Forever 21

Style Detail Highlight: The Paperbag Waist

Style Detail Highlight: The Paperbag Waist | Designing From My Closet

Looking through the latest fashion magazines, one silhouette that stood out to me strongly was the paperbag waist.  The highwaisted cut of pants and skirts with pleats that gather around the waist with a sash belt is not a new idea as it has been cycled through trends throughout the years.  For me, it is a cut that has always appealed to me, but in the past I have allowed insecurities about my body shape deter me away from actually wearing it.  Now that I have fully embraced myself, I am overjoyed to be wearing the fun fashion of the paperbag waist!



Changing of the Seasons: Remixing Last Years Fall Pieces

Changing of the Seasons: Remixing Last Years Fall Pieces | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

I have to admit, writing blog posts three times a week can be a lot of fun and exciting most of the time.  Then there are other times when I feel a little lost as to what to write about.  Sometimes inspiration just isn’t there or other things in life are heavy on my heart.  So in the spirit of being an open woman with you, I have to say there is a change in me.  I am feeling the need for change in my life and I am ready to have it happen.  Leading the Designing From Your Closet Style Challenge was exhilarating and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the ladies that joined the class.  Sharing my outfit building tools and to see them in action was heart warming.  I am already planning another session of the class as well as having another online style course on another topic.  Doing these style classes are one way I am inviting a wonderful change into my life.  We shall see what other adventures God has in store for me and my family as we pray through this transition time.

And speaking of the DFYC Style Challenge class, a big part of it was shopping your closet.  I participated right along with all the other ladies in the challenge and got to create some great outfits using what I already had in my closet for the upcoming fall season.  Today I am going to be showing you a couple of outfits I put together using items I featured last fall on the blog.


Chambray Kimono

Chambray Kimono | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Kimonos have been a long time favorite of mine as I have shown them in my Waves of Attire: Rolling Boutique, Sporty Boho, and Springing: Inspired by Interior Design posts to name a few.  I have always loved the flowy, ethereal look that they give.  Now when I saw this embroidered chambray kimono with raw edge details, I was intrigued.  The loose fit cut is boxy just like a kimono, but has the more structured vibe of a jacket.  Ever since I tried my first Denim on Denim look a few weeks ago, I have been wanting to go for it again, and I thought this chambray kimono was my perfect opportunity to do it with.



As much as I enjoy dressing romantically in my vintage boho style, my taste in television shows and movies are quite the opposite.  Fantasy sci-fi tops the list of entertainment for me.  One show that I cannot seem to get enough of is Limitless.  The new series is based on a continuation of the same named movie where an average Joe takes a pill to expand his mind to its full capacity, essentially making him a genius.

While I have no desire to have these capabilities, I do have goals to push myself beyond what I know when it comes to my wardrobe and this blog.  With the new year approaching, I have been jotting down thoughts for what I want for Designing From My Closet.  Getting wrapped up in the world of the latest and greatest in plus size fashion can leave a gap between the rapid growth of the industry and what real women are doing with their fashion.

I am by no means the most daring blogger out there who is pushing the envelope by rocking a crop top or a body hugging dress and I do not think that is why I created this forum.  I will be leaving the envelope pushing to those who have that particular mission in mind and I commend them for doing so.  Creating a true style for myself and others who share my passion for creative, artful, colorful, and patternful dressing who happened to be plus size is right where I want to be.

I want to be limitless to where that creativity takes me!

My most popular (and my most favorite) series here are my seasonal Anthropologie Style Plus Size Clothing posts where I round-up a full shopping list with links.  I am extremely passionate about this topic and it seems like other ladies out there feel the same way.  The comments I have received have tugged at my heart strings.  When I first started I struggled to find what I was really looking for, but over this past year my eye has become more and more acute to seeking out this unique style.  Now when I am looking for clothes for myself in the plus size arena, I follow a rule: What Would Anthropologie Do or WWAD.  Old personal rules of “I can only wear V neck” and “I must have a cinched waistline” have gone to the wayside and let me tell you, it has opened up a whole new world, a limitless world of fashion!

This WWAD philosophy led me to today’s look.

Paisley Print Fit & Flair Dress from Forever 21 Plus with the Ava + Viv Open Knit Shawl | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogWhen I first saw this floral paisley dress on the Forever 21 plus website, I immediately thought how much it would fit into an Anthropologie dress collection.  It has a fit and flair silhouette, high neckline, and is sleeveless.  The autumnal color palette of navy, red, gold, and green was an obvious choice for the season.  It has a tiny bit of tulle under the skirt for fullness, but not enough to be unappropriate for a day dress.  In years past, this dress would have never gotten past the limiting rules of the neckline being wrong.  I am so thankful that did not prevent me from getting this amazing dress that fits my personality so well.  And to be perfectly honest, I think the higher neckline looks fabulous on me!Paisley Print Fit & Flair Dress from Forever 21 Plus with the Ava + Viv Open Knit Shawl | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogThat neckline got filled with one of my current favorite necklaces that is actually from Anthropologie.  Can the colors be any more matching?!!  I love how it frames my face.  Since the weather is turning a bit cooler (thank goodness), this longline chunky cardigan with a large shawl collar was a welcome addition to the outfit.  Reminiscent of a “grandpa sweater”, the warm caramel color and slouchy cut bring a more relaxed feel to the dress.  The fact that it has short sleeves is genius to me because in Southern California, the temps do not dip down low very often.  Although the overall shape is baggy with this layer, the combination of the cardigan with the fit and flair dress is appealing to me.  My past need to ALWAYS accentuate my waist feels unnecessary with this look.Mini Leather Satchel from Forever 21 and Lace Up Flats from Old Navy | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogA few items that I have worn many times on the blog are getting seen again like this mini satchel and lace up flats.  These are essentials to me that have some personality of their own.  Another accessory that is on repeat are these wood and resin bangles that are very Anthropologie-esque.  They had similar ones a while back that did not fit my large wrist, so I was thankful when Charming Charlie came out with this version.Lucious Link Necklace from Anthropologie and Wood & Resin Bangles from Charming Charlie | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogEverything put together here makes an ideal outfit for me, Anthropologie style.  Earthy elements with a touch of elegance.  By letting go of ideas I thought I had to follow give me something I never thought I could achieve.  To all my fellow plus sized ladies who have proclaimed to me that a trip to Anthropologie led to emotions filled with tears and disappointment, not to mention leaving empty handed, this style IS possible.  I encourage you to open up your mind to the possibilities out there.  Do not limit yourself to settling for a style that is not you.

The other big point that I want to make is that I recognize that this is a space for me to show fashion, but this is a very small portion of my life, as it should be.  Clothes are an avenue to express personality, and while they make me happy, they are not a substitute for true happiness.  I try on A LOT of clothes and I have to tell you, most of them do not work out and that can get frustrating.  This is not a reflection on me or my body, it simply means the clothes do not work for me.  While I would love to shop at Anthropologie and have their items fit me, it simply is not the case.  I soak up inspiration when I look online and mostly in store there, then turn around and apply those ideas to what will fit me.  The process may be a little more challenging, but the end result is so worth it.  Paisley Print Fit & Flair Dress from Forever 21 Plus with the Ava + Viv Open Knit Shawl | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogOutfit Details

I will continue my series of seasonal Anthropologie Style Plus Size Clothing and my winter 2015 post will be coming up in December so keep a look out.  In the mean time, think about what you want to happen in 2016 when it comes to your wardrobe.  What do you want to change?  What are you looking for?  What is holding you back from getting that style that you really want?  Make a list of what is is you specifically like such as details, colors, patterns, prints, as well as more overall feelings such as relaxed, romantic, whimsical.  These observations will only help you make better decisions the next time you go shopping.

With the new year approaching, it is the perfect time to do some self reflection and answer some of these questions.  And again, I love when I receive comments and am happy to answer any questions here on the blog, on Instagram, or Facebook.

I am linking up with Happiness At Mid Life.

Today’s Postivity Note

Clear you mind of CAN’T.

Be Blessed!


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Poncho Perfect

Different personalities have always intrigued me.  For a long time, I thought that other people looked at things the same way that I do.  It became very apparent to me when I did an interior design project for my husband and I.  My husband is analytical and runs his own logistics business so I naturally thought he could pick up on my elaborate, yet straight forward design plan that included 3D computer images of the completed room.  I was so excited to share it with him, but it fell flat when he could not see my vision.  In my head, I already saw the completed room and all he saw was the budget.


Well, to move forward, he said he was confident in my abilities and we agreed on a plan.  While I was happy he trusted me, I wanted him to see what I saw right from the beginning so he could enjoy the process as much as me, yet it was not until the last piece was installed in the room that he proclaimed that he thought it was beautiful.  I am not knocking his intelligence whatsoever, as there are so many things he comes up with that blow me away.  His brain just works differently than mine and that what makes us be a great team.  We see things in a different way and that is a great thing.Aztec Print Poncho from Forever 21 Plus with Chambray Skirt and Riding BootsThe same mentality goes towards clothing, and more specifically styling.  I now recognize that some cannot see beyond how an article of clothing looks like on the hanger in the store, on the mannequin in the store, or on the model on the website.

Forever 21+ Tribal-Inspired Poncho

How do I wear this?  What am I going to wear this with?

These are the questions that often get the answer of “I do not know” so the piece gets left behind or even worse gets purchased and never worn.

This poncho is a perfect example of that.  I got it a few weeks ago during my Shop With Me video at Forever 21.  I picked it up because I was inspired by this picture that Heidi posted on Instagram with her wearing a belted poncho over a dress with riding boots.  She is a fellow Anthropologie lover so I love her posts even though she has a much different body type than me.  I knew as soon as I put it on in the fitting how I was going to style it for its first wear.

Aztec Print Poncho from Forever 21 Plus with Chambray Skirt and Riding Boots

It is a little frustrating to me to show you items that are no longer available, as this poncho is ALREADY sold out online (check in stores though!), but I also want to keep things real and show you what I am really wearing.  The outfits I post here are not just for modeling, but are the actual things I wear.  To keep this blog realistic for myself, I want to share more of a styling aspect rather than being a place you shop everything off my body, just as I did with my inspiration from Heidi.

With that being said, I belted this graphic gray and white poncho with a brown belt that has a faux “knot” over a simple white tank and chambray skirt that I picked up on my recent Las Vegas trip.  I have been anxiously awaiting the day I could bust out my tall cognac riding boots.  These have been in my wardrobe for three years now and I was hoping they still had life in them.  They still do, but I may have to look for another pair next fall because I know how much I wear them.

Aztec Print Poncho from Forever 21 Plus with Chambray Skirt and Riding Boots

By looking beyond the one piece of clothing and visualizing the outfit as a whole allows you to have a clearer picture of how versatile it will be.  I also plan on wearing this poncho with skinny jeans and camel colored suede midi skirt.  This poncho is open, more like a blanket style with buttons under the arms and at the front.  I can see it worn totally open with it draped over the shoulders, buttoned up, and knotted like I did my fringed one on Instagram.  Aztec Print Poncho from Forever 21 Plus with Chambray Skirt and Riding Boots

The next time that you shop for yourself or look at that piece in your closet you have never worn before, use this tactic: never look at one article of clothing as a stand alone piece.  Each item is only a part of the story, part of an outfit.  Styling is the key to making a successful look.  By belting, tucking, knotting, altering, embellishing, even the most ho-hum of pieces can be transformed into unique and personalized clothing.Aztec Print Poncho from Forever 21 Plus with Chambray Skirt and Riding Boots

Do you struggle with styling?  Do you have an article of clothing that you cannot seem to find anything to wear with?

I would love to help!

I am looking to do some great new posts on styling personalized looks for my readers.  Please email me at or comment below letting me know and we will go from there.
Aztec Print Poncho from Forever 21 Plus with Chambray Skirt and Riding Boots

Outfit Details

Poncho: Forever 21+

White Tank: Chico’s

Chambray Skirt: LOFT Outlet

Belt: Target

Bracelets: Charming Charlie

Zippered Faux Leather Mini Satchel: Forever 21

Boots: No Rest For Bridget

More Ponchos I am loving:


one  |  two  |  three

four  |  five

Today’s Postivity Note

Live simply, love generously, learn constantly.

Be Blessed!


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