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

August 11, 2008

Naval Academy Reunion Dress!

To the fantastic Francesca!My mom, who is superfantastic on the inside but sometimes a little over-functional on the outside, is going with my dad to his Naval Academy class reunion dinner dance.  The dinner! The dancing! The men formerly in uniform! What is not to love? Yet she is not so excited, because she must now pick out the dress.  She is a petite 14/16 “apple with a waist” (her description) who finds that dresses are almost never large enough in the bust. She is much fun but not much into frills, and has skin that carries off bright colors and black and white equally well; usually not yellow, but she loves green.  In fact I will just attach her photographs. (one is all of our family women but she is the one with the cute butt in the middle, the other is us being very cute together even if I did forget to wear makeup that day)  She has been encouraged by my dad to spend more on a dress than she usually would, which I think she still thinks means less than $100 but he thinks is less than $200.Mostly I just want to help her feel great in the room full of the souped-up trophy wives, since I already know she is pretty foxy but she maybe does not.  I was hoping you might be able to help?? Everyone’s petite sections have vanished and the world of internet shopping is scary and without measurement references, but living in a fairly small town in the south there are not a lot of in-person options.

Thank you so much for any help/inspiration you can offer!!

Much love,




Francesca loves that Leah sent the photos, and gave us permission to post them! Indeed all the ladies of Leah’s family are beautiful and superfantastic. (And her mom indeed has the “cute butt,” if she doesn’t mind Francesca saying so.)

As soon as Leah said “green” and “petite” and “Apple,” Francesca’s thoughts turned straight to Igigi.

Yes, yes, Francesca is constantly recommending them for formal occasions. This is because the clothes are beautiful, and because, somehow, magically, even items that look like they would be ill-suited for an Apple, or for a petite girl, manage to look like they were made for just such a woman!

Francesca does not know how this works. She only knows that, as an Apple, she will sometimes try Igigi clothes under the assumption that they will probably have to be returned, and voila! They look amazing.

And their green dresses are such a gorgeous shade of emerald.

“Summer Breeze” Cocktail Dress

“Delicate Lace” Cocktail Dress with Shrug

If your mother would prefer a floor-length gown, the “Dreamy Nights” dress may come to the floor on the Petite woman, and there is the gorgeous “Enchanted Nights” dress, which can be shortened as necessary. From Sydney’s Closet, “Intoxicating” is on sale but there are no returns. It is a mock two-piece, can be shortened, and would lovely on many the Apple.

Leah should remind her mother that the well-endowed chest can be not a liability, but a great asset, one to show off!

Good luck, and please tell us how the dinner goes!



  1. I think this might be good too:

    I know it says empire waist but it looks lower than the others – then she can show off that waist! Simple, gorgeous, hair up to show off the gorgeous back…and leave the shrug at home. :)

    Comment by sara — August 11, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

  2. I am in love with the Summer Breeze cocktail dress. What a color! and the lines look really flattering, too.

    Comment by Eilish — August 11, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

  3. Leah! Mama is not the apple! She is the hourglass! The apple has a tummy bigger than her top. Mum is lovely and shapely. She needs to look at Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and other lovely buxom vixens! Tell her to quit looking at the anerexic and to look at the fabulous sexy women.

    Comment by Jennie — August 11, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

  4. is another good one to check out. The Hollywood Diva, Echo, Enchanted, Enchanted Mesh, and Gossamer all ave possibilities. If she’s a 14-16, she wears a size 0Z or 1Z — their 0Z dresses tend to run from 50 to 54 inches long. They also have a reasonable return policy.

    Comment by rabrab — August 12, 2008 @ 3:06 am

  5. The “Summer Breeze” would look GORGEOUS on Mama, with her reddish hair, warm brown eyes and creamy skin. I think a bra might be a tricky item with it, though, as the neckline looks a bit too wide for a regular bra, but too low-cut in front for a strapless that is supportive enough for the large-busted lady. I could be wrong, however — if Leah’s mama can make the undergarments work, then that dress would be a fantastic choice.

    Comment by La Petite Acadienne — August 12, 2008 @ 10:55 am

  6. The lovely thing for the petite ladies is that they can make the Merry Widows work. The Merry Widow, unlike the mere strapless bra, stays in place and does its job of supporting the bust. Unfortunately for the long-of-torso, if they are up by the bust, they do not sit at the waist, and will then start scootching down. Then they sit at the waist, while the bosom is freed of all restraint, which is not a good thing.

    The Merry Widow would work for the lovely Mama, who is INDEED an hourglass, if she has the large bust-larger-than-her-middle. It is perfectly possible for the hourglass to have a padded belly below the waistline.

    Ask me how I know. *sigh*

    I think either IGIGI dress would be fantastic, and I long to hear how the night progresses!

    Comment by La BellaDonna — August 14, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

  7. Ooh what great suggestions, all around! I personally love the first dress for the foxy mama of Leah (though I think she may be more hourglass) and agree the color would be amazing on her. I’d love to see a picture from the evening, especially as a military academy graduate myself. :)

    Comment by Elaine — August 15, 2008 @ 12:51 pm

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