Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

September 30, 2007

Apples to Apples: Francesca responds to Emanuelle, part 1

Filed under: Fashion,The Big Question,What Should I Wear? — Francesca @ 9:14 am

In response to the cry for help from our internet friend Emanuelle, we have received many helpful observations. Surely Emanuelle is now on her way to becoming the best-dressed Appley woman in Germany!

Francesca promised to post her own response to Emanuelle, and so here is the first part of her lengthy, lengthy answer:

I have been meaning to write about this on the blog: indeed wraps and empire waists are not necessarily terribly flattering for apples, despite the fact that they are currently in fashion and so the plus-size vendors have their (often pear-shaped) models peddling them.

The wraps accentuate our love handles and tummies, and the empire waists make us
look pregnant, which is a nice way to look if you are pregnant. So,Emanuelle, it is not just your imagination! And, good for you for trying new things! It is always good to try, even if the experiment fails and you realize that what you were wearing before IS better for your particular body shape and style. Francesca, who is also an Apple, loves the 3/4 length sleeves and the V-necks!

What Francesca wants you to try next is the Princess seams, which can do wonders to give Apples a little bit of an hourglass shape and a waist.

princess seams frontprincess seam back

(this image shows the shape of the beautiful Princess seams)

Here is a pretty blouse with Princess seams, available from Talbots:

Francesca highly recommends the Woman and Woman Petite sections at for any Apple. The clothes are very classy and pretty and will FIT you! And narry an empire waist to be seen!

And, look! Kiyonna just last week introduced a wrap blouse which ALSO has the Apple-friendly seems in front (and French cuffs!):


Since there is nothing you can do about your breasts, and you cannot change Germany from being an itty-bitty-titty-committee overnight, you may as well celebrate the large boobs which God has given you in His wisdom (but without crossing the line into “Here are Emanuelle’s breasts, and here is Emanuelle.” It is a fine line!) Make sure that you have several VERY GOOD bras, and that the seams of your bra are not showing through the clothes. And go ahead and wear plunging necklines. I am sure there are many German men who find your large breasts to be, ah, a refreshing breath of air.

More of Francesca’s response tomorrow.

Meanwhile: DISCUSS!

For Part 2, Click Here.


  1. I’m an apple/rectangle shape and have been working the princess seams for some time. They really do help give me a waist and slim my tummy! I can also attest to the wonders of Talbots women’s line as I am also short and they carry wome’s petite sizes as well. Love your blog. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by laurieann — September 30, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

  2. Just needed to drop my pear-shaped two cents into the conversation :-) Empire waists make me look pregnant too! Not flattering… Princess seams, or even well placed darts are a great option for lots of women.

    Comment by Chloe — September 30, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

  3. I’m not even sure I know what an apple is, in the figure department. A pear is an obvious enough analogy. But either way, here’s to hoping fruit of all kind find fabulous clothing.

    I’ve always found that wraps look great on me but empire waists really depend on where the empire is. Right under the bust looks dreadful, but a a fit farther down looks just fine.

    Comment by Chaser — September 30, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

  4. I’m sorry, I’m going to break with the pack here, but I really don’t like empire waists. They ALWAYS make me think of maternity wear, because that’s where I saw them the most for years. However, if it is truly well fitted below the bust, I can make an exception.

    I avoided wraps for a long time because they were always too short too look right. They looked like like I was disguising my tummy, and I got The Question (“Ooooh, are you PREGNANT?!?!”) in my favourite wrap sweater. But for a recent wedding I got a beautiful faux wrap (secured at the hip) that was drop-waisted & long enough & it looked glorious & statuesque! I am a convert.

    Comment by QuiteLight — September 30, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

  5. It is really beyond me who resurrected the idea that Empire waists are good looking – on anyone. If you look at “Sense and Sensibility”, that is the movie, and look at the women’s clothing, you realize that no one looks good in those except for the little girls. There is a reason for that. Empire waists only look good if you have no boobs. At all. That is to say, if you are prepubescent.
    So, let’s just cross that style off the list. Princess seams, on the other hand, are one of the most “catholic” styles going because they flatter almost everyone..except women who do not have any chests (see Empire waists). Now, given the predilection of designers to use female models who LOOK as if they are prepubescent (because they are so incredibly thin, they don’t have any breasts or rearends), perhaps this empire waists business is just one more outgrowth of that.

    Comment by Toby Wollin — September 30, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

  6. I just had to speak up in favor of the empire waist, as I have big breasts and a belly, and I look pretty good (and feel fabulous) in my empire-waist blouses. (Dresses in this style, will admit, rarely do much for anyone, unless they are perfectly tailored).

    However, princess seams — yes! Univerally flattering… much like this blog. I approve. :)

    Comment by sanjerine — September 30, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

  7. I’m afraid I’ve got to disagree on both points – I feel like princess seams emphasize my love handles and tummy, and that empire waists don’t make me look pregnant… they actually flatter me. Maybe this is because I have a pretty small bust. My measurements suck.

    Comment by JustJenny — October 1, 2007 @ 12:05 am

  8. Aha! Princess seams – so, that’s what my favorite tunics & shirts have, which sort of gives a flair to them! Thanks for letting me know what they are called, now I can be more specific when I shop & speak with my tailor :)

    Comment by dangermouse — October 1, 2007 @ 10:39 am

  9. has an almost exact duplicate of the ruffle shirt, and I feel it is slightly more flattering. It is in petite large sizes as well, AND it is $20 bucks cheaper. Here is the link:

    Comment by Mimi Stratton — October 1, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

  10. I’m a apple/rectangle with a medium bust and I like empire waists, but they must be modified or, the dreaded preggers look. I usuallly like some kind of gathering under the bust, seaming around the bust, less volume in the skirt, or a nice, wide waistband.

    Comment by Dowdydiva — October 3, 2007 @ 11:29 am

  11. As all these comments attest (and the previous batch as well), despite all the categories the fashion experts put us into, a critical part of this is all about how you feel in your clothes. Some apples look good in empire waists, some do not. Ditto pear shapes in skinny jeans, or whatever!

    The bottom line, the clothes should fit and flatter, and a good bra is IMPERATIVE for us girls with a large chest. I find that I just have to try it all on and that sometimes gets tiresome, but the reward is worth it. For example, I love SOME wrap tops; others make me look pregnant, or cut across my boobs, or fit in one place but not another. I have a beautiful, well fitting faux wrap dress that is a classic I will wear again and again. Try the clothes on, if you can. And don’t be afraid to alter. The beautiful faux wrap… I ordered a size larger than I thought I would need to ensure fit in the chest and then had it altered to perfection. Go with your gut, embrace your shape, buy a great bra and find a good seamstress.

    Comment by LeighB in ATL — October 8, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress