A blog dedicated to plus size women who enjoy a classical and preppy lifestyle.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Prep'd Picks | Quintessentially Preppy

I had a reader request a post for what I would consider "quintessentially" preppy staples. Since we're heading into fall I picked out a few things inspired straight from the pages of The Official Preppy Handbook.

Loafers | There are many styles and colors available in loafers but you can't beat the classic penny loafer. If you don't have a pair yet, consider picking up a pair in one of the traditional colors of burgundy, black, or brown.
How to style: Use loafers as a replacement for boat shoes during the fall through spring months. Occasionally I'll wear them in the summer but not very often. Loafers are usually worn sockless but if you're pairing them with slacks for work trousers I think trouser socks would be fine. Bass Weejuns are the gold standard and come in around the $100 mark. For those on a tighter budget, consider this Lauren Ralph Lauren pair for under $50.

Boat and Tote Bag | Another absolutely original preppy piece with a mandatory monogram. L.L. Bean and Lands' End both make a good tote although I slightly lean LLB. Lands' End offers more variety including prints and critters.
How to style: The more beat up, the better.

Classic Wool Blazer: This, dear readers, is truly a plus size preppy unicorn. 100% wool, lined, and all the right details. This is probably the preppiest piece on this list. It's from Lands' End so take advantage of their frequent one day sales to grab it at a great price.
How to style: Simply put, with everything for the next decade. You'll then wish you had bought another one.

Blouses of all types |  Wear 'em to work and wear 'em on the weekends. From the true OG OCBD (oxford cotton button down) to the tie neck blouse I showed here, they're worth their weight in gold. I love the colors of this blouse but it also comes in a navy or white.
How to style: Tie neck blouses are one of the hot styles for fall and really, I don't think they really ever do. However, skip the skinny jeans and grab some flares to look on trend and still classic.

Plaid Puffer Vest | If you already have a solid-colored vest, a plaid version is a fun addition to your outerwear wardrobe. It's a nice contrast among the sea of black and navy vests that are everywhere during the fall.
How to style: With a fair isle sweater, corduroys, and near a campfire in the hills.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Old Navy Fit Review | Harper vs. Pixie

harper pants // pixie pants

It's no secret that I love Old Navy's Pixie pants. I own over five pairs of them currently and I think I might still have some more in my parent's attic. I love them because they're comfortable, come in fun prints and colors, and probably most important to me, they're flattering. I don't get to say that last statement much.

At the same time I went on my Lands' End binge I picked up two pairs of the Harper pants, mostly out of curiosity. I got them in, tried them on and well...

Here's what Old Navy has to say about these two pairs of pants:

A few more notes:
  • pockets: They're on the sides for the Harper and in front for the Pixie.
  • length: Both are cropped, but both come in a long length which makes them the same length as a regular pair of long pants. 
  • fabric: The fabric on both pants is stretchy, but the fabric on the Harper is smoother, similar to the Eloquii Kady pants. 
To continue from above, the fit is different between the two pants. Despite getting the pants in my normal Old Navy size, the Harper's were too small in the waist while being too big in the hips and seat. I took them off and put on a pair of the Pixies thinking maybe I had gained weight but nope, the Pixies fit just fine. If you're hourglass or pear shaped, you might check out the Harpers.

I've already compared the Pixies to Eloquii's Kady pants. I think the Harper is much closer in style and fit to the Kady with much better pricing. 

I wouldn't have minded sizing up in the Harpers if it weren't for the fact that it would take quite a bit of alterations to get the fit right in the hips.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Prep'd Picks at Target

For the more frugal of my readers, Target has been on the ball with great releases lately. The in-store choices still aren't the best but online has some good choices. The best part? Nearly everything is under $40.

The plaid shirtdress comes in four different plaids and I can't get enough of the gingham detailing on the sleeves. If you're so inclined, you could look at switching the tiebelt for a leather one for some more character. The military-inspired anorak (in stores) look is still in. I've been eyeing this one in stores and will probably pick it up once it gets a tad bit chiller. Seeing as I live two hours from the Minnesota border, that might be sooner rather than later. It's not very thick but it'll layer well. This button front skirt harkens back to the Preppy heyday of the 1980s. I'd trim off the frayed hem, though. Target also has a variety of Plaid buttonups (in stores) in several Tartans. The shirt pictured isn't quite a Dress Stewart but it's close enough to make me happy. The material is probably best described as a thin, smooth flannel. Kinda sorta pictured are the dark flare jeans (also available in a lighter, faded blue). I'm personally over skinny jeans so flares are a nice breath of air...for my shins.

If you're wanting to accessorize, you're in luck. I could have done an entire post on the great shoes Target has right now (again, some online) and no, they're not sponsoring this post.

First off, let me start with the shoes: The Bit Loafers and Ferragamo ribbon bow flats knock-offs are preppy budget perfection. Both pairs come in around $35, but Target puts their shoes on sale pretty often and you can sometimes find additional savings on their Cartwheel app. I've never been a clutch fan but I've been to a few occasions lately where I think one would have made my outfit look better. I love the color on this faux suede deep green clutch which also comes in a seasonless blush pink. Another clutch I liked was this Clare V. inspired striped clutch in pink and brown. I picked out the red and blue windowpane bag for something fun on the weekends when you may need to carry a bit more. The bucket bag is sleek enough for work but casual enough for the weekends. Finally, if you're in the market for a good work bag, this black Satchel is great pick. If you need something bigger for work, I recommend this quilted black tote.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale | August 22-23

It's that time of year again: the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale! As usual, here are my tips for grabbing what you want:

1| Create an account on the Lilly website and make sure ALL of your information is updated. Most importantly, make sure your credit card and shipping addresses are correct. Be sure to remove old credit cards and addresses! The website closes a few hours prior to the sale, so try to do this the night before.

2| Utilize all available equipment: computer, smartphone, tablet, etc. You'll also be able to shop via the Lilly Pulitzer app. Last After Party I shuffled between the Lilly app, my computer, and the mobile website and I found the app got me in the soonest. This may not be the case for you but it doesn't hurt to try.

3| Don't refresh the page once you're in line, otherwise you'll end up at the back of the line!

4| If you can, try to get to the website shortly before the sale begins.

5| Follow Lilly on social media! Sometimes there are sale items exclusive to various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) so be sure to check those out.

6| Shipping is free, which is always a bonus. Do be aware that shipping may take longer than usual due to the staggering amount of orders Lilly will be handling.

7| There are no returns on final sale merchandise. If you're unsure of sizing double check your measurements. As far as shoe sizing goes, I think it runs a bit smaller than true-to-size.

8| Items can change during the course of the sale. I've noticed in several sales additional items will be added towards the afternoons and evenings.

9| Prioritize what you want and make a strategy. Tote bags on the computer, scarves on the tablet. Some have found it handy to make a second account (or more) and sign in on a different account on each device. The reason I say to make a plan is this tip #9.

10| Items in your cart are not held for you. You can only be sure they're yours once you check out completely.

And again: Put everything you want in your cart and THEN checkout--especially if you're shopping in the first few hours of the sale. The moment you leave the sale you'll end up at the back of the line.

What to expect in the sale: It's always hard to say for sure, but typically it's a variety of items from the past few seasons. Since it's August, I expect to see anything from mid-winter 2015 up through beginning of this summer. You'll find lots of items that had been gifts with purchase or otherwise exclusive offers. Lilly has been flashing a few hints of what to expect in the sale and I've seen a few totes and a phone wallet/wristlet in Oh Shello.

Price-wise, expect the average savings to be anywhere from 40%-60% off original retail. Off the top of my head, I once got an overnight bag for $49 that was originally $198, a necklace that was $19 for $78, and a scarf for $34 that had been $120.

Anything in particular I'm looking for? Right now I have my eyes on things like scarves and jewelry. I really need shoes but unfortunately Lilly doesn't carry size 11. Since I binged last weekend at Lands' End I'm on a pretty tight budget at the moment so I can't get too crazy. However I think the August After Party Sale tends to be a lot better than the one in January so I may end up with something more than I expect.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Lands' End Sale Part Two

So Round #2 of my Lands' End shopping was meant to be maybe another sweater or two. Clearly, you can see that it ended up being much, much more. No regrets, though, no regrets.

I wear tees nearly every day, with a majority coming from Old Navy. However I haven't been happy with the latest batch I purchased so I decided to give the Fitted Crewneck Tee a shot. I picked out a few colors I'd get the most wear out of. Hopefully these work out.

I'm not the type of person to turn down a good Fair Isle sweater, so I picked up two. The Crewneck Fair Isle sweater is available in two colors, the red pictures above and an white/black/ice blue. I loved the red at first sight. The Turtleneck Fair Isle sweater came in several gorgeous colors and I narrowed it down to the one above or a white/red/orange. Ultimately, I'm terrified of white shirts because I am clumsy and spill anything and everything down my front.

I've featured the Linen Boatneck sweater on the blog before but finally just pulled the trigger. It's a linen/cotton blend meaning it's lightweight. I'm thinking it's going to be perfect for those days when it's chilly in the shade but warm in the sun. Same goes for the Cricket Sweater on the right, I've been eyeing it for quite some time.

I'll be the first to admit that the Leopard Cardigan isn't necessarily something I'd normally go for. But sometimes you just want something different to wear. There's a thousand and one ways to style it and I'm thinking I'll probably wear it a lot more than I think I will.

Not pictured: the pair of gloves I bought for $7 because I needed to hit the $250 mark. They've got the touchscreen fabric on the fingers and I lose gloves like it's my job.

I'm happy with the orders I placed today as it's a big chunk of my fall/winter spending. Many of the pieces are things I needed (new cords) or things I've been eyeing for a long time (the cricket sweater). Now if only I didn't have to wait another month or two to wear them...

I Shopped the Lands' End Sale And You Should Too

I'm really glad I swung by the Lands' End website this morning. They currently have a sale going that can't be beat: $30 off $100, $60 off $150, and $100 off $250. The bad news? It ends tonight at 11:59 CST. The sale goes for anything on the website, minus the Canvas or their new Sports line (neither of which is available in plus, boo).
As I've mentioned many times before on this blog, I love off season shopping. So I headed over to the sale section to see what I could find and I wasn't disappointed at all.  Over the past 18 months or so I've been adding a lot of neutrals to my wardrobe so I picked up the Lofty Textured Sweater in French Blue. I have a pair of Old Navy pixie pants it'll look incredible with not to mention it'll be a nice pick-me-up during the gray Iowa winters. The black Boatneck Cableknit sweater was purchased to go with the absolutely incredible wool blend Blackwatch Plaid pants in the bottom row. I think those pants are what I'm most excited about out of everything I bought.

I picked up the mini wale Corduroys in both navy blue and gray. I've been wanting a gray pair of cords for sometime as well as needing to replace my navy cords I bought from Old Navy a few years ago. The Cropped Chinos are in a colored called Hot Tangerine which a review called a poppy red. I'll admit I'm a bit nervous to see how truly bright they are. As someone who gets hot easily, I'll admit to wearing cropped pants even in winter, just with a more substantial shoe like my Weejuns. 

With the sale, I got everything for a mere $150. That's two tees, three sweaters, and four pairs of pants. This purchase is probably going to end up being a big chunk of my fall spending because, well, I got a lot of what I've been wanting. I'm actually even thinking of making another trip for a few more sweaters...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Prep'd Picks | Fall Teaser

This is a time when fashion bloggers like to trot out the "buy now wear later" stuff. I kind of want to try to avoid it if I can--it's still early August for crying out loud. Wear all the bright florals and nautical motifs while you can. However, fall is teasing me pretty hard right now. The weather is simply beautiful--mid-70s, no humidity, chilly at night. The university students are starting to come back into town and sorority recruitment is just around the corner.

Eloquii bracelets: I've been getting a lot requests for plus size bracelets lately. I picked out a few from Eloquii that have a bit of a Tory Burch vibe that I'm really liking. If you're looking for a more budget selection, try places like Rue 21 or Maurice's. I've also heard people have had some luck with Old Navy and Charming Charlies. Of course, there's always Lane Bryant.

J.Crew Signet Bag: This is a fun little purse has already been determined to be the "it" bag for the fall. The fun part comes in the accessorizing of the bag: a variety of coin pouches, locks, and bag tags are available to help customize your bag. I feel it's decently priced at $128, with accessories running around $7 for a tag (that can be monogrammed) to $30 for a coin purse.

Lands' End ponte sheath: I've been featuring this dress for a long time. It's a classic dress made with comfortable fabric. It comes out in new shades every season and the choices for fall are spectacular. I'm in love with the Atlas yellow I featured above, but I'm also liking the loden green.

Old Navy striped boatneck tee: A staple of any preppy closet, Old Navy has released three color options for this classic shirt. There's the white with navy stripes (above), red with white stripes, and navy with multi color stripes.

Johnny Was embroidered cardigan: Not quite a Lilly-a-like, but something fun for the closet when I wish I had something fun or interesting to wear. The design from the front shoulders continues onto the back and it looks great.

Use the widget below to get a closer look:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Prep'd Picks | Preppy Backpacks

School shopping was always one of my favorite times of the year. Even though I'm long past the days of lists sent home telling me what I need in my pencil box at school, I still like to refresh my office supplies while they're cheap. A lot of the sales are pretty good this time of year, too.

Vineyard Vines Tech Backpack: I bought this backpack nearly two years ago in a bright blue/green (you can find one here). It's a great basic backpack that's made well and is attractive. This is a good pack if you need something on the larger side but not too big. 

L.L. Bean Classic Campus Pack: I just bought this backpack because I wanted something more...understated than the nearly neon Vineyard Vines backpack I already own. When I first pulled it out of the box it looked tiny. I wondered if I could even get a binder in it. Looks are deceiving with this bag as it holds quite a bit. It's Bean so of course the quality is there and for $40 you really can't go wrong. 

Burberry Blue Plaid backpack: A stylish, leather-trimmed bag that will last you from college student to urban commuter. Granted the price is a bit steep ($850), but this is very easily something you'll be using well into your thirties without still feeling like an undergrad.

Lacoste tote/backpack: This innovative bag can function as a tote or a backpack. Great for the student who likes to shake things up or has changed majors several times--in one semester.

Nike Sport Backpack: For those who want only one bag to hold books and their gym clothes. The bottom shoe compartment can hold, well, shoes or maybe a lunchbox. Outside pockets help keep the little things from getting lost in the cavernous inside.  As far as aesthetics go, I think this is the best looking pack out of the bunch.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

You've Got Questions...I May Have The Answers

I get a fair amount of questions emailed to me each week. I have no problems helping people find that certain thing to wear, be it for a wedding rehearsal dinner or sorority recruitment. However, to help me help you better, here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Do you have a price range you're working with?
  • Do you need sleeves or do you need a petite size?
  • If you need a certain color, can you send me a picture of said color (a flower, paint chip, etc.)?
  • How urgent is your request, do you need something that you can pick up ASAP?
  • Do you need something smaller than an 18 or larger than a 24--you don't have to give your specific size but do let me know if I need to look in that direction.
  • Is there anything you don't want, say you don't want something in a certain fabric or something sheer?
Basically, it boils down to the more details you can give me, the easier it is for me to track down something. Even if you're completely open to anything--let me know!

Shoot me your questions at ker [at] theplussizeprep.com
(no spaces)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Prep'd Picks | Top Picks from Modcloth

I've gotten in a bit of a rut looking at the same handful of places for clothes. I keep thinking of Modcloth but often I might like maybe 10% of their offerings. However, they've been among the first brands that have truly embraced the plus size crowd so I do like to stop by, even if I'm less than impressed.

As Modcloth has grown, so has its product lines and styling, moving beyond their "shabby twee librarian" aesthetic. Sure, you can still get cutesy tees and Mad Men-inspired wiggle dresses but they've also added more mainstream pieces. All right, I still think some of items I picked out are still on the cutesy side but it's summer and hey, it's easy to get away with cutesy.

Bucolic Beauty Dress | I was really on the fence about including this dress but the more I look at it the more I like it. If you're a fan of White House Jackie style, this is a dress you need. Pair with white Jack Rogers, oversized sunglasses, and tease your hair a bit for a great summer look.

Critter Wonder Top in Raccoons | I love raccoons and think they're adorable...until they're getting into my trash. In the meantime, I'd wear this on the weekends in an outfit that'd remind me of summer camp: Minnetonka moccasins or beat-up Sperrys, khaki shorts, a suntan, and mosquito bites.

Oh, and ALL the poison ivy.

Sunday Drive tunic | You're probably already pairing this tunic with white jeans and maybe espadrille wedges. Monotonous, yes, but it's an outfit that always looks good. 

Palm Breezy Tunic | This blouse is pretty similar to ones you can find anywhere but I love the vivid green. Most of the ones I seem to find are black, plum, or burgundy, even in the summer.

Girl Meets Twirl dress | This dress may make a second appearance in my next Lilly-a-Like post. Don't be afraid to accessorize colorfully with this dress. I feel that pearls would be lost against the pattern, but something bright and dare I say flashy would look great.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

C.Wonder Now Comes In Plus Sizes!

Good news plus size preppies! C. Wonder is back and they've come bearing plus sizes.

If you're not familiar with C.Wonder let me give you a bit of a backstory: the brand was founded on the tail end of the neo-prep movement in 2010/2011 by Chris Burch. Yes, he's Tory Burch's ex-husband. The company was notable for its bright colors, fun motifs, and the fact you could monogram just about anything in the store.

Soon after the brand began operations, Tory Burch sued her ex, claiming the merchandise was too close to what her brand sold. The brand never really seemed to catch on and it filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. The brand was sold shortly thereafter. Last summer it was announced that the brand would make a comeback on QVC with Brad Goreski as the creative director. Goreski, a well-known stylist, helped with Kate Spade's massive growth the past few years.

All clothing styles are available up to a 3X or a size 28. There's a mix of dresses, sweaters, pants, and shirts that all still bear a bit of Tory Burch's aesthetic. Actually, there's a lot of Tory in there, I think. When I found out the brand had come back this morning I rushed to the QVC website to check it out.

"Wow, this really looks like Tory Burch," I thought to myself, "like REALLY REALLY close to Tory Burch."

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

This is the first collection for the brand on QVC.com with more scheduled for later in the year.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Prep'd Picks | Solidly Colorful

Within the past six months or so I wrote about buying more neutral tones for my wardrobe. I picked up a lot of black and gray and some beige and, well, I'm regretting that a bit right now. I didn't realize how bad it was until I wore a pale pink blouse to work one day.

"Wow, I didn't know you had color in your wardrobe," a coworker teased.

Eloquii capelet dress: You have to see this dress from the back, it's incredible. It comes in a few colors and would be a good choice for a wedding or other semi-dressy occasion.

Lands' End cropped chinos: These wardrobe basics come in a variety bright colors. I'm tempted to take a break from my Old Navy Pixies and give these a try.

Land' End shirred blouse: It's simply a fun, sunny shirt.

London Times shift: When you need a dress for work when you'd rather be at the beach.

Talbot's blazer: Another wardrobe staple that comes in seven colors.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

They're Here! 2016-2017 Planners & Agendas

It's that time of year again: agenda season! I usually spend more time than necessary trying to decide between all of them, debating features and covers. This year, though, I already have mine. I have #5 for a daily planner and pre-ordered #1. This may be seem be extreme for some but one planner is for work and the other is personal.

Lilly Pulitzer | The OG of preppy planners. Most people buy theirs depending on the cover print and I'm no different. Last year the designs didn't do much for me but this year? I made up my mind on the large Ocean Jewels in record time.

Kate Spade New York | KSNY has extended their line, offering several different new styles this year. This Audrey-inspired cover is certainly charming.

Graphic Image | For those wanting something profesional yet colorful, this leather planner would be at home on any executive desk. Unlike the other planners, though, this one runs January-December.

Day Designer | I've used this planner several times in the past and I've been happy with it. The only reason I didn't pick it this year was because I bought its little sister at Target (see #5). Just a note: the current version runs June 2016-July 2017. From what I've read they're not putting out an academic year version so you'd have to wait to get the 2017 version.

Day Designer for Blue Sky | Designed by the Day Designer team for Target, you get the best of the original at the Target price. This version is the daily and is good if you need to keep a close eye on times. The line features a variety of styles to choose from a well as coordinating accessories.

Simplified Planner: Another one I've used in the past. I purchased this planner last year but sent it back due to poor paper quality (read my review here). The company has said they've changed papers this year but I'm still wary. Make sure to read the return policy before buying.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Run--Don't Walk--to the Talbot's Friends & Family Sale

striped dress // knit seashell dress // embroidered linen dress // flowers and  stripes dress

I'm really not kidding when I say run to your nearest Talbots to take advantage of their Friends & Family sale. Especially for those of you who love Lilly-A-Likes, because I've never seen so many in one place. The sale runs through May 8th, so you've got some time to make your decisions.  I've included a widget with my favorites below:

Prep'd Picks | Down The Stretch Towards Summer

One of the perks of my new job is that my calendar is the same as the college students I work with (I work full time for my sorority). Graduation is this coming Saturday and as sad as I am to lose my seniors, I'm totally ready for summer. 

This Saturday also marks the 142nd Kentucky Derby and is celebrated in my household by the annual pulling out of the summer clothes. I've talked about being a bit old school and waiting until the Derby or even Memorial Day to don my summer apparel, but that's when I lived in West Virginia. The weather is noticeably warmer there than here in Iowa, which I keep forgetting sits directly under Minnesota, a state most people associate with the cold. I've had to pull out some sweaters which means they'll have to be dry cleaned again before they go into storage. At least I no longer live 45 minutes from the nearest dry cleaner. 

Lauren Ralph Lauren cropped skinny jeans: I've been seeing a lot of colorful outfit inspirations over the 'net a lot and there's one in particular that caught my eye and it featured orange pants. I figured it was one of those things that'd be hard to replicate but surprisingly not. I also love that these are a bright, happy orange and not the darker version that was popular last summer.

Ava + Viv maxi dress: I've passed this dress several times at Target and I keep telling myself that one of these days I need to pick it up. It's actually a heavyweight and feels like a french terry fabric instead of just a thin jersey. I think I'll bit the bullet later this week and pick it up, there are just so many pros opposed to cons and you really can't be the $35 price tag.

NYDJ wide leg trouser: Before we go any further, these pants are not gray. They're a heathered navy blue in a cotton/linen blend. That's right, these pants are made of natural fibers. That does mean they'll probably need to be ironed however you may be able to get away with just steaming these to get the wrinkles out. If you don't have a clothes steamer already--get one. It's one of the best fashion-related purchases I've made in years. 

Lands' End Art tee: This absolutely gorgeous shirt is actually a tee which only adds to its appeal. This is a great shirt for those times when you'd like to dress nicely but know you're going to sweat or will be moving around a lot. 

REED x Kohl's Boxer Satchel: After an incredible stint at Coach, Reed Krakoff briefly had his own line and some of them remain on my most-wanted handbag list. So over the weekend when I found out that he was teaming up with Kohl's with similar styles? I think I hyperventilated as I raced down to the mall. 
There's a variety of sizes and styles, with the one pictured an almost carbon copy of his popular "Boxer" style that was upwards of $1k. There's also a good selection of colors. I like the one for summer, but there's a solid cobalt and a tan/black/white version I'm eyeing. The price tag on these is pretty decent: this one is currently $90 and another version is $100. Obviously, they're not real leather but the the quality appears to be superb and the styling simply can't be beat. I think this is a more realistic purchase over the full-priced "textured PVC" merchandise brands are trying to push, hoping you'll mistake it for Saffiano leather. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

J.C. Penney Launching Plus Size Line Boutique+

Starting May 1, JC Penney will be launching a revamped plus size experience for their shoppers. Starting in 200 stores, the plus size section will be remodeled to give an "elevated shopping experience." Following the footsteps of Joe Fresh and Jonathan Adler's Happy Chic home decor line, The Boutique will be a store within a store. It will have plus size mannequins and include crossover merchandise like accessories and shoes.

Also debuting May 1 brand new lines called Boutique+, headed up by Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton, the first plus size winner of the fashion-based reality show. She will be working on the fall and holiday lines while in-house designers produced the spring/summer selections. While the stores will only carry sizes 14W-24W and 1X-3X, online sizes will be available up to 30 and a 5X.

The picture above is a teaser for the Boutique+ line. I already assume you can guess my reaction to it, which isn't favorable. You can get a sneak peek at a few of the items already on the website. To me, this is the same crap that Lane Bryant has been selling since 2013. Rompers, cold shoulder shirts, denim capris. I can get those anywhere because that really feels like the only plus size merchandise available sometimes. It looks like the same stuff Target's Ava + Viv lines carries. It looks like what Melissa McCarthy's line carries. I have yet to see any plus size woman wear a faux leather moto jacket or sleeveless tuxedo vest. These styles are also seasons--if not years--behind.

I've been trying to be positive when stores and brands introduce a plus size line. Most of them are missing the mark and have this sole obsession on focusing on young twenty-somethings going out for drinks on a Friday evening. There's little focus on career wear or anything containing natural fibers. Selection is limited to someone fresh out of college or Alfred Dunner. There's little to no in between, where there's more spending power. I don't have much faith in Ashley Nell Tipton, either. She has incredible talent but translating it from the runway to the mass market is going to be a nightmare of crop tops and tutus.

Like Target before them, JC Penney is boasting of how the line was made for the plus size customer in mind. Frankly, I think they need to stop consulting Miss Cleo. We want what the straight sizes have. Nothing more, nothing less. These plus size exclusive collections aren't the same thing, why make us an entirely new and different dress when all we wanted is the one in the window?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Prep'd Picks | Springtime at Old Navy

It's no secret that I love Old Navy. I can usually find a good mix of trendy and classic pieces of decent quality for a decent price. For about the past year, Old Navy sort of lost me a bit as it really embraced the "festival fashion" look. For those over the age of 25, it's the same thing as the bohemian look only with muted, drab colors.  However, despite the troublesome number of crop tops, I've been pleased with the amount of considerably preppy items.

It's not madras but this plaid sundress is super charming. I wish it had thicker straps so I could wear a proper truss bra underneath, but I have a super light ivory cardigan this would compliment nicely. I've had my eye on a sunhat for years but thanks to the big 'ole noggin my dad graced me with it's been a difficult search. This hat comes in an L/XL size which intrigues me. The cute canvas tote is nice to hold a variety of items for your weekend escapades. I'm on the hunt for a good pair of brown sandals as well. These don't come in a size 11 (boo) but they're cute. 

I am missing shirts in my wardrobe. I have a lot of basic tees and some button downs but I need some more options. These are a bit more on the casual side but I love them. I adore the periwinkle blue of the eyelet sleeve shirt (it also comes in white). The fringe tank is too cute for words. It reminds me a lot of a similar tank at JC Penney's I've had my eye on but had to pass because it was too short. 
Ok, so gingham pant you're like a week too late to be featured for my gingham post, which is a shame because you're exactly what I was looking for. These aren't my favorite Pixie pants (gasp!) but the Harper style. I'm not too sure what the difference is other than the Harper is a "menswear inspired" fit. Well, okay. Whatever you say. I have a feeling these will be joining my other stack of pants from Old Navy. Then we have another pair of pants I'm probably going to pick up: a classic pair of wide leg linen pants. They come in a few colors and are perfect for those of us wanting to cover our legs on those hot 90+ degree days. I'd pair this with a more fitted top and a flat sandal or simple flat.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

LillyALikes | Spring 2016

It's everyone's favorite post: LillyALikes!

Swimsuit (it also has matching board shorts) // lace trim tee // tunic // cardigan // pants

I need a new swimsuit for the year and this suit is the one that has caught my eye. Hopefully it fits in the chest. The cardigan reminds me of vintage Lilly prints. I like the touch of texture on the tee and the tunic. And yes, more printed pants. I know I post about them all the time, but I've been having a lot of problems finding shirts that fit well so I'm sticking to the ones I already have and using the printed pants to add some interest to my outfit.

I want to pick up another maxi dress and I absolutely love the "leaf" print on this maxi. I think it looks more like coral but whatever. I thought the fringe was a fun accent to a basic tee dress. The chevron dress is simply just a fun dress, especially if you're at the beach. The green dress is a beautiful shade of green and would look incredible with anything white or navy you may already own. The ikat dress is a fun print with a small cutout detail on the back. Since this dress is basically a work sheath with a cutout, I think it would work for the office (and happy hour!) as long as you wear a blazer/cardigan.
Use the widget to browse more LillyALikes. PS: Hot pink is a very popular color for this summer:

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Prep'd Picks | Gingham

Gingham is a fun and versatile print that can work from the weekend to the workday. While most of us associate gingham with a sunny day in the spring and summer, I think it can work well year-round depending on the fabric or materials.

I picked up these Old Navy Pixie Pants (of course) in a small black gingham print and I've worn them three times in the less than two weeks I've owned them. I've paired them with a black sweater for a professional function and with a simple white tee for a weekend outing. If they weren't in the wash I'd be wearing them right now. 

I'm really lusting over that Lands' End blazer and the J.Crew bucket bag but I'd take any of it right. Use the widget below to see my favorite gingham pieces:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Twelve Dream Handbags

One of my biggest style goals for the spring is to replace some of my bags. I feel I've done well with choosing bags that have held up...to everything except my mom's cat, Daisy. Daisy has a taste for leather handbags (especially the handles) and has left her mark via claw and chew marks. I'll also admit I haven't taken as good as care I should have for some of my bags so for a few of them it's my fault that they're not looking their best.

With a few exceptions, I also don't think they make bags as well as they used to.

Anyways, these are the bags that caught my eye. All but two are under $500.

Row One (from left to right): Lilly Pulitzer // Tory Burch // Diane von Furstenburg
At this point I'm sort of looking for more a fun summer purse. This white leather bag from Lilly really fits the bill. I'm sort of afraid trying to keep a white leather bag clean but I'm in love with the details. I will note this tote is HUGE. Next up is a unique bag from Tory Burch's resort collection. The shape and beautiful color are what caught my eye but the details such as the dowel handle and the beaded shoulder strap kept my attention. Sadly, this one is nearly $300 over my budget so I'm kinda hoping it goes on sale soon. Lastly is DVF's Secret Agent bag. I dig the color and the function of this hobo. There's a pocket for everything!

Row Two: Furla // Kate Spade // Coach
A beautiful, everyday brown bag is still high on my wishlist. This Furla bag is so, so, so pretty. Perfect color, perfect size. This bright pink bag is from Kate Spade and is super similar to her Lily scalloped tote that I've featured a few times. It also comes a few more candy colors although I'd get it in white. As a note: a lot of KS bags look like they're made with saffiano leather but they're actually PVC or a textured, coated canvas. Always check the materials before you buy. Finally, the absolutely preppiest bag you could ever by: a Coach duffel. There's a reason they're still around.

Row Three: Tory Burch Robinson Tote // Tory Burch T Tote // Tory Burch Shoulder Bag
So...I got an email from Tory Burch today that featured of these stunning embroidered bags. I went straight to her website and drooled for the next 20 minutes or so. Um, yeah, I really love these fun bags. Breezy, colorful, perfect for summer. The tote on the left is over budget (of course) but that may not stop me, especially if I see it in person. I will admit I'm going to wait for some reviews if I decide to get one of these beauties.

Row Four: Rebecca Minkoff // Coach //  Kate Spade 
Somewhere in the 2010/2011 area I bought a Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAB satchel off of Gilt.com for around $200. To this day, it remains the most I've ever spent on a bag. I loved that bag hardcore and I cried when I realized I lost it somewhere during a move. I don't know if I'd get another of that style, but Rebecca Minkoff has beautiful soft leathers that I only really see at Coach anymore. I like the color, the tassels, but the slouchyness of it is a bit of a put off. Next up is a Coach bag from their Swagger line. Yes, the name is silly but I like the style. Of this particular bag I really enjoy the colors in the color blocking. And finally, a woven leather Kate Spade tote. It reminds me a lot of a Tory Burch bag from about 2-3 years ago that was made from a similar woven leather pattern that was absolutely stunning. It's not close, but an added leather tassel accent will make it close enough.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Prep'd Picks | What I've Bought Recently

A little more than a month ago I left my home state of West Virginia and moved halfway across the country to take a job in Iowa. This job pays me nearly triple of what I was making last year. For the first time in a very long time I can walk into a store and buy a sweater or a pair of shoes without having to worry about the rest of my budget. I can buy a book at Barnes and Noble without feeling guilty. Obviously I shouldn't get too crazy--I need to replace my car at some point this year--but I am going to indulge a bit.

Last year was the first year in a long time where I actually wore shorts in public during the summer. This was mostly due to the fact my office building last year had absolutely zero air conditioning. I wasn't uncommon for me to wander in for my overnight shift and it still be over 85 degrees in there. So shorts became a necessity and Old Navy had two pairs in particular that caught my eye which just happened to be the ones they're getting sued for by Lilly Pulitzer.

This year I decided I wanted more shorts.  I didn't expect to buy them in February but they'll keep until warmer days. First up are these incredible gingham shorts. It was one of those moments where I just took one look at them and handed my cash to Old Navy. Frankly, you can't get much preppier than these shorts. The other pair of shorts just had a fun print I like. It is a bit early in the year for shorts (unless you live in Florida) but if there's something you like, grab 'em before Old Navy discontinues them.

These are the same Pixie pants I featured last week. I'm in a very lavender mood so these felt like a no brainer. I will note the leaves on the flowers are actually a light golden brown. I have a sweater that matched that brown nicely so I've been pairing those together. I also wore a navy shirt with them and felt it looked alright.

Let me start off with the Lands' End sweater I bought to match the above Pixie pants. It's not quite the same shade of lavender but it's close enough. I love this version of their popular Drifter sweater because it is tunic length and has a nice mid weight feel to it. I'm giving some thought to ordering a few more of these.

I know I've shared my hate of neon many times, but on these New Balance sneakers...its okay. Small doses, folks. I got this pair through J.Crew and let me share this tidbit: order through the store if you can. Ordering through the store brings free shipping which is pretty standards but more importantly the shipping is much faster.  I bought these shoes on a Saturday and had them by Wednesday. Had I ordered these through the website I'd probably still be waiting on them.

One of my favorite purchases since my move is this pretty print bedding from Pottery Barn. When I moved here I discovered my bedroom was painted sage green. My landlord said she'd have it painted whenever I was ready but I think it's growing me. I originally picked this set out because it reminded me of one of my favorite museum exhibitions that featured 19th century prints featuring flora and fauna. When I brought it home I was very happy to find that the greens in the print matched my walls. The set is reversible, with the same print on a white background and the other side on a black background. I never, ever thought I'd bring black into my home decor but it just looks so good in my bedroom.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

REVIEW: Eloquii's Kady Pant vs. Old Navy's Pixie Pant

It's no secret I'm a fan of Old Navy's Pixie pants. I probably own around five pairs, along with several of their Pixie shorts. When you find something that fits you so well as a plus size woman you want to sing its praises from the mountains.

My one issue with the Pixie pants is trying to get them in solid colors. They come in lots of great prints but a good solid color can be hard to come by. If they come out with something such as navy blue, my size is sold out in almost no time.

This led me to ponder Eloquii's insanely popular Kady pant. The styling is similar to the Pixie and as of press time comes in over twenty colors. I bought the color in the picture above, Walnut, and it's pretty true to what's show on the screen. They were also $19.97, which is nothing to sneeze at. I figured I have nothing to lose and placed me order.

Style: The Kady style is very close to the Pixie pants, although I find the Kady waistband lies smoother against the body. The pockets--front and back--on the Kady pants are real. The leg width on both pants is similar, as is the length. Speaking of lengths, both the Pixie and Kady come in short, regular, and long lengths. They're still a bit on the cropped size but not nearly like they used to be.

If you're looking for pants to wear to the office the Pixie is alright but if you're in a very professional environment the Kadys are the way to go. 

Fit: I size down in Pixie pants because they're from Old Navy and will stretch wickedly. I bought my usual size in the Kady style and found the waist fits very well. The seat fits well and looks alright. However, these pants are not meant for the apple shaped. The fabric, which looks and feels like a thick stretchy twill that's been Scotchguarded yet is super soft, bunches around my front roundness. Frankly, it looks awful. When I saw that I nearly sent them back. That being said, most of my tops are tunic length and once I pair the pants with a tunic, they look very nice. Like, I'm already planning outfits around these pants nice.

My biggest gripe about the Kady pants is how big they are in the hips. If you're pear or hourglass shaped, these are the pants for you. Seriously, quit reading this and go give Eloquii your money. I've had the Kadys less than a week and have worn them once. They did stretch out so I'm looking into having the hips taken in a bit to give them a sleeker silhouette. I also think it might help with the bunching around the front. The Pixie pants bunch slightly in the front but nowhere near the extent of the Kady. I also find the Pixies fit a lot better in the hips and rear and stretching with wear isn't as exaggerated.

Value: I can't attest to the longevity of the pants from Eloquii but they're very well made and I'm impressed with the fabric (surprisingly not scuba!). You should also never pay full price for Eloquii items, sign up for their emails and they're sending out coupons everyday. If you're patient you can often get whatever you want for 50% or even 60% off.

I have Pixie pants that are over two years old and are still going strong. I do iron the pants on occasion because I think a front crease looks nice and slightly flattering on me but it's not necessary.  Pixies go on sale fairly often but they're also not included in other sales. Again, patience is a virtue for Pixies.

Overall: Both pants have their merits and their flaws. I like the styling and fabric of the Kady better than the Pixie, but the fit of the Pixie can't be beat. I'm hoping tailoring may help the Kady and if it does, I may just have some new favorite pants.
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