Fashion Challenged!

This seems to happen to me every year. The temps turn steamy, I walk into my closet and can not figure out for the life of me what I was wearing just a year ago.

So I need to shop but Im coming up empty. Everything seems to be too short, too casual, too uncomfortable or too dull. In short, I'm feeling a little bit like this lady looks.


image via all posters


So help a girl out. What is striking your fancy this season? And more importantly what can I wear? I'm curvy and work in a moderately dressy office (i wear a lot of dresses). I have to commute on the NYC subway so that means temps go from hot as hell on the platform to artic chill in the car. I could use a few casual pieces that travel well too.

I'd really much rather be feeling like this lady.



image via all posters


I know there are some smart fashion gurus out there. Help!

29 comments:

  1. sarah8:47 AM

    I would recommend looking at eshakti. The have a great selection of classy dresses, but the best part is they are customizable. You can add different sleeves, change the neckline and send in your measurements and all that.. I haven't ordered one myself but my cousin has and is really loving it. I have featured them on my blog in some mood boards a few times. http://sarahsutin.com/aflutter/crew-crew-cute/

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  2. The Happy Homebodies8:58 AM

    How about lightweight, comfortable dresses with 3/4 sleeve cardigans? That's my work uniform this time of year in HOT Dallas. I have a few stretchy jersey dresses that are conservative, comfortable and travel well because they don't wrinkle.

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  3. Angela9:23 AM

    I love J Jill for travel and transitional wear. Their clothes are mostly knit or linen and they travel so well. I wore a knit tunic sleeveless dress and white leggings on the plane while returning from vacation and the all flight attendants complimented me. When I want to wear the tunic dress to work, I slip a summer cardigan over it, pair it with wedge sandals and it looks totally different. I have a collection of stone necklaces that I like to wear with my knits.


    I’ve also bought quite a few knit dresses from J Crew for the summer. They’re very cool and comfortable. It can get up to 100 degrees in my region and staying comfortable is a must. Natural fibers are mandatory for me.

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  4. I totally understand this. Plus, I was just in New York and wondering how the heck people did the subway each day and managed to look decent by the time they got to work. Crazy. It's so hot out there. I mean, it's super hot where I am in Texas, but we don't walk. We drive from one place with air conditioning to another.

    I layer. I have a tailored, dressier denim jacket that goes really well over dresses that ordinarily I'd say are too casual for work. Or really thin sweaters with short sleeves.

    To prep for my trip, I spent some time at Ann Taylor Loft. They have some great options. I also have some vintage-looking shirt dresses that button all the way down and tie at the waist. The benefit of these is being able to dress them up or down easily. Take a look at my Pinterest boards. I curated a bunch of what I brought!

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  5. Layers! Dresses for the commute, add a cardigan or blazer at the office. I highly recommend Corporette (a fashion/lifestyle blog) for good inspiration and ideas.

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  6. Toniann10:39 AM

    I love Banana's new line with Trina Turk. There are a lot of pretty dresses and they have flash sales during lunch at least once a week where you can get 40% off. Only negative is that I'm short and need to get their dresses hemmed. (If you work near 50th & Park they have a great petite section) I always leave a blazer and "summer scarf" in my office just in case.

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  7. Thanks Sarah.  Off to check out your blog.

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  8. Thanks Angela.  I never thought about J Jill - Ill definitely check them out.
    J Crew is generally a lost cause for me.  Their clothes don't seem to account for any roundness at all so even if I can find something that fits, its always fits poorly.  Bummer since they have some great items.

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  9. Thanks Aliya.  I definitely do layer a lot but Im not finding much I want to wear in the first place :)

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  10. Thanks Toniann.  How funny you find their clothes too long - I find them way too short.  Their skirts and dresses mostly, their jeans can be too long.

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  11. JulieW10:53 AM

    I like to read the Style Your Life blog.  I like her style and she helps he fashionably challenged like me.  If it wasn't for her then I would be in mom jeans and baggy t-shirts. 
    http://www.styleyourlifeblog.com/search/label/work%20fashion

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  12. I agree, I also find Ann Taylor to be too short at 5'8. White House Black Market has some cute stuff and it is long enough. I have found Marshalls and Ross to be great for the summer dresses. I am currently on the search for some white pants as those with a wedge are perfect summer wear in my book with a blousey top. I try to mix up the tops, but I have a lot of luck at Forever21 and H&M for light tops. Forever21 I shop online because I am crotchety and 15 yr olds drive me a little crazy. Gap has some good options as well for pants. I am loving the ankle cropped pants and LOVE the colors and prints they come in. They all would work well with a nice white tee and a chunky necklace. 

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  13. For sun dresses, I rely on Tobi.com and Dress Up Boutique. Flowy, easy, and inexpensive enough to afford the gamble if it needs hemming/alterations.

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  14. katarzyna siwa12:15 PM

    I feel you, I'm in the same boat. I am curvy with a side of chesty. I live in Chicago so I have the same commute as you, freezing train with steamy hot platforms and then a short walk. Although my office is much more casual I wonder if you could get away with colored denim or brightly colored pants and flowy shirts and tunics. I use complimentary skinny belts to cinch in the tops if the tunics or tops are to wide so I don't look like a brick house and bring a sheer pattern scarf as an accessory and coverup. I am not crazy about dresses but sometimes wearing a jersey dress with a blazer and scarf with leather wedges looks pretty too. I find that maxi dresses for the curvy set have to be slim if they are too wide than we look much larger than we are. Also maxi dresses that have wide shoulder straps and made from more structured materials instead of the thin ones look more put together instead of beachy.  I find a lot of those types at nordstrom rack and marshalls. Good luck I'll be looking to see if you come up with something good maybe I can get some cues ;)

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  15. I'm a bunch older (and rounder) than you, but I like cotton skirts.  On top I wear 3/4 sleeve tees, something in cotton & spandex.  Comfy.  On the days I put on capris, a longer linen tunic feels good.  You just have to get past the wrinkles...

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  16. I keep a black pashmina in my office for when it's hot as hades here in CA and the office is blowing frigid air. Colleagues think I'm nuts, but it's the perfect way to stay profesh in the office while still rocking a cute dress! : )

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  17. I think you'd really love Allie over at Wardrobe Oxygen. She's got some great posts about professional dressing and some good resources for curvy girls. http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ 

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  18. i'm loving pairing tunic-y tops with pencil skirts. blousy on top and slightly more fitted on bottom. although that might not work for every body type? Could you do colored linen pants? They're so breezy and comfortable but can totally spice up an outfit - especially with great jewelery.

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  19. I have been checking out a site called stopstaringclothing.com and they have some adorable stuff with a retro 40's and 50's vibe. I am rounder and definitely larger on top than bottom, so I can't often find dresses that fit but they are stretch knits which is about the only way I can make a dress work. Not everything at Stop Staring would be business appropriate, but they do have a section for business clothing. 

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  20. Wow, sometimes when I shop I wonder if I'm the only curvy girl in the world.  I share your frustration!  (I too love the styles at JCrew, but I have never found anything there that has fit properly.  They obviously design for tall,  completely straight figures.) Because I'm short, I find it even harder  to find nice,  well-fitting clothes that aren't so curve enhancing I look like Kim K. or so blousey I look like a bag of potatoes.  My cousin, who has a similar curvy figure, just recommended eShakti as well, so maybe I will check that out.   If you find a great source, and you don't mind sharing, I'd love a post about what you find that works!  I'm feeling very uninspired this summer, but I'm in desperate need of a few new basics!

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  21. Heather1:41 PM

    I love Forever21 too.  The one in Union Square is huge.  I always find really cute flowy tops there in the summer.  I used to love the Filene's Basement that was above it, but sadly it's gone now.

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  22. I'm tall and I always think it must be a lot easier to find clothes that cover all the important bits if I were shorter.  (You would not believe how many shirts and skirts are way too short!) I guess the grass is always greener. 

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  23. Thanks Dani.  Ill check it out.

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  24. Ive never been able to bring myself to buy a maxi for that reason.  But Im hoping to find something suitable eventually b/c they look so comfy.

    Denim, colored pants and flowy shirts aren't really appropriate in my office. Its pretty conservative.

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  25. Ive only been inside a Forever21 once but Im pretty sure their clothes aren't made for my shape.  Everything seemed way too short.

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  26. james cruise10:53 AM

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  27. I'm so on the same page!  I've decided to infuse my wardrobe with a few younger/more fun looking but still age-appropriate, professional pieces. Check out Talbots.  No longer stuffy but still leaning toward a more classic look, I find their clothes work for my professional workplace.  And, the fact that they have the same pieces across size categories (Misses, Petites, Womens, and Women's Petites ), means it is sometimes easier to find a better fit in a particular piece.  (My sister sometimes picks a Women's Petite pant paired with a Petite top, for example.) Plus, they have my favorite, dresses and lots of three-quarter length cardigans that may be paired with fun jewelry.  Loving their new tailored, floral skirts!

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  28. Christina11:54 AM

    Hi lady! I have been feeling the same way, and honestly when you aren't loving your clothes it can really suck and especially when they aren't fitting how you want. I would invest in some basics like silk bow tops and higher waisted A line skirts  (throw some cardigans in your bag or keep them at work for the AC) and dress them up with jewelry and shoes. Honestly shoes always fit :-) and are so fun to shop for.

    For work: 
    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?searchCID=25789&vid=1&pid=905443&scid=905443002  this is super cute and goes up to size 16

    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=423465002&tid=brfr1r  this is always a flattering choice and will go with everything (if you get the "tall" it will have more length!)

    For more INTERESTING/CUTE and fun clothes that no one else has (super cute for summer) I would suggest Britt Ryan, Boden, and EmMckay
    http://brittryan.com can be hard to find in stores

    I love tunics and maxi dresses for casual and they hide everything
    http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Dresses.html 

    http://www.emckay.com/ everything is adorable, but pricier 

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  29. Heather11:54 AM

    I love Forever21 too.  The one in Union Square is huge.  I always find really cute flowy tops there in the summer.  I used to love the Filene's Basement that was above it, but sadly it's gone now.

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