Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Breaking The Rules- Short Shorts

Yep, you read it right. This was a subject I was going to have to tackle one way or another. Truthfully, I thought it would be in the heat of summer, but I figured my "Spring Breaking the Rules" series would be a great tie to discuss the dreaded "S" word. Shorts. I have lots of association with shorts- little British school boys in uniforms all the way to the eponymous "Daisy Dukes" revival of the early 1990s. Honestly, I've never been a fan of shorts, even though I grew up in the steamy heat of the American South. I would wear shorts in the privacy of my own home, but never in public.



Until now. It's time. Time for me to show that women of all sizes can wear shorts and look great! I saw these shorts one day while window shopping online, and I knew they were the ones. Lacy, blush pink- so cute and girly. They are a little shorter than I would prefer, okay, maybe, a lot shorter! So how did I counteract feeling a little out of place and a little over-exposed? Well, duh! I strapped on 4-inch wedges and pranced around town taking pictures at a busy intersection. So much for not standing out (of course that scenario sounds slightly streetwalker-esque)!



I'm going to spend A LOT of time this summer talking about shorts- long shorts, short shorts, the dreaded chub-rub (you know what I'm talking about!)- but today I just wanted to be cute and delicate and a little impractical.










Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Breaking the Rules- Wearing White

There are so many (mostly antiquated) rules regarding wearing white that a rigid rule-follower would probably just throw her hands up and refuse to EVER wear white. Don't wear white to a wedding. Don't wear white before Memorial Day (or Easter). Don't wear white after Labor Day. Don't wear white if you are plus-sized because it will make you look even bigger.




Most of these rules have their basis in old highfalutin societal expectations . White clothing indicated you were wealthy enough to "summer" away from the dirty slums of the big city during the hottest months of the year. White dresses show disrespect for the bride as you are competing for attention. But white on wide people is a tougher rule to track down. The idea is wearing white acts as a spotlight, drawing the eye and the attention to the area swathed in white.



And that's supposed to be a bad thing... right? When Curtis saw me in today's outfit, he did a double take! He was speechless. So I guess having the spotlight all over my body worked out just fine.









Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Breaking the Rules- Colored Denim

I find it really interesting the amount of controversy and hate surrounding plus size women and colored denim (and skinny jeans for that matter). Type in "plus size" + "colored denim" in your search engine of choice and prepare to be assaulted with hate and negativity. Apparently a plus-sized woman in bright pants is highly offensive to many. I guess I should have put a warning or a disclaimer on this blog post.

Disclaimer: Big Girl in Bright Pants. Look at Your Own Risk.



It begs the question: If I'm not supposed to wear them, then why the heck do they make them in my size?  I'm no stranger to colored denim- here I am rocking my pink pair; here pairing red skinnies with leopard print- but I understand the hesitation. You aren't going to blend into the crowd in bright red or bright orange pants. You are going to stand out! I'm not done with colored denim. I still want a bright blue pair, and a mint green pair, and a lavender pair, and a kelly green pair... well, you get the picture.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Breaking the Rules- Horizontal Stripes

My entire life, even when I was skinny back in early puberty, I've heard, "You should never wear horizontal stripes- they make you look wide." So for years I avoided horizontal stripes- heaven forbid I purposely make myself look WIDE! But in the past year I've realized something, well, two somethings... One- I like horizontal stripes (need proof? Here's my black striped shirt. Need more? Here's my red one!). And two- I am wide. Is a pattern really going to make that much of a difference? Wait, I've discovered three somethings! Three- I don't care. I like stripes and I'm going to break the rules and wear them whenever I want!


I don't really have any advice for wearing stripes. They say wear stripes on the slimmest part of your body. They say wear skinny stripes. They say, they say... who's this "they" that apparently decided fifty years ago what we all could wear? I saw this dress on sale at Old Navy super cheap. I was in love with the bright colors (it's also available in tonal blues if that's your style) and the comfy material. Now it did briefly flit through my mind "But Katie, you aren't supposed to were horizontal stripes. That's a rule." However, if I've learned anything over the past months of blogging, the most important part of any outfit is confidence.



If that's not enough encouragement for you, then here's a link to a 2008 study that proved women look thinner in horizontal stripes than vertical stripes (even when the ones wearing the horizontal stripes were heavier). How come that study didn't make the national news? I don't ever remember anyone telling me is was okay to wear stripes! It's a conspiracy to keep the wide woman away from all the awesome stripes, I'm telling ya! ;)


I am on spring break this week which means no work dress code, so I am going to focus on shattering some of these long-held rules of plus size fashion! I hope you will follow along with this series- "Spring Breaking the Rules"!



What fashion rule should I break next??




Thursday, March 22, 2012

Big Bang Theory

 To celebrate my one-month anniversary of having a lovely side-swept bang, I decided to take it a step further and just go ahead and take the plunge. So here I am in my full bang glory! I've gotten mostly positive feedback- ranging from Katy Perry, Betty Page, and Zooey Deschanel (full-figured versions, of course!) Although I did have a teenage boy ask me today what I did to my hair and did I do it on purpose! Harsh ;)


I personally love them, although I am dealing with a hellacious cowlick on the left hand side! I am no stranger to haircuts! I love hair and I love trying different looks- sometimes with lots of success, sometimes with disastrous results. But it's just hair! It'll grow back, I promise. As a teacher, I have to learn to use humor and self-deprecation to relate to the students. I share this story EVERY year, and my students love it and proceed to tease me about it for the rest of the year.



In fifth grade I was in LOVE. His name was Bronson- and he was tall (for a fifth grader), had a dazzling smile, and some of the best hair I had ever seen (at the time). It was shiny and straight and brown and cut in the popular early 90s "bowl cut". I was smitten. So I went to the hair salon and asked for the same hair cut. My mom was fine with it. In hindsight, I can't decide if that was cruel on her part or super fashion forward. The hair piled around the chair and then I was freshly shorn! I loved it!


 Unfortunately, Bronson was not equally thrilled. He took own look at my bowl cut and immediately dumped me. It was such a cute, edgy style. What was the problem with this guy? This was a reality check. Hair is really important. I spent years growing my hair back and nervous about ever cutting it again. But eventually I did. Boys can be cruel! Can you top my story?



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Fedor"able :)


Look, when your blog designer and one of your favorite bloggers (and biggest supporters from nearly day one) ask you to answer 11 questions, you do it! Kristin at A Simply Klassic Home tagged me and I loved her questions, so here we go!






  1. If you could spend the day with your favorite blogger, who would it be and why? What would you do? Oh, this is an easy one! I would spend the day shopping with my Blogging Best Friend Forever-BBFF- Megan from Feathers and Freckles (she is a thrifting genius!)
  2. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? I love Neopolitan, but I really prefer banana splits!!
  3. What current decorating/design/clothing trend do you despise? Oh my Gosh! What the crap is up with all the hipster glasses? My dad wore then in the 80s. They were dorky then, and they are hideous now (at least in my humble opinion). 
  4. What TV show are you embarrassed to admit that you watch? I'm not embarrassed to admit to watching a butt ton of TV. I love my DVR. I watch a ton of crappy reality TV- hoarding shows, tattoo shows, modeling shows, true crime shows, but I guess the one that I feel like I have to defend the most is "Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood". I love them! They seem very much in love, but they don't gloss over the fighting or the frustrations of life with kids or navigating marriage. However, most people are very dismissive of the show. Don't be! Give it a shot!
  5. Who or what inspired you to start blogging? I answer this in part in a question later on, but I starting reading a bunch of blogs (thanks, Pinterest!) and I was disappointed that so few focused on the curvy/plus-size/ big girl crowd because I know we are out there and we want to look good too, darn it! At the same time, I had a student (I am a HS English and journalism teacher) interview me for the school newspaper about my sense of "style". I was so shocked and appreciative. Coupled with the fact that I couldn't find blogs for women my size, those two things were the catalyst to begin Hems for Her. 




Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You Can't Wear That!


Someone once gave me advice. Things like "Don't buy a white bedspread." And "You will hate bangs. You won't be able to style them." And "Maxi dresses don't look good on you. You're too short and wide." This was someone giving advice out of love, not being mean, but it's funny how things sound when falling on insecure ears. I spent years believing these "truths." I hid in frumpy, baggy clothes. I didn't trust or love what I saw when I looked in the mirror.




Then I met my soul sister. It wasn't exactly love at first sight, but I was certainly intrigued. We met at new teacher orientation, and I remember looking across the conference table at this "girl" with bright red hair and some kooky outfit and thought, "There's no way this chick is a teacher." She said she thought I was a "know-it-all." From all outside appearances it wouldn't seem like the beginnings of a soul sister-type relationship, but this was a predestined friendship.


She gave me something I had never gotten from a friendship- complete support and acceptance. Through her eyes, I saw a very different Katie. Someone with beautiful curves and amazing hair and a perfect heart-shaped face. She gave me confidence that I never had on my own. Somebody once said I shouldn't wear maxi dresses because I am short and wide. I may be, but now when I look at pictures like the one below, I see awesome womanly curves in a great dress. And that's what friends can do for you!





Monday, March 19, 2012

Paisley Prints and Photography (and a Giveaway!)

A word of caution about this dress. If you buy it, people will love it. Just prepare yourself, and don't say I didn't warn you!


My boss, A.K.A. the principal, stopped me and exclaimed, "I know where you got this dress! I saw it at The Limited last weekend." One day I'll learn to just smile and nod and make people think I spent a lot of money on my dress. Instead, I said, "Oh, no way! I got this at Wal-Mart for 18 bucks!" True story.

Dress- Wal-Mart
Shoes- Kohl's (similar)
Cuff- Ponder and Stitch

I know some people really hate Wal-Mart, and I'll admit- Sunday grocery shopping there has got to be one of the levels of hell Dante poetized. But a few of their clothing items are cheap and chic- two of the main requirements when I'm shopping. I saw this dress and knew I had to have it, and I didn't feel guilty about spending less than $20 on it. Things were clearly going my way because I had the great luck of running into Maggie of BleuBird Photography the same day.


We've been trying to get together for a blog shoot since November, and it must have been serendipity at play! Great dress, beautiful day, awesome photographer. Now it's no secret that I will beg, bribe, and borrow for someone to take my pictures for the blog. I have no less than four (semi-willing) photographers, not including myself in a pinch, but this is the first time that someone who gets paid to do this played photographer for me (not to say that my other photographers don't deserve to be paid because they do. They are totally awesome, but I am totally poor so that's where the begging and bribing comes in!).



I know it's shallow, but one thing I really love is the feeling of being a "model", so it was really interesting and fun to have a pro giving me direction. I was also shocked at how much time she spent on the ground. Photography is hard work!



Maggie is generously giving away a photo session for any Alabama resident (unless you'd like to fly her to you!) Be sure and enter the giveaway below!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sprung Has Sprung! How to Wear Boyfriend Jeans, Part 3


The switch to Daylight Saving Time is always rough, but it is SO worth it! While the calendar and the groundhog may still be saying it's winter, as far as I am concerned, spring has sprung. I have really struggled this winter with Seasonal Affective Disorder-like symptoms- oversleeping, lack of energy, overeating, and depression, so I am excited to have some more sun in my life.  I know every one gets the winter doldrums, but for me it has been really intense this year.



So I have decided to create a list of things I am looking forward to as Spring returns:

1. Grilling out and eating dinner al fresco!
2. Getting home and it still being daylight!
3. Being able to take Sean to the park after picking him up from daycare!    
4. SPRING BREAK!
5. Sitting on the back porch listening to music, sipping a cold drink, and reading!


Boyfriend jeans are going to be so fashionable for springtime, so if you haven't already bought a pair, get out this weekend and do some shopping! They are super-casual and comfortable, but also undeniably chic!





Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's Gettin' Hot Out Herrre

Apparently Mother Nature is skipping right over spring and going into summer down here. Yesterday had to be the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching near 90 degrees F in the middle of March. If this continues, the summer is going to be unbearable (by the way, did I mention the A/C is out in my car again? I already spent one miserable summer without- I don't want to do it again!).



Couple the hot weather with the return of Daylight Saving Time and you have a recipe for sizzling hot pictures. And I don't mean the kind you see in Maxim. I mean the kind of "sweat pouring down your back, in your Spanx, burning your eyes" kind of sizzling. This was the most miserable set of photos I have ever taken. Well, except Sean's first set of Christmas photos. That was pretty miserable.



So I am in search of super shady places to take pictures (and no that doesn't mean the worst parts of town)! Or you are going to be seeing a LOT of photos of me in sunglasses to hide the pained look of my eyes being burned out of my skull!




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Having an Attitude of Gratitude

I am really trying to be more grateful and thankful in my day to day life but I constantly find myself giving in to negativity. It's so annoying and it's not the type of person I want to be, yet I slip back into it like a comfy pair of stretchy pants.


Nobody likes a Debbie Downer or a Negative Nelly. Nobody likes the girl who is complaining ALL the time about EVERYTHING. Hopefully, I 'm not that girl! I am trying to maintain an attitude of gratitude and try to appreciate things more.



Unrelated- I really like this dress. I wore it once last year, and a student told me I looked pregnant. Never what a non-pregnant woman wants to hear, so I packed it up and vowed to never wear it again. But with this new attitude, and the realization that apparently there is a Tumblr dedicated to belly fat (I can't reveal the name because it's definitely R-rated) and I am reblogged there often, I figured at least one person didn't mind if I looked pregnant!




Only FIVE more days to vote for me and my local library in the Maurice's Main Street Model Search! If you haven't voted, it really is supper easy and It will only take a minute. I do hate begging, but this is for the library- they win the real prize! So take a second and go vote- please!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Kat's Meow!



After a month of super busy, Sean-filled weekends, Curtis and I finally got a free night. We are so blessed to having doting grandparents (on both sides of the family) who love to spend time with Sean. We probably take advantage of it, but when he sings "I love Nonna! Nonna is the best!" the whole ride to her house, I can't help but think Sean doesn't really mind spending the night with my mother!



So while Sean was fishing and hanging out with his little cousin, Curtis and I decided to have a "Date Night"! So cliched I know, but what else should I call it? We decided to meet with my best friend and her husband and have dinner at our local Bonefish Grille. If you've got one nearby, and you've never been, I can't recommend it enough. We always have great service and delicious food and drinks.




It just so happened that Kiyonna sent me a fabulous new outfit this week so I had no doubt that I would be wearing it. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I, a "fashion blogger", didn't own a pencil skirt! They are an essential to every wardrobe but being a woman with curves and lots of stomach, I have shied away from these form fitting skirts. Not anymore! The Paige Pencil Skirt fit like a dream and features so many slimming details- stretchy material, flat waistband, precious kick pleat, and darting- that I felt like a total bombshell!



I also got to try out the Melrose Mesh Top, and clearly my love affair with leopard print continues. I used to think that animal print was an "old lady" trend, but there's nothing "old lady" about this top! The top features tons of ruching (A.K.A a curvy girl's best camouflage). I most appreciated the fact that it hinted at cleavage, but didn't let it all hang out. I often struggle with too much boobage- though my husband would heartily disagree ;)



As the newest member of the Blogger Brigade, I spend a lot of time on their Facebook page. One thing I see over and over is women complaining about how expensive the clothing is. One Facebooker said it better than I could when she said, "I'd rather buy ONE Kiyonna dress than FIVE cheap dresses!" I couldn't agree more. Look, I love Old Navy and Target and Wal-Mart for trendy pieces, but I don't expect them to last more than a season or two. Kiyonna's products are clearly well-made, classic pieces that will last for years. Yes, I will have to save up to buy clothing from Kiyonna, but I think the quality defends the price.

Stepping off my sexy soapbox now!


P.S. Kiyonna items provided by Kiyonna, but the opinions are provided by me.
P.P.S. Dinner provided by my husband ;)








Monday, March 12, 2012

Fields of Gold



"You'll remember me when the west wind moves/ Upon the fields of barley/ You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky/ As we walk in fields of gold..." Sting



It's probably no surprise that I was a pretty weird kid. Growing up in the early 90s, while most girls were crushing on Jonathan Taylor Thomas or Macaulay Culkin, my biggest crushes were Paul McCartney and Sting. Swear to God. Well, I was also in love with Edward Furlong (from Terminator 2), but, as you can clearly tell from the blog title, this is not going to be a post about him and that time I sent him a fan letter with my most favorite necklace as a gift and NEVER heard back from him. I'll save that for another day!




I guess I was an old soul, but I really did love those two men! I became fascinated with Sting when I was in the seventh grade and I  couldn't get enough. I bought every album (Thanks, Columbia House)- both his solo work and The Police. I watched every movie he was in, and, wow, they all sucked! Loved him. Imagined that when I grew up I'd marry him.



I also credit Sting's music for making me so smart. He talked about a lot of stuff and people I'd never heard of (used to be a literature teacher, did you know?), so I was constantly using my Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia to look up literary, mythological and historical allusions. Nabakov? Eye-opening and shocking. Scylla and Charybdas? Oh, now that song makes sense!


Seriously, Sting's the man! So when my sister called and said she'd found a good spot for photos, I was up for it. Then she said, "While I was standing there, I could literally hear 'Fields of Gold' playing in my head." I was sold! And the field was great! I could hear the music too! 







Thursday, March 8, 2012

What a "GRATE" Pair of Shoes!

I messed up my friend Tricia's perfect new nude pumps for this photo shoot. I've been looking for nude pumps for a couple of months now, but I wasn't in love with any that I found. And then Tricia texted me a photo of these pumps, and I was in love and insanely jealous.



So I asked if I could wear them for this photo shoot, and she kindly agreed. They fit like a dream. Beautiful color. Perfect height. Platform and precious heel. Love them! So I didn't tear them up on purpose.



We thought photos on a grate would be cool. Too bad it "grated" up the shoes. I  offered to buy them from her, not my ulterior motive (I swear). But she sweetly said it was okay.If you have any suggestions for fixing the heels where they got scrapped up, please let me know!







In the meantime, vote for me. I promise I'll buy Tricia any pair of shoes she wants if I am a finalist!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why are You So Dressed Up?


"It's better to be overdressed than underdressed." Well, at least that's what I've always been taught. But as society becomes more and more casual and laid-back (and lazy), it seems that underdressed is becoming the norm. As a teacher, I take pride in my appearance and try to set an example of dressing nicely and looking professional.



That's not to say that every outfit is a hit. Sometimes things are too bright or too short or too young. However, I always strive to dress up and look nice. If you wear dresses often, then you know how easy and versatile they are. And you know that people will always comment "Why are you so dressed up?". As if sliding a one-piece dress over your head and putting on some shoes took effort!



Dresses are the easiest items in your wardrobe to wear, yet they are often ignored or pushed aside because we fear being overdressed. Why is that a bad thing? Most of my students dress very casually, yet still complain that they can't wear pajama pants or sweat pants to school! Really, you want to wear pajamas to school? I have to wonder what they plan to do for a living.



Lately, though, I have seen a small group of students taking pride in their personal appearance. It's clear they pick out their clothes carefully. I'm talking boys in bow ties and blazers, and girls who look like they just stepped out of the pages of Teen Vogue or Seventeen. Yet I also notice they get picked on and made fun of and laughed at. Now they clearly have self-confidence, and don't seemed to be bothered by the teasing, but I can't help but wonder why they are ridiculed for dressing nicely! What has the world come to?



In today's photos I am wearing a dress I bought at Cato's three years ago for $30 and a pair of shoes I bought there last month for $20. I wore the dress to two separate weddings and shoved it to the back of the closet because I had deemed it "too dressy." All day I fielded questions, "Why are you so dressed up?"

Why not?

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn”
Orson Welles




Don't forget to vote for me in the Maurice's Main Street Model Search. I am trying to win $7,500 to donate to my hometown library to buy new Young Adult Lit books for teenagers!
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