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Entries in what to wear (8)


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! 



How to dress from Work to Play

Every truly gathered woman knows the motto "work hard/play hard" and embodies that to some extent. Playing hard is about self-care, not partying recklessly and destroying your youthful glow.  We all need down time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. So when it's time for happy hour, a casual date, a social event, or other enjoyable after work function, how do we transition our outfits to save time, money and clothes? See our go to ideas on how to change work outfits from day to night.

To Do


  • Use accessories to elevate the style of your work basics. Adding bracelets, cocktail rings, dramatic earring and statement necklaces works wonders.
  • Use a fierce and dramatic shoe to increase the sexiness of your outfit without changing your hemline or lowering your collar.
  • Add a waist belt to loose dresses to give shape and chicness
  • Switch from a bulky tote to a chic clutch
  • Increase the drama of your make-up. Highlight your cheekbones, add mascara/liner, try a dark lipstick.
  • Don't forget your favorite perfume
  • Let your hair down or switch the part. 


Great Pieces to Build from


  • Use fitted pants rather than traditional slacks
  • Pay attention to fabric. It's easier to move from day to night with more luxurious fabrics  (silk, leather, satin, beading, etc)
  • Use colorful jackets and blazers rather than cardigans
  • Keep killer high heels in your car
  • Have a Fashion Emergency Kit in your car (read our post on this here)



Work to Play #2




From Work to Play




Work to Play #3



Have you rocked a work hard, play hard outfit? Share it with us at The Gathered Lady on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and if we love it, we'll share it!


What to Wear When You Have "Nothing to Wear"

Happy Monday Fashionistas! We've all been there: room full of clothes, closet packed with options, impending deadline to be dressed, overwhlemed and saying "I have Nothing to Wear!"

"Where is my collarless White Fred Segal Shirt?!" (Clueless)This happens to be best of us. Even The Gathered Lady Bree gets lost in a sea of options and personal frustrations. I've outlined a few problem scenarios and handy go to outfit ideas to take the frustration out of these moments. Here are some suggestions:

To Do: 

  • Keep wardrobe basics clean and buy multiples if necessary (I have 3 basic white and gray T's and several black shirts with different collars).
  • Use shoes to create trend power and give your outfit a style lift
  • Accessories are everything. Using them makes people think your outfit took lots of effort.
  • Don't skimp on hair and make-up finishing touches. A ponytail can be sophisticated if groomed properly. Mascara, a wisp of blush, and lip gloss makes a world of different versus a plain dry looking face. A bold lipstick can create the illusion of dramtic timely make-up.


  • Resort to walking around in sportswear/gym clothes all day
  • Haphazardly throw on wrinkled and dirty clothing
  • Wear oversized mounds of clothing to cover and avoid your body. It's beautiful in all it's shapes and sizes and there is always something you can accentuate

 Basics to Buy & Keep: 

  • A pair of dark denim jeans that fit properly
  • A white, gray, and black basic T-shirt
  • A nice blouse in a print and solid color
  • A pair of black pants that fit properly
  • A colorful pair of shoes, purse, clutch, and necklace/earrings/cocktail ring for accents
  • A little black dress
  • A blazer 

Here are 4 scenarios that I hear women struggle with the most. 

Problem #1 I am lazy/sick/too tired to put in effort. This outfit is ideal for casual shopping, errands, possibly running into someone at Target.

What to wear when you have Nothing to Wear 1




Problem #2: "I feel fat/bloated and none of my clothes fit!" This outfit is ideal for a casual date, movies, lunch or dinner with friends.

What to wear when you have Nothing to Wear 2



Problem #3: "I have NOTHING-- No time--- & Must look Nice for this event!" This outfit is ideal for a date, nice dinner, mixer, cocktails, business casual dinner or event. The tights can be exchanged for black jeans or pants. The power of this look is in your grooming, make-up, shoe, hand-bag, and accessories game. Looking "expensive" is a powerful default to fall to. Show off your face, hair, eyes, and accents and keep the clothes very simple.

What to wear when you have "Nothing to Wear" 3



Problem #4: I've got no creative juices left. Only the little black dress remains! The little black dress can be worn to work, play, or casual activities. It's all about the accessories & shoe game!

What to Wear When You Have "Nothing to Wear" 4



Boom! Now you've got options and all of the outfits can be assembled quickly, without specialized undergarments, and are comfy. Did I do a good job? Let us know in the comments below. If you rock one of these versions share it with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter at The Gathered Lady. 


How to rock Earthy and Bohemian Style: Boho Chic

Recently I've been doing a lot of personal styling and make-over for friends and fashion clients. One of the styles that is greatly misinterpreted and highly requested of many of these women is bohemian style, often referred to as "earthy, beachy, hippy, mother-earth, or natural". The problem with some of these terms is that there is often a negative connotation to them (i.e. ungroomed hippy-nature woman). This evokes mental pictures of eccentric women with wild hair, mounds of drab-drapey clothing, a tambourine, and granola shoes. This doesn't have to be! One of the best modern examples of fabulous Boho-Chic (emphasis on Chic!) is Nicole Richie. Her use of draping, colors, vintage, and hippy wear is well balanced and crazy cute!

But there are several ungathered ways this look is carried out. Maybe I'll save that for another article, but I'll give you the ungathered highlights as well as a few gathered recommendations:

Do Not

  • Wear extremely oversized clothes. Yes, Boho Chic is often flowy cuts and draping, but that should not mean you look like you can fit 2 small kids in your clothes.
  • Only wear long peasant skirts, maxi dresses, and knit-wear. This is as crazy as people who only wear leather. It's overkill.
  • Let your appreciation for more "natural beauty" turn into poor hygiene and grooming. Mascara, a brush, Lip Balm/Gloss, and accessories make a world of difference in adding the "chic" to Boho-Chic.
  • Neglect ward-robe essentials and structured clothes. In order to be a versatile gathered woman, you'll need basics like dark denim jeans, slacks, and other structured pieces. There are always ways to put Boho touches on almost any look.
  • Wear flip flops 24/7. Comfotable and cute shoes can be a little bit of a challenge, but don't let that translate into laziness by wearing sneakers, uggs, crocs, and other weather/occasion inappropriate shoes that will make your look fashion unfriendly.

 Do Try: 

  • Mixing simple prints in moderation and working up to bolder prints. Prints are an easy way to add Boho style.
  • Vintage wear. It can add charm to your look and fashion diva points to your rep!
  • Colors. Just because the term is "earthy" doesn't mean you need to stick to brown, tan, cream, and green. The earth has every shade!
  • Jewelry. This can be a big misconception about Earthy style. Accessories is actually a major part of this esthetic. Try rocking turquoise, crystals, gems and minerals, bangles, hoops, or feathers!
  • Strappy Sandals, Toms, Ankle Boots, Ballet Flats, and Retro and Vintage heels to meet your footwear needs.

Here a few examples of some Boho Styles that can be rocked to various occasions!

To Work

Bohemian Outfit #1



To Semi-Formal/Dressy Event

Bohemian Outfit #2



To A Date

Bohemian Outfit #3



To Shop/Casual

Bohemian Outfit #4



To Outdoor Event in the Fall

bohemian outfit #5



To Music Concert/Party

Bohemian #6



Do You have amazing Boho Chic style? If so, we'd love to see it! Share your photos with us at or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @ TheGaheredLady and if we like it, we'll share it!


Dating & Mating: A Gathered Man's Guide to Dressing on a First Date 

Happy Monday! Today I am hoping that life imitates art because I have had several recent experiences of men showing up to first dates either looking or behaving in an ungathered fashion. Despite their visual offenses, these men had no malicious intent. But nonetheless, they were poorly dressed for the first date. If you're a loyal reader, you know I wrote a post for women on the same subject matter: How to dress on a First Date. Now, the messages men are sending on first dates are totally different than women, but we'll get into all of that in a bit...

Trust us when we say that 'all the single ladies' would prefer if single men use this guide for dressing on a first date. If there's one thing the staff at The Gathered Lady know, it's fashion and what gathered women like. And to our lovely fashionistas reading this, feel free to forward and share the link to every man you know! 

Our top voted look by our readers: Business Professional's Event/Mixer/Happy Hour 

She's wearing any of these!


If you're a professional single in your late 20's, 30's or 40's you may likely have dates after work. This look still holds sex appeal, and can shift from office to happy hour/mixer with the addition of a crisp blazer and your debonair cologne. These dates are mid-range price point for professionals who can afford a round or two of cocktails and/or appetizers or dinner for a cost at or above $80.


Here are some general rules to follow:

1. Don't dress like a slob: That statement seems so obvious, but it's the number one complaint women have. Slobsville doesn't only mean dressing like the local homeless guy. It's also when your look has an apparent lack of effort. It's found in the details.  Women report the following issues as slobville territory:

  • wearing hats/baseball/basketball hats (without explicitly attending a sports event)
  • tennis shoes (without playing a sport/attending a sporting event/active activity)
  • sleeveless shirts and wife-beaters
  • graphic T's with offensive and silly slogans
  • baggy pants
  • poor hygiene
  • gym clothes
  • flip flops

2. Don't dress too trendy: As a man you want to dress so that you don't lose points. When gathered women dress for a date, we already know you are sexually interested in us and we aim to make you more attracted to us while balancing your level of respect. Women work on a deduction system when judging men -- we start off with a certain value/attraction and then from there deduct value/attraction based on things we observe. We remain interested if you dress appropriately and our attraction is increased by your positive behaviors on the date. However, if you fail to dress well, the chemistry begins to rapidly die even before you display any behaviors. We're talking major setback here, guys. Your best bet is to avoid setting off any triggers for disinterest. Many fads can set off a woman's alarms.

  • extra tight skinny jeans- gaydar alarm goes off
  • very baggy pants- ghetto alarm
  • army camouflage- crazy or trashy alarm
  • muscle shirts- jerk/douche/meathead alarm
  • sports jerseys- loser/frat boy alarm
  • too much jewelry- cheesy/player alarm

 3. Don't forget the essentials:

You can score bonus points and stay in her good graces if you wear the following items provided they are occasion-appropriate for your particular date:

  • A watch- Women love watches. It shows that you probably have to be on time for something. And possibly have a job in which you try to be responsible and timely for.
  • Casual and dress shoes: It doesn't bode well when grown men only own tennis shoes.
  • A casual jacket or blazer: It adds sophistication to almost any outfit and is better than your college sweatshirt.
  • Money: Cash is sexy. Don't ever go on a date without your plastic and at least $50 in cash. Yes, $50. It's 2013 and this site is for gathered women. So that price point is reasonable for a good time with a sophisticated top-quality woman.
  • Cologne: Women adore men who smell good. You can earn MAJOR sex appeal points here.
  • A CLEAN car & car keys: I don't care if you borrowed a set of keys for the evening. It looks better than bus tokens. And if we are riding in your car- stop at the car wash and invest 50 cents in a quick carpet vacuum.

Now that the basic rules are covered. Bring your 'A game' with your gentlemanly behavior, see The Gathered Man's Guide to a First Date and choose your outfit.

Date Option 1: Lunch date, Movie date, Casual Date (Pool, Bowling, Miniature Golf)

She's wearing this! This look is perfect for men dating in their early 20's. These dates are generally cost conscious with price points less than $60. You can opt for dark denim jeans, a button down shirt with short sleeves and casual scent for easy going fun.




Date Option 2: Live music concert, Art walk or Show

She's wearing this!If you picked this type of date, you've already got a strong "Cool" factor going. Be sure to take that edge and rock a little bit of masculine man jewelry like a necklace or a skull and bones money clip. This look balances casual comfort with effort and style just like her edgy and sexy outfit. This date, much like the clothes offer a range in terms of price point ($60-$150).



Date option 3: Park Picnic, Flea Market, Beach, Outdoor Activity

She's wearing this!Here is your opportunity to have a carefree and casual date while still showing your excellent taste and sophistication. A picnic, the beach, or flea market is the ideal time to wear shorts and use that axe or old spice you have lying around. This date's price point is very low (less than $40) and your clothes can reflect the simplicity of the date without setting off the cheapskate alarm (one of the most deadly warning signs to a gathered woman). If you have a messenger bag, this is a great time to pull it out and fill it with picnic snacks, a blanket, or your flea market finds.


Date Option 4: Cocktail event, Fancy Dinner date, Theatre

She's wearing this!5000+ bonus points for you if this your first date. You are certainly taking a very gathered woman out and you're aiming to impress her. This outfit will achieve that. You'll look quite daper with cufflinks and a boss ring. And don't forget the hair pomade to show your superior grooming skills. This date is for a man with comfortable means at a price point of at least $100 and upwards.


 Now that you've got your handy list of options and price ranges, the rest is up to you. Don't forget the gathered man behavior which is the most essential part of the date. Compliment your date, be chivalrous, respectful, and your charming self! Now go get 'em tiger! And ladies- share, share, share this article!

Do you have a first date that doesn't fit into these categories? Need help? Write us at and we'll help you figure out great styling for a first date. Do you have pictures of your first date outfit that rocks? Email or tag us on facebook, twitter, or instagram @Thegatheredlady and if we like it, we'll share it!