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

November 7, 2011

Interview with Lucie Lu!

Filed under: Review Revue — Miss Plumcake @ 1:50 pm

Hello campers!

Today we have an interview with Miss Lucie Lu, designer and owner of the lovely whose party dress I reviewed a few weeks ago and who was gracious enough to answer a few emailed questions.

What I find so interesting about LucieLu is she designs American-made goods for an under-served section of the plus size population: the Young Apple.
It’s comparatively easy to design clothes that look good on pears –you have more luck just sizing up a straight-sized pattern, which is what many designers do– but for apples, it’s a whole different fruit salad. Enjoy the interview and if you have any follow-up questions, just let me know and I’ll be sure to ask!
You’re a straight sized independent designer who makes clothes exclusively for big girls. Tell me a little about your history, what lured you into designing for plus size gals?
I was always interested in fashion & designing & plus just seemed like the perfect under-served market to get into. When I started over 12 years ago–there wasn’t much out there. Remember those days!?
Vividly. Is LucieLu related to BandLu? If so, which of you is the evil twin?

Hmmm… this is a tricky one. LucieLu & BandLu are completely separate companies, but I was the “Lu” and one of the original founding sisters of BandLu for over 10 years. I did all the designing & buying there, which is why some people find my line reminiscent of BandLu a couple years back. I sold my half of the company in 2009 to move to a new city & pursue my very own vision and my now husband (barf, right?)

Hmm. I notice you didn’t answer the evil twin question. It leaves me to assume you’ve got B tied to a train track somewhere and are, at this very moment, twirling a stage moustache in wicked glee. I heartily approve. Most retailers choose to have their garments produced overseas but LucieLu clothes are made in America. Did you struggle with that decision?

This was a no-brainer! More control, working hands on with people I know & adore & the ability to produce goods relatively quickly made this decision easy. To this day I work with the same manufacturers I have for years.

Okay, now for the meaty question: Seriously now, why don’t more plus size designers make clothes with actual (i.e., non-cap) sleeves? Is it cost? Fit? Do you want to sell us a shrug too? I hate that ^%$#!

I didn’t realize the market was lacking sleeves! Speaking from my experience, it definitely isn’t price. There is little to no difference in cost. I guess I try to produce for the season (minimal to no sleeves in summer) & for example during holiday I tend to make more sleeveless. I think it’s hard to pull off a dressy attitude with sleeves. It’s not impossible, but I feel it can turn dowdy quickly. I will say that I am working on some great holiday dresses & I can think of 3 that are fabulous & have much more than a cap!

I’m asking this one for the big girls on the Facebook page: what’s the deal with plus size designers and the ubiquity of ruffles?

Ahhh… ruffles. Again, I’m glad someone has pointed this out. I tend to like the feminine & I guess maybe that too often means ruffles. But I also like bows & lace. I’ll have to keep this in mind designing forward!


What’s your desert island piece from your current collection? How do you style it for your own personal use?

It might be a little toasty for a desert island, but I’m loving my Adair Sweaters. This time of year I layer like crazy & this piece is just to easy to throw on with leggings and flat boots and get out the door.
I get a ton of email from beleaguered apple girls who can’t find cute things to flatter their shape. Many of your pieces seem geared to flatter apples more than the easier-to-fit pears, a real rarity in plus-size design. Was that a conscious decision?

I guess subconsciously I’m fitting my own body first, which happens to be more on the apple side. It is easier to fit a pear body type, so I guess if you design for the apple body type, it’s going to make the pear look good as well. Make me your queen because this won’t be changing anytime soon!

Your clothes suit the 20-something big girl perfectly, any advice on how to style your pieces for a woman in her 30’s and beyond?

There’s no doubt that not EVERYTHING I design & sell is meant for all ages. With that said, I feel like the majority of my line does work for 20s, 30s and up… As you get older I think it’s important to go with less is more. Take it easy on the accessories–you don’t need big jewelry, hats, scarves, printed tights, et cetera… all competing. Pick one item you love & let it stand out.


Finally, you are stranded on a desert island for a week with David Beckham. Tell me what happens in no more than ten words.
me + David Beckham for one week = round the clock spooning.


  1. I can’t believe that it’s harder for apples than pears to find close. I’ve always been a pear, whether I was a size 12 or a 20, and could never find any pants that didn’t have a huge gaping waistband. Thank god Lane Bryant & Fashion Bug are finally addressing that.

    Comment by Jewels — November 7, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  2. @Jewels says “I can’t believe that it’s harder for apples than pears to find clothes.”

    I’ll second that sister! It always seems like plus clothing are designed for a very tall apple to me…..

    Thanks for asking the cap sleeves question Miss Plumcake. Now if we could just get a straight answer on ginormous armholes in jackets that go all the way to the waist and elasticized backs in trousers that cause ‘diaper butt’

    Comment by Thea — November 7, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

  3. Ditto with Jewels on the gaping waist. I have an 11-inch difference between waist and hips, and finding pants and skirts (in some styles) that fit is always an ordeal.

    Cap sleeves are cute on certain builds. I have wide shoulders and they make me look like a linebacker. I look better in sleeveless than cap sleeves… and bring the shoulders in a bit on the sleeveless looks–it keeps us from looking so damned wide.

    I don’t mind ruffles in moderation–say at the cuff on a blouse. Although, I think a bishop sleeve or even bell sleeve is far more luxurious/expensive looking and feeling than ruffles… and they don’t have to look dowdy.

    Comment by Colleen — November 10, 2011 @ 12:35 am

  4. Great post. I bought the lucielu Tatum dress awhile ago in denim and it is my go to casual/slightly more dressed up look. I always get compliments, but to be honest I had never thought about the designer much. Now that I know more about her I really like that she’s an individual designer not just a big no-face company.

    Comment by Julie — November 14, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

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