Dear Target

Dear Target,

Despite being a retailer that prides itself on stylishly being all things to all people, your plus size market has been grossly ignored. The plus size section is relegated to 2 or 3 racks at the far end of women’s apparel, and is often mixed in with maternity. While the emergence of the Ava & Viv line, designed in collaboration with several notable fashion bloggers, was supposed to provide a fresh face, nothing changed. The most fashionable items (which were little more than colorful basics) were offered in that initial launch, and everything since then has been absolutely pitiful. At my local Target, the plus line is updated with 5-7 new pieces per season. Invariably, half of them are black or white.

Meanwhile, a quick perusal of Target.com shows a substantial collection of plus items in Target’s proprietary Merona and Mossimo lines, many of which are equivalent to the plus size lines…and none of which make it to my local Target stores, with the exception of solid color tees, cardigans, and basic slacks. The demand for fashionable plus size clothing clearly exists, as evidenced by the fact that the Lilly Pulitzer collection sold out in mere hours.

So, you’ve tried it again in a collection with Who What Wear and you’re finally doing some things right. The collaboration is a long term one and includes plus sizes. Perhaps most importantly, almost every item in the straight size line was provided in plus, in at least 2 color/pattern options.  Aesthetically, the offerings are a HUGE leap forward from Ava & Viv.

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This dress was the one thing I knew I had to have!

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I’m not a leather jacket kind of girl, but I love having the option to become one.

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Polka dots are always in style for me.

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Finally, modern styling for plus sizes. I bought the boyfriend jeans.

However, there’s still room for improvement. The Who What Wear line was only available in a limited selection of stores, and only a few of those stores carried the plus line. As stated above, some of the items were not available plus.  For example, a longline blazer in blush pink and an olive green  sweater dress that I would have purchased if I had the option. Additionally, the logistics were off. The collection was stated to go live on January 31, but I couldn’t add anything to my cart until about 12:30 pm CST (and I only got to the plus size items by searching the Target website, because they weren’t up on the splash page). But the Target twitter account said the plus size items wouldn’t be available until February 1–with the likely result that some shoppers missed out entirely. Last but not least, Who What Wear is dissociating itself from the plus items. They link to the Target collection on their website, but only provide links for the straight size items. It’s kind of hard to send  a message that all your customers matter when your collaborator doesn’t acknowledge half of them.

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Love this dress, but couldn’t buy it.

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This would go great with some of my dresses if it were available in my size.

Target didn’t knock it out of the park, but it finally has a plus size collection that is comparable to Forever 21, H&M, ASOS, and others. It remains to be seen whether the progress will continue, or if this is just another means of placating the masses without really solving the problem.

 

 

5 Favorites for 2016

Happy New Year! I’m kicking off another year on the blog with 5 things that I’m loving right now.

Jazmine Sullivan, “Reality Show”

      This album dropped at the  beginning of the year. I live my life on shuffle so it took until this summer for me to listen to the album as a whole, but it’s been on repeat ever since. My absolute favorite song on the album is “Let It Burn”. It samples an old Babyface-produced track which feels like a long lost Debarge track.  

These boots from Target.

target shearling boots

 

    It’s cold as crap outside! Accuweather is telling me that I’m lucky, but 50 degrees feels stupid cold when you spend 9 months out of the year at 85 degrees and up. Not to mention that the office a/c apparently runs year round. I’m going to be wearing these bad boys out for the next 8 weeks!* :-D

Mozart in the Jungle

I finally broke down and got an Amaz.on Pr.ime subscription. I knew it would pay for itself in Kin.dle books alone, but since all my regular shows are on winter hiatus, I had time to try out a new show. Mozart is actually really good! It’s a nice, light, 30 minute comedy. And having spent about 10 years in the orchestra, it’s nice to hear classical music and enjoy all the quirky musicians’ shenanigans. Check it out here.

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The Awkward Yeti web comics

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Somebody shared a collection of these on Facebook and I’m hooked. They’re super cute and the misadventures of Heart and Brain just speak to my life.

Tazo Gingerly Jasmine Tea

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Hubs got me a kettle for Christmas, which is enabling my new tea habit. I love green tea but this flavor from Tazo is wonderful. The flavor of the tea mixed with ginger, jasmine and rose petals has just the right balance of floral, earthy and spicy notes. Mixed with a couple teaspoons of local Texas honey, there’s no better way to unwind after a hard day at work.

 

 

*ICYMI, Houston has 3 months of winter, 3 months of spring, and 6 months of hell.

 

Trayvon, Eric, Mike, et al : Where do we go from here?

2014-15 was when Millenials collectively figured out that white people are still racist, the political system is rigged, and the justice system is crooked af. So what are we going to do about it?

If you were to compile a list of victims of police violence, and only include those who got media coverage, you’d still come up with a list as long (or longer!) than Bi.ll C.osby’s so-called groupies.*

There’s a lot of protests and social media buzz, and I’m not mad at that. Times have changed, the media and the way we consume media have changed. Our civil rights movement is not going to look like that of yesteryear. However…I think my generation risks throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We still need to vote, attend city council meetings, write to our representatives, and volunteer with the youth so that they know this stuff matters too. And before you say “politics doesn’t work, we’ve tried it” have we really? Only about 1/3 of the eligible voting population turns out for PRESIDENTIAL elections.

The truth is, citizens have much more power at the state and local level than federal. The President controls the army and foreign policy. Congress passes a lot of laws, but how much it affects you depends on how much you’re bothered by other people’s ability to marry the same sex or get an abortion. But state and local government basically run your life. Sales tax? Local/state government. Property tax? Local government. School district zoning? Local government. Police reform? Local government. See where I’m going with this?

You can only get so far with raising awareness. At some point, you’ve got to give people a job to do. The Black Friday boycotts are a great start, but that only happens once a year. And as much as I enjoy supporting black business year round, there’s not a black owned, non-chain grocery store or drug store where I live so Kroger and CVS are going to continue to get my dollars. I also think that we need to think multiculturally. The NAACP can’t do everything (and haven’t been doing much of anything lately). What about the Urban League, the ACLU, the National Action Network and the Anti-Defamation League? Traditional political processes are slow and bureaucratic, and we want instant results. But policy doesn’t happen overnight. And you get things done a lot faster when you can bring a coalition together to accomplish a single goal.

 

 

 

 

 

*I was being cute but don’t get it twisted, I know he’s a r.apist.

What does a wife look like?

Sometimes when people find out that I’m married, they say things like “You don’t seem like you’d be married” or “I never would have guessed you have a husband”. I laugh it off but can’t help but wonder- what do they think a wife is supposed to look like? I assume a great deal of it has to with my age. If I’m not in my lawyer suit, I get mistaken for someone up to 10 years younger (thanks for the great genes, Mom!). Anyways, it got me thinking about people’s opinions on marriage in general. I believe that marriage isn’t for everyone. But at the same time, marriage gets a bad rap. In 2015, people still seem to think that marriage has to look like June and Ward Cleaver. Why?

I’ve been married two years, and I’m still the same person. Have my priorities changed? Of course. Tex is my husband, and spending time with him is non-negotiable for me. But that does’t mean I gave up everything that didn’t revolve around him. Because we met in college and most of our circle consists of friends who know us both, we usually socialize as a couple. But that doesn’t mean I spend the whole night cuddling him in the corner (although I’m not ashamed to grab a hug and a quick smooch when I feel like it). When he wants to hang at the bar with his homeboys, I’m cool with it. I take advantage of having the apartment to myself and watch the reality shows he hates, give myself a pedicure, or just enjoy the silence and a good book. Unfortunately I don’t have any girlfriends who live less than an hour away from me, but I still keep in touch. Tex is my rock but he can’t be my entire life.

We just do what works for us. A woman in my building was scandalized by the fact that I don’t always wear my wedding band. Neither does Tex. It’s not a diss- I love my rings. But I’ve never been much into jewelry and I work in a really small office where everyone knows I’m married. If I have to fend off a random guy at the grocery store from time to time, so be it. WE know we’re married and a piece of metal doesn’t affect our commitment level. I knew he was the one years before he put a ring on it; that just made it official to the rest of the world. We do our own thing. He does most of the house cleaning; I do the cooking and manage the finances. lt works and if it stops working, we’ll figure it out.

Marriage isn’t a death sentence. I enjoy being a wife as much as I enjoy being a sister, a friend, an attorney. It’s another part of my life. And it can look like whatever I want it to.

Loose lips and pink slips

This image originally appeared at http://peoplelab.co.uk/trust-me-im-your-employee/

This image originally appeared at http://peoplelab.co.uk/trust-me-im-your-employee/

Since 2002 when Heather Armstrong got fired for making objectionable comments about her workplace on her blog, social media has exploded. It’s now an inescapable fact of life that we’re living in what amounts to a self-imposed surveillance state. Headed out  to the store in your IDGAF comfy clothes? Don’t be surprised if you end up on People of Walmart. If you get into a barroom brawl you might see it later on Worldstar Hip-Hop. Between Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and the memes that accompany every news item of note, privacy is all but dead.

But for all of us who are not celebrities, the internet presence that’s attributed to you is usually of your own choosing. Unless you’re applying for a job that requires some type of government clearance, most employers are not going to go any further than a Google search and a standard background check. So if you don’t put your government name on all your social media accounts (and don’t follow/friend all your coworkers), you can maintain some level of privacy on the internet.

The National Labor Relations Board recently passed down a ruling which states that employees cannot be fired for criticizing their employer online. It’s considered protected activity. This squares with the NLRB’s general policy on social media. This doesn’t give you the all clear, though- you can still be fired for posts that are not considered protected activity (such as  untrue statements about the employer, disclosure of confidential information, or racist/sexist/harassing comments that contribute to a hostile work environment). And this doesn’t take into account the ways in which your outspokenness about job conditions (or even religion or politics) may make a bad impression on your employer, leading the company to place you under scrutiny without your knowledge.

The lesson? Social media and your job don’t mix. If you’re in a creative field, then having a bold personality is part of your brand. Nobody wants a musician who is wholly without opinions, and a little controversy can differentiate a stylist or photographer from the crowd. As for the rest of us, no news is generally goodness. The complete absence of an internet presence can scare employers off because nobody wants to hire a complete unknown. It just depends on how much you want to reveal. As a newbie lawyer, I err on the side of caution. My job is to be objective and so until I have an established track record, I’d rather not have all my opinions on display. When it comes to my job, I try not to blog, Facebook or tweet anything negative. Had a tough day at work? CALL A FRIEND. It’s highly unlikely that your BFF is going to record the conversation and send it to your boss. It’s highly more likely that one of your coworkers is going to screenshot your complaints about your boss and save them for a rainy day. Stay woke and remember- loose lips equal pink slips.

I’m back

This blog has gotten awfully dusty. First it was because I was in an unemployment-related funk and didn’t have anything to say. Then it was because I was having an inner struggle about how much is too much of yourself to reveal on the internet. Then it was because I was just too damn busy.

Well, better late than never. Things are going pretty well. I’m getting into the groove at work and feeling less like a rookie by the day. Tex got a promotion and even though his hours have gotten almost as long as mine, he’s really loving his job. Two months after the passing of our friend, I’m finally starting to feel back to normal. I’m sleeping better and feeling less “bleh” in general. I’ve still got a lot on my plate at work but it doesn’t feel quite so impossible.

I’ve been thinking more and more about having kids. NO, I’m not nearly ready to have them but we are going to become godparents in December. I suppose I need the practice. It seems like another friend or family member gets pregnant every week now (a lot of them are MY AGE!) and I just can’t wrap my head around it. I can barely handle taking care of myself and my husband right now. I just paid off my law school credit card debt, and now I’m getting ready to make a couple balloon payments on my car note before my student loan deferment ends. I mean, we wouldn’t be broke if we had a kid but it’s not just the money (because let’s face it, as long as parents want to give their kids the world no amount of money will be enough). But the time, the energy, the sheer monumental effort…geez louise. I’m not ready for that yet.

What I have come to realize is that money/work are not important to me. At least, not the way they seem to be to society at large. I need to focus on stacking paper while we’re living that DINK* life and just know that I will need to budget to live below my means after that. Because I’m not interested in being a full time working mom, nor do I want to be a housewife. I want something in between. I’d like to be a part-time/contract lawyer so I can set my own hours and only take on as many clients as I want to. But the full time firm lawyer thing is just not gonna cut it forever. But hey, as long as I’m making more than I would folding shirts at Macy’s I’m good.

It’s become solidified for me that I’m far more interested in “leaning in” to my husband and our family than any job. Tex and I have weathered many a storm during our first two years of marriage- extended unemployment, relocation, living with his parents, and the death of one of our closest friends. And being able to count on him during those times has made me fall more in love with him than ever. He’s the best part of my life (no pun intended). I’m not going to go to my deathbed regretting that I didn’t spend enough time working. I care about my career- I worked hard to become a lawyer and I enjoy it. But as long as we have enough money to meet our needs and take a few  vacations, I’m good.

 

 

*Dual income, no kids.