Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Favorite Subject - Shoes!

People have been embellishing their clothes, their accessories, and even themselves since, well, forever. But I'm always so excited when something is easy, creative, and cheap! Here's a pair of shoes I got at Payless for $10 on sale. They're a perfect fit, a deep burgundy color, and a classic almost-retro style. And the V shape and the pointy toe add to the length of the leg. As soon as I saw them I knew they would look great - with a little embellishment.

I went shopping. Craigslist, eBay, Goodwill - I hit 'em all. What was I looking for? A pair of vintagey crystal brooches (matching) or some gaudy old sparkly clip-on earrings. I found these old Avon earrings at eBay for under $5.

Not sure how anyone wore them on their EARS - they're huge! But I think they transform these shoes from ho-hum to hot!

Maybe I haven't found just the right pair of clip-ons (that's another nice thing about this can change it up for every mood!) since I was looking for rhinestones rather than pearls, but I still think they look quite special.

Ideas for embellishing shoes: add jewelry, crystals, paint, feathers, silk flowers, fabric, leather, tassels, bows, trim, coins, paper, buttons, beads, or gems! Here are some sites I found - but there are a million out there!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tights Tip - Never Run Another Pair!

How many times have you stuck a finger right through your nylons/tights pulling them up? I haven't run a pair since I thought of this trick.

I keep a pair of inexpensive knit gloves in the bathroom at work and in my purse. Not because my pitty-pattys are cold - but for pulling up my tights! It's just the right amount of insulation to keep your nails from going through the fabric, and you can get a good grip on your legwear with the gloves.

Works like a charm!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lucky - February '09 - The Bargain Issue

This was a great issue, lots of good deals in here! I'm starting with my footwear fetish because these beige d'orsay suede heels on page 16 are going to make my legs look a million miles long (which would be a miracle for my short, trunk-like gams) plus a portion of the proceeds go to a good cause. How much better does shoe shopping get? I don't know who makes 'em - have to stop by to see.

I've always wanted to try a pair of "architectural" heels, but they hadn't been in my budget. Until the February Lucky that is...these are only $29 bucks at! They may not come in 10W, but we'll see.

Last shoe, I promise...these peep-toe spectators, p63. I've been watching the trend for months and really digging it, but of course when most trends start they're only available through high-end stores, and I'm on bargain-bin-budget right now. Here's my chance - Payless to the rescue! $30?!? Yes!

P62 features this 2-tone moc-croc structured bag that's giving me a bad case of the wants. What can I say? I'm into two-toned structured bags.

Last bargain - p101, a classic wool 3/4 sleeve boucle jacket from It only goes up to size 2XL so I'll have to see how generous it is. It's both classy and ladylike. They have a different boucle jacket in Women's sizes but I'm sorry, it's ugly. Hello Target, just because we're bigger doesn't mean we want to be less stylish!

<-- It's far from a bargain, but it's a great inspirational piece. I'm not usually a fan of lace dressing except in small doses - I think it's a bit overwhelming on most people when worn overall, but this gorgeous lace vest/top is just dreamy. (p41)

Speaking of vests, how cute is this outfit on P54? I'm going to reproduce for myself, only on me the skirt will skim the knees and maybe only have one or two flounces around the bottom. I'll rock it though, you have my word.
Thanks, Lucky, for a darn good read this month.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Silk, Satin, and Everything Sweet

Special occasion dressing becomes more important to me the further I progress in my career. I'm no New York socialite attending uppercrust soirée's but I have the occasion to fancy up now and again. The December People StyleWatch (PSW) had a number of sophisticated and lovely items that would KILL on a girl with some curves.

This Bebe top in creamy satin chiffon is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. (P 87) On a girl with a big bottom and a small top, (like me) it could be worn over a dark skirt or palazzo pants adding balance to the body and perfectly accentuate milky soft shoulders and a winning smile. Ok, so I'm a princess in my dreams.

This next one (same page) from Express is a little more practical but no less beautiful. The neckline is just the thing to add some bling, but the comfortable shape is basically a glorified t-shirt! The cap sleeve is beautiful for those of us who like a little arm coverage and the slight ruffle at the bottom lets it flow away from a larger tummy. Love this. Make it in my size!

I had some difficulty this year with shoes. I am something of a shoe-aholic, but this holiday season I was called on to host a red-carpet event, give a stage performance, and MC a holiday banquet...all of which called for special, elegant shoes which would also allow me to stand/walk/survive on my feet for up to 4 hours.

I ended up ordering four pair from - trying them all one - and returning 3 of the four after choosing this satin pair with its sparkly jeweled button in a not-too-high heel.

Page 36 of PSW had this amazing suede and rhinestone pair --> they're more elegant that mine but maybe not as wearable. I haven't gone to to see if they come in my size, but at under $120, they're not ridiculous to consider if they could be worn year after year with cocktail dresses. I just don't know about the skinny heel for stompin' around.

There are so many delicious thing on page 26, I ripped it out and rolled in it like a beagle rolling in raccoon poop. (They do that. Or at least mine does!) Of the 9 items featured on this page, 6 of them would work beautifully on a plus-size diva. Ok, so four of them are accessories, which work on women of any size, but I'm of the opinion that women of size should wear accessories with oomph, and these have plenty of it.
Sport any of these sparkling black beauties -->
and expect attention. (Don't wear them all together, that's not the kind of attention you want!) And not a single one over $70. One of the reasons I like PSW!

This silk Armani Exchange blouse is gorgeous and could be flattering on a number of skin tones. I'm not sure the palest blondes could pull it off, but the shape could be great for a pear.

This velvet stunner from Target (yep, Target - so in my price range but still not in my size) would be great for an apple, a pear or any fruity girl in between! It's automatically waist defining with the one-button rise and the slash satin pockets. Can you see this over a crystal studded silver cami and a floor-length skirt? Two words. Lush-Us. :)
All in all, this was one of my favorite issues of People StyleWatch!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I've Been Readin'.

I spent the day exploring a few different sites. The common theme was fatness. Sites like:,,,,, and There are some funny, beautiful, talented, amazing people on those pages. They should be honored, celebrated, and accepted just as they are.

I myself weighed 10 pounds, 1 ounce at birth and have been larger-than-life ALL my life, and I recognize my own goddessness, but I don't know if I can get-all-the-way on the FAH. (The fat-acceptance horse.)

A lot of what is said in FA circles makes sense. Obesity is not inherently gonna kill you, but eating crap and not exercising is a problem at ANY weight. More of us are large than are thin, so WE are the norm. And fat can be beautiful...

But...the societal norm for beauty is pretty deeply buried in us. I don't think most of us could say that we deny that standard in total - otherwise we better not be putting mascara on our lashes, wearing high-heels, or styling our hair (cultural norm= big eyes and certain hairstyles are attractove, taller is better). We better ONLY be wearing a bra for comfort and not to lift and separate (cultural norm=have perky boobsters).

And we oughta think long and hard about whether we ever judge anyone ELSE on their appearance before we look down on others who have made friends with our "extra pounds," (cultural norm=thin is in) but still wouldn't mind minimizing our "flaws" (cultural norm=don't have a fat ass) with good fashion.

So I guess I'm always going to want my clothes to make me look taller and thinner. I'll probably keep having strong opinions about what looks "good" on myself and others. And if someone hands me the magic bean tomorrow that if consumed will make me tall and "fashionably thin"...I'll most likely have scarfed it down before they have a chance to explain that I must now give up my firstborn child in trade. Oh well. Color me old fashioned AND a bad mother.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Me & Jessica Alba: Different People, Same Sole

I was leafing through the November 2008 InStyle magazine... (I know, I know, it's January, so why am I just now reading November when InStyle is one of my favorite magazines? Well, my sweetheart loves to tidy up after me, and tends to pick up any magazines I leave lying around and stash them in strange places. So I just re-found this partially read issue plus the December People Style Watch which I never even cracked under a couple of blankets in the storage chest in the living room!)

...Anyway. This photo was featured in an article about the charming and talented Jessica Alba. I immediately sensed in her a kindred spirit! She converted her 4th bedroom into a closet. I converted my 3rd bedroom into a closet/dressing room. She has built-in, wall-to-wall shoe display shelves. I have not-quite wall-to-wall shoe display shelves (see my own poor-man's version below.) She has a bazillion pairs of fabulous shoes, appropriate to a movie star. I have an embarrassing number of shoes, probably inappropriate to a middle-income workaday schmuck. To top it all off, she stores her shoes right-shoe toe out, left-shoe toe in. I store my shoes right-shoe toe out, left-shoe toe in!! Could we be "brutha's from anutha mutha?" Perhaps!

Here are my shoe shelves. I bought inexpensive Walmart bookshelves ($30-ish on sale), and took one of the adjustable shelves to my local Lowe's Home Improvment store. I picked out long planks of similar-width shelving material, and asked the helpful hardware man to cut me some lengths to exactly match the sample. Lowe's also sells shelf support thingbots, just make sure to get the right diameter - I had to go back twice.

I arrange my shoes right-shoe toe out left-shoe toe in so that I can easily choose the style (do I want pointy toe or peep-toe today) and heel height (am I giving a presentation, running all over tarnation, or just sitting at my desk all day?) to match my outfit and needs for the day. I also exhibit my shoes caringly to justify having so many pairs. They're not just footwear for me, they're treasured possessions. Art even.

Maybe everyone displays their shoes this way and I wasn't aware. Or maybe it's just me and my new BFF Jessica. Either way, it gives me joy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Say Goodbye To...Fashion Banned from 2009

Lake Superior State University issues an annual "Banished Words" list this time each year. In honor of the fresh New Year, I'm starting my own list -

This Year's Banned Fashion for Big-Boned Fashionista's.

1) Skinny jeans. Let's face it. They're not skinny on us. And if you do happen to have skinny limbs, don't skinny jeans just accentuate how skinny the rest of you isn't?

2) Muffin-tops. Low-rise jeans are the culprit in most cases. Girls, I don't care how loveable your curves are (and I do think they can be loveable), they do NOT look good phalumphing out the top and sides of a too-small, too-low pair of jeans.

3) Baring it. It's happening at clubs, restaurants, and malls everywhere...would-be beautiful people wearing hideously too small, too tight, too revealing clothes that make them look horrendous. Do we not have full length mirrors any more? Do 8 inches of juicy cleavage bursting out of a tank top make up for how the clingy cotton knit makes the tummy roll look like one ate the Michelin Man for lunch?

4) Oversized T-Shirts. These should be relegated to sleepwear (if you have to sleep in something besides your lovely skin) and the gym. Contrary to how they might make one feel, they don't cover a multitude of sins. They make it look like you're carrying around even more than you a large, square package. I can't think of one girl I know that really looks good in a t-shirt, unless of course it's layered under some actual clothing.

5) The Jumpsuit. Hot in the fashion mags in 2008, I can't imagine a worse choice for someone with some meat on her bones. Leave these to the Paltrows and Mosses of the world and put on something that you don't have to strip off completely when you have to pee.

6) Capri Pants. Ok, they're SO comfortable. Well, so are sweats, and we aren't calling them fashion either. Capris make almost everyone of size look short, cut-off, wide, and, yes, indecisive. "Hmm...shorts or long-pants today? I don't know, I'll just go with the capris!"

7) Leggings. Also known as "stretch-pants." I don't care how often they come in and out of fashion. I DETEST leggings and wish I would never see another pair. I don't care what the fat-acceptance advocates might say, my lumps and bumps are not beautiful covered in stretchy fabric, and neither are anyone elses. Put any tapered pants style in the garbage with them. Blech!

8) Large Floral Prints. I don't really want to ban these because I adore them. They were a big trend in 2008 among the fashiony set, but in plus-sizes they tend to look very geriatric. Combine a large floral print with the popular flowing maxi-dress from 2008 in a size above a 10, and you've got yourself a full-on mu mu.

9) Tunics. Tunics are hard to get right, even for Skinny Minnies. The proportions have to be just so, they have to flow without clinging in the wrong places, they can make you look short, or worse, like you're trying to hide something. Since they don't really have much appeal even when they're done right, I say throw the bums out!

10) Tattoos. In general, I love tattoos. I even have one. They just ruin the line of clothes and are therefore a bad idea in visible places. Or maybe I'm burnt out on seeing lower-back tattoos in combination with too-tight, too-low pants (see Banned Items 1, 2 and 3) making a woman's rear decollatage look like she's got graffiti scrawled between 2 plump Christmas hams.

Well, there's my list for 2009. (I won't be surprised if my list is similar every year.) I apologize if my strong opinions offend anyone, but I'm probably right. :)