Plus Size Staples

This post is going to be quick. In a rush, or a pinch,  I pick out some basic pieces to help me look fab. To the left: I'm in a fitted short sleeve suit jacket, lace edged cami, skinny jeans and embellished flats. Many retailers such as Eloquii for the limited have good staples for a curvy girl and designers like Steve Madden always have cute statement flats. Let me know what your "go-to" basics are.

Plus Size Model Kaela Humphries Does Reality

  Kaela Humphries, that's right, older sister to basketball player and estranged husband to Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries, makes her way onto the reality TV scene tonight. As if the Humphries haven't been burned by the reality game enough already. But maybe I'm looking at it wrong; maybe the way they look at it as "strike while it's hot". Anyway, Kaela, a plus size model,  who made her debut at New York Fashion Week Spring 2012 last September walking forRichie Rich, will be featured on the debut episode of the CW's new series Remodeled. In the series long time agent Paul Fisher, works to make over modeling agencies around the world; Think Tabitha's Salon Takeover but with models. In the first episode, Fisher will try to recruit Kaela to a talent agency in her native Minneapolis, Minnesota. Not sure if  it looks compelling enough to watch but I'll let you know if I do. Anyone who sees it, drop me a line and let me know what you thoughts.

Plus size Divas at the Golden Globes

Last night was the real kickoff to the 2012 award season. At the 2012 Golden Globe Awards, the stars sparkled as usual. It especially was great to see the plus size actresses holding their own.

Amber Riley stole the plus size show with a very sexy red strapless gown. The Glee actress, wore a Badgley Mischka dress, Neil Lane jewels, and a Swarovski clutch. The gown hugged her curves perfectly and the ruffles and ruching were a pretty accent. The dress was very simple in design and the color took center stage.

Last year Melissa McCarthy voiced displeasure with her gown selection to the point that she designed her own and put us on notice that she would be starting her own plus size line to fill in the gap missed by other designers. This year, instead of wearing another one of her creations, she wore an emerald green, empire waist gown by Badgley Mischka. It featured a long two tierred skirt and a plunging gold and green jeweled neckline. Though the dolman sleeves were not particularly flattering, I agree with Guiliana Rancic that the color complimented her eyes. The jewel detail close to her face also made her complexion glow beautifully. Though Badgley Mischka has a way to go in designing for plus size women, the effort is commendable. She complimented the dress with a simple half-up do, drop earrings, a (looks like) amber cocktail ring and small gold clutch.

Octavia Spencer, winner of the best supporting actress award for her role in the Help,  looked beautiful in a lavendar Tadashi Shoji gown. The floor length gown with a deep v-neclkine, crystal embelishments, and ruching hilighted her curves. She accessorized with a Judith Leiber clutch, Irene Neuwirth jewelry  and gorgeous Louboutin heels

Totally cute, Johan Hill brought his little sister as his date for the evening. A pretty plus sized girl, she wore a v-neck gown by Kevin Hall

A note of mention for looking like perfection, Angelina Jolie looked beautiful in a gown by  Atelier Versace. I love the simplicity of the design and the impact of the color in the neckline, her matched lipstick and clutch. Absolutely elegant, beautiful and stunning.

Trends of the evening: Bright red lips were the major accessory of the evening. I did not see any overwhelming color trends, muted tones (beiges, pastels, powdery colors), jewel tones (ruby red, emerald green, silver), as well as black and white graphic compositions were all seen. 

Overall, both men and women turned out beautifully. I can't wait to see what the rest of award season has to offer.   

Tip: A Tailor is your best friend

Not many women can wear a garment right off the store rack and have it look immediately fab. Even the models stomping the runway with their "perfect bodies" had the garments fitted to them. Clothes are cut for a "standard" size but every body is different. It would be an unrealistic expectation to think that most things you purchase off the rack (unless you find a designer who's clothes are cut for your body type) will fit you perfectly, immediately. A key to looking your best and making a garment look expensive is fit.  and to make your pieces fit you, become best friends with a tailor. Buy the size that fits the best (forget what the tag says), and get your new bestie to "make it work.

H&M+ Spring 2012

After going home to NYC last February and visiting H&M on 34th St I was very disappointed to find that the store did not carry plus sizes. I was told by their salesperson that H&M no longer carried plus size clothes. Back in the day, really only about 8 years ago, I was able to walk into that same H&M and buy a suit from their H&M BiB line, which I still have. Not carrying plus size clothes doesn't make sense; The plus size market is bigger than ever (pardon the pun). Well, it seems as if they've realized curvy girls have fashion sense and money to spend. 

Spring 2011 H&M launched a one-off collection of cute and flirty 50s inspired party dresses and pretty separates called  Inclusive. The collection was only available in markets with online distribution centers (UK, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden).

Spring 2012 H&M is rebrandiang it's plus size collections as H&M+. Previously know in store as BiB, the H&M+ line will launch this spring with current essential pieces in sizes UK 18-28 (US 14-24). The collection will include staples such as a fitted, feminine blazer, white shirts, and ankle length trousers, along with fun items like bright jeans. H&M plans to continue to develop the collection through out the year with additional items to help build a solid wardrobe. I'm still not fully sure on whether it will be available in stores. I'll keep you posted.

 It's great that high-style, low-cost retailers like H&M are stepping up their game and catering to the curvy crowd. Plus size ladies have been waiting a long time for, and are excited by, the change in the industry. With more options we are heading in a direction where we will be fully able to express ourselves. We aren't there yet but the change is exciting.

15 And Fabulous - Update

I have told you about before and I wanted to check back on their site to see if they have anything new. Though their plus size section is still small, and they haven't added too many new items, I did find a few that I like and want to share with you. As all of their plus size items are $15, you can update your wardrobe for under $100. I found these six pieces that I think I could get a lot of mileage out of. I found a mini lbd with sheer detail at the neckline, a tan tailor-look jacket with  beige jacket with striping and lace edge detail, and a black sweater with zig-zag multi insert detail. I also found a tribal rectangle top, a floral rectangle top with lace at the shoulders and a layered open-knit sweater over a tank. I haven't purchased from this retailer but for $15 you can take a chance. They probaby won't be "forever pieces" but should help you punch up your more expensive, classic items. If you make a purchase, or find other pieces you like that I have not mentioned, I would love to know how what you think.

Indian Summer

 So it's been like 50 degrees here in the U.T. this first week of 2012. The calendar says Winter, but it certainly feels like Indian Summer. Though it probably won't last long, now is a perfect time to pull back out those cute shrugs from fall. They're great for layering, covering arms, adding a pop of color, or a little bit of warmth. I had put mine away, preferring bulkier sweaters to keep the holiday chill away but the warmer weather gives me another chance to play. You can jazz them up with classic or chunky accessories like a three strand faux pearl necklace or a cluster of brooches. Use texture like pleated accents or extra chunky knits to bring extra interest to a simple oiutfit or be visually stunning with bold colors or sparkle. There are so many ways to go with a shrug and they are available at most major and discount retailers. Have fun.

Special  thanks to Zandra Vranes Photography                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Chelsea Settles

Chelsea Settles, star of the MTV reality show of the same name is featured in this week's US Weekly magazine showing off her amazing transformation. She has lost 116 lbs since starting her weight loss journey and looks fantastic. A plus size beauty, she is working her curves in a [designer unknown] bandage dress. Wearing a bodycon dress like the one to the left takes a lot of self confidence. Looks like her hard work has really paid off . Congrats Chelsea. 

**If anyone knows the designer of this dress I would love to know who it is.*** 

Happy New Year

Hello Fashionistas! It's been a minute since my last post but I'm about to get back on it. Resolution: Be fabulous (always), and post more consistently.

To get the the new year started off right I wanted to do a really quick makeup review. One of the major ways to always be fabulous is to make sure your face is beautiful, even if you only have 5 minutes. Below, I have my 6 go-to, everyday makeup products. You can find these products in many "department" stores or they are readily available online. They are also all pretty inexpensive and give major bang for your buck. It took me a long time of trial and error and friend recommendations to find these products so hopefully this will save you some legwork. I have sensitive, combination skin but most of the products can be used by anyone.
1. Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion . It's light, hydrates really well and leaves your skin soft and velvety. $33
2. Revlon Colorstay foundation (combination/ oily. Mocha). It keeps my skin matte for most of the day, and does not rub off easily. Comes in a wide range of skin tones. $9.99
3. E.L.F. Shimmering Facial Whip (Camilia). Use anywhere as a hilighter. $1
4. E.L.F Mineral Blush (Plum). Beautiful saturated color that stays. $5
5. Revlon Lash Blast Fusion mascara (very black). Two coats make me look like I am wearing false lashes. $7.99
6. E.L.F Studio Cream Eyeliner (black). Deep  color; The black really stands out and it stays put. $3
**Notable Mention** Want a fast glam look OR  don't have much time and want to look like you care, put on an red lipstick with a blue base. It will make your teeth look whiter and your mouth look gorgeous. I use Maybeline Super Stay 24 Color (everlasting wine) because it's the best longwear lipstick I've found. I keep it with me at all times.

Of course there are other products that you can use, like facial primer, or eyeshadow, to get better performance out of these products or pump up your look but this is good fast, simple, effective regimen. It's a good place to start.