Monday, July 21, 2014

With My Skin Tan and My Hair Long...

plus size resortwear, halfmoon bay jamaica

I guess I don't have to say it, but Jamaica was amazeballs.  I had so much fun, I almost wish that I could just pack up everything and move.  I didn't want to leave everything was just too beautiful.  This is going to be a photo heavy post, but I kind of want to talk about everything at once.  Also, thank you for your patience. I know some of you have been following my posting via Instagram and Facebook and wanted to know where you could buy certain items, as usual, I will list and link items at the bottom of the post. Let's get into the breakdown. 

Accommodations:  We had a 7 room villa at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay.  There were 10 of us in the group, so we need accommodations for all.  The villa came with a chef, maid, a butler, a private pool, and 2 golf carts for us to get around the resort with.  The staff was absolutely amazing. Chef Janice was killing it. She provided us with breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. The food was amazing. She made authentic Jamaican dishes that were mouth watering.  A few of the dishes were ackee and salt fish, escovitch fish, rice and peas, and the highlight was her bread pudding.  Just know that we brought back the recipe for the bread pudding.  Cecil, our butler, made sure we had beautiful place to eat every meal and took care of any of our needs. I was just so impressed with the staff, they really made our stay just so relaxing and carefree. The resort was right on the beach. I spent most of my time just laying out, swimming, and relaxing. The water was amazing! I definitely plan on coming back and staying at Half Moon again.  

Reggae Sumfest:  Annually, Jamaica has a music festival featuring mostly reggae and some American artist.  The festival literally goes until 7am in the morning.  Now, I have to admit I couldn't hand. LOL.  I left the first night at 4am.  I had done all I could do.  I went Friday night and the headliners were Jason Derulo, Beenie Man, and Wiz Khalifa. I only mad it to Wiz.  I missed Beenie Man, but my friends said he turned it out.  Jason Derulo, in my opinion, was just a lack luster performance.  He did bring out Jordan Sparks, who was good, but his performance was just blah.  Someone said he had broken a rib, so I guess I'll give him that, but for me why waste an hour of my time if you don't want to perform. Let somebody else perform who actually wants to be there. My first impression of him was not good at all. After that Wiz Khalifa performed. He saved the day for me.  I'm a casual Wiz listener, but he turned me into a fan.  He was so passionate and energetic.  I was here for his entire performance.  I love to see people passionate about what they do and it totally translates on stage. He was just gave off a total rock star aura and I was here for all of it! If you plan to attend Sumfest plan to be there for 8 plus hours, have your bug spray, and your portable chair.  

Margaritaville:  If you want to get your club on then check out Margaritaville.  The second night, I went to Margaritaville which turns into a club after hours.  There was plenty of great dancing and music to enjoy.  I thought the bar was going to be filled with tourists, but it was mix of tourists and local people.  I wanted to check out the local dance scene, because I love the Jamaican style of dancing and it was amazing to watch.  (I wish I could do half the dances they do). I stayed to about 2am and headed back to the hotel.  I had an 8:30 shuttle to the airport, so you I had to take it down. 

Overall, the trip exceeded my expectations. I had so much fun and the resort made my time there just so ultra relaxing.  I can't wait to go back.  I think when I retire, I will buy a house in Jamaica and just spend the rest of my days in paradise. 

P.S. Sorry a lot of the items are sold out.  I shopped my own closet for a lot of the items and some of them were old.  If I know that it may be a while before I post, I generally will post the items on Facebook
plus size resortwear, halfmoon bay jamaica

plus size resortwear, halfmoon bay jamaica

plus size resortwear, halfmoon bay jamaica

Half Moon Bay Review

Plus Size Swimwear, Plus size bikini

Plus Size Swimwear, Plus size bikini

Plus Size Swimwear, Plus size bikini

Half Moon Review, Jamica, Reggae Sumfest

Jamaica, Half Moon Bay, plus size vacation review
Black/White Hat - e4Hats, Yellow Dress - ASOS, Sunnies - Tom Ford, White Swimsuit - HSN, Watermelon Clutch - ChipChop (sold out), Orange/Zebra Wrap - Madison Plus, (similar), Leopard Bikini - MonifC (sold out purchased last year), Pink Lip - MakeUpForever Aqua Rouge 16, Orange Lip - Lady Danger MAC  , Sheer Beach Pants - Simplybe, Black/White Swim Bottom - (sold out), (Anything else in the photos not posted is sold out)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Strapless Bra Post

Strapless Bra Guide, Plus Size Strapless Bra
Oh the never ending battle when it comes to finding the a strapless bra.  We search far and wide to find the perfect one.  One that will hold the girls in place without a whole bunch of pulling and tugging.  I did a round-up the strapless bras that I like and I even got imput from fellow blogger, Cece from Plus Size Princess.  I hope this helps you find that strapless bra you've been looking for. 


1. Lane Bryant & 3. Just My Size | Long Line Strapless Bras - The power of any bra is in the band.  With the long line bras you get that extra support with the wider band.  My long line bras are the ones that I have the least trouble with, but the downside is that they can feel like you are wearing armor. LOL. 

2.  Ashley Stewart | A good compromise between a long line and a regular strapless bra.  The back helps with smoothing.  This is my personal favorite. This bra is the truth!! The pricing is under $30 and can even be purchased cheaper on sale or with a coupon.  

4. Curvation | This bra has more of a bandeau design.  I like wearing this bra when I have on something relaxed like a sundress or something flow-y.  This is one is probably the most comfortable out of the bunch. 

5.  Cece's Pick - Bali Convertible |  I reached out to Cece from Plus Size Princess to ask her what her favorite strapless bra is.  Cece is bustier than I am, but her girls always seem to lifted to the heavens.  She says, "They make one that I'd wear every day its so supportive." I'm all for that! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jumpstart

Plus Size Jumpsuit, Jennifer Lopez for Kohls, Plus size outfits
Some of you saw this jumpsuit when I posted it to Facebook.  I was little unsure about it, but when I got it in and tried it on I immediately fell in love.  I purchased this as a throw on for my upcoming vacay, but wanted to go ahead and post it before I leave, so I can share all the details.  This jumpsuit is from the Jennifer Lopez Collection for Kohls.  As far Kohls' plus size section, the J.Lo collection has the best pieces.  I ordered this in a 24W.  It's supposed to have a relaxed fit, so I ordered the largest size to ensure that.  My only complaints is that is the dry string is a faux drawstring.  This ran a little big and I was hoping to be able to cinch the waist with the drawstring. You should probably order a size smaller than you usually wear. I would have gotten a better fit on the waist had I sized down.  The jumpsuit does have stretch.  The back plunges into a v-shape.  I just wore my bra with it.  For those worried about the opening, the v-shape helps to cover back fat. I do have back fat and it did cover, but keep in mind with moving around the back could move and reveal more of your back.  You just have to decide if you are comfortable with that or not.  Oh and here's a coupon code for $10 off, GR8FINDS.

Style/Confidence Note: I heard some of you say things like, "I can't wear a jumpsuit" and "My body doesn't work for a jumpsuit." Being that I am drastically different sizes on the top and bottom, I am often apprehensive about ordering jumpsuits, but this one is an easy fit. I think it will work on a variety of body types, because of it's relaxed fit. Remember you never know if something will work useless you try.  Remember, the only limits are those we place on ourselves. 
Plus Size Jumpsuit, Jennifer Lopez for Kohls, Plus size outfits

Plus Size Jumpsuit, Jennifer Lopez for Kohls, Plus size outfits

Jumpsuit - Kohls, Shoes - ASOS, Bag - Aldo, Lip - MakeUp Forever Aqua Rouge, Necklace - Carolee (soldout) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Please Excuse My Blackness



Discussions on diversity, Blogging as a black person, andre leon talley
Recently, I had a Facebook passersby (white person) comment to me,   “Why are most of your models black? There are some pretty white girls that are big too. Just asking!” Now before I dive into this question, I will say first that I am black and biracial woman.  My parents (white mom, black dad) are still married to this day and I was raised by both of them. I can honestly say that I do identify with black culture; this is common amongst biracial individuals living in the United States.  It’s what I am most comfortable with, because regardless of my mixed heritage I will always be a woman of color and I experience life as such.  With that being said, because I am biracial and I have lived with two different cultures in my household, I do think that I have perspective on both. I do recognize that all black people do not think the same and all white people don’t think the same, but I can recognize cultural similarities within each group.   I also know that even though I consider myself a black woman, my experiences can still be different from a person that grew up with two black parents. I say all this to say, that I have nothing against any race, I judge people on their individual characteristics as opposed to stereotypes.

Now, I get a lot of comments, especially on Facebook and I read a lot of them too.  I’m used to getting a variety of comments and such, but this one, I must say, I just couldn’t shake.  There was also a commenter (white person) that came along in support the previous commenter and said,

Great perspective. We all are ONE. Individuals, but sharing so much similarity. I LOVE your style, beautiful. After all, we are each gorgeous in our own right. Stay free!”

Me:  This isn't a page of models. It's associated with my blog at www.garnerstyle.blogspot.com. Most of the images are me and I'm black. I share images of other blogger's styles that I like. I don't see color…I see style.

Now I’ve been thinking about these comments for a few weeks.  They got under my skin for several reasons.  The first being is that on any give occasion I do my usual rounds at the drugstore check out to pick up fashion magazine and there can be six different magazines with six different white faces on the cover. Now I wonder if any of these commenters went over to the Facebook pages of Vogue, Glamour, and/or Elle and commented on the similarity of their models.  Did they ask why are there so few people of color on your pages?  Why is diversity, in this case, only important when it comes to diversifying in the interest of a white person? 

The second reason I was bothered with these comments is that I truly believe that the plus size movement has been built by the grassroots efforts of women of color.  The majority of U.S. plus size bloggers are African American and Latina and two major movements in the plus size community, Full Figured Fashion Week and Plus Model Magazine, were both founded by women of color. Culturally, women of color are taught that nothing is wrong with being bigger/curvier, so it was almost natural that women of color spearheaded this movement. Now if you look at the major plus size online retailers, most of the plus size models that have the major contracts from major agencies and that you see from site to site are white.  Now did either of these commenters ask any of these plus size retailers why are there so few plus size models of color on their websites?

My third reason for discontent was that the comments only talked about color, not style.  One thing I pride myself on is that I share great plus size fashion and other types of fashionable imagery.  I take pride in the imagery that I share. A lot of the fashion photos are my own, but when I do share another person’s photo it is because I am truly impressed.  I’ve shared style on people that happen to be white, black, Asian, etc., because they looked awesome…nothing more, nothing less.

Finally, the thing that stuck with me the most is the phrase said, “sharing so much similarity.”  Hmmmm. Now I could go a couple of ways with this. My first thought is to scream, “All black people don’t look alike.” That’s always the default, right? My second issue with these words is that there is an assumption that there isn’t diversity among black people. I know that some people may not take the time to know and understand that, but there is. Hell, there is diversity in me. On the rare occasion that I get to throw down my white card, the race that you want to be represented is technically 50% there.  It may not look how you think it should look, but it’s there. In the same breath, diversity doesn’t always have to be chalked up to a skin color.  For me, because my site is based on plus size fashion diversity, more than skin color diversity I share different body types from other bloggers, so that my readers can have a body type to relate to and to aid in dressing their own.

Believe me, I do understand where they coming from as both a black woman and a plus size woman. It’s important to see your images portrayed in media. While those two ladies wanted to see themselves on my little space on Facebook, I think their own prerogative didn’t allow them to think about what they were saying and maybe the insensitivity of their comments to me as a black fat woman who rarely sees her own imagery except on the Facebook page she calls home. This brings me to the t-shirt that I am wearing in the photo.  The photo has Andre Leon Talley on the front. There are so many fashion icons that I love that are white, but their images are always in the forefront and easily accessible. It’s nothing for me to go to the local IKEA and get a picture of Audrey or Marilyn, but I have to search the earth to find imagery of Andre, Grace Jones, or Iman. I was so excited to purchase my tee shirt from CandyBomb and I commend Fashion Bomb Daily founder for making these available.  Now, I’m free to rock Andre or Audrey.  In the end, it’s all about having choices.  So to those two commenters, I say feel free to take what you need from my blog, but you should also research bloggers that you feel that represent you racially, because you will always have the choice to find your imagery in abundance. Me, on the other hand, I will have to take the images that I am rationed or create my own. 
Discussions on diversity, Blogging as a black person, andre leon talley


Discussions on diversity, Blogging as a black person, andre leon talley


Discussions on diversity, Blogging as a black person, andre leon talley
Tee - CandyBomb, Skirt - c/o Eloquii, Clutch - Cameodebore, Shoes - Lane Bryant (soldout), Necklace - Shop (soldout), Lip - MAC Candy Yum Yum, Belt - City Chic

Disclaimer: I know that articles on race and diversity can open up conversations and commentary from opposing views.   Feel free to comment your input below, but please note any comment that is seen as abusive will be deleted.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Polka Dot Beaches

Santa Cruz Travel, Plus Size Polka Dot Dress
Hubs and I took a much needed mini vacation down to the Santa Cruz area of the bay.    We rented a cute little beach house for the night, ate some fresh seafood, and just relaxed.  It felt fantastic to unplug and think about absolutely nothing.  It's been a while since I've gotten to really decompress and I almost forgot what it was like to not check my phone every 5 minutes.  I've always thought of myself having a balance with technology and social media.  I'm 33 and so I'm young enough to where social media comes very easy and almost naturally to me, but I am old enough to remember what it's like without social media.  Since it has become apart of my job, I fear that it's taken over my life a little bit.  I have to do better.  

Anyways, we had an awesome time.  We ended up in Aptos, Ca, which is about 10 miles from Santa Cruz. It's a cute little beach town hub.  It's a little less tourist-y and less crowded.  Shug got to get all of her life in the sand, but wanted no part of the beach water.  She ate quite a bit of the sand, as well.  Poor Shug. We dined at Cafe Rio for lunch and dinner, which was within walking distance of our accommodations. Their happy hour is magnificent.  

Style Notes: This polka dot dress was the perfect beach getaway dress. I got it in a 2x. I'm generally a 16/18 on top.  This runs true to size.  You will want to get this to fit the upper portion of your body. It has slight stretch in, but not much.  Also, I know people had concerned about the Keds being too narrow. I found them to be fine and pretty comfortable, but note that they are white and you will have to toss in the washer frequently. 
Santa Cruz Travel, Plus Size Polka Dot Dress

Santa Cruz Travel, Plus Size Polka Dot Dress

Santa Cruz Travel, Plus Size Polka Dot Dress

Dress - c/o Modcloth, Shoes - Kate Spade for Keds, Bag - Kate Spade (sold out), Lip - MAC Red by MAC, Towel - Nate Berkus for Target, Swim - Modcloth
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