Curvy, Classy, Confident

These are the 3 words I’ve chosen to describe myself, and I’m having a great time creating an image board of pictures that portray this. September’s Instyle magazine is a goldmine, but don’t expect to find much in old issues of Oprah, Redbook or Real Simple. All I could found there were women in t-shirts and jeans.

A call from a real estate broker got me moving on this project last week. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt when she called at 4:00 asking to see Mr. Campbell’s house at 5:00 (we’ve accepted an offer but continue to show the house until we enter a contract). I literally panicked at the thought of finding something to wear in time for a showing. Fortunately, our tenants saved me by being unavailable.

My goal is to have a basic wardrobe in place that conveys this image so that I’m not caught unprepared again. If you’ve been following my posts since April, you know it’s a big accomplishment for me to reach this point.

The three words together should help me avoid mistakes. For instance, take the dress in the picture in last Friday’s post. Curvy? Yes. Confident? Yes. Classy? Probably not. (But it was only $30 at Syms, and I loved what the color did for my eyes.)

I realize that “curvy” has BBW and plus-size connotations, which is why I won’t use it for the Red Violet brand. But I do love the word curvy. To me, it means feminine and sexy without going overboard on sexy (“voluptuous” probably goes overboard on sexy). Choosing to include “curvy” in my image words means no hiding under baggy, shapeless clothing.

Besides cutting pictures out of magazines, of course I’m having a great time shopping. You can see my two Ann Taylor finds after the jump.

It’s been a while since I’ve found anything I like at Ann Taylor, so I was pleasantly surprised to find these two items at one of their stores a couple of weeks ago. They didn’t have my size in stock, so I’ve ordered them online.

This dress has a great scoop neck, and the cotton-silk follows curves without clinging. It will look good with a jacket or cardigan or on its own. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

I love a pencil skirt. Please let this one fit when it arrives! The fabric is like a heavy, stretchy knit–super versatile and pack-able.

Reading List

By the time my friend and I finished dinner Friday night, we’d missed all the starting times for the chick flicks we wanted to see. So we read chick magazines in a Barnes & Noble Starbucks instead. All the September issues are on the stands now, and I’m noticing a trend in articles that target our desire for value for our money. There’s a lot of advice on how to avoid making mistakes, what items are classic and worth the cost ($695 for black platform Christian Leboutin pumps*), where you can find less expensive versions of the same thing (e.g., if the style is baggy, look for it in the men’s department–like an actual man’s cardigans vs. the boyfriend cardigan) and how to dress for your body shape. I haven’t seen this much substance in a long time.

I also enjoyed a photo poll (I can’t remember which magazine it was in my stack that night!) of whether celebrities choose what they wear based upon comfort or style. It’s naive, I know, but I always assumed that celebrities were so skinny they could be comfortable in anything. It turns out not to be the case. As one woman put it, “If you want to be comfortable, stay home.” I will continue my quest for comfort and style, although I tend to err on the side of comfort if I must choose.

Finally, I’ve started two books from the library: “Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur” by Pamela Slim, and “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. I’ll probably be sharing from them in future posts.

*How long will platforms stay in style, even if it’s a hidden platform? You can find less expensive, classic-looking, non-platform Leboutin pumps for less at And of course you can find even less expensive, classic-looking, non-Leboutin pumps everywhere else.

Speaking of shoes, I just discovered this site today–a German shoe company that customizes for your foot. If anyone goes to their Red Bank, New Jersey location, I’d love to hear about it!

Wish List

I fell in love with this pretty little Leifsdottir top at Bloomingdale’s last week and then discovered I’d cut a picture of it in blue from a magazine a few months ago. So I must really like it.

Even if Bloomingdale’s had had it in my size, I would have been shocked if it had fit my bustline. If it did fit my bustline, you know it would be in my closet no matter what the cost. My dream is that full-breasted women will someday be able to find sheer, feminine, detailed things like this from Red Violet.

I’d never heard of Leifsdottir until I stumbled across it last week. With its name and attention to detail, I thought the brand might be German. Actually, it’s Anthropologie‘s new luxe line (the name is a Scandinavian surname meaning “daughter of Leif”). Here are two other pieces I really like.

Fitting Instructions for the Corsetiere

I love this link. Calling a customer “madame” may be outdated, but the following quote seems especially relevant:

“The main thing . . . is to gain her confidence and make her recognize that you yourself are thoroughly accustomed to dealing with the undressed female figure.”

Yes, I definitely need to practice to reach this level.