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

November 6, 2007

Workin’ the delicate jewelry

Filed under: Accessories — Francesca @ 1:44 pm

Our internet friend Maggie writes:

I am a size 14/16, hourglass shaped person with some big shoulders. I recently bought a thin, silver chain, with three, small silver circles/open globes (it’s three circles together to make a globe shape) on it. It’s beautiful, but very delicate. I worry, that this necklace is lost on my linebacker upper body. So, my question is, can we big girls wear delicate jewelry? How do we pull it off?

It is a good rule of thumb that something small will make everything around it look bigger by comparison. So indeed, the Big Girl must be careful when wearing the Tiny Jewelry.

However, it can be done. The second rule of thumb is that something in the outfit must be proportional to the Big Body. If it is not the jewelry, then it must be the clothes or the hair or the coat or the bandanna or something that will keep admirers from saying “Whoa, Nellie, I never realized that her boobs were that huge!”

With a delicate necklace, there are a couple of ways one can do this.

One could wear the Blouse or Jacket of Solidity — something in a sturdy fabric or in a bold color or bold print — something with a neckline that will allow the little globe charm to peep through — and allow the necklace to disappear somewhat into it, and peep out flirtatiously every now and then. You could then wear the somewhat more noticeable silver earrings, or, if you have Hair of Some Volume, little silver studs.

Since Maggie has large shoulders, she could experiment with trying bold colors and patterns in her skirts and pants — creating equal interest on the bottom as the top — and downplaying the upper half.

Another way to approach it is to wear the Very Simple Clothes so that the tiny jewelry will be more noticeable — for example, a strapless black dress for fancy evenings — and equally tiny earrings, but then it is important, when one is a Big Girl, to do something with the hair that will lead others’ eyes up to your face (you know, the face that is so beautiful, Aunt Muriel always said so). For example, with that strapless dress you could put your hair into a complicated upsweep, or hold it away from your face with a headband on which are silver or jeweled adornments.

The point is, we cannot pretend that we are  Tiny Little Girls who can get away with an eensy-weensy dress AND eensy-weensy accessories. When the shoulders or the boobs are large, we must always remember to include some pizazz somewhere to balance our features.

Finally, Francesca wishes to check — just to make sure — that Maggie’s new necklace chain is a flattering length? As Francesca can say from experience, it is important that the necklace not accentuate one’s double chin and sloping lack-of-neck.

A flattering chain length  for most large women is one which puts the charm just close enough to the cleavage that the face and neck are elongated, but not so directly in between the boobs that one looks, eh, not like a woman of dignity. But of course that is for you to decide.

Have fun!

xoxo, Francesca

P.S. the necklace in the photo is available here.


  1. Thank you!

    Comment by maggie — November 6, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  2. Great point about length, dear Francesca, length is key.

    The only remotely useful tip I ever picked up from those awful harridans Trinny & Susannah was about balancing out jewelery with neck length/wrist diameter. Basically, if one is somewhat, let’s say short of neck, like moi, a big thick choker usually won’t be too complimentary – a nice delicate chain will balance much better.

    Comment by Margo — November 7, 2007 @ 5:02 am

  3. The Margo remembers what I remember from Trinny and Susannah (that and my new fascination with the British tradition of HATS).

    If you are ‘small boned’ then you can wear smaller jewelry. I’m rather plump (I’d like to say deliciously so) but my underlying frame is small, so look better in delicate accessories.

    A very dear friend of mine wears a smaller size but has a bigger frame, and she looks super-fantastic in chunky big items (of which I am super-jealous).

    Its a balancing act.

    However, I am a strong supporter also of the “If you feel fabulous you LOOK fabulous darling” train of thought. So if you LOVE this new necklace, then WORK your new necklace!

    Comment by de — November 7, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  4. The Annalucia will second the remarks of the Margo and the de, and suggest that the frame of the body should dictate the size and heft of the jewelry. The Annalucia is of both A Certain Age and A Certain Girth but of medium frame, and while her clothes tend to be severe in cut (though bold in color) the delicate pieces work surprisingly well with her. On the other hand her daughter La Caterina (five-foot-ten and big and solid of bone) can wear the huge and gaudy pieces suitable to an Ostrogothic warrior queen and get away with it. On her, the Annalucia’s jewelry would disappear entirely.

    And Maggie dear, the Annalucia envies you the lovely hourglass figure. She has no waist at all, and even as a younger woman was always…how shall we say…rectangular. So please to enjoy the discernible waistline.

    Comment by Annalucia — November 7, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  5. Good pointers. I am tall and …. let’s say larger than petite…and I find that smaller jewelry can be easily lost on me. Even a longer chain can make up for a bit of delicateness on a taller person with more substance. Certainly solid colors and simple lines can help.

    Comment by Andrea — December 22, 2008 @ 5:02 pm

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