Friday, September 30, 2011

Animal Instinct

In the plus size book of fashion do’s & don’ts you are sure to find a much longer list under don’ts.  Don’t wear horizontal stripes, don’t wear large prints, don’t wear skimpy clothes, don’t wear clothes that are too big or too small, don’t wear clothes that attract attention to your “flawed” areas, don’t wear bathing suits, don’t wear bright colors, don’t wear leggings….it’s a wonder we eat so much, we are stressed over clothing decisions! 

Although, one clothing rule “don’t” has gone unwritten, until recently, most plus size women have shied away from it because it could lead to a big girl being the butt of a joke - ANIMAL PRINTS. 

Be it zebra, leopard, cow, snake, or cheetah, a big girl better not be caught dead in it.  The Fashion Risk Taker would surely be made fun of for looking like a big ass [insert animal name here] if she dared wear an animal print, and don’t think about wearing an animal printed undergarment because dare a big girl *gasp* try to be sexy.  For this reason, I’ve always stayed far away from any prints that resembled an animal skin.

That is until recently….

On a rainy Saturday in early September, I was out buying things to get me through the hurricane/tropical storm that was approaching the DMV, (see The Lesson I Learned from Irene posted in September 2011) when I wandered to the clothing section at Target to look for a white t-shirt.  The few shirts they had didn’t tickle my fancy as I was seeking a v-neck, when I saw this:

A sheer, ruffled, leopard print blouse by Pure Energy. 

I like it because I can wear it alone during warmer months and under a jacket when the temps get cooler.  It comes in sizes 14/16-26/28 and can be purchased from your nearest Target location or online at for a reasonable price of $22.99.

With the arrival of the Fall/Winter Fashion season, animal prints are at the forefront.  Although, I find dresses, coats, and jumpsuits to be a bit much for animal prints, here are a few picks to rock animal prints without going overboard:

This skinny leopard print belt from Old Navy can be worn with a dress or cardigan for a pop of color and it’s a great buy for only $19.94 and available in sizes 1x-3x.

Also, from Old Navy are these super cute two-toned ballet flats that will also bring out any outfit.  Old Navy gives their customers the option of scoring them in either the brown leopard or the black/white zebra print.  Available in sizes 6-11, they surely won’t break the bank as they only costs $22.00.

This lace-trimmed cheetah print cami can be work under a v-neck or blazer to take any outfit from work to happy hour.  It’s available at The Avenue or through their website in sizes 14/16-30/32 for only $24.90.

And lastly, jazz up any coat, suit, and even a casual outfit with this fringed animal print pashmina scarf from Lane Bryant ( that also comes in blue/black, pink/black, and grey/grey for $26.95.

So with that I say, a big girl can (DO) animal prints. In an understated way, any of these statement pieces will surely bring out any outfit and allow one to be trendy and fashionable without the fear of being the butt of a joke.  So grab any one of these pieces and let your animal instinct shine.

Happy Shopping ~The Plus Size Shopaholic~ Muah!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Madhouse Created By Missoni

Four years ago, the retail giant Target came up with a brilliant marketing plan, one that offered high-end luxury goods at affordable prices – Designer Collaborations. Target has teamed up with Isaac Mizrahi, Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and a few others to offer their brands to consumers with modest shopping budgets.  All of these collaborations were limited in availability and merchandise.  They came and went without the blink of an eye.  Although these partnerships were successful, nothing compares to the anticipation of Target’s latest Designer Collaboration – Missoni for Target.

I first started hearing the buzz mid-summer.  Target was joining forces with the Italian fashion house Missoni.  Founded in Varese, Italy in 1953, Missoni is famous for it knitwear which feature colorful geometric, strip, and abstract patterns.  Sold worldwide, Missoni boast average revenue of $60M and as of two years ago, have ventured into the real property market with Hotel Missoni currently with locations in the UK and Kuwait, and other projects under construction in Oman, Turkey, and Brazil.  Yes, Missoni is MAY-JAH!

On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, The Missoni for Target line finally launched, offering 400 products ranging from houseware, clothing, bedding, to even a bicycle, and ranging from prices as low as $2.99 to $599.99.  I had been warned that the line was expected to sellout in 24 hours, so I had planned on logging on to to purchase a scarf and a pair of ballet flats, but the Benadryl I took earlier that evening put me on a train to Slumberland.  The next morning, I tried logging on to and was greeted by the Target Dog, announcing that the website was down due to high traffic volume.  By late morning, the Target Dog was still on the splash page announcing that Target was suddenly popular and the site was still down.  Are you serious? Is the question I thought to myself as I had never known this to happen to  Not even on Black Friday, has never ever crashed! Dammit!!

As soon as the clock struck noon, I was out the door, and on my way to the nearest Target to my job.  Alas, when I arrived, I was greeted by empty racks and display cases.  Target was cleaned out!  The only remnants of Missoni were the signs indicating that products once lined the shelves.  I quickly asked a sales clerk if there was anything left in the back. No - was the answer I got. I then asked where the next nearest Target was.  The sales clerk told me that it didn’t matter because they had been receiving calls all morning asking what merchandise they still had in stock from other Target stores who were also sold out.  The sales clerk then proceeds to detail their morning of having shoppers lined up before the store opened to purchase Missoni merchandise.  You have got to be kidding me!  This is turning out to be bigger than I thought.  If I missed this Designer Collaboration because of the early morning rush of shoppers I am going to be a very unhappy camper.  Defeated, I headed back to work.

For the rest of the afternoon, I was preoccupied with planning my strategy on how I was going to get my scarf and ballet flats.  I had reached a shopaholic’s level of urgency, similar to that of our military’s DEFCON 4.  I was on high alert. Quitting time came and I again set out on my Missoni Mission.  I had a plan to hit the Targets in southeastern PG and Charles Counties.  I was not going home until I got my purchases, and lucky for me, I hit jackpot at the very first Target I visited since my disastrous afternoon attempt.  Although the pickings were slim, I was able to get my ballet flats and a knitted scarf.  I would have LVoe’d a silk one, but beggars can’t be choosy.  

I returned home a very happy camper.  I came, I shopped, I conqued! Unfortunately, not all Missoni seekers were as lucky. While shopping I listened to the combat stores of other customers as they spoke of frantically driving from location to location looking for clothes and shoes in their size to no avail.  Even a news story featured on a local news station later that night mentioned the madhouse created by Missoni at various Target stores in the DMV.  By the next day, most Missoni merchandise was sold out in stores and online.  If you were not lucky enough to get your items the first day, forget it.  Although I am doubtful that these items will be restocked as they were advertised as only being available from September 13, 2011 – October 22, 2011 or as long as supplies lasts, I am doubtful anyone wanting to make a purchase will be lucky enough to get anything at this point, except for maybe on as many items have resurfaced there for twice the amounts advertised by Target.  If you are lucky enough to find Missoni for Target in an out of the way Target location, I say snatch up as much as you can because you will never be able to snag a pair of Missoni ballet flats for $22.99 (or $14.99 for the knitted scarf) ever again, but if you’re like me, where there is a shopper’s will, there’s a way.  Good luck and Godspeed!

Until the next Designer Collaboration.....

Happy Shopping ~ The Plus Size Shopaholic~  Muah!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Washout That Was Fashion Night Out

For the past month, I‘ve been anticipating the date of September 8, 2011.  Why do you ask? Is it my birthday? No, but it is a very special day.  Not only is it my mother’s birthday, it’s a day that only comes once a year - the phenomenon known in the fashion circles as Fashion’s Night Out (FNO).  It’s the nocturnal, shopping party that’s celebrated all across the globe.  Coincidentally, FNO also coincides with the start of New York Fashion Week and the kickoff for the fall fashion season. 

This year marked the third annual FNO, but what made this year even more special was that the first ever Fashion’s Night Out PLUS was introduced.  That’s right the full figured fashionista…or as I affectionately call them– FATshionistas were finally being included.  In the words of celebrity gossip personality Perez Hilton “fashion is such a fun and wonderful art, but it shouldn’t be limited to skinny bitches.  Lucky for me, one of the official FNOP events was being held right here in the DMV, hosted at BeautyFull Boutique in Old Town Alexandria.  As soon as I found out about the event, I quickly RSVP’d to attend.

The evening of FNO/P, I got dolled up, even put on some heels, and set out to the event.  As fate would have it, the DMV was in the midst of yet another weather related disaster.  Forecasters were calling for flash flooding all across the region thanks to Tropical Depression Lee.  A ride that normally would take 20 minutes, turned into a 5 hour nightmare, complete with me almost running out of gas, as the inner and outer loops of the Beltway were shut down. As the clock struck 9:00pm, and traffic still gridlocked, I soon realized that my evening was going from FAB to FIZZLE thanks to the flooding in Northern Virginia.   By 10:00pm, the Beltway was reopened, and I made my way to Alexandria for gas and a restroom stop.  Afterwards, I made my way home soaked and disappointed that I missed the fashion event of the season.  For me, FNO 2011 was a complete bust and a washout! L

When I started brainstorming on this week’s blog posting, I envisioned it to be very different.  I planned to rave about the boutique, the fashions I saw, the hors d'oeuvres I nibbled, the champagne or wine I sipped, and the purchases I made.  Instead, still with disappointment, I blog about the FNO that wasn’t, but luckily with the flip of the calendar, FNO will come around again – just 362 days to go!

~ The Plus Size Shopaholic~ Muah!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Lesson I Learned From Irene

Last week was a rather interesting one for the East Coast.  First, we were shaken up by a once in a lifetime earthquake (seriously, outside of spinning on her axis, Mother Earth needs to stay still), then the wind lashing and soaking we got from Hurricane Irene.  …..Yes, you read that right, an earthquake and a hurricane all in one week.  Trust me when I say there are still traumatized people up and down the eastern seaboard.  Is God trying to tell us something? Is Mother Earth rebelling from the mistreatment inflicted upon her by her inhabitants? #thingsthatmakeyougohmm  Ok, before you think I’m getting all philosophical and alluding to another 2012 doomsday prophecy, I’m not. This is just a good segue into this week blog posting.

A week ago, I knew I needed to be prepared for this storm named Irene that was coming to town.  That means I needed to make preparations for going into survival mode in the event that man-made luxuries were not available…like…you know...electricity. 

The morning Irene was due to arrive I knew I needed a few supplies like nonperishable food items, batteries, etc.  The rain had already started falling, so there was no point in getting too dressed up, so I threw on a t-shirt, some sweatpants, and my trusty Timberland flip-flops.  Once ready, I grabbed my umbrella and set out on my mission of Emergency Preparedness.  After getting all the items I needed, I returned home completely soaked to the bone.  What possessed me go out in all that wind and rain in just a t-shirt, sweats, and flip-flops? Crazy perhaps? No, just a lack of appropriate outerwear for rainy weather, and maybe a dash of bad judgment.  As soon as my power was restored, I took to the internet to find some rainy weather appropriate pieces.

This A-shaped jacket comes to us from plus size Danish clothier Carmakoma.  Isn’t this jacket a BEAST? What puts this jacket in a league of its own is its A-frame shaping, draped front, and its oversized trendy buttons.  What I especially LVoe about this jacket is that its look changes depending on how high it’s buttoned.  The wearer can only button a few buttons for a wide collared look or button it all the way for a high turtleneck look.  The additional plus about this jacket is that it's sold NOWHERE in the U.S., so you surely won’t see anyone else rocking it.  This jacket retails for 1490dkr which roughly converts to $248.15 and comes in U.S. sizes 12-22.  To purchase visit

If overseas shopping isn’t your thing, or lets be real, if spending $250 on a jacket isn’t your thing, I have something else for you. 

This hip-length, lightweight trench may be more up your alley.  Offered by Ashley Stewart, this belted, double breasted jacket comes in Most Toast and Tuscany Orange and sizes ranging from 10/12 – 30/32.  What’s even great is that it’s currently on sale for $39.60 at your local Ashley Stewart or online at

Another lesson I learned from Irene is that you do not wear flip flops in the rain; especially rainfall due to a hurricane.  Below is a pair of croc embossed wide calf rain boots from The Avenue.  These boots come in sizes 7-13W and colors grey, black, and magenta.  Purchase directly from your local Avenue or online at for $49.90.

Above is a pair of wide calf boots from Naturalizer that double as rain and snow boots.   Ranging in sizes 5M-11M (various sizes are offered in W); you can buy them at your local Naturalizer or online at for $71.10.

So the next time a hurricane or tropical storm blows through the DMV, I will be ready.  Now how’s that for Emergency Preparedness!

Happy Shopping ~ The Plus Size Shopaholic ~ Muah!