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Manolo for the Big Girl | Archive | July, 2010
Archive - July, 2010

Twistie’s Sunday… Er… Saturday Caption Madness: The Big and Slimy Edition

Hey all. It’s been a long, stressful week at Casa Twistie. In point of fact, I’ve spent the last two days hanging around the hospital with Mr. Twistie. Panic not. He’s fine now, but it’s been kind of crazy.

Anyway.

Brain not working. Nerves shot. In need of a good giggle. And so I have decided to declare a 24-hour edition of Caption Madness.

You know how this works. I post the pic, you caption it via the comments function, and – since this is a super short one – I’ll declare a winner tomorrow.

This week’s image comes to you direct from the Bizarre Critters of the World and their friends file and looks a little like this:

Ready… set… snark!

The Big Question: Autumn Leaves Edition

Three more months of summer.

Three.

More.

Months.

I am not easily beaten down, but the prospect of suffering through another three months of 98 degrees and 98% humidity –it’s actually been a coolish summer, but freakishly humid– makes me want to peel my eyeballs out and put them in the freezer next to that inappropriately anatomic ice cube tray someone gave me as housewarming gift when I was 19.

Sure, in most places summer is over halfway through September and you get the gorgeous leaves and the brisk mornings and all those wonderful things Mother Nature tosses your way to let you pretend you’re in the first few seasons of Gilmore Girls, but not here.

Here autumn starts on Halloween, and the only reason I know that is because the girls all dressed up as Naughty Whatevers end up freezing drunk and shivering under the awning of some place that offers Long Island iced teas for a buck fifty — two dollars if you want them without the roofies– when a “surprise” cold front blows in. Good times.

So today we’re going to talk about what we’re doing to do in the fall.


I’m doing a few weeks in Europe and Marrakech in October courtesy of a lovely friend, and then –more excitingly because they have better barbeque– spending some time with Granny Plumcake in Nashville.

Granny Plumcake is my hero because she smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, has the sort of jewelry that makes Elizabeth Taylor look like one of those fundamentalist Mormon cult women, married the most wonderful man to ever have a resume that didn’t include performing neat tricks with loaves and fishes and generally does what she damn well pleases with the result that she looks five, maaaaaybe six years older than my father,  her son.

I’d hate her if I didn’t spend every waking moment praying I’ll turn into her.

So what are you going to do? What do you WISH you could do? What has you pining for the fjords? Miss Plumcake wants to know!

Your Weekly (uh sorta) Humpletter: Pre Fall

Hey everyone, did you know it was Pre-Fall? I know, it’s July, but it’s almost August and August is Pre-Fall, which –in case you needed it– is just further proof that there are a looooot of drugs in fashion. Anyway, on to the sales!

Over at Ashley Stewart we have lots of great deals, including an additional 50% off all sale items at checkout. I like this abstract check skirt, which reminds me of Douetzen Kroes’ dress at Prada (who can still suck it, btw) but easier to deploy with a trim little knit top and will take you right into autumn with a pair of textured tights with a buttoned-up angora or cashmere cardi.

At Lane Bryant the Original Right Fit pants are all on sale for $24.99, which is about 50% off using code 024990189 at checkout, so stock up on your trousers and jeans!

Remember how I waxed poetical about those Aveeno products I use to keep my flawless alabaster skin all flawless and, uh, alabaster? They’re on sale at Drugstore.com for 25% off. So what’s the big deal? You can get that stuff on sale at your local drugstore right? Right, BUT if you’re a new customer to Drugstore.com and you spend $25, you get free shipping AND a free $50 gift certificate to Restaurant.com! Now THAT’S a deal!

Speaking of skincare, I think I’ve mentioned before how Caudalie is hands down the best stuff I’ve ever used on my skin, right? Well it’s available on Beauty.com for a better price than I’ve seen it anyway, plus there are two great bargains to be had. You can either take $10 off $60 at Beauty.com!or you can get a free 16-ounce Philosophy Pure Grace foaming bath and shower cream ($22 value!) with your Beauty.com purchase of $50 or more.

Over at Bluefly there are some pretty fab bags on sale. I am not a bag lady because I don’t carry much, but in my secret imaginary life where I go on safari and live a life of glamorously rough international travel to exotic places that aren’t even IN, I totally carry this bag from Zara Terez which is on major sale
Zara Terez chocolate pebble leather ‘Sunset Park’ satchel
and made in the good-ole US of A (also? the lining is a vibrant purple!)

It’s also available in black and clementine, which from the pictures looks like the same potiron orange as my Birkin.

Happy shopping campers!

More Fuel for the Anti-Logo Fire

Just popped across this interesting little tidbit from the New York Times, that essentially says what I’ve been saying –not nearly as well but with about three times as many words– for years.

Rather than rely on obvious logos, expensive products use more discreet markers, such as distinctive design or detailing. High-end consumers prefer markers of status that are not decipherable by the mainstream. These signal group identity only to others with the connoisseurship to recognize their insider standing.

It’s a secret handshake.

I think it’s tough for aspirational big girls because accessories are often the only things that fit and there’s a temptation to use visible logos to signal you’re fashionable, except it’s almost always a losing bet. There is nothing more cringingly middlebrow than seeing a perfectly nice, stylish-ish girl dressed in perfectly nice, stylish-ish clothes with a pair of sunglasses whose enormous D&G you can see from space.

It goes straight from decent girl in decent clothes to “As You Can See From My Name-Brand Clothing, I Am Not Poor

Cowboy Boots, Finally

I can’t believe I haven’t written about cowboy boots.

I will admit my bias right now: I don’t like western boots on people who can’t ride western. If you don’t know your way around a trail horse –and I’m not talking seeing Equus a bunch of times and reading a Catherine the Great biography– then you’ve got no business wearing western boots.

Or if you’re a Yankee. Yankees in cowboy boots are sad. Like diet cheese or an ugly girl that really doesn’t have a “great personality.” You have all the cool weather and the good lobster. Let us have this one.

A good cowboy boot –like a good man– is a joy forever, and the worse you treat ’em the better they act. Unlike a good man, however, getting the exact perfect one straight out of the gate is dead easy, provided you’ve got the cash.

It is not unusual for a good custom cowboy boot to cost north of $3000 and unlike some of the frothier fashion selections that demand $1500 for a slip of leather with two satin ribbons, you can see the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into hand-stitching and inlaying each boot. A pair of world-class custom cowboy boots are a rite of passage for many a successful Texas man and are passed down in wills from one generation to one generation to the next.

Witness the Alamo Boot.

Seen here you have the State Capitol building –which is ten feet taller than the U.S. Capitol btw– the Alamo on the back, plus an armadillo, a mockingbird, and “Remember the Alamo” stitched across the back calf. Yes there’s a lot going on, but that’s part of the cowboy boot charm and everyone knows we Texans are not a people of restraint.

That being said, you can get some perfectly decent –though admittedly less festive– western boots for under $200 and customized ones for about what you’d pay for a pair of Manolos.

This image is courtesy of caboots.com, the ONLY place I would ever trust online for customized boots.

For big girls who want to buy off-the-rack you can just skip right over the women’s section and mosey directly into the men’s boot section.

If you’ve got a wider calf you’ll want to keep your eyes open for two things:

1) a ten inch shaft (much more than 10″ can make a tough fit)*

2) a wide scalloped collar

A roper — a low-shafted boot– is usually your best bet, and provided the scallop is deep enough to spread nice and wide, it shouldn’t be hard to find a pair that fit your calves.

However, if you want a pair that goes OVER your calves, say a 15″ shaft or higher, you’ll almost certainly have to go custom. Custom is worth every penny, but it’ll take a lotta pennies.

You’ll also need a boot jack and boot hooks:

Trust me on this one.

That leather is stiff, it’s only been in the past year or so that I’ve been able to get my boots on without hooks and off without a jack. When my ropers were brand new it took me a good five –sometimes ten– minutes to get them on if I didn’t have my pulls with me, especially since I have freakishly short little Tyrannosaurus Rex arms, which is problematic when it comes to pull-on boots and –in a related vein– mechanical bull-riding.

As you can see, a 26 year-old Miss Plumcake about to be thrown from the mechanical bull at Coupland Dance Hall wearing a lovely pair of Lucchese cognac ropers.

See that glow? That is the patina of a pair of lovingly abused boots.

It might not really work for men, but treat ’em mean and keep ’em keen definitely gets the job done for cowboy boots. It’ll take a few months for your boots to get that worn-in character but be patient and don’t worry about some spotting and freckling when they’re new. I wear ’em in the rain, in the mud, in the snow if we have it (we almost never do) I just give ’em a good oiling once every few months and they just keep better looking. Not unlike myself, I guess.

ANYWAY if you’re serious about getting a pair of boots, your best bet is to go to a western wear shop –I like Cavender’s but I should also put in a plug for Allens Boots right here on historic South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas– and get properly fitted. The guys are super nice and knowledgeable and understand that a girl’s first pair of cowboy boots is important.

A good pair of boots with a leather sole will last longer than your feet ever will, so get you some. You know, as long as you’re not a Yankee.

*THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

Monday Hotness: YOUR MAN Reminder!

Hey gang, I’ve received startlingly few submissions for the DIY Monday Hotness which starts NEXT WEEK. I got a whole MESS of ’em last year so I know you’ve got the hotness out there. Spread it around!

Remember the rules:

He must be over 18
The image must be at least 450 pixels wide
He needs to be the only person in the photo
He must agree to having his picture up here
He must have his Martha and BOTH the Vandellas covered up.


We take the broad view of hotness, so any size, shape, color, age or orientation is aces. If you think he brings the hotness, we want to see.

And, as usual, Miss Plumcake will be showcasing some of her favorite personal hotnesses. Stay tuned!

Since WordPress Finally Let Me In…

… I’m going to mention something that’s been honking me off for months now in a tiny, mosquito-whine kind of way.

Honestly, I’ve never paid attention to what brand it is, but the commercial for a hair dye talks about how fast and easy it is to use. The model exclaims: “Ten minutes! I take longer to get into a pair of skinny jeans!”

Honey, if it takes you longer to get into your jeans than it does to cover your premature greys, YOUR JEANS DON’T FREAKING FIT! GET A NEW PAIR!

That is all.

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