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

April 18, 2011

The Monday Hotness: El Clasico, Silver Edition

Filed under: Sports,The Monday Hotness — Miss Plumcake @ 7:37 am

Good morning my little chickens and waffles, how’s every little thing?

Me? I’m super. Okay yes, technically I did break a bar stool moments before Cristiano Ronaldo scored a sizzling goal to equalize for Madrid during Saturday’s el Clásico against Barcelona, which was dead embarrassing, but I didn’t miss the goal and I didn’t spill my pint so I’m still taking that as a big W.

Also, I got mistaken for being from Spain, which is about the coolest thing that has ever happened to me in the history of…well, ever. Yeah, pretty much ever.

I’d just finished watching the match and was leaving a nearby paletería, coco paleta in hand. Oh, for those of you who don’t have access to paletas (and thus no probable reason to live) a paleta is a popsicle-type thing made of fresh seasonal fruit. Normally you have to wait for the paleta man to come by with his little cart, but as it is unbecoming of a woman of my social (not to mention physical) stature to chase an infinitesimally small and surprisingly easily-spooked Mexican man down the street while waving a wad of cash, I was delighted to find a little shop that sold them, a dollar a pop, from a little freezer.

Anyhoodle, I’m traipsing down the sidewalk in my magic jeans, beautifully-fitted Xabi Alonso jersey and 5″ Diane Von Furstenberg cobalt pony heels (made from real cobalt ponies!) enjoying the first paleta of summer and trying to make 100% certain that second-half pint was out of my system before getting behind the wheel.

I popped into La Merced, because any place that advertises itself as a combination “Groceria, Carneceria y Discoteca” –grocer, butcher and discotheque– is a place I want to see the inside of.

While inside the admittedly disappointing grocer/butcher/disco (is a discoball made out of a haggis dipped in broken mirrors really too much to ask? I submit that it is not) I pretty much got the same response I always get when I walk into a place catering to a mostly Mexican clientele while wearing some sort of Spanish soccer jersey: a mix of confusion, suspicion, appreciation and fascination which I never really understood.

On my way back to the car, still enjoying my coco paleta, I hear a muffled whistle, then a much clearer one.You know, a real, old school wolf whistle of the variety usually reserved for cartoons where Bugs Bunny is dressed in drag.

Yeah yeah, I know I’m getting my humorless feminist card revoked as soon as I hit “publish” but after the second whistle and a call of “Miss! Miss!” I turned around.

If a guy is going to take the trouble to leave his place of business to whistle at me in the middle of a sunny Saturday afternoon, I’m going to turn around to see.

He was precious.

I was easily a foot if not an actual foot and a half taller than he was and when I turned around he hesitated as if he’d just caught a shark with a minnow then asked in Spanish if I knew the score of el Clásico. I answered him –also in Spanish– that it was a 1-1 draw, with Messi putting one past San Iker and then Cristiano Ronaldo answering in the second.

More confusion…

“Are you from America or Spain?”

I answered and he explained that he thought I was from Spain (the Xabi shirt, and the Spanish-from-Spain slang) and was purposefully misunderstanding him just to be a language snob.

Which brings me to my major point:

Pep Guardiola is smokin’ hot.

April 17, 2011

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Dang Big Digit Edition

Filed under: Twistie's Sunday Caption Madness — Twistie @ 11:10 am

Hey ho, camperinos! It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness!

You all know how this works. I post a pic that’s lying awake nights waiting for a caption. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next week I declare a winner who will then stand us all a round of virtual champagne and caviar. (Psst, hey, winner, virtual means it doesn’t cost you anything… just so’s you know)


This week’s image comes to you from the ‘wow, that’s a really big thumb’ file, and it looks a little like this:

Ready… set… snark!

April 15, 2011

Your Weekly Humpletter: Neither Weekly Nor Humply, Discuss

Over at Ashley Stewart they’ve got some interesting takes on linen, including this wide legged pant (note: it’s a ramie/rayon blend, not actually linen) which, while admittedly not effortless to pull off, could be a fantastic option for the statuesque big girl when paired with a slim bateau-neck knit top and either a foulard (if you’re a scarf-type person) or just the right statementy necklace.

Also piquing my interest is this fantastic striped linen-blend dress. Classic, not boring and sharp sharp sharp. Wearable now and all through the summer, layer it over a black 3/4 sleeve knit shirt and it’ll take you straight through fall.

The Avenue is giving you $10 off for every $40 you spend using the code AV111101. The Mini-Ottoman Seamed Dress is currently my front runner for Easter Sunday but I am really fixated on this Border Print Sheath Dress.

I know it would be great on apples, but I’m going to give it a go on my pear shaped frame, because if it’s good I think it will be very good.

For our fashion-forward sweet young things Dorothy Perkins offers 25% off your entire purchase with code DPVIPD. Sure Dorothy Perkins is across the pond to most of us, but they ship to the States for just about ten bucks. This charming open-backed ivory and black number might be a bit precious for those of us whose prom and pledge days are long gone, but women of any age can carry off the Red Brushstroke Belted Dress, highly reminiscent of both Prada and YSL in recent seasons.

Remember to check the size chart to make sure you’re getting the perfect fit.

Finally, from the “They Only LOOK Murderously Painful” files provides plenty of incredible discounts on high end shoes. If you’re making your first girlish (or boyish) foray into the world of high heels, let me suggest Pour la Victoire and Stuart Weitzman.

PlV makes some of the most comfortable shoes I own, including the Atman mary jane in gray patent leather, an exceedingly hot tribute (ahem) to Yves Saint Laurent (seriously, they have the best padded footbeds in the biz) and the Femina from Stuart Weitzman. I don’t know how Stewie makes a 5″ heel feel like walking on air, but he does. It’s magic.

April 14, 2011

Miss Plumcake’s Picks: The Only Jeans I’ll Ever Love

Filed under: Fashion,Plumcake's Closet — Miss Plumcake @ 10:10 am

Your pal Plummy has a hell of a time finding jeans.

The LB Right Fit ones are okay in a pinch, but I want something with a little more polish since I cannot now, nor have I ever been able to, carry off true casual wear.

My legs aren’t short, but my torso is long, so it’s hard to find a rise that comes within shouting distance of my actual waist.  Plus, my waist is 16″ smaller than my hips, which is excellent if you’re a Max Fleischer cartoon, but not so much if you want to do mundane day-to-day things like cover your backside with fabric on a regular basis.

Oh, and speaking of backsides: I don’t actually have one.

I’ve got legs that literally inspire poetry (okay one poem, and it doesn’t even have the word Nantucket in it!) and a rack that causes wonder and astonishment wherever I take it. If God in his infinite wisdom decided that it would be better to give me a large, undercooked pancake where a booty would traditionally go? So be it. I’m not trying to be greedy.

Still, it would be nice to have one, you know, for special occasions.


The other day I was wandering around in TJ Maxx on the hunt for an Easter hat –I don’t know why, but Marshalls and TJ Maxx have the BEST church hats. We’re talking like $600 British confections for $150– when I decided to peruse the clothing selection.

Historically, I have had precisely zero luck finding clothes at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  I’ve found better fortune at Ross, which routinely gets Jones New York large dresses (I go there weekly because if you go on just the right day in just the right neighborhood, you can find hundred-dollar Barcelona and Real Madrid jerseys for $30) but TJ Maxx and Marshalls? To quote our pal Hemingway “nada y pues nada.”

However, I was determined not to go home without a good pair of jeans –my last pair having given up the ghost several months ago– so, driven by desperation, I checked out the racks.

That is where I met the Khakis & Co No. 030107 trouser jean, aka The Only Jeans I’ll Ever Love.

(at this point I would humbly request the reader to imagine a choir of angels performing  a selection of your favorite choral work from Handel)

They…they’re perfect. They make me look, long, lean and about twelve feet tall. Plus they give me a butt. Dear God they give me a butt!!!!

I don’t know anything about this company, but whoever designed these things were designing $200 jeans, not $40 cheapos. There were smart little design elements that you only really find in old-school tailleur.

Unfortunately, I can’t find them for sale anywhere online so I can’t show a photo –and yes, it means you’ll have to go to a store and try your luck– but let me give you some details (in alphabetical order) instead:

Back: Clean but merciful. The hidden front pockets are repeated on back, with buttons (no flaps). The yoke is low-profile and shallow (about 1 1/2″) with no unnecessary embellishments anywhere.

Color: deep steely midnight rinse. Somewhere between dark indigo and dark gunmetal. There’s no shine but it’s shot with a gray thread along the vertical which gives the illusion of a bit of dimension.

Cut: A true trouser-style, a bit wider than straight leg but slimmer than what I’d typically call wide leg.  They’re cut close through the hips and upper thigh (still plenty of room for curves though) and then appear to trimly shoot straight down. If they flare at all, it’s indiscernible on me. I’d say the inseam is about 33 1/2″ with an inch hem that could be let out in case of emergency. The inseam is perfect for heels on me, but I think I’ll get one pair taken up to wear with flats.

Embellishment/Details: Vertical seam down the front, and a slightly forward-set side seam for an extra long look. It’s a surprisingly couture touch for a pair of jeans that only retailed for $40. Two barely-curved hidden pockets. No grommets or embellishments anywhere.

Fabric: A trouser-weight denim twill with what feels like about 2% or 3% elastane. Not as bulky as a traditional pair of 501s, but not thin either. These are jeans that can and will move with your body while still holding you in. I’m well into the afternoon and there have been no signs of saggy elephant butt, which is often the case with jeans that stretch.

Rise: These hit me at my natural waist so they’d probably be a slightly “Hollywood rise” on most people.

Sizing: Kind of a moot point since you have to find them in stores anyway, but for the record  I have a 36″ waist and 52″ hips and the size 20W fit me like they were cut to my body. I felt held in but not constricted. The 18W fit with some squeezing through the waist and hips, but not so much that the buttons were in danger of putting out someone’s eye.

Waist: As I said before, these would probably be “Hollywood rise” –sitting slightly above the natural waist– on most people. There’s 2″ high waistband with several bands of stitching and low-profile double belt loops. Inside it’s finished with double stitching and crimson bias tape for extra stability, another surprisingly upmarket touch.





April 13, 2011

Review Revue (and a sad adieu): The “Improved” Lane Bryant Push Up Bras

Filed under: Intimates,Lingerie,Review Revue — Miss Plumcake @ 9:54 am

I might have mentioned The Dairy Duchess before.

She is a woman of a certain age and a life-long Episcopalian. She is also, as her name would suggest, the former Dairy Duchess of a small Texas town. The story of her coronation is not mine to tell, but it’s hilarious and involves giving the future Tyler Rose Queen ringworm.

To appreciate this story you need to know two things:

  • The Episcopal Church, is color-coded according to the liturgical season. Lent is purple, Easter is white and so on and so forth. A few years ago our parish decided to change the liturgical hangings for the pre-Christmas season from the traditional violet to the more historically accurate sarum blue. There was a bit of an uproar.
  • The Dairy Duchess has, in addition to a remarkable vocal pitch and timbre, perhaps THE most magnificent example of an East Texas accent to have ever punctured my eardrums. It is an accent for the ages.

Scene: A rehearsal of the Bless Their Hearts Choir, sometime before Christmas. Apropos of exactly nothing, the Dairy Duchess announces in her inimitable exasperated warble:

“Y’aaaaall. I’m upset. I’ve stuck with you through the women. I’ve stuck with you through the gays. But now y’all have done gone and changed the color of Advent!!!”

That’s pretty much exactly how I feel about the revamping (as it were) of Lane Bryant’s Plunge bras.

The traditional Lane Bryant Plunge Bra –affectionately known as the “What Seems To Be The Problem, Officer?” bra– has been my go-to boulder holder for years, regardless of size.

I am a big girl but I don’t have a huge rack, they’re high and wide-set, so most other bras I’ve found made for big girls make me feel like I’m being strangled. The Plunge was just right.

(old plunge vs new plunge…will the magic still be there?)

Each time I put one on, it’s like a warm handshake from an old friend. An old friend who gets me out of speeding tickets, makes new lines to open up for me at the grocery store and scores me drinks a-plenty wherever I so please.

Yet, when I went to pick up a new batch last night, my trusty pal was nowhere to be found.

I was informed Lane Bryant had discontinued them, and were replacing my beloved sexy black lace plunge bras with the removable air pads with foam-molded cotton bras “More like the t-shirt bras” according to the sales gal.


I hate foam molded bras, because they assume all breasts are created equal when that is CLEARLY not the case. I don’t need/want padding where someone else might, and those little air pads let me maneuver the gals around in a pleasing arrangement instead of following some Stalinist rack regime.

A quick jump to the Lane Bryant site shows the traditional plunge bra as still available, and there is also something called the Luxury Lace Plunge which I haven’t seen in stores yet that look very much like my beloved WSTBTPO one, but until I try it on I cannot be sure.

A friend of mine who works at Lane Bryant has informed me they’ve also redone the balconette and several other bras, making them much harder to fit in her opinion so if you’ve got a favorite, you might want to stock up before they disappear.

While at the store, I tried on their new Cotton Boost Plunge.

The good:

  • It fits really well. It’s comfortable, but sets firm boundaries. I don’t feel like it’s trying to choke me, the straps are relatively thin (I like that; you might not) and wide-set on the shoulders but don’t fall down. It’s seamless under a thin nylon jersey, the band stays put with three hooks instead of four and comes down on the sides enough to not cause indelicate rolls of splodgy fat.

The bad:

  • It’s slightly foam padded, which I hate. It also doesn’t actually boost anything, which would be fine except the word boost is kind of in the name, so a girl is expecting at least a little oomph. I also found the sizing to be weird. I wear a 38DD (the extra D is for Damn!) in every single Lane Bryant Bra except this one, where I take a 38DDD. I tried on the DD, and it gave me quadraboob. Not a good look.


  • I’d call this the t-shirt bra for the woman who hates t-shirt bras. It’s not going to revolutionize your rack, but it’s a good compromise for a girl who wants the look of a t-shirt bra but hates the Ginormous Foam Cups of Death. I picked up two and I have a feeling they’ll both be seeing a lot of service under my various soccer jerseys this summer where shape and smoothness count more than cleavage. But I’ll still drive the speed limit.

April 12, 2011

What Miss Plumcake Is…

Filed under: Accessories,Flats,Food,Jewelry,Movies,Music,Perfume,Shoes,Summer,What Miss Plumcake is — Miss Plumcake @ 10:33 am

Hello campers, it’s Tuesday which means it’s time to find out

What Miss Plumcake is…


April 11, 2011

The Monday Hotness: The Dragon is Coming

Filed under: Movies,Music,Sports,The Monday Hotness — Miss Plumcake @ 5:24 am

Full disclosure: I am a bit biased when it comes to Wales. My people are Welsh. The line in my family I most strongly resemble physically and in temperament are Welsh. I have a Welsh name, Welsh coloring, Welsh features…I’ve even been accused –graciously– of having a Welsh Character because of my all-consuming love of language, mysticism and brooding.

I can also get around Welsh pronunciation fairly well. For this reason I was put in charge of any and all communication IN Wales because asking a gay man from the American South to inquire what bus goes from Aberyswyth to Machynlleth and whether we have to transfer at Llanymawddwy or Dolgellau — although highly entertaining– is considered “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” and thus puts you in violation of the 1975 Geneva Convention. Oops.

Back to the boyos.

Wales, at least the parts we were in, is rural. I mean really rural, and for Kirk and I –two fun-loving career girls from the big city– it meant one thing: Hot Boys On Tractors.

I don’t know WHAT they were farming and I don’t care. By the time Kirk and I got on our ferry to Dublin, we both had concussions from the repeated thwonking our heads took on the bus windows every time we passed some inevitably pouty, well-muscled farm boy, his dirt-streaked skin glistening in the sun while his shirt clung to his rippl…well, you get the picture.

Sadly, we did NOT get pictures of the hot sweatsy menssesses (yes, our vacation was pretty much a seven day version of a Men on Film sketch. don’t act like you’re surprised) so you’ll have to settle for the famous ones.

There aren’t just a ton of really famous Welshmen but don’t think a little thing like that will stop me from bringing you some A+ hotness from the land of my people.

But first, we have to get one thing out of the way:


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