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White Out! | Manolo for the Big Girl

White Out!

It’s one of Newton’s laws that an object in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by outside forces. This holds particularly true if said object is an enormous plate of spaghetti and meatballs and the outside force is a white silk shantung dress with enormous cobalt blue polkadots.


Spaghetti Incidents notwithstanding, I have a long and well-established love affair with white dresses, stemming from one movie:
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Of course La Liz is wearing a slip on the poster, but the white dress she wore through the majority of the film sold me on them forever.
La Liz and Paul Newman

Actually, let’s see a little more of that, shall we?


There, that’s better.  Oof.


There is something magnificent about an unapologetically white dress. Whenever I see a woman in a white dress or suit I automatically think “there’s a woman I’d like to know.”   But being unapologetic doesn’t necessarily mean fussy.

White Linen Dress

Every girl should have a white linen dress hanging in their closet.

I positively lived in mine last summer (I wish I could remember where I bought it, it was floor length and divine) and I’ll definitely be scooping this one up, on crazy sale for fifteen dollars. I love the fagoting on the front: totally subtle, yet juuust edgy enough to keep it from being too sweet.

Notice this is a woman’s petite, so if you’re tall this will be shorter on you. I’m 5’10” so I expect it to hit just below the knee, which is fine by me. Also, I know some of you aren’t on board with the linen thing. The trick is to get a heavier linen, or a linen/silk blend and make sure it has a nice lining. They won’t wrinkle as much and if they do, who cares? It’s linen.

Lane Bryant White Dress

Those shoes? Really? Okay then.

I like this for our younger big girls who might be intimidated by a floor-length white dress. It’s…cute. This is dress you wear when you’re 23 and going on a little brunchy lunchy thing with girlfriends on a Saturday afternoon, or when your significant other’s parents come in to town and you want to look cute but also send the subliminal message that you’re a Good Girl and not REALLY doing Unspeakably Filthy Things to their pride and joy.

Miss Tina Heavy Knit Dress with Floral Print

I think this is more of an ivory, but I really like it so I’m counting it anyway. It breaks my heart to say it –since it’s from Miss Tina, of House of Dereon and Svengali Mother of Beyonce fame– but this? This is a good dress.  It’s actually on the short list of my possible Easter dresses.

Sigh. I’m so ashamed.

Christelle dress

I don’t care that Igigi says it’s a wedding dress. I’m buying it and I’m going to wear it with a statement shoe and colorful kid leather shortie gloves or a red snakeskin cuff (got to toughen it up) and I’m going to look fierce. I’m just not going to eat the spaghetti.

12 Responses to “White Out!”

  1. class factotum March 12, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    I didn’t hear anything you said after Paul Newman.

  2. theDiva March 12, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    Who are all those women and why are they occupying precious NewmanSpace>

  3. Jane March 13, 2009 at 12:54 am #

    Alas, dear Plumcake, YOU look totally fabulous in white and could indeed give old Liz a run for her money, but I have been reliably informed that I cannot wear white. I did make an exception for my wedding but even then I wore some color with it. (Orange and purple. Yeah, the marriage didn’t end up so well either.)

  4. ChloeMireille March 13, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    I think at least one of those dresses needs a fabulous hat.

  5. Plumcake March 13, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Jane, that’s ridiculous. I know what you look like and I know your coloring and you absolutely CAN wear white. LISTEN TO CAKE.

  6. Twistie March 13, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    Another thing to keep in mind, Jane, there are many shades of white. Look at yourself in a few of them before you utterly throw in the towel. In the longrun, though, pick the colors you look and feel superfantastic in.

    On my wedding day I wore a soft, warm, creamy shade of white trimmed in silver grey handmade (by me) lace and draped with my mother’s Dress MacDonald arisaide…oh, and little scarlet Scottish dancing ghillies. It was the fact that the white wasn’t quite a pure white but had a touch of warmth to the tone that made the look work. Oh, and I’m always to be seen wearing purple and orange, too. They’re wonderful colors.

  7. Chicklet March 13, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    I especially love the neckline of Liz’s dress in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the way it frames her collarbone. Add a shirtless Paul Newman, and I’m worthless for the rest of the day. In fact, I should probably leave the office, that’s how worthless I am. The only thing I’m good for at this point is rewatching Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

  8. DCKate March 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    Oooh I like that Miss Tina dress. I’ve been looking for a rehearsal dinner dress… might this be appropriate? My wedding is in October though. Is it too Springy?

    So indecisive.

  9. chemgrrl March 13, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    I’m seriously digging Liz’s dress. Where can I get one like THAT?

  10. Margo March 13, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    I’m torn, because – yes: pretty, statement, classic, and a good half of the time ‘What Would Liz Do?’ is the right question to ask.

    But – linen? Nup. Can’t get behind that.

  11. class factotum March 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Linen: the fabric for those with their own laundresses.

  12. Sara A. March 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    Old Navy has a really cute one eyelet right now that would look wicked with a colored sash. It also comes in buttery yellow and bright purple for those scared of white.