2020 | Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Friday, September 18, 2020

What Mid-Size (or Almost Any Size) Gals Need From H&M Right Now


With the change of seasons I often feel a little anxiety about what I'm going to wear. Thanks to age and quarantine I've added a few more pounds to my frame. Every time I put on weight I try to take things in stride and challenge myself with finding new pieces to add to the mix and build off of what I already own in my closet. As I moved into the mid-size & plus-size space I had a harder time finding affordable pieces that looked luxe. While most of H&M's pieces run XXS-XXL (and I typically take a large), they do have more and more plus pieces which runs up to a 4XL. Just know that stuff sells out fast (and no guarantee of restock) so if you see something you like—grab it! 

This post is not sponsored by H&M but they did gift me several of these pieces—thanks guys! And I'll try to link up what I can with affiliate links, which basically means I get a few pennies when you click on and purchase from my links. 

First let's start with my "shacket." I'm still not clear on exactly what a shacket is but it translates to a shirt-jacket. And frankly I like saying the word. Shacket, shacket, shacket. I actually spotted this one in a photo display in their store window over the summer and I think I may have screamed a little. I stalked the site until it finally dropped online. It was love at first sight and I knew it was going to be my go-to jacket for fall/winter. Don't get me wrong, it's not for everyone. Going to back what we discussed in my last post, it may not be something traditionally "flattering" but that shouldn't matter if it's something you love. It may not work for you because it is a lot of material and can overwhelm you, but there was something so chic about it so I just had to try. Note that most of their shackets size up to XXL with a only a couple shorter versions in the larger sized. Mixed it up with my Miu Miu velvet platform booties that I scored for almost 90% off at the end of season last year. 



From top to bottom:

Hat: Zara, sale rack $5.99

Sunglasses: Mulberry & Grand c/o

Shacket: H&M (sold out but check back for restock and they have other patterns available) c/o

Belt bag: H&M c/o

Dress: H&M sale rack $4 (I grab their basic tee dresses by the handful)

Boots: Miu Miu, $148 (RV $990), The Outnet

Nails: Popsockets Mani-Phoni (press-on nails have a matching Popsocket for your phone!) c/o



For my next look, it was all about this dress. As a dress girl, I usually focus my shopping on dresses (and coats) in shapes that will work for my curves. Because I'm short-waisted, I would have preferred a higher waistline but this one was workable. I know that my friend Greivy has this dress in blue and she belted hers. I also love a voluminous sleeve to cover the little extra I'm carrying on my upper arms. And if you were looking for a Bottega dupe, this quilted vegan bag from House of Want for under 100 bucks may be just what you need.




Hat: Zara, sale rack $5.99 (hey, I'm a repeater)

Sunglasses: Valentino, Sunglass Hut c/o

Necklace: Sequin NYC, c/o

Dress: H&M c/o

Bag: House of Want c/o

Sandals: Nicholas Kirkwood, sample sale (90% off—a few years old already)


Shop these styles (and some inexpensive versions too) here:


They also sent over a few looks for the kids for back to school. I decided to try to do more coordinating than matching to showcase their own personal style. 






A few of my secrets to shopping H&M:

1. Create an account and heart your favorites. I check my hearts daily to see if any of my out of stock faves were restocked. Not to mention your favorites may come back in another color. 

2. When shopping online, you can stack 2 codes. 

3. If you have very thin teen or tween girls, be sure to check out women's not kids. Ella can fit the XXS & XS women's (especially their younger Divided line) perfectly yet the size 12 girls may fall right off of her.     

4. In-store sale racks at the end of season will often have tons for $3, $4 or $5, so always be sure to take a peek when you pop by the store. 


Is H&M one of your go-to stores? What's on your fall wishlist?


XOXO

M

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Monday, August 31, 2020

The Problems With Plus

My latest Instagram caption was running waaaay too long so I decided it's time we talk about plus and mid-size fashion—and size-inclusivity. If you're looking for body positivity this might not be the place for you. It's something I struggle with. I work off of a fake it till you make it attitude with most things in life, so while some days I'm feeling it, there are plenty days that I'm not. So if you're easily triggered you might want to stop here.




In high school I was a size 4 and my younger sister (who's 2 years younger) was a size 14. People called her fat or told her she had a pretty face and all that BS. But what she had (that I lacked) was confidence. Boys flocked to her. Meanwhile I hid in my room with my girlfriends and we giggled because were too afraid to speak to boys. They actually called us "the gigglies".

That said, she gave up on clothing at an early age. Back then there was nothing cute or age appropriate for a young girl to wear if she was a bigger size. It was all matronly, frumpy, and not much fun. And forget shoes. She wears a 12WW which is next to impossible for anything other than sneakers. I did find her a style of Fit Flop size 11 slides that worked for her wider flat feet and high instep and she's been re-buying them ever since. She even wears them in the winter. Luckily I'm only a 9.5 (and not wide) or I don't know what I would do. To this day she hates to shop (even though plus has come a long way) and we just don't share my love affair with fashion. And frankly, I don't blame her.


I was a teenager in late 80's & 90s so even I found myself in oversized fits and a lot of Gap clothing from the men's sale rack. Grunge was a thing. But growing up in a Jewish religious/orthodox household I was also more covered up for modesty (tzniut) and the message I received was that our bodies had to be hidden (fat or skinny) and coupled with being naturally thin and being told I was too skinny—it was years before I was comfortable in my own skin.


So when I found myself in the mid-size/plus space a couple years ago I initially panicked remembering my sister's childhood shopping trauma. At first I would squeeze into 12 and 14 straight size pieces but it was a challenge finding the right shapes for my figure.


I finally starting playing around with plus brands and ran into a few fit issues: 


1. Why so do many plus styles have narrow fitted upper arms? When I gained weight, I gained there too. And when you're over 40, weight loves to stick there.


2. Not all plus people have huge boobs. I'm a D but most plus pieces are cut for even larger. What about gals who are smaller?


3. 99% of plus wrap dresses are mock wraps. But I prefer true wrap dresses to fit my proportionally smaller waist and bust. And half the time brands don't disclose if it's a true wrap or not so I'm left guessing. I love Tanya Taylor but I've learned the hard way that the hips are too narrow, top is too big—all because she only does mock wraps. If they did a true wrap version I'd be wearing them daily.


4. Not all plus women have the same shape. I'm still a pear. Well, more hourglass these days. But I'm finding most plus styles are for apple shapes. All these shapes need to be represented in a plus collection. Last year when Eloquii offered free alterations at a few of their stores I grabbed my trusty Ikea bag, filled it with every Eloquii piece I owned, and ran to the NYC store.


5. Most plus seems to be cut for taller women. I'm an average 5'5" (but short-waisted) and I have a hard time drowning in designs that seem to be made for a 6 foot woman. What are even shorter, petite-plus women supposed to wear? There is a HUGE gap in the market there.


6. Not every garment needs pockets and/or lining. I know some people like them but I don't. I'd rather wear my own slip or shape wear. And I don't like when pockets fall on the widest point on my hips. I'm already self-conscious about that spot. I don't want to add any bulk there.


Which brings me to this Torrid dress. It's a freakin unicorn. Unlike so many plus wrap dresses, this one has a true wrap so I can fit my bust and waistline to perfection. And I was able to cut out the inner slip (it's a great slip and I can wear it with other stuff but I always prefer lighter weight fabrics to skim the body) and wear with a nude bra and nude shaper shorts. I love the upper arm coverage and the subtle peek of shoulder. 


There isn't a lot of sizing left but it initially came in 10-30 (I'm wearing the 12). If you're lucky you can score one for just $22.79 right now (was $75.50). I was nervous to order it because on the website they didn't have a lot of reviews and there were zero pics on a model or reviewer, but I'm guessing it didn't blow out for those reasons alone. I was surprised I couldn't find any Insta pics of this dress on anyone because it's so good. It was tie dye-ish in the summer of tie-dye and it's so light and airy—it really is the perfect summer dress. I also think it will transition into early fall if I switch up the bag.





You can shop my unicorn dress, and the rest of my look here:


Sunglasses: Lafont Paris, c/o

Necklace: Sequin NYC, c/o

Dress: Torrid, was $75.50, now $22.79

Bag: Staud, sample sale score, $35? It was last day markdowns...

Shoes: Daybreaks, c/o


(Note: some links are affiliate links and some aren't. Meaning I make a couple pennies if you click on some. And the others I share anyway because I hate those people who won't link up just because they won't make any money on it.)


Also including some favorite size inclusive and/or plus styles that have caught my eye:




I'm finding that some plus brands are more size-inclusive than others. I personally look for sites like 11 Honoré and Torrid that start at size 10/12 and go up to 30 (sometimes higher). Don't get me wrong, I love Eloquii but I wish they regularly included 10-12 too. Their last special collection with R29 started at a 12 and I snapped up a bunch.


Sites like ASOS and H&M are not traditionally plus but now have lots of plus options too. ASOS is awesome because it has petite, plus and tall sizing for women. My pink NYFW dress was featured (with me in it) on InStyle.com and on their Instagram feed—and still gets random likes on my feed (seen here). It now comes in green in curve sizing too. Universal Standard goes next level with inclusivity with sizes 00-40.


Overall, I consider myself lucky. I have so many more options than my sister had. I also acknowledge that I have a different experience than so many in the plus community (like my sister) because I didn't grow up plus. We're not even gonna get into who's marginalized and not marginalized today, that's a whole other post. It can still be challenging, but when I find clothing that fits (it seems I can no longer use the word flattering because evidently that's triggering for some) and makes me happy, it makes it all worth it. And don't get me wrong, clothing that's traditionally "unflattering" is ok too if that's your choice. Fashion rules went out the window ages ago. Fat girls can wear crop tops and bike shorts too. Do what makes you happy.


I'm almost a little embarrassed to say that I used to refer to clothing as skinny Michelle clothing (which was my idealized version of self) and fat Michelle clothing (makeshift clothing to get by until I could fit my skinny clothing again). I also used to use a term called punishment clothing (ugh) which was when I would get a few pieces in a larger size to wear until I lost the few pounds I gained. So while the concept was good (it's so important to always have clothing that fits and makes you feel good about yourself to motivate you to get yourself out of bed in the morning) the term was terrible. I shouldn't punish myself for gaining a few pounds. What we all need is a little more forgiveness around here.


I had a fellow mid-size/plus influencer friend recently tell me that she had cut back on posting because of all the hate she was getting for promoting a "unhealthy lifestyle" just for sharing her killer style and basically just existing. She's not even that big—she's tall and stunning. And that made me so mad. I'm guessing she had an influx of these losers because of a few recent viral-ish videos and posts. Which is why I told her she had to keep up the momentum and and keep representing. All that extra attention (even if negative) means her voice has power and you can't let anyone take your power or your voice. EVER.


Why do we exclusively judge and define people by weight alone? How can we ever make peace with our bodies and feel good about ourselves if that's the only conversation? How about we start normalizing all bodies, shapes, colors, sexuality, races and religions. It's 2020 people. Different is okay.


So there ya go. I'm putting all my truths out there. I think I've been silent for so long over here because I wasn't ready for this conversation. I have so many started half posts that I just couldn't finish. Until now.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

First Fashion Haul of 2020



Happy 2020! Decided to kick of the year with a new post with all my epic sale finds of late. Last week TJ Maxx and Marshalls kicked off their yellow sticker clearance sale and I killed it. I also grabbed a few goodies at the Altuzarra NYC sample sale, which I almost skipped. So glad I didn't listen to my friend who told me not to bother...

This is not a drill people. You need to RUN to your local TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores because it's yellow sticker clearance time! Check out my close-up video that I shared on Insta here. This only happens 2x year and now is the time to hunt for all your favorite designer duds on the cheap. If you've missed the first round, don't fret. They usually follow it up a couple weeks in with a second round of markdowns so it's still worth a peek.



I always get a ton of questions about the yellow sticker sale so let's break it down. It happens at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods but always go to your local TJ Maxx Runway locations first for the good stuff. You can search for Runway locations on their website on their store locator. Runway stores have mini designer sections (as opposed to a stray piece or two) so you have a better chance of scoring.

My Longchamp Le Pliage logo tote is currently full price for $245 at Bloomies but I scored mine for $49! Did I mention I also scored a 2k Chloe bag for under $200? I got lucky because I got there before these were yellow ticketed (it's all in the timing!) but the lady ahead of me walked away with 2 Gucci totes for about $200 each. They weren't my style so no FOMO here. And before you ask where this was, don't bother, another lady after me who was clearly a reseller cleared them out minutes later.





Note, this is from just one store:

- Chloe mini quilted Drew, RV $1,950, paid $199 (This went viral on Insta LOL)
- Chloe Anna bag, RV $1,850, paid $399
- Longchamp Le Pliage logo small tote, RV $249, paid $49
- Kendrascott Val hoops, RV $75, paid $12




You always have to check the retail value because it's usually lower on the tag. For example, the Kendra Scott hoops are marked value $36, but the original tag with the $75 price is still attached. And my Chloe Drew is marked $1,590 but if you Google it you'll see the RV was higher too.

At Altuzarra sample sale I scored:

Ghianda Pearly Suede Top-Handle bag $200
Runway boots from Fall '19 $50
Black & white booties $35




Most bags were from 2017/2018 but I saw some 2019 too. Meghan Markle has been seen with a similar bag to mine in blue. I wanted the black suede because all my other black bags are leather and the pearl detail is on trend at the moment. And the great thing about having giant feet is that I can buy the models' runway shoes on the cheap.




Feel free to share the retail values of these things if you can find them. So less than $300 for over 4k in merch. Not bad if I say so myself—even if I may have had a bit of a disagreement with the designer's mom. A few people have asked about that story so here goes...

I was between events so I ran to the sale and then texted my girl Greivy to join. As I waited I saw a woman trying things on for her husband and she seemed a little unsure of herself. She had some great pieces and she just couldn't decide. She was cute and tiny and looked great in pretty much everything. She had on this cropped bustier/one armed checked blazer that was amazing. She kept pulling at it and felt it was a little big. I chimed in that they were cut for 6-foot tall runway models and she was petite so it might need a quick adjustment. She tried it on with a skirt so I suggested a high waisted pant or a button down blouse under...or maybe layer it over a chunky sweater dress....and that's when an older women screamed out, "absolutely not. I'm the designer's mother and that's not how it was meant to be worn." So I just looked at her (probably with a FACE) and said "there's no singular vision for fashion. Can't it be open to interpretation?" Seriously, how many people wear things exactly how they see them on the runway? She kinda studdered something back (honestly I'm not even sure what she said) but looked at me like I was the idiot. As a stylist I'm always looking for a fresh perspective. Not to mention. isn't the customer always right? And I would have rocked that piece over a ribbed sweater dress if it was my size.

Truth be told they aren't the nicest in that showroom. But the prices make it worth the abuse. The zipper on my $50 runway boots is broken so I asked for a small discount and they looked at me like I had two heads. I get it, it's already super cheap but another worker had suggested it and told me to ask at the front. Guess not. They also told me they don't give dust bags for bag purchases, but they did have them with some of the $50 last season shoes. So bottom line, not the friendliest experience but tons of great deals to be had. And you also don't have to go first day because they do restock, but better stuff does go first.




You can shop my look and my finds (not as cheap, sorry) here:



Other sales of note on my radar include:

The Zara sale is seriously heating up. Now is when I start grabbing cute pieces for NYFW.

I've been finding some fun pieces for 80% off Moda Operandi and they keep adding and slashing prices so you might want to check that sale out too.

And I did find a couple pieces at the ASOS sale too. Love that they have sizes small to plus!

Century 21 has 85% off but don't get me started on how good it used to be LOL. They did have an extra 20% off red tickets this past weekend and I suspect that may come back. I almost went to the downtown store on Friday but I got on the train uptown by mistake and it was getting late so I skipped. Eh, there's always another sale or another deal...

Now tell me your best shopping deal from last week! And feel free to ask all your sale questions below!

Happy shopping!

XO
Michelle

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