Monday, November 10, 2014

Semi Charmed Kind of Life: Velvet Fashion for the Plus Size Woman

If you were born in the 1980's or even the early 90's and you owned a radio, you were probably surrounded by the sweet sounds of Third Eye Blind. Alternative hits were quite big at the time so were fashions made of luxe fabrics. The ongoing researgence of 90's fashion revival has brought us an array of fashions from hip neons to grungy flannel.  For some time the market has lacked soft, velvet fabrics especially in the plus size sector. This fall/winter season the options available to the plus size woman for velvet is pretty expansive even in the more affordable stores. 

So why the reference to Third Eye Blind? Well I bought my first velvet dress recently and I couldn't stop singing "When the plane came in she was crashing the velvet it rips in the city we tripped on the urge to feel alive, but now I'm struggling to survive the days you were wearing that velvet dress..". When fashion is in music you know it's big!

 Even when velvet was big in the 90's the options for plus size women (and teens) was not. I recall only ever owning two velvet peices. Two cropped tops with stripes. One in purple and the other in mustard. It wasn't exactly hip and the horizontal strips and short nature of the tops did little for my pulse size pre-teen body. With all that being said, I feel this is a wonderful time to try this trend if you didn't have access to it the first time around. If you're younger than the above mentioned age range please don't fear velvet! There are so many ways to wear it and it's such a pretty fabric. Due to limited ability you may not know how to style it. If you fall into this category I hope my following tips help you. 

The Velvet Dress
The velvet dress is probably the easiest to pull off. Whether it's a body hugging body con or flirty skater dress you can work it like any other fabric. Velvet tends to be a little stretchy (though check the composition) so it is often a comfortable material. The way light hits velvet, especially crushed velvet can hide many imperfections that other dresses may excentuate. Keep your accessories minimal or go big glam with a statement necklace. Pair with shimmery nylons for a party look or knee highs for the ultimate 90s pairing. Velvet dresses can be casual paired with a scarf or classic paired with a blazer. 

Velvet dress from
Knee highs from
Shoes from
Hat is also from forever 21

Velvet pants/leggings
Velvet leggings, depending on the shade, can be a little tricky. Black velvet can be worn much in the same way you would wear any leggings. Pair with tunic, oversized band tee shirt, pair with plaid for a grunge look, or pair with leather for a rocker look. You can also go glam with a metallic top or girly with some lace. I recently tried red crushed velvet leggings and found them a little bit tricker to style. I found they paired well with animal print, leather accented peices, tunics and band tee shirts just like the black but color played a more important role. You don't want to outshine the pants. Let the pants make the statement. 

Velvet leggings:
Plum peplum top:
Suede vest:
Faux leather boots:

Crushed velvet leggings:
Animal print chiffon top:
Leather accent blazer:

Velvet shrug/kimono
If you want to go I a completely different direction you can get a little Stevie Nicks circa 1977 with a velvet and fringe Kimono. You can pair this with the most casual pair of jeans and t-shirt to wearing it over a simple body con dress for an effortless coverup that adds just an extra level of style.

Velvet Shoes
If you find yourself still unsure of this trend maybe try a pair of velvet combat boots. Still channeling the 90's in both style and fabric you don't have to step too far out of your comfort zone.

Have you tried the velvet trend? What are your thoughts?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Do You Mix Patterns?

Lets be honest, patterns have made a huge impact on fashion trends as of late. The summer saw florals and stripes while the fall has brought us plaid, animal print, and houndstooth. Is it really completely faux-pas if we combine these patterns? No! 

While it may not be everyone's cup of tea it's surely a fun way to spice up your woredrobe. 

Some of my favorite uncommon pattern pairings:

Plaid and houndstooth- I love this pairing for a few reasons. Black and white plus red go very well together (though other forms of plaid/tartan should work equally well). While it may look a bit too busy the straight lines of the plaid compliment the geometric print of the houndstooth. Still a little worried its not for you? Try a houndstooth pattern that's also in a plaid pattern. 

For this outfit I opted for a houndstooth plaid style shirt and a black and red plaid midi skirt. The black undershirt helps to seperate the patterns slightly as to not allow them to clash. The boxy pattern for both the top and skirt also help the patterns mesh well. 

Top: Liz claibourne 

Animal print and plaid: with the right color combinations this is an easy to work pattern clash. Brown and red tend to work very well together especially for the autumn season. Paring red plaid with brown or tan animal print with minimal accessories help to pull the look together. You could also pull a color from the look and use that in your accessories as well. Animal print in brown, tan, black, taupe work well with red, burgundy, and wine shades of plaid but don't stray from experimenting with other shades such as black and white animal print with purple or blue plaid. 

I paired a lepoard print peplum top with a plaid midi skirt. I kept my accessories to a golden tone and let my shoes match both the nude shades in the top and the black of the skirt. 

Animal print and stripes: When wearing patterns with patterns sometimes accessories can come into play. A striped shirt can pair well with an animal print or even plaid scarf.  I also like pairing a stripped sweater with patterned dresses. 

Aside from the typical patterns here polka dots, floral, and even whimsical patterns can come into play this season (or any season) and clash quite well. I recently picked up a thought bubble print dress from 

The grey and teal make it easy to match with stripe tights or scarf and even houndstooth. In the spring you can probably make a subtle floral pattern work with this. 

 The best part of pattern clashing is to have fun with it. If you're having a hard time picking peices, start by matching peices with similar shades.  Keep it safe with black and white. If you love taking a risk and trying new things maybe clash patterns and shades. If you wear it with confidence there isn't anything you can't pull off. If you try this tend please share with me your pictures. Either comment here or hashtag #hirecycledstardust on Instagram so I can see your style! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Myths of Dressing Plus Size

There are certain, undeniable, rules  when it comes to plus size fashion. What a plus size woman can or can't wear is often treated like a laminated set of laws that must be followed in order to avoid being chastised. We can talk about dressing for our size or shape, what fabrics or patterns to avoid, or even what styles suit us better than others, but is the real issue that we shouldn't wear these garments because, we don't think we look well, or we shouldn't wear these garments because others don't think we look well? Mull over that for a moment as I present to you some fashion no-no's and what I think about them. 

1- The Plus Size Woman Should never Wear Stripes. 

I wonder what fashion genius though to themselves that stripes caused such a grandiose optical illusion on the plus size woman. Horizontal stripes in particular get a bad rap. They will make you look wider, rounder.. Lets be real. If you have a large bottom, thighs, stomach, or even breasts, those stripes make no difference. They won't make you look longer or wider than you already are. They may bring some attention because, as you know, those who aren't plus size can not resist being drawn into the magical allure that is one bar of color placed parallel on another bar of color. Yes, it is true, that certain solid colors can have a sliming effect but its not on a grand scale. Whether you wear stripes or a solid your size does not change. A proper fitting garment should have no ill effect. 

2- Wearing Black is Slimming. 

Again, I ask, what genius said this? Black is effortless, chic, classy, and timeless. It's not Jenny Craig. It won't take 3 dress sizes off of your body if you put on a little black dress. We have spanx and other products for that. Plus certain patterns and colors can be just as sliming. It all depends on cuts. 

3- Oversized Draping Clothes Hide Fat

Take a woman who is size 2. Put her in an oversized sweater and baggy pants. Sexy right? Imagine a size 22 doing the same thing. It matters not the size, wearing clothes that are too big for your size will make you look bigger, not smaller. Plus size woman may have a few more lumps and bumps than a straight sized woman but that doesn't mean we have to compensate by draping ourselves in unflattering, figure hiding, clothes. A well fitting garment goes a long way. 

4- You Should Only Wear A-line and Pencil Skirts 

This one is beyond false. For years I saw this on various sites for clothing. It was advertised that these two styles were most flattering on a larger frame. Maybe for some shapes but not all shapes look best in these. While hour glass, pear, and rectangle, look phenomenal in these skirts, apple may not. As an apple shaped person myself, I can tell you a flowing skater skirt to hide my belly does a lot more than a pencil skirt that makes me look pregnant. It's always best to go for skirts, clothes in general, that you feel flatter you. Try on different styles and sizes. Don't let a company, magazine, or website tell you one style is for all! 

5- Plus Size Women Aren't Sexy

A blind person could tell just by touching plus size clothing that it isn't exactly quality. The industry views the plus size shopper as someone middle aged. It's a growing epidemic that children and young adults as plus size. While this is unfortunate news, many young adults find themselves wearing cheap clothing or clothing that resembles something very plain. Don't fall into the trap of believing that just because you are plus size you can't wear sexy clothes. Sites like offer a wide variety of sexy styles for an affordable price. Leave the mom jeans and plain blouses for... whoever still wears mom jeans.  Let your sexy, stylish side show. 

Whatever you do, dress in what makes you happy, makes you feel sexy, and makes you comfortable and confident! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dorin Negrau S/S 2015 Brings Unique, Gothic, Flair to Lincoln Center

My 10-year high school reunion is next Friday. Why am I telling you this? Well I've been more than a bit nostalgic lately about my high school years and even more so after the Dorin Negrau show at Lincoln Center. To be honest, I've been mulling over the show since I saw it. 

When I was in high school, I didn't exactly fit in. I was one of the more "goth" kids. Now, I'm not talking about the lite goth culture we have now. I'm talking about the dark, shredded, spiked, leather, eccentric, goth culture that owned my later teen years. Attending underground shows in the Brooklyn rock scene.  Loud, pounding, powerful, music and dramatic fashion. The Dorin Negrau show gave me a front row seat (literally) to my youth with loud Romanian rock music and eccentric designs. 

I loved the peekaboo lace from the first look. 

We've seen a wonderful resurgence of 80's and 90's fashion done, quite a bit, more tastefully than the original decades. It really doesn't  surprise me that Dorin Negrau's gothic, Romanian styles reminded me of the late 90's, early 2000's goth culture. If all fashion is cyclical, it's about time that the goths had their moment again. 

The Dorin Negrau show didn't just feature darker looks, flowing gowns were mixed in with highly sexualized garter belts and bare breasts. Electrical tape hair accessories were placed in contrast to Romanian inspired belts and  accessories. Sequins, leather crosses on sheer tops, velvet, even lace were featured in the designs. Long, sheer maxi skirts flowed down the runaway in white, pink, and black. 

The mixture of lingerie under sheer maxi skirts paired with velvet, lace, or sequin top can be sexy and classy. 

While the show started a bit odd, a woman dancing a spiderweb type of cloth off of herself, it was anything but boring. Dorin Negrau's first show at Lincoln Center was a success and I was left wondering what was next with every garment. This type of fashion certainly isn't for everyone but if we can take away anything from this show, we should take away that pushing boundaries, combining different accessories, and channeling our inner goth might just be fun for spring 2015. 

 Adding a little goth flair with red sequin bandeau top under this flowing and elegant black dress. 

Plunging backs with Romanian accessories. 

Layers. Layers. Layers. 

Gothic style can be elegant and Dorin Negrau shows us how!

A lighter side. Boxy cuts and interesting necklines in lighter shades. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Neon For Fall

I'd like to consider myself one that follows trends and fashion rules. Im always looking forward to whats new for the season. I do get naughty occasionally, however, and take a nod from a past season or a past trend. Trends, after all, do recycle themselves. 

Neon shades are typically reserved for the spring and summer season but why not incorporate them into fall? Today I paired a neon yellow, chiffon, blouse with a leather accented, knit jacket with houndstooth print pants. 


By keeping my accessories minimal and matching my shoes to my shirt I believe I have managed to keep my look grounded in fall. As for the makeup I wore, I decided to go for a bright eye, minimal face, and dark fall, statement lips. 
Cosmetics details:
Eyes: primer- la base pro from LancĂ´me, shadows- smokey palette from NYX- white shade used all over lid and up to brow, sand shade on crease blended up to brow bone. Plum shade on outer v. ColourPop cosmetics Glowstix on lid and lower lash line. On water line- Marc Jacobs high liner gel pencil in brown out. Mascara is LaSplash cosmetics Glamour eyes volume Max and also I used Kiss lashes and adhesive. 

Face: Loreal visible lift foundation and concealer. Rimmel London BB cream in medium dark to contour. Maybelline Fit Me 220 powder to set foundation. Sculpt powder to contour from Mac cosmetics. Cream base in Diamonds from Mac cosmetics. Highlight is lightscapde, also from Mac cosmetics. 

Lips- vino pencil from Mac cosmetics and boudoir  from coloured raine lipstick. 

What do you all think about bringing trends from past seasons and mixing them in current the season? 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Zelie for She: Pink Carousel Collection

Confession: I'm a kid at heart, a kid born in the 80s. Anything pink and sparkly will immediately bring me back to my childhood were Barbie was always in princess cap sleeves, Jem ruled Saturday morning cartoons, and everything was just a bit over the top. My nostalgia went into full gear when I saw the preview shots for the new collection from Zelie for She called Pink Carousel. 

Pink sequins adorn many, if not, all the pieces. These are not for the girl who prefers a little black dress at a party. Body hugging dresses to flowing skater skirts, there is sure to be something to flatter any body type. 


Best of all, a portion of the sales will go to support breast cancer. Fashion with a cause? Sign me up! These will be available on September 12th, in extended sizes L-4X, at 

(All photos are from @zelieforshe Instagram) 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Venexiana by Kati Stern S/S 2015 Collection

Summer slowly ends, weather cools down, and fashion comes to New York. There is no other exciting time for a fashion loving, cosmeholic such as myself than fashion week. This year I was able to attend the Venexiana/Kati Stern show at Lincoln Center. 

If this show was any indication of the trends to come we are in luck. It was a dreamy show filled with 57 gorgeous gowns. Many gowns were adorned with  crystals and in soft pastel shades of aqua, peach, yellow, and lilac. There was a feeling of vintage elegance as the designer channeled Grace Kelly but with a modern 80s revival feel to it. Metallics were also a big part of the show with gold and silver standing out in both fabric and accent form. Of course there were a few little black dresses but they featured plunging necklines that may not impress the more conservative of style seekers. 

Kati Stern is sold in Saks Fifth Avenue, Neimen Marcus, and 

My favorite looks of the night:

Soft shades draped the models as they walked the runway. 

Channeling an era gone by with a modern twist. 

I love the use of metallics and color. 

These dresses reminded me of an elegant Jessica rabbit. 

The silver dress seemed almost sc-if inspired but still read classy while the pink dress with a branch design was quite unique. 

Kati Stern, you put on an amazing show. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goodbye Summer, Hello Pre-Fall

It's that beautiful time of the year where we bid adieu to the summer styles and welcome the transitional styles into the cooler weather.  Pre-fall is all about transitioning. Don't start packing up your summer wardrobe or staples just yet. A lot of what you already own will most likely work in this transitional period. Are you wondering what's trending or what you should pick up to compliment what you may already have? You've come to the right place. 

Transitional pieces:
Jumpsuits/rompers- these are some of the easiest pieces to transition. These garments saw a bit of an explosion in popularity in the spring and summer so you may already own one. You can add some tights or nylons under your rompers or use a leather jacket, moto jacket, or cardigan to pair over your jumpsuit. 

Black and white- The summer saw an unexpected trend in black and white pieces. Since these are classic staples you can effortlessly bring them into fall. If you have shorts or capris pair with an oversized sweater or layers. If you have black or white tops pair with burgundy, navy, or even brown pants or pencil skirts. 

Crochet shorts- pair with a pair of burgundy, navy, mustard, or black nylons/tights underneath. Edgy tops pair well too. 

Harem pants- tuck in a simple v neck top in any fall shade, pair with a cardigan or choose a fall pattern. 

Bikini tops and crop tops- plus size fashion got a taste of the cropped life and also we had options for bikinis this year. You can take your Bikini top or crop top and use it as a layering piece. Under a blazer, these also work well. 

Neon- neon pairs well with many of the fall pieces below. Pop of neon is great for fall but don't overdo it and don't pair with white. It will read too summer. Neon flats are also a great option. 

Floral- pair with edgy pieces  or match with fall shads. 

What should you consider picking up for fall?
Leather peices or leather accents- leather skirts, leather leggings, leather tops, leather accents, leather jackets- They can can add a lot of edge to any outfit but be feminized by pairing work neon, floral, lace, or crochet pieces. 

Knit leggings- these will keep your legs warm and transition you well into the winter months. There are some great shades and designs this season such as burgundy, charcoal, and navy, don't just stick to black! 

Patterns and shades for fall:
Black and white
Royal blue

More traditional?
The most traditional staples for fall include animal prints, military styles, basic fall shades like oranges, browns, reds, nudes. Lace and leather are also on the traditional spectrum if worn in more retro ways. 

When planning your fall wardrobe remember the best rule of all- make shre to have fun! If you don't like to take risks maybe now is your chance to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. 

Want to see some of my picks;

Dresses on top: forever 21
Dress and bootie: rainbow shops 

Lace accented navy top: forever 21
Leather Skirt: forever 21
Leather bag: forever 21
Headband: forever 21
Harem pants: forever 21
Sweater: forever 21
Scarf: forever21

Lace kimono: rainbow shops 
Scarf: forever 21
Color block top: rainbow shops
Booties in oxblood: rainbow shops
Circle skirt: rainbow shops
Shirt dress: rainbow shops

Cream colored top- forever 21
Neon flats: rainbow shops

Leather skater skirt: forever 21
Floral crop top: forever 21
Crochet knit cardigan: forever 21
Neon peach dress: forever 21
Cropped leather jacket: forever 21

All of these items are from
Opaque tights 
Swing dresses
Polka dot peplum shirt
Leather crop blazer

All items from
Bordeaux colored hat
Lace up leather corset style heels
Red peplum style blazer
Garter belt style leggings
Military style cropped jacket
Leopard print top 

Pink dress-
Pink blazer:
African violet crop top:
Leather midi skirt:

Crochet and chiffon top: forever 21
Long draped brown vest: forever 21
Black Harem pants: forever 21

Baroque pattern pencil skirt: forever 21
Knit harem pants: forever 21
Leather accented leggings: forever 21
Lace cut out shirt: forever 21
Leather vest: forever21 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Models in the Plus Size Industry

My family can be so supportive at times. They see the pictures I post of my style on instagram and Facebook and I've been told countless times that I should be a plus size model. I'd love to represent the plus size world via modeling but there's one little thing, plus size models are rarely plus size. While the straight size world of models is full of women with unreality thin bodies, the plus size modeling world is filled with average women.  

When I imagine a plus size woman I imagine someone who is a bit bigger than what an average woman looks like. The average size for a woman is 14. Plus size in my view would be about 18+. When we browse through online catalogs of what clothes to buy we see models. Those models are often size 14 and lower. When we see the rare plus size woman on the runway, she can be as small as a size 8. So the women we see as plus size are actually average. Plus size models are also required to buy padding to wear at shoots. This allows them to fill out clothes perfectly even if they lack in certain areas. Are we alone in the struggle, sadly, no we aren't. 

The fashion industry is full of size shaming and is always searching for the best body and size to represent their clothing. For those who are straight size, being a size 6/8 may feel like plus size when all the models representing straight sizes see are size 0/1/2. A 6/8 may see a plus size model and not understand why she looks like her but all the clothes on the site or in the store look so much larger.  This practice can lead to all sorts of body hate and body confusion. The smallest size is meant to show the clothing in the best possible way but if the women wearing these clothes aren't that small does that mean that these designers and companies are alright with their fashions looking wrong on their target customer? Where do we draw the line?

Woman on the right is straight size. Woman on the left is plus size. Both of these women are at the extreme small ends of their respective customer target. While yes, there are women of these size, they are not the majority and give a hard view point on what these clothes will look like on the average consumer. 

Another example 
Right size is plus size and left side is straight size. These were taken from the forever 21 site. These ransom straight sizes were included while looking at plus size results. 

As for the plus size community we often see the average woman but free of common imperfections. Clothing on a tall woman with the perfect hourglass figure, free of excess belly weight, arm weight, leg weight, will almost always look flawless. The target consumer, however, comes in all different shapes and sizes with excess weight in a variety of places. Not to mention we don't have all that padding. A skirt meant to look great on that hourglass figured model may look great on some but others who have a flat booty, small hips, and larger stomach may find themselves looking drastically different. A top meant to look great on a smaller chested plus size woman may be extremely and suffocatingly tight on a bigger bust.  We can talk about dressing for your shape and size for hours but as any site will show you, you'll have no real idea what that piece of clothing looks like until you try it on after you buy it. 

With all these mixed messages its easily understandable to comprehend why young girls have issues with confidence, self love, self expression through fashion, and, worst of all, eating disorders. We live in a world where we are sold an ever obvious image. The image is that we should either be stick thin, which is fine for those who are naturally petite, or we should be a thick, full bodied, hourglass figure. Both of these body types are increasingly rare. They are not the norm nor the average. Is there something wrong with being thin or hourglass? No, absolutely not. The reality is simply that we exist in a variety of shapes and sizes and the media/corporations/designers has a very narrow view. 

Even something as simple terms we use to desiribe ourselves can become twsisted. As a size 20 woman when i see a size 8 woman i cant help but to admire how thin she is. The size 8 woman, who is comparable to some plus size models, cant get over how "fat" she is. Thin means something very differnt to differnt people. Even terms like thick and curvy are being used to mean different things. A size 4 woman with a booty: curvy. A size 14 woman with an hourglass figure: thick. I always understood thin women to be straight sizes and  thick and curvy to mean women to be plus size. The lines are so blurred our identity is being taken from us. 

I will leave you all with one really mind blowing example. Marlyn Monroe. Her images have been spreed far and wide by many online as the pioneer of curvy and plus size women. The fact? Marilyn Monroe In this famous picture has a size 22/23 inch waist and 36 inch hips. Weight 140 lbs. She was never bigger than a size 6. Yet she's often viewed as plus size and quoted to be even as large as a 16. If we have become so disillusioned that we can believe a size 6 woman is plus size, then where does that leave all the women at size 18+? In a sad, sad world. 

Some further examples from a site I love. Eloquii has some amazing plus size fashion. These images were taken from their instagram. @eloquii

On the left you see what I consider a plus size women. On the right is a plus size model. 

Plus size models

Actual plus size woman wearing their clothes

All of these women are beautiful but you can really start to understand just how different the sizing is between models and regular plus size women. If you would like your picture removed please feel free to email me @ I'm sorry I didn't ask prior permission I just thought you were all beautiful.