2017 | 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

December 25, 2017

TIED AT THE WAIST

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday this past week! I traveled to my hometown of Boise, Idaho for some family time and Christmas fun! But I'm on my way back to Chicago this morning, and I'm looking forward to getting back to city life and my day-to-day routine, which has lately been all about sharing my favorite denim finds of the week. Yes, I've been wearing A LOT of denim lately (even though once I started wearing leggings in 2010, I vowed never to wear jeans again). Along with pearls, sequins, and velvet, denim is having a huge moment right now, and I've kind of fallen back in love with the material. However, while leggings hug every curve and smooth out every line, denim usually falls short when it comes to creating a flattering silhouette.

As I told y'all last week, I've been obsessed with Charlotte Russe's Refuge denim. The jeans not only come in different washes, styles, and fits, but they also come with a tummy control panel, which I happen to love. Check out my two most recent posts (Denim is a Girl's Best Friend | Casual Thursday) to see some different styles from the line, and find out how these jeans help me feel a little more confident on my down days.

For this look, which also incorporates Charlotte Russe's Refuge Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans, I wanted to create an ensemble you could catch me wearing to work. The denim's frayed hems bring a playful touch to this Striped Tie Front Button Up Top, but the Pearl Embellished Velvet Pointed Toe Flats keep the jeans from making the outfit look too casual. See what I did there? I have been wearing this button up top everywhere. It's so stylish, and the tie waist feature accentuates my curves so nicely. This look is perfect for a casual Friday at the office—but you can also see me wearing it Monday through Thursday!

SIZING INFO: I am wearing a 2X in the Striped Tie Front Button Up Top, which is my usual size, and it fits perfectly. I am wearing a size 16 in the Refuge Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans, which is my usual size, and they fit perfectly. Unlike the last two pairs of Charlotte Russe's Refuge Skinny Jeans with a tummy control panel that I have worn (Denim is a Girl's Best Friend | Casual Thursday), these jeans do have stretch!

Photography by: Rorie Raimondi
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Charlotte Russe sent me this outfit to review. All opinions are 110% my own!
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December 20, 2017

CASUAL THURSDAY

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On Monday, we talked about Charlotte Russe’s Plus Size Refuge Skinny Jeans that have a tummy control panel, and I promised I would show you more styles from the collection. So next up, we have these Plus Size Refuge Destroyed Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans, which are high waist and they include a tummy control panel, too. Just in case you didn’t get to read Monday’s post, I stumbled across these jeans and was really intrigued by the tummy control panel. I feel like I see this feature in leggings or workout attire, but I’ve never seen it in jeans. And lately, I have been wearing a lot more denim than I have been wearing leggings.

As I said in my last post, I have always had a love-hate relationship with my lower tummy. So, on days when I am feeling less confident about that area, these jeans come in handy!

I’m a destroyed denim kind of girl, so naturally, I gravitated toward these jeans. I paired the jeans with this Lace-Up Detail Pullover Sweater, which is also from Charlotte Russe. I love the tie details on this sweater, and the material is super soft and comfortable. I topped off the look with these Gored Wedge Booties. This outfit is playful and casual, just how I like to keep while running errands or hanging out with friends.

SIZING INFO: I am wearing a size 16 in the Plus Size Refuge Skinny Jeans, which is my usual size, and they fit perfectly. Similarly, to the last pair of Refuge Skinny Jeans, this denim does not stretch very much, but it still fits pretty true to size. I am wearing a 2X in the SWEATER, which is my usual size, and it fits perfectly. I am wearing a size 8 in the Gored Wedge Booties, which is one size smaller from my usual size. I sized down because these shoes have a true wide fit. However, the booties are a little tight at first and I would probably order my usual size if I had to do it all over again. 


 
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Photography by: Rorie Raimondi
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Charlotte Russe sent me this outfit to review. All opinions are 110% my own!
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December 17, 2017

DENIM IS A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

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I'm dropping a major key and one of my best kept secrets today, y'all! So this summer I shared one of my biggest insecurities in this blog post: EDGY DENIM. My tummy (more specifically, my lower tummy) has always been something that has held me back from embracing certain trends, like crop tops. However, I made a pledge to myself that I wouldn't let it hold me back. So I didn't. But recently, I stumbled across these jeans from Charlotte Russe that have a tummy control panel, and they are a definite game changer. If you are insecure about your lower tummy, try these jeans on!

I am wearing the Plus Size Refuge Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans from Charlotte Russe. Only a select few pairs of jeans come with the tummy control panel, and I will be showing you three of those selections throughout the next week. So stay tuned for the next two blog posts! I paired these jeans with this adorable Lace Up Pullover Sweater, which is also from Charlotte Russe, and my favorite wide-calf, over-the-knee boots! These boots are also from the brand, and they have made a little appearance on the blog before (Peep this post: THE GIRL & THE CITY).

Although I made some major strides toward embracing my belly this summer, these jeans give me confidence on days when I need it most! I am also wearing another pair of Charlotte Russe denim with tummy control in this post: THE GIRL & THE CITY. Like I mentioned previously, I will be wearing two more pairs of these jeans and giving you the inside scoop on how to style them and how they fit! See ya on Wednesday for another post!


SIZING INFO: I am wearing a size 16 in the Plus Size Refuge Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans, which is my usual size, and they fit perfectly. The control panel in the tummy area does make the jeans fit extra snug, so if that sounds like it would be uncomfortable to you, then I would size up. The jeans also have very little stretch in them, but still run pretty true to size. I am wearing a 2X in the Lace Up Pullover Sweater, which is my usual size, and the sweater fits perfectly! I am wearing a size 8 in the wide-calf over-the-knee-boots, which is one size smaller than my usual size, and they fit perfectly. I sized down in these boots because they have a true wide width fit. 



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 Photography by: Rorie Raimondi
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Charlotte Russe sent me this outfit to review. All opinions are 110% my own!
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December 12, 2017

JOIN ME AT JOY DISTRICT FOR NYE!

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New Year’s Eve is such a symbolic holiday for many, myself included. It’s a time where I love to be around my best friends and other loved ones to ring in the new year and envision what’s to come. So, this year, my friends and I will be counting down the clock at Joy District, one of Chicago’s best River North restaurants and cocktail-bars. The swanky venue has three floors, which suit all types of party-goers. You’ll probably find me on the second floor near the DJ booth because I’m all about the sounds. Joy will be creating a party atmosphere on both the first and second floor, so no matter where you are, it’s bound to be a good time. My friends and I go to Joy District on regular basis, and we always have the best time. So, I’m excited to see what the club has in store for NYE!

I will be sporting this gorgeous Dynasty Studded dress from Fashion Nova Curve. I took a snap of this dress and posted it to my Instagram story last week, and you guys went crazy over it! I think it’s the perfect dress for NYE—a little bit of sparkle, and a whole lot of sexy. I love how the lace up sides accentuate my curves, and the bead designs highlight my figure. If you LOVE this dress, use my code "NataliexCraig" to earn 15% off of your next Fashion Nova purchase! I have included a shoppable widget below with a bunch of flirty, fun, and sexy dresses for NYE! I hope you find something that dazzles you!

If you would like to start off your New Year the right way, join us at Joy! Tickets start at $75, but you can win two tickets by following the steps below!

  1. Follow Joy District on Instagram (@joydistrictchi
  2. Comment “I’ll be there!” on my THIS Instagram photo: (@nataliexcraig

I will choose and announce a winner via my Instagram stories on Monday, December 18 at 12 p.m. CST.

I can't wait to see you there! XO

SIZING INFO: I am wearing a 2X in the Dynasty Studded Dress, which is my usual size, and it fits perfectly! 

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December 10, 2017

PLEATS & BOW TIES

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I'm not sure about this one. We'll just start there. Do I love 100% of the outfits / clothes I purchase or put together? Absolutely not. Everything is trial and error for me. While I purchased both of these items at one time, and loved them, they have fallen toward the back of my closet. You have probably noticed this pleated leather skirt because it has appeared a couple of times on this blog (refer to LEATHER PLEATS | OCTOBER VIBES). And I recently bought this blouse from Eloquii (it's sold out, but here is something similar: V-Neck Cascading Sleeve Top). I paired the two together because my initial instinct was to pair this blouse with something plain and simple like a black pencil skirt or jeans. But I knew that I wanted two strong pieces— both of which are a little outside of my comfort zone—to come together in holy (or unholy) matrimony.

I love to experiment with different styles and sometimes these experiments are a success and others become a lesson. I'm just not sure where this outfit stands...? And while this may not be my favorite look in the world, I love so many parts of it. From the bell sleeves and the white trim of the blouse to the leather pleats, these two garments, separately, are stunning and fun. 

SIZING INFO: I am wearing a 2x in the leather pleated skirt, which is my usual size, and it fits perfectly. I am wearing a size 18 in the Eloquii top, which is my usual size, and it fits perfectly, too!

FUN FACT: I got to shoot with Denise Marie Kokinis from Fashion Love Letters for this outfit! If you need fashion photography in Chicago, Denise is your girl! 


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December 6, 2017

BIRTHDAY SUIT

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HAH. Gotcha! No, I'm not actually sporting my birthday suit, but this outfit is, in fact, what I wore on my birthday. This past weekend, I was in New York City attending The Experience through The School of Womanly Arts, and catching up with some of the brands I work with through my blog. Oh, I was also celebrating my 26th birthday! This birthday was different from every other I've ever celebrated, and it was exactly what I had hoped for.

Last year, around this time, I finished reading the book Pussy: A Reclamation, and it was a total life and game changer for me. So when I heard that the Author, Regena Thomashauer, was hosting one of her Live Experiences—based off of the book—on my birthday, I knew I had to attend. So I packed my bags for NYC, and prepared to get a fresh dose of feminine power. But I wasn't at all prepared for what was actually going to take place. The Experience emotionally kicked my ass. I cried, laughed, screamed, and danced with 2,500 women (ranging from 18 years old to 93 years old) from all 50 U.S. states and 23 countries. It's impossible to explain exactly what went down at The Experience, but you can learn more about it on this page: The Experience Intro Event. The author will also be hosting another experience the first weekend of February in NYC, if you find yourself interested in attending.

As we headed in to The Experience, we were told to wear the clothes that made us feel hot, sexy, and beautiful—whether that be a sequin dress or Nike yoga pants. I chose to wore this Fashion Nova Curve look because these two pieces are my absolute favorite right now. Not only are the garments sexy, but they really highlight my curves and make me feel like a total babe. The Down for the Hype Skirt shows off my hourglass figure and adds an extra edge with the lace-down sides. I paired the skirt with the Little White Lies Top in hunter green. I am so obsessed with this top that I am ordering it in the burgundy and ivory colors it also comes in. I don't currently own any other wrap tops besides this one, but I have found that I really love being able to wrap the garment around my waist in different ways to create different silhouettes. I have been able to wear this top out to the club, but also dress it up for work with a pencil skirt. You can use the code "NATALIEXCRAIG" to earn 15% off of your next Fashion Nova purchase!

I sported this outfit on the last day of The Experience, and I received so many compliments on it. Not to mention, that after the event was over, I headed over to Times Square to just soak in the city as the final hours of my birthday wound down. One of the women I had met at the conference was with me, and I had her take a couple of photos of me. Upon browsing these photos, I couldn't help but notice that I looked joyful and radiant, which is exactly what I hope to continue to be in 2018. See these photos for yourself, and compare them to the ones in this blog post taken a couple of days prior!

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Do you have an outfit that takes you from feeling "blah" to full-on goddess? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to shoot me an email: natinthecity@gmail.com. I can't wait to see your looks!

SIZING INFO: I am wearing a size 2X in both the Little White Lies Top and the Down for the Hype skirt, which is my usual size, and the garments both fit perfectly!

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Photography by: Rorie Raimondi
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Fashion Nova Curve sent me this outfit to review. All opinions are 110% my own!

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December 5, 2017

THE MOST FLATTERING DRESSES FOR YOUR CURVES

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This post is sponsored by Just My Size. All opinions are 110% my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that make Natalie in the City possible!

Even as the temperatures drastically drop in Chicago, I am always on the lookout for cute dresses that I can wear to work, but also dress up for a night out. To me, dresses are easier to slip on early in the morning when I am in a mad dash to work because I don’t have to match a top with a bottom and then find a cardigan or blazer to top off the look. And although dresses require minimal accessorizing, they look the most put together. I also love the way dresses fit and drape on my body. They highlight my curves and make me feel sexy, chic, and polished!

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Today, I am going to show you two of my favorite dresses from Just My Size that I turn to for both work and play! First up is this 3/4 Sleeve Goddess Print Dress. I love wearing this dress to work as the length hits right below my knee, and the loose fit on the bottom makes the piece modest, yet playful. Although the dress doesn’t have a body con fit, the fun geometric print on a black field highlights my figure, and still makes me feel radiant and goddess-like (YES. YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY FEEL RADIANT AT WORK, and you should!). When I look and feel my best, I know I can tackle any assignment that comes my way. Another feature to note is the all-season three-quarter length sleeves, which make this dress work-appropriate, and they also provide coverage for those who don’t like to show off their arms.
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Now let’s slide on over to one of the cutest pieces currently in my closet, the 3/4 Sleeve Ruffle Sleeve Dress. I am obsessed with every little detail of this dress, from the fit to the ruffle sleeves. This piece is a little shorter than the one pictured above, but I’m not complaining because it elongates my short legs, and the form-fitting bottom is very flattering. I am really enjoying how thick and comfortable the material is, which is also really smoothing and flattering. I topped off the look with a pair of high-heel combat booties and a belt to give the outfit a punk-chic vibe! I’m also thinking about sporting this dress to my company’s Christmas party! I may dress it up to include some festive accessories and maybe a Santa hat!

SIZING INFO: I am wearing a size 1X in both the Goddess Print Dress and the Ruffle Sleeve Dress, which is one size smaller than my usual size, and both dresses fit perfectly! The material is stretchy. If you want a looser fit, order your usual size. Size down for a more curve-hugging fit!

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November 26, 2017

GRAY SCALE

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This is hands-down one of my favorite looks of 2017.  I'm a sucker for a monochromatic look—and a gray one at that—and cute mini skirt looks with knee-high boots! YASS!!

This outfit makes me feel cute and sexy, all the while feeling warm, even though I'm wearing a skirt. My go-to trick when wearing skirts in winter is sporting some sheer tights with knee-high boots. While tights don't provide a lot of coverage, they do keep me a little bit warmer than if I wasn't wearing them. You probably recognize this skirt from a previous post I published this summer. The great thing about this Glass City skirt from Fashion Nova Curve is that the material is really thick, so it's perfect for any fall/winter look. The gray-colored skirt has sold out, but it also comes in mauve, which looks adorable, too! I paired the skirt with this Obsess Over Me one-shoulder top, which is also from Fashion Nova, but has also since sold out. I will include some similar tops in the shop widget below for you to check out! Last but definitely not least, these Knee-High Boots From Charlotte Russe top off the look and take it to a new level. You first saw these boots in this post: THE GIRL & THE CITY. And I'm sure you'll be seeing more of them! If you decide to order these boots from Charlotte Russe, be sure to read the sizing info paragraph below.  

Also, you can use my 15% off discount code for anything on Fashion Nova! Just type in NATALIEXCRAIG when you check out!

SIZING INFO: I am wearing a size 8 in the Knee-High Boots, which is a half size down from my usual size. The reason I sized down was because I have worn the size 9 boots from Charlotte Russe before and I felt that they were too big. When I sized down to a size 8, the calf is a little tighter, but I could get them up to my knees. I recommend sizing down for the best fit! They may be a little tight at first, but they will stretch out! I am wearing a 2X in the Obsess Over me one shoulder top, which is my usual size, and it fits perfectly. This is a tight-fit shirt. It does not blouse or fit loose. I am wearing a 3X in the Glass City Skirt, which is one size up from my usual size, and it fits perfectly. 

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Photography by: Rorie Raimondi 
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November 19, 2017

A SEQUIN MOMENT

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natalie Craig, natalie in the city, Chicago plus size fashion blogger, Chicago plus size model, sequin blazer, plus size sequins, wedge sneakers, inavie boutique, affordable plus size fashion, sequins fall 2017, how to wear sequins, plus model magazine, midwest blogger, Chicago fashion, rainbow sequins, curves and confidence

Sequins have been ebbing and flowing in and out of style for decades. I remember sequins being huge my senior year of high school, and I was LIVING for them. I had the Poppy Pink Sequin Spotlight Coach bag, and I sported a sequin bomber jacket, a sequin tank top, and sequin converse. So yeah, when I was 18, I was walking around looking like a freaking disco ball. Ahh, look how far we have come. But maybe we haven't, since I am wearing a cardigan made completely out of sequins. LOL.

Because I am obsessed with sequins, yet again, I have included a shop widget of my FAVORITE plus size sequin pieces below for you to fall in love with! But first, let's chat about my little sequin cardigan gem. The Rainbow Sequin Cardigan is from the Chicago-based boutique Inavie. It only runs up to a size large, but it fits me perfectly even though I usually wear a 2XL. I paired the cardigan with a latex-leather skirt, black tank top, and wedge sneakers. Because the cardigan does most of the talking, I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit pretty simple. But this leather skirt kept the look sexy—The Glam Mom let me borrow the skirt for this shoot!

See how I styled sequins for a holiday look, the office, and a monochromatic look.

MY LOOK:


MORE SEQUINS PLEASE:
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Photography by: Kimberly Rensburg
natalie Craig, natalie in the city, Chicago plus size fashion blogger, Chicago plus size model, sequin blazer, plus size sequins, wedge sneakers, inavie boutique, affordable plus size fashion, sequins fall 2017, how to wear sequins, plus model magazine, midwest blogger, Chicago fashion, rainbow sequins, curves and confidence

natalie Craig, natalie in the city, Chicago plus size fashion blogger, Chicago plus size model, sequin blazer, plus size sequins, wedge sneakers, inavie boutique, affordable plus size fashion, sequins fall 2017, how to wear sequins, plus model magazine, midwest blogger, Chicago fashion, rainbow sequins, curves and confidence

natalie Craig, natalie in the city, Chicago plus size fashion blogger, Chicago plus size model, sequin blazer, plus size sequins, wedge sneakers, inavie boutique, affordable plus size fashion, sequins fall 2017, how to wear sequins, plus model magazine, midwest blogger, Chicago fashion, rainbow sequins, curves and confidence

natalie Craig, natalie in the city, Chicago plus size fashion blogger, Chicago plus size model, sequin blazer, plus size sequins, wedge sneakers, inavie boutique, affordable plus size fashion, sequins fall 2017, how to wear sequins, plus model magazine, midwest blogger, Chicago fashion, rainbow sequins, curves and confidence

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