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It’s been a couple months now since I’ve upped my fashion game and embraced my plus-size style. I’m building my speaking business and when it came time to make a speaker reel, I watched my clips – and was horrified by my clothing choices! Not flattering at all, I hated that I couldn’t even use the clips because my frumpy outfits distracted from my verbal messages. While my words and enthusiasm flowed freely, my threads hit some major snags.

I know why. I grew up with the mentality that I didn’t deserve to be spendy with clothes unless I was a certain size. For the past decade I overlooked the thought of paying for quality items until I lost a lot of weight. Jeans and black blouses became my uniform, my garment jail!

As I’m getting older, I realize I have to change my thinking with clothes to match how I feel about life. I’m celebrating my size and shape as it is right now. In this moment. I think expressing your signature style fashion is just as important as expressing your signature style artwork or home decor. We each deserve to radiate positivity from the inside out! Remove the conditions, the self-doubt, the waiting for the right time.

Thankfully my friend Monique from CurvesandChaos connected me with the team at Lane Bryant. I shared my makeover outfit from We All Grow – and guess what? The LB team liked it so much they sponsored two more ensembles for me to wear for my next two speaking appearances!

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And these were biggies! HSN! And Disney!

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I knew I had to be on point. I kept an open mind and visited the Lane Bryant location at Arrowhead Mall, here in my neighborhood. The one thing I talk about when it comes to branding your business and your online platform is to produce a look that looks like you are worth the price you are asking for. I realized that in my speaking business, I wasn’t living up to that with my outfit choices. I’m not Mark Zuckerberg, I can’t wear a grey T-shirt on stage to speak every time and get away with it!

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These beautiful young ladies from Lane Bryant were so kind a patient with me! The first thing they asked was what kind of events, the tone, if there was a stage, the color of the background of the stage, what I felt most comfortable in, and my size.

Both events were not super formal, and my thing? 3/4 length sleeves. Anything else, I’d be willing to try.

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They immediately went to work pulling outfits. They mixed and matched the sizes. I learned that I’m actually a size smaller than what I thought. Even after I went down a size! I guess my mind is still catching up with my weight loss. They helped me find the right fits. They told me it’s not at all about the number on the tag, it’s about how the wearing the outfit makes you feel. If you look in the mirror and feel that “WOW” – you know it’s the right size.

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I found some of the outfits looked great on the display but didn’t translate well to my body shape. That’s OK, because there were plenty more to choose from. I went with a black jumpsuit and a seafoam shrug (links at the bottom of this post). I was thinking of wearing black flats, until one of the girls said, “I think you should try these awesome Seafoam Cut-Out Heels, they aren’t very high. Want to try them?”

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I tried on a larger size and when I confirmed I could handle them, the other girl drove all the way across town to pick up the smaller size I needed! I also chose a crocheted top, black slacks and Melissa McCarthy jeans, which I love. And these Ankle Strap Wedges too! Links are at the bottom of the this post.

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Then it was time to pull jewelry! I chose this bold Plated Bib Necklace, the Textured and Threaded Oval Earrings and the Thread Wrapped Hoop Earrings.

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Here is my look for my HSN Live appearance.

 

Click here to watch the full segment! It went GREAT! We had almost 70K live viewers and all the comments were glowing. Next to the HP products that I demoed, most of the comments were about my blouse, people really loved it!

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YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT I DID. OK, part of this outfit was a nude tank to wear underneath. I was SO NERVOUS when I got dressed that I forgot to put it on. So what you see under the pretty crochet top is my SPANX foundation!

Dear, Lord! This is what happens when I’m left all by myself to get dressed. I didn’t even notice until I saw this in the comments:

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Ay…this is a work in progress. Now I make a check-list for each outfit so I don’t forget to wear silly things – like undershirts! LOL! Next it was time for the Disney event. If you follow me on Snapchat, you might remember I had a mini-meltdown that morning about wearing the seafoam heels. I couldn’t sleep the night before because I worried if the heels were sturdy enough to support all my weight. Maya was with me on the trip, and she mumbled in her sleep from the other bed,

“Mom, it’s Lane Bryant, they make the shoes to hold the weight, relax!”

I thought about that nice girl driving across town to get me these shoes and how fabulous they looked with the jumpsuit and shrug when I tried them on at the store. So. I did it. I wore the shoes. And they were much easier to walk in than I thought. The only thing that would have helped were grips for the bottom of the sole for when I had to walk on the tile. But I bought some on Amazon as soon as I got home because I knew I’d be wearing these shoes again!

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Here are some of us, after the event.

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And with Maya, my rock at times like this!

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After all this excitement, I realized I also had four more speaking engagements, so I mixed and matched all my Lane Bryant pieces! I also wore my Golden Milagro Necklace I made. As you can see, this was a turning point, I’m feeling more confident with each outfit and each event.

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This was for Arizona Storytellers Estamos Aqui event. I wore the Lane Bryant Ponte Circle Skirt, with D’Orsay Black Flats. I wore it with my favorite cactus top!

Then I had Hispanicize, where I had four speaking sessions!

 

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This is with Monique! She was wearing a Lane Bryant Crochet Lace Up Dress, so we took pictures together. You can see her photos here!

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LOVE this necklace. In the past, I NEVER looked at the jewelry areas in stores, but dang, I found some gorgeous pieces. Look how detailed this necklace is, and the hardware has that industrial feel. I wore it with the Cropped Denim Jacket.

OK, here are the links to my pieces! Make use of your Real Women Dollars and discount codes! These are nice pieces that will go a long way for your wardrobe! NOTE: If it is sold out online, call your local store to see if they have it in stock.

Lane Bryant Crochet Tee

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Girlfriend Jean by Melissa McCarthy Seven7

Wide Crop Jumpsuit (I wore a black tank under this)

Jersey Knit Shrug (I wear these over sleeveless because I hate showing my arms!)

Coral Statement Necklace

Modernist Lena Ankle Pant, black

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Thank you so much to Lane Bryant and the Arrowhead staff for helping me. This has really been a life changer. And guess what? This week I was selected as a Plus-Size Latina Blogger to Follow by PlusModel magazine!

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What I learned (from me, someone who has spent the past 10 years in jeans, tunics and Fit Flops):

Heels are totally doable if you find a height that works for you. Pick up some non-slip grips for the bottoms to give you more confidence when walking on tile. Wear them at least once before you wear them to a big event so you can get used to them.

Pickup a variety of neutral tanks to wear under sheer tops. Black, white and nude. AND make sure you wear them, don’t forget!

Embrace sleeveless blouses and dresses, pair them with shrugs.

Try a jumpsuit!

Make the most of statement jewelry. If you don’t have pieces that you made, you can find gorgeous pieces that you can buy!

Take pictures of your outfits so you’ll remember the experience to keep the fashion upgrade momentum going.

Dress up an ordinary outfit with a pair of wedges.

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Love & light,


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