This weekend, I am in Raleigh, NC to support the Crusade of Curves Weekend. The weekend has several events designed to bring the curvy community to Raleigh and enjoy fashion, panels and some networking. Tonight’s event, The Curvy Connect, was a networking mixer with a fun twist. Blogger, Plus Size Influencer and Body Positive Artist Faith Costa showcased her amazing original artwork. Her pieces are uber inspiring, inclusive and diverse.
The vibe was laid back, fun and informative, as Mallory did a great job personally introducing the attendees to her event sponsors. Of course I wanted to share my look with you guys! I decided to go with a classic black and white pairing, but make it fun and standout by mixing different sized polka dots. I was very comfortable in this look and felt exceptionally chic. At first, I was going to pair this look with red sandals ( the weather is gorgeous here in NC), but I decided to wear my Dr. Scholl’s Pony Hair Spectator Oxfords. Super chic and super comfortable. My jumbo polka dot blouse is an oldie but goodie from Lane Bryant, while my polka dot skirt is from Macy’s Backstage! Check out the look below!
Fashion is a label, style is how you label your self.
I’ve been infatuated with Style for quite some time now. In fact, when I was younger, I’d often make clothing for my Barbie dolls out of my younger brothers’ baseball socks. I’d use my magic markers to create all kinds of designs and cut the socks into dresses, skirts and tanks. Later, when I learned to stitch with a needle and thread, I’d begin making pants and jackets for my dolls also. For me, my personal Style has always been eclectic. I’ve never felt the need to “fit in”. While I would consider myself to have a sense of “fashion”, I’ve always been driven to dress the way that I feel. As a result my closet is chocked full of new and old pieces that I love to mix together to get looks that I won’t see on others when I’m out and about. Like this one.
Before it was a thing, I’ve always been obsessed with mixing prints. Of course my Mom always had a few choice words about it, but as time went on and I got better at really mastering what would look best with what, it really became a big part of my personal style story. I think the most successful print blocking looks have one large pattern and one small of the same pattern with similar or different color stories. In this case, my jumbo striped skirt with the small stripes in the kimono make for a true statement making look.
By age 13, I knew I was going to be a buxom beauty. My hips spanned a 48, waist a 38 and bust a 40, I was full in all places. While I wasn’t really uncomfortable with my curves, I was uncomfortable with the attention they garnered at such a young age, so I often found ways to look fashionable but not too provocative. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to get out of that mindset a bit, but I still love my layered looks that steal the show the way that I want to. I love the layers of this look. It’s probably the most comfortable look ever, it’s chic and covered but not matronly. (I used to LIVE in the matronly zone lol). For me, this skirt is a staple. I purchased it from Burlington Coat Factory in a size Lg almost 5 years ago. Find similar looks here.
So I’m am going to employ my investigative journalism skills to try and find out the current state of the Melissa McCarthy Seven brand. I must admit, I am a huge fan of her clothing. My go to department store for her looks, Lord and Taylor, hasn’t received a new collection and I haven’t been able to shop on her website since I snagged this kimono in January during a serious sale. I’m a little worried that the woes of managing her family, acting career and a successful clothing brand concurrently have gotten to her. Let’s hope it’s just a hiatus. In the meantime, I’ll hold on tight to the several of her kimonos that I have because they too are personal Style staples for me.
Style is personal. When you get dressed in the morning, you should do so with only you in mind. How you feel, the impact you want to make and within your budget. It’s easy in a highly populated marketplace to feel like you must purchase everything that you see, keep up with the “Jones’s” or only wear the things in your closet once. But the reality is, your style speaks for you, and if you’re constantly finding looks that match others, you’re going to begin modifying other things about yourself also. Find what you love and Love what you find. It’s a process, but one well worth it. You’ll find that when your next event, outing, vacation etc comes along, you won’t need to run to the store to purchase items because what you already have makes you happy because it’s genuinely who you are.
Miranda Lambert makes me cackle during the movie, The Devil Wears Prada. While at a round table to discuss the Spring issue of her magazine, a fashion editor suggests an editorial that boasts florals for Spring. She in turn replies, “Florals for Spring, groundbreaking.” in true shade queen form. I must admit, she’s right in suggesting that florals for Spring have been the ultimate go-to since the beginning of time, but it just works. In fact, to fight the urge to have a predictable look this spring, I’d decided on stripes as my staple print. But in walks this little number.
This floral frock by Rachel Roy via Lord and Taylor made me feel uber feminine and cute. It’s one of those pieces you can throw on with flats or heels and feel equally sexy because of the flounce hem that just moves when you move...however you move. In fact, the length says brunch with girlfriends on Saturday, or add panty hose and Take Me To the King on Sunday. I love that when the wind blows the outer layer is Gone with The Wind fabulous, however the under slip just stays put.
As you can see, these images were taking not too many days after a snow storm. Living in the Northeast is so unpredictable this time of year, so I’m sort of willing Spring to come. But that’s what makes this dress such a great transitional piece, because while it is floral, it still has jewel tones that are great for this time of year. The print on the dress is a mix between Ankara and florals. I thought it’d be a great idea to pair my emerald green Madden Girl loafers with BumbleBee emblem to add more color.
So I’ve been thrifting and consignment shopping for years. (I’ll tell you guys that story soon.) But while at one of my favorite resale shops, I picked up this stunning Dooney and Bourke satchel bag for an awesome “you would’ve fought me in the store” price. It has an extendable strap that can convert it into a crossbody, but I loved the shorter strap for this look. Fuschia is such a feminine and fun color, and honestly I just felt like any other color bag wouldn’t match how flirty this dress is. I’m slowly trying to get away from carrying larger bags, so this little number was the perfect size for me.
So I want to talk about the fit of this dress. If I could describe my shape, I’d definitely say I’m a pear shape. Not the GMO pear but the organic one. (just means I have a stomach. Lol) But really what I mean is that my waist is relatively smaller than my hips and upper body, so A-line pieces are really forgiving on me. I’m wearing a size 1x in this dress. The only stretch it has is in the waist. I am typically a size 2x, and sometimes even a 3x, but this dress is very generously sized. The arms are billowy, which really gives room for fuller arms, and the skirt portion is a full circle leaving lots of space for thigh and hip action. So I would suggest sizing down if you’re thinking about purchasing this dress.
Though I could probably open a small boutique with the amount of jewelry that I have, I really wanted to keep this look simple and allow the dress to be the center of attention. I added a bumblebee brooch (obsessed with brooches as of lately) and a mini chandelier earring. My everyday watch and Pandora bracelet finished the look. Lippie is a great MAC dupe for Flatout Fabulous. Get it here in Nice to Fuschia and here in Plum Together.
Im looking forward to getting a lot more wears out of this gorgeous dress. Layering it with accessories and other style options makes it an easy staple for me! I can’t wait to share more style looks with you. Thanks for reading!
Modeling is expensive. Before you invest one penny into your dream, you invest countless hours of practice time, sacrifice countless more hours of time with your family and then you spend your hard earned money on images in hopes of booking your dream client. The average model has 3-5 photo shoots before he/she finally has a portfolio that's effective enough to get them booked. This post is designed to help you get closer to a portfolio that reaps all that you've sown.
A KILLER HEADSHOT
Often times, you may wonder how your "book"/portfolio should begin. A well executed headshot captures the viewer's attention immediately. As soon as they open the book or PDF file, your headshot should let them know that this isn't your hobby.
Research your niché (commercial, editorial, catalog, fit etc.) to ascertain what the standard is and then give it your spin. If you have your sights set on on a specific agency, study their model boards and model your headshot after those. Every client and/or agency requires something different so it would be good to have a few great headshots. Your best, however, should be the first thing in your book.
Your Best Body Wins!
As a model, you are a mannequin. Your body is essentially the canvas that clients connect with. Start with your niché images (swim, active, etc.) These highlight your ability to tell a story to that particular audience. In addition, the potential client can get a gauge of what they can create with you. Images with too much clothing, ill fitting or too fussy will take the attention away from your body, so save this for more editorial, experiemental imagery later in your portfolio.
VersatilIty within reason
Sell your abilities. Sometimes I look at a Portfolio and see the same types of images repeated and am disappointed. Potential, polish and promise only go so far. Your portfolio speaks for you when you aren't in the room. As a result, your images should tell the story that you can achieve different looks, personalities, and angles. While you should have atleast one "editorial" image, creative and whimsical imagery should be saved for submission (unless this is your nichè). If you have dream clients, study their images, lookbooks and campaigns to assess what you can recreate to speak directly to them when casting.
Oldies Are Goodies
If you have several images that simply just work for you, don't feel pressure to change them out just because you see others with a new image every month. If clients consistently love a specific headshot or full body image, that's your Golden ticket image. Add to it, but don't edit it from your book until you can create the same success with a new image.
Note: Some old images should be edited. Even if they were previously successful, if they include trends that fashion no longer follows or makeup techniques that are dated remove them and recreate with updated techniques. Clients should be able to see that you understand the movement and flow of the industry.
social media isN't your Portfolio
Social media is a great way to create awareness of your abilities as a model! However, often times, brands want to see fresh, new imagery. Submissions to magazines, contest entries and castings often require the images you provide to not have been seen on Social Media. When booking your photo shoot sessions, decide which platform you'll be using those images for (Social Media or Portfolio) and share accordingly.
Note: Creative licenses and intellectual property rights give photographers, stylists and makeup artists the ability to share your imagery as well, if you aren't looking to post on social media, clearly indicate before and after your shoot session so they don't share your allocated portfolio images.
Your portfolio is your ticket to success. Cultivate and hone it to reap the results you want. If you are a new or aspiring model and aren't sure where to start, I have several resources that can help you get started and stand out from the crowd! Thanks for reading!
Corrinn is a creative soul, style curator, and branding buff who sees style and glamour in all aspects of life! She brings fashion/lifestyle topics, D.I.Y. projects and branding tips full circle on Beauty Box Lifestyle!