Here’s a random assortment of the Afrobella-related issues I’ve been meaning to address…

One Door Opens Where Another Door Closes

Today at 1 p.m., New York Governor Designate David Paterson will be sworn in before the State Legislator, effectively ending Eliot Spitzer’s in-office shame spiral. Thus far, the result of this whole incident has been history-making — Paterson will be the first African-American governor of New York, and only the fourth African-American governor of a U.S. state in history. He is legally blind, and is also an unwavering Clinton supporter. In the whirlwind of scandal, life is about to change dramatically for him and his family, and the burdens of responsibility will be placed squarely on his capable, well-respected shoulders. Congratulations to Governor Paterson! Here’s hoping he’s steeled himself for a strong dose of overnight political celebrity, and the scrutiny that’s bound to come with that. He certainly seems to be the best man for the job right now.

Spring Shopping Spree

Having just turned one-year-closer-to-the-big-three-o, I’m having all kinds of swirling emotions about this new age I’ve found myself at. It’s all expressing itself as a deep burning need for a fabulous new wardrobe. Will all of my age crises manifest themselves this way? Lane Bryant hopes so!

I have such a love/hate relationship with the LB. One one hand, I completely agree with Too Fat For Fashion (love that blog!), LB seems to specialize in loud prints, muumuu shaped tent tops, and generally uninspiring dresses and shirts — the kind of thing I’ve sworn not to wear. But on the other hand, their wide leg pants (like these) are incredibly flattering, and make for a great, effortless day-to-evening wardrobe staple. (Has anyone tried the Secret Slimmer pants? Are they worth the money?) Lane Bryant does basics pretty decently, and these days, I’m all about the basics. Oh, and BTW, LB’s currently hosting the “Closet of Your Dreams” sweepstakes, and if you enter you could win a closet makeover by ClosetMaid (valued at $2,500), a Lane Bryant wardrobe (valued at $2,500), and help from a personal shopper. Click here for details.

Back to my fab new wardrobe — inspired by Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style (LOVE Tim Gunn!), I am on the hunt for my remixed version of the ten items on Tim Gunn’s essential shopping list. Classic dress pants, check. Basic black dress, check. Jeans, check, check, and check. Still looking for the perfect dark denim blazer (in my line of work, it’s the only kind of blazer I’d be guaranteed to regularly wear). But to summer up my wardrobe must-have list, I’m looking for a series of funky yet basic bright tops that I can dress up to the nines with accessories. My watchwords are bold, vibrant, and comfortable. Like this red lantern sleeved top from Target, or this bold yellow twisted top from Kiyonna. I just made my first order from Kiyonna, and I’ll keep you all posted on my results.

I just picked up this plum banded yoke tee from Old Navy… man, I hope rumors of Old Navy’s demise are greatly exaggerated. I heartily applaud Todd Oldham’s efforts to breathe life into the mall standard. Especially of late, I think Old Navy’s one of few mainstream lines that’s really thinking deeply about plus size fashion, and trying to cater to a market of full figured and fly mamas. I’m feeling this halter dress, and I treated myself to the printed trapeze top in chocolate tiger stripes. It’s going to look adorable with these new chocolate brown linen wide leg pants, that you see up above. I’m gonna have to get ’em, I think!

Beautiful Baby Girl!

Big congratulations to Halle Berry, she gave birth to a bouncing baby girl at 10:17 am on Sunday morning!

Halle was quite possibly the most gorgeous pregnant woman evah — loved her curly bob! Her baby is bound to be beyond gorgeous, and loved, and fussed over. Can’t wait to find out this beautiful baby’s name!

I’m not typically a celebrity-baby gusher, but I’ve had a special place in my heart for Halle Berry, ever since Boomerang. I swear, I’ve seen that movie like fifty times.

Update on a Past Ask Afrobella

A recent comment on a post from October ’07 — A Different Kind of Ask Afrobella, where I tried my best to answer Oretta’s question about dealing with unemployment — made me realize how deep this afrobella sisterhood thing goes. Longtime readers will remember Oretta’s story. To Wake Up, who just asked if I’d heard anything back from her… I sure did! Oretta wrote back after the post. Here’s what she said:

Hello Mrs. Bella ella ella,

I was so happy to hear from you. As I sit here this evening I can say that I thank you and Petal (BTW that is such a Caribbean name I personally know at least three Petals) soooooooooo much. This has been a great but kinda lonely journey and that is why I was so happy to read your response. I was beginning to fall into despair. Before I was laid off I was listening to The Secret and I was reminded of The Oprah Show. There was a young lady on the show that was fired and Oprah said to her that the only response that she should have told her boss is “Thank You”. Though I was not fired I will still say “Thank You” because this is a truly character building experience.

I love your blog because look at how many wonderful people commented on this topic. I know that there are many people that are out there and they are in jobs that they profusely dislike. And for a long time that was me until I found the job that I really liked and was laid off. This experience has taught me that you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Again, I thank you for all the advice. I do start substitute teaching soon. I do journal and I know now that I will continue and be more purposeful in my writing.

Once more, I think that this is a great forum for intellectual women of color to get our points across and doing it in a way that we help one another.

P.S. Thanks for knowing so much about a lot……

Thank You,


Isn’t that AWESOME? Made me so happy, and I apologize for not sharing it earlier. Thanks so much to all of you for offering insight and experience. We learn so much from each other, right? Which brings me to my last thought for today…

Thank you ALL so much for the birthday love!

Your copious and warm wishes overwhelmed me upon my return from Hippieville. It took me a solid week to read through all of the 95 comments. But finally I got around to catching up on Afrobella errands — mailed out those Mariah Carey DVDs today, bellas — so hang tight! And finally, I chose ten winners for the Creme of Nature giveaway!

They are…


Lioness of the House




Sophisticated boom boom






Congratulations, bellas! I’ll be contacting you via e mail this week, but if you read this first, e mail me with your full name and mailing address to, so I can get your info to the Creme of Nature peeps ASAP! And if you didn’t win this giveaway, don’t be discouraged, bellas! I’m working on some new giveaways, including yummy scented candles and some fabulous earrings soon, so keep reading, keep commenting, and keep entering!


Mrs.Mckinzie says:
March 17, 2008, 6:32 am
Hey Bella! girl I was just on the net this weekend looking for some new pieces for my wardrobe to.Have you tried Torrid?,because they have cute tops with pretty colors.You might want to check out there vintage logo tees to.Monif C have some really cute halter dresses also.I never knew about Kionna until Sarurday,and they have some nice things also.The last time I went to Old Navy I was disappointed when they did'nt have many plus size options for me ,but i'll give them another try to see what I can find.
bella says:
March 17, 2008, 8:27 am
Hey Mrs. McKinzie... don't waste your time GOING to Old Navy -- their cutest stuff is online, and their entire women's plus section is online only! I do loathe executive decisions like that... I personally prefer to try my purchases on before I commit. But that's the way they work nowadays. And sadly, there isn't a Torrid nearby! I've ordered tops from them before, but nothing's been affordable and cute enough to make me shell out like $50 for a shirt since.
Esteban Agosto Reid says:
March 17, 2008, 8:48 am
Congratulations to Governor David Paterson!Wishing you the best in traversing the political hurdles,obstacles and minefields of New York State politics.RESPECT!!
misstwists says:
March 17, 2008, 10:09 am
Hi Afrobella, You mentioned plenty of tops, a pair of pants and a pair of jeans. Are those your bottoms of choice for the summer? I am trying to figure out what types of casual bottoms to wear this summer and so far it isn't looking to good. I tried on a couple of pairs of the long shorts at Ashley Stewart and they were not too flattering. I think I need something with a wider leg. I heard Najwa on NPR's "Tell Me More" with another guest and they both stated that capri's were out. I'm looking for a good alternative. Any suggestions?
sherrye samuels says:
March 17, 2008, 11:22 am
Greetings Afrobella and Everyone I want to wish Govenor Patterson the best of luck on his new job today and blessings to him and his family. I know that he will do a great job heading our state. Check out my website
shine says:
March 17, 2008, 11:26 am
congratulations to Halle Berry. i heard she will be interviewed with which is a free dating site for young people who wants to have a romance love. says:
March 17, 2008, 11:38 am
glad that spitzers gone and the other guys in, although he is legally blind im sure he will do a good job. who is halle's husband or baby daddy? and tell me why she looks so good. congrats to her baby, and congrats to the winners
Danielle J says:
March 17, 2008, 11:40 am
Hey Bellas - I'm looking forward to my Spring Wardrobe as well. I'm going for a really tailored, but classic and comfortable look. I love white for the warm months and I'm a big fan of wedges which give me height and comfort all at the same time. I'm hitting the gym, eating right and feeling good for the 1st time in a long time about my choices. Life is good!
warrior11209 says:
March 17, 2008, 12:13 pm
Yeah for David Paterson - he can carry on the legacy of his dad in NYC(former NY Secretary and activist Basil Paterson). As far as Lane Bryant - I have not tried the Secret Slimmer pant but they are supposed to fit like their new denim jeans -which fit me perfectly!! A little spandex keeps the shape of the jeans so the the hip and legs fit w/o bagging. Torrid is great - my daughter has found tops and dresses there. Marianne's is also good for jeans - wide selection and affordable. Not so good w/ tops. Welcome to Motherhood Halle. Afrobella - the letter was beautiful!
pets says:
March 17, 2008, 12:19 pm
Trice tell Oretta I say thanks for her comment and she to keep being positive and to give back in any way that she can to others - especially those who may be experiencing what she went through.
afrobella says:
March 17, 2008, 12:36 pm
Hey Misstwists! I am usually NOT a shorts kinda gal.... but I will be enjoying some fun in the sun down in the Florida Keys pretty soon, so these legs will have to emerge sometime! I will trust Najwa -- capris seemed to have been eclipsed by Bermuda shorts last I checked, and I just ordered my first pair of shorts in FOREVER. I mentioned that I placed an order with Kiyonna -- I got a dress for a wedding, and I got these cuffed shorts in chocolate brown --- They look cute and flattering, and they're on sale for $38. I'll let you know how I feel once I try them on!
afrobella says:
March 17, 2008, 12:39 pm
Whoops -- just realized that link redirects you to a different page. They're the only shorts on this page --
Niki says:
March 17, 2008, 1:16 pm
I am still mad that Old Navy took their plus-size stuff out of the store--like plus-sized women don't want to try on clothese before they buy! Hmmph! Anyway, I love that halther dress. I am not too keen on trapeze tops because I have big boobies and I am scared that a top like that would make me look pregnant, so I will pass. I just started wearing capris last year after a long aversion to them. I will try on some Bermuda shorts, even though I'm not really a shorts fan.
Kat says:
March 17, 2008, 2:33 pm
Re: dark blue denim blazer I'm a plus size lady, inverted triangle shaped (meaning, most of my junk is in the front seat, not the trunk!). I've had great success with dark blue denim blazers at Ann Taylor Loft. Their size 16 works perfect for me. Their details, stitching and shaping, are perfect, and their pieces have enough panache that I think it's worth it to get them altered for that perfect fit (as Stacey and Clinton recommend. Love "What Not To Wear"!). It's a search...definitely something to add to your "things to buy" list. AT Loft has carried them as an autumn seasonal item, and they match them with a really cute straight-leg full cut pant. Last season, they had a blue AND a brown denim that looked super cute. Good luck on your search!
Michelle says:
March 17, 2008, 3:07 pm
Being from New York, I'm so happy for David Patterson. I just heard about Halle this morning. I'm glad she finally has her baby!! I love Old Navy too. I always find cute and funky clothes I can wear. LB and Ashley Stewart for me are a bit to staid and need to loosen up. I also love Kiyonna. I'm so looking forward to Spring and to getting some lovely clothes.
Angel says:
March 17, 2008, 3:08 pm
Hello. You have been given a "You Make My Day Award" from Voices In Color. You can see the post here Have a wonderful day!
regina says:
March 17, 2008, 6:40 pm
Lane Bryant has some nice stuff, if you take the time to look for it. I love their wide leg pants and the different fit assortments. The Avenue is the worst ever! Anything I buy from there will shrink after you wash it. Best wishes to the new Governor!
Tonya says:
March 17, 2008, 10:07 pm
I never realized there have only been four black Governors in the US. FYI, Gov. Paterson is an OBAMA supporter. Spitzer was a CLINTON supporter AND a superdelegate. She lost a superdelegate when she lost Spitzer.
bella says:
March 17, 2008, 10:17 pm
Hey Tonya -- The AP article I linked to -- says this about Gov. Paterson's political leanings: "Paterson has campaigned for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — Obama's rival for the nomination — and remains a supporter." And it continues to say, "Paterson, who said there was no pressure from Obama to switch, relayed a light comment by a mutual friend who said he should flip and endorse Obama, an Illinois senator who hopes to the first black president. Pundits had speculated that if Clinton became president, Spitzer might appoint Paterson to fill her U.S. Senate term. "I said, 'No, that's not why I supported Hillary Clinton,'" Paterson told Obama. "She and I are very good friends and I think she will be the best president.'" "He laughed. He knows I'm very committed to Senator Clinton," said Paterson. "When I sign up to support a candidate, it's to the end. I actually supported Custer, but I did leave right before the attack." I also found this article from the Buffalo News -- the headline of which is, "Paterson tells Obama he's sticking with Clinton." I looked, but couldn't find any evidence that Paterson has switched his vote to the Obama camp. Yet.
Kiss Kiss Beauty says:
March 18, 2008, 12:40 am
Hello Ms. Bella, Have you checked out the spring jacket guide in the April issue of Lucky Magazine? Didn't see dark denim but did see some very cute dark blue cotton numbers. Happy shopping! Erica Kiss Kiss Beauty
Natasha says:
March 18, 2008, 1:00 pm
Hey Bellas, I read your blog all the time, love it! Anywayz, I have that purple banded yolk top from old navy you were talking about in green and the reddish/green print. I love them! They flow beautifully although I think I could have gone down a size. Depending on the shirt, I bounce between being an XL and a woman's 1X, and ordering shirts on-line (easily dropped a rent check **ouch**) scared me a bit, but I have to say I love each and every one of the fourteen that I got. Although I spent much more than I should have on my college student's budget, I feel like I really got the value for my dollar, and girl check out the sales, I got a beautiful blouse for $5! I have a new found respect for old navy. Their jeans are another story, make my booty look as long as can be, but they have so may cuts so I just make sure to go into the store for that. Happy shopping!
Anna says:
March 18, 2008, 2:41 pm
As a true plus size girl(size 24) there are very few places I can shop. Plus I am 6 feet tall. Lane Bryant does have great basics . Their biggest problem is their fit model. Their fit model is obviously hourglass or pear shaped. She also must be almost truely proprtional. I have a friend who is a size 16 but has a true waistline and LB clothes fit her like they were made with her. I have an apple shape and I too can't where many of their poofy shirts. They just make me look bigger. I have ordered from Kiyonna and also have tried Igigi. Igigi makes some nice pieces. Additionally, I too am made at Old Navy because I like to try clothes on and can't anymore since they don't keep them in the store.
Julia_Claudine_Deveraux says:
March 18, 2008, 4:15 pm
Hey Bella! I have a love/hate relationship with Lane Bryant as well. I have some LB pants from back in the day I still wear and they fit great. The clothes are running smaller and their prices are getting bigger. Old Navy is the same. I too hate that they don't carry the plus clothing in the store and I will NEVER buy their pants again, I don't know who those things are made for. I don't mind a low rise but their pants are ridiculous. Also, SIZE DOWN on their dresses because they run really large. Congrats to Halle!
Grayburn says:
March 19, 2008, 6:35 am
Hi, I'm tagging you! Feel free to play along (see my post today for details)!
GoddessNoir says:
March 19, 2008, 8:50 am
LB - LB can get it correct every so often. You are correct, I love, love, love their wide leg pants, I have almost every color and pattern. I've shopped Kiyonna a few times and wasn't all that impressed with their workmanship. I have a skirt that I've worn for years but the rest of the things I've bought for them were a bit cheesy and not worth all of the money I spent on them. Ashley Stewart is cute for blouses and summer dresses but, I would stay away from their pants. One part of me really wants to try the new bras by Jill Scott but, I've not had great experience with their bras in the past. Old Navy is the place for summer and spring dresses and skirts. I haven't tried anything much else from them but, be careful, their sizing runs big by one - three sizes. Torrid again has cute dresses and tops. Try, cute summer dresses and tops. - cute but chintzy tops, good for a season or two. has some hit or miss stuff. Decent quality but sometimes the styling can be a little old-lady-ish. Every so often, they come up with a great top or dress. Their cloudwalker heels are the only ones I can wear all day long.
Mark says:
March 19, 2008, 10:25 am
Hey Bella! girl
sungoddess says:
March 19, 2008, 10:17 am
"Having just turned one-year-closer-to-the-big-three-o, I’m having all kinds of swirling emotions about this new age I’ve found myself at. It’s all expressing itself as a deep burning need for a fabulous new wardrobe. Will all of my age crises manifest themselves this way? Lane Bryant hopes so!" Oh my.. brings back my own memories of my 30th birthday.... Blanchisseuse, Bad Boys, Big Thirty & Birthday Bliss (slightly epic accounting).
bella says:
March 19, 2008, 11:21 am
Mark, I deleted your last three comments because you're trying to plug some kind of dating site. If you were an upcoming blogger, fine. But I'm not down with spammers trying to worm their way into the discussion just to promote their internet dating sites. Please either make a real comment, or take it over to another site that is looser with their commenting policies. Kthxbye.
Miss Gisele B. says:
March 19, 2008, 11:29 pm
Spring 2008 is looking up. Afrobella, these are some hot little numbers you feature! Gisele
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October 10, 2010, 6:23 am
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