The Ultimate LBD

Hello Southernistas! I thought about writing about 4th of July inspired fashion but I decided to give it a pass this year and just encourage you if you feel so inclined to rock the red, white, and blue!

Instead I want to spotlight this cute faux leather with mesh inserts LBD (little black dress) I scored from Ashley Stewart and it was in the clearance section. Last time I checked this dress was still available in limited sizes but it is still available so go check it out. If you’ve been wanting to jump into the cut out trend but are not fully on board with it this dress is the perfect alternative to a dress with cut outs with its mesh inserts.

I am a big fan of the LBD and am a firm believer it should be in every girl’s closet. It is literally the most versatile and sexiest piece in your closet I promise you. It can go from day to night all with the simple change of accessories. Gone are the days of a so called plain simple black dress now they are body con, cut out, and faux leather and mesh. I am wearing a shaper slip underneath (it’s not lined) but you can wear it without anything underneath if you want to show skin and it runs large so if you want a fitted look size down if your size it is available.

Until next time Southernistas!

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Finding Your Style

“Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it.” — Diane von Furstenberg

Happy Thursday Southernistas! We’ve almost made it to the weekend and I’m sure we are rejoicing that it is almost Friday. 

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time and now I’m going from thinking about it to writing about finding your style. The sage advice from fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg are wise words to live by my friends. When it comes to fashion it also reminds me of the quote by Yves St. Laurent “fashions fades, style is eternal” which is so true and many of us tend to think of fashion and style as the same thing but it is not. Fashion is what you wear and fashions change all the time but style is who you are. It is finding what works for your personality and life and making it your own. For many years I struggled with this very thing I thought fashion was style so I spent a lot of years chasing trends and clothes and never liking anything because I was rolling with the fashion instead of defining who I am I let fashion define who I was. It took me a long time to find my style but I finally found it and so while I follow fashion (almost slavishly) I am looking at what I can incorporate into my closet and fits my style which is modest, classic, and super feminine I mean you’ve seen the pictures so I’m sure y’all already worked out what my style is by yourselves. 

Finding your style doesn’t happen overnight it takes trial and error and really knowing who you are and what works for your life. Style can be edgy, feminine, nerdy, sexy, vintage, eclectic and the list goes on and on. Maybe you’ve let others define your style for you and you’ve just worn what you were told to wear but was never comfortable well this is the day you declare your independence! If you’re plus size then I don’t need to tell you that for so many years our style was determined by a bunch of dos and don’ts and mumus. 

I can already hear some of you saying but how do I find my style? Glad you asked first take an self assessment of you ask yourself what makes you feel like you. Ask friends you trust what words would they use to describe you and take those words and use them to determine your style. Think about you automatically find yourself wearing or your what are your go to pieces. Is your go to a killer leather/pleather jacket and jeans and cool top sounds like you have edgy style or do you find yourself wearing that jacket with a cute little pencil or mini skirt is could be a mix of edgy/sexy. You can have more than one style but it needs to be unique to you.

Another great resource to help you find your style is a subscription service like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, Dia & Co, Wantable, Amazon and so so many other fashion subscription services. With these services you complete a style quiz which you can update and change as you find your style and depending on what service you use you can get between 5–10 pieces to try on in your home. You can keep what you like and return what you don’t like or you can return everything and all it will cost you (again depending on the service) is $20. You work with a stylist and some of these services the stylist will actually reach out to you and talk with you to get an idea of who you are before they actually send you a style box.

Style is all about who you are! It makes a statement about that all about you and nobody knows you better that you do! When you find your style and you will it may take some trial and error it did for me but once I stopped chasing fashion and thought about who I was my style reflected who Regina is and yours will too!

Until next time Southernistas!

Eloquii Sun Dress, Shoes & Tote Just Fab (NLA) alternate, alternate, alternate

Embrace You

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde

Hello Southernistas! I hope ya’ll’s week has been a good one! First let me start off by saying Welcome MARCH! As far as I’m concerned when March arrives it’s Spring even if the 1st day of Spring is March 20th.

I want to encourage y’all to embrace who you are. Now if you’re thinking this sounds like something she has already talked about then I say it may very well be but I’m going to beat the drum until you get with the beat! I’m not just talking about accepting your body and learning to love the body you have now rather than the body you want but I’m talking about all of Y-O-U! Yes that’s right embrace all the loveliness of your person. Every quirky, weird, funny personality trait about yourself. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea but you are someone’s cup of tea. We spend way to much of our life trying to conform to the expectations of people who in reality don’t really matter in the grand scheme of thing. God made you and gave you your own individual idiosyncrasies that makes you unique. Our ultimate goal is to be who God has created us and called us to be.

It took me years to embrace myself and to stop trying to fit in with everyone just to have friends by changing who I am. I finally embraced that yes I like rock music, B movies, classic movies, and other things that people find weird but when I embraced me that’s when I found my real friends. Real friends love the person you are and they help you to grow as a person but not loose your spark or who you are. I am blessed to have real friends in my life who lift me up and have always loved and accepted me for me but have helped me to grow and do the whole adult thing.

There is no one like you. No one can bring to the table what you can bring to the table or offer what you have to offer. Only you have that particular skill set to do what needs to be done. No one has your sense of style, sense of taste, sense of humor, or problem solving skills that are unique to just you. So go ahead and embrace all of you. If you need help seek help from a great therapist who can help you on your journey of growth.

Y’all life is too short to bend ourselves to the will of others instead of just embracing who you are and being who God has created you to be so I encourage you today to embrace YOU! As Polonius said to Shakespeare’s Hamlet ‘This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.’

Until next time Southernistas!

Why I Love Shoes…especially Heels!

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“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world!” Marilyn Monroe

Hello Southernistas! Well I hope y’all are having a great week and that you have great plans (or not) for this last weekend in February! You might not know this but I love shoes! I actually own a little over 100 pair of shoes. I’ve actually written previously about two of my favorite shoe brands Nine West and Just Fab. Now I can hear the men saying “what woman doesn’t love shoes”…LOL! But my love of shoes especially heels border on obsession okay it is an obsession. I mean I use to watch Sex and the City just to get my shoe fix. I wear heels 6 days out of 7. My motto is the higher the heel the closer to God!

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love high heel shoes it is definitely a life long love affair. I think I get my love from my grandmother who loved heels and tried to pass it on to my mother but it skipped her and passed to me. I remember going out shopping with her and how she would bypass the flats and go straight to the heels section of the store. I guess it rubbed off on me because I’ve been wearing heels since I was 13 and as I got older my heels got higher. At one point I actually owned a pair of 5 1/2 inch heels.

Why do I love heels maybe its because I’m 5’3′ and I love how “tall” I feel when I wear them. I love how great my legs look in heels and as a short girl when I wear maxi dresses, skirts, or certain pants heels assist in “lifting” the hems so I’m not tripping over my hems and I don’t have to pay a visit to my tailor. They give a little extra oomph when I walk. Heels can take a plain ordinary look and kick it up a whole level. You’re wearing a LBD (little black dress) just add a killer pair of red stilettoes, animal print, sassy pattern or a jeweled sparkly shoe and boom just sit back and watch the compliments roll in!

The best things about heels is that unlike shopping for clothes they fit regardless of dress size. I love that heels come in different heights, types, and styles. I love a wedge heel for a relaxed and causal look and they are the best type to wear if you want to wear heels and be comfortable. Block heels are right up there with wedges when it comes to comfort but are dressier and perfect for the office and church. Stilettoes are for the ultimate girly girl and when you want to totally vamp it up! I myself am personally a stiletto girl and they make up a large percentage of my shoe collection but when I want to feel sexy, fierce, and unstoppable then my go to shoe is a pair of killer stilettoes and I feel like I can take on anything or anyone!

Now I know that many of you can’t wear heels or any kind for health reasons. Some of you have had surgeries, suffered sports related injuries, are dealing with a chronic illness, back issues and other reasons. I have friends who love heels but are just not able to wear them. But for those of you who are just a teeny, tiny bit hesitant about wearing heels my best advice is to start with a kitten heel (2″) or a cute little wedge and work your way up and stop at the heel height that feels comfortable for you.

I absolutely love shoes and I’m pretty sure when I’m 95 I’ll still be wearing high heels and they will probably be orthopedic and I’ll probably be using a walker but I’ll still be wearing them and loving them!

Until next time Southernistas! Keep your head, standards, and heels high!

The Southernista

I’m a 50 something southern girl who has a passion for fashion. Join me on my fashion journey. Follow me on Instagram: @reginathesouthernista

Yes You Can!

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Hello Southernistas! As I was thinking about what I wanted to talk to y’all about the campaign slogan from President Obama’s 2008 first presidential run popped in my brain! His slogan was Yes We Can except I substituted the we for you (you get it). This also lead me to Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” So many times in this life we live we are more often told no you can’t do that in one way or another but as then Senator Barack Obama proved Yes…You…Can! The Apostle Paul list a number of situations he had experienced but then followed up with verse 13 in chapter 4 which is every Christian’s go to scripture (and Romans 8:28). I think about all the times I allowed the negative words from well meaning and some not well meaning people to tell me I couldn’t do something or you can’t wear this or you shouldn’t wear that because of my size but I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to listen to the no you can’t/shouldn’t and start to listen to the yes you can Regina voices!

Today I want to let you know: YES YOU CAN! Yes you can start that business, blog, YouTube channel. Yes you can wear that swimsuit, pattern, print, color. Yes you can leave that toxic relationship weather it is a romantic, a friendship, or a work relationship. Yes you can write that book. Yes you can heal from unspeakable trauma with the help of a great therapist and Jesus. Yes you can take that trip by yourself or with your girls. Yes you can buy that house all by yourself. Yes you can take that chance on that new relationship. Yes You Can! Yes You Can! Yes You Can! YES…YOU…CAN! God will give the strength you need to make the steps you need to make.

It is so important to surround yourself — not with yes people — but with cheerleaders who will always bring out the best in you, cheer you on, encourage you, tell you the truth, help you achieve your goals. I am blessed to have some great cheerleaders in my life. People who saw my potential when I didn’t and couldn’t see it and was listening to the negative voices. People who loved me, encouraged me, pushed me, cheered me, and wouldn’t let me accept less than in my life. Who said to me yes you can until I could say if for myself. This blog exists because of my mom, a friend at work, my church (love you AHOD) especially, and my besties Lisa and Laura. When I first thought about starting a blog I talked to my cheerleaders and they helped me pick out the name of my blog and gave me really great input and not one word of negativity or discouragement was spoken.

So if you’ve been thinking about taking that first step in a new direction in life and you’re wondering if you should let me be one of your cheerleaders to tell you YES YOU CAN with the help of God (always seek God first), therapy (if needed), and great people in your life you can achieve your goals!

Until next time Southernistas!

Skirt & Top from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Faux Leather Blazer from Eloquii, Shoes from Just Fab (sold out)
Cropped Blazer, Top, Skirt from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Shoes are Just Fab (sold out)
Blazer and Jacket from Lane Bryant (old), Turtleneck from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Shoes are Torrid (old)
Faux Leather Blazer and Pants from Eloquii, Sweater from Old Navy, Booties from Just Fab

Created for Purpose

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For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesian 2:10

Hello Southernistas! I was actually working on something else as I struggled to come up with a topic for this week’s blog post then this week then I felt the Holy Spirit whisper you are created for purpose! The verse that immediately came to me is Ephesians 2:10 which has become my life verse and I often speak this verse over me when I am bombarded with self doubt.

So I abandoned the blog I was working on for this week and wanted to let you know that God has created you for purpose. There are so many self help books and gurus out here that say they can help you find your purpose but the only book you need is the Bible, God’s holy word, that speaks truth. There are times when we wonder why am I here what is my purpose? To know what your purpose is you need to know who Jesus is and once you come into relationship with Jesus and begin to walk with Him trust me you will begin to realize that you are created for purpose and He will help you to walk in your purpose and live out your purpose.

For so long I wondered what my purpose was in life I even read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren but still felt like my life had no purpose. Then one day during my quiet time with God I was lead to Ephesians 2:10 and this verse just stuck me and made me realize that I am His masterpiece and I was not created just to exist but to do and everyday I strive to live my life with purpose. I am not just talking fashion but to be that light that points others to Jesus. 

Just know that God has created you for purpose and where ever God has planted you He put you there weather it be temporary or permanent you are there for purpose. You are there to be an agent of change for good and to have a positive affect on the lives of those you come into contact with. Purpose doesn’t require wealth or celebrity status all it requires is a willing heart and faith in Jesus.

Until next time Southernistas! Live with Purpose!

Healthy at Any Size

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Hello Southernistas! The one thing I never ever talk about on my blog is weight loss or exercising or anything remotely like it but as I was wondering what to talk about I just couldn’t get away from this subject so I want to talk to y’all today about being healthy at any size. Now before you move on just hear me out first. I’ve spent most of my life on one diet or another I mean literally since I was 13 years old I’ve been dieting. I’ve lost weight and gained (more) weight. I decided in my 40s that I was getting off the diet hamster wheel and just make peace with my weight and live in my body and live my life and that is what I’ve been doing for the last 7 years.

Let me say right now before I continue that I am not getting weight loss surgery or starting a new diet in fact I’ve started a healthy lifestyle. Also I am not here to judge or put down weight loss or weight loss surgery. You have to do what is best for you! I had to make changes due to high blood pressure and I now use a CPAP machine so I knew I needed to make some changes but it took me a long time because all I heard was loose weight i.e. go on a diet.

Once I realized that getting healthy does not mean going on a diet but making life changes then I was able to realize that healthy does not equal dieting. So I’ve stopped eating fast food every day but I try to limit my fast food stops to once a week, I walk 2 miles or more 3–4 times a week, I eat at home more and bring my lunch to work but again to get to this point I had to stop looking at exercise and healthy eating as “dieting” which was a major obstacle for me. As a plus size woman diet culture it constantly pushed in my face and I constantly get unsolicited weight loss ads and suggestions on my social media sites when I block. It wasn’t easy but it helps when I go walking and I see bodies of all shapes and sizes being active, I see plus size influencers who work out not for weight loss but to take care of their bodies and I have an amazing doctor who really talks to me and not at me and treats ME the person.

Luckily there are loads of resources (listed below) out there to help you get started towards a healthy lifestyle regardless of what the scale says. Plus more and more brands are creating plus size workout wear we can be just as cute and stylish as we move our bodies. If you’re looking at being healthy as dieting just know that you are not alone in this thinking. Once we get off that diet wheel we don’t want to fine ourselves back on the weight loss/weight gain merry go round but I just want to encourage you to get moving weather it’s dancing, walking, bike riding, skating or whatever it may be just enjoy moving your body.

Until next Southernistas! The fashion will be back in the next blog…PROMISE!

If you’re wanting to start a health journey check out these websites:

Health At Every Size Community

National Eating Disorder Website

Association for Size Diversity and Health