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

January 4, 2012

Queen Grace: New Sovereign on the Block

Filed under: Fashion — Miss Plumcake @ 3:45 pm

Good morning my little empanadas de amor, how’s every little thing? Me, I’m great. Still trying to figure out this Mexican keyboard and decipher which key goes into which of the manifold locks so I can actually leave the house because my grocery situation is dire and while I’m not above eating a packet of organic beef jerky I found under the seat while cleaning out my car, I’d really rather have that be a distant plan B.

I’ve also managed to injure myself on no fewer than two plants and one bit of sidewalk in the past 45 minutes, so perhaps it’s time for me to give up the domestic goddess shtick and retire to the comfortable confines of the Texas Room.

Admittedly, the only thing Texan about the Texas Room at the moment is my fine self, and I’m not even a native, but I knew it would be important for me to have a little sanctuary where I could listen to Willie and Waylon and the boys until I felt better.


While nestled in the comforting comfort of the Texas Room, I noticed I had a new follower on Twitter from Queen Grace Collection.

I’d never heard of these gals so I took a little looksee over to their site and discovered they’re a fledgling design house launched a few months ago and catering exclusively to plus sizes.

I’m of mixed opinion so I thought I’d open it up to the gang,

On one hand, I 100% support up-and-coming young designers who want to add their voice to the plus size fashion movement. I also love that almost every piece of the small collection has some sort of sleeve.

On the other, the model and her terrible Richard Avedon Shoulder –which only works if you’ve got a mile of neck and collarbones that stick out like sidewalk awning– is not working at all, half the dresses seem to be photoshopped onto the same (still bad) pose so that the material, which is supposedly “highest grade fabrics” (wherein Highest Grade apparently equals “97% Polyester, 3% Spandex. Contrast; 50% Polyester, 50% Acetate”) looks cheap.

Still, I very much dig the knee length skirts and the 1930’s influence in theory if not in practice.

Take a look at their site, report back and tell me what you think. Is it a case of good product/bad model or does Queen Grace need to abdicate until she can let go of the shiny shiny polyester satin?


  1. So much shiny. And for once, I don’t mean that in a good way. Yikes. And expensive. No, thanks. If this is the local costume, I do not wish to visit Graceland.

    Also, it can’t bode well that almost all of the testimonials are from people who haven’t actually bought/received their clothing yet.

    Comment by SarahDances — January 4, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  2. Too much shiny, for sure, and also, even on the model, the majority of the clothes look badly cut. Blocking skirts like that can create a narrower silhouette, which is nice, but in none of the examples do the fabrics on the side panels and the fabric of the center panels seems to line up and seem together nicely. They all look puffy and badly sewn.

    And really, if I want puffy, badly sewn clothing, I have a sewing machine.

    The skirts in the holiday collection are kinda cute, though.

    Comment by Jacquilynne — January 4, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  3. As a former professional seamstress and wedding gown/evening gown designer, I am very familiar with measurements. The problem with this line is the sizing. Their size 20 is a 50in bust, 38in waist, 51in hip. I checked three of my favorite large retail sites and their size 20s were all 47-49 bust, 40in waist and 48-49in hip. This means that in order for the waist to fit me, I’d have to go up to their 22 but the bust would be 4in (or 2 regular store dress sizes) too big. If you look closely at the model, her shoulders are scrunched up because she’s trying to keep the garment shoulder seam on her shoulders. These garments are not draped on a standard fitting block. Unless you have hard-to-fit broad shoulders, avoid this line.

    Comment by Andrea — January 4, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

  4. That…is a lot of satin. Rarely, if ever, have I seen that much shiny work on a big girl body.

    Comment by ladylooo — January 4, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  5. No, I wanna support Big Girl design too but there is soo. much. satin. And satin is rarely our friend. Also the design aesthetic is sort of ‘If Jean Harlow was one of the Golden Girls.’

    I know not all big girls have the same shape, but it would be great if somebody could work on
    1. sleeves
    2. showcasing a nice rack without going waaay overboard
    3. a waistline for the cello shaped amongst us

    Comment by Thea — January 4, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

  6. All the clothes on the site are…off.

    There are some decent ideas screaming to be let out, but the cut is just wrong. Absolutely every part of the clothes are cut and sewn at least a little bit wrong – and sometimes a lot wrong.

    The overall effect of all those mistakes and miscalculations make the clothes look completely wrong. And I think Andrea is right – they’re not using the standard fitting block.

    I can see (other) fat girls wearing satin. Just not as their total outfit and certainly not satin that’s as cheap and shiny as that stuff.

    That said, I could see myself wearing the top in the first picture, or at least something like it. (And nothing else from the site.) But I wouldn’t buy it from that site as I wouldn’t trust the cut or the material.

    Comment by Liz — January 4, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

  7. Ugh. Nothing even remotely tempting on that site. Way too much shiny, amateurish styling, worse sewing. Bleah.

    Comment by Wendy — January 4, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  8. And the model is dreadful. Stand up straight, woman!

    Comment by Wendy — January 4, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

  9. Some Quincinera seamstress is getting a little ahead of herself.

    Comment by Chad — January 4, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  10. $850 for a frumpy floor length lace shirtdress? No.

    Comment by Margo A — January 4, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  11. It’s funny you mention this line.. I was with one of my girlfriends at dinner a few nights ago and she was actually wearing a dress from this line. I was in love with her dress …it fit her sooo good. So she gave me the website and I checked it out and although maybe all the styles aren’t for me there was a few really gorgeous pieces that I feel in love with…!!!

    Comment by Melisa — January 4, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  12. I love the second dress down from the top with the lace detail. I don’t think these designs look cheap but that’s just my opinion?

    Comment by Roberta Wainburg — January 4, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

  13. Hi Melisa and Roberta, I notice you’ve never commented on this site before today and are both posting from the exact same IP address. Welcome! Pull up some chairs but mind the *ahem* plant.

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — January 4, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

  14. I saw these last week and was unimpressed. Please save us from the shiny! The model pose doesn’t bother me so much; maybe she’s an amateur or something. I’m down with that. But the fit of the items is poor and the shiny just freaks me out. Also, where is this chick going? Okay, maybe somewhere formal? Can any plus size designer (who aren’t bridal) afford to be only formal? I don’t get the point of view.

    As Nina would say: “I’m concerned about the taste level.”

    Comment by ArtfulArtsyAmy — January 4, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

  15. Hey, I’m no designer nor am I fashion critic, but I personally think its kinda great that there is finally a line of clothes that don’t look like they fell out of a Walmart bag. There is virtually nothing out there that’s really creative or feminine so I think if this new company takes a little while to figure it out at least they are trying to give us more than the marginal options out there.

    Did this blogger actually see and wear the dresses when she did her review? I’m just curious.

    Comment by Terry — January 4, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  16. The design of these isn’t pure on fugly, but it isn’t great either. Add shiny polyester on top of that, and you have a collection that I will definitely not be wearing any time soon.

    Comment by Missie Sue — January 4, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  17. Uh, did I miss the memo about boob shelf suddenly being an attractive feature? Extra bonus for Satin boob shelf. There are a few things on here I like, sadly, they will not fit my ass.

    Comment by Shinobi — January 4, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

  18. I’m going to have to chime in and agree with y’all. Too much shiny satin. I could see a couple of those dresses working for cocktail attire, but I would for sure have to try them on and touch the fabric before I’d commit to wearing it.
    I wish they would try some of those silhouettes in better fabrics, though. I think there’s potential but they’re not there yet.

    Comment by Jezebella — January 5, 2012 @ 12:30 am

  19. **Dear Model/DP: Please take those clodhopper shoes off- nothing makes a foot look more like a hoof than those horrid platforms.**

    There’s nothing exceedingly special about the line, but it’s not a horrid first attempt. I do actually like the “holiday” dresses, and low and behold, the model is standing straight. Once I saw the Larisa dress not in black I could actually see there was some design there. The Evelyn dress is great in theory, but the picture certainly isn’t selling it to me- not for a $200 price tag at least. There is a lot of shiny, but is that the photography/lighting making it look like SO. MUCH. SHINY. I don’t know.

    Comment by Leah — January 5, 2012 @ 10:52 am

  20. I like a few of the pieces and in terms of the holiday/dressy aspect I’m ok with shiny, but the photoshopping really irritates me and while shiny can be good, this just looks cheap. It’s too bad since you can tell there are some good ideas mixed in there but they’re smothered by all the flaws!

    Comment by Becs — January 5, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

  21. Does anyone remember the song? & I paraphrase lyrics: “shiny, shiny, get thee behind me” – from the Land Of Mis-heard lyrics, I remain a fan. Also, Miss Plumcake? Virtual ‘Hidy’ to Waylon, Willie & the rest of the boys. (Must find Lyle cd) A cheerful halloo Wave from A Ways up the coast, do please enjoy some seaside treats of your region on my behalf. There are some place names preceded by “Villa” hereabouts. It is a measure of my esteem that when I read a local person twittering about a Villa, my first thought was “Plumcake!” Oh. Different villa. I hugely enjoy reading and only just ‘got it’ that I can romp with all y’all. By reading along in 2012: we will be well dressed And well read. Thank YOU

    Comment by Lili Bitmore — January 5, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  22. A lot of these would range between cute and tolerable with different fabric and/or different colors. The first top is pictured with a shorter skirt on the website, and it’s a lot better.

    Comment by ChloeMireille — January 5, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

  23. I’m active in the local vintage community, and there are several pieces here I would have seriously considered had they been less shiny and better-cut. The Gwen skirt would have done well at a couple of events. Would have liked to have seen it in a plainer fabric. The shirt paired with it, my personal alpha pick on the site, is not available for purchase. I don’t think it’s the Rony blouse – the sleeves are different.

    I do wish this designer the best. There’s a lot of potential here, and any time I come across vintage stying for big girls, my ears perk up.

    Comment by Monica — January 5, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  24. I really tried to like Queen Grace. I really hoped it was an alternative to Lane Bryant and Just My Size. No such luck.

    Too much shiny fabric and large prints are dealbreakers for me. The Larisa sheath dress was nice but did not need the overlay.

    I just want well-made basic pieces such as a little black dress, well-fitting dress pants and A-line or pencil skirts. I get giant prints, shiny fabric and frustration.

    Oh well.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — January 5, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  25. I didn’t care for this line, either. The materials were less than great and as someone else pointed out, the measurements are strange.

    On a side note, someone needs to take that model to the side and coach her on posing. It was almost comical at times.

    Comment by Natalie — January 6, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  26. I’ve looked multiple times at these clothes and my biggest complant is that they’re just to formal for my life. With all the satin & shine they look like event dresses to me and I just dont need much of that kind of clothing. I’d love to see some more casual pieces from them. That being said I think I fall towards supporting them if for no reason other than the more plus size designers the better

    Comment by Lynn — January 8, 2012 @ 10:34 am

  27. I’m a bit late on this post but I want to share my thoughts. The poor model is quite pretty but looks uncomfortable in almost everything she had on. Now, I do not have the same shape as her, I have no such thing as a waist, and I did not see anything that just screamed at me to take it home. Added to that, I’m a plus sized elementary teacher in a rural school. There is no way I could ever afford those dresses. I love the concept of great clothing, with sleeves, that looks amazing. I dislike high prices and the lack of thought put into the styling.

    Comment by Jenn — January 8, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  28. They won me over with sleeves — but I am, if anything, overstocked on event dresses. I have 3-4 formal events a year to attend, max. But I’m adding this to my watch list in case they start putting out casual looks because the one thing I never have enough of are casual summery dresses with sleeves. I live in the desert, so not having to layer is a godsend.

    Comment by Mel — February 2, 2012 @ 5:50 am

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