Friday, March 30, 2012

Hipster or Homeless

Austin is known for many things, but having a reputation for being stylish is certainly not one of them.  One of the perks about being an Austinite is the casual atmosphere. Those in the booming tech industry are encouraged to wear shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops to their offices. Hipsters outnumber the rest of the population here, and hipster style is somewhat extreme in these parts. Just ask anyone who has ever played the popular game "Hipster or Homeless." Hipsters take their "I don't care" attitude a bit too seriously sometimes, and it is literally impossible to distinguish them from someone who has been living in a cardboard box for a year.

Even still, I admire the casual and comfortable style of many in the local hipster scene. After this year's SXSW, I took note of what was popular and attempted to incorporate some aspects into an ensemble that wasn't too "homeless chic" but was still cute and comfortable.

What resulted is what I call my "Hipster Costume."  It incorporates the three things that Austin hipsters are loving these days:

  1. Mustard
  2. Vintage
  3. Birds
I found this skirt during my latest Thrift Store Adventure for $3!  I love the pattern!

Top: Dots // Skirt: Thrifted // Belt: Asos // Shoes: Gifted // Satchel: From here // Necklace: F21

These super comfortable cork wedges passed the "can I trek across campus all day?" test.

I'll never tire of this satchel.

What do you think? Do I pass for Hipster or Homeless? ;-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My first Thrifting experience as an adult

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Texas Style Council blogger conference, which turned out to be a wonderful learning opportunity. The weekend consisted of parties, mentoring, a field trip to a thrift store, and a full day of informative panels.

Trying to be Vanna White. (Photos by Rocio)
On the last day of the conference, during the creative consumerism panel, I tried to speak out about how it felt to be taken to a thrift store as a plus-sized woman who grew up as a fat child. I grew up on thrift store clothing not to be “green” or “cool” or “express” myself. I tried to share how it felt to be forced to wear clothes from thrift stores out of necessity. I wore tacky, used clothes because that was all we could afford. The clothes that fit my plus-sized body were never cute and trendy. They were matronly, itchy, and unattractive

I tried to express how maybe wearing used clothing was not something some of us wanted to do, nor was it something we should be forced to do or judged for
not doing. I tried to express that it was frustrating to be told that our decision to spend our money on new clothing rather than used clothing was “destroying the planet.” 

Of course, I wasn’t very good about articulating most of these things because I ended up in tears before I could even form complete sentences. But at least I raised my hand and attempted to express myself. During my cry-fest, I was able to show off my newly thrifted skirt. It’s just too bad that I didn’t do a very good job saying what I wanted to say. But that's what my blog is for, right?

The famous Pretty, Pink, Pleated, Polka-dotted skirt that I thrifted the day before.
For some people, such as myself, walking into a thrift store brings back negative emotions that stem from being raised in poverty, being bullied about my size, and for being different. I spent far too many afternoons as a child desperately looking for clothes that fit me while trying to hide from anyone who might recognize me. As a result, I wasn't too happy about boarding a bus and revisiting a part of my past that I dreaded.

When we arrived to the thrift store, we were grouped together and a few bloggers shared their thrifting tips. I tried to be attentive and optimistic but it was hard to relate anyone speaking. Not everyone can relate to
 the super model who can literally wear any crazy ensemble from a thrift store and still look fabulous in it.

They shared ideas for finding clothing that no one else will have, for trying on all sizes, and for picking unique pieces. I overheard one blogger share how she had to squeeze into a *gasp* size 12 dress when she was more like a size 6. I tried my best not to roll my eyes.

I know that in the fashion world, what I am about to say might blow some people's minds, but it needs to be said: 

  • Some of us do not WANT to be different all of the time. 
  • Some of us actually want the option of being on trend.
  • Some of us are bigger than a size 12. In fact, the average American woman wears a size 14.
  • Some of us are wise consumers who do not want to spend our money on used clothing.
Please don't get me wrong. My thrifting experience was overwhelmingly positive. When I walked into those doors, I felt my heart race, my palms sweat and I had convinced myself that I would walk out of there completely empty handed. Instead, I left that store with a bag full of nearly-new shoes, 4 adorable skirts that actually fit my body, and new ideas to be a smarter consumer.

I can not even begin to say how theraputic it felt to browse through racks of clothing with no shame this time and then look up to see my
favorite bloggers appreciating the same items. What I wouldn't give to go back in time and share thrifting role models and tips to the 13 year-old-me!

Will I be a forever thrifter now? I can't say for certain. However, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to overcome my fears. I love a good bargain and I sure did find some at the thrift store. I scored a bag full of adorable things that averaged less than $5 an item. The frugal fatshionista in me is
extremely excited about those prices! 

How do you feel about shopping at thrift stores? Do you have any tips for a new thrifter, like me?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Turquoise Tights

I love tights, but because I am a plus-sized woman, my options for color, texture and style have always been limited to whatever I could find from Just My Size.

I always wanted to try the faux-thigh-highs and patterned stockings, but they are almost impossible to find in my size. If they do exist in "plus sizes" they are often too small and whatever the pattern, it ends up looking stretched out and unfamiliar once they are on a plus-sized body. As much as I want to participate in that trend, wonky, stretched-out hearts are not very cute.

I also love colored tights, but Hanes' color selection is limited to neutrals like black, gray, navy, and flesh tones. I really wanted some bright blue tights, so that's when my search for crazy colors brought me to We Love Colors.

We Love Colors is a company that offers plus-sized Nylon/Lycra tights in 51 colors! FIFETY ONE COLORS! I'm pretty sure you all have heard of them already, but this is new to me. Please let me be excited for 5 minutes.

These tights have opened a whole new world to me. Do you have any idea how many halloween costumes I can create now? I can finally live my dream of being Nacho Libre. Oh yes, it's happening, y'all.

I won't deny that I was a bit discouraged by their price ($15), but after wearing them a few times this weekend, I can honestly say that they are worth the investment. Plus, I get to be Nacho. This is huge. (Actually, this depends entirely on whether or not The Husband agrees to be my partner, Esqueleto. Personally, I think blue hot pants are a good look for him. He thinks otherwise.)

Dress & cami: F21 // Tights: c/o WeLoveColors size EE // Shoes: Thrifted // Belt: DIY made from a purse strap

As you can see, they are very opaque.
They are very high waisted, though. But I liked that about them.

Their colors are the brightest I've ever seen in hosiery for people of my size.

I was VERY excited about them! Can you tell?

If I didn't wear a cami with this dress, I would probably be arrested.

What color tights do you think I should order next? I need help deciding!
Let me know in a comment below. :-)

Swap swag

One of the big events at last weekend's TxSC was the clothing swap presented by and Lulus.  I was originally very stressed out about the whole thing, but it ended up being a total blast. I even scored some adorable pieces.

I took home some sexy, red heels that I can barely walk in from Lisa Gets Dressed.
 I also scored a lovely red sweater with shoulder cut-outs from Metsy Shines.
I decided to pair them together with a pleated, polka-dot skirt I thrifted this weekend and a black belt.

I really did have to practice walking in these.

I felt very Carmen in this combination. 

Can you tell that I love free things? ;-)

What about you? Have you scored some awesome items at clothing swaps before? 
Let me know in a comment below!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tiny hats were all the rage at the 2012 Texas Style Council


The Texas Style Conference this weekend was phenomenal! It was equal parts fun, exhausting, glamorous, intimidating, and inspiring. One thing that I learned this weekend about me and my blog is that I owe it to myself and my readers to share all parts of my life as a Frugal Fatshionista.

As Kendi so wisely reminded us, we need to remember that what we see on blogs is often a person's best.  We must remember that their best is not their always.

This weekend I made the conscious choice to not be the kind of blogger who only shares the perfect parts of life. I want to share all of it; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
 So, let's start with the ugly.

The Ugly.
I'm generally a confident woman, but sometimes I have days where it is not so easy to be fearless. This weekend was full of difficult moments where I let my insecurities get the best of me.


  • I panicked about the Swap and worried that nobody would care about the plus sized items that I carefully picked to part with. I kept checking to see if they were still there. I was very relieved when they found a new home. I even scored some really cute finds at the swap.
  • I dreaded walking over to the LuLu's rack to pick out an item. I feared other bloggers would judge me as I tried to find something that fit both my sense of style and my plus sized body in a rack of straight sized clothing. My fears were pointless because I found a pretty poncho that fit like a dream.
  • The Speed Mentoring Breakfast was very intimidating at first. I needed a few minutes to have a mental dialog with my brain about why I needed to stop being shy and get out there to learn. At first I made a list of the people that I wanted to speak to and am proud to say that I eventually checked everyone off that list.
  • I almost chickened out and skipped Saturday's field trip to Savers because I have had such negative emotions about thrift stores and buying used clothing. More on that in a future post.
  • I had a mini panic attack on Saturday night after feelings of remorse for listing a beloved dress on Poshmark and worries about my out-of-control afro. This resulted in my husband comforting me with speeches like, "no, your hair doesn't look like a birds nest," while I cried into his chest about how a bird could call it home at any moment. It's not easy being married to me.
  • Sunday, after sleeping in and nursing a well deserved hangover, I decided to stop the foolishness, told the insecure voice in my head to SHUT UP, and enjoyed a full day of learning and laughter during the symposium. I should have shut that voice up sooner.
The Bad
  • Austin is such a wonderful city, so it was a shame that the weather did not let many of our visitors enjoy all of its glory. South Congress would have been a wonderful place for our visitors to explore, but we desperately needed the rain, because we are still in a severe drought. However, I won't deny being annoyed at the rain for changing my clothing choices all weekend.
  • The extreme humidity was also a pain in the ass when it came to my curly hair. I was forced to use styling products for the first time in over a 6 months! My poor tresses hair is not very happy with me right now, but some deep conditioner will undo any damage. (See what I did right there?)
The Good GREAT:
  • I met some incredible people from all different parts of the blogging spectrum. I befriended new bloggers, veteran bloggers, and super-star bloggers. I really appreciated the approachability of (most) bloggers in attendance and tried my best to soak up as much wisdom as I could. (I will be sure to share more of my favorite blog discoveries in the near future!)
  • We were introduced to so many wonderful merchants and brands that I had not heard of before. I was lucky in winning quite a few amazing prizes from many of these brands and I can't wait to learn more about them all.
  • I got to spend the entire weekend with my BFF.
  • My thrifting experience was truly therapeutic in a way that was totally unexpected. I'll elaborate on that and the amazing Creative Consumerism panel in my next post.
  • The Posh Party was so much fun and I am so glad that my husband was able to experience a little snippet of the weekend. The photo-booths and open bar really lightened up the mood, and I had some of the best conversations that evening.
  • The absolute greatest result of this beautiful weekend is the way it left us feeling. I woke up on Monday morning feeling inspired to share my voice, find my own purpose and dream big. That was the whole purpose of this conference, and they certainly accomplished their goals.
Maria and Rocio
Photo courtesy of © Peter Tung

I want to thank all of the organizers for doing such a wonderful job putting together such an incredible weekend. I must also admit that it's going to be hard not to stalk Indiana now. I want to be her when I grow up. ;-)

It was a phenomenal experience and I can not wait for next year!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Your purpose is much bigger than your blog"

I am lying here in my bed resting my swollen, pudgy feet and trying my best not to fall asleep on my keyboard. What I should be doing is snoring like my adorable husband right beside me. Instead I feel like I must try and make sense of everything that happened this weekend at the Texas Style Council, but my brain is too tired for complete, coherent sentences.

For now, I will leave you all with this short list of thoughts:

  • The conference was incredible, and I gained so much invaluable wisdom.
  • I enjoyed meeting and connecting with so many lovely people. I look forward to exploring all of the blogs.
  • Networking is exhausting, and I fear that I will forever be the awkward girl in a sea of confident women. I'm working on it.
  • I am no longer terrified of "thrifting."
  • I am, however, still terrified of breaking out into tears in front of a room full of amazing women over a silly story about a pretty, pink, polka-dotted skirt. (This happened.
  • My voice is unique, and this weekend's events helped me realize that I need to share it. I will share it.
However, that won't start tonight. Tonight will be spent snuggling up to my snoring husband who has been the most phenomenal support on this bumpy, blogging world.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Join me for a Posh Party!

The Texas Style Council begins today, and I am bursting with anticipation. I am really thrilled to meet some new people and see some of my favorite bloggers in person. It is going to be phenomenal!

I am very much looking forward to the fabulous Posh Party hosted by Poshmark. It will be a night of glamorous mingling and shopping.  The great news is that even YOU can participate, too! Read more to learn how!

Friday, March 2, 2012

In Love with my In Pink Gifts

The wonderful people behind In Pink sent me a surprise $50 gift card for attending the upcoming Texas Style Council. In Pink is a fashion shop that offeres the latest in trend-savvy jewelry. They also offer advice from their amazing team of stylists!

I immediately cracked open my laptop and perused their adorable site to place my order. They offer a large selection of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, bangles and other accessories. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they even offer a few bracelets and bangles in plus sizes.

Orders over $49 qualify for free shipping. Even with free shipping, I received my adorable package within 6 days.

See? Their packaging truly is adorable!