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Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Fashion Files is a recurring, occasional segment on the blog where I write about a new fashion find, add items to my wishlist, or dream about the styles I’ll be able to wear at goal.  I’ve always tried to look my best, no matter my size, and fashion has a huge role in that.  Clothes create first impressions.  Clothes reflect my personality, and affect my confidence. Now that I’m losing weight, the fashion is getting more fun, so join me in my fashion files.

Today’s Fashion File is all about outerwear, which may seems strange since it’s July and I won’t be needing a coat for a couple of months.  Still, I know that this is the time of year when you can find the best deals, so when I got the brainstorm last night to hit up a few websites and see what kind of deals were out there, I went with it.

After perusing a few different sites, I ended up on QVC.  I love Isaac Mizrahi’s style, and so I immediately went to his collection. I found two great styles on clearance and easy pay (where you can spread the payments over several months), so buying these two coats was painless for my pocketbook.

The first coat will be my go-to for cold weather.  I adore the style, and plan to pop the collar.  I ordered it in a charcoal grey, which comes with a silver zipper and dark buttons.  I’m showing it to you in the red, because I think it shows the style easier:

wooltrench  The coat is a wool blend, but doesn’t have that traditional scratchy feel of wool, as they were quick to point out in the  video presenting the coat.  I love that it has the belt so that I can accentuate my waist. They also showed it unzipped, which is how Isaac said he’d style it most of the time and save the zipper for the coldest weather.  I think the charcoal grey color I ordered will go with EVERYthing.  I love the style because it goes as well with a dress as it does with jeans, and is just so sophisticated.  The clearance price was $49.86, plus $10.22 shipping.  QVC kills me with how much they charge for shipping, but a great coat like this for $60.08 is still a steal.

In the SF Bay Area, we do get “cold” winters, but more often than that, we’re dealing with rainy days.  I haven’t had a light, easy raincoat, so that was definitely on my shopping list last night, as well.  When I found this coat, I knew it was going to be mine, too.

darkoliveraincoatI love this raincoat because it’s light, making it perfect for rainy days. The anorak style is great, too, because I can synch in the waist.  I think this dark olive color works well throughout the year, and is very versatile.  This rain jacket isn’t as stylish as the other coat, but for is a lot more flattering than many I’ve seen. The price on this coat was what ultimately made me decide to get it – $35.78, plus $7.22, making it $43.  What a great deal.

The other difficult part was deciding what size to order, especially knowing that I’m going down in sizes as the days tick by.  But I figured that both coats have belts that will help accentuate my curves, and at these prices, if they only last half the season, I’ve still gotten great use out of them.  I ordered an 18 in the first coat and an XL in the raincoat, basing both choices on the reviews and the way people commented about their fit.  People who’d purchased the coats said they were both roomy, and since it will be about 2 months before I wear either, I think I’ve made the right choice.  Plus, outerwear should be worn larger than the tops/sweaters I’ll be wearing under it.

Do you need to go outerwear shopping?  What kind of styles are your favorites for keeping warm in cold weather?

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Today I had some fun with fashion, and I liked the outfit I put together so much that I thought I’d share. A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a maxi dress from Target to wear going home from my surgery and for the days directly afterward, when loose clothing would be the most comfortable.  The dress arrived the other day, and since I had a 50th Anniversary Celebration Mass & BBQ to go to at my high school alma mater, I figured I could piece together a pretty cute ensemble.

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Since the dress was hot pink and orange/coral, I knew my Kate Spade necklace would go perfectly. I also wanted to use my Coach bag and jean jacket. I love the little ruffles that the jacket has, and that it helps to show my waist.

It all looked fine on the hanger, but how would it look on me?  Maxi dresses are usually not my thing, because I’m so short (5’3″) and they do nothing to show my hourglass figure.  But with the addition of the jean jacket and some platform flip flops, I think the outfit turned out pretty well.  Plus, I know I wouldn’t have felt half as comfortable wearing it if I hadn’t lost 35 pounds.  Even with the jean jacket off later in the day, I felt great in it, and got a few compliments, which is always nice.

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This is just a prelude to the types of outfits I’m going to be able to piece together as I lose weight.  I can’t wait!!

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cb27a03ec5cfce3faf0b87ac16c36de8Time for another great NSV to share with you guys!

With all of my progress in my weight loss, one of the big benefits is that my clothes are getting a lot looser on me.  Over the weekend I wore a shirt that I’d purchased because I loved the print, but never wore because the 18/20 was always just a bit too snug.  It finally fits, and it looked adorable, if I do say so myself.  A couple of pairs of work pants are getting almost too big to wear (slouchy crotch is not a good look on anyone).  That’s especially exciting, because pants are always the last thing to change on me.

So, last night I got home from work and decided it was time to take a shopping trip in the  closet of my guest bedroom.  If you guys remember, my friend Meghann sent me boxes of clothes that had become too big for her once she was  shedding pounds after VSG surgery.  Up to this point, I’d only been able to wear a few of the items that she sent me.  Not anymore!

I was able to pull out 3 blazers, 2  sweaters, and 3 tops, and a dress.  This is perfect timing because I need to supplement my wardrobe now that quite a few of the items in my own closet are getting a bit too large to wear.  It’s so exciting to actually be able to type that last sentence!

I love using clothes to indicate just how much progress I’m making, because it seems more accessible than just a number on a scale. I can visually see how much smaller I’m getting as clothes skim over my hips or no longer tug across my rear.  My bras are getting so big that it’s becoming almost indecent, so I think a trip to a lingerie store is going to be in my near future.

And I still have lots of jeans, pants, and dresses of Meghann’s waiting for me, all ranging in sizes from 22-16. Tinkerbell also said she’d give me some of her clothes once they no longer fit her, so that will help me get through a few more sizes, too.  Anything I can do to stay fashionable and spend as little money as possible is great.

Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes, and I have no problem spending money (well, except for being able to pay for them on a tight budget), but I’d rather not invest in transitional clothing.  Of course I’ll buy a few key pieces at each size as I’m on my way down the scale.  But in terms of a true fashion frenzy, I want to wait until I’m closer to my goal weight and then really spend money on pieces I’ll have for a long time.

For now, I had the best time putting new outfits together with some of my other clothes and a few items I had bought and never been able to wear.  The best part is that I got to play around with fashion without having to spend a dime!  As I wear each of these new outfits, I’ll take photos and include them in future Friday Fashion posts.

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Without getting political, although I’m sure you can guess who my November vote is going to, I have to comment for a moment on Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention tonight.

Pure class, grace, and style personified in a stunning Tracy Reese dress and shoes from JCrew.
(Photo from Huffington Post).

Michelle Obama’s speech brought me to tears.  She was eloquent, ingenious, and real.  She made her points while weaving in the personal experiences of herself and the president.  Brilliant.  She spoke from the heart, and showed emotion and energy, but remained powerful and in control.

And that dress?  She was gorgeous!  Her elegance reminds me so much of Jackie O, yet she gives off a much greater sense of confidence than the young Jackie O did when she was First Lady.  Michelle Obama is a woman who inspires me.  From her stance on childhood obesity to her obvious adoration of her husband, Michelle Obama is the type of woman person I aspire to be someday.

Michelle Obama is my hero, and I am proud to call her my First Lady.

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Today’s Goal Style is going to be a bit different.  Instead of imagining an outfit on Polyvore, I actually bought one. I was reading Emmie’s post reviewing eShakti when I decided to go take a peek.

I’d heard about eShakti last year and encouraged my sister to order a custom-made shirt from them, which she loved.  (My sister also has an hourglass figure, as I do, but her proportions are even more extreme.  She has a much smaller waist and her hips are about as wide as mine.  Because of her tiny waist, sometimes finding pants, dresses, and even tops that fit her well is really difficult.  I remember when we submitted her measurements for the order, we got an email soon afterward verifying that the measurements were correct because they seemed so off).

The first place I went on the website was the Overstock section, which offers a 40% discount on items. One dress immediately caught my attention:

I adore the bicycles!!!

Not only is this dress a perfect color for me (I look good in jewel tones), but it’s also the perfect cut.  That retro/50’s style is ideal for someone with my proportions (big hips, small waist). The bicycles just make it so fun and unique.  This is exactly the type of dress that I see myself wearing at my goal weight.  It’s different, quirky, and gives a nod to a bygone era. It was available in a size 18, which is a few sizes smaller than I’m currently wearing, but which I’ll be fitting into in no time, at my current rate of weight loss.

Since this dress was in the Overstock section, it meant that I got a deep discount – $41.95 instead of the original $69.95. Because I hadn’t placed an order with eShakti before, I was able to take advantage of their $20 coupon for new customers.  Which means that I picked up this awesome dress for $29.95, with shipping!!!

I am glad that I bought this dress in a smaller size because now I’ll have something that I can hang in my closet and look at for motivation every single morning as I’m getting ready.  I simply cannot wait until it fits!

Do you ever buy clothes in sizes smaller than you’re currently fitting to serve as inspiration?

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Goal Style. Each week I use Polyvore to put together looks that I hope to wear when I get to goal. They serve as inspiration and motivation, and they help me develop my own sense of style along the way. I enjoying working with thematic groupings, so if you have ideas of style themes for future fashion posts, please put them in the comments.

This week’s Goal Style was inspired by the the nautical trend that’s so hot right now. It seems a perfect paring with the 4th of July. To me nautical is preppy mixed with the maritime, oceanic aesthetic.

The clothes themselves are simple and clean, just the way I like them. The skirt is a light, breezy cotton that would be as perfect at a backyard BBQ as on a yacht. The top was just a way to keep the look from getting a bit too costumey, although if it borders on that, I don’t mind, since we all get a little matchy-matchy with the 4th, don’t we? I’ve put similar TOMS espadrille wedges in another Goal Style outfit, so I think it’s high time I purchased some, right? The necklace is one I’d love to own myself because of the detail on the anchor. I also adore the Tarina Tarantino bracelet – so perfect for this look! Ray Bans are so classic, and bring me back to my high school days. Who doesn’t love a MAC red lipstick, and it was all the better that it incorporated the sailor theme. Last but certainly not least are those nails – I love them. I searched long and hard on Pinterest to find 4th of July nails that I thought were festive and not tacky. I’d never be able to do them myself, but I love the way they look. Nail art is really huge right now, which is why I’m grateful that the Biotin I’ve been taking is helping my nails grow. In fact, just last I made an appointment for a shellac manicure, because there’s finally something for a manicurist to work with. All in all, I’d absolutely wear this outfit on the 4th of July. It’s fresh, flirty, and very, very fun.

Do you dress in red, white, and blue on the 4th of July? Do you have your outfit set?

4th of July

PrAna top
$49 – altrec.com

J Crew striped mini skirt
$128 – jcrew.com

TOMS espadrille wedge
$69 – toms.com

Tarina Tarantino sailor jewelry
$36 – endless.com

Ray-Ban wayfarer sunglasses
$150 – endless.com

MAC Cosmetics lip stick
$16 – nordstrom.com

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I wanted to make a quick post of the outfit I picked out today. It’s notable only because I wore the sleeveless top without a shrug or sweater covering my arms, which is a big step for me.

My arms are big, but today it was warm and covering them doesn’t hide the fact that they’re big, it just hides them. And why? My arms are firm(ish) and tan (thanks to the swimming) and the top is cut too cute to hide it because of self-consciousness.

Granted, this top is not the most flattering, especially because that band at the bottom accentuates my hips and stomach, but in person the colors are really pretty and very flattering.  The top is so much more fitted than I’ve been wearing, and while it will still look good, and probably better, after losing another 10 lbs, I felt pretty in this top.  I wish the photo was clearer – sorry about that.

I bought that bracelet yesterday at the salon and I absolutely adore it!  it will go with so much, and it can actually convert to a necklace, which is so cool (although it’s sort of a choker, which is not usually a style of necklace that I enjoy).  I love the stacked look of the bracelets! I know I’m going to get a lot of use out of it.

I took the photo of  my face to show you the flower in my hair and my makeup, but it actually revealed something else, too.  I’m a master at the “fat girl photo angle:” hold the camera above your head so that the lens is looking down at you, then move your face so that your double/triple chin appears much smaller.  But I really think this picture is going to be great motivation for me, because my face appears SO much thinner than it usually is.  Looking at this shot is sort of like peeking into the future, seeing  myself in 30 pounds or so lighter.  And I do think that losing weight these first three weeks of summer has helped to “de-puff” face.

Losing this 12.6 pounds has invigorated me and helped me see that while I have a LONG way to go, I need to enjoy each moment of this summer. This is the summer that I change my life for good, so why not dress as if each day is a celebration?

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Goal Style. Each week I use Polyvore to put together looks that I hope to wear when I get to goal. They serve as inspiration and motivation, and they help me develop my own sense of style along the way. I enjoying working with thematic groupings, so if you have ideas of style themes for future fashion posts, please put them in the comments.

I haven’t done a Goal Style post in weeks, so I thought it was high time I did one.  Since I’m reporting my weigh-in progress on Fridays, I’m moving these fashion posts to any other day of the week, because fashion happens everyday, right?

This week’s Goal Style was inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest of a beautiful sunset on the beach, with a beach cruiser parked near at a dock. The nice thing about this pin is that it’s easy enough for me to re-create it, since I have beaches just 45 minutes away in either direction.  I love riding my beach cruiser, and this picture helps remind me of the laid back feeling I get when I’m on it.  It’s a great reminder that  I need to hop on the bike a bit more often.

The clothes themselves are easy, breezy.  I was just telling my sister yesterday that I wanted to get a straw hat to have when my summer curls aren’t at their best. In fact, I just bought a hat straw hat online this morning.  Mine is a little less floppy (more wearable everyday) than this one is, but I do like the way the whole out fit came together.  It’s definitely something I could see myself wearing.  In fact, I own those Reef flip flops and LOVE them – very supportive and comfy, even when walking all around.  The shorts are Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, a brand I’ve put on a previous Goal Style because I hear they’re made for curvy women.  The Tory Burch top is a fantasy, but it definitely looks nice with the outfit, right?  And while I don’t any bracelets like those, I would love some.  I really like the trend of stacking lots of bracelets because it reminds me of Madonna in the 80s. Maybe I’ll get some for myself for my birthday.

Where’s the last place you’ve taken a bike ride?

Summer Sunset Beach Bike Ride

Tory Burch scoop neck top
£81 – farfetch.com

NYDJ shorts
$55 – zappos.com

Reef shoes
$28 – endless.com

Chan Luu wrap bracelet
$190 – endless.com

Floppy straw hat
£20 – houseoffraser.co.uk

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I’m so excited to share today’s post with you.  A few weeks ago I was contacted by Fresh Produce, who offered to let me choose any piece of clothing on their site to review.  How cool!  I’d never heard of Fresh Produce before, but really liked their tagline: “live life, enjoy color.” They have retail stores throughout the U.S. and are also sold in Nordstrom.

The vibe of the clothes are resort – casual, comfortable, yet put-together.  In the straight sizes, there were tons of clothes that I could see myself wearing in the future – something to look forward to as I lose enough weight to get into size 14 and below.  The plus sizes also offered some cute choices.

I would have usually chosen a top, but I decided to go for something different.  Given that this season is all about colorful pants, and the tagline encouraged me to choose color, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and get the Getaway Clamdigger pants in a color called Sunrise. It sounded like the perfect pant for spring and summer.

They arrived last week, and I couldn’t wait to try them on and wear them.  I really liked what the company had to say about themselves:

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I also really liked that they had a drawstring waist.  For someone like me who has a much smaller waist in proportion to my hips, the drawstring is the only way to avoid the dreaded “gap.”  I’m not sure if you can tell or not, but the material of the pants was very soft and light, almost like scrubs, and you know how comfy doctors and nurses say those are.  I was excited to get them on and  try them out.

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that the pants looked dressier than I expected.  They were just as comfy as I expected, but they looked like any other pair of pants that I could wear to work. Of course my go-to was to pair them with a black tank and shrug.  I loved that the pants were adjustable.  I’m really short, and I have short legs to top it off, so capris are usually almost the perfect length.  I really appreciated that I could make these even shorter, if I wanted to.  I think I’ll wear them at their shorter length, because it looks more flattering, in my opinion.  (The other way looks more like floods).  Click the collage to see it larger.

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One might think this color is limiting, but when I looked through my closet, I saw that I had quite a few options that would work well, including these…

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I’d love to get a denim shirt/light jacket to wear with a white top/tank, because I think that would be great together, too.

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The price was more than I usually pay for pants, but they are so comfortable and versatile that I think I'd buy them again in other colors.

Speaking of other colors, they’re available in a TON of choices, including

I’d love to get them in Tortoise Shell and Oyster, among others.  They look great in Black and White, as well.

Overall, I’d say that if you’re looking for something to liven up your spring and summer wardrobe, you should check out Fresh Produce and infuse some color into your days.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plus size capri pants: http://freshproduceclothes.com/fp/plus-size-capris Vacation clothes for women:http://freshproduceclothes.com/fp/vacation-clothes Capri pant sets: http://freshproduceclothes.com/fp/capri-pant Fresh Produce now ships to over 200 countries, so women outside the U.S. can enjoy the colorful styles, too.

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Today’s Fashion Friday is going to be a bit different because I’m going to do a review and then a giveaway, so keep on reading.

A little while ago I got an email announcing a new product line that was being offered through Fullbeauty.com. Their parent company, OneStopPlus, is a website I’ve been shopping on for the past couple of years.  They have fashionable, affordable plus-sized clothes from a variety of different labels, which makes it really convenient.  I’ve almost completely stopped shopping in brick and mortar stores because they have everything I need – tops, pants, skirts, dresses, activewear, swimsuits, pjs, and lingerie. So, when I heard about this latest offering, I knew it was something that I needed to pay attention to.

Which brings me to my point.  Bras.  I like to make sure that I have a good, supportive bra so that the rest of my outfit looks nice.  Having a bra with the proper fit is essential to looking my best.  And I’m always on the lookout for a comfortable bra, which is sometimes like trying to find the Holy Grail.

Back to Fullbeauty.com’s announcement about a new bra line they were carrying:

OneStopPlus Group announced today  that it  will be offering plus size bras from Mia  by Amoena, an  innovative  product line that features groundbreaking  technology and  sophisticated  designs, adding to fullbeauty’s definitive  selection of  bras that serve  as  wardrobe foundations.   Amoena’s line of  beautiful  lingerie offers the perfect combination of  comfort and design  with a cut  specially developed to ensure reliable fit.  Mia by Amoena’s  unique  patent-pending technology is the world’s first  lingerie line  with  temperature-equalizing Comfort+ technology.  Feminine  and flirty  bras are  made from Comfort+ material, an Outlast®  fabric  densely  saturated with  micro capsules that regulate and balance  fluctuations in a  woman’s body temperature.  The Comfort+ technology  transfers heat away  from, and back  to, the body as needed, absorbing  excess heat during a  rise  in  temperature and gently releasing it when  body temperature  decreases.  Fullbeauty.com will offer Amoena bras in  band sizes from 32 to  46 and up  to an I cup in select styles; prices  range from $66.00 to  $77.00.   “Fullbeauty.com offers true innovation in  design and function and  a  no-compromise shopping experience,” said  Michele Crawbuck, Vice  President  and Brand Manager, fullbeauty.com.”

I loved the sound of the Comfort+ technology, so I contacted one of their corporate communications managers to ask if I could review and then giveaway one of their bras.  And they agreed!  (Which just goes to show that sometimes all you need to do is ASK).

The Review
They gave me a variety of choices, and I selected the bra you’ll see in the following photos.  The one thing I was worried about was support, since it was a wireless bra, but I am so happy to report that this bra absolutely supported me through a long workday and into the evening.  I “test drove” the bra 3 times before writing this review, and I loved it each and every time.  In fact, I have it on today.

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Beautiful, deep purple color with a nice amount of lace. The great thing is, the lace doesn't show through shirts, even tshirts.

The bra is full-coverage, which I love, but also really pretty.  I debated whether or not to take a photo of myself in the bra, but erred on the side of modesty, so you’ll just have to imagine from my descriptions.  The bra has slightly padded, comfortable straps that stay where they should but feel light and weightless.  I appreciate the fact that once I have the bra on, it stays put – no pulling or tugging needed.  As I said, it’s wireless, so it’s ultra comfortable, with nothing pointing out or pinching.  And it does an amazing job of supporting me, which is no small feat.  In fact, it gives me a nice lift, and makes the cleavage look appealing at the same time.

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An explanation of the benefits of Comfort+.

I’m not sure about you, but I can tell you that I usually perspire under the cups of a bra, but when I wear this Mia  by Amoena bra, I didn’t at all.  That Comfort+ really works!

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A very fair price for a bra that is this comfortable and easy to wear. It also washes really nicely.

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A view of the inside of the bra with the Comfort+ band.

All in all, I can’t recommend this bra highly enough.  I’m definitely going to buy more, and I wanted to make sure that at least one of you would also have an opportunity to try this bra for yourself.

The Giveaway
The giveaway is open to all of my readers with a U.S. shipping address.  You can enter several times by completing each of the tasks below.  I’ll conduct a random drawing using a randomizer after the Giveaway ends on Monday, March 12th at 8pm, Pacific.  Winners will be announced in a special blog post on Monday evening, so make sure to check back to see if you’ve won.

Each person has 8 ways they can enter to win.  Do any one of these, or all eight.  The more ways you enter, the better your chances of winning:

  1. Leave a comment below, telling me why you’d like to win the bra.  Make sure to include an email address where I can contact you if you win.
  2. Write a blog post on your blog announcing this giveaway, linking back to this post. Then, leave me a comment with the link to your post.
  3. Tweet it, linking to this post as you do.  Then come back here and let me know about the tweet.
  4. Follow my blog.  Then come back here and let me know you did.
  5. Follow @bellablogger on Twitter.  Then come back here and let me know you did.
  6. Mention this post on Facebook.  Then come back here and let me know that you did.
  7. “Like” FullBeauty.com on Facebook. Then come back here and let me know you did.
  8. Follow @Fullbeauty1 on Twitter. Then come back here and let me know you did.

Remember, this is a quick giveaway, so enter before it ends on Monday, March 9th at 8pm, Pacific time.  Good luck!

I was not paid for this review, and the views expressed within this post are mine and mine alone. I did receive the bra free of charge.

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