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

October 12, 2012

Review Revue: Pin Up Girl Clothing

Filed under: Review Revue — Miss Plumcake @ 2:28 pm

Now, I don’t want to overstate my case or anything, but finding a line of plus-size clothing whose designs you adore, whose construction you find immaculate, whose ethics you find admirable and whose prices you can afford but whose fit model is absolutely, completely, 100% and in every way wrong for your body is worse than genocide.

It’s true. I read it in a book. In my head.

I don’t have a particularly hard-to-fit body for plus sizes other than my longish torso and a ridiculous hip-to-waist ratio. With my proportionate figure and travel-size chest, I’ve been pretty spoiled. If something comes in my size, odds are I can make it work without too much tweaking at the tailor.

Here, alas, begins my tale of woe.

Remember on Wednesday when I wrote about Pin Up Girl Clothing and how excited I was to try them? Well, their shipment arrived the next day and as I happened to be stateside, I was fortunate enough to be able to pick it up directly from my mailbox instead of waiting the two weeks for The Guy Who Does The Mail.

We love TGWDTM, but since we’re friends socially, Hot Latin Boy and I were just as happy not to have him pick up our latest Amazon package which contained 500 citronella tea candles, 100 of our favorite pink Japanese condoms and a red leather dog collar with spikes (which looks wonderful on Dozer, smutminds).

Luckily it also contained my order from Pin Up Girl.

As I often do when ordering from a new company, I ordered a dress in three different sizes since even the best size charts can go astray from time to time so I ordered a 2x, 3x and 4x.

Generally speaking I wear a size 20 in dresses or an 18 if the hips are an open size. Anything below a 16 I chalk up to vanity sizing and anything above a 20 or 22 is usually cut for a market to which I do not belong, example: I take size Godzilla in Asian clothing.

Now readers, I have had many a dress that couldn’t get over my hips, but I’ve never had a dress that fit my hips and butt just fine but didn’t make it over my comparatively petite (as in Texas is comparatively petite to Alaska) upper half.

The 2x, 3x and 4x all fit my lower hemisphere, but not even the largest willingly zipped up the back, and when it did, it flattened Thelma and Louise so badly I felt like my chest was staring in an all-breast remake of Das Boot.

Understanding that period dresses often require period underpinnings, I strapped on William Shatner and tried again.

William Shatner is, obviously, the name of my second m0st punitive corset. The number one spot is reserved for Lady Bracknell, which I’m pretty sure was designed by the Army Corps of Engineers under the order of the Marquis de Sade and is opened only in case of emergencies.

It looked much better with the corset, although it still left me with a flat chest, which I had to amend with a padded bra. Once I was appropriately trussed I looked amazing. The dress in itself is fantastic, so what went wrong?

Well, I suspect their plus size fit model –assuming they didn’t just size up from a straight size, which is possible– is relatively busty, but has a comparatively narrow back and ribcage,

It would go a long way to explaining this:

and this:

Apparently there was a kerfuffle over some body snark directed to the lovely Rosie Mercado over the green dress which resulted in the owner of the company having to take some Facebookers behind the woodshed. Regardless of what I think about the photo itself, I love a company that will stand up for beauty at every size.

I’m keeping the purple Ava dress because the post-Shatner and padded bra result is worth the effort, but I’m returning everything else since clearly they’re cut for someone who is Not Me (seriously, the top I ordered in 3x, I usually wear a 16/18, had sleeves so narrow they didn’t come over my forearms. Now I’m a fat girl with a lot of fat parts, but my forearms are proportionate and as elegantly tapered as any Degas ballerina.)

That being said, I really admire this company and their clothes.

The satin, though polyester, was much higher quality than nearly anything I’ve run across, with a heavy, fluid drape and a solid hand. The garments themselves were immaculately constructed. I’ve got a notoriously critical eye for detail –I turn a dress inside out for a thorough inspection before it ever goes on my body– and not a stitch was out of place. It was even finished beautifully, an unfortunate rarity where even Valentino leaves untrimmed serger threads dangling, proof positive that American workers can make a garment every bit as polished as our European counterparts.

If Pin Up Girl cuts work for your body –and lucky you– you’ve found a fashion friend for life. For the rest of us, we’ll just have to cross our fingers they’ll cut the tops and sleeves a bit more generously in the future.




  1. I’m so glad I saw this before I ordered from them. I do not have a narrow ribcage, so I would have been out of luck. That’s very disappointing, because they have the cutest clothes.
    On another note, isn’t Rosie just awesome? It’s a little creepy how much I love her.

    Comment by Bethany — October 12, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  2. Thanks for the review. You saved me some shipping costs and disappointment. I have very broad shoulders, so I know that those beautiful dresses won’t fit me :( Oh well!

    Comment by Nichole B-P — October 12, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  3. @Nichole & Bethany: I still think you should give them the college try, just in case, just size up. I think I got free shipping, and there are some coupon codes for 10% off floating around on

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — October 12, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  4. Damn! I’ve got the narrow ribcage and the rack but my arms are not sylphlike.

    Thanks for the review. I loved the description of the extreme effort you went thru to get Ava to show you to your best effect

    Comment by Thea — October 12, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

  5. Dammit, everything I bought were tops. A couple of t-shirts, yes, but also a number of tops. And I am bust-a-riffic with the ribcage of an opera singer. Arse.

    And they’re giving me the runaround about some alleged “mismatch” between my billing/shipping info and my credit card. I did not mis-enter the credit card, and I know I didn’t put some wildly different information into the PUG website because I have one and only shipping and billing address and that is my home. Sometimes databases get picky about whether they want “Apt. XX” or “Apt XX” with no period or “#XX” or just “XX” or whether they want it on a separate line or what, but I have never had it jam up a credit card order.

    I am now on round 3 of emails with PUG saying “can you please check what the error actually IS and at least tell me ‘the zip codes don’t match’ or ‘the street names aren’t the same’ or what so I know if I made a typo on your site because I would like to get my stuff please?” And in fact I suspect this is actually a picky thing about exactly how my apartment number is expressed, which could be easily verified by an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING JUST LOOKING AT IT, so I am kind of annoyed.

    Comment by Elusis — October 12, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

  6. @Elusis: Strangely, I got that too. Someone asking me to send them a copy of my credit card because there was a mismatch. Except I didn’t use a credit card, I used paypal. I just emailed them with what the address is supposed to be and the woman was super nice. But yeah, sounds like they’ve got a bit of a bug in the system.

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — October 12, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  7. I have to order up one size because of my ribcage/back, too. Granted, I’m going from a L to an XL, but it’s not because of my modest boobs. I sometimes have to pad out my bra, in fact, on a couple of dress styles even though the rest of the dress fits just fine.

    Comment by devon — October 12, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

  8. Got my order today and I’m sending back most things. The underbust and back measurements are a problem on most garments. The armscye (“sleeve hole”) is too big on the buttoned top I bought (the “Daryl Top”), but the bicep is too tight, and the shoulder to bust point measurement is way too long, but my 45″ bust is busting out of the buttons even though the size chart says it accommodates 46-47″ busts. The “Doris Blouse,” which is cute as a button, arrived as a hot mess with the collar rolling up all over the place, and in no way is cut to lay flat on a “48-50 inch bust” per the size chart. Meanwhile the body is far too tight – the size chart says it’s for a 36-37″ waist which is a ridiculous bust/waist differential for most women, and at 38″ I should find it a little tighter than normal, not impossible – I realize the style is meant to be fitted but there’s no wearing ease in the garment at all (and the armscye is too big while the sleeve is too tight at the elbow.)

    I’m keeping a t-shirt, the “Gia Blouse” in stretch jersey, and the “Laura Top” also in jersey, even though the seam below the bust rides up onto my bustline because the bust isn’t cut full enough (no way it’s cut for a “42-47” bust because my 45 inches are giving it a hard time.)

    They have great ideas for designs but their pattern drafting and fitting for larger sizes is bizarre and their sizes are way inconsistent. Their 2X pencil skirt says it’s cut for a 26-27.5 inch waist. Guffaw.

    Miss Plumcake, it seems like they do a lot of their design in-house. I hope you’ll write them and use your Fat Blogger Powers to urge them to straighten out their sizes and their fit.

    Comment by Elusis — October 18, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress