Style: Falling Out of Summer and Into Fall with Neutrals

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Summer isn’t officially over just yet. Yes, Labor Day has come and gone. But, it’s still warm enough in SoCal to don tanks and sandals. Which is exactly what I wore in the photo above. As much as I love color, I’ve found that building the foundation of my wardrobe with neutrals is the key to always having something to wear.

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My leopard print pants from Forever 21 (3 seasons ago) are one of my wardrobe staples. They are stretchy, have pockets, and can be worn high-waisted or with a low crotch. They are the definition of versatile since I can wear them all year long!

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Here I’ve paired my favorite pants with a grayish mauve camisole from Nordstrom Rack, and a kick ass army green vest from Daniel Rainn (purchased at TJ Maxxsimilar here). The vest has pockets and a hood! It’s lightweight, so it’s very easy to layer with lighter pieces like the cami, or with a long sleeve tee as the days get cooler.

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The sandals I also got from TJ Maxx and they’re Marc Fisher in a lovely metallic leather finish. I’m in love with these sandals. I swear they go with everything!

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Never be afraid to mix colors and patterns together. And if you stick with neutrals, it will be a no brainer!

xo

Fat, Black, Muslim, and Stylish as Hell: An Interview with Fashion Blogger Leah Vernon

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Photo by Reel Clever Films

I discovered Leah Vernon’s Instagram a few weeks ago and was wowed by her style. Her vibrant and bold approach to fashion struck a chord with me immediately. She is a fat, Black, Muslim woman with a strong voice in a society obsessed with thinness, whiteness, and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Talk about facing multiple forms of oppression! Vernon is always covered from head to toe, as required by her religion. She wears a hijab daily, which she sometimes substitutes for a fabulous head wrap or turban. But that doesn’t stop her from experimenting with fashion. I adore her creativity and personal style. The truth is, this fashion femme fatale just can’t be ignored!

Leah is the creator behind the blogs Beauty and the Muse and LeahVDaily. She is a 20-something style/fashion blogger, plus model, freelance writer, novelist, and body-positive activist from Detroit. She was inspired to start blogging in 2013 because there wasn’t enough diverse representation of real beauty in the media. Her goals are to continue to spread style and self-love to underrepresented groups, and to spark a fashion revolution!

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Photo by Remy Roman

MFC: When and why did you start blogging? What inspired the name Beauty and the Muse?

LV: I started blogging in the early 2000’s, three separate times actually, and didn’t know what I was doing and failed miserably. Haha. On the fourth try, I started blogging in 2013. My friends had forced me to create an Instagram account and after telling them ‘hell nah’, I finally caved in. I was feeling depressed because I had injured myself pretty badly at work. The sun was shining through my window when I woke up one day. I began scrolling through my IG timeline and saw Essie Golden looking bad as fuck in an army fatigue inspired getup. At that moment, I was like I can do that, too. I wanna slay!

In the next moment, the name Beauty and the Muse came out of nowhere. “That’s my blog name,” I said to myself. In my world, I have a split personality. There’s the beauty part, where it’s slayage and Gaga glam all the time. Then there’s the muse part, where I’m quiet, thoughtful, educated, and always seeking some answer to the world’s secrets.

Basically, I started blogging because I needed a creative outlet to express myself. As a fat, Black, Muslim woman, we are often times hidden from mainstream media and even within our very communities. I was tired of being overlooked and stuffed into a square. So, I made a conscious decision to bust out.

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Photo by Reel Clever Films

MFC: Do you consider yourself a feminist? How does that tie into your religious beliefs, if at all?

LV: Interesting question. I’m not going to lie. Over the past few years my views of feminism have changed greatly. At first, I didn’t get it. I thought that all feminism equated to was women having the right to show off their boobs in public and be sexually free. But as I started to actually learn and meet other feminists in real life, my views started to sway.

At this moment, I think that feminism is whatever a woman wants it to be, but it’s mainly compromised of wanting and deserving equality and inclusion. And sometimes feminism is in the eye of the beholder when we start getting down to the smaller details. It’d be a little different fundamentally from an atheist feminist point of view versus a Muslim or a Hindu feminist point of view. I don’t claim to be a ‘feminist’. But if wanting inclusion across the board equates to being one, then yes, I am. Lol.

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MFC: Do you think feminism and fashion can exist simultaneously?

LV: I’m a fat, Black , Muslim from Detroit who models… Anything is possible. Haha. I feel like in this time and age fashion is used to express so many different movements. So feminism and fashion can exist. Religion and fashion can exist. Culture and fashion can exist.

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Photo by Brooklyn Cashmere

MFC: You have great style, and you take big risks. Do you ever feel limited knowing that you need to cover your body? And is that challenging during the hot summer months?

LV: When I was younger and didn’t know myself or my fashion capabilities, I used to think that covering my body was an issue. That I could never mix the two: fashionable and covered! They didn’t show that in the media. If I wasn’t out there wearing booty shorts, then I could never be confident and cute.

When you truly start to be comfortable with who you are and what you’re doing in life, and not caring what others think, things become a lot easier. When I started being creative with my head scarves/turbans and my makeup and my ridiculous outfits, I had people from all walks of life coming up to me, a fat Muslim, asking me how they can do it, too. So, now, I’m never limited. When you have true style and imagination, nothing can limit you. Nothing.

And as for dressing in the summer for a Muslim girl, you get used to the heat. But you dress accordingly. Lighter fabrics and less layering.

MFC: What does body positivity mean to you as a Black, Muslim woman of size?

LV: I rep the body positivity movement because to me, it means inclusion of all sized bodies regardless of whether they are naked, covered, lumpy, thin, pale, or Black. It means freedom to do what you want, when you want to do it, unapologetically.

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MFC: What do you want the people who are reading this right now to know about you?

LV: I want the readers to stop being afraid of failure, of looking stupid in front of people who really don’t matter, of speaking out on human injustices. I want them to wear what they feel like with confidence and poise. I want them to embrace their perfections as well as their imperfections  — inside and out. I want them to stop believing what the media says or shows all the time, because most of the time its skewed.

MFC: Where can we find you on social media/web?

http://www.beautyandthemuse.net
FB: http://www.facebook.com/Beautyandthemuse
Youtube: Leahvdaily
IG: @Lvernon2000 (www.instagram.com/Lvernon2000)
Email: Lvernon20@yahoo.com

 

Thank you, Leah. You are a body-positive Queen, who slays and slays and slays!

xo

How I Wore my Furry Game of Thrones Vest and Slayed

This amazing  vest, which I purchased from Sears about a month ago, is so darn cozy I find myself wanting to wear it with everything. The only thing that could improve it, are pockets. And I just might have a tailor put them in for me.

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I usually wear a lot of color, but I was feeling super inspired by the challenge of how I could make a black and white outfit more interesting using pattern and texture. I think I achieved that with the “Game of Thrones” vest,  jacquard ponte pants, silk  scarf, and leopard print flats (details on where I bought the items below).

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Don’t be afraid of pattern! When you mix patterns together, the key to success is a scale jump — making sure the scale of each pattern is noticeably different. For example, my silk scarf has a rather large geometric print, which I balanced out with the jacquard pants in a smaller more organic pattern, and finally, a twist with the leopard flats. Remember that leopard is a neutral, and therefore goes with everything. Leopard is  your friend!

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BTW, these ponte knit pants are so comfy I could wear them to sleep!

 

It’s all in the details! A bright lip is always a good idea. I’m wearing Violetta by MAC (a personal fave).  Sunglasses are Zara. Jewelry is Stella & Dot. Hair is all mine!

DETAILS ON THE OUTFIT:

Black jersey top is Grace Elements purchased at TJ Maxx (size 3X)
Furry vest is Bongo from Sears (Size 2X)
Pants are Indigo Poppy purchased from Ross (Size 20)
Geometric scarf is Vince Camuto purchased at Ross
Shoes are Calvin Klein from Nordstrom Rack (Size 10)

*All photos taken by Tim Shugrue

Most of these items are from past seasons, so you may not find the exact pieces I’m wearing. But that’s a good thing! This is just meant to inspire you. So go find your own special pieces.

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I hope you’ll remember to shop in places you might not have thought of previously. Even if a store doesn’t carry plus sizes (like Zara), you can still find great accessories and shoes. And be willing to dig a little — Ross is one of my favorite stores because I love hunting for a real bargain. That Vince Camuto scarf was $4.99!!! Allow yourself to explore the possibilities. Until next time, remember to love yourself without measure!

xo

Blue, Orange, & Checked All Over

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit preppy, and it’s been really fun to explore this side of my fashion personality. I used to think I could only wear things that hugged my curves or showed skin, in order to feel sexy and confident. But I’m discovering that sexy is an attitude, and that the fashion possibilities are endless if I’m willing to take chances.

I’m finding that wearing pieces that are oversized, or even a bit shapeless, can be very cool! In many ways, I feel more confident when I’m all buttoned up in something unexpectedly funky. I push myself to try new ideas because it’s a fantastic creative outlet, and well, it’s really fun.

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This bold orange, navy blue, and grey Old Navy sweater got so many compliments when I wore it. I usually wear a 2x, but this was an XL and fit just the way I wanted it to. I bought it an Old Navy outlet store recently, so I don’t know if it’s still available. But you should check anyway, just in case.

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The white button-down oxford shirt is by Van Heusen in a 2x, which I bought from Amazon, of all places. It’s so crisp, and I love the pointed collar. I plan to pair this shirt with lots of things! Watch is Fossil, and earrings and bracelet are Stella & Dot, which has such great jewelry. Admittedly, I’m addicted.

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My jeans are thrifted, and the booties are Sam Edelman (last season), which I bought from Ross for $35 –STEAL!!. They’ve been a favorite of mine since I got them. You’ll see them in the rotation a lot. I think the photo before this one shows them better.

My orangey lip color is a blend of Milani Sweet Nectar and Ruby Woo by MAC (which, by the way, looks great on EVERYONE!). I love mixing lipstick colors together — it’s a great way to expand your color options on a budget too!

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It’s a little tough to see in this shabby photo, but I added a pair of small earrings to the button holes in the collar for a little extra sparkle. I have lots earrings in different shapes, sizes, and colors that will make this basic oxford shirt POP!

Well, if I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that I need to take better pictures. Outside. During the day. I’m still getting the hang of this thing, people.

Until next time, I hope all your fashion choices make YOU feel good!

xo

Mixed Fat Chick Does Fashion?

I am anxiety-ridden as I write this post. I haven’t written anything for my blog in about two months, or perhaps more.

I was waiting to feel inspired.

But as a writer, it’s my job to write. To write, and write, and write. Practice. Practice. Practice.

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If I waited for inspiration every single time, I suspect I’d have time enough to master the violin. So, this is me, picking my instrument back up. I will Practice. Practice. Practice.

OK, now that my micro self-help session is out of the way….

So, here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve been thinking about doing more plus fashion and plus style on mixedfatchick.com. The reason I haven’t done it more, is because I’m lazy. And I promise, I’m not being self-deprecating in the least. The mere thought of losing an extra 15-20 minutes of sleep so I can take proper photos of my OOTDs, brings to mind a simple and clear answer. No.

No. I don’t want to get up early. I want to sleep.

But…

But….

But….

A person has the prerogative to change their mind. And I have. Changed my mind, that is.

I know I don’t post much on the fashion front, but I always get such fun feedback and inspiration from my readers when I do.

Here are a few outfits I actually documented in 2015.

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Now let’s be clear. I don’t think I can promise daily posts on fashion, but maybe I could start with like, once or twice a month. Yes?

Because I really want to talk STYLE. Fashion and style are not one and the same. You can have fashion, and not have style. But for me, style is about learning who you are. It evolves as you do, so it changes all the time (at least for me). Which is why I love it! That, and it’s a great way to fight stereotypes about what fat women shouldn’t wear.

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But it’s also about exploring new silhouettes and getting out of your comfort zone. When I start collecting pieces for a certain look, it’s exciting to see it come together. I love that from one week to the next, I can go from preppy in pearls, to rockin’ a head wrap. My closet reflects that, which makes getting dressed a whole lot of fun!

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For instance, I want to do a post on 10 Ways I Wore My Fave Vintage Oxblood Velvet BlazerI know, right? And it’s stretchy velvet — but very structured! (I found it at Out of the Closet here in L.A.. Shhhhhh.)

Or maybe a feature on Accessorizing Like a Pro! I have A LOT of accessories and am always looking for innovative ways to combine the unexpected.

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OK, What else? What am I missing..?

Oh, also, I’m going to need to let my husband know that he’s now my official photographer! He’s awesome, so  I feel pretty good about it.

OK, I think that’s all I have in me today. And, I’m really excited about making magic with you in 2016!

xo

 

My Virgo Style: Bohemian Bling

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I’m a Virgo. But does my personal style match the characteristics of my zodiac sign? Let’s see…

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Well, I’m definitely those things, but I’d like to  think there is more to me than my perfectionism.  I’m also creative, generous, and humorous. I have a penchant for bright colors, bold patterns, and comfort, above all. Below are some pics of me reveling in my favorite new dress and some dope accessories. I felt so free and so good in my body. Thank you to my friend Michelle of Glitter in the Dirt for taking these photos of me.

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As a Virgo, I am all about the details. Perhaps that explains my obsession with jewelry! I think of my style as Bohemian Bling. I love flowy tops, funky printed kimonos, and comfy dresses with pockets. And I add my personal twist with unique jewelry. I’m currently coveting almost everything from Stella & Dot, which carries gorgeous, well made pieces for almost every style. And half the line is under $50, which makes it pretty accessible. And from time to time, I hit up Forever 21, because they have trendy pieces for not a lot of money. But my favorite is acquiring unique pieces during my travels abroad. It’s such a wonderful reminder of  my trip every time I wear that piece. It’s a wearable memory!

Although Virgos are known for being sophisticated and elegant, I must say, I’m a total goofball! A good laugh will always set me free from the bondage of fear and anger. It’s why I surround myself with people who are funny and also enjoy laughing. It heals the soul like almost nothing else can.

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Told ya I’m a goofball.

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I found this awesome meme on Facebook and shared it with my #untamedstyle sisters. According to the chart, I’m the Princess of Lost Moons. I love that name so much! There is almost nothing as divine as a night sky full of sparkling stars and a velvet moon.  Look at the chart and tell me your tarot card name!

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 I hope you get some solid inspiration from this post and realize that radical ideas are all around you. Don’t be afraid to experiment, even if it’s not in sync with your sign. And let the ideas that come to you be an extension of  how you feel about yourself. Find something magical to wear, and it may be just the push you need to begin your journey toward body-freedom and self-acceptance.  Check out these awesome zodiac inspired posts by my untamed style sisters: Glitter in the Dirt, Curves Become Her, Curves a la Mode, SweetLeigh Sewn, Cid Style File, and Margot Meanie.

xo

One Fatkini Worn 4 Ways: It’s all About Accessories!

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I bought my first fatkini last year, and since then I haven’t bought another one because hey keep selling out! (It feels so good to write that.)

As summer approaches, I always like to think of unique ways to style my look, especially if I’m on a budget. Plus it’s a creative challenge to make the same items work in different ways. I adore accessories, and in my opinion, they can completely alter the look of anything you wear. So, I decided it would be fun to do a post on this with a swimwear theme.

In the photos below, the bikini top is from ASOS Curve, and the high-waisted bottoms are from Swimsuits For All (both from last year, but the bottoms are still available). All other deets are mentioned under each photo. Enjoy!

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Headwrap and necklace from Stella & Dot, Leopard Kimono from Ross, Sandals from Nine West.

There is almost nothing I love more than a head-wrap.  It solves a bad hair day, and instantly gives your look an unexpected twist. You don’t have to spend lots of money on a scarf. Thrift stores are a great place to find cheap ones with good patterns. And the leopard kimono is one of my faves. I get so many compliments on it. Leopard is a neutral and goes with EVERYTHING!

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Jacket thrifted from Out of the Closet (it’s actually a man’s jacket), Ring from an artist shop ages ago, Earrings from Runway Boutique in L.A., Bracelets from Forever 21.

I bought the jacket at Out of the Closet for $7. Yup, it was a major score. It has pockets, which are perfect for holding my phone and sunglasses while at the pool or the beach.  When you’re thrift store shopping, keep an open mind. And those big ass earrings only set me back $16 — well worth it for the impact they give this whole look. I feel very Grace Jones!

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Paisley Kimono from Nordstrom Rack, Necklace from Stella & Dot, Sandals from TJ Maxx.

I think a smile is always your best asset.  But a paisley kimono ain’t bad either. When you’re mixing black and white with other colors and patterns, be bold. It’s OK to mix it up because they’re so neutral. The sandals are flat, which is key for me, and whenever I see anything in a size 11 for a good price, I snatch it up!

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Sunnies a gift from my boo Michelle, T-shirt from Mode Plus, Confidence from ME!

As far as I’m concerned you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. And I refuse to spend more than about $10 on them because I lose or break them very easily. The klutz in me just can’t help it! And white t-shirts are a must for any wardrobe. I have at least 5 or 6 in slightly different styles because they’re so classic.

I hope these looks give you some inspiration and the confidence to show off your body in all it’s ample beauty this summer and any time, really. I would love to see how you style your swimsuits. Post your swimsuit photos on instagram, and tag me @mixedfatchick with the hashtag #myfatiscute!

xo