Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rain, Rain go Away

Some days it rains and some days it pours. And some days, like yesterday in New York, it rains so hard and is so windy that they shut down the streets around my office because office windows were being blown out in lower Manhattan and in my favorite moment of the day, a woman outside my office building was holding onto a pole and as I passed begged me for assistance getting into the building cause she was afraid of being blown over. Now that was a New York first for me.

When it rains like that a girl has to be practical in how she dresses. Note the following rain concessions in my outfit.

1) I am wearing contacts. I always wear contacts in inclement weather so my glasses don't get fogged up by the rain or snow. I am seriously blind and when it's uber rainy I always fog up and subsequently cannot see shit, so I reach for my contacts instead. I always feel the need to wear eye makeup when I wear contacts since I can finally see to put makeup on, which is ironic since I'm often dressed in not-so-nice, crappy day clothing.

2) My hair is both up in a clip and has an around-the-neck headband that keeps flyaways to a minimum.

3) Rain boots. I talked about the utility of solid black rainboots in an earlier post.

4) Dress and tights. Now you may be thinking that a dress and tights aren't the smartest for wet and windy weather, but here's where I'd argue with you. Pants can easily get soaked and tights are thin enough as to dry relatively quickly.

5) Umbrella. And the fact that it matches my outfit in both color and pattern is just an added bonus that I had to point out.

Outfit details.

Dress I got at some random store in Charleston and was featured once before.
Cardigan is a hand me down from Jamie
Belt is Torrid
Tights are We Love Colors
Boots are Laila Rowe
Umbrella is Uniqlo
Headband was found in a random storage space at my old job
Earrings are likely from some 99cent store or something like that

Monday, January 25, 2010

Introducing what I hope will become a regular feature

I got an email the other day from my friend and reader titled Target. I opened it up and Emi had written the following. "Returning stuff and saw this dress. 19.99. Totally reminded me of you! :)" She included the following photo.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this! Both the dress and the idea that Emi saw something and thought I would like it so much that she papped it for me. For those of you wondering what in the hell papped means, in the UK they use it as slang for when the celebs get their photos taken by the paparazzi.

In fact it made me so happy that I want to make it a regular occurrence. So dear readers, if you're out and about and see something that you think I would love, pap it and email it to me at 30Dressesin30Days at gmail.com. I cannot wait to see what sort of crazy fatshions you come up with. As an added bonus, if I like it so much that I end up ordering it for myself I will send you some sort of delicious, homemade baked goods.

Also I want to come up with a name for what I hope will become a series of photos sent in by readers. I was thinking "Pap it for Me" but I don't know if that's really the best idea. Please, offer up any and all suggestions you might have.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Asos Curve Launches Today

For many of us British retailer Asos has long inspired lustful longing and today they launched their brand new plus size line Curve. Sadly the sizes only from a UK 20-26 which rougly translates to a US 16-22, but it's a start. I have to say that looking at the website I'm not necessarily overrun with excitement, but that was until I saw how the pieces actually looked on people.

The lovely Sakina over at Saks in the City looks unbelievable in her new Curve pieces and I'm now dying to own both the first dress she models and those jeggings.

Christina over at Musings of a Fatshionista has a review as well and she too looks beyond adorable in the same dress of Sakina's that I lusted after.

Finally, Gabi over at Young, Fat and Fabulous also offers up a rave review of the line and because of her comments I'm dying to order the sloucy t's.

All three bloggers (of whom I am MAJOR fans) talk about the high quality and construction of the pieces so once I see how things work out for me at the office next week I may just place an order. They're selling a skirted legging and I can't decide if it's brilliant or ridiculous. What say you?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I finally wear something blog worthy

As promised earlier today, I present you with a non-question blog post.

With all the cold weather I've been in a bit of a fashion funk. You would never know from the way I've been acting this winter that I was once a cold weather fanatic. Seriously, I'm the girl who used to dream of living in Alaska and still dream of living in New Zealand - it's the prettiest place I've ever been. Don't believe me yet? After reading this book, I applied for a job at the South Pole. I will also add that the job was to wash dishes, cause at that time in my life it was the only thing I was even remotely qualified to do there. Everything else had an ologist at the end of the job description, so truth be told if I applied again it would likely still be to wash dishes.

All of this is a preface to say that it has surprised me how much I've been hiding away from short dresses and skirts due to the cold this winter. But no more. My legs are out and about and now that I have a new, warm down coat to wear I'm not hiding them anymore.

The dress I picked up on a Friday fats sale and is vintage. The belt from Accessorize and the cropped velour jacket from Dorothy Perkins help to give the dress definition.

The headband is from Primark, the tights are from Target and the worn, scuffed, but still loved boots are from Evans. There's a whole lot of London purchases going on in this post.

Photo credit goes to Ateqah who is so very kind in indulging my need to document my outfits.

Boots, boots and more boots

Ok, you're probably getting sick of this activity of voting on possible purchases for me so I promise later today I'll post an actual outfit, but I once again want your advice.

It's difficult to buy boots when you're fat as the circumference for most boots is something like 15.5 inches and my calves circumference in at about 18 inches. It was when I lived in London that I discovered the wide calf boot department at Evan's which was a revelation. I went a bit mad buying all sorts of boots since it was the first time I could fit my calves into them. Stupidly I bought several boots with heels which have since languished in my closet season after season as I'm not so good with heels.

But my boot existence really changed when I discovered Duo (which is sadly also a British company) where they sell boots in a variety of calf widths. They have showrooms where you can go and try on boots and they'll then ship you your order. The way it works is kind of amazing. In every boot, in every foot size they carry over 10 calf widths - perfect for those of us with either thin or fat calves.

I spend a lot of time gazing longingly at the Duo website. However it's always hard for me to commit to ordering shoes internationally when you never know about the fit. I'm in desperate need for some flat, black, everyday boots and have been eyeing these for 6 months. They're pricey so thankfully my father has agreed to purchase them as my combined birthday present from last year and this year.

However they're currently having a sale and if I'm still employed as of next week I want to treat myself to some flat, brown boots and I'm hoping y'all can tell me which you like best. The great thing about the sale is that you can just plug in your shoe size and calf size and they'll tell you what's available.

Option 1 I don't recall ever having seen before the sale, I assume it's some really old stock they're trying to get rid of. Option 2 is cute, but only mid-calf and I worry that I'm not able to rock a mid-calf boot with dress look. Option 3 are technically not on sale, but I'm happy to splurge on them. Option 4 is on sale in the caramel color which is so popular this season, but not the dark brown.

Also I own these and love them to pieces. Mine are fairly wrecked at this point and I'm wondering if I should invest in a spare pair when it's so cheap.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help me Pick a Coat

Once again dear readers I come to you for assistance. This time I want your input on a new down coat.

Now lets get a few things straight. I know that none of these coats are exactly "fashionable." In an ideal world I wouldn't need to own a down coat, but I live in New York and it gets cold and I'm outdoors an awful lot. In fact in every NY woman's closet there hangs a long, black, puffy down coat. Seriously I think it's the law or something. There's one in mine and it has been there since 2003 when I walked into Macy's one freezing evening and asked for the warmest coat they had. The coat is still serviceable and keeps me toasty warm but it weighs an absolute ton and well...after 7 years I'm sick of it. I figure I'm allowed to buy a new down coat every 7 years or so.

Last weekend my best friend was in town and we went on the hunt for a down coat. Luckily she and I could have fun doing anything, absolutely anywhere because we spent the afternoon in EMS, Patagonia and North Face - not exactly the shops I like to spend my time or money in.

You know how most women have to do the "breast test" when trying on an article of clothing - the test to see if it buttons past your chest. Well my version of that is the ass test - does something fit around my hips and ass. Too often as we discovered the answer was no, it does not. Ideally I wanted a coat that hit my knees but these stores only carried straight sizes - none of which were going to zip over my ass.

I had asked friends for recommendations on Facebook with the stipulation that I wanted something warm and light and numerous friends recommended this Patagonia coat. It was the one coat that I seriously considered purchasing as it was warm and weighed nothing and I was taken with the lime green, but with my penchant for dresses and leggings I really wanted some protection for my legs. My besties suggestion that I purchase said coat and just wear long underwear resulted in an eye roll.

So after an unsuccessful day of shopping, off I went to the internet and ended up at Land's End. They were having a massive sale, they carried lots of long coats and they had plus sizes - the holy trinity! I had no idea how things were going to fit and so I ordered 3 different coats in a variety of sizes. It was a good thing as they all fit very differently and the one I like best is the one I almost didn't even order.

So in order from favorite to least favorite I present you with my 3 coats and ask for your advice as to which I should make room for in my overcrowded closet.

Option 1
This is the Morgan and I ordered it in a 1x only because they didn't have a 2x, which is a good thing since the 1x fits pretty perfectly. The photos on the website made the coat look awfully shiny and I was worried I'd look like Missy Elliot, during the garbage bag phase but it's waaay less shiny in real life than on the website or in this photo.

Option 2

This is the best-selling (and not on sale) Dory which comes in a wide variety of colors of which I {gasp} didn't order the brightest one. I ordered a 2x, which due to the cut is actually tighter around my bottom than Option 1. Folks in my office were of a mixed opinions between 1 and 2.

Option 3

This is the Reversible Quilted Down and it is just a fail in every imaginable way. I ordered a 2x which is absolutely swimming on me, but I don't think that even if it fit properly I would like it. It's just a bit blah, even for a down coat.

So, vote in the comments below. I'm heavily leaning towards option 1, but would love to hear what you have to say.

Oh and finally, look how small they made those coats for shipping. I'm in awe.

Follow up from yesterday

Yesterday when I posted about the shiny, purple leggings, reader (and dear friend) Jamie said that if I stuck to all black the leggings could be cute, but that knowing me I'd likely wear them with "an orange shirt, a kelly green skirt, a yellow scarf and red shoes." In which case she said they'd be too much.

So I promised that today I would wear my crazy purple, green and black spandex leggings with all black to see what I thought. Let me tell you, it was difficult. When I was getting dressed I really wanted to put on a purple cardigan, but I restrained myself and stuck to the promise of all black...well all black in different textures and then my very non-black leggings. I think it came out well, even if I did have to try on a few different black dresses before I decided on the one that I felt most comfortable wearing without any additional color.

Dress is a large from Banana Republic and is a hand-me-down from Jamie
Jacket that I have recently rediscovered and am in love with all over again is from Dorothy Perkins and is a 18 UK
Leggings are from Torrid and I think are a 1
Boots are from Evans

I may have cheated every so slightly with my accessories. The hair clip I got at the bust craftacular in December and the earrings are from Accessorize. Two-toned hair is a casualty of trying to get back to my natural hair color after years of coloring.

Photo credit goes to my co-worker Selene that I ran into on my way into work this morning.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Someone talk me out of buying this

I love color - particularly purple - and I love making a statement and I love leggings. But apparently even sometimes I have limits...right?

Every time these "violet spandex leggings" go on sale I consider buying them. But I never have. Because somewhere in my mind even I must have a limit. I mean they're ridiculous right? I think the fact that they are perpetually on sale might be hint #1. Even I, the woman who owns these leggings thinks they're a bit too much.

And yet every time they go on sale I consider taking the plunge, why is that? I've written about fashion remorse, but I fear if I buy these I'll have actual buyers remorse. Talk me out of them readers, talk me out of them.

Also what do you think of this? I've always had an unnaturally soft spot in my heart (and wardrobe) for cherries.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Accessories Make the Outfit

Sometimes you put together an outfit where the pieces speak for themselves and other times the outfit comes together with the accessories. This is one of those instances where the outfit takes shape from the accessories.

Worn unadorned this is just a simple brown dress with a purple cardigan. A fine outfit, but nothing special. Add some textured tights, boots, a hair fascinator and my new sweater clips and now we're talking.

I think I may have been especially encouraged to accessorize this outfit because both the dress and cardigan are hand-me-downs. The dress was a gift from my very well endowed friend who bought it and subsequently realized that it would not work with her chest. It is a size Large and it's by Velvet, one of those luxury cotton brands that I love so much but rarely buy due to the price. Instead I wait for hand me downs from my generous friends.

The cardigan is also a large and is a from Anthropologie via the wonderful JLR. I love Anthropologie, (especially their cardigans) but it falls into the category of far too pricey for my regular consumption. When I shop there it is almost exclusively on the sale racks. I'm actually heading there tonight after work to return some stuff, but I may be lured into full price shopping by this cardigan that my co-worker owns that I have been coveting for months.

The textured brown tights are from Target and I've become a recent convert to their Merona brand tights which go up to a 1x/2x and fit me really well. They're only $7 a pop and it's always good to find some new inexpensive tights option that fit my hips and ass. For new readers the purple cowboy boots are my most prized material possession and you can read about them in an earlier post.

Finally the outfit really comes together for me due to my hair fascinator and my brand new, worn for the first (and so far only time) sweater clips. I had never even heard of sweater clips until I recently saw someone post about them on fatshionista. A few weeks after that I was at the 2009 Bust craftacular and saw some guys selling them and purchased my very first pair. I'm loving them already and think they really tie the outfit together. If like me you're now obsessed I recommend searching for them on ebay or etsy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I attempt to rock it like a hipster

Welcome to any new readers who are visiting my blog after Christina's massive end of year fatshionista post! I'm so excited to have you here.

So as my regular readers know I am a fan of color and sparkles and generally things that attract attention (not always in a good way, but I'm cool with that) so some of you will likely be surprised by today's outfit. A black dress with little color accents, how un-bloomie. But it was in honor of a friend.

Every day when I walk into work I pass by my friends A's desk and we have a mini fashion show. She and I could not have tastes further apart from one another - I love color, she loves black, I like ruffles and sparkles and glitter, she likes black...that is muted. But we both love clothing and fashion and compare our outfits every morning. It's one of my favorite parts of the day.

A was throwing a party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn aka hipster capital of the world, and I wanted to dress in the closest approximation I can rock to being a hipster. Considering my love of non-ironic colors and the fact that we were having ice rain the night of the party, I thought this might be a tad difficult. However I turned to my large and magical closet, sure that the right outfit would come to me and low and behold, I believe it did.

Today's dress I found while vintage shopping somewhere in Camden, London. I went to graduate school in London and lived in Camden and there are vintage clothing shops galore there. I've had to hunt to find things in my size, but I've found some of my favorite dresses in Camden.

So there I was hunting away when I found today's dress. I wasn't too sure about it as it is completely see through and I didn't then, and still don't now, own any slips, but I fell for the ruffles and paid my ten pounds. And then the dress languished in my closet for years. Literally years. It seemed to be a spring dress and I didn't own a slip and I didn't know how to wear it. I then realized that if I wore it in the winter I could rock it with leggings and a black bra and thus the dress was revitalized. I've always worn it with a belt to give it a bit more shape and structure. Today's belt is via Accessorize (another London store).

Other than that the leggings are Danskin and the boots are from Duo, the godsend British store that makes customized boots to fit your calves. The cropped military jacket was lent to me by my roommate and it is from Brooklyn Industries and I now desperately want one myself but it's no longer being sold. The headband is from Ross and the necklace I got at the 2008 Bust craftacular.

Photo credit goes to Shaffs and I am so happy we took pictures on the way to the party, rather than on the way home. The evening ended up being a bit messy, but in a fun sort of way.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 was a year for fatshion

Every year fatshion becomes more popular, more visible and as fatshionistas we get more shopping options. To celebrate the amazing fatshion that was found everywhere in 2009, Christina over at Musings of a Fatshionista has put together an epic post featuring some of her favorite fatshion from 2009 and I happen to be in it! This is super exciting for me since I love her blog and think Christina has unbelievable taste. Go check out the post (warning there are a LOT of photos and it will take a minute to load) and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Purple Sequins Make Everyone Smile Except for Me

I've noticed that most fashion bloggers don't smile in their photos so this was my attempt to imitate them. I've decided to go back to smiling. I much prefer that to scowling.

In my attempt to stick to some of my resolutions I'm going to blog some outfits that I've stored up from the past few months. This is especially good because the colder the weather gets the less exciting my clothing gets. When it's in the 20's and even older with the wind factor and you have to put on an ugly down coat and then a hat that smushes your curls, it's hard to get all that motivated about clothing.

I was out for lunch with some friends and to meet a new little baby and on my way back to the office I "popped" into Forever 21. I have limited patience for the Forever 21 in Union Square so I just stuck to the accessories section. After a little bit of searching I found today's necklace along with some flowers for my hair (the need for warm hats make hair accessories another casualty of winter weather, ugh). I was waiting in line to pay when I saw a bunch of sequined hats in a variety of colors. I grabbed the purple sequined hat, looked in the mirror multiple times contemplating just how ridiculous I looked, before deciding that for $4.80 even if I only wore the hat in my kitchen to do dishes it would bring me so much joy that it'd be worth it.

I call this my Snow White necklace because it reminds me of the "mirror, mirror on the wall" that the evil stepmother had.

Today's outfit all sprang out of the hat. I love hats, as I love most accessories save for bracelets. I sometimes joke that I should be an Orthodox Jew cause I like hats so much, to which my mother always responds "you don't need to be Orthodox to wear hats." Very wise my mother is. I was a little nervous about rocking the hat out in public (and the office!) but decided to just take the fashion risk and go for it.

When you're sporting a purple sequined hat the rest of your outfit needs to be simple, or as simple as I can stand to get. The dress is an xxl from Target and I got it in a Friday Fatshionista sales post. The tights and shoes are also from Target while the necklace and hat are from Forever 21.
I love the sparkles and texture of these tights.

Photo credit goes to Nicole who took this photo for me outside of our favorite coffee shop. Seriously if you're ever in South Slope stop in for a drink and a scone. I promise you'll thank me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New year, new resolutions

Happy new year all! I know I've been bad with the blogging but I'm gonna start being better, I promise.

I hope you all had a wonderful new years. I had a lovely, low key new years eve which is exactly how I like it. As you have seen on my blog over the past few months I like holidays. I love celebrating them, cooking for them and of course dressing up for them, but not new years. The truth is I hate NYE, hate it. I hate the pressure, I hate the cost, I hate the crowds, I hate how no one will commit to anything for fear that something better will come around, I just hate it. But this year a beautiful little baby that I already love to pieces was born on new years eve and I had a dear and far off friend sitting mere feet away from me when the ball dropped (well technically we were watching the Food Network when the ball dropped but he was sitting right by me at midnight) and it was as close to perfect a new years you can get in my book.

An additional thing I tend to not like about new years is resolutions. Well I don't really have a problem with resolutions themselves and in fact am about to list mine for you. What I do have a problem with is that for most Americans resolutions tend to be of the "I hate my body and need to lose 30 pounds variety." So, why not switch things up this year and resolve to love your body just as it is. Stop hating your body, stop punishing your body, stop feeling shame because of your body and resolve to love your body exactly as it is.

Now on to my resolutions.

1) Read at least one book a month that I already own and is sitting on one of my bookshelves. I often find myself buying new books when I have so many unread gems already sitting in my apartment. I think my first read is going to be The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I'll let you know how it goes.

2) I would like to blog more frequently than I have been lately. It's a tough balance between the stress of daily blogging like I did in September and the lack of blogging I did in December. If I do really start blogging on a regular basis I'd also like to start promoting it a bit more.

3) Really learn how to use my computer. Over a year ago, lured by my friends 30% employee discount, I bought myself a mac. Other than the fact that it has a pretty purple case I've never learned to love it as I just do not understand how things work on it. Everyone always says they're so intuitive and perhaps if I had started when I was 5 it would be, but seeing as I've been using a pc for 20+ years macs are the opposite of intuitive for me. I need help of the professional variety and I'm finally going to be getting it. I just purchased a years worth of personal training sessions with a mac genius so that I can hopefully learn to love my mac just as much as everyone else.

4) Learn to ride a bike. Yes I'm 30 and I live in Brooklyn and I cannot ride a bike. Let the merciless teasing begin. I had a goal to learn by my 30th birthday but that didn't happen so much. I have however had 2 lessons this fall and am convinced that I will soon be a full fledged bicycle rider. Come spring I will ride a bike and love my mac and can then officially fulfill every damn Brooklyn stereotype out there.

5) I'd like to exercise more. When the weather is nice I walk everywhere and spend a ton of time in the park, but in the winter I get put off by the cold. I exercise because it makes me feel good physically and mentally and makes me happy.

6) I don't know if this qualifies as a resolution or not, but on new years ever my new friend Bill and I decided that we were going to do a 365 day photo project. If you're interested the photos will soon be found on my flickr page.

I think those are my resolutions for 2010. Lets see how many I'm able to keep. If I can only keep one of my resolutions for the year I think it'd be 4, but I'm hoping to keep all of them. What are your resolutions?