Month: September 2015

#WorkwearWednesday – Gorgeous in Gray!

gray color trend fall 2015Hat tip to Ty Alexander whose blog inspired the title of today's post!

As we discussed yesterday, one of the hottest color trends for fall 2015 is GRAY!

Even though gray clothes might seem matronly or boring at first blush, it's actually a great neutral that can serve as a wonderful palette for different looks. Here are just a few office looks that I've pulled together.

faux wrap sweater
(For shopping details, click here.)


sweater dress

(For shopping details, click here.)


I love the versatility of the Sejour Dolman Sleeve Knit Tunic. In fact, I love it so much, I styled both a work and a weekend look around this item.

gray color trend fall 2015

(For shopping details, click here.)

Trend Alert – Shades of Gray (Fall 2015)

fall 2015 color trend grayOk. You will have to forgive the awful pun, but I just couldn't help it. Looking at the top color trends for fall 2015, you can't help but see that it is all about different shades of gray. This includes both literal gray tones like "Desert Sage" and "Stormy Weather" as well as muted versions of pink ("Cashmere Rose"), brown ("Dried Herb"), purple ("Amethyst Orchid"), and blue ("Reflecting Pond").

Gray can be tricky. It is one of those colors that is often a default for plus-size fashions; a "throwaway" color for misshaped, sloppy garments. Also, without the right complementary items, gray clothing can make you look just...blah.

Thankfully, there are lots of stylish, work-appropriate gray items in various fall collections this year. Check out a few of my favorites! (Click each image to get more details!)

Be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow for a few takes on how I'd style a few of the pieces above! In the meantime, what do you think of the gray trend - will you be incorporating it into your wardrobe this fall?

Monday Morning Memo – The Downside of Self-Improvement

inspirational-quoteinspirational-quote
Another problem with the idea of self-improvement is that it implies there is something wrong with who we are. Everyone wants to be someone else, but getting to know and love yourself means accepting who you are, complete with your inadequacies and irrationalities. —Thomas Moore

Real-Life Curvy CEO: Stephanie Dillard of PlushSizeWear.com

One day I was surfing the internet looking for cute workout wear when I saw a t-shirt that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. It said, "I Can Do All Things Through Christ...Even Cardio." I was instantly sold! I knew that I had to reach out to find out who was the creative soul who came up with this cute - and accurate - line of plus-size workout apparel. My search led me to Stephanie Dillard of PlushSizeWear.com. I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview her for today's Real-Life Curvy CEO. Be sure to read all the way to the very end for deets on a cool giveaway!

[caption id="attachment_9836" align="alignleft" width="206"]Stephanie DIllard modeling my FAVORITE shirt from the collection! Stephanie DIllard modeling my FAVORITE shirt from the collection![/caption]What inspired you to begin Plush Size Wear? Its very simple! I was sick of seeing cute fitness wear, that wasn't in my size. Sick of seeing cute slogan t-shirts, than didn't represent how a plus size women feel in the gym.

Did you have a background in fashion? If not, how did you find the resources (information, skill set, funding, etc.) to get started? No, I don't have a background in fashion. I found my resources from other entrepreneurs and a ton of research. I started with very little funding. My goal was to NOT use loans and start off my funding by myself. It mostly came from our saving and a very supportive husband.

What has been the most rewarding things about being an entrepreneur? The most challenging? Knowing that its mine and NO one can take that from me. That has to be the most rewarding so far. The challenging part is staying motivated. It isn't easy starting a business from the ground up. Getting discouraged, when Plush Size isn't growing or shining they why I think it should. It’s my baby and I want the world to see how beautiful it is.

[gallery columns="2" ids="9841,9840"]

What advice would you give to someone who wants to delve into plus-size activewear? I would tell them to DO YOUR RESEARCH! Know the market you’re going after and know what [your ideal customer is] like.

What is next for Plush Size Wear? I'm in the process of recreating Plush Size and making it more stylish. Style doesn't end just because you are in the gym. When I’m working out, I like to feel beautiful and strong. Knowing I just Killed That Workout!

plush size teeIs there anything else you’d like to share? For companies or women who are just starting, please stay focused on your dream and goals for your brand. Do all the research you can and DON’T spend money on things that won’t push your brand in the right direction!

How can Curvy CEO readers keep up with you and your brand? They can follow us on , Twitter and Facebook at "plushsizewear" and our website is wwww.plushsizewear.com.

Want some PlushSizeWear of your very own? You're in luck!! I've teamed up with blogger boos Kymberly Nichole of WellFitCurves and Kristina Denise of Curvy Girl Chronicles to host a loop giveaway on Instagram for not one, not two, but THREE t-shirts from wwww.plushsizewear.com. Want to know how to win? It's simple!
loop giveaway image
1. Head over to my Instagram account (@curvy_ceo) and "like" the image above and leave a comment.
2. Head over to follow @curvygirl_chronicles, the next person in this loop.
3. Then, go follow @Kym_Nichole.
4. When you get back to me, you're done!

Be sure to enter by 11:59 PM on Friday, October 2. The winner will be announced on October 3!

Good luck!!!

Have You Heard of “Soft Suiting”?

softsuitingHave you heard of "soft suiting"? Basically it's a great alternative to the traditional suit that allows you to swap a comfy, yet structured sweater for a blazer. Personally, I *love* soft suiting. It's a fantastic way to look pulled together while avoiding the frump of a boxy blazer. Typically, I pair a jacket-like sweater with dress pants or a pencil skirt. The soft knits skim my curves AND let the world know that I'm about business. They're great for meetings, business travel, and the like. One fantastic, albeit expensive brand that specializes in soft suiting and is a favorite of powerful women, like Hillary Clinton and Condoleezaa Rice is St. John's, which goes up to a (straight) size 18. (In fact, the curvaceous Kate Winslet has served as a spokesmodel for the brand in recent years.)

Even if St. John's is a little too rich for your blood, there are several great soft suiting options at different price points. Some are as low as $38! Check out it!

#WorkwearWednesday – In the Closet of a Plus-Size Cookie Lyon…

plus size cookie lyonplus size cookie lyonToday marks the Season 2 premiere of one of my absolute FAVORITE shows, Empire. Besides the amazing acting by Academy Award Nominated Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson and the musical stylings of Jussie Smollet and Bryshere Gray, another major draw of the show is its epic fashion. I mean, it's practically another character and it's part of what makes the show so iconic. (Yes, I said "iconic." I promise that this is going to be one of those shows that will go down in television fashion history - like Dynasty or Scandal.)

More than once while watching Empire I've thought to myself, "Hmmm...what would you find in the closet of a plus-size Cookie Lyon?" With today being the season premiere, what better way to celebrate than to make this the feature of today's #WorkwearWEdnesday!

Now, in truth, I wouldn't recommend that ANY woman - plus-size or otherwise - wear what Cookie wears to the office...unless you are actually the founder's (ex-)wife, one of the lead executives, AND in a creative industry. Only under those circumstances can you be so...bold, shall we say? But, let's say that Cookie was an everyday working gal, like you and me? Still a #boss but not necessarily the head honcho nor a relative of the powers that be. What would she wear? Here are my top picks....



If you want to buy the actual pieces featured on the show (or similar items for a small price tag), click here.

Want even more details on Cookie's fashion? Check out this featurette from the show's producers - "Empire Fashion: The Cookie Lyon Look".

And, because I'm just that obsessed, here are a few more articles on Cookie Lyon's style:
  • Empire's Stylist Explains Cookie's Bossed Up Fashion Game

  • 9 Fashion Staples You Need Inspired by Cookie Lyon

    Bye, Boo Boo Kitty!
  • The Break Room: More Readings on Self-Love

    curvy-ceo-break-roomcurvy-ceo-break-room
    Following up on yesterday's reflections on self-love, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few links with more musings (and practical tips!) for practicing self-love.

  • A Seven Step Prescription for Self-Love

  • 10 Wonderful Ways to Practice Self-Love

  • 30 Ways to Practice Self-Love and Be Good to Yourself

  • What Self-Love Means: 20 Ways to Be Good to Yourself

  • Finally, just in case you need a little musical support from one of my favorite artists, Ledisi, singing "Be Good to Yourself":



    Monday Morning Memo – Another Perspective on Self-Love

    NEW monday-morning-memoNEW monday-morning-memo"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

    It's been said over and over again that you cannot love someone else until you learn to love yourself. But, what does loving yourself really mean? Frequently, the concept of self-love brings to mind an excessively vain or selfish person. (Actually I believe that people who manifest those kinds of attitudes and behaviors suffer from a lack of genuine self-love, but that's another post for another day.) So, even though every therapist, life coach, and relationship expert implores us to love ourselves, very rarely do they provide us with the know-how to actually do so.

    That got me thinking: "What actions constitute 'love'?" And THAT line of thought led me directly to that scripture that we've heard so many times at weddings and even in song lyrics.

    Now, I'm nobody's theologian, but stay with me here.

    Perhaps self-love is being patient with yourself.

    Perhaps it is practicing self-compassion and kindness.

    I'm certain that it involves gratitude and appreciation for oneself (and not constant comparisons against others).

    Self-love doesn't cause you to puff out your chest or to put someone else down because you know that your value doesn't grow or shrink based on being "better" or "worse" than someone else.

    Self-love allows you to cut yourself some slack and prevents you from adding up all of your failures and shortcomings.

    It allows you to trust yourself and have faith in the future.

    Yep. Love...even self-love...never fails.

    Who’s That Peekin’ In My Window? Windowpane Dressing (Fall 2015)

    I'm sorry. I couldn't help it. I'm obsessed with this hoodrific for at least a decade. When I had the chance to include it in the title of this post, I just couldn't resist.

    Anyway, onto the fashion.

    In discussing the plaid trend earlier this week, I gave a brief mention to another very similar, related trend for Fall 2015 - windowpane. Personally, I really like the windowpane pattern. In many ways, it's a breath of fresh air. So many other trends this fall feel like recycled versions of trends we've seen again and again. So I am definitely here for windowpane dressing!

    Check out my work-friendly picks below!



    What are your thoughts on this trend? Love it? Hate it?

    #WorkwearWednesday – Dress  It Up!

    dresses transition to fallWell, we are halfway through September and even though it's still pretty warm, we will be donning boots and hats before we know it! Much like the spring, dressing for this time of year can be a little tricky. So, I tend to rely on dresses for transitional weather. Now when you slip a blazer over those sleeveless dresses, it's to cover up the evening chill (instead of combating the arctic office air conditioning). As temperatures dip even more, you can add tights and scarves to further complement your look.

    Here are twenty-four (yes, TWENTY-FOUR!) great dresses that will help you transition seamlessly into fall!



    Looking for even more tips for how to transition your wardrobe from summer to fall? Check out my recent article over at therunway+!