More Sweater Dresses

Hello Southernistas! Did you really think last week’s post be the last post about sweater dresses? Of course not! As the temperatures drop and we get closer to winter, December 21st, sweater dresses are a must for my closet and yours too so here are more sweater dresses I got from Lane Bryant. I’ve also added links to other brands at different price points.

Until next time Southernistas and remember Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Lane Bryant
Lane Bryant Hacci Midi Dress — also come in Purple and Green
Ashley Stewart Bell Sleeve Sweater Dress
Ashely Stewart Fringe Sweater Dress
Swing Sweater Dress — Roamans

My Favorite Cozy Mysteries of 2021-Part 1

Hi Southernistas! As we come down to the end of 2021 I want to share my favorite cozy mysteries this year. Some of these are new mystery series I discovered this year, debut mystery series, and old friends that I’ve been reading since the first book hit the shelf. I hope these books will make their way to your TBR (To Be Read) pile or make you curious enough to give cozy mysteries a try.

You can purchase these books from your local independent bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Good Reads and everywhere books are sold. I have also linked the author’s website just click on the author’s name.

  1. And Then There Were Crumbs (A Cookie House Mystery) by Eve Calder

This cozy stars Kate McGuire a Manhattan transplant who finds herself working as a baking assistant in Coral Cay, FL at the Cookie House after a failed relationship. Coral Cay is a delightful town and Kate finds herself falling in love with the little town and the town’s dog. The owner of the Cookie House is gruff Sam Hepplewhite who Kate persuades to hire her but when Sam is accused of murdering local real estate developer Stewart Lord it is up to Kate to clear Sam’s name. I really enjoyed the plot and the story really moved and didn’t plod and I found myself loosing sleep because I just couldn’t put it down.

2. In the Dog House (A Dog Club Mystery Series) by V.M. Burns

I discovered V.M. Burns this year and she is a writer of color so if you’re looking to read more writers of color V.M. Burns is a must! I was hooked from the first sentence and literally couldn’t put the book down. The armature sleuth is Lilly Echosby and this first book finds her trying to clear her name after the body of her recently divorced husband if found dead and all clues point to you!

3. Class Reunions are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery Series) by Libby Klein

Recently widowed Poppy McAllister finds herself trapped in grief and self pity and what better way to shake things up then to go home to Cape May, NJ for her 25th class reunion which she was looking forward to like you look forward to a root canal. While home she finds out that her Aunt Ginny is in danger of being committed by an social worker and then the most popular girl in school and her bully is murdered and Poppy is the prime suspect. Now Poppy along with help from her best friends and Aunt Ginny to find the real culprit. This is a really great series.

I Tried a New Brand…and I Love Chic Soul!

Happy Thursday Southernistas! So for those of you who have been with me from the first post then you know I am pretty loyal to Eloquii, Lane Bryant, Just Fab, Full Beauty (off/on relationship), and Ashley Stewart to name a few but I really do try to step out of my fashion comfort zone and try other brands but I must confess I look but I don’t step. One of the biggest reasons is sizing especially with independent brands the sizing tends to run small. As with every woman sizing varies depending on who you shop but with my tried and true I know that my size 24 is just that and will fit.

Well last week I tried a new brand…yeah me! I’ve been seeing Chic Soul ads in my Instagram and Facebook feeds forever and although I’ve seen a lot of things I liked and even loved I hesitated because again sizing. I just didn’t want to purchase ponchos and wraps. Then I saw one of my favorite influencers do a haul on her YouTube channel and we are the same size and the same body type (apple) and I decided to give it a try so I purchased this turtleneck red cable knit bodycon sweater dress and I love it! It is the perfect length, it is well made, it is true to size and the fit is on point! I will definitely be adding more Chic Soul to my closet.

Until next time Southernistas Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Sweater Dress — Chic Soul, Booties from Just Fab (old)

December Means…12 Days of Cozies!!!

Hi Southernistas! Now I know you’re thinking wait didn’t she just post a blog? Yes I did but that one was about fashion this is about my other favorite thing to do and that is READ! My favorite genre is mystery and within that genre I love cozy mysteries. What is a cozy mystery you may ask? The best definition I can give is: a cozy mystery is a mystery that usually takes place in a small town with an amateur sleuth trying to solve a murder mystery with no over the top violence, profanity or sex. Think Jessica Fletcher and of course the queen of the cozy mystery Dame Agatha Christie.

Having said all of that I want to introduce y’all to the Cozy Mystery Book Club (also the IG and Twitter handle) which is the creation of the wonderful Angela Maria Hart whose IG is @writerathart. Angela has created a wonderful community across all social media platforms except Tik Tok but it could be coming. Every month we vote on the book we want to read for the next month on Twitter and at the end of the month we discuss that book on the book clubs YouTube channel Books Are My Hart (like & subscribe). There are so many of other goodies that happen every month but I want to talk about what happens every December!

Every December cozy mystery lovers look forward to the 12 Days of Cozies! It is cozy mysteries on crack! Angela pours her heart and soul into making 12 Days a success and the fact that our favorite authors not only give books to be won in giveaways but they give their time. Every day of the 12 days we get to talk to authors on Instagram and Twitter plus there are readings done on Twitter as well as Q&As. I love the Instagram challenges that are so much fun. I missed participating last year chiefly because I didn’t know anything about this awesome event until after it was over but this year I am prepared.

If you are an avid cozy mystery reader like I am check out the website: www.thecozymysteryclub.com and there is a section all about the 12 Days of Cozies with a complete list of all the authors and each day the author will be on IG and Twitter, the challenges, the blogs and coloring pages! This month there will not be a book club discussion at the end of the month but there is a buddy read going on and the book is In Peppermint Peril by Joy Avon.

If you’re looking for a new book series to read or are curious about cozy mysteries this is a great time to discover a new favorite author!

Until next time Southernistas!

Sweater Dress Season

Hello Southernistas! I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that y’all are enjoying the leftovers! If you traveled I hope you had a stress less travel holiday with no delayed flights and not (too) crazy traffic. In the next few blog posts I will be talking about sweater dresses and the brands I love. This week’s post is about Lane Bryant sweater dresses but it is not sponsored by Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant is my go to for affordable and stylish dresses and sweater dresses are included. I actually bought 6 sweater dresses (there was a sale) and I don’t regret a single purchase. I love that Lane Bryant’s sweater dresses are feminine and come in different styles from A-line to bodycon and you just can’t go wrong!

I’ve stated before and even wrote about how much I don’t like Fall but with that being said I must amend that because I do love fall fashion and I especially love when I can break out the sweater dresses…oh yeah! Fall is referred to as sweater weather, cuffing season, and cozy season but I like to refer to it as sweater dress season. I love a great sweater dress they give you a cozy feeling and warmth. Every year when I add to my sweater dress collection and this year is no different. Some are very heavy and warm and some of them are very light weight for 60 plus degree weather.

Every brand offers several dresses in every color, length, type (A-line, bodycon, sheath), and weight (heavy and light). This is the perfect time to grab them up with all the sales that are happening and if you’re not a dress girl they would make a great gift for the dress girl you know.

Until next time Southernistas!

Lane Bryant Fit & Flare Sweater Dress (Sold out) Alternate
Lane Bryant Mock Rib Sweater Dress
Lane Bryant Rib Mix Sweater Dress, Shoes — Just Fab (old)

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: @reginathesouthernistaTHE SOUTHERNISTA FOLLOWS

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Sofistafunk Girl

Hello Southernistas! I hope you’ve had a great week and are getting ready for not only the weekend but to regain an hour of sleep as we turn back out clocks. Today I want to talk about an independent size inclusive brand that is woman and black owned and a totally cool and unique fashion brand and that is Sofistafunk the Skirt Co . I discovered this brand about 3 maybe 4 years ago thanks to an Instagram ad. Arlinda McIntosh is the owner and incredible designer of this brand and trust me when I say once you see her designs you will find yourself reaching for your credit card. 

The designs really are one of a kind I mean Arlinda elevates the denim skirt to a whole new level and believe me you’ll get nothing but compliments. I’m not going to lie to y’all some of her pieces are expensive but they are worth your dollars and she offers customization plus this brand is environmentally responsible and most of their designs produce zero waste! If you have any questions you can reach out to Arlinda and she will respond to you pretty quickly. This brand doesn’t just offer denim skirts I just love the denim skirts but you will find dresses, tops, and accessories also.

As a plus size woman independent brands are a plus size girls best friend! They really do design with a larger body in mind and they give us the fashion that we want and demand and they are worth every dollar. I have purchased two denim skirts from Sofistafunk and I have never been disappointed. 

When you order from Sofistafunk keep in mind everything is hand made so it will not ship out that same day you order it takes about 10–14 days without customization. She does offer customization which can add to how long it takes to receive your order but it is well worth the wait and Arlinda always adds some little extra goodies in your order. 

I recently purchase this lovely maxi denim skirt and it fit my 5″3 frame perfectly and I’ve gotten nothing but compliments. Don’t sleep on this brand!

Until next time Southernistas!

Sofistafunk Denim Maxi Skirt, Top — Ashley Stewart, Denim Booties — Nine West

Print Love: Houndstooth

Hi Southernistas! Let’s talk about houndstooth! Now I know for many of you any print is scary to wear because we’ve all heard “the rules” no polka dots, no florals, no strips, and only wear black to make us look “smaller.” Well throw those rules out the window and embrace….houndstooth! I love this print in fact it’s right up there with my love of all things gingham and polka dot. If you look in my closet you will see plenty of all three prints but houndstooth to me is by far the boldest of the prints (I also call it the optical illusion print).Houndstooth is a very sophisticated print and it can make you look very pulled together and elegant. This print is as previously stated a bold print and you have to wear it with equal boldness and fierceness! This print not only comes in black and white but you can find it in other bold colors like this print from Ashley Stewart who does has really taken it up when it comes to this particular print.

I encourage you to give this print a try. If you don’t want to do a head to toe look try wearing a pant or skirt or a blazer/jacket in this print. You’ll feel elegant and trust me the compliments will come!

Until next time Southernistas! Be Bold! Be Brave! Be Beautiful!

Duster & Pants– Ashley Stewart

Created for Purpose

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

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

I’m Baaaccckkkk!

Hello Southernistas! Did you miss me? Did you even realize I was gone? Well I missed y’all. Forgive me for leaving? So I went back and looked and I haven’t posted anything since the beginning of 2019 and well I don’t think 2020 needs to be mentioned right? Last year was a year of sheltering in place and for me quarantining because I tested positive for COVID but that’s over and we are halfway through 2021. I am fully vaccinated and I hope you are too! If not I encourage you to get vaccinated and be safe!So while I haven’t been written anything in well over a year it doesn’t mean I have abandoned my fashion journey. By no means in fact I think that I’ve upped my fashion game and I have grown into my style but still pushing myself. Some trends I’ve tried and loved and some I abandoned which is totally cool. While I didn’t completely jump on the lounge wear bandwagon I did add to my closet more lounge wear adjacent pieces. My shoe collection has grown so much which I didn’t think would happen once Payless closed their doors but I had options and I exercised those options looking at you Just Fab.

So this year saw my church reopen every Sunday instead of every other Sunday. We saw a new and historic President and Vice President sworn in this year. On the fashion front Betsey Johnson did a collaboration with Torrid (which I indulged in) and Target did an amazing dress collection with Christopher John Rogers, Rixo and Alexa, and my absolutely favorite blogger Kellie Brown of andigetdressed.com did her first ever collaboration with Amazon’s the Drop and I hope to see more collaborations for Kellie! Again I indulged in all of these.

I will do a separate blog post about my turning 50, yes, 50 this year! More to come.

So I am officially back with a slight change to my name and I am excited to be back! I am including some pictures of some of my purchases from the said collections I mentioned.

Until next time Southernistas! Be Bold, Beautiful, Be Brave!

Betsy Johnson x Torrid Rainbow Dress (sold out)
Christopher John Rogers x Target Tie Strap Hi Low Dress
KelliB x Amazonthedrop Dress (sold out)