February 2016 | Natalie in the City - A Chicago Plus Size Fashion Blog, by Natalie Craig
Natalie in the City - A Chicago Plus Size Fashion Blog, by Natalie Craig

A PLUS SIZE LIFE + STYLE BLOG

February 23, 2016

THE TIE WAIST

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I bought this skirt back in the summer, but I vividly remember tossing it into the pile of "maybe not ever" clothes because I heard a couple of negative opinions on the piece. Lately, I have let what people think about my clothes or the way I wear things affect me, which is odd. I usually wear what I want, when I want, and the only reason I would never wear something again is if I didn't feel comfortable and confident in it. But even then, I would revisit the outfit or piece of clothing and try to rework it back into my wardrobe at a later date.

So in an effort to ignore other opinions and do what makes me feel best, I took this skirt out of the "maybe not ever" pile and paired it with some other casual staples. I was so intrigued with the tie waist this skirt had, which was also a major point of concern for my critics. I topped the skirt with a denim Charlotte Russe button up and my favorite knee-high, wide calf boots.

This ensemble is made up of mostly light colors, which is crazy because I felt so cofident and comfortable in this look—even though all black ensembles are my go-to.

All in all, I guess this outfit came from having a "f**k it" attitude. Even the most confident people have their off days—I am a prime example. However, to be consistently confident, you have to learn something from your off days and make it into something you can rock or learn from.

Do you have something in your closet that you want to wear, but can't bring yourself to do it? Well, I'm telling you that you absolutely should. WHO KNOWS!? Maybe you will get an entirely different response than you thought. Either way, it's worth the risk....I promise!

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natalie in the city, natalie craig, chicago, ps fashion, plus size fashion blogger, how to wear a tie waist skirt, curvy, fatshion, charlotte russe plus, denim button up, knee high wide calf suede boots, bottle blonde

natalie in the city, natalie craig, chicago, ps fashion, plus size fashion blogger, how to wear a tie waist skirt, curvy, fatshion, charlotte russe plus, denim button up, knee high wide calf suede boots, bottle blonde

natalie in the city, natalie craig, chicago, ps fashion, plus size fashion blogger, how to wear a tie waist skirt, curvy, fatshion, charlotte russe plus, denim button up, knee high wide calf suede boots, bottle blonde

natalie in the city, natalie craig, chicago, ps fashion, plus size fashion blogger, how to wear a tie waist skirt, curvy, fatshion, charlotte russe plus, denim button up, knee high wide calf suede boots, bottle blonde
Photography by: Katherine Davis
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February 14, 2016

MILITARY GREEN AND HUNTER ORANGE

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Military green and hunter orange seem like the strangest match, but the color pairings have been seen in street style and runway looks a lot lately. I'll admit, I have also fallen head over heels for the color combo!

I love this military green, nylon bomber from Forever 21. The over sized bomber closely resembles pieces from Yeezy Season 1 and other designers. I usually pair the coat with a pair of ripped jeans and Vans. However, for this look, I decided to pair it with this olive, suede dress and knee-high boots.


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[Photography by: Ghaffar Gbenro]
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February 11, 2016

BEYONCÉ

For those who don't have hot sauce in their bag.... 
http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6874045/bruno-mars-thanks-coldplay-beyonce-super-bowl-50
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
It is now a little under a week ago that Beyoncé took the field during the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. Beyoncé joined Coldplay and Bruno Mars for a performance that seemed uplifting and inspiring, reflecting on past super bowl performances and bringing people together regardless of age, race, or musical genre.

As expected, articles about Beyoncé once again stunning the nation with her presence at the Super Bowl surfaced, as well as a couple of memes of her almost falling and how Bruno Mars and Bey shared the stage with their Uber driver—Coldplay lead vocalist Chris Martin. I also expected to see some people reach to connect Beyoncé to the devil/Illuminati and break down her mid stage possession frame by frame. What I did not expect to see is an anti-Beyoncé rally and articles that called Beyoncé racist. What was even more shocking is that this statement was coming from people of all races.

When Beyoncé released her single and video "Formation" just one day before her Super Bowl performance, I remember watching the video and repeatedly thinking "wow" at almost every scene. Beyoncé managed to make a single video highlighting some of the most tense racial situations and travesties this country has seen. I watched this video and I knew that it was not made for me. It was not made for me to feel a part of something, but it was made for me to learn from. Formation was made to validate men and women who have been ignored or pushed down by oppression since their existence. It was a statement to show the beauty that this nation turns away every day and fails to acknowledge.


The fact that people are saying they don't feel represented in Beyoncé's half time show and that her performance—with black female dancers—was racist and not inclusive, are probably people who have always felt like they are a part of this nation and even more so, they see representation and acceptance of themselves everywhere they go. If you can't be happy for a group of people—whether it be specific to religion, race, sexuality, or gender—fighting to gain footing and representation in this nation, then you should look at yourself the next time you question a situation or performance like Beyoncé's Super Bowl Halftime Show. Chances are you and many others with the same mindset are part of the reason why certain groups of people need to fight so hard for equality or just even to be seen and heard.

While we are at a point of self exploration, ask yourself if Beyoncé's performance or music video has affected you in any way—other than the fact that you have some people exchanging differing views in your Facebook post comment section, arguably so. Some will say they are affected because they don't feel represented in Beyoncé's performance or in her Formation music video. To those people, I would ask, imagine if you felt left out or misrepresented for a good part of your existence? What if a single person and a group of brave souls stood up for you on a national stage and changed that, and you could proudly say, "I slay."

What if people wanted to take that away from you?  

What if people told you to stop ripping off the "historical band aid" of racism in America, because they don't even understand that racism STILL exists? These people just think that since they don't experience it (and never have) that it doesn't exist for others. Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Am I perfect when it comes to acceptance, race relations, or just being a human? No. None of us are. But I realize that if we saw each other as people instead of identifying us by a certain color or religion, then all of us would stand in praise of Beyoncé's performance just like everyone has praised Coldplay—a band comprised of white men (just saying)—for their performance.

Also, Bruno Mars and all of his back up dancers were black, too. Where are the hateful and shaming articles about that? I see we have another discussion here, and yet another fault in how people view and implement equality.
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February 7, 2016

MONDAY STROLL

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Ah, the skirt that was meant for my New Years Eve yacht cruise, but never quite made it there—I opted for a revealing top and a black pencil skirt instead. However, I knew I had to incorporate this beautiful plus size lace maxi skirt into my every day wardrobe by pairing it with a military style jacket and some strappy heels. Unlike the lace skirt, this black military coat has been in my wardrobe for quite sometime. 

I would love to try and incorporate more see through-maxi and midi skirts into my spring and summer looks—trend permitting. 

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February 4, 2016

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH #NOFOMO?





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I am no stranger to wearing a bikini out in public, heck, I have even worn one on national TV once. However, I have always dreaded swimsuit shopping, and a little tinge of anxiety comes over me as I debut my body in a bikini for the first time every year—minus the New Year’s weight loss resolution success story and six-month strict diet that I’m still sticking to, because I never do those things. I have always been confident when it comes to showing off my curvy body, but even for the most confident of girls, there are insecurities that still follow.
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It can be difficult to take the first major jump of body confidence during the spring or summer months, but I’m not alone. One out of three women would miss out on a beach vacation just to avoid wearing a swimsuit. If Justin Timberlake invited them to a party, almost 40% of women would turn him down flat because they don’t feel like their bodies are “swimsuit ready.” The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real for so many women, according to these statistics, and I can relate.

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But for the first time, I am throwing a one piece into my swimsuit rotation, posing in a two piece bikini on my blog, and trying different styles of swimwear because I want to show women that they can push their own limits when it comes to their swimwear choice as well as their fears and body insecurities, too!

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Although I prefer to wear two-piece bikinis—no matter what anyone thinks—this Mossimo mesh inset one-piece changed my mind. The mesh allows my skin to peak through, making me feel sexy and confident.


Wearing a bikini makes me feel like I am conquering my insecurities and helping to inspire other women to do the same. I love taking styles that are colorful and flattering and making them my own. For a fun and playful look, I mixed and matched this Mossimo foldover hipster bikini bottom with a mint-colored Mossimo crochet flounce bandeau bikini top.

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Since I am on a streak for trying something new and pushing my comfort zones, I decided to pair this Ava &Viv plus size high waist swim bottom with a Mossimocrochet high neck halter bikini top. I have never tried a look like this out of pure fear of wacky tan lines, but I have totally fallen for this look and I’m making this my go-to look for beach days.

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With the endless swimwear possibilities and styles, Target makes it easy and fun to shake off our inhibitions and body insecurities, put on our swimsuits, and dive in to have the best season ever. I am taking the #NOFOMO pledge this year to encourage myself and others to soak up the sun and never miss out on hitting the beach with my friends. This is the year where body confidence replaces my insecurities, starting with this post.
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Inspire others and take the #NOFOMO pledge with me! Grab your dream swimsuit from Target.com/swim, where you will find the cutest plus size selection as well as other trendy swimwear pieces. Show off your look on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags: #NOFOMO and #TargetStyle! Be sure to tag me @NataliexCraig as well as @TargetStyle! What will you do this season with #NOFOMO? Find your style @Targetstyle.


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Try on your favorite swimsuits in the comfort of your own home with Target's free shipping and returns.

This post is sponsored by Target. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Natalie in the City possible!


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February 1, 2016

DAY-TO-DAY

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Solid-colored clothing that can stay in my closet for multiple seasons are key. I love being able to grab pieces like this black chiffon midi dress and pair it with everything to create endless outfit possibilities.

This dress, in particular, is great for both a night out and an office look—aside from being an every day piece. To transform this piece into office appropriate attire, I pair the dress with a black pencil skirt and racerback tank top, or a black dress. To take this dress out for a night on the town, I tie a chiffon belt in a bow just a little under my bust and pull the dress to make it shorter and give my figure more shape. I am no stranger to midi-length dresses that have slits on both sides. Similar to this dress, I have a halter slit dress that is perfect for summer.

For this casual, everyday look that I am currently wearing, I slipped into a Vince Camuto midi pencil skirt to give a peek of contrast, topped off with a gold necklace and charm bracelet. These taupe ankle booties also go so well with everything because, of course, they are classic and nuetral, too.

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Photography by: Ghaffar Gbenro

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