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‘Tis the Season for the Jackie O Wannabe

A Thousand Days of Magic: Dressing Jacqueline Kennedy for the White House by Oleg Cassini. Who doesn’t love Oleg Cassini? I could take or leave Jackie (she was at best the SECOND most interesting woman either of her husbands slept with. Marilyn Monroe and La Divina were hot messes, but fascinating ones) but getting the scoop from her then-controversial designer? Juicy.
Hermes Astrologie (Dies et Hore) foulard (as worn by Mrs Kennedy casting her vote in New York) I mean you can’t really go wrong with one of THE classic scarves of all time. I’m kind of bitter there’s only one left for sale right now, because I don’t have that particular design in my admittedly extensive collection and I’m just not sure I’m okay with that.

Jacqueline Kennedy Classic 3-Strand Simulated Pearl Necklace aka The John-John Pearls. I believe her original fake pearls were Kenneth Jay Lane but these are the currently licensed reproductions. You can’t go wrong with a triple-strand of pearls. They’re like the dry martinis of necklaces.
Ray-Ban Jackie Ohh II sunglasses I think we all know how I feel about oversized (emphasis on over) sunglasses but whatever.  If you’re going to do it at least do it with style.

Be sure to check back at the main ‘Tis the Season page to look back on profiles you’ve missed and look forward to ones that are soon to come!

What Miss Plumcake is…

Hello my little buttermilk biscuits, how’s every little thing? Me? I’m fab.

My shipment of strepsils, QI DVDs and Marks and Spencer English breakfast tea is well on its way from London via Edinburgh and Montreal (thanks Michael! You’re a pal) and I’m getting all breathless at the idea of an entire weekend alone with my tea, my imported medicated lozenges and Stephen Fry all to myself. That’s right, it’s all about the glamor here at Chateau Gateau.

However it’s still Tuesday which means my mentholated marathon is several days away, so let’s find out what Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: Born Round:A Story of Food, Family and a Ferocious Appetite by Frank Bruni
Watching: Les Biches
Hearing: The Lady Killer by CeeLo Green. I can’t help it. It’s a shockingly great Motown album from beginning to end.
Smelling: Attrape-Coeur by Guerlain
Loving: Rachel Leigh Peridot Drop Earrings
Hating: The Knock-Kneed Naif Look. Listen, you’re not Lolita or an extra in a Bob Fosse number. You’re a grown-ass woman so stand up straight.
Wanting: Michael Kors Asymmetrical Zipper Dress (on BIG sale)
Buying: Saks V Neck Cashmere Sweaters. You can NEVER have too many cashmere sweaters, especially on sale!

So what about you? What’s rocking your casbah this last day of November?

‘Tis the Season for the Glamazon

The Best of Roxy Music
Alaïa Chain-link Leather Sandals
ABS Allen Schwartz Mixed Material Bib
Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Be sure to check back at the main ‘Tis the Season page to look back on profiles you’ve missed and look forward to ones that are soon to come!

Be Casual

I’ve never really cared that much about Casual Fridays until the World Cup back in July when I developed an affectionate rivalry with one of the publishers who holds extremely wrongthinking views on just about every possible team and, like wrong people everywhere, need to be reminded constantly of their wrongliness.

So Friday quickly became Football Friday, with your pal Plummy showing up in a new bit proper football-related gear every week, mostly just to annoy the Wrongthinking Publisher.

Historically I do not do casualwear. Jeans and t-shirts look sloppy on big girls (don’t argue, they do. Fact.) and since I take my role as Professional Fat Girl extremely seriously, I feel I need to lead by example and fight the sloppy stereotype, so Monday through Thursday, when everyone else at the office is in jeans and shapeless tees, I wear dresses or –if I’ve missed a wax– dark jeans and a cashmere sweater. The problem is, how do you turn something inherently casual like say, this admittedly lurid Barcelona jersey, into A Look?

Go High/Low.

You’ve heard a lot about the concept of High/Low dressing. Mixing inexpensive or casual pieces with luxury or more formal goods is pretty much the first rule in the Advanced Fashion playbook and can be used to great effect when you want to deploy a tee of which you are particularly fond.

For me this generally translates into glamming it up with the accessories, being sure to wear at least one piece of noticeable luxury and a serious bit of shine to balance out a bottom-of-the-table look.

To go high/low with today’s 2009/2010 Barca away jersey I’m wearing:

Lane Bryant dark trouser cut jeans (click images for links)

All Black yellow snakeskin skimmers

Hermés vintage Brandenbourgs in the light blue colorway (get you one! I LOVE this scarf!) tied kerchief-style in my hair.

A pair of big sparkly sky blue vintage earrings. You’ll pry mine off my cold, dead, ears but these from Kendra Scott (who, full disclosure, is in Miss Plumcake’s social circle) would do nicely:


A bit more makeup than I usually wear –this is important when going casual because you don’t have a dress or slick outfit to polish you up– and to top it off, a vintage black and blue brocade tuxedo jacket. Okay, you might not have a collection of dinner jackets just taking up space the way I do, but if you still want to do the womens jackets thing, go for a nice boyfriend-style single button blazer worn casually on top.

So happy Friday and because I’m almost certain the Wrongthinking Publisher will read this, What’s the difference between hot tea and Arsenal? Tea actually has a chance of staying in the cup!

What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading – Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry This is pretty much porn for the beyond-the-glamordome girls out there. I mean there’s jewelry and then there’s Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry. Obviously the catalog is amazing and the photographs are brilliant, but what makes this such a sweet and compelling read are the little personal stories she tells about personalities big and small. Sure she’s crazy, but she makes the crazy work for her. We should all be so crazy.

Watching – I’m On Setanta TV/ Special 1 TV.  Why not? I’m fantastic. Be champions!

Hearing – Lyle Lovett. My affection for this long, tall Texan is well-documented and he puts on one of the consistently best live shows I’ve ever had the pleasure to see.  Lyle was in town filming the last Austin City Limits show to be taped in historic studio 6A and he and his large band tore it up for two nights at the Paramount theater. His band is tight, his hair is high and his shows are two and a half hours of all-killer no-filler (and no intermission) awesomeness. Get you some.

Smelling – Padparadscha by Satellite. The hard-to-find Style Spy brought back a sample of this exotic juice from a little costume jewelry shop in Paris called Satellite.  Named after the pink-orange sapphire, this is exactly what you’d think of when you hear the phrase “all the perfumes of Arabia” deep, rich, intense and languorous, you can practically see the heavy-lidded odaliscas anointing themselves with this thick amber scent as they wait for their pasha.

Loving –CreateTheGood.org November marks one of my favorite volunteer opportunities of the year, where I wait tables for the annual Feast of Sharing dinner, that serves a holiday meal to thousands upon thousands of Austinites around the Thanksgiving Holidays. As you know, your pal Plummy is a huge proponent of volunteerism all year long (gotta burn off those purgatory points somehow!) but especially during the holidays. Check out createthegood.org to find volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood.

Hating – Nippies. Seriously, even for pasties these things are tacky. Austin was a hotbed of the burlesque revival so I know my way around a tassel or two but these are about the worst things I’ve been asked to hawk in a long time.

Wanting – A Jose Mourinho bobblehead doll. Seriously? Seriously? They have a damn bobblehead doll for every.freakin’.thing. under the sun and I cannot get ONE decent Special One figurine? I mean sure I found one that was PURPORTEDLY Jose Mourinho, but it didn’t have the special scarf. What good is the Special One without his special scarf? No good.

Buying – Anything padparadscha orange.  Maybe it’s the perfume or maybe it’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about jewelry recently but I cannot get enough of that unusual pinky-orange. Recently I’ve been keeping padparadscha orange calla lilies on my desk at home. Fabulous.

Manolo Jewelry

Manolo says, please allow the Manolo to present to you the latest addition to the Manolosphere: Manolo Jewelry!

Edited by our good friend, and the long-time commenter at the blogs of the Manolo, La Petite Accadienne, who will be certain to provide you with much jewelry-based entertainment.

Manolo Jewelry!

And now you must go and leave our friend La Petite Acadienne the comment welcoming her to the world of blogging.

Rings the Size of Snails

I don’t know much in this world. I know that gin and tonics prevent malaria, I know that if it doesn’t last longer than a Ramones song you don’t have to add him to your How Many Have You list and I know that –as I’ve said before– life is too short for small jewelry.

This past weekend Twistie was talking about rings the size of snails and that got me thinking about doing another rings post since the last one was so popular.

I wrote a while ago that people think costume jewelry is inherently Less Than fine jewelery (i.e., jewelry made exclusively with precious or semi-precious materials) but it ain’t necessarily so. First of all most of the fine jewelry you can get at malls is so treated and ballsed up that it doesn’t deserve the name, much less the price tag. Secondly, better costume jewelry holds its value as well as if not better than run-of-the-mill fine jewelry in the collectors’ market.

Unfortunately, Miss Plumcake has large hands and most decent costume rings in the shops only come in one size and that one size is not Plumcake-sized at all. Enter HSN.com. HSN knows a good thing when it sees it and quickly figured out that one size does not fit all, and so offers most of its amazing rings up to a size 10 or even 12.

So, let’s take a look at a few sparklies that have been catching my eye, shall we? I believe they’re all under $100 with many well under  $50.  Bonus!

Of course if you’re going to wear a ring the size of a snail, it might as well be the shape of a snail, no?
Click on the image for links.

I luh-uve the first because it’s totally something I would wear, particularly as I love amber and citrine colors on rings and –fun fact– snails are totally my totem animal. The second one isn’t quite my style but I wanted to toss something in for the silver lovers among you.

Of course you can’t talk about costume jewelry without bringing up the Fake It ’til You Make It trope. Eh, I don’t really have a burning desire to buy or have bought for me one of those cute little clover-shaped Van Cleef and Arpels rings, but this amethyst-colored jobber gives the same feel for a lot less dosh, plus it’s different enough not to feel like a knock-off.

See also the Cartier leopard. Cartier has been making gorgeous jewel-and-enamel leopards for probably close to a century now and they are iconic. So too are the Kenneth Jay Lane leopards that followed them. While The vintage Kenneth Jay Lane ones fetch a pretty penny this ring by Adrienne is a quite nice homage to Joaillier des Rois, Roi des Joailliers without the royal price.

SPEAKING of enamel, I love the stuff. It’s such an elegant look and people hardly wear it anymore, which is a shame. I particularly like enamel “figurals” like these floral rings (the green one is my favorite ring of this batch, click to see more)

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