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

May 23, 2012

Five Great: Kitchen Gadgets Worth the Counter Space

Filed under: Five Great...,Food — Miss Plumcake @ 10:45 am

Some unforeseen technical jackanapery means this post is two days late.

In the intervening 48 hours, I made Hot Latin Boy his first ever banana pudding.

He’d never had it before and by the low moaning sounds he’s been making –similar to the sounds my shar-pei makes when I rub his ears, I call it an eargasm– I can tell the pleasures of warm, homemade vanilla pudding (do you even need to ask whether there’s bourbon in it?) are new to him.

Over on the Facebook page, I pondered which is the greater sin: using a half of a Hershey’s bar when making a single s’more (excessive and ruins the whole delicate taste and texture ratio) or those miserly folks who only use one slice of banana per Nilla wafer in their banana pudding.

One reader seemed unclear as to the usage of the phrase “banana pudding”.

It is not the same thing as banana-flavored pudding.

Banana pudding is alternating layers of Nilla wafers and sliced ripe bananas drenched in warm homemade vanilla custard and let to chill. Some people top their pudding with meringue and others with whipped cream.

Some may use homemade ladyfingers as their cookie and some use Chessmen (though usually this is seen as embarrassingly bougie and most likely to be sign of a social climbing Methodist who wants to impress the Episcopalian Daughters of the King) but if it isn’t homemade pudding –and honestly there is no reason not to make your own custard, it takes five minutes and is infinitely superior to any boxed variety– it’s not banana pudding.

I don’t even have the strength to discuss Cool Whip as a topping.

Which brings me to my next point.

I don’t want to overgeneralize or make some sort of inflammatory logically indefensible assertion here, but it must be said:

I’m pretty sure people who don’t make their own mayonnaise don’t get into heaven, at least not on their first try.

Admittedly, this might not hold up to rigorous theological testing and Duke’s enthusiasts probably go to limbo instead of straight to the bottom floor. I haven’t really worked out all the details yet. Hmm, I wonder what Mayo Limbo would be like…probably a place where you can get shrimp and grits but they’re lumpy and made by some guy from Connecticut.


Anyway, the other day Twistie was talking about kitchen gadgets she didn’t need. I also have an aebelskiver pan, although I’ve never actually had aebelskiver as I was most likely vaccinated against it as a child.

Although I’ve been felled by the siren song of a completely useless gadget once or twice (I’m looking at you, bread machine) I tend to save my serious errors in judgment for outside the kitchen.

Still, one must look on the sunny side, so here is a list of five kitchen tools that more than earn their counter space.

May 17, 2012

You Asked For It: Shoes for Maxi Dresses

Filed under: Accessories,Five Great...,Flats,How To Wear It,You Asked For It — Miss Plumcake @ 3:03 pm

Greetings friends and lovers, yesterday dear reader Helena wrote in with the following query:

Do you think it is appropriate to wear blue wedge espadrilles with a Chico’s maxidress and lightweight cotton sweater to a wedding in June? It’s at the Newark Museum in fabulous downtown Newark, NJ. Thanks in advance. The Chico’s lady told me to wear strappy sandals but with my size 11, not particularly nice feet, I vetoed that immediately.

I know what you’re thinking, and although the jokes just write themselves (I mean Chico’s and the Garden State? It’s a slow soft one right down the middle), one must always remember that some are born Newark, some achieve Newark and some –presumably like our friend Helena– have Newark thrust upon them.

That being said, I’m not entirely sure espadrilles –which I love and will feature in an upcoming post– are the way to go here.

One of the few fashion rules actually reliable in the real world is “the longer the skirt, the flatter the shoe.”

The inverse –shorter skirts require higher heels– often is true as well, but it’s by no means as reliable and should be approached with fear and trembling, especially in New Jersey.

I love maxi dresses because they are so effortless. In fact, the only time I see a maxi dress gone truly wrong is when some well-meaning but inevitably dopey-looking person Tries Too Hard.

Jean Arthur in a hostess gown circa 1929

The maxi is the natural descendant of the hostess gown, a floor-length dress popularized in the late 1920s and so called because it was an easy but elegant uniform for casual gatherings at home, especially in the late evening as they historically incorporated elements most often found in negligees and had a sort of glamorous pajama chic.  Their popularity has been cyclical –the last time we really saw a major resurgence was the early 1970s– but ankle-grazers have been going strong for several years and it looks like we’re in for one of those rare, decade-long trends (see also: boot cut jeans).

Prior to to the baby boom, a hostess gown might be worn with low-heeled mules, but when maxis re-emerged slightly before the days of disco –thank YOU, Halston– they were considerably less formal and best served by nearly pancake flat sandals.

Do we think that's Marisa Berenson modeling a homemade hostess gown in Woman's Day, 1967?

The same holds true today.

I tried on all four of my maxi dresses with shoes of varying heights and the highest heel that didn’t look actively bad was a 1 1/2″ wedge.

As owner of not one but two “size 11, not particularly nice feet” I understand your hesitation re: strappy sandals. They’re questionable as a species in the best of times since so often they show a lack of discipline, surely one of the few cases where more straps equals less restraint.

Instead of espadrilles or strappy sandals, here are five appealing but relatively minimalist sandals, streamlined enough to be elegant, but casual enough to reinforce the effortless glamor of a maxi dress (which I’m sure you’ll be accessorizing with a shawl or wrap instead of a cardigan and one –count ’em ONE– piece of Major Statement Jewelry and little else, correct?)

Read on the see the shoes

March 30, 2012

Five Great: (Very) Personal Care Products Under $12

Aside from Catherine Zit-a Jones, my monthly pimple pal, I’ve had relatively unearned luck when it comes to the body’s largest organ.

It seems along with her pointy chin and penchant for morning martinis, my grandmother –who subscribes to the Keith Richards school of nicotine and alcohol consumption and looks a full twenty years younger than she is (which is forty years younger than she has the right to)– bestowed upon me her preternaturally good skin.

Unfortunately, stress and a complete environmental change have let slip the dogs of clogged pores and your previously porcelain pal Plummy has found herself in need of some serious skin care.

So too has Hot Latin Boy, whose flawless smoldering face has gone all Vesuvius.

He insists he never had so much as a blemish before he met me.

I assured him it was probably a result of his hormones going into hyperdrive from all the sweet, sweet lovin’ he’s been getting and the best course of action would be to cut way back on the international relations. He backpaddled so hard he nearly tripped over my dog.

Despite evidence to the contrary –last night I plucked an unusual yellow fruit the size of a jumbo olive from a neighbor’s tree and blithely popped it in my mouth before realizing I had no idea what that particular morsel was or whether in fact it was edible– I’m not much of a risk-taker when it comes to my health so I opted to order from where I knew my potions would be approved under the boring-but-important FD&C and FPLA (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, respectively).

For all I know, Mexico could be just as strict as the US when it comes to their equivalent of the FDA, but I don’t especially want to take that risk quite yet.

Nivea Creme Travel Tin

I think I’ve mentioned these pocket-sized wonders before, but they deserve all the praise my freshly moisturized hands can throw at them.

I buy them by the dozen and stash them everywhere.

There’s at least one in every handbag, in all of my coats, a few in the car and one by my bed. What makes them so brilliant is their portability. They’re slim enough to keep in your pocket or bag without taking up much room, and since it’s a tin and not a tube, it’s virtually leak proof.

Recently I’ve been using it when I go to the beach to protect my face against chapping in the wind and to replenish the moisture lost in my hands from all the salt air. They’re also dead handy to have around when I want to partake in street food and either have to use my own disinfectant wipes (harsh) or the combination powdered hand and dish soap (harsher) provided by the taco joint in question.

That way I can have clean hands and still enjoy my taco without my cuticles painfully turning into papyrus. Plus they’re dead cheap and seemingly last forever. What’s not to love?

Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads

I’m a little sensitive to both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, two of the most common active ingredients in OTC acne treatments. Nothing especially terrible happens, I don’t develop leprosy or break out in hives, just a little peeling, but I still try to avoid them when possible.

Tea tree oil has always been good to me as has witch hazel; these little astringent pads contain both.

They are outstanding.

What they’re not, however, are cleansing pads. I always think of cleansing pads as something to replace your face wash. These are more like Oxy pads for grown ups, and I’d use them in place of a toner or astringent.

I really like the pads themselves, which are just scratchy enough to feel like you’re getting a good rigorous bit of exfoliation, and although the witch hazel/denatured alcohol/tea tree oil does tingle, it feels reassuringly strident without making my skin peel or go red, even if I forget to moisturize after.

It’s pretty good bang for your buck too, 50 pads will set you back just over five smackeroos and they can be used as middle-of-the-day skin refreshers too.

Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Anti-Wrinkle Creme

Man this is great stuff.

I remember back in the day you could go to Walgreen’s for your middle-of-the-night PMS run (spice drops, Coca Cola and beef jerky) and get a nice-sized vat of Alpha Hydrox creme for like six bucks on sale.

I would slather it all over my body and then do a dry brush/salt scrub whenever I was feeling particularly crusty and gross.

It worked like gangbusters and I’d emerge from my bath looking just as fresh and pink as a pig in buttermilk.

They’ve either discontinued or reformulated that particular product, but this moisturizer with 10% pure Glycolic Acid –an alpha hydroxy acid naturally found in sugar cane– holds its own when it comes to gently reducing fine lines, spots and improving the tone and texture of your skin, even on delicate petals like me.

HLB has been using this in combination with the tea tree wipes for two weeks and his complexion has almost completely cleared, plus the dark spots blemishes leave behind for a month after a breakout have faded considerably.

I’ve mostly noticed an improvement of tone in my skin and the few fine lines that appear in my forehead whenever I’m particularly stressed or dehydrated have vanished.

I’ve put these last two products behind the jump because they’re a bit intimate in nature, but I get a surprising number of emails about products like these, so here we go.


December 9, 2011

Five Great: Products for a Party Polished Neutral Lip Under $10

Filed under: Best of Miss Plumcake,Cheap Thrills,Evening Wear,Five Great...,Makeup — Miss Plumcake @ 7:26 pm

Fashion, like every curse, is cyclical, and makeup is no exception. We’ve been having a serious smudgy-eyes, slap of lipgloss moment for a little long while now. That’s great, but as the winter party season is getting into full swing, I’ve noticed the fine art of the polished neutral lip has eluded many, many women who really ought to know better and it’s leaving otherwise perfect party looks a bit haphazard and undone. Have we forgotten how to do an evening neutral?

A nude or neutral lip takes just as much effort as a bright. It’s the colors, not the technique, that changes. Here are the five products I use for my evening-appropriate neutral lip.

N.Y.C. Automatic Lip Pencil in Naughty Nude

I think I’ve already sung the praises of N.Y.C.’s Big Apple cream blush stick as a total game changer and the only blush I’ll ever love, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised when this historically inexpensive drugstore brand produced what is essentially a duplicate of Chanel’s “Roux” lipliner with all the payoff at one-tenth of the price.

Naughty Nude is a warm toasted brown, a little darker than you might think you’d want for a neutral lip, but it translates to depth and richness, not darkness once you put it on.

I know it’s been the fashion to line your lips and then fill in with a pencil, but for this application I truly just line the outside and then fill in only the corners of my lips, smudging inward to create a more three-dimensional pout. This is especially handy if you’ve got flat or large lips like your pal Plummy. A bit of depth helps them from visually taking over your (my) face.

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Rosy Nude

Is it just me, or has Revlon really been bringing their A game to the lip color scene recently?

I honestly can’t tell you the last time I’ve worn straight outta-the-tube lipstick on a regular basis. Probably not since Chanel reformulated my beloved “Energy” but Revlon might just change that.

Rosy Nude reminds me of nothing so much as the sort of lipstick models wear in commercials where they’re not supposed to be wearing any makeup and of course they just happen to look fresh and dewy and flawless because when you’re a model, you just roll out of bed looking camera ready (I, on the other hand, look like a tearful rhinoceros doing her best Winston Churchill impersonation…in a fright wig).

I also appreciate it’s fragrance-free.

It’s not that I really ever minded a little scent in my lipstick, and I know folks of a certain generation love the smell of old school lipstick, explaining the success of the pretty but surprisingly proletarian “Lipstick Rose” scent for Frederic Malle, but it’s nice to be able to pick a lipcolor without worrying whether it’s going to affect your sense of smell, taste or bother anyone you might be smooching.

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Soft Nude

Don’t trust the Amazon image, which is much more lavender than the actual product. I’ve posted the image with the closest color reproduction I could find.

Muchas gracias to the original photographer.

On me, Soft Nude is considerably paler than my natural lip color, so it’s not a shade I’d wear all over unless I was going for a very nude lip, like this Edie Sedgwick look from the always brilliant Samantha Chapman (tutorial here). Actually, I don’t think Sam is even using a lipcolor at all here. If I remember correctly I think she used concealer on her lips. You could do that, of course, but a pale nude is much more wearable.

What I use it for is as a lip highlighter.

For my evening look, I line my lips with Naughty Nude, filling in the outer corners a bit as I’d mentioned, then I apply Rosy Nude all over the lip.

The Soft Nude goes on the middle of the upper and bottom lips in the center half to bring the center of my lips visually forward, a trick Brigitte Bardot used to great effect, enhancing her already perfect pout.

If you’re a perfectionist you could blend it with a lip brush, but I’m not so I either buff it with my ring finger or make a few gentle kissyfaces.

Next comes the lipgloss.

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Perfect Peony

Again, the Amazon image on my screen is too blue like it seems to be with all the Revlon images, but it really is a perfect neutral peony.

I apply this in a thin layer all over the lip when I know I’m going to be eating or drinking, or if touch-ups won’t be practical, it’s sheer enough to let the other colors play through but adds longevity to the look.

Admittedly it dries a little sticky, so I wouldn’t wear it without a slicker, more moisturizing gloss on top.

The color is amazing, doesn’t peel or kiss off, but for me this is not a standalone product. It’s great as part of this look an I’d wear it for a regular day look topped with (lots) of hydrating lip gloss, but if you’re looking for one lippie to toss in your bag and be done with it, you’ve got better bets elsewhere.

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rosegold

Now THIS is what I’m talkin’ about!

I swear this is a spot-on dupe of MAC’s Lychee Luxe Lipglass and just about the prettiest gloss I’ve come across in a month of ice cream sundaes. It’s shimmery without being glittery, shiny without being goopy and incredibly easy to wear.

The shape of the sponge applicator is new and takes some getting used to for those of us used to the traditional doe foot, but I like it and gives excellent one-pass coverage.

For my evening look I just top everything off with a slick of this gloss but if I wanted to do a low-key everyday neutral, I could easily see myself wearing the Rosegold over the Rosy Nude without thinking twice.

Do you have favorite products for a neutral evening lip? Requests for other product recommendations or reviews? Put it in the comments and have a fantastic weekend!

December 6, 2011

Five Great: Gifts for the Road Travelin’ Gal

I’m not gonna lie, gang. Between my best friend and fam on the Atlantic and my new home on the Pacific, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road this year and  frankly know more than I’d like to about this great nation’s truckstops and rest stops (Texas might have dinosaur-denying textbooks and sentence innocent people to death on a regular basis, but by gum we have the finest maintained rest areas in this good and golden land).

Although I don’t always travel IN style I like to think I travel WITH style.

For example, I’m probably the only person at that particular rest area outside of El Paso who cuddled up in the backseat of her trusty automobile using two truck stop horse blankets and a blonde mink for a pillow.

For the majority of my adult life, I harbored some serious anti-suitcase sentiment. I traveled everywhere packing only what I could fit into my great grandmother’s snug 20″ x 16″ x 8″. red crocodile suitcase.  I’d had these newfangled cases with their wheelies and whatnot, and not a single one worked the way it ought. It was like I was trailing a drunken toddler behind me, and I gave up on modern suitcases for good. Sorta.

Unfortunately, when I realized I’d be staying a month or longer away from home and I’d have to cross international borders –who might not necessarily allow exotics like crocodile into, or out of their country– I bit the checked-baggage bullet and invested in the best suitcase I could reasonably afford.

Enter the Antler “Camden” 30″ hardside spinner.

Even if I’d paid the $420 retail for this bag –I didn’t, it’s on sale at Amazon for less than half that in a variety of colors, I got white– it would have been worth every penny.

This thing corners like a Lamborghini, survived particularly brutal treatment at the hands of TSA not to mention the guy who hauled it down the 72 steps to my villa, dropping it no fewer than six times, and the various abuses and humiliations involved in all commercial air travel these days. My white one did get a little scuffed up, but the marks came off with a Lysol cloth –what, you guys don’t disinfect your luggage after God Knows Who has been handling it?– and honestly, it’s a white suitcase. It comes with the territory.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, or at least the really, really bright, I give you theStanley HID0109 HID Spotlight.

I had no idea how badly I needed one of these things until my father gave me his used one last month. I’ve used it half a dozen times since then.

First of all, this thing is as bright as the sun.

Okay, maybe not the sun, but it is as bright as anything you could ever want.

When I was in Mexico, one of the lanterns in the single restaurant in my village caught fire and exploded (whee!) and they had to turn off the breaker. My trusty Stanley saved the day so they could work their electrical-repair magic and because boys will be boys, one of the fellas pointed the lamp across the ocean at one of the Islas Coronados and I swear the light shone onto land…13 km away.

More practically, I used it to help a family whose car had broken down somewhere in…hell I don’t remember. Let’s say Arizona and to “accidentally” shine directly in the face of a creepy trucker who kept circling closer and closer as I was gassing up along I-10 well after midnight.

Incidentally, do you know why the family with the butch guy with the camo truck and the huntin’ dog in the back of the bed needed to be rescued by a Birkin-totin’ babe like myself?

Because he didn’t carry jumper cables.

I swear I don’t understand what’s so hard about this. You buy a pair, you stick ’em in the back of your car and you forget about them until you need ’em, which you –or someone– will, eventually.

I get into more arguments with women about the importance of carrying cables than I care to relate. Yes, I know you have AAA. That’s great. I do too, and I LOVE them, but I also distinctly remember having to come to my grandmother’s rescue because AAA simply did not show up. Not even after I called several times. This wasn’t in the boonies either. They just didn’t come. Ever.

To me there’s no difference in not carrying jumper cables because “That’s what AAA is for” and not learning to drive because you have someone to chauffeur you around. It’s weak-on-purpose and antifeminist and okay, perhaps I’m a little too invested, but you can bet that big butch man will go to his grave with the shame that he had to be rescued by a girl because he failed Boy Scouts 101: He wasn’t prepared.

Granted it might not be the most romantic gift, but it could be a dead useful “gag gift” when paired with some sexy lingerie or a pair of beautiful earrings hidden inside.


1) Clamp the red cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery

2) Clamp the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal on the good battery

3) Clamp the black cable to the negative terminal of the good battery

4) Clamp the other end of the black cable to a piece of solid, unpainted metal under the hood of the dead car (NOT the black terminal unless you want to reproduce the welding scenes from Flashdance)

5) Turn on the good car, let it run for a few minutes, then start the dead car. If it doesn’t work it might need a few minutes more. Once the stalled car is started let it run for at least 30 minutes.

Just remember, start with “Red Cross to Dead Cross” and work in a circle. You should only be turning one direction.

Okay, ready for something a little less butch?


There, you don’t get much girlier than Caudelie Beauty Elixir.

I love this stuff. Basically it’s a water-weight mist with extracts of rosemary, and other essential oils, plus benzoin that perks your face right up. I know my skin goes to absolute hell when I travel and I keep a little bottle of this, along with some natural tears, Five Hour Energy and some Yellow Stick in one of the cupholders when I drive. One little spritz makes me feel human again and refreshes my body and as much of my spirit as can be reached by atomized spray.

What, you don’t know what Yellow Stick is?

It’s only about the greatest thing a dollar and four cents can buy!

I first started using Yellow Stick, which is a solid tube of 100% pure cocoa butter, when I was a volunteer at the cold weather shelter and I needed something I could stick in my pocket without worrying about spillage or leakage. I needed to be able to use it on my hands, lips and any place that got dry, without it irritating my skin or smelling too strongly of anything I didn’t want on my face. Plus, it’s easy to disinfect with a Lysol wipe, which is always a plus in my borderline germaphobe book. I use it for everything now, especially my cuticles and lips, and it makes a great stocking stuffer…you know, in case the jumper cables don’t fit.

December 2, 2011

Five Great: Little Black Dresses for Cocktails and Beyond

Filed under: Evening Wear,Fashion,Five Great...,Holidays — Miss Plumcake @ 2:15 pm

Happy Gray Friday everyone!

No, that’s not some newly invented consumer holiday, it’s just all rainy outside and my dog is giving me Meaningful Looks whenever I try to encourage him to leave the cozy confines of his crinoline to go outside and do what needs to be done. No, I’m not sure why he sleeps cuddled up on a crinoline. Several months ago he started using one of my old, bizarrely dead wasp-filled (how?! HOW did that happen??) petticoats as a bed. I don’t know why.

Maybe he’s the reincarnated spirit of Christian Dior, maybe he’s just a weird dog. Either way, I’m not getting that crinoline back and I suspect I’m going to find a puddle somewhere.

Speaking of crinolines, the winter party season is well upon us and although I don’t subscribe to the theory that every woman must must MUST have a little black dress, there’s no denying they come in handy especially if you don’t have the dough to drop on several high-end pieces.

Accessories make the dress when you’re talking basic black. Take, for example this Tadashi Shoji asymmetrical cocktail dress.
First of all, I love it because it has SLEEVES and hits just below the knee, which means it’s appropriate for all but the most conservative of occasions.

For a holiday party, I’d pin on something like this fabulous Judith Jack snowflake brooch just where the ruching gathers over the hip and toss on some sparkly earrings.

Then when spring rolls around, replace the brooch with a pastel silk flower –I think we’re past the super-saturation of the early Sex and The City days– and coordinating shoes, maybe even sheer shortie gloves in the spring color of your choice if you’re adventurous, and you’re good to go through May.

Of course, you can go with something that’s already adorned, like this
Kay Unger dress with an oversize asymmetrical collar. The right accessories will take this through Easter too, and if you’re REALLY hippy –more eggplant than pear– this is an answer from heaven to balance out your figure.

It will also work gangbusters if you’re straight up-and-down and tall (short and topheavy, you’re up next). Plus, it’s a slightly more interesting variation on the asymmetrical thing that’s been around and shows no sign of slowing.

I know what you’re thinking. No way this
David Meister draped sequined dress
is going to work on a big girl, but you couldn’t, in the words of the dope (in both senses) Kanye West, get much wronger.

I know, I was surprised too.

This is an absolute no-brainer for apples and the topheavy among us. Just toss on a pair of substantial, not spindle-thin, heels to anchor the look and be prepared to devastate. However, it works surprisingly well for the hourglassed too, even if you’ve got a bit –maybe not a TON– more sand in the bottom.

I tried on something similar to this a few seasons ago, not expecting much and I was shocked at how well it worked on my frame. It’s glitzy, it’s young without being reminiscent of mutton incognito, and it’s got just enough Bianca Jagger to keep it capital F fashion without being self-consciously hip.
Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more grown up but still  visually compelling, there’s this Tadashi Shoji cap sleeve number.

I’ll be honest, I debated putting this in because of my well-known hatred of all things cap sleeved. Then I thought about how cute this would look with one of my vibrant silk rebozos, Frida-style:

Or paired with a luscious emerald cashmere cardigan under a skinny little belt for that “Oh, yes, I always look this chic. See, I just popped this little sweater on in case I’d get cold. You mean some people have to TRY to look this fabulous? How interesting!”

And finally, the sleeper hit: David Meister’s 3/4 sleeve asymmetrical dress no sequins, no lace, no ornamentation, just a well-designed black knit dress that will look great on pretty much everyone, all the time.

Honestly, this is the dress I’d be most likely to select for my own closet because I could wear it to a hundred different parties a hundred different ways. It’s the perfect backdrop to not only a set of bangin’ curves, but also those showpiece jewels and traffic-stopping shoes. Bib necklaces, hair ornaments, ridiculously over-the top shoes, gloves, handbags…with the exception of my sneakers and cowboy boots, I’m having a hard time imagining a single accessory that wouldn’t work with this dress.

Nope. Can’t do it.

Stay tuned next week and through the rest of December for more of the Five Great series. Now while you’re off shopping, I’m going to find a puddle.

June 20, 2011

Five Great: Not So Basic Black Swimsuits

Filed under: Five Great...,Summer,Swimwear — Miss Plumcake @ 12:57 pm

Monif C Barbados Plunge Suit

A few years ago Monif C introduced what I’d call the beta version of this swimsuit. It interested me so I picked one up and alas, it was Not Good On Me. However, it looks like the problems in the earlier version –too low neck, shirring in the wrong place– have been addressed and the “Barbados” looks like it could be a fun option for playing Bond Girl on the beach.

I know you’ll all throw rocks at me for this, but deep in the black, gin soaked recesses of my soul, I sort of love, love and YEARN for a leather bathing suit. I know, I know. It’s the same part of my brain that wants a wall treatment made entirely of living moss.

I rarely wear swimwear and I don’t think I’ve worn so much as a napa leather jacket in a decade, but sometimes when I’m all alone and the wind is whistling its lonesome song, that I sit back and pine for the leather bathing suit I’ll never (probably for the best) own.


Kiyonna Ava convertible swimsuit




I mean, I think we all know I’ve got an enormous soft spot for 50’s fashion, so odds are if you style a model like that I’ll love whatever she has on her body (and can I just give a shout out to the model? She must be the palest swimsuit model in the world. Holla at your easily sunburnt girl!)

Convertible halters have been all the rage in swimwear recently and this is a fantastic, classic iteration. Click through to see other variations, the front-cross halter is one of my favorites. Remember, lots of sunscreen and you’ll never have to worry about an unruly tan line.

Monif C Monaco in Black

I featured the fuchsia and yellow versions of this the other day, but the black one is worth mentioning too.

This is pretty much a pear-shaped girls dream.

It would definitely go in my personal collection if only I weren’t so long waisted. Monif C swimwear in my experience runs short, so a word to the tall torso-ed wise.

I’d also advise you to go a size up if you’ve never worn her swimwear, especially with a cutout detail, you don’t want your little pooch of flesh to get all pokey-outy (pokey-outy being a medical term) and look weird.

I think this would actually work BEST on long waisted girls, so if any of you try it and have success, let a sister know.

Jessica London one piece with chain strap

So what if you want interesting without In Your Face Sexy?

It’s a reasonable request.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a basic black maillot and adding a bit of unexpected interest, which is exactly what you get with this chain strap one piece from Jessica London.

A fun take on the hardware and single shoulder trends of the past few seasons, this swimsuit is interesting without veering off into Crazypants or overly sexy.

It’s also available in white, and I very nearly bought it for myself.

Monif C Belize suit with mesh inserts

And one more from Monif C., this time featuring lingerie-inspired mesh inserts.

I haven’t quite made up my mind on this one.

On one hand, I’m intrigued by the lingerie motif, I remember the Dior Haute Couture collection a few years back when everyone was still broke and he did almost nothing but separates, working in vintage-inspired lingerie pieces to give the illusion of a woman still getting dressed in the atelier. I loved that show. Sigh, Galliano.

The suit is lovely on Fluvia –that’s right, I’m capable of saying a nice thing about her, even though even though I really don’t like her as a model since she always looks like she’ll stain my white furniture– so darker toned girls have at it.

I’d suggest my fellow residents of Honky O’Sunburn’s School for the Perennially Alabaster might give this one a miss as the mesh might read too obvious and skew trashy rather than retro-cheeky.

What do you think?


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