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Be Casual | Manolo for the Big Girl

Be Casual

I’ve never really cared that much about Casual Fridays until the World Cup back in July when I developed an affectionate rivalry with one of the publishers who holds extremely wrongthinking views on just about every possible team and, like wrong people everywhere, need to be reminded constantly of their wrongliness.

So Friday quickly became Football Friday, with your pal Plummy showing up in a new bit proper football-related gear every week, mostly just to annoy the Wrongthinking Publisher.

Historically I do not do casualwear. Jeans and t-shirts look sloppy on big girls (don’t argue, they do. Fact.) and since I take my role as Professional Fat Girl extremely seriously, I feel I need to lead by example and fight the sloppy stereotype, so Monday through Thursday, when everyone else at the office is in jeans and shapeless tees, I wear dresses or –if I’ve missed a wax– dark jeans and a cashmere sweater. The problem is, how do you turn something inherently casual like say, this admittedly lurid Barcelona jersey, into A Look?

Go High/Low.

You’ve heard a lot about the concept of High/Low dressing. Mixing inexpensive or casual pieces with luxury or more formal goods is pretty much the first rule in the Advanced Fashion playbook and can be used to great effect when you want to deploy a tee of which you are particularly fond.

For me this generally translates into glamming it up with the accessories, being sure to wear at least one piece of noticeable luxury and a serious bit of shine to balance out a bottom-of-the-table look.

To go high/low with today’s 2009/2010 Barca away jersey I’m wearing:

Lane Bryant dark trouser cut jeans (click images for links)

All Black yellow snakeskin skimmers

Hermés vintage Brandenbourgs in the light blue colorway (get you one! I LOVE this scarf!) tied kerchief-style in my hair.

A pair of big sparkly sky blue vintage earrings. You’ll pry mine off my cold, dead, ears but these from Kendra Scott (who, full disclosure, is in Miss Plumcake’s social circle) would do nicely:

http://www.zappos.com/kendra-scott-echo-earrings-tide

A bit more makeup than I usually wear –this is important when going casual because you don’t have a dress or slick outfit to polish you up– and to top it off, a vintage black and blue brocade tuxedo jacket. Okay, you might not have a collection of dinner jackets just taking up space the way I do, but if you still want to do the womens jackets thing, go for a nice boyfriend-style single button blazer worn casually on top.

So happy Friday and because I’m almost certain the Wrongthinking Publisher will read this, What’s the difference between hot tea and Arsenal? Tea actually has a chance of staying in the cup!

16 Responses to “Be Casual”

  1. Frances November 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    The snakeskin skimmers will be mine! Seriously, those are delicious.

    I know nothing about football except that Chelsea is the best team and The Special One is special. I’m a tennis fan m’self.

    Plum, may I ask your opinion on a Hermes-related matter? I have myself one of these babies:

    http://uk.hermes.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10201&catalogId=10051&langId=-11&categoryId=11122&leftCategoryId=11107&topCategoryId=130037&parentCategoryId=130039&productId=63479&nbItem=0

    and am slightly at a loss for what to wear it with.

    I know it’s not a particularly challenging colourway or pattern but I’m just having a bit of trouble. I’m 20, 5’10”, black hair, dark tan/brown skintone, bridging very curvy and big girl territory.

    I’ve done a bit of searching on the interwebs and it seems all the young’uns wearing Hermes scarves wear 3 at a time with smeared eye liner and ratty barnets, which is fine for them but not for me. If you could give me any suggestions or point me in the right direction, I would so much appreciate it. I read and love Mai Tai’s blog, but I haven’t found anything that seems to suit this particular scarf.

  2. Frances November 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Did that earlier comment post? Btw, is comment moderation in place?

  3. Plumcake November 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    @Frances: I highly recommend those skimmers, I have them in a few different colors. Generally speaking anything with a link in the text is going to need to be fished out of moderation. Will think about the scarf quandary and get back to you if come up with anything brilliant.

  4. Frances November 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Thanks so much for any advice you could offer, Plum. The link didn’t work quite as I’d expected, the version of the scarf I do have is the cream and pale green/blue version. The colours are really subtle and beautiful, but I’m finding it a little hard to work out an outfit that doesn’t look too sedate. The problem is I AM quite sedate; my daily outfit is a neutral, solid-coloured top, black or blue jeans, colored flats and vintage jewellery. And awesome coats. And the occasional fur collar. Nothing ground-breaking.

    If I could buy things online, I would get about a hundred of those skimmers. I’m doing a bit of shopping tomorrow and picking up a couple of pairs of flats. I was thinking dark green and maybe plum but now I desperately want a pair of canary yellow flats. Rats.

  5. Frances November 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Oh, and I didn’t mean anything rude or bad by the moderation question, I really was just wondering! Sorry if it came off as entitled or rude.

  6. Klee November 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    I wish I had that scarf for an outfit I used to have: beige wrap style silk skirt, pale blue/ fitted tee, Donna Karen walking coat in beige. Scarf would have been perfect!

  7. Klee November 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Oh,and listen to Miss Plumcake about the jeans/tee, y’all. A really difficult look for a woman of substance.

  8. DEL November 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Miss Plumcake, I enjoyed your “summer uniform’ post so much that I’m wondering if you would be willing to do a fall or winter version.

  9. DEL November 20, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Oops. I said “uniform” where I meant to say “costume.”

  10. Plumcake November 21, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    @DEL: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! However, I live in Texas. I pretty much wear the same thing year ’round. My fall and winter costume is my spring summer costume with reds instead of pinks and a fur coat.

  11. DEL November 21, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Heh, I thought there was some chance that was the case!

  12. marvel November 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    On any given day, Plumcake has more style in her left fifth distal phalanx than I will have in my entire lifetime. Sigh.

  13. dcsurfergirl November 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Hey, Plumcake!

    Thanks for teaching us how to rock jeans and t-shirts without looking sloppy!

  14. Margo A November 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    When you say you’re wearing the scarf “kerchief style”, what exactly do you mean by that? I keep visualizing Aunt Jemima, and somehow I doubt that’s it.

    I have one Hermes, and I hate it. It’s a very modern, red and white geometric Spirograph-ish design that I can’t figure out a way to wear that doesn’t make me look like a flight attendant. And since it was a gift from my parents, and I currently live with them, I can’t get away with selling it on Ebay and using the cash to buy something pretty, like most Hermes designs, DAD.

  15. Margo A November 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    When you say you’re wearing the scarf “kerchief style”, what exactly do you mean by that? I keep visualizing Aunt Jemima, and somehow I doubt that’s it.

    I have one Hermes, and I hate it. It’s a very modern, red and white geometric Spirograph-ish design that I can’t figure out a way to wear that doesn’t make me look like a flight attendant. And since it was a gift from my parents, and I currently live with them, I can’t get away with selling it on Ebay and using the cash to buy something pretty, like most Hermes designs, DAD.

  16. Miss Louisa November 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Amen Miss Plumcake! Keep preaching about the t-shirt/jeans on the big girl until others listen. I am always told I look fabulous, but it is probably because I refuse to wear all the shirts that they keep giving us at work and instead use similar colored cashmere sweaters with dark jeans.