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

August 22, 2012

Desperately Seeking Outerwear

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 5:03 pm

Sometimes  all I want in the world is a really good trench coat. One that’s tailored well enough to be a dress, but can be worn as an actual coat. With  my annual month-long sabbatical to DC coming up and two weeks in Barcelona and Rome meeting with important magazine-type people, I need some sort of water resistant outerwear.

Outwear is a real blind spot for me. I’ve got that ridiculous lynx an old admirer had made for me  –because nothing’s more practical for someone living in the middle of Texas than a gigantic fur coat– a blonde mink stole I last used as a pillow outside a rest stop in El Paso and an emerald green pea coat that smells like a lamb shank in the rain.

That leaves me with a serious trench gap, and although precipitation here is limited to the first three months of the year, I’d like to get my hands on one before I have nothing to protect me from inclement weather of Rome but prayer and a strategically-held copy of La Repubblica.

I love this shot of Glee’s Amber Riley from Essence Magazine.

Granted,  Amber is 5’3″ and I  like the trench-as-dress trope much more in editorial than I do in real life –there are always fabric and flow issues– but it works the way a trench coat should work for a big girl.

The shoes are Rene Caovilla and the belt is by Ports 1961 but the trench?

Joan Rivers for QVC.


Do you have any secret outerwear resources? Share them in the comments!




  1. The trench is fabulous BUT I’m too tall for it. I do appreciate that Ms Joan detailed the length for each size.


    Does anyone know if Burberry does plus sizes or will custom make a trench to appropriate sizing?

    As for coats, last time I bought a serious winter coat it was at Neimans in DC about 20 yrs ago. I bought it beginning of season, paid full price, and my sales person called the manufacturer to get the coat custom made 8″ longer. I still wear this coat.

    I did find a shorter winter coat at Nordstroms in Phillie at King of Prussia in 2009. As for trenches, that coat type has always eluded me……

    Comment by txbunny — August 22, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  2. I love trenches, but the weather in Montreal means they’re a wearable option for a month in fall and a month in spring, and otherwise way too hot/cold, so it’s not something I can justify spending $$ on.

    That said, in the realm of cute-black-trench-that-fits-well, I wound up getting a cute 30$ one from Old Navy, which suits my needs just fine (and I usually wear a size 18, so their XL just works for me).

    Comment by Ros — August 22, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

  3. I am in search of a good trench as well! I was initially looking for single breasted but haven’t found one I want to wear yet.

    I can’t decide if the Windsor Plaid Trench at Coldwater Creek is too busy. Anyone seen it in person or have a better rec?

    Comment by Gigi — August 22, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

  4. London Fog makes outerwear in plus sizes and they are having a sale right now. Below are links to a few that I like.

    In my experience, LF coats are generously cut. I have a regular winter coat in a 2x and it fits me with room to spare. My measurements are 48-43-52. Now I am longing for a trench…

    Comment by Maria — August 22, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  5. There is no way Joan Rivers would ever get a dime of my money, considering the vicious anti-fat “humor” for which she was known at one time. I have no idea if she still does it because I stopped watching or listening to her because of it.

    Comment by Margo A — August 22, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  6. @Margo A: I was never a fan of Joan Rivers until I saw the documentary A Piece of Work. I still don’t care for her comedy, but I have HUGE respect for her as a pioneer, entrepreneur and business woman. The woman hustles like no-one I’ve seen. Plus, as a humorist, I’ve got to hand it to any woman who can go on broadcast television in 1966 and make abortion jokes. Not in the best of taste, but daring for a woman in what is today still a boy’s game.

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — August 22, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

  7. I’ve owned this trench coat from LL bean for probably at least 10 years. I bought it specifically for the zip-out wool lining; it makes it the darn thing pretty versatile. Very convenient for traveling. And wears like iron; seriously I’ll probably be wearing the thing for another 10 years!

    Comment by barbara — August 23, 2012 @ 2:09 am

  8. I also looked this coat up as I LOVED how it looked so luxe on AR. I was so disappointed when I looked at the qvc photos – it must be all gorgeous lighting and photoshop because I don’t think that material will ever look as thick, soft and glowy as it does in the editorial shot.

    Comment by Josie — August 23, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  9. Just a thought – does Boden deliver to the USA? It’s lovely quality for sensible prices. Can be a bit samey, but nice touches like colourful linings and a very Brit feel, lots of trenches, velvet jackets, tweed etc. Goes up to a british 22 (dunno how that translates).

    Comment by Josie — August 23, 2012 @ 9:13 am

  10. I agree that outerwear is problematic. The last trench I bought was from Eddie Bauer about 4-5 years ago – not quite as fitted as I’d like but it buttons without gaping and has held up very well. Most of my coats and jackets the last few years have been from Boden – they don’t really do plus sizes but their largest sizes go up to the equivalent of a generous US 18 and tend to be cut for a generous bosom. I have a 48″ bust and 90% of their coats will button through the chest, and 90% of those with room for a thick sweater in winter. Their regular pricing is a bit high and a lot of their stuff is in “whimsical” prints, but if you can catch a sale/clearance their quality (good fabrics, everything is lined, solid workmanship) is good.

    Comment by Sara — August 23, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  11. @MargoA, I’m with you. I remember how I felt as a kid when I heard Ms. River’s anti-fat ‘humor’ and I wouldn’t do anything to support her.

    It’s humorist’s choice to pillory women, my choice not to support men or women who do. And ironically abortion jokes were a lot easier to make in the 60’s and 70’s than they are now

    Comment by Thea — August 23, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  12. But when you are in Rome be sure and hit the Marina Rinadi flagship store, it’s about 4 blocks from the Spanish Steps

    Comment by Thea — August 23, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  13. Every coat I own is from Land’s End.

    Comment by Julie — August 24, 2012 @ 1:15 am

  14. Joan says that trench coat is not for the rain, which means it’s not for me. Vancouver equals rain. I have a black microfiber trench, very similar to this cut, from Spiegel. It must be at least twelve years old and still looks passable, but I do need a new one.

    Tempted, VERY tempted by the leather trenches at Danier, but again, the rain…

    Comment by raincoaster — August 24, 2012 @ 10:55 am

  15. I do have a recommendation for those who are above 6 ft in height – sleeve length and waist placement on fabulous (and just ordinary) coats are a big issue for me. (I am not in the market for a 3/4 sleeve empire waisted trench, ta very much.) The JCrew Tall-sized coats genuinely are long enough, and very chic for city day wear. For country pursuits or for living through a cold weather hurricane, I recommend Barbour. They will sew up to 3.5″ (I think) of sleeve on to your waterproof waxed jacket, so even your hands will stay dry.

    Comment by mywhimsey — August 28, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

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