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

April 7, 2008

Design your own dress

Filed under: Fashion,Petite and Plus-Size,Racktastic,Women of Great Height — Francesca @ 8:36 am

Internet friend Carol has written to tell us about Dress By Design, a website where for $189 you can choose from six dress styles, specify what type of sleeves, neckline, hem length, and material you wish, and have them make a dress to perfectly match your personal measurements! Francesca has not tried it and is therefore interested to hear from those readers who have  . . . on the surface this seems like a useful service for the Big Girl who is an unusual shape (eg much larger up top than on bottom or vice versa, or unusually petite or tall) or who simply has little time to shop in stores.

Carol points out that for $40 extra, the company also offers this service:

We will send you a muslin form of the dress style (sleeveless top through the hips) you would like to order. You can pin the form to your exact fit, send it back to us, and then it will be used by the seamstress to make your dress. We’ll keep this on file for any additional orders.

Happy designing!


February 15, 2008

Oohs and Blahs

Filed under: Fashion,Racktastic,Sales,Women of Great Height — Francesca @ 12:39 pm

Francesca has been perusing the plus-size vendor sites and do you know, it’s a mixed bag this season. There are a lot of boring, uninspired clothes out there. But do not despair! For, first of all, there are some beautiful things available if you look hard enough. And second, sometimes you just want a plain red sweater in your size to stay warm in, or a simple dress to adorn with the fabulous scarf and ginormous pin you got last Christmas. The operative words here are “look hard,” “your size,” and “adorn.” Francesca hath spoken!

And now on to the sales!

Live near a Lane Bryant outlet store? They are having sales and specials from now through Monday, Feb. 18 in the physical stores (find outlet locations here). Save even more by going here and printing out the coupon before you get in the car. If you do not live near an Outlet, console yourself by going online and buying this black velvet jacket, marked down from almost $100 to just $30!

Do you wear Tall (not plus) sizes, or Large or X-Large? (Yes, Francesca knows that few of our readers can squeeze into an XL or a non-plus Tall size, but she is grasping at straws here.) Check out the new items in the J.Crew sales section.

Coldwater Creek has added 300 new items to their sales section. Some of them are superfantastic, and some are God-awful . . . but anyway at these prices it is worth sifting through their offerings to see what catches your eye! Francesca is thinking about ordering this silk and cotton voile blouse, marked down from $120 to $28. She also needs new sweatpants for the workouts, and for $12 they have some nice ones. (Yes! Fat Girls work out! Remember? You never know.)

Roanan’s is having a bra sale! Up to size 58J, isn’t that amazing? Bra party at Roanan’s! This “5-ways” bra which can be worn strapless or as a halter or criss-cross is available up to size 46F and is on sale for $28. Not too shabby! Be sure to enter code RD11646 (through the 18th of February) to receive 30% off your highest-priced item (whether it’s a bra or not). You can also enter code RD11257 to defer your payment until April (though Francesca is not sure whether they will let you use both codes at the same time).

And now a shout-out to our European readers: Beige Plus is having a sale at their stores in North and Central London. You can also shop online here. (Note: A British pound is currently worth about $2, so double the prices to convert to American currency.) A skirt which Francesca has formerly recommended is available for “only” $650. (But you know you want it.)

Happy shopping and happy weekend!


December 20, 2007

A letter to the well-endowed, teenage, poor girl

Filed under: Racktastic,You Asked For It — Francesca @ 8:10 am

A dear internet friend writes:

Dear Francesca and Plumcake,
I am not what one would call the big girl, I am fourteen and a size zero or two. I have a dreadful time trying to find clothes that are within the price range that my mother would deem acceptable for someone who is still growing and fit properly. My problem is I have a rather large bust. I am a DD and while this might not seem that large it is on someone of my size (I am five foot two). I know this isn’t exactly your area of expertise but having read the letter from Tracy I thought you might be able to help.
Anna Beth

Dear Anna Beth,

Ayyyy! To be fourteen years old, and 5’2″, and have the DD bust, it is not easy! And to have a mother with a budget! Ayyyy!

Francesca says: You must work together with your mother on this, as a team.

On one hand, is your family’s financial needs. On the other is your understandable desire to look attractive. Francesca trusts that you are not trying to tell your mother to buy only the latest, designer, name-brand clothing, but rather that you want normal, pretty blouses (of any brand) which do not look like tents on you, and that the prices at large-chest specialty stores, such as Bravissimo, are out of your budget.

If this is the case, then sit down with your mamman and explain that you are happy to buy clothing that is on sale, or less quality than your taste (perhaps you have very advanced standards for your age, but at 14 you can get away with less quality; your mother is correct about this), but that the reality of having a large chest (which perhaps you inherited from her? Or from your beloved grandmother?) is that, one way or another, one pays more for the clothes. For example, if you are going to a regular clothing store and buying clothes off the rack on sale, then you must buy a bigger size, so that it will fit at the chest — and then you MUST bring it to a seamstress to have other areas, such as your size 2 waist, “taken in.” There is also the matter that the sleeves may need to be shortened.

It is a choice of either spending more on the clothes to begin with, or of spending more on the seamstress (which might be the cheaper option). At the very least, you will need a budget for pretty camis, as our readers have discussed in the comments to Tracy’s question.

If your mother balks at this, Francesca’s suggestion is to become crafty, literally. Francesca herself greatly wishes that she had taken a sewing class at your age, so that she could create or alter clothing to her own specifications, without need of the seamstress. Taking a sewing class now, when you are young, will allow you to develop your talents as you grow up, so that by the time you go to college you are creating one-of-a-kind clothing that makes your new college friends say “wow, where did you get that?”

Another option is for your mamman to give you an exact number of dollars per year that she is willing to spend on your clothes, and for the Anna Beth to step up the babysitting or dog-walking or newspaper route jobs in order to supplement the amount.

Using your own resources to get what you want, rather than relying on your parents, is what we call “building character.” Francesca, too, worked hard every summer during her teenage years and used the monies to purchase things that her parents could not afford, and look, now she is the woman of a fabulous career who wears superfantastic clothing and even is asked fashion advice from people around the world! So you see, there is much hope for the Anna Beth!


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