Friday, August 31, 2007

Bombshell Warning

I love Old Navy; they are a great resource for affordable, trendy pieces. While browsing the new fall selections available online, I came across these pants and about fell out of my chair from the horror.
The Women's Plus Ankle-Zip pants are on sale right now for $22.50. I'm not sure why Old Navy think that $22.50 is a good deal, a price Bombshells would jump at the chance to pay in order to make themselves look like ice cream cones - luscious and yummy on top, pointy and weird at the bottom. Don't do this to yourself. Your curves will hate you for it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spotlight on- Curvation

Queen Latifah has long been one of the most faulous Bombshells in Hollywood. From her early days as an urban rapper, to her more recent incarnation as a Cover Girl model Latifah has always flaunted her curves. Which is one reason she was a natural muse for Bombshell clothing label Curvation. Curvation started out as a lingerie line; it's recently expanded to include outer wear in sizes 12-22. Very cute outerwear, inspired by the chic-street sensibilities of Queen Latifah. These clothes combine attitude and elegance perfectly.


Hands down, my favorite is this look. I love the hip-hugging, jaquard-print skirt in white. It's a beautiful basic with some ooomph.
The drape and flow of the striped tie sweater is fun and flattering. For the Bombshell who wants to be noticed...and then some! This gold swimsuit brings high fashion to the pool.

Log on to Curvation.com to shop the line and to find a retailer near you.

All photos courtesy of Curvation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Take advantage of a super sale at Torrid right now - they've taken 50% off clearance prices! Torrid's regular clearance prices are not always as low as one might expect; but the extra 50% definitely makes a difference! Snap up cute end-of-summer pieces like these:Polka dot dress for $23.99
Knit shrug, only $12.49.

Floral tunic, just $13.99
Photos courtesy of Torrid.com.





Beauty Moment


As much of a fan as I am of lipgloss, nothing feels more sophisticated and downright womanly than slicking on a coat of lipstick. In true Bombshell form, I have a list of requirements of my lipstick: the formula must be creamy and smooth (not matte and drying), the color must be saturated (hey, if you're going to wear lipstick you might as well commit to some color!) and the tube must be glamourous, a'la Marilyn Monroe sexily applying touchups.


Lola Cosmetics Lip Creme fits each and every criteria to a T...and then some! Not only is the lipstick extremely moisturizing, the color is long-wearing without flaking and getting gunky. With a color for everyone (I'm partial to Paris and Cashmere), Lola's lip cremes are as much fun to put on as they are to pucker up with. I recommend using a liner along with the lipstick to keep all that fabulous color in place.
The tube itself is adorable and functional, featuring a nice big mirror that pops off the cap. This lipstick definitely fulfills all of my retro-glam fantasties!

You can buy Lola cosmetics at Ulta and Sephora. Lip Creme costs $20, each.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Favorite Roundup

I know the posts have been sparse and erratic over the past couple of weeks. Thanks for hanging in there with me; I'm all better now and will be back to posting daily.

Here's a roundup of some of the best of the Bombshell this week:

For the boho boutique look, no one does it better than B & Lu. Their flowy Nyssa top pairs well with bootcut pants (jeans, trousers, tak your pick); make sure the pants are more fitted than flared in order to balance the voluminous top. Add dramatic hoop earrings for maximum impact.
Hit up Alloy for cute graphic print tees, like this one featuring the incomparable Audrey. You can go the easy route and pull it on over jeans and flip flops for running around on the weekends. Or glam it up by trading the flip flops for patent leather heels, slip on a fitted blazer and diamond stud earrings for a night out with the girls.
Anne Klein has successfully created a Bombshell anomaly- a printed pant that isn't completely obnoxious. Granted, it's up to all of us to be sure to buy the right size so the pattern remains intact - no pulling or stretching over our curves. These bootcut trousers are a great addition to a wardrobe that's already got the basics (black, brown, gray) and is in need of a kick. At $270 these pants are an investment piece that can be paired with basic crew neck tees, luxe cashmere sweaters or crisp button downs. For an edgier look, dress them down with a print tee from Alloy!
To add height to any look, slide on a pair of wedges, like the Kimmi Wedge from Payless. This shoe is especially fabulous as a height booster thanks to the slingback. Slingbacks = a longer line of leg. And at $24.99, these are a steal.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trend Translation- Prep School Chic

Seemingly every fall, fashion designers get as excited about Back to School as the rest of us. There's just something about walking past Target's promo aisle and seeing scores of fresh notebooks, pencils and backpacks that gets me excited about pep rallies and homecoming football games...probably more excited than I was in high school. Luckily, the nostalgia can live on in a more stylish way than stuffing a trapper keeper into my work bag.


Crisp button down shirts, old-fashioned collegiate cardigans, oxford shoes and a little bit of plaid all add up to prep school chic. Yet, as a working professional or anyone not enrolled at the U, how does that trend really become part of a non-costumey wardrobe? As with any trend, pick one piece that you really gravitate towards (say, a pleated plaid skirt) and then pair it with basic wardrobe staples. Think about these combinations and see if you can make them work for your style:


  • Knee-length plaid pleated skirt + neutral crewneck sweater + knee-high boots

  • Crisp button down shirt + gray collegiate cardigan (with pockets and patches!) + medium wash bootcut jeans

  • Soft knit beret + cotton tee shirt + corduroy skirt + heeled oxfords

  • Printed hoodie + neutral blazer + casual jeans

Get inspired by these Bombshell versions of prep school pieces:




Product Details:


Hoodie from B and Lu, on sale for $26; multi-gored plaid skirt from Lane Bryant, $39.50; corduroy blazer from Old Navy, $39.50; classic rise "The Flirt" jeans from Old Navy in medium wash, on sale for $29.50; Oxford shoes by Vince Camuto, $129.95.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Missphit Available Online

One of the most fun, independent Bombshell labels to rise to the top (having appeared on the covers of magazines like Latina and on TV shows like American Idol and Everybody Hates Chris) is Missphit. The line has been available in small, local boutiques as well as Dillards stores nationwide. Now, it's available for sale online.

Missphit targets the trendy, fashion-forward Bombshell. The clothes' designers, husband and wife team Yul & Christina Kwon, are based in L.A, which influences their take on modern shapes and funky designs. And with prices ranging from $36-45 online, you won't have to break the bank to update your look. Check out a few of my favorites to give your wardrobe an instant boost:


Monday, August 20, 2007

Rachel Pally Arrives

I announced a while back that hot designer Rachel Pally has put together a Bombshell collection, to be featured at Nordstrom's. It's arrived! And it's great! (And it's expensive!) Here are a few highlights:

The White Label cape jacket is very fresh, and will be the perfect transition piece from summer to fall. Use it to replace your stand-by cardigan for a modern twist. The draping is beautiful, the color is gorgeous and though it's an investment piece at $238, you will be able to toss this on over jeans, dress pants, and fitted dresses for years to come.
If you have $158 burning a hole through your handbag, pick up this fantastic wrap top. Gray is huge this fall and this print uses the neutral shade, along with beige, to maximum dramatic effect. And finally, Rachel Pally is known for her flowing dresses. It can be hard to find a flattering fit in a maxi dress for a curvy woman, but this one might just do the trick. She's cut the top to be very form fitting and flattering so that all the volume throughout the bottom looks refined, not frumpy. LOVE the inky blue. This dress was made for dancing!

Cute Sleepwear

My taste in sleepwear has ranged over the years: oversize tee shirts, slinky satin night gowns, flannel sets, cotton pull overs. Oftentimes my choice in sleepwear has been influenced by who was (or was not) sleeping next to me. For many people, building a wardrobe of sleepwear is an indulgence or an afterthought or just not important. But honestly, what you sleep in is the one outfit that truly is all about you. Yeah yeah, partners or spouses might factor in (a little) but ultimately your comfort is key here.

Think about your everyday wardrobe - you've got options in there. Jeans, dress pants, skirts, cotton tops, camisoles, sweaters. You've got something to fit most situations that you might find yourself in. Your sleepwear wardrobe should perform the same function as your everyday wardrobe. You need pieces that are warm and snuggly, light and breezy, loungey, and all out sexy. I know, I know - you're just going to sleep in it, right? Indulge me, and yourself by checking out these fantastic finds. Who's to say you won't sleep better in something cute?

Lane Bryant's cotton lounge tee is loose-fitting without being oversized. It glides over curves without pulling and stretching (no choke-hold mid REM cycle here). And the contrast color topstitch is a fun detail. Pair the top with LB's striped sateen sleep pants. The silky pant is cute and comfortable, with elastic stretch throughout the waistband.

On the slinkier side, check out this satin halter chemise from Frederick's of Hollywood. Don't be afraid of FoH. Not all of their lingerie has cut-out nipples. I especially like the shape of this night gown because curvy women frequently need some support throughout the bust. A halter is a sexy way to do that.

For the ultimate in snuggle-up comfort, pad you sleepwear with a fluffy robe. I like this one from Barefoot Dreams. It comes in blue, black, white and pink.
















Back to Bombshell

Hey everyone- thanks for all the nice comments while I was on hiatus, recouperating. I have another week at home to get better before jumping into the "real" world - the one that doesn't revolve around daytime TV. So, that will give me plenty of time to catch up on all the goings on in Bombshell fashion!



I logged on to all my favorite clothing sites, just to see what's new, and fell in love with these denim jeans from Liz Claiborne. The color is dark and even, the fit is slim (not a word curvy women should be afraid of!) and so flattering. And for $80? Not bad. The jeans do have a little elastic in the waist - at the back of the waist band, easily covered by a belt. They're so sleek and professional - perfect for casual Friday at the office!

Photo courtesy of LizClaiborne.com

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Brief Hiatus

Fellow Bombshells,
I will be in the hospital for a few days and won't be feeling up to posting for the next week or so. During that time, I'll be holed up in bed devouring magazines and thinking of great new articles to post upon recovery. Bear with me and check back; as always keep sending me your fashion and beauty questions. I'll reply just as soon as I can sit upright at the computer!

Thanks,
Sara

Easy Updates to Your Wardobe

Not everyone in the world is trendy; in fact, no one would be trendy if everyone was trendy! I know a lot of women who are beautiful and well-dressed but still feel like they just aren't quite getting it right because they're not right on top of every trend that comes out of New York or LA. To those women I say, "Forget about it!" Embrace your sense of style and think about adding a few new pieces to update your wardobe every once in a while; forget about the rest. Adopting every new trend isn't for everyone, but updating is.

The difference between trends and updating is simple. I'll use shoes as an example. A big trend in shoes right now is embellished flats (flat shoes with buckles or studs, other forms of hardware on them). A shoe update would be to switch out a pair of chunky-heeled penny loafers (which have probably been in the closet for at least 5 years) for a pair of simple black ballet flats. This way, you will look modern without having to buy a new pair of flats with different embellishment every season.

By now, your closet should no longer house such outdated (to put it nicely) items as tapered pants and ponchos. Once you have the basics of your wardrobe figured out, you can update a few key items every couple of years so you'll look fresh and pulled together.

  • Shoes - Once you notice a style has been in the stores for a few seasons, figure out what makes it special (is it flat, is it a kitten heel, equestrian-style boots) and try to find a pair that fits your personal style. Metallic heels have been gathering momentum and probably aren't going anywhere for a while; snag a pair in a classic shape for an easy (and long-wearing) update.


  • Jewelry - The great thing about jewelry is that it's easy to find at affordable prices, and it's extremely cyclical. Wear strands of colorful beads throughout the tropical Summer months and then switch them out for sophisticated gold and gemstone accents come Fall and Winter.
  • Nail polish - This might sound a little strange, but nail polish is also cyclical. Spring and Summer are the perfect times to wear a more vibrant shade of polish - think hot pink and coral, or polish with a little sparkle to it. Throughout the colder months, paint on a darker color (like the inky purples that have been everywhere the past few years) or a light neutral nude. Or keep it simple and wear red year-round!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Dear Bombshell


Dear Bombshell,
Apparently, since I am plus-sized I am supposed to have a large chest. Well, I don't! I need a 42/44-B. Of course the "normal" sizes only go to about 38. And the full-figured sizes don't have B cups. Lane Bryant used to carry some in certain styles but even those are getting harder to find. Playtex has some in those sizes but everthing looks like it's made for an old lady. I'm only 33....is there anything out there for me?

I feel your pain; I too wear a 44B and have experienced some serious frustration in finding sexy (or at least not grandma-ey) bras. Luckily, I have several great resources that work for me and will hopefully work for you, too.

I know you said that Lane Bryant doesn't carry the best selection in B cups, but they are still the best source for pretty bras in our size. I talked with one of my contacts at LB who said that, while it's true the stores don't carry much inventory because of lack of demand, the online selection is much more comprehensive. And it's true! I'm especially loving their lace overlay push-up demi bra (show above, $34).

I've had really great luck ordering bras online at JustMySize.com. They have a fantastic feature called Bra Finder- you can put in your size and any other "wants" (underwire or none, what kind of straps, etc) and the site brings up all the bras that fit your criiteria - and a lot of their bras are very pretty. I'm wearing one right now, actually. It's the Glamorise Front Hook Wonderwire bra, $34.99. (Is that too much information?) It's shown at the right.

I've also been able to score discount bras (i.e. under $20) from a line called Vassarette. You can find Vassarette at Target, Wal-Mart, ShopKo and K-Mart. Their bras are typically of the mesh/lace vareiety - very cute. Remember, though, that buying less expensive bras oftentimes means that you will need to replace them more often.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can have bras alterered - and let me tell you, for $20 at the tailors there is nothing like having a bra made to fit you perfectly. So, if you find yourself unable to find anything suitable in stores or online, pick up a bra as close to your size as possible and take it to a tailor to see what can be done. Happy bra hunting!

If you have a burning fashion or beauty question, either email me from my contact page or ask in the comments.
Photos courtesy of Lane Bryant and Just My Size.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Beauty Moment- Shampoo Cocktail

While showering recently, I was stumped on trying to decide which of my three (hey a Bombshell's gotta have options!) shampoos to use. DevaCurl Low-poo shampoo for wearing my hair curly; Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil ultra moisturizing miracle shampoo for tired/fried hair; or John Frieda Brilliant Red goodness to maintain my custom color and highlights. I wanted to pump up the color, but my hair was dying for some moisture. Figuring that I couldn't do any lasting damage, I squirted a bit of both in the palm of my hand and began sudsing away.

The combined scent hit me right away- it was fantastic! And my hair was incredibly soft - softer than ever! Lesson learned: two fabulous shampoos combined equal one doubly fabulous shampoo.

Don't be afraid to take a beauty risk every once in a while. * Try that orange lipstick or the turqoise eye liner. See where else you can use your under-eye cream - around the lips? On your cuticles? Why not? Whip up a few of your own fabulous cocktails and share them in the comments.

*Obviously avoid mixing anything ultra potent or that comes with a prescription.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Trend Translation- 40's Glam

Open up any fashion magazine this month and you'll find a spread on the latest (and greatest, in my opinion!) trend for fall - 1940's inspired-wear. This trend loves the Bombshell figure- it's all about showing off the curves! Peep-toe stacked heels, curvy pencil skirts (with a little flounce at the bottom for movement), wide leg pants, jackets with puffed sleeves/strong shoulders and nipped waists - every last piece looks amazing draped on a curvy body.

As with any trend, the key to 40's glam is being "inspired" instead of literal. Despite the head-to-toe trendiness depicted in the pages of a magazine spread, avoid looking costumey by choosing one or two key 40's inspired pieces to your look. A few of my favorite combinations:
  • Pencil skirt + Button down shirt + Cardigan= Business glam


  • Wide legged jeans + Basic tee + Delicate wool jacket with puffed sleeves = Date night chic

  • Wide legged trousers + Fitted Sweater + Red Lipstick = Weekend goddess

Peep toe platform heels look great with any of these combos; if that's too high for you, choose a kitten-heel with a rounded toe. To avoid looking stumpy or dowdy, remember: the higher the heel, the lower the hemline; the lower the heel, the higher the hemline.

Since we're talking about a very glamourous look here, keep jewelry minimal. Think small hoop earrings and a string of pearls or diamond studs and a brooch. And don't forget that red lipstick! Maintaining perfectly red lips can be a full-time job, so if you'd rather do a sheer slick of red try Clinique Almost Lipstick in Ruby.

Product Details:

B and Lu "Meg" skirt, $20; Missphit shirt style # 34659, contact for price; Cole Haan "Dalya Air" pump, $ 295.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Petite Bombshells


Last week, I received a note from one of my Bombshell readers, Chris, asking for help in finding winter pants for petite Bombshells. Chris, this one's for you!

Just as clothing stores and magazines can make fabulous Bombshells feel like fish out of water, so too can petite women feel a little left out in the cold. Combine Bombshell + Petite? What's a girl to do? Shirt sleeves that are too long, skirts that hit at mid-calf instead of mid-knee and pants with ground-scraping hems or rises that place the crotch too far south - so many issues! And while a tailor can do a lot to customize clothing to fit, one can only do so much. A petite Bombshell has to start out with clothing that basically fits properly.

  • Dresses and shirts- make sure they fit across the shoulders and in arm holes, as well as across the chest. A tailor can shorten sleeves (wrist-length is typical) and can take up the bottom of shirts if they are too long.

  • Pants- The crotch should not hang low; look for pants with a low rise (i.e. a shorter length between the waist band and the crotch). Look for an inseam at about 27"-29", although you can try pants with longer inseams as long as the rise is low. Tailors can easily hem the bottom of pants.

  • Skirts- Make sure skirts sit at or near your natural waist to ensure that back pockets and seaming align on your rear. Skirts are easily hemmed.

Here are a few of my favorite resources for petite clothes in sizes 14+:

One Stop Plus- a discount online retailer that pulls together clothing from a variety of labels and carries a wide selection of petite sizes, geared toward women 4'11"-5'3 and a half inches. The average inseam for petite pants on the site is 27". Find everything from winter coats to pant sets to shorts (inseam of 16").

Nordstrom - In store and online, Nordstrom is a great place to find clothes that will fit petite women with curves. Look for jeans by Caslon (pictured- so great!), work separates and suits by Semantiks (black pants, pictured) and Eileen Fisher among others. Call ahead to Nordstrom and make an appointment with a free personal shopper. Tell the shopper your size and height, what you're looking for and when you want to come in. Upon arrival, you'll have a whole slew of clothes already pulled off the racks for you to try on. Did I mention this service is free?

Talbots- I saved the best for last. I love this store for bright sweaters (shown), pants and button down shirts. You will find all the wardrobe basics you need here, the perfect foundation for a closet full of classic clothes. You can vary the looks by your choice of accessories. In store and online, the selection is fantastic.

Just as wearing size 14+ is not a fashion liability, neither is being petite. Check out the stores I've mentioned; one of the best ways to find other places to shop is to chat with customers who seem to be reaching for the same clothes you are. The best way to find fabulous clothes is to talk to other women wearing fabulous clothes!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bombshell Bargains

I'm taking a Bombshell step toward growth and maturity with this post. For reasons I don't want to get into, I am extremely biased against Wal-Mart, especially when it comes to buying clothes. However, I read an article by the Budget Fashionista in which she talked about wearing Wal-Mart brand jeans to New York Fashion Week, even garnering compliments on her cute jeans! This gave me pause...Wal-Mart at Fashion Week?

So, in the name of bringing you Bombshell fashion at bargain prices, I looked into Wal-Mart's clothes. Here's what I found. For the cost of this cute tunic from Lane Bryant ($49.50):

You could buy this entire outfit ($45.84):


I have to admit to being a little impressed. Begrudgingly so. Tell me - where's the most surprising place you've found fabulous fashion at a discount?

Spotlight on: Michael Kors

Michael Kors is one of the foremost American designers of our time. He's been in business since 1981 and has unwavered in his vision of bringing chic, luxurious sportswear (designer-speak for everyday clothes, not literally sports gear) to the masses. He's gained a higher profile as television personality by appearing as a judge on Bravo's reality show, Project Runway. One of my personal favorite Kors-isms is, "That's so vulgar!"

Recently, he jumped into the Bombshell venue of design by translating a selection of his core straight-size creations in to sizes 14-26. Like many designers new to extended sizes, Kors is still getting his feet wet and figuring out how to put his mark on the fit and flattery of Bombshells. However, the fact that such an iconic American designer is recognizing women over size 12 is a good sign for the future of fashion. And, he's got some pretty cute stuff (despite the tiny women modeling the clothes below, these are all available in sizes 14+):

You can find the full Michael Kors collection in extended sizes at Nordstrom. Prices
start at $59.00.
I'd like to wish all of my readers in the Twin Cities the best after yesterday's devastating bridge collapse. I hope that all of your friends and loved ones are safe. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involed with this tragic event.

If you would like information on how to help the Red Cross, who is responsible for assisting the victims, their families, and the rescue teams, click here: http://www.redcross.org.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Beauty Moment


I'm an O.P.I girl. My grandma wears O.P.I polish, my mom wears O.P.I, I wear O.P.I. I don't know if it's the clever names or the fact that it's part of my heritage, but I've never strayed from this salon standard when it comes to nail polish. Not very Bombshell, right? Bombshells are not afraid of change, of finding something new and (could it be??) better. So, I wandered over to the nail section at Target last week and walked out with a bottle of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Polish.


I was absolutely skeptical while reading up on the polish. The Diamond Strength formula contains real diamond particles, formulated to bond to your nails for a shiny, hard finish that eliminates cracking, peeling and chipping. Yeah, right...right? Fast forward 12 days and my nails are still perfectly coated in Passionate Plum (a dark purple with red undertones). No chips. Extremely shiny. Must be the diamonds!

I do have one beef with the polish; well, more accurately with the brush. It's longer than my trusty O.P.I brush, which made application a little tricky. I resolved that, though, by washing off a brush from a defunct bottle of O.P.I and using it instead. Problem solved.


Sally Hansen products are available in drugstores nationwide.