Fashion & Style

LOOKING FAB IN ANY KIND OF WEATHER: Outfit Ideas for Changing Temperatures

Spring is a beautiful time of year! (I especially love April because it's my birthday month! Yay, April babies!) While it's fun transitioning our wardrobes into spring and summer looks, the frequently fluctuating temperatures can pose a challenge.

I have experienced dramatic weather changes throughout spring in most places I've lived. This year in New Orleans, it was cold and rainy high 40's/low 50's just a few weeks ago and now we regularly have a high of 80! It's like one day I was wearing boots and the next day I was in sandals. (No lie!)

As a fatshionista on a budget, I find creative ways to wear my garments throughout all seasons.  Also - when I love something, it's hard for me to only wear it for a few months of the year!! I need my favorites to work with me in all weather! 

Inspired by Garner Style's incredibly cute and clever "three ways to wear one garment" posts, I wanted to share some ways I make one piece work for a variety of temperatures. Most of these item's are older stables of my wardrobe - so they're not available anymore. But, I have linked the items that are. All outfit details are below each image!

Floral Dress - 3 Looks

This strapless floral dress is one of my favorites. It's certainly an oldie-but-goodie in my wardrobe. It's from Torrid - about 5 years ago! (Fun fact: I wore this to my college graduation.) I love how this dress fits and recently discovered that I can make it look like a skirt very easily. (Wearing a dress as a skirt provides more outfit options for one garment!)

WARM LOOK: I wear this denim vest on a regular basis in the warmer months. It's a great way to make a strapless dress a little less revealing and more comfortable. For a warm look, I added cognac wedge sandals and coordinating a belt.

COOL LOOK: I wear this type of look to work! It's a simple button down top tied at the waist - to reveal the flattering cut of the dress. Paired with black Lane Bryant flats - available here.

CHILLY LOOK: Booties and a moto jacket can easily make a dress like this work - even if there's a chill in the air! For more warmth, I put a crop top on over the dress. The length of the crop falls perfectly to maintain the skirt illusion.

black & white foral dress

This simple and fun dress can be worn from warm to cold!

WARM LOOK: Simple accessories! Earrings, black and gold belt, and black and gold sandals. (Those are my favorite sandals from Lane Bryant last year. I got some extras last summer because I knew I would want a fresh pair this summer.)

CHILLY LOOK: Replace sandals for booties and a simple crop cardi to make this look work in cooler weather. Silver accessories - belt and necklace. (At the moment, this cardi is still available in my online shop!)

COLD LOOK: Add tights to warm up any look! And, this moto jacket and big scarf (two of my favorites) also add some warmth! (Everyone always asks me about this jacket - it's from H&M+ two years ago!)

harvest maxi shirt

This skirt is one of my all time favorites! I call it my harvest skirt because the colors remind me of fall. But, it can look fab any time of year. Its a Lane Bryant find - but is no longer available.

HOT LOOK: Simply styled with a tube top and sandals. The belt, bracelet and earrings tie it all together. I am sure I'll be wearing this as it gets to be tube top weather!

WARM LOOK: Worn here with a simple black t-shirt under this denim vest. For accessories, I have my regular bangles, leopard flats (hard to see!), a thin belt, and my amazing tortoise shell chain from Lane Bryant - still available here

COOL LOOK: For cooler weather, I wear this skirt with a long sleeved top. The one pictured here is over-sized and off the shoulder. The same belt and chain as previous but this time with tights and black flats. (Tights under this aren't my favorite - but if it's chilly it will definitely work!)

This is how I make one garment look fabulous in any kind of weather!  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

PINK & GOLD DRESS: Cat's Closet Comment Auction

Didn't y'all love that dress I was wearing in my recent Cat's Closet birthday post? Well, it can be yours! 

A few times on my Cat's Closet Facebook Fanpage, I have hosted a "Comment Auction". The name pretty much explains how it works - I post a clothing items and folks can bid on it by posting a dollar amount in the comments. My Facebook-less Instagram followers always complained about not having access. So now that I have a blog, I'm hosting it here! 

The "Comment Auction" goes till tomorrow evening and I can even ship Monday - so you will likely receive the dress in time to wear for Valentine's Day!  (This dress would work for many occasions! But, it does shout Valentine's Day to me!) Check out the description and fine print. . . .and, let the bidding begin! 

Dress Description 

This dress is soooo great! It's a size 20W. Roomy on me. (In one picture you can see me holding the extra material at the top.) Sheer, flowy top fabric with lining. Thrifted. Adrianna Papell Evening brand. (Through a quick google search, I found it here!) 

The dress has gold shimmery "polka dots" throughout. I love the color because it is a more muted/natural pink. Flattering cut with gathering at the waist and in the one sleeve. Zipper at side. Definite stretch to the garment. A line of that nice "grippy" material (that I find most often on strapless bras) lines the inside of the top. Some wear and tear on the skirt fabric - slight snags - but only noticeable if you're looking close/inspecting it. Other than that, great condition! 

The Fine Print
Comment Auction Guidelines

  1. "Comment Auction" starts when this blog post goes live and extends till tomorrow - Sunday, February 8th at 8PM (CST). 
  2. Bidding starts at $12. To bid, just comment on this post with your dollar amount. (Full dollar amounts, please!) 
  3. Shortly after 8PM, I will respond to the winning comment! You're responsible for getting me your email address. I will send you an invoice through PayPal. You must complete this within 12 hours or I will move on to the next highest bid. 
  4. Shipping - $6 for US shipping or $16 for International Shipping. (Shipping is through USPS. US shipping is tracked and insured and sent with 3 day priority. International shipping is not tracked or insured and can take several weeks.) If the winning bid is over $36, then the US shipping is on me! ;) 
  5. Any questions?! Just comment below! 


This week, Cat’s Closet is one year old! I literally just fell into small business ownership and am now moving and shaking in ways I’ve always wanted to. In this post, I’m excited to share a bit about Cat’s Closet, my progression over this past year, and my vision for the future! 

photo 1.JPG
photo 2.JPG

How Cat's Closet Started

Last year, in an effort to clean out my closet and make a little money, I decided I wanted to post some clothing items on eBay. (I had done this once before – mainly with accessories—before I studied abroad years ago.) I knew I needed to take photos wearing my clothes because I always am more interested in clothing when I can see it on another curvy woman. After I took pictures, I decided to throw them in a Facebook album to see if anyone I knew wanted them before I went to the trouble of posting on eBay. I made the album public and shared widely.  A few days later, I had made $300 and sold most of my items.

The extra cash was nice but, more importantly, it truly brought me joy to share great clothing items with other plus-size women in my life. And, even through my first interactions with women in my circle, I could tell that they were gaining more than clothes from me – I was also able to share some body positive inspiration with them. So, I knew I was on to something! Now, Cat’s Closet has grown into a whole operation. I regularly thrift and shop to find quality clothing, style it in outfits, take pictures, post it for y’all to purchase, and ship to folks all over the country. 

Developments & Resources Along the Way! 

I have literally learned everything as I go. Those of you who have followed me from the start have seen growth in many parts of Cat’s Closet this past year. Although I won’t share all the intricacies of my business, I have lots of resources to recommend and shoutouts to share!

Facebook: Cat’s Closet started on Facebook as a personal album and then quickly became a fan page. For the first several months, all orders happened through Facebook and Facebook messenger - and PayPal. (Although the website makes my life soooo much easier, I do miss the convos I had with all of y’all over FB messenger. Thanks to those of you who still drop me a line via FB from time to time!)

Big Cartel: I use Big Cartel as the platform for my shop. There is a fee involved with this site but it’s simple for me to operate – which is important to me. It’s also pretty user friendly – in my opinion. I chose Big Cartel because I had seen other folks use it (including my sister). I am pretty satisfied with this site but, full disclosure, now that my blog is hosted by Squarespace – which I LOVE – I may consider switching my shop over to their e-commerce capabilities. (Shoutout to my mom for helping me set my Big Cartel site up. It is nice to have a computer programmer mom in your back pocket sometimes!)

USPS Flat Rate Packages: It took me a minute to discover these! Flat rate packages make my life so much easier!  As those of you who order from me know, I don’t print out shipping and just get packages picked up. I hand write all addresses and go to the post office for every package! I might change this at some point but I actually enjoy visiting the PO most times – especially the one closest to my house. (Shoutout to the New Orleans Uptown Post Office on Louisiana Ave!)

Closet Features: Closet features have added a splash of excitement into my site! Essentially, women consign their clothes with me. (Meaning, I sell them to y’all and we both get a portion of the profits.) I’ve been able to do closet features for local folks and others who have mailed me their clothes. As you may have seen on my site, sometimes the person featured wears the clothes and sometimes I do – whatever they’re most comfortable with! (Shoutouts to Ashley, Pamela, Amanda, and Barhynn for allowing me to feature their fab items this past year!) If you are interested in doing a closet feature, just contact me and I’ll give you details so we can see if it’s right for you!)

Photography Developments: A huge development for me was switching from selfies to regular photos! It offers a better look at my items and better quality photos but also makes posting more time consuming because I need to enlist someone else to help (or, struggle with a tripod). Shoutouts to Amanda, Emily Horne Photography, Toni, and my boyfriend for taking pics for me on the regular. (Biggest shoutout goes to my boyfriend who does not usually get compensated with cash, clothing, or lunch like the others ;)!) Oh! And, as you saw in my Holiday Photo Shoot – incorporating others into my photos was so much fun! (Shoutouts to Stephanie, Amanda, Ari, Emily, Ready to Stare, and Jou Jou My Love for their involvement with that greatness!)

What’s next? 

I am actively working to expand my brand. The fact that you’re reading this on my blog is an indication of this! I see Cat’s Closet as just one branch of my Cat Inspired ventures. (For a peak of everything I’m currently working on, check out this page of my blog!)

I could go on and on about my vision, goals, dreams, and plans. The brief overview of my business-related goals includes growing as a business woman, dramatically boosting my online presence, launching life coaching, sharing Cultural Care with more families, and continuing to grow and develop Cat’s Closet. Longer term goals include organizing and facilitating Women’s Leadership Retreats, writing a book, and opening a brick and mortar plus-size thrift store.

In term of Cat’s Closet, I’ll be a bit more specific! Here are a few ways I’m looking to grow in the upcoming year:

  • I plan to do several in-person shopping events this year. (St. Paul & Chicago are on my list first!)
  • I want to continue to grow my social media presence and share great stuff with y’all. I’m looking to hit 5K+ this year on Instagram, become more popular on Pinterest, and continue to grow on Facebook but under my overarching brand Cat Inspired (name change hopefully coming soon)!
  • I’d love to find opportunities to do larger posts in an effort to move items more quickly in my shop – searching for the time to make that happen!
  • Plus, let’s be real, I’d love to make more money and become more savvy in my business tactics. (Although I dedicate a LOT of time to Cat’s Closet, it’s not yet close to a place where it could be my main source of income.) 

Interested in Doing Something Similar?

I’ve had at least 20 women contact me over the past year asking for advice or info about how they can start their own business like mine. First of all, I want to acknowledge that although I am quite flattered when people reach out to me, I don’t feel comfortable sharing every detail about my business.  In fact, this post is probably the most details you’ll get from me!

Perhaps at a later time I will make myself available to consult for advice on these types of business for a fee, but I don’t think it’s fair to me or others if I just hand you all of my business strategies so you can recreate what I have developed.

Here are my words of advice:

  1. If you only have your own items to sell, I would strongly recommend doing a personal Instagram or Facebook album. (Or, host a clothing swap and trade clothes with friends!) You’ll run out of items very quickly. I have a whole operation happening over here. I thrift at least once a week, take pictures regularly, and dedicate a lot of time to social media and promotion. It's likley not worth all of that if you have 50 items or less and don't plan to actively seek more. (You can always consider collaborating with me and doing a Closet Feature. Contact me for details!)
  2.  Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery. If you like what you see and want to do something similar, I totally support you in your efforts. I believe in a world where we can all succeed and make it in our respective passions and hustles! But, please don’t replicate every detail of my business. I cannot support that as I don't think it is fair to me or you! Use your passion, creativity, and personal touch to make something of your own! 
  3.  As general business advice, I’d like to share a quote from Marie Forleo (who is, btw, just awesome). She says: “Never start a business to just ‘make money’. Start a business to make a difference." I live by this and bring it to all of my entrepreneurial endeavors. I encourage you to do the same! 

Wow, what a year it’s been!

Honesty, in early January 2014 I had no idea that I would be writing about this today. I am really proud of myself and grateful for all of the support around me!  Which reminds me - additional shoutouts to all the folks in my life who let me gush about my small business excitements! And, the biggest shoutouts to all of my AMAZING CUSTOMERS!!  Y’all are truly the best!! It brings me so much joy to be able to engage with you!!

DEALS So You Can Celebrate With Me! 

Oh, and how could I forget!? I have some fun promotions going on this week to celebrate Cat’s Closet’s birthday! They include:


And, I'd LOVE to Hear From You! 

So, now you know about where I've been and my plans for the future, I 'd love your feedback! What do you hope to see from me through Cat's Closet and Cat Inspired in the year to come!? 

Thanks so much to all of you for your support! 

SUMMER IN JANUARY: Throwback Swimwear Style

Over at Cat's Closet, I am doing a Summer in January theme this month.  In the spirit of summer fashions, here is a photo set from this past summer. You can find outfit details below. 


Suit Pieces & Sandals: Lane Bryant
Shorts: Homemade! Sewn from thrifted jeans. Some similar ones will be on sale soon in my shop
Bag: Target 
Scarf & Chain: H&M
Midi Rings: Old Navy
"Love" Ring: Jou Jou My Love

Photo Credit: Emily Horne Photography 


Check out summer dresses, suits, and shorts in my shop at


THRIFTING TIPS & TRICKS: Thrifting at Large Brick & Mortar Thrift Shops

Many of you know me from my plus-size, online thrift shop Cat’s Closet. I started selling my clothes online last year but quickly ran out so I began posting fab items I found at thrift shops! Now, I have a whole operation going. I visit thrift stores regularly and find items to share with other plus-sized women. I style them in outfits so other fatshionistas can get some styling ideas and see how the clothes look on someone else. Then, I post them on my shop website and ship nationwide.

Because I have so much luck finding great items at thrift stores, lots of folks ask for advice! So, I wanted to share some thrifting tips and tricks for those of you who are interested in doing some thrift shopping.

Before You Shop 

Get in the mood and set out some time. Plan to spend a few hours thrifting. Rarely can you just pop in for a few minutes and find a quality item that’s perfect for you. Also, I have experienced some intense lines on Half-Off-Saturdays!

Be open! Similar to shopping in retail stores, I rarely find the item I’m looking for. So, you might have some items in mind but part of the beauty of a thrift shop is being open to multiple items, styles, and looks.

Find shops. You can find some thrift stores pretty easily – google, yelp, etc – but rarely do the best ones have websites. Ask around and keep an eye out if you’re driving in new or different parts of towns.  I’ve found a few thrift shops while simply driving through an area I haven’t explored yet.

There are some nicer second-hand stores and consignment shops. These shops can be lovely but also tend to be more expensive. This post refers to my experiences in larger thriftstores!

Be Prepared

Once you’ve visited a specific thrift store, you’ll have an idea how it operates. Here are some things to be prepared for: 

Organization: Like the Target clearance section, thrift shops run the gamut from wonderfully organized and sized to hot messes. 

Fitting Rooms: Some thrift shops don’t have fitting rooms. And, oddly, some that do close them really early. (Maybe it’s just a New Orleans thing? But the Salvation Army store closes fitting rooms at 5PM although the store is open till 7PM.) I suggest wearing leggings. Only one thrift shop I’ve ever visited didn’t have a full length mirror.  (I’m looking at you, America’s Thrift in Baton Rouge!) So, I suggest leggings and a tank top so you can slide things on over your clothes. I’ve found that, as I thrift more and more, I have gotten pretty good at guessing what will work for me without trying items on.

Cash Only: My favorite shops are cash only. Some accept cards – but you might want to have some cash on hand the first time you visit a new store. 

Deals: Many stores have deal days. This often is a flat-rate discount or based on a tag color. Here are some examples based on stores I frequent: Salvation Army store has 50% off all items on Wednesdays, The Red, White, & Blue thrift shop offers 50% off a different tag color each day but on Saturdays all tags except for one color (the most recent arrivals) are 50% off, and Goodwill Stores in the area have 15% off every day for senior citizens. (You better believe I had my mom help me out with that when she visited!) 

Develop Your System

Although my plan of attack varies a bit based on store, let me share my general system. I always get a cart. (Sometimes I bring an abandoned one in from the parking lot to ensure that I have one to use.) In stores that have a specific plus-size women’s section, I head there first. The best stores also have women’s plus size dresses separately, too. If not, that’s where I head next. I usually go through the blazers and swimsuits in the women’s section. And, I sometimes look for flannels in the men’s section.

Most places have items divided by gender and type. Sometimes within those sections they will be sized or divided by color.

If you want to find good stuff, you really have to commit to digging through the racks. At each section, I try to shove everything to one end to give mysef a little wiggle room as I look at each item individually and slide it over. Unfortunately, sometimes the racks can be jam packed (F21 style) and you can barely squeeze things in or out.

I haven’t had a lot of luck with bags or shoes, but I know some folks who find a lot of great accessories at the thrift store. Sometimes I might also walk through the home décor or book sections if I have time, too!

I usually fill my cart based on preliminary impressions. Especially on a busy Saturday morning, I want to claim my items before someone else does! (Sometimes I separate the items in my cart – like one side probably yes’s and the other side maybe’s.) Once I’ve perused all of my sections, I go to the fitting room or take my cart off to the side somewhere quiet. I try on some items and inspect them all. Here are things to look for:

Are there any stains on the items? Is the item dirty? Are there original store tags on the item? (Cha ching!) Are there zippers? Do they work? Any buttons missing? Rips or tears? If so, in a mend-able area? Does it smell funny? Do you think the smell can be washed out? (Seriously, y’all, I have put back so many items based on smell. Ick. I just can’t deal sometimes. . . ) Some of these things can be easily fixed – it’s just good to know what you’re getting into.

Also, I look at price and identify if the item is on sale. (Note that some stores won’t sell an item if it doesn’t have a tag on it. I’ve had to part with some beautiful pieces because of this rule. Always give it to someone who works there to save the next thrifter from the disappointment!)

That’s my general system. I wanted to share specifics so that if thrifting is new to you – this will give you an idea of where to start. As you frequent thrift stores, you’ll learn which ones are worth your time and those that might not be. And, you’ll develop a system of your own!

For Plus-Size Fashionistas
I have two pieces of additional advice for us larger ladies out thrifting! 1) Always look for a plus size section. My favorite shops have plus sizes separated which saves so much time and disappointment. Don’t be afraid to ask!  2) Don’t just buy an item because it’s in your size. When you’re on your 6th rack of dresses and have only found 2 size 18’s, it’s really tempting to snatch anything up just because it’s in your size. But if it’s not cute, don’t go there!

Benefits of Thrifting 

I see multiple benefits of thrifting! Of course you can save money and acquire unique items. It’s also better for the environment because you are reusing items instead of purchasing newly produced ones. And, many thrift shops have a philanthropic component to them. I like to investigate this. I’ll go anywhere, but I prefer to spend my money at places that have a mission that aligns with my values.

Before we go, let’s talk about cost! I usually find items for $2-$6. If it’s more than $6, I really think about it. My fav thrift shop regularly has items that are $12.99+ so I usually wait till they’re half off unless it is a truly amazing garment!

If the thrift shop is a bit nicer, I might pay more but that will also come with a better shopping experience. Nicer, boutique thrift shops usually have price-points from $12-$24. Oh, and when considering cost, sometimes it is worth it to get something that might need to be dry cleaned or mended before you can wear it as you are paying so little for it in the first place.

Let me know! 

Was this info helpful? If you have other thrifting tips and tricks, share ‘em in the comments below!

If you’re a New Orleans local, stay tuned for a specific New Orleans thrift shop review that I plan to post in the upcoming months! And, for those of you in or around New Orleans, consider scheduling a Style Session if you'd like to go thrifting with me so I can give you my personal attention! 

Happy thrifting!

DECEMBER: Favorite December Outfits


Here are some of my favorite outfits from December! 

Heather grey/black maxi dress belted and worn off the shoulder. Accessorized with my favorite chunky belt, leopard scarf, and stocking cap. (Maxi dress is actually a 4XL and will be for sale soon.) 


I had my eye on this eloquii dress for months. I finally purchased it over the holiday shopping weekend. I love it! It's the first item I've ordered from eloquii and, although my measurements looked to align with size 18, this dress is a tad big. I've been meaning to take it in but haven't got around to it yet. So, I wore it under my moto jacket to bring it in at the waist.  (Sorry for this pic quality! Better pic once I take it in!)


I sold this fab 90's duster jacket earlier this month. But, I had to wear it a few times first! What a fun garment! (Boot info linked above.) 

Now that I'm blogging I'm going to try to take some better outfit pics to share with y'all! What looks good on my Instagram doesn't look as great here, but I think the general fabulousness shines through! ;)  More highlighted looks coming soon. . .


This has been one of my favorite outfits this year! I love to wear this fun snow leopard dress over leggings. My boots coordinate with the tortoise shell chain necklace and black and cognac-colored belt. Plus, wearing my usual gold bangles and black moto jacket.

All of these items are long gone from their respective retailers except for the boots which everyone asks about. They're from Target online. Here's the info. 


Colorful thrifted skirt with a chambray button down. (The top is actually a tunic but tucked in.) Funky and fab choker necklace from Ready to Stare. Simple belt, usual gold bangles, and flats. 

Loving this top from Feminist Apparel. "Riots Not Diets"!!  Find this top here.  (I'm wearing a 2XL which is a tad roomy but comfy.) 


This outfit is technically from November, but I just loved this comfy but chic airport look! Black leggings and top with this great, thrifted flannel around my waist. Boots and my tortoise shell chain! Boot info linked above. 

BANDELETTES: Practical & Sexy

Like many women, my thighs rub together when I walk which can cause a lot of skin irritation and discomfort. I religiously wear shorts, spanx (well, usually off-brand, spanx-like shorts), or tights under any skirt or dress! Sure, I sometimes like the curve-smoothing benefits of shapewear but, for me, it’s really a matter of comfort.

Let it be known that chafing is an issue for women of many sizes. And, just because one’s thighs touch does not necessarily mean it will cause discomfort. This issue has always plagued me for – well, forever. My thighs have touched as long as I can remember. And, I have sensitive skin. It took me years as a teenager to figure out how to shave without intense razor burn. (If you’re interested, my magic formula is a Venus razor, Dove soap, and NEVER LOTION after but coconut, olive, or baby oil instead.) I used to really, REALLY want the illusive “thigh gap” – not for the look but simply for relief from my burning skin.

I have friends who use other forms of protection from chaffing or, chub rub, as some folks call it. Using things like runner’s glide or deodorant. I’ve tried these things, but none of them offer enough protection for me. I need a layer of something between my legs and each other.

I’m so pleased to have found a protective alternative in addition to my spanx! Plus, something cooler, less constricting, and sexier! I am quickly becoming a fan of Bandelettes! I'm wearing them here under this chic, royal blue dress. This dress flairs out a bit, so it's sometimes difficult to conceal spanx under it. 

Blue Dress Bandelettes

I ordered Bandelette’s for the first time recently. They had a promotion going on, so I got 50% my second pair. I measured my thighs and was between sizes, so I ordered one up and one down. (Side Note: Through wearing these I have discovered that my thighs are shaped differently. Bodies are so cool and weird!)

I ordered two pair in different colors and two different sizes. They seem delicate but sturdy. I was pleased to find that the bands are stretchy and have a clear strip of grippy material on the top and bottom. (You know, that material that’s often on the cups of a strapless bra!) I would recommend sizing down as the smaller pair didn't fall or sag when I walked (once I positioned them where I wanted) but the larger size did. When I order some more, I’ll be sure to stick to the smaller size. 

Blue Dress Bandelettes Sitting

Not only do these offer protection and comfort, I definitely won't mind as much if they happen to peak out! 

Bandelette Stairs

Here's an up-close-and-personal look so you can see how they fit me. They're most comfortable when wore up at the top of my leg - right under my booty. 

Bandelette Up Close

I am very into these! But, I am interested to see how they hold up after several trips through the washing machine. And, how they’ll work for me in the humid, sticky summer.

For more info or to order some bandelettes of your own, check out their website

If any of y'all have worn these, I'd love to hear your experiences. Let me know in the comments below.