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Gwynnie Bee in 2013: Behind the Scenes

Gwynnie Bee is like Netflix for fashion sizes 10 and up. For a monthly fee, you can borrow clothing as often as you wish. Be it work blazers or cocktail dresses, leather jackets or sequined tank tops, Gwynnie Bee has you covered with fabulous, fun, and well-crafted fashion from some of the hottest plus size brands. I have been working with Gwynnie Bee for half a year now, and I just love it more and more. Their selection of clothing has improved, shipping has sped up, and their customer service hasn’t been sacrificed in any manner with their growth. Last week I had the fabulous opportunity to chat with Christine Hunsicker, CEO of Gwynnie Bee, to chat about how the business came to be and it’s direction for 2013.

How Gwynnie Bee Started
Christine grew up in rural Pennsylvania where there were, “more cows than people.” Her aunt lived across the road and was a seamstress by trade. Every Monday, Christine would receive a box of clothes from her aunt that would dress her for a week. Crazy prints, fun silhouettes, and everything fit perfectly no matter her size. Christine and her cousin would swap garments for variety and when they tired of the clothes, they would consign them and use the funds to purchase more fabric. This childhood gave Christine the ability to experiment with fashion without having to commit. Things changed when Christine wanted to wear the same popular trends as her classmates. She recalled when she went to the mall to get her first pair of denim shorts and soon realized she was at the higher end of the size spectrum. She tried on a pair and felt that something was wrong with her since they didn’t fit her figure. That realization hit hard and she had a massive breakdown in the fitting room Fast forward to college and her 20s, where Christine wore a uniform of jeans, tee shirts, and boring black staples because fashion just didn’t feel fun anymore.

A couple years ago, Christine sold her start-up business and was looking to do a new project – something big, long-lasting and would be of service to people and make a major impact in their daily lives. She thought about the stress and frustration of shopping, and how she knew of friends and family who dealt with the same issue and from that decided to start Gwynnie Bee.

Gwynnie Bee’s business culture is all about giving the customer and amazing experience and provide stellar service. Hunsicker believes that if you treat your customer well and with respect, it makes a huge difference on how people view the business. While on the phone with Christine, I mentioned my sister is a member and she immediately knew not just her name but clothes she had borrowed from Gwynnie Bee and feedback she had provided. She also knew of a friend I mentioned who also is a member of Gwynnie Bee. This was not prepared, our phone conversation was only scheduled about an hour ahead of time. It’s just proof of how this company truly sees each member as an individual person.

Gwynnie Bee in 2013 – What to Expect
Christine mentioned how drastically different the collection is now from how it was a year ago and she says that’s completely because of member feedback. Gwynnie Bee carries more statement pieces, more pieces that are a celebration and make fashion fun. Thanks to member feedback (which they constantly encourage – even brutal honest criticism), the Gwynnie Bee collection has more statement pieces, more colorful, fun, and flattering pieces. They hope to offer styles that women may not necessarily buy or even consider in a store but find they like when they try it on. The collection will continue to improve in 2013, and you can expect to see more indie designers, the introduction of jeans and pants, accessories, and a true wardrobe feel.

The site will also be getting some upgrades this year, and one feature I am most excited about is prioritization. I have had many of you readers tell me you find it frustrating that you can’t put your “closet” items in priority order. Gwynnie Bee heard your feedback, has a prioritization pilot program in place, and will be building this feature into the site this year. They will also be trying to make the site more informative with more editorial, suggestions on how to style pieces from the collection, and guest blog posts.

Shipping will be even faster this year as Gwynnie Bee moves to distribution warehouses. This change will shave an entire day off your garment deliveries!

The reason these improvements are happening is because of member feedback. Be it on the little cards you mail back with your garments, your reviews on the sites, comments on Facebook and Twitter or emails directly to the team, Gwynnie Bee acts on every bit of feedback they receive. Gwynnie Bee strives on having a public and wide open business, accepting the good and the bad feedback. They encourage all of you to let them know what you like and what you find could be improved so you can help make the company better for your fellow women.

I’ve received some Gwynnie Bee new releases over the past couple of weeks and see a drastic difference from the more traditional cuts and colors from when I started with them at the end of the summer. Hot brands like ASOS, Michael Kors, DKNY, and Eloquii. Leather, galaxy prints, sequins, peplums, and all the other hot trends along with workday classics and elegant party frocks. More customer reviews with each piece so you can get a better feel as to whether it’s a good choice for you. And more selection, be it styles or sizes. It’s exciting to see a company grow and improve before your very eyes, and I am proud to be a spokesperson for them.

Awesome Gwynnie Bee Promotion!
If you haven’t yet checked out Gwynnie Bee, now is the time!  Gwynnie Bee is currently offering a promotion where you can get a 30-day free trial of their program.  You won’t be charged unless you continue with the service and you can cancel online at anytime.  Well Gwynnie Bee is also offering all Wardrobe Oxygen readers a free one-garment upgrade on their new subscription!  Just be sure to use the link in this post and mention Wardrobe Oxygen to receive it.  Offer is valid for those choosing the one, two, or three garment plan.  This deal won’t last forever, it expires Sunday, January 27th, 2013 at midnight. Existing members, let your friends know about the 30-day trial (using your name) and you earn a free month!

Note: I do receive a commission on each new Gwynnie Bee membership if my or my blog name is mentioned at sign-up. However, all thoughts in this and any Gwynnie Bee posts are mine and they have no editorial control. I wanted to know more about Christine and the company and asked to do this phone interview; I am not being compensated for publishing this post. I just think Gwynnie Bee is rad.

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Gwynnie Bee: Clothing Without Commitment

Do you ever see a company and think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” A company that has such a brilliant idea that is unique, inspiring, and helpful? I thought all that when Gwynnie Bee contacted me to let me know about their program. I was so excited about the concept I had to be a part and share it with you readers.

Three years ago after I had Emerson, I was hovering between a size 16 and 18.  While I embraced my new body and celebrated the hard work and pain it went through to deliver Emerson, it was really hard to dress it. I was unfamiliar with its new size and shape, and didn’t want to spend a lot of money knowing it would keep changing shape and size over the next year. Since then, I have been off and on Weight Watchers and have been everything from a 12 to a 16. If I had purchased a whole new wardrobe for each size I was during this time, I would be bankrupt. I know I am not alone in this – many women I know change sizes over a span of a few years – pregnancy, injury, business travel, diet and exercise… heck even your monthly cycle can have you wearing a 14 one week and a 16 the next.

I believe in having a wardrobe of staples – pieces that mix and match and get you through all of life’s events. However, every woman needs a few “fun” pieces to show her personal style. These pieces are hard to buy – you’re not sure of your personal style, you’re not comfortable at your current size, you don’t have retailers near you who offer quality pieces in your size, you don’t want to invest in pieces that aren’t traditional workhorses.

A peek of some of Gwynnie Bee’s offerings

What do you do when you want to feel beautiful today – not when you fit into half your closet? How do you “test drive” certain brands and styles when you live hours from a decent mall? Where can one find stylish and flattering clothing for women over a size 10? Where can you shop when you’re on the cusp between standard and plus sizing? What to do when you want to spice up your wardrobe without spending a bundle? The answer to all of these is Gwynnie Bee.

Gwynnie Bee’s motto is “Clothing Without Commitment.” It’s like Netflix for fashion sizes 10-24. You sign up for a subscription service and pick out clothing from Gwynnie Bee’s collection for your virtual closet. Gwynnie Bee will quickly ship pieces to you – when you return one (postage already paid, shipping materials provided), they’ll send another your way. You have a constantly updated wardrobe of quality brands who specialize in fitting and flattering plus size women (and “on the cusp” folks like me!).

Not just fun tops and dresses, Gwynnie Bee also offers pieces like blazers to update your work wardrobe.

No longer do you have to feel tied to your size – you can pick clothing from any size at Gwynnie Bee and place them in your virtual closet. They are already working with quality brands like IGIGI, Talbots, Michael Kors, Evans, J. Jill, Sejour, Kiyonna, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, DKNY, and more. Gwynnie Bee’s stock is updated around every three weeks, so you always have a fresh selection to choose from.

Gwynnie Bee gave me a free trial membership to try out their program. Last week I went through their selection and added a few pieces to my virtual closet; Friday my first package arrived with one IGIGI dress, a top from Talbots, and a tunic from Soft Surroundings. There was the cutest little message when I opened it, every piece was wrapped carefully in tissue. Each piece had two hang tags – one with laundering instructions, another with the piece’s name and a feedback form (Gwynnie Bee really cares about user feedback – what you write helps determine which brands they work with and what styles to offer in the future). In the box were also several shipping bags and return address labels and simple instructions on how to send pieces back.

Each piece looks like new – if they had been worn before I surely can’t tell. You can keep each piece as long as you want – if it doesn’t look right send it back and you’ll have a new garment in less than a week. Gwynnie Bee takes care of laundering – you can wash when you have it to re-wear, but no need to clean to send back.

Gwynnie Bee often shows the same garment on two women of differing sizes and shapes so you can get a better idea of how the piece will look on you.

Gwynnie Bee hopes they can help women discover new brands and styles with less commitment. Plus size fashion options are limited and often hard to access if you’re not in a metropolitan area – Gwynnie Bee makes great brands easy to access and fashion fun!

A peek of my virtual closet – what I have at home and will be featuring on the blog soon, and what will be arriving.

Yes, I have a free trial membership, and yes I will get a commission if any of you sign up and mention me, but after experiencing Gwynnie Bee, I would recommend it even if I didn’t have these perks. The average American woman is a size 12, yet it is so hard to find fun, flattering, and well-made clothing when you are that size or larger. Gwynnie Bee knows that you likely have the black pants, the simple cardigan, the wardrobe staples. They are offering those pieces women don’t have the nerve to buy but are willing to try. I opened up my first box and thought how wonderful Gwynnie Bee would be for the woman planning a European vacation, attending her high school reunion, or packing for her honeymoon. That woman who is in the same place I was three years ago – wanting to dress her changing body well but can’t afford to invest in a whole new wardrobe. I feel for my friends and coworkers who have been hearing me babble non-stop since last week about Gwynnie Bee – how brilliant the program is, and how glad I am it is on the scene.

Want to know more? Visit their Facebook page or their site. Also feel free to ask any questions in the comments – I will answer them completely honestly. I don’t promote on this blog that which I don’t love and believe in, and I believe in Gwynnie Bee.

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What I Wore: Summer Breeze

wardrobe oxygen in a gwynnie bee maxi dressdress | sunglasses | sandals | bag | bracelet | earrings

wardrobe oxygen in gwynnie bee dress wardrobe oxygen with compass rose silver bracelet from silver linings maryland wardrobe oxygen in gwynnie bee wardrobe oxygen wearing gwynnie bee dress and handbag heaven bagDress: City Chic via Gwynnie Bee (XS/14) | Sandals: Aerosoles | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: c/o Handbag Heaven (sold out in black; similar) | Earrings: Amazon | Bracelet: c/o Silver Linings

When I got this dress in my latest Gwynnie Bee bag I couldn’t figure out how to wear put it on.  But once I did I realized I was in summer heaven.  There’s many light layers to this dress and it catches every breeze, which is so awesome in this sweltering heat.  The dress is fun without the self-belt, like a glamorous muumuu; if you get this dress know that the back of the dress has a separation.  If you try to tie the belt around the whole dress it hangs weird, you need to slide it through that back cape portion.  But don’t be afraid to leave it loose, I plan to wear it in that manner this weekend at the beach.  Switch out the sandals for some flip flops and I’m ready for a beachside bar!  I can’t rave enough about the current Gwynnie Bee selections; you can use my affiliate link to try Gwynnie Bee out for yourself with a 30-day free trial!

wardrobe oxygen with silver linings compass rose braceletThis Compass Rose bracelet is from Silver Linings, a Maryland-based jewelry store.  Founded in St. Michael’s, Silver Linings is known for their one-of-a-kind nautical and Chesapeake Bay-themed pieces made in the USA.  While I was born in DC, I have lived in Maryland all my life and am very proud of my state and honored to represent Maryland-based companies on this blog.  The compass rose is most often found on maps, nautical charts, and compasses to display the cardinal directions – North, South, East, and West. This symbol represents different things to different people – the allure of travel and exploration, a reminder to focus on achieving a goal, or a celebration of successfully navigating through troubled water.  I loved the idea of wearing the compass rose, especially after our road trip which gave me the travel bug.  This is a swap top bangle; you buy the bangle bracelet and can switch out the decorative top (Silver Linings has a bunch to choose from for a wardrobe of styles).  The bangle comes in sizes; you can measure your wrist by putting a string around your wrist and then measuring that on a ruler.  I got the 6.5 and at first I felt it was too small… I needed Karl to close it on my wrist.  But I haven’t taken it off since and I can’t even feel it on me.  I really love forever jewelry, the kind I can wear to sleep, to bathe, to swim and this bracelet has become just that.  It’s Sterling Silver so it stays beautiful; I wear it with my regular large cuff, and at the time of writing this made an “arm party” with a mix of it, a gold bracelet, and two beaded bracelets.  I love when a new-to-me brand becomes a personal favorite!

Gwynnie Bee Inspired By You Tour: The DC Stop

Triste Parallell Dimesion Shift DressA couple weeks ago, Gwynnie Bee came to DC for a stop on their Inspired By You Tour. This is such a cool concept; Gwynnie Bee connects with members in a city, gives them a chance to check out the upcoming collection, lets the members be models for a day. Gwynnie Bee is awesome for how they really are inspired by their members, listen to them, and grown and develop as a company because of that feedback.

gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-27Gwynnie Bee set up at the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle where a gorgeous suite was full of fall fashion. We members got to try on as much as we wanted, and when we decided what we liked best, we could pick accessories, get our makeup done, and have a professional photographer take pictures of us around the hotel and city. Since we had an early glimpse of the new collection, we also took time to enter detailed reviews on the Gwynnie Bee site to help fellow members.

Gwynnie Bee Inspired By You Tour DCI had to work that day, so I raced over for a quick session in place of my lunch break. It was so cool to meet so many of the people behind Gwynnie Bee – they’re amazing, real women like you and I who are passionate about fashion and making their fellow woman feel and look great. We gabbed about music and pop culture over Starbucks while I got my face all dolled up. We were able to capture a few looks before I had to dash back to work.

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-47Then that evening was more Gwynnie Bee! I was honored to be the host of their member happy hour in the city. Gwynnie Bee rented out the top floor of Vinoteca and over 100 members RSVPed to attend. The wine, champagne, and cocktails flowed, we had delicious eats, and we mingled with fashion lovers and GB members from the DMV area.

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-78I’ve mentioned before how I don’t really like blogging events. This day was stressful – it was hot, I did a lot of walking around the city, was a sweaty frizzy mess, and stressed out over a work project. But once I got to the happy hour and had a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, I chilled out and ended up having one of my best experiences at a blog-related event.

Gwynnie Bee DC Inspired By You Tour Happy HourThe room was full of gorgeous, happy women who weren’t afraid to approach one another and ask if their dress was available at Gwynnie Bee (most of us wore pieces from the collection). So much laughing, strangers bonding, people not afraid to eat, not afraid to be themselves.  Often at blog events, it’s a lot of posturing and a lot of cliques. Nothing like that happened at the Gwynnie Bee happy hour; even my sister said it was way more fun than any other blogger event she has attended with me.

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-48I think this difference is seen not just in Gwynnie Bee’s Inspired By You Tour, but its blog, social media channels, and how the company has developed over the years. There’s good people behind the brand, people who are listening and constantly trying to make Gwynnie Bee a better resource for cusp and plus sized women. They’re always tweaking their service, their site, they features… and stay tuned for I heard there’s some amazing new changes coming down the pike!

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-211Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental service for women sizes 10-32, featuring great brands like Karen Kane, ELOQUII, Kiyonna, City Chic, Taylor Dresses, Dorothy Perkins, and more. Click this link and get a free 30-day trial of the service and be sure to not just let me know what you think, but also Gwynnie Bee! They are listening, they care, and they’re some pretty fun and awesome people!

What I Wore: Keeping Cool

Wardrobe Oxygen in a Hemant & Nandita dress from Gwynnie Beedress | shoes | bag | sunglasses | lipstick

Wardrobe Oxygen in a Hemant & Nandita dress from Gwynnie BeeWardrobe Oxygen in a Hemant & Nandita dress from Gwynnie Bee and Loeffler Randall Baby Rider bag Wardrobe Oxygen in a Hemant & Nandita dress from Gwynnie BeeDress: Hemant & Nandita via Gwynnie Bee (XL) | Shoes: Aerosoles | Bag: Loeffler Randall  (on sale in this color!) | Gold Bracelet: Gorjana | Enamel Bracelet: Sequin (similar) | Sunglasses: c/o Maui Jim | Lipstick: Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Vivacious

Hemant & Nandita is a brand sold at Anthropologie, REVOLVE, Shopbop, and Neiman Marcus.  This summer they did an exclusive plus size collaboration with Gwynnie Bee and this is one of the dresses from the collection.  The collab just screams Allie, colorful prints, boho styles, and breezy fabrics that work with curves and the summer heat.  This dress is simple perfection, and was utter perfection for the DC heat and extreme humidity.  This dress is so versatile; style with a metallic skinny belt and heels for a wedding; with a wide leather belt, ankle booties and a denim vest for drinks with friends; with a pair of flat sandals and a fedora for an outdoor concert or winery tour.  The faux silk can dress up or down with ease.  THIS is why I love Gwynnie Bee: new to me brands, exclusive collabs, and fun pieces to extend my existing wardrobe for far less than traditional shopping. I’m proud to be a Gwynnie Bee member for over four years and just see the company constantly improving their selection without sacrificing their customer service.  If you’re interested in trying Gwynnie Bee, click this link for a free 30-day trial of the program.


What I Wore: Garden Party

Wardrobe Oxygen outfit post featuring Taylor Dresses floral maxi wrap dress and fringed bag Wardrobe Oxygen outfit post featuring Taylor Dresses via Gwynnie Bee and Handbang Heaven Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a floral wrap maxi from Taylor Dresses via Gwynnie BeeDress: Taylor Dresses via Gwynnie Bee (same dress in plus size, similar dress in straight sizes) | Shoes: Bella Vita c/o Shoebuy (similar, similar) | Bag: c/o Handbag Heaven (similar, similar) | Silver cuff: had forever (similar) | Necklace: c/o LiveTheLook (similar)

This dress is why I love Gwynnie Bee and continue to be a member year after year.  I’ve been eying this dress at Nordstrom for over a month but wasn’t sure if I’d wear the dress often enough to justify the pricetag.  When I saw it available at Gwynnie Bee I rushed to put it in my virtual closet.  It arrived Friday and I wore it that evening when we went to Annapolis for dinner.  The dress runs long on me, so I paired it with my most comfortable summer sandals for walking along the docks; this bag makes the dress look more boho than summer wedding.  I love this dress and don’t plan to return it any time soon; if I love it enough to keep it, I’ll be able to purchase it through Gwynnie Bee at a price cheaper than standard retail!  If you’d like to try Gwynnie Bee for yourself, click this link for a free 30-day trial of the service!

Shop My Picks for Floral Maxi Dresses:

Gwynnie Bee: Helping Women Feel Like Princesses Every Day

I think you all know by now how much I adore Gwynnie Bee, which is like Netflix for fashion. Sizes 10 – 26, you choose a plan based upon how many pieces you want to have available at a time. Return an item, get another. You can keep any item for as long as you wish, and even now purchase pieces you don’t want to return. Free shipping, free returns, popular brands that flatter a woman’s curves and embrace current trends, and plenty of reviews from fellow clients to help you better pick the right pieces for your figure and lifestyle!

Gwynnie Bee makes me feel princess with a limitless closet. In honor of Gwynnie Bee’s one-year anniversary, Gwynnie Bee asked me and fellow DC blogger and Gwynnie Bee fan Lexa from Lemmonex to do a photo shoot in our fabulous city featuring some of our favorite fashions from the company. Again Gwynnie Bee made me feel like a princess, having a photographer follow us around DC capturing me and Lexa shopping, walking past our favorite haunts, even sipping a cocktail at a local bar.

Shopping at Violet Boutique:  
Lexa in the AX Paris Stud Cuff Dress, me in the Simply Be Beaded Tunic Dress

Window Shopping in the Nation’s Capital: 
Lexa in the Spense Bird Print Shirtdress and me in the ASOS Curve Shift Dress in Animal Print
Happy Hour at Smoke and Barrel:  
Me in the Simply Be Geometric Print Tunic (my petite self rocked it as a mini dress), Lexa in the ASOS Curve Peplum Top in Dog Tooth

Ready for a night out in DC:  
Me in the Coldwater Creek Lace Scroll Dress, Lexa in the Kiyonna 3/4 Sleeve Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress

Girls Night in the City:  
Lexa in the Coldwater Creek Fluid Wrap Dress, me in the Simply Be Printed Sheath Dress

For more photos from the day, follow me on Facebook!

It’s fun to feel like a princess when you don’t have to spend royal prices. Gwynnie Bee lets you play with fashion without the financial risk – shake your tail feathers in snakeskin, party in a peplum, stand out in sequins, wear a new color or silhouette without having buyer’s remorse. Borrow a piece for a day… or two months. The choice is up to you!

If you’re not a member of Gwynnie Bee yet, what are you waiting for? Get your diva on, and right now get a nice offer in the process! To celebrate Gwynnie Bee’s anniversary, new members receive an extra one month one garment upgrade + 30 day free trial (valid until March 7th at midnight). If you are already a member, refer your friends with your personal referral link to earn free months of Gwynnie Bee! If you’re not a member, click on this link and say Wardrobe Oxygen referred you to get the great deal!
Note: I do receive a commission on all new subscriptions to Gwynnie Bee when my name or Wardrobe Oxygen is mentioned.  I was not compensated to do this post, though the photographer hired for this shoot was the talented and hot as heck Karl Gary.

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Gwynnie Bee Inspired By You Tour

gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-17 gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-18 gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-20 gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-22 gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-24 gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-26 gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-27 gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-31

What I Wore: Test Pattern

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing aa Gwynnie Bee dress with Loeffler Randall Mini Rider bagdress | shoes| bag | sunglasses

Wardrobe Oxygen in a Gwynnie Bee Dress Loeffler Randall Mini Rider Bag and Nine West Peacock Pumps Wardrobe Oxygen in Gwynnie Bee Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a dress from Gwynnie Bee Dress: c/o Gwynnie Bee (14W)  | Shoes: Nine West (similar) | Bag: Loeffler Randall ‘Baby Rider’ | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Lipstick: Bite Beauty in Chai

This dress reminds me of a test pattern, it surely is an optical illusion.  This dress is why I love Gwynnie Bee: it’s something I would normally not try or wear but with an unlimited wardrobe I can take risks and know if it doesn’t work I can mail it back and get something else.  This is a bodycon dress, but the fabric is heavy and not really stretchy so it’s not like my belly button is on display (I do have a control garment on underneath).  I was pleasantly surprised by this dress but was at a loss as to what shoes to wear with it.  I thought it would look cute with a pair of sneakers like my shell tops, but it made me look stumpy.  Pumps in silver, nude, and black all looked too ’80s. I grabbed my peacock pumps (previously seen here) by chance and really loved how the patterns clashed and didn’t really go but kind of did in its randomness.  This bag too doesn’t really match, but I think works.  After finding the Mini Suki from Rebecca Minkoff too small, I picked this one up and it’s been great this summer.  It also comes with a belt strap so it can convert into a hip bag!

This tree is an art installation by Greenbelt Artist in Residence, Rachel Cross.  This tree has been in our community for a long time; while there are no branches the trunk remained.  In May, Rachel Cross collected donated knitted and crocheted items: scarves, gloves, doilies, afghans, and more.  During a town festival (this one in fact), she organized a Sit and Sew where individuals in our community sewed together the donated pieces.  Then in June, Cross took these pieces and connected them around the tree.  I think this is such a beautiful piece of art, and such a great representation of the community spirit of my town.  When trying to find a backdrop for this wacky mismatched colorful outfit, I felt this yarn-bombed tree was the perfect spot!


What I Wore: Easy Boho Style

Wardrobe Oxygen in an Hemant & Nandita for Gwynnie Bee maxi dressdress | necklace | shoes | bag | bracelet | sunglasses

Wardrobe Oxygen in an Hemant & Nandita for Gwynnie Bee maxi dress Wardrobe Oxygen in an Hemant & Nandita for Gwynnie Bee maxi dress Wardrobe Oxygen in an Hemant & Nandita for Gwynnie Bee maxi dress Wardrobe Oxygen in an Hemant & Nandita for Gwynnie Bee maxi dressDress: Hemant & Nandita via Gwynnie Bee | Shoes: Bella Vita | Necklace: Argento Vivo | Bracelet: Nadri | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: Bought at a boutique in Rehoboth Beach (similar)

Another day, another dress from the Hemant & Nandita collaboration with Gwynnie Bee! When I wore the other dress from this collection, reader Jetpuffed commented betting I rented this dress too and she was right!  This dress made me a bit nervous because of the sleeves and the heat and humidity of the DC area but it is surprisingly comfortable.  In fact, Friday night was my friend’s birthday party and I wore it to that event, even though I knew the A/C would be struggling against the crowd and most of the time I’d be outside.  It’s so thin and flowy I was cool and comfortable all evening… and I got so many compliments!  People thought this was a dress I found on our road trip, they found it so unique.  It was fun to say it was from Gwynnie Bee and anyone can have the dress, enjoy it as long as they like and either send it back for more or buy it at a price lower than retail!  Seriously, Gwynnie Bee’s selection now is so on point. I’ve had times over the past four years of being a member where I struggled to find pieces to put in my virtual closet but right now I have 36 pieces in there AND all three pieces I have at home I am seriously considering buying so I can keep them forever!  If you’re size 10-32 and wish to try Gwynnie Bee, you can use my affiliate link and get a 30 day free trial of the program!

As for the accessories, these shoes were the BEST purchase I made this summer.  From walking on my toes as a kid, the ball of my foot is especially thick, making the front of my foot wide, my foot tall/thick in height, my toes short, but my heel is a normal width.  When it comes to sandals, I need a wide width, but also a style that can loosen to make the shoe taller too.  These do just that while not looking frumptastic AND being quite comfortable.  I took them on our road trip as my “nice” shoes and knew that if we ended up walking a distance I wouldn’t be left with blisters. The necklace and bracelet are both purchases I made from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  This necklace is so cool and I am always pleased with the quality of Argento Vivo.  This bracelet is AWESOME, it looks so expensive and is subtle yet mega sparkly.  I’ve received a ton of compliments on it and have toyed with also getting it in silver.

Shop the Look:

What I Wore: Mosaic

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Dress: Triste c/o Gwynnie Bee | Shoes: Nine West | Necklace: c/o Sweet & Spark | Bag: J. Crew (old – similar) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Poinsettia

This dress is the same as the one I wore in this post, but in a completely different pattern it gives a completely different effect. I love this print; it reminds me of a mosaic or stained glass and in some of my very favorite colors! Gwynnie Bee is so great, this dress arrived the day of this dinner which made it super easy to know what to wear the next morning. Nothing better than a freshly-laundered arriving in time for a morning of a wine hangover and too few hours of sleep! Click here to try Gwynnie Bee and get your first month free!

This necklace is from one of the coolest companies I have come across in a long while. Sweet & Spark is a curated vintage jewelery company. Jillian and her dad Howard travel about the country scouting the most modern costume jewelry from the 1940s-90s with the goal to make vintage jewelry cool again. Sweet & Spark believes that every woman is unique and should celebrate her personal style with something one-of-a-kind. In just two years, Sweet & Spark has been featured in Instyle’s best of the web round up, on and The Zoe Report and have fashionista Olivia Palermo as a customer and fan. Jillian was kind enough to send me this necklace and a bracelet (seen on Instagram, stay tuned for it to be featured here on the blog).  Visit Sweet & Spark to learn more about this great company, shop their collection, and learn how to host a Spark Party and get a 20% commission on pieces you sell at your event!

What I Wore: Old Hat

Wardrobe Oxygen, DC based fashion blogger featuring a dress from Gwynnie Bee Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Corey floral dress from Gwynnie Bee with Vince Camuto sandals Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Gwynnie Bee dress, Maxwell Scott bag, and ADA Collection belt Dress: Corey c/o Gwynnie Bee | Belt: ADA Collection (similar) | Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar, low heel alternative) | Bag: c/o Maxwell Scott Bags | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Hat: Bought decades ago (similar)

I borrowed this dress from Gwynnie Bee over a month ago and haven’t wanted to send it back.  In fact, this is the other dress I currently have that I am seriously considering purchasing from Gwynnie Bee.  This dress feels like silk but is machine washable.  Lined, pockets, and a drapey cut that is comfortable on a hot day.  While I wore it here with a belt the wide elastic waist looks nice on its own too, it gives it a more casual look.

Alison and Karl

I’ve had a Panama hat from J. Crew Factory for a year, but I never really liked it. It always seemed to lie wrong on me, always looked a bit crooked. My mom has been cleaning out her house and found this hat; I remember going to Loehmann’s with my mom and her friend and buying this hat, I think it was 9th grade. This hat is so much better of quality than my J. Crew one and isn’t all wonky! It was perfect for a very sunny and hot day in DC with the family.

In the Navy

Dress: Coldwater Creek c/o Gwynnie Bee | Necklace: Boutique in Key West | Shoes: Sofft | Bracelets: Silver cuff, c/o Lifetherapy | Rings: Vintage, Had for Years, Argento Vivo

This weather sucks – it’s like soup and so thick and humid that when there’s a cool breeze it feels like the chills you get when you have a fever. That being said, it’s doing some super fun things to my hair. I have hardly been washing it; once a week I will wash the scalp with shampoo, and once a week or when needed I will wash with conditioner only, but otherwise it’s surf spray and the occasional dry shampoo and scrunching. I like the crazy mop mess, and wish it would do this year-round!

Another Gwynnie Bee winner. This is not my kind of dress, I don’t like sleeves like this, I don’t love the color, but with Gwynnie Bee it’s okay because I can wear it once, send it back and get something else. And while it’s not something I would buy and keep in my closet for years, it is something I like wearing today. Stretchy navy lining doesn’t ride up and keeps everything opaque, a long self-belt I could have tied in a bow but instead doubled to make it shorter, and a breezy style that will do its best to keep me cool (and a fabric that won’t look a mess in the heat). It’s a win in my book and a true example of Gwynnie Bee – clothing without commitment! If you’re 10-26 and would like to try Gwynnie Bee yourself, use this link or mention Wardrobe Oxygen and get a 30 day trial free. They have some fab brands and styles to choose from and the selection is constantly growing!

Note: If you use my specific link or mention me when signing up for Gwynnie Bee, I will receive a commission if you extend past the 30-day trial. However, I really dig Gwynnie Bee and wear clothes from them because I like them and the company and am proud to share them with you.

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What I Wore: Certainly Red

Red Print Dress by Triste via Gwynnie Bee free endearment dana clutch in red Red Print Dress by Triste via Gwynnie Bee
Dress: Triste c/o Gwynnie Bee | Bag: ‘Dana’ c/o Free Endearment | Shoes: Nine West | Bracelet: Nordstrom (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon ‘Certainly Red’

No matter how carefully I shop, sometimes I am just so sick of everything in my wardrobe. This especially happens at the end of a season when I’m craving different weather and with it different silhouettes. And at these times of the year I am even more glad to have a Gwynnie Bee membership. One of their trademark white boxes arrives at my door and I have the ability to break from my over-worn seasonal wardrobe without spending a ton. And when I tire of the pieces from Gwynnie Bee I can send them back! This dress from Triste comes in a ton of different prints and colors, but I love how this one tricks the eye and creates a bit more of an hourglass shape.

Free Endearment sent me this bag a couple months ago and it’s pretty great. As you see, it’s a nice size and an accordion style so it can hold a ton, plenty of pockets, a magnet closure for security, and a detachable strap. It’s available in a few other colors of leather and right now is on sale. I find my red bags get more use than any other color in my closet because it’s such a perfect accent shade.

Ask Allie: Plus Size Retailers with Style

Hi Allie, I hope you can help. Where I live, there’s [well-known chain retailer that have plus sized clothing] but that’s it for plus size fashion other than Walmart and none of these stores have clothes I really like. I know you do a lot of shopping online, where do you suggest for plus size fashion where I can return by mail but also know what I get won’t be junk or ugly. Help! I really want to create my personal style and not be stuck with what is available.

I don’t know why retailers feel that women over a size 12 only want to wear polyester cabbage roses and bedazzled tunic sweaters. I understand that plus size fashion needs to be cut differently to flatter the figure, but why does that mean over the top embellishments, cheap fabrication, and dated silhouettes? Luckily some retailers realize this and offer fantastic fashion in extended sizes, and many of them have stellar online shops! Here’s some of my favorites:

Available in US sizes 10 – 22, ASOS Curve focuses on current trends cut specifically for plus size women. Not only that, they have free shipping and returns! Here you can find hot styles like peplums, leather, brocade, and faux fur and from my experience, the quality is equal or better than similarly-priced retailers (H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Express). I love that their looks are flattering – not a muumuu or polyester cabbage rose in sight. ASOS Curve is a great resource for party dresses as they are youthful and on-trend while being reasonably priced.

Simply Be doesn’t have free shipping, but they do have a flat rate and provide SmartLabels for quick returns. But Simply Be is another great resource for on-trend plus size fashion. From faux leather pleated skirts and silver cropped pants to blazers; work attire, club attire, and dresses by Simply Be, you can find a varied collection of wardrobe staples and trendy closet additions.

This is not your mother’s Lands’ End – the retailer has stepped up their game by offering on-trend fabrics and styles and even brought Curvy Girl Guide founder and blogger Brittany Gibbons on board as an advisor.  While they have the wardrobe staples of turtlenecks and knit pants, Lands’ End also has some pretty fantastic dresses and career wear. Their quality can’t be beat, their customer service is phenomenal, and while returns aren’t free, they can be taken back to Sears.

Eloquii is the new kid on the block, the plus size line from The Limited.  It had mixed reviews from plus size bloggers at first, but they seem to be gaining steam with more consistent sizing and quality and I know some friends who have purchased from them and are mega fans.  Eloquii also provides SmartLabels for easy returns, though returns do need to be completed within 30 days.  For those who have an Eloquii store near them, they do accept online returns at retail locations.

If you read this blog, you KNOW I love Nordstrom. Free shipping, free returns, fabulous selection of brands, amazing sales and customer service. On top of all that, Nordstrom has a pretty great selection of plus size designers and styles! Vince Camuto, DKNYC, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and more are available, and they also have extensive customer reviews to help ensure you find a piece that will fit your figure and lifestyle nicely.

I can’t rave enough about Gwynnie Bee – a program that is like Netflix for plus size fashion. For a reasonable monthly fee, you can borrow plus size clothing with free shipping and free returns. Keep a piece as long as you like, return one and get another back lickedy split. Gwynnie Bee’s selection is quite varied and continues to improve as the business grows; you can find everything from work dresses and blazers to leather jackets and sequined pencil skirts at Gwynnie Bee. I love that you can test-drive a trend – try a one-shoulder blouse or wrap dress and if you don’t like it, return it for something else! Right now Gwynnie Bee is offering one free month to Wardrobe Oxygen readers – click here to sign up (be sure to mention Wardrobe Oxygen), and click here to learn more about Gwynnie Bee.

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What I Wore: Cry Wolf

Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog featuring leather front pants and a BB Dakota intarsia sweater Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog featuring leather front pants and a BB Dakota intarsia sweater Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog featuring leather front pants and a BB Dakota intarsia sweaterSweater: BB Dakota via Gwynnie Bee (similar concept, plus option) | Pants: Ann Taylor (similar, plus option) | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelet: Had forever (similar)

I think intarsia sweaters with animals on them are cute… but not my style.  Sure, if I had a pug I may get a sweater with a pug on it, but I just find them too twee for my personal style.  But when I saw this pixelated wolf sweater from BB Dakota in the Gwynnie Bee New Arrivals I took a chance.  I’ve had great luck with BB Dakota, and the wolf wasn’t sweet or twee, it reminded me of the music video in Emerson’s favorite episode of Teen Titans Go.  I paired it with a pair of faux leather front ponte pants I got from Ann Taylor eons ago and a pair of pumps for a look that appears fancy for going to a friend’s house for a party or to watch the game, but is actually uber comfy.  And this is why I love Gwynnie Bee, I can try trends without buyer’s remorse, and if I do decide I like something I can buy it right from them!  Click this link to try Gwynnie Bee free for 30 days!

What I Wore: No Red Cups

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Modamix vest from Gwynnie Bee, JAG Jeans Foster Bootcut, and Dagne Dover limited edition Mini Tote in leather Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Modamix vest from Gwynnie Bee, JAG Jeans Foster Bootcut, and Dagne Dover limited edition Mini Tote in leatherTee: J. Crew (on sale!) (XL) | Vest: Modamix via Gwynnie Bee (14W) | Jeans: Foster Bootcut c/o JAG (on sale!) (14) | Shoes: ‘Nadelle’ Chelsea c/o Vionic (on sale!) | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff (similar)

These pictures were yesterday; I had the day off work and ran around town. Dropped Emerson off at school, went to the post office to pick up a registered package and drop off Poshmark sales, hit the bank, Staples, and two different grocery stores to get everything we need to host Christmas Day brunch. We stopped off at Starbucks… and they were already out of red cups! I was surprised that I actually cared and was sad about it. So weird how such minor things can make such an impact.

Speaking of impact, I couldn’t believe how many compliments I got with this vest! Vests are such an easy way to upgrade a look. I was not feeling fancy this day, a comfortable tee, stretchy jeans, my most comfortable flat boots but the addition of the vest had strangers telling me I looked nice and asking me where I got the vest and the bag. Gwynnie Bee is fantastic for those little wardrobe updates like vests and jackets; click this link to try Gwynnie Bee free for 30 days.

And the bag… oh the bag! This is a limited edition leather Mini Tote from Dagne Dover and it is even more awesome in person! While classic Dagne Dover bags aren’t leather, this one is quality smooth leather with a bold white and black print and matte black hardware. I reviewed the Mini Tote from Dagne Dover before, check out this post to read the details of this brilliantly designed bag!

What I Wore: Slither

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a snakeprint Karen Kane dress via Gwynnie Bee Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a snake print dress from Karen Kane via Gwynnie Bee Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a snakeprint scuba knit fit and flare dress from karen kane via gwynnie beeDress: Karen Kane c/o Gwynnie Bee (standard size, plus size) | Bag: HOBO (similar)  | Earrings: Amazon | Bracelet: had forever (similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Lipstick: ‘Justice’ via The Elixery

When I stopped by the Gwynnie Bee Inspired By You Tour last month, I had the chance to try on this dress (this is an 0X).  I liked it so much I raced home and put it in my virtual closet.  The fabric is a heavyweight scuba knit that gives the dress a great shape.  I like it styled this way for a “desk to drinks” sort of look, but this dress also looks great paired with a blazer or cardigan.  If you want to check out Gwynnie Bee, use this link for a 30 day free trial of the program.

This lipstick has become a fave for fall; this limited edition color from The Elixery is the perfect burgundy for the season, not too cool but not too warm.  Not only that, 50% of the purchase from this specific color goes to support Lady Parts JusticeThe Elixery is a Minneapolis-based cosmetic house that handcrafts their lipsticks and other vegan and cruelty free products.  This lipstick is an amazing formula; it’s creamy but it stays put far better than many of my Sephora-brand lipsticks.  And the case!  Gosh there’s something awesome about whipping out a gorgeous lipstick tube for touch-ups, and this vintage inspired gold case will have people asking what brand you’re wearing.  I bought this lipstick to support LPJ, but now that I’ve tried the brand I know this will not be my last purchase from The Elixery.

What I Wore: Autumn in the Summertime

Gwynnie Bee Review London Times Fit and Flare Dress Gwynnie Bee Review London Times Fit and Flare Dress Gwynnie Bee Review London Times Fit and Flare DressDress: London Times via Gwynnie Bee (similar, similar) | Bag: Hobo (similar) | Earrings: Argento Vivo (similar) | Bracelet: Gorjana | Shoes: Nine West

This is one of those dresses that works almost year round. While I wore it on a steamy workday, I could imagine it come fall or winter with opaque tights, and even with a cardigan or soft jacket, especially with this autumnal print. The fabric is great because it doesn’t cling and has brilliant seaming, gathers, and folds to really flatter the figure. This summer has been extremely busy and I often have to decide whether to do something necessary like laundry or get more than a couple hours of sleep. It’s a godsend to come home from a long day at work and see one of Gwynnie Bee’s well-known white boxes sitting on my front step. With this dress, I didn’t even have time to open the box until the morning and was thrilled to see it fit and gave me something fresh to wear to work. I sent back the dress the next day (no need to launder) in the postage-paid bag and the day after got a shipping confirmation that another piece from my virtual closet was heading my way! If you’re interested in trying Gwynnie Bee, click this link for my personal referral code and receive your first month free!

As for the last picture? Karl couldn’t resist getting one with the backhoe in the background!

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What I Wore Plus a Stylecable Giveaway

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring the 13 inch Dagne Dover tote and a Gwynnie Bee top Wardrobe Oxygen featuring the Dagne Dover 13 inch tote Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Gwynnie Bee peplum top and LOFT trousers Top: Adrianna Papell c/o Gwynnie Bee (14W) (similar concept, plus size version) | Pants: LOFT (14 Petite) | Booties: VANELi ‘Kamelia’ c/o Marmi Shoes | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Necklace: Elaine B c/o STYLECABLE | Bag: 13″ Tote c/o Dagne Dover

I wore this to work last week and liked how the delicate long silver necklace added shine and interest to the look without competing with the print of the top.  These are my go-to work pants; they can be thrown in the washer (I choose gentle cycle) and line dried and be crisp and ready to go the next day.  The top is a scuba fabric which has a nice weight to it but a bit of a sheen making it nice for the office but also able to dress up with a skirt.

Stylecable giveaway hosted by Wardrobe Oxygen - enter to win this gorgeous silver necklace The necklace is from STYLECABLE, an online marketplace that showcases the best independent fashion designers. As a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, STYLECABLE founder Uyen Tang traveled the world and would bring back clothing and jewelry from far-flung locales such as Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Tajikistan to the U.S. Friends would ask Uyen where she found pieces from her wardrobe because they were so unique. In 2013 she left her job in strategy consulting and Uyen started STYLECABLE with the mission of sharing designs from a select group of under-the-radar designers with shoppers who crave style that is more special than what everyone else was buying at the mall. STYLECABLE is unique in that the artisans are hand-picked, valuing quality craftmanship and sharing the story behind the style.

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring an Adrianna Papell top via Gwynnie Bee and a silver necklace from Stylecable When I learned about STYLECABLE I knew I had to share it with you.  So many of you ask for ethical, USA-made, or philantropic brands and clothing and STYLECABLE fits the bill.  Uyen picks a broad variety of clothing, accessories, and jewelry to fit any personal style or budget.  STYLECABLE gave me this necklace… and is giving one Wardrobe Oxygen reader this same necklace ($100 value).

How to Enter

Enter to win this sterling silver hexagon necklace from Elaine B, value $100.  48″ length chain with a clasp makes it versatile to wear long or double up. Draping delicately over your neck, each shape is unique, carefully handmade. The sculptural hexagons create that one-of-a kind look that will have you standing out in the crowd.

The giveaway has ended and the winner has been notified.