Category: Style

Spandex, Feathers and Glitter, Oh My!

Folks it is Labor Day, also known as the unofficial end of summer, and here in Brooklyn that can only mean one thing; West Indian Day Parade! While I am not normally a reveller of the Parkway madness that is playing mass I thought some of those who have never seen the parade, a look at this year’s costumes. I happen to be lucky enough to live on the “warm-up” route for the parade as the bands start pumping up the music and the crowd on their way to the official start line on the parkway.

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Now I tried to keep the images as PG as I possibly could, unfortunately that also meant the best photos could really be included, sucks I know but I tried.

One thing that is undeniable is that as dressed or as undressed as some of the women are, you have to admit seeing all these women of all color, shapes and sizes, strutting their stuff under the HOT sun (if you happen to be Jamaican -H for accurate translation, ha ha ha!) is inspiring, so take a lesson and ring out the summer with confidence!

Until next time,

Sabrina

 

 

 

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I’m 24 and Starting My First Job; Help!

Trying to forget the major crap hole my life feels like at the moment, I will admit, has been a daily process and I have been struggling about what I should post about this week. That is when it hit me. One way to forget my troubles is to delve myself into the troubles of others and hopefully give a few helpful tips to help someone else. So here I have another question, from one of my favorite sources XOJane:

The Question:
This might seem stupid, but I’m starting a new job, and I’m really anxious about general office policy. I’m going to be a staff accountant for a Midwestern hotel management company – and my second week will be out-of-town, staying in a hotel in a big Midwestern city, alone.
I was never given an official manual, like I have been at other positions – I’m expected to show up one day to do my HR paperwork, and then begin training the next day. I know it sound superficial, but most of my questions are just sort of basic office things that I actually don’t know:
-What is generally accepted business attire? I’m 24 and the new position is as an accountant. Does it vary between offices? Areas of the country? Or between types of accounting? What should I do if no one tells me???
-What should I expect for discussions of benefits and the like? Am I supposed to try to bargain for the best? How do I know what’s reasonable?
-What will I do for lunch? I know this sounds lame, but I live five minutes from the corporate office. I don’t want to go home and ignore everyone, but how do you get into a lunch group??
Help a girl out! Any advice you readers can give me is appreciated – including (and especially) advice on first week outfits and behavior. Help me start off professionally!

My Answer:
There probably is nothing that sucks quite as much as being the “New Kid on the Block” besides the feelings of excitement and adventure that I am sure are there some where. One also has to contend with the nerves and uncertainty that sometimes feel like they will overwhelm you and you will end up tripping on a piece of carpet in front of everyone and spilling your drink all over your new outfit and have to spend the rest of the day smelling like hot sticky sweetness and looking as though you can’t be trusted with an “adult” cup (I’m having a flashback i think) but don’t worry from my misery I’m sure you can find triumph and avoid some less than desirable situations.

First off, congrats on your grown-up job! Score one for you!

Alright enough of that on to your questions:

– My general rule of thumb (no matter where you are working) for your first week of work when it comes to attire; “Always go for a more formal look.” While I am sure that during the interview process (if it was in the office) you got the chance to see some of the other people you will be working with and what they were wearing, take a cue from them and just go more formal by one notch. So if everyone is in a relaxed business casual; go in wearing business casual by adding a blazer or a cardigan shell to your look. Continue along this vein until you get a real feel for the work place and what rules and aren’t acceptable for the dress code. Remember your new, your coworkers have been there longer and probably have some leeway as to what they can get away with but YOU just got the job so put in some more effort in the beginning. So that means no matter how nice your jeans are STAY AWAY and opt for mix-and-match separates that aren’t; too tight, too short, too revealing and derogatory (I shouldn’t have to add that last one but just in case) If you want them to take you seriously then dress accordingly.

– Now when it comes to the discussion of benefits normally that happens before you receive the offer when they talk to you about the salary being offered. So if there was a second interview that would have been the time to talk salary, PTO (Paid Time Off) etc. But since your next time in the office will be to do your paperwork you can assume that has already been set in stone and they will probably offer you the standard for the position. It seems that this will be an entry-level position for you so you really don’t have a leg to stand on thus there will be no negotiation. Come back in a year (probably more like 3-5) when you have some more experience with the company and something that only you can bring to the table and I am sure they will be willing to talk numbers with you then. Also expect to receive your employees “Handbook” when you go to fill out your paperwork, if not then ask if there is an orientation for new employees (I have worked at places where I didn’t have orientation until about 3 weeks on the job, so it happens.)

-Since you will only be at headquarters for one week before heading on the road, it is most important for you to try to break the ice with your co-workers as soon as possible. So don’t even THINK about going home for lunch! What more perfect time then when everyone is filling their bellies than to pick their brains on the latest goings-ons in the office? When you go in for paperwork, ask if you can take a walk around the office, if that isn’t appropriate (although I don’t really see why not but what do I know?) see if there is a communal lunch area or are people eating at their desks (note if there are a take-out menus hanging around if you go in the morning) or ASK HR where people normally go for lunch in the area. You never know your company might be one of the few that have a cafeteria where everyone goes to eat or they brown bag it for lunch and gather in common areas. Basically my point here is to not close yourself off from people and use the limited amount of time you have before going out of office to ask for opinions and tips from people who have already been the new kids.

We have all been where you are and will probably be there again so don’t freak over the small stuff and just breathe, it will all work out I promise. Don’t forget to check out my Tips from the CEO’s Office post to get some more helpful tips for surviving the work place.

Well then, until next time folks!
Sabrina

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Hye Sun Mun and Williamsburg: #OOTD

One thing I have to admit about NYC is that there is never a shortage of people, both young and old, chasing the dream! From the street hustler’s dancing in the subway cars to the old dudes shuffling cards on the sidewalk. Everyone here is chasing some dream and it is an inspiration to be amongst them.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet an up and coming designer Hye Sun Mun at the Kai D boutique, (Can you call it a boutique if it offers menswear? Anywho), in Williamsburg to take a closer look at her women’s line. I was originally called out to assist on her video shoot to promote her line but it was great to see her at work styling her models and learning more about the whole process of shooting promotional videos.

While her line isn’t exactly what I would call full-figured friendly; its flowing lines and old world feel will have droves rushing to buy her pieces. I managed to get a couple of pics during the shoot to give you a behind the scenes look:

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Kai D Store Front window in Williamsburg
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Trying to sneak in a pic here, ha
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Model in the Colleen Dress, in fore ground

Since I was already out and about on the Williamsburg water front helping out with the shoot, I figured I may as well gets some snaps of myself and why not? I had gotten early too!

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Dress: ASOS/ Shoes: Xhilaration via Target

I can’t wait to see the final product for the shoot but I know either way it was great meeting a few fellow dream chasers and I look forward to whatever pieces Hye Sun Mun cooks up for the next season. Maybe I can talk her into a larger size range…hmmm.

We will see what happens next. Until then!
Sabrina

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Better Late Than Never; ELOQUII & Redbook Event

Yes, I know that I am soooooo late with my account of the ELOQUII and Redbook’s private shopping event in celebration of Full Figured Fashion Week but it is as they say, Better late than never right? And granted there may be dozens of other posts about this on various sites you never got the chance to hear it from me now did you?

Speaking of late, I was late to the event, of course all because I had to go to work that day! (Damn you insufferable need of money!) Which caused some technically issues with wardrobe for the event (Another damn you to Companies Code of Conduct rules stifling my fashion expression!) After wracking my brain for what to wear to the of it and carry during the long day at work, I settled on the Alice & You Grid Print Shift Dress via SimplyBe that I got at the #ShopandSwapNYC event the week before. Talk about great timing.

The event was held in the penthouse suite of The London Hotel in the heart of the tourist central aka Midtown Manhattan and while that can be a nightmare at the best of times traversing the over crowded streets full of sky gazers in the summer heat with multiple bags in 4 inch sling back wedges was a whole new level of tiring. But thankfully I reached without causing permanent damage to myself or any tourists so I would count that as a successful journey!

Reaching the pent house level of the hotel I was pleasantly greeted by members of the event team and was directed to enjoy taking a look at the samples from the ELOQUII’s Line as well as the bar, tarot readings and manicure’s. After snagging myself a refreshing drink from the bar, and navigating through the crush of the fabulously dressed, I headed up to the second floor to see if my interests could be piqued by the line.

That’s where I found it, my fave piece from the entire collection available for viewing, the Studio Embellished Artisan Jacket which is available for purchase on the ELOQUII site. The jacket stuns with its funky print and edgy embellishments, I’m a sucker for metal hardware on anything! Who knew I was such a pro a pattern mixing the lightweight jacket is perfect for early summer in the city and took my outfit from school girl prep to artist chic! This piece is a must-have for my wardrobe!

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Artisan jacket/ Tunic Dress

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Necklace: Old H&M/ Lippy: Ted Gibson Beauty in OLAN

It was great getting to meet everyone from the brand and all my fellow bloggers and plus size models. It was definitely event not to be missed and if you did don’t worry there will be more to see! Of course don’t let that stop you from heading over to ELOQUII to check out all of the other awesome items.

featured image for this post c/o ELOQUII

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Pardon the Delay in the Programming

Hey All,

 

I know it has been a little while since I have posted but to be completely honest things have been hectic on my end. From my day job, to starting this blog and attending events (got the chance to attend an event for Full Figured Fashion Week!) to things at home and new side projects (Videos?) in the works it has become a little overwhelming. So, I had to take some time for myself and take a bit of a mental holiday to just enjoy the sunshine on my face and the wind blowing through my new twists (an experiment, pics to follow soon!) so that is what I have been doing and I am now trying to get back into the swing of scheduling and managing my time to better accomplish my laundry list of things that I need to do.

If you haven’t already you should head over to my new Instagram profile where you can get an up to date look at what I’m doing, eating, baking and seeing. I am still trying to figure this whole thing, not just Instagram but social media as a whole don’t judge me!, out so be patient with me. Honestly it all just has me feeling like an old lady with a hand full of thumbs but there is hope yet or at least that is what my friend Dee keeps telling me. I think she lies but stranger things have happened!

What to look forward to here at The Un-Life:

  1. Review of Ted Gibson’s New Beauty Line!
  2. Coverage from Eloquii and Redbook’s Event for Full Figured Fashion Week!
  3. My #1 Summer Make-up Must Have!
  4. Brooklyn/NYC summer events (Lost Circus and Afro-Punk!

So don’t forget to keep up with all the exciting happenings here at The Un-Life and if you wan’t to check out some of my other opinionated musings check out my posts for Eat More Cake and Fe-line (posting in July, will provide links later) both of which are based out of the UK! Look at me I’m going global ya’ll!


Anticipate!

Sabrina

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A Frump Girl’s Confessional

In starting this blog, I had intended to take the issues that I have been dealing with head on in the hopes that my experiences would help others like myself who may lost their way or were too afraid to try.

And while I have had no issue doling out advice when it comes to; employment (or the lack there of), body positivity and the issues facing Millennials. There is one very real issue to me that I have managed to avoid this far:

I. Am. A. Frump. Girl.

Not that there is anything wrong with enjoying the freedom of elastic waist bands and sports bras nor is it a problem that one’s entire wardrobe consists of sweat pants and T-shirts from when they were a larger size! (It allows for more layering, HELLO!) But to be completely honest, I have not been completely comfortable about it for a while. I even refused to take pictures or go out with friends. At first I thought that after losing some weight I would suddenly be this beautiful/fashionable butterfly and all the boys would want to come to the yard! It didn’t happen that way, sure men noticed my slimmer figure as I walked down the street but and a few even asked for my number and tried to get into my pants! (oh hell no! I’m a lady!) After all of my hard work trying slimming down I still found myself piling on the layers, pulling my hood up and fading into the background of NYC streets.

And it nothing to do with the size on the back of my jeans (when I wore them) but it was a seed that had been planted in my brain sometime ago that if I wasn’t classically beautiful then I was disgusting to look at and so I hid. I am was hiding myself; from the judgmental (maybe just in my mind) eyes of the people on the street, from my friends, from my family and even myself.

Now, I have decided that enough is enough, it is time for me to be Unashamed. Unafraid and Unapologetic about who I am and what I have to say about my personal style and fashion and live up to everything that I say here on this blog! So screw you haters, Sabrina is here!

Which leads to what I hope will be a new series within this blog, following this post of my personal style from A Frump Girl’s Confessional, where I will be digging deep into the back of my closet as well as into my wallet to share my fashion story with you all! Anticipate it! I’m sure it will prove to be very interesting…….. I hope.

Check out my Polyvore page to see what I’m currently drooling over!

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How to Look and Feel Confident in Clothes?

Here is another question I found on my new favorite site XoJane, this one from a young woman trying to figure out the basics of dressing to impress when your body type may be less than impressive:

I need help managing my image. Externally, I mean. Internally, I’m happy with how I “look,” so to speak, but externally, I feel like a total slob. It might sound a little arrogant, but I’d like if my appearance, fashion-wise, could be as cool as I think I am…
The problem is, I’m totally clueless about dressing myself. I know what looks good on other people, however when it comes to my own clothes, I always find myself unsatisfied. My body shape is kind of odd in that I’m a bit taller than average, slim, and very top heavy. I don’t feel comfortable in tops that show off my cleavage, nor in bottoms that reveal too much of my long legs. I also dislike baggy clothes, or clothes that cover up too much. No matter what I’m wearing, either I feel like I’m being unprofessional and revealing too much of my body or unfeminine because I’m completely covered up in something unflattering.
The clothes I’m most comfortable in are skinny jeans and men’s white undershirts: in that sort of outfit, my legs get accentuated a little, and the curves on my chest are neither completely invisible nor directly in anyone’s face. But I know I can’t wear those clothes out, and to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed of them. I want to look like a put-together, confident woman. My clothes don’t do me justice, and it’s completely my own fault.
I don’t really like accessories, make-up, or cute hairstyles. I’ve always been pretty tomboyish, in the sense that I don’t like to spend too much time getting ready; I’m definitely a throw-it-on-and-go kind of girl. I like dresses and skirts, but I feel like they show too much of my body, so I can’t really wear them. I also like to feel like I can run if I need to (what if there’s a spontaneous butterfly that needs chasing?), so skirts that are too long or too tight are no good for me.
To me, my body is a very private thing. I love showing myself off to my partner, but I don’t want the world staring at me and seeing too much. At the same time, I want to look the best that I can, and I know that at this point I just don’t. How can I dress myself better? Please give me some advice.

My Answer:

Despite you saying at first that you are “happy with the way you look” it doesn’t really come across as such in the rest of your statement, there is just a whole lot of negativity going on in there that I think you may want to re-evaluate. We all know that we are our own worst critic don’t be too hard at your reflection in the mirror.

Now remember that there are parts of everyone’s body that might not be “ideal” I mean come on not even the Human Barbie naturally has the perfect body and not everyone has the means or conviction to go under the knife. So how do people do it? How do they manage to put themselves together day after day as they go out to face the world? Fashion, which doesn’t mean that you need to stalk the runway or buy pricey duds but it does mean learning about what works for you and your body.

You say that you are top heavy with long slim legs, next you go out shopping try on the popular Peplum tops to pair with your favorite skinny jeans and a cute heels or flats. It is an easy grab-and-go addition to your wardrobe and what it also does is create balance and a feminine shape for your body.

Peplum Top from French Connection
Peplum Top from French Connection

Another item that you might want to explore is the A-Line midi skirt. It too with give you a fuller bottom half as well as give you some modesty while still being comfortable and easy to wear matched with a Graphic tee and a pair high-top All Stars or light loafers with a leather jacket.

Image c/o collegefashion.net- Outfit Inspired by Rachel
Image c/o collegefashion.net- Outfit Inspired by Rachel

The point is you can’t be afraid of trying new things. Each time you go shopping make it a point to try something that you wouldn’t normally go for. I mean what is the worst that can happen? You put it on and you don’t like it? Fine take it off and try something else, no biggie! Also if your shopping with a friend bring someone who is supportive of you, will give you an honest opinion and whose style you admire. So leave your man at home and work it out!

Your style should always say something about you, and why should it say anything but “I am fabulous, confident and I make this look easy!”

Don’t forget to check out xoJane for more questions like this and other fun and informative articles!

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Is Body Positivity Even Possible?

So in my search for inspiration for posts for The Un-Life, I ran across xoJane’s advice column, where they allow the readers to answer/advise, and thought that I would weigh in on the discussion.

The Question:
I’m 18 and three weeks ago I got a breast reduction. I was overjoyed going from a 32H to a 32D (or thereabouts), but after the initial shock of a lighter load and a higher rack wore off, I become increasingly disillusioned with my body. I was never an exceptionally chubby kid, but for whatever reason I was teased for my weight starting in preschool. This, coupled with a family who decidedly never complimented my appearance (I think they did it out of love. You know a pretty-is-not-everything kind of thing? They’ve always praised my intellect, creativity, etc) left me feeling unmentionably ugly and fat. I experimented with eating disorders in middle school, and eventually worked my way out of it, but was still left with the feeling that I was horribly unattractive. I’m only 5’3″ and weigh 135 pounds–which I realize is not overweight at all, but I carry most of my fat in my stomach, leaving me with a pooch that my mom sometimes says makes me look pregnant. In the beginning, it was only stomach I hated but as I’ve gotten older its spread to my pasty skin, my round baby face and lack of cheekbones, my smile in pictures, the blackheads on my nose, even my toes. I tried to buy new clothes post-reduction but they seemed to highlight every one of these features. The majority of my friends seem have grown into beautiful, womanly, confident, semi-adults. I on the other hand feel flabby with the insecurities of a preteen. I am wondering if body positivity is even possible or if I should stop deluding myself that I will ever be pretty (or moreover, feel pretty) and try to focus on other, more important parts of myself? When I asked my mom for advice she just told me to go on a diet and workout more.

My Answer:

The first thing to realize is that Body Positivity, is a journey, FOR EVERYONE! Not only for those who are on the heavier side but also for those “semi-adult” looking friends who you are comparing yourself to, and that is where you should start; by NOT comparing yourself! The human body is a varied and wonderful thing and should be honored as such!

I found myself in a similar place after losing a significant amount of weight and instead of enjoying the new body that I was in I was standing in front of the mirror pinching, poking and criticizing the areas that I felt just weren’t “good enough”. Which led me to burying the body I had worked so hard to achieve under layers of clothes and doing the best that I could to go unnoticed by others.

But what is good enough? The women on the cover of magazines? Hell, they don’t even look like that! With the amount of articles online about #photoshopfails in popular ads I think it is about time we stop fixating on those images for standards for own bodies. Be your own standard of beauty. You are uniquely and beautifully you!

Alright enough of my preaching. Here is what I suggest, start small: everyday find something that you Do like about your self. Maybe it is the color of your eyes or the shape of your mouth if so, slap a fierce lipstick on it! Start building confidence from there. Be kind to yourself, you don’t have to love everything but you have to start liking something!

Look for Inspiration! Use the internet as a tool to build yourself up start reading body positivity blogs (or start your own!) that detail loving the body your in and being unafraid to disregard societies rules for what can/can’t wear or should/shouldn’t look like! I feel talking to others as well as surrounding yourself with positive people who understand (sympathetic/empathetic) where you are coming from will definitely help also wither that is a professional or a friend. It doesn’t hurt, I promise!

If you still feel like you would like to make some changes with your start incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine; eat healthy, drinking more water and moderate exercise will not only having your looking “better” but feeling better as well.

All in all, you are not hopeless, Body Positivty is very real and obtainable but the road to getting there all starts with you!

To see the original post, the comments readers left in response, and other questions like this visit XOJane

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