The September Issues

It’s finally September, aka new year’s for fashion. I love seeing the latest trends, even though I live in a place where fall lasts for about three weeks in January. I finally know why peep toe booties, wool mini skirts, and sleeveless sweaters are a thing–the only way to signal the change in seasons here is through color and fabric because it never gets cold enough for the chic layering that is the staple of cold weather fashion. ¬†Anyway, on to the magazines! And apologies in advance for the low quality pictures, my Blackberry screen is cracked so I’m using a backup phone with a terrible camera.

Glamour

Number of pages: 216

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review: I used to subscribe to Glamour in college but after I turned 25 I felt like I had aged out of it. They have rebranded once again and it seems like they’re trying to expand their age demographic again. There were a lot of substantive articles in this issue, which I would normally applaud. This time it just annoyed me because for a September issue, it was less fashion focused than I would like. Their “Shop the Trends” feature was pretty basic, with the formula of picking a runway model look and surrounding it with the everyday version of the outfit. I can also tell they haven’t quite figured out how to reformat the magazine to look across digital and print, because many of the spreads looked very amateur-fashion-blogger-Instagram-y. Another feature, “Fashion Month Throwback”, where editors shared their fashion impressions of New York, London, Milan, and Paris, was literally printed diagonally. That’s cool if you’re reading on a tablet that can rotate, but just annoying if you’re reading print. “Outfits for Days” has taken place of their “30 Outfit Ideas“, which seems to have perished sometime in 2013. I liked the old feature because it revolved around 5-7 key pieces, worn by differently sized models, and guaranteed I would find at least one outfit or styling combination to try. This month’s feature revolved around just one week of outfits and 5 of the 7 pictures don’t show the full outfit -_- What’s the point?

However, I have to give Glamour a 1.5 point boost for diversity. I haven’t ever seen this many women of color featured in a magazine not targeted specifically to women of color, outside of a token “diversity issue”. There was a feature on makeup for WOC, black women featured in their career and financial advice sections, a black woman in the hair section, and all of their fashion editorials featured models of color. My favorite was titled “Hometown Hero” which spotlighted Khadijah Red Thunder, an up and coming model with both Black and Native American heritage. I’m 1/4 Muskogee so that was really cool to see, especially since she visually presents as a light skinned black girl (in fact, she looks like a few of my cousins). They even show her in traditional regalia, which was pretty cool.

 

InStyle

Number of pages: 440

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: InStyle is my favorite fashion mag year round, and their September issue did not disappoint. While every magazine has sponsored content, InStyle is the best at writing features around the products that I still want to read anyway–the sponcon has the same production quality, as it were, with the same font used for the text and the same photographic feel. This was the only magazine I read with a minority on the cover and overall had a good amount of WOC featured throughout. There was an editorial featuring Dominican model Dilone; another featuring Kiersey Clemons (the actress who played the main character’s female BFF in Dope); and Solange was the celeb chosen for “Her Best Ever,” a feature that shows several of the star’s red carpet looks over the years and picks one as their favorite.

Still, if you want to see fashion that is (almost) price accessible but still treated with a haute couture sensibility, this is the mag for you. I mean, technically I can afford a $500 dress, ,a $150 blouse or a $275 pair of pants, I could just do so much more with that money. Like pay my car note and buy two $50 dresses, three $30 blouses, and a $40 pair of pants instead. ūüôā Anyway, what you won’t find is anything from Forever 21 or Old Navy (although the occasional Banana Republic piece may slip in from time to time). And while the menswear trend has been on the rise for the past few years, honest to goodness pantsuits are back. As an attorney, I very much appreciate a more stylish take on what is, for me, a workplace necessity.

And the photography is so lush–InStyle never cheaps out on editorials, they’re always a visual feast. Check out the stunning simplicity of this shot of Mariacarla Boscono, which I had to Google because my cell phone camera wouldn’t do it justice:

Photo Credit: InStyle Magazine, Phil Poynter

As Rachel Zoe would say, I die.

 

People Style

Number of pages: 156

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: People Style Watch has rebranded to People Style which is what it should have been called in the first place. No points for doing the obvious, but thanks for making the name less clunky! This is the smallest magazine in page count but probably has the most actual content, since September issues are notorious for having at least 20 more pages of ads than any other time of year. The photo shoots and sartorial style don’t matter because if you’re reading this magazine, it’s for the pages and pages of outfit ideas. People Style has reduced overhead and made their publication extremely accessible because without models, it’s that much easier to imagine yourself in the outfit.

Everything pictured is at Target right now.

The patented formula–take a celeb outfit and recreate it with affordable pieces.

 

However, this is one of the less diverse magazine because all the photos are of celebrities commonly featured in sister publication People, which only covers the celebrities who are household names nationwide. So basically Beyonce, Rihanna, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington are their black girl mainstays. Even so, the fact that you get 100+ pages of a curated Pinterest board is worth the read. Even more so because there are several pages of editors’ picks from what’s actually on sale currently, and a discount directory in the back with coupon codes for featured brands.

Marie Claire

Number of pages: 294

Rating:  3 out of 5

Review: Marie Claire is sort of a mashup of Vogue and Glamour. There are a lot of well intentioned opinion pieces, but the fashion is strictly high end. While the prices are listed, if you have to check? You can’t afford it. This a magazine for the fashion girls because it always features designers, editors, and other fashion industry insiders–not just celebrity clotheshorses. In this mag, the runway is the real way. If you need your fashion dumbed down, read something else. Typically it’s a little too snobby for my taste, but once or twice a year I like to see something that’s a little more elevated. Unsurprisingly, the snobbiest mag is also the least diverse. But the fashion content is on point, so this still skates by with three stars.

This daguerrotype style editorial was gorgeous.

Where am I supposed to wear this Hunger Games-ass oufit?!

 

Hopefully you enjoyed my ramblings. If you made it this far, leave a comment and let me know- what’s your favorite fall trend this year? Do you hate everything? Am I the only one who’s noticed that the trends for the past few years have been virtually the same?

 

 

Advertisements

June Shopping Haul

It’s been a while since I had a summer wardrobe to speak of. That was okay, since Atlanta is only uncomfortably hot for the actual 3 months of summer, where as Houston is hot year round. It was 80 degrees at Christmas, which is unfortunate since one of my husband’s aunts insists on doing an annual ugly sweater contest. eek¬†Anyway, last¬†“winter” I finally came to grips with the fact that I live here now and I don’t need 25 sweaters, five coats and four pairs of boots. *sobs dramatically* So I’ve been purging my closet and realized I had “nothing” to wear. You know what that means!

Let’s get to it. . .

torridromper

Torrid cold shoulder romper

Rompers, rompers, rompers!¬†With all the talk of rompers for men, I realized that-tragedy!- I no longer owned one. My last romper was a sleeveless button up from Forever 21 that I had a lot of fun with circa summer 2011. My cups spilleth over and I had to safety pin the chest from day one, so after two buttons popped I just gave it up. When I saw this romper on clearance at ¬† Torrid I couldn’t resist. It just screams summer fun!

 

Currently all my shorts are bermudas or close to it so I couldn’t resist this mini pair in a polka dot print.

 

colehaanballet

Cole Haan ballet flat

 

I wear a size 11W so it’s hard to find shoes. And either I can’t find anything, or I buy several pairs at one time. Between last month and this month I’ve bought five pairs of shoes and I have no regrets! I’ve been searching for a classic ballet flat forever and this fit the bill. It’s not wide width, but with the round toe and genuine leather construction they stretch to fit. Plus the mini wedge makes them super comfortable. *happy dance*

I love the twist knot detail on these sandals. Simple but chic. They’re my new summer work staple because they go with everything!

 

 

 

 

Did I cop the new Fenty bow slides? Actually no and that’s why I have a beef with Rihanna. After those atrocious fur slides and Spice Girl platform sneakers she finally made some cute shoes but they only go up to a size 10! She really could have got me for about $300 because I L-O-V-E-D not only the bow slides, but also the satin sneakers with ribbon laces. I’ll never have the chance so I got a pair Steve Madden knockoffs, in white leather. At least they’re easier to clean.

I don’t think I’ve ever owned a “freakum dress” in my life. I’m very modest so I very rarely show off more than one part of my body at a time. Honestly, this still probably doesn’t qualify but the combination of the thigh slit, cleavage and back out make it a freakum dress for me. My wedding anniversary is coming up in a few months and it will be nice to see my husband’s jaw drop because I *never* wear stuff like this. Hey boo! *body rolls*

Have you bought anything you love lately? Let me know in the comments!

 

May Shopping Haul

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a fun post. There’s nothing going on pop culture or celebrity wise that ¬†I find particularly interesting so shopping it is! I love the “Sh*t I Bought” series of posts on Jezebel’s The Muse so I decided to do my own for the past month or so.

Disclaimer: I bought a lot of stuff. Don’t judge me! The last time I went on a spree like this was right after I got my law firm job and realized I only had enough workwear to carry me through my first two weeks. Since I quit and went back to school, of course I slashed my discretionary spending. But I got some pretty well paying document review work, along with a surprise influx of cash from an unexpected source. So

I bought this on the spur of the moment while on the way to meet Sunny & Maya at a different store in the shopping center. This is basically the dress equivalent of yoga pants. The fabric is deliciously soft, it’s a modest length, and with the right shoes and a blazer it will pass for summer workwear. The flowiness is also great for that time of the month–you can feel like you’re in pajamas while looking fit for public consumption.H&M

I love a good polka dot tee. I actually already have one but it has half sleeves and no ruffles, and this one was cheap af so why not?

I love dark denim but in Houston, it’s 80 degrees at Christmas and I don’t know what the rest of the year. Dark denim is not your friend in the summer months. I was skeptical about the cropped flare deal, but these actually worked.

Khaki is back (never went out for me personally) and ruffles are majorly in. Unfortunately almost all the ruffles come on tops. With wide shoulders, DD cups and a short neck I know that shirt ruffles are not my friend (believe me Maya, I tried to make fetch happen and failed miserably). But I love that this side ruffle pencil skirt gives me some extra oomph in the hip department!

Victoria Beckham bee blouse¬†I bought this in a 3X so it fits my boobs and is big everywhere else. But this shirt was so me I don’t mind spending another $15 to get it tailored.

better-off-alone-5_1024x1024

Rebdolls is like Forever 21 but cooler. All their dresses are named after songs/song lyrics, they have cute graphic tees that are cut for women with boobs, and almost everything is under $50. If it’s over $50, just sign up for email alerts because every other month there’s a 20% off sale. Anyway,¬†I realized I don’t really have any going out dresses. I mean, I have dresses that I wear out but they’d really be more comfortable at brunch, church, or a networking event. Nothing in my closet really says “drinks with the girls” or “date night”. This is short with a mostly open back so I think this fits the bill. Bonus: the ruffle part hits below my boobs!

IMG_20170608_1941475

My only other maxi dress is strappy and sleeveless, so I can only wear it with a strapless bra which I currently don’t own (come on, Lane Bryant semi annual bra sale!). In addition to the sleeves, I love that this one is white, but the print adds enough color that a small stain wouldn’t be immediately visible. I wore this to the Houston leg of Gentleman Jack Real to Reel film series and swished around all night!

PG.NWJUXTA.JJ169A0.OZ

I love oxfords and I don’t have a black pair so, duh. Very comfy and work appropriate, plus they can be worn with pants and dresses. So you know how you jam your feet into your shoes without untying & retying them and the back gets mashed down? Well this shoe is made fore that. Curiously these “convert” to mules but I don’t think I’ll be wearing mine that way.

I love a good bag, but I usually get tired of them quick. This has long term potential though. The camel color is classic and the color blocked cloth strap is very summery.

When I Grow Up

Even though I’m officially out of the 18-24 demographic and considered an adult, I still feel like I have a ways to go in terms of becoming a Grown Woman. You know, the boss chick who walks in and has presence. She’s smart, well-put together, and totally self-possessed. While there are a lot of potential sheroes out there for me to emulate- Michelle Obama, Oprah, or Kerry Washington to name a few- my ultimate classy dame role model is fictional. Jessica Pearson from Suits, as portrayed by Gina Torres.

c72b50bac3f96fda486ddb9393bdfb08

My favorite part of any Suits episode is whenever Gina Torres is on the screen. Her character is the senior named partner at ¬†a top New York law firm. She swims with the sharks every day and always manages to come out on top, even when it’s her blood in the water. She steals every scene she’s in by deftly dressing down bad boy lawyer Harvey Specter, his protege Mike Ross, and Louis Litt (Harvey’s self-appointed nemesis).

tumblr_m5vjtu23sb1rqc55qo1_1280

86da0e041a96be4d8105af192ec03562

But even though she is undoubtedly the HBIC, Jessica never loses that feminine touch. She’s the queen of substance with style and she’s got a wardrobe to die for.

Jessica-Pearson

Jessica-Pearson-Suits-outfits

Of course, Jessica isn’t a real person. But she presents herself the way that I want to be seen in my professional life. Poised, confident, polished, and always the smartest person in the room (or at least, the one who’s done the most research). It inspires me to try even harder at my job, seasonal part-time though it may be. It never hurts to overachieve and while first impressions last the longest, they can be changed. While I’m excellent at what I do, I’ll admit that I could better look the part. It’s time for me to drop some of the habits I developed in college and grad school (like staying up past my bedtime and not waking up early enough to fully put myself together). While I can’t afford designer suits or a weekly blowout, I can step up my business casual and throw on some lipstick and eyeshadow so that I people don’t mistake me for a high-schooler.

Who is your professional role model? Do you have any tips or tricks for looking put together at work?

The Return of Eloquii

Well, the wait is over.

mIulgVcL4c2x

The new Eloquii has arrived and it’s completely different, but in a good way! Even though I don’t have a heavily trafficked blog in general, “Dear Eloquii” continues to get multiple hits a day and is by far the most popular post on my site. So I thought it only fitting that I blog about their return to plus-size retail.¬†My first impression? I was blown away. The new Eloquii is sleeker and more daring than before. There wasn’t a single frumpy tunic top in sight! Instead, there are lots of beautiful, unique pieces that look exquisitely tailored. The attention to detail is key: lace insets on an otherwise typical floral blouse, a faux leather bodice that edges up a tulle dress, an asymmetric peplum hem. I love that there are a variety of hemlines and sleeve lengths, including a sexy crop top sweater. Eloquii knows that thick girls like to show skin too! ūüėČ The fashion is seriously on point in this resurrection and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of their new stuff.

The only potential¬†¬†downside is that the improved quality and styling naturally mean higher prices. Shipping rates are now set according to how much you spend, and the markdowns are (smartly) not as deep nor as frequent as they used to be. Of course, everyone has different budgets so this may not matter to you. But since husband and I are moving back out on our own next month, we’re pinching pennies. I’ll have to wait until our next paychecks in order to responsibly indulge my shopping habit at Eloquii.¬†But judging from the new pieces¬†that dropped this week, I’ll still have plenty of goodies to choose from.

Stay tuned for an after purchase review within the next month! Meanwhile, some pics of my favorite pieces below.

Continue reading