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

May 23, 2011

Important Life Lesson Week!

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous — Miss Plumcake @ 4:55 pm

Happy Monday gang, I trust everyone is recovered from their post-fake-rapture-drinking-game hangovers. For Episcopalians, this translated to a shot every time your priest mentioned the rapture-that-wasn’t, two shots if they reference REM, U2, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. Three if they manage to work in Kierkegaard, Skeeter Davis or that NYT article we all read, and drain the chalice if they do the entire spoken-word part from Blondie’s 1981 classic. There just aren’t enough Fab 5 Freddy reference in the Anglican Communion these days.

Anyhoodle, it’s Monday, my liver is very graciously not pressing charges so I guess I better dance like the immaculately shod primate I am and serve up some steaming hot content for my favorite invisible friends, so with that in mind, I am about to give you some exhaustively-researched, life-changing advice that will change your world forever. Ready? Here goes:

You should probably not treat yourself like crap.

You’re welcome.

I am pretty rotten at a lot of things: I can’t cook rice, I can’t wax my own eyebrows without making it look like I spend large portions of my time chasing Moose and Squirrel with a short dude in a trench coat and although I can get a man from zero to will-you-marry-me in record time, I can’t ever manage to frogmarch myself into Holy Matrimony…even when there was a house in Cannes at stake.

One thing I am good at is treating myself pretty well.

The way I think about it, there are only too many people ready and willing to treat you like garbage, especially if you’re different (and thus wrong/scary/less-than-human) so uh, they don’t really need my help.

And then there’s the majority of people out there who are basically good and decent –they vote and pay taxes and use their turn signals at least 15% of the time (percentage may be slightly lower in Texas)– but don’t really have the time or energy to devote to making me happy. I can only assume this is some sort of divine tribulation or egregious celestial oversight, so one tries to take the broad view and tries to carry on through this mortal veil of tears.

To me, not treating myself like crap means doing my best most of the time to put good things in and on me, and have good things come out of me.

For the rest of the week, I’m going to focus on the importance of self-care, from the type that involves fruits and veggies and doctor’s offices to the type that requires double A batteries and soundproofing (there may be an overlap for some of you, I don’t know your lives.)

So in parting, lest you think I’m about to get all Gwyneth Paltrow your collective lady lumps, I leave you with a photo of Saint Tallulah Bankhead whose last words were “Codeine…bourbon.” The old bird didn’t live long –she died at 66– but she sure as hell lived well.

April 10, 2011

eShakti Makes Twistie Happy

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous,Fashion — Twistie @ 12:40 pm

Have I ever mentioned that I love eShakti? I love the styling, the colors, the customizing… pretty much everything. And they have some great new items that continue to make me smile. This one, for instance. Now I don’t wear black, but this adorable polka dot dress with its festive red flower trim is making me smile from ear to ear. And at $79.95, it’s a good deal, too.

Best of all, while it comes in standard sizes, from 0 to 26, it can also be made (like all eShakti clothes) to your custom measurements. Even if you don’t use custom measurements, they ask your bra cup size and height so that your dress will fit you properly. With many pieces you can choose the length you want it to be, the neckline you prefer, and/or the sleeve length and style.

So what else from the current line is making me happy? Take a look and see.


December 11, 2010

Penelope Garcia, I Love You

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous,Fat and Famous — Twistie @ 8:08 am

Over the last few years, I heard a lot about the show Criminal Minds. What I kept hearing the most was ‘it’s a great show, but you couldn’t handle it, Twistie.’ I listened. Silly me.

Then over the Thanksgiving weekend, a good friend sat me down for a three-day marathon of Criminal Minds. I’ve been hooked ever since. My friend even knew precisely the door to open first: Garcia.

Look, I found a lot to love about the show in general… as well as a few things to keep me awake late at night, brrr! But I have fallen hook, line, sinker, and the day’s catch for Garcia.

She’s fabulous. She lets her freak flag fly as high as it will go. She’s intelligent and capable and funny and flirty and completely herself, no matter what. She also happens to be fat. No, really, that’s just how it is. It isn’t a Major Plot Point. I haven’t yet seen or heard about a Very Special Episode in which Garcia bemoans her weight or is forced to choose between donuts and a dude. She just happens to be fat.

And so I say I love you, Penelope Garcia. I also have a deep love now for Kirsten Vangsness, the fabulous lady who plays Garcia.

November 2, 2010

What Miss Plumcake is…

Ah Tuesday, or as I like to call it, Monday-and-a-Half, here you are again, let’s jump right in with both perfectly-shod feet and find out What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Straight out and without qualifications the best contemporary novel I’ve ever read. Usually when I read a so-called great contemporary novel, I’m less than impressed because I think “eh, I can write as well as this shmuck.” It’s not that I’m the best ink-slinger on the block, but it amazes me what gets passed off as great writing these days. With Life of Pi? I was in a slump for a week because I’ll NEVER write anything so beautiful. The plot? Piscine Molitor Patel, a young Indian boy is stranded 227 days in a lifeboat alone with a Bengal tiger. Part adventure, part character study, part spiritual exploration and part magical realism, it’s completely brilliant. Read it now.

Watching: RuPaul’s Drag U. Okay, I’m not actually watching this now, but a few weeks ago when I had access to a television but before I discovered an entire channel devoted to Proper Football I watched a few hours of a marathon of this show. Now we all know I love Miss Ru –who doesn’t do the show in drag– but what I love more is the premise: women learning how to embrace their femininity through the art of drag. Because honestly, makeovers should be fun. They shouldn’t be about feeling bad about “flaws” or fitting into some humorless mold. I spent many formative years with drag queens as mentors (THE HELL YOU SAY!) and I’m a better broad for it.

Hearing: Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. I have a really inappropriate story about this piece and a scorching hot Dutch cellist who was one of my better Very Bad Ideas that I’m not going to tell you because I’m pretty sure my little brother reads this blog and I don’t want to traumatize him. Still, even if you don’t have a story that puts the damn in Amsterdam this is an incredible piece, especially if you love Gregorian chants and a good contemporary organ. Lord knows I do.

Smelling: Un Lys by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens. Un Lys means “A lily” and that’s exactly what you get. I can’t remember whether Andre bought it for me or if I plucked it myself but I’m always surprised by this perfume and have been wearing it layered with some dirtier juices (Cumming, Bulgari Black) recently. It’s hard to find a lily that’s pure but not cloying and for my money this is tied with Lys Méditerranée as Best Lily Ever. It’s one of the few fragrances that I’ve had someone follow me down the street to smell. Available at Barney’s or Lucky Scent or get a decant at The Perfumed Court.

Loving: Any Soldier. We all know I’m a sucker, right? Right. So when someone very special to mine heart (who is still going to get a kick in the head for pulling this on me, and don’t think I won’t do it, kiddo) volunteered me to make cookies for pretty much the ENTIRE 10th Mountain Division (okay ten people), currently stationed in Afghanistan I couldn’t really say no. I said a lot of other things, most of which aren’t suitable for print –I mean that’s a LOT of cookies– but not no. Regardless of how you feel about the war, I invite you to consider sending a soldier a little love.

Aromatics Elixir. WHY? WHY are people STILL WEARING THIS? It’s so hissy and vile. In the history of my life I have only met ONE person who doesn’t wear this but still likes it. And also, is it a RULE that you need to douse yourself with it? It smells like Burt Reynolds’ chest wig deodorizer. Urgh.

Wanting: Juniper Boots from Duo. Where were these calf-fit boots last year when I thought I would DIE if I couldn’t find a pair of jumping boots to fit my fatted calves? I bought a pair of proper riding boots that juuuust about do the trick, but I wish I’d waited and picked these up instead. They’re not cheap but I don’t even want to tell you how much custom-fit riding boots normally cost. Treat yourself. I promise, your legs will go out of fashion before these boots do.

Pre-owned Hermés scarves from Portero Luxury. It’s been a while since I’ve treated myself to a new foulard, but after giving an impromptu scarf-tying class the other night for a lady who was at a loss as to how to wear a beautiful scarf once belonging to the unforgettable Molly Ivins I’ve got the bug again. My favorite? This Hemisphaerium Coeli Boreale constellation scarf in a buttery coral. At Portero I can get a like-new scarf for well under retail and not have to worry about its authenticity.

October 30, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous,Be Super Fantastic — Twistie @ 8:30 am

No, this will not be an ode to The Sound of Music. It won’t even be an ode to Julie Andrews, despite the fact that I find her a lot more inspirational overall than any Rogers and Hammerstein musical. This is more about looking around and opening up my own private box of awesome and encouraging all of you to do the same.

There’s a lot in the world to be angry about, or depressed about. Heck, I’ve merrily pointed some of them out to you. I will again. There’s a lot to be done before the world can accept a bunch of fat, happy women out being amazing without spontaneously combusting.

But if we wait for all of them to be ready, not one of us will enjoy our fat happitude, and that would be just plain stupid and wasteful of us. We are not stupid. We are not… well, not all of us are wasteful. We certainly aren’t going to waste our own fabulous just because there are some deeply confused people out there who wring their hands in anguish at the thought of our existence, let alone our refusal to wallow in the shame they try to heap on us.

So every once in a while I like to get all Little Mary Sunshine on their cabooses and celebrate cool stuff that I enjoy. In public. With a big ol’ grin on my face. What things might these be? I’m so glad you asked.


October 26, 2010

Advanced Style

Howdy gang! I have returned from my two glorious weeks of vacation in Virginia and am ready to hop right back in with both immaculately-shod feet.

I’d bore you with the details of my little holiday, but the interesting parts aren’t for family television (if you know what I mean, and I think you do) and the boring parts are well, kinda boring. I mean, not boring to ME but I don’t have a television so the realization that there was an ENTIRE CHANNEL devoted to Proper Football was like that moment I discovered gin or Jesus. I basically spent an entire week watching Premier League and swearing at Wayne “Angry Eyes” Rooney for being such a total tool. Except not because tools are actually useful UNLIKE YOU, MISTER GIMPY ANKLE POTATO HEAD.


Anyhoodle, I was bopping around my favorite blogs and came across an outstanding entry from the always entertaining Ari Seth Cohen (and can we even TALK about how cute he is? If I were a boy I’d totally kiss him) at Advanced Style.

I truly can’t say enough about Advanced Style because it’s just that good. I hate that I didn’t come up with the idea myself. It’s exactly what real style, perfectly translated is all about. Not that I don’t appreciate The Scott Schuman Sartorialist and his ilk with carefully disheveled Bright Young Things, but it’s easy to look fabulous when you’re a 22 year-old with six miles of leg and cheekbones that could cut glass. They’re fashion plates and that’s fine, but fashion is boring unless you have style and Mr Cohen’s subjects have style in spades, diamonds, moons, clovers and little marshmallow rainbows.

Plus you get gems like this, from 98 year-old Rose:

Here are Roses’ top ten beauty and lifestyle secrets on how to look and feel great at 98

1. Find your perfect perfume, people will remember you by your scent. Rose is known for her Pauline Trigere fragrance.She tells her granddaughter “I’ll give you anything in the world, but I won’t give you my perfume.”

2. Belts and Beads. Rose believes that a belt or unique strand of beads can really make an outfit and they don’t have to cost a fortune.

3. Take care of your feet and wear good shoes, but when you are going out for a night on the town “Fashion comes before comfort” At 98, Rose goes out every single night!

4. “Walking is a must, its better than doctors or medicine”

5. No need to use expensive moisturizers, Rose swears by Oil of Olay which she has been using for decades.

read the rest here, and bookmark it, love it and commit it to memory!

September 27, 2010

Letters (okay, one letter) from the front

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous,Be Super Fantastic — Miss Plumcake @ 9:00 am

Friends,  I had kind of a sucky weekend. You know, the type where you sit in the dark listening to The Smiths longer than is probably strictly healthy and you’re fairly sure you’ll never be happy again and it’s just gonna be you and Mozzer sitting in a room together staring at each other until one of you actually dies from misanthropy.  You guys do that too, right? Right?

Usually when I have a sucky weekend, I don’t check my email because 99% of it comes from PR reps who are trying to convince to care about a whole lot of things I don’t even know about (What is a Jwow?) and your normal spam of Nigerian princes in seek of bank information and Ukrainian girls bending over and frankly I’m too delicate a petal to deal with that even when I’m feeling my normal chipper self. I definitely can’t hang when Truffaut films are speaking to me on any emotional level.

So it was with fear and trembling I opened an email from Beloved Reader Kylie.  I’m going to reprint it here in its entirety:

I wanted to share something that I think the plus-sized community needs to hear:

I have been plus sized since I was about 14 years old and NOT ONCE that I can remember has anyone so much as said ANYTHING negative about me pertaining to my size.  Boys have always been attracted me, girls have always been nice to me and my friends and family have always totally supportive of me in every way.  I have had my own self-esteem battles as anyone does, regardless of their size, but I have found I have more self-confidence in my appearance than my skinnier friends.  I decided long ago that whatever size I was (currently a 22/24) that I would do my hardest to not only love and accept myself for exactly who I am, but to be a confident woman who dresses and carries herself in the same way that any slender girl would, and I truly believe that this mindset has made all the difference for me.

My boyfriend of three years absolutely adores my Entire being and body completely.

Almost everyone I know has positively commented on the way that I look, and not only just my outfits.

No one has ever made me feel bad about myself in any way, shape or form and I have a feeling that I am in the minority in this, and on one hand it makes me feel sad that other curvy girls out there have had more difficulties with their size and how people react to them, but on the other hand, I feel completely blessed.  I have never been treated with anything but respect and kindness and I wanted to let people know that being a larger woman does not always mean that you have to fight adversity because I have never had any adversity to face.

I truly hope that I am not the only plus-sized woman out there who has had this experience, and I hope that I will hear that others too have been supported and loved for every inch and pound of themselves exactly for who they are and how they look just as I have.



This is something I’ve struggled with because my experiences generally have matched Kylie’s. I won’t say I’ve never been made to feel bad, but it has been extremely rare. What I HAVE experienced, however, is other girls who haven’t been as fortunate as Kylie and I, who try to convince me that in fact, I HAVE been treated as badly as they have but I’m not noticing it (and thus the inference that people are laughing at me and I’m too stupid to get the joke). This is particularly true of girls who once were fat and no longer are.

Now, I’m going to be intellectually honest and say that it is a possibility that despite being hyperaware of how people perceive me and borderline obsessed with the image I present and how it’s received, that in my thirty-one years of life I have been completely oblivious to all but a very few examples of the ugly, hateful and all-pervasive anti-fat bias at play around me.

But honestly I don’t think that’s what it is, and I’m so, SO glad to hear from Kylie because now I know although I might be in the minority, at least it’s not a minority of one.

Have people made fun of me because of my size? Sure, probably. Who cares? Have guys that I’ve thought were cute not been attracted to me (as unfathomable as that is) because of my size? Quite possibly. But you know, them’s the breaks. If some guy isn’t attracted to me because I’m fat that’s not any worse or more offensive than me not being attracted to him because he’s got spindly legs.

It’s preference, not persecution.

I think we create more problems for ourselves when we project our own insecurities onto other people’s actions (yeah I know, novel idea, right?) so when a woman who once was fat and insecure becomes less fat and less insecure, all of the sudden people who our girl felt were giving meaningful glares when she ordered the pasta instead of the side salad are now just people in a restaurant whom she may or may not notice.

If some passing girl gives me the stinkeye because I’m fat, who cares?

Lord knows I wouldn’t leave the house looking like 75% of the women I see for one reason or another. It doesn’t mean anything. I’m not going to treat them like less of  a person, I’m just going to hate their shoes. And honestly, that’s fine. I don’t need to like them and they don’t need to like me. It’s not like after the random disapproving girl rings up my groceries we’re going to go home, French braid eachother’s hair, have a slow motion bra-and-panties tickle fight and practice making out.   She’s going to ring up my criminally overpriced olive bar purchase and we’ll move on with our collective lives. C’est tout.

I’d like to hear from both sides of the aisle on this one. Has your experience been more like Kylie’s or less?

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