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You Asked For It: Taffeta | Manolo for the Big Girl

You Asked For It: Taffeta

Many of our beloved readers have come to me asking for taffeta dresses. I will admit that my initial response was “Taffeta? Really?” Okay, that’s a lie, my first thought was the “Taffeta, darling” gag from Young Frankenstein but my SECOND thought was “Taffeta? Really?”

I think many of us, especially those of us who were raised in the ’80’s and early ’90’s, have a problem with taffeta. It’s loud, it’s crunchy and sometime in our history we were once forced to wear Something Horrible With a Bow –mine was an electric green choir dress with puff sleeves a drop yoke waist and a butt bow big enough to draw other, smaller butt bows into its orbit by sheer gravitational force.

But I am not one to hold grudges, so I went out yesterday to Nordstrom to find –and actually try on– some taffeta dresses and to my surprise, some of them were pretty good.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a taffeta person but if you are, you’ve got some pretty nice choices for party wear this season. Let’s take a look.

This first dress by Donna Morgan is aggressively not my style but could really work for the right girl, especially for those of you who like a little bit of Renn Fest in their party dress.  Even though it didn’t work on me, it’s nice to see an unusual sleeve.

Bell Sleeved Taffeta Dress by Donna Morgan

I liked this one a bit better since I’m a sucker for a shirtwaist, and eyelet seemed to be such an unusual treatment for a winter fabric. The sleeve is good but tulle poking out makes this a very young dress so if you’re a lady of a certain age, you might want to try it on and make sure it works on you, by JS Boutique.

Taffeta Eyelet Shirtwaist

And now my favorite.  I actually really love this dress. There is a sleeve issue so I’d definitely pair it with a chubby little angora cardi. Toss on a double-strand of 50’s pearls (or a blocked beret and earrings?) and maybe a pair of shortie gloves and it’s very Ralph Lauren does Dead Poets Society.  Love it!

Plum’s Favorite!

6 Responses to “You Asked For It: Taffeta”

  1. dangermouse October 26, 2007 at 12:46 pm #

    Just ordered Plumcake’s favorite — AWESOME!! :)

    BTW, I thought I *hated* taffeta – but that dress is just too darn perfect. Way to shop!

  2. Twistie October 26, 2007 at 1:02 pm #

    And suddenly I find myself in fits of giggles.

    Once upon a time I used to do a good deal of amatuer theater. One production I starred in was set in the 1850s and my first costume for the show was a – you guessed it – taffeta evening gown. There is somewhere a blackmail-worthy photograph of yours truly in that gown with my (male) dresser’s legs stucking out from underneath the volumonous skirts.

    Of course, the photo will never include the audio, which was Paul muttering ‘I HATE tafetta’ like a mantra!

    I adore that eyelet dress, except that my Virgoesque need for neatness (at least in some areas of my sadly scattered life) would demand the removal of all that hangy-downy tulle. It looks like slip slippage to me and I can’t stand that. Still, it’s a pretty cut, the eyelet is unique without being precious, and the chocolate color is one I rock with a vengeance. It would be worth a quick, careful, scissors session.

    The third dress is gorgeous, but alas! does not come in a color that flatters Twistie coloring. I can get away with black, but I’ve decided life is too short to wear colors that don’t flatter me.

    Now if it came in bright red or a good navy blue….

  3. the unfashionista October 27, 2007 at 1:39 pm #

    Those are all so pretty. and I love you both and I think you are both excellent writers with lovely taste. Please don’t hate me for saying this, it sometimes makes me sad that there is no “Monolo for the Medium Girl”. I am the girl of almost exactly medium proportions, a 10/small 12 with the large chest and some thickness around my middle – big girl proportions on a smaller girl frame (short, slim bone structure), I guess, and I would look great in the stuff you recommend. I’m sure you are thinking, “boo hoo cry me a river, your life is so hard, you can find clothes anywhere!”
    But I don’t look good in the stuff from the skinny fashion blogs, and unfortunately all the superfantasticness you link to is in the larger sizes.
    Could you throw us medium sized girls a bone every once in awhile? Perhaps in the form of a taffeta wrap dress that is available in both the medium girl sizes and the big girl sizes?

  4. debutaunt October 28, 2007 at 3:25 am #

    SLEEVES!! Give me some sleeves! Even an inch or two more. It’s very rare when I see a lovely such as myself with arms like skelator. Mine are juicy.

    And it’s way too hot in Tejas to be wearing sweaters, shawls, or anything else – until we get our one month of winter. It was 90 yesterday. Hello Fall?

  5. The Jimbles October 28, 2007 at 7:45 am #

    Those are darling! So much so that I ordered the plaid one for a couple of weddings I have to attend this winter. Plumcake, could you give some guidance as to how they fit in relation to how they were marked?

  6. dangermouse November 7, 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    The plaid taffeta dress arrived today. It moves beautifully & looks great — except that it blouses open across my chest. That problem can be easily fixed by sewing in a snap, but I’m hesitating because I sort of like it that way… so long as I wear camisole. Also, turns out I enjoy the sound of taffeta – swish, swosh! It might be the sound of fabulousness ;)