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

She may not be handsome or accomplished…

 

Advice from our friends at “Questionable Advice & Advertisements

Desperately Seeking Outerwear

Sometimes  all I want in the world is a really good trench coat. One that’s tailored well enough to be a dress, but can be worn as an actual coat. With  my annual month-long sabbatical to DC coming up and two weeks in Barcelona and Rome meeting with important magazine-type people, I need some sort of water resistant outerwear.

Outwear is a real blind spot for me. I’ve got that ridiculous lynx an old admirer had made for me  –because nothing’s more practical for someone living in the middle of Texas than a gigantic fur coat– a blonde mink stole I last used as a pillow outside a rest stop in El Paso and an emerald green pea coat that smells like a lamb shank in the rain.

That leaves me with a serious trench gap, and although precipitation here is limited to the first three months of the year, I’d like to get my hands on one before I have nothing to protect me from inclement weather of Rome but prayer and a strategically-held copy of La Repubblica.

I love this shot of Glee’s Amber Riley from Essence Magazine.

Granted,  Amber is 5’3″ and I  like the trench-as-dress trope much more in editorial than I do in real life –there are always fabric and flow issues– but it works the way a trench coat should work for a big girl.

The shoes are Rene Caovilla and the belt is by Ports 1961 but the trench?

Joan Rivers for QVC.

Seriously.

Do you have any secret outerwear resources? Share them in the comments!

 

 

Sharkproof Swimwear

This post is in memory of my favorite pair of black underwear, tragically lost at sea August 16, 2012

I am almost certain no one has ever been eaten by a shark while wearing an evening gown.

Maybe on the Titanic, but they probably drowned or froze first, so hey, my totally made-up not-even-remotely-scientifically-supported point still stands.

Uh, Plummy? What point would that be?

There’s nothing saying you have to wear a swimsuit to the beach.

Up with this sort of thing!

I mean sure you probably have to wear some sort of covering, because most beaches are Not That Kind of Beach, but if you don’t feel comfortable in a bathing suit, wear something else.

Honestly, it’s not a big deal.

Of course most of you are much smarter than I am –not that that sets the bar prohibitively high– so you probably figured this out already, but if you have body shame or a weird rash or are cursed with a long torso that forces you to choose between exposing your nooks or your crannies to the public eye, you can just choose your own adventure and be a beach bunny on your own terms.

Here is a brief sampling of outfits I’ve deemed fit for the briny blue at one time or another:

  • a traditional bathing suit
  • a gold-embroidered lavender silk sari
  • underwear and holiday colored Saran Wrap
  • an evening gown
  • various dresses of various lengths

True, some were bigger successes than others. Swimming in the sari, while not especially practical, was about the most glamorous thing I’ve ever done. I felt just exactly like that goldfish from Fantasia, and who doesn’t want to feel like that goldfish from Fantasia at least once before they shuffle loose this mortal coil?

Others just seemed like a good idea at the time.

I’m looking at –and slightly through– you, Saran Wrap bathing bodice, although in my defense it was nowhere near the most questionable outfit at that particular pre-discobrunch after-afterparty. Come to think of it, it didn’t even seem like a good idea then, but when you’re a straight-laced twenty year-old and a flock of gay men hopped up on ketamine and body glitter come at you with festive green plastic wrap and a meaningful glint in their eyes, you just do what you need to do. God I miss the 90’s.

–insert record scratch jerking us mercilessly back into cruel, cruel reality–

Recently, I’ve taken to wearing cotton dresses for my sunset dips.

Actually, I’ve taken to “reading Melville” which is the phrase I’ve come up with to describe swimming in the buff, since “skinny dipping” isn’t exactly accurate and “chunky dunking” lacks a certain charm. That being said, I live on an essentially deserted six-mile stretch of beach and what’s the damn point of living on an essentially deserted six-mile stretch of beach if you can’t strip off and traumatize some pelicans?

Even if you can’t blind your own seabirds, why not try donning something non-traditional for your next aquatic adventure? It’s better than sitting at home because you’re afraid of being The Fat Girl at the Beach. Just be careful if you’re in a swimming pool: chlorine is hell on a silk sari.

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Robot on the Loose Edition

Hi-ho camperinos! It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness.

You all know how this works. I find a picture that’s begging on street corners for a good funny caption or twelve. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next week I declare a winner and there is much rejoicing.

This week’s image comes to you from the Fugitive from Futurama file, and it looks a little like this:

Ready… set… snark!

The Big Question: Your Fashion Signature?

Whether or not we are dedicated followers of fashion, we all develop some sort of style. Some craft it carefully, parsing every sartorial message with more vigor than we ever applied to any sentence in English class. Others fall into a style naturally and without much thought. Some find one thing that works forever, while others change their signature as time, whim, or opportunity dictates.

But one thing is certain: somebody out there knows it’s you by one quick glance at an article of clothing or accessory you wear.

Just last night, Mr. Twistie and I were eating out when an old friend came into the restaurant. Why? Because he’d seen my ever-present hat through the window. There are people in the world I’ve known for years who literally don’t recognize me if I go out sans chapeau.  Once a woman who – at the time – I had yet to meet in the too, too solid flesh sent me the gift of a hat she knew was just my style. Funnily enough, she was absolutely right. I wear it all the time, especially in the rainier months when a tweed cap is just right. Particularly one with muted metallic sequins on it. Really, it’s much more tasteful than it sounds.

I’ve been wearing hats almost religiously since I was fifteen. It started as a simple whim one morning, and became a Way of Life quite rapidly. I actually tried to chuck the habit about twenty years ago, but it was far too ingrained in my soul by that point. I came back to hats.

And you know what? I will never turn my back on hats again. I love them. I love how I feel when I’m wearing them. I love how wearing one turns heads in the street. I love how wearing hats seems to make people smile. I don’t even much care if the smile is the first rictus of derisive laughter. Why? Because hats and I belong together. Hats are my signature, and they delight me.

So what about you? What’s your sartorial signature? How did you come by it? How long have you been doing it? Does it make you happy? Let’s dish!

This is Your Jellyfish:

This is your jellyfish on drugs:

Any questions?

Self Praise and other Endangered Species

“If you’re pretty, you’re pretty. If you’re not, what’s the harm in believing you are?”

That’s the response I had to Kate from Eat the Damn Cake’s post about not apologizing for liking your looks.

Seems Kate, and many women like her, can’t pay themselves a compliment on their appearance without burying it in a pack of negative qualifiers for fear of appearing arrogant, because apparently owning a reflective surface and at least one functional eye is arrogant now.

Allow me a world-weary sigh.

People are always going to make fun of you, to dislike you or criticize you or just generally be Not One of Your Fans. Always. We don’t need to help them along.

I remember last year when I visited my grandmother. She rattled off an impressively comprehensive list of my faults, both real and perceived, in chronological order starting shortly after I embedded myself in the womb. The finale was a rather spectacular rendition of What Everybody Really Thinks of You (feat. I’m Telling You For Your Own Good) which was in no way hampered by the fact that aside from an awkward dinner once every three years we don’t actually know any of the same people.

At the end of the litany I surprised both of us by saying “Well, I’m sort of okay with that.”

She was aghast.

But that means I’m not 100% invested in whether every person in the universe thinks I’m perfect. How unladylike!

For a woman, self-acceptance is civil disobedience.

The powers that be (society/media/your chain smoking grandmother) throw us under the bus for fun and profit. We don’t need to make it easier.

I’m not saying burn your bras and grow swaying veldts of body hair (although you can if you want) but maybe do all those beauty routines for our own enjoyment instead of playing some Barbie Dream Shell Game where we have to “minimize flaws” so…so what, exactly? So guys will want to have sex with us?

Is it hard to get a guy to want to have sex with you?

I see plain people with children All.The.Time. SOMEONE’S rolling their stromboli and since I’m not sure Hump the Homely has achieved its 501(c)(3) status quite yet, I don’t think they’re doing it for the tax write-off.

Or maybe it’s to get a man to –oh prize of prizes– put a ring on it?

If you can bake a cupcake and lift your soft palate, you can get a husband.

Maybe not one worth having, but, as my internet friend once said, “There’s a Sigfried for every Roy.”

I think my record has established I am an absolutely horrible person, entirely unfit for human companionship. Just ask my grandmother. Now that it rarely tops 80 or dips below 70, even my dog stays outside most of the day. But even if you exclude the drunk, the Irish and the mentally ill, I’ve still had more than half a dozen marriage proposals in my life and my cupcakes aren’t that good.

Finding someone to love and who loves you with all your intricacies, physical ones too, is a blessing, and it’s one we can bestow upon ourselves. So give yourself a compliment, leave out the qualifiers and just get on with it. After all, as Saint RuPaul of Charles says: If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else?

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