Month: September 2012

My Top 10 Posts!

late show top10Well, it's the last day of the first month anniversary of CurvyCEO.com. (It's also the next to last day to vote for me to be a semifinalists in the Black Weblog Awards - *hint, hint, nudge, nudge*) I thought, "What better way to close out the month than to highlight my favorite posts of my first year of blogging?" So, I am pleased to present:

CURVY CEO'S TOP TEN

*fanfare*

  10. Monday Morning Memo - Remembering Michael Jackson Anyone who knows me knows that I *adore* the King of Pop. So, when he died, it really messed me up. In this post, I reflect not only who Michael Jackson was as an artist, but also as a person - and what lessons we - the overworked, frazzled women that we are - can take from his life and, more importantly, his untimely death. In truth, it's a blog post about work/life balance and personal values hidden within a tribute to a music legend.   9. Evolution of Curves Hits DC! This was one of the first fashion events I attended as a blogger . . . and it was AMAZING. First off, the fashions were incredible. Second, and more importantly, I got to connect with the fabulous Sandy JeanPhilippe - this woman is the definition of fierce! She is an entrepreneur, actress, designer, and philanthropist...just to name a few. She has become one of my role models in this industry and I am so privileged to know her.   8. Too Much Fabulousness: Mikki Taylor on Michelle Obama This was another event that I was so thrilled to attend . . . legendary beauty editor of Essence, Mikki Taylor discussing her new book the First Lady's fashion. It was wonderful just to be in the presence of such greatness. I also got the opportunity to (meekly) voice my ambivalence about the First Lady's platform and get honest feedback about what message it sends to plus-size American women. FAB!   7. & 6. TIE - Real Talk: Weight, Success and Dating, Part 1 and Part 2 In recent years, there have been no shortage of articles asking "Why don't successful black women get married?" These posts take this question a step further by examining it in the context of weight. I have to give an honorable mention to My Obligatory Why-Black-Women-Are-Fat Post, which also delves into these issues.   5. Seven Steps to Stay-Put Summer Beauty I love this post because it features lots of my favorite beauty products. Quite honestly, they're not just great for the summertime, but anytime that you have a long day and need your look to take you from day to evening. I think I did a good job because it was picked up as a guest post over at one of my favorite beauty blogs - The Painted Ladies - yay!   4. All on the Line with . . . Qristyl Frazier! I am SO proud of this post for so many reasons. I was inspired to write this after getting an email from Qristyl's mailing list talking about her appearance on All on the Line with Joe Zee. As I explained in the original post, I had met Qristyl a few years before at the first Full Figured Fashion Week in New York. It was before Project Runway and she was still grinding to get the name recognition she deserves. She was so sweet when we met, but it had been a few years since I had been in touch. When I learned about the show, I took the leap and sent her an email reintroducing myself. The next thing I knew, we were conducting a phone interview and she was sharing with me all about her sacrifices to make it in this industry. I felt like I had been given an awesome responsibility in re-telling her story through the blog. So, I worked through the night to put this post together. It didn't necessarily make a "splash" at the time, but I was truly proud of what I had published.   3. My Journey to "Going Natural" I love this post because I love this topic. I have become quite passionate about natural hair in the last year. Despite my dismay at those "natural hair warriors" when I wore straight hair, I have now become one of them: complimenting other natural women and asking about their regimens, bubbling over with advice when relaxed ladies ask about my transition . . . . Although natural hair is becoming more mainstream in the African American community, I do think it still poses concerns in the professional world and even the dating world. I was excited to address those concerns in this post.   2. Back to Basics: Your Guide to Finding Suiting Apparel This post - one of my first posts - is really what inspired me to start CurvyCEO.com. Because for the longest time, I had difficulty finding plus-size suits! So, over the years, I just developed a list of go-to spots and I felt it was important to compile it someplace for others to see. If I were to make this list today, I would probably include a few more places - like Talbots, Coldwater Creek, and a few others. In the coming weeks, I will be revamping Curvy Shops! so that it's even more comprehensive...stay tuned! 1. You Are Not a Box! Suiting Alternatives for the Curvy Career Gal This post is so dear to me because it actually represents a shift in my own style evolution. Inspired by my meeting and interview with Styleauteur Lauren Rothman, this post outlines different options for professional women who don't want to literally be boxed in by what is usually the drab offerings in traditional suiting attire. I am now an official member of Team Cardigan and I think I'm there to stay!   Well, there you have it - my top 10 posts from my first year of blogging! I'm already excited for what is to come. If you are, too, please vote for me for Best Plus-Sized Blog at the Black Weblog Awards!   Thanks so much, everyone!!!

Curvy Yoga Coming to the DMV!

plus-size-yoga I'm sure many of you were disappointed to learn that the CurveFest Yoga Tour had been cancelled. Therefore, I was delighted to receive the email below!
Hello, I know you were disappointed when Anna Guest-Jelley had to cancel her CurveFest 2012 tour. She is working hard to heal her knee and ready herself for the next time she is able to offer CurveFest. Meanwhile, there is no reason to go without Curvy Yoga!! I was so lucky to be trained by Anna over the summer. I am so excited to bring Curvy Yoga to the DC area in two locations. I hope you will join me for one of THREE preview classes next month. Regularly scheduled classes are already set for October and November. You can get all the information regarding classes on the studios' web sites, http://www.lilomm.com/ or http://www.allayyoga.com/. I have also included all of the information below. ALLAY YOGA (10419 Armory Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895 phone: 301-244-8020) Sign up here! Preview Class: Wednesday, October 3 7:45 - 8:45 PM (FREE!) Regular Class time: Wednesdays in October 7:45 - 8:45 PM   lil omm yoga (4708 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 phone: 202-248-6304) Sign up here! Preview Classes: Saturday, October 6 6:00 - 7:30 PM AND Sunday, October 21, 2:00 - 3:30 PM ($10 each) Regular Class time: Wednesdays from 7:30 - 9:00 PM beginning in November So what is Curvy Yoga anyway??? Curvy Yoga is body positive yoga for people of all shapes and sizes. Using creative modifications, Curvy Yoga provides a safe, supportive, and fun approach to yoga for people who never thought it was for them. Enter just as you are-- no pretzel-like bodies, no toe-touching required. Practice yoga as a way to quiet the inner critic, promote self-love, and transform your how your body feels AND how you feel about your body. No experience necessary!! Hope to see you very soon! Please contact me, Dena Kahn, or either studio for more information or to get answers to any questions that you may have. You can also find out more about me on Facebook: yogawithdena!! Namaste, Dena Kahn, certified Kripalu and Curvy Yoga Teacher

Event Alerts – Clothing Swap & Conferences!

Swap for a Cause 9.30.12Hey Everybody - I want to put in one final plug for Swap for a Cause - a curvy clothing swap and donation drive happening THIS SUNDAY for sizes 10 and up! The cost of admission? At least TWO pieces of interview apparel (e.g., a dark blazer and a pair of dress shoes). For every two items donated (up to a total of 12), you will be entered into drawings to win fabulous prizes (including a two hour styling session with Natasha Thomas of Archetype Style! Donated items will benefit N Street Village and Suited for Change. The swap will take place at 3pm on Sunday at Sisarina in Downtown Bethesda (4925 St. Elmo Avenue - just to the right of Bone Jour). You can sign up here! In addition to the swap, there are TWO conferences happening in DC this October that offer great professional development and networking opportunities! The first is Ms. JD: She Leads, a conference for women lawyers. The event will be held on Friday, October 5 at the Washington College of Law at American University (4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC). The event will feature workshops on negotiation, team building, and presiding over a large group - whether it be as the executive director of a non-profit agency, judge in a courtroom, or as the lead attorney on a large case. The day will feature an impressive array of speakers - it's an ideal opportunity for young lawyers as well as law students to learn and network! You can register for the event here. Power Up WeekendPowerUP Weekend will be happening on Saturday, October 20 at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC). This event is sponsored by Uneeka Jay and Power Mommy Nation (which, incidentally, featured Curvy CEO as a guest on their radio show a while back). If you are a mother, a blogger, a working woman -- you will definitely want to attend this conference! The agenda includes sessions like "The Balance Myth Exposed," "Blogging for Balance: Creating a Virtual Outlet for Managing Life," and "The Stylish Power of Choosing Wisely." You can purchase tickets here. Finally, even though it's not an event, I would be remiss if I didn't beg ask you one more time to pretty please vote for Curvy CEO for Best Plus-Size Fashion Blog at the Black Weblog Awards. The top two picks advance to the finals. Voting ends October 1. Pretty please and thank you *mwah* So, there you have it - Curvy CEO will be representing at these events. Hope you'll be there, too!

Real-Life Curvy CEO! Dionna Humphrey of Body Conscious Beauty

Recently, I had the chance to e-meet Dionna Humphrey - the stylist and fashion consultant behind the new enterprise Body Conscious Beauty. Priding herself on providing "style consulting for every BODY," Dionna graciously agreed to an interview for our Real-Life Curvy CEO series. Here ya go! Q: How long have you been a stylist? A: Even though I’ve been dabbling in the industry for a while, I’ve only officially been in business since this past summer. Q: How did you develop an eye for what looks good on people? A: Well, I’ve always been a chunkier girl and pushed the envelope in terms of style. When I went to college, I started out as a music major and then switched to women’s studies. In that field, I looked a lot at body image and how women relate to the world—what it means to be a woman, etc. I’ve always loved fashion and I will see a piece and think, “Oh, that would look great on so-and-so” or “You could use that this way….” It’s therapy for me. A woman’s figure is a canvas and sometimes you need an outside eye to help you see what works. One day a friend [who I’d been helping with her style] said to me, “You know, I would pay you for this” and I jumped on that idea! [laughs] Q: So, how long have you been styling people, even as just a hobby? A: The last 10 years. Q: What common thread do you find among your plus-size clients? A: All women deal with body image issues, but especially plus-size women in terms of being sexy or edgy. I’m always trying to encourage people that I know to think outside of that fashion box. What we think looks good is a reflection of what we’ve been fed in the media. You really have to try something on in order to know. It’s about taking a chance. Either we cover up because we’re told to – don’t want to show our arms, “shouldn’t” be showing our legs – or we show too much to try and get attention. We shouldn’t be held back by what the fashion industry or society tells us. Is society is telling me I shouldn’t wear a form-fitting dress? Probably. Will I wear it because I know what works for my body? Absolutely! I’m not going to put on something and have people think that I’m skinny. But will they think I’m confident and rocking it? Yes! It’s about knowing your body and getting past those concerns. Q: Do you work on internal issues like self-esteem with your clients? Or do you just stick to fashion? A: A little of both – because when you see yourself as beautiful, you feel better. When you get reinforced [negative] messages, it weighs on you. For example, when I was younger, I never would’ve imagined myself “going natural,” so I couldn’t see myself beautiful as a natural woman. But being in DC for the last few years where natural hair is everywhere, I see the beauty in it and in myself. Once I cut off my hair, I can’t see myself any other way. It’s hard to get out of the vicious cycle of images about the ideal of beauty. There are very few women who look like me in magazines or on tv. So when a woman thinks she’s not beautiful and it’s reinforced by society, changing how she looks at her outer body helps her think more positively about herself. Also, I have not met a woman who is not beautiful in many ways. Q: I absolutely agree. We all have some feature that makes us attractive. So, what’s been the most exciting or rewarding moment so far? A: Because I’m so new, the thing I’m most excited about is connecting with people – that has been the greatest experience so far. It’s also a challenge because I have a full-time job in addition to getting this business off the ground. It’s also been great writing for All Things Fashion-DC. [Dionna is their new plus-size contributor --> http://allthingsfashiondc.com/category/style-file/plus-size-style/.] Q: In your opinion, what are the must-have items for the professional working woman? A: Of course, a little black dress – but more than one. You need a day version and a night version! A well tailored blazer – and it doesn’t have to be black; maybe gray or something else you can translate from season to season. A white button down shirt – you can wear with work pants or jeans or a skirt. Denim! A great pair of jeans can take you from day to night. I love the trend of mixing denim/denim-on-denim. [She actually blogged about this recently here http://www.bodyconsciousbeauty.com/2012/08/13/the-look-denim-on-denim/] No matter what you wear, it’s not about price – it’s about fit. Q: What about Fall 2012 trends – what are some of your favorites? A: In addition to the denim-on-denim, I’m thinking leather is super-chic for this season. A lot of people have preconceived notions about it, but it doesn’t have to be real leather – there are some great faux leather pieces. I’m also a great fan of leopard. It’s another great pattern – you don’t have to wear it from head to toe, but it’s very chic and polished—you can wear it to the office without having anyone raise an eyebrow. Also, don’t be afraid to look through your closet to find something that might work with it. If it can go with 3 or 4 things, then I’m buying it!! Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the plus-size professional women who read Curvy CEO? A: Think through a trend that you want to try and make it happen. I don’t mean wearing a miniskirt to the office, but pushing yourself. Look at a magazine, go online, pick out a trend and give it a try. Well, there you have it! Dionna is currently offering 50% off all services through October. Available services include a closet audit – including the creation of a personal look book; a shopping trip with the client; personal shopping on behalf of the client; fashion emergencies – i.e., guidance for an important date, meeting, etc.; and intimates shopping, including bathing suits. Be sure to check out her website at www.bodyconsciousbeauty.com. You can also communicate with her via Twitter - @StylebyDionna.

A Fabulous Thing Happened at the Democratic Convention

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Democratic National Convention. While I was there, a fabulous thing happened. Well, TWO fabulous things actually. The first, of course, was this . . . [caption id="attachment_4926" align="aligncenter" width="336"] Yep. That's a picture of our First Lady taken (from the jumbo tron) by yours truly - it was AMAZING to see her speech live. She was truly captivating and absolutely gorgeous![/caption] The second thing, though, was my discovery of Scarlett Plus - an absolutely charming plus-size boutique in Charlotte. First off, the boutique itself is beautiful. It is chock full of outfits for every occasion - business meeting, cocktail hour, and everything in between. As soon as I walked in the door, owner and designer Todd Albaum came right up to me and asked me if I was a model. *blush* When I explained that I was just browsing, he launched into the various offerings at the shop, which includes his own designs. I could tell right away that this wasn't a typical "sales pitch" - he really seemed interested in me as a customer and meeting my needs. After chatting with him a bit (and before I revealed my blogger status), he shared how the shop often hosts workshops on issues like health, self-esteem and modeling. He talked about how many of his customers come in and don't really have a sense of what would look best on them. So, part of the boutique's function is not only to help customers clothe their bodies, but also to learn to appreciate and understand them. (Okay, that sounds very seventh-grade-health-class-ish, but you get what I mean.) I literally only had 30 minutes at the boutique before I had to head to the airport, so I didn't get any pictures. Fortunately, though, Todd produced this great video about the store:

They also have YouTube Channel featuring segments on how to dress for your body and local fashion shows. Todd is clearly an expert on plus-size style as he was a contributor to the Full Figured Fashion insert from USA Today (published in select cities just a few weeks back). He also offers a wonderful subscription service called Fashion 101 Plus - basically an online fashion consultancy designed for specific body times. (The site also includes a blog.) Amazing, amazing stuff! You ladies in Charlotte are LUCKY!!!

Monday Morning Memo – It’s All in Your Mind

monday morning memo "The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it." - Diana Vreeland Here's to a beautiful week of elegant thoughts. Make it a great one, ladies!

Guess Who is Featured in the IFB Links-a-la-Mode Round-Up?!?!?

Oh. EM. GEE!!!!! So, as you can tell from icon on the right sidebar of this site, I am a member of Independent Fashion Bloggers - pretty much THE premiere collection of fashion and style bloggers. Each week, they offer members the opportunity to submit a recent blog post for consideration for their Links-a-la-Mode Weekly Round-Up. Each week, they select the top 20 entries and ask the bloggers to post the entire list on their site. It's a great way to build community and learn about blogs you may not have heard of before. Week after week, I submit my entries, hoping to be considered. Well, it looks like we finally made it - WHEE!!! I'm so flabbergasted I don't know what to do! Well, I guess I should go ahead and post those other links - lol! Without further delay, allow me to present the complete list! *fanfare*

”"

A Little Different

  Edited by: Jess of Fresh Jess If I had a dime for every outfit post out there, I’d be a billionaire. With so many in the mix, it makes the “different” posts stand out that much more. For this week’s Links a la Mode roundup, you’ll get a peek into IFB bloggers’ lives well beyond their closet. Many of them are tuned into Fashion Week, fall trends and Fashion’s Night Out, and have put some serious thought into how these major events affect their own personal style. Others are beating to their own drum, telling stories of how dreamy places, artistic notions and the evolution of street style are bringing their wardrobes alive. Whether you’re enjoying the first, crisp breeze of fall or savoring an Indian summer, there are some great reads from some truly unique voices here for you. Enjoy!

LINKS À LA MODE: THE IFB WEEKLY ROUND UP: SEPTEMBER 20TH

  SPONSOR: Shopbop Discount Codes : Kymerah, orYANY, Rachel Roy, Overture, Kaelen, Shine, April May, Sale, Alice Temperley, Knee Highs & Winter Boots   If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode widget on the right side of the blog, and will be published later today. ~ Jennine

HelloStyle on Fall 2012 Plus-Size Trends

Hey Everyone - So, I have a confession to make - I'm feeling a bit lazy. I know that as a fashion blogger, I am bound to do a post on what trends are coming up in Fall 2012. But, save for a trend alert here or there, I'm just not feeling up to doing a full post. (This is largely in part to the fact that many of the trends for this season - color blocking, peplum, etc. - are actually holdovers from last season.) Thankfully, the folks from the Hello Style Youtube Channel has produced not one, but TWO videos on plus-size fashion as part of their Big Girl in a Skinny World video series. Check them out below!

Oprah on the Cover of Forbes – Get the Look!

Lady O, flanked by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. As my Grandma would say, "This is BOSS!"Yesterday, the October 8, 2012 issue of Forbes set the interwebs on fire. But it wasn't the feature stories on philanthropy that caused such a stir. Rather, it was this:

Lady O, flanked by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. As my Grandma would say, "This is BOSS!" After getting over my initial feelings of pride at seeing her - a plus-size, African American MOGUL - on the cover of this prestigious magazine, only one thought came to mind: "Where did she get that DRESS?!?!?" It's perfect - from the color to the cut and fit. I'm guessing that unlike most fashion magazines, Forbes will not provide a buying guide. So, until I find out exactly what dress it is, here are a few similar looks to tide you over:
Oprah Inspired
Hopefully, I'll be able to find out what she is actually wearing soon. In the meantime, keep lusting over these dresses!

From Office Hours to Happy Hours…

Well, it's finally here . . . the Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus. While the week will be full of thoughtful workshops about various social policies and wonderful celebrations highlighting the accomplishments of the African American community, for women like me this week is oh so much more. As Helena Andrews stated so aptly in her memoir Bitch Is the New Black, "CBC is to single-black-chick Washington [what] Fleet Week is to single-white-gal New York." With highly credentialed politicians, lawyers, professors and artists traveling across the country for the conference, every night will be filled with happy hours and mixers. Now, I know I've talked about transitioning from day-to-night before on this blog. However, during CBC week it's important (well, at least to me) to continue to look professional while socializing at this lounge or that fancy restaurant. Plus, Congress is still in session for at least part of the week, so I will have to look polished while attending meetings and hearings on Capitol Hill during the day. So....what's a girl to do? Put together outfits that will take me from office hours to happy hours and look appropriate, yet stylish for both. Generally, I'm thinking that I have three basic options: 1. Bold, colorful blazers. No matter what, a blazer automatically dresses up your look. By going for a funky blazer - say in a bright, bold color or unique pattern - you are able to fit in at the office and stand out at the bar. 2. Flirty pencil skirts. If you are a little too shy to rock a bold blazer (or, say, if you have a Very Important Meeting with Very Important People during the day) you may want to go for a simple blazer in a standard, solid color. However, you can still wear a flirty pencil skirt - perhaps with peplum or ruffles across the bottom or, if you're really feeling daring, an animal print pattern. 3. Pretty dresses. As First Lady Michelle Obama demonstrated at the Democratic National Convention, a pretty dress will take you everywhere you need to be. You can always cover up with a standard blazer during the day to conceal your curves, if necessary. The rest of your look can and should be pretty basic - simple flats or pumps, structured purse, basic (or bold!) accessories - all depends on you! Here are a few pieces to inspire your look!
office hours to happy hours
If you are in DC and plan on hitting Fleet . . . I mean CBC week, be sure to check out The Fab Empire for info about all the big parties and events.