Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Uh, Oh, Fall Is Coming ...

The weather is cooler (in the 70's!), there's a briskness in the air after Tropical Storm Irene, and even though it's still warm out, Halloween decorations and goodies are appearing in the stores along with back-to-school merchandise (I love me some back-to-school merch!).  So you know that means only one thing (well, two things actually):  Fall is on its way ... and those evil little monsters a/k/a "students" will soon be populating the streets, trains and buses again.  Ick.  The less said about them the better.  On the positive side (well, I'm trying to think positive, anyway, considering that Fall is the time of year I typically run into "mood disorder" trouble), there's all the new fashion coming out!

I was going to do a run-down of the trends, but you can get that anywhere.  So I don't think I'm going to do that.  So I have to figure out what I will do.  Does anyone have any requests of what they'd like to see me cover?  More denim?  Denim is really big this fall, and the trend is actually to have matching denim pieces, or mismatched denim pieces.  It's weird, huh, how one season can change things?  So now I'm glad I bought my denim 3-piece suit, because I'll be right on trend.  And that denim pencil skirt from Lane Bryant that I bought is everywhere.  And the denim trouser pant is right on trend, too, so as far as I'm concerned, I'm good to go!

Also, one of the great things I did with my money when I had it, was that I bought a black 3-piece suit - pants, jacket and pencil skirt.  I also had all my clothes tailored to fit me, so not only am I on trend, but I look good, too!  And I'm so glad I bought the black 3-piece suit, because I printed out The Closet Inventory from The Budget Fashionista, and one of the items she recommends getting is a black 3-piece suit, with skirt, pants and jacket.  She also recommends some things I don't have, like black pumps, a strappy evening sandal, a brown or black leather boot (I'd like to get a pair of boots this fall and I have my eye on a pair of Dr. Martens "Gaucho" boots - I'm just happy that I'm not working anymore and don't have to please anyone but myself when I dress, so I can whatever I want!) and a 3-piece suit in a neutral color.  She recommends white shirts, of which I have plenty, so I'm covered there.  I also have nude heels (not those nude Christian Louboutin platform heels you see all the celebrities wearing, LOL!).  My nude heels are really a blush pink color in a croc print and they're from Aerosoles.  I think these can take the place of black pumps, unless I wear black hose, in which case ... I'm screwed, I think.

Also, I have some really great resources for tights (We Love Colors, Avenue, Spanx) and J. Jill sent me their new catalog and they go up to a size 4X.  They have a great easy-wear and easy-care line called the Wearever line, which features simply styled dresses, jackets, skirts, tops and pants and cardigans, suitable for traveling and getting through a busy day.  I would say these outfits could go easily from work, to meetings, to social gatherings.  I'm glad to see a straight-size retailer getting in on the action in the plus-size market, and not just offering sizes up to 22-24.  It would be great if more retailers saw the potential in offering a wider assortment of sizes, both large and small.

You know what else would be great?  If all retailers adhered to the same standard sizes.  I find even within their own brands, they don't do that.  With Coldwater Creek for example, last year I bought two cardigans from them, that were size 2X, the largest they had.  I'm usually a 3X and I was swimming in them!  Meanwhile, I can't wear their size 24 pants because they're too small.  Also, why don't they offer plus sizes in the store?  I very rarely see extended sizes in their store - if I do, it's usually out-of-season merchandise that looks like a hairball a cat coughed up.  Seriously, it's wrinkled, it's stained, it's damaged ... show us plus-size gals some love, CC!  Don't be h8trz!

And, to get back to the sizing dilemma, in Lane Bryant sizes I can take a 22-24 top and bottom, but sometimes I have to go up to a 26 - and then the garment is too big in the waist and I have to have it tailored.  Same problem with LL Bean.  I love LL Bean (don't tell anybody, but I think they're my favorite retailer) but I recently bought a denim skirt from them (see the post I did on denim a few weeks ago) and it fit nicely through the hips, and the length was good, but the waist!  OMG!!!  It came down to just above my hips, not at my waist at all (I have a high waist).  So I was spending the day pulling my skirt up by the waist.  Obviously, I should've gotten it tailored to fit, but I was anxious to wear it.  Well, marry in haste, repent at leisure, I always say.  Often I rush into something only to regret it later.  I can always get it tailored, though.  We'll just put it in the clothing care budget for next month.  LL Bean fitted clothes are usually too big in the waist for me, whereas their Perfect Fit Pants fit, well, perfectly.  No alterations needed.  Elastic waistbands work wonders.

Well, it's nearly 2 AM.  A question to my readers (all 9 of you):  Do you find that clothes generally fit you, or do you have to have them altered, and are there any brands that fit you better than others?  In general, what have your experiences been with finding clothes that fit, whatever your size?  I know smaller-sized women have issues with clothing fit, as well, as do tall women.  I'd like to hear from you!  Does anyone else have these problems?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lingerie Loves Your Curves

Well, it's late, but better late than never, right?  Right!

The challenge for "Lingerie Loves Your Curves" week was to write about how you were treated differently because of your size, how the fashion industry perceives women of size, and assorted other topics.

Well, I didn't write about how I was treated on school based on my size, because when I was in school I wasn't large - I was a little meatier than some kids, but my weight never went above 140 until I was in my 20's.  I did have a therapist when I was in my 20's who was always on my case to lose weight.  Therapists seem to like to do that.  My therapist now gets on my case for losing weight.  But back to school - when I was in school, kids had so many other "reasons" to pick on me - I was weird, I played violin, I was a bookworm, and generally considered an oddball, so my weight wasn't really the issue as much as my personality.  I liked that I was weird and not like other people, I liked standing out from the herd, so I figured, "F*K 'em if they can't take a joke."  Really, I don't know where I got my spunk from, but I had a lot of it.  I hear a lot of my friends talking now about how they tried to fit in when they were in school, and really, I just never bothered, because I never saw the point.  I don't know if I would have handled it the same way if people had picked on me because of my size.  I like to think I would have.  Now that I am, shall we say, "a woman of size," I still don't take crap from people on account of my size.

As far as the fashion industry goes, acceptance of people of all sizes still has a long way to go.  I like the fact that there are now more plus-size models, like Ashley Greene and Lizzie Miller, who have become superstars.  It's an improvement from when I was working in the fashion industry.  We're still a long way from banishing the anorexic models usually seen on the haute couture runways, and it seems like the more women of size make strides in being accepted in the fashion industry and in society in general, the smaller the women in the fashion spreads and on the runways become.  I don't think the backlash is inevitable.  I really think the fashion industry's standards of beauty, though they have evolved, is dictated by some people, mostly men, at the top of the industry, who create and generate the images you see for mass consumption.  In other words, it's a manufactured backlash.  As such, it can be countered by different images and role models of women, of all shapes, sizes, colors and cultures.  I think it's important for retailers and designers to cater to the population of women to whom they market their products, and to be inclusive.

Diversity benefits everyone.  Well, everyone except maybe Karl Lagerfeld ...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

For All You Denim Lovers ...

I was looking at Real Simple's online magazine today and guess what?  They have beaucoup information on denim!  Take a look:

http://browse.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/jeans-pants/index.html

Real Simple is a great magazine with lots of good information and colorful pictures, so I recommend you give them a try!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Truth in Advertising

It's come to my attention through this post in this blog ....

http://smartypanties.com/2009/10/20/ftc-endorsement-guidelines-what-bloggers-should-know-and-whats-going-down/

and similar blog posts in the same blog, that bloggers are required by the FTC to disclose their sources of revenue, and whether they're getting compensated in cash or in kind by the companies whose products they review or feature in their blogs.

Well, I never receive revenue from any of the products or companies you see in my blog.  When I started this blog, I knew I wanted it to be a revenue-free zone (pretty weird, right?).  You see, I'm on a fixed income from disability and anything I earn I have to report to the government, because I can't earn above a certain amount in any month.  So it would be a TREMENDOUS pain in the ass for me to collect revenue from companies, report it to the government and then have to worry about going over the limit of what I can earn in that month.  Also, and more important, I wanted to be an honest blogger.  If I hate something, I want to be able to say I hate it without having to worry about nastiness and repercussions from a company.  I want my opinions to be totally my own.  Because, fundamentally, that's all they are:  Opinions.  I expect you, as a discerning reader, will take them with a grain of salt and come to your own conclusions.  Also I didn't want to be the type of blogger who tries every product thrown at her, only to say to her readers:  "This product is great!  It cleared my skin/eliminated my lines/washed my dishes and cooked dinner to perfection!!!"  Because you would be able to tell I was bullshitting you.  And even if you couldn't, I could.  And I don't want to do that.  I've known a few of you for a long time now, and even if I haven't known you for years, I have enough respect for all of you not to insult your intelligence.

So rest assured, the opinions in this blog are totally my own, and I'm not under the influence of any companies, authors, online or brick-and-mortar retailers, publishing companies, psychiatric institutions, tattoo and piercing parlors, alternate realities or TV shows (heck, I don't even own a TV!).  However, in the interest of full disclosure, I am under the influence of psychotropic and medicinal drugs, so there may occasionally be a warp in the space/time continuum, a blip on the screen of reality, while I'm writing this blog.  You have been warned.

Also in the interest of full disclosure, I read MANY, MANY magazines:  O, People, People StyleWatch, More, InStyle, Real Simple, Storage and expected to arrive soon in the mail, Better Homes & Gardens.  I also read the New York Times online.  The Post and the News can go choke on their own sputum for all I care.  They are rags fit only for wrapping fish.  I also happily purchase most of my books from Amazon.com.  The less I have to go out and interact with people and The Great Outdoors the happier I am.  Did I mention my neighborhood has no sidewalks?  It's a real challenge getting anywhere while avoiding being hit by a vehicle.  Try it sometime!  Believe me, you'll develop a new appreciation for life.