2008 Lane Bryant Catalog Summer

While most of Lane Bryant Catalog remains matronly, two pieces in their new summer line did stand out.

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The dress on the left is a flattering print, and I love the dress shape – the purple piping at the very ages is a fabulous, stylish touch. I’m also enamored with this top, because it’s drape looks amazingly comfortable and it can pair well with just about any bottom; it also covers those who worry about their upper arm flaws without looking baggy.  These are fabulous little finds – the kind I might miss amidst the butterfly caps.

Love Your Peaches

I’ve actually read rave reviews of Love Your Peaches, but I’ve never done business with them myself. They are one of the few retailers that offers sizing beyond 32; they go up to 6x with one heck of a measurement range. These are not the more fitted and tailored styles that I personally prefer. That said, because of the basic shapes of the garments, tucks and darts can be added on most of the designs to make the look more unique and flattering to your body.

Love Your Peaches plus size calista dress 2008  Honestly, most of the time nothing from this clothier jumps out at me – I don’t get the feeling I’m part of their target market, and because I’m finicky about detailing, a tassel on the sleeve or elastic in just the wrong place will put me off. That said, I did get a kick out of this Juno dress:

love-your-peaches-juno-dress.jpg It’s a fun take on the Greek goddess looks I’ve seen at other retailers, although outside of neopagan stuff, I’m not sure where I’d comfortably wear it.

Self-Pic: Di in Geek Chic

Yes, I do feel strange referring to myself in the third person. Here is the Geek Chic look at I wore at the Doctor Who Meetup yesterday. It isn’t perfect, and believe me, I can see where the fear of wearing pencil skirts comes from for women with bellies – shots of me sitting down were none too flattering. The outline exaggerated the size to the point where I tried to remember whether I’d swallowed a kangaroo. I had also hoped to have a fabulous pair of calf boots by now, but it just hasn’t worked out yet. But for a pub meet, not an altogether bad look.


Head to Toe Doctor Who Shot

drwho13_rear view

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Prints and Brights

I’ve seen a few other plus bloggers discuss it, but not necessarily together: it’s the dilemma of wearing prints, and the dilemma of wearing brights. I’d be stunned to see any of us who are making livelihoods of clothing consciousness wandering out in a bright print, just because we’re still working out what the basic rules for making it work on larger people.

I offer the following image from Big on Style because I think it’s absolutely beautiful, even if I don’t think I could wear it myself.

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First, I don’t buy into the “color” rules. White does not make you look fat, black does not make you look thin. The cut and fit of a garment determines whether it accentuates your positive features.

While color has no relevance to how your shape appears, it does have relevance to how it presents your skin tone. Brights are especially tricky to wear – while red and blue looks good on I would say most people, once you get into the yellows and oranges, along with the brighter greens, it can get hairy.  While it’s optimal to match your brights choices to your skintone, that doesn’t always work. Skintone can change in very subtle ways based on diet, stress levels and exercise. You won’t suddenly change pigment without the help of a few dubious treatments, but you might be more ruddy or more blue depending on what’s going on with your internal body chemistry. Because of this, that bright green that you were able to pull off on Tuesday might not look so great on Friday.

Second, brights have a limited shelf-life. So if you’re looking at it from an angle of careful consumption, they flare brightly about once a decade and then are pushed back to be pulled out again ten years later as something that’s gone previously unexplored.

Mostly because I’m a bit conservative, I tend to layer brights underneath something dark – so a navy blue jacket with that bright green shirt, or if it happens to work really well, I might even choose a pastel that goes well over top. The idea is to have people see you, then your outfit, then any color you’re wearing.

Prints are coming at us from along the same design concept, especially with bright colored prints coming at us from our favorite clothiers this season.  We’ve already discussed prints previously, but to recap, choose prints that enhance your figure, be very wary of bold prints and smaller, closer prints tend to work/look best for plus women who prefer the quiet and dignified approach over the loud’n’proud one.

So being bold is great – just make sure the clothing is about you, and not about some visual pronouncement.

Could this Be the Boot?

Unfortunately, standard wide-width boots don’t fit me, and the extra-wide over at Silhouettes didn’t work out for me either. So I’m hoping that these boots from Roaman’s might work out:

roamans-liz-tall-stretch-boot.jpg  I’m a little nervous because a customer did report a heel breaking on their website, and I’m pretty sure these aren’t as well made as the Clarks I had repair work done on. Still, I have adorable dresses for the summer, and they deserve boots. Yes, boots! Booooooots!

Shoes! Pinup Girl Clothing

If you’re one of those that goes for vintage/rockabillie/goth/punk variations, there’s a decent chance you’ve already encountered PinUpGirlClothing. If you shop for clothes, shoes, anything then do it with measuring tape in hand; vintage sizing has no similarity whatsoever to modernday clothing standards.

Pinup Girl Gangster shoe heels 2008

The “gangster” shoes are hilariously wild. I find them personally amusing as I’ve contemplated off and on buying a pair of old-fashioned oxford shoes just because they’re a comfortable and a little out-there for dancing. This, however, would definitely work. I’m not to sure about the comfort level though – the angle of foot to heel is higher than I’d like.

Pinup Girl Beaded platform shoe 2008  This was just entertaining to me – it’s so 70s Disco.

Pinup girl red plaid zinc heels 2008 This is another manifestation of the bootie, and again, a lot of fun. I’m not sure why plaid goes with punk-‘n’-fetish gear, but it’s amusing.

Snappy Orthopedic Shoes

Fellow Daria fans might remember the episode “The Invitation” where Daria takes delight in tormenting her sister at one of those Nielsen-ratings-like popularity ranking parties. When Quinn ups her bribe to make Daria go away, Daria considers, “Well, I have been saving up to buy some snappy orthopedic shoes.”

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To be fair, Comfort Corner isn’t all about orthopedics. It’s not even really about fashion. It’s a business dedicated to letting people be comfortable in their own skins, and that’s OK. Not everyone needs to be on the fashion bandwagon, and if you must choose between being healthy or being stylish, always choose your health first. Forgive any fashionista snottiness, for we know not what we do, and it ain’t our business anyway.

Still, since fashion is social currency but it’s not stylish to hobble around in pain, there are a couple of shoes that can “pass” as fashionable or at least classic enough that you can move right on to the rest of the outfit.

comfort-corner-mandy-by-softspots.jpg Please actually do wear these with hose or tights and not barefoot as pictured if you are able- if you’re concerned about your circulation, the right pair will help that issue anyway. These are similar enough to the Mary Jane styles these days that you could sneak these right on and clippity-clip your way in comfort for the day. Not that I’d do a walkathon in these, but they do seem designed for the kind of mingling you see in after church coffee hours.

comfort-corner-aetrex.jpg One of the problems I have with ballet flats, despite a lifelong love of them, is that they aren’t very supportive of your feet. This looks like a cute, sporty solution, that you can wear in office casual situations with a cuffed trouser. You might even be able to make this work with a straight or A-line skirt as long as you play with length in your overall silhouette by wearing it all with a longer top, even possibly a turtleneck.

Shoes on Overstock and Thoughts on Shoes

Feet are political things, and by extension, when you vote with your feet, how you clad them is part of how you’re casting your ballot. They can work miracles on an outfit, causing every piece of the look to fall into line by elevating your body just so. They can also permanently damage your health if you wear the wrong shoe size.  Shoes we admire as absolute works of art are sometimes also spike-heeled works of misogyny, and sometimes the shoe that a woman chooses with nonsense maxims about “fashion is pain” is really about proving who is really in control. The person in control? Well, he didn’t design that shoe so he’d have to wear it. If I really wanted to, I could present an essay of length on women’s status and how it relates to their feet, starting with foot binding in China and moving on to the stiletto heel.

So as passionate I am about fashion, I have a requirement that no matter how exotic my chosen look, that my shoes fit properly and allow normal activity. Normal activity for most women of any size does not involve lying on the couch eating bon bons – it involves walking a few blocks to and from public transit for work or through parking lots; it involves standing all day in plenty of jobs, and in office jobs where you can fake your way through status situations with good shoes, it involves that second secret pair of “comfy” shoes you wear when no one will see you in your office. Plenty of fabulous looking women do plenty of actual walking, and I keep this in mind with my shoe choices for myself and recommendations for others.

With that in mind, here are a few recent finds I spotted on Overstock.com that are neutral, and are designed with comfort in theory (I’d need to hear back as to whether they actually worked out that way.)

steve-madden-clasikal-mary-jane.jpg The Mary Jane shoe never really goes away, although it’s been adapted to a more adult look with the addition of a heel. It’s a classic dressy-comfort look, and thankfully, not many people these days are concerned with whether black patent leather shoes really reflect up.

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I love these pumps. While I generally prefer a wider heel – it’s more supportive, especially since I walk a lot, if I tried these on and they were comfortable, I’d be all over it. I love the visual element of the studs, and I think it adds a fun visual element especially if you’re otherwise conservatively dressed.

overstock-pony-womens-beenie-athletic-inspired-shoes.jpg I’ve been seeing this particular look worn really well with skirts and tights and trousers – while it seems to be coordinated with handbag shapes as an overall look, it’s actually a very fun and youthful look that works.

It's not about trying to look thin