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

February 9, 2011

Review Revue: Duo Tulip Boots

Filed under: Boots,Plumcake's Closet,Review Revue — Miss Plumcake @ 5:00 pm

Okay gang, I am about to reveal a deep and shocking secret about myself. I mean this is some next-level Final Season of Oprah stuff that’s about to go down. Ready?

I am, at times, a teensy bit particular.

I will graciously wait while you try to reclaim some sense in your now topsy-turvy universe.


That being said, there’s a difference between being particular and being unreasonable. If I’m going to my favorite Highly Questionable Taco Cart (Taqueria Las Rosas #2 holla at your girl! Orale!) I don’t expect haute cuisine, I don’t ask too many questions. I just take my taco, try not to knock over any of their fiber optic/ patriotic Jesus statuary and call it a noche.

The same goes for shoes and clothing. If I’m buying a $50 dress, I expect a few threads hanging here or there or less-than-luxe fabrication. If I’m dropping $500? My standards are a lot higher.

My standards were high when I ordered two pairs of boots from London-based Duo.

After hemming and hawing, I decided on the black suede over-the-knee Tulip and the cognac leather knee-high Rochelle.

Duo boots aren’t astronomically expensive –most of the boots run around $225-$325, perfectly reasonable for a pair of quality European-made leather boots– but their flagship fitting room is on Savile Row, a street in London that’s been shorthand for flawless bespoke tailoring for over 200 years.

You do not mess around on Savile Row.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my initial experience with Duo was not a pleasant one.

Even allowing for the cultural difference (I’m not saying Texans are necessarily nicer people, I’m just saying you think twice about being rude to someone if you’re in a concealed handgun state) I was Not Impressed with the attitude I received from the customer service when after close to a month, I asked after the whereabouts of my boots. That being said my other interactions have been –I won’t say overly warm, but the British didn’t build an empire on warmth– but absolutely satisfactory.

The Fit:

Getting into them is a wee bit difficult as the zipper only goes up to the knee, but a full zip would ruin the look. The toe box is nice and roomy for a wide foot with an elegant almond toe and surprisingly cushy padding, and although the ankle was a bit loose for my personal preference –I have slender ankles for someone with big calves– they were cut generously enough to fit a thick-ankled woman without looking slouchy on someone with slimmer ones. I ordered my regular size and went down a centimeter on the calf fit because leather –especially suede– stretches and I don’t like the slouch-boot look.

The Construction:

The suede is excellent and uniformly soft with only minor flaws in the nap.

These flaws are just going to happen with any natural material and I was pleasantly surprised by its quality and softness. I don’t know what animal they use but it feels like lamb or kid, both of which make suedes with a much finer texture than calf. If it IS calf then I am even more impressed.

The lining was another happy surprise: an incredibly supple fuchsia nappa leather extending to the top of the zipper. The over-the-knee part is finished with the same black suede as the outside, which means you can wear them cuffed to knee-height if your little heart desires.

The stitching is small and even, with the thread changes noticeable but not prominent (anyone who asks why I care about thread changes has clearly never been poked in the leg all day by a bristle-stiff loose end from an improperly secured thread change) and the turns are sharp, no lazy finishing here.

I noticed a few less-than-straight cuts on the leather lining, but I’d classify that more in the realm of adding charm than detracting from the quality.


December 16, 2010

‘Tis the Season for the Professional Dipsomaniac

Filed under: cocktails,Plumcake's Closet,Tis the Season — Miss Plumcake @ 8:00 am

Stainless Steel Boston Cocktail Shaker
Lead Crystal Single Malt Whisky Glass Set by Riedel(a must have)
Peugot Aromium Decanter w/ Aerator
OXO Complete Bar Set

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!

December 14, 2010

‘Tis the Season for the Cool Kid

Filed under: Accessories,Music,Plumcake's Closet,Shoes,Tis the Season — Miss Plumcake @ 8:00 am

Mojo Magazine Subscription. Like Rolling Stone, but good.
Deisel Decks Watch
Adidas Originals Superstars
Ray-Ban Clubmasters

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!

December 8, 2010

‘Tis the Season for the French Foodie

Filed under: Food,Plumcake's Closet,Tis the Season — Miss Plumcake @ 11:08 am

Mauviel 12″ Copper Egg White Bowl with Ring If you’re a serious baker you probably already have one of these, if not: Get you one. You’ll never go back.

Laguiole Verdier Heavy Duty Cheese Set with Map of France Board It’s where the cheese comes from! Everyone needs a good cheese plate. Plus, put a glass dome over it et voila: cheese cage! Sort of. Actually if you wanted a proper cheese cage using a teensy rabbit hutch is the best.

Emile Henry Salt Pig I love my little salt pig so damn much and it’s one of those gifts that’s inexpensive yet thoroughly useful (seriously, you’ll never go back) and it brings such nice color to the kitchen.

Emile Henry Flame Red Tagine Ex-fiancé Andre, the Fancy Schmancy French/Moroccan chef uses this exact tagine. It’s great for traditional uses but it is also a fantastic serving piece.

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!

December 3, 2010

‘Tis the Season for the Athena Athlete

Filed under: Internet Friends,Plumcake's Closet,Shoes,Sports,Tis the Season — Miss Plumcake @ 12:38 pm

Nike Gym Club Bag (how cute is this?!)
Brooks Glycerin 8’s –suggested by superfantastic Athena-class triathlete Kerrie
Camelbak Quick Grip Water Bottle with Chill Jacket
Nike+ Sport Armband for iPhone (I don’t know what I’d do without mine)

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!

December 1, 2010

‘Tis the Season for the Misunderstood Genius

Filed under: Accessories,Books,Hermes,Music,Plumcake's Closet,Tis the Season — Miss Plumcake @ 8:00 am

Hermès Ulysses Refillable Notebook: Blue Jean Togo Leather, Palladium Hardware (if someone doesn’t get this for me for Christmas I will DIE)
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs (my journalistic hero)
The Complete Works of Gustav Mahler
Cross Classic Century Pen (excellent sale for Miss Plumcake’s preferred pen)

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!

November 30, 2010

What Miss Plumcake is…

Filed under: Accessories,Books,Fashion,Jewelry,Movies,Music,Perfume,Plumcake's Closet — Miss Plumcake @ 1:00 pm

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?

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