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

March 25, 2010

Prom Dresses?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 5:07 pm

So, uh, prom dresses. Do you all want me to do something on them this year? Because I’m kinda tempted not to. Of course that might be because I still have PTSD from Francesca’s Taffeta Death March last year.

On one hand, I know we’ve got some young readers who might benefit from a bit of sartorial direction.

On the other, eh, it’s prom. It’s pretty much your last chance to wear a pretty pretty princess dress without someone (me) raining on your poufy parade.  So if you want to dress like the love child of Cinderella and a lemon meringue pie, more power to you. Have a great time, don’t get pregnant and try not to die on your way home.

Marina Rinaldi invitation-only sale at Ideeli!

Filed under: Fashion,Sales — Miss Plumcake @ 8:00 am

I have 1690 unread messages in my inbox, and most of them are either from the Dutch Lotto Commission (don’t ask me why), deposed Nigerian princes (I’m like catnip to them) or PR agents wanting me to promote something or other to you lot.

I tend to be equally suspicious of all three, but particularly of the PR folks. See friends, there is a lot of garbage out there and it’s one of my solemn duties to try to keep you from as much of it as I can.  That being said, occasionally, VERY occasionally a good one slips through, and today I’ve got a good one.

Marina Rinaldi was the first proper fashion group that really took an interest in creating ready-to-wear (as opposed to couture and high-street brands) for plus size women. Thirty years later, they’re still producing some of the best quality stuff available in the plus sizes, plus their clothes are made in Italy so you don’t need to worry about the guilt of wearing something pieced together by some 9 year-old Malaysian girl in a third-world sweatshop.

Ideeli is having a 40 hour invitation-only sale starting at 11:00 a.m. Eastern for 1st row members and noon for 2nd row (i.e., free) members, with prices up to 69% off regular Rinaldi retail.

I’ve only got two visuals from the sale, but it looks like there will be sportswear and some dressier offerings.



(click to shop the sale)

Now here’s where it gets tricky. Ideeli and other invitation-only luxury resellers have been historically gun shy about offering plus-size sales, so they’re trying to drum up a lot of business for this sale to prove to themselves that yes, plus-size luxury IS a marketable niche, worthy of its place next to straight-sized fashions. So everyone complaining there aren’t fashionable, ethically-manufactured high quality clothes available for big gals, here’s a chance to put your money where your mouse is and send a message that plus-size consumers care about quality, cut and construction just as much as our skinny sisters.

Use the code “marina” to get access to the sale without registering and if you do register (I commend it, there are great steals to be had) use the referral email so they know you’re coming from this blog. I don’t know if those $25 incentive things work with corporate accounts, but if they do and something comes my way, I’ll  do a $25 giveaway to a beloved big girl reader.

March 24, 2010

The Big Question: Finger on the Trigger edition

Filed under: The Big Question,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 3:01 pm

Oh my God. How is it only Wednesday? I barely crawled out of the primordial ooze into my cheersome little Georgina Goodman slippers this morning. Frankly, I’m surprised I’m even wearing a bra (wait…quick fact check. Yes. Continue.)  much less attempting to post with all the wit, cleverness and uh, otherstuffliness that you’ve come to know and expect from a Miss Plumcake Joint.


Georgina Goodman "Slipper Slipper"

The thing is, I have absolutely no idea WHY I feel like someone locked me in a portapotty filled with angry badgers, I just do.

I think it might have something to do with seeing my nutritionist. Now, I love my nutritionist. She’s 10 pounds of awesome in a five pound bag and if if we didn’t have a patient/client thing happening I would totally take her out for cocktails at some college bar and play “Guess The Social Disease” based solely on each girl’s tramp stamp totally meaningful lower back tattoo. Good times.

Anyhoodle,  my nutritionist believes that PERHAPS going all day without eating anything and then having a big dinner at 10:00 p.m. is not exactly the ideal food model for proper nutrition.  I know, I’m as shocked as you are.  So in an effort to get me to eat during the day and at regular intervals she’s had me keep a food journal.

Did your heart just drop with anxiety?

Mine did.

It brought back pretty much every anxious feeling I had as a chubby young girl subjected to diet fad after diet fad by people whose main goal for me wasn’t health or happiness, but being thin.

I don’t have many food issues now, and I certainly don’t have much in the way of food shame, but handing over my brutally honest food journal –well really my iPhone with all my notes– was an incredibly vulnerable feeling.

I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it.

She wasn’t shaming, but I noticed I was hyper-aware of what she was saying.  She observed that I had a sweet tooth and for a second I felt defensive.  Historically I DON’T have much of a sweet tooth, at least not compared to my brother and my father who could eat sugar from the jar and while the sweets I like are very rich, they aren’t generally super sweet. I wanted to point out that prunes, a square of 90% dark chocolate, a lump of homemade pseudo-marzipan (almonds, salt and honey) and some grapes –while sweet– is all pretty healthful.

And then I caught myself.

Sweets = Bad

If I like sweets then I must like bad things, and what sort of person likes bad things? A BAD PERSON.  Dude. It was vicious. And this all happened in a second AND to someone who has, as I’ve said, a relatively normal, value-neutral relationship with food.

I was raised believing what went into my mouth was a reflection of who I was as a person, and that ain’t necessarily so. What goes into your mouth doesn’t make you a bad person. What comes out of it does. And I don’t mean on Twenty Cent Tequila Night, either.

And then I checked myself.

I may be a bad person (honestly though, if the kid didn’t want me to tell her my coat was made of puppies she shouldn’t have asked) I’m not a bad person because I like sweets.

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What is a food or fat-related anxiety trigger for you, and how do you address it? Where does that trigger come from and if you’re a mother, does it affect how you relate to food with your child?

March 23, 2010

The Art of Manliness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 4:11 pm

I am, in the words of good ole Ozzie Hammerstein, a “girly, womanly, female, feminine, dame.”

I own and have actually deployed a hoop skirt in non-ironic, non-nerd circumstances.  I have won blue ribbons for my pies and, thanks to the fine men of Texas, Carolina and Virginia, I’m not entirely sure I have ever touched a door in mixed company.

The being said, I also carry jumper cables.

Once every few years or so I get into a big argument with women who just don’t understand WHY they should carry jumper cables.  Isn’t that why they pay AAA? Yeah? Well I have insurance but I still buy Band-Aids.

Here’s the thing:  Even if you are a delicate flower of womanhood like myself, you’ve still got to be self-sufficient.  It’s part of being an adult, the more tools in your belt, the better prepared you’ll be when stuff breaks all around you.

One of my pet complaints is adults are soft now.  Generations X and Y? Essentially useless when it comes to character. Baby Boomers? Forget about it.

Too harsh? Probably.

But I am all about character and so much of what we choose not to learn speaks to a lack of it.

It’s no secret I’ve got just about the smartest, most well-rounded (as it were) readers in the world here at Manolo for the Big Girl, but we are smart and well-rounded mostly in a liberal arts way.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the liberal arts, but that’s not being well-rounded.

I’m not sure exactly why, but so many folks of my generation(s) lack basic life skills that our grandfathers took for granted. Some of them have outlived their utility (slide rule anybody?) but how many folks can reliably read a map? Drive a stick shift? Change a car battery?

I’m not even talking about the survivalist stuff (someday I will tell you about my survivalist streak. Sure I’ve got a reputation for being high maintenance but Come The Revolution, mama’s gonna be juuuuuust fine). I’m just talking about handy things to know. You might never have to find true north in your life, but it’s nice to know that if the occasion ever presents itself, you’ll be ready.

To that end, let me commend unto you:

The Art of Manliness

I. Love. This. Site.

It is rare, almost impossibly rare, for me to come upon a website and wish I’d written almost every single article.  I particularly like the Manly Skills (which just as easily could be renamed Adult Skills).  Go, visit. I promise my feelings won’t be hurt when I become your SECOND favorite website.

Shameful Pie

Filed under: Recipes — Miss Plumcake @ 11:14 am

Okay, now everyone just act natural. We don’t want to make Twistie suspicious. Quick, someone distract her with something with bell sleeves made out of crushed velvet.

Is she gone?


I’m going to share a recipe. Yeah I know recipes are Twistie’s gig, but she’s not here now, is she? Crap, she’s turned back around, HEY LOOK TWISTS, IS THAT STEVIE NICKS? Phew, okay let’s make this quick.

You know how sometimes you want a pie, but you don’t really have TIME to make a pie (even though there is ALWAYS time for pie, it’s just a matter of priorities) and you were Raised Right so you wouldn’t dream of just glopping something out of a can into a pie shell, since that leads to Bad Pie and because you were Raised Right you know there are very few things worse than Bad Pie.

It’s time for Shameful Pie:

Shameful Pie
1 extra-large lemon (or 1 medium lemon and 1 medium lime) peel on, and quartered
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
pinch salt
small sprig or rosemary if you’re feeling fancy
1 tbs cornmeal if you want to make it a Shameful Chess Pie

Dump everything into a blender and blend the crap out of it for 2 or 3 minutes until everything is bright yellow and smooth and gorgeous. Pour into an 9 inch uncooked pie shell Bake at 350°   until center is set, about 30 minutes protecting the crust if it browns too quickly.

That’s it! Could you die? It’s so good too. Now, I’m not particularly fond of my own mother so the slap-yer-mamma bar is pretty low for me, but this will make you want to do a violence unto even the most beloved of mothers.

It’d probably make pretty good lemon bars too.


March 22, 2010

Port Out, Starboard Home

Filed under: Fashion,Sales,Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 12:31 pm

If you have never known the joys of open water sailing, I cannot begin to describe it. I don’t mean putting around on a speedboat. Motorboats are all well and good, but when it’s just you and the wind and a whistlefast ship and you’re keeling so hard  you’ve got water slapping the hatch…it’s the closest I ever expect to come to flying in this life.

One of the things that feels so fresh about the nautical-inspired look right now is it’s smart but not tight.

Listen, no one loves a curve-accentuating garment more than your pal Plummy, but I’m just tired of being the same nipped-waist silhouette.

The seafarer look is a chic way to get clothes that fit away from the  body without being schlubby AND once we get over the horizontal stripes bugaboo,  it becomes startlingly easy to put together visually balanced outfits for apples, pears and all you other fruits.

The key is to anchor (see what I did there?) your look with the right pant. A good wide leg trouser is essential. Or crops with a statement shoe.  Tight pants would be death to this look, particularly on a big girl. Linen is an especially nice choice and looks even better when rumpled.


Striped blazer

dp navy linen pants

Navy linen trouser

nautical deep v cardi

Navy piped cardigan

button shoulder tunic

Button shoulder tunic

boxy cardi

Boxy cardi

cargo crops

Poplin crops

dark striped long top

Bateau Breton tunic

navy striped tee

White and navy striped tee

boxy jumper

Boxy jumper (that’s sweater, y’all)

white wide leg trouser

Wide leg trouser

March 21, 2010

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Frightening Fendi Edition

Filed under: Twistie's Sunday Caption Madness — Twistie @ 8:30 am

And a cheery good morning to all you caption fans out there. It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness!

You all know how this works. I post a picture in desperate need of a caption. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next week I declare a winner who gets an entirely virtual trophy and we all live happily ever after.

This week’s image comes to you from the workshops of Fendi, and it looks a little bit like this:

fendi-huge-bearbrick Ready… set… snark!

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