It’s not. Also, air is not a bra.
If you remember in The Philadelphia Story (one of my all-time favorite movies) the doyenne of the household tells young Dinah “that dress hitches up in the back” to which the little girl replies “no, it’s me that does.”
Y’all. It’s us “that does”, and it screws us every time.
It begins innocently enough. You put on a dress, a lovely mid-knee length number. You admire your naturally gorgeous self in the mirror, saying “Self, I AM naturally gorgeous” and toss your bag over your shoulder. You put on your heels (or not) and hie yourself off to work or school or your parole officer’s place just as happy as a little lamb.
And that’s where the trouble begins.
Because as you’re walking off to work/school/your parole officer’s, your skirt is riding up in back and by the end of the block your cute dress has become a Festival of Oversharing and now the world has become the boll weevil to the cotton ball that is your lady business.
This is not what we’re going for.
So let’s take a look at WHY skirts and dresses ride up, what we can do to stop them and how to work around a skirt that’s just a leetle too short.
Why dresses ride up:
- Dress/skirt doesn’t fit.
- clingy/grippy material either of the skirt or of your undergarments.
- very snug waist causes pulling up to the Promised Land
- fabric being gripped by shoulder bag/jacket/other item rubbing against the dress
- Buy clothes that fit. I mean, duh. But still. Do it.
- Wear a slip. Always. Always always always. Half slip, full slip (Plumcake’s choice) whatever. There’s no reason not to. Ever wonder why you can slide around better in socks than you can in bare feet? Because skin grips better than fabric. Meaning fabric against fabric is going to keep smoother than fabric again skin.
- Make sure your panties aren’t grippy. My all-time favorite home-game (as opposed to away game) underpants are CRAZY grippy, so I have to be extra sure to wear something with a little weight at the hem and a good nylon or silk slip.
If a dress is too short and you can’t return it or lengthen or add a wide band or ruffle (or –my preference– an enormous ostrich boa) at the hem, you really only have three choices: wear it with pants, tights or leggings, and all three should be approached with caution.
Pants with dresses:
I don’t necessarily object. I think for a big girl –as long as she’s tall enough and has the posture of a princess– this can be a good look if your dress is considerably too short, just watch the volume at the leg.
Too little volume and you get that hateful weeble wobble look of skinny pants on non-skinny girls; too much and you’re Lady Mayoress of Frumpton-on-the-Schlub. Plumcake’s recommendation? The defending champion of the Manolo for the Big Girl “Pants Off” Lane Bryant’s Right Fit Jeans and Pants.
If you’re doing the dress+jeans look, keep it casual. Towering stilettos will look trashy (to say that properly in the South it requires three syllables: Tuh-RASH-shee. Feel free to linger on the tuh bit for extra Junior League points) so I like skimmers or cowboy boots.
Also trashy with super-high heels? Leggings.
I know, I know, not all of you are on board with leggings, but when approached with fear and trembling –and a government-issued ID saying you were not alive to witness the moon landing– they can work for big girls. Just be careful with the heel height, you can stumble very easily into Peg Bundy territory. This is very clearly a no cha-cha heel zone (besides, nice girls don’t wear cha-cha heels). My favorites, far and away, is the Avenue Seamless Long Leg Shaper.
Then we come to tights. Tights are a solution when your dress is just a teensy bit too short. I’m talking an inch or two. Tights are not pants.
I am having a major tights moment, and I still like the tights-with-a-statement shoe look that was popular last fall and continues to be on trend —although in a more continental, manqué way–if you want to go for color, and I’m a big fan of color, you’ve GOT to go to We Love Colors which offers tights in 45 colors that apparently fit folks up to 6’0″ & 375lbs.
If you’re feeling the need for patterned tights (PLEASE no enormous diamond fishnets) Torrid makes the best I’ve found, particularly their fishnets. These vertical striped fishnets are fab –I’m wearing them today, actually– and not too sexy for the office, as I find traditional fishnets to be.
and if you’re seeking just plain opaque tights that really are actually opaque? Well, you’ll have to let me know. Lane Bryant stopped making my beloved double opaque tights sometime last year.