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Cold Weather Coats and Cozies | Manolo for the Big Girl
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Marisota, Old Hollywood Cover-Ups and a SimplyBe Workaround

I just don’t know how people who live in cold climates do it.

Not the living in the arctic tundra part (the arctic tundra, for our purposes, being any place north of Dallas) which is squirrely, but not any squirrelier than living where it gets face-exploding hot.

No, it’s the whole coat buying thing.

Every time I decide I need a proper coat I almost immediately strike out because the Powers That Be have decided for whatever reason that fat girls only want to wear gigantic swing coats with bracelet sleeves (cute in theory, ill-fitted circus tent in application) or ridiculous duffel coats with seedy little fur trim around the hood.

I don’t really care for hooded coats.

I’d rather wear a coat with a collar, plus a scarf and hat, but if I do want a hood, I either want a full-on Loretta Young (ptui ptui) in The Call of The Wild fur hood:

Hate. Her.

Or no hood at all. None of those anemic little squirrel tail-looking things.

Thankfully, The Manolo turned me on to Marisota.

I get all atwitter when I find a new source for plus size threads, and these folks have clothes, coats, intimates the whole shebang…plus an electronics department which I’ll admit struck me as a little strange, especially because only some of them are ahem, personal massagers.

Marisota doesn’t ship internationally –or at least I can’t find any evidence they do– but never fear, your pal Plummy has found a workaround.

A little googling tells me Marisota in the UK overlaps considerably with SimplyBe.

They’re not quite mirrors, but they’re close enough that the resemblance is more than coincidental (much like the child Loretta Young “adopted” shortly after she filmed The Call of the Wild. You know, the one who looked remarkably like an exact biological blend between her devoutly Catholic self and her very married co-star Clark Gable, complete with dear Mister Gable’s dumbo ears.)

Here’s where it gets a little confusing:

On the Simply Be website, there’s a section called Marisota.

However, if you found an item you liked on the Marisota.co.uk page, while it’s probably on Simply Be somewhere, there’s nothing saying it’s going to be under the Marisota section.

Example:

If you click on the coats and jackets section of Marisota and this double-breasted trench with removable capelet strikes your fancy, save yourself some trouble and instead of looking for it under SimplyBe’s Marisota section, just type “capelet” in the search bar.

If it’s available, it’ll pop up.

It’s nigh on impossible to pull a good image at a decent size from Marisota, but trust me. Check them out, do the SimplyBe search if you’re not in the UK and you’ll wind up with some fab winterwear.

Just skip the deerstalker, okay?

A Good Trench!

A few weeks ago I was bemoaning the lack of good plus-size trench coats when superfantastic reader Maria popped up with a few suggestions from London Fog.

The last time I thought about London Fog was two years ago when they hired curvaceous Christina Hendricks –a package deal including Christina Hendricks’ breasts and Christina Hendricks’ hips– and then through the magic of really really painfully bad Photoshop, removed about 50% of everything below her rib cage.

Seriously, check out this “Making Of” b-roll to see just what a hatchet job they did on America’s favorite redhead.

Turns out they have a decent selection of plus-size trench coats too, surprisingly, because if they hate curves so much as to remove them from Christina freaking Hendricks then surely they wouldn’t want their beautiful brand sullied by the filthy, fatty money of people whose pelvises are wide enough to birth something bigger than a gummy bear.

Oh wait.

*sigh*

I’d forgotten that kerfuffle –I can only handle one trench-related dust up at a time and my memory is stuck at Burberry and Bogart’s kids suing each other over whether Burberry can use an image of Bogie in one of their trenches from Casablanca in a timeline– so when Maria linked to the Maura trench, a single-breasted trench coat made up to a 3X, my interest was piqued.

I liked the single breast, the feminine tailoring and the length, so after much deliberation I ordered the sand, which looked like a creamy vanilla on my screen but in reality is khaki, a light khaki to be sure, but very definitely khaki.

It’s generously cut –I probably could have ordered a size down and still had room for a sweater– and pleasingly well-made. The drape of the “faux silk” fabric is nice enough, though calling something with neither the feel or drape of silk “faux silk” is like calling a donkey a “faux unicorn.”

It will have to make a trip to the tailor’s to get the armholes taken in a bit –seriously, what is with the armhole thing? My upper arms are like Sunday hams and 90% of armholes are still cut so voluminously that I could smuggle an actual ham in there with room to spare– but over all I’m pleased with my new acquisition.

Plumcake rating: B+

What Miss Plumcake is…

Hello my little bourbon biscuits, it’s Tuesday and while I am wandering about the hills and dales of the Emerald Isle with my two besties, I thought I’d take a minute and share with you an Irish-tinged edition of What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: The Complete Short Stories of Oscar Wilde If all you know of Wilde are his pithy quotes and frothy plays (both of which are still highly recommended) you owe it to yourself to check out some of his no-foolin’ literatoor. Beautiful, tender and razor sharp, these are some of my favorite short stories. Half Daudet and half Kipling, it’s all brilliant.

Watching: The Commitments I was just learning to play the saxophone when this film about a bunch of misfits from Dublin and their dream of blue-eyed soul stardom came out and I fell in love. Even if you saw it years ago, rent it and be reminded what a great flick it is.

Hearing: U2 – Achtung Baby I’m just going to go ahead and say that the seventh studio album from Bono and the lads is the most important pop album of the 90’s.

Smelling: Vol de Nuit by Guerlain I’m wearing the vintage, which is even more heartbreakingly beautiful, this 1933 creation by Jacques Guerlain was an homage to Antoine Saint-Exupery (yes, the Little Prince guy) and his novel, Vol de Nuit. On me Vol de Nuit is a pale butter daffodil floating in a cup of softly spiced milk tea. Unusual comfort at its best.

Loving: Funnel-necked peacoat Until last week I didn’t have a coat. It doesn’t get very cold in Texas so usually I either wear my vintage blonde mink stole or my lynx stoller. However, I figured it would be a bit nippy here in Eire and I thought maybe it would behoove me to get some sort of outwear that didn’t once have a mother and a dream. I picked this up for a song from Lane Bryant and I just love it. I’ve never worn double-breasted before, but it looks great and is a fantastic spring coat. Word to the wise: apparently the buttons fall off easily. I reinforced mine before I left across the pond and haven’t had any problems at all.

Hating:  Stupid Giraffe-print Bag So when did this become attractive? Because this is not attractive. I’ve been seeing these things for YEARS and I just cannot TAKE it anymore. This is not a good bag! The original, which is Dooney and Bourke (and why would you even knock off Dooney and Bourke? That’s like knocking off Juicy Couture.) is bad but at least it’s potentially well-made. These are just AWFUL. So please. Stop buying them. They’re not hip, they’re not clever. They’re just dreadful.

Wanting: Let ‘Em Hang soccer boot shirt from Studs Up Football Club Oversharing time. I’m pretty good about being friends with my exes. One of my favorites played in Serie A for seven years and is an all around good egg. Obviously he was great looking (mama, as previously mentioned, does not do ugly)and we still see each other occasionally, but the only time I ever regret relegating him to the friend zone is when he walks around with his boots hung around his neck. Do I find the strung boots look hot because it is sexy on its own merit or is it a product of conditioning? The world may never know, but I do know this is a piece of class kit and it needs to go into Miss Plumcake’s personal collection with a quickness.

Buying: Revlon Hushed Blush nail color Why do I always forget Revlon makes great nail colors? It’s been a million years since I’ve bought anything but OPI or Essie, but I picked up this understated blushed rosewood color when I couldn’t find my beloved Kreme de la Kremlin and have been twitterpated ever since. Is the product as good as OPI? No, not really, but the color’s great and there’s no reason a well-applied manicure with Hushed Blush won’t last you a week.

Your Weekly-ish Humpletter

Hello my little heffalumps and woozles, it’s time for the return of the Weekly –by which I mean “When I can be bothered”– Humpletter (not strictly speaking ON Humpday, but it is humpy in spirit) highlighting steals and deals from the fatosphere and beyond.  There are some doozies to be had this week, so let’s get on with the show. And as always, I feel I ought to remind you that I do not Run The Internet (yet) so prices might have changed, stock been depleted, blah blah blah.

SWAK Designs are having their Pink Hanger Sale now through January 17th. Lots of trendy pieces to be had, many under $10. My picks? This shawl collar cardi and black bib necklace
.

The Avenue is having its Final Winter Sale with hundreds of items more than 50% off. My picks: ruched hem chino crops and a gunmetal sequined pencil skirt, both perfect paired with a slouchy cardigan and an aggressive, architectural heel.

Over at 6pm.com we’ve got a huge handbag sale, up to 80% off.  I’m digging the orange eel clutch from Be & D and the purple polished leather hobo from BCBGMaxazria, that are 76% and 70% off, respectively.



more sales after the jump!

(more…)

What Miss Plumcake Is…

Hello young lovers! How’s every little thing? Me? Oh I’m just peachy. Except I decided to do a Heavy Eye on Saturday night and I’m still excavating that stuff off my face. The downside of having eyelash extension is you really want to be careful using anything oil-based, so now when I want to do a super smoky evening-look eye it turns into a three day removal process wherein I’m full on the first day, and the next day I’m sort of Saraghina from 8 1/2 and on the third day I’m totally channeling Anna Magnani in the Rose Tattoo (how fabulous was she? SO fabulous. More importantly how hot was Burt Lancaster?)

Anyhoodle, it’s Tuesday so it’s time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…

What Miss Plumcake is...

You’ll notice I’m a little Scot-centric this week as we are coming up on the celebration of Robert Burns’ birthday, January 25th. If you’ve never been to a Burns Night, you simply MUST. No Scottish blood required –although be prepared to be asked if you’ve got any Scottish in you and when you answer no, be asked “would you like to?”– There’s singing and poetry (usually) and bagpipes and haggis (always, although they usually have vegetarian haggis which is revolting and contrary to the ways of the Lord) and everyone has a big time with the Address to a Haggis,  The Immortal Memory, The Toast to the Lassies and –my personal favorite– The Response to the Laddies.

Dress code varies, but please don’t just wear random plaid. Ladies: if you have a clan, wear a sash in your clan’s dress tartan. Gents: Bonnie Prince Charlies are ideal. But even if you don’t have a drop of the Northern blood, don’t worry just show up and have a ball.

Reading: Robert Burns, the Complete Works No house should be without.

Watching: Black Books. Surprisingly, since I’m the United Nations of failed relationships, I’ve never dated a misanthropic drunken Irish bookseller but if I did, I’d like to date this one. Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and that girl who played Dr Todd from Green Wing (Tamisin Grieg) had me laughing harder than that time my neighbor’s jack russell pulled out a “chew toy” labeled “Swedish Erotica”

Hearing: Lyrics of Gold: Songs of Robert Burns by Ed Miller. Ed Miller is a pink-faced fount of Scottish folk tunes and apparently a Really Big Deal as far as these things go, traveling all over the world to spread the Scottish word.  I’ve known Ed socially for a few years now and while the man can’t iron a shirt to save his  life (pull it together Ed!)  his albums are still very much worth having.

Smelling: Serge Lutens Bois et Musc. An exceedingly lovely light cedar with just a hint of musk, Bois et Musc isn’t the big honking juice Christopher Sheldrake usually releases for Serge Lutens. It wears very close to the skin. Bois et Musc is one of the non-exports so as with all Lutens bell jars you’ll have to pick it up at Les Salons du Palais Royal Shisheido in Paris, although you can occasionally find one on the secondary market. Decants are available at The Perfumed Court and while I don’t love it as much as the coniferous incense bomb that is Filles en Aiguilles, I couldn’t say no when a bell jar graciously found its way into my personal collection.

Loving:Early Greek Philosophy ed. Jonathan Barnes. Drop a cherry in me and call me old fashioned, but I think to be a Cultured Woman of The World you’ve got to be up on your philosophers (pictured here: my Pre-Socratic Greek Boyfriend, Pythagoras) and Barnes’ edition of selected writings of the Early Greeks is totally accessible.  I know I’m an old stick in the mud, but so much of what’s being written these days is just junk. There’s nothing wrong with an improving book, and getting back into the habit of thinking critically and logically. Now you kids put down those Pink Books and get offa my lawn!

Hating: The OTK Boot trend. Has anyone seen this employed in real life where it actually works and the woman doesn’t look like a hooker or a serious fashion victim? Because I haven’t.  I want to, but I haven’t. Also, the women who can afford to drop $2000 on a pair of over the knee boots, at least in Austin, tend to be Women of a Certain Age and I am afraid OTK boots are a young woman’s game.  As I said, I want to be wrong, but I’m not sure I am. If you’ve seen a tastefully executed OTK boot IN REAL LIFE on a non-model or celebrity personage, please submit photographic evidence. I’m dying to see it.

Wanting: Robert Burns stamps. Wah! Stupid American stamps with their stupid CROPS OF NORTH AMERICA which don’t even feature TOBACCO because it’s not like THAT crop was important to  America or anything.  Sir Walter Raleigh should slap the post office across the face for that. Why can’t we have awesome stamps like this? I’m not a philatelist (well, I tried it once in college, but I was drunk) but I shall not rest until I browbeat someone into sending me one of these wee beasties.

Buying: Tartan sash in your clan’s dress. If you know your clan’s tartan, why not buy a sash? They’re usually lightweight wool 10″ wide by 90″ long and serve beautifully as a long muffler-type scarf. Of course on Burns Nights or other times where you want your ancestral pride to show you can wear it in the traditional way but they’re awfully handy to have. Don’t know your tartan? Look it up here
I’m a MacDuff of the Fife line myself and sleep soundly at night knowing no matter how bad my press is, it’ll never be as bad as the clan matriarch, Queen Gruach or “Lady Macbeth” as the kids call her these days.

What Miss Plumcake is…

So I’m finally getting my legs back under me from my vacation and once again it’s time to find out what Miss Plumcake is…

What Miss Plumcake is...for Nov 17th

Reading: The Cornish Trilogy by Robertson Davies.  Fun read for academics, Anglicans and other people who are only tedious on the outside.


Watching: Liberty Heights Barry Levinson. Wonderful autumnal film about a group of young Jewish boys coming of age in early 60’s Baltimore.

Hearing: Pump Up the Volume Soundtrack.  Still awesome after all these years. The Pixies, Henry Rollins, Cowboy Junkies, Bad Brains…
Smelling: L’Eau D’Hiver by Jean-Claude Ellena for Frédéric Malle. My favorite winter scent, possibly my favorite scent of all time. The link is for reference only since no one else is allowed to buy it.


Loving: Fake AP Stylebook. It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

Hating: Being a mammal. If there’s an inch of hair on my body that hasn’t been plucked, waxed, cut, bleached, dyed blue (I have blue streaks in my hair) extended, laser-ed or otherwise attended to then by gum I can’t reach it or afford the lady who can.
Wanting: Red trench from Anna Scholz. That’s a 20 year coat, at least.
Buying: Lynx coat from my friend’s furrier in Greece. Because I’ve had a REALLY hard year and I deserve a coat made out of kittens. Besides, people don’t throw paint on you if you live in a state okay with concealed weapons

From Francesca’s Inbox: Tuesday Edition

Vest and pencil skirt by SWAK Designs. Francesca is very pleased with the changes taking place there.

Vest and pencil skirt by SWAK Designs. Francesca is very pleased with the changes taking place there.

Igigi is having a “secret” showroom event in San Francisco (Mission Street) on Thursday evening from 4-8. If you would like to attend, you must write to them TODAY at rsvp@igigi.com with the names of everyone in your group. There will be  a raffle, special prices on samples and irregulars, and a chance to try on Igigi items before buying, which of course is not normally possible with their online-only store.

Outside San Francisco: A reminder that Igigi is giving free shipping through Friday.

SWAK Designs has made incredible headway in their style this year, to the point that Francesca can actually recommend looking there for business-casual workwear. Francesca is very proud of them! Trashy to classy in one season! She hopes this is the beginning of a movement (certain Other Vendors should pay attention). Just remember to stay away from velour.

Also from SWAK: Free worldwide shipping on orders over $40.  And, if you use code basic35 before the end of the day on Thursday, you’ll get 35% off any of their “basic” wear.

Old Navy’s outerwear sale ends on Thursday. office-appropriate blazer here. And what say you about  this jacket? Francesca thinks it is a hate, but if she squints she can imagine that there is a small niche of people who will love it and look good in it. Like, 5 people. Five very interesting people (says Francesca with sincerity).

Bright fall colors by Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne

Bright fall colors by Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne

Torrid has taken 50% off clearance items. This could end any minute so time is of the essence. floral pencil skirt for $15. Uber goth-irony pajama pants for $9.50. Plaid Corset Top for $20. Also, at regular prices, many many jeans sold according to inseam length.

Kiyonna has new, pretty items in their sale section. (Just please stay away from the velour! Urgh!)

Jessica London is having an online-only sale on select items. (Meaning, you won’t get these prices in the physical stores).

Liz Claiborne has New Plus Size Arrivals. Francesca loves the bright colors when everyone else is wearing brown, navy and forest green. Remember that they provide free shipping on orders of $75 or more. Also, throughout November, if you shop in-store at any of these Liz Claiborne retail locations, you can get 20% off by printing and bringing this coupon.

Happy shopping! xoxo

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