OOTD: Dinner and a Movie

I went to see Jack the Giant Slayer and out for Indian food with a friend on Sunday. It was a little drizzly, but felt like spring, so I was excited to wear something pretty instead of bundling up for a mountain winter.

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I was so excited when I saw this yellow-and-cream striped skirt show up in my size on eShakti’s overstock page for $30, shipped. I am in love with it over all, but it’s a little big for me and way, way too long. Like ankle length, instead of calf-length. You can see in this picture that it’s pulled up almost to my armpits under my top. I’m still trying to get a handle on the standard sizes there. I’ve bought 26 and it’s too small, and even a size 28 top that was too tight across the bust. This skirt is a 28 and it almost falls off me. Their customized sizes are the way to go for sure, because I feel like this was probably a return from someone who was several inches taller than me.

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The top is just a Kelly green cami from Kohls that cost about $7 on clearance, and the jean jacket came from Savers for $8. I love the little pin on my jacket. I got it for $1 from Salvation Army on President’s Day.

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The little black flats were on sale for $5 at Payless this week.

I loved this outfit, even though looking at the pictures, I’m a little shocked at how clearly visible the top of the skirt was under the cami. It wasn’t obvious when I looked at myself in the mirror. I’ll need a looser top, I guess. Also, I think maybe I can alter the skirt a little to fit me better. Take it up two stripes, maybe, and in at the waist a little.

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Did you know that my first novel, a young-adult dystopian story called Viral Nation, is scheduled for release by Penguin Books on July 2, 2013? Click here to like my author Facebook page. Thank you so much for your support!

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How To Be a Fat Bitch: Week Three

Rachele at The Nearsighted Owl is hosting a year-long eCourse called How to Be a Fat Bitch. She posts a short vlog, an assignment, and some discussion questions. I’ll be posting here on Wednesdays about the assignment and questions. Come join in the fun!

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Week Three Assignment:

Challenge yourself to wear something that you might have felt weary about in the past. Break up your routine with something different and you might open yourself up to some radical new styles! 

My fashion strategy, for many years, has been to wear whatever clothes fit and are comfortable. I have some strange claustrophobia issues, so I can’t stand to wear anything that feels confining. Or, at least, I’m not used to wearing them so they feel weird and feeling weird is distracting to me. I wear jeans and t-shirts or sweaters almost everyday.

Confession: on days when I don’t leave the house, sometimes I just stay in my pajamas. I work from home, so sometimes that happens for two or three days in a row.

That doesn’t sound so bad on the surface. It kind of is, though, because bottom line, the way I dress (sometimes) is reflective of some residual self-loathing. I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror, or think about how I look long enough to pick out a cute outfit. Or I don’t want to spend money on nice clothes, because some part of me doesn’t believe that I deserve them. Sometimes I actually feel weird if I’m dressed up, like I’m making a spectacle of myself. Like, wearing a dress to the grocery store sometimes feels equivalent to wearing a Halloween costume out in public. In February.

Working on self-acceptance over the last couple of years has really made a difference in the way I feel about myself. As a result, the gap between how I feel inside and how I present myself to the world has changed. I have a goal for 2013 to build a wardrobe I love, and I’ve already made strides toward that. One part of that goal is to wear dresses more often. I love dresses. I’m not acclimated to them, but I’m working on it. Part of working on it means buying a few.

eShakti had a sale this week where you got a $20 gift certificate, and then another one when you used the first, and so on, plus $5 shipping. I spent about $100 and bought four things from their overstock (already 40 percent off) that really made me happy, and are definitely pieces that I would have hesitated about (or not even thought about in the first place), not too long ago.

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Week Three Discussion:

Do you have some fatshion tips to share? Please do!

1. Clean out your closet. First of all, you might have things you forgot about in there, and it will be like Christmas. Second, and most important, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit. Don’t hold on to it for that magical day when you lose weight. Your closet should be filled with only clothes that fit you and that you love.

2. Hit the thrift stores, and hit them often if you’re trying to build your wardrobe. Learn when your local stores have sales. Also, know how much you’re willing to spend on things. For instance, I can’t remember the last time I spent more than $10 on jeans, but dresses are harder to find so I’ll spend up to about $40 on one new (on sale) if I’m really in love with it. That’s my budget.

3. Break the rules. It’s okay to wear bright colors or small patterns or horizontal stripes. I promise.

4. Buy clothes that fit really well. Sometimes that means buying a bigger or smaller size than you think you wear. For instance, eShakti’s clothes are designed so that they’re smaller in the waist than most other brands that I wear a size up. I almost always take a size down in cardigans, because I like them fitted.

5. Remember that you aren’t hear to be anyone’s eye candy. Conversely, you also don’t have an inherent obligation to protect the rest of the world from seeing your big ass or wide hips or thick waist in stripes or bright colors. Dress to please yourself. Period.

Putting it Together (6)

Putting it Together is a weekly feature. Every Monday, I’ll find an straight-sized outfit, analyze why it works for me, then put it together in plus sizes with some ideas about making it affordable. The “My Shopping List” page has a list of items that I’m hunting for and links to every PiT post.

Have a outfit in mind you’d like me to put together? Email it to me at circoluma@gmail.com.

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I found this week’s inspiration photo on Mod Cloth’s style page. I love the sort of nautical style, and I always love stripes with bright colors. It’s so cheerful and pretty.

img_462w_6288405be6dcHere’s how I put it together for fat girls:

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As soon as I saw the inspiration photo, I knew I wanted to put it together. If you’ve seen my other PiT posts, you know I’m all about the mis-matchiness. I loved the navy/white/purple combo. I don’t do hats much, so I skipped that part.

CL0026187PThis is one of my favorite dresses on the eShakti site right now. I love the stripes so much, especially the way they chevron on the bodice. It comes with a green belt. If you wanted to, you could switch it out for something pastel and match it to a knit hat, but I like kelly green, so I probably wouldn’t change it. It’s $64.95, full price. If you’re a new customer, you can get a $25 gift certificate by signing up for emails. Also, eShakti consistently has good sales if you keep your eye out for them.

cn5492186This white boyfriend cardi is on sale for $16.97 at Old Navy right now. I’d probably order it in a size down, because I like my cardigans to be fitted through the arms.

0322_33202_mc_0327Pretty silver tights on sale at Avenue for less than $6!

rc_151776_X0I love these sparkly purple flats from Lane Bryant. They’re on clearance for $20.96, and they come in wide width.

0360_05067_mc_2555Avenue has this cute purple bag for $19.99. I like the silver accents.

If you went out and bought all of these things new and at the prices listed, you’d spend $130, plus shipping.

As always, the easiest place to save is with the purse. Thrift stores routinely have a wide variety, and if you keep looking eventually you’ll be able to find the perfect purple purse for $10 or less. You might be able to pick up a pair of purple flats that way, too. Especially if you don’t have size 12 feet, like me.

I’ll be adding “striped dress” to my thrift shopping list.

Putting it Together (5)

Putting it Together is a weekly feature. Every Monday, I’ll find an straight-sized outfit, analyze why it works for me, then put it together in a plus size with some ideas about making it affordable. The “My Shopping List” page has a list of items that I’m hunting for and links to every PiT post.

Have a outfit in mind you’d like me to put together? Email it to me at circoluma@gmail.com.

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I found this week’s inspiration photo on the Anthropologie website. I like to look at the site–mostly–but it also makes me sad sometimes because A) nothing there will fit me and B) I can’t afford any of it anyway.

So, let’s see what we can do about that, shall we?

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What do I really love about this outfit? I like the way the minty green of the skirt and the acid-y yellow of the cardigan almost match, but not quite. I like the vintage feel of the cardigan. And I love the prim little blouse under it all. I really love how it doesn’t quite match, in texture and pattern and color, but it still all works together.

PicMonkey CollageI know what you’re thinking. The pieces I picked don’t have anything to do with the inspiration photograph. But hear me out. Here are a few things that came up when I was sourcing this outfit.

1. There are far fewer clothing items available in plus sizes than there are for straight sizes. I could have had my pick of half a dozen mint skirts or yellow lace sweaters if I’d been okay with the sizes stopping at 14 or maybe 16. But that doesn’t work for me. The lack of choice in plus-size fashion isn’t a revelation, I know, but this outfit gave me the chance to talk about it here.

2. I like brighter colors.

So, anyway, I had to take the spirit of the outfit this time, rather than matching it precisely. I looked for a skirt and a lacy sweater that almost matched, but not quite (I thought the red-orange and mustard yellow were similar in the same way the acid yellow and mint green were in the inspiration photo.)

I really wanted a lacey sweater for this outfit. I think it’s important to the over all look.

168-1448-3064-80-yyyThis one comes from Nue Options and is on sale right now for $27.99. I’m really drawn to the color (although I would have been happy to find a yellow one, too.)

CL0025768VI could not, no matter how hard I looked, find a pencil skirt in mint green that came in plus sizes. Or one in any pastel shade, for that matter. I did find a few, but this outfit needs a skirt with structure, since it has a blouse with structure. I could have found a pastel flowy skirt, but it wouldn’t have looked right at all. I love this skirt from eShakti. It’s got a great 50s vibe, which jives well with the lacy sweater, don’t you think? And I think the big stripes with the small pattern on the top are great together. It costs $72.95, but eShakti has regular sales of up to 30 percent off.

CL0025796VThe top I picked is from eShakti as well. It’s covered in little swans. I really love the way it goes with the skirt, that mis-matchy way that I loved about the original outfit. It costs $59.95, and again eShakti has regular very good sales. Also, watch their overstock link, you never know what might come up in your size.

The original photo didn’t show shoes, but I think I’d just do some black or maybe gold ballet flats with this outfit.

I’m adding a lacy, retro or vintage cardigan to my shopping list. I think it would look adorable over any tiny-print blouse, even just with jeans or a skirt I already have. So, a tiny-print blouse is going on my list as well.

Putting it Together (4)

Putting it Together is a weekly feature. Every Monday, I’ll find an straight-sized outfit, analyze why it works for me, then put it together in a plus size with some ideas about making it affordable. The “My Shopping List” page has a list of items that I’m hunting for and links to every PiT post.

Have a outfit in mind you’d like me to put together? Email it to me at circoluma@gmail.com.

* * *

I found this picture in Mod Cloth’s Style Gallery:

img_462w_d78cdab80f50I really love the navy/white/red colorway, and the neutral shoes that show off the cool socks. This outfit has a sort of nautical feeling to me, and it’s perfect for almost-spring. Here’s how I put it together for the fatshionista:

DSC_0054Cute, right? And best part, it’s all on clearance. And all the pieces could be worn in a thousand ways.

CL0025705PThe dress is from eShakti. I love the patterns at the bottom and the vintage cut. So cute. Plus, it’s on sale, 30 percent off, so $55.95 instead of 79.95.

0338_02511_mmThe cardigan is from Avenue. On clearance for $15.96 down from $54!

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgCute little navy knee socks from sock dreams. $8.

0324_01549_mmAnd these shoes from Avenue. Marked down to $39.99 from $48. I like these flats over the heels in the inspiration photo. I just don’t do shoes like hers.

The total cost for this outfit, if you bought it today would be $119.90.

What you really need is a navy and white dress, a bright cardi, navy socks or tights, and a pair of neutral, open shoes. The best place to save some money is with the cardi. You might already have one (even if it isn’t red. Yellow or green would look cute, too.) If you keep your eyes out, you’ll be able to find one at a thrift for no more than $10. (Not much of a savings. That cardi from Avenue is a great price right now.)

If you’ve never bought from eShakti, you can give them your email and get a $25 gift code. That would make this dress about $30.

I like the socks/open shoes look, but I think my gold flats would look just as cute. And I already own them. You might already own a pair of neutral-colored shoes that would work, which would save you $40.

If you have a bright cardi and neutral shoes, you could put this together for the $30 for the dress with the gift code. Not bad!

I’m adding a navy and white dress to my shopping list. It might take a while, but I’m pretty sure I’ll find one.

Sunday Love (4)

247782 247781We’re moving! Right now we live in a 900-square foot apartment. By “we” I mean Kevin and I, plus Ruby and Nick, who is 19. The kitchen is so small, you can’t open the oven all the way! The very best part about our new house is the huge wrap around back porch. February 15th can’t get here soon enough!

376842230348003199_269489236I found this set of patio furniture at a thrift store this week. It’s a couch, a love seat, two big tables, two or three small tables, and about eight chairs. If it’s still there tomorrow morning, it’s total mine. It’ll be 60 percent off!

CL0026187VLove this dress from eShakti. It’s on sale right now, 30 percent off! Plus, if you’re a new customer they’ll email you a $25 off coupon.

CL0025223_OSPI used by $25 eShakti coupon to get this dress. It was in their outlet for $25, so it only cost me $10!

airbnbAdrienne and I are going to New York in May for Book Expo America. We spent a couple of hours last night looking at airbnb.com, where you can rent a room or an apartment from private landlords for really reasonable prices. Some of them looked amazing, for less than half the cost of a conference hotel.

game-of-thronesI’ve been watching the first two seasons of Game of Thrones again this week. Is anyone else stoked that it’s coming back in March?

tumblr_m1bacqWFcD1r2784vo1_500And . . . last but not least: This Tumblr posts scans of old Sassy magazines. Sassy was so important to me when I was a teenager. It’s a sad, sad shame that it isn’t around any more. I think I might have to start keeping an eye out for old issues to start collecting. I especially loved the “Making It” feature. It taught you how to upcycle your clothes.

Sunday Love (1)

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I am in love with these (totally free) Louis Vuitton paper dolls.

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2013 is going to be a big year for me. I don’t want to forget a thing. This orange Smash Book is going to help with that. Right now, on the K & Company site, if you buy $45 worth of stuff, you get 25 percent off and free shipping. You can buy a ton for $45, and get it for something like $37. Delivered.

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The awesome staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center who took good care of me last night when my face blew up like a toad and hurt like nothing I can even describe. Morphine and a CT scan were involved. It was crazy. Who gets an infected face? This girl. Ouchie.

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These two, for taking extra good care of me and my infected face–even though I am the world’s least-pleasant sick person.

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Oh, how I love this Eshakti dress. It’s covered in little bicycles!

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This yummy, yummy, super easy slow cooker Chicken and Dumplings recipe. I used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I also didn’t have cream of chicken soup, so I made a roux. I might just have to post the recipe soon. Either way, super delicious, easy comfort food.