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Back to Basics: Where to Shop for Curves that Pop! 

Oooh, where does she shop though? Happy Friday Fashionistas! On this special Friday I want to share something special for all my women size 14+. Whether you go by "curvy", "full figured", "plus sized", "thick", "rubenesque" or some other even more obscure moniker, what we all have in common is a certain set of unique shopping challenges.


Honestly, if you wear any specialty size (including petite for the small packages out there) the fashion retailers are not really there for you. (A visit to any mall anywhere will confirm this.) By special request, we here at TGL want to address where a woman wearing larger sizes can go to find wonderful fashion. Why? Because we love our followers, and we love to see gathered ladies of all sizes express themselves and be free to rock! (Not to mention, there's a special place in my heart for my thick sisters- we are one, ya'll!) 

Rule #1: There are A LOT of options for plus size shoppers, you've just got to train your eye. 

It's less about there being no options, than about learning to ignore the junk and zero in on what you're looking for. There are plenty of brick and mortar stores out there that have been selling plus size for decades:


  • Department stores (Macy's, Nordstrom, Dillard's, etc.)
  • Plus Size Chains (Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Torrid, Forever 21, Dress Barn, Cache, etc)
  • Discount outlets (TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ross <-- DO NOT DISCOUNT THESE BARGAIN SHOPPERS!!!)
  • Specialty boutiques (There is a huge searchable database of plus size boutiques located on the curvy fashionista website, here.) 
  • Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores (Buffalo Exchange, Good Will, etc.)


My point here is, don't discount these stores! There are a lot of wonderful fashion pieces to be found in these places, but the kinds of shoppers who do best in this arena have to be willing:


  • To visit these stores regularly.
  • To ignore all the items in the wrong sizes and zero in on the size you wear. Sometimes this means actively digging around, hunting, and going through racks and racks of "skinny" clothes. Can be depressing because you often come up empty handed or with only a few things.  
  • To try on items in the store. 
  • Visit a lot of stores and spend time out and about. This means driving around, burning gas, etc. 
  • To develop a good sense of style and an "eye" for putting together outfits. Often when you shop in these stores you find literally one piece at a time. You have to use your own creativity and imagination to actually know whether what you are looking at will fit with your wardrobe and look good with things that you already own. Less mannequins to lead the way! If you don't have a sharp sense of what you are looking for, this can be frustrating or intimidating. 


Which is why I'm not going to focus on those stores. I want to point the way to a easier, more fun way of shopping. A way that is so integrated into the things that you already spend time on, that you can't fail to make a go of it. It is also (in my opinion) consistently cheaper than visiting brick and mortar stores. Yes, I am talking about THE INTERNETS! 

Rule #2: Girls with curves cannot afford to omit online shopping from their arsenal of fashion acquisition! It is an essential element to a complete wardrobe. 

The best thing about online shopping is that it eliminates much of the work of the brick and mortar stores. Also it allows you to self-select the clothes you see, and visit more stores sitting at your desk with a latte and fuzzy slippers on than you could ever do charging around a mall or zipping all around town visiting boutiques. So often, when you are out shopping and looking for something in particular, you are at the mercy of what store's buyer has chosen to stock that store in. Looking for a black pencil skirt, size 18? Well, if Lane Bryant's buyer isn't putting out business separates that season, or if she only decided to stock the store with 2 skirts and you're the 3rd customer, you're out of luck. Online shopping eliminates all those issues. Yay! 

Have I convinced you yet? Are you asking where where where? Great, now I can point you in the right direction.. 

I don't really have a reason for including this photo. She's just hot and I want you to be super stoked about shopping online.

 Rule #3: Every woman should be acquainted with Marie Denee, The Curvy Fashionista, top blogger and plus size maven of style. She is your guide to learning the world of plus size fashion, designers, bloggers, and shopping. 

Marie's blog is my everything. It would be ridiculously unfair of me if I didn't give you a huge shove in her direction. Her blog is a nexus of the plus size fashion world, and an empowering place to visit. In fact, she's written an awesome primer of her own about skilled shopping for curvies, and I'm linking it here and check out this top ten list here. I'd be remiss not to include them! 

As for the websites that I, Danni of The Gathered Lady can personally vouch for (I bought stuff), here goes: 


  • One Stop Plus - one stop fashion mall stocked with only 14+. Great sales. Includes lingerie and swimwear.
  • Macy's - self-explanatory. Has a dedicated plus size section. Great sales. 
  • Monif C. - best swimsuits in the business. Originator of the convertible dress. Amazing cocktail dresses. 
  • Asos - british fashion outlet gone big in the US! Excellent fashion forward outfits. 
  • Kiyonna - their cocktail dresses and evening wear are tops. 
  • Simply Be - let me just say you gotta love those Brits. You're plus sized? Keep calm and carry on. To Simple Be. 
  • Carma Koma - Love sophistcated black, leaether, and grey palettes? This danish fashion retailer is for you! 
  • Igigi -  Igigi is an OG in plus size fashion known for their amazing (and expensive) gowns and formal wear. This sight is more a lookey-lou and a thrill than a regular visit. 
  • Voluptuous Vixen  - this is my favorite boutique in New Orleans, but wouldn't you know, they have online shopping? Now you can be down.
  • Jibri - Jibri is actually an etsy store, but the clothes are so HOT that it is fast becoming a fashion-forward establishment! Don't miss out! 

Well, what did I miss? Send in your suggestions on facebook or in the comments section below, and we'll add them! 



Dating & Mating: How to dress for a concert 

Happy Friday fashionistas! Glad to be back after a nice Thanksgiving break. I've digested the turkey. I've shopped on Cyber Monday because Black Thursday/Friday is for suckas and even finally reconciled myself to having to come back to work. So what do I have for my pretty princesses today? Glad you asked... 

This post is inspired by a recent conversation I had with my best friend, who's single and dating up a storm. A new boothang just hit her up with an offer she couldn't refuse --  tix to the Jay-Z concert! Score! She was stoked, and likes the cutie who asked her well enough, but whatever should she wear? 

A question for the ages. Dressing for a concert is actually harder than you would think. Definitely two minds are better than one on this issue. She came to the right place! And so did you. Today we're going to discuss what to wear on a concert date.

You want to be gathered. Stylish. Appropriate and comfortable (nothing like overdressing or underdressing for a concert- horrors!). But since it's a date and not just a regular concert, there's an additional goal besides comfort and style. There is also the goal to be hot, alluring, sexy, and to show yourself in the best light possible. 

When making your choice, consider: 

1) Time of Day.   Obviously night concerts are more flashy and daytime ones are more casual. 

2) Venue.  Is the concert inside or outside? At the theater downtown, or the open-air arena? Is it a huge stadium concert, or an acoustic, intimate bar? Also, consider the terrain because shoe choice is MAJOR. Is it on a grassy knoll? A stadium with huge ramps and stairs? Don't the limping chick with the dirty feet carrying her hooker stilettos (we've seen her! She's real!) 

3) Genre of Music. Yes, consider the type of music. Let it inspire your fashion sense. There aren't any hard and fast rules really, but... wearing black studded motorcycle boots to the Chamber Musicale? A tuxedo to Bonnaroo? See what I mean? Let the music be your guide. 

And now for some fashion inspiration... 

Evening Hip-Hop or Rock Concert 


Jay-Z Concert




  • Build upon simple base elements and layer accessories. As you can see, any combination of the great elements above will build a great outfit with lots of zing. 
  • Don't be afraid to use props: hats, glasses, gloves, suspenders, wallet chains, arm cuffs... outlandish under other circumstances but perfect for a great concert. 
  • Shoes should definitely be for comfort and lots of walking. No one will pay much attention anyways. Heels will bring a lifetime of regrets. This I promise thee! 
  • Add edge without going overboard. Camoulflage and metallic trends play up nicely. 
  • Don't be afraid to embellish both eyes and lips. Looks amazing in the low concert lights. 
  • Red lips are every woman's secret weapon. Werkkkk! 

Evening Jazz or Acoustic Concert Small Venue with Seating


Nora Jones Concert




  • You have a good chance of a candlelight situation here. Don't miss out - try smokey, dramatic eyes, and elements to catch the light and sparkle. 
  • If you play up the eyes, leave the lips slick and nude-colored. His eyes will be drawn there, again and again. Muah! 
  • Heels are back in as possibilities. Just step carefully - pun intended!


Now these aren't the only types of concerts, certainly. For any concerts more formal than the ones covered here, follow the same fashion guidelines as a cocktail party.  If you'd like to review what to wear to a daytime informal concert or festivals, visit our post here

Well what do you think? Did I miss anything? Have you ever been on a fun concert date? What did you wear? Share with us on facebook or in the comments below. If we like, we'll share! 



Dating & Mating: How to dress for a Thanksgiving date

Happy Friday fashionistas! Fall is in the air, the grocery stores are ripe with plenty, and Turkey Day is right around the corner. It's a great time for life... and love. Speaking of you and your boo, are you planning to spend Thanksgiving together? His family, yours, or both? If you're spending even a few minutes of the holiday with your honey and his family or friends, you've got yourself a Thanksgiving Date situation! 

A little awkward dinner conversation is part of the fun! You look great though. Seriously.

Thanksgiving can be a challenge not only for those trying to manufacture cooking skills (!), but also for those of us headed to a family not their own to spend the holiday. I mean, we know what to expect from Aunt Earlene and Uncle Skeeter at our Thanksgiving, but what's waiting over there at his family's house? Let's face it: Thanksgiving is a holiday often used to introduce or familiarize a significant other to not only immediate family, but also extended family and friends in a "celebratory" atmosphere, but those undercurrents can run deep, and you only get one chance to make a first impression. Gathered ladies that you are, you've poise and sophistication on lock. Gathered ladies that we are, we've got fashion on lock. Let's combine forces and tackle how to dress for your Thanksgiving date. 

Ground Rules

1. Don't go in blind. Investigate! 

In as much as you can, leave nothing to the imagination. Ask your sweetie what the gathered will be like! Time of day, activities, traditions, number of guests, number of kids, indoor or outdor... these can all be helpful hints to ensure that you're dressed not only to impress, but also appropriately. You don't want to show up to a football Thanksgiving gathered dressed in a Chanel suit! You also don't want to wear expensive fragile silk when the ladies always help in the kitchen. The more you know... the easier it is to avoid faux pas. Ask away! 

Thanksgiving Sportsfan


2. Dress Cleverly! 

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to dress cleverly. Clever = smart. Not too provocative, fashion forward, or complicated. What we mean by this is using some techniques like layering, accessorizing, hair, and makeup, you can cleverly play up a more simple outfit. I've been to many types of Thanksgiving gatherings, and one thing I've learned is that complicated outfits don't pay. I've definitely been grateful when I was able to peel off a layer, or take off jewelry or shoes and get more casual, however. (For instance, when playing with kids, needing to sit on the floor, or deciding to go out for a walk.) Leaving an extra pair of casual flats on the car is not a bad idea either, considering what type of celebration you're going to or the length of time you plan on staying. I've even heard of families that change clothes to go outside and play sports or games. 


Thanksgiving - Casual



3. Always bring something! 

This is not exactly a piece of advice about what to wear, but what you bring is part of that overall impression we were talking about. Wine, flowers, cheese, candy, and dessert are easy go-tos. If you're a barefoot contessa type, call ahead and ask about what you can make for the celebration. Leaving folks in a dead swoon over your sweet potato praline surprise will make the best impression ever! Hint: bonus points for recipe sharing! Another fine contribution is a game or activity for others to try. If you're good with kids and enjoy spending time with them, bring something for them to enjoy. All of these things are big winners and show a generous spirit, which will be appreciated. 

Thanksgiving - Formal

Now you have all you need to shock and awe everyone at Thanksgiving with your poise and fabulousness! Did we get it right? Comment below or facebook us your experiences, and if we like, we'll share! 


How to Rock Military Style

Happy Veterans Day! To all the Military personnel who serve our country, your service is priceless and appreciated. Not only do military protect our country, they also inspire pretty hot fashion  (and sometimes lust- yes, men in uniforms are hot!).

One of the major trends on the Fall 2013 runway is military inspired clothing. What I love about these looks, is that it's comprised of clean lines, dark colors (perfect for fall), and has tough androgynous appeal. You don't have to wear camouflage to be military chic (sorry, it just makes me feel very 'People Of Walmart'). Some of the key elements needed to pull of this look and stay sophisticated are: 


  • Mix hard (military wear, leathers, metals) and soft components (satin fabrics, jewelry, make-up)
  • Use an editing eye. Military aesthetic is clean and airy. Reduce the clutter of too many accessories
  • Metallics go great with Navy, Army Green, Cream, and White colors found in military uniforms
  • Purchase essential military style pieces that always come back in fashion (Army style jacket, sailor pants, striped shirts, dog tag necklace, aviator sunglasses)
  • Keep your purse small to medium sized and structured. This isn't the time for Boho satchel bags.


Here are some of my favorite ways to rock the look and still stay chic! 

Military Look 1




Military Fashion 2




Military Look #3




Military Fashion #4



What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. Have you rocked this trend and look fierce? Take a pic and share it with us on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at TheGatheredLady. If we love it, we'll share it!


DIY Spa Day Vids 

Happy Friday Fashionistas! Is it fall where you live yet? Rocking those great fall trends? You know, it occurs to me that it's hard to rock anything when you're worn down and not well maintained. To that end, I bring you DIY Spa Day!

Taking out some time to relax without breaking the bank at a professional spa is what you deserve, so light a scented candle, play some relaxing music, run a warm bath, and pour some wine.... after you check out these top videos to help you perform some body magic. 

DIY Eyebrow Threading by Eily311

DIY Pore Strips by Michelle Phan

DIY Bath Bombs by POPSUGAR Beauty

DIY Body and Facial Scrub by SunKissAlba

DIY Professional Nail Polishing by MissJennFABULOUS

Well, there you have it! With even a few of these amazing tips from gathered youtubers, you can have a productive and relaxing spa day and come out looking great. 

Did we miss anyone? Let us know by facebook or comment below! If we like it, we'll share it!