Friday morning I headed out to attend the Just My Size brunch at the Affinia Hotel. JMS was probably the big name brand that I knew least about, so I was excited to hear more about their brand, and I definitely learned a lot. JMS is often carried in Walmart and Kmart, among other stores (check out a local store near you), and I’ve worn their tights before and knew that they carried upper plus sizes. During the event I learned that they carry sizes 14-40, and that their price points make them so much more accessible than the majority of plus brands. For instance, a lot of brands that do carry above the size 28 have prices upwards of $80 for tops. Looking at Just My Size, their extended size items range from $20 – $32. From what I observed, they specialize in clean cut basics, while also providing some trend inspired pieces, intimates, and swim.
At the beginning of the event, we all had some yummy breakfast and talked about fashion and plus women’s perspectives on fashion. Here, Gaelle was discussing the attitude toward plus fashion in France with JMS team member Crystal.
JMS displayed results from their survy throughout the event space. This one says, “61% of respondents agree: ‘I’m more comfortable with myself today than five years ago.’” Do you agree? I’m certainly part of that percentage.
I noticed a bold colors and prints in a lot of their pieces.
I liked the polka dot swimsuit and this wrap dress the most. Both are super easy to wear. You can also see their semi-sheer hosiery here, which is their new piece for transitioning from summer to fall.
After some more conversation, the JMS team addressed us and discussed how much connecting to plus women meant to the company. They serve a large general public by at Kmart, Walmart, etc, and they really consider what every person needs and what prices we can afford.
Some of the JMS team
I personally see myself buying more of their intimate line because I already have too many basics these days, and in my goody bag from the event were some of their items to try: tights, underwear, and a bra.
I received the Just My Size Pure Comfort Seamless Wirefree Bra, and I LOVE it. I already ordered it in the other colors. It’s not a bra that I would wear out during the day (I prefer underwire), but it gave great support and I loved the band that came down underneath it.
I kept it very casual at the event wearing a Target maternity (yes, you can try these sections out!) dress and a Eloquii jeweled belt.
Thank you, Just My Size, for the invite. I loved learning more about your brand and am so happy that people have access to quality items from your brand.
After a full morning of activities, I headed back to the Affinia for the blogging/social media panel that was moderated by Marie Denee and had the following speakers: Ty of Gorgeous in Grey, Carina — Senior Marketing Coordinator at Evans, Heather — Marketing Manager of Lane Bryant, and Dina Fierro who is a blogger and digital PR maven.
Marie kept the conversation going and helped clarify what some of the marketing speak was all about.
Because 3 of the speakers came from business perspectives, we heard a lot about collaborating with brands, how brands use social media and think about blogging, and the responsibility one carries by having a space on the web (such as brands using social media to field customer service queries, create a positive atmosphere, respond to instant feedback — positive and negative).
Heather, Carina, Dina, and Ty
I’ll be transparent here and say that a lot of the conversation was about practices that I currently do not put into use but would need to think about if I were to see my blog as more than a way to be connected to other women and the plus size community (aka as a future business/career). I think I’ve maybe reached out to a brand first twice in my entire blogging experience. I’ve only worked with brands through them starting the conversation, which probably wouldn’t work for someone who really wants to monetize their blog or work with brands. If you are someone who wants to pursue brand relationships, the advice they gave was to come with an idea, a unique way of working with the brand, and approach the brand with the idea. It’s a lot like a job interview in that you have to market what you bring to the table.
The team from Just My Size sponsored the event — such a lovely group of women who were so excited to be involved.
Packed house with a lot of questions
After the blogger event, me and Brittany scooted on over to Bloomingdales to take in the show. I didn’t get to stay and watch the runway. I arrived when the event started, but the runway itself didn’t start until an hour and half later. We were able to have some yummy drinks, but my feet and body were dying at that point. The long stand became too much, especially when someone much taller than me swooped in front right when the runway started. All is well though because it was Brittany’s 24th birthday, so it was time to celebrate!
I have no idea what this drink was, but it was so good. Anyone who attended that knows needs to leave a comment with the details!
Olivia and Jenn sneakily told the waitress that there was a birthday in the room. Love Brittany’s face here!
This was one of my favorite nights. It was intimate and fun. It reminded me how much love comes from relationships built through social media and blogging and how freaking cool it was that I’ve been able to meet these wonderful people from all of the world and share a little bit of their joy.
If you were to attend a blogging panel, what questions would you have?
On Thursday I headed over to preview Torrid‘s fall fashion line, and I was pretty excited because last year’s event was fun and Torrid is a store that I can actually physically go to and try on the items (a rarity in plus-size shopping it seems). Last year we previewed their at-the-time new Stiletto fit jeans, so I was interested in what denim they had lined up for fall.
After a sangria and a quick look around, the designer of Torrid’s line walked me through some of her favorite pieces for fall. There was a lot of prints, bold colors, and military inspired pieces.
Torrid had a good amount of blazers in various cuts with a full sleeve, which a lot of shoppers wanted as plus size blazers often only come in 3/4 sleeve only. The blazer she is wearing has a two-tone floral print.
Plaid blazer with a black lace maxi.
The print shows up again in this dress (is it a babydoll cut? I honestly don’t know!). This dress also comes in a black and white lace print.
Prints and studs were also featured in the looks. This lightning bolt dress is cute–and would let me live out my Harry Potter dreams.
After looking through the racks, Brittany grabbed my attention trying on some of the pieces from the fall line. She is wearing a striped top and their new jeggings. These jeggings are AMAZING. I don’t say that lightly! Jeans are hard to find. I put on a pair in a 28, which can sometimes be tight, and they fit loosely, so those on the upper side of 28 definitely try them when they come in. They have a zipper and button enclosure and fit closely at the ankle.
I got in there to try on the jeggings and a top from the fall line.
And then I tried on the dress. I’ll admit, this cut feels not “me”. Maybe it’s because I wore this cut when I was 8-9 years old and can remember them vividly. I got a lot of compliments on the shape though — what do you think?
I loved Shainna of A Thick Girl’s Closet‘s look pulled from the Torrid Fall Preview.
After trying on some looks I noticed that Sarah of Style It Online was looking at some clothing. She is one of my absolute favorite bloggers and was featured in my 20 bloggers size 24+ post. Needless to say, I promptly went over and gushed to her about how much I love her blog.
I also spotted Beck of The Manfattan Project looking gorgeous as always.
And Chasity of Garner Style who was also featured in that post.
After a bit, Jessica Kane talked greeted all the attendees and talked about Torrid and plus size fashion.
The designer also greeted us and discussed some key themes for their fall line.
After, bloggers mingled more and checked out the clothing. I spotted Kellie of Fatshion Insider.
I spy Jennifer of Jasifer Lions Club.
Dani of Danimezza
I wish I had had the courage and more time to introduce myself to a lot of the bloggers attending. Shyness is something I’m ALWAYS working on – it’s tough!
Before heading out, I got to have a quick chat with Elann Zelie. She’s designing her own line — check her out!
Brittany looked so cute and had a great time at the Torrid event. I think her favorite item was the jeggings too. Check out what she wore here.
I had to skip out a little early and head to the next event, but I had a great chance to look over the collection. I really appreciated the designer walking through the different themes in the clothing and what Torrid’s intentions were. I also loved getting to try on the pieces and chat with Torrid salespeople who work in their physical stores. I was struck by how often they asked for our honest opinion and discussed how they took customer opinion and made design decisions based on them.
Thank you, Torrid, for a great time!
I felt extremely fortunate to be invited to Arcadia’s press day, and while there I was able to preview Evans and Dorothy Perkins‘ autumn and winter lines. I’ll admit that my 9am appointment felt super early after the white cruise the night before, but I tore myself out of bed and made my way to meet Olivia at the preview. I’m so glad I did.
When I first arrived, I recognized fellow blogger Amy of These Girls Turn Heads. She walked us through the jewelry for the various brands.
One word came to mind: opulence. Lots of big stones, colored gems, and a healthy does of sparkle. There was also a lot of metal work with metal bows, chains, and fringe details.
I was personally most drawn to the earrings and rings. I love the post earrings that are big and going to show through my dark hair. I also like the rectangle-accented bracelet shown at the bottom of the top image.
After talking with Amy, another Arcadia team member led us through Dorothy Perkins and Evans. I believe his name was Tom, and he was so friendly and excited. I really enjoyed talking with him and Olivia about all of the clothing. I immediately was drawn to Dorothy Perkins’ racks. I love the color schemes and the patterns. Dorothy Perkins goes up to a US 18, so I had to keep my love at a distance — which is frustrating. I’ve never ordered from them before but know a lot of plus bloggers who do. I will definitely try some of their oversized items or stretchy items because they are too good to not give it a go — at least once.
Now shoes I can partake in! I loved these heels and booties with the embellished toe cap. To me it played well into the embellishment shown in the jewelry.
Dorothy Perkins had a good playful attitude with their clothing. There was embellishment in sweaters, different textures, and metallic threading.
They also had some matching sets which were really cute.
After Dorothy Perkins, we headed to the Evans section. I’ve been an Evans fan since I learned of them. I especially love their Collection line and the various other lines they carry: Clements Ribeiro, Live Unlimited, and Scarlett and Jo. Evans carries up to a size US 28, and I’ve always found their clothing roomy. Some of their lines do not go up to a 28, so be sure to look at size ranges for each individual line.
We started with the items that will roll into stores the soonest, which can be seen in the above picture. Lots of stripes and graphic prints, color blocking, and bold colors can be expected.
This dress had mesh at the top with a velvet body of the dress. This dress had a sweetheart neckline and a sparkly embellishment on the neckline.
One of my favorite pieces was the above coat (which is blurry – ugh!). It was cape-ish with pleated leather sleeves. It made me want to move back to the mountains so that I could wear it often.
After we looked through the line, Carina from Evans asked up to film our favorite items. I’m awkward enough on my own, and it only multiplies when I think a camera is going to capture it. We’ll see if they put out a video or if it was for internal use — regardless, someone will end up rejoicing in my awkward mumbling.
It didn’t help that the cameraman was cute!
Arcadia gave us a goody bag with lots of great items that will show up in future posts. What I loved most though was Evans’ lookbook. Here are some of the items I am most excited for during Autumn/Winter.
This cardigan is quite beautiful with mixed fabrics and a print on the backside.
Embroidered sheer top
Lace biker jacket (Olivia’s favorite) with PU panel leggings
Knitted biker jacket — love the chevron and the zipper.
I’m in love with this print. It’s really perfect for working and then transitioning into going out at night. Both top and skirt are part of the collection.
Grey Seam Panel Tunic
One of my favorites: the blurred check kimono dress
Jacquard cocoon coat
Embellished jacket, embellished front vest (or tank top as we Americans say it), black coated jeans (love)
Sorry for the shoddy picture, but I couldn’t find the promotion versions of these.
I walked away from the press day really excited about what Evans was doing and also a little terrified for my wallet. With Evans housing their own lines and also collaborating with others, there is starting to be a lot of different voices being represented in Evans store, which allows more women to find items that fit their particular aesthetic.
What piece(s) caught your eye? What are you most excited for in the AW’13 items?
Oh, we also received a 25% off code for Evanusa.com! You can use it too, now through July 15th, 2013, with the code: FFFWEEK13
I can’t believe that I’ve been home for a week and a half and am just blogging about Day Three. I need to tap that energy source I had while in NY, but I’m pretty sure it was just part of being in the hustle and bustle of the city. Anyway! On to one of my favorite events, the cruise! I had tough time finding something for the cruise this year. I didn’t want it to be lace embellished like last year, and that’s all I could seem to find. I ended up with a dress that I meant to get shortened but never did. Kind of glad though because it ended up being a very chilly and windy evening. The cruise is all about having a good time with good people, so that’s what I did: some talking, some dancing (aka moving my shoulders), and taking in a beautiful view.
Gaelle of The Curvy and Curly Closet, Jennifer of Jasifer Lions Club, and I waiting to board the boat. Can I just point out have they both have cute facial experiences and I am always stuck in the “smile for the yearbook” pose.
Brittany convinced me to wear eyeliner during the trip. I feel like a changed woman. I love the Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner now.
Brittany and I
My dress is from DEBShops.
Sandra of La Pecosa Preciosa
I wore beaded sandals from Nine West Outlet.
Olivia of Wait Until the Sunset partying hard in her ruffle butt dress.
Sam of Curvy Sam and I
Sam, me, Jennifer, and Olivia — did I mention that it was windy?
The Evans team getting a quick photo.
Jenny of Babblings of a Mommy with her husband. Her and Sandra got their skirts from eShakti I believe. Such a great piece.
Olivia’s dress fit her fun personality perfectly.
Hanna of The Wardrobe Challenge!
Karen of Curvy Canadian
Georgette from Grown and Curvy Woman!
And, of course, we can’t do a FFFWeek cruise without doing pictures in the photobooth courtesy of Sonsi.com
On Wednesday, I got up early to head down to Lane Bryant‘s flagship store on 34th street for their blogger conference. I was very excited to go to this event because I knew a lot of blogger friends would be there and Lane Bryant had really made the event exciting by doing a style off for us bloggers. In the style off, each blogger/stylist received $200 to spend at LB to create an outfit, and I LOVED seeing what everyone did (read more about that here). At the beginning of the event, we were able to venture around their flagship store, which was gorgeous, and look at what style they wanted to eventually roll out to their other stores. They served breakfast and we had a good amount of time to chat and meet new people.
View from the second floor: The bottom floor had the Lane Bryant Collection at the front and then their regular line of clothing in the rest of the space. There were displays of accessories and everything was displayed really pretty. It was a really comfortable and fun place to shop, and I’m excited for LB to bring this kind of store experience to their other stores. My local store is nice, clean, and organized, but doesn’t have as much space for outfit displays and styling ideas.
View of front entrance: This is what I REALLY want at my store. I do not think my local store currently has their Collection line. I’d love to be able to try it on and have it located all together like their flagship store.
Upstairs was LB’s Cacique line, loungewear, and activewear. Just when you think the section has ended, there’s another room with even MORE choices. My local LB has a great Cacique section, but again I was impressed with the amount of space to show off the items and displays.
Beyond the layout of the store, they also had updated mirrors that allowed you to see what the outfit looked like in different settings, like the office or evening light. Yellow lights are definitely my friend. Olivia obviously was totally into the dressing room technology :).
I loved meeting back up with Georgette of Grown and Curvy Woman.
I met Jenny of Babblings of a Mommy at the event and had a good chat.
(photo courtesy of Jessica T. of tinyredshoes)
I also met Jessica for the first time (how cute is her romper?!) and talked more with Mouna and Dani. It was interesting to hear all of their stories and how they related to plus size fashion. For instance, Jessica wasn’t always plus size and didn’t necessarily know all of the resources available, and she lived in another country for some time and dealt with that country’s attitude toward plus sizes (sorry, I can’t remember which one she said!). Mouna didn’t have access to plus-size fashion when younger and grew up shopping from the men’s section. She still doesn’t have many local options. These conversations remind me how much more we have now (for some of us–especially those able and willing to buy online) and how much we still need. Plus size teenagers now have a lot more options, and a lot of us missed that since these options have mostly become available in the last 5 years or so. I do sometimes wonder how different I’d be if I could have found clothes that fit that was young when I was actually young. I started shopping at LB when I was probably 13 or 14, and it’s amazing to see how much the brand has grown and plus size fashion in general has grown from that time.
After breakfast and hanging out at the store, we headed back to the Affinia Manhattan to learn about Lane Bryant’s upcoming lines. On our way we found a guy showering outside of Madison Square Garden. He was a giggly mess. So funny.
Once we got to the Affinia, we were able to learn about their fall sportswear line, Cacique line, and their philanthropy work. I, unfortunately, am a bad, bad blogger, and my camera AND phone both died soon after arriving. I remember taking more pictures than what I ended up with, so who knows what happened there. All I know is their Cacique line up is really exciting and very pretty. They are coming out with more trendy and special pieces for their fall line. Lots of bold colors, prints, and new focus shapes, like the pencil skirt. Bloggers did not hold back and asked questions about getting more body conscious cuts, correct sizing, and more up-to-date fashion options. Some of these Lane Bryant is already working on (they have a new sizing director), and some they are wanting to slowly integrate into their lines (more body conscious cuts). We also learned that if you have issues with their Cacique bras, you can bring them into the store to have them send to headquarters to figure out why they are malfunctioning (for instance if the wire pops out).
Because I did not get to document this part of the day well, here’s a list of bloggers who captured the second aspect of the event much better. Check out their posts: Curvy Canadian, StyleChic360, DIY Fatshion, Curves and Chaos, Everyday Runway, and Estrella Fashion Report.
I wore this Lane Bryant beaded dress, which I loved. I find that dresses like this that are very open in the shoulders and sides of bust need to bought in the size of your top rather than hips, so I got this in a size down from my usual (bought in a 22/24). You can find the dress here.
I had a great time at the event and enjoyed the style off. Thank you, Lane Bryant, for the good time and for showing us all what you have in store for the Fall line. I’m excited!
New to the FFFWeek schedule was a fundraising event that had a celebrity runway show and silent auction to benefit breast cancer awareness. I thought this was an excellent event to add to the week, as it allowed those participating in FFFWeek to give back through fashion, whether that be donation, silent auction, or ticket sales. The lovely team at Kiyonna sent me their beautiful Linden Lace Top to wear to the event, and I felt SO GOOD in it. I love finding those clothing items that just make you feel amazing as soon as you put it on, and this top definitely fit the bill in celebrating curves for the night.
The event showcased various celebrities in the plus size community in donated looks from brands such as Lane Bryant and SWAKDesigns among others. Celebrities included Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista, Gwen DeVoe – creator of FFFWeek, Lizzie Miller, Madeline Jones from Plus Model Magazine, Lucille O’Neal, Sharon Quinn, Rosie Mercado and others. All of the looks incorporated Breast Cancer Awareness color of pink and were later held for a silent auction. This was a really fun runway because it was all about celebrating women and having a good time while doing it.
Me, Brittany, and Olivia
Me and Rosie Mercado
Me and Alissa of Stylish Curves
Olivia of Wait Until the Sunset, Aisha of Fat in the City, and me — I had only met Aisha earlier that day, but you wouldn’t have guessed that. She was so much fun to talk to and she’s doing some interesting work in the plus size fashion world and fat activism world. Be sure to check her out (and Olivia too, of course, but I’m hoping that you know and love Olivia by now since I’ve linked to her many times over the years).
I felt super sexy in this outfit, and that’s not a feeling that I have often. I can feel pretty, etc, but sexy is a whole nother attitude.
What I wore: Kiyonna Linden Lace Top, ASOS Jersey Pencil Skirt, Avenue Black Wedges
What’s your favorite look from the runway? Which plus size celeb do you want to meet or were most excited to meet?
*The top was gifted to me by Kiyonna for the purpose of wearing it to an FFFWeek event. My opinion of the item is expressed honestly. Thank you, Kiyonna!