For many of you the July 4Th weekend starts today and there are a ton of sales going on. Now is a great time to create that summer wardrobe you’ve always wanted. If you’re anything like me a big SALE sign in red makes you jump and down with glee as if you were an 8 year old kid. After many blunders with purchasing sale items, I feel like I have mastered how to prevent myself from buying things just because their on sale. It’s really hard when you see a top for $5.99, but sometimes it’s better to leave those items in the store and take the $5.99 and buy lunch.
My tips for shopping the SALE rack:
1) Get to the store early in the morning between 1-2 hours after the store opens. This will offer you a better selection of sizes and style choices.
2) Try it on. The worst thing is to purchase a sale item and it doesn’t fit properly. You basically waisted your money.
3) Eat something before you shop, this will give you an idea of how things will look on you after your full or bloated. Have you ever bought a dress and convinced yourself that it will only look good if you don’t eat anything, who wants to be around other people looking cute and your stomach starts to growl. Not sexy!
4) Set a realistic budget. This will keep you from going in the red on your bank statements. Once you set that budget only carry that amount of cash on you. This way you won’t be tempted to spend more. DO NOT BLOW YOUR RENT MONEY on shopping. You will be homeless with a new wardrobe and no where to put it. That is not cute!
Below are a list of stores that are having sales worth mentioning:
Additional 30% of sale price (in store only)
15% off $100 or more (online only)
Sizes-XS-XL and 0-16
Additional 25% off when you use your Old Navy card
Plus regular sales up to 50% off original prices
sizes XS-XXL and 2-20
New York & Company
Additional 20% off sale items
Ann Taylor Loft
Additional 25% off sale items and up to 60% off regular prices
Up to 70% off original prices
sizes XS-XL and o-18
Up to 60% off regular priced items
Box Sale starting at $9.99
Plus take an additional 30% off clearance items
Plus $15 off every $60 you spend
40% off tees and Polo’s
Sizes XS-L and 0-14
American Eagle Outfitters
Up to 70% off sale items
sizes XXS-XXL and 0-18
Additional 25% off clearance
Lord & Taylor
45%-75% off sale items
Plus an additional 20% off sale items when you print out the savings pass
If you sign up for email, most stores will offer an additional 15%-20% discount on your purchases
**If you are one of the many people who cannot afford to participate in the July 4Th Weekend shopping, then the budget friendly thing to do is shop your closet. Try mixing and matching different tops and bottoms to create different outfits. Many of us have tons of clothes in our closet that we have never worn or that we have worn once. This weekend is a great opportunity to DE-clutter your wardrobe.
This morning I was thinking about a very close family member of mine who hates showing her arms because she thinks they are too big. She looks at me like I am crazy whenever I mention her showing her arms. I remember when I used to be that way when one of my big headed cousins told me my arm looked like a chitlin (It was funny), that’s when I started to become self conscious. After awhile, I stopped caring because I started feeling limited when buying summer clothes because so many things are sleeveless and sometimes its just too hot for any kind of sleeve in the late summer months.
I am a firm believer of making the body you have work for you because there is too much great fashion to limit myself due to a little arm baggage. However, I do understand that it takes some time to become comfortable with your least favorite body parts. If you are someone who hates showing off your arms, there are a myriad of options out there for you besides long sleeve.
Fashion Savvy tips for arm cleavage:
1) If your arms are thick and bulky you may want to avoid cap sleeves. Cap sleeves normally stop about an inch or two under the shoulder. This can draw extra attention to the bulkiness of your arm. Instead, find sleeves that hit you in the middle of your arm. This will make your arm look a little smaller and will balance out the bulk.
2) Flutter or Dolmen sleeves are also great at camouflaging stretchmarks or cellulite in the arm
3) For those of you whose arms are the least favorite part of your body and you you still like to expose them, I suggest trying halters or sweet heart neckline tops and dresses. I think it takes attention away from your arms and it puts the focus on your shoulders decolletage.
If you want to tone up your arms once and for all, see my fitness tip below;
My Arm Fitness Tip:
Buy a set of 3-5 pound dumbbells and every night do 3 sets of 10 for a week and every week there after move your reps up. This will add definition and shape to your arms.
And remember never let the imperfections of your body take control of your life or closet.
For those of you who have not heard, Jimmy Choo is coming to H&M this November. They are doing a low end line for the Fall season at H&M. Check out the story at http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2009/06/christmas_just_came_early_jimm.html?mid=fashion-alert–20090617
Which brings me to today’s story:
Do you ever wake up in the morning sometimes and look in the mirror and just say to your yourself. “I have a pretty nice body.” Of course, every morning isn’t that way, but you get atleast one feel good body moment a month. Well, yesterday, I had one of those mornings. It was casual Friday at work and I woke up feeling so good about myself that I grabbed my skinny ankle zipper jeans with a white collared shirt and my favorite black blazer that I bought at the gap. I put on my beige snakeskin 4 inch Nine West pumps and Michael Kors (Another one of my favorite designers) shades and walked to the train station listening to my summer anthem “Diva” by Beyonce on my ipod. In the words of Kanye West, ” You could’nt tell me nothing.”
Of course I took a slow walk to the train because whenever I think I look cute and I try to walk fast, I seem to miss a step and trip over my feet. Whenever I trip, I always think about Jerome from Martin and I say to myself, “I’m too smooth to be embarrased.” But, I still feel stupid inside.
I don’t know what it is about skinny jeans but, I just love them. They accentuate your hips and I swear they lift your butt. When worn with high heels you can’t help but to get your Naomi Campbell walk on. Skinny jeans on a big butt, wide hips, or thick legs, brings a hint of sexiness when worn with the right top. Unfortunately, all skinny jeans are not made equal so be sure to take heed to my tips below:
1) If your hips are the most prominent part of your body (I say let it all hang out), but if you are not at that level of comfortability with that part of your body, you should wear a top that hits you at the top to mid section of the hips. This will make it look as if you lost a few inches in your hip area and it gives you a nice proportion and balance.
2) If you have a big butt and you want to show it off, get a pair of skinny jeans with back pocket designs or try a colored pair of skinny jeans. These are great from Dereon for $69 sizes 1/2-11/12 and the fushia skinny pants from Tripp jeans at Torrid.com for $48 sizes 12-24
I thought to myself, she’s not talking to me. So, just as she did, I looked myself up and down and behold I saw the puffiness from the pleats and sure enough, I was looking at least 4 months pregnant. The horror!
Whenever I buy clothes, I analyze them to death to make sure it is the right item for me. The dress I had on was a pink dress I purchased at Ann Taylor Loft (One of my favorite stores for work and weekend clothes). The dress has a rounded v-neck and an empire waist that hits under my bustline with light pleating. Now, normally, I try not to buy empire waists because I do think they make you look pregnant. After just having a baby, looking pregnant is the last thing I want. I obviously failed that mission this time.
When I got home from work, I did a ten minute analysis on the dress and tried to figure out, how did I manage to look pregnant in this dress. Of course, the obvious is to cut back on the Papa Johns, but, even when I see people with flat stomachs, they still manage to have little baby bumps as well. Then it hit me. All Empire waists are not created equally. Especially when you are trying to camouflage a stomach.
Below are my tips to avoid my incident from happening to you:
1) If you have a round puffy stomach, you may want to avoid pleated high cut empire waists. Instead go for a smocked empire waist that hits in the middle . Its like cutting the stomach in half. Like this one from American Eagle on sale for $11.95 comes in sizes XS-XXL. I am purchasing this one today.
2) If you have a flat stomach (and yes you can be plus size with a flat stomach) the higher smocked empire waist that hits right above your bustline flatters the best. Like this one also from American Eagle on sale for $11.95 also comes in XS-XXL
For all my big bosom buddies out there, I have found some great tops to get you through the summer. I know first hand how difficult it can be to stop your boobs from playing peek-a-boo with strangers.
I have always been a fan of Gap button up shirts for women who have full breasts and thick arms. The white cuffs gives this otherwise plain shirt a little excitement.
Everyone always says a v-neck is the best for large breast. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a closet full of v-necks. So, I say try a pleated neck or a crew neck with ruffle sleeves which will balance out a large chest. Check out these two from Ann Taylor.
Tip for keeping the girls in check:
If your button ups keep popping open, take them to the cleaners and ask them to put Velcro in the area it keeps popping open
Many people think that just because you have hips and a big ‘ole’ butt that you should avoid pencil skirts. I totally disagree with that fashion rule for the curvy. I think pencil skirts can highlight the shape of your body whether you are a size six with hips and/or butt or you are a size 18. When it comes to pencil skirts, I believe in getting the cut for your butt. I remember when I was in college and I had this male friend who would call me hips and dips because my hips and butt were the most prominent accessory on my body. You could see them coming from a mile away. Although I laughed at his joke (It was funny) it made me feel a little insecure about wearing anything fitted on the lower half of my body.
Then one day, I received a compliment from a gentle men caller (I love this phrase from The Glass Menagerie), who loved that I had ‘Big Ole’ hips and a booty that I decided to show them off. Ever since 2002 I’ve been putting them on display (See pic at top left). Now for those young ladies out there with hips and dips, I suggest that you put your lower half curves on display and check out this pencil sateen cobalt blue pencil skirt from Torrid Sizes 12-26
and for my small waist big hip ladies check out this pleated tulip skirt from Forever 21 sizes XS-XL
Just let it all hang out.
For those of you who believe in looking your best whether its going to the store, going to work or going out to dinner, I am sure you can relate to this story.
My mom encouraged me to write this
Everyday I come into work, there is a co-worker who continues to ask me if my outfit or an item within my outfit is new. Not only does she ask if its new, she has to constantly make a fuss about how nice I look to the point that it becomes the topic of office conversation. I am all for girl power and complimenting your fellow girlfriend on how good she looks, but at some point a line needs to be drawn.
I came in on Monday, as soon as I saw her:
“Is that new?”
Tuesday, “Is that new?”
Wednesday, Is that new?”
Before I stapled her mouth shut, I had to kindly let “Ms. Is That New ” know that she has only known me for a short period of time, so, anything that I wear will be new to her.
After my little talk with her, I called up one of my girlfriends (as I always do when a co-worker annoys me), and dished about what happened. Little did I know, my friend was experiencing the same thing at her job. She had a co-worker who would excessively comment about how nice she looked and even went to the extent of informing her that she was going to go and buy the same exact outfit. WTF!
Why do females do this? Since I am a curvaceous female, I get this a lot, because people think if you are full figured that you are limited when it comes to fashion. When they see how well you put things together, I think maybe they are in awe (or just being jerks).
I run with a crew of very stylish females and this happens to them all the time. It becomes annoying when people start to think that all you care about is your looks or that you spend every dollar you make shopping and that is not the case.
I know you are probably reading this and saying to yourself, “so what, who cares, people are starving in Africa.” If you are, then maybe you are reading the wrong blog.