I Can’t Decide…

Readers, please help me out on forming an opinion on this caftan by Just My Size:

Just My Size plus size caftan 2008

First of all, normally I hate caftans, because they are very closely related to the universally horrific mumu. It’s one of those things you put on a fat person because you acknowledge that even they must leave the house sometime – so to me, the very concept of caftan is an inherent denial of the reality of plus-sized fabulousness. And this one is unfortunately not demonstrated on a plus size person (WTH, JMS? Your company is founded on not being in denial.)

I also normally don’t like drawstrings because unless they’re on a handbag, I almost feel like there’s a circle around me in the Picture of Life pointing and saying “Fat Chick here” instead of the shining neon Las Vegas headliner title of “Awesome Woman.”

I don’t want to like this. It’s a caftan.

But it’s floaty and sheer, which is on-trend this season and the drawstring seems to actually have a silhouette purpose of bringing the overall shape back to forum so it doesn’t seem like someone tried to throw a car cover over the wearer. I’d need to see this in the wild, I think, but the way it is… it might work. Maybe?

An incomplete self-pic

This is the dress I wore for my 4th anniversary celebration with my boyfriend. Again, you can see some tummy – it’s hard to avoid. The dress I picked up at a Lane Bryant Outlet when spending a gift certificate my parents gave me for Christmas. I am avoiding wearing hose or tights for medical reasons – they make me hive like the dickens, so I reserve them for the especially frigid days of the year. You can’t see the whole outfit in this shot: outside I was wearing it with my fedora, with red and white spotted Old Navy shoes (horrible for long walks, by the way), and with a structured jeans jacket.

Here you get to see it in its simplicity:
Polka Dot Dress

My boyfriend’s head nearly exploded because as it was it was much more cute and demure than my usual style.

2008 Summer Old Navy

Someone who designs for Old Navy is a fan of My Name Is Earl. That has to be the reason for the sudden Mexicali line, since I haven’t seen Mexican folk-influence anywhere else in fashion for the last couple years; I’ve seen most international influence coming from India, especially for plus size lines. Admittedly, the character Catalina is pretty darned stylin’, although I’ve got to say that as far as women go on that particular show, she’s definitely not the most progressive character.

old-navy-embrodered-square-neck-top.jpg old-navy-plus-tie-back-top.jpg

I do love a good folk-type top without excess embroidery, as too much embroidering becomes essentially a needle-stiched giganto-print. The two tops above are good for varying figure types between them. I’d recommend that hourglasses and apples  in particular lean towards the top on the left, while barrel-bodies and pears veer right.

old-navy-espadrilles.jpg

I’m favoring these espadrilles because they are not wobbly platform shoes. I love the look of the stacked rope, but the reality of twisted ankles I will cheerfully skip. I have already broken an ankle once, and I’ll never get that bellydance time back. So the safer, flatter shoes for casual wear pleases me.

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

drwho15

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.

It's not about trying to look thin