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Let’s Talk About Saks | Manolo for the Big Girl

Let’s Talk About Saks

If I die and by some celestial clerical error actually make it to Heaven, I know two things will be true. One, I’ll probably be slightly disappointed –living in Texas can spoil a girl for such things– and two, there will be a great big Saks Fifth Avenue right inside those pearly gates.

I am an unapologetic Saks booster, and I think outside of major cities, Saks often gets a bad rap. It’s not scary or snobby and most of the shoppers don’t have hospital wings named after them. It’s just a department store. A very nice department store, but a department store all the same.

And here’s a secret: they give better swag. For example, my don’t-leave-home-without-it lipcolor is Chanel’s Rouge Double Intensite in Rose Garnet. It costs the same no matter where I buy it, but if I buy it at Saks, I get all sorts of high quality sample goodies thrown in, PLUS a handwritten thank-you note in the mail three days later.

They also have, hands down, THE most gorgeous adult cocktail dresses and formal gowns for plus size women. Not grown-up prom gear, but real dresses –often surprisingly affordable– that are worthy of a woman who is past her acne and algebra days.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

could you DIE? I could die. This Tadashi ruched metallic dress is pure eff-you drama, you have to be a WOMAN to carry off this dress. Look at that detailing on the torso. It reminds me so much of Alexander McQueen’s incredible fall collection but infinitely more wearable –and affordable for a plus-size gal. Also? Sleeves.

Here’s the cocktail version, which is easier to carry off –you don’t need to be as tall as a goddess for that one– and still gives you buckets of waist slimming glamour. I’ve seen this one in person, it doesn’t look as “wet” as it does in the image. This, for the people who said they hated ruching, is how it’s done. Also, a similar look in capri blue.

Tadashi Metallic Jersey Dress

Finally a sweet but unsentimental party dress in silk chiffon. Silk chiffon –unlike it’s tragic polyester cousin– floats beautifully, drapes like heaven and is flattering to almost every body. This confection is available in black, plus a host of ever so slightly unusual hues. Now here’s a tough question: do I like it better in strawberry or forest green?

Silk Chiffon Party Dress Silk Chiffon Party Dress

I’m glad we had this little talk.

13 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Saks”

  1. gemdiva October 25, 2007 at 10:45 am #

    I couldn’t agree with you more Plumcake. I started my working career at Saks Fifth Avenue (I always say I had a classical education) and the lessons about service that I learned there have helped me to succeed in every other job I’ve ever had. I loved it then and I love it now, although now I don’t get the employee discount :-( They treat you like a queen, actually carry clothes to the fitting room for you and will find you different sizes and suggest other items so you don’t have to run out on the selling floor in your frillies. That alone is worth the price of admission. I like to be waited on when I’m spending my hard earned cash. My motto is “just treat me like the queen that I am and we’ll get along just fine”. Saks definitely gets it.

  2. Andrea October 25, 2007 at 10:58 am #

    I’m also an avid fan of Saks Fifth Avenue. Fabulous clothes and shoes. Who doesn’t love to be treated like a queen in a department store?

    Andrea proudly wears size 11 shoes. For gorgeous plus-size shoes, visit http://www.yourfeetmakeyouunique.com.

  3. Sarah October 25, 2007 at 11:21 am #

    I love those dresses… but I just wanted to add that if Heaven doesn’t have bluebonnets, I don’t think I want to go there. :)

  4. A Curvy Diva October 25, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    Love the party dress but I’d only get it if it came in black.

  5. Jane October 25, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    Yay, a Plumcake post! On you, baby, forest green every time. And I feel certain it won’t take a clerical error to get you in Up There. Think of all the benighted masses to whom you bring the light of fashion sense every day!

  6. Amy October 25, 2007 at 2:46 pm #

    oh my goodness, that green dress makes me want to go out and be fabulous immediately. If only I had somewhere to wear it…

  7. in la October 25, 2007 at 3:35 pm #

    I tried on the sleeveless floor length version of the silver Tadashi dress and it was *unbelievably* fantastic. It actually made me excited to be my age — I could never have pulled off a dress like that, say, 7 years ago. Unfortunately it was also out of my price range and a little too superfantastic for the event I was shopping for…

  8. Chaser October 25, 2007 at 4:39 pm #

    Lurve Saks. Lurve it.

    The only thing that dress needs is a little superfantastic bling around the neck.

  9. OCCaliAKA October 25, 2007 at 5:30 pm #

    Saks and its Off Fifth are my stores. They are pretty much the only really accessible resource for high-end and bridge-priced ready to wear for plus sizes. Nordstrom is hit and miss, even in the upscale South Coast Plaza. Neiman Marcus did do the NM Woman’s Studio in the 1990s for a time and dropped it.

    Because I’m sort of a baller on a budget, I shop more at the Off Fifth in Ontario, CA, the only one of three SoCal Off Fifths with a Salon Z section. Saks used to have the plus stuff in more stores, but cut the doors down to eight stores that get a lot of tourist traffic, including Ontario and Las Vegas.

    I’ve found great isht in them. For instance, Carmen Marc Valvo and Kay Unger dressy wear.

  10. Brooke October 25, 2007 at 11:00 pm #

    Oh, Plumcake. Those dresses are incredible! I think I’ll be daydreaming for days about the first one.

  11. Angie November 10, 2007 at 7:45 am #

    I have the silk chiffon dress in black, and I’ve worn it to several awards shows in LA and in Europe, always with compliments. It drapes beautifully but the skirt liner is slit really high in several places, so no spanxs. Other than that, I LOVE it.

    I first spotted the dress on the Saks website, and looked for it in the Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara Saks, and was terribly frustrated with the service. I ordered it directly from Tadashi, and they were fantastic, scouting my size for me, sending it immediately, and it was far less expensive than it was at Saks.

  12. miss saks June 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm #

    May god bless you and your wish come true. But i would like a Neiman Marcus right behind the heaven’s door. And maybe it is on sale too.