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Yes, No, Maybe | Manolo for the Big Girl

Yes, No, Maybe

Francesca is starting the new feature, the “Yes, No, Maybe.” She will pick individual vendors — with preference to those who have sales or sale codes going on — and highlight their best, worst, and most questionable.

By “most questionable,” Francesca sometimes means “great concept, no cigar.” Sometimes “not Francesca’s taste, but good for someone out there.”  Sometimes “extremely bold, few can carry it off.” It will depend on the vendor and on the day.

Francesca expects that there will be dissenters from her opinions, so please, comment away!

We will start with the Jessica London, which offers clothes in sizes 14W – 34W. Through Sunday get 40% off your highest-priced item with code JLE4544. Until December 10 you can get free shipping on orders of $75 or more with code AV91140.

YES.

Jessica London Plus Size Double-Breasted Skirt Suit

Basic, classic office outfit at a good price. (If picture is not linking to correct outfit, search under "suits.")

Basic, classic outfit for the office at a good price.

Avenue Plus Size Shawl Collar Draped Dress

Nicely-structured LBD for the long of torso-ed Big Girl

Francesca also likes: Sequined tank top, print top, ruffle-trim blouse.

NO.

Francesca is skeptical of tunics -- Apples, STAY AWAY FROM TUNICS -- but this one in particular looks like a pajama top and will make anyone look pregnant.

Francesca is skeptical of tunics — Apples, STAY AWAY FROM TUNICS — but this one in particular looks like a pajama top and will make anyone look pregnant.

Jessica London Plus Size Harem Pants

Penguin pants are a no.

Also no: ugly color and patterned top, Just no

MAYBE.

Another classic work basic, this one-piece bodysuit helps with tucking-in problems. Francesca worries though that the wide collar is unflattering for those of double chin, and the shoulders and sleeves may make the Apple-girl look boxy.

Another classic work basic, this one-piece bodysuit helps with tucking-in problems. Francesca worries though that the wide collar is unflattering for those of double chin, and the shoulders and sleeves may make the Apple-girl look boxy.

Jessica London Plus Size Pleated Long Sleeve Blouse

This blouse might make you look pretty and colorful for the office, OR like a character from Little House on the Prairie.

12 Responses to “Yes, No, Maybe”

  1. Lisa November 18, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    I actually have the orange shirt, and since I wear it with a blazer it always looks ok, but your worry that it might look a mite matronly is spot on. The combo of smocking and busty-ness that I have going on is not good here. Definitely for the smaller of rack.

  2. Twistie November 18, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Adding to what Lisa says, I think that blouse (gorgeous color! Yum!) is best paired with something a bit outrageous in terms of accessories to mitigate potential Ingallsization. I would pair it with some slinky pants and a really fabulous pair of earrings.

    Also, Francesca is right: penguin pants are a no.

  3. Sarah November 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    Eek! I thought for a minute Francesca had joined Team No Pants.

  4. Beth November 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    Also, it’s important to remember the restroom factor with bodysuits. If your office doesn’t have roomy stalls you may not want to deal.

    I give one word of warning with the LBD. It is cute, but always be wary of catalogue shoots where the model is covering her body with her arms. It means the dress is not fitting right. This could just be because it’s not quite the right size, or it could be a significant tailoring flaw in the pattern. It’s hard to tell.

  5. Chiken November 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    That “double breasted” suit skirt is fug. But the harem pants? They could be pretty cool on the right person with the right top. At least they are on trend.

  6. Elizabeth November 18, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    francesca- love that you’re dedicating a segment on “yes, no maybe”…I have been loving that (and the rest of your site)! Looking forward to more!

  7. booklover November 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    I am an Apple and have difficulty finding flattering tops, especially since all I seem to find are the Empire-waisted-looks-like-I’m-pregnant tops.. Should I wear tailored cotton button-up shirts? Drapey, flowey tunics? I’m 5’10 and have thin arms and legs.

  8. Kalamari November 18, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    I love Yes, No, Maybe!

  9. Francesca November 19, 2009 at 3:34 am #

    Chiken-

    The Jessica London has gone and changed the photo on the Francesca! That is not the suit she was talking about!

    Urgh!

  10. Margo November 19, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    Re: The penguin pants. This could work if, and it’s a mighty big if, they were well-tailored in excellent material to the right person. The swollen-diaper deal up there does not fit any of the criteria.

    Love the blouse, I like to see citrus shades used more (excepting that icky lime green that plagued collections for a few seasons in the late ’90s/early 00s. Though women of colour could rock it, pasty old me could do nuttin’ with it.) I used to have a very bright pumpkin knit that got me so many compliments.

  11. La BellaDonna November 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Booklover: you probably need something which has room for your apple but doesn’t bag over your bust. I’ve seen some pretty shirts-of-substance which have princess seaming BUT 3% spandex for necessary give, and the right wrap top (with camisole if needed to prevent unwrapness) may also work for you. I’ve also seen FITTED tunic tops that were very flattering. If you have trouble finding stuff that fits you in a flattering way, don’t be shy about trying on stuff in the maternity section: it’s DESIGNED to fit a body for the one time in a woman’s life when she’s pretty much guaranteed to be apple-shaped. If you try it on and it looks ugly, leave it; you’ll know ugly when you see it.

  12. Rolling Duffle November 18, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Pack anything you won’t immediatley need in your suitcase. This will make it less likely to be damaged during flight (I.E. Clothes, maps.. etc.) Pack anything you might need on the plane in the Backpack. (I.E. Laptop, (If you have one) camera). In other words, I’m suggesting both.