Erika's Picks: Bathing Suits for Full Figured Women

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

I know that swimsuit season can be a dreaded time for many plus size or full figured women (so, basically women).  Not because it means baring their body, but because it was a time when the store shelves were stocked with a sea of floral, skirted bathing suit options better suited for the grandmas, not Gisele’s, of the world.  Of course, these days, this is no longer the case – there is no shortage of fabulous swimwear available for women of all shapes and sizes.  Below, check out some of my favorite styles for the summer.

Bikinis + Tankinis

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of MOST tankinis.  Those old lady skirts (no offense to the old ladies) and unflattering tops do nothing to excite me.  Through the years I have found some I like (I even own one) but that has been rare.  I’m happy to report there is a new crop of tankini popping up that are both figure flattering and stylish.

Tankini #1  Tankini #2   Bikini 1   Bikini 2   Bikini 3

Last year, we also saw the more widespread acceptance of plus size bikinis a.k.a “fatkinis.”  Now this is a trend I am fully on board with.  The suits are often cute, trendy, and allow for as little or as much coverage as you’d like, while giving proper support where full figured women need it most.  I even loved the Swim Sexy Pin Up Python suit above so much I got one for myself!

Shop Bikinis and Tankinis

Tropiculture Twist-Front Tankini (Black) via Swimsuits for All
Tropiculture Pink Bandeau/Halter Tankini via Swimsuits for All
Sao Paulo Fringe Bikini via Monif C
Swim Sexy Pin Up Python Bikini via Swimsuits for All
Guyana Banded Bikini via Monif C

One Piece Swimsuits

One piece swimsuits are always a staple of the season.  Two trends I am loving are the athletic styles that are popping up – think trendy scuba gear and sleek likes – and peek-a-boo details like mesh or even lace!  Both of these trends add unique personality to a swim season staple.

One piece 1     One Piece 2     One Piece 3     One Piece 5

Shop One Piece Swimsuits

Mesh-panel One Piece via Torrid
Extra Life Lycra Aquabell Zip Front via Swimsuits for All
Striped Natural Support One-Piece Swimsuit via Torrid
Becca Etc. “Ritual” Crotchet Swim Dress via Nordstrom

Cutout Swimsuits

Another trend I’m pretty obsessed with is cutout swimsuits!  I love the peek-a-boo styles that are all over the plan for plus size women.  As long as you don’t mind a funky tan line (and what’s a tan line in the name of fashion) these styles may be just up your ally!  They’re the perfect cross between a bikini and one piece.

Cut out 4    Cutout 1    Cutout 2    Cutout 3   Cut Out 5

Shop Cutout Swimsuits

GabiFresh Kiwi Wrap High Waist Bikini via Swimsuits for All
“FIJI” Sweetheart Ruched Swimsuit via Monif C
Tahiti One-Shoulder Bathing Suit via Monif C
Tropiculture Noir Cut-Out One Piece via Swimsuits for All
Jessica Simpson “Just Add Water” Swimsuit via Modcloth

So, my stylish water babies – what will you be wearing all summer long?

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YCS Style Diary: Mixed Messages

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Editor’s Note: While YCS gets back in the groove and we continue our hunt for an intern we’re going to scale back our posting schedule. But don’t worry, we’re still bringing you all the goodness. Stick with us!!

The thing about spring, at least here in Philly, is that the weather sends us all sorts of mixed messages. One day, it’s 40 degrees and rainy, the next it is 90 degrees and humid as all “get out!” I know it’s May, but the weather here continues to act a complete fool!! It makes it hard to want to put away all of your winter stuff because you still may need it.

This presents the perfect opportunity for some fun, springtime experimenting. If the weather can send mixed messages then so can my wardrobe! The two looks shared today not only mix spring/summer and fall/winter clothing, they also mix a variety of materials including wool, leather, sequins, and chiffon. These looks are a fun way to spice up your wardrobe and embrace whatever Mother Nature might throw your way.

The sweater featured in the first look is one of my favorites in the winter.  It is a lightweight wool, striped, navy sweater from J Crew.  I love it so much because the bejeweled Peter Pan means that I don’t have to do too much in the way of jewelry. It works casually with a pair of jeans or can be dressed up, with a  hi-lo skirt, for example.

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Sweater: J Crew I Skirt: Converse for Target

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Bag: Relic (sold at JC Penney) I Shoes: Steve Madden

A few choice pieces of jewelry are all I need to complete the outfit.  The ring and bracelet were both gifts and they add the perfect feminine finish to the look.

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I will be the first one to tell you that I think sequins are appropriate for both day and night.  I even have a nightgown and beach cover-up that are both complete with sequins.  Pretty much, they should be worn as often as possible!  The thing I really love about the look below is that you can juxtapose a completely unexpected fabric against the sequins and get a truly amazing outfit.  I paired my sequined Express top with both leather and faux fur and loved the results!

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Jacket: Avenue I Shirt: Express I Skirt: Style & Co. (sold at Macy’s) I Shoes: Steve Madden I Earrings: So Good Jewelry

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Vest: Dressbarn I Ring: H&M

Even the back of the jacket has an unexpected twist.  It’s cut asymmetrically, and is shorter in the back and longer in the front.  It balances out the proportions of the hi-lo skirt which is longer in the back and shorter in the front.  It is a tiny little detail that brings balance and continuity to the outfit.

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Remember to choose bright, spring-like colors when you’re mixing your cold weather clothing with warmer weather clothing.  Fabrics that are clearly designed for spring – like the chiffon on my skirts or the canvas on the wedges – will also make balancing your fall/winter pieces easier.  Finally, opt for layers so you can ditch your jacket or sweater if you become hot.  After all, we know the day could start at 40 degrees and end at 90!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

YCS Style Diary: Day to Night

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

I know that YCS has been rather quiet the past couple of weeks – and I am really sorry about that.  As you guys know, we’re busy looking for three (yes, three) interns to help out around here! We are, however, getting back into the swing of things, starting with today’s post which is all about transitioning your look from Day to Night!

A couple years ago, Torrey did an awesome post teaching us how to transfer our make-up from day to night.  So often people write about taking a look from day to night; however, I have found that either they require you to pretty much bring an entire second outfit with you to the office or they tell you what to do without showing you how to do it.

When I think about going from “day to night” I try to keep three simple tips in mind.

Tip #1: Keep it in the same color family.

It is so much easier to transition an outfit that is in the same color family.  It automatically lessens the load on you and eliminates the need to have an entire second wardrobe on hand.

Tip #2: Layer, layer, layer!

The easiest thing to do is to peel off layers to transition from day to night.  It’s why you’ll almost always see people wearing a jacket or sweater during the daytime and then ditching it for their evening look.  It’s so much easier to peel away layers for your transition.

Tip #3: Pick jewelry that does double duty.

There are plenty of beautiful, bold pieces of jewelry that are both work appropriate and perfect for date night, evening cocktails, or an after-work event.  Try to pick jewelry that does double duty so that it is one less thing you have to worry about.  If you are going to pack extra jewelry, opt for one major piece – like a statement necklace or large cocktail ring – to punch up an outfit.

Using the two looks below, you can see these three tips in action.  Fleurish Lane Boutique was kind enough to gift me the cobalt blue dress seen in both looks and it served as the perfect anchor for my day and night looks.  Even the photographer didn’t realize I had a dress under my skirt until I switched outfits!

Day

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Dress: Royals Curvy Midi Dress via Fleurish Lane Boutique I Cardigan: New York and Company I Skirt: Jones New York I Shoes: BCBG

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The cobalt blue dress pairs perfectly with the skirt and the bright yellow cardigan and necklace are perfect for spring.

YCS Tip: When wearing such bright colors to the office opt for a neutral colored shoe to avoid overkill.

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Necklace: Bauble Bar I Rings: Tiffany & Co. and Khols I Tablet Case: Steve Madden

Night

You’ll notice right away that the jewelry is exactly the same.  I simply stripped away my layers and changed a few accessories (still keeping to my color scheme) to go from day to night.

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Belt: Mossimo for Target I Clutch: Dressbarn I Shoes: Anne Michelle

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Layering this dress under a cardigan and skirt works well because it is a body con dress.  My curvy girls should NOT be afraid of this style – it can be super flattering for you!

YCS Tip: If you’re feeling self-conscious about rocking a body con dress, opt for one with a pattern that will draw the eye up and down.  The diagonal pattern on this dress is flattering and keeps the eye moving up and down the body.  This pattern will also work on girls who have a super straight figure as it is going to give the illusion of having curves.

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So ladies – what other tips would you share with our readers about going from day to night?  And don’t you just LOVE this dress from Fleurish Lane Boutique?  You guys might also remember the adorable turquoise clutch (featured here and here) that I got from Fleurish Lane. As you can see, Fleurish Lane offers great style in all sizes!  Be sure to check out their online boutique and let me know what you’re LOVING!

And, of course, share your day to night looks with YCS on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

Photo credits: Rob Bergsted

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.”

Financial compensation was not received for this post and all opinions expressed here are my own.

YCS Style Diary: Weekend Casual

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Editor’s Note: Apologies for the indoor photos at my front door.  We shot on a day that was way too snowy/icy to shoot outside!

I live jeans and comfortable tops on the weekends.  I have stated on more than one occasion how much I LOVE a good, comfortable v-neck t-shirt.  And my love for cozy sweatshirts cannot be over stated.  Just because I like to be chic that doesn’t mean I forget about comfort (usually) – especially on the weekends.  The outfit featured today is something you would typically find me rocking on the weekend.  It’s equal parts preppy and cozy and 100% my signature style.

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Glasses: Derek Cardigan (via www.coastal.com) I Scarf + Jacket: Dressbarn I Sweatshirt: Avenue I Jeans: Old Navy

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Ring: H&M I Watch: Avenue I Shoes: Dimmi

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One of my favorite things about this outfit is the shoes.  Not only are they super comfortable (when I bought them I believe the term I used was “stupid comfortable”) but they are also a brand that was founded with the purpose of doing good.  100% good, in fact.  Dimmi was a shoe line created by the Consolidated Shoe Co. in memory of Richard A. Carrington, who ran the family business.  He died of ALS and the company decided in 2011 to create the Dimmi shoe with the sole (no pun intended) purpose of giving away 100% of wholesale profits to medical research.  I always love when you can look good and do good!

You can learn more and score your own pair of Dimmis at www.dimmi.com.

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I love layering cozy pieces together in the fall/winter.  The great thing about the blazer featured in this outfit is that it is made of sweatshirt material – so I’m literally piling cozy layer on top of cozy layer.

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So, my loves, what are you guys rocking on the weekends?  And are you a comfy cozy kind of person or do you keep it buttoned up on weekends too?

You know the deal – weigh in below!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

Photo credit: Sara Alloy (YCS Sara)

Photo Recap: Curvy Closets & C.U.R.V.V.

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Whew! It has been a complete whirlwind around YCS! As you guys have seen, we’ve pretty much been going non-stop since various fashion weeks began in September! We’ve been attending tons of fabulous events and hosting a few of our own!

On October 12th and 13th YCS had the pleasure of attending the Curvy Closets Fashion Show and C.U.R.V.V. Exhibit Opening and movie premiere. To get details about the events you can click here, here, here, here, and here.

Below are some of the pictures YCS captured at the two events.

Curvy Closets

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C.U.R.V.V.

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Personally, I love that Philadelphia is embracing fashion for curvy women. I only hope that we’ll see more events like this in the future! Did any of our readers get a chance to go to these events? If so, what did you think?

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

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