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

January 18, 2008

How do they do that?

Filed under: Fat and Famous,Petite and Plus-Size — Francesca @ 7:05 am

Francesca recently received a press release from Igigi, announcing that our favorite young Big Girl, the superfantastic Nikki Blonsky, wore an Igigi dress, the “Marianna,” when she received her Best Young Actress award at the Critic’s Choice ceremony:

Does not Miss Blonsky indeed look superfantastic and superfantastically happy? Francesca was glad to hear of her award, and acknowledged kudos to Igigi for their continued success in dressing her.

But you can trust Francesca always to dig one level deeper! How is it, Francesca wondered, that the height-challenged Miss Blonsky can wear the Marianna and that the sleeves fit her and the dress does not come to the floor? It would not be fair to suggest that the petite womens can wear the Marianna if in fact the sleeves and hem were specially made for her diminutive height.

So Francesca inquired of the Igigi, and they insist that the dress has not been altered, though Miss Blonskly is only about 4’9.”

Francesca admits that the best way to confirm this would be to contact the representatives of the Nikki, but after all, this blogging gig is only a part-time job.

However, a hint that perhaps this information is for real was found by Francesca the very next day, when she pulled her Igigi blouse (a model no longer available) from her closet to wear for the first time and realized that indeed the full-length sleeves fit perfectly, even though Francesca is hardly taller than Miss Blonsky and has quite stubby arms.

Francesca does not understand why these sleeves fit her. Igigi does not have a Petite line, and when it comes to hems Francesca has already found that their long dresses are very, very, very long for someone still short enough to enjoy some kiddie rides at Great Adventure. But for some reason the sleeves work.

Does this mean that the sleeves are too short for a woman of greater stature?  How can sleeves be appropriate for both regular sizes and petite womens? If the dress was not altered in that photo, why is it not dragging on the floor? Is it meant to be the mini-dress on the woman who is 5’8″?

It is a mystery!

Ach, perhaps Francesca will contact the Blonsky reps after all. She will report back when she gets an answer.


  1. Perhaps the Igigi dresses are 3/4 sleeve. A 3/4 sleeve with a wide opening, constructed beautifully looks wonderful on a long arm. I think that must be the case.

    Comment by Dowdydiva — January 18, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  2. Dowdydiva is right. The model on the Igigi website is taller and the sleeves look 3/4 length, while Nikki wears them at the limit of long. Also looking at the model on the website the dress is pretty short and her knees are visible, while the dress on Nikki looks more cocktail in length. So kudos for Igigi to make dresses which can look fantastic on short and tall women.

    Comment by fashion is fun — January 18, 2008 @ 9:50 am

  3. yes, please do..inquiring (but short) minds want to know!!

    Comment by Toby Wollin — January 18, 2008 @ 9:57 am

  4. It’s probably that sleeve length doesn’t really vary that much in women’s wear, unless you’re looking at the petite and tall sizes.

    Most women’s sleeve lengths fall somewhere between 21 and 23 inches for outerwear, and between 19 and 21 on a suit jacket or dress. I stand 5’10”, and a sleeve that hits me right at the wrist bone falls just below it on my 5’6″ sister. Even with 4″ difference in our height, there’s only half an inch difference in our arm-length.

    If you look at the picture on the Igigi site, the sleeve ends just above the model’s wrist–there is no wrinkling at the bend of her wrist, and the wrist-bone is visible. It’s hard to tell on the photo of Nikki that you used, but if you look at this one:

    you can see that it ends at about the base of her thumb.

    Comment by Rabrab — January 18, 2008 @ 10:26 am

  5. Rabrab is right – the dress on the model at Igigi is a 3/4 length sleeve. It’s also an above-the-knee dress, where on Niki it happens to fall at a flattering high-calf length.

    Comment by Leah — January 18, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  6. Hi all,

    We do not alter any garments for Nikki. When we make a custom dress for her like her Hairspray movie premiere dress or the upcoming one, we cut it according to her measurements. Other than the custom made dresses, we do not alter ant garments we send her. I know for sure that the Marianna was not altered by her stylist either.

    The sleeve measurements are almost always the same. The length is a different issue. We make most evening gowns longer because most customers ask for long and also it is more convenient to have it altered to the exact length one wishes.

    Please feel free to email me at if you need any assistance. Ozlem

    Comment by Ozlem — January 18, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

  7. I’ve been eyeing that dress for a while, and I’m 5’2″. It looks pretty good on her, so I’m thinking it’ll look good on me, too!

    Now I just have to come up with a reason to wear it. :/

    Comment by warmarkwoman — January 20, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

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