Rustic Winter Chic - JORD Wood Watches

I’ve never been into watches, but that’s because I have my iPhone on me at all times. I can remember a time when my grandfather would tell me that a watch is essential and tells a lot about your personality. I hadn’t thought about this much, but the moment I opened my cold weather couture watch from JORD Wood Watches changed everything. 

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Lola's Top 3 Winter Coats

This winter has been a little warm for the most part, not to mention off putting. But no matter where you go, where you live, or how warm you think it is, you will need a coat. I've highlighted my three favorite [chic] picks for winter 2016. Don't worry, you'll thank me later. 

New York & Co . | Wool Blend Coat | $59 ($159 org)

New York & Co. | Wool Blend Coat | $59 ($159 org)

New York & Co  | Faux Fur Collar Puffer Coat | $49 ($149) 

New York & Co | Faux Fur Collar Puffer Coat | $49 ($149) 

Venus  | Colorblock Military Coat | $62 ($79 org)

Venus | Colorblock Military Coat | $62 ($79 org)

Photo Credit: New York & Company  | Venus Swimwear & Fashion | Pinterest

Fall Fashion Footwear - Christian Siriano

I can safely say that my defense in shopping this week is because of Fashion Week. Granted, it’s probably not the best excuse, but it’s one of them. So to kick off Fashion Week (no pun intended), let's take a peek at my newest additions!

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Is H&M's New Flagship Worth It?

If you’re an H&M lover, you probably heard about the new flagship that opened on 34th Street/Herald Square in Manhattan. All kidding aside, I was actually excited because I thought they would carry more sizes and more variety. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

There are certain stores I find trendy clothing that fit me well. Being that I’m a size 14 to 16 (depending on the cut, I can squeeze a 12), I thought I’d have a fighting chance in the world that deems a ‘12’ to be “plus sized.” After venturing into the new H&M flagship, I sifted through the racks to grab a few summer pieces. Within ten minutes, I realized they only went up to a size 10, with SOME 12s (go figure). I grabbed a sales associate and was told that sizes 14 and up were considered “plus” and were found at the other location. Stunned, I left the accessories I picked up and went on my way to the other location (which I had just been in the day prior).

By the grace of the fashion gods, I found a few 14s hiding (there must have been a new shipment). Because I was on my lunch break, I ran to the register and went about my day. Well, let me tell you about a little conversation me and the cashier had.

Cashier: “Did you find everything okay?”

Me: “Yes, but do you know if you’ll be carrying any more 14s?”

Cashier: “They come every day, but it’s a game of chance. Have you been to the new flagship?”

Me: “You mean the flagship that goes up to a Large and a 12 that has nothing in stock? If you ask me, I don’t know how that’s a flagship and they don’t even carry a ‘plus-size’ department.”

Cashier: “They have sizes in the back. No one offered to help? I thought they carried what we carry.”

Me: “Nope!”

Well, H&M didn’t plan accordingly, nor cared to offer a variety of sizes (the new store doesn’t carry maternity clothing either). It’s only a matter of time until management or store operations realize this fault, so we shall see.  In the meantime, I’m going to see what 14s and 16s I can find. ¡chao!

Do I Look Like An Angel To You?

  In a little under a month, the night we've all (most...well, some of us) been waiting for will make it's international debut. The annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show will be held in London, England for the first time this year. But what does this mean for those of us who are "drooling" over Miranda Kerr and her fellow angels? Wings are an angel's best friend.

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Animating Your Body

Have you ever gone shopping and asked the sales associate for help? Have you ever gotten that look of "Why are you trying that on?" About two weeks ago, I ventured into Bryant Park and met a couple of women at Animated Closet NYC, who, I must say, made me feel fashionable and a real woman.

Being that I have a fuller figure, it's not common that I stay away from large prints and bold statement pieces. Kathleen, the boutique associate, along with her co-worker, made it very comfortable, inviting me in the moment I stopped to just look at the mannequin. I explained to her my situation, you know, not being able to find high-fashion in my size or that even looked amazing. From there, Kathleen began to tell me about each piece, how they're constructed, and how me, at 185lbs (no shame), could wear an XL piece of art that would fit someone who was maybe 200+lbs. This is due to color blocking, shading, quality materials, and design of a woman's body. However, this means you better have saved some of your paycheck to buy a beautiful sweater-dress that has the Brooklyn Bridge incorporated on it.

Yes, I enjoy fashionable piece,s, but at $500+, I might rethink my closet. But what I will say is that Kathleen and her co-worker took their time helping me find something that not only was flattering, but that I actually fell in love with. Animated Closet certainly has a vibe to it, one that you must prepare for. The stories of women walking in to purchase their dresses, shaping their bodies post-pregnancy or to simply enhance features. It's quite remarkable to see that a boutique can have so much positive influence over women who don't have the same fashion opportunities as others.

My time with Kathleen was very well spent. I think I was in the boutique for a good 30 minutes, trying on five different pieces, learning about each one and the story behind the art. Oh, and to top it all off, Kathleen wasn't so skinny-mini either, making me feel welcomed and that I had someone who has been in my shoes before. It's nice being able to walk into a store or boutique and find something trendy, flattering, and perfect for your shape.

If you have some time, visit Animated Closet NYC. When you stop by, make sure you mention Tamara, who stopped by in October with the fashion blog!

Framework of a Million - Shaping Your Style

For some time, the fashion-verse has been "cookie cutter," meaning there's a set style. But the reality of it is that there are so many cookie cutters. So what happens when you want to fit the mold, but don't?

My entire life, I lived in a world where people tried to dress me and make me appear 'normal.' As I got older, I learned there were different shapes and sizes, even in the modeling industry. It wasn't until I was a freshman in college when I learned of the fashion retailer Torrid's collaboration with America's Next Top Plus Size Model. This is where my framework began. I was a girl who had grown up in the south (originally from NYC), and had been surrounded by "cookie cutters" my entire life. But when I met the girls at Torrid who were in the same position as me, I began to loosen up just a bit.

Framework is the structure of which something is built. As a student, I didn't know what type of frame I was or where I fit in. My style was a mess, but after a 1-on-1 session with a Torrid stylist, I was able to clarify my frame. After posing for a few photos and having my makeup done by MAC Cosmetics, I was able to be myself. I let the clothing and makeup define my personality with flare, creating definition. But was this what I wanted? Apparently so, since I began to open my eyes up after a year of trying to make it. I've spent countless amounts of money on Torrid clothing because of how it flatters my shape, hundreds on makeup, and so much more on other things. But did this shape my style? Yes, it did.

How does one photo-shoot become framework though? Simple - you can be yourself or whoever you want to be. Over the years, I've looked back at those images and wondered how I got to where I am. I've also asked why didn't I get the position at a magazine, clothing store, or any other business I love, but I've also come to terms. My framework isn't a "cookie cutter," it's a lifestyle.

On this blog, you will find many old posts of who I was and the many facets of my personality. However, you will also find new material, paving a path for individuals all over the world, especially those of us who have no one else to turn to. Luxe Like Lola is a platform for men and women of all ages to find advice, guidance, and inspiration in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment industries and how it relates to you...as a person...and your growth as a human being. Let's make the Web a better place, not just for me or you, but for those who can't communicate with the rest of us.

Watch Out For Style

With technology at our fingertips, there really isn't a reason to rock that little clock on our wrists, right? After peeking at articles and blogs of items we should own before 25, watches seem to be making their way back into style. Want a fashionable watch but don't want to pay a ridiculous amount? Avon, yes, Avon, has four (4) watches that will amp up any outfit with style and class.

     Being that I'm always on the go and rarely wear bracelets, I kind of gave up on the whole watch thing, but lately I'm seeing them everywhere. I was browsing through our current campaign and I came across a sale that would be absolutely fantastic for all of you!

 

2 for $35! 

**Select styles only**

Rock Out in Croc

   If you're into the rocker or "bad girl" style, there is just the perfect outfit for you! Mark by Avon has an fabulous croc-embossed dress that's perfect for a night out with the girls. This is perfect for any casual occasion (preferably a night out on the town or maybe to a club party) and can be dressed up or down. But what's an outfit without accessories? Exactly, there isn't one.

Available in sizes Small to XX-Large

Photo Credit, Mark by Avon

Vickie's Secret to the Perfect Sports Bra

There was a time where the only bra I was willing to wear was a sports bra. As I got older (probably age 9 or 10), my mother threw them away and out came the oh-so-loveable underwire or "womenly" bras. After that, I gave up on searching because I just could not find a sports bra that fit properly and supported me...until now.

Victoria's Secret has taken my life by storm, allowing me to feel not only "sexy," but also supported in my daily wear. For Christmas, my parents did a little shopping at VS and questioned the VSX SPORT collection. Since I hadn't asked for anything and they knew I didn't have a sports bra, they perused the store for my size (which only a handful of styles and colors come in). Needless to say, out came on grey "THE STANDOUT" and one hot pink "THE INCREDIBLE" sports bra. The moment I tried them on, I was in heaven.

Image via Google Search

I'm not the most athletic person in the world, but I also don't like getting fully dressed if I'm not doing anything productive (i.e. study time = sweats and tank tops). The most difficult part of this is that living in a dorm, people knock on my door all the time and laziness usually answers it. But that has now changed. The VSX bras are super comfortable and only after four days, I can say they are well worth the $54. And with the Semi-Annual sale quickly approaching, this Angel Card holder will possibly be doing some damage if she can.

If you're interested, enjoy this link to the VSX SPORT collection and their amazing and oh-so supportive bras!

Reasons I Don't Shop Online

I've met so many individuals who enjoy online shopping and I understand why. Many companies feature promotions exclusively for their online audience, such as free shipping, an extra door buster, etc...but none of this applies to me (at least for clothing). I feel like there's just something missing: a personal touch.

   Now, I will admit that I have purchased accessories and even shoes offline. However, the difference is that I tried on the shoes in a store and found a better deal on eBay. I will purchase electronics and other nicknacks offline, but nothing more. I refuse to purchase clothing offline unless it is something I have had previously (Decree jeggins!). About a week or so ago, I made a rather generous purchase from Torrid.com, only to be disappointed when I received my package in the mail. Only two of the seven items fit.

   Why did I purchase these items online? Well, considering my Back 2 School Haul, I earned about $150 in Haute Cash (Torrid cash, similar to Kohls) and obviously wanted to take advantage of the sames. I wear a size 12 in bottoms from Torrid, I figured they would fit the same. Sadly, I was mistaken and pretty much went into panic mode. Being that I am more so top-heavy, my legs are pretty average, with the case of small ankles. Newsflash: the skinnies I ordered were HUGE at the ankle. It's probably just the cut of the jeans, but still, I had hoped they would fit much smoother. There was nothing wrong with the product; it just did not fit me like I had hoped. But that's neither here nor there. Maybe next time I'll actually make it to the store to redeem my rewards.

    Lesson learned, huh?

My Body & Closet Transformation

There's no doubt that full-figured women have a difficult time finding trendy, stylish clothing. On a recent B2S (Back 2 School) shopping trip, I found that there was a Torrid near my home in Brooklyn. Now, I had no clue that this location was there, but I'm glad I found it because it has changed my life for this fall season.
    For me, I've always had a difficult time finding tops that fit, yet flattered my shape. Having a larger back isn't the easiest thing to work with, but in Torrid, there's no other way but the Torrid-way. After about two hours of shopping and trying pieces on, I finally settled to about five tops and a pair of jeans, accompanied by some jewelry. Yes, my bill was a tad high, but that's what DivaStyle points, discounts, and gift cards are for! SO what did I buy?

   Because I'm not a fan of long sleeves, it took every ounce of pride to make such a purchase. With the fall around the corner, I found myself purchasing darker colors and lighter material. I walked out with a pair of Stiletto jeans (sz 12 and they're super comfortable), 2-3 black tops (decorative lace backing and cut-out arms), a turquoise top, and an olive military-inspired top. To me, this was a purchase I would not forget. I was finally on the road to transforming my closet into what I felt like it should be. 
  About a week or so ago, I realized my Haute Cash (cash rewards from Torrid) were active and I needed to act fast. However, my boyfriend decided to wait until the last minute (typical men) so I made my purchases online and over the phone. Needless to say, I purchased a few more tops and slacks for work. I'm hoping that by changing my style a little, things will begin to be more fluid. But why am I shopping at Torrid and nowhere else? It's simple: They know what their audience needs. 

  Keeping it short, I would rather spend the extra money at Torrid knowing that my needs are being met and the quality is fantastic. I'm pretty sure as soon as I secure a full-time job and start saving for an apartment, I will be making monthly purchases to satisfy the professional and personal needs of my closet.

  Visit torrid.com to see what pieces fit you best. You won't regret it!

XOXO

Ostrich Feathers, Oh My!

    We've all had our fair share of floral arrangements, candy and cookie bouquets, and even little beta fish with some type of greenery as centerpieces. With The Great Gatsby as the hot ticket and a business with mastermind designers, why not make your next event full of some thing? Ostrich Feathers by Pure Dymonds Events are some of the most sought out center pieces. Known for her unique and spectacular events, Tricia Epps has been making feather a part of her daily routine.

Red and white ostrich feather; photo via PDE Facebook

    Ever wanted something so unique and so different at your event? Tricia Epps offers over 20 different colored feathers , each with the ability to liven up your event. Oh, and did I mention you can add lights to your arrangement? Yes, lights! This will give just the right amount of "chic" and life to any party. As event designers, Tricia is also able to add just the right amount of beading and gems to make a dazzling effect. Never underestimate a great mind!

White feathers w/crystal chandelier stand; Photo via PDE Facebook

  If you think ostrich feather are a differnt and fun accessory or decoration, call Tricia Epps today at (757) 952-6731 or visit her website at puredymondsevents.com  & ostrichfeathersbypuredymonds.com

White feather centerpiece @ a VA Beach wedding. Photo via PDE Facebook

Disney Quinceanera

We all know that Disney has decided to have a number of wedding gowns that resemble those of our favorite princesses, right? What if I told you that according to the latest Latina Magazine link that appeared on my Facebook, that Disney now has princess inspired Quinceanera gowns?

Belle w/ruffles

Pocahontas (Turquoise)

  I'll be 21 this fall and I remember planning my quinceanera in 2006-2007, but I don't remember having as many options. Earlier today I was browsing Facebook and a few online magazines for inspiration and I came across Disney inspired quinceanera gowns. Is our society growing and do our young ladies need more options? Yes, why not? There are about two (2) dresses per princess, with some having one or two more options. This will allow our young Latina women to see themselves in a Disney gown without it being a wedding gown (unless she wishes to have a traditional white gown). The latest trends in quinceanera parties is color and individuality (believe me, I'm beginning to plan my sister's for summer 2014 and she's picked out some pretty "unique" pieces and themes). I guess I can say that I am a fan of the collection (my favorite is Mulan's two gowns...no pressure), however I am curious to see what retailers will be carrying them, especially in New York.

If you're currently on the prowl for a gown, don't stress it. Quince shopping is so much fun and with this new collection, I'm sure you and your mujeres will love trying on true princess gowns. Happy shopping!

      To see the collection please click here.