Wednesday, January 21, 2015

AVA & VIV - a skeptic's take

Target is launching a new plus size line, AVA & VIV. They've "recruited" (in this sense, probably meaning "paid a lot of money to") some fabulous plus size bloggers - Nicolette Mason, Chastity Garner, and Gabi Gregg - to advertise preview the line for them.

Here they are, pictured in some clothes from the new line:
L-R: Gabi, Chastity, Nicolette

Now, I know my fashion sense differs from these ladies.' Heck, I'm a thirtysomething and I'm generally content with classic fashion pieces rather than trendy ones, though I do like to be at least somewhat in style.

Here's my take on these 3 outfits. The outfit on the left: no, no, heck no, a million times NO. (Insert Grumpy Cat face here.) I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious wearing a crop top when I was an in-shape size 10. As an out-of-shape size 20? Hah. I only wear tops if I can be relatively sure they will cover my waistline when I lift my arms. As for the pants - they're sheer. Who wears sheer pants?! Who should wear sheer pants?! (In my opinion, no one!)

Middle outfit: better, but still no, not for me anyway. The black shirt has oddly slanted sleeves that show off the upper arm, and that's fine for others I guess, but it's not me. If the whole sleeve were cut to the same point where it lands on the upper arm, I might wear it - I just don't want the emphasis on that upper arm. My upper arms are flabby. It's fine if you're proud of your upper arms and want to show them off (do most plus size women actually feel that way?), but I don't wanna.

The skirt is actually a really beautiful piece - it's a "tulip skirt" with a cool overlapping hem. I would totally wear it in black or a solid color (purple, please?), but in the stripes, it's like "WHOA! HIPS!" OK, hips are nice. Hips are beautiful. I don't want to emphasize mine. Are we sensing a pattern here? (In case it's not self-explanatory: I do not like emphasizing how big I am unless I'm writing about it! LOL.) Also, the place where the stripes overlap at the stomach? Yeah, it would take serious Spanx to get me to wear that with anything tucked in, and uh...I refuse to wear shapewear so it's not gonna happen. (Well honestly, I don't wear most things tucked in anyway because I have a really short waist and huge boobs so it just looks silly IMO. But I'm getting off topic, sorta.)

Outfit on the right: beautiful. Seriously, I can say nothing bad about this outfit. It's very tasteful and looks great on Nicolette. I don't think it would look nearly as good on me, but I'd at least try it on. The v-shaped stripes on top and vertical stripes on the bottom are very flattering. If I tried to wear this, it might even create a waist on me, which would be nice. I like the cardi and would definitely wear that, at least. I'm curious about what kind of sleeves the dress has.

Now, on this page, there is a "behind the scenes" video in which the bloggers talk about the line and how great it is and how Target is taking their suggestions and stuff. Yeah, it's an ad. Also, what's with all the jewelry and accessories shown? I want to see the clothing! I can wear "straight size" jewelry and accessories! Are they going to have an accessories line, too?! If so, WHY? If not, just show us the darn clothing! That's why we're watching. /rant

Anyway, they show us a few more pieces of clothing in the commercial video. There's a frumpy-looking blue shirtdress, and a coral t-shirt that looks like it's probably too thin (just like Target's usual plus size t-shirts). I am not too impressed, in case you couldn't tell.

I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, though. AVA & VIV will be available online starting February 22, and I am going to ignore it there because I've had such bad experiences ordering plus size clothing online from Target (ordering 10 shirts and having to return every single one of them, for example). However, it will be arriving in stores in mid-February through March. I will watch out for that. If there are pieces that are nice enough to try on, that might possibly look right on my petite plus size frame, I will do so. If I find anything worth blogging about? Hooray!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weight loss and Fall fashion!

Hello, dear readers. I am sorry it's been so long. I just wasn't really into fashion for most of the spring/summer season, since I was busy trying to lose weight and didn't feel like trying to dress up a body that would soon be going down a size or two. I finally bit the bullet and joined Weight Watchers Online in May. It's my 2nd time on WW and I know that it works for me. I've lost 20 pounds since joining up this time. This is not an endorsement - different weight loss methods work for different people. For now, this is right for me.

My goal at the moment is to get down to a size 16/XL. I do not want to get to the point with WW where I feel like I am starving (and believe me, I got there last time). I can't do much exercising because I have fibromyalgia and it makes my whole body hurt. Some days I can walk around, and when I can, I do...but other days, not so much.

Anyway, I've gone from a 2X to a 1X, and from a 20 (or sometimes 22) to an 18. This makes me very, very happy. I still have not gone down a bra size, but that's OK for now because I am not looking forward to having to buy new bras!

Having gone down a size has brought me back into shopping mode, because I don't seem to have enough clothing from the last time I was this size. Actually, that's not quite true. I have plenty of warm Winter sweaters that still fit, which is great because those can get expensive. But it's Autumn now, and I want to wear long-sleeved shirts or less bulky sweaters.

I will have to do a shoes and accessories post soon, because I have been kind of obsessed with shoes and socks lately. At the moment, though, I want to share the results of an amazing retail therapy session at Burlington Coat Factory with you.

Sorry about the picture quality (or lack thereof). Anyway, this is a sweater by Design History. I bought it in these colors; and another in navy, black, and white; and another in a gray pattern. I love it. I plan to wear the heck out of it. Also, it's machine wash and dry! Hooray!

This blue top is by Cha Cha Vente. I almost didn't try it on because I was worried that it would be too long and the hemline wouldn't be flattering, but I am so glad I did because I really like it!

And, last but not least:

Here's that same hemline again, this time in a sweater by Joseph A. Sadly, this one has to be laid flat to dry. It's a really pretty color, though - prettier than the picture suggests. It looks better without the shirt underneath, but I wanted to try it that way when I got home so that's what you get a picture of. (Yeah, ouch, I ended that sentence with a preposition. Sorry.)

I haven't been following the latest trends much, so I'm a little out of the loop. Horizontal stripes are still VERY "in" - that much I can tell. I'm also liking the deep, rich colors that I've been seeing in the stores, and I'm glad to see a lot of gray since I love the color gray.

Anyone know what that hemline is called? Is it a handkerchief hemline, or is that something else?

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I did my nails!

Hi there! It's been a while. I haven't been feeling particularly fashion-y lately. I've been pretty much living in this sweater from Lands' End in various colors, and cords from Lands' End as well (I swear they are not sponsoring this blog in any way!). You can choose your own inseam for the cords, which is extremely helpful. They're not made for Plus Petites, but they fit OK.

One thing I have been excited about is nail polish. I managed to grab an Essie Holiday Kit while they were in stores.

I just did my nails with the basic red in the set (2nd from the right), Forever Yummy.

It's a little darker than I'd expected, but it's growing on me. I don't know why I've been wanting red nails lately - I don't usually go for red - but why not?

Also managed to get my hands on the Essie Winter 2013 Collection.Great colors. So far, I've only tried the light blue (Parka Perfect). Actually, it looked blue in the bottle, but it's really more gray. I wasn't so happy with it by itself, so I put a coat of clear sparkly polish over it and that was much better.

I'm getting sort of excited for the Peter Pilotto for Target collaboration coming out on February 9. You can find the lookbook here. I don't know if any of it is really my style, and I won't know until I see it in person. It's very bold.

I will certainly be selling items from it in my eBay store, so if you don't have a Target near you or if there's a certain item you just can't get your hands on, check it out after the launch! If there's anything specific you'd like me to try to get for you, please comment here or send a message to me via eBay. (Of course, I can't charge the same price as Target does, or I'd go (more) broke. But I'm reasonable.)

In the meantime, I've still got some great Phillip Lim stuff left, gorgeous plus size Daniel Rainn shirts, and Nick & Nora pajamas in size XL.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

BOOM! It's Phillip Lim for Target!

The 3.1 Phillip Lim line for Target has generated a lot of excitement (now that's an understatement). I was online for its release, which was...painful. I waited until 4 AM for my chance to get a few of these items--many of which sold out right away, right under my nose. I managed to get 3 bags: a Tote with Gusset in Taupe, a Medium Satchel in Purple, and a Mini Satchel with Gusset in Taupe, all of which I will be receiving tomorrow if the delivery's on schedule. I may or may not keep them. It depends on how heavy they are (I usually only carry really light weight bags) and how pretty they are in person (somehow I don't see myself being able to part with the purple one!).

Anyway, now we get to the "meat" of this post. You know, the part where I write about Petite Plus Size stuff. The 3.1 Phillip Lim collection for Target actually has some items that fit plus sizes! I don't know if they did it intentionally, but whether they did or not, hooray!!!

Here is a list of the things I tried and how they fit:

  • First up, The BOOM! Sweatshirt - I love this thing. I don't really know why, I just do. The XL fits me, albeit a little tightly. If you wear a size 14-18, this will probably fit you. I wear a 20, so it's maybe a little tighter than I would like, but since most people seem to prefer wearing clothing a little more tightly than I do this would probably fit my fellow size 20 wearers as well. It's got a cute hemline and is just the right length as far as I'm concerned, so it might be a little short on taller people. I bought this one and I'm keeping it. Verdict: fits a size 20! Eureka!
  • Sparkle Dress in Blue - this looked so pretty on the hanger, despite its being a sort of shapeless sack. (And when I see a shapeless item on a hanger, my first thought is, "I'll give it some shape!") I tried it on in size XL. Strangely enough, it fit great in the torso but was too tight in the hips. I am bigger up top, so that rarely happens! Verdict: if you're a size 18 or smaller, this should fit, though I don't know how well. 
  • Sparkle Peplum Top in Black - this is an awesome top. Again, tried the XL. Unfortunately, I'm too busty for it, so I got smooshed. Didn't look pretty. But if you're a size 20 and not super busty, it will probably look great. It almost looked nice on me. It gave me a waist, which I don't actually have! Also, it stretches, so it might fit even if you have a big gut like mine. Not for those of us with bigger boobs, though. Verdict: may fit other size 20s without huge boobs, and will probably fit (and flatter) those who wear lower sizes.
  • Sparkle Tank in Grey  - Too long and too clingy in the butt area. Verdict: not for Plus Petites.
  • Long-Sleeve Blouse in Green - Another "almost." If you're a size 18 or below, you can probably pull this off, BUT you'll probably have to wear it tucked in because it's quite long and the hemline is weird. I thought it was rounded in front and squared off in the back, but the pictures on the website make it look like a normal high-low, so maybe that was just my perception. And another surprise: it wasn't too tight in the boobs, just in the tummy area! Verdict: beautiful color, too long and too tight on me, but will probably work for anyone even a little smaller even if you're busty. Don't get it if you're like me and hate to tuck in shirts!
  • Drop Dress in White/Black - I wanted this to fit so badly. It was just a little too tight. Again, if you're a size 18 or lower, it'll probably fit. Sigh. Also, the length was still above-the-knee on me (but not by much). Verdict: size 18 or lower, this may work for you.
  • The BOOM! Sweater Dress - Honestly, I tried this on just for a laugh. I thought it would look ridiculous on me. It actually didn't look so ridiculous. It clung to my curves, but in a good way--the sweater is really stretchy. The dress came down to my knees. If I could wear really high heels, I bet this would actually look kind of adorable. Verdict: will even fit a size 20 but might be a little long on a Plus Petite.

As for the rest of the items in the collection, they either haven't shown up in a size XL in our local store yet, or I just haven't liked them enough to try them on. Please let me know if you've had different experiences with the items I wrote about, or if you have info about the other pieces in this collection that might be helpful for other petite plus size ladies!

Also, a little message from me to Target: please, please, PLEASE start making your designer collaborations in larger sizes! Just XXL and XXXL and so many of us would be so much happier, and we'd gladly spend our hard-earned money at YOUR STORE! It's a win-win! Seriously!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I feel so lucky right now. Even with all the trials and tribulations that come with finding clothing that fits someone shaped like me and who is similarly modest, I've had some great retail therapy finds lately. I have to share these with you!

First up: dresses. I have spent many a spring/summer searching for that perfect dress, the one I can dress up to wear to work and dress down to wear casually that doesn't have to be dry cleaned and is comfortable. Being petite and a large size, I rarely come up with anything spectacular. Usually, dresses are too long, too big in one area and too small in another, and/or just the wrong shape or cut or fit get it, I'm sure. A week or so, I went out on a limb and ordered some dresses from Macy's. Macy's has long been one of my favorite stores, but for the past few seasons I've been pretty disappointed with their offerings.

Here's what I got in today's mail:
(Sans models, of course.) By some stroke of sheer luck, I managed to order the correct size for each one. (In the first dress, I needed a 2X; in the second, a 20W; and in the last, a 1X!) That was some crazy guesswork.

Usually, for every dress I find that fits me and maybe looks good, I have to try on about 20. I held my breath as I put on the solid purple one, the first one I tried, an A-Line dress by ING. I had no idea whether this would fit or not, since it's technically a "Juniors" dress and I am, uh, probably a few years older than most who shop in the Juniors section.

It is adorable! It fits closely on top, which ordinarily would turn me off as I like things loose and comfy, but it just looks good that way and feels fine. It's got a nice scoop neckline in front and in back. And the best thing? It comes to just above my knees. Above-the-knee dresses make me look better, since I'm such a shorty; but I can never find them in my size! Even "Plus Petite" dresses are too long. So, yay Juniors! I could probably get away with wearing this to work, to a party, or just wherever. And it looks great with my scarves (yes, I own one of each of these as well as trying to sell them on eBay--they are fantastic), and any long scarves in general. 

Then it was on to the purple multicolor dress below, the one that has sort-of-but-not-quite horizontal stripes. (I despise the horizontal stripe fashion trend, but these are cool and uneven-looking and besides, these are my colors!) Again, perfect fit. This Keyhole A-Line dress by Elementz is looser than the first dress, even though they are both "A-Line." Whatever. Anyway, it's loose but not too loose. It's flattering. It goes down to about knee-length on me. Again, great for any occasion. Not so sure about the metal thingy on the keyhole part of the neckline, but I can work it. Also, since I'm pimpin' my scarves, it looks great with this one.

Finally, the black dress with the black and white pattern by AGB. I wasn't expecting to like this--but once again, perfect fit and super-flattering. This one I see more as a business casual than a casual dress. It looks awesome with a string of pearls. The waistband actually sits at my natural waist (not below, like most dresses of this sort, or above like empire-waisted dresses). It goes down a little below my knees, but it doesn't look too long. 

I am so, so, so happy with these! I look good in them! My husband really likes them! I do not often wear dresses, but that may change in the very near future because these 3 are so great. Now I just need the right shoes...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

An apology and some summer pics

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've been unable to buy clothing for a while, which limits my fashion blogging potential a little (or at least the ability to post pictures of myself wearing cute stuff). I have also been having a lot of difficulty finding clothing that's decent for petite plus-sizers, or at least those who are built like me. Don't worry--I'm not giving up! I'm sure I'll have plenty of new blog fodder soon, when I actually start exploring the Fall styles.

Here I am on my mom's birthday, May 30th. Yeah, it's been a while since this was taken, but this is one of my favorite tops so I thought I would share. It's made by Daniel Rainn. I'm wearing a size 1X, but it turns out the XL also fits. In fact, the XL is a completely different fit, with a much shorter high-low hemline. I'll get a pic of myself in that one eventually. Anyway, I like the relaxed fit of this one, too, so I've kept both! It is a semi-sheer shirt, but I haven't found that I need to wear a camisole underneath, at least not if I'm wearing a nude-colored bra.

(This top is also on sale in my eBay store now through Sunday at 20% off. Here is a link if you're interested.)

And here I am the next evening, ready for date night with my husband. I'm wearing an Old Navy ruched-neck t-shirt in Petite XXL. I have this shirt in a rainbow of different colors. It was very inexpensive and I love the fit, and it's great for hotter days. I haven't been brave enough to go sleeveless this summer due to big stretch marks on my upper arms, but these are close enough to sleeveless to be comfortable. (I've seen some blogs preach body acceptance to the point of "loving" your stretch marks, but I'm sorry, I'm just not there yet and I don't know if I ever will be!) The skirt is actually a size XL from Max Studio that I bought a long time ago, and it always fits because it's got a very elastic waistline and a loose fit. It's made of a heavy cotton.

My usual Clarks sandals in both pictures!

Re: my last blog post, I am still trying to lose weight (I'm down a few pounds so far). It's a struggle because I tend to binge eat and I don't exercise much, but I'm working on those things. My goal--which I will try not to beat myself up over if I don't meet--is to be down to a size 16 again for my cousin's wedding next June. I hope that's realistic for me.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The journey begins...

I have just returned from a visit with a cardiologist. She gave me a big lecture on how I should lose weight. Yeah, I am aware that I shouldn't be eating 3 scoops of ice cream a night (with toppings). Maybe some people can be healthy at my current height and weight, but I am not. I do not exercise. I eat lots of baked goods. I need help. So I've joined and enlisted a close friend who's recently lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers to be a sort of mentor. Also, my EKG results were normal. Yay!

I am NOT implying that other plus size women need to do the same--we are all individuals with our own paths to follow. I am also not saying that I'm trying to get out of the petite plus size range. That is an unrealistic goal for me. It would be nice to be a size XL instead of XXL or XXXL, so that's what my goal is. I want to lose about 40-50 pounds, slowwwly. I will not starve myself. I will try to build healthy habits that I can keep up.

That said, I am still going to blog about petite plus size fashion! So here I am. Sorry about having neglected the blog for a bit. I have some pictures to post soon.