Sunday, September 30, 2007

More Halloween Costumes

Here's another batch of great, Bombshell Halloween costumes. These come from a site called Annie's Costumes, available in sizes up to 24. Sizes vary by costume.
Beautiful and (bonus!) comfortable, try the Geisha costume.

Floaty and gorgeous, the Greek Goddess.

You can be ketchup, your partner can be mustard (also available). Come on - I think that's funny.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Not So Basic Tee's

Tee shirts are a wardrobe staple for most American women. They're easy to layer or stand alone. In a variety of colors and fabrics, they're ubiquitous. However, that very same ubiquity opens the door to becoming boring. I think it's important for every article of clothing a Bombshell allows to touch her skin to be flattering. So here are my five favorite tee shirts.
A little ruching at the bustline creates a really flattering look. Whether you've got the goods or a are a little flat-chested, ruching can work you. In addition to flattering the bust, the ruched v-neckline draws attention to your face. Talbots' ruched neck tee( above) is available in really great colors (I like Orange Passion for fall), and comes in petite sizes, too.

When most people think about tee shirts, they imagine the classic crew neck style. But by taking that classic style and pulling out the neckline you've suddenly got a more refined, flattering tee. Try the Perfect Scoop Neck Tee from Old Navy, whose colors change out seasonally. Pair one in Brown Earth with jeans and cute flats for running around on the weekend. Or wear it under a blazer with a denim skirt for work. Possibilities? Endless!

A tee with embellishment, like the Embellished Scoop-neck Tee from Lane Bryant, takes the wardrobe staple to the next level. This style is beautiful because of its girly cap sleeves and the flowy silhouette that skims over curves. Oh yeah - and the little beads at the neckline will match the sparkle in your eyes.

Make a statement with a graphic tee; but please, avoid anything written in glitter and that includes the words Princess or Hot. Graphic tees aren't only for teens - you've just got to be a little more discerning about what you choose and how you wear it than your 16-year old niece. I would wear this Goonies tee from Alloy to work, under a jacket with nice jeans and heels.

Henley tees are great for layering; by nature they're tissue thin and beg for a long-sleeved partner underneath. The Avenue has revved up the appeal of the Henley by adding a little beading around the button closures. For the ultimate relaxed look, leave the buttons undone.

Bombshell Compact

Let's compact some of the best of the week in one fabulous post:

The Budget Fashionista found a great selection of fall/winter's must have- the knee high boot- with extra room in the calves. Which is great because a lot of Bombshell's curves extend to their calves!

The newest place to buy cashmere? Old Navy. With its puffed sleeves and soft draping, I love the Rib Knit Sweater. Just $69.50- which is a great price!

No one does daytime glam like Babyphat. Combining two fall trends, metallics and prep-school, this Sweater Vest with Poplin Shirt is a lot of fun. Wear it with jeans on the weekend, or spice up the workday by pairing it with trousers.

Add some unique flare to your look with quirky accessories from Fred Flare. One my favorites? This cute twist on the classic locket.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The New LBD

Everyone and their dog touts the necessity of a Little Black Dress in a woman's wardrobe. I agree that having one is a fast, easy way to look great. But sometimes I want more from the LBD. I want a new look, achieved with or without the use of accessories. Kiyonna understands my wants and needs.

They've raised the bar with their reversible little black dress. And I'm not talking about reversible in the sense of, "Wear the dress on one side and it's this - turn it inside out and it's that, sort of." The design geniuses at Kiyonna have come up with a dress that can be worn forwards and backwards and look like 2 completely different dresses. Convincingly. Take a look at the dress below and try to tell me that you can tell it's the same one, worn backwards.
Very cute/sexy keyhole neckline and fantastic draping across the shoulders.

Equally cute dress, a little more demure with the keyhole cutout on the back. Whichever way you look at it, this dress is great.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

mark. Beauty Products

A friend recently let me try out a few of her products from mark. , and I gotta say I loved them. I was surprised because I'm not usually a fan of mail-order makeup. I like the whole experience of walking through a department store, wandering from counter to counter, trying out whatever catches my eye.

For those of you not familiar with mark., it's one of the brands owned by Avon. I've always been impressed by Avon's mission - to provide women with the opportunity to own their own business - but have never really used Avon products. They've always seemed so...grandma-ey. Plus, I admit to occasionally getting caught up in the idea that a product has to cost more than $20 to work well. Stupid, I know.

mark. differentiates itself from Avon by offering trendier, more fashion-forward products, and by appealing to younger women. But I'm here to say that no matter what age you are, you're going to love these products! Take a look at a few of my personal favorites:

mark. Metalluscious Lip Cream Hook Up in Royalty. Hookups are the most innovative thing to come out of the beauty industry since...well, in a long time. Two products can be connected so you can carry them in one compact tube. I would connect this lip cream with:

Scanda-Lash Mascara. Each Hook Up is only $5, and with the purchase of two Hook Ups you get the connector for free. Genius. Choose from eye shadows, blush, a variety of lip glosses, eye liner and mascara.

mark. Flip for It Color Kit has two eye shadows and a blush on one side. Flip over the palette to find four lip glosses. Available in three shades - Milan, Paris, and New York. I'm a fan of Milan for a great night-time look. $18.

In addition to makeup, mark. also makes really cute accessories. I love this cocktail ring:
If you'd like to see more from mark., I've set up a mark. store from which you can shop directly. No need to have someone come to your home! Click here, or on Shop mark. makeup under Bombshell Shopping.

Plan Ahead for Halloween

No, I'm not talking about stocking up on miniature candy bars (although, that's not a bad idea). I'm talking about planning ahead for your costume! A Bombshell reality is that cute costumes are not always easy to find in sizes 14+. Oftentimes your best bet is to order one online, but that takes time. Hence, planning ahead. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to find great costumes for any Bombshell. Whether you like to get all glammed up in a sexy costume or if something funny is more your speed - I'll find it for you!

I'm not a big fan of disclaimers, but remember that Halloween costumes are not always "PC." For example, I've found a pretty cool Mother Superior costume (see below) that, as a guilty Catholic, I would never be caught dead in for fear of being struck down by lightening. I'm not endorsing any particular costume- just showing you what's available.

Halloween Mart has a pretty decent selection of costumes, ranging in sizes 14-24. Sizes vary by costume, though, so check before ordering.

The aforementioned Mother Superior.
Very cute Flapper.
This is one of my favorites - the tough/sexy Pirate.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ready for Anything

A woman's wardrobe should reflect who she is and what she does, right? Most women spend their whole lives running around trying to get that right - to find clothes that show the world what she's all about. You can stop running, Bombshells, because Old Navy has everything you need to look stylish and put-together and like the best you possible - and to be ready for anything. Work? Got it. Play? No problem. A fancy night out? So ready.

It's not about cookie-cutter dressing. It's about finding a look that is current and resonates with your soul. And I am so impressed with the outfits ON has put together to get our creative juices flowing. Observe:

Take a cue from our friends at Old Navy - you can put together some fabulous outfits (including accessories and shoes) for incredibly fair prices. Get inspired and get shopping!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Love. Love. Love.

Here's a round up of a few things I've come across lately and love.

This skirt from Talbots is...fantastic! It makes me think of dancing on a street corner in Paris with Gene Kelly, leaping and twirling off the sidewalks. Wouldn't you like to take that feeling to work with you? Pair it with a gamine black turtleneck and low heels (think Audrey Hepburn) and hum to yourself all day long. Also available in petites and in other colors. But you should definitely get the red.
This gold foil tee from Babyphat is terrific because it's easy and versatile. Throw it on with jeans and flats to run errands on Saturday - you'll look casually fabulous. Pair it up with a brown A-line skirt and knee high boots - you'll look luxuriously fabulous. Slip it on under a black business suit - you'll look work-appropriately fabulous.

No one does a slingback like Kate Spade - these are shoes that will be worn and treasured for a lifetime. At least, that's how I justify the price tag. This is animal print done right - nothing garish or cheesy. Wear these with heavy black tights all fall/winter, then let bare toes peek through once the sunshine comes out again. Could you be any more ladylike? I don't think so.

Ulta shower gel and body lotion in Cinnamon Pumpkin. It smells so amazing, you'll practically want to lick yourself.

Beauty Blitz

I'm sensing a return to the drugstore beauty brands. Drugstore makeup and beauty products are getting better and better, while department store brands are just getting more expensive. Nevermind the fact that most drugstore brands are owned by the same parent companies as Clinique, Lancome, and Bobbi Brown. Here's a rundown of some of the best on the shelves at your local Target and CVS.

Sonia Kashuk Eye Shadow Quad in Rise and Fall - celebrity makeup artist Sonia has been a partner of Targets for a while now. Her professional quality line of products has largely flown under the radar - although I don't know why. Her brushes are excellent and so is her makeup. This fall, I'm loving this eye shadow quad because it compliments every eye shade, and is so versatile. Swipe the gold color all over the eye, followed by the brown shade on the lower lid. Smoke it up a bit with either the green or the plum shade in the crease. Gorgeous, dahling!

Boots No. 7's Stay-Perfect-Lip Lacquer in Plumberry is just the right shade to take your lips to that seductive next level. The rich color lasts a long time, and the gloss adds a little oomph and moisture. I think it rivals MAC's long-lasting color/gloss combo.

Another drugstore brand that's worth snagging is Aveeno's Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. The formula contains very subtle light reflectors, which gives the appearance of a youthful glow. The product is deeply moisturizing, without being heavy or goopy. It's also oil-free and hypo-allergenic, perfect for sensitive skin. And SPF 15? Can't beat it.

I'll admit that I get sucked into the hype of buying department store makeup - until drugstores make testing out products more available, there'll always be the kid-in-a-candy-store feeling about hitting up Benefit or Bobbi at Macy's. But I'm also more likely to throw down $10 on a whim at Target now that there are so many terrific products to choose from. Do you have any drugstore favorites? Let me know, so I can share them with everyone.

Sweater Basics

Ahhhh...sweaters. There's nothing quite like draping oneself in a mass of yarn, hiding every curve and bid of bodaciousness under cableknit. Yech! Come on - you know you've done it. (I know I have) Tossed on a shapeless sweater and jeans, figuring "Hey, it's cold outside. I'm entitled to some comfort and coziness, right?" Of course you are - just as long as you keep your Bombshell body in mind!

As you pull your pile of sweaters out of storage and integrate them into your fall/winter wardrobe, make sure they:
  1. Fit. Have you lost a few pounds over the summer? Added a couple? Whatever the case, make sure your sweaters fit the body you have now. That means no over-stretched arms (the sleeves should stop at your wrists), no sagging armholes (they should fit right up under your arm, like any other shirt would), no stretching across the chest (especially if you are well-endowed; cable knit should not zig-zag).

  2. Flatter. Sweaters should accentuate your body, just like any other piece of clothing. Make sure your waist is defined (either by the sweater's cut, or the addition of a belt) and that the length is flattering to your height. Unless you are extremely, Amazonian tall avoid sweaters that drop past the hips.

  3. Are luxurious. The best sweaters look rich - either because of their color or the gauge (thickness). They're also a fantastic backdrop for luxurious accessories. Jewel-tones, black, cream or camel colors are always appropriate, always amazing. Cashmere is ideal, but if you're on a budget buy the thinnest gauge sweater possible. Heavy cableknit looks great on boyfriends and fishermen. If you aren't one or the other, avoid it. Add a long gold pendant or a chunky beaded necklace to finish off your look.

For a little inspiration, check out a few of my faves this season:

Despite the skinny model, this sweater vest does come in Bombshell sizes. Notice how the wide collar brings the eye up to her face, the belt defines her waist, and the side pockets don't add bulk or girth to the hips. Keep it unbuttoned to avoid looking, well - buttoned up. Well done, Spiegel.

Paired with a basic tee shirt and jeans (or a jean skirt) this glamourous cardigan avoids heading into frumpy territory. Instead, it's an unexpected shot of fabulous. I love how the beading tapers down the front, defining the waist.

I know, I know - you've seen this one before. I can't help myself - it's just that amazing. It comes in black and gray, too. Have you bought one yet? (And no, Michael Kors is not paying me)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

At Last- Arrojo!

Last week, I promised to tell you all about my new hair products from Arrojo Product. For anyone who does not watch TLC’s What Not to Wear, Nick Arrojo is the hair stylist who works magic on women in need of a change – to their lives, to their look, to their hair. I absolutely adore Nick. He’s tough when he has to be, he’s sweet and funny, and always asks for a hug afterward. Oh, and he makes these women look amazing! So, I was incredibly excited to get my hands on his new line of products.

I bought the Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, the Defrizz Serum, and the Holding Spray. His range of products is minimal- nothing fancy, you won’t have to comb through product description after description trying to figure out the difference between each formula. I also received, free with my $50 purchase, an Arrojo nylon and boar bristle hair brush.

The shampoo and conditioner smell great – vaguely of berry pie – and the formula is very concentrated. This is good news because it means my bottles will go a long way! In order to build up a lather, make sure you have just a little shampoo and a good amount of water in your hair. For the conditioner, resist the temptation to squirt out a huge blob and trust that a small amount will coat your hair.

Post cleanse and condition, I applied a small amount of the Defrizz Serum to the ends of my hair and began working it up toward my roots. The serum is very liquidy, so be careful not to end up with a handful. It left a slick film on my hands, but nothing a quick rub with a towel wouldn’t cure. Once in my hair, it felt weightless and smooth. I blew my hair dry and was SO in love with the bounce, the shine, the overall healthy look and feel of my hair. It usually takes a professional with an uber-watt dryer and a firm grip on a round brush to achieve those results. I spritzed lightly with the Holding Spray and was good to go. My hair even looked good on day 2 and (gasp!) day 3. Oh, and the complimentary brush? Feels like heaven on my scalp. Love it. Refuse to put it down, except to come to work and be a normal citizen of the world. Once I’m home, though, you couldn’t pry it away from me.

Get yours online at The free brush offer is good through October 1st.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Trend Translation- Menswear Inspired

Fashion at its best conveys a sense of contradiction; I think it's because women are inherently contradictory. We like to be taken care of, but want you to know we can take care of ourselves. We are nurturing but tough. We love the color blue, and then we're over it. None of this fall's trends captures the essence of that juxtaposition better than the clothes that are Menswear Inspired.

The menswear portion of the trend shows up in classic male pieces like suit vests, trousers, starchy button-down shirts, and in textures like wool, silk and cashmere. The inspired part? It's all woman. It's taking that starchy button-down and adding an extremely feminine ruffle down the front, then pulling that suit vest on over it. Take the standard menswear trouser and make the leg a little wider, the silhouette a little softer and floatier - now, that's inspiration!

Take a look in your closet and see if you can come up with a few of these menswear-inspired combinations:
  • Cashmere (or any very light, soft fabric) sweater + denim trousers + wool covered heel

  • Crisp button down shirt + tailored blazer + jean skirt + dark tights and heels

  • Slouchy trouser pants + silk shirt + long scarf (to evoke that modern, necktie feel)
Ruffle front shirt with tie, Lane Bryant.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Layering, Minus the Bulk

Lots of women, of all sizes and ages, mistakenly believe in the idea of hiding behind layers of clothes. They think that the more clothes they wear, the less anyone will notice them or the shape of their body. We Bombshells, we know they're wrong on so many levels. First of all- why would you want to hide behind an oversized sweatshirt, tee shirt or my personal un-favorite: the sweatshirt tied around the waist of a tee shirt.

There is a way to layer that will ensure maximum silhouette with the comfort and coziness of wearing more than one piece of clothing. The most important thing to remember when layering is proportion. Pair blousey shirts with fitted cardigans and pants. Slip on billowy pants with a fitted tee and cropped jacket. Avoid putting on lots of clothes that are all of the same shape. If you're wearing a button down shirt, choose one that's hip-length and pair it with a sweater that is waist-length.

Another thing to keep in mind while layering is where you want to draw attention - if you have a gorgeous bosom, wear a v-neck tunic with a cardigan that cuts off right under your chest. If you have a curvy waist, wear a voluminous skirt with a slim-fitting t-shirt and a long scarf. Draw the eye down, be mindful of your proportions and you can layer without worries of looking like one of those other women.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Beauty Moment

It's been a looooong while since we had a Beauty Moment. I'll admit that while I was in the hospital recently, and then recovering, I was unable to bathe daily much less play with hair and makeup. So I haven't fallen in love with any new products, but I expect to any day now. In fact, according to FedEx, I could be in love as quickly as Saturday. That's when my shipment from Arrojo Product is scheduled to arrive.

Arrojo Product is a range of shampoo, conditioner and styling aids from What Not to Wear hair magician, Nick Arrojo. I figured that buying his products was next best (and most likely) to actually sitting in his chair. Plus, I got a free boar bristle hair brush (valued at $25)! You could get one, too, if you spend $50 at between now and October 1. I'll let you all know how fabulous my hair looks once my box of products arrives. Until then, let me know what you're loving right now. What's a must-have in your makeup bag?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Cover Up

After months of oppressive, 90-degree heat, my local weather forecaster predicts that the heat wave is over and the temps will be dropping. Perfect! Because there are so many fall jackets out there that are so cute, so Bombshell, that they practically make an outfit.

A lot of women don't give a whole lot of fashion thought to the jacket that gets tossed on every single day. Many women only have one jacket that they wear, day after day, no matter what's going on underneath it. A great jacket can last several years (thus justifying a little upfront investment) and is the easiest article of clothing to instantly announce who you are and what you're all about. Check out these three different looks (all available at Avenue) and get inspired. Snap up one or two new jackets this season and turn them into a part of your signature look.

A classic leather jacket turns up the glam wattage on almost any outfit, while lending a little bit of tough girl to any look. Incredibly versatile- pair it with jeans to go classic; balance the girliness of a floaty, chic dress for a night out; pull it on over dress pants for a little attitude at work. Make sure your leather jacket is fitted so as to avoid the puffy, bomber-look of the 90's.

Another classic with a twist, this plaid trench coat is simultaneously pulled-together class and cheeky fun. As with the leather jacket, this one will go anywhere, do anything for you. Make sure the belt hits the top of your waist (creating an almost-empire look) for maximum flattery.

Whether you're boho-chic/earth mother, channeling 1960's fab, or just looking for something different, try on a cape. I swear you'll be won over, if not by the flowing ease then by the ability to essentially wrap yourself up in a blanket. With that said - avoid actually looking as though you've wrapped yourself up in a blanket. This cape has just enough structure- at the collar, the top enclosure, developed shoulders and sleeves - to avoid the Litte Red Riding Hood look.

All photos courtesy of

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Spotlight on- Mimi's Curvy Corner

More and more curvy women have stopped waiting for designers to create trendy, flattering clothes for Bombshells and have started designing themselves. That's the story behind family-owned and operated online shop Mimi's Curvy Corner. And what makes them unique?

Well, aside from their cute, well cut clothes it's the way they merchandise their selection. How annoying is it to fall in love with the perfect top, only to find it doesn't come in your size? Mimi's cuts down on angst by merchandising by size. Simply click your size and their stock pops up. And with sizes from 14-36, there's something for everyone. Love that!

I'd show you pictures, but Mimi's has made them unavailable. So you'll just have to trust me that it's worth checking out.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bombshell Book Review

I've mentioned fellow fashion blog, The Budget Fashionista, in previous posts. It's a site dedicated to looking fabulous for less. A great concept in our current money-grubbing, designer-label boasting culture. The site became so popular that it's creator, Kathryn Finney, wrote a book titled How to Be a Budget Fashionista. She sent me a copy to review and I gotta say - I really liked it.

None of the tips and ideas in the books are unique, but Kathryn's approach to budget fashion certainly is. We've all read articles online or in magazines in which a hoity-toity editor tries to make high fashion seem more attainable to those of us not able to shell out $1200 for the new It bag. The articles come across as patronizing and drive home the point that you're inferior for shopping on a budget. Finney approaches a fashion budget from the other side - the one of reason, where we all work hard to pay our bills, plan for the future and look amazing. She presents the concepts of budget and fashion as equals.

Finney provides a few good resources for Bombshells on a budget, outlining her favorite places to find a bargain, both online and in store. She also provides overviews of fashion basics, breaking down classic versus trend and when to splurge or save. For any Bombshell who is tired of feeling like a fashion failure because of cash flow, this is a must read. And follow it up with a visit to Kathryn's blog for daily budget fashionista tips.