Let’s face facts – style is an expensive pursuit, even for the fairly frugal. Most fashionable people are passionate enough about the artistry and aesthetics of fashion, the ever-changing cuts, colors, patterns, and flourishes that define the brushstrokes of the designer’s vision, that they find themselves buying new clothes quite regularly. In order to curate a fully realized wardrobe that captures your evolving personal style, you have to shell out once in awhile for timeless staples that have the quality to last and be evergreen, and you have to keep up with current trends and select new styles that speak to you. That is usually a less pricey adventure, but it happens more often than forking over $175 for a perfect pair of ballet flats. In my case, I own about a dozen items over $100, but the vast majority of my clothing is bargain hunted from stores like Forever21 Plus, Old Navy, and Nordstrom rack. I doubt you’d be reading this blog if you hadn’t augmented your wardrobe since 2014. And lastly there are the specialty pieces that define your unique style. These could range from thrifted treasures, to beautiful delicate fiber jewelry from an Etsy boutique, to a collection of vintage iron-on patches from the 70s. All in all this adds to quite a heavy cash hit on the reg – often prohibitively expensive for many people to afford to really express themselves in an ideal manner. Enter my favorite solution for the style-obsessed: refashioned DIY clothing. One of the best things about this hobby is that much of the time you’re embellishing or repurposing clothing that you already own, but don’t wear (if you’re like me, you’re a lot fatter than you were in college, and a lot more picky about my style, so I have bags worth of old clothes that no longer fit either my tummy or my look. Refashioning ranges from the subtle (taking a boring plain t-shirt and altering the sleeves or adding a Peter Pan collar), to the radical (turning a thrifted men’s button-down into a skirt, say), to the just plain useful (adding a cloth or lace panel to enlarge a too-small shirt). In essence, for a usually very small outlay of cash, you can turn the long neglected functionless section of your wardrobe into a highly personal, unique, and brand new collection of wearable pieces! And they were mostly your clothes to begin with, so you don’t have to worry about finding your size! It’s s friggin’ miracle. A few notes: many of these tutorials require a range of sewing skills – from none at all, to fairly advanced. If you need to brush up on your sewing, there are a myriad of YouTube lessons and online courses. If you’re a beginner – shell out for a secondhand sewing machine. IMO every plus size fashionista should have one, along with a basic set of skills. Not only does the world of upcycling open up to you, but you can make your own clothes. And yes, there are a heap of great plus size sewing patterns out there. Check on Pinterest. Then develop another obsession: fabric shopping. Striped Cut-Out T-Shirt from Trash to Couture Men’s Shirt into a One Shoulder Wrap Top from A Pair and a Spare DIY Report: Balenciaga Crop Top from Follow Fashion How to Cut a T-Shirt into a Crop Top from Tomboy Vintage DIY Mesh Crop Top from Hello Gwen Upcycled Plain Tee – DIY from All Day Chic Iridescent Sneakers from P.S. I made this DIY Sequin Embellished Denim Shorts from A Pair and a Spare How Long Can I Get Away With This? from Cation Designs the refashioners 2015 – erin from Makery.uk the refashioners 2015 – sew over it (london) from Makery.uk T-SHIRT TO DRESS REFASHION WITH SCALLOPED HEM from Sew Much Love, Mary DIY Cross Flounce Top Refashion from Cotton and Curls Refashion Tutorial – Long Sleeves to Bow Sleeve T-shirt from Sew What’s New DIY Anthropologie-Inspired Top from Melody Fulone Anthropologie Tangerine Flicker Dress DIY from Our Life is Beautiful Skirt Refashion: How to make a button skirt from Cubic Dreams Refashion: DIY Color Block Tees from Uber Chic for Cheap T-SHIRT INTO SUMMER TOP DIY from Trinkets in Bloom Peplum Shirt Refashion from The Crafty Disaster
So I’m having a miserable…past 9 months, and sometimes you just gotta wear turquoise leggings and timberlands and be like “fuck it.” Hence today’s look. Also idk if you noticed, but I’ve gotten a little better at not posing like a goon. As you may recall, the dress and choker are new Forever21+. The leggings and jacket and sweater are all Old Navy, and the boots are from a photoshoot at Timberland (perks of the AD job! What do you guys think? Did my Partner do a good job as photographer, or..?
OK, so where have I been for the last several months? Well, I was probably asleep, but in the intervening time I seemed to have missed a truly wonderful trend. Enamel pins seem to be all over the place, and they range from truly beautiful, to hilarious, to fiercely feminist, to succulents (another side obsession that I will address.) There’s some kind of deeply punk, riot grrl aesthetic at play here which makes me want to cover myself from head to toe in these things. Here’s where I go crazy sharing pics. Here are a few of my favorites with links to purchase the heck outta them: Sass the Patriarchy on Etsy Please Let me Pet your Dog (Sold out, sadly) by Sighh Designs on Etsy Edgar’s Pin by NoFitState The Strange Women Society Do No Harm, Take No Shit by 1606 on Etsy Floral Manatee by ShopNDS on Etsy No Face Enamel Pin by GlitterGhostStore on Etsy Macaron Pins from pinclub.co.uk And, lastly but not leastly, Succulent Pin Set from BratBox. Not tired of Pins yet?
So idk where you live, but here in Boston the weather is just plain narsty – cold drizzle everywhere. So today I did what I always do when I wake up feeling like a sack of shit: I tried out a new makeup look! As a long time owner of both blue eyes and hooded eyelids, I’ve gradually learned some tricks to highlight my eye color and blend my eyeshadow so that you can actually see it, and it doesn’t get sucked into the black hole of my eyelid crease. Today I decided to go with something fresh and springy – rose gold. The raspberry color pops the blue in my eyes, and who doesn’t love a little sparkle? I’m gonna do a little mini-tutorial here, since I didn’t photograph it step by step, but just so that you get the gist. Here are the tools I used. So I ended up using: Urban Decay’s Electric Palette Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette NYX liquid eyeliner in black NYX Mascara Urban Decay Liquid Moondust Eyeshadow in Recharged Milani Liquid Lipstick in Chromatic Addict Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art in Desert Dazzle (just the glitter) Foundation of your choice (I usually use Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua, but I’m out NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Exotic MAC Paint Pot in Painterly Ok, so first I used the Paint Pot on my lids as primer and to even out the skin tone. If you prefer using primer for this, it shouldn’t make a difference. After priming, I started in with the lightest color towards the inside of my eye – in this case Champagne Truffle from the chocolate box. After sweeping that over my lid, I went in with my transition shade, Marzipan, and blended that thoroughly through the crease. I’m extremely fair skinned, so feel free to modify this with corresponding shades for darker skin tones. Then came the time to add the raspberry pop – I used the Jilted shade from the Electric Palette, fast becoming one of my favorite shades to jazz up subtle looks! This I blended through the crease, and in a wing shape from the outer corner of my eye. If I could only give one eyeshadow tip to anyone it would be blend blend blend!! You want the eyeshadow to fade naturally into your skin, not be left in a harsh line. Blend! And in this case, blend slightly upwards, to life the corner of your eye. At this point it was time to go in with the liquids to amp up the shimmer. I used the Milani gold shadow to really pop my lid, and then the gold sparkle from the Revlon duo, all over the lid, because…gold sparkle. You could leave it there, with mascara, for a softer look, but I’m nothing without my winged eyeliner, so I tightlined my eyes with the NYX liquid liner, and added a tiny flick of a wing. Pro tip: NYX Liquid Eyeliner is the only liquid eyeliner you would ever need. Don’t bother wasting $28 on some ridiculous Kat Von D or Stila at Sephora. NYX Eyeliner is under $10, and it’s perfection. Ok, we’re basically done! Just add mascara (and do your brows and add whatever skin regime you use – I’ve been using that UD Moondust Liquid eyeshadow as a rainbow highlighter for awhile and I love it!) Here are the results! If anyone likes this look and wants to try it, please please please send me a pic, and I’ll post it on here and be happy forever!!
I’m still not great at OOTD shoots, not having a DSLR (or a regular photographer), but I love this top (picked up at Target – ?!! – last year), and it goes well with the brightly printed peasant top. I paired it with a vintage mini backpack and some cheerful matching slingback heels for a summery look in the chill of Boston mid-spring. Look at the cute shoulder cutouts! (And btw the hat isn’t a cowboy hat, but to my dismay that’s how it looks in these photos. The pants are from Nordstrom Rack, the brand is Premise Studio, the shirt is last year F21 Plus, and the heels and bag are both vintage. The hat is from Old Navy. Love a good hat, don’t you? Oh and I might as well show off my new bralette from Re/Dress, one of my favorite online shopping stops!
Just to make you feel a little happy everytime your IPhone gives you a little boost of affirmation! I put my weird tripadelic narcolepsy aesthetic art onto some IPhone backgrounds and added some rad affirmations and positive mantras, so you can feel good about everything every time you look at your phone, plus extra cutting edge becuz my art super weird yo. I will have something similar next week as printable posters – I’m thinking illustrations of beautiful women of all types in swimwear, because in my head it’s almost summer. Maybe I’ll make them mermaids. Ooooh. Feel free to leave me suggestions for upcoming freebies! Love you bunchos! Hope you enjoy your digital swag!
And finally I can wear all the cute clothes that weren’t made in my size that I drooled over while watching Heathers or paging through Delia’s catalog! Forever21 Plus seems to have wholeheartedly embraced this 90s wave, offering an exciting array of neon and hologram accessories as well as plenty of cute mesh tops and crushed velvet dresses, perfect for festival season! This is my first dress purchase – a little crushed velvet number which makes me feel like I should be an extra in Scream. It’s short and sexy and I plan on wearing it with a number of chokers – velvet or otherwise. Here are a few ideas for what to pair with a velvet minidress: So. Have fun with that!
So lord knows I have enough side hustles to last me to the end of days, but my absolute favorite, one I love even more than fashion and showing off my chub to the world in killer outfits, is perfumerie. And the way in which I, in my small uneducated way, attend to my love for scent combining is a) perfume layering (more about that later), and b) making scented soy candles. Now of course my own scented candles are gorgeous and subtle and divine, but today I’m gonna recommend some other small-business owned candle companies that deserve some midnight burning on an outside deck, or beside a bathtub. Scents are a relatively inexpensive way of treating yourself, and add another layer of sensual enjoyment to many self care activities!! Wax and Wane Candles out of Connecticut, sell their simple but sophisticated scents in glass containers with minimal but fairly chic branding. Try their Twig and Moss scent for something earthy and woodsy. Truck and Barter uses gorgeous amber glass bottles for that old school apothecary look that looks beautiful in a bath or bedroom. Try their ‘Gold Coast’ Fig and Jasmine scent for something unexpected and sensual! Byreda Parfumes isn’t exactly a small business candle company, but they are also serious about their scent layering. And their black and gold candles say serious luxury. Try their ‘Apocalyptic’ scent, described as a rich, woody aroma from its fusion of Fire Iron, Black Raspberry, Dark Woods and Papyrus. Layered with scents of Oakmoss and Birch Woods for a warm fragrance. If that doesn’t sound like heaven to you… I just don’t know. For some true pampering, Tom Dixon – London has just released a line of truly stunning container candles in a range of innovative scents, Try his ‘Eclectic’ candle with its simple, sumptuous rose gold container, and its unique Crocus and Brick scent. Or, go for something sweet and comfy, like The Nomad Society‘s Daydreamer Candle. A warm, toasted coconut and vanilla scent that is perfect for daydreaming of summer tropical beaches! So fill your tub with bubbles or find a cozy nook and grab your journal – and light a gorgeous scented candle sure to add a little lustre to your me-time!
Lord knows I love my boho looks, especially anything that involves drapey, beautiful patterned outerwear, perfect for spring over skinny jeans and a peasant top, or for summer as a beach coverup or paired with worn denim shorts and a barely-there cami, or a brief little embroidered white dress. Kimonos are extremely trendy right now – so much so that in the time between researching this article and actually writing it, many of my favorites have sold out. But I’ll soldier on, anything in the name of fashion, and present to you my top 10 picks for spring/summer plus sized kimonos: 1. Floral Fringe Kimono from Melissa McCarthy Seven7 MM killing it again with this delicate, fringed number in a gorgeous sunset ombré of hues. Long kimonos are v retro, and remind me of Little Edie – something a gently kooky person from another era would wear and look unearthly – timelessly stylish and graceful. 2. Crane Kimono from Forever21 Plus F21+ seems to have a nearly unlimited range of kimonos to choose from this season, ranging from extremely pretty (the one I bought is no longer available), to, well, a little tacky. But there were a few nice enough to make this list, and this cheerful, silky, springtime item caught my eye. No fringe on this baby, but it makes up for it with a beautiful pinky coral color, and a delicate pattern that is anything tacky. 3. Yellow Tie-Back Floral Print Duster Coat from River Island Call it a Duster Coat, or an Open Front Cardigan – it’s still a kimono to me. You’re not fooling anyone, River Island copywriters. But, uh, regardless, this is a beautiful ‘Duster coat’. The print is delicate and the colors are unusual and striking. I can imagine this being flattering on everyone. 4. Women Floral Print Kimono Hippie Cardigan from NewChic This nice duotone version is fairly traditional and very boho-chic, and, at just over $11, is the only article of clothing on this list that I can currently afford. 5. Katana Kimono from Copper Union Love the sense of drama in this piece. Very modern-boho, and it would make a divine festival statement piece! 6. Embroidered Sleeve Kimomo Jacket from CityChic. This looks like a great night-time, more dressy kimono look, with a lovely embroidered detailing! 7. Medallion Print Kimomo Duster from Charlotte Russe. I love the sweet, slightly Victorian color-scheme of this piece, plus the price point is hard to beat! Another item worthy of Little Edie’s trousseau! 8. Fringed Kimono from F21 Plus. Ah, Forev, you never cease to surprise me with your trendy, affordable clothes, and massive selection of styles. I particularly like this version because it’s got a geometric vibe to it, while most of the other kimonos are floral. 9. Perfect Day Open Fringe Cardigan from McsKlozet. It quite literally doesn’t get any more boho than this. Love that retro vibe. 10. Jayley Silk Kimono from F21 Plus. I struggled picking this last one, I really did. There are so many gorgeous options out there, but I wanted to curate, because I heart curating – and besides, since when is being spoiled for choice, as a plus woman, ever been a BAD thing?? So I’m ending the list with this simple peach silk kimono that looks beautiful, but even better, looks silky and sexy and luxurious. Enjoy! Hope you found this list helpful! I bought my Kimono from F21, and I can’t stop wearing it!! Ok, ta-tah folks, feel good about yourselves every day!