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Tadashi Shoji for Evening | Manolo for the Big Girl

Tadashi Shoji for Evening

So okay, you know how yesterday I said I’d have a mess of Tadashi Shoji for you guys because they offer off-the-rack gowns in plus sizes that resemble the customized ones they did for Octavia Spencer?

Well it’s true, they do, EXCEPT where we are in the formalwear season –the winter party season is over and the summer party season won’t kick up until May– the pickings are a little thin on the ground at the moment. Still, I’ve managed to pluck a few lovelies suitable for bigger frames and am offering them for your delectation and delight right now.

Yeah I know, this is going to take a tall woman to pull off, but I also know I’ve got some fellow amazons who read this blog. Octavia Spencer wore a similar feathered skirt with a crisp white menswear-inspired shirt over it. I don’t think it was executed that well because she’s such a wee thing, but I can definitely see this with a tuxedo shirt worn open and tied cowgirl style at the waist to be a way to do high fashion formal without looking stuffy. There’s no elegance better than effortless elegance, and the insouciance of the shirt would make this look fantastic (and can you even imagine the enormous necklace opportunities?)


This dress is gold. It doesn’t look gold, it looks like a sort of anemic wheat bread color here, but trust me, it is a pale, dusted gold and dazzles –not in the Vegas way, don’t worry– in person. This is the most recognizable Tadashi cut and if you pop onto the site you’ll see many variations of this dress with long sleeves, cap sleeves, cocktail length and in various neutral (why? why can’t we have an emerald green or a potiron orange?) colors.

Next up are two cocktail dresses. I believe the first one with the wide scoop neck has made its appearance before on these hallowed pages, but it deserves a second chance. It’s great for pretty much all of the plus-size body shapes except those of us who have extremely broad shoulders but an itty bitty set of hips. Other than that, it doesn’t matter if you’re apple, pear, eggplant, turnip, artichoke or whatever (I made those last two up) it’s going to work like gangbusters on your body.

The lace dress overlay dress, actually reminds me of what Prada was doing a few years ago and McQueen did shortly thereafter, a sort of severe lace. It’s softened up –and was softened even more for the dress we saw on Ms Spencer yesterday which looks like a number of everyone’s favorite Kiyonna dresses— but still gives you some sophisticated edge, where most lace dresses are all about romance and sex appeal. I highly approve.

I went back and forth on this one because at first it looked like a shapeless Formal Fatty Tent. Upon closer examination,

I’ve determined this could be a godsend for those who carry their weight in their stomachs, especially high in the stomach.

The cage sleeve (you’ll have to zoom to appreciate the work) covers the bust and creates a bit of a waist in case you don’t travel with your own and the gathering on the bust looks like it’s pinned in two different directions so you get a nice cascade effect instead of Random Bunch of Material.

Oh, and for those folks who say you don’t have any place to wear them: FIND places to wear them.

Even if you live in the stickiest of sticks, there’s always opening night of the opera in the closest city, benefits…whatever. I’ve always said “Free your closet and your ass will follow” and I honestly believe it’s true. Just like you’re supposed to dress for the job you want, shop for the life you want. You’ll be amazed at what happens.

5 Responses to “Tadashi Shoji for Evening”

  1. Margo A February 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    If you live in the stickiest of sticks and yearn to wear evening clothes without having to travel, consider joining a Masonic lodge like the Rebeccas, or for teens, Rainbow Girls. Those ladies do some SERIOUS dressing up.

  2. Leigh Ann February 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Ohhh. The gold one is pretty. I wish there was a shorter version of it (knee length?).

  3. Violet March 1, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I was all excited the minute Plumcake said, “..weight in their stomachs.” I am one of those girls who never knew what waist was, in any shape or size.
    But, the cage sleeve dress seems to be sold-out already. :(

  4. Thea March 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    @MargoA – Darned straight! I was a Rainbow Girl and I still break out in hives at the sight of dotted swiss

  5. Jezebella March 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Y’know, it’s true: if you’re known to have a diverse wardrobe of cocktail, black-tie, and many varieties of party attire, people will remember you when they have a spare ticket to the opera, or an art opening, or a Mardi Gras ball. I can zip from the shower to black-tie-ready in about 30 minutes regardless of the season due to a modest array of dresses and add-on separates that fit any occasion. Hmmm…. maybe I should put that on my resume.