Sweats and Plaid

13 Oct

Let’s see; how many puns can I come up with?

1. I’m so plaid to see you.

2. I love you, love you; plaid-ly.

3. Plaid-ly, she said, I don’t give a damn.

4. LOL; U Plaid?

I mean, this could go on for a while, but I digress. It took me a long while to come around to plaid. Never got over having to wear that uniform day in and day out during grade school for so many years, I guess.

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Nevertheless, I can’t deny how perfectly it lends itself to the beginning of fall. I also continue to be taken with how sweats have made their way out of gym and into mainstream grown-up fashions. Bonus points for the fact that when I took the heels off and threw on my Converse, I still looked not too shabby.

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Thanks for reading; talk again soon!

Shirt: Gap Outlet

Pants: Old Navy

Necklace: Random Boutique next to Bloomingdales on 59th in NYC

Shoes: Via Spiga

Crop Tops and Pastels

12 Aug

Bloggers are people like any others. I came to this space for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the most important was simply that I noticed a   growing disconnect between who I was in theory and who I am in practice. My blog is  an opportunity for me to bridge that gap. You awesome folks who read and support hold me accountable.

But choosing to build this bridge publicly doesn’t mean I’m a woman without insecurities. I admit, mine are weird. In order, I grumble almost daily about:

1.  The right side of my tummy

2. My second  toe on my left foot

3. My right eyebrow.

4. The one scar on my leg ( that I got not as a child, but a 32-year-0ld woman running for the train and slamming my leg into a sharp box)

5. I generally would love about 10 percent more hair

Outside of that, I’m generally ok with what I got.

The thing is,  when I look at that list in aggregate, it’s kind of…silly.  Like, who hates ONE toe? And small. There’s not a single thing on it that should stop me from wearing anything I want or feeling any other than amazing. Frankly, even if the list unfurled like a scroll, I’d come to the conclusion that not one of those things should stop me from doing the daily work of bridging the gaps between my theory my practice.

My tummy, toe, leg and kind-of-not-enough hair  and I are in the land of the living. And we intend to  wear crop tops regularly while we’re here.

At any rate,  here’s my number #1 insecurity on display in the most perfect crop top I’ve seen this season.

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I fell in love with the color of this skirt. Not to mention, its super deep, flattering and very useful pockets. It  took some time to for me to figure out how I wanted to wear it but when it all came together, it worked beautifully.

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Thanks for reading; talk soon

Top: Eloquii

Skirt and Sunnies: c/o Asos (the exact skirt is sold out, but Asos has almost an exact replica [maybe even cuter?] here)

Shoes: Zara

Care to hear more of my random musings and chatter? If you don’t already, follow me on IG and Twitter   and like me on Facebook! If you already do, don’t be a stranger; drop me a line!

So You Want to Shop a Sample Sale; a 7-Step Guide

8 Aug

I love clothes. Fancy ones.  Lots of them. But folks don’t do non-profit work for the influx dollar bills. So, to sate my sartorial  hunger (and keep the lights on), I frequent sample sales. I remember the first time I went to one, I figured,

‘This will be just like shopping at a regular sale.’  I was mistaken.

Since then, I’ve amassed a few sample sale shopping tips and this summer in particular, I must say, I’ve been winning. Check out what I’ve learned:

1. Plan your Attack…but be flexible

There’s something about the energy at a sample sale. You are literally on the hunt. In some cases, you might have been waiting in line for some time. When those doors finally open, you can sort of…go wild. So, it helps to have a plan in mind. For example, at a recent  sample sale I attended, I knew that I wanted this dress: B by N dress   And this dress: 3062610   So when I walked into the space with a throng of other women, I began assessing where to start grabbing not by size, but by color; I was looking for a jade green striped fabric and the color teal  and that’s what I got! unnamed (1)   Now, once, I’d secured my dress, I was free to expand my horizons. And,  boy did I. Here are just a few of my treats: unnamed   2. Go Early

Sample sales can work two ways:

1. It’s a one-day affair and the designer et al place everything they have out in one shot.

2. It’s one-day or multi-day affair and the design team keeps replenishing the racks throughout the experience.

In both cases, going early insures you get the best selection and get in and out quickly. Not to mention that as a plus size shopper, if there is anything in  available in your size at all, the pickings are quite slim.

3. Go Alone…Or with folks that are different sizes.

I know–this is one is controversial. Shopping is a generally considered a social experience; who wants to go alone? ( Well, me. But I’m apparently a creep and an introvert, so shopping alone is bliss). But (particularly in the context of a situation where there’s ‘only one’ of whatever thing you covet), things can get awkward quickly when it’s you vs. same sized friend and only one thing in your shared size to go around. Instead, go with folks of different sizes and expand your horizons. She’s looking at things in her size but also peaking around for things in yours and vice versa.

4. Get Ready to Get Publicly Naked…or very close to it

Most sample sales are located in rented space; one room and a few mirrors. If you’re lucky, the designer has erected some sort of makeshift fitting room, but even then, there’s a ton of communal nakedness. Either get ready to take it all off, or come prepared to be as close to naked as you can, without actually showing any skin. My sample sale uniform of choice? Loose top, leggings, easy-off shoes and a tank top.

picstitch 5. Don’t Take on Other People’s Body Snarks It is unfortunate, but my experience has been that sometimes, a room full of naked ladies can often create a room full of insecure ones. As they say, hurt people, hurt people. For example, in one communal dressing room, an older plus size woman was next to me admired a simple black dress I tried on. She said, sotto voce;

It is unfortunate, but my experience has been that sometimes, a room full of naked ladies can often create a room full of insecure ones. As they say, hurt people, hurt people. For example, in one communal dressing room, an older plus size woman was next to me admired a simple black dress I tried on. She said, sotto voce;

 ‘I simply love dress like that. It really hides everything, which girls like us need.’

Huh?

                  And still another watched me try on a strapless dress and kept telling me how I looked great and I was ‘so brave.’

Lady. I’m not fighting fires, I’m just bearing arms.

My favorite story by FAR, is that I picked up a beautiful sort of golden olive jersey slinky dress and began to size it up in the mirror. A woman of my exact skin tone approached me with a completely unsolicited opinion and said, ‘That color really isn’t for you; it washes you out.’ Now, I was on the fence about the dress and WAY over my budget,  so put it down and continued to browse. Minutes later, I saw that same woman (the one with my exact skin tone) checking out with MY dress (You know, the one that washed me out). The point is, another person’s insecurities about their body are not yours. Moreover, you never really know WHY a person has shared an insecurity with you. Trust your OWN eye and your gut and you’ll do fine.

6. Be Creative

As I said earlier, a plus size sample sale shopper has to contend with the fact that many times, there’s not much available in your ‘size.’ Remember though, that sizes are just numbers and depending on the fabrication, they may have no bearing whether or not something will actually fit.  So if it stretches, is generously cut or cut on the bias, try it on; you never know! And yes, people might look at you askance for putting your plus size body in their straight size pieces but…see tip #5. Now, sometimes, you might pick up something that legit just doesn’t fit. That’s when you get really creative. Take, for instance, this dress:
unnamed (2)   Nevermind that I took the pic with my work Blackberry and I have on my workout kicks–focus! I found this beautiful dress at the DemestiksNYC sample sale in Brooklyn. I picked up the dress because I loved the pattern. It’s like a size 12 and I’m a good size 16/18, but the waist is elastic and the skirt is full. The fabric and design are stunning but as you can see, it’s entirely too long for my plus petite frame and bust is just…untenable. Still, I bought it because I had a vision. I knew that hemming the dress would be cinch and the bust could be adjusted with some small additional strips of fabric.

7. Be Nice

We learned this when we were kids and it never goes out of style. Let’s talk more about this awesome DemestiksNYC  dress, shall we? Reuben Reuel, the awesome designer behind DemestiksNYc ran just a few minutes late to the sale and when he arrived there were a handful of women there. Instead of sitting around and waiting for him to tell us we could start shopping, we approached him and offered a hand. He accepted and we got to work setting things up. That benefited everyone  in a ton ways:

1. It’s generally always good to do good things. It’s its own reward, you know?

2. We got the space set-up super quickly because many hands tended to the work.

3. We got FIRST DIBS at looking at and shopping the goods! So when I came across the dress,  I fell in love. Things were already discounted but, because I because I helped (and also because Reuben is a just a good egg), he gave me

So when I came across the dress,  I fell in love. Things were already discounted but, because I because I helped (and also because Reuben is a just a good egg), he gave me an even deeper discount. To be a clear, I bought a dress that retails for about $170, for $25. I took that dress to my tailor, adjusted things as I planned and this is what I was able to cook up:

??????????????????????????????? full shade       detail Notice the extra strips of fabric I had inserted so that the dress worked for my shape.  Instead of choosing to get the strips made in exactly the same fabric and risk issues like the pattern not lining up, I went for a matching fabric that echoes the dress color scheme.  To make that additional fabric feel cohesive, I also had a bit of it placed at the neckline as piping. ???????????????????????????????back detail   ??????????????????????????????? The tailor charged me $20 for the alterations. The total cost of the dress for me was $45. That’s still not even a 1/3 of the actual cost of the dress! These are just a few rules that have worked for me. I’d love to hear yours too. Sound off in the comments and let’s make sure our closets flourish at the next sample sale!

Thanks for reading; talk soon!

Dress:DemestiksNYC

Belt: Talbots

Shoes: Zara

Rings: Aldo

 

Care to hear more of my random musings and chatter? If you don’t already, follow me on IG and Twitter and  and  like me on Facebook! If you already do, don’t be a stranger; drop me a line!

Simple {Summer Pinstripes & Lizard Print}

5 Aug

I’m more of a bright lights/bright colors girl, but I feel super chic in light neutrals, so filthy NYC streets, trains and ethos notwithstanding, I gave them a try. Not to mention, it’s 1,000 degrees in the shade most days. So really this is a matter of function; just trying not to melt.

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Funny story about these shoes; I spotted them on the awesome, Ivory Jinelle a few months back and I fell in love.

I ran to the Google streets to find a pair and came up short. So, I shook my fist at the sky and ‘Gone with the Wind’ style, I murmured:   ‘As God is my witness, I’ll find these shoes ones day!’  Whatever, things get dramatic for me. 

Anyway, fast forward to one random too warm Saturday, after a long day of errands, friends, and walking, I wandered into a DSW to do nothing more than enjoy some free air conditioning and tripped over a box in the aisle. I looked down and, like manna from shoe heaven, found these shoes, in my size. Last pair in the building.

So yes, I almost broke my ankle finding these shoes, but sigh;  He will provide all of my heels, friends.

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Thanks for reading! Talk soon!

 

Dress: NuLook

Shoes: Steve by Steve Madden (via DSW and apparently, good fortune)

Cuff and Sunnies: F21

Collar: Nordstroms

Earrings: Kate Spade

Care to hear more of my random musings and chatter? If you don’t already, follow me on IG and Twitter and  and  like me on Facebook! If you already do, don’t be a stranger; drop me a line!

Well, Look What the Wind Blew In… [Crops and Patterns]

7 Jul

 

Crops, crops everywhere, amirite?  I, like most of the blogosphere,  have embraced them wholesale,  but sometimes,  just a hint of tummy can be quite effective.

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I fell in love with this amazing canvas jacket from Eloquii (man–I haven’t even had a chance to discuss my joy about Eloquii coming back; so much fashion news has happened since I blogged last!). Everything from the placement of the zippers and seams to the weight of the fabric felt tailor made for me.  Because it was white, I figured, ‘Eh, I’ll wear once or twice and call it day.’ To my surprise, it’s been a wardrobe workhouse and, knock on a Tide Stick wood, has managed to stay white despite my magnet-like ability to attract stains.

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Meanwhile, nothing could be done about this wind. Bloggers plan, God laughs.

 

So good to be back, friends. Talk soon.

 

Jacket: Eloquii

Crop top: Forever 21

Pants: Evans

Shoes: ASOS

 

Care to hear more of my random musings and chatter? If you don’t already, follow me on IG and Twitter and  and  like me on Facebook! If you already do, don’t be a stranger; drop me a line!

I’m not a businessman, I’m a “Business,” man. [Stripes x Flowers]

10 Sep

I very recently ‘came out’ as a blogger in my professional life. It was a hard decision for me; I blog under an alias (which essentially IS my name), because I felt like it was the only way to manage my Google identity for professional reasons AND enjoy a corner of the internet in which to talk fashions.

And so it went with many portions of my life–Adrienne (that’s me) wears somber colors but Addi (still me)  mixes patterns. Adrienne runs political campaigns, but Addi runs a fashion blog. Adrienne got a degree in Political Science with a focus on Feminist Political Theory, but Addi got a degree in Music Theory and Performance. Somehow, I internalized the idea that if my ‘serious ambitions’ world got wind of my love–and participation in–le monde d’Artsy Fartsy, neither world would take me seriously.

But as I get older (and arguably more reckless?), I wonder, who says? More important, once you discover ‘who says,’ who says you have to acquiesce?

We often bisect ourselves into palatable slivers for others’ consumption. How many slices can a person make before they no longer  resemble their whole?

Recently,  I had to attend a more professional event, meet a host of new folks and do a bit of public speaking. I hemmed and hawed about a look–I could  wear the classic ‘black suit and pop of color,’ except I just really REALLY wasn’t into it. It just isn’t me anymore (at least, not this week).

So, I didn’t. I wore this.

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And yes: when I arrived, sure enough, i was a striped and flowered, pink shoe-d fish in a sea of somber suits. But, as the event ended and just as I was leaving, one woman approached me and said:

‘ Wait! I just had to tell you, your outfit is so cute! You like one of those fashion bloggers or something.’

And thought to myself, ‘Yeah. Yeah, I do.’

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Thanks for reading; talk soon!

Jacket and Skirt; Dorothy Perkins (size tip; size down!)

Shoes and Earrings: Kate Spade

Blouse: Simply Be

Ankara All the Time

26 Aug

Howdy. Longest time, no see.

I thought I’d start back up and see if, after so long, we can re-connect and re-build together; hopefully, I’m right.

It’s been a long few months and my silence was a combination of excuses.

‘I’m not inspired!’ I’d cry.

‘It’s too cold!’ I’d shiver (this one, you see, is seasonal and can be replaced with ‘too hot/wet/muggy/dry).’

Everything’s bad and nothing’s good! I’d hyperbolicize (not a word, I realize).

But the thing is, if you’re not careful, you can create a world full of ‘reasons why not.’ After all these quiet fashion-less months, I felt compelled to find a reason ‘why,’ and it started with the dress below.

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I am a long-time Etsy lover and it’s become mecca for custom- and (really WELL) made pieces that most won’t have but many will covet.

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Look at this Ankara magic dress by DemestiksNYC!  Ankara, is a brightly dyed  wax fabric, often associated with West Africa because of graphic prints, but actually of Dutch origin, that breathes exceptionally well in the summer and is just generally amazing. As a Cameroonian girl, my family has worn ankara forever, so a dress like this feels both fashion-forward and, like ‘home’ to me.

Usually, folks see Ankara and think summer, but I’m newly re-obsessed with it, I’m trying to figure out how to do it year-round.

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Thanks for reading; talk soon (I promise!)

Earrings: Aldo

Dress: DemestiksNYC

Shoes: La Dolve Vita

Sunnies: Domino Dollhouse

Out of the Blue {Bold Tights & Animal Prints}

3 Dec

I love a pop of color and am particularly attracted to the brightly colored tight.

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full on hipIn work situations, one of my favorite things to do is to juxtapose something unexpected withsomething super classic, like a basic black dress and simple jewelry.

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Thanks for reading; talk soon!

Dress: JCrew

Necklace: Bauble Bar

Tights: We Love Tights

Shoes: Casedei

Care to hear more of my random musings and chatter? If you don’t already, follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook! If you already do, don’t be a stranger; drop me a line!

Neutral Impact {[More]Dots & Colorblocks}

28 Nov

One day, I will get over dots. But today is not that day, friends.

I’ve been trying to think through why I’m so attracted to dotted patterns.  I think it’s the idea that such a simplistic pattern creates something so graphic. More and more, I’m taken with this idea that impactful dressing is not necessarily just about color or skin, but rather about employing wit, boldness and discipline to  combine small, (but great) details that build, one upon the other. I’m not necessarily saying I’m the master of this school of thought, but I will say that I’m an apt pupil.


Thanks for reading; talk soon.

Jacket & Shirt: ASOS

Skirt: Ann Taylor

Shoes: Zara

Earrings: Vintage

Ring: Low Luv x Erin Wasson

 

Care to hear more of my random musings and chatter? If you don’t already, follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook! If you already do, don’t be a stranger; drop me a line!

 

 

Fox Trot {Animal Caricature & Tweed}

26 Nov

This year, Mama Curve decreed that no kitchen of hers (or mine) would be ripped asunder for Thanksgiving efforts.

So we took our bellies and parked them at restaurant in Midtown.

I realize that no one is really talking about winter shorts this season, that doesn’t make them any less adorable. One must use more than just the trends to define their fashion choices, you know?

Speaking of trends, I’ve been enamored with animal caricature sweaters and wanted one I could wear at work and at play.  I love the whimsy,  but the ones I’ve seen are a little too twee.

Let’s be candid: I look like a cross between a Cabbage Patch doll and young Gary Coleman;  workplace ageism is real and my fight for professional legitimacy never ends. So, where am I going in a fuzzy, pastel pink sweater with a baby chick on the front?

This sweater created an entry point for me. The Autumn-ready color and well place fox detail are great way to do the trend ‘quirky,’ not cute.

But meanwhile, all that carrying on about ‘cute vs quirky’ and I end up serendipitously styling my hair into bow.

This hair was a happy accident. I regret nothing.

Thanks for reading; Talk soon.

Sweater: ModCloth (sized small; I’m a 14/16 on top and got a xxl)

Shorts: Forever 21

Shoes: Michael Kors

Earrings: Kate Spade

Care to hear more of my random musings and chatter? If you don’t already, follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook! If you already do, don’t be a stranger; drop me a line!

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