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

November 14, 2011

Marc Jacobs to the Rescue (I hope)

Filed under: Accessories — Miss Plumcake @ 4:03 pm

I am a woman in crisis.

Okay, backstory:

I am next to useless when it comes to handbags. Historically I’ve only ever carried vintage clutches which fit my needs and my style but are increasingly difficult to come by and deploy without looking costumey. I’ve got the Birkin which is great and all, but it’s about a mazillion pounds and it’s so damn dark and cavernous inside every time I look for something it’s like I’m diving elbow-deep into Michelle Duggar’s…handbag.

Recently I’ve just been using a silver Civil War-era repousse calling card case and tucking my cellphone and keys into my bra, because it’s nothing but elegance here at Villa Plumcake, still, the siren song of a not-tiny bag has been seducing me with its promise of a rack that doesn’t ring at inopportune moments, and a car alarm that doesn’t go off when it gets cold enough to need a sweater.

Top contender right now is the 70’s-influenced quasi-reticule “Regine” from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

I’ve had a mixed opinion of the Marc Jacobs bag as a species for a while, but he always gets me with his Fassbinder fetish and this is casual and boho enough to fit my new more laid-back Latin American lifestyle without being dumpy.

I’m picturing it with a pair of dark jeans, a chocolate cashmere sweater, my grandfather’s old olive Jaeger cardigan he got when he was a Fulbright scholar in the ’50s, sparkly earrings, a silk scarf or tie as a belt and a pair of military-inspired python heels. Sigh.

Is there an accessory or piece of clothing that absolutely eludes you? Put it in the comments so I don’t feel so alone!


  1. There are 2 pairs of shoes that I very stupidly did not buy about 5-7 years ago.

    I have seen incorrect color variations of one of them on EBay but haven’t been able to pull the trigger on them – as I’m still holding out for the hot pink patent (they were great litte wedges with a cut-out in the wedge and oval cut-outs along the front of the vamp).

    The others – I only ever saw them in a 1/2 size too small – but I managed to get my foot into them, and could tell how heavenly they would be in my size – they were lilac leather and taupe fabric – had a spindle of a heel – I have never seen them since… I’d even take that 1/2 size too small now.

    Comment by Sam — November 14, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  2. Ugh I have a never ending issue with handbags. I always need a new one because I always carry the same one FOREVER. My current queen bee bag is 2 years old, before that I had a seatbelt bag that I carried for 2. (We’re talking daily use.)

    I like clean lines, I hate anything that even is vaguely reminiscent of boho. (Just personal preference.) I also like shoulder “don’t mug me on the train” straps.

    I’ve also been looking for a heavy ring that I could wear on a daily basis since I had to stop wearing my college ring because I was officially too old. I just liked the weight of it, and I have no money but I don’t want something cheap.

    Though for me the issue really is that I need every day use things, I am not interested enough in my wardrobe to consider switching jewelery every day or a different purse more than once a month.

    Comment by Shinobi — November 14, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  3. Always the quest for the perfect bra…

    Comment by Constance — November 14, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

  4. Totally agree with Constance, but I also must add the perfect shade of lipstick. I have yet to find a color that doesn’t compete with the heavier eye makeup I tend to like or make me look sickly and without lips at all. It’s not really an accessory, but you get the idea.

    Comment by Foreveropera — November 14, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  5. I’m right there with you on handbags. I generally have only one black one for winter, one lighter colored one for summer, and ONLY 1950s/1960s kiss-lock framed bags. However, it’s getting difficult to find them at a reasonable price and the last couple have fallen apart before the end of the season. I don’t like a tiny bag, but I’d take a tiny bag over a large one any day. I’ve been looking for a bag for about 6 months and have given up. I’m going to take one of my older bags to a cobbler and see if he can do anything about the leather.

    Comment by Andrea — November 14, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

  6. Scarves, fo sho. I keep buying them (Hermes, Ferragamo, Valentino, and some lovely lower-tier (price-wise) one) and the colours and prints look marvellous on me, but then I go home and just look at them in their boxes. I’ve watched who knows how many tutorials on YouTube, but I never get any further. What is wrong with me?

    Oh, and a perfect shade of blush. I do not flush peach, or pink, or violet, or orange, or bronze. I’m fairly dark and when I do flush, it’s a deep dark red. Why can’t I find a good subtle red blush anywhere? Why, Godtopus?

    Comment by Sanaa — November 15, 2011 @ 2:53 am

  7. I’m kind of in a quandry right now over handbags, because while I have the *perfect* summer bag, it’s very summery. So, I would like a fall/winter bag, but I can’t decided if I just need a hand bag, or if I need a bag I can stick my laptop in. (On the one hand, I tend to use clutches for social/going out, so it would really mostly be for when I need to haul crap around, which generally, me being a pretty serious geek, and working in IT, includes my laptop/tech toys. On the other hand, I’m graduating soon, so my daily needs will be changing soon. On the gripping hand, depending on the situation, I may not need to carry around a full laptop, but just a tablet between my desktops or something.)

    In either case, I can’t finda good winter handbag, nor a good laptop bag that’s classy and yet useful.

    Comment by ananas — November 15, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  8. Blouses. The high necklines make me choke or feel like I am. Then the buttons appear to pull no matter how big the shirt is or how it’s made.

    Comment by ChloeMireille — November 15, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

  9. Bags, as well.

    I had a lovely winter bag. Then someone mugged me, and it was gone. *sniffs*

    I want something bright, and cheerful, but not summery and not too flashy. (I wear waaaaay too much black.) Although, as one…*person*…told me sourly as I sat on the footpath crying, something as bright as My Dream Bag is bound to draw attention.

    Comment by Liz — November 15, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  10. leopard-print wedges. Round toe, not peep-toe, not platform. After months of looking, I found them in my price range and in what I thought was my size – but alas, it was a very very small size 41. So now my Mum looks sensational in them. The search continues.

    Comment by LBTEPA — November 15, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  11. So many things elude me.

    1. Scarves.
    2. Eye shadow application.
    3. The perfect shades of pink, nude and red lipstick.
    4. The perfect little black dress.
    5. Really good dress pants.

    This could go on for a while. Now I am depressed.

    For what it’s worth, check out the estate jewelry sections of jewelry stores for cool rings. Sometimes you get nice deals. (Skip the chain jewelry stores. I have never had a good experience in those places.). If you can, get fitted for bras at lingerie shops with really good size ranges. You’ll be glad you did. My fave spot for bags is (they have a shop in Chicago). When I get rid of some expenses, I am going to design and order a bag. Check out their site. Maybe those of you looking for bags might find something cool.

    Sorry I got bummed out but I hope I helped someone.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — November 15, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  12. Brooches. How hard can a brooch possibly be? Too freaky hard for somebody with a PhD in quantitative field who aced nonlinear optimization, apparently. I have dozens. I take them out. I put them on. They look stupid. I take them off. Or I don’t, and then glare at them all day.

    Comment by Lisa from SoCal — November 15, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  13. Hair accessories. I have short hair and buy too many hair accessories. But couldn’t pull any of them without looking school girlish. (May be I want to secretly look like one?)
    And, I am not talking the high fashion of turban or hats or such.
    Just some simple clips. Sigh.

    Comment by Violet — November 16, 2011 @ 12:19 am

  14. Another broach addict heard from! We should start a club :-)

    Comment by Thea — November 16, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  15. For some reason, handbags are the easiest thing for me to buy, I’m still kicking myself over the fact that I did not buy the perfect green shoes that I saw for the summer. They were just thee pieces of fabric going over the top and were gorgeous. Green is my favorite color and I wear it so much. I don’t know why I balked at buying them. Perfect color, perfect wedge heel, perfect price and like an idiot, left them on the shelf.
    Now….a constant search for those perfect green shoes.

    Comment by Tovah — November 16, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  16. I’m short and short-waisted, somehow throughout the day and the course of wear every single shirt I own slowly rides up leading it to choke me. The shoulder seams literally rotate back from where they are supposed to be at the top of my shoulders to my upper back. It drives me nuts! I mean the upside to being short and short-waisted is that all the shirts that do this are way too long so it doesn’t reveal anything I don’t want it to. But it just destroys the line!

    I’ve got lipstick galore though! For pinks, Carmindy’s line for Sally Hansen has the best. Perfect Pink especially works well as it’s designed to be a pulled together daytime shade. Revlon’s Color Burst line has a-Maz-ing reds of all different undertones. I don’t tend to wear nudes because I find they make me look sickly, but Loreal has some really nice ones. Stay away from the line with the gold tubes as the tops always fall off in my purse and the lipstick smells weird. The glory of drugstore brands is that for about $10 you can try something new and if it doesn’t work for you it’s not nearly so heartbreaking.

    My secret for scarves is to make sure they are loose and asymmetrical. I also try to show as much as of the pattern as possible while still being draped, think cowl necked. A really good scarf cheat is to buy one of those infinity scarves and do a loose double loop around your neck. In general, the less you care about how the scarf looks, the better it looks.

    Comment by Sara A. — November 17, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  17. A simple black skirt. I had the perfect one, a J Jill jersey skirt that went to my knee but it finally fell apart and I can’t find the right replacement. (And why has J Jill moved away from providing classic separates, anyway?) I have an adequate replacement but it too is disintegrating and I don’t know what I will do next.

    Comment by Astra — November 18, 2011 @ 11:33 am

  18. I, too, am eluded by lipstick – I cannot find an opaque color that does not look extremely peculiar on me. I’m a redhead, and I think I’m just extremely hard to color-match. And I cannot do eyeshadow. I’ve had several and made a hideous mess of them all; can’t tell whether I’m buying the wrong thing or applying it wrong or both. I finally won one, though: CG Smoothers’ very lightest color (as of a few years ago) is EXACTLY my skin color. For years, my foundation always looked disastrous, but no more.

    Mow, handbags: I like very tailored and ’40s/’50s vintage quite a bit myself (for clothes and bags alike). I have a few thoughts Miss Plumcake has probably already thought of: (1) if you buy vintage clutches, why not also a vintage bag? I would comb thrift stores, but since you’re in Mexico, maybe eBay. Vintage designer would be nice, I think, and probably cost less than new to boot. (3) my favorite brand for bags and shoes is probably Etienne Aigner. (I never claimed to be avant garde, by the way.) But I love tailored and vintage-inspired (I’m also a little obsessed with tweed, wool sweaters, argyle, Pendleton skirts…I think you get the idea), and for me, his aesthetic is pretty much perfect. Last year, I got sick of my name-brand NON-leather handbags that fell apart, and went in search of a leather one. I scored a mid-sized (fits a sheet of paper folded in half without wrinkling, which is my standard; it daily carries papers I must address, cell phones, keys, checkbook, credit cards, gum, lavender oil, IDs, Leatherman micra, lipstick, and naproxen sodium – just the essentials, you know) 100% leather bag in “red plum” (matches EVERYTHING I own). Very pretty brushed-nickel hardware, lovely simple lines, nice flat bottom, single shoulder strap (so it stays on), large enough drop that I can wear it over my winter coat. The quintessentially perfect bag, and has endured tons of wear and still looks great. It was $39 at Overstock. I won’t need my good purse juju again for a few years, so I’m wishing some your way.

    Comment by the misfit — November 19, 2011 @ 2:14 am

  19. Er. I have no issues with eyeshadow (I still have my go-to basic brown, also CG, that I bought for a dollar when I was 12 [am now 29] and am still using. No, I do not have eye infections. Thbbbbpt!). I meant eyeLINER, which is totally evil, but would really make my eyeshadow look nicer. Also: not “mow,” “now.” I’m not drunk. I don’t even drink…

    Comment by the misfit — November 19, 2011 @ 2:17 am

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