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

February 9, 2012

Eloquii: Here’s Hoping!

Filed under: Advanced Fashion,Fashion — Miss Plumcake @ 5:24 pm

Oh man please don’t let Eloquii suck.

So remember back in the day when The Limited owned Lane Bryant and for a couple years in the early noughties (yeah I hate calling them that too) when you could walk into Lane Bryant and come out with clothes that lasted more than one season, might’ve had some naturally occurring fibers and weren’t covered with random flaccid ruffles/metallic screenprints/shoddily adhered sequins and sometimes things even had sleeves? Plus you didn’t have to mortgage your house to buy a pair of underwear?

Man, those were heady days my friends.

I’m not saying Lane Bryant doesn’t still occasionally knock it out of the plus-size park, but I have some dear friends –who shall remain nameless since they are under the employ of Charming Shoppes– who straight-out admitted the quality of the average Lane Bryant product has dropped to what one friend calls “Just above Old Navy” while the average price per unit creeps ever higher. Sigh. ‘Twas always thus.

SO this is why I’m super excited about Eloquii, the new and confusingly vowel-heavy plus size line from The Limited.

I haven’t ordered anything from them yet but I am very encouraged to see a thoughtful mix of trend pieces and classics designed for actual adults to wear to their actual jobs and in their actual lives and although you can’t tell right now, I’m typing with all my fingers and toes crossed with the girlish and perhaps naive hope that Eloquii will fill the gap in plus size ready-to-wear between slouching-towards-bargain-bin Lane Bryant and lines like Lafayette 148 New York, which are fantastic but err on the side of prohibitively expensive for most wallets.

From what I’ve seen on the site, I’m pretty excited. True, there isn’t much that rocks my personal casbah at the very moment, and I’m a teensy bit concerned about the skirts being a little short because Lord knows how many plus size designers forget how big girls go OUT –especially in back– before we go down resulting in supposedly knee-length skirts that become festivals of oversharing when worn by a girl with more than the average quantity of junk in her trunk.

Still, I’ve selected a handful of items that might be wending their way to Villa Plumcake sooner rather than later.

I LOVE this striped dress
. I would love it more if it hit at the middle or the bottom of the knee because honestly, it would be SO much more chic but still, I LOVE this dress. And would you look at that? SLEEVES.

The great thing about this dress is it will always look fashionable, no matter how old you are. it would be cute on a 16 year old and elegant on a woman of a certain age (although again, would be so much better if it wasn’t above the knee). It’s my favorite item on the site right now and if any of you have experience with it, I’d be very interested in hearing your take.

How about this trench coat
? It’s tricky to make a decent trench for a big girl because the traditional cut adds a lot of bulk precisely where you don’t want it and the double breasted look is tough, especially for the chestally blessed. It looks like they took their time with the seaming of this one and although I’ve been burned many times before, this trench –especially in that color– might just be the one that’ll save me from swing coat perdition.

Who asked for a sheath? Someone asked for a sheath. Well, here you go.

It’s a poly/viscose/spandex blend, so while it’s not the preferred lightweight wool suiting, it’s not a ponte knit either. Oh, a word about sheath dresses: you pretty much HAVE to get them tailored, and I say that as a person who (admittedly illogically) resents the hell out of having the alter things having anything altered. Think about it. A sheath is made to fit a sword exactly. That’s how a sheath dress should fit you.

From one basic to another, let’s have a look at these JAG denim trousers which might be of particular interest to the long-legged among us because depending on which copy you read, the inseam is either 32 or 33″. I am having very special feelings about these trousers because they look ear-perkingly similar to my Magical Jeans of Splendor, which I’ve worn into the ground and cannot replace. They’re 66% cotton and 32% something called “Elasterelle”.

I know what you’re thinking: Why would they make jeans out of a 1960’s girl group, and what happened to the other 2 percent? I don’t know, my friends, but I’m interested to know.

The high percentage of Elasterelle, which sounds stretchy, and also like a role Jennifer Hudson would’ve played when she was still fat, makes me a little concerned about the heartbreak of elephant butt, so again, anyone who has experience with these jeans, help a sister out.

Finally, and I would definitely categorize this under Advance Fashion, I am having some affection for this sort of psuedo-Fortuny pleat skirt.

Fortuny pleats are crazy hard to wear when you’re a big girl, but I bet if you’re tall enough with enough presence (you know if you do) you could totally pull this off with an ultra-structured (think German or Belgian designers) all black outfit and look AMAZING.

I’m proud of Eloquii for offering this because it’s a pretty ambitious piece, especially considering the damage the broomstick skirt hath wrought upon our people (Question: Who looks good in a broomstick skirt? Answer: No one, not now, not ever.) and I hope it’s a sign of adventurous things to come.

So that’s what’s churning my butter from Eloquii at the moment. Like I said, if you’ve had experience with them, put it in the comments and let’s all cross our fingers that they’re here to stay.


  1. Only up to a size 24. Burn.

    Comment by Shinobi — February 9, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

  2. I don’t think you have to worry too much about length; granted I am short, but the only complaint I have about the pencil skirts I picked up is that they’re a tad long for my tastes (I like my pencil skirts to hit right at the knee, personally, and they hit solidly below the kneecap on me).

    Comment by Amatyultare — February 9, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  3. Yeah, LB used to be pretty great. I remember the days when one could buy career separates and panties that didn’t cost $24 a pair. Good times.

    eloquii looks…interesting. I’m glad you posted since I hadn’t heard of the line before and, well, what’s the worst that could happen? If I order and end up donating the result to the church rummage sale it’s not like I haven’t done that a dozen times in the past. I do like that my shape is called “infinity”. I’ve spent years trying to convince people of same, to no avail.

    Comment by Marsha — February 9, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

  4. They don’t suck :) Some of the sizing is inconsistent (in my opinion), but that’s the case nearly anywhere these days.
    Here’s me in one of their sheath dresses I reviewed a few other pieces a while back also,

    PS: I worked at Lane Bryant in college when they were owned by The Limited. I’m still paying off that credit card bill. #suckage

    Comment by Emmie — February 9, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  5. OH dear god. This is right up my alley as I usually can only buy stuff from LB in the fall when they get their ‘winter’ stuff in. I work in a very corporate world (jeans are only sort of allowed on friday’s but most mgr’s don’t) and struggle to find good quality stuff that looks good on me. I’m 5’9″ and dont’ wear heels but have long ass legs.

    I’m pretty sure my upcoming bonus money is going to some of these. Damn you! :).

    Comment by RHCD — February 9, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  6. Hem on striped dress strikes me as, honestly, nothing a pair of tights wouldn’t solve, but maybe I just have forgiving proportions for that stuff (longer calves than thighs, not as tall as you are overall). I’m more upset that it’s 100% polyester? I pretty much don’t order those clothes. I know they can work sort of annoyingly well, but they feel gross and I end up hating myself in them. If you do try it out, please report your findings.

    Comment by qbertina — February 9, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

  7. In defence of the “broomstick skirt” (which I had to google, I don’t think they’re called that here in Aus), I have a few and I love them. I am definitely of the fat, but I think they still look good on me. I hope…

    Comment by Kathi — February 10, 2012 @ 12:58 am

  8. I ordered from them right before Christmas. I got a fantastic deal, so I’m not going to complain as much as I might otherwise. I bought two sweaters and a belt, and it was under $35, shipping included.

    The biggest thing to watch is their returns policy. It’s only 30 days, so since I lost track of time around the holidays, I ended up not being able to return things.

    The black sweater I ordered was fine. The other one I thought was going to a plum color (and indeed, I’m pretty sure it was listed as plum) turned out to be closer to a magenta. I’m not really a fan of that color, but since I couldn’t return it and it was laundry day, I wore the sweater with a black cardigan over it to soften it and ended up getting lots of compliments. Go figure.

    The biggest disappointment was the belt. I ordered a belt in my pant size, and it wouldn’t even fit around my waist! That was the only thing that majorly bugged me, since I don’t usually have a problem fitting things around my waist, it’s more my belly that’s the issue.

    So, that’s been my experience. I’ve been tempted to go back and look at more of their offerings, but the belt scared me about ordering any of their pants/skirts.

    Comment by Lunakitsch — February 10, 2012 @ 1:05 am

  9. I just ordered the fur collar cardi in camel- $21 including shipping! If I had not the slightest need for another black cardigan I’d buy the black one, too. My fingers are firmly crossed on this one. I’d not heard of Eloquii until this post but, like you, have some hopes.

    Comment by Marsha — February 10, 2012 @ 9:35 am

  10. So after a quick glance at the website, I infer that this is online only? Any word on whether it will ever be sold in stores?

    Comment by jen209 — February 10, 2012 @ 9:49 am

  11. So what’s “elephant butt”?

    Comment by Molly Ren — February 10, 2012 @ 10:30 am

  12. Sorry, there is way too much polyester there for me and WTF is going on with the droopy shapeless peasant tops?

    Back to my sewing machine I fear…and I really enjoy sewing but JUST ONCE I’d like to be able to choose a RTW piece that doesn’t look like crap and make me into a sweaty beast.

    Comment by Madame Suggia — February 10, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  13. I’m a big fan. Eloquii clothes are well-made, flattering, classy, and priced well. This is the plus-size store I’ve been waiting for.

    I’ve ordered, let’s see, a total of 8 tops from eloquii so far, plus a belt and three bangles (hooray for bracelets that fit over my man-wrists!). I’ve kept 5 tops and love them with a deep and fiery love. All the clothes, even the ones I didn’t keep, are made so much better than I’ve come to accept from plus-size stores. The fabrics drape drapily and the clothes seem to be actually designed to flatter a plus-size body.

    Cons: As noted above, the return window is small. And in one order I received a top in the wrong color and customer service was unsympathetic. (Send it back, they said flatly. I wanted an apology, if not some sympathy and a promo code.) Also, I wish the sizing were by, say, 18 or 14, instead of 14/16 and 18/20 combined. In LB tops I wear a 16 or 18; in eloquii I’m 18/20, but they run a titch large. It would be nice to have more sizing precision.

    Still, I’m a fan. Fingers crossed for an eventual brick-and-mortar store.

    Comment by Laura — February 10, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  14. I have crisis only you guys can appreciate. The black sweater with fur collar would KILL for a 1940’s dinner dance I’m going to tomorrow, but there is no way I can get it in time WAAAAAH!

    And I’m another pro-broomstick girl. When I wear them in the beast heat that is summer in Austin, I consistantly get drooled on.

    But the clothes on the site look promising….

    Comment by Thea — February 10, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  15. I have the pleated skirt in purple, and I love it! It’s a little shorter than is idea, but I’m on the tall side with long legs so that might be it. I’ve put together 3 different work or dressy outfits with it, and gotten great compliments every time. You just have to keep the top fitted and flattering, and I also found myself wanting to add a bit of tailoring/toughness to keep it from looking too cutesy–riding boots, or a moto jacket, or a blazer. Seemed to work.

    Overall, Eloquii is a bit inconsistent with the sizing, but it’s worth the risk for some of their nicer pieces. I have a pair of dressy bootcut jeans in 16, and they’re *almost* a bit too tight (but very flattering), and in a dress pant, the 16 was too baggy and the 14 too tight. Also, their tops are a bit too big on me, they just seem to be cut extra roomy.

    Comment by ACM — February 10, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  16. I think Eloquii suck because they don’t ship internationally (ie Australia). Good for my credit card……bad for my wardrobe. Can so imagine me in that striped dress :(

    Comment by Josiebellabirdie — February 11, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  17. I bought the cape thingie (,default,pd.html?start=69&cgid=eloquii_sale) at 40% off and I get major compliments on it. Sizing was true, but then that’s not as big an issue with cape. The belt I ordered was true to my pants size. I’ve got some stuff in my shopping cart that I’m debating on due to lack of funds.

    I agree that a lot of the tops are really sad prints. I want something fun, but those are Golden Girls territory.

    Comment by Orora — February 12, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  18. I’m heartbroken that I can’t fit into any of these gorgeous dresses. I’m in that super awkward in-between-straight-and-plus-sizes-size…so the 14W is too big but the Limited doesn’t carry the dress I want in their straight sizes. *le sigh*.

    Comment by Cupcake Diplomat — February 13, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  19. I’ll admit it. I drank the kool-aid. The big-mix-it-at-home tub of it. In every flavor. I can’t tell you what I’ve spent since I’ve discovered this site about 6 months ago. I’ve all but revamped my wardrobe (moved cross country, new look!). I’ve not had to return anything, and I get nothing but compliments on everything. Being 5’0″, I don’t have a skirt length issue, but I could see that on some stuff. I love that its preppy and classic with a few trendy touches. LB gets a little too funky for this suburban stay at home mom.

    If I had a better “plus size shape” and could write and market worth a darn, I’d have them plastered all over my pawltry blog in an attempt to ‘review’ some new pieces.

    The great thing is that they have nearly daily sales. And you can ebates them through the Limited to get cash back. If you’re paying full price, you’re doing something wrong.

    Rumor on the street is we’ll see some of this in stores soon. What “soon” is though, I don’t know.

    Comment by Coop — March 6, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

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