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

June 30, 2008

New York City Meet-and-Greet!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Francesca @ 6:14 pm

Francesca is in the mood for a Meet-and-Greet, so she can talk with our wonderful readers in person, drink cocktails with fabulous women, and see (and show off) some wonderful clothes and shoes.

How about it, New Yorkers?

Francesca is thinking The View restaurant and bar at the top of the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, a week from today: Monday, July 7. She will make reservations for drinks from 7:30-9:30, yes? Time enough after work to get to midtown and join us, time enough afterward to get home and get some beauty sleep.

Please let Francesca know in the comments if you will attend, so she will know how much space to reserve. xoxo!

June 29, 2008

A Fourth of July Treat…or Just a Recipe for Those Who Love Watermelon and Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — Twistie @ 8:30 am

When I finished up Food Friendly May, reader Angel was kind enough to say she was going to miss my recipes. Well, Angel, you didn’t have to miss them for long. With the Fourth coming up, many of us are going to picnics or holding backyard barbeques, or just want a festive treat in honor of the holiday. And so I went looking for just the right sort of treat in a recent addition to my cooking library: Pie by Ken Haedrick.

If you love pie and haven’t taken a look at this book, do yourself a favor and go check it out. I’m overwhelmed with the range and tastiness of the recipes inside. I’ve already made a couple and am looking forward to using this book a lot!

So, what goodie did I find for the Fourth? Watermelon Chiffon Pie. I’ve modified the first instruction, but other than that, it’s just as Mr. Haedrick wrote it down.


June 28, 2008

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Happy Camper’s Edition: The Result

Filed under: Uncategorized — Twistie @ 11:43 am

Once again, you all light up my life. Last week I dropped this perverse image on you:

Big Smokey and you responded with eleven hilarious captions for it.

In the end, though, there can be only one winner. This time around that winner is GradualDazzle for this all-too-appropriate variation on a classic tag line:

“Only YOU can prevent camel toe.”

Congratulations, GradualDazzle! And thanks to everyone who played!

June 27, 2008

Shoes for the Nordstrom Dress

Another chapter in the book of “Francesca catches up on her email correspondence”!

Dear Francesca,

I’m a regular reader, and really appreciate your fashion advice — I’m 5’2″ and a size 14, so it’s hard to find things that suit someone short and generously proportioned. I’ve learned a ton about where to look for superfabulous clothes from the site, and think you guys do a really lovely job of balancing sensible advice and entertaining insights. Kudos to you all!

I’m writing specifically because I am thinking of getting that lovely beaded dress you posted in the post about the semi-annual Nordstrom’s sale for a friend, but can’t find it on the Nordstrom’s site. Can you point me in the right direction? Also, what kind of shoes would you recommend wearing with it? The dress is so lovely the shoes should balance it out, but sometimes those of us on the fleshier side can’t wear the strappiest and most delicate of sandals. Any thoughts?

Thanks again and have a lovely weekend,


Dear L,

Francesca is happy to oblige.

The Nordstrom dress is still available in mint green right here. Your friend is lucky indeed to receive such a gift!

As for shoes, indeed the strappy, summery sandals are best. But if you would like a more sturdy shoe, something with more coverage and a lower heel, Francesca would recommend black satin, to echo the ribbon belt, and a simple design so as to keep attention on the dress. Something like this:

Or perhaps this delicate pump by Paul Smith:

Happy shopping, and happy weekend!

xoxo, Francesca

Hello Gorgeous! Ferragamo Friday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 7:48 am

Remember last week when we were talking about aging into things? For me, Ferragamo is one of those brands that I’ll still have to age into. I was at the symphony a few weeks ago and somehow lucked into to the Founders’ Circle. It was nothing but a parade of fantastically aged matrons in their St. John suits and Ferragamo flats and it was fabulous. The flats are just a little too close to home in their WASPiness for me to wear them personally. It’s just a little too literal. I drive a luxury vehicle and can metabolize gin like a anamatronic sailor, I don’t need any more social signifiers, thanks.
Mmm Ferragamo!THESE however, these are shoes you can wear until you’re dead. They are Not Cheap and I’m always hesitant on recommending fabric shoes because they’re just not at hearty as their leather counterparts but they are classic classic classic. The color is gorgeous, the cut is flattering on the foot and although the heel does tend towards the slender side, it’s “only” three inches so it’s not like you’ll be teetering around like a stilt-walker with an inner ear infection whenever you walk across the room.

Happy Weekend Everybody!

June 26, 2008

The Big Question: I Carried A Watermelon Edition

Filed under: The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 2:46 pm

I carried a watermelon? Oh how many of us can identify with poor Baby in Dirty Dancing when she meets bohunk heartthrob Johnny Castle and proudly announces that she “carried a watermelon.”

I carried a Watermelon?Let’s face it, for all our collective cool, Noel Cowardly bon mots sometimes –particularly when faced with a character who, you note, could probably be trained to mix you gin and tonics and probably not actively hate your mother– say Dumb Things. We have all, for lack of a better term, carried a watermelon.

My longest and most successful relationship began with me threatening to drown my former gentleman caller by the ankles, while just this week I had a double whammy of telling a gorgeous, possibly Nordic, stranger –after he told me I had the most striking grey eyes he had ever seen– that “They didn’t work.” He, English not being his first language, looked at me as if perhaps I was blind or just, more probably, psychologically disturbed, beat a steady path away from the crazy lady and I haven’t seen him since.

That was quickly followed by my walking up to an acquaintance –whose eyes are that startling husky blue that make you wonder if your skin is on inside out and if your babies would sunburn easily– and announcing for absolutely no reason and with no context whatsoever that, well, I can’t even say it was so embarrassing but it might have involved the words “goaty” and “hymnal.”

Francesca and Plumcake want to know:

Tell us about the time you “carried a watermelon.” Did it work out or did you crash and experience and epic, goaty, hymnal-laden burn?

International Shipping for the Big Girl!

Filed under: Fashion,The Big Question,Uncategorized,You Asked For It — Francesca @ 8:18 am

Francesca continues in her quest to catch up on reader emails . . .

Hi Francesca,

I’ve been reading your blog (Manolo for the Big Girl) since it started, and I love seeing the plus-size clothes. I would love to actually buy some of these fabulous clothes, but I live in Australia and so many of the websites listed only ship to US addresses ( is one of the few exceptions). I saw your post on the Woman Within sale and got all excited about buying something … then found they don’t ship to Australia.

Do you know of any other reasonably-priced online stores catering to plus-size pears from Australia?

Kind Regards,

Aussie Pear

This is one of many, many similar emails we have received from readers all over the world who are not lucky enough to live in the USA — and Francesca calls US residents “lucky” in this context because being a Big Girl and finding plus-size clothing outside of the United States is even more difficult than inside. Francesca knows.

So Francesca has compiled a list of almost 40 online vendors of large-size clothing, which ship to countries outside of the United States (as well as to US addresses)!

  1. Alight
  2. Always for Me – Ship to over 50 countries; check website for the list
  3. B and Lu
  4. Bigger Bras – ship to Canada, Western and Northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
  5. Bravissimo – based in London. Ship worldwide.
  6. Catherine’s
  7. Coldwater Creek
  8. Dress By Design
  9. Fashion Overdose
  10. Fig Leaves – US site does not ship internationally, but the British site ships worldwide.
  11. Frederick’s of Hollywood – ship to Canada
  12. Holy ClothingFree shipping on all orders worldwide.
  13. Igigi – Ships to Canada, Australia, UK, and EU. Outside those areas, email the company to inquire whether they can ship to you.
  14. Jahqoi
  15. J.C. Penney – Ship to most countries. See website for details.
  16. J. Crew – ships to Canada and Japan, and is in process of adding more countries.
  17. J.Jill
  18. Junonia
  19. Kiyonna
  20. Land’s End
  21. Lane Bryant – Ship to Canada, but no other international orders
  22. Make Your Own Jeans
  23. Making It Big
  24. Maximum Woman – based in Toronto, ships internationally around the world.
  25. Missphit
  26. Monif C.
  27. Persephone Plus – Gothic clothing
  28. Reality Plus Clothing
  29. Saks Fifth Avenue – International shipping is limited to a few countries. Call 1-800-7257-7257 (from outside the US) to find out whether your country is one of them.
  30. Silhouettes – one must contact the company to check for availability of international shipping to one’s area
  31. Size Appeal
  32. SWAK 
  33. Sydney’s Closet – for $53 (!!!) will ship to Canada and “select other countries around the world.” See website for details.
  34. Swimsuits for All
  35. Swimsuits Just for Us – ship to Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand
  36. Talbot’s
  37. Women Suits – ship to most international destinations
  38. Zaftique – For non-US/Canadian address, item must be in stock for order to be shipped.
  39. Torrid



A few caveats:

1- Francesca does not claim this list to be exhaustive. Please feel free to add more in the comments!

2- Although all these sites ship internationally, one may not be able to order through the site as easily as an American resident. One may, for example, have to call or email ahead to find out how much shipping will cost to one’s own particular country, and express/rush shipping usually is not available.

3- Shipping rates to other countries vary widely from site to site, and never include customs taxes or import fees at the receiving end, which can be exhorbitant. Francesca highly recommends having items shipped to an American friend whenever possible, and having the friend ship the clothing to you in open packages, so that they are “used.” Remember also that return shipping will take longer and add to your costs.

4- Almost every site located in the US will ship to the US and to all its territories. However, if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, a US holding/territory, or have an APO/FPO or Rural Route address, then check the shipping policies carefully, as they differ widely; but, probably, Francesca did not have to tell you this!

5- When in doubt about shipping policies, check on the websites under “Ordering and Returns,” “Shipping,” or “Customer Service” for details. Information about international possibilities may be buried deep within the site, but they are there.

Also, a special note to our reader, Aussie Pear: Check out and!

To our readers in the UK: Beige Plus and Simply Be are both located in the UK and will ship within it.

Happy shopping!



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