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A little fashion, a little reading, and a little teaching.

August 26, 2014

A little fashion…

I’m not on Twitter as much as I used to be, so sometimes I’m not as clued into the plus size fashion happenings as I used to be, but thankfully I follow lots of “in the know” bloggers who share great content, especially The Curvy Fashionista’s Facebook page. I saw on her page a link to a blogger/brand collaboration between P.S. It’s Fashion and Fame and Partners. The collection spans sizes 16-26 and offers special occasion wear. I’m really loving some of the designs, and I think the price point is on par with quality special occasion wear. My favorite is the Maya dress, but you can check out the full collection here.

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Maya Dress


Another interesting thing I saw this week was DearKates.com‘s feature of women in the tech field in their Ada collection lookbook. One of the women featured is Sarah Conley of Styleitonline.com (see her post here), and I absolutely loved seeing someone near my size/shape featured in such an intimate setting. I’ve admired Sarah as a blogger for awhile, so it is also just really cool when you see someone you kinda know in these things. Apparently some people feel that the lookbook sexualizes women in the tech field, and I guess that means that sexual women in that field can’t also be seen as great workers (?!), but I found the lookbook fresh and exciting. As I said to Sarah, my read of it was that women can be powerful, confident, smart, intimate, and vulnerable. We can be all of those together, at the same time, and one doesn’t take away from the other.

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By the way, I own their Rosa brief in a 3x, and it is a great product (fits up to a 26/28).


A little reading…

I’ve also been reading a lot of things to potentially use in my class, especially writing that comes out of personally-motivated inquiry. “The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit” was a really interesting read. My class looks at identity and how we use language to form the self, manage the self, etc. We also consider who we are recognized as and probe at how that recognition forms identity. So much of my life is connecting to others that I have a hard time thinking about going 2+ days alone, let alone decades alone. It made me think about my class subject in a new way.

“I did examine myself,” he said. “Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.”


A little teaching…

This week my classes are also thinking about the stories we associate with ourselves (those we tell or are told) and how places are connected to identity. We read this piece about how places are connected to our sense of self. It reminded me of the poem “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. It’s a poem that is often imitated, and I had a chance to go back and look over the version I wrote in 2008. It’s fun to think about how my sense of place has changed over the years. How now at 26 I associate “Where I’m From” with other things (now probably more things that have happened in my adult years rather than only my childhood).

Here’s the version I wrote in 2008:

I am from rubber,

From weather-stripping and classic cars,

I am from the wooden dock,

(splintery, worn

it creaked beneath my feet.)

I am from the daffodils,

the paper tree

whose bark I peeled off

to become

secret notes for my sister.

I’m from skip-bo and the Droulliard nose,

from Evelyn and Giuseppa.

I’m from the laugh-too-louds,

and the speak-up-to-be-heard,

from the good old days and quit picking on your brother.

I’m from Mass on Christmas,

then never again

waiting for answers, but afraid to search.

I’m from Lincolnton and the Grammaticos,

lasagna and no-bake cookies.

From the years of my mother being

a caretaker

my grandma’s stroke that started it all.

In the basement is my plastic box

birthday cards, letters

old school yearbooks,

news articles of my deceased dear friend.

Each piece makes up my limbs-

A medley of people who’ve changed me-

Supporting me as I walk on.

What have you been reading and thinking about this week?

OOTD: Summertime Evening Party

August 24, 2014

Well the school year started on Monday, and so far I’m enjoying my classes. My first week isn’t stressful to teach, but for some reason (anxiety and lack of sleep most likely) I am always incredibly exhausted. I’m currently staring down a messy apartment and giving Lola a stink eye for tearing apart TWO  toys and adding to my own mess. I also am a bit more disorganized with my clothing than I’d like to admit (as in I still have unpacked it all), so I’m hoping to make a lot of productive strides this next week that will make blogging a little easier to me.

By the way, I really appreciate all of the supportive comments on my last post. I think I feel like I’m letting this little space down by not being as regular of a blogger as I used to be, but it sounds to me like you all are good with me being a little not-flowy with publishing my blog posts. Ultimately, I’d love to get back to blogging like I used to, but maybe it’s going to take me not feel crushed by my own expectations to get there.

Yesterday I went to my Aunt Kim’s birthday party, and I knew it’d be an inside/outside party. It was in the evening, so I thought cropped pants and a flowy top would work best. I left the house with straight hair, so after you see the pictures I’ll let you imagine how humid it was :). I stepped away from the party to take pictures in my Aunt Jacki’s home. Her home has so many interesting things in it, and you can get a glimpse of my maternal grandma and grandpa behind me in the pic below.

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I’m wearing Kiyonna’s Promenade top in Porcelain. It’s slightly off-white and a little sheer at the top. I wore a cheap tank top underneath it, but if you have a v-neck tank or undershirt, it would work even better than the one I had.

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I liked that the top had a very easy style. I could have worn a wide mix of bottoms and accessories. This is the first time I wore an elevated shoe all summer. I’m definitely out of practice, but I recently got some boots for fall/winter that I’ll share on a post soon that will help me get used to it again.

raIMG_0308Kiyonna Top* Gifted for Blogger Brigade purposes, Torrid Jeggings (rolled) Avenue Wedges (2+ years old), Forever21 Necklace (similar)

How would you style this top?

In Search of Clarity

August 4, 2014

So this photo and its humity-induced soft focus is pretty representative of how I am feeling about my blog. Ever since I graduated from my grad program, I’ve been hobbling along and only posting here or there. I know enough people who blogged two years ago who still do now to not feel completely isolated in the blogosphere, but I also feel out of touch, and it’s of my own doing.

Being a teacher isn’t an easy thing for me. It’s something I have to work at, and I really, really, really want to be the kind of teacher that I loved and wanted, so I put a lot of time and thought into it. Lots of people have time or energy consuming jobs, but I’m still trying to figure out the balance for me. I also am still, 2 years in, trying to find my style in the work world, and sometimes it’s just not as fun as when I was a student.

All of this leads me to ask myself what to do. I love this blog and what I have learned about myself and others throughout my time writing it, but I also don’t like how half-assed it seems to have been these past 2 years compared to before. I’m searching for clarity. What will this blog be now? How will it reflect the ways that I have changed?

raIMG_0197ASOS Curve dress, Aldo handbag, Forever21 heels

I’m not planning to stop writing/posting here any time soon. I’m just wondering…how do I make my personal fashion blog feel, well, personal again? Hmmm.. still thinking.

Review: Igigi’s Bohemian Rhapsody Collection

August 1, 2014

Last weekend my sisters and my soon-to-be sister headed up the mountains in North Carolina for a day-long getaway. It was one of those rare, perfect summer days where it was warm but not humid, and we spent it visiting the little town where I went to college and driving briefly along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I wore Igigi‘s Kaia Halter maxi dress in Cobalt Cachemire, which was perfectly light and airy. I had already worn this dress to work earlier in the week with a jean jacket and received 2 compliments from strangers I passed, and I received another while walking around Boone. It’s definitely an eye-catching dress, and I always think a dress is pretty special when even strangers will stop you to tell you how much they like it.

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The dress has a waist band with some elastic within the fabric. The teal accents actually do not gather the waist band tighter, so they are there only for the look of the design. I love how the top can be worn without being tied/bowed.

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As you’ll notice in the pictures above and below, the hem of the dress is intentionally uneven. The dress is cut in curves, and I’ve had a few maxis with slits, but not one like this. It took a day of wearing it to get used to the feeling of the hem against my legs. When you walk, the dress moves and flows around you. It’s quite pretty, and it made me think of a quote from Project Runway that I heard the other day: “My girl is into dramatic daywear” – this is definitely that!

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There are quite a few other looks from Igigi’s collection that I love, especially the Emma Maxi Shirt Dress and the Eden Pant – even better, their sizes range up to a 30/32. Check out their Bohemian Rhapsody lookbook here to see the designs. You can also check out my instagram for some pictures of me and my sisters.

What piece from the Bohemian Rhapsody collection is your favorite? 

*This dress was gifted to me for the purpose of a review. I have expressed my true opinions of and experience with the dress.

 

Review: Kiyonna’s Whimsy Wrap Dress

July 16, 2014

Guys….this dress. This dress! As soon as I put it on I felt like I had let out my alter ego, who is much more sassy and flirty than my usual self. I basically walked around looking like the heart-eyed emoji while wearing Kiyonna’s Whimsy Wrap Dress.

160x160x7-smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes.png.pagespeed.ic.On6Pm-wTdvIt’s not often that I find a dress that fits my shape so well. I’m what most plus size companies would consider as “pear shaped”, but I tend to think of myself as slightly Yoshi-esque since my backside sits out like a shelf. The weight of the fabric, the location of the wrap, and the flirty hem all came together to make a wonderful fit for me.

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I paired the dress with Nine West Outlet gold jeweled sandals, this beautiful cuff bracelet from asos, and jade green earrings (seen in first image)

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Something that I love about being in Kiyonna’s Blogger Brigade is how much they really want the customer to see their designs on lots of different sizes, shapes, etc. You can see other women wearing this dress in the right hand set of images on the product’s page here.

What do you think of the look? How would you style this dress?

 

OOTD: Dressing Up with Scarlett and Jo

July 11, 2014

I’ve been hoarding this beautiful Scarlett and Jo dress for a little over a month, and I finally had a chance to wear it and take pictures. I really love to “dress up” but rarely have the opportunity to do it, as I’ve said before on here, and yet I still can’t get as “in to” casual clothing as I can dress up clothing. Maybe it’s related to my childhood fashion memories? All of the memories I have attached to clothing were dress up clothes: A strawberry dress for a festival (it was damn adorable), a deep red velvet purse with a “pearl”-stringed handle (that I took to an Amy Grant Christmas concert), and so on. This dress reminds me of those.

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When Scarlett and Jo first started being carried at Evans, some (I can’t remember if all) of their items had a smaller size range, but they’ve expanded their designs to carry the full size range that Evans offers. You may remember me wearing their dress here in a smaller size than I usually wear. It’s now available in the full size range.

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I’m 5’4″, so this dress runs a little long on me. It hits about 2-3 inches under my knee. It has a layer under the skirt with some crinoline type of material that gives the dress that “prom style” shape. The top is a very soft stretchy material, and the elastic band brings in the waist but is not tight or restrictive. I could have easily sized down once and fit well into the dress.

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I went with gold accessories, big gold posts that I got from ASOS and a twig ring from their Curve jewelry. You can check out this Scarlett and Jo dress here. I also really love these two pieces:

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Scarlett and Jo Skirt

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Scarlett and Jo Floral Print Prom Dress

So what do you think of Scarlett and Jo’s designs? They left me feeling pretty happy…

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*This dress was sent as a gift from Scarlett and Jo. I expressed my true feelings about the design.

Review: Custom Styling with eShakti

June 28, 2014

About a month or so ago, eShakti approached me to see if I’d like to review one of their designs. After buying and loving one of their maxi dresses in the spring, I knew I wanted to try out another style and customize the look. eShakti is unique for their size range (0-36w!!!) and their ability to customize to specific measurements, heights, and styling choices. It takes a little longer than a typical store to receive an item (within 14 business days of the order), but you get the luxury of buying an item that will hopefully fit perfectly. eShakti always has a lot of designs to choose from, but I find myself always looking to their interesting prints, patterns, or cuts. Usually I find items that I can’t find in other plus size stores. Cue to the dress that I chose to review. This dress is made out of a woven fabric — something I typically have to avoid because of my hip measurements. Since I knew I could definitely get this in my size, I decided to take a risk.

 

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While I thought the original design was cute, I wanted to customize it to make it a great piece that I could wear to teach in or to almost any kind of event. I mad the sleeves elbow length, and I lengthened the dress to hit right below the knee. The length change was really helpful because any skirt that is fitted and shorter tends to slowly inch up when I wear it. This length makes it perfect for me to comfortably wear in professional and fun settings.

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I played around with a couple different belt widths, but I ultimately went with an Eloquii braided belt. I added complementary accessories and a knot ring to finish the look.

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When it comes to sizing, it can be hard to figure out which one to get. I tend to look at how the garment fits and where will it lay most close to my body. For example, in the maxi dress I bought, the skirt was obviously designed to be big and flowy, so I ordered the size based off of my top/bust size. For this dress, I knew my hips/bum area would be the one to consider, so I sized up to the appropriate sizing for that. Definitely use eShakti’s sizing guide to help you choose which one is right for you, or you can choose to completely customize it to your measurements.
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I’m really happy with this piece. It’s very unique compared to the other items in my closet, and I finally found a place where I can purchase clothing in non-stretchy fabrics :).

While this dress is no longer available, you can check out their other designs here. Because they have such a wide size range, once the fabric is gone it’s really gone. I recommend jumping on a design if you really love it because it might not be there for long.

You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Have you tried eShakti? What designs are your favorites? How did the sizes/custom styling work out for you?

 

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