbs, but will probably be industry standard plus size for a long time, if not forever (I was never a small person, even when I was thinner). So, for all the plus size women out there who are happy and healthy, just love yourself. However, I implore you to see a primary care physician and stay on top of your health no matter what. It is always best to know…OK off my soapbox now…

Anyways…Lane Bryant. That was my store of choice today. First of all, let me say that I was a bit perturbed as to the distance I had to drive to find one…in one of the larger cities in America. That puzzles me. Once I got there, I realized this Lane Bryant was about 1/2 the size of Lane Bryants I am used to. It was pretty small and was missing a great majority of items I saw online and it had not bathing suits. SO…I was a little frustrated. However, here is the good news! Since my surgery, I have dropped over 50 lbs, 3 pant sizes and 2 shirt sizes. I used today as a try on session to figure out what size my new body is currently. I better have something good come out of all of this. Gastric bypass is not easy, I don’t care what anyone says.

The bad part: Most of Lane Bryant’s pants don’t fit my new body right. I’m like humpty dumpty…an egg with leggs. Seriously, my legs and hips are straight down and are losing weight really quickly and then there’s my midsection which has always been the larger part of me and although is getting drastically smaller, not in proportion with my hips and legs. However, I got two smaller black and white tanks to go under stuff, as all of my current staples are really worn out and getting large. I got a really cute top and pair of legging capris. I loved the way the legging capris fit me, but my thighs could not pull of the bright colors just yet, so I settled on black.

I was actually pretty bummed when I left the store because I really needed a new pair of jeans that fits me. All of my jeans are too big now. However, Lane Bryants new genius fit or whatever they call it is not genius for my body right now. They were too tight in the stomach and WAY too lose in the thighs, crotch and hips. Then a sales associate told me something horrible. The old red, yellow, blue jeans system they had (the yellow fit me perfectly) is being done away with…so they are not getting any more shipments of those. BOO! And guess what? They were out of yellows in my size. I’m pretty sure I saw 2. Period. I asked the sales associate why and she said they used to sell the heck out of them and then they just didn’t. I don’t know if it was a marketing thing or what, but I am so sad that they won’t be making these anymore. I’m praying they continue to sell them online perhaps??? I am going to write to Lane Bryant and see.

Then…we went to Target for something else and I meandered through the plus size/maternity (who the hell knows) sections and found some Merona jeans (I know it’s an off brand, but I’m a budget shopper) that actually fit and a cute blue studded shirt! Luckily, none of them were labeled “manatee” so I was ok with buying them. I’m a total sellout…sorry…gotta have jeans (see my prior Target, tisk tisk blog)!

All in all it was a good day of shopping aside from my Lane Bryant disappointments. Im posting pictures of what I bought below, not including the jeans.

Image taken from Target

Image taken from Target

Image taken from Lane Bryant

Image taken from Lane Bryant

Image taken from Lane Bryant

Image taken from Lane Bryant

To Shop online or not to shop online, that is the question.

I’m going to start off with some pure honesty. I only shop online for clothes when I’m desperate. That tends to be when I need a formal dress. I guess you could call me old-fashioned that way. I’ll buy most other things online (my favorite online store being Amazon.com). However, when it comes to shoes and ESPECIALLY clothes, I am quite hesitant.

I know, I know…soooo many stores have great return policies and have free shipping but I just can’t seem to jump on the bandwagon. I NEED to try on clothes. Shoes all run slightly different too, so I prefer to try those on as well. Sometimes I can wear a 10, 10.5 or 11…depends on manufacturer, closed toed, open toed, etc…I know, huge feet…

When it comes to clothes, all bets are off. I always have to try on pants and usually I have to try on shirts. They all fit so differently because they are all cut so differently. Stretchy material/non-stretchy/flowy/fitted, etc…

So, why in the world are plus sizes seemingly relegated to the web? Here are some examples: just the other day, I was in Saks 5th avenue looking for a formal dress. I had been looking at their plus sizes online and they were great, so I decided to go in store and try some things on. Much to my dismay, I was told by a sales associate that their plus size line (otherwise known as Salon Z) was ONLY sold online and they did not carry any in stores. UGH

Nordstrom: same deal. I called both Nordstrom’s near me and they said they didn’t carry plus sizes either…only online.

The exterior of a typical Nordstrom department...

The exterior of a typical Nordstrom department store at The Florida Mall located in Orlando, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, it is the same at so many places. They “carry” plus size clothing, but they don’t “carry” it IN STORE. After reading a billion articles on the topic and coming up with my own conclusion and opinion, I think there are several reasons that stores don’t carry plus sizes in their brick and mortar.

1. For certain stores, such as Forever 21 (Faith 21 being their plus size line), and others that cater to a younger audience, they believe there is a stigma in bringing in larger sized women. Apparently being larger is not fashionable in some people’s opinion, so because the main target audience is young, regular sized women, they don’t want to bring in plus sized women. I guess, in a way, they believe if they carry larger sizes, the regular sizes would no longer come in and shop. So, from a marketer’s perspective, you are signing your own death warrant.

2. Not as many plus sized women buy the clothing, so they don’t see a need to carry them in stores. Surprisingly enough, this is true. When you look at industry statistics, you will find that only a small percentage of fashion sales are plus size, which doesn’t jive with the fact that a majority of women are considered overweight or obese. This can mean several things: a) plus size women keep their money because they don’t like their options out there b) plus size women keep their money because (as a whole) they are always planning on losing weight and dropping sizes c) they don’t enjoy shopping because it is hard and it is not a fun experience trying things on when you are overweight d) they are all poor e) they all shop online only because they don’t like trying things on. These are just my thoughts on why this might be true. I don’t really believe that all plus sized women are poor, and I don’t believe all plus sized women DON’T like trying things on. I’m just trying to see it from a store and marketer’s perspective.

How can we change this? How can we get more plus sizes into brick & mortar stores? How can we take this stigma away so that stores are not scared to carry plus sizes? I really don’t know the answer. I think there needs to be more retail stores that carry plus sizes…if I have to create one myself. Also WE larger women need to BUY CLOTHES!!!! The more we buy, the more we help our cause and MAKE stores realize they have to cater to us to make money.

Queen Grace by Marina Zelner…check. this. out.

So, I was looking on Lane Bryant’s site today. Why? Because they have a great sale going on for 4 days: May 2nd through May 5th: Buy one get one FREE on all Lane Bryant & Cacique branded items.

While I was scrolling around on their website, I saw a couple of beautiful dresses. If you aren’t aware, Lane Bryant now picks up certain styles from designers and carries them online or in store. For example, they carry some Monif C., Kiyonna, and now…Queen Grace.

I had only heard of Queen Grace, but I had not gone to their site. Well, I did and I am SO GLAD. First of all, I’m having some serious envy right now of Marina Zelner (founder of Queen Grace) and her line. This is exactly what I want to do…only even better (lol). However, I really do love their stuff, even though it is limited. This line debuted at Full Figure Fashion Week 2011 and ALREADY it is a hit and some items were picked up by Lane Bryant. Huge props to them!!! They must be doing something right!!! Marina Zelner is a stylist and she is plus sized. Anywho, since they aren’t super well known, I thought I’d get their name out there so you all can go check some of their stuff out online or at Lane Bryant.

(article information taken from Queen Grace)

Here are some pictures of some of my favorite items from Queen Grace.

Enjoy!

Queen Grace

Queen Grace

LOVE the skirt AND the blouse. They are interesting paired together, but would be just as great paired with something else.

Queen Grace

Queen Grace

Color is great and the sleeves and cut are flattering and sexy

Queen Grace

Queen Grace

flattering dress and Im loving the fabric choice.

Queen Grace

Queen Grace

Soft, flowy, feminine top that looks great. I prefer the bright yellow color myself.

Queen Grace

Queen Grace

This dress is great. Flattering. I love the cut of the sleeves. It is sexy and you could dress it up or down with shoe choice.

Queen Grace

Queen Grace

This design is great. I love the fabric choice. This may not be the best choice for a larger women, but for you in-betweens out there, pair this with some Spanx underneath and you are a bombshell. : )

Model Revolution

Hey everyone! You want to see some super good looking plus size models? Well…ok! They aren’t nearly as hard to find as they used to be, and get this…they have actually appeared on regular magazines!!! Yes! Now, the industry standard at the moment usually classifies someone that is a 10/12 or up plus size. Personally, I have never really thought of a 12 as plus sized, but whatever. I just like the fact that these girls aren’t your super thin models, and a lot of them model for plus size stores and clothing designers. Check ’em out!

Article from Izismile: Plus size models

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

Image taken from Izismile.com

image taken from Izismile.com

image taken from Izismile.com

Article from Heavy: 20 Hottest Plus Size Models

Article from Ask Men: Which plus sizes are hottest to a man?

Article from The Daily Beast: Robyn Lawley was recently hired by Ralph Lauren (post photoshop scandal they had regarding a model being fired for being too large). Her shoots will mainly be used for in-store advertising and PR. She is 6’2″ and is a size 12. She was featured recently on People magazine and Good Morning America. It is hilarious because one of the interviewers asked how much she weighed. Really? I don’t think any woman should be asked her weight publicly, but especially a plus size model. Hah! She refused to answer and said her size instead and that weight shouldn’t matter. Right on! She’s pretty cool because she has a blog too! http://robynlawleyeats.tumblr.com/ She calls it her food porn. Good for her! I like her. She’s only 23 too.

All I can say is that all of the plus size women in the celebrity world should try their best to be confident and accept their body and their curves. It really helps the “real” women who see them on tv and read about them feel better and more comfortable in their skin if they see women feeling good about themselves and creating good press (aka Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy).

Image taken from plus-model-mag.com

Image taken from plus-model-mag.com

I was sad to hear that Christina Hendricks (buxom red-head on Mad Men pictured above) does not seem to embrace her curves. Click on the following link for an interesting article and interview: http://www.plus-model-mag.com/2012/10/do-not-call-christina-hendricks-full-figured/

Christina DOES NOT like being called full-figured. I think she should embrace it. We all see she’s larger than your usual tv actress and she is curvy and beautiful. Perhaps she doesn’t want that “stigma” attached to her, but I think it’s a good thing. I know some people can think being called full figured is bad, but IT”S NOT!!! And…she is sexy and totally rocks it. She is beautiful! Come on, Chris! I’m begging you to accept your curves, embrace them, use them to your advantage in interviews, and give a nice shout out to all of the real women with curves out there that are beautiful! Thanks in advance! ; )

Market research survey

Hey everyone! I have a HUGE favor to ask. If you are reading this and you are plus sized or have ever been plus sized, I would love it if you could please fill out this survey I created from surveymonkey.com

MARKET RESEARCH SURVEY: FULL BODIED FASHIONS™

This information is being used for my own personal research regarding the plus size clothing industry and “real” plus sized women out there.

I will not share your name or size information. The only thing I may share would be some good and meaningful comments or some similarities I find throughout the survey. If you do not want any of your comments or information shared, please note so in question 10 of the survey.

Thank you SO much for your help in my quest for information and market research!!!!! Y’all are the best!

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