Thrifted Thursday: Plus Size Vintage Addition

Welcome Back!

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Hello Dolls! So last week I started my Thrifted Thursday blog segment in order to offer tips and tricks to thrifting and how to style your pieces. I know not everyone is a lover of thrifting, it can be a very overwhelming and daunting task that can also be frustrating. So what do you do if you love vintage pieces but do not want to spend the time it takes to seek out the treasures, well you turn to businesses like Francheska Louies. Marquisha Daniels, owner of FL, has made it her mission to seek out the hottest vintage pieces with a focus on plus size. She is also a stylist with a great eye for fashion that is reminiscent of the 90’s New York fashion scene. I have always been a fan of the pieces that she carefully curates, then sells on both her instagram and local pop up shops. She has styled me before, for both my anniversary shoot with my husband a few years ago, and for a shoot we both collaborated on. So recently when I saw her at a Vintage Sunday pop up shop at Selden Market I knew I had to check out her newest collection. As soon as I saw this gorgeous dress I got excited!! The color and print jumped out at me and I prayed it would fit me!! To my surprise it did and the second I brought it home I thought of all the ways I could style it! I love it as is, and I know that I could literally wear any color shoe with this and it would all work, but I settled on a soft yellow because the dress is colorful enough that this butter yellow compliments it without competing.

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I’m swooning over here because honestly I felt so pretty and timeless in this dress. There is something about a belted swing dress that is so feminine and works for so many body types!! As much as I love it as a dress I knew I needed to find other ways to style it because as I stated on last week’s blog post when you make any clothing purchase you want to make sure to find pieces you can wear multiple ways to really get your money’s worth!! I decided to make this dress a duster by taking off the belt and pairing it with a simple white spaghetti strap tank top from Walmart, linked here and my current FAVORITE jeans from Rainbow, linked here !

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Be prepared to see this look worn many ways because I am not ashamed of re-wearing something but best believe I like the challenge of making it look different each time!!!

The beauty of what Marquisha does is the fact that most of her pieces are one of a kind and most likely will not be able to be found anywhere else. So when you invest in her pieces you are investing in timeless, one of a kind designs that you can proudly wear knowing it won’t be seen anywhere else!!

I reached out to Marquisha about featuring her on today’s post because I believe in what she’s doing and I believe in supporting other small business owners, especially other Female owned businesses!! We need to create a space of community over competitions, and instead of talking about it, we need to actually do it. So please take the time to check out her pages and support!! I asked Marquisha to do a write up about herself and her business to help all of you get to know her better. Check it out below and thank you all for your support! I appreciate every person who finds their way to my little space here and takes the time to read what I have to say and those who take the time to send me a message or comment!! I hope you have a blessed day!! Hugs, Lissa

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My name is Marquisha Daniels. I am the owner of Francheska Louies, LLC "Plus Size Vintage". I cater to sizes (12-24). We specialize in one of a kind, exclusive, unique vintage to add to your everyday wardrobe. I started this business because I felt the need to supply more options for the plus size. community. Growing up not having access to designer clothing and shoes, my parents simply could not afford it. I’ve always been fluffy. I didn't have access to the trendy options but of course I made a way out of no way. I fell in love with vintage trying to recreate current trends from my mothers walk in closet. She had tons of timeless vintage pieces from my grandmother, trips she had taken over the years and my absolute favorite, thrifting. Attending church as a young adult my mother started allowing me to style myself for Sunday Service. This is when the magic started to happen. My mom was not my biggest fan at the time but everyone else loved to see what new looks I would create every Sunday. Thrifting became a thing, it even became a lifestyle. I would shop with my mom and sister at local thrifts in the neighborhood such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and CHKD. I would find shoes, accessories and clothing. Everything I would find was trending in magazines, TV shows and the internet during the 2000s was accessible and reasonably priced at the thirft store. Thrifting allowed me to create a lane of my own. I became so good at thrifting and styling that I was even nominated for best dressed in high school. My passion for fashion gave me the drive to attend The Art Institute Of Philadelphia where I majored in Fashion Design. Throughout the years I worked heavily in fashion retail. I grew from a simple sales associate to a visual merchandiser, becoming a coordinator and even a store manager. I had the pleasure of working for three plus size companies and two small black owned businesses. These things and more are the main reason as to why I started my business. On top of running a small business I offer services such as Personal Styling, Personal Shopping, Alterations, Photo Shoots, Visual Merchandising, Creative Direction & Motivational Speaking. If you live locally in the seven cities area I often vend at Selden Market located Downtown Norfolk in Virginia throughout the year. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to check out our highlights @Frncheskalouies & @Fracnheskaloui3s. Email us at F.louies.md@gmail.com. Contact us at (757) 447-4024.

Thrifted Thursday

So i’m super excited to start a weekly fashion blog post on thrifting!!! How many of you are thrifters? It was once very taboo, lol…I mean no one wanted to admit that they shopped through other people’s donations. But then it became a trend and alas here we are! I honestly have thrifted since I was a kid. I remember my parents, who had 3 kids that were all only a year apart, having to school shop on a tight budget. I lived in a small town and we only had a few thrift stores, and one Goodwill that was smack dab in the middle of town!! They would hang styled outfits in the window and my freshman year of high school my mother took me there to do a little shopping. There was this hot pink dress hanging in the window and my mom insisted I try it on. I was NOT happy about that, but I knew better then to argue with her too much so I grabbed it from the sales associate and went to their plywood dressing room…no lie guys this thing was like a standing coffin!! I put it on came out and my mother LOVED it!!! So much that she bought it and whatever my mother bought I wore. So fast forward a few months into the school year and I finally wear the hot pink dress. I go to the bathroom where there was a large group of girls doing their makeup and one of the girls smiles at me and says “nice dress!” As much as I wanted to be appreciative of her compliment, I was terrified to see that this girl was the same girl who sold this dress to my mother at Goodwill!! Thankfully she kept my secret and all was right in the world thereafter.

I look back on that and honestly laugh at how much I cared, like my peers, about things that hold no value. I had two parents who worked their butts off to provide for us, and gave us all we ever needed. My mother always had us looking our best and she taught us to live within our means. That is something I am most proud of. We didn’t showboat for the sake of other’s opinions. There was no need to spend a fortune on clothes that we would only wear a few times. We had a beautiful home, home cooked meals and a family unit that was full of love.

So now that i’ve taken you down memory lane, I lead you to why I thrift. So as you see from above it’s something my family has always done, and as i’ve gotten older it’s become something that truly makes me happy. There is nothing like finding treasures for literally a fraction of the original cost. Thrifting can be time consuming, but if you are patient it truly will be worth it. Years ago when plus fashion wasn’t the best, it was really hard to find anything in the thrift store that was worth purchasing so I stuck with looking mostly for my kids. Thankfully times are different and like I stated before, if you are patient you truly will be delighted with what you can find!! I love clothes, and I love to shop, but I am still raising kids and honestly I also have decided that I want to be more responsible with my purchases. I still believe in splurging on those staple pieces, you know the one that will stay with you season after season. But for the on trend looks, definitely utilize your local thrift stores for that. And bonus, you are actually doing a lot for your local community, charities and the Earth when you thrift!! Ok are you sold yet??

Most of you who read my blog are coming from my instagram and you see that I work with clothing companies as a brand ambassador. I absolutely love doing that, but I also love styling outfits from thrifted pieces that I find. Because of that I decided I wanted to start a weekly Thursday Thrift post where I will show you what key things to look for, how to shop and more importantly how to style those pieces!!! Last week my husband and I took an afternoon and hit up our favorite spots. Now if you are new to thrifting you will have to take some time to check out the ones around you. Some thrift stores are not worth the hunting, and then there are ones that you will feel like you a hit a jackpot!! Make sure you ask around to find out the ones that are worth going and of course utilize Google…it will be your best friend!! For the national thrift stores, Salvation Army is one of my favorites. Mainly because every Wednesday is half off all clothing and shoes!! Of course it’s a mad house on that day but if you start early you can avoid the craziness!! This outfit that I am showing you today was all bought at Salvation Army and was half off!!! Total spent for t-shirt and skirt….$5!!! So let’s check it out!!

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So let’s talk prints!! I LOVE prints, and my favorite thing to do with prints is to pair it with…wait for it…more prints!!! Seriously, nothing adds spice to your wardrobe like a statement print. Leopard is, and honestly probably will always be a staple print. It’s best used on the smaller scale, like in pieces and not a full on head to toe look. This skirt is originally from Lane Bryant and still had it’s tags!! It’s original cost was $59 and I got it for $3!!! Yea, I was pretty stoked!! I knew the second I saw it that I wanted to pair it with a fun t-shirt, so I went on over to the men’s area and searched all through the t-shirts. Vintage t’s are on trend right now when paired with something that would be deemed dressy. I knew I wanted the base color to be black so I searched through the black t’s (another reason I love Salvation Army…they organize everything by color!) and I found this super cute Marvel t-shirt. It’s a size small, but it had stretch and for $2 I knew that if it didn’t work out I could just give it to one of my kiddos. Thankfully it fit great and once paired with the skirt I fell in love!! Now normally I like to turn my thrift t’s into either a crop top or off the shoulder top. I just grab a pair of scissors and start hacking away, but with this t I wanted to keep it the way it was because I want to be able to tuck it into a pair of jeans or sweats. So I rolled it up to create a cropped look…and this look was produced! I ended the look with a fun pair of super trendy white booties!!! This look can be worn out for drinks with the girls, a concert or a dinner date with your significant other. It’s super versatile and can easily be worn day or night!

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I added a leather jacket that I draped on my shoulder to give it more of an evening look.

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Now if heels aren’t your thing and you want to wear this to a festival or to run around shopping, just throw on a crossbody bag and your favorite pair of sneakers!! Another big trend….sneakers with skirts and dresses!! It can tone down a super dressy look and let’s be real….they are COMFORTABLE!!!!

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As much as I love this look, I wanted to show another way to wear this skirt. Prints can be scary to some, and I know that the t-shirt with it might not be the best look for everyone. So if you’re scared of prints, don’t shy away from it!! And if you are a plus girl like me…PLEASE do not buy into the “plus bodies shouldn’t wear prints, especially on the biggest parts of their body”. You know we have heard this before and it’s bs! As you can see, I am rocking a print, and rocking it at the biggest part of my body, and I did so confidently!! I truly believe, if it makes you happy…WEAR IT!! Ok so back to the original program, I paired the skirt with a Fashion Nova off the shoulder top. I chose black but you could also1 do a camel color and if you are bold a bright color solid top would be killer with this!! Think hot pink or teal!!

I also paired it with my favorite Jessica Simpson gold glittered heels because…STATEMENT!!!

I hope you have enjoyed my first segment of Thrifted Thursday!!! Please take a moment and leave a comment and let me know what, if anything you’d like to know about becoming a thrifter!! I am already working on next week’s post because I was able to grab some killer pieces recently!! I will make sure to show you different ways to wear one peice because I truly believe you should utilize your wardrobe to the fullest!!! We out here trying to buy homes, secure our children’s futures..clothing is fun and can make us feel really good but it shouldn’t break the bank. Trends come and go, seasons change quickly..I want to help you find pieces that will stand the test of time! Hope you have a beautiful day and until next time…

Hugs,

Lissa

Put aside your fears...

Boudoir photography has made a beautiful comeback from days of the 20’s when it became a form of art to express a woman’s sensual side usually taken as a gift to her husband. We’ve all seen them and most women have always wanted to see themselves painted in that light, but sadly if you don’t fit into what society deems “perfect” then more often than not we talk ourselves out of actually doing it. We tell ourselves that once we lose a few pounds that’s when we’ll commit, but most of the time we just chicken out. So when I was approached by the team of ISO: Lux Boudoir to do a couple’s boudoir shoot, I was both excited and terrified!! So honest moment here, you all know I am a confident woman. I work hard at loving myself no matter what other’s opinions of me are, but I am also human. I have fears like the rest of us, and being in lingerie with my husband in front of anyone outside of my bedroom is terrifying, add to that is the fact that I have allowed these images to be shared to the public…talk about TERRIFYING!!! But life is all about challenging your fears, and you know I constantly preach about living your best life…so that is exactly what I did..I ripped the bandaid off, agreed to the shoot and we moved forward with it!

So now I want to take you through the process and give an honest review of our experience! Brian and I met with Mike from Dragon Studio and Misty from Misty Saves the Day at Mike’s home to discuss location, wardrobe and expectations of the shoot. I have worked in the wedding industry here in the Hampton Roads for some years now, so I knew of Mike’s work…which is incredible, and I had worked with Misty years ago so I knew she had a creative vision. Neither were strangers, but I had also never been half naked in front of them lol. Thankfully as we sat and chatted I started to feel more comfortable and knew that they would provide an amazing experience and I was right! We decided on a location, and Misty went forward with providing some of the wardrobe. The day of the shoot came and my bestie and I met at the location and he worked his magic!! If you live in the Hampton Roads area you seriously need to check him out. Josh has been making me feel beautiful for YEARS!! He was the mastermind behind my wedding look, and is one of the most talented hair and makeup artists i’ve ever known…yes this is a major endorsement for him because he is amazing and so so humble!! When Misty and Mike got there the nerves truly hit!! Brian was as cool as a cucumber. For some reason I thought he might feel uncomfortable posing and being so sexual in front of a group of people, but clearly I don’t know my husband because he was way too excited about it lol! After hair and makeup Misty pulled out some of the most beautiful lingerie and robes from Milk & Honey Bride which is a plus size bridal boutique in the Hampton Roads. Slowly my nerves started to ease and I watched as Misty started to stage the location with tea light candles everywhere! It was so beautiful and set up the ambiance perfectly. The next few hours was like a scene out of 50 shades, minus any whips and chains! It was one of the most erotic experiences Brian and I have ever had…and let me tell you we’ve had some great moments as a couple, but this was up there on our list! There is nothing like blocking the world out, connecting with your spouse and having that sense of others watching. It brings an element of excitement that is hard to truly imagine until you do it. And you know all those flaws that I nervously worried about, I forgot all about them!! I mean at the end of the day my husband loves every inch of this flawed body and you can see that in these images. These images that we will have forever, these images that we will look back one day when our bodies have yet changed again and we will say to ourselves…Damn we looked good!

For those who know me or follow me on social media know that I am always trying to empower women. In particular women who feel as though they aren’t the typical beauty. It was part of the reason I did this shoot. There will be some who will say I am doing too much, or being too personal, and for those people I say…Your hang up, not mine. My husband and I are proud of these images and proud that they can help others feel great about themselves!! In just the 24 hours since I released one image on instagram I watched as women tagged their significant others asking to do a shoot like ours, I received countless messages from women thanking me for showing what love looks like. Sometimes love looks like 2 people, who are opposites in physique but are crazy about each other!! This isn’t shown enough! I am an imperfect person, my body carried children, and it doesn’t look like it did when I was in my 20’s, yet here I am PROUD as hell because it has been so good to me and in return I will celebrate it!! And in that celebration I will show you these beautiful sexy images that were taken for us!! And I pray as you see them that you are inspired to love your body, even the parts you may not like so much. I also hope it inspires those who have been sitting on the fence about having a boudoir shoot. I hope you decide to just DO IT! Don’t wait until you lose a few pounds, don’t wait because it will never be the perfect time if you wait! When you can love yourself despite what you might not like in the mirror, then you can love it through all the changes you will experience over the years. Because it will be different, even a yea from now it will look different, so celebrate it now! And if you choose to go for it, research and find a great photographer because that will only further a wonderful experience! I was super impressed with how professional both Mike and Misty were and blown away with how Mike shot these images!! He was able to, with the help of an amazing eye for lighting, create these sexy images while showcasing all the great stuff and not bringing to light those things I’m not that crazy about. He created these timeless images that look like something out of movie scene and I cannot wait to blow these suckers up for our bedroom…sorry mom if you come over and see my booty sprawled out over our bed!

So now here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Please enjoy and leave me a comment on what you think! I’ve linked all who were involved throughout this post, but i’ll do another link after the pictures so if you are in Hampton Roads area please consider booking this entire team!! As always, live your best life and have a blessed day!!

love,

Lissa

 

Thank you to everyone involved!!

Hair and makeup: Joshua Ketron

Photographer: Mike Dragon

Styling and concept: Misty Prewitt

Wardrobe: Milk & Honey Bride

Lingerie: Fashion Nova