Category Archives: Discussion

Baby, it’s…cold outside?

Brrrrrr, pr0n stars.  I don’t know how it is in your neighborhood, but by me it’s that annoying time of year where it could still be 50 degrees one day and 70 the next, and 30 in the morning.  Which means we’re supposed to wear what exactly?  Today we’re going to talk about that elusive style creature known as “layering”.  How to effectively, and fashionably, be able to peel your way through spring clothing without looking like you’re seasonally challenged.

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Calvin Klein Trench Coat - $149.99 @ Lord & Taylor

Calvin Klein Trench Coat - $149.99 @ Lord & Taylor

Men and women, the start to walking out the door any spring day is with a coat.  Trench coat, rain coat, macintosh, call it what you want; it’s a cotton/nylon piece of clothing that protects you from the elements. There’s no better example of just how feminine a trench coat can be than this baby-blue ruffled trench coat at Lord and Taylor.

If you put this coat on, you’ll instantly look polished and professional.  Please use the belt loops to create a clean line, rather than tying it as shown.  Two notes: above the knee is a perfect length for a dress or a work coat.  Please don’t wear mid-thigh coats to work.

Second, beware of epaulets.  That’s about the only thing I don’t like about this coat; it’s a bit of a military-style feature and can make a feminine coat more masculine in appearance.  It shouldn’t be a deal breaker when buying a spring jacket or coat, just something to keep in mind.  You might even be able to have a good tailor remove them.

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Kenneth Cole  Raincoat; $137.95 @Macys

Kenneth Cole Raincoat; $137.95 @Macys

Men, the same rules for rain coats or trench coats apply to you.  If you wear a short coat (in your case, to the hip) over your suit, you will look silly and unprofessional.  A dress coat stops just above the knee.  Don’t be afraid to try a slightly non-traditional coat like this Kenneth Cole Kennedy from Macy’s.

Kennedy is unusual for a trench coat in that it has a notched collar with no belt, but particularly for a gentlemen of…wider girth, it will be quite a slimming style.  What’s particularly nice about this coat is that it has a zip out lining.  You’ll have built in warmth during those iffy early Spring times, and can take out the lining once it warms up for good.

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Aqua Cashmere Scarf, $68.95@ Bloomingdales

Aqua Cashmere Scarf, $68.95@ Bloomingdales

Back to our baby blue raincoat.  Right now you’re looking at me and saying “Din.” (Because you’re my peeps and that’s how we roll.)

“Din, if I walk out of the house on a rainy spring day looking like that model, I’m going be a freezing wet mess!”

Why, yes. Yes, you are.  That’s why you’re not going to walk out of the house like that.

First you’re going to put on the cashmere scarf you’ve been wearing all winter (You have been wearing a cashmere scarf all winter, haven’t you?).  Or you’ll go to Bloomingdales for this Aqua one.

kashmere reversible cashmere scarf $84.99 @bluefly.com

kashmere reversible cashmere scarf $84.99 @bluefly.com

Men, a pop of color – I implore you.  This Kashmere reversible scarf from Bluefly comes in a variety of colors. Why not collect the whole set?

Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves, $29.99@ Lands End

Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves, $29.99@ Lands End

Mens Two Tone Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves, $55.95 @Amazon.com

Mens Two Tone Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves, $55.95 @Amazon.com

Then you’ll slip on your cashmere lined lambskin gloves, which you got on sale for $29.99 at Land’s End, or  $55.99 at Amazon.com.

Feel free to to scotch guard these (carefully) to make them water repellent, and indulge your fingers in caaaaashmere.

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My goodness, we’re looking stylish!  But it may surprise you to learn that fashion isn’t everything.  You heard me: fashion isn’t everything.

It pains me to see women schlepping to and from work in their good pumps! Weather or not, this simply isn’t appropriate!  I don’t care how many fashion magazines tell you it’s not okay to wear your athletic shoes with your suit, I’m telling you that it is.

First, if I’m going to the gym after work, I’ll be darned if I’m going to carry my sneakers with me so Robin Ghivan isn’t offended.

Second, shoes are expensive!  I’m not wearing my good heels on the city streets if I don’t have to.  Finally, OW!  My work shoes are for traipsing lightly around the office looking terribly chic.  At the end of the day, those suckers are coming off, amirite?

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Chooka Tatoo City, $30 @Jildor

Chooka Tatoo City, $30 @Jildor

But! Let’s assume you have a locker at the gym, and simply can’t bear to be just that unfashionable.  I hear you, and I give you: The Rain Boot.  Have some fun!  Show some personality!

These darlings come in every store, in every pattern – there’s something for everyone, and speaking from experience, there are few things more fun than tucking your pants into your boots and fearlessly tramping through puddles!

If I can find these Chooka Tattoo Boots in my size, I’m buying them, even though I already have rain boots.  I don’t care what you say, they are the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  Size 9 and 10 – these are $30!! Go to Jildor!  Now!  We’ll wait… (Search for more sizes here)  I never said fashion couldn’t be fun.

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Hunter Original Yellow, $115 @ Jildor

Hunter Original Yellow, $115 @ Jildor

Men’s rain boots are a little more sedate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show personality.  Take a fashion risk and try these original yellow Wellington Hunter boots, also at Jildor.  They come in a variety of other colors, but I promise you these will get plenty of female looks and smiles.
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Underneath all this men or women can put on your favorite suit with a cashmere sweater underneath instead of a cotton button down shirt, or women can layer a dress with a button down shirt and a pair of tights and heels. 

When it gets warmer, swap the button down shirt for the suit, a pair of hose with the dress.  It’s all about the layers, baby!

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Combed Cotton Argyle Front Sweater Vest, $54.50 @ Banana Republic

Combed Cotton Argyle Front Sweater Vest, $54.50 @ Banana Republic

Men, you can put a sweater vest over a work shirt and take your suit jacket off.  Try this cotton argyle sweater from Banana Republic for $54.50; you’ll get use out of it Spring through Fall.

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That’s our first lesson in layering your wardrobe for Spring!  This was a work lesson; tomorrow or Saturday we’ll talk about casual layering.

Any questions before class is dismissed?  In case you didn’t know, all pictures open in a new window to their respective products, so click away!

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.As always, it was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

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How to Shop For Your Body Type: The Pear

Pr0n pals, I’m really excited about today’s post.  One of my strengths is being able to see what clothing styles work on different body types; it’s something I’ve worked at, rather than springing from Pr0n Mom’s womb the fashionista I am today.  So I was thrilled when my friend Rebecca wrote to me and said she was fashion challenged for her body type.

Meet Rebecca

Meet Rebecca

Rebecca is pretty normal: average to plus size figure, young, married with a young child, and doesn’t have tons of money to spend but deserves to look her best.  She’s just a little style challenged.  Today’s post promises to be full of fashion tips, do’s and don’ts, and really down-to-earth advice about buying clothing and putting together outfits that you’ll enjoy.  Let’s meet Rebecca.

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If there was ever a pear shape, Rebecca’s it.  She’s 5’7″,  and according to her measurements wears about a 14 on top and an 18 on bottom. She doesn’t have a very defined waist and she carries a lot of her weight in her hips.  I doubt you’d call Rebecca plus sized if you met her; just curvy.

Rebecca Now

Rebecca Now

But  when Rebecca told me she didn’t know how to dress, she wasn’t kidding.  This is more or less the outfit she was wearing in the picture she sent me.

I don’t know very many people who can wear well horizontal stripes.  Her top was too long, shapeless, and made her look wider than she is.  Her jeans just didn’t fit well and didn’t flatter.

That’s just a bad dream from now on; what Rebecca or other pear shapes should achieve with her clothing is learning to minimize her hips, bringing the rest of her body into proportion, and creating a long, lean silhouette by using clothing shape and color to her advantage. Fashion is 50% architecture, 50% art.

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Pear Shape Dress

Pear Shape Dress

The first virtual outfit I used is so simple and perfect for pear shapes, you’ll wonder why you never tried it.  This is a scoop neck sheath dress in a solid color, with a wide waistband, and a hem that hits just above the knee.

Immediately, Rebecca looks four inches taller and 20 pounds thinner!  The open neckline on the dress helps to balance her hips and chest, while the monochrome color and sheath glide over her hips so your eye doesn’t focus there.  The really critical piece is the dress’ hemline.  If the hemline were much higher it wouldn’t look age appropriate, any lower and the dress will make her body look short and dumpy.

Nine West Short Sleeve Plus Size Dress, $83.40 at Macy's

Nine West Short Sleeve Plus Size Dress, $83.40 at Macy's

In real life I found this adorable Nine West dress at Macy’s.  If she buys a 1x she may need to have the top taken in a bit – such is life as a pear shape, because you need to fit the widest part of you – your bottom  half.  But what I like is that the dress is youthful, and it’s definitely going to fit because the skirt is an A-line – it has an A shape rather than going straigt down.  Pair the dress with heels and a fun colored bag.

I’ve shown virtually here a sweater option for pears to wear over a dress.  Notice how short the sweater is.  I’m stopping the cardigan at her smallest part (above the waist)in order to emphasize it. If you’re a pair shape and you wear a regular length cardigan over an outfit, make sure it’s fitted and stops at the top of the hip.
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Pear Shape Jeans Outfit

Pear Shape Jeans Outfit

Virtual Pear Shape Outfit #2 is a basic jeans and t-shirt look; I forgot to give her shoes. :(

What pears need to look for here are shirts that stop at the hip, that show your curves rather than hide it, jeans with a straight wider leg to balance your lower body and a waistband that stops at your widest part.

Any piece of clothing that goes over your hips will emphasize them; it may seem counter intuitive, but by stopping things at your widest part you trick the eye, which is exactly what you want as someone who is bottom heavy.

The same concept applies with jeans – if your widest part is your hips, that’s where your waistband should go; usually just below your belly button.  If you go with jeans that stop above your widest part, rather than emphasizing your small waist, it makes your hips look larger.

Most jeans styles have a “bootcut” or a “flare” leg.  Pear shapes should for a pair of jeans with “trouser” style or “wide leg” if you can.  If you can’t, look for a pair that have a minimum of tapering at the knee.  The more you taper, the more you emphasize what’s above and below.

Here are some reasonably priced real life options for this type of jean/t-shirt pear outfit.

Spring Casual for a Pear

Spring Casual for a Pear

Spring Casual for a Pear by din2quared featuring Old Navy jackets

Again, this is a really simple outfit to pull together, mix and match and add to with clothing from your closet.  It can be dressed up or down with a few changes, so it will take you from the grocery store out to dinner.

Both t-shirts are from the Gap – the one on top has a strong color and an open neckline to be the primary focus, and then I layered a plain gray long sleeve t with a slightly more open crew neck under it.  Crew necks that are right up against the neck will make you look bustier.

The jeans are a drawstring trouser from Old Navy.  Rebecca appeared to be in between sizes, so a drawstring jean could help avoid a tailoring charge (jeans can be tailored!).  Just be careful not to go for an elastic waistband on pants; it may seem like an easy fix, but elastic waistbands don’t flatter anyone.

These jeans are more lightweight; for a a dressier look, choose a heavier, darker trouser jean.

I’ve pulled together the outfit with an adorable tote bag on sale at Luna Boston, a trench coat from Old Navy and Cole Haan Wedges at Zappos. A tote bag, trench coat and comfy flats are three accessories that will take you everywhere

The Cole-Haan wedge shoes are the splurge item here at over $100, but as I’ve said before don’t skimp on shoes.  Cheap shoes won’t last, they won’t support your feet, ankles, hips or knees and you’ll wind up spending the same amount of money on several pairs versus one.  Cole Haan has an entire line that’s made with Nike Air technology.  Looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker.

I created two more virtual pear style outfit variations: one good, one bad.  Look what happens if you pair dressy jeans and the tote with a cute blouse for casual Friday or dinner with friends here.  On the other hand, look what happens if you put a pear shape in an over-sized, too long top.

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Pear Shape Date Outfit

Pear Shape Date Outfit

This is one more outfit type option for Rebecca or any of you pear shapes out there.

What’s funny is that I put this outfit together right after I bought my dress, and the two dresses are very similar styles.  Several things are working together to slim and balance; if you look carefully you can see that there’s actually a wide waistband that starts just higher than her natural waist  – this draws the eye up, and the slightly rounded shape of the skirt hides the hips. But by wearing a dress, all one piece, the effect is not to break up the body, which is almost always slimming.

Continuing the monochromatic theme, she’s wearing black tights with black heels, and then I kept all her accessories within the same color family: (Ish. i didn’t have tons to work with.) A red wrap, a red necklace, and a burgundy clutch.

Donna Ricco Sleeveless Bubble Dress, $178 @Nordstrom

Donna Ricco Sleeveless Bubble Dress, $178 @Nordstrom

For a similar dress look, try this Donna Ricco bubble dress from Nordstrom.  It’s a little fancier than what I showed, but it’ll be a classic wardrobe addition.

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None of these styles are terribly complicated once you understand your body and its proportions.  Bring a digital camera with you shopping and take pictures of outfits, or do it when you get home.  Once you start working with some basic structure, you’ll understand what clothes do to your body, and gain more confidence.

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I’m always happy to answer questions, and I’m always happy to help if you’ve got a particular figure you have trouble dressing.  Drop me a comment, or an email: shoppingpr0n@gmail.com . :)  And don’t forget, if you’re looking for plus size clothes, Shopping Pr0n readers get 20% off at Simply Yours and Simply Be through this special sales code.

Please let me know if this helped you – I love feedback!

Until next time, my little pr0n pastrami.  It was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

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Outfit of the Day: Stretching Your Closet

Pr0nstars, often the best way to stretch your closet is by experimenting a little.  Remember when you were little and played dress up?  Take some time to pull things out of your closet, put them together in new and scary ways and take pictures.  See what works.  

Monday I had a fancy work conference to attend; not only were my suit pants in need of dry cleaning, but they’re in need of me losing this winter weight. :p  Which was how I created my Outfit of the Day.

The best outfits come from experimentation

The best outfits come from experimentation

Here are the pieces that I worked with.  I started with my new Marc by Marc Jacobs dress, bought on sale at Cusp.  My normal instinct would be to put a cardigan over a dress, so I didn’t do that.  Instead, I pulled out my charcoal gray wool crepe suit jacket from J. Crew

Outfit of the Day: Conference
Outfit of the Day: Conference by din2quared featuring J Crew jackets

 A suit jacket in a neutral color can go with almost anything: pants, jeans, a skirt and even a dress apparently.  I tried it because I knew the colors would work well together (pink and gray were so ’80s), and the suit jacket was fitted.  A boxy suit jacket would have overwhelmed the dress.

I’ve been all about grey tights; they’re more fun than black, but don’t take you too far outside your comfort zone.  These tights were more of a dove grey; I stayed in the same color family, just mixed shades.  For instance, I could have put a bright pink cardigan over the light pink dress.

The shoes are Nordstrom’s Biala brand, and are actually a burgundy patent leather, but I couldn’t get a picture of that.  Again, red/pink is in the same color family. The bag is my cheery new post-conference treat: a Dooney Bourke , which was 30% off.

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I have to share with you the story of this Laundry trench coat.  If you’re a regular pr0n addict, you know I’ve been searching high and low for a new spring coat; I haven’t had once since I lost a bunch of weight.  I’d looked everywhere online and hadn’t found anything I like. 

Laundry Trench Coat

Laundry Trench Coat

So this past weekend, Pr0nMom and I went to our local Giga-Mall.  Out of default we started at Bloomingdales.  Pickings were slim, but I spotted two trenches; one was white, and you know I am not the type of person to buy white things; the other was this one. 

I tried it on, and Pr0n Mom and I both laughed, because it was perfect and completely in budget.  When does that ever happen? Anyway, that’s the story of my new coat.
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Banana Republic Chunky Necklace - My closet

Banana Republic Chunky Necklace - My closet

Finally, since I wanted to keep the outfit from looking too conservative, I put on my chunky double-strand necklace from Banana Republic, bought a few months ago. 

The necklace didn’t cost more than $40 or $50 and it’s been a great investment since it goes with everything. 

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Conference Cutie?

Conference Cutie?

I hope you’ll agree that this turned out to be a chic, fun way to look professional, but show a lot of personality. 

Plus I didn’t buy anything specifically for this occasion.  Everything that I wore here I’ve already worn lots of times, or I expect to wear lots of times.

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Any questions before class is dismissed?

Thanks for reading, my little  salmonella contaminated pr0n pistachios. 

It was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?


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Outfit of the Day: Dress Me!

Outfit of the Day is back, my little pr0n peppermint, and I need your help! Even fashionistas get the blues.  I’m going to show you two pieces that I’ve just bought and you’re going to help me put together an outfit with them.  It’ll be fun!  Just like those Choose Your Own Adventure Books we used to read.  So put on your best thinking caps and dress this mess!

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Me and My Marc Jacobs

Me and My Marc Jacobs

The parameters are this: I just bought this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress on sale at Cusp.

 (Yes, Cusp! They can’t throw me out anymore!).  I feel the need to explain that it has to be taken in a little on top.

Anyway.  Me, dress, sale.  Yay!  It’s a cotton faille – sort of ribbed; the zipper is meant to be exposed and the hemline is a wide band of fabric.  It’s my first Marc by Marc Jacobs and my first Cusp purchase.  *snif*  I’m so proud.

Then this Dooney & Bourke handbag I’d been eying went on sale. The chocolate brown disappeared, and this bright yellow appeared.

Yellow Medium Chiara at Dooney Bourke

Yellow Medium Chiara at Dooney Bourke

Yellow is scary!  But I’ll have it today and know whether or not it works.

Betsy + Iya Asymmetrical Copper Necklace

Betsy + Iya Asymmetrical Copper Necklace

The third thing that I’ll have is my asymmetrical copper necklace that I bought from Betsy + Iya.

So, keeping all that in mind, here is your mission, should you choose to accept it.

Dress this Mess

Dress this mess!

Give me your fashion guidance, my pr0n addicts!  I have the dress, the bag (unless I hate it), the pink cardigan and the sunglasses (a steal at Loehmann’s).  The rest are ideas: Do I mix yellows?  Will a jacket look better than a cardigan?  Am I completely off my rocker mixing a pale dress with a bright bag? Should I mix pinks, not yellows?  A little help here!

The two Moschino pumps on the right are scrumptious, but at $600 /pair they’re a not so much. Have you seen anything similar?  Seen anything different? What do you like? No slingbacks or heels over 3.5″, please.

The  brown Bettye Mueller pair I lurrrrrrve, but they’re a final sale!  And with my fussy feet that’s just asking for trouble.  I’m trying to stretch my fashion wings this season, so don’t be afraid to show me something totally off the wall.  I’m open to ideas.  I want participation!

Help me, Obi Wan Pr0n Stars! You’re my only hope!

I’m off to a meeting, then home.  When I return, I expect opinions, links, pretty pictures, diagrams, photoshops, etc. etc. etc.  Don’t let me down!

I’ll post pictures of the outfit as it takes shape.

Until then, it was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

Socially Responsible Pr0n?

Hey there Pr0nistas –

I’m going to take a break from my usual free-wheeling style to try to start an actual discussion about something that’s been on my mind.

As I was surfing through other WordPress blogs today, I started reading The Urban Landfill, which was filled with pretty pictures of shoes and handbags – my kinda blog. One of her posts was on Matt & Nat, a vegan handbag & shoe line I’ve seen before.  I was familiar with their stuff and even liked what I saw, but hadn’t told friends about it – my stamp of approval for things I like.

What had stopped me from recommending this line was that all of it is made in China.  What’s the problem with products made in China? Aren’t many products we buy made there? Many are unfortunately, so many it’s almost unavoidable.

The reason so many of our products are made in China is because it’s very inexpensive for companies to produce their items in China.  There’s a minimum wage, but it’s not enforced; what few labor laws there are aren’t enforced; there are no unions, no sexual harassment laws, or Workers’ Compensation – all of these protections we have in the U.S. (and other industrialized nations) cost companies money.  In an effort to keep costs down for us, the consumer, companies take their business overseas, frequently to China.

What are working conditions in China? According to the U.S. China Business Council, “… In practice, however, the rights of Chinese workers are routinely violated. Workers are often required to work far more than 40 hours a week, have few days off, are paid below the minimum wage, and are not paid required overtime.  Improper deductions from wages are common. vSome Chinese workers must pay a … “deposit” to their employer, and … a “recruitment fee” in order to be hired… Physical abuse of workers, and dangerous working conditions, are also common. A New York Times article from January 2008 reports that “worker abuse is still commonplace in many of the Chinese factories that supply Western companies”

Now, I buy products made in China.  I don’t like it, but I do it.  So what’s my point?  My point is that I’m not making any claims to be particularly cruelty-avoidant.  A nice person maybe, but I digress. I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian. I won’t wear fur; I will wear leather, and I like my steaks cooked medium, please.

If you check out Matt & Nat’s blog, they say that their company is “a Montreal-based socially responsible hand bag line [and] is one of the most forward-thinking companies to date. And their bags (all vegan leather and environmentally friendly.)” An interview for The Montreal Mirror says, ” All their products are made in China, but … because their bigger buyers, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Dillard’s, insist on customers signing contracts that make sure no children were used in manufacturing, [Matt and Nat] uses the bigger, more ethically reliable Chinese factories to make their stuff. This keeps the company in line with their corporate philosophy.”

Talk to me pr0nistas: does this ride with you?  Does it sit well?  If there’s one thing that’s not pr0nish to me, it’s companies talking out of both sides of their mouths, and this leaves a bad taste in mine.  In a country still a Communist regime for all intents, where there’s no freedom of speech or the press or religion, in a country where you can only have one child, and females are routinely aborted, abandoned or neglected, in a country where 20 years ago peaceful protesters were killed in public, in a country where people disappear, is it enough for a company calling itself “socially responsible” to say it’s okay to do business in a country simply because they’re not using sweatshops?

Clearly by now you know my opinion, but I’d like to hear yours – agree or disagree.  What matters to you, pr0ners?

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