Thursday, September 27, 2012

Walk On The "Tight" Rope

Fall is in full swing. As it gets colder and you add more layers don't forget to bring out the tights! Yep, you read that right...tights. The ones your mom used to put you in for church or your school pictures, those tights. But we're not going to be discussing the mundane black or nude tights. How about adding some color in your life!

Here are some examples of how to adopt color tights in your wardrobe without being overwhelmed.

Monochromatic simply means you are wearing the same color from head to toe. You can wear tear a page from these looks to below to add monochromatic tights on your to - do - list. 

In the looks below I used the same purple tights to show you the versatility of colored tights. You can wear the red and black color block dress with the purple tights and black suede booties to add an eye popping contrast. Or you could pair the LBD with the purple tights and purple wedges for a pop of color. Lastly, you could wear a patterned dress with purple tights and colored shoes. It doesn't really matter. Play around with it. Have fun! Fashion doesn't always have to be so serious.

This look shows you how you can be intentionally matchy matchy. The model is wearing a blue dress with wine colored blue polka dot tights. I think the polka dots spruce up the outfit in a kooky yet sophistocated way, without looking clownish.

As you can see from this post tights come in a range of colors and patterns. Your options are endless. Still not convinced? Check out the tights below (gray, olive green, orange, raspberry, yellow, tuxedo stripe, floral, ombre, opaque striped tights, garter tights etc.) to step up your leg accessory game.

*Cue Janelle Monae* Are you ready to walk on the tight rope?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Enlarge My Print

I did a post a few weeks ago on how to pull off animal print. One of my faithful Ali Fashion Senser's requested that I take that a step further and focus on how my plus size divas can conquer prints in a tasteful manner. I'm always willing to help others step into a place where they can be comfortable to try different trends, and this is no different.

I first want to say, we are all made differently. And no matter what size you may can look AMAZING if you just exert a little effort. In this post I will show you how to pull off wearing (animal) print even while being displayed on an enlarged canvas. One thing to always keep in mind is that there are tricks to create illusions so you can flaunt those body parts you're most proud of (in tasteful moderation of course) and you can camouflage those areas which provide challenges (which is a common issue for all women no matter the size, race, age etc.). I will start off with a few tips to help you transfer those areas you want it camouflage and show you how it can help when it comes to prints.

If you want to tuck away your tummy a great way to do so is by wearing a wrap dress. Wrap dresses assist in camouflaging your stomach area and also creating a shape that flatters all shapes and sizes. A printed wrap dress provides a win - win situation, allowing you to be shapely and bold with a classic flare.

I love the print in this dress...very subtle yet powerful. She tones it down by pairing it with black tights and black  pumps.

This long maxi wrap dress it perfect. It slims you out, creates dimension and throws in a bold print in awesome colors

If you have a boxy shape, that's your new best friend. Who, you may ask? A belt. Belts can give the illusion that you are more curvaceous than you may or may not be. Be sure to add the belt at your slimmest portion to achieve the hour glass shape.

The belt adds a bit of cinching and gives the dress a new form

I adore this printed dress Gabi is wearing....The belt gives her a super tiny waist while showing off her curves, and the green purse adds a pop to this classic black and white outfit

Some aren't born with much in the back...which could be good or bad depending on how you see it. But I'm a "glass half full" kind of girl so, I say learn to work with what you have. One advantage of having a flat back(side) is that you can rock more form fitting garments without looking too "risque" for a lack of better words (sometimes it's hard to hide your curves, even when you're not trying). Try a midi pencil skirt (spanks or some type of under garment that can smooth you out may be necessary to give the best polished look). Midi simply means it comes a hare past your knees. This is another way to boost your curves.

The shirt in this picture is the exact same pattern as the dress that Gabi has on in the photo above. The only difference is this print is toned down a little bit by adding the midi pencil skirt in black (take small steps if you're not ready to jump head first in the pool of print)

If you are a little bottom heavy (thick in the thighs, have a little more junk in your trunk)...this would be my very area of don't have to throw your skinny jeans to the wind....but I would suggest creating a new silhouette. Try a pair of wide leg jeans or trousers to elongate your legs (especially if you are vertically challenged). It will lengthen and slim you out like never before.

Just look how these pants elongate die for

If you're still not convinced that you have the guts to pull off prints, here are a few more examples of beautiful big girls bolding conquering prints.

Debra Lee in her leopard printed dress. The dress provides a built in belt which automatically draws her waist inwards

This dress may be a bit too short for some, but if you want to turn up the heat a little bit this number is classy enough to get the job done. The best part is the black panels on the side which create their own hour glass effect without your even trying.

I love how she paired her leopard print blouse with a leather jacket and some cobalt jeans. They are contrasting to the print yet, still work as a collective unit effortlessly

This outfit screams casual and cool, with a dash of flare. I love how they paired the red faux leather skirt with the leopard print top and denim jacket for a complete look

Some may not be as comfortable with tucking in their shirt to their jeans, but that's ok. This combo is serving me with Olivia Newton John in her Grease days. I love the faux leather jeans (which I actually own) and the leopard print with mesh detail to give it added details

This fashionista knows how to accent her curves in all the right places.  She was able to locate her tiniest point (which is at her waist) and play off that point to draw you into what she is wearing

Gabi is rocking this floral printed dress with some cute ballet flats

This has to be my fav leopard printed look, I love the leather details in the dress, I like the raised shoulders. and I like that the dress really shows her curves off

These ferocious leggings are only for those who dare to venture out. BUT PLEASE BE CAREFUL...not to wear leggings that expose your entire backside (meaning you don't have a shirt that is long enough to cover the essentials). I like how the model paired this look with a long flowy top to expose the wild and crazy leggings in a tasteful manner

There is nothing wrong with wearing all black sometimes. You can take your monochromatic look and spice it up by adding a leopard jacket over you r polished black look

I thought this printed peplum jacket was absolutely adorable. To complete the style you can wear a simple black tee and some black skinny jeans...with either some ballet flats or booties.

I love this wrap blouse. It gives off the same effect as a wrap dress only the fact that it is a wrap blouse and hits the model right about the thigh

This last print is not animal print, but I wanted to use bright bold print so you can see how to execute it with ease, as Gabi does here

The biggest thing that I can stress to all my (plus size) divas is...don't hide behind your clothing. Don't let what others say dictate what you wear. Prints can be fun, bold, daring, and sexy if you showcase them in the right light. So don't let prints mentally defeat you before you give them a try. I know you will look great in them no matter who you are!!! If you need more inspiration check out (Curve), (Forever 21 Plus aka Faith 21). And for your daily dose of plus size fashion blogging...check out one of my absolute favs...the stylish Gabi at (formerly known as

Monday, September 24, 2012

Closet Under Construction

Awhile back I did a post called "trapped in the closet." That post was dedicated to an iPhone app that I use to help me organize outfits virtually before even stepping foot into my closet. One of my Ali Fashion Sense subscribers asked could I take it one step further and talk about the organizational process of organizing a closet. I did a little research and most of the information that I present below is coming from a book written by Lauren Conrad (from The Hills) called "Style." So lets get to it shall we?

The first thing you will want to do before even attempting to organize your closet is to:

Your room will get very cluttered in the process of editing your closet, so you are going to want to have a clean space where you can operate freely.

This is the main reason why you cleaned your room before hand. You will need to remove everything you can see in your closet. This is where the process begins!

A. All items that are ripped or stained beyond repair need to be thrown in a trash bag to be discarded at a later time.

B. If you try on something that you're no longer attached to place it in a second pile - this pile will be for clothes you no longer want and are willing to donate to a second hand shop like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

C. The third pile should be dedicated to items of clothing that you like but are ill - fitting. You can take these items to a tailor at some point. Tailors can breathe new life into a garment that is ill - fitting or that is out dated. If you have clothing that is too long, big, tight, or loose a tailor can sculpt the garment to fit your body perfectly.

D. If you have an article of clothing that you're not so in love with but think a friend could benefit from, place that in your fourth pile. You can have a clothing swap party, where you bring refreshments, have music, and you and your friends trade articles of clothing from your closets that you no longer want or wear. That way you can add new pieces of clothing to your closet without spending a dime, and you can enjoy the company of great friends, good music, and tasty food! You can't beat that.

E. If there is something you realize you haven't worn in a at least a year, but you are not 100% sure you want to get rid of it, leave it in a pile so you can come back to it. Place these items in a bag and leave them under your bed. Come back to them in like a month or two. If you have missed the pieces in the bag then add them to your closet, if you no longer want them...donate them.

F. The last pile is for those clothes that are clear winners. These are the clothes in your closet that you can't live without.

Once you have your piles completed (place the ones that are not going into your closet into some type of storage device (either a trash bag, duffel bag, clear bin etc.). And take them to their perspective places (the trash, a consignment shop, or to a friends house).

A. Group all of your clothing by types: all dresses should be together, all blazers, all blouses, all pants etc.

B. Once all your clothes are grouped it's time to strategically figure out where your clothes will take stake in your closet. The items you wear most should be most visible (i.e. jeans or shirts). The items you don't wear as often (formal gowns etc.) should be placed further out of reach.

C. Color coordinate all of your clothing after arranging your clothing by item type and after prioritizing where it will hang in your closet. I usually use the ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet...then brown, black, and white) method when I am color coordinating my clothing. By organizing your clothes by color it helps point out what you have an over abundance of in your closet (which can help you while you are shopping so you don't continue buying the same thing every time you go out).

If you have dressers in your room (in addition to your closet) use the same method of editing mentioned in steps 1 - 4 (except for undergarments and socks, if you have undergarments or socks you don't want anymore just throw them away).

To give your clothing longevity here are a few tips on how to store them in your closet.

A. Hangers
  • If you get things dry cleaned take the items out the bag immediately so that your garments are jeopardized by the chemicals used to get your garments in tip top shape
  • Do not hang your heavy garments (such as sweaters) on hangers as it will stretch them out
  • Have everything facing the same way
B. Folding
  • Place your bulkiest clothing on the bottom of a folding pile so the piles won't teeter over
  • Use cedar balls in between sweaters to prevent moths from having a feast on your garment (keep your folded articles of clothing clean because moths are drawn to body odor)
C. Drawers
Put things in drawers that are better left unseen such as:
  • Socks
  • Undies
  • Bras
  • Bathing Suits
  • Tank Tops
  • Plain Tees
  • Workout Gear

After seeing Carrie Bradshaw's dream closet in Sex In The City I've fantasized about how I want my future closet to look. Unfortunately, I'm not there as I prepare to relocate to Georgia (where my husband resides)...I recently had to do some editing to my closet. Here is the finished product. No (wo)man has ever been in this uncharted area before. I am giving you exclusive access lol...don't judge me. I know I have a problem! :)

Front view of 2/3 of my closet

Black, brown, silver pumps

Black and brown boots and colored shoes

Faux Fur, pants (trousers, slacks, jeans, leggings), and skirts

More blazers and shirts

All my winter coats, leather coats, and blazers

I hope this post helps you when you are ready to edit your closet for the Fall. Good luck ladies (and gents).