(Who wouldn't take fashion advice from these two? ;) Note: this picture was taken after the campaign.)
I am super excited to share a post from my friend, political/fashion badass and plus-size fashion blogger, Renee Cafaro. When shopping my clothing mantra is basically "WWRD?" (What would Renee do?) Check out her amazing tumblr here. Below Renee gives her tips for dressing for success for job hunt or non-campaign job in Washington DC. AND if you are size 10 or higher and looking for an affordable convenient wardrobe check out my post on GwynnieBee and use my code to subscribe. Take it away, Renee!
Dear Campaignsick fans,As I get ready for another advocacy summit in my old home, Washington D.C., I am forced to re-examine my wardrobe. The Nation's Capitol,or as I fondly remember it as "The Town of Blue-Shirts-and-Khaki-Pants", is less tolerant of quirky workwear than NYC. Even with a career in politics, I can still get away with wearing knee-high boots, patterned tights, sweaters and the occasional dark-wash jean and still look work-appropriate in the city.
You do not know me but we have a mutual love for Nancy. My name is Renee and a couple years ago, I had the pleasure of working with the brilliant and revered woman behind Campaignsick on a major citywide campaign. We shared a passion for social justice and skirts, so I knew would be friends for life. I am so excited to do this crossover post between her blog and mine: plus-size fashion blog, FoxyRoxyFashion. Whether you are plus or not, a lot of these rules will apply to you. Before we begin, repeat after me: You CAN be a feminist and be fashionable. The Fox-propagated stereotype that I must be a man-hating, bra-burning troll just because I would like congressmen to stop legislating my body is truly absurd. So now that we have gotten that over with, I hope you enjoy this article.
In the halls of Capitol Hill or power-lunching on K Street, you need to bring your business wear A game. Let's call it "House of Cards couture". Tailored. Classic. Neutral. Powerful.
The only problem is that with plus-size women this is a tall order. The crisp white button down either looks bizarrely vulgar as it strains to stay buttoned over your big boobs or it buttons properly and rest of it looks dumpy. There was an unforgettable moment in my fashion life when I found myself on the verge of tears in a Lord & Taylor while shopping for suits for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. This sent me on a quest for things that look sharp enough for the Senate floor and still kinda sexy.
Why?! Why can I not find a power suit that flatters my full figure and not plague me with baggy butt or uncomfortably tight thighs? Even my slim friends have the same problem finding a suit that fits their top half and bottom half equally well right off the rack. Well I found the answer! Suit Separates! Sounds obvious, right? Actually many do not carry perfectly coordinated suit separates in a range of sizes and lengths. I found that Anne Klein and Rafaella are the best for those who are harder to fit. Ann Taylor is spectacular if you are an 18 or under and do not carry your weight all in you middle.
PRO-TIP: Look for 2-button or 3-button jackets to avoid the lapels bunching out around the bust. If need be, take the jacket to a tailor to get it taken in around the waist since the jacket sets most of the silhouette of the suit. Speaking of silhouette, avoid wide leg or straight let pants. Boot cut or curvy fit skim your curves and balance out hips without an excess of fabric.
ACCESSORIZE LIKE A BOSS:
Madeline Albright isn't the only woman who can own a room and an Hermes scarf. You can too! I like traditional accessories like chunky gold or pearl necklaces, nicely structured handbags and some oversized shades like the ones made famous by the "Text From Hillary" picture. Now that I think of it, we have had some pretty stylin' Madame Secretaries. If you are a fan of CBS' brilliant new show, Madame Secretary you will note that Tea Leoni also always looks impeccable. Perhaps diplomacy and designer duds go hand in hand?
We digress. Again, Ann Taylor is a great resource for coordinating, quality jewelry at an affordable price and we are obsessed with Coach and Kate Spade bags. They are timeless and nearly indestructible! On a budget? Charming Charlie has something for every trend in every color.
PRO-TIP: Remember that the running around the halls of Rayburn burns your feet. ALWAYS shop Aerosoles, EasySpirit, Sofft and other comfort brands for pumps. Other shoes will not last the day without damage to your feet and we try to avoid flats with skirts unless you have long legs.
INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE:
OK, we know this is something you may be discussing in a budget hearing, but what we mean is: be sure to buy all of the foundations you need for a solid wardrobe. This includes smoothing foundation garments, perfectly structured dresses and control-top panty hose (NOTHING beats L'eggs control toptights for comfort, shape and wear). Any avid reader of FoxyRoxyFashion knows that we are obsessed with the style and ease of dresses. If you find one that fits well in a classic shift or 3/4 sleeved shape, you are ready for any meeting with only a few accessories. For 12+, Go to Kiyonna for a huge selection of sleeved dresses. They are the hardest working items in my closet without ever wrinkling or looking old.
PRO-TIP: Shift dresses can be boxy too, so look for ones with a bit of stretch and/or get the darts tailored like we suggested for your blazers. An ill-fitting shift can make you look heavier so it is worth the effort. Also, be sure dresses are never too tight and hit just at your knee.
You are looking fierce, woman! Now, go show the good old boys at the Old Ebbitt Grill who's boss!
PS. Want more awesome guest posts AND to help me afford the beautiful clothing Renee recommends? Help support CampaignSick!