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Photograph: Noffar Gat“Houndstooth is one pattern I like to wear year-round,” notes Joseph, who dons it on a skater-style skirt from British e-tailer Boohoo. “Although it’s a busy print, it’s still a classic that can easily be paired with bright colors and other patterns such as stripes.” She wears it with a lace top scored on sale at H&M (locations throughout the city; visit hm.com) and a Lauren by Ralph Lauren blazer (ralphlauren.com) thrifted from Goodwill (locations throughout the city; visit goodwillnynj.org) for a mere $5.
Photograph: Noffar GatJoseph purchased this rose-gold watch from Michael Kors (locations throughout the city; visit michaelkors.com) more than three years ago. “Way before the masses,” she claims. “The style is timeless and the color really pops against my skin.”
Photograph: Noffar Gat“A friend of mine is borderline obsessive when it comes to owls,” says Joseph, who received this charm bracelet from Forever 21 (locations throughout the city; visit forever21.com) as a gift from her pal for this shoot. “She believes they bring good luck.”
Photograph: Noffar GatThese Honora pearl earrings are a staple for Joseph. “I typically sport voluminous hairstyles, but the oversize aesthetic can [still be] easily seen,” she explains.
Photograph: Noffar GatAfter coveting a similar sold-out pair from Prabal Gurung’s collection for Target (locations throughout the city; visit target.com), Joseph tracked down these Breckelle (breckelleshoes.com) sandals on eBay (ebay.com). “I found these beauties as a result of googling ‘lace-up heels,’” she reveals.
Photograph: Noffar GatA remnant from Joseph’s more conservative fashion days, this silk tank from Loft (locations throughout the city; visit loft.com) gets a chic upgrade when teamed with a Forever 21 satin-trimmed blazer and a J.Crew chiffon skirt (locations throughout the city; visit jcrew.com) from Goodwill. “It’s a bit nostalgic for me with the pleats—very reminiscent of my private-high-school days,” she muses.
“I am the ultimate shoe lover and practically sobbed at the sight of these,” recalls Joseph of her gladiator heels from Make Me Chic (makemechic.com). “They aren’t Tom Ford or Altuzarra, but they still make me feel sexy and empowered for a fraction of the price.”
“Beyoncé is not only the ultimate performer but also my style idol, so of course it was a no-brainer that I would support her collaboration with H&M,” says Joseph, who purchased this printed maxidress from the pop star’s collection for the Swedish chain. “It’s super feminine and perfect for summer.”
Joseph’s boyfriend bought her this neon Invicta watch (invictawatch.com) as a Christmas present. “I love that it has a masculine aesthetic but it’s still fun and trendy in this bright hue,” she enthuses.
These Forever 21 jaguar-head spiked studs lend an edgy touch for less than $6.
“I’ve always wanted a Moschino (moschinoboutique.com) belt but couldn’t justify spending that much,” says Joseph, who ended up splurging on one from Luis Via Roma (luisaviaroma.com) after she received some extra cash during the holidays.
Joseph nabbed these H&M neon sandals for $13 at Buffalo Exchange. “They match perfectly with my Invicta watch,” she points out.
“I hate to match but I love to mix prints,” declares Joseph, who does just that with an AB Studio top from Kohl’s (locations throughout the city; visit kohls.com) and Jennifer Lopez printed shorts—also from the department-store chain—featuring bolder blooms. “Although they’re both floral, the positions of the flowers differ, as do the colors,” she says.
This Kenneth Cole time teller (locations throughout the city; visit kennethcole.com) was a gift from Joseph’s cousin. “It’s smaller in scale compared to my other watches, and more feminine,” she says.
A Forever 21 corded necklace adorns Joseph’s neck. “I [usually] like to pair it with a wider-scale necklace for the ultimate statement piece on my décolleté,” she says.
“This was my first time trying a white shade,” admits Joseph, who brightens up her toes with L’Oreal Colour Riche (lorealparisusa.com) nail polish in I Will!. Her pedicure pops against stark chain-strap Zara sandals (locations throughout the city; visit zara.com) purchased from Beacon’s Closet.
Joseph discovered this fringed bathing suit on e-commerce site Swimsuits for All (swimsuitsforall.com). “It provides the cutest and most body-friendly swimwear for curvy to plus-size women,” she enthuses. “The times of the skirted and hideous wallpaper-floral bathing suits are over, ladies!” A sheer button-up shirt from American Apparel (locations throughout the city; visit americanapparel.net) serves as a cover-up. “I love pieces that work dual purposes.”
As evidenced by this H&M necklace, neon yellow is a favorite color of Joseph’s when it comes to accessories. “It adds a punch of color to a monochromatic look,” she says.
“I love the holographic trend but had to be realistic as to its wearability,” says Joseph, who found balance in these Zara strappy heels.
Steady Clothing The Answer Is Sheer top in sizes small–3X, $35, at modcloth.com
Express pavé embellished analog bracelet watch, $128, at Express, locations throughout the city; visit express.com
Gorjana owl stud earrings, $40, at gorjana-griffin.com
GirlProps 16-millimeter faux-pearl studs, six pairs for $6, at girlprops.com
Aldo Canada leather high-top gladiator sandals, $150, at Aldo, locations throughout the city; visit aldoshoes.com
Evans stripe panel maxidress in sizes 10–26/28, $85, at evansusa.com
Marc by Marc Jacobs Henry Dinky stainless-steel watch, $150, at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave at 49th St (212-753-4000, saksfifthavenue.com)
BaubleBar Jaguar studs, $26, at the Bar at BaubleBar, 230 Fifth Ave at 27th St, suite 610 (baublebar.com)
Fergie Roxane sandals, $80, at Macy’s, 151 W 34th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-695-4400, macys.com)
Photograph: Melissa SinclairForever 21+ sheer floral-print shirt in sizes 1X–3X, $23, at Forever 21, locations throughout the city; visit forever21.com
Photograph: Melissa SinclairBody of Royalty Jet Setter lipstick, $15, at bodyofroyalty.com
Go Jane faux-suede chain T-strap heels, $24, at gojane.com
Essie Blanc nail polish, $8, at Samuel Shriqui Salon, 35 E 65th St between Madison and Park Aves (212-472-6805)
Monif C. St. Tropez plus-size fringe swimsuit in sizes 14W–24W, $165, at monifc.com
Sugar Lips The Grand Tour Guide top in sizes XS–4X $48, at modcloth.com
B Brian Atwood Laetitia holographic snakeskin T-strap sandals, $249, at Brian Atwood, 655 Madison Ave between 60th and 61st Sts (212-415-4739, brianatwood.com)
Calvin Klein collarless roll-tab button-up blouse in sizes 0X–3X, $48, at lordandtaylor.com
Anne Michelle Enzo hologram open-toe ankle-strap sandals, $26, at urbanog.com
Most stylish New Yorkers: Sandee Joseph
Plus-size fashion blogger Sandee Joseph demonstrates how style isn’t limited to the skinny with her bold, figure-flattering outfits.
Sandee Joseph, 31, college health-insurance coordinator and plus-size fashion blogger (curvenvy.com), Harlem
Her personal style: “It’s classic and überfeminine with a dash of trend and a sprinkle of vintage. I love the juxtaposition of hard and soft, and adding an unexpected throwback element. My style is almost like writing an essay: Makeup and hair are the introduction, my wardrobe is the body, and my shoes are the conclusion. Hopefully the story I tell makes people want to read more.”
Her inspiration: “I came up with my motto, ‘style is not just for the skinny,’ which I wholeheartedly believe. It carries me through each outfit selection. I defy the notion that a plus-size body cannot be fashionable or on-trend. Ultimately, my mood inspires my style. You know the saying ‘life is a stage’? Well, I like to think of my wardrobe as the costume closet. I can change my ‘character’ with each outfit—it’s just a matter of who I want to be on that given morning.”
Favorite stores: “I do the majority of my shopping online—my two all-time favorite sites are Asos (asos.com) and Boohoo (boohoo.com)—but in NYC, Buffalo Exchange(locations throughout the city; visit buffaloexchange.com) is my go-to for current and past trends at way-below-retail prices. Customers are able to buy, sell and trade clothing, shoes and accessories from brands such as Michael Kors, Alice + Olivia, BCBG and Tom Ford. It’s the only store where you’ll find a $12 pair of American Apparel leggings next to $40 Rag & Bone jeans on the same rack. I always manage to find great treasures at thrift-store chain Beacon’s Closet(88 North 11th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-0816 • 92 Fifth Ave at Warren St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-230-1630 • 10 W 13th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 917-261-4863 • beaconscloset.com). Although it carries current items, there’s a nice amount of one-of-a kind pieces—my best find was a vintage Longchamps duffel bag in mint condition for under $15. And I like Pixie Market(100 Stanton St at Ludlow St; 212-253-0953, pixiemarket.com). For a while, I never knew an actual store existed—I only purchased online. The clothing is inexpensive and current, so I like to get key trend pieces there.”
Favorite salons: “I adore Spa Castle(131-10 11th Ave at 131st St, College Point, Queens; 718-939-6300, nyspacastle.com). It’s like a little therapeutic water world complete with massages, manis and pedis. When I don’t feel like traveling that far, I opt for Pinky’s Salon (312 Columbus Ave between 74th and 75th Sts, 212-787-0390) for a relaxing manicure and pedicure.”
Her signature accessory: “My Honora (honora.com) oversize pearl earrings. I wear them practically every day—they just go with everything.”
How she describes New York style: “Eclectic. It’s a myriad of so many styles: trendy, vintage, urban, classic—you name it. You never know what you’ll spot. I think that’s why it’s one of the meccas of true street style.”
How her style has evolved: “Working in academia for the past few years, I’ve transitioned from run-of-the mill slacks and button-ups to midi dresses, short skirts, multicolor heels and neon accessories. The older I get, the more daring my style becomes, and I’m lucky enough to have a lax dress code. Anything risqué can always be covered up with a blazer or oversize scarf. ”