YCS TV: A Heart to Heart

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a little heart to heart.

My freshman year of college, printed Guess jeans were ALL the rage (yes, I’m dating myself here).  Cheetah print.  Snakeskin.  Didn’t matter.  Everybody who was anybody had a pair to rock and a matching tee with the word “Guess” emblazoned across the chest so everyone one knew exactly who you were wearing.  In my quest to fit in (hey – it takes some of us longer than others to embrace our individuality) I went out and got myself a pair of blue snakeskin jeans. I was so PRESSED to wear them every chance I got – especially when I went home to Toledo, OH.  I was ready to show them what DC was all about!  On one of my trips back home I wore the jeans to church with a white t-shirt, matching blue Coach belt, and blue snakeskin pointy toe boots (it was the early 2000’s, no judging!).  I remember a particular friend (and I use the term very, very loosely) looked at me and asked where I got the jeans.  I proudly told her I got them from “Guess.”  She immediately scoffed and said “I didn’t even know Guess made clothes that big.”  Her tone wasn’t that of a person who was impressed.  She was disgusted.

I was so blown.  Not only was I not “that big” (I lost weight my freshman year so I was a size 14!)  but she was also a fellow curvy girl (like, we wore the same size curvy girl).  I couldn’t believe it.  I went home, stuffed the jeans in the back of a drawer never to be seen again and, to this day, have never bought anything other than shoes from Guess.  I let her, and whatever hangups she might have had, intimidate me from shopping where I want to and wearing what I liked (OK, LOVED).

Even now, at 30, I constantly find myself encountering raised eyebrows or high pitched “hmmms” (think Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada”) whenever someone asks where I got a particular piece and I answer Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Elie Tahari, or any other designer they didn’t know “made clothes that big.”  My fellow curvy girls are often impressed and inspired by the fact that these designers make clothes for full figured woman – but many others appear to be (I can’t speak definitively for them) annoyed that high end clothing isn’t an exclusive right for skinny chicks.  While this attitude no longer bothers me – listen Bloomies, Gucci, and Chanel will take my money the same way Lane Bryant does – I know many a full figured girl who still believes that she is relegated only to Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, or online shopping.

I am not here to knock plus size brands and designers – heck, I’m leading the “we need more of them parade!”  But, I wanted to take a moment to encourage my full figured girls NOT to be intimidated by a particular store or brand just because you’ve never tried them.  A recent style assessment I had with a client inspired this post and the video below.

Side note: Please ignore the “s” I kept putting on the end of Nordstrom.  When I’m passionate my grammar and good sense go out the window!!

It breaks my heart to hear woman think their options are limited by their size.  While all stores and designers haven’t gotten it right – a LOT have.  I understand that hearing certain names (Bloomingdales, for example) can be intimidating on it’s own.  But don’t add to the intimidation factor by thinking they don’t carry clothes in your size (trust me, they do – and they’re fabulous!).  The only thing you should have to concentrate on is how to stay upright when you see the price tag on the latest Tadashi Shoji dress!  Take the time to visit the women’s section and scope out the designer clothing.  I bet you’ll find some things you absolutely LOVE. You definitely don’t have to buy anything – but, if you find that Ralph Lauren is really flattering on you, then maybe you won’t shy away from it the next time you’re in Marshalls or TJ Maxx.  The only way you will know is if you try.

If you never take away another thing from YCS please be encouraged to step outside of your comfort zone, flaunt your fabulousness, and love who you are!  I love you; so that will make two of us!!!

As always, I want to hear your thoughts!! Please weigh in below.

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

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Beauty Box 5: Fab Five Find of the Month

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

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Image courtesy of www.joyfulreviewsandgiveaways.com

Hi my loves! Unfortunately boys, today’s post is for the ladies! Recently, I was invited to join the product review team for Beauty Box 5 (www.beautybox5.com).

What is Beauty Box 5?
I’m so glad you asked! Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling program that delivers a box filled with 5 cosmetic samples to your door every month. The best part? It’s only $12/month! I think I spend $12/day on Starbucks or iTunes! The quarterly subscription is $30/quarter ($10/month) and the annual subscription is $99/year ($8.25/month).

Each month you get a box filled with full-size and sample-size cosmetic products selected by the Beauty Box 5 beauty editors. The products are a mix of luxury items, everyday items, commonly known brands, niche brands, and eco-conscious brands. The box includes a variety of products including hair care, make-up, skin care, nail care, etc. Pretty much, you get a whole bunch of beauty awesomeness in one tiny package – which is shipped to your home for free! Who doesn’t love cool stuff with free shipping!?!?

What is this Fab Five Find of the Month Business?
Another great question! Each month, I’ll try out all five products included in the Beauty Box 5 package and share with you my FAVORITE product a.k.a the “Fab Five Find.” I’ll highlight each product in my monthly review, but, I’ll shoot a special video telling you all about the item I picked as my Fab Five Find. You guys know me and you know that I give very honest reviews on YCS (Weave Bar/Suite Extension ). So, if a product is my Fab Five Find of the Month then you KNOW it’s gotta be good!

October Beauty Box 5 Shipment
Because I joined the product review team at the end of October the first box I received from Beauty Box 5 was the October Beauty Box (November’s just arrived Wednesday, so that’ll be up soon!). I received each of the following items:

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (Retail: $6.99 for 8 oz., www.aveeno.com)
Swissco Glitter Toe Separators (Retail: $2, www.swisscollc.com)
La Fresh Travel Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes (Retail: $19.99 for 48 count, www.lafreshgroup.com)
Nubar Alter Ego Nail Lacquer (Retail: $8 for .5 fl oz, www.bynubar.com)
Model Co Illusion Lip Pencil (Retail: $20, www.modelcocosmetics.com)

I’ve used each of the items for a few weeks, and, after careful consideration I’m happy to announce that this month’s Fab Five Find is . . .

Model Co Illusion Lip Pencil!

All About this Month’s Fab Five Find Pick!
“This unique, nude pencil easily enhances your natural shape while keeping lips soft and nourished with cocoa and shea butter.”

I LOVED this product because I do not have particularly full lips and I felt like it really worked. Check out my video below to see more of my review and take a look at my pictures to see for yourself if it worked!

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How can you get Beauty Box 5?
It’s simple really! Visit their website, www.beautybox5.com, and simply subscribe. Yep. That’s really all there is to it! And, if you subscribe now you get a free gift with your subscription!

You can also keep up with Beauty Box 5 on social media:

Facebook I Twitter I Pinterest I YouTube I Instagram

So girls, do you use any of the products featured in Beauty Box 5? Or do you subscribe to the service? Any guesses as to what might be in the November box? I’ll post a sneak peek on Instagram tonight!! Can’t wait to share my Fab Five Find for the November box!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Ask YCS

Do you guys have a fashion question you want me to answer? Or a make-up technique you want to learn a little more about from Torrey? Dying to know Donte’s fave clothing brands? Or Sara’s favorite hair products? Now you can get your burning questions answered by the YCS team in “Ask YCS!”

We often get questions via Facebook, Twitter, and email from our readers that are worth sharing with everyone. So, inspired by a new service from YCS called “Office Hours*,” I decided to create “Ask YCS.” Every couple of weeks we will answer your burning questions – we’ll cover everything from clothing and accessories to hair and make-up. The video below features our first two “Ask YCS” questions and they came straight from the YCS Launch Party Red Carpet. Check them out!

How can you get your questions answered? Contact us using any if the following methods:

1. Comment on the YCS blog
2. Email us at info@yourchicisshowing.com
3. Tweet your questions to @urchicisshowing
4. Post your questions on Facebook at wwww.facebook.com/yourchicisshowing
5. Leave us an Instagram video by tagging @yourchicisshowing and using the hashtag #askycs

We can’t wait to hear your questions and answer them for you!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

*Office Hours: a service of Chic U

Do these shoes match this shirt? What do I wear on a first date? What is appropriate attire for a corporate fundraiser?

Sometimes you may have a fashion question or dilemma that does not require a full styling session, just a quick answer. By booking “Office Hours” you can get that answer to your question, help with your dilemma, brief outfit suggestions, or the second opinion that you need. Office Hours are designed to quickly answer your fashion and style questions and save you time!

Office Hours appointments are booked in 15 minute increments (maximum 45 minutes) or 3 email increments (maximum 9 emails) and are offered via telephone, FaceTime/Skype/Google Hangout, or email. If you are interested in learning more about YCS Office Hours or other styling services offered by YCS, please email styling@yourchicisshowing.com.

Curves Ahead (Part 2): C.U.R.V.V.

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

I clearly didn’t learn my days of the week in kindergarten because this is a special SUNDAY edition of YCS, not Saturday as promised in Part 1. Charge it to my head and not my heart!

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After last night’s AWESOME Curvy Closets fashion show I am even more excited to share my footage from the cast interviews from the short film “C.U.R.V.V,” which will accompany tonight’s exhibit of the same name. C.U.R.V.V. is an Exhibit Curated by ChaCha N’Kole and will debut at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. This is the “first ever museum exhibition to highlight full-figured high-fashion.” I am beyond excited to be covering this event!

Check out the YCS TV video that gets some behind the scenes details about the film, where you can find the cast members on social media, and what fashion tips they shared with us! After editing this video, I’m 100% convinced that I NEED a microphone to block out the background noise and will be ordering one “ASAPtually!” I apologize for the background noise. The important part is that you can hear the cast and the positive messages they are sharing with curvy girls around the world.

If you’re a total procrastinator and still want to go to the event, the great news is that tickets are still available. Simply visit www.mycurvv.com to learn more about the exhibit and snag your tix!

Whew!! Between Curvy Closets, C.U.R.V.V, and Reinvention Weekend (hosted by the Melinda F. Emerson Foundation) YCS has had a BUSY weekend! What did you guys do? Be sure to check back for all of the pictures from this weekend’s events.

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

Curves Ahead (Part 1): Curvy Closets

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

This weekend in Philadelphia is all about curvy women!  On Saturday October 12, the Curvy Closets Fashion Show will take over the City of Brotherly Love and on Sunday October 13 C.U.R.V.V., an exhibit curated by ChaCha N’Kole with a corresponding short film, will make it’s debut at the UPenn Museum.

Both events celebrate curvy, full-figured, plus size women and all I have to say is, “it’s about darn time!”  Today, I’m bringing you some behind-the-scenes footage from the Curvy Closets casting call held at BellaNOR Boutique.  Tomorrow, in a special Saturday edition of YCS, I’ll have behind-the-scenes scoop from the C.U.R.V.V. set!  It’s a curvy weekend for sure and I can’t WAIT to be a part of the action!

A few weeks ago, YCS had the opportunity to chat with the co-producers of Curvy Closets, Colleen (www.shortcurvyfierce.com) and Dominique (www.empresslingerie.com) and YCS fave Aleea Slappy, of A Happy Slappy Greeting, Inc. (www.ahappyslappygreeting.com), who will be the Curvy Correspondent at the fashion show.  The three lovely ladies shared some insider info about what to expect at the fashion show and their fall must-haves.  Take some time to check out the video and hear what the girls had to say.

Please note: Although we’ve got the fashion thing down, we’re only amateur cinematographers; we didn’t realize quite how loud the cars driving by would be.  We’re still working out some of the kinks so please bear with us!

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Well, lucky for you, you can still get tickets; but, you have to hurry!  Visit www.curvyclosets.com to get details on the event and how you can get your tickets!  Today is your LAST day to purchase them and you DON’T want to miss this awesome celebration of curvy women!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a special Saturday YCS post all about C.U.R.V.V.

We know where we’ll be this weekend.  Will we see you there?

A Special Note: You still have two days to vote for YCS at www.blackweblogawards.com.  We are so excited to be nominated and are thankful for everyone who continues to support us!  If you want to hear more about YCS and why you should vote for us, check out the interview YCS did with the ladies of The Step Sisters Blog (twitter: @stepsisters blog; YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/stepsistersblog).  We’re around the 20 minute mark!

Thank you to the ladies of the Step Sisters Blog for allowing us to join them!  It was truly a blast!!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

International Designers Shine at Atlantic City Fashion Week

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

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On September 27 and 28, YCS attended Atlantic City Fashion Week held at the Pier Shops at Caesar’s in Atlantic City, NJ. YCS checked out the ready-to-wear, plus sized, and couture runway presentations from a number of designers over the two-days. While some collections were disappointing and considerably non-cohesive, there were a few standouts, notably the collections presented by international designers Mitan Ghosh, Waisted Lace Corsets, and Suma Polepalli, and consignment/vintage shops Cultured Couture and Fab Finds. I also enjoyed checking out the children’s collections presented – though it’s hard to tell what was more adorable, the fashions or the tiny models strutting down the runway!

The international designers presented looks that moved effortlessly down the runway, applied a creative mix of “East and West” in their designs, and were showstopping. Mitan Ghosh and Suma Polepalli incorporated traditional garments like Saris into their collections with beautiful prints, colors, fabrics and details. The amount of time it must have taken to complete impeccable bead and crystal work is not lost on YCS. Waisted Lace Corsets’ were fantastical, beautiful, and often, practical. There were more than a few pieces I could see pairing with an adorable pencil skirt or pair of jeans for a night on the town. Cultured Couture presented looks that embodied the refined elegance I have come to expect from them. And Fab Finds did an excellent job of pulling together classic, elegant looks for all sizes from the clothes in their consignment shop.

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The scene stealers, however, were the kids. The designs were cute, playful and adorable. Though, as an aunt to a 3 and 4 year old, I’m not sure how realistically wearable they were. Regardless, their models stole the show with their sass, spunk, and complete cuteness. Be warned, the pics and video are probably going to be too much to handle!

Check out the photos and videos we were able to capture from the two-day event!

YCS TV

Photos from AC Fashion Week

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To get all of the details on the designers showcased at Atlantic City Fashion Week visit their website.

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

Don’t Forget!
YCS still needs your votes for the Black Weblog Awards in the “Best Blog Post Series” category! Visit www.blackweblogawards.com and cast your vote today! You can also vote for friend to YCS, Chasing Joy, in the “Best Personal Blog” category. Voting ends October 12!

Philly Fashion Week Recap

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Hey guys! As I mentioned last week, YCS is covering a TON of fashion events and giving you all of the scoop. On Friday and Saturday September 20 and 21, YCS Alexis and I attended Philly Fashion Week’s Ready-to-Wear and Couture Runway Shows. Nearly 30 designers were on hand to present their latest collections for all to see!

While there were plenty of memorable moments and pieces, here are my favorites from the weekend.

Faithful by Michael Thomas
Once again, Michael Thomas did not disappoint. Originally scheduled to close out Friday’s shows, Michael ended up opening the show with a bang! The cobalt blues, yellows and silvers that weaved throughout this cohesive collection were a beautiful, bold statement made by the designer. Per usual, Michael’s tailoring was impeccable and it was clear from this collection that he has the construction skills and understanding of woman’s body to back up all the hype. Michael’s spring/summer 2014 collection was ultra-feminine, which was a sharp contrast to his fall/winter 2013 collection. The luxe and sophisticated fabrics moved beautifully down the runway. Once again, we were presented with a stellar collection from Michael Thomas.

The Menswear Designers
Aside from Michael Thomas, other standouts of the weekend were the menswear designers, particularly Friday night’s bunch. The collections Chevalier Homme, Extraordinary Gentleman, and Modish presented were among my favorites of the weekend. Some thoughts I used to describe the collections in my notes were, “impeccably tailored men’s pieces; cross between hipster and nerd but much, much cooler; cohesive and confident,” (Chevalier Homme); “crisp, clean, easy; mixed materials but still no fuss; effortless; a cool mix of male and female silhouettes,” (Extraordinary Gentleman); “worked the leather beautifully; from the runway to Yeeze’s closet to mine; beautifully constructed; thoughtful, well planned and executed collection,” (Modish).

Check out our YCS TV video featuring Michael Thomas’ full runway presentation.

Couture Designers
One of my disappointments was that many of the designers in the couture shows actually presented ready-to-wear collections and would have been better suited for Friday’s runway. However, two Saturday standouts were Closet by Christobal and Cory Couture. Closet by Christobal presented beautifully designed (and wearable) pieces accented with over-the-top headpieces and accessories. If you’ve hung around YCS enough, you know I LOVE a fantastic headpiece! They even threw hats into the audience during the finale walk – and you know I was able to snag one! Cory Couture presented one of the only true couture runway shows of the evening. The pieces displayed the over-the-top whimsy and designs one hopes to see at a couture show. While some seemed slightly over-worked, the quality, craftsmanship, and overall beauty were undeniable.

Here are some photos from Saturday and video from the weekend’s events.

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To get details on FBH Philly Fashion Week and all the presenting designers, visit the Philly Fashion Week Website.

Which looks are your favorites? Anything you’re dying to get your hands on? I’m currently hunting down the leather sweater/sweatshirt from Modish – how cool would that look with a ultra-feminine skirt?? You know we want to hear from you in the comments!

And don’t forget, you’ve got a few more days to vote for YCS at www.blackweblogawards.com!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

Photo Credits: All photos were taken by Erika for Your Chic is Showing, LLC.

Launching YCS TV with a Fashion Show!

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

For quite some time people have been asking if YCS will ever set-up a YouTube channel. And, when we brought our fabulous intern Trish on board, it was one of the first suggestions that she made. However, I still put off setting up the channel. That is, until this weekend. I finally invested in a company iPad and I became immediately hooked on iMovie. What was once a completely tedious and obnoxious task (trying to edit videos on my netbook) suddenly became incredibly simple!

Now, the YCS team can start adding the videos our readers have requested – including a high heel tutorial based on our Strut Your Stuff event! I’m also going to take a minute to call Ms. Torrey out because I know she’s got a ton of make-up tutorials that we’d LOVE to share on YCS TV!! I, for one, am super excited because this is just another new and exciting way that the YCS family can interact!

The first video posted on YCS TV is from a fashion show I attended last night as a part of 17 . . . Days of Fashion. The event was held at Dress Barn – Bala Cynwyd (the same store who will graciously be hosting the YCS Launch Party in October!) and was sponsored by D.I.M.e Universal. The show debuted Dress Barn’s amazing fall collection. There were a number of pieces I wanted to snatch up immediately! In fact, if I let you hear the raw footage you would hear me and Taja, of Curvy Urbane, plotting on the pieces we were going to get.

One of those pieces is the sleeveless, leather motorcycle jacket pictured on the runway below.  I was completely enamored with this piece the first time it appeared on the runway and even more so the second time it showed up (pictured below).  I can’t wait to pair it with one of my flowy maxi dresses to give it a bit of edge come September!

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You’ll see from the video below that the fashion show featured models of all shapes and sizes.  Some of the women are trained models from D.I.M.e Universal while others are some of Dress Barn’s very own customers!  The show even featured the wonderful Ms. Fabulous of Big BOLD & Beautiful Women. The fashion show displayed a variety in the clothing styles offered by Dress Barn – everything from corporate attire to weekend wear to cocktail and formal dresses! As I’ve been telling anyone who will listen – this is NOT your Momma’s Dress Barn!  The trends  (lace and leather details, comfy knits, classic patterns, etc.) and colors (black and white – which is still hot, turbulence (a.k.a grey), olive, emerald, acai (a.k.a purple)) that were all over the fall runways can be found in Dress Barn!  They also carry a variety of recognizable brands like Calvin Klein, Jones NY and Roz & Ali.

The other fabulous thing about the clothing is that you do not get a huge difference in inventory between the misses store and the plus sized store.  What that means is that if you see an incredibly cute jacket, perhaps of the sleeveless, leather motorcycle variety, on a size 4 model, it is likely that they will have that jacket in plus sizes as well.  This is one of my most favorite things about Dress Barn – the cute clothes literally range from size 4 – 24!

Check out the video below for yourself!  It features a ton of looks shown throughout the fashion show.  Warning: I need to work on my camera skills, so it’s a tad bumpy at times!  Also, if you’re at the office, be sure to pop in your headphones.  I’m sure you love Beyonce, JT and B.o.B. as much as I do, but I don’t want anyone to get into trouble!

As you can see, the looks were fabulous.  The jewelry was provided by Traci Lynn and there were some awesome pieces as well!

After the show, everyone was invited to shop the two stores (Dress Barn Misses and Dress Barn Women) with a 15% discount!  Below, you can check out my haul.  I immediately snatched up the sleeveless, leather motorcycle jacket (the last one in the store – WOOOOT!) and also got a beautiful lace dress.  I love the color, which is more putty/taupe than grey (which is how it reads in the pics below), and, of course, I’m all about the leather detail provided on the trim and waistband.  I’ve been mixing ultra-feminine and edgy for some time now and this is the perfect combo!  I’ve come up with about 9 different ways to wear each piece – both separately and together.  What do you think?

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So what did you think of the Dress Barn fashion show presented by D.I.M.e Universal for 17 . . . Days of Fashion?  And what kinds of vids do you guys want to see on YCS TV?  You know the drill, weigh in below!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature