One day not too long ago, I was driving to work . . . well, actually it was more like sitting in gridlocked traffic, inching towards my office . . . when I looked out of the driver’s side window to do a little people watching while waiting for the light to turn green. It was a weekday morning in the midst of the dog days of summer and because of the extreme temperature, most women wore flip flops and sleeveless tops as they schlepped towards their destinations. I could tell that most ladies had dress shoes stuffed into oversized purses along with a jacket or sweater, presumably to shield them once they entered into the arctic blasts of over-air-conditioned office buildings. Pretty much everyone looked a hot mess – literally. But one woman stood out in particular.
She was pretty – seemingly a natural blond sporting a chin-length bob and rosy cheeks (although I’m certain the glow was the result of the heat and not any cosmetic products). She looked to be about my age – early 30s – and wore maybe a size 18. What made me do a hard double-take was not the fact that she was the lone plus-sized lady in the crowd. Rather it was the fact that, despite the sweltering temperature, she was pretty much covered from head to toe. She wore some non-descript, brown loafers; a long, khaki skirt revealing only her ankles; and a pill-laden, baby pink cardigan with small appliqués around the neckline. She had buttoned up the sweater almost to the very top. I knew homegirl couldn’t possibly be comfortable. I mean, the heat index put us at well over 100 degrees that day! But, there she was . . . sheepishly making her way among the crowd. Between her outfit and her slumped over posture, I could practically hear her thinking, “Don’t look at me. I am merely present. Despite the outrageous heat, I’ve done my best to cover myself up so as not to offend your sensibilities. Carry on as if I’m not here.”[pullquote]“Don’t look at me. I am merely present. Despite the outrageous heat, I’ve done my best to cover myself up so as not to offend your sensibilities. Carry on as if I’m not here.”[/pullquote] (Okay. Maybe I’m being a bit presumptuous here. I mean, everybody looked a mess. Maybe she thought she was the height of fashion. Maybe she had some heels in her purse like the other ladies and was just doubled over due to the heat. But even if that was the case, it still supports the need for this blog because clearly there is a lot of misinformation out there about what is flattering and appropriate for the plus-sized business woman. But more about that later . . . .)
I was all set to dismiss her as yet another plus-sized fashion victim when I saw it . . . a gentle string of pearls around her neck. At that moment, I knew that my plus-sized sister had not just thrown herself together willy-nilly and headed out the door that morning. Those pearls told me that she took a moment, looked in the mirror and said, “What can I do snazz up my look?” While her outfit screamed shame, the string of pearls sang of hope. (Yes, I really did get all that from that simple accessory.) Somehow, seeing those pearls convinced me that I had to birth the idea that had been sprouting in my mind for months . . . a blog dedicated to fashion, beauty, style, and even career advice for the plus-sized professional woman.
My desire to begin blogging emerged from the fact that there are very few options out there for the plus-size professional woman. I mean, do an online search for those terms - “plus size professional woman” - and check out the pitiful results: pat articles with stale advice and links to hideous clothes in drab colors and even more depressing fabric. Bottomline – there just aren’t a lot of resources for full-figured businesswomen. For a long time now, I have been forced to try and fill that void for myself.
When not busy with my “day job,” I pour over fashion magazines and catalogs, thumbing through racks of clothes, and studying (yes, studying) the latest style advice and guidelines from Clinton and Stacey, Jeannie Mai, Tim Gunn and other fashion mavens. My goal is always to figure out how to translate mainstream trends into my professional, plus-size wardrobe. Knowing that so few resources are available for women like me, I cannot, in good conscience, selfishly stockpile all of that information and use it strictly for my own benefit.
So, that, my friends, is why Curvy CEO exists.
No matter what industry you are in or what your goals are, there is no reason that you shouldn’t look fab while going about your 9-to-5 (or, as is the case for most folks these days, 9-to-9). Curvy CEO is here to help you do just that.
But, lest you think this blog will deal solely with the superficial, rest assured that Curvy CEO will also feature discussions of various topics that will address both to the personal (e.g., body image, health and wellness, etc.) and professional (e.g., corporate etiquette, management style, etc.) issues faced by curvy professional women. Because, like it or not, the pursuit of style and success is not just about clothes, cosmetics, or even credentials; it’s about confidence. [pullquote]...the pursuit of style and success is not just about clothes, cosmetics, or even credentials; it’s about confidence.[/pullquote]
Ultimately, it is my hope that this blog will spark a style revolution . . . where all full-figured professional women will be able to shine just as brightly in the boardroom during the week as they do afterhours and on the weekends.
So, what can you expect from Curvy CEO?
- Regular posts. My goal is to post to the site at least three times a week, providing up-to-the-minute information about styles and trends as well as advice to help you climb the career ladder – whether you are just starting out or a seasoned professional. Additional commentary will be provided via Facebook and Twitter.
- Monday Morning Memo. Each Monday, I will post a quote to provide you with a little inspiration to kick off the work week.
- Community. My goal is to create a space for an ongoing dialogue among the plus-size sisterhood. This site is about YOU. So, please keep in touch and let me know what issues and topics you’d like to hear about.
I am excited about this venture and hope you will take this journey with me.
Check out the Capital Style Blog
, authored by the ever-so-fabulous Emily Kate Hargrove
, which features a post about the launch of Curvy CEO!