Top 10 Outfits of 2013
NEW POST: It’s The Final Countdown!
Oh 2013… you were fabulous and awful, all at once. (But what year isn’t, amiright?) But instead of focusing on the negs, I’m gonna zero in on all the wonderful things of 2013.
I began my Refinery29 contribution in 2012, and was asked to contribute twice a week (and got a pay bump), which to me is a great sign of an increase of interest in plus-size fashion.
I moved back to downtown Jersey City (finally!) and found a fab brownstone apartment mere blocks from the PATH station.
I started a new job in NYC at a major company where I actually get to put my writing skills to use. (And now I’m closer to friends and getting NYFW shows will be even easier in 2014).
So, besides all those things, there were outfits, and some of them you really seemed to like. But this post is about me, and the things I like, so… in no particular order, here are my top 10 favorite looks of 2013!
NEW POST: Snap To Attention
One of the most pervasive patterns on the runways and sidewalks seems to be camo (much to my hubby’s dismay), so when I saw this print on such a flattering pant, I knew they’d be a hit. The rough-and-tumble history of the pattern begged to be paired with an edgy top (I’m not so much a “leather and lace” person as a “leather and leather” person), and Mynt1792’s vegan-leather top seemed like a natural fit.
I’m kinda obsessed with this top; the vegan-leather front is buttery soft and feels like the real thing, and the knit back & sleeves allow for more movement and breathability (and the exposed back zipper is a nice touch).
Whether you’re looking to join a street rumble or just kick it with your girls, this outfit is sure to make everyone stand at attention.
Necklace: Ann Taylor
The Plus Size Woman’s Ultimate Style Guide
(This article was originally written by me, and appeared on Refinery29. You can read the original here.)
We know how tough shopping can be when you’re plus-size. Some stores think that just because you’re bigger, you’re shaped like a box and want to spend your life frumping around in a big black sack. Thankfully, more and more companies are wising up, so — good news — there’s been an increase of plus-size-specific stores (both brick & mortar and online) and an expansion of sizes within existing brands (like GAP, ModCloth, etc.).
But now that there are even more options for full figure fashion than ever before, plus-size women are finding themselves with a new challenge: how to wear those styles that they never even had the option of before! But before you get flustered, take a moment and heed our body-positive style advice. Soon enough, you might even find yourself in a crop top!
Make A Point To Show Off Your Best Assets
Everyone has a part of their body they like to show off. If you worship your waist, bring in the focus by cinching your middle with a beautiful belt. If you love your legs, show them off with patterned or colorful shorts and skirts. Adore your arms? Stick with sleeveless shirts that let them take focus.
Head Online To Expand Your Range
While many “straight-size” brands keep their stock below a size 14 in stores, their size range can be more expansive online. Gap offers up to a size 20, Old Navy goes up to size 30, and department stores like Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s offer up to a size 24W online. Also, U.K.-based stores like ASOS Curve, Evans, and Dorothy Perkins offer shipping perks if you spend above a certain amount of money, so you don’t have to deal with pesky international charges.
Build Your Foundation The Smart Way
If you want to let it all hang out, that’s your prerogative, but if you’re looking for a smooth silhouette, you should invest in the right shapewear. From high-waist thigh trimmers to stomach-slimming tank tops, there’s a plethora of plus-size shapewear styles available both online and in store.
Additionally, more than 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, and the more of a fuller figure or fuller bust you have, the more obvious it is when you’re stuffed in the wrong size. Take a trip to a specialty bra store or to the lingerie department of a major department store and get a proper bra fitting. Can’t make it into a store? Websites like Bare Necessities can help fit you over the phone (and their bras go up to a 56 band & N cup)!
We also have to talk about Chub Rub. It isn’t fun; it can ruin summer outfits, and if your thighs touch — regardless of your size — you’ve had to deal with this problem especially in hot weather. Whether you’d prefer to slip on some lightweight SPANX, pull on an anti-chafing thigh band, or use an anti-chafe gel, there’s no reason you have to suffer.
Doesn’t Fit Quite Right? Tailor It So It Does
So, you find a hot dress that fits your hips but is too baggy in the waist…get thee to a tailor, ASAP! It’s challenging to find a perfect fit, but a tailor can make an off-the-rack item look custom-made for your curves (which is also a great tip to making a dirt-cheap item look expensive).
Don’t Be Scurred, It’s Only Patterns!
With more trendy styles in stores than ever before, there is no excuse to hide your curves in another black wrap dress. Embrace colors and patterns — yes, you can wear stripes (in any direction), polka dots, floral and more! Loud prints can bring emphasis to the area you wear them, so pay attention to where you’re wearing your prints. If you’ve got a great ass, there’s nothing sexier than a high-waisted printed pencil skirt. If you want to direct attention to your décolletage, try out a printed blouse or tank.
Find Inspiration From Other Plus-Size Pros
The internet is filled with amazing plus-size bloggers (ahem, like yours truly) who not only have amazing personal style but are more likely to resemble your body type than the average plus-size model. Whether you’re a size 14 or a size 30, apple-shaped or hourglass, ultra-girly or super-edgy, there’s a style blog that can speak to you! Find a blog that speaks to you and mine them for visual inspiration (don’t forget to check out the comments suggestions for even more info!).
Dare To Wear…Everything!
Forget all those antiquated rules that say only specific body types can wear certain types of clothing; from crop tops and jumpsuits to bikinis and body-con dresses, plus-size women can pull off any trend! It’s all about finding the right size, cut and style that fits and flatters your curves. Again, plus-size bloggers can help you with specific styling dilemmas, but there’s really nothing like just trying things on. In order to rock the ish out of a certain trend, you need to give yourself the opportunity to try it out first.
NEW POST: It’s The Crops!
This past Saturday I was invited to a fabulous rooftop brunch hosted by SWAK Designs. With temps in the broiling 90s, I knew I would need an outfit that was both stylish and cool. One of the easiest ways to keep your cool on sizzling summer days is with light, breathable cotton.
Obviously obsessed with these bird-printed ASOS peg pants, it was an easy starting point to base my outfit around. And what better way to funk up high-waisted pants than with a trendy crop top? While the top itself was very basic, it was a great canvas to display my gorgeous new crystal nOir necklace.
Surprisingly, my Schutz sandals were actually comfortable enough for hours of clomping around the city. With their chunky heel, ankle strap and zero platform, I felt well supported while still looking fashionable.
Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Bag: MICHAEL Michael Kors
Necklace: nOir Jewelry
London Times Loves: Style Writer Extraordinaire, Liz Black
(This interview originally ran on the London Times blog, you can view that article here.)
As a contributor to many of LT’s daily reads and the author of her own blog, P.S. It’s Fashion, Liz Black is nothing short of a style expert here in NYC. She’s also a pioneer for plus size fashion, and never seems to shy away from telling it like it is. If you don’t already know her, you need to. Read up!
First off, where are you from and how did you get into fashion and blogging?
I’m from New Jersey (I currently live in Bloomfield). I always had a love of fashion (I wrote Betsey Johnson a letter when I was 10, saying I wanted to work in fashion some day because of her), and once I was out of college I began a style blog. I created it mostly so that I would have writing samples to provide if I was ever asked for any; and I’m so glad I had them readily available when I was asked to intern at an online magazine. I went from intern to fashion editor in less than a month because of those clips, and I’ve been networking my way through the industry ever since!
My current blog, P.S. It’s Fashion, is only about a year & a half old, and I was encouraged to start a style blog because my fashion industry PR contacts had never seen a stylish larger woman before! The majority of my work between the first blog I created ages ago and my current blog has been focused on other style websites and magazines, such as the Huffington Post, City Magazine, Luckymag.com and Refinery29.
Tell us how you landed the Refinery 29 contributor gig.
I actually reached out to them to see if they were in need of a plus-size contributor and they were very receptive. I pitched a few article ideas and sent them some links to articles I’ve written (I also contribute to the Huffington Post and City Magazine, as well as my own plus-size style blog, of course), and they offered me the freelance contributor position.
I think this is an important lesson… sometimes, if you want something in life you need to put yourself out there and go get it. You can’t sit back and wait for opportunities to fall in your lap!
What are your favorite blogs/websites to visit for style inspiration?
Well, Refinery29, obviously. I also like DailyCandy, Stylecaster, Fashionista, ASOS (they have a great digital style magazine!), Luckymag, Glamour, Instyle, Marie Claire, etc. I do support a lot of other plus-size bloggers, and I love to see what they’re doing, but I actually take most of my style inspiration from straight-size websites/blogs and translate it into plus-size friendly outfits! I feel like if a smaller woman can pull it off, so can I!
Speaking of plus size style, it has really moved to the forefront of the fashion world over the past few years – why do you think that is?
The majority of the women in this country are a size 14 or above, and I think companies are finally beginning to realize how profitable that market is!
What progress do you think the industry still has to make with plus size fashion? What can brands do to better to cater to a wider range of women?
The smartest thing ANY brand can do is to make the exact same designs they have for straight-size women into plus sizes! We want those same trendy, edgy, fun, funky designs that smaller women wear, just give them to us in our size! To me it seems so obvious, but many retailers feel that plus-size women just won’t spend the money on quality or on something trendy.
Also, many existing plus-size brands need to step up their style game as well. We don’t want to wear only black wrap dresses and sack-like muumuus… Watch the trends coming off the runway, see what other straight-size lines are making, and get your designers to make those types of clothes before you lose the market to a new line!
Do you have a favorite London Times dress right now?
What are you most looking forward to wearing this spring and summer?
I love maxi skirts & dresses, and the warmer months are the perfect time to break them out!
Also, I love bright, vibrant colors & prints… this is the time to throw off all the black and embrace the dynamic shades of summer!
Be sure to keep up with Liz on twitter @TheLizBlack
Dress: London Times
Shoes: Boutique 9
Necklace: Lane Bryant
Blazer: Lane Bryant