More Representation?

Last year, I highlighted the looks that I loved and titled it the Flawless 13. I decided to do it again this year by picking out my top 10 picks of plus size stellar looks.  As I am composing my list, I can't help but think, "Everyday I see bloggers/plus magazines putting together fabulous looks, mini photoshoots, and even themed editorials and they look fabulous, but yet there still seems to be very little representation in mainstream magazines."  If we can do it, why can't they? In terms of they, I mean mainstream magazines. There are the plus size naked editorials, but very few where the shoots are styled to the nines, themed, and above all else...fabulous. I'm not knocking the plus size nude/semi nude shoots. They are great at getting the conversation going about self-esteem, but where is the fashion?  Five years ago, I could understand.  The clothing options for plus were bare, but now there are options. The bloggers are doing it and with not all the bells and whistles that the mainstream magazines have. Imagine the outcome with all the bells and whistles.   There have been too many times that I have come across photos and said, "This belongs in a magazine." This is definitely not a rant, but just some reflections of the year as I comprise a list of the plus size, stylish, and editorial worthy.  I would love to see  more plus sizes be represented in the pages of  magazines that occupy the news stands.  I feel like that's the one place I have seen glacial growth in representation of the plus size woman.  Not to say there hasn't been some growth, but I think more could be done to represent the plus size woman, who now make up 64% of the female population.  Just a thought...

Here are my 10 favorite looks from 2014. There are some new faces and some old ones, but all the looks gave me my fashion life. Please note that they were a lot of other fabulous looks this year, these were just my favorite. I included one of my own: 


Christmas in Napa

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas.  I gifted the hubby a trip to Napa for the holiday. Sometimes it's hard to come up with gift ideas for men, so I went with a gift where we could enjoy each other and have a good time. We stayed at the Meritage Resort and Spa, because it was a pet friendly place and it has fancy rooms. Ours included a fireplace. Let's just say Shug thought she was living it up. The staff brought her a fluffy bed to sleep on and doggy treats.  I could tell by her excitement that she had a good time and liked the change of scenery.  We had a great stay at the hotel. I probably would give it a 4 out 5 stars.  There were a couple of things that I thought could have been improved on and it had more to do with the dining than the room.  

The day after Christmas, which is when I wore the denim look, is when we toured Downtown Napa.  It's a cute little downtown area filled with trinket shopping, restaurants, and wine tasting.  I wish I had more photos, but let's just say I tried to take as much of a break from the blogging life as possible. LOL. It felt nice to unplug and just be. I feel so rested and ready for 2015. 

Style Notes: I haven't done a denim dress in years, but saw this one and thought I should give it a try.  I really like the fit.  There was a little stretch in the denim. It was comfortable and easy to wear. You could also easily pair it with tights. I purchased a size 22 in the dress and it was pretty true to size.  I did replace out the belt with my own.  The belt that came with it was skinny and kind of flimsy, so to add structure I added my own leather 1 inches leather belt. I often do this with items that come with a free belt.   Adding in your own structured leather belt can give the look more structure and the belts hardware can make the dress look a little more expensive. 

Dress - Ashley Stewart, Shoes - 6pm (similar), Bag - Michael Kors, Sunnies - Chanel, Belt - MK, Lip - MAC Flat Out Fabulous, Sequin Skirt - Eloquii, Feather Top - AS


Red Velvet

Plus Size Velvet Dress
Holiday parties are still going strong and I had two this weekend and I literally wore velvet the whole weekend. To the more casual party, I went with just a velvet top on and black pants. I wore this dress to the dressier one. Even if you don't want to commit to doing a whole velvet look you can still include velvet by adding in a top or blazer. Adding a velvet blazer to dark denim can dress up a casual look for less dressier holiday parties. I love velvet blazers and they can turn a casual look into holiday festive in a matter of moments. Whatever look you come up with, just have fun. The holidays are reserved for wearing fun fabrics, sequins, and whatever glitter you can drum up. Personally, I plan to enjoy the season, because it doesn't last long and before you know it...it's over. 

Style Notes:  This dress is in a 3X and has stretch throughout.  The front lace is sheer, but the back is not. The bottom of the dress is double layers, so it makes the fabric to be more forgiving.  Find this dress at MonifC, use the coupon code: NYE40 to receive 40% off. 
Plus Size Velvet Dress

Plus Size Velvet Dress
Dress - c/o MonifC, Shoes - Torrid, Clutch - SimplyBe, Lip - MAC Rebel


Big Body, Little Purse

I used to be the girl that would only carry oversized bags, because of my size.  Kind of like not wanting to take a picture next to your petite, small friend for fear you will look like King Kong standing next to her.  (Love you Rae!) Then I came to the realization that my size is my size, you accept it and are open to the possibility of all things (big and small) fabulous. Don't get me wrong, I still love a huge bag, but I have my fair share of small ones.  Extensive traveling and the need to be hands free was a huge help in learning to love small bags.  There's nothing like walking through NYC  or the airport with not a single solitary thing in your hands. Breathe deep and release. Yep, that's about what it feels like.  HA!

Style Notes:  Okay, so I got sucked up in an Instagram shop. Yes, I did.  I found this top and my only wish is that I wasn't for a person who is half my size. Surprisingly, it worked.  I ordered a 3X in the top. It turned out super cute. This was catagorized as a dress, but to me it was a top perfect for my casual days. 

Top: Gititonline, Leggings: Nordstrom, Scarf: c/o FashiontoFigure (sold-out), Bag: KateSpade, Sunnies: Thrifted (similar), Shoes: Zappos

*Update:  The original print sold out within a few hours of me posting, but I'm linking the same garment in solid colors. 


Nominate a Deserving Person in Need for a $500 VISA Card

Do you know an amazing person who is having a tough time this holiday season? A person that does amazing things for others, has had a positive impact on their community, or who keeps a positive attitude even through the worst of times.  Nominate them for the $500 VISA card giveaway.  In 300 words or less, tell me about their awesomeness and email it to garnerstyle@gmail.com.  I will choose the recipient myself.  All entries need to be in by 12/19 at 11:59AM PST.  There is a quick turnaround, so I am able to mail out and get to the recipient by Christmas.  All entrants must allow with with their letters being displayed on this blog (I will change the names for their protection). Once the recipient has been chosen, I will update this post with their letter. 

This was on my heart to do.  I've been extremely blessed this year and it's all through the support of my readers.  I know Christmas can be a time of year that can hard for a lot of people. I've had my own tough Christmases (yes that's a word, I looked it up) and I wanted to help one person with a $500 VISA gift card just in time for the holidays.  I wish I could give everyone something, but this is from me.   

*Update: This was probably the hardest decision I ever had to make.  I will say that with everything going on in the news, it was life-changing to read about an abundance of people just going out of their way for other human beings.  The news seems to only cover the very bad. :( Again, I wish I was able to give everyone something, but I could only choose one.   All I could do was as God for help with this one.  Find her letter below.  The name has been changed. 

"Carla, a 67 year old woman in San Francisco, is an unsung neighborhood hero! She has a young spirit and an engaging personality, always smiling and speaking to people with an openness that makes them relax. She is a volunteer with a group called Seniors on the Move, in a working class neighborhood in San Francisco (Visitation Valley area -- a neighborhood near the soon-to-be-demolished Candlestick park).
Faithfully since 2001 Kathleen has spent every single Monday volunteering at the neighborhood food bank distributing food to her neighbors. In addition to her food bank duties and despite her own health issues, she works with her group to create gatherings that further create community -- school back pack drives, health and wellness fairs, community meetings. In fact, today she is sorting toys at the community center for the holiday toy drive! When families face tragedies like the death of a child or spouse she is the first one to initiate contact with the families -- cooking meals, helping organize the wake, collecting money to offset funeral costs. Having been widowed at a young age she knows personally the toll that death can have upon family.

Carla is known in her neighborhood as a sweet spirited woman who looks out for her community, creates change and always has a giving spirit. She embodies love and has a nurturing spirit that transforms whomever she comes in contact with. While she is a giver and a caretaker, she is also a woman on a fixed income, who struggles each month to make the ends meet. It would be great to see her receive this gift card and kick her year off to a great start. Knowing her, she'd probably catch up on bills and stock her pantry and yet that would free her mind enough so that she could spend more time helping others without worrying about her own household. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor."


Fab Finds Under $35

Coupon Codes: Torrid - 30%off - Code: GIFTLIST | Fashion to Figure - 20% OFF, Code:  DECBDAY14, Ashley Stewart - 15% off, Code: DEC14DN


Mynts & Wine

Saturdays are always days of relaxation and exploration with my hubby.  In San Jose, I often frequent Santana Row.  Usually, it is for my dry bar appointments and shopping.  This time I found a little wine nook (Vintage Wine Bar) that I had passed a million times, but had never stopped and looked in.  We stopped in, had wine, sandwiches and sat outside while enjoying Elton John cover songs done by a live musician nearby.  It's times like these when I'm happy that my outfit matches the occasion. It may sound weird, but when my outfit matches what I’m doing, it just makes it better.  It's like everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be in that moment.  I wore pieces from Mynt1792.  I paired this faux leather top with this zipper detail skirt.  This look was super simple, comfortable, and the top just brought that touch of chic that I am always looking to add. I draped a jacket over my shoulders and it was the perfect jacket for a 60 degree day.  You have to love California weather.

Style Notes:  I got the top in a size 2X. Please note that only the front is faux leather; the back is fabric and does have some stretch.  The skirt is a soft ponte that I got in a 3X.  The jacket is a 3X and doesn't have stretch.  The jacket is in a duster style and lightweight, great for a work look. Also, receive 30% off with coupon code: HOL14 from Dec 10th - 17th.

Top, Skirt, Jacket - Mynt1792, Shoes - Nordstrom (sold-out), Sunnies - Thrifted, Lip - MAC Flat Out Fabulous

The blog post is sponsored by Mynt1792, all opinions are my own.


Holiday Sequins

Plus Size Sequins Skirt, Plus Size Holiday Looks
I love love love sequins at Christmas. The sequins on this skirt is small and my preference when it comes to garments with sequins. In my opinion, small sequins tends to look more expensive and gives a glimmer, without being over powering with sparkle. This skirt is just so much fun to wear.  I know that sequins can seem hard to wear for multiple reasons, but I'm here to show you the different ways I would wear them.  Generally, the way to wear sequins is very glamorously. I figured I would use a one-piece-three-ways format to show some gorgeous pieces from Torrid.  We have:

Lace Sequins - For those of you that just can't take keeping that tummy in this season.  It's a little flashy, a little sexy, and a lot of fun.  If you still want to wear this style, but feel like you want to cover up, then add a camisole underneath this lace crop.  Either way, it's still fabulous.
Glam Sequins - A lot of women have messaged me for places to find formal looks.  You don't necessarily have to go out and buy an expensive gown to get the formal gown look.  This look combines a corset-looking top with a sequins skirt and belt, but looks like one piece and would fit right in at any Christmas ball you might attend.  Glam it up with statement jewelry and gloves to complete the look.
Casual Sequins - Put your sequins to some good use by getting some day wear out of them.  Pairing with a cute tee puts a casual spin on an otherwise nighttime piece. Add in more holiday fun to the look by adding in Torrid's glitter polish over the color you already have on. It's super fun on holiday colors like red, wine, or wear it by itself. Everything is more festive with gold glitter on your fingers.

Style Notes: I'm 5'9, so you can see how long the skirt is on me.  I do wish it was a little longer and I think it would be perfect on girls 5'7 and under, if you want the skirt to hit the floor.  I got this skirt in a size 20.  The skirt and the lining do have stretch for an easy fit.  I thought the lace top ran a little big, so I would size down if you want more of a cropped look.
Plus Size Sequins Skirt, Plus Size Holiday Looks

Plus Size Sequins Skirt, Plus Size Holiday Looks

Plus Size Sequins Skirt, Plus Size Holiday Looks

Plus Size Sequins Skirt, Plus Size Holiday Looks

The post is sponsored by Torrid, all opinions and sparkles are my own. 


Big Knees Please

Faux Fur, Plus Size faux fur
As a kid, I remember people talking about the size of my knees.  I never had the small knees that fit perfectly into boots.  I was a softball girl and had the softball legs to match.   This trait, even back then, made it almost impossible to fit a pair of boots.  Add in the "over the knee/thigh high" boot factor and it was dang near impossible to find a pair.  Fast forward to now, it has become a lot easier to find boots that fit, but I sometimes still have to alter.  These boots come with elastic in the back and I actually altered and added some additional elastic to accommodate my calf (video coming soon). This can also easily be done at the shoe repair shop to any pair of boots.  My calves are about 22 inches and these work for 19 inch calves, so I had to add a little.   Can I just say this feels like the perfect winter club outfit?!? HA! You can only find me in the club maybe once a year when girlfriends are visiting.  But you could do you coat check, have on tights to keep warm and comfortable shoes to dance in. I'm here for it.   

Style notes:  In these Torrid boots there is an invisible platform built into the shoe.  It makes them super comfortable and decreases the incline felt by your feet.  I saw Z by Zevarra on the runway last year and loved the line. They were gracious enough to send me a couple of my favorite pieces.  The fit is true to size.  I will say that this dress is shorter than I generally wear, but with tights and the boots the length was fine.  It is a bit low-cut in the front, so the girls will be coming out to play.  HA! I posted this coat on my Facebook this weekend and everyone said it reminded them of the jacket North West wore. This one has been out for a little while. Anyway, North looked so cute.
Faux Fur, Plus Size faux fur

Faux Fur, Plus Size faux fur

Faux Fur, Plus Size faux fur
Dress - Z by Zevarra, Boots - c/o Torrid, Faux Fur - Z by Zevarra, Clutch - Twins & Twelve (bought in-store at sis' boutique), Tights - Spanx, Sunnies - Tom Ford, Belt - Torrid (similar)


Cyber Monday

6PM //Cyber Monday 15% off, DATE: 11.30 – 12.1, CODE: 6PMCYBMON113020141535 - Great for large size shoes and plus size clothing

ASOS (US) // Cyber Monday  30% off | DATE: 11.30 (8pm EST) – 12.02 (3am EST) | CODE: ILOVEMONDAY

BooHoo (UK) // Cyber Monday: 50% off sitewide + extra 10% off when you spend $125 DATE: 12.01 CODE: MANIA

Forever 21 // Cyber Monday 20% off $60+, DATE: 12.01 CODE: CYBER 20 //  30% off $120+ DATE: 12.01 CODE: CYBER30

Sole Society // Cyber Monday 30% off entire site, DATE: 12.01

Neimans Last Call // Cyber Monday 40% off of entire site, Date 12.01, CODE:  CYBERME

Saks Off Fifth // Cyber Monday 40 - 50% off, Date 12.01, CODE:  CLICKTOIT

Ashley Stewart // Cyber Monday 50% off entire site, Date:  12.01

Torrid // Cyber Monday 30% off entire site, Date:  12.01 CODE:  CYBER14
Land's End // Cyber Monday, 40% off, CODE: CYBER, PIN: 1234

JCPenney // Cyber Monday, 20% off shoes, apparel, fine jewelry, and home items, 10% off of furniture, mattresses and blinds, 12.1 CODE: CYBERMNDY

Avenue // Cyber Monday 50% off of sweaters, coats, and boots, 40% off of everything else, Date:  12.01

Eloquii // Cyber Monday: 50% off sitewide + extra 10% off when you spend $125, DATE: 12.01, CODE: MANIA

Bloomingales // Cyber Monday 25% off a selection of regular and sale price items, DATE: 11.30-12.01

Kate Spade // Cyber Monday  30% off, 12.1 - 12.2, CODE:  CYBER30

Lord and Taylor // Cyber Monday 25% off, CODE MONDAY
Talbots // Cyber Monday 50% off of one reg. priced item, 40% off of entire purchase, 

SimplyBe // Cyber Monday 40% off of entire purchase, 12.1, CODE:  40FRIDAY

Mynt1792 // Cyber Monday 30% off entire purchase, 12.1, CODE:  BLACK14

Nine West // up to 50% off select product, DATE: 11.25-12.03, // 20% off your purchase of $125+
eShakti //  up to 60% off, Date 12.1