Featured Slider

Are Jeans Really Satan's Pants? Lane Bryant Now Has Me Rethinking That...

I believe life's too short for compromises and bad fitting jeans ~ Lykke Li

As I have said so many times on this blog before, I have a love and hate relationship with jeans. It's to the point where I started calling them Satan's pants and even blurted that out in the opening of the first video I filmed for Glamour Magazine's Sizes 0 to 28 fashion series.

Since then, I have tried jeans from a myraid of brands and still haven't found a pair that I am truly in love with. I have come close and now I am starting to think that I may not find the perfect pair, unless I get them custom-made. 

(Shout out to Conchita E. Jamison and her custom denim business 2B Continued Denim Boutique!)

My issues are:

  • I have a smaller waist in proportion to my bust and hips, with a 17-inch difference between my waist and hips. So I almost always have to wear a belt to keep my jeans on and not have a gap in the back.
  • My calves measure 23" at the top part but then thin out towards the ankle. A pair of jeans may go over my ankle and bottom part of my calves but then be super tight in the upper area.
  • I have a long torso and short legs with my inseam being 28". So I am in between petites and regular lengths. For reference, I am 5'6".

So when I heard that Lane Bryant launched a special feature called the Flexband Magic Waistband, on ALL their jeans, I had to find out more and try these jeans out. 

The folks at Lane Bryant were kind enough to send me two pairs of jeans of my choice so here's what I chose and my fit experience:

These are not your normal jeggings! They have a three-button zip closure, which I love, because basic jeggings with an elastic waist never stay up on me and I can't wear a belt with them as they never have belt loops. 

These jeggings have belt loops but guess what? I didn't need to wear a belt!!!! They actually stayed up and there was no gap in the back.

I wore them ALL day to see if they would stay up and also not stretch out and they passed the test! I was so shocked. The waistband also didn't roll down at all. It stayed up!

These jeggings also fit well in the calves and the length was perfect. Check! Check! They're so soft and comfy with great stretch and recovery.

I paired the jeggings with one of my fave tees from Feminine Funk and for a pop of color, I wore my red Adidas Continental 80 sneakers, which I got on sale for $28 recently (they were marked down to $40 and I had an promo code to get extra off). Unfortunately, these red ones are sold out.

What's great about the Continental 80 line from Adidas is that they have so many colors and prints to choose from. I'm always about a pop of color or fun print when it comes my look, including sneakers.

These jeggings get two thumbs for me and I am going to see if they come in other washes and colors. I. MUST. HAVE. THEM. ALL.

I went in with high hopes with these jeans because not only did LB promise no gaps but these jeans have a comfy built-in slimming mesh that is supposed to offer tummy and waist control, smooth your thighs and boost your booty. 

I definitely felt the mesh panel doing its job and I loved how my lumpy thighs were smoothed out. But after wearing them all day, they started to fall. I could not go without a belt with these jeans. 

They were big in the hips and waist. By the end of the day, I was constantly pulling them up and they didn't feel as supportive as they did earlier in the day.

I do think I need to size down on these. I got the 28 but think a 26 may fare better for me. I'm going to head in-store to try the 26 and report back. 

Make sure you are following me on Instagram here and Facebook here to get that update.

The calves fit well and the length was great. With a belt, these jeans managed to stay up for a second day of wear a few days later. I love how they're stretchy and don't feel constrictive but still keep you supported. And the booty was looking good, I have to admit. 

I just need to size down.

I paired the jeans with an old top from Lane Bryant that is one of my favorites, and my Basket Crush Emboss Heart Sneakers in Pale Pink-Hibiscus from Puma

Pink is such a great neutral that really gives a nice pop of color to a look. These sneakers are currently on sale for $39.99 in sizes 5.5 to 11. 

I do like these jeans but they are not keepers for me like the jeggings are.

Next up, I plan to try these jeans, the Signature Fit Skinny Jean in Dark Wash With Destruction... I've heard great things about them.

I'm loving that Lane Bryant has added the Flexband Magic Waistband to all their jeans + they offer so many sihouettes now and tons of high-rise jeans. I am a high-rise jeans girl, all day, every day. I like that I have options to try to see what works for me. So kudos to Lane Bryant! 

Now if they can add a size 30/32 to their size range so even more women can try their jeans, I will rejoice to the heavens.

You can check out these jeans below

High Rise 3-Button Jegging in Black (wearing size 28 Regular)

Tri-Sculpt High Rise Skinny Jean in Dark Iris Wash (wearing size 28 Regular)

**This blog post was sponsored by Lane Bryant but all opinions and statements are my own. 

How I Made The FTF Closet Work For My Size 26/28 Body

Age and size are only numbers. It's the attitude you bring to clothes that make the difference. ~ Donna Karan

As a size 26/28 woman over 40, finding clothes I love, that also fit well, can be frustrating. 

I have a streetwear style aesthetic and often times, I am told I should dress my age. 

Also, my struggle is different than those plus size women under a size 24. They have much more options than I have when it comes to shopping. 

Many brands think plus sizes stop at a size 24 so often, I can't shop new size expansions and have to get crafty when it comes to putting together looks.

Since sizing is so inconsistent across the board, there are times I can fit into a 24 and 3X but those times are rare. I believe in taking chances so instead of just bypassing those brands that don't offer above a size 24, I instead look at their assortment and pick items based on fabric, measurements and customer reviews. 

Those three key factors truly make the difference when shopping for clothing.

So when the folks at Fashion to Figure invited me to try their new subscription service for three months, at first, I was hesitant, because they don't carry my size. But then, I reminded myself of my three key shopping factors and dived in!

The FTF subscription service mirrors Gwynnie Bee's model so it was easy for me to start creating my closet as I have used the GB service before. The service offers a 3-garment plan for $54.95 with free shipping both ways. You can get as many boxes as you can within that month. And you can purchase items you have at home at a discount.

It's required that you add at least 8 items to your closet to have your first box prepared and shipped. So I got busy, adding items.

My first box arrived quickly with a maxi dress, a graphic tee and a skirt. And all three items fit! I'm wearing a size 3 in all styles. 

For reference, I'm 5'6", my measurements are 57-51-68 and I wear a 44/46F in bras.

This maxi dress is so lightweight and stretchy. When I saw that the fabric contained 5% spandex, I immediately added it to my closet because I knew it would have some give. I love the tie dye print and how well it matched with my hair. The off the shoulder ruffle neckline is so feminine and fun. 

Since I am a sneakerhead and wear sneakers with everything, I paired the dress with my favorite pair of Adidas that have a blue floral design on the sides, along with a cute little black purse from Fashion to Figure

FYI, accessories are not included in the subscription service. 

This dress also paired well with my green clutch (an oldie but goodie from FTF) so I love that I can also add a pop of color to this look as well. 

In terms of fit, I was able to move around easily in this dress. I was also able to sit comfortably as well. It did fit close to the body but I didn't mind that. I actually loved how it hugged my body and skimmed it well, not squeezing the life out of me. The fabric is very soft and stretchy. Perfect for this humid NYC summer weather. The side slit hit me at the knee and the length hit me at the ankles.

All in all, I love this dress and would wear it again.

This look is so ME that I can't stand it! I love graphic tees, bold colors and fun accessories.

And I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised that the tee and skirt fit comfortably. The skirt is a high/low silhouette and to be honest, the front part is a bit short for me but I am all about getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things. So I was showing off them legs in these streets...

About this fanny pack... When I checked the measurements for the size 3, it said 50". I took a chance, even though my waist is 51", because I noticed that the belt was half faux leather and half chain. I figured if I needed extra chain links to make it fit, a little trip to Michaels would help with that. #plussizefashionhacks
Well, I didn't need those extra chain links, folks! It actually fit a little big!!!! 

This tee is also one of those tops that has a message in the front and party in the back. I was really feeling myself in this look as you can tell, LOL. I paired the tee and skirt with my black and white Adidas (with paisley print stripes) and pink circle drop earrings from FTF.

About the fit... the tee fit well and the fabric was soft and stretchy. I had no issues with the short sleeves (for reference, my upper arms measure 21" around). The length is a bit short for my taste (it hit me at upper hip) but that was not a deal breaker as I tucked in the tee.

The skirt flared out so there was ample room for my legs to move around freely. The waist fit well and has a tie belt. I opted to tuck in the ties so I could wear the fanny pack

Once I was done with all three items, I placed them in the pre-paid bag that was in my box and took the bag to my local post office to send back to FTF. I selected Return on the items in my closet on the site to notify them of the return and FTF will now begin to put together my next box. Easy peasy!

All in all, I am really happy I took a chance and tried FTF's subscription service. I am sure I will have some misses but if I don't try, I won't know what WILL fit. And I can just send back what doesn't fit.

Stay tuned as I share more of my looks during the next three months and show how I made my closet work for me, even though FTF doesn't carry my size.

And maybe... just maybe... one day, they will expand to a size 4, maybe a 5? I know I am dreaming out loud but who knows?

You can check out Fashion to Figure's subscription service here. Get $10 off your first month if you sign up thru that link!

Here's the links to the FTF accessories I wore with my two looks:

Black Round Handbag with Handle

Zebra & Chain Fanny Pack

Hot Pink Double Circle Earrings

**This blog post was sponsored by Fashion to Figure but all opinions and statements are my own.

Another Reminder Why I Shouldn't Be Afraid of Jumpsuits

"We need to focus on bringing our best, not worrying about what anyone else is bringing." ~ Blanca Rodriguez, POSE, Season 1: Mother of The Year episode

I have something to admit.

Jumpsuits still scare me and everytime I wear one, I feel invincible because I know the work it took to get myself into it. 

I don't like being exposed in the front. I'm someone who is still working on tucking my shirt in and not worrying about my belly outline and camel toe. But I am getting there. One day at a time.

The journey to self love and acceptance is one you commit to for the rest of your life. And sometimes it's not easy. But once you start on that journey, let me tell you, the wins become the majority of your life and you are better equipped to handle those bad days.

I don't call the bad days a loss.

I call them lessons, reminders and just a step on this journey of mine. Every day I venture out of my house, looking my best and striving to be the best person I can be, is a win in my book, regardless if the day ends up being horrible. I'm feeling confident and not worrying about what anyone else is doing or saying.

So I decided it had been too long since I had worn a jumpsuit and since I have been really pushing myself out of my comfort zone lately, I decided it was time.

This Modern Striped Jumpsuit from Catherines really stood to me and I was surprised at myself! I usually shy away from black because it reminds me of my younger years when all I heard from my mom was to wear black because it was "slimming".

But I love stripes; I love a great culotte and while jumpsuits scare me, I have always coveted them from afar. This one is so chic with a detachable tie belt and has a wide leg with a slightly stretchy crepe fabric.

Now that it's officially summer, that means battling with different temperatures as you come and go. Hot outside and freezing inside. So I always carry a jacket with me that I can tuck in my handbag or tie around my waist when outside and feeling hot.

This Eyelet Denim Jacket from Catherines was perfect. I love me some denim and white is a nice color to rock in the summer. I'm not a huge fan of white as it gets dirty easily but this one caught my eye because of the eyelet detail.

The best part of both of these pieces are that they instantly become closet staples that you can create multiple outfits from. I am all about making my closet work for me and not the other way around. 

I can wear this jumpsuit in the Spring and Fall, too! I can replace the tie belt with a wide leather one in a bold color like red or yellow. I can wear knee high boots with this jumpsuit and an obi belt, paired with a moto jacket. I can even mix prints and add some small polka dots in the form of shoes or a jacket.

The white jacket can be worn over a print dress or a graphic tee and jeans (I am not against mixing different shades of denim). For me to find a jacket that fits well in the upper arms AND is comfy while looking so cute is major. 

On this day, I was reminded how far I have come in my journey and that I shouldn't be afraid to wear a jumpsuit. I always need a reminder every now and then. Getting out of your comfort zone and having those fearless moments are so important to your journey and for me, it reminds me that I have to stop worrying about what others think and just be fearlessly just me.

Are you a fan of jumpsuits or do you shy away from them? Please let me know below in a comment or on social media @fearlesslyjustme on Instagram and here on Facebook! Let's chat!

You can shop my look below and if you get this jumpsuit, please tag me on social media so I can see how you styled it. It's currently on sale for $39.99, people!!!!

I love shopping at Catherines because they are one of the few brands who not only offers up to a size 5X but also has physical stores that you can visit to try on clothing. 

My Look

The Modern Striped Jumpsuit (wearing size 28W)

Eyelet Denim Jacket (wearing size 3X)

**This blog post was sponsored by Catherines but all opinions and statements are my own. 

#IAmFearlesslyMe with Catherines: The Skinny Jean

"Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day." ~  Author Unknown

Fashion is personal. So personal.

This rings true especially for plus size women as it's harder for us to find clothing we love that fits well. Now if you're above a size 24, it's even more challenging to find cute stuff. 

I believe we are all worthy of having access to clothing that fits us in our size and style. This is why I believe it’s important for customers to see bodies like theirs reflected in the models shown online, in store ads and in campaigns. Showing a diverse set of bodies not only shows a more accurate fit of the garment on different shapes and sizes but also empowers women to try new styles and shop more. 

Times are changing and with that, more visibly plus models are being shown in major campaigns and some brands are extending their sizes. YAY!

But there is still more work to be done and I personally feel like instead of griping and complaining, I should use my pen and voice to do something positive. We, as customers, have the power to let brands know what we want. Believe me, they are listening.

So this is why I have decided to create a new size inclusive series aptly titled #IAmFearlessly Me. I want all of us, no matter what size you are, to be fearless in who you are because we are all beautiful and worthy of being seen.

It seems appropriate to kick off this series with Catherines, a retailer who offers up to a size 5X. They're a great brand to shop for extended sizes and petites, offering quality basics, stylish (and cute!) dresses and tops, as well as amazing denim.

I have made no secret of my love for their Right Fit jean, which is the only jean I can wear without a belt. I recently did a dressing room video that you can see on my IGTV channel on Instagram where I loved almost everything I tried on.

Some may view Catherines as a matronly brand but honestly, it's all in how you style your items. I saw some major gems in store and honestly, their fit is much better in my experience than most plus size brands. 

Catherines recently debuted a skinny jean, which piqued my curiosity so I thought that would be a great item to feature in this series. I mean, who doesn't love a skinny jean, especially if the fit is right?

I asked my fellow blogger sister ShaKera of The Real Sample Size to join me and show how the jean fits both of us.

Here's our sizes and body shapes for reference:

ShaKera is a size 20/22 and carries most of her weight on top. She has thinner legs and ankles. She's 5'6".

I'm a size 26/28 and depending on the brand, I wear either size in jeans. I have a cross between a pear and hourglass shape with a defined waist. I carry most of my weight in my hips and my calves are fuller, measuring 23" around. I'm 5'6".

We're both wearing Catherines' skinny leg jean, styled our way. ShaKera is wearing a size 22 in the jean and I'm wearing a size 26 petite, as I have short legs and a long torso. 

I like to mix prints so I paired my jeans with this cute Printed Timeless Tunic Tank with Cutout. It was lightweight and fit so well. I added the Printed Effortless Linen Buttonfront Top that has this pretty white pineapple print. I opted to wear it open but will wear this tied in a knot in the front or closed with a belt. The styling options are endless.

When mixing prints, you have to choose colors that coordinate well. For me, the base color is pink with these two tops.

The jeans fit nicely, like a second skin. And I was shocked that it fit well in the calves as they are a slim fit. The only con for me was that the rise was a bit low for my taste. Since I have a long torso, I like a higher rise in my bottoms. 

ShaKera was pleasantly surprised that the jeans fit her calves and ankles well. She usually has the opposite problem than I have, where the calves and ankle area are too big on her since she has thinner legs. This shows that Catherines paid attention to the cut of that area as they sized up in the pattern to allow more room as the jeans got larger but not too much so that the stretch can accommodate calves of different widths.

The true test was sitting down while wearing these jeans and seeing how comfy they were. And they passed! We were able to sit with no issue and be comfortable. Yes!

Now back to the main reason for this collab. I want to know... how do you feel seeing bodies like ours? 

Would you like to see bodies like ours on retailer websites as models. Would you like to see bodies like ours featured in campaigns? 

Please let me know below in a comment or on social media @fearlesslyjustme on Instagram and here on Facebook.

Who would you like to see me collab with next in this series? And what brand? Let me know!

You can shop our looks below:


Skinny Leg Jean (wearing size 22)

My Look

Printed Timeless Tunic Tank with Cutout (wearing size 3X)

Printed Effortless Linen Buttonfront Top (wearing size 3X)

Skinny Leg Jean (wearing size 26W in petite)

Good Soles Sparkling Sandal (wearing size 9W)

**This blog post was sponsored by Catherines but all opinions and statements are my own.

Realizing Your Greatness During Bad Times

"Grief is never something you get over. You don't wake up one morning and say, 'I've conquered that; now I'm moving on.' It's something that walks beside you every day. And if you can learn how to manage it and honor the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity." ~ Terri Irwin

Today marks 8 years since my dad died.

And it still feels like yesterday.

8 years may seem like a LONG time. But when you lose someone of this magnitude, time holds no meaning. I can still remember getting that call, finding out that he was gone. He was only 61.

But I also remember his laugh, his deep voice calling me "Marce" and the gap between his two front teeth. I remember his smile and how he always looked at me with such pride. I was his only daughter, his oldest child and I was a reflection of him through my personality and spirit. 

I have his eyes, nose and chin. I inherited his love for baseball and the gift of gab. When he walked into a room, he owned it in a way where people were drawn to him and his light. He had kind eyes but a strong presence. He was simply, a quiet storm and anyone who has ever met him, never forgot him.

He always left a lasting impression wherever he went.

I cherished those times we'd spend hours walking around Home Depot, him showing me various tools and giving me tips or how-to's on building things from shelves to even installing my own light fixtures.

I lived for our movie moments... he exposed my brother and I to the art of cinema and we watched everything from old spaghetti westerns to action movies. He'd take us to the triple feature in Times Square where my brother and I fell in love with old school kung fu flicks from the Shaw Brothers.

Every Easter, he would make my brother and I sit through King of Kings, which was one of his favorite Biblical films. At the time, we were so annoyed (that movie is LONG) but now every Easter, I watch it with a new appreciation. 

My dad loved music... some days he'd be rocking out to some Jimi Hendrix and some days, he'd be sitting in the dark, listening to Barbra Streisand. I still cry when I hear the Commodores' Easy because I can hear his deep voice singing along to it. 

I miss talking to him the most. He was my mentor and advisor. He always knew the right things to say or do. And he reminded me of my greatness. So when he died, I felt lost. How was I to move on if he wasn't here in the physical sense. Who would help guide me on my life's journey?

Through loss (my brother would die 3 years later and then my oldest niece, his daughter, would die 7 years later), I was forced to find my voice on my own and realize my greatness. And that is a gift my dad left behind for me that is more valuable than anything else.

I'm sure he knew I would be okay without him and I would not be shocked to find out that that was part of his final thoughts as he laid in pain on the side of the NJ Turnpike, 12 miles out of the Lincoln Tunnel.

But I had to learn that on my own. I learned that I'm stronger than I ever thought I was. And I learned that it is possible to realize your greatness during bad times.

I've been through A LOT in the last 8 years. But I have also accomplished a lot. I continue to hear his voice in my ear, edging me along on this path. Now I have my brother pushing me and my niece.

It's not easy but I commit to taking it one day at a time. I'm still mourning my niece who has only been gone 7 months and sometimes it is overwhelming to grieve for 3 people. But I push through.

So on this day, I cry, I feel so heartbroken and I'm so sad. But I also feel hopeful and proud of how far I have come. I know he is proud of me. Grief is something that holds no timetable and it's a different journey for everyone. I try to stay focused on channeling my grief into something positive. Some days I am a mess and some days, I am winning. 

But one thing I do know, I'm still standing. My heart hurts. But I am still here.

I love you, Daddy. And I miss you very much. You will never be forgotten.