Even as a little kid giving to others has always given me great joy. As an adult I still have the joy of giving in my heart, and I think our society would be so much better off if we taught people how to foster that. I know so many people, including some who I am very close to, who get grumpy around the holidays and express that they feel it’s a burden to have to buy others gifts.
Now I am of the mind that if you feel obligated it is no longer a gift, it’s an obligation. Also, there are so many ways to give, and many of them have nothing to do with spending money or even giving physical items.
So in the spirit of fostering the joy of giving, I want to spend the month of December concentrating on giving. I will sharing all sorts of things pertaining to giving both here on the blog and on my social media. And I wanted to get this started off by giving back to all of you. I have a few different giveaways planned. But I wanted to start here on the blog. I thought for a while about what I wanted to do a giveaway with, and I decided I really wanted to give you all the chance to try the dress I recently shared.
The winner will be able to choose the size and color option out of the current available offerings.
I will also be giving away to a second place winner a sheet mask set.
The second place winner will receive all of the sheet masks pictured above. They are a combination of various masks I have been sent boxes of to try this year, as well as a few I couldn’t use because of my allergy (no point in letting them go to waste when one of you lovelies could use them).
Both of these giveaways are open to residents of the US, Canada, and the UK. (Unfortunately I can not guarantee delivery before Christmas for the Canada and UK entries)
I am doing my giveaways a little different this year, trying to make it simple for all of you. I am not using the app this year, you don’t have to sign into anything this year. So how do you enter?
Simply leave a comment on this post telling me something that is on your Christmas wish list this year. For an extra entry share this post on Facebook or Twitter (your post must be a public post so I can verify the entry) and tag My Plus Size Life in your post. Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you in your comment if you are the winner. This can be an email address, a social media handle, etc.)
You will have until the 14th of December to enter, and a winner will be announced on the 15th. If there is no way to contact the name drawn or if I don’t have a response within 48 hours a new winner will be drawn.
I will also be doing some giveaways on my various social media accounts over the next week. So make sure you are following me on all of those.
I ordered this dress a little over a month ago, and it was still plenty warm here at the time. But then a week after I got it we had a massive drop in temperature. I kept holding off on doing this post thinking I would do it in the spring, but then I thought this is actually something that I would wear in every season. I just would wear it very different in each of the seasons. So I thought I would do something different this time. In addition to talking about the fit and quality of the dress I will also be sharing how I would wear it and link to some items that I would pair it with.
For sizing reference, I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″ And I wear a 40DDD bra.
This dress sells for $18.00, and I am wearing it in a size 3X. It is available in sizes 1X to 7X. There are five color options, the color I have is called Cypress Green. I personally consider it to be olive-green or army green, whichever you want to call it. The other color options are black, navy, deep red and light heather grey.
The fabric is a jersey t-shirt fabric, but not the super thing kind. It is thick enough you are not going to see through it. The weight is wearable on its own anytime from late spring to early fall. And between the fabric thickness and the seeming, it does feel like a nice quality. The fit is perfect, and I thought the size chart was accurate.
This is an Amazon owned brand, so if anything is wrong it should be easily returnable. And of course it is available with free prime shipping. This particular Amazon clothing brand focuses on simple and chic basics. Things that are staples in most wardrobes in classic colors.
So I wanted to give you some ideas on how I would style this dress for each season. I am going to go one season at a time. And I tried to stay as much as possible to items you can buy on Amazon, but that wasn’t possible for everything.
Let’s start with summer because I feel that is this is the time of year most people would be interested in this dress, and I would go mostly simple with the accessories for it.
Moving into the fall I can see introducing some richer tones to warm your look up. The temperature can vary a lot in the fall depending on how early or late it is in the season, and of course where you live. So while I am not linking them here, I would also suggest you could easily add some tights to this look to add some more warmth.
My fall shoe of choice to pair with dress is this J. Adams Jones Combat Bootie. I actually own these boots, you may recently seen them in my Instagram feed. They are perfect for fall.
Don’t forget your jacket in the fall. This Suedette Biker Jacket from Simply Be will no doubt look stunning with this dress, and quite a few other outfits for that matter.
If you are always chilly or just the type that never feels an outfit is complete without accessories, then you may want to add a scarf to your fall look. I really like this Ted and Jack Fall Foliage Pattern Silk Feel Scarf for this particular look.
Now if you are like me, in the winter I am always freezing. There is nothing I can do to get warm enough, and I like to get cozy warm clothing as much as possible. So I wanted to share a way to really make this the most warm and toasty as possible.
To make this dress wearable in the winter I would start by adding some leggings. I really like the idea of these Torrid Faux Leather Leggings for a winter look with this dress.
To keep you extra warm and toasty I would try this Fur Gilet from Simply Be. I’m pretty sure this is just an open front vest.
And finally I would top off my winter look with this La Carrie Faux Fur Headband with Stretch. I don’t do well with a lot of hats, but I love this sort of headband for the winter and it really does keep you warm.
And finally when it warms back up for spring, I think a fun monotone look would be a lot of fun.
I recently posted about Curve Girl and told you all I had placed an order. My order has arrived (technically two orders, but I just wanted to make sure I had a good variety to show you), and today I am sharing with you what I ordered and how the process went.
As I told you in my previous post, Curve Girl offers two ways to order their clothing. You can purchase their predetermined sizes, they offer sizes M and go up to a 10X. (From the time I originally talked to the company they have raised their available sizes twice. The originally offered up to a 5X.) They also offer free customization where they make the clothing to your measurements. With the exception of pants, I feel I usually can purchase sizes comfortably off the rack at most stores based on their size charts. But because I am looking out for what most of you need, I thought trying out their customization would be good. As a side note, a friend commented on the last post that she has already ordered from their pre-sized items and was very happy with what she received.
Their customization chart works a little differently than other places you may have tried. The biggest difference I think is they don’t ask for as much detail as I am use to. I did send a suggestion on something I would like to see added for the pants and shorts category. And if you order from them or see them as a company you would like to keep around, I suggest you communicate any improvements you would like to see as well.
The other big difference about Curve Girl’s customization chart is their measurement offerings. Not every measurement is available. When you’re looking to customize you will find it on each individual product page. Right below the add to bag button you will see a link to click on that says “CUSTOMIZE FOR FREE”. When you click on that the customization chart will pop up.
So lets say you have a waist measurement of 45″. With the other companies I have tried you would type in 45″, but with Curve Girl you have a list to choose from and some of the measurements are skipped. You can see what I am talking about in the picture above. If this is concerning for you, I have seen posted on their website that you can also send your exact measurements to their customer support.
One more thing to note about the size chart is there is a section that can be a bit confusing. Where it says “LENGTH OF DRESS”, that is really where you need to choose your height.
Overall, the ordering process was pretty simple. And delivery was pretty prompt too. They say items are delivered in 5 to 8 days business days. That seems pretty accurate for both of my orders. In total counting the weekends both were delivered in under two weeks from the time I ordered. Shipping is $5.00 flat for the US and $10.00 for everywhere else. You can expedite to a guaranteed 5 days for an extra $20.00. If you order over $50 and are in the US you get free shipping.
I ordered seven items in total. With what I ordered I got a mix of a couple of things I think are amazing, a few things that I have mixed feelings on, and couple of things that I think are really bad. So with that being said let’s get on to what you all really came for, the clothes. We will start with the best and work our way day to the worst.
This is the Taupe Spherical Pattern Lace Dress. This is one of the two items that I purchased that I think is pretty much perfection. This dress sells for $34.99 on the Curve Girl website. I picked this item out because I liked how unique the patterns on the dress are. This is one of the two items I wasn’t just happy with, I am beyond impressed. This dress fits so perfectly. It looks just like the picture and description led me to believe it would. I am extremely happy with this dress and would recommend it to others.
This is the Off Shoulder Rib Bodysuit Top. This bodysuit sells for $24.99. I have included an extra picture of this bodysuit, so you can see the whole item. It is very high cut on the leg, but most modern bodysuits seem to be. My jeans I have paired with the bodysuit are a pair of Jeggings from Torrid.
I felt like this fit me perfectly. I often have a hard time finding bodysuit that fit me right and that I can button on my own. This bodysuit I was able to easily button my own, and alternatively can easily step in an out of without trouble. The fabric is what I would consider to be a quality fabric. The only improvement I think that could be made is possibly adding some elastic around the shoulders and/or back so it can stay up easier. But Hollywood tape can easily keep it up as is.
Now lets take a look at those in between products. The problems that make them less than perfect really vary, and some I will still wear and some I won’t. But we will take a look at each piece individually and I will explain what is going on with each one so that you can decide if it is something you want to order.
This is their Flower In The Garden Flared Dress in Gray. This dress sells for $39.99 and comes in five color option. Though each is listed separately, and if you want to see all of the color options click here. This dress has a lot going for and just a couple of things that throws it off for me.
Here are the positives as I see them. First, I love the design aesthetic. It really looks great in every color they offer and I had a hard time deciding which to get. I ultimately went with the gray because it is what my husband likes. It does button down the front of the chest, and typically that is a huge no for me and most girls with larger chests. But they did provide a really wide modesty panel under the buttons. So no matter if it does gap no one will see anything. And this dress has pockets. Typically I am not a fan of pockets on dresses because they usually poke out and make me look even more hippier than I am. But this one was actually placed in a way that does not do that to me, so I find it delightful for a change.
So what could possibly be wrong with dress? Well unfortunately, if you notice the placement of the embroidered rings on my sleeves, they are right at the largest part of my arms. And between the fabric not having stretch and the embroidery restricting the fabric, it made it tight right there. I will say that after a bit of wear it did relax a bit and didn’t feel quite so tight. If your arms are any larger than mine, this is one you will need to skip. The other thing is that you can obviously see it is wrinkled. This fabric is the type that just has to either be ironed or steamed, or something. I prefer something more low maintenance.
But overall I think the issues are small enough that this dress will be sticking around, at least for a while.
This is the Slip On Sleeveless Comfort Maxi Dress. This dress sells for $24.99 and you have 12 color options. I chose to get the color they showed the model in, which is lilac. Unlike the last dress, different colors are not on different pages. You can customize this dresses color on the page. It is made from a Rayon Lycra fabric, and I have noticed th most of the item made from this sort of material is also customizable on Curve Girl.
I do think the dress looks different in person than it does in their pictures. The pictures on the model is of a dress I would wear out anywhere. This dress as it is, I would probably only wear out to hang out at friends houses or to run a quick errand like the post office.
The dress definitely fits. I don’t think they got my measurements wrong. It is longer than I would like, but I think I was thrown off by the fact that the model is wearing heels. It is very comfortable, sort of like a lot of the maxis that are made for sleeping in. I wish that I had ordered a different color because I think I may have liked this more in a darker color.
On Curve Girl’s website they call this the Ivory Hourglass Romper, but like the maxi dress it is in that Rayon Lycra fabric and is available in twelve different colors. The color I am showing here is wine. It sells for $34.99.
So for this one, by their standards it fits me. However, since they do not measure for the rise, I had the same problem I have with 95% of the jumpsuits I have ever tried and it feels like it is trying to give me a frontal wedgie. Because of this it also looks nothing like the one they have on the model, even though we have similar body types. I also don’t know what the deal is with the legs. On the model they are showing the legs being more fitted till you get to the bottom, but on me they look like they are wide legs.
While overall this doesn’t look too horrible, it doesn’t look good either. But beyond that I would not wear this item at all. With this it’s not just about the way it looks either, it’s really physically uncomfortable. But if you are the sort that never has a problem fitting in a jumpsuit, then you probably won’t have a problem with these either. And I do think the color
So finally lets talk about the couple of items that were complete fails for me, and I don’t think I could recommend them to anyone.
This is Curve Girl’s Sailor Pants. They sell for $17.99. I think this is the item I am most disappointed about. I am simultaneously impressed by the design and disappointed that it did not work for me. I did not try to send this back because by all accounts the measurements were right, that was not the issue. The fabric was the real issue for me, but I will go into that more in a bit.
First I want to talk about the actual design of these pants and why I think it’s so impressive. First I would say that I have a hard time finding this style of pants without it being high-waisted, which never works for me. So to find sailor pants that aren’t high-waisted, I was ecstatic. It closes with the buttons on both sides, so there is like a flap in the front. I have never seen pants designed like these. Not only are they unique, but I think the way they are designed to button it is better for even distribution of stretching of the fabric.
So the problem comes in with the fabric. The fabric clings in the thigh area and causes the pants to ride up in a way that usually on shorts do, so that is different. It has a lot of stretch, like way more stretch than your average pair of pants. Since this was made to my measurements they did not fit tight enough on my body, and it seems to be one of those types of materials that doesn’t retain its shape through the day. I am considering reordering this item, but not doing custom sizing and possibly sizing down one or two sizes to see if that fixes the problem. If that happens I will make sure to include it in a future blog post.
I saved this items for very last because it comes with a bit of a story. I ordered the Asian Inspired Brocade Shorts, which don’t seem to be offered anymore. I tried them on and this is what I got.
Not the best picture, but I wanted to show you this from the side where it zipped so you can see it wouldn’t even get close enough to zip. The fabric was very nice and I thought length was good, and other than it not being wide enough in the waist and hips.
But Curve Girl guarantees their products. So I sent an email to them and let them know the problem. They just asked that I that I send some pictures back highlighting the problem and a picture of the item with a measuring tape laid across it. So I sent the picture posted above and this one.
They responded back with a prepaid shipping label. And they told me once they had the notice it shipped back that they would remake the shorts and get them sent back to me immediately.
It arrived around the same amount of time as the first order. However, it still didn’t fit right, as you can see below.
This time it actually went on, but it was a bit big in the waist, which didn’t actually go anywhere near my waist. The legs much longer on this pair, and they don’t even seem to be the same length. There was also an issue with the fit across the low hips that was creating the weird creasing in the lower tummy area and crotch.
Now I am sure that if I had contacted Curve Girl with the issue for this second pair of shorts they would have tried to fix them again. However, if you are a loyal reader of the blog, you know that I was very sick most of the spring and through the summer and into the beginning of fall. Honestly I have only recently started feeling better. I was sick still when I went on my vacation at the end of August. The package with these arrived about a week before I left for vacation. I really was struggling with just having enough energy to pack and do basic life things, I couldn’t get motivated to take this picture and deal with emailing and packing it up to ship out. And I honestly ran out of time. So while this a flub, I think based on the first issue they would have fixed it.
Well that was the last of the items. There were hits, there were misses, and items in between. For me I think there are enough good items to want to keep giving them more chances. I mean their price point is incredible. So at least for now, when they are just in the beginning stages, I am definitely willing to give them some wiggle room to grow. I may try another jumpsuit in a different fabric at some point to see if that will make a difference for me. But I will be avoiding pants and shorts for a little while. for a little while. I might revisit that in another six months or so.
Tell me in the comments what you thought. Will you be giving Curve Girl a try? Is there something on their site you want me to try that I haven’t yet?
Vacation was a bit of a struggle, and I didn’t get as many pictures taken as I had intended, but I did get did get some pictures of a few outfits. So I put a plus size vacation clothing look book together for you. Not everything is going to still be available from the original seller, but we will talk about that more as we come to it.
Our trip included stops in the following:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Orange Beach, Alabama
So I tried to pack a wardrobe that was stylish, comfortable, and cool. I included a couple of nicer outfits for dinner at nicer restaurants we had planned. But overwhelmingly I packed clothing that would keep me cool because everyone kept telling me how hot it was going to be. Ironically, as it turned, it was hotter where I live than at any of the place we visited. But I am still happy with what I packed.
This was from the first full day I was in New Orleans. It’s also probably the most put together I looked during my whole trip at any of the stops we made. I mean I actually did my hair this day, and my accessories go with my outfit. On vacation for me that is my typical, but this vacation was anything but typical.
The dress is from Torrid. It is their Olive V-Neck Tiered Challis Mini Dress. That particular dress is not available at the moment, but you never know with Torrid. They often bring items back. Or alternatively they do have similar items. Currently the dress closest in style to what I am wearing is their Olive Tie Sleeve Gauze Skater Dress. But there is only a few sizes left online as I type this, so if you want it grab it before its gone. My dress is a size 2, which is pretty much my standard size at Torrid in most things.
The purse is from Multi Sac Handbags, it is one of the purses they sent me last year. If you want to hear know more about why I like Multi Sac and how I ended up with them sending me some purses, you can read about it in the Giveaway I did with Multisac last year. This bag I have here is their Lorraine Crossbody in two-tone vinyl(faux leather). This color combo is Pony and Coffee. I can’t find this color on their website, so I linked to the black version. But you can most likely find this color combo in one of the stores they sell in.
One of the last days we were in New Orleans we took a bus tour and then walked through the Market. So I made sure to wear something breezy and comfortable.
This dress is from ASOS Curve, but I didn’t buy it from ASOS. I had seen it on their website some time ago and they were already sold out of anything close to my size. I ended up finding it on Poshmark last fall, and I bought it to wear this summer. I have talked about Poshmark here on the blog before, I really think it’s a great way to find deals and items you missed out on when they were in the store. I typically size down to an 18 at ASOS, but I asked a few questions from the seller and found out this ran a bit small. The one I am wearing is a size 22. It was a bit big and I probably would have been okay with a 20, but I think this worked well enough.
I both sell and buy on Poshmark as do a lot of bloggers. If you want to check out what I have up for sale on my Poshmark closet you can click here, or it is always linked in the main menu at the top of every page. You can find a lot of great deals, and some not so great deals, on a wide variety of brands including ASOS Curve (This link should take you to all the ASOS Curve available on Poshmark). Most items are either new or gently used. If you don’t already have an account on Poshmark, then by using this link you can get a $5 off your first purchase. If it asks you for a code use KARENMSMITH77.
With the dress I have paired with it the same handbag as above. My shoes are from the Avenue. They are their Farrah Braided Gladiator Wedge Sandal. They come in two colors, black or brown. They are on clearance now, and not many sizes left, but if they have your size these are selling for a steal. To finish it off I have on a pair of 50mm silver hoop earrings.
This was taken at our last stop in Helen, Georgia. So it was kind of backlit and my husband forgot to put the backlighting setting on, but I thought the picture looked kind of cool anyway. So I decided to share my picture but I will also share the stock photo below so you can see the details of the print.
I didn’t really add anything other than shoes to this dress. The day that I wore this we were mainly out taking some short walks around a lake and grabbing lunch at a small store. Not really the kind of area or kind of activities you get really dressed up for. The shoes I have on were super comfortable, like straight out of the box they were comfortable. They are also from the Avenue. It is their Fran Braided Slingback Wedge Sandal in Bronze. It is also available in black, but since this shoe is on clearance sizes are limited as I am writing this.
If you see this and think I was stuck on dresses and cold shoulders, you’re not entirely wrong. But I did have more variety than this in my wardrobe, however my energy and a lot of rain conspired against me when it came to taking pictures of those other outfits. I do feel though that these three outfits give a good overview of my vacation style. And really I think I always love dresses and cold shoulders.
Tell me in the comments what your vacation style is.
I really wanted to have this posted way before now, but this past weekend really took a lot out of me. I feel like that is the story of my life, but I am doing the best I can with my life circumstances. I think a lot of you get that, and maybe that is why you have stuck with me as readers of this blog. My life isn’t always Instagram perfect and I am going to be real about that.
But let’s focus on the positive. We are here now, and I am finally able to focus and am back to a semi livable energy level. So let’s talk about what I wore the last two weeks of All Dress April. I bunched the fifth week in with week four since week five was only two days long.
The top is their Off-the-Shoulder Lettuce-Edge Crop Top. It is not a super short crop top, and since I have the skirt raised higher, you wouldn’t even be able to tell its a crop top. But this particular style from Forever21 Plus does work really well for those of us with larger busts.
This is from Rebdolls. It is their “Rumor Has It” Maxi Skater Set in White. There is only a couple of sizes left in this set, so if you are interested, check it out quickly.
This was my first time ordering from Rebdolls, but I was pleasantly surprised at the size range and quality of what was offered. I did purchase one other item, which you will see soon hopefully. And I believe this won’t be my last time ordering from them, so more in the future.
On day 25 I decided to wear another Simply Be dress. And this one is still available. It is their Embroidered Stud Mesh Dress. I have it paired with some Aerosoles Pumps that I have had for a long time.
I think my outfit from day 26 was the most popular on social media out of all of my looks from the month, or at least it got the most comments and requests for the links. I purchased this look to wear to Pride this year, and I thought I would share it with all of you ahead of time. This look, head to toe, is available for purchase on Amazon.
My unicorn shoes were in white, but unfortunately they don’t have that color left anymore.
Day 27 brought me to the first day of the International Steampunk Symposium. I didn’t actually get a picture of my costume that day, but I had this picture of the exact same thing I wore for Time Traveler’s Weekend at the Ohio Ren Fair. I actually think I did share this look before, but I am not 100% positive about that.
Day 28 and day two at the International Steampunk Symposium. This is the one and only picture I managed to get of my costume that day. Unfortunately it doesn’t show the whole costume. But once again, it is something I have had a picture of from a previous year, and nothing new here on the blog. The picture below is from two years ago in the same costume.
The accessories were both bought on Etsy. The necklace is from Dr. Brassy, but her store is currently empty and from my understanding may never be refilled again. The headdress is from the BlackUnicornShop.
Day 29 was my last day at the International Steampunk Symposium. This outfit wasn’t complete, as I took off and forgot the jacket that was supposed to go with it. But here is what I have on:
As you can see, most of the accessory items are available on Amazon. I word of warning on the skirt. I have had a few issues with the fabric and seeming quality. But it is much more affordable than the average Victorian costume piece for a plus size skirt.
I did not participate this day, I was just too worn out from the Symposium to move.
And that wraps up 2018 of All Dress April.
As a side not: Next year will be a bit different for me. Every since I started participating I have always had the Steampunk Symposium in there somewhere. Usually it is at the end. But next year things the Symposium got scheduled for a month earlier. So for those of you who look forward to the costumes, I will try my best to still do a post related to the Symposium. I am super excited about the theme that has been announced for next year. It will be Fantastic Beasts. Lots of plans have already started. Let me know in the comments below if you would like some posts about things I am making for costume and various things my steampunk group is doing.
This month is moving along so fast, I can’t believe it is almost over. Week three of All Dress April is already completed, and we have just a week and a half left.
If you missed previous weeks, don’t forget to check out week one and week two before you leave.
This week is unfortunately a little light on the outfits, as you may already know I missed a couple of days due to life circumstances. And I am unfortunately out of any backup photos.
This is the Cold Shoulder Jersey Maxi Dress from Torrid. I am wearing it in gray, which I got last year. They no longer have this color, but I have linked to it in the black color they have this year. I also saw it in olive green earlier this, and was a little sad that I missed out. I keep hoping that Torrid will bring that one back.
My jewelry is from Earth Bound Trading Company, and the shoes are from Skechers.
I missed this day due to illness
For day 17 I had on this Luna Lace Dress from Kiyonna. I don’t know why, maybe its the simple elegance of this dress, but I always feel the need to put my hair in some sort of updo when I wear it.
Day 18 had me wearing a dress from ASOS Curve, and I think this is my favorite out of the newer dresses that I have purchased. This is the ASOS DESIGN Curve Bardot midi dress in floral print. They call it a midi, but to me it is a little long to consider a midi, I think of it as a maxi. I ordered this dress at the beginning of April, and at that time they had this dress in every size. However, as I am writing this, they seem to only have a couple of sizes left.
I have it paired with some green peep toe wedge heels that I got on Zulily several years ago.
I have it paired with a pair of rounded toe heels from Steve Madden. I have actually had these heels almost 20 years. I keep hoping they will come back because they are amazingly comfortable.
On day 20 I wore this Simply Be Lace Dress With Tipping. If you are following along on any of my social media, then you know this was not my favorite dress on me. I love the dress itself, but think it would look better on a different body type. I want to be clear though, this isn’t me saying there is anything wrong with the dress or my body. Don’t be surprised if there ends up being a blog post on this topic soon.
On day 21 I missed again. I was off gallivanting around a college campus with my niece all day on her first college tour. Too much fast paced walking and climbing stairs for me to comfortably wear a dress. I had plans on wearing one when I got home, but the day went on for a longer than expected and I went to bed immediately.
That wraps up week three. Tell me in the comments what your favorite dress from this week was.
I can barely believe it, but we are already two weeks into April. And that means its time for another recap. If you missed it, you can check out week one.
Week two was a bit of a whirlwind for me. I had a lot of work to do, but I also had a lot of days where I just wasn’t feeling well. But it looks like the tide is turning. Our weather has finally warmed up a bit with no precipitation. And I have had a few days in a row now that I actually felt well.
But you guys are here to find out about the clothes. As always I will link to anything that is still available, or alternatively if the item is not available but something extremely similar is available I will also link to that instead.
This is the UniqueVintage Plus Size 1950s Delores Swing Dress with Sleeves in Wine Purple. Now this is no longer available in this color, however this dress is available in many different colors and patterns. It is available in both misses and plus sizes. Make sure that you check the sizing. Just like most vintage lines, their brand runs very small. I am in their largest size a 4X which they say is equal to a 20. That seems accurate, though there is extra room to stretch with the fabric.
I have it paired with some Bandolino peep toe pumps in a similar wine color.
I have paired with it some Madden Girl Peep Toe Pumps that I have had for a long time.
This is a maxi length sweater dress that I got from Simply Be back in the fall. It is no longer available. But if you like the look of the dress, but don’t care if it is a sweater dress, then their T-Shirt Maxi Dress should give you a very similar look.
This is a SWAK Designs maxi that I have had for the longest time. This particular style is no longer available, however the Lois Maxi Dress is very similar. The biggest difference is that the Lois Maxi had 3/4 length sleeves. If you are a maxi dress lover take the time to look around the SWAK website, they really have some great styles for all body types and they are very size inclusive.
This was my fun outfit for the week. I think everyone needs some clothes that are just fun. Both pieces are from Forever 21. I have on their ETA Stripe Tiered High-Low Skirt (this is available in other colors as well) and the Ruched Crop Top. The crop top is adjustable so you can show as much or as little skin as you like. And it definitely is one that works for larger busts. If you haven’t looked at Forever 21 in a while, then you should check them out. Their plus size selection has grown a lot and they are starting to include other brands on their site.
Week one of All Dress April has finally come to an end, so it must be time for a recap. These always seem to be some of my most popular posts, so I decided to make a couple of changes this year. Changes that I hope are for the better.
You all know that I live with a few chronic pain conditions, some of which are affected by the weather, especially in the winter and early spring. So in previous years this has left me not posting about one to two days a week. In an effort to not leave these spots open, and to be able to share more items with you, I will be sharing photos previously taken but not posted for one reason or another.
This is a Tiana B. dress in a mod 60’s style print. I really love this style, and this dress is so comfy and great for minimal effort days. I paired it with a pair of wide calf boot’s I got from Zulily’s Journey Collection. I have had both of these pieces for quite some time, so I don’t think either of these items are still currently available, but you can get the same style of dress from Tiana B. as well as dresses in similar prints.
This was a bad pain day for me, and so this was the first case of using a previously taken photo.
This dress is from the Avenue. It is their Metallic Floral Scuba Dress. It is a recent purchase, but unfortunately it sold out fast. I guess everyone loved it. It is definitely in a bodycon/wiggle style, but like most of the dresses from Avenue it is made to be more forgiving of any extra curves and rolls you may have in the middle. While they no longer have this exact dress, they do still have a similar dress. It is their Scroll Flocked Scuba Dress (limited sizes left in this dress).
The shoes I have paired with it are the Bandolino Women’s Mylah Peep-Toe Pump. These were actually the shoes I wore for my wedding, and I was kind of surprised to even find limited sizes of these still hanging around.
For day five I went with something more to the roots of All Dress April, meaning something vintage style. This dress is from Lindy Bop. It is their Alanis Swing Dress in Black Polka Dots. (Just a note the link is to the UK site, but you change it to your country of preference. If you are in the USA, you can order from the US site or the UK site. I prefer the UK site because the sizing is easier. Don’t forget to change the currency as well.)
I have it paired with a basic black crinoline. and pair of kitten heels I bought on eBay a long time ago. The shoes are no longer available in the kitten heel size, but you can steel find the pump version from many different sellers on eBay still.
This is the Truda Dress from IGIGI. It is a faux wrap dress. It is no longer available in this pattern, but the style is still available. If you follow me on my Instagram, then you already know that I don’t really care for the way this dress fits me. I love all of my other IGIGI dresses, but this one just doesn’t hang on me right, and I think it would suit a different body type better. It will most likely be going up on my Poshmark listings for sale relatively soon. So if you love this print and are also a size 20, make sure you are following me on there. If you are just joining Poshmark for the first time use my code KARENMSMITH77 and they will give you a $5 shopping credit.
The shoes are from Aerosoles, and I have had them for year. They are super comfortable as most Aerosoles are. But this particular style is not available any more.
So if you didn’t know, skirts are also acceptable for All Dress April. So that left me able to also participate in my friend Jamie’s (aka retrocutie) style challenge Band Tee Saturday. Graphic tees are also totally acceptable for her challenge. Make sure you check out her blog No Delusions Of Grandeur too.
So since so many people had expressed interest in Fashion Nova over the last couple of months, I wanted to bring you a look from them. So both my skirt and top are from Fashion Nova. I have on the Kiss Me On The Lips Sequin Tee and the Charmer Bandage Skirt in Light Pink. I am sure that a lot of you would like me to go into my thoughts on Fashion Nova right now, but I don’t think I could put everything I need to say here. But don’t worry I promise there will be a blog post coming within the month about Fashion Nova.
If you didn’t see something like this week make sure to keep checking back, there are still 23 more days to go, and that means 23 more looks. Tell me in the comments below what you like, what you didn’t like. I still have some wiggle room on filling request if there is something you guys want to see this month, so make sure to let me know that as well.
Looking for something special to wear to one of those many Holiday Parties? Don’t worry, I got you covered. I have looks to share for every occasion and budget. Whether you are looking for something low-key for that office party or something super sexy to wear out on New Years Eve, I have it all.B
When I put this look book together I wanted to include some styles you don’t always see in most look books. I think there are lots of people who feel a little left out of these. Not everyone gets super dressed up. Maybe you are more of jeans and tee kind of girl and you just want to add a little sparkle to your look. I wanted to make sure you were included as well. So keep in mind while looking through this that not every look will be what you traditionally think of as a holiday look.
I will be showing these in order of most casual to dressiest. I will include links to items available as well as sizes I am wearing. I will try to include any other relevant information I think is important to have as well as occasional styling suggestions. As always I hope you guys find this helpful.
For reference, I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″. I wear a 40DDD/E Bra in most brands. I wear a size 9 shoe, and I am in between a medium and wide width.
You can still be in jeans and look and feel more dressed up. I wanted to do this look for all you ladies who hate dresses and feel more at home in jeans. I totally get that dresses are not practical for everyone. To make this feel more fit for the occasion I chose a pair of jeggings that had rhinestone trim at the hem. And all of the other pieces, including the shoes, are in a velvet fabric to give this outfit a more luxe feel for the holidays. And that jacket is all about the little details. Here is what I have on:
Shoes: Wanted Womens Valance Slip On Tennis Shoes – comes in sizes 6 to 10 Medium Width. I have on a size 9 and they fit quite comfortably. They come in three colors options. I have on the nude color, but I think they look pink.
For this look I wanted to give you something that was both fashionable but super comfortable. Maybe you’re the girl who likes to take lots of family photos on Christmas morning, or maybe you aren’t into dresses but jeans aren’t your thing either. And whether this is the holiday outfit for you or not, I highly recommend getting a pair of leggings. They feel so soft and luxurious. I could wear them for days. Here is what I have on:
Headband: Velvet Stretch Headband from Forever 21 – not currently available online.
It may not seem like it to people who don’t know me well, but I am actually a pretty practical person. So I wanted to offer an option that was a cocktail dress, appropriate for a holiday party, and still be wearable beyond just the holidays. This is just barely a cocktail dress, and so with the right accessories it could also be appropriate for work or church if that is part of your life. Here is what I have on:
Shoes: My shoes are a pair of Steve Madden Pumps that I have had forever, and they are no longer sold in this style. However the Steve Madden Women’s Ulltra Pump is a very similar style. In my personal experience, I have Steve Madden heels to be more comfortable than the average heels. And because these are a lower heel they might be better for dancing if that is something on your agenda.
This I think leans more towards the traditional cocktail dress look most people will be expecting. Even though it may not be in traditional Christmas colors, it is available in some of those colors. I did want to give you at least one traditional look, but I wanted to show it in this alternative color because I think it is something will last longer in your closet and be appropriate for more occasions. This is also a very affordable look for those of you on a budget. Here is what I have on:
Dress: Lace Plus Size 3/4 Sleeves Midi Business Cocktail Dress from GMHO – comes in sizes 0X to 5X. Available in four-color options. I have on a 2X in the blue color. Please note that their size chart is accurate and you will find it in the product description area, do not go by the link that takes you to Amazon’s general size chart.
This look is definitely leaning towards New Years Eve, but its your life, don’t let me tell you when its appropriate to wear something. I really wanted to create a look that was both fun and glittery. But I wanted to make it for the girl who is part princess and all badass. Here is what I have on:
Jacket: I have on a sheer sleeve zip front jacket from City Chic. This particular jacket is no longer available. However, the Drapey Blazer Jacket from City Chic is very similar. The only real difference is that it does not zip up the front. It is currently available in most sizes between XS14 to XL22, some sizes sold out in this color. If you search the site there are also other colors available.
Bodysuit: Plus Size Sequin Bodysuit from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. I have on the size 3X(Forever 21 is Junior Plus, so I have to size up one size in most of their items). Just a couple of notes I thought people would be interested in. The sequins are strictly on the front upper body. Also, there are no snaps to secure, you simply step into this bodysuit. The fabric is very stretchy.
Tutu: This particular tutu was bought several years ago from a company that no longer exists. However, if you are looking for a high quality tutu at a reasonable price, I will always recommend the tutus from Society Plus. I have one in white that I have shown here on the blog several times, you can’t go wrong with them.
Shoes: I have on a pair of Madden Girl heeled sandals I have had for years. If you are looking for something similar you might try the Madden Girl Women’s Lexxx Heeled Sandal. I think they have a very similar look.
This is the final look in this Holiday look book. But I couldn’t wrap things up without sharing at least one full-out sexy and glam look. I can just imagine so many ladies loving this look for New Years. This is definitely the look for the woman who wants all eyes on her. Here is what I have on:
Dress: Plus Size Lace-Up Combo Dress from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. Available in two color options. I have on a size 3X in black. One note, on Forever 21’s website the models look like they have a cami on under the dress. That does not come with the dress. It is sheer on top. You will need to either have a cami or do like I did and wear a matching bra.
Shoes: Kimberly Over the Knee Boot from Avenue – comes in size 7W to 13W. They are wide calf as well. Comes in two color/fabric options. I have on the 9W in the black snake-skin print. (Just FYI, these seem to be on sale for 70% off right now, not sure how long this sale will last.)
And that is all for my Holiday Look Book. I welcome your feedback. And please tell me in the comments below if you had a favorite look.
Its been a while since I have taken you inside the dressing room with me. But I had to run into the mall to take something back the other day and I noticed that my local Macy’s is finally carrying a few City Chic items. I had a little time to spare, so I thought I would try on some things I had my eye on and take some pictures to share with all of you. I visited Macy’s and Forever 21, so there will be some variety in styles.
Now I did try the City Chic items on at Macy’s (there is no local City Chic store where I live), however I will be linking directly to City Chic. Based on what I have seen City Chic has better sales on items than what Macy’s can offer you. Plus shipping is free with City Chic even for returns. You only get free shipping at Macy’s if your purchase is high enough or if they have the item you were looking for in store and you can pick it up there.
Just like any other fashion post I do, I will share what size I tried on as well as any relevant information on fit or quality. For reference I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Torrid or Lane Bryant. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″ And I wear 40DDD bra.
So lets start with the City Chic items I tried on at Macy’s. They didn’t have a lot of items available, so I only tried on two here.
I am in a L or 20 here. It has spaghetti straps, so I obviously do not have on the right bra for this dress, but besides that it fit well in the bust. In general I find the sizing and fit to be essentially the same as Torrid’s. And just like Torrid’s they do occasionally have items that are exceptions to this rule. I probably won’t buy this for me because of the pleats. I don’t really like how this type of pleating lies on me. I think this dress would look best on someone that’s body shape is an inverted triangle.
At first I thought this was going to be a bad choice for fall/winter. However after trying it on, it is way warmer than expected. There seems to be almost a double lining. So add a shrug and it should be fine.
Again I am showing this in a size L or 20. I thought the fit on this one was perfect for me. There was enough extra room at the bottom that this could also work for someone who is more of a pear shape. It does have a built-in cami that is black, but it could easily be removed if you needed or wanted to. I really loved the details on this top, from the collar to the little flutter sleeves. I could easily see this being styled several different ways. And I will most likely purchase this sometime in the near future.
Now lets take a look at what I tried over at Forever 21. Since Forever 21 is a juniors store, that means their plus section is junior plus. I usually have to size up to a 3X, but because of variances in items there are some items I need a 2X. Occasionally I would need larger, but 3X is currently where their sizing starts. (Side note, if you see something blurry and white on some of the pictures, it’s not the clothing. Forever 21 just has dim lighting and really smudged mirrors.)
I tried this on in a 3X. I thought this dress fit okay. The sleeves fit really well, and I liked the lace up detail. The body fit a little snugger than I personally would like. I might have been okay with the tightness if it were done in a different material. But at $23.00 there is an element of “you get what you pay for”.
I tried on with it this Sequin Hooded Bomber Jacket. I can not find this on their site, but if you like it, its worth looking in your local store. Mine had lots of these. These jackets should work for any body type.
I also tried this on in a 3X. I actually picked this up initially to try on because I thought it was a skirt. They had it hung oddly. But I decided to go ahead and try it on to share. Again I thought the fit was okay, but in a different way than the previous dress. The top looked and felt like the right tightness, but I didn’t feel like it was secure at the very top. I thought the bottom also looked fine, but it felt very tight across the hips. And the length was indecent in the back. I feel like this would fit someone who is a perfect hourglass the best, and it probably would look good on someone who is an inverted triangle as well.
The skirt I thought fit well and was made out of a great fabric. I liked the lace up detail, but I didn’t think they stood out as much once it was put on. I also think it would be better paired with something different from this sweater.
The sweater also fit great, and it felt great on. I think it will work for many body types but will probably look best on someone with and apple shape. This is supposed to be a crop sweater, and since its not a form-fitting one, I was glad it was on the longer side. However since its barely crop length, if you are on the short side it may not read as crop on you. I really loved this sweater, and I would have purchased it, however I noticed it sheds horribly. So be aware of that.
This is a 3X. The fit was again perfect in this item. I thought they worked well with the Dark Wash Jeggings from Torrid I had on. It does not call this a crop top on Forever 21’s website, but it definitely fits me the same as the crop sweater I tried on. I did end up purchasing this for myself.
I also wanted to take a minute and give a shout out for Forever 21’s bralettes. In addition to the one I showed here in the post I also tried on and bought their Plus Size Lace Bralette in a size 2X. If I had wanted a tighter fit I probably could have worn a 1X in this one. Probably the most comfortable yet supportive bralette I have tried yet. Looks like they are almost sold out online. I really hope they will consider making them a permanent part of their collection.
As always I want to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below if there is a store you want me to order from or go take you in the dressing rooms with me. I know the frustration of trying to figure out what your size is in a brand. I want to help make that easier for all of you.