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

March 26, 2010

Review Revue/Yes No Maybe mashup!

Filed under: Review Revue,Yes. No. Maybe. — Miss Plumcake @ 1:31 pm

Because I love you all so very very much (and also because I needed underwear) I braved the mall and found myself trying on various pieces of Lane Bryant’s most recent collection and I’ve got to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I hope this is the shape of things to come.

Well, not THIS shape.

python jumpsuit

Python Jumpsuit

This shape is a disaster.

You know how sometimes you’ve accidentally injured yourself and you know you shouldn’t look and just wrap something around it until you can get to the emergency room (what? I’m clumsy) but you do look and it’s JUST AS AWFUL as you thought it would be and you fall down the stairs because you’ve passed out and bled all over your white furniture which, honestly, was a bad purchase in the first place and then you spend the next three weeks getting Concerned Looks from people who clearly think you’re a battered woman and not just a thirty year-old moron who should really know better than to try to use an electric staple gun outside when it’s windy?

It’s like that.

This, on the other hand, looked super cute in the LB visuals.  It’s sunny! It’s got French cuffs! It’s got a bow and  it kinda looks like you should be walking your pet lamb (in a good way)!

rosette dress

(it’s not currently available online)

Surprisingly, it was an EPIC FAIL!  I know! Who woulda thought?!  It’s such a great shape.

I think the problem here was twofold.

Fold #1: It was relatively new in the store and hadn’t been properly steamed so the ruffles and the rosettes and the whatnot all just were sort of this big smooooosh of wrinkled cotton. All of that, PLUS the darts PLUS the wrinkles in the dress –oh and this thing will wrinkle faster than a cold man in a speedo–  just made it look messy.

rosette dress detail

I like the rosettes, and I don’t really mind the tuxedo ruffles, and of course I love a nice big bow but it really could have benefited from some better editing at the design stage. There’s just a lot going on and as someone with a Loud Face (remember, I look like a cartoon frog in real life) it’s just Too Much Happening.

HOWEVER, this could be a godsend for the big girl with a  long neck and small bust or a very bottom-heavy pear (eggplant?) because all that visual folderol going on in  your bustular region would balance out your shape beautifully. Plus, if you’re a darker skinned Big Girl you can buy this and just swan around looking gorgeous and making everyone hate you for being able to wear bright yellow, NOT THAT I’M BITTER.

Which brings us to the big winner, which could not have been more of a surprise:

t shaped drama dress

T-shaped Drama Dress

I was shocked.

Listen, I know my own body and I know what looks good on it. There’s a reason most of my dresses have a deep V neck –I am not blessed with an overabundance of bosom so it’s not problematic for me– nipped in waist and a flowing skirt. It looks good on me. BUT, I’m also aware it’s important to not get into a rut about our bodies or our clothes.

If we try on a different silhouette, it reframes how we look at our bodies. It’s fresh. Interesting.

This thing doesn’t even HAVE a waist, it’s an extremely modest crew neck and it’s shorter than I typically wear. I would’ve bet dollars to doughnuts (although I don’t especially like doughnuts) that dress was the domain of the apple.

This might be Too Much Dress if you’re quite petite because it depends a good deal on the distance between the hemline and the shoe (by the way, this is about the first time Lane Bryant’s stylists have gotten a shoe close to right for a dress. You want something heavy to anchor the look) but I’d really commend it to anyone else looking for something new and interesting to wear that’s high drama but not a boobfest or clingy.


  1. “..but it really could have benefited from some better editing at the design stage.”

    This seems to be true of a lot of Lane Bryant clothing — it’s one of the frustrations of shopping there. Something will look good to me at first glance, but then it’ll turn out to have some weird detail, like a zipper pocket or little metal studs around the neckline.

    I prefer my basics basic, so I never seem to end up buying anything there but jeans and of course underwear. (LB does make the best underpants — they fit great and are all but indestructible.)

    That said, I really like the looks of that drama dress — black and white is great on my pale redheaded self. But that shape probably won’t work on 5’3″ and round all over, I guess.

    Comment by Mifty — March 26, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  2. “this thing will wrinkle faster than a cold man in a speedo..”
    This is what I love about you!

    Comment by g-dog — March 26, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

  3. I was at Lane Bryant last week and tried on a black & white flower print shirt dress that was super. It didn’t have any ruffles or florets. I loved it. I bought a black jacket with a super nipped in waist that looks great on me, an apple with no waist. It was the only jacket of that style in the store, so I don’t know if it was purchased online and returned or what.

    Comment by Rayne of terror — March 26, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

  4. Let’s hope LB is just testing the waters on some of the designs they just put out. Like you, I like a lot of them but a few of them make me cringe.

    Comment by LPS — March 27, 2010 @ 12:26 am

  5. I buy quite a bit at LB but I usually stick to jeans, capris and their solid casual tops/sweaters. I’ve been disappointed with the dresses they’ve had over the last few years. They’re either too tight in the bust or make me look I’m carrying triplets.

    I’m also not excited about their graphic tops either, they’re too garish and busy. And that python jumpsuit screams “seventy year-old leather-skinned Florida woman with too many cats.”

    Comment by Bree — March 27, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  6. I almost purchased the yellow dress because I thought the color would look perfect on me and then I saw the rosettes.

    *sigh** Ruffles and rosettes on a busty girl?

    It was a disaster waiting to happen.

    Comment by Danielle — March 27, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

  7. THANK YOU PLUMCAKE! Because of your recommendation here, I tried on the t-shape dress. I ended up buying it, because I look AMAZING! It goes from blah column to va-va-voom on my rack-of-doom, junk-in-the-trunk, short-legged hourglass self.

    Who knew?

    PS to all: I don’t know if LB has changed their fit model or what, but not only was there a lot of actually cute stuff in the store (for once!), but almost everything fit me: tops AND pants. In the past, only the Right Fit pants and the occasional sweater worked for me. I don’t know what’s going on (my shape hasn’t really changed) but I was pumped!

    Comment by Rubygirl — March 28, 2010 @ 3:38 am

  8. PS. 2: That python jumpsuit is *unspeakable*. (shudder)

    Comment by Rubygirl — March 28, 2010 @ 3:40 am

  9. I’d be interested in the ruffled, flowered dress if it were pink, green, coral, blue or purple. Yellow just isn’t my color. I’m now chortling because it seems that the “J. Crew influence” (lots of ruffles, among other things) is finally trickling into plus fashion. I’ve also seen some Crew-esque stuff at Talbots Woman.

    Comment by OCCaliAKA — March 29, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

  10. I just bought the floral dress on Sunday. I’m short 5′ 2″ but it would be a stretch to call me petite. I alter the hems on everything so I’m going to take the hem up to a little above the knee.
    Anyone have any suggestions for jewlery to go with this?

    Comment by sydney — March 29, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  11. Sydney, I’d go with big earrings (not hoops) and leave it at that.

    Comment by Plumcake — March 29, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  12. OCCaliAKA, I think you’ll find that the “J. Crew influence” is actually the Miuccia Prada influence. She went crazy for ruffles in 2007/8 in both Prada and Miu Miu, which trickled down to high street and J. Crew and is now thoroughly disseminated. See also, the ombre effect.

    Comment by Plumcake — March 29, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  13. I have to eat my words…I tried on the yellow dress and it came home with me. I just have to kill the rosettes.

    Comment by Danielle — March 30, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  14. I recoiled with horror from the yellow dress because the last thing these my 46DDs need is ROSES on them. And I’m sorry about the staple gun thing.

    My appearance is such that I require long skirts or something to cover the legs and ankles, so I would be interested in a wide-legged jumpsuit that worked, but that one is not it.

    Comment by Jane — March 30, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

  15. This is a little off topic, but relates to your intro. Once my best friend actually did get a black eye from a door. And of course everyone thought she was a battered woman in denial.

    Comment by Miriam — April 2, 2010 @ 8:25 am

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