Fashion101 PLUS™

  • Fashion101 PLUSTM

    Personal Style

    Posted: Jun 23 2015


    Fiction: Well-dressed women are born with a sense of style.

    Fact: With a little guidance and a few timeless pieces, most women can dress with confidence for any occasion.

    Personal style is the way you speak to the world without words. Occasionally even the best of us gets tongue-tied. Whether it’s dressing for work or pulling out all the stops for a charity gala, choosing our clothes and accessories can sometimes be stressful.

    Does the plus-size woman find her closet even more challenging? Some may say no; but many would tend to agree that it’s not so easy finding stylish fashions for full figures. These days we may see more references to the “big is beautiful” school thought, but we’re also dealing with reality--women’s clothing, for the most part, is designed for and modeled bythe ultra-thin.

    How does this fact of life impact our shopping habits? Department stores often carry a sad selection of plus-size pieces with an abundance of double-knit in thecookie-cutter collection. How can we look our best? How can we even come out of the fitting room!

    There is progress on some fronts—particularly for younger shoppers. Some department stores have added a junior-plus collection with a stylish, youthful vibe. But for those of us who prefer to keep our midriff covered and would rather our clothes not scream, “look at me” the choices are still somewhat limited.

    Here at we play to a different audience.  The seasoned, sophisticated woman who has developed her own sense of style will find a variety of on-trend pieces.Pair these with basic black slacks to create outfits with a definite wow factor. Use our Shop-by-Shape feature to find styles that flatter your unique shape. Be yourself—be beautiful!

  • Fashion101 PLUSTM

    The Holiday Look

    Posted: Dec 17 2014

    “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” 

    From November to January is when holiday parties are overflowing with luxurious fabrics, rich colors, and fancy beading.  It’s the time when you wear garments that you would just wear for special occasions.  This week we will explore some gorgeous looks for the holiday, how to work in a little day-to-night for that office party and some fun trends you can use to really bring glamour to your look.

    The basis of any fabulous holiday look is in the fabric and/or beading.  Metallic fabrics bring a little something extra to a regular dress.  By metallic I mean fabric that has a shimmery undertone.  This will give your frock some pizazz, but won’t have you looking like you are dressed in tin foil.  Sequins are a classic holiday look.  With sequins you want to be sophisticated, especially if you are going to a work-related event.  Choose sequins in jewel tones or classic black.  Smaller sequins look a little more expensive as well.  Here’s a tip: Wear sequins on the smallest portion of your body.  You won’t emphasize larger parts of your body, but you’ll still be able to wear this fun beading with confidence.

    A lot of holiday parties are associated with work and more often than not they generally are scheduled right behind the work day.  So how do you take that ornate frock and tone it down for the day time?  I say add a cardigan or a blazer.  Pick a subdued color that will tone down your dress, like black, cream, or gray.  Pair with a pair of flats to make the look day time appropriate.  When the night falls and the eggnog is flowing, toss the cardigan/blazer, add some pumps (satin, velvet, or suede are always fun for the holidays), and incorporate a red lip. This will take you from working girl chic to after 5 sassy.

    There are some extravagant extra touches that you can add into your look to really take it to the next level of holiday fashion.  A fur muff or a stole is an elegant way to turn up your outfit.  Don’t think real fur is budget friendly or kind to our furry friends, go faux!   Faux fur is all the rave and is comparable to the real thing for a fraction of the price.  Find the perfect ornate clutch. Clutches decked out with beads or in alluring fabrics such as velvet and metallic make for the perfect accessory to compliment your party dress.  Finally and most importantly: the jewelry.  A statement necklace, a jeweled cuff, or chandelier earring are all perfect additions, but don’t go too far.  Pick one centerpiece accessory for your holiday look as you don’t want anyone to mistake you for a Christmas tree.

    Unfortunately, that’s our time again for today.  Next week we will talk about another hot topic.  Until next time, stay stylish!

  • Fashion101 PLUSTM

    Is it Velvet?

    Posted: Dec 01 2014

    Velvet is one of my favorite holiday fabrics and it’s the appropriate time to wear it.  Velvet, although a classic fabric, should generally be reserved for the fall season.  The beautiful plush fabric speaks of luxury, class, and style, but doesn’t necessarily have the price tag to match.  Who doesn’t want to look expensive for less?  Let’s dive into the indulgent world of velvet.

    The classic velvet dress always seems like the easiest way to go when wearing velvet, but it’s definitely not the only option.  There are so many other choicesthat can be added into one’s wardrobe.  A velvet blazer is a beautiful choice that can be worn to both the office and out on a night on the town.  A pair of velveteen pants would also be fabulous for body types with smaller legs, such as the apple, rectangle, and inverted triangle.  Although other body types may wear them, the nature of the fabric would cause damage to pants on the inside thigh when body types with prominent legs, because of friction.  I suggest skirts for the hourglass and pear shapes.

    When it comes to velvet accessories, jewel tones are king.  That’s where you will get your most luxurious looks.  Black isn’t the only color to choose from.  Beautiful Bordeaux, a rich sapphire blue, or ravishing ruby red will all get you noticed and have you resembling royalty.  Steer clear of colors that can make the fabric look tawdry, such as, pinks, yellows, and pastel blues.  Such colors generally happen in the velour casual suits.   Just don’t do it!

    Forget about blue suede shoes, what about blue velvet shoes?  Accessories are the solution to seamlessly incorporate the plush fabric.  Scarves with unique pattern and lush texture are sure to make an ensemble both stunning and interesting.  A velvet clutch would definitely set off that holiday soiree look.  You can even sneak in a velvet bow tie for your guy for that perfect party touch.  Everyone deserves to get in on this fabulous fabric.

    The key to wearing this fabric exquisitely is to, regardless of cost, to make it look luxurious.  Velvet can go wrong really fast.  The more plush the fabric is, the richer it looks.  Steer clear of crushed velvet and velour track suits.  These particular looks make it difficult to achieve that sophisticated polished look.

    That is our time again for this week.  Next week we will be talking about picking that perfect holiday dress.  Until next time…stay stylish!

  • Fashion101 PLUSTM

    Leather Chic

    Posted: Nov 15 2014

    This fall, Leather has made a comeback in a powerful, yet sophisticated way.  You can find pieces in pants, tops, skirts, dresses, and even shorts.  This post will be about wearing leather in the most fabulous way and will also give you some tips on what to steer clear of.

    The Leather Skirt – If you are adding leather to your wardrobe a leather skirt is one of those key pieces that will really complete your closet.  Cuts to look out for are the pencil skirt and the flare skirt.  Watch your hemlines, as well. A bad hemline can turn your sophisticated intentions into a biker girl image in a split second.  Make sure your hemline is at least to the knee, preferably right below the knee.  Well placed hemlines on any skirt are an easy way to add a touch of class.  Tip: Don’t be afraid to go faux.  There has been so much progress in the look and feel of faux leather.  Pick just the right faux and it could almost pass for the real thing.  When choosing faux, look for leather with less shine and that is thick to touch.  This will help you choose the most expensive looking faux.

    The Leather Pants – These are tricky. Surprisingly many are offered in quite a few places, such as DKNY and Lane Bryant.  Pants for plus size are a hard fit, but leather pants for plus size are almost impossible.  Retailers came up with putting leather in the front and a stretch jersey (think leggings) in the back.  This makes wearing leather pants easy.  Leather pants are not for the fashion faint at heart, wearing leather pants will take you into style stardom.  Pair with a blazer and pumps for that commanding look.

    The Leather Top – Leather tops have been popping up everywhere and I think they are an excellent option for those who want to participate in the leather trend, but just want to get their feet wet and not dive all the way in.  Peplum tops are a perfect way to explore this option with little commitment and all the style.

    While choosing the perfect leather frock, remember a few things.  Steer clear of loud leather colors.  It’s great for shoes, but when it comes to clothes it can look a bit cheesy.  When choosing colored leather, pick rich tones such as burgundy, midnight blue, and a deep plum.  A leather piece can be an investment that you will wear for years to come.  Learn how to care properly, so that it’s worth the investment.  Leather from head to toe is a “no no,” unless you are in a biker gang.  There is such a thing of too much of a good thing.  Unfortunately, that is our time again.  Until our next fashion topic…stay stylish.