>ALISSA TAKES INSTYLE MAGAZINE’S SHOP LIKE A FASHION EDITOR CHALLENGE

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SHOP LIKE A FASHION EDITOR


Hey curvy girls all over the world,
Instyle magazine is doing a series with 3 of their staff members called, “Shop Like A Fashion Editor.” The three editors are given a budget of $400, $2,000, and $4,000 to spend over the course of four months. Each of the editors share their monthly fashion inspirations and buy items according to what they were inspired by. After reading the the March issue I became inspired by this series and have decided to make this a personal challenge and to document it right here on Stylish Curves.
This is the perfect time for me to do this because I’m still deciding on what I would like my spring wardrobe to look like. Every spring season I feel like I have no clothes. At the end of the season I can pack everything away in one medium size bin which always makes me wonder how I got through the season with such a small amount of clothes.

I will be taking on the $400 budget. The same budget that Instyle’s Market Editor Erin Sumwalt (pictured above) is doing. The $400 breaks down to only spending $100 a month on clothes, shoes, and accessories. I’m excited about the challenge because it will help me to only buy what I love and need. Most importantly, this challenge will help me to save some much needed cash.

How the challenge works
For the next four months, each time I purchase something I will post it here on Stylish Curves and keep a tally for each month. I’m relying on the honor system so you guys can trust that I will only spend $100 a month and if I go over you can count on me telling you, but, the point is to stick to the budget (pray for me!).

My personal spring fashion goals
I’m such a sucker for simple looks in bright colors that this spring season my goal is to wear more prints. Right now I’m obsessed with animal prints, but, I actually want to wear more florals. I am truly not a floral print fan, but, for some reason I’m liking the big bold floral prints. I feel like they are less dizzy looking (You can read about large floral prints in my previous post here).

Loved Vanessa Hudgen’s 70’s style spread in the March issue of Instyle

In case you didn’t know my favorite fashion era is the 70’s. I’m a sucker for jumpsuits, wide leg trousers, frilly sheer tops, and sky high heels. I’m hoping to incorporate some of that into my spring wardrobe too. I also would like to accessorize more. I want more cocktail rings, large shoulder skimming earrings, colorful belts, straw hats, and big bangles. My blazer section in my closet is looking kind of weak so before the heat hits I would like to add some new blazers to my wardrobe. Preferably one or three button blazers. I’m hoping to score a striped blazer like the one from Alice & Olivia.

A few more pics of my inspirations. Wide leg trousers are so 70’s and this bold floral print dress from Etro is nothing short of chic.

OK, I think that’s it. Here goes! Wish me luck!

Kicking off the challenge, today I was perusing the Walmart site and found this Norma Kamali animal print dress for $20. I love the silhouette and the draped neck. I also  like that the animal print is nice and big. A true statement piece. I could wear this with a blazer for work and wear it with a sexy pair of heels for dinner with my gentlemen caller.

What do you guys think about my first purchase?

**Please not that this is a personal challenge and I do not have any affiliations with Instyle magazine.

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>LARGE BOLD FLORAL PRINTS FOR SPRING

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OK, so floral prints are a no brainer for spring. Nevertheless, we are loving the large bold floral prints that came down the spring runways of Etro, Jil Sander, and D&G. Sometimes floral prints can be extremely scary. Especially when not worn the right way, but they can also be chic and sophisticated when worn the right way. Large floral prints are statement making and ultra feminine. SC thinks this is a perfect look for curvy girls to rock for that upcoming spring/summer wedding or for a chic spring get together.

To make sure that you are not looking like an order from 1-800 flowers, we suggest pairing a large floral print dress with a super cute leather cropped jacket like this one from Sears

 to add some edginess. For the curvy girl who doesn’t mind large statement making floral prints we recommend that you pair this large print with a neutral pair of shoes like these super cute natural colored Pierre Dumas sandals

to balance out the boldness.

Baby Phat One Shoulder Ruched Dress $41.30
Baby Phat Removeable Strap Floral Printed Dress $69.00
ASOS Curve Floral Workwear Dress $50.20
EVANS Tulip Printed Tunic $60
Yours Clothing Cream Floral Top $54

>SPRING STYLE AT AMERICAN EAGLE FOR UNDER $40

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As plus size women we have to be creative when it comes to shopping in order to broaden our personal style. Every now and again we have to venture into straight size stores to see what new styles they have. As I advocate on this blog, sometimes you have to focus on the cut and not the size when you’re not shopping in plus size stores in order to get some of the trends and looks that plus size brands don’t carry. You never know what goodies you may find.

Today I wanted to share with you a few spring pieces that I love from American Eagle. Aside from carrying jeans and super cute tees, surprisingly American Eagle has a pretty nice collection of dresses, blazers, and bags. While I can’t fit any of their jeans because they’re all low rise and do not accommodate my voluptuous hips and derriere, I do love buying their girlie tops and feminine blazers. In case you didn’t know, American Eagle goes up to a size 18 and XXL in their clothes. For this spring season I’m coveting quite a few of their pieces to update my wardrobe and the best part is that they’re all under $40.

 1. Ikat Print Scarf, $19.50

 2. Striped Strapless Dress, $34.50

3. White Corset Tube Dress, $39.50

4. Striped Schoolboy Blazer, $39.95

5. FEED tote bag, 39.50

6. Aerie Yellow Open Stitch Nautical Sweater, $33.37

7. AE Camp Shirt, $34.50

>Z.CAVARICCI DENIM PREVIEW

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 Hey curvy girls all over the world,

On Tuesday after work, I stopped by the Crown Royal hotel on 49th street to checkout the Z. Cavaricci denim preview hosted by Plus Model Magazine and RedressNYC. The preview was an opportunity to meet with the designers and finally tell them what the plus size curvy girl is looking for in denim. The Z. Cavaricci team is making efforts to create denim that is trendy, fashionable, and most importantly comfortable. They had a few racks of jeans that ranged from skinny, straight leg, to trouser styles. They even brought in a few denim shorts just to give us a taste of what’s to come.

Just like every other preview I go to, I make sure I speak up to let these designers know what they should be doing because most plus designers are men or slim women who have their own or an old school idea about what a plus size woman wants. One of the major problems for me in plus size denim is the length. Very few brands offer jeans in ankle, regular, and tall. Most just carry regular which become high waters if you wear heels. Other issues are gaping waists, waaaay too much stretch that causes a sagging crotch, and bland washes. I mean how many dark blue jeans does a girl need in her closet. We all expressed those issues to the team who was more than eager to write all of our concerns down. The Z. Cavaricci team is also working on adding denim jackets, denim skirts, and flowy flirty dresses to their collection. I will be sure to keep you posted on that.

Plus model Alicia Farjado
The Z. Cavaricci team had plus size curvy models Alicia Farjado and Grisel Angel model a few of the jeans for us.
Alicia Farjado and Grisel Angel

Model Grisel Angel in a pair of the denim shorts which we thought were too narrow in the leg and would squish cellulite. We asked if they could loosen the leg and cuff the shorts for a better fit and look.

Grisel modeling a pair of trouser jeans
FFFW creator Gwen Devoe also stopped by the preview. You know I had to get in a groupie shot of us. I’m wearing a Kenneth Cole leopard top, Jessica London leather skirt, and Jessica Simpson lace up boots.

Stylist Steffany Bready and blogger Edwina
Bloggers Melinda and Amalia
MTV TJ Gabi Gregg and blogger Mellie from The Fat Apple

>SHOULD WE RESPECT A DESIGNERS VISION TO NOT DO A PLUS SIZE LINE OR USE PLUS SIZE MODELS?

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After viewing tons of backstage videos of NYFW I came across a video from one of my favorite blogs The Cut. Amy Odell from The Cut did a Q&A asking about the plus size model trend at fashion week 2011. After listening to comments from straight size models, stylists, and a few designers there was one comment that stood out to me. Designer Douglas Hannant responded to the question saying this, “I think plus size models are beautiful but its not my idea on the runway because I’m not doing a plus size line.”
His comment made me stop and think to myself, is there a point where we as a plus size community should respect a designers vision not to use plus size models or create a plus size line, without feeling slighted? In the creative world of fashion vision is everything. In many cases it can make or break you as a designer. If it is not a designer’s vision to do plus size or use a plus size model then we should respect that, right?

Here’s a little piece of my mind. Aside from designers losing out on big bucks by excluding plus sizes, I think many designer visions are narrow minded. Designers need to start challenging themselves and start stepping outside of the box. Inspiration is what creates visions. Maybe designers should start spending a little time with plus size women (they have them in their families too) to understand our needs and wants, then they can become truly inspired to include us and start creating lines that are inclusive of all sizes.
Share your thoughts!