Playing Dress Up: Mid-Winter/Pre-Spring Wardrobe Confusion

Ohio is in year two of a total identity crisis. Under normal circumstances, we’d be pleasantly into our second month of thick snow, with no end in sight until at least May. But, while I was freezing my ass off in below freezing temps last night, today I’m glaring at melting snow everywhere and 50 degrees.

No wonder the polar bears are hungry.

My point being, for the second year in a row, I was unable to pack away any of my warm weather clothes, and spend every morning acting as the lithium to my very bi-polar closet.

Also weird? I’ve realized I only own skinny jeans and jeggings. It’s the most shocking thing ever, but I tried to wear flare jeans the other day and they felt strange on my thighs. Same with yoga pants, I bypass them for leggings every time, like the looseness of them just bunches up between my thighs like a diaper. It was suffocating my vagina.

Personal growth? I have no idea, but here’s what I wore last week.

DSC01893I have a whole drawer full of what I call, default belts. Since I gravitate toward dresses that let me create waists, they often come with generic belts, that I then tear out and replace from my own private stock. I love the shirt dress, and I wore it for the first day of taping for our new travel show. There is something sexy about walking around in a giant men’s shirt. You know, all Mad Men “we just had sex and now I’m wearing your office shirt around all sexy like,” which is a fantasy I have never been able to live in real life because Andy wears, like, a child’s size small compared to me. It’d be a Chris Farley situation. This is my current go-to dress, mostly because it’s east to wash, is comfortable no matter how much I eat, and I can wear it with bare legs or leggings.
Dress: Chambray Belted Shirt Dress, size XL, Old Navy $29.94
Belt: Brown Braided Leather Belt, size L/XL, Old Navy $14.50
Boots: Thrift Store Cowboy Boots
Necklace: Turquoise Necklace, Francescas
Clutch: Leather Clutch, Lands’ End $89

DSC01929I’m really enjoying this whole Dolman Sleeve craze right now. I have heavy arms, and I hate when things feel like they’re squeezing them, but I never entirely got the concept of short sleeved sweaters? Like dickies. Either you are wearing a sweater because you’re cold, or you’re not, stop being obnoxious. I can think of exactly zero situations that would call for a short sleeved sweater, but I fell in love with this green cowl neck, and decided to layer it with an Oatmeal colored long underwear shirt. It’s now in the weekly day time rotation.
Sweater: Alpaca Cowl Neck Sweater, size 1X, Lands’ End $69.99
Undershirt: Thermal Men’s Undershirt, size XL, Walmart
Jeans: Rockstar Skinny Jeans, size 14, Old Navy $34.50
Boots: Brown Valencia, Fitzwell $117.99

DSC01901A few weeks ago I went to NYC with Lucky Jeans, as they launched a new plus size line, and the amazing jean designer was all, do you have a pair of black jeans, and I was like, um no it’s not the 90’s, and he was all, oh honey, every girl needs a pair of black jeans, and then I rolled my eyes at him, because no. To me, black jeans feel like one of those rare denim unicorns that only celebrities can pull off, like when they wear jeans with an entirely different wash of denim shirt; they look awesome, I look like I fell out of a Lisa Frank ad. Then I tried them on. Ladies… every girl needs a pair of black jeans. And a Big Lebowski sweater.
Sweater: Oversized Cardigan, size XXL, Old Navy
Cami: Grey Cami, size XL, Target $8
Jeans: Ginger Skinny Jean, size 16, Lucky $99 (Psst, you can find cheaper ones to try at Old Navy)
Boots: Black Valencia, Fitzwell $127.99
Necklace: Turquoise Pendant, Old Navy

Spanx CollageFirst, let’s talk about the dress. I wore this dress to the wrap party for our pilot episode of Have Boobs Will Travel. In my life, I would have never bought this dress, it’s too straight and too fitted in the areas I just simply can’t do fitted. I know my shape, and I know what I can pull off. I found the dress in this random indie boutique around Gigi’s dance studio, and somewhere between me picking it up to examine the pattern and then being horrendously late for ballet pick-up, the shop owner talked me into buying it. Under normal circumstances, I am too lumpy for this dress, but guess what, bitches wear shapewear, and this bitch? She wears two forms of it. Which I why you see me there… in my Spanx…. on the internet. This is the reality. Pulling this dress off required bra-high old lady compression underwear, and then one of those stretchy compression slips. Sorry Andy, you wanna have sex with me after a night in this dress, I’m going to need you to turn the volume of the tv up super high and leave me alone in the bathroom for 10 minutes with a bottle of Gatorade.
Dress: MT Collection Peacock Dress, size XL, Passion 4 Fashion Boutique
Shoes: Taupe Wedge, Target $14.99
Bracelet: Cleopatra Mesh Cuff, Francescas $22
Shapewear: Assets Half Slip (size 1X, Target, $34), Spanx High Power Brief (Lane Bryant, $36)

DSC01925Confession: I collect and wear ridiculous t-shirts. Seriously, I rarely talk about it, but I have a whole collection of funny, ironic and obscure pop culture shirts that I wear, on the regular. Not that it’s surprising, I was the first person in my town to rock a Duck Head, Duck Tail t-shirt. Anyone? Oh, and in other retro-fad news, I like tucking just the corner of my shirt in. Mindy Kahling promises me it’s fashionable on, like, every episode of her show.
Shirt: Whorecrux Tee, size XL, Skreened $29.99
Jeans: Rockstar Skinny Jeans, size 14, Old Navy $34.50
Boots: Black Type Z Mamie Boot, $44.50

DSC01934I wore this outfit to date night two days ago, and for some reason, Andy loves it. I remember learning a while back that your pants should end at the thinnest part of your leg. For me, that would be the ankle, as I have crazy thick thighs. This rules out calf length capris and shorts. I don’t normally do the whole skinny jeans with booties thing, but I love these shoes, have no flare jeans left, and decided to take the chance. I paired them with a plain old white button up shirt and then gobs of colorful jewelry, the perfect balance of androgyny with a touch of fem.
Shirt: Mossimo White Button-Up, size XXL, Target $22
Jeans: Rockstar Skinny Jeans, size 16, Old Navy $34.50
Belt: Brown Braided Leather Belt, size L/XL, Old Navy $14.50
Shoes: Brown Suede Wedge Bootie, ShoeDazzle $39
Necklace: Emerald Green Necklace, Fancescas
Bracelets: Cleopatra Mesh Cuff, Mustard Beaded Bracelet and Gold Disc Bracelet (Old Navy)

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  1. says

    I’m a big fan of compression body shaper undies and the like, but when I try to wear the up-to-the-boobs undies/slips they always roll down once I sit down. Scout’s honor – did yours? (and that dress is super bitchin’)

    • Brittany says

      Sometimes, but I look for two features in them:

      1. That they come up high enough to actually sit under my bra band. If I put my bra on over them, it totally helps then stay up.

      2. They need a thick band at the top. the thicker the band, the better it stays up.

        • Brittany says

          Yes, I was cheap about them at first, but since I use them so much, I figured I might as well spend a touch more for nice ones that last. I extend their wear by always using a long pad with them, so I don’t have to wash them as much (tmi? probably), and then also not drying them.

  2. Me says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the green sweater from Land’s End. Couldn’t justify the price (I’m cheap) but WOW, it looks AMAZING on you! AMAZING! Best outfit I’ve ever seen you in. You look awesome!

  3. says

    Oh gurl, it’s times like these I wish I lived in Ohio, where we’d be IRL besties and totally swap clothes all the time.

    That said, you are adorable, as usual.

  4. Sara says

    OMG!!!! I totes had the Duck Head, Duck Tail t-shirt and I rocked that shit forever….well, until it got a hole in the armpit, but yes! You look great, btw! I’m a huge fan of shape wear and rarely, if ever leave home without it.

  5. says

    I see you are a lover of Old Navy clothing as well. I buy almost entirely from Old Navy….although their sizing varies. I love how you can rock any dang outfit! You inspire me to try some new stuff!

  6. Alicia says

    For the life of me, I cannot get myself to purchase skinny jeans. Once they are on, I resemble a squashed tomato sitting uneasily atop two toothpicks. You do look fab though.

  7. Jennifer Burgess says

    Loved your comment about needing 10 min in the bathroom with Gatorade and TV on high since that pretty much describes my experience when I wear spanx-like undergarments. It takes ages to get those things off, with tons ‘o swearing and sweating and NO ONE ever needs to witness that process, even the guy lucky enough to have married me. :)

  8. says

    First of all – you look phenomenal.

    Secondly, thank you so much for following up your last post with a celebration of your shape. Talking about pride in one’s body is a wonderful and brave thing to do, but demonstrating it with a series of “Damn My Thighs Look Good” outfits really drives the point home for all of us. So much of the current rhetoric about weight loss and body image is driven by shame and anger, and it’s so inspiring to see some joy in the discourse.

  9. Dana says

    I live in Ontario (like, across the lake from ya) and we’re totally having this bass ackwards winter also. Today features freezing rain. =)
    I agree with the whole short sleeved sweater rant. You want me to wear 2 shirts?!? Thats too hot!
    My wardrobe has made a similar transformation. Lots of skinny jeans, leggings… I do still have one pair of yoga pants though

  10. Tawny says

    I wore a dolman sleeve sweater, my maternity Rock Star Jeggings, and my wide calf boots the other night. I received so many compliments! The short sleeves were perfect for my pregnancy temps!

    Also – I am so jealous that you can make Spanx look sexy!
    Seriously I thought you were wearing a little black dress.

    • Brittany says

      It’s kinda a trick question, because the denim rockstar jeans are JUST like jeggings, they are that stretchy. If it was a choice between skinny jeans and jeggings, I’d choose jeggings, but that is because I wear a lot of tall boots, and like the slim, not bulky, look with them. Plus, to be honest, I like the ability to pull them up enough to secretly have mom jeans and feel held in.

  11. says

    I must be the only one that likes short sleeved sweaters. I wear them in the summer (the super thin ones) over tank tops. But that’s just me.

    You look amazingly beautiful, by the way.

  12. Liz says

    Awesome outfits! You look great.

    Also, can I just tell you that you are the reason I got brave enough to wear skirts again. My logic went like this: “Brittany’s legs look like mine. She looks hot in skirts and dresses. I could probably do that, too.” I’m not sure I’ve got quite the same moxy to go with it yet, but there’s a little pencil skirt (pencil, not a-line or flare, y’all) in my closet that I now wear at least once a week. Changing the world one closet at a time, there, Brittany.

    • Brittany says

      I am dying to try a pencil skirt, so I have to thank you, because I think you have inspired me to give one a go!

      • Liz says

        I’ve actually had really good luck with The Limited’s pencil skirts. They’re not too, too straight, with darts and extra room in the rear. Their size 14 works great. Good luck!

  13. says

    First thought: She looks awesome in that black dress. Second thought:Whoa. There’s a little peep action under the boobs. Third thought: Ohhh! I see. She makes Spanx look hot.

  14. says

    Oh I wish we lived nearer each other and were friends (we would be eventually after I got over my initial social awkwardness/ anxiety). I wouldn’t necessarily rummage through your closet, but I’d definitely have you take me shopping and help me figure out what the hell looks good on me. Three kids in six years and years of breastfeeding have made me forget how to dress myself (if I ever knew) so I pretty much live in jeans and ironic, pop culture tshirts and hoodies. I’m 31years old and should have some personal style but can’t get clothes in the store to translate and look decent on my 14-16-sometimes 18 body and you seem to have such a good handle on it.

  15. Angela says

    I love your style!! I too love my skinny jeans and leggings, I would have never wore them in the past either, but big girls can rock the skinny pants too.

  16. Amanda says

    I can just hear Rachel McAdams saying “Boo, you whorecrux.” Perfect!

    I love the dress you got talked into. It’s super cool.

    And in answer to an earlier poster’s question, I love the Old Navy rockstar jeans, but I’ve never tried jeggings.

  17. Lisa says

    All right….this may be asking for TMI but what is the brand of bra that you are wearing with the spanx? (great dress on you, btw) Looks like it has great support but cuts low enough to wear with open blouses and low cut tops. Thanks!

  18. Katie says

    Brittany, they need to have you do a make over show for curvy girls. I always get depressed shopping because it feels like fashion designers punish me for being fat (as if that isn’t punishment enough) and feel it necessary to try very hard to make me look like a couch. I always get so jealous of your outfits because you always look stylish AND comfy.

  19. says

    I love all of this so hard. At first I was all, no way that’s those sizes, because that’s my size and I sure don’t look like that. Thank you, so very much, for the reminder that well-fitting clothes do so much more to flatter a body than trying to hide it with oversized nonsense.

    Just found your site recently and love every bit of it.

  20. says

    You inspired me to go try some jeggings on today (Lane Bryant). My five year old and I stared in the mirror for 30 seconds and she says – “I don’t think they look comfortable.” I’m not sure my legs are made for anything but bootcut… maybe they’re too short? Or they must be worn with cute boots (not Converse?) – idk. But it was a disaster and my Kindergartener has the sense to realize it before me. Eek.

  21. Lisa T. says

    I swear to baby Jesus, we are shaped exactly the same. I was 2.5 bills and lost about 100 but I’m left with large upper arms and big thighs/hips. I feel your pain with the sleeve thing and that’s something I always look at first whenever shopping for tops. I’ve just started to feel relatively comfortable in tank tops this past summer and you inspire me to continue to step out of my comfort zone and accept/love my new(ish) body. :) Thanks! Signed, a fellow NW Ohioan.

  22. Heather says

    I’ve totally missed the boat on Old Navy selling fantastic jeans, I guess I’ll have to give them a second try! You look amazing in these pictures, I’m stupid jealous of your hair and style!

  23. erica says

    Thank you for giving me ideas of how to dress my similar shaped body all the time! You changed my world by getting me to try leggings. Holy Pete now I LOVE them.

  24. Anna says

    Looking good! I love them all. I rarely do the shapewear thing anymore because I think I’ve gotten too claustrophobic for it. I tried some on at Target last week and was close to a panic attack trying to get them on and off, plus I lost one of my gold hoop earrings!

  25. Jennifer says

    Dude! I thought I was the only one in the world who tucked only just one corner of her shirt in. I somehow convinced myself that it makes my ginormous muffin top less visible. But if you and Mindy do it then I know it’s cool :) You look awesome in all of these outfits!

  26. Stevie says

    I adore the chambray dress and the last two outfits! (I too have an obsession with completely ridiculous t-shirts) Also, I have been looking for a casual white button down, all the ones I seem to find gap at the chest. You look so amazing and as a bigger girl (size 14) give me the courage to try on the stuff I wouldn’t normally because I feel like I’d look awful, work it girl! (:

  27. Kelsey says

    This is going to sound completely goofy and weird… but I am so inspired by your outfit posts. I have pretty much the same body as you (only with smaller boobs and also I’m shorter) and I never, ever in a million years thought that I could pull off skinny jeans. After seeing how well you rock them, though, I took a deep breath and clicked the “Order” button on the Old navy page and am waiting for my Rockstar jeans o come in the mail. I may not like them, but at least I finally found the courage to try them! Thank you so much. :)

  28. Katie says

    OMG! Your comment about 10 minutes alone in the bathroom with Gatorade made me spit water out my nose I laughed so hard. My most miserable shopping trip ever was trying to buy shapewear… I was in TEARS trying to get in and out of stuff in a freaking dressing room and trying to be quiet about it. Thank you!

  29. says

    The Dude abides in our hearts as well so I had to click and see The Big Lebowski sweater. My husband has several t-shirts, mostly from Urban Outfitters, but the sweater is genius! A subtle nod indeed.

  30. says

    Is it stalkerish to copy every one of these outfits because they ALL look fabulous. My style and wardrobe are in the crapper right now. I was just thinking yesterday that looking for an outfit in my closet is like digging through a thrift store where all the good stuff has already been taken. I’m desperate for a new look but don’t have enough fashion sense to put together outfits. This is so super helpful! Thank you!

  31. Amanda says

    I started reading your blog last summer when a friend sent it to me. Not only are you funny, but you’ve helped me embrace my fabulousness (yes I’m making up words now). This may not always be my body, but it is today, and it’s effing fabulous.

    Last weekend I finally bit the bullet and bought my first pairs of skinny jeans. My ass has never looked better :) Thank you!

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