Month: June 2015

Celebrate the 4th of July in Style!

4th of july plus-size styleThis week in the United States is celebrating Independence Day - the day the colonies declared its independence from England. I know that given recent events - mass shootings and police brutality aimed at people of color, particularly African-American males - it may be hard to celebrate for some. Indeed, as former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass stated, it is a "day that reveals...more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which" certain members of our society are "the constant victim". Despite that harsh truth, I still choose to celebrate in style - confident in the promise that a more just tomorrow is on the horizon.

So, whether you plan to go to a cookout, the beach, or just chill in your neighborhood, here are a few simple pieces to help you celebrate in style.
4th of july plus-size style

(For shopping and item details, click here.)

How will you be celebrating the 4th this year?

The Break Room

curvy-ceo-break-roomcurvy-ceo-break-room

Welcome back to The Break Room, your first stop for some of the best articles on fashion, beauty, style, and business in the workplace.

  • Ok. So this first offering isn't an article. *giggle* But, I just had to include this fab video by School of Style Co-Founder, Lauren Messiah about how to find the PERFECT blazer - a must for every plus-size professional woman!

  • Does "networking with the enemy" bad for business? The Holistic Fashionista says NO!

  • Have a presentation to give? Inc. magazine offers 10 super basic presentation tips that people always forget about.

  • If you're in the mood for a yummy summer cocktail that goes easy on excess sugar, check out this simple recipe from Well + Good.

  • Now you know I've given my tips for dealing with the issue of flying while fat in the past. Travel blogger Gabrielle over at BlackGirlsFly takes it a step further in her essay, "I'm Not Sorry for Traveling While Fat."
  • Curvy CEO Asks: Has Anyone Ever Called You “Fat”?

    plus size fashion model target skinny banplus size fashion model target skinny ban"She's got some hips!"

    "My, my - what a lovely shape you've got!"

    "Just lose 10 pounds and then you'll be perfect."

    "You've gotta lose that butt!"

    These are just a few comments I've received from my family members, shop clerks, and others over the years about my body. Now, whether positive or negative, I have never been a fan of uninvited remarks about my body. (See my previous post on this topic - "Unsolicited Fat Girl Solidarity: Rude or Nah?".) But, this article by writer and plus-size activist Brittany Gibbons made me recall the very first time someone called me "fat." Not "curvy," "chunky," "chubby" or any other less harsh euphemisms--straight up FAT.

    Amazingly, it was not that long ago.

    It was my lunch break and I was walking down the street to the local sandwich shop. As is typical in most urban areas, we have a number of homeless people who panhandle outside of shops in the neighborhood. There is one man, in particular, who tends to be rather belligerent--I can't tell if it's because he is mentally ill or just really pissed off that he's homeless. Either way, I do my best to avoid him because he tends to yell things at people as they walk down the street. So, this one day, I was walking past and he was doing his usual tirade. As I walked past he yelled, "Fat crack whore!" Now, again, I don't know if this was a result of mental illness or anger that I was ignoring him. But, amazingly, that was the absolute first time that anyone called me "fat" (at least to my face). It was a surreal moment. It's almost like, until that point, it felt like some sort of open secret...something that every knew, but nobody dared to say.

    So, that's my story. What about you? Has anyone ever called you "fat"?

    How I Manifested My Vision in 2014

    how to make a vision boardhow to make a vision board"So, how did the whole 'vision board' thing work out?" asked my neighbor when he spotted me in the elevator.

    It had literally been almost a year since I'd seen him. At the time, I was on my way to the community room in our apartment building. dragging a cart full of magazines, tape, stickers, and poster board. "I'm having a vision board party!" I chirped in response to his quizzical glance...that only grew more confused by my answer.

    [pullquote] Check out these posts from other bloggers about their success in creating (and manifesting!) with vision boards: [/pullquote] "Actually it was great!" I said. And it was. Of course, I had a great time cutting out images and chatting with my friends. But what really made the experience so great was that I created something that actually helped me move closer to my goals the following year.

    "How?" you might ask...

    Well, first off, I decided not to focus on THINGS. For years, I would assemble a collage featuring all of the "stuff" that I wanted and then wind up disappointed when a luxury car, exclusive estate, and fiiiiiine husband wouldn't magically materialize by the end of the year. And I realized that, for the most part, I've had the same basic goals each and every year. So, this last time, I decided to focus on how I wanted to feel in the coming year. I also focused on finding helpful phrases that would serve as affirmations, if you will, as I went about pursuing my goals. Finally, I decided to post my vision board someplace where I would see it every day - my kitchen.

    [gallery type="slideshow" size="large" ids="9488,9484,9485,9486,9483"]

    This weekend, I am super-excited to create a NEW vision board at the Rest in the City retreat! If you want to join us for this, along with yoga, expressive arts and spa treatments, click here to register!

    #WorkwearWednesday – Work Dress for Young Professionals

    work dress young professional plus-sizeYesterday we talked about the lack of professional dress among young people who are new to the workplace. Today, for #WorkwearWednesday I'm presenting a few sample outfits that are more than appropriate for a young, plus-size professional woman. They all feature pieces that are under $50. Take a look!

    work clothes young professional plus-size

    (For item information and shopping details, click here.)

    work dress young professional plus-size

    (For item information and shopping details, click here.)

    work attire young professional plus-size

    (For item information and shopping details, click here.)

    What do you think? Do you see yourself rocking any of these looks to the office? What are some of YOUR favorite places to shop for affordable work attire?

    You Are No Longer a Student! Professional Dressing for Millenials

    source: cleveland.comFor the last several weeks, there seems to have been an outbreak of bad fashion sense by interns and young professionals lately. As I tweeted, I saw some atrocious fashion mishaps on Capitol Hill.

    tweet

    [caption id="attachment_9466" align="alignleft" width="403"]source: cleveland.com source: cleveland.com[/caption]Meanwhile, news recently circulated about a college senior denied a tech job due to her unprofessional dress. Now, the student herself alleges that she was the victim of sexism. But, if you dig deeper into the story, it becomes clear that she was the victim of her own lack of professionalism. In a follow-up call after her interview at the start-up company, the student was told that she was not going to be hired because she "I looked like I was about to go clubbing and not be on an interview," "had a huge run in [her] tights" and "was late." Her response? "I told them I was going to be late."

    Mmm-kay.

    I actually agree with the company (although they could have expressed their reasons a little less bluntly). This young lady was not dressed for an interview. Even if it's a business casual or relaxed environment, when you interview for a job, you should not focus on showing your personal style. You want all of the emphasis to be on your credentials. Therefore, you want to focus on wearing a more conservative outfit, preferably a suit! And, as for her suggestion that her outfit would not have been an issue had she been male, I venture to guess that if a young man had interviewed in a baseball cap, jeans and hair that would make you think he was a Belieber, he probably wouldn't have been hired either. This is one of those lessons of youth - the young lady simply had not had the life experience or mentoring to know how to dress for an interview.

    Tomorrow for #WorkwearWednesday we will look at a few inexpensive, yet appropriate looks for a young, plus-size professional woman. In the meantime, though, check out these articles that give more insight into appropriate work style for someone who is just starting out:

  • "What Should I Wear to My Job Interview?" A Veteran Recruiter Dishes to Curvy CEO
  • Wardrobe Essentials for the Young Professional
  • How to Dress Like a Young Professional (Even If You're Not a Fashionista)
  • 5 Ways to Dress for Success on a Budget
  • Monday Morning Memo – Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal

    inspirational-quoteinspirational-quote
    “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” - Wayne Dyer


    Like many of you, I have been overwhelmed by the recent tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina. Just the night before the incident, I was at my own church for an evening prayer service. It really, truly "could've been me" - or you or anyone else you know and love.

    I don't know about you, but as I add this event to the growing list of hate-fueled crimes targeting black Americans, my heart grows weary. It has me thinking a lot about life and death, love and hate, rage and forgiveness. It also has me wondering how can we go on in a society that threatens to snuff out our existence at a moment's notice.

    Although I am tempted to be afraid, I'm working hard instead to be hopeful; to be part of the solution to society's problems and not part of the problem. I am also focusing on the fact that there really is no day but today. Like Wayne Dyer says in today's Monday Morning Memo, life is NOT a dress rehearsal.

    Therefore, I'm holding my loved ones a little tighter and doing my best to seize the most out of every single day. I hope you will, too.

    5 Reasons Why I Love Gwynnie Bee

    5 reasons why I love GB5 reasons why I love GB

    You're familiar with Gwynnie Bee, aren't you? Known affectionately as the Netflix of plus-size fashion, Gwynnie Bee is a subscription service that allows women sizes 10-32 to rent clothes for unlimited free shipping and exchanges for a flat monthly fee. In an attempt to save money, I put my subscription on hold for a few months. But, as I flipped through their most recent "New Arrivals" I knew I had to sign up again.

    "Why?" you might ask? Here are FIVE reasons!

    1. Duh - new clothes! One of the best things about Gwynnie Bee is I get the chance to wear new clothes on a regular basis without adding excess clutter to my home. Y'all have seen my closet. (If you haven't, click here.) I don't need to add anything else to my closet - I can't add anything else to my closet. Sooo, Gwynnie Bee allows me to "add" to my wardrobe without having to make more space in my closet.

    2. It saves me money. I know what you're thinking: How can spending money on a monthly service actually save you money? Well, as someone who used to shop every single weekend, getting new clothes from Gwynnie Bee allows me to scratch my shopping itch without emptying my bank account. Because the cost ranges from $35 a month (one garment at a time) to $79 a month (three garments at a time), I'm able to enjoy a new round of clothes at a literal fraction of the cost of actually buying new clothes.

    GB how it works

    3. I get to try new things! Besides the thrill of trying new clothes, I get to try clothes by designers that I've never worn before. As a great majority of plus-size clothes are only available through online shops, this is a BIG deal. I also get to test out colors, patterns, and styles that fall outside of my comfort zone. I can do all of this without the commitment of actually making a purchase and running the risk of having to return it if I don't like it. And speaking of returns....

    4. Easy returns! So, Gwynnie Bee makes it easy peasy to return items. They give you an addressed envelope so you can just plop your item right in the mail when you're done with it! And - what's even better - is that you don't have to clean the clothes before making the return. Yup! Just dump your funky clothes in the pre-addressed bag, toss it in the mail, and you're done!

    5. Find something you really love? BUY IT! So, even though Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental service, it gives you the option to BUY the items that you really like at a fraction of the original cost!

    Not sure if Gwynnie Bee is for you? The first month is FREE! Click the link below to check it out for yourself!

    Gwynnie Bee: Clothing Rental Subscription Box. Sizes 10-32. 30 Day free Trial.

    Just so you know, this post was actually NOT sponsored by Gwynnie Bee, but rather inspired by my own experience. However, I do participate in Gwynnie Bee's affiliate program, so if you click any of the links and become a customer, I earn a small commission. Go ahead and give it a shot. I promise you won't regret it ;)

    White Blazers for #WorkwearWednesday

    plus size business attireOne of my FAVE trends for summer professional dressing is swapping your usual dark jacket for a crisp white blazer! The look is both practical and pretty - providing relief from the extra heat that comes from wearing darker colors and adding an extra bit of pizzazz to your outfit. I especially love to pair a white blazer with a flirty dress or skirt - it gives an instant bit of polish to something that might otherwise seem a little too "fun" for the office.

    Here are just a few examples of outfits featuring white blazers...

    plus size business attire

    (For details and shopping information, click here.)



    plus size business attire

    (For details and shopping information,click here!)



    The wonderful news is that there are almost limitless options for white blazers - you can find double-breasted, single-breasted, open collar, etc. at just about any price point! I've selected a few different options for those who want to save and those who want to splurge.

    plus size business wear

    (For details and shopping info, click here!)

    plus size blazers

    (For details and shopping info, click here!)



    Also, the fab new Jessica Kane Collection from Cool Gal Blue (yes, THAT Jessica Kane!) includes an amazing white blazer. (If you like it, act fast - it's almost sold out!)

    What are your thoughts on the white blazer trend? Love it? Hate it? Lemme know!