Insolia, Relief for High Heels

I’m quick to recommend heels for plus women – all our best curvy parts just hang better from a slightly elevated angle. However, particularly as a person with a pin in my ankle, I know all too well how quickly exhausting even the best quality heels can get.

So I was thrilled to find out about Insolia from a Stilleto Jungle post.  At $19.95 for a three pack, it looks good. I was also relieved to see they go up to a US size 12 – as a US size 11, I’m really, really grateful for the consideration!


Are Your Pants Dragging?

It happens to me far more often than I care to admit, living in the Midwest. I decide to forgo heels for the sake of my safety, but continue to wear the long-cut pants for the sake of warmth. Then, I get out of the car to go to a movie, go to work, wherever, and at some point I wind up trying to jump a puddle that there’s just no way to avoid. The hems of my pants wind up disgusting, my feet end up much colder than they need to be, and I wind up wishing there was such thing as a purse-size portable space heater so I can hole up in a corner and dry my legs to non-embarassment.

But then, Zakkers comes to the rescue. Two magnetic clips can hold up your pants for the day, so you can get in that power walk on your lunch, or at least only have to dry out your socks after not quite clearing a puddle jump. Seems like a great solution – and maybe it will get guys who bike to quit wandering around with one leg rolled up and one down.


– tip found at RareBirdFinds.

Solution: Pockets for your purse

I’ve seen the age-old question about how to keep your purse organized come up a few times lately.  There have been different strategies, the most popular being to use different bags for different items. While this does work to some extent, it’s still not fullproof – I still wind up digging through trying to find where I put things.

So along comes Etsy seller brendasjeans with this solution:

Pockets For Your Purse

Labeled “pockets for your purse” this flexible setup can be inserted in a medium to large soft-sided purse to add structure and make finding stuff so much easier.

5 Items to End Torture by Shoe

I admit it, it’s a personal fantasy of mine to have a pair of really good walking shoes that support my feet while looking fabulous on a dance floor and walking all over downtown Minneapolis to try out multiple dance floors. Thus far I’ve found shoes that almost make it, but all fall just short: the wrong size, a pinch at the heel, numbing my toes, looking a bit too orthopedic… still, a recent visit to Target enlightened me: Dr. Scholl’s and a few other companies treat feet like serious business and have a few tricks up their sleeves that are almost as good as Hollywood tape.

For instance, I bought a pair of Skechers on sale that are fabulous ballet-styles except that the right foot is just a little too tight, just enough that it’s killing me to walk in it because it’s scraping the skin off the back of my right heel. The left shoe fits perfectly. So imagine my delight at discovering that there’s been a solution around for this for awhile: the shoe stretcher.

I’ve managed to make my heeled boots infinitely more walkable with the insertion of some gel insoles – they’re surprisingly comfortable thanks to this small investment.
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If you have trouble with your skin getting rubbed into blisters by your shoes, Band-Aid has stepped up to put a stop to it. Put this between you and your shoe and end the friction altogether.

If your heels are killing you, slipping these in should take off some of the pressure:

What tricks do you use to make your shoes more wearable?

When Cinderella needs an adjustable slipper: making shoes fit

In April I found the holy grail of spring shoes: a pair of Skechers that were incredibly cute, paired just fine with my summer dresses, and that were built to support the food perfectly.  Unfortunately, they were just a little too tight in the right heel. I bought them anyway, assuming that once I broke the shoes in, the problem would take care of itself and by the beginning of June, I could be happily walking around lakes in my fabulous yet practical shoes.

The shoes did not break. In fact, I broke first. A gaping hole in my heel just killed me, got aggravated by a cheap pair of crocs I had to buy on the fly to help with gardening my mother’s property, and voila! I spent the month of May in little more than flip-flops. Not to be deterred (these are some really cute shoes) I sought out the solution you see above: the shoe stretcher. I used it in concert with this spray designed to soften leather:

I’m averting my eyes because I’m very concerned as to what’s in that spray, but combined with the stretcher – it does seem to work, if you’re willing to leave it overnight. My shoe doesn’t take a single bite out of my heel now, and we may have another round of “breaking in” yet.

Cuffed jeans: so that’s how they do it

hem tapeI found this while surfing Torrid, and it explains a bit – and seems like a brilliant idea. I am the clumsy girl who walked through puddles of water only to soak my boots AND my flares, and this now explains how the girls who wear flats all the time do it without such flooding incidents. I also have to wonder if these are useful for cuffed-jean looks – although I’m still a bit scarred from a junior high social ranking situation based on jeans cuffs. Looks handy – and it’s one of those “so that’s how they do it” discoveries.

Wardrobe Hacks: New ways to adjust your bra

A good bra is an amazing thing. What’s more amazing is the number of products available for tricking them out, extending them, and even converting them. While once a high school friend complained about how “primitive” bras were – I think she wanted something that denied the existence of breasts altogether – from the looks of the many tools of adjustment I’ve discovered, there are enough tools available to sufficiently complicate them that you could become a bra monkey the way certain motorheads are grease monkeys.

I also have to say – when told about bras, breast care, and so on, no one mentioned all the bra adjusting involved in Our Bodies, Ourselves. We definitely need a new book about this stuff, too.

Clearly not all tools can work in all situations, but what lies ahead just might solve something for you!

For smaller breasts

While most plus-size women do have larger breasts, there are women with B cup and below.

bust enhancer The bust enhancer is, very simply, one way to fill out a bra. While I’m not so sure the nipples are necessary, to each their own. This is a stop-gap for when your cup size changes (it can go up and down throughout the month) or when you have to borrow someone else’s larger-cup bra for whatever reason.

cleavage creating braThis is not a medieval torture device. It is a cleavage creator. This helps add a little more curve when you’re wearing a low cut dress, or more likely a strategically cut dress.


breast petalBreast petals are good if you’re wearing a tank top or other garment where you want to preserve a little bit of modesty. That said, it’s worth writing Target and the company that produces these to consider either adding a “skin tone line” or calling these “pale pink” rather than flesh tone. Seriously, it’s the 21st century and they’re still only calling the absence of melatonin nude? My fellow humans, please help me shake a clue stick at these people.


nipple cover You can similarly protect the modesty of your bosom with disks instead of petals.



Bra Adjustments

invisible bra strapsStrapless bras take a certain amount of faith – and it’s OK if you don’t have that faith. However, if you lack faith and do need strapless, clear straps are the in-between solution.

bra converterIf you’re weirded out by racerback tanks and t-strap bras, this is an easy – but very uncomfortable – way of converting your t-bra to a racer. I’ve worn it, and I don’t recommend doing this for more than four hours at a time. Ow!

invisible bra straps racerbackIf you really don’t trust your strapless…


bra straps for lower hanging brasYou can also get a different type of clear strap for lower-hanging bras.


adhesive braThe adhesive bra. My advice, based on the experience I’ve had with it, is “don’t bother.” Mileage may differ for women below a C-cup.

low back bra adjusterThis lets you take a standard T-bra and dip it below the wasitline of that plunging-back dress. While I haven’t seen any such garments recently, I’m sure they’ll reappear sooner or later.


wardrobe tapeOne thing I recommend over and over as a way of making bras and other wardrobe pieces more comfortable – TAPE! A good quality dress tape can stop falling/peeking straps, prevent a blouse from riding up and even close that embarrassing blouse gap. I keep a tin of Hollywood tape in my purse at all times just for these situations.

dress tape

Bra Comfort

Some innovators are looking for ways to make bras something other than a primitive torture device.

bra strap paddingbra strap paddingHere, the strapper keeper slides in underneath your bra strap to prevent it from digging into your shoulder. (Ideally a proper bra fit should preclude the need for this, but sometimes you really love a bra and don’t want to return it, or you’ve had it forever and it went through the dryer, or any other number of strange things.)


bra strap extenderBra extenders, where have you been all my life? This isn’t only for the case where crap happened and your bra is now too small for you so you need a band extension. This is also for when hooks break or get pulled off – you can stitch these on to one side of your bra and voila!



bra pocketWhile this may seem to take improving storage to a ridiculous extreme, if you think about it, it’s not a bad idea.  For joggers and bikers, this is a good place to stash keys, phone – or especially a passport when you’re traveling. I know the Iphone bra pocket seemed ridiculous, but I’m not squeamish about such things; I might as well use my assets for something useful.


Cleaning and Care


You all know not to run your bra through the dryer, right? Good. Just to help prevent accidents from happening, consider a lingerie bag:

lingerie baglingerie box

You can even give your bra special travel accommodations:

bra suitcaseAccording to one reviewer, a traveler fit 4 bras in this little bag, preventing the squashing and mashing that can happen during air travel.


There are even more bra adjustments, enhancements and rearrangements awaiting you on Fat Chic Clothing Search.

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Wardrobe Hacks: Shoes

The shoe is the number 2 most hacked wardrobe item after the bra. This makes sense: these are the two places we are the most conscious of our physical comfort or discomfort. Also, a good bra and a good pair of shoes merit extra effort to save. The following are just a small selection of ways to trick out shoes so that they’re comfortable, wearable, and not likely to make walking down the office hallway an exercise in torture.

shoe linerI first learned about foot liners as something for more than trying on shoes at a Payless in New York City. I had purchased a pair of ballet flats, and while I get the stinky feet the same as most human beings, if I could skip it just to preserve my shoes longer I would. The sales people were suggesting an add-on to our orders of these to anyone who bought ballet flats – and while I usually ignore add-ons, this one made sense. I’ve even purchased more of these liners since that first time.


foot petalsFoot petals, or cushions, or any other brand variation let you find the spot in your shoe where your feet hurt the most after a long walk – and pad it. This is great especially for sandals where an insole insert just won’t do.


cushion tape for shoesStrappy strips or cushion tape let you cover the spot on your foot that always gets the blister – before you get the blister. It’s great for when you know you’re doing a ton of walking and you’re breaking in new shoes. I used Dr. Scholl’s padding tape during a trip to Las Vegas and my sister-in-law was quite relieved she avoided a hobbling by the end of the day.

There’s so much more out there for shoes – inserts and arches and stretchers and more.

You can find more foot care items on Fat Chic Clothing Search.

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Wardrobe Hacks: Hack Your Pants

waist banditIf you really can’t bring yourself to give up those jeans, this expander lets you get a little more life out of them by adding some breathing room to your waistline space. I can see where using such a product could trigger a boatload of weight based psychological bugaboos. It could also, however, be awesome when you’re on a long flight or when you’re pregnant.

jeans adjustment beltOn the other hand, if you get jeans that fit your legs well but have that awkward waste gap, this belt is intended to bring those weird gaps into line. While it’s no replacement for properly fitting jeans, it can tide you over until you can get yourself a pair that fits.

I’ve got my eye out for more wardrobe hacks like this – I know they’re out there, but they don’t fit in a neat little category like “accessories.” Personally, I think “hacks” is a good term – and I’d love it if stores made them more intuitive to find. People don’t use them because they don’t know they’re out there – not because there’s not a need!

Find other goodies on Fat Chic Clothing Search.

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