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

April 14, 2010

Five Great Linen Pieces: Part 3, The Brunch Outfit

Filed under: Fashion,Five Great...,How To Wear It — Miss Plumcake @ 8:44 am

So it goes like this: It’s Saturday, and you –by some miracle of God– do not have to go to a single wedding or funeral.  The weather is beautiful and you decide to meet a few of your favorite girlfriends for tea or bevvies al fresco, telling yourselves since it’s outside and you’re getting plenty of glorious fresh air, why it’s practically like getting exercise!

You’ve got plans later that night, so you don’t want to get all dolled up, but you still want to make a bit of an effort, if only because you have longings in the loinular regions when it comes to that adorable Brazilian busboy who could muddle your caipirinha, if we know what you mean.

ombre linen dress

(click image for link)

There. Easy. Done.

Like a good sermon it is long enough to cover all the bases, but short enough to keep folks interested, plus it’s dead easy. Just toss it (the dress, not the sermon) over your head, put on a heavy-ish pair of shoes for balanced visual weight and that’s it.  I actually really like the way they styled this in the photo –although I wish the model had her arm down so I could see how long it really is– because it’s put together but not overdone.

How to wear it:

–just like the photo, with non-delicate shoes and a big bangle or two

–with “city shorts” that don’t fall much below the hem. Perfect if it’s just a little short for you.

–with cigarette pants and a loosely cinched skinny leather belt

–with an interestingly tied silk scarf and a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers

–hung over a chair in the Brazilian busboy’s apartment


  1. Oh. Yikes. That’s short.

    Comment by zuzu — April 14, 2010 @ 10:31 am

  2. I think it’s not as short as it looks, but yeah, it’s a short dress. As a tall girl, it’s prohibitively short for me, but now that Francesca isn’t here to represent for the Shetland People, I’ve got to toss my short girls a bone once in a while, right?

    Comment by Plumcake — April 14, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  3. Oh how badly do I want this! Plummie, I have a white, knee-length dress in linen, it’s sleeveless. I also have a pleated silk headband, it’s a long piece of silk that starts off as a peachy pink at one end and finishes apple green on the other. Is it too twee to wear them together? I’m not a sweet, dainty person at all, so would that make it more or less ridiculous?

    Comment by Frances — April 14, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  4. Yeah, Plumcake, I guess it would be great for the short girls. I’m tall, with legs I prefer not to expose above the knee. And I’m not enamored of the dress-over-pants look (though I would KILL for a pair of Auntie Mame-style hostess pants if anyone made them).

    I *wish* I could just throw something like this on and go, though. Pity it doesn’t come in a knee-length version.

    Comment by zuzu — April 14, 2010 @ 11:46 am

  5. Man, that’s a cute dress but unless there’s some tailoring in the waist (it looks like there is some) if I wore it, I would like boxy and frumpy.

    Comment by enygma — April 14, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  6. I’m short, but pear-shaped, so this is a dress I’d *have* to try on before buying, to see if it has that horrible bunched-up gap at the waist before skimming over my hips.

    Also: It’s linen. Isn’t it going to get those awful creases straight across my ladybusiness when I stand up after sitting for awhile?

    Comment by Chicklet — April 14, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

  7. Zuzu fun fact: you know the opening scene where Roz Russell runs down that fab staircase? Broke her ankle on the first take. It was the first scene they filmed and they had to postpone production for three (I think) weeks!

    Comment by Plumcake — April 14, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  8. Frances: I wouldn’t wear this dress and the headband together. Not because of the twee factor, but because the intensities of the colors wouldn’t work together. On the other hand, absolutely wear the scarf with the white linen dress. I’ve been known to wear an ombre scarf that goes from pale slate blue to deep cerulean with my long white linen dresses and it feels very Great Gatsby without it being too musical theater. It sounds fab!

    Comment by Plumcake — April 14, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  9. Chicklet: linen crumples, it doesn’t wrinkle the way lawn or stiffer fabrics wrinkles. Plus the crumples are part of the charm and sophistication of linen. The only way you’re going to get those pressed-in wrinkles (like in satin) is if the dress is too small for you to begin with, which means you wouldn’t/shouldn’t wear it in the first place.

    Comment by Plumcake — April 14, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  10. It was summer in the nineties & I worked in a conservative firm. I bought 2 Anne Taylor lined, linen, quasi-pencil shaped skirts (a size too big on sale). They stretched, they creased –a lot, in big bunchy wrinkles. Is there a way to tell in advance that one’s linen garment will crumple charmingly as opposed to wrinkling and bunching like a set of dying inner-tubes?

    Comment by Debs — April 14, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  11. Ooh, Debs, that sucks. I bought a really lovely rayon/linen suit there in the late 90s, wore it once and had to take it back because it rained and the rayon shrunk.

    Comment by zuzu — April 14, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  12. Debs, the chemical wash process for treating linen has gotten way more sophisticated in the past few years. Be on the lookout for “garment washed” linen. Also, generally speaking, I’ve found the heavier the weave the more elegantly it will crumple.

    Comment by Plumcake — April 14, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

  13. Chicklet wearing a slip with the dress will help with the wrinkles a bit. It isn’t foolproof by any means, but having that layer between the dress and your body means it won’t crease quite as deeply at your waist which means the wrinkles won’t be as hard. It will still get the crumple Plummy is talking about, but it’ll help to avoid (or at least reduce) the creasing lines you’re worried about.

    Comment by Beth — April 14, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  14. I just bought this dress with my birthday money! I’m so excited! I cant wait to get it…

    Comment by Leslie — April 29, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

  15. Best. Dress. Ever.

    Comment by Leslie — May 26, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

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