Bright Lights and Gwynnie Bee

March 4, 2013

Sorry for the relative silence here last week. I had good reason though – I was in New York City! NYC is one of those places I used to want to live when growing up as a gal in Kentucky, but being able to go up there every once in a while is a great balance between Kentucky ease and city streets.

New York City

Taken from the “top of the Rock”

And not only was I back in NYC, I was there meeting with the ah-may-zing ladies of Gwynnie Bee. Not sure what Gwynnie Bee is? The short answer: Netflix for plus size clothes. Here’s some more information on a previous post of mine.

Gwynnie Bee Clothes

I may or may not be blogging from one of these racks of gorgeous clothes. I could have just stayed there all day.

It was so great to put faces to the names of the people who have opened up so much plus size fashion to so many women. Personally, clothes give confidence at any size, so putting on a new arrival from Gwynnie Bee is a great boost. I realized how essential Gwynnie Bee is to my wardrobe these days when I went to pack for my trip and realized 80% of it were Gwynnie Bee items!

Gwynnie Bee rack

…or perhaps I’m hiding in this rack…

After getting off an early flight, I went to the Gwynnie Bee office to meet everyone, including their mascot, Mable.

she's ridiculously cute

she’s ridiculously cute

We then headed to something I was insanely excited about: Fashion Coterie. It’s basically a huge buyers market for clothes. I think there were over 1000 brands there displaying their fall items. There was a list of about 30 brands that were listed under “Plus Size” only to find out after hiking around the Javitz center that none of them appeared to bring any of their plus clothes with them. What the hell?!? We tried to speak to various people about it, and made some calls, only to be  met with confusion about “Why did you think plus would be here?” Um, because your book SAYS SO!

Coterie Fail

Coterie Fail

It was frustrating to think that there are designers at the show who have plus sizes, but don’t bring it out for whatever reason. Or as one designer told us, they don’t know yet what they’re doing for plus, so they just brought the regular sizes. Plus shouldn’t be an afterthought. It just seems crazy that if you want to sell plus clothes, list it in a market with “plus size” listed, that you would have some sort of clue what the plus size options would be. The people at the booths were pretty clueless as well, so it’s not like we could get a good description of what to expect. Whomp whomp.

Then of course as soon as I got home late Thursday, I saw the news that eloquii is trying to get acquired or to go away after a year of trying. This is really upsetting to me because they did have some great items. Sure, quality, fit, and customer service issues were a problem at times, but they offered a good transition between Torrid and Lane Bryant. (Read their announcement on their Facebook page). Good plus size fashion shouldn’t be hard to find, yet from Coterie to eloquii, we seem to have lost our way.

The great news is that Gwynnie Bee hasn’t lost their way. In fact, they just celebrated their one year anniversary! To celebrate Gwynnie Bee’s 1 year anniversary, they are offering new members receive an extra 1 month 1 garment upgrade + 30 day free trial over the next week (valid until March 7th with the 1, 2, and 3 garment plans). If you are already a member, refer your friends with your personal referral link to earn free months of Gwynnie Bee!  You won’t be charged unless you continue with the service and you can cancel online at anytime. Simply sign up here and mention Skinny Emmie to take advantage of the free trial offer.

FTC Disclosure: If you sign up for Gwynnie Bee and mention my name, I get credit towards my subscription costs. This is a service I paid for before all of that, so honestly if you don’t sign up through me, no sweat! I just want people to know about it, regardless. 

2013-02-27 23.34.05

With Coterie being a bust, I went back to the Gwynnie Bee office to drool over endless racks of clothes, do some brainstorming, and try on a few pieces that might make it to the next new arrivals list soon. There are a few pieces I want to get my hands on, but I’ll patiently wait!

Gwynnie Bee New York

Outfit: DKNY sweater with faux leather accents via Gwynnie Bee
Jacket: INC from Macy’s
Jeans: Old Navy Premium Denim

Also while I was in NYC I got to have a fabulous long dinner with the dear Patty, and then drinks with a friend from elementary school!

Until we meet again, NYC! In the meantime, I’ll be wearing all the Gwynnie Bee clothes I can get my hands on!

  • Less Less

    Looks like a fabulous trip. Oh, how i miss NYC. I would move there in a heart beat.

    • Emily Sandford

      Have you lived there before? I love visiting, but I’m pretty well rooted in Kentucky now :)

      • Less Less

        Nope. I’ve never lived there. I would love to one day, but it’s not really in my plan. I’ve only ever been to visit… and just once. Being Canadian, it’s a lot more complicated if I ever decided to move there. I would have to have a job sponsor me etc. I really want to go back soon.

        • Emily Sandford

          I totally understand that. It’s difficult for anyone to move there and transition to the cost of living and pace, but I can understand needing sponsorship would complicate things even more. At least we can visit!

  • Esther

    That sucks about Coterie. Talk about lame!

    I have a question though! That DKNY sweater…I was about to add it to my closet but thought the faux leather looked a bit tacky. Does it wear well?

    • Emily Sandford

      The faux leather feels like faux leather, but it’s just a small patch of it on each cuff. I had hoped it would go all the way around the cuff, but it doesn’t. That being said, the sweater is really cozy. It’s like an old oversized sweater you want to wrap up in on a cool day. The color is so pretty.

  • Erin

    I have been a loyal reader of this blog for a long time, and I was very inspired by your weight loss. But now I feel
    like 90% of your content is sponsored. I am so tired of reading about almost
    nothing but Gwynnie Bee and Enell…but especially Gwynnie Bee. They
    must be paying you A LOT of money considering the amount you post about
    them. I am sure that I am not the only loyal reader who feels like this.
    There is no inspiration – or anything interesting, at all – on here
    anymore. Your blog has gone from being a “weight loss blog” to a
    “Gwynnie Bee blog” and I am sorry to say that today is the last day I will be reading here.

    • Emily Sandford

      Hi Erin,

      I completely hear and understand your comments. I’m sorry that you feel like this isn’t interesting or inspiring. Neither Enell or Gwynnie Bee pay me to post here. I wrote about Enell when I first started my weight loss journey and they’ve been a constant with every single workout I do. Gwynnie Bee posts have pretty much replaced my old outfit of the day posts because my clothes are from them instead of from the department stores. This blog is a reflection of me, and that means plus size fashion (which I’ve always had a huge passion for) and weight loss. As the weight loss has ground to a halt, it’s hard to continually come up with content that stays inspiring. Some days there are things to say, and others there aren’t. There are only so many times that I feel like sharing my daily workout is really interesting to people over the long run. Fitness is such an evolutionary thing that lessons come when you don’t expect them, and they’re hard to plan for. So writing about other things that interest me is a way to fill the gaps. Also, I write about healthy food 3x per week on Spry Living (, so some of my healthy living ideas go there.

      I realize you probably won’t see this since you’re not coming here anymore, but I did want to just let you know that I hear you. Thanks.

  • Brittany Staires

    Glad you had fun in NYC! I’m oooober jealous that you got to see Patty though! xo

  • Shelladawn

    Erin, Erin, Erin……………….. hmmmmm. Emily has ALWAYS written about her love of clothes and showed pics and like she said the majority of her clothes now come from Gwynnie Bee so naturally she is mentioning them. I’m presuming your comment wasn’t meant to be rude…………………… Each to their own, when some of us are on such a lonnngggggggggggg journey, there is such more to write about than purely weight loss. And I love sticky beaking at her gorgeous clothes. Just realised this is a complete waste of time cos Erin, you ain’t reading here anymore! Peace out.

  • Tiffany Jorgensen

    OMG, I would have just crawled right under that rack and cuddled with Mable!! I may have to finally give GB a try – such great selection! Might be a good way to get some spring-ish work dresses into rotation with out the purchase commitment. :) Sad that the Coterie folks were so clueless (and condescending) but I guess that just leaves a larger market share for the companies that do it right!

  • Jamie

    I think the reason that Erin thought you were being sponsored by Gwynnie Bee and Enell is because of your latest trip the GB headquarters, etc. I admit Iove the inspiring posts but I can’t EVER do GB because I’d be afraid I’d get something on the outfit and then be out a lot of money. I really looked through the GB website and found nothing about “what if you are a messy eater” etc. Anyways, I love your outfits and the way you show your progress. I know it can be slow. It’s taken me a year and ahalf to lose 90lbs and I have 80 to go. I am at a STOP. But, I just keep plugging and that’s with some health problems. Keep going! You are an inspiration.

    PS: Do you know if GB has any info about the clothes, (like if you spill something on them etc., if you go to a smoky bar, etc. etc.)?

    • ChunkyMaiden

      Hi Jamie! I, too, have a GB account, and if you spill, tear, rip, whatever, just return it and let them know. It’s no additional cost out of your pocket! According to their FAQ:

      What happens if I damage something?
      Such is life! Clothing gets snagged, spills find shirts, and hems fall out. It’s completely expected, so just be sure to give Gwynnie Bee a heads up so we can either ensure the item gets fixed or retire it from circulation.

  • shante

    Girl, you look gorgeous in this outfit!

  • Kristi Mout

    I want to hear about it all.
    the good, the bad, the awesome.
    it’s all part of it, and I could never do it as well as you.
    I’ve been reading for years, back when you first posted about Enell.
    and I’m a complete noob to all things fashion related so it’s always interesting.
    I already know most of what there is to know about
    kinds of workouts and healthy foods and such
    but they are always still interesting too
    and in particular I love that you post simple recipes,
    so they are often so awesome, I really want to try it,
    and I hope the people transitioning from chips and new
    to all of this, think so too.

  • Kristi Mout

    Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but we need to realize she’s already very thoughtful about all this, and if the sponsors are mentioned it’s bc she’s thought it through and decided, it was useful to us, most of the time either free, or very low cost.

  • Kristi Mout

    last thing, just wanted to say my thanks about all the fashion posts.

    i would never have known about all the stylish outfits, and asos and other great websites with plus size clothes. I’m trying to find a couple things for this summer,
    along the way of all the virtual window shopping, I’m loving the possibilities!
    still haven’t found long shorts/capris that aren’t spandex, but they’re out there

    darn it. I may just have to go with basketball shorts.

  • DahliaLynn Lane

    Hi Emmie! I am new to your blog, just found you through the Southern Blog Society. I have now officially not been working at my office for over an hour looking through old posts, admiring your killer fashion, and great whit. I am just hook. I even just shot you an email. I hope you are having a great day…your faithful new follower…Jessica

  • Sophie

    I have a long & lasting love of NYC (I was just there for winter vacation in Feb!) but I have a new deep love for Gwynnie Bee too!

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