Philosophy in Blue

Although I pursue photography as a creative outlet and enjoy taking pictures of others, I hate having pictures taken of myself.

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That’s hard, considering I’m a makeup artist and kinda, well, have to take pictures of myself in order to sell my services. Selfies are easy, though. It’s just my face. My skills are pretty good. I’m pretty much the selfie queen! I bet y’all don’t know how many I take before y’all see the two or three I ultimately post, though.

It’s a lot more than just two or three, let me tell you.

Is it a confidence issue? Maybe. I was always one who hid as a teenager. Even with all of the work I’ve done to help build myself up, I still use the fact I have such a fancy camera to stay out of pictures.

I mean, someone has to take the pics, right?

At any rate, it’s hard to proclaim myself a fashion blogger and y’all rarely ever get to see me in any fashion.

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I can’t keep allowing myself to hide like this. Even with the strides I’ve made to put myself out there, go out and socialize, make some new friends and have some new experiences…I still shy away from something as simple…as a camera.

Something’s got to give.

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I figure that in some cases, the best thing to do to combat something that scares you is to just do it. I called up a talented photographer friend of mine to come and take some pics of me for the blog. So y’all could see me. So I could really see myself.

And maybe not be so scared.

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Don’t get me wrong. I got some hangups. I looked at the shots like…but my belly. But I’m so wide. But, but, but. Just all types of self-depreciating thoughts flowing through my head. I wouldn’t let anyone close to me speak about themselves like that, but that’s the fun part about internal dialogue. No one knows how I was ripping myself down but me.

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When I got home and got a good look at things, though? I won’t tell y’all I did a 360 on my thoughts. I didn’t. But I can say what I love about myself. I can say I looked amazing. I can say that, when it’s genuine and I’m truly amused, I have a nice smile. When I showed some folks the pictures, I was surprised that the ones I didn’t think were the most flattering were the most popular.

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Like this one of me smiling. Cause with these braces, I don’t. I’m still very self conscious about both them and my teeth. Stephenie, my photographer, said “Okay. Let’s get one of you smiling.” Me: *stare* *skeptic look* Her: “I know, I know. But come on, smile.” I gave her the most half-assed smile I could come up with. She took the pic, and it looked just as tortured as could be. I hate smiling on purpose, I really do. A few minutes later, however, I’m cracking up at something Stephenie said. She seized the moment and snapped.

C says: “Your smile is radiant!”

J, my coworker, goes “That is just a genuine smile! You look so good!”

My coworker looks at the pic and goes, “Your niece has your smile. That’s so cool!”

My niece does have my smile. She’s just adorable.

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Maybe I’m pretty cute, too. I’m getting there. Slowly, but surely.

Outfit details: I’m wearing a really, really old (6-7 years?)Lane Bryant sweater (here’s something similar), Lane Bryant Genius Fit Trouser Jeans, and Nike Sneaker Wedges (on sale!)

Photo Credits: Stephenie Valentino’

Makeup Looks Positivity Stories

Fatshion Friday: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

I certainly hope you’ll be getting all dolled up and going out for the night! I know I am.

January 1, 2015 I was happily dancing away in a club with my friends, and I’m looking to do that all over again. Now, I told y’all about all my mishaps getting my outfit. This year, I’ve planned way better…I have my outfit already! At least, I have the basics already: I’m doing a romper, tights, and red heels. All I need now are accessories, and next Friday I’ll have a post at the ready with some great ideas for finishing off your look.

But, you need to have the look first, right? Let me show you some of my ideas for an awesome night out at any budget!

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From Ashley Stewart.

I have come a long way from that girl who refused to do a romper or a jumpsuit. I didn’t think they worked for my body type because I carry most of my weight in my belly. Key here is fit. Take the time to try it out if you can, or make sure that there’s some stretch in it if you have to get it online. This look appeals to my practical side (what if I want to twerk a little? Now I’m not gonna be overexposed!) and to my sexy side (love the cut and sparkle). Because I like to define my waist, I’d do a belt with it, but do whatever makes you the most comfortable and makes you feel the most gorgeous.

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From ASOS.

If I had to choose between a romper or a jumpsuit, I’d likely pick the romper because I love my legs. They’re so shapely! ๐Ÿ˜€

Had to have a self-love moment. Sorry, not sorry. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love this because of the embroidery. Because it’s mixed metallics, you could do gold or silver (or both!) jewels with this and a bold shoe. I mean, what better time to sparkle than New Year’s, right?

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From Monif C.

Ok, so maybe the soiree you’re attending doesn’t call for glitz and glam. Or, maybe you’re just not that into sparkle. I love this piece because it can be glammed up or left as is for a subtle elegance that looks good no matter the venue. A statement necklace and a nice heel is all you need to make this complete.

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From Monif C.

Does your night out call for all over sparkle? (Yep, I work in extremes, folks! :D) This dress is perfect. Beautiful cut and enough glittery happiness that calls for minimal extras outside of a nice heel and clutch. I’m all about easy!

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From Jibri.

In need of something dramatic? Bring it on with this number. I don’t normally go for sheer paneling, but I have to say I love how it just gives a little extra coverage without being too heavy. I’d do a metallic shoe and bangles with this because I believe more is more, but styling as seen in the pic is perfect for just enough drama for the evening.

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From Eloquii.

Oh, this dress. Story time!

I had every intention of purchasing this dress for New Year’s, right? I’d planned out the accessories (I was gonna add a bow tie and do red shoes) and everything, and put it in my cart. Y’all. By the time I’d gotten a chance to sign in and place the order, it was all sold out. I stalked the site for a few days, but usually when an item is gone from Eloquii, it’s gone. I sniffled a bit and found something else I liked, and ordered it.

And then…it came back in stock. During a non-pay week, and I’m flying out of town soon.

Sigh.

Oh, well. There’s no reason y’all can’t reap the benefits of the restock! You could style it as I described above, dress it down with a jeweled oxford, throw on some tights and a brightly colored pump, whatever! I love this dress just for its versatility.

And there you have it! My picks for a beautiful and stylish New Year. Next week, I’m going to talk about shoes and accessories for the big night. Happy Weekend!

Retail Therapy Shopping Stories

Halloween Costumes for the Curvy Girl

Halloween is coming. Do you have your costume yet?

No?

Well. I’m here to help. I’ve said before how much I adore Halloween because of being able to dress up as someone/something else for the night. I still haven’t quite decided what I want to be (and the clock is winding down), but I’m here to remind you that you don’t have to break the bank for a good costume if you don’t want to.

Seriously.

Take my costume last year, for example. We were allowed to dress up at work, and so I wanted to do something safe for work, but still show off my skills. I decided to go as a butterfly garden.

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I didn’t spend any money for this costume!

Everything I wore for this look was in my closet: flower dress, flower necklace, owl earrings. The wings there are printer paper and are stuck on with eyelash glue (get the full story on the look in this post.) It was easy and it looked really good for a last minute idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

In that same vein, you’ll find some of the best inspiration in your closet. Ok, maybe you have a flower dress, but butterflies aren’t your thing. You could also add some wings and be a fairy, just add sparkly makeup. Plain dress? You could be any iteration of cat you can think of, or something else depending on the color of the dress. For example: yellow dress? Add a bow on your right side, and add black eyes and a mouth made of either felt or construction paper. You’re now Ms. Pac Man.

In fact, one of my favorite costume ideas is taking something you already have in the closet and doing some dramatic wigs and makeup to go with it. A couple of suggestions of YouTube tutorials:

I adore her work, and I’m trying to get to her level!

I’ve also seen the dots done with rhinestones instead…just another option. ๐Ÿ™‚

This look is similar to the one I did up there, just with flower petals instead of wings!

Would you rather purchase a costume? Makes sense. It’s a lot easier to a certain extent. Party City, Torrid, and Hips And Curves all have great costume ideas (not an exhaustive list) and rush shipping if you can’t get it in store. Here are a few of my favorites:

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From Party City. I have a Jack Skellington mug, so naturally this costume caught my eye.

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From Torrid. Have a more elegant party? Go as Loki and add some gold horns!

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From Hips and Curves, and my favorite! How fancy is this for a masquerade ball?

Whew! I could talk about fun costumes all day if you let me, but I’ll leave y’all to decide what catches your eye. Besides, I have to come to a decision on what I’m doing for Halloween myself. I’m thinking something with spiders.

See you Friday!

Makeup Looks Shopping

Fatshion Friday: SmartGlamour Body Positive Fashion Show

So, last Friday, I had the opportunity to head out to the city to see a Body Positive Fashion Show that showcased Smart Glamour’s latest collection.

And I thought…body positive? This sounds awesome!

It totally was! There was so much diversity on the runway, from race to body type to height. Everyone looked amazing and I definitely saw some items I could see myself in–mostly because I was able to see myself represented on the runway. And the best part? At the end of the show, when the models did their final walk, they carried signs that read “All bodies are good bodies.” Such an affirming end to an awesome presentation!

Clothing companies? Take note. This is how you appeal to ALL of your customers.

Ok, I’m done preaching. ๐Ÿ˜€ Let’s get to the fashion:

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This burgundy number was my fave look of the night. Doesn’t it scream “holiday party”?

So, remember I needed some help picking out a Lane Bryant outfit? I wore the winner to this event:

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Jacket, Shirt, Jeans, all Lane Bryant. Shoes by JustFab.

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And a closeup! Lipstick is MAC’s Eugenie with a little gloss on top.

So, I basically ended up blending elements from all three outfits. I loved the moto jacket, so I had to have it. I loved the jeans, so I had to have them. And I decided I didn’t want to be too dressy, so this embellished shirt was perfect (and we know how I feel about sparkle!) I did still get those awesome red shoes, though. They’ll be paired with a different outfit I have planned. Thank you all for your input!

Happy weekend, everyone!

 

Fashion Show Hair Makeup Looks Retail Therapy

New York Fashion Week Plus Recap

Hey y’all!

So, before my internet went all over the place, I had a chance to see some presentations during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

No, notย thoseย shows (although I’m working on it!) This was a different set of presentations, for plus size fashion. Hence the fancy name: NYFW+.

You already know how here I was for it! ๐Ÿ˜€

So, the shows I went to were different. It wasn’t like your standard runway show. The models walked out, of course, but instead of a strut, they stood and posed. Admittedly, I was a little confused, but it was also pretty cool, because as you went to take pictures, the models would give you your own pose.

So fancy. ๐Ÿ™‚

I know y’all came for the fashion. Let’s get to it!

First up: Eula Taylor of Twelve26.

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This was my favorite look from this collection. Isn’t that just..me?

The accessories she used were fabulous as well. All are by iLLASPARKZ:

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Next up: Ava Jones of Pheline.

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These are pants and I want them!

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I even loved the designer’s personal style (that’s her on the left.) Those are sequined harem pants!

And finally: Marco Hall. His collection was my favorite of the night!

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I need this romper. NEED.

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Stunning, right? Oh, and I looked pretty foxy myself:

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Lipstick is Euginie by MAC, necklace and earrings were $1.50 from a local shop.

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Jumpsuit from Lane Bryant, Shoes from JustFab.

I had an awesome time, and saw some equally awesome fashion!

 

Fashion Show Hair Makeup Looks

Fatshion Friday: Fierce and Casual

So, when we last left off, I showed y’all some of the awesome fashion that was shown at last weeks Full Figured Fashion Week Indie Show.

For once, I actually got a chance to snag some pics of my own fashion.

๐Ÿ˜€

So, for the fashion show, I went with classic black. I know, I normally don’t do black unless I’m at work, but this dress had been hanging in my closet collecting dust since January (please don’t judge me), so I figured I’d give it some shine. I paired it with a nice neutral eye, fro picked out and pinned up, and my favorite red lip:

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Dress: ASOS Curve (Sold Out), Shoes: Payless

Now, I had another few pictures of the dress that included more of that super cute bow detail, but let me tell y’all…see, I didn’t check the sheerness of that dress. So, slightly too sheer dress plus insanely bright lighting (for pics!) equals you can see allllllll my shaper and bra, y’all. Just, dammit, man. I think I would have done better to do a black shaper instead of a nude one, but yeah. Don’t be me, y’all. Check that BEFORE you leave your house. This picture was taken away from the theatre lighting near the red carpet, so you can’t see anything.

So, I also got to attend CurvyCon this past weekend as well. I love the idea of shopping and panels and wonderful bloggers in one place. In theory. In practice…well…it was loud, crowded, and not enough seats. I did have fun for the time I was there, and got to meet some awesome folks as well as touch base with some blogger boos. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since I knew I’d be doing a lot of pictures, I didn’t go super fancy. I just wanted to be comfy. So I did sneakers and a cute skirt, and kept my face natural.

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Sneaks from JustFab.

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Skirt from Eloquii (check out theย Midi Skirtsย here!)/Shirt from FeminineFunk

I had a great time last weekend, and looked fabulous doing it!

Hair Makeup Looks Retail Therapy Reviews

Fatshion Friday: Bathing Beauties

As you read this, I’m still throwing things in a bag for vacation.

Why yes, I told y’all I was prepping for this two weeks ago, and I’m still not done. Please don’t judge me!

๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway.

In celebration of me making the move to a warmer climate for a few days, I thought I’d put together a lookbook of some of the best styles I’ve seen so far. I was never really a bathing suit girl; deciding for the most part to stick with a tank and shorts. Coupled with the fact that I can’t swim, I figured there was no real need for a suit.

Well, lo these many years later, and I still can’t swim, but I love the beach, swimming pool (the shallow end), and hot tubs. I also have discovered how much I love being as close to naked as I can get in public, so bathing suits are a must. I shared a while ago one of the suits I’m bringing with me on my trip, and now I’m going to show you some other options.

Let’s get to it!

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From Swimsuits For All.

I prefer suits that are not basic black. In fact, if I can find it in as many loud colors as possible, it’s probably going to go home with me. I also prefer a top with some support, particularly because my boobs aren’t that big. If they aren’t big, they’re at least gonna sit up high–so this suit fits the bill! Bonus: it comes as a set (!!!!) and you can order different sizes for the top and bottom for the perfect fit. I actually have the one piece version of this, but sadly, it’s sold out (can’t even find it online anymore!)

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From Forever 21.

Like your suit strapless? This will be spectacular for you! I also love the peplum because this helps to add a little more camouflage to the belly if that’s your preference.

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From Swimsuits For All.

This colorful number has all of the straps and all of the colors. There’s a two piece version of this suit, which you can find here. I can’t decide which style I want, but this pattern is next on the list!

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From Forever 21. Top and Bottom sold separately.

Doesn’t this look like some fancy lingerie? That’s what initially drew me to this set. It’s beautiful and strappy, and even though you have to purchase each piece separately it isn’t ridiculously priced.

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From Monif C.

Hello, gorgeous! This would be my pool party suit–do you see how fierce she looks with those heels? OMG. I’d be working the party and you couldn’t tell me a thing! And I’d be sipping my drink while I sashayed, honey.

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From Ashley Stewart.

And what’s a post on bathing suits without something pretty to cover them up? I know, your bathing suit is fierce, but you may not want to wear it out to brunch. This pretty number keeps you pretty and covered till it’s time to strip back down and lay on the sand.

And there you have it! Some of the suits I’m loving for the season. Here’s a question for y’all: bikini or one piece? Tweet me @fashion_amateur with your answers!

Happy Weekend!

Retail Therapy Shopping

Fatshion Friday: Vacation Prep (And Bonus Story Time!)

I go on vacation in two weeks, and I am so excited! So excited that I am already piecing together outfits.

I’m not even going to be gone for long, but since I’m going somewhere warm (Myrtle Beach) I’m trying to fit in all of the skin baring outfits I can on this trip.

At least, until NYC can make up it’s mind to be one temperature.

Sigh.

Anyway.

I plan for this trip to be full of maxi dresses, sandals, and maybe only one or two new pieces (if I keep telling myself this, maybe I’ll stick to it!)

(No I won’t.)

Like, Eloquii dropped these shorts and I want them with this top:

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And I want to wear this dress from ASOS with some cute sneakers and a denim jacket:

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And since I’ll be at the beach, I already scooped this beautiful bikini from GabiFresh’s Swimsuits For All collection:

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Bonus for this: you can get two different sizes for top and bottom. So if you’re more bottom heavy (that’s me), you can go up a size there and get a different sized top. It’s super comfy, by the way. This will be the first time I’ve ever done a bikini, so I’m petrified. But I’m gonna rock it anyway!

And since I’m doing a bathing suit, I’ll be making an appointment for a bikini wax soon. I wonder how it will go this time…every time I go it’s a new experience.

Story Time!

So, the first time I went to get a wax, it was included as part of a massage package at a spa. What I should have done was get the massage AFTER the wax, but I had no idea what I was in for.

Once the massage therapist worked all the kinks out of my shoulders and back, I went to get my wax. The room was clean and smelled like lavender. Kind of like a friendlier OB/GYN office.

Here’s the thing: if you’re gonna get a wax, please be uninhibited. Because your waxer is going to get to know you really well. There’s no modesty; you’re about to spread for them. Now, not for nothing, my waxer was super sweet, and she never made me feel uncomfortable.

Until the actual waxing part. Listen. I’m not about to sugar coat this for y’all. This shit hurts. I don’t care the menu tells you about “no pain wax” they’re lying to you. There are waxes that don’t hurt as much (go for the chocolate wax for this), but you’re gonna feel it. What you want to do is actually speak to your waxer. They’re going to make convo, and it isn’t for the purposes of being polite (well, not the sole reason.) They’re distracting you. So speak. Cause once that first strip came off I think I cursed the earth for being round and the sky for being blue my nethers hurt so much.

Oh, and they’re gonna show you the hair they yanked off you. In case you were wondering.

So, she’s waxing and talking to me, telling me I had more hair in certain places than others, and then the line of the century came out her mouth.

“Ok, I need for you to put your leg on the wall.”

Put my leg on the wall?!

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I had contacts on in this scenario, though.

Please keep in mind this was my FIRST wax, and I wasn’t thinking that with my belly she may need some help getting to places. All I could think was the only time I hear that line it ain’t because I’m getting waxed. Then I think, well shit. Can I get a drink and some dinner first? We’re moving too fast!

But I complied, and I was nice and smooth after. Oddly enough, I end up having to contort in some shape or form every time I get a wax, too. By the way, they rub you with soothing oil after so you don’t feel so raw.

Hope you got a good laugh from today’s story! Happy weekend, y’all! ๐Ÿ˜€

Retail Therapy Shopping Stories

Stepping Out In Style

Ok, so you got all of your fancy underthings, right? Let’s talk about finding some pretty things to wear over them, shall we?

Now, if your Valentine’s Day has you doing, ahem, indoor activities, this post may not be for you. But for those of you looking to do brunch or dinner, keep reading for some pretty ideas!

Let’s get to it!

Are you going someplace fancy? I have the perfect dresses for you, and neither one of them are red! I know, red is traditional for VDay, but why not step out the box with another color? Like navy:

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From ASOS.

I can’t lie: I love this dress for it’s complex simplicity. There’s all these pretty sparkly stones on there, so you don’t need a necklace. If you do earrings, you can either pick a simple silver or gold hoop or get studs to match the stones on the dress. Add a cute shoe and you’re done! Fancy dressing doesn’t get easier than this.

For the more daring:

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From Monif C.

There is something about the swirl of colors in this dress that just makes me happy. With all of the cold, snowy weather we’ve had in these parts (with more to come,) I’m in the need of something that reminds me of springtime. This does it, and your curves are flawless. Win!

Maybe you’re doing brunch with friends, with your love, or by yourself. What’s the easiest thing in the world to dress up or down? Jeans! I’m a huge fan of these:

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From Old Navy.

A word on fit: get your size. I tend to size up to make sure my bum fits, and didn’t need to here. I need a belt to keep them in place (I prefer a looser feel), but if you want it properly form fitting: get your size. They’re super comfy, too.

So: basic jean. Check. Now, you need a top. Well, depending on how dressy you want to be, you’ve got options!

Dressy date? Try this:

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From Ashley Stewart.

I love this because flowy, but see how the accessories take it over the top? A cute bootie would pull this whole look right together.

Friend date? How about this top:

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From Lane Bryant.

This is an adorable, going out to the movies then dinner with the crew sweatshirt. Just fancy enough to go out in, but not too overdone.

Solo date? I adore this one:

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From Feminine Funk.

You can take yourself out to brunch and museum hop in this (maybe you’ll strike up a convo with someone with that phrase on there!) Or, you could sit on your sofa and enjoy your Netflix queue (and I’d ditch the jeans in favor of underpants in that case, but that’s just me.) Nothing like something comfy and cheeky in your rotation!

Hope you were able to get some cute outfit ideas from this! Also, keep in mind there’s nothing wrong with taking yourself out on a date in a fancy dress and heels. You have great style, show it off!

Retail Therapy Shopping

Pretty Flirty Sexy Things

One of my favorite things in the world is to shop for new underthings and lingerie. I love the feel and the sexiness.

Aww, yeah. ๐Ÿ˜€

I really never need a reason to pick up something new, but I love it when Valentine’s rolls around because there is just so much extraย to find.

Now, it’s way too cold in my neck of the woods for most of what I’m about to show you, but that won’t stop me from ordering at least a couple of things, nor should it stop you!

Let’s get to it!

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Both pieces are from Hips and Curves.

A shirt+panty combo is one of the most classic pairings in nighttime wear. It doesn’t take much to up that sexiness quotient by having the panties lacy and the shirt a button down. You can throw in a pretty bra like in the picture, or go without to up the allure.

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Set is from Lane Bryant (have to purchase separately.)

I am a sucker for a bra+panty combo, especially when it coordinates like this. If you happen to be into doing cute dress up moments for your significant other, toss this on with a pair of black pumps and shake it all over the room (and them!) Solo? I’d be grabbing my Nikon and tripod and having a photo shoot. Yes, seriously. I love how I look in underwear.

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From Torrid. It’s selling out fast!

Robes may be my second favorite thing in the world. I’d pair this one with the Lane Bryant set above and sit on my sofa and drink coffee. Great way to make yourself feel extra fancy in the morning and extra sexy at night.

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From Torrid. Also selling fast!

So, most people look at this and think special occasion. I look at this and think tonight’s pajamas. Now, true confession: most of the time I don’t sleep in anything because I’m always hot. But it’s pretty cold up here in NY, so as to not turn into a Popsicle, I have to put onย something, right? This works. Oh, and how cute is the flower lace detail?

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From Hips and Curves. So seductive!

I saved my favorite look for last. Satin shorts, corset, lacy bra, thigh highs? Now, I’d do this outfit for a partner, or if I were going to a pajama party (layered with the robe I mentioned earlier.) Lingerie isn’t normally meant to be shown off, but I’d be wanting to show this to any and everybody, it’s so fierce! This also warrants solo Nikon photo shoots. Cause, I mean, look at it.

And there you have it! Some of my favorite flirty things for Valentine’s Day and beyond. Keep in mind it’s never a bad idea to treat yourself to something beautiful; you deserve to look and feel wonderful every day!

Retail Therapy Shopping