My Old Navy Obsession


Years ago my go to brand was J Crew. I owned half of the outlet store, with every color cardigan and v neck sweater I could get my hands on. Now, I’m not suddenly anti J Crew by any means, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve accumulated bills and miscellaneous expenses outside of pearls and pastel button downs and it has made me more frugal. This has directly contributed to my Old Navy obsession.

*This post is not sponsored, these are my honest opinions (but Hey Old Navy! -or others- if you’d like to work out a sponsorship you can @ clearingpreppysname@gmail.com)

After work today I had a “treat yo-self” moment. I got in the car, drove to Starbucks and splurged on an Iced Chai Tea Latte, and then went to Old Navy. One of the reasons I enjoy Old Navy is because I can do things like buy an overpriced beverage elsewhere and then go there and spend the same amount on a t-shirt -_-

 

I have a Banana Republic card and truthfully I redeem my rewards and use the “GAP Insider” benefits at Old Navy significantly more often than BR. 

I love the transitional nature of most of their pieces. I’m OBSESSED with t-shirt style dresses (think LulaRoe Carly, without the price tag). They’re perfect for wearing alone in the summer, with a scarf in the fall and bundled up with a chunky sweater in winter (or highly air conditioned office).

During my most recent Old Navy adventure I purchased a Classic Tee in black (it was less than $5.. something my iced chai was not), a hunter green polka dot vintage inspired dress, soft and comfy cream sweater and burgundy tunic tank.

Of course I used a coupon with my purchase! The code SAVE provided me an additional 10% off everything. I can’t shop at Old Navy without another discount.. it’s against my religion. In retrospect I should have checked my rewards balance from my Banana Republic Card, I had $10! But because I spent $50 today (#sorrynotsorry) I also got $20 in SuperCash. They totally take advantage of my need for a steal.. and you bet I’ll be stacking my reward with my $20 SuperCash and LUXE promo code (free shipping with a GAP Inc card).

Old Navy clothes just fit me better. The Rockstar jeans have legging-like spandex, but still leave enough to the imagination. The pixie pants have enough stretch to accommodate my curvaceous thighs. The dresses are long enough so I can still do daily activities without being ~too prim and proper~ I literally played tennis with my sister in an Old Navy dress today.

I like having a go-to place to shop for my body type. The older I get the less a trip to the mall is as enjoyable and more frustrating and painful (for both my wallet and my self esteem). With Old Navy it’s just different. And they just got their fall collections in stores.. So I’m sure this won’t be my last purchase for a while.

Which brands are you currently obsessed with?

Swimwear struggles


In my last post I mentioned my excitement over warm weather. The biggest negative I can see about warmer temperatures quickly creeping up is that it means swimsuit season and impending swimwear struggles are coming.

I am not a small figured girl. I have curves and lumps. God blessed me with a little extra just about everywhere. Even at a size 6 -which seems like a lifetime ago- I was not happy about swimwear shopping though. It may in fact be the only shopping I do not particularly enjoy.

With my distaste for spandex and tight uncomfortable water resistant fabrics in mind, the following are 3 of my favorite swimwear looks that I’m hoping will cause me to struggle a little less about what to wear to the beach when I escape to Florida at the end of April.

target swimsuit, plus size swim, cute one piece, budget monokini, purple swimsuit, lavender swimwear,

Meet Lace:

I actually have no idea what this model’s name is, but she looks hella elegant,
like Lace, in this Target one-piece swimsuit. I’m in love with the color and feel like my eyes go to her face rather than thighs -my biggest problem area- because of the higher detailing. It’s also really reasonably priced at $34.99 and available in plus sizes. I find that I’m lucky if I can find a suit I don’t hate for less than $100 sometimes. The intricate laser cut detailing on the ruffle is also a trendy bonus. This swimsuit comes in black too, which happens to be my go-to color for swimwear because of ~the whole slimming factor~

high waisted bikini, plus size swimwear, yellow swimsuit, itsy bitsy

Meet Rita:

This girl keeps up with the latest trends, note how this is definitely triangl swimwear inspired, but she gives it her own bit of sass. I love the retro feel to the mustard print, as if Rita’s grandmother would own wallpaper in her home that is identical. I also appreciate the thick halter straps in the top, for additional support. It’s not “itsy bitsy”, but rather plus size and sexy. The individual pieces are sold separately so you could easily change out the Asos Curve top or bottom for yet again solid black. Costing $31.00 for the bottoms and $38.00 for the top with free shipping, still rings in below my $100 price point.

modcloth swimsuit, donut swimwear, high waisted swimsuit,
          Meet Nina
Wearing a swimsuit, some of us want to look sweet instead of sexy. I didn’t think I would find a set that would say it quite so literally, but honestly I am DONUTS about this suit. Modcloth sells some of my favorite retro-inspired pieces, this is no exception. It is available in separates, top retailing for $49.99 and bottoms for $39.99 as well as a $79.99 one piece, not completely shattering my budget. Also doesn’t hurt I have a $35 credit from some returns in the Fall 😉

What ever swimwear you decide to sport, do so confidently. I remember the first time I found a high waisted bikini from Aerie that I loved.. it was still spandex and although it held in my love handles pretty spectacularly, my body still existed. How I carried myself totally changed though and that makes the difference.

What will you wear to the beach this season?

If we approve of “Fatkinis” are we also promoting obesity? A controversial discussion about size.


Scrolling through my instagram feed late at night, I stumbled upon the profile of plus size tumblr blogger @_fatandfabulous.

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 12.40.45 AM

Her blunt username and attention grabbing red locks made her account immediately captivating.

Who was this full figured girl, with a tremendous amount of confidence?

And better yet, is it okay for her to be self-proclaimed “fat” and proud?

During an age focused on kale smoothies and detox cleanses, political correctness (making sure to speak in a way without a hint of racism, sexism, or even sizeism), and Michelle Obama’s Disney Channel publicity stunt focused on healthy eating in schools, it can become difficult to consider the acceptance of obesity as an option.

Sami, as @_fatandfabulous is known to family and friends, does not appear upset about her larger size at all. Smiling in most selfies and sporting killer eyebrows, Sami looks like a typical 20 year old, a young woman.

She was making a political statement with her account submissions though, unlike many of her peers, by embracing her appearance through photos and words.  Without necessarily intending to, Sami gained an audience, interested in her alternative mindset.  Rather than condemning women for being overweight, she says “Yes, I am. So what?”

*****A BIG GIRL WHO DOESN’T HATE HERSELF FOR NOT MEETING SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS? PREPOSTEROUS.*****

Only a few years ago when the “look” every teen strived to have was bleach blonde hair, Abercrombie graphic tees, and a Vera Bradley purse, a select few went away from the pack and dressed in their own style.  Those unconventional girls seemed entirely different too!

Sami is doing the same thing, except the unflattering Abercrombie graphic tees have been replaced with “regular” women’s sizes in a plus size girl world and this girl is trendsetting like no other.

Sami breaks the mold by demanding respect and refusing to succumb to social pressures.  She is her own person, she is proud of her appearance, despite what others have told her.  I particularly enjoyed a post Sami put up on May 14th, because I felt it was representative of her attitude towards “fatness” as a whole:

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 12.39.34 AM

 

Making posts with motivating captions, not encouraging the loss of weight, but rather urging her faithful followers to enjoy their bodies is completely different from the “thinsporation” accounts frequently reaching instagram’s popular page.

How many pointless conversations about striving for a thigh gap have you heard or read about this year?  I found a pinterest quote this past week that I don’t think could be more appropriate:

merm

Another photo from May 8th on Sami’s profile also caught my eye, affirming my inclination to describe Sami as confident.  In this particular image she was wearing a “fatkini”.

(I mean no offense to Sami or other plus size bikini wearers by using the term “fatkini”, believe it or not the well endowed women in the blogging community are responsible for coining this term themselves. Certain stores even categorize plus size 2 piece swim wear at fatkinis. Sami also used the #fatkini hashtag on her image.)

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 12.43.55 AM

Sami told her followers or “fellow fat babes” as she commonly addressed them, to “show your bodies with the pride that you’re a temple no one can tear down” on the caption of this photo.

Wow.

My mind was racing back and forth, confused.

I wanted to give Sami a hug, after years of burying the bikini is a drawer, ashamed to wear it in public because of my figure with a little more to love, I was so impressed by her.

Size is so controversial though, I also saw the opposite side of what she was saying/doing.

If we promote the acceptance of overweight girls, like Sami, we run the risk of promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

If we do not accept Sami and women that are a size 14 (the average size of our American female population) or larger, then we damage their self esteem, run the risk of discrimination and unnecessary hatred, and ultimately hate crimes.

Movies and books always seem to have a fat girl in the story.  She is an outsider, not admitted to the “in” crowd. Her mistreatment is the reason so many bigger girls want to lose weight, not to be healthy, but to be accepted.

I do not feel Sami is discouraging healthy behavior, but rather is reminding us all -fat, skinny, average, purple, pink or green- that our value should not be determined by others.  Do not look to society around you for approval.

DO YOU.

Reflecting on the discovery of Sami’s profile, I realize how supportive I am of her carefree attitude and the positive reinforcement she is providing for those that follow her, but I am also aware of the possible negative consequence.

What began as a post that I thought would focus on whether fatkinis should be a trend or not, developed into a political debate about societal expectations on size all together.  Take what you will from this rant, if nothing else maybe Sami’s posts will provide us all with a little inspiration/insight this swimsuit season.

Voice your opinion, do you support Sami’s efforts? Do you like the trend of fatkinis? Is plus size acceptance in the fashion industry promoting obesity?

fatkini]

Plus Size Bikini Top and Bottom Available at Forever 21

UPDATE: 10 days later, I purchased my very own fatkini. I published this post on May 31st to play devil’s advocate, but I personally embrace this trend whole heartedly.  I never felt so confident in swimwear until I purchased my high waisted set from Aerie. See the photo on instagram here.