Playing Dress Up: Spring & Early Summer

If I could live anywhere in the whole entire world, it would be somewhere where everyday was jeans weather.

But, I don’t live in such a place, I live in Ohio. It gets hot and muggy and humid and gross here, and my hair, thighs and fashion palette don’t enjoy it one bit, so I relish the small peeks of Spring and Fall we get every year, and take full advantage it, because very soon, my thighs will be all rubby and my boobs will sweat.

Like last time we played dress up, I thought I’d give you another look at some of my current favorite (totally affordable) items, how I put them together, and how it truly doesn’t matter what size you have to buy, it’s all about the fit, man.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, try stuff on. Online shopping is fun, I do it a lot, often at night eating a bowl of Cool Whip, when Andy isn’t lurking over my shoulder, but until you know how certain cuts and shapes are going to fit your body, having nothing to do with the size you order, you’ll probably end up returning it.

Or, in my case, not returning it, because you are too lazy, so just throw it in the back of your closet to fester along with your defeated self esteem and empty bank account. (I might be projecting.)

White pants can be a scary, scary situation. I never wear them when it’s close to my period, and they are an absolute must in the try on department, because, fun fact, many white pants are see through. These are wide leg white Chinos (Lands’ End, size 16, $70), they are not too heavy, not transparent, and I love tab waist pants because they help me feel held in where my belly feels all pouchy.

This is a great shower outfit. White pants with a fitted white cami (Target, size XL, $8), and a yellow lightweight Cardigan (Lands’ End, size L, $49) that I belted. I love belts. They make a waist where there is none, and I feel slimmer. Like I said before, thin belts don’t work for me because of my large chest, but the proportions of a thicker belt balance things out. Another tip, I always size down in my cardigans. They usually stretch really well, and I like the arms to be fitted and not oversized and boxy.

A girl can never have too many maxi dresses, especially if said girl hates shorts and thinks summer is stupid. This is a really simple maxi dress (Target, size XXL, $27.99). I look for two things with these, 1. can I wear a bra with it, and 2. is it long enough. There is almost nothing as horrible as a too-short maxi dress, not even war or famine. So, I always look for a dress that at least covers my ankles. Like I’m Amish only not afraid of cleavage.

This dress looked really thin and plain on the hanger, but the elastic waist is adorable, and it sits just below my chest, so I don’t feel self conscious about my stomach. It’s also very, very long, which makes me very, very happy. I am 5’7 and I am wearing this with flip flops. It’s the perfect summer chill dress.

This jacket looks like a cropped Member’s Only jacket from the 80’s with a frilly neck. It’s from Old Navy (Size XXL), I actually cackled when I saw it, and tried it on as a dare to myself. In a shocking turn of events, I loved it.

I paired the cropped jacked with a long navy v-neck cami (Target, size XL, $8), some dark wash flare jeans (Old Navy, size 14, $25) and a fun burnt orange necklace (Target, $14). It’s dressy like a blazer, but also girly with the ruffles. I don’t support cropped clothing, but for this jacket, I make an exception.

Two very blah things. A grey cropped sleeve cardigan (Gap, size XL) and a meh white empire cut shirt (Walmart, size XXL, $12). You see these shirts everywhere, and they almost never wear well as is, especially if you are busty. But, I love the cut of the v-neck, and I really want to make this work.

This is one of my favorite outfits. I took the grey cardigan and white shirt, and belted it to add not only interest, but it’s now keeping the shirt in place so my bra doesn’t hang out. I added some cute yellow heels and some dark wash flare jeans (Old Navy, size 14, $25).

I don’t like business wear, I’m very much a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, so dressing for things like tv shows or interviews has always been a challenge for me. I found this blazer in my closet, it’s NY& Co, size 14 and probably from 2000, which totally makes it vintage, right? It was covered in dust and had some foam almost-shoulder pads things in it, I cut those out.

I love pairing blazers with some sexy jeans (Mudd, size 15, Kohls $19.99) fitted tops, and then pops of colorful jewelry (Target, $14), which is what I did here. Now, I feel girly and professional, but totally comfortable.

I saw this sweater on sale in-store at the Gap (Size XXL, $19). On the hanger, it has absolutely no redeeming qualities. It’s boxy, the neck is weird, and the color, really? Neon yellow. Who looks awesome in neon yellow!?

This is something I wear on the regular. What’s that? Plus size girls can’t wear horizontal stripes? False. The color is surprisingly doable, especially when I tone it down by layering it over a long fitted white cami and some, yes I know OMG, skinny jeans. Alright fine, they’re jeggins (Old Navy, size 14, $34). But here’s the thing, they hold their shape and while my thighs are an area I hate, I think the oversized bright top helps balance it out.

This outfit feels very Audrey Hepburn meets Zooey Deschanel…and I’m ok with that.

Facebook Comments



    • Brittany says

      Ugh, I loath summer, I’ll be like Peeta and bury myself in moist moss along a river bed somewhere.

      Or just wear maxi dresses and jeans with tank tops.

    • Brittany says

      The belt with the white shirt is from Lane Bryant, and the belt with the yellow sweater is from Old Navy. Luckily, belts are so in fashion so they are everywhere, find a thick one (definitely try it on, you want it to be tight enough to stay up), and the ones with elastic in the back are awesome for that!

  1. Kristy says


    Question- Where are you finding loooong camis or tanks? I am very busty, more so than you and I am a plus sized gal. Even at Lane Bryant or the Avenue the tanks and camis barely come to the top of my jeans! I want LOOOOOOONG ones! Help!

      • Jamika says

        I also LOVE a long tank or long v-neck cotton shirt. I was able to find some long tanks in Torrid (my area finally has one in a mall close to me!). But I am totally loving Target’s maternity v-neck cotton tshirts. They are tight enough they don’t look maternity, v-neck because I have a round fat face and I DON’T do round neck shirts, and they are long enough they land right at the zipper area of my jean capri’s (also Torrid, stretchy and LOVE them, just by a size down from what you normally wear) or regular jeans. I’m a size 18 usually in pants and shirts to give some perspective.

    • Stacey says

      Another great place for longer tank tops is H & M. In stores it seems they only have grey, black, white and navy, but they go with everything!

  2. Heather says

    You look so cute in everything. I love belts too but here’s my issue. I feel like everytime I put one on it makes my waist look small but then it emphasizes my baby gut and makes me look pregnant. Almost like a maternity shirt does. Any ideas?

    • Brittany says

      Yes, you are super petite, so a big thick belt is going to cut you off and make you feel pregnant. Maybe try a thinner belt, or one that wraps a few times, totally gives the illusion of a tiny waist.

  3. Robin says

    I tried on that maxi dress at Target and I wanted it to fit SO BAD but it was too short…. I’m 5’11”. Boo.

  4. says

    Damn girl, you look AMAZING!

    The last time you did the dress-up, you really encouraged me to go try on outfits that I thought I would never wear. Dolman-style shirts? These elastic-empire waist shirts? Maxi dresses on a short girl? I swore I would never get into them. I am more of a “classics” girl, and by “classics” I mean jeans and plain t-shirts. I see all these cute pieces on tall, leggy, perky-breasted, flat-tummied supermodels, and never had the confidence to think I could pull them off. I am short, with troublesome boobs. But after taking your advice, I have more pieces that are more feminine, show off my chest, actually do work with my short legs, etc. And my husband actually says things like “I like that shirt” and “you look cute today” which, surprisingly, didn’t come out often when I wore black, gray, navy, and white t-shirts all the time! Also, bought wide belts for the first time. Wow! How cute and yes– BALANCING!

    You are, as usual, brilliant! Thanks for doing these and helping us real women out!

  5. says

    You have given me so much inspiration! I have several old blazers but hate the usual business look but yours looks great. And so love the sweater!!

    I’m afraid of the big belt making my tummy pooch, well, pooch out even more. Do you have this problem?

  6. says

    I need to go buy some more belts. The grey cardigan with the white tank is my fave. I never try on those tank tops because my boobs/bra always pop out. I wear jeans every day because I am lucky enough to work in a casual office, but I stil like to look cute and not frumpy. We need to go shopping together. I pay in hugs (if you are a hugger) and delicious baked goods! :)

  7. christine says

    Love the outfits! Any chance you can model some business outfits? I have to dress up for work and have such a hard time finding things that are work appropriate and cute. I happen to have huge boobs which is awesome in any other situation except work. They have to be “appropriately covered” which is damn near impossible unless I’m wearing a turtleneck! Thanks for all of the great ideas, you’ve made me rethink brands I stopped shopping at years ago!

  8. says

    You just made me very happy that I packed a black blazer last minute in my suitcase. I just moved so I rediscovered it while unpacking and thought I can make this work for something. Outfit now complete.

    Also you look amazing!

  9. Lauren says

    Pretty sure I am going to print this out and go through my closet. now 10 months after having a baby, I am ready to look cute again. (But does that mean that I have to give up my maternity slacks because if so, I may just quit this entire idea.)

  10. Cas says

    We are heading to Florida in june… can you offer some fashion advice since you have been there.. I know its going to be hot…and the beach…omg anxiety…I dont like my upper arms or my thighs…. so anything you can point me towards thats cute and hides those problem areas without me dying of heat stroke.. I told my husband I was gonna wear a hijab he was less than thrilled

      • says

        Ugh. Not you, Cas. (No offense).

        I would find maxi dresses that you like or dresses that cover your thigh area and maybe have a short sleeve. It is WAY hot her in Florida in June. Like disgusting, don’t go out of house hot.

    • Brittany says

      Oh yes, it’s a really hot time to go. I wish I had some ood news for you, but truthfully, I spend my summers in maxi dresses and jeans with tanks.

      Here are my personal tips.

      Find some cute jeans and roll the bottom cuffs, way more flattering on me than capris.

      Dresses are great, but the thigh rub kills me, so to prevent that, sometimes I’ll wear Andy’s boxer briefs, so no sweat or chaffing.

      As for your upper arms, own it. I know, I HATE mine two, but for the last 3 years, I have embraced tank tops, I find good positions to hold my arms in pictures, and I’m a hell of a whole lot cooler for it. Especially in the armpit of Florida.

      If you HAVE to have a sleeve, look for kimono cut sleeves or something loose and billowy, but honestly, it might just be too damned hot.

    • victoria says

      I travel with work to Florida a lot (as a nanny) and my favorite thing is to get those swimsuit cover-up/dress things from target, they’re like mid-thigh with an empire waist and v-neck, you know what I’m talking about? I wear it over my bathing suit with a pair of thin (almost like tights) leggings from Lane Bryant – best combo ever – can go from beach to store to dinner… voila!

      • Anna says

        The swim cover-up dresses from Target are the best! I just wear them like regular dresses. There’s one I got last year that I’ve probably gotten more compliments on than most other dress I own.

  11. Rachel says

    All of these are adorable! I’m completely hopeless with picking out clothes for myself. My goal once the baby gets here and I have some sort of routine established is to start dressing like a grown-up.
    Are you taking personal shopping clients yet?

  12. says

    You look great in all of them (seriously, girl, GREAT) but I especially love you in the blazer. The pop of the turquoise necklace is perfect. And wow, you have some awesome belts! :)

  13. miranda says

    So inspirational! Love all the outifts! I have been really wanting to try the maxi dress look because it seems like the perfect solution to stylishly surviving the southern heat this summer without having to wear shorts (no…just NO), but I have a very large chest and absolutely, no questions asked, must wear a bra. The maxi dress you have on above looks like it has very thin spaghetti like straps (which it seems most maxi dresses do, I guess to balance out the long skirt?) — So, my question is– as a bustier girl, what do you do for a bra when rocking the maxi dress above? And I’m sorry that was so long winded.

    • Brittany says

      I, myself, have a large chest. 38DD. I always have to wear a bra, and I am actually wearing one in that picture. I bought a nude thin strapped bra from Lane Bryant.

  14. Nellie says

    OMG, seriously – I love every single outfit you have on!! The colors, the shapes, the pairings – absoutely Perfect!

  15. says

    OK, I have been looking for a white blouse like that for 3 years (the one you got from Walmart, which apparently they don’t sell online). They used to have them at Old Navy every year but they got more see-through and therefore pointless. Any other suggestions on where to buy? I don’t want a cotton\jersey type tank…I’m looking for a proper shirt.

    By the way, the blog rocks. I’ve been reading it for quite awhile now but never comment. Bad blog reader! I know.

  16. says

    Love Love LOVE that first outfit. I’m a fan of that chiffon yellow. It’s the only shade of yellow that doesn’t make me look sallow (damn Irish skin). Plus, it’s a happy color! I am also in love with that belt. Where did you get the belt? I love a wide belt.

    I would also advocate adding that belt to the striped maxi-dress. For those days you’re just chilling at home in your maxi-dress, and your friend calls up with a last minute lunch/dinner date. No need to change. Just add the belt, hide the bow, grab a cardi & go!

    • Brittany says

      YES, I actually wore a belt with it in Texas, but I didn’t want to belt overload, y’all. CLEARLY I HAVE A BELT PROBLEM.

  17. Kristin says

    Omg, so cute. I really just want you to come and take me shopping. I hate shopping and am not good at dressing myself. How did I get to 32 without learning these skills? I always feel like such a slob.

  18. Beth says

    Here’s my problem….. I’m actually fairly petite ( 5′ NOTHING – about 115lbs) but have a HUGE chest and find that when I use any size belt it just looks like I’m going to face plant into the earth…..any suggestions? My boobs alone are about 90lbs. of that 115lbs. (Please don’t suggest breast reduction because I just lost my job and SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO can’t afford that).


  19. says

    First off, you look amazing, and damn do I wish I were taller because size 18 sure looks better on you than it does on this 5’4″ chica. Anyway, I do a lot of my shopping on Old and other places that are on the cheap side of the spectrum, but they always tend to wear out, fade, become pilled, or stretch into unattractive shapes. How do you keep your clothes fitting properly and looking nice enough to make them last. I don’t take you for a high maintenance laundry kind of gal, so I was wondering if you had some sort of secret. My clothes tend to become “disposable” where they only stay nice looking for a season, and then I buy more the next year, and I’d like to be more of a grownup and possibly not continually wear my worn out clothes to work. Thanks!

    • Brittany says

      I’ll be honest, I do face the same issue.

      I do get a touch more wear out of things because I rarely dry my clothes.

      I basically have a set of standards, like great jeans and cute cardigans, then the fashion pieces, perhaps things that are trendier, ARE more disposable, but it’s ok, because it has a shorter shelf life of being in style.

      But also, I’m a great fashion sale hunter. Lands’ End and Gap pieces last a long time,and I try to always pop in the store when I can, because things are normally WAY cheaper than online. Buying these better quality items make my wardrobe last longer.

  20. victoria says

    Brit, I’ve been try try trying new things after your last dress up post and I’ve found a little success. It’s fun to try on new shapes and cuts that I NEVER would have worn before, but I am really busty and feel like I look pregnant all the time (I joke with my sister that we were pretty much born with “pregnant boobs”). As a single 27 year old, looking pregnant is NOT what I’m going for. I’ve always (since like 8th grade) been a size 16ish, but over the past year have moved and been depressed and blah blah blah and now I’m an 18ish and just feel like I constantly look… fat. I think maybe I need a belt. Yes, that may be the answer to my problems, right? Well, if not the answer, it’ll at least help I think, but WHERE OH WHERE did you get the belts you have on in the photos??!

    • Brittany says

      I know, it’s frustrating. And it sounds like the last thing you want to do, but sometimes just find SOMETHING you are comfortable in totally makes all the difference. I found the gold buckle belt in store at Lane Bryant, and the other belt with the yellow sweater at Old Navy (a lady returned it while I was standing at the check out, FROM 1996, tags STILL ON,TRUE STORY. I got it for $1.97)

      I would say go into Target, Old Navy, Lane Bryant, etc and try some on, they ALWAYS have them on hand,and if you are wearing them the way I do, you might want to double check your sizing, because I am smaller under my chest than on my hips, so I needed a way smaller size than I thought I did.

  21. Kelly says

    So after reading this, I went to Old Navy tonight and bought the jeggings. I had never tried that fit on before because they called themselvs super-skinny, and well, I am not. Even though I had to buy them in a size that I never thought I would be in, I love them, and they hold in my stomach, which does not seem to realize that the baby came out almost 3 months ago.

  22. Lady Jabberwocky says

    HOW in the hell did you make yourself look so damned TINY in the neon yellow “zomg horizontal stripes NO” sweater outfit!? What sort of freaky fashion magic was that!? Its my favorite outfit of the bunch 😀 You have given me hope for the future!

  23. says

    I know I asked this last time, but seriously come to Middle TN and take me shopping! I have a hard time thinking outside the box, like all the accessories and belts you pair to really make an outfit look amazing I can’t seem to figure that out. I am not to busty, not to tall, just your average woman with hip, thigh, butt issues-as in I try to hide them whenever possible! I have to agree with your love of the maxi dress I discovered them last year and fell in love but I have to try them on, some are fine in reg. length and some I need petite length.

    As for the reader who asked about FL – I agree it is HOT as hell there in the summer, we go every July and I LOVE dresses. They’re not to restricting and you can always pray for the stray breeze that may blow up your dress cooling off your lady bits :). As far as the thigh rub I luv the idea of boxer briefs never would have thought of that, I usually use some baby powder or Gold Bond powder and powder my thighs generously.

  24. Lauren says

    All of these outfits are so cute!
    If I tried to wear them in the Houston summer I would passthefuckout, honestly. Its not unlikely for us to get 103+ temps in the summer every freakin day. Plus the humidity is outrageous. I will try the maxi dress though, I love it.

  25. Kathy says

    That last sweater… I just bought near the same thing on the ON clearance rack… except mine is actually neon yellow ( think Safety Yellow, like those hawt*ahem* guys working on the road crew all over the godamned createion on Pennsylvania) ! I love it!

    I made out like a bandit at ON with their fill a tote everythings 40% off sale the other day. Went with a few new pieces ( capris, IN COLOR, like hot pink!! and a dark coral!!! and 80’s colored blue ( hot blue??)! and scowered the clearance rack for some fun light weight sweaters and a wrap cardi! Perfect before the PA heat index hits MELT YOUR FACE OFF HIGHS!

  26. Anna says

    Looking FABULOUS! I never would have even given that cropped jacket a second glance, but look how cute it is in that outfit!

  27. Rachel says

    A place where it is jeans weather all year long: Seattle. Which makes me sad since I live there and would like to wear long maxi dresses all year long. Le sigh.

  28. says

    “A girl can never have too many maxi dresses…” love this, because I LIVE in maxi dresses during the summer.

    I love all these outfits, and I think even *I* could rock most of them…and I’m tiny, like, to an almost prepubescent extent.

    Thank you for helping me dress myself! You rock!

  29. Kristen says

    I have been following your blog, quietly like an adoring mean admirer, for most of the past 3 years. I’ve been actually working at work for a while so I haven’t popped in for quite a while.
    Having not seen your posts for about 6 months I have to say, whatever you’re doing it’s working and YOU LOOK INCREDIBLE!!!

  30. Mary B says

    You are absolutely adorable! Every single outfit looks fantastic on you. You really know how to pick out all the right clothes. Have you been listening to Stacey and Clinton?

    Mary in MI

  31. Brandy says

    Brittany- I love all these looks they are so adorable!! I know you aren’t a fan of shorts but I am so intimidated right now looking for shorts to wear. I have the post baby pudge in my lower abdomen. I am dreading having to go and try on all of these low waist boyfriend cut daisy duke shorts. Is there any way you can save me the anxiety attack and perhaps point me in the right direction??? Maybe some of your curvygirlguide girls know of some amazing shorts or capri suggestions? Thanks doll!


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