Sunday, February 22, 2009

Underneath It All

All American women need to understand one important fact: the U.S. bra sizing system is wack. There is variation in every size from garment to garment, but with bras you never know what you're gonna get (Can anyone say that without the Forrest Gump drawl anymore?).

You may have hear about Intimacy on Oprah or What Not to Wear, but if you haven't now is your chance. A their stores in select cities, a specialist will meet with you and help you find the right European-sized bra. You see with European bras the band number is the actual measurement around your ribcage. The cup size depends upon the size of your breasts, of course.

A proper bra will be snug. The band will carry most of the weight, not the straps, and it will touch your breastbone. Your breasts will be lifted, your clothes will fit better, and the line of your back will be much improved (I hate that bra-bulge one can sometimes get).

I'm sure other stores besides Intimacy can help you with sizing, but it's the only on I know of. However, once you find the right size, you can purchase many styles online. My favorite brand is Fantasie. They will run you $40-100+ and they are well worth the price. A Gilligan & O'Malley bra from Target costs $10 for a reason.

You can find Fantasie and other European brands here:
One more thing, when you find the perfect bra, take care of it. Don't throw it in the washer. Hand wash it with a gentle cleaner like Forever New Fabric Care.

Make Me Up

I can't get enough makeup. As I've been more frugal, I've stayed away from shopping for items that aren't necessary. Well, when you want to save money, the best thing to do is go out and buy the right product the first time. Also, quality is key. I have fair, sensitive skin and tend to get a pimple or two on my chin every once in a while. That means I really, really have to be careful about my products otherwise I end up with a stockpile of foundation that makes me breakout.

Luckily, there are many helpful sites to help us on our quest for Holy Grail products:
I love learning new application techniques. Here are some great artists:
  • Kevin Aucoin's book Making Faces is a must. The man was a true artist.
  • Bobbi Brown's book Beauty has some nice basic makeup info. I love her focus on taking care of your skin.
  • Carmindy from What Not to Wear has some great little tips, especially for folks who don't normally wear makeup.
  • Tricia Sawyer has an amazing amount of information on her website. She doesn't just list application tips, but has tons of video as well.

Mother of the Bride

One of my closest friends is getting married. She has chosen a fabulous gown and the other bridesmaid and myself get to wear dresses I already had. Yes. Anyway, her mother is dead set on not looking like a mother of the bride. I came up with a little list for guidance. I think it really could work for almost any special occasion.

A mother of the bride outfit must be chic, comfortable and fit perfectly. And it has to express your fabulously unique personality. In order to fit the criteria, I have created these guidelines:

1) When in doubt, try it on. You never know how it will look on you unless you are wearing it.

2) Use a great tailor! Don't limit yourself to petite pieces. If it fits in the waist and not the hips, go up until it fits the hips and have the waist take in. Even if you do find something that fits pretty well, take the extra step to make it fit perfectly. You are worth it!

3) This outfit should make you feel like a million bucks. If you have to force something, it isn't right. There is enough time to find the pieces that are just right.

4) You should have one "wow" piece. This is the funky, unique, interesting piece that you can't live without and are so excited to debut. It could be a jacket, blouse or skirt, or it could be a piece of jewelry. However, it should only be one piece. If you have loud, fabulous earrings, then go easy on the necklace, or don't wear one. The rest of your ensemble should be a chic and elegant complement to your "wow" focal point.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Exercise Clothing

I spent hours last night trying to find plus size fitness apparel. Much of what is labeled "activewear" is just loungewear. It took a lot of time to find high performance bras and shorts. It took even longer to find plus size tops with moisture-wicking technology. Most of which were expensive and not particularly cute.

Here are the online shops I found that have quality plus-size fitness attire:

Friday, September 12, 2008


I was looking for a brightly-colored rain jacket for a Manolo for the Big Girl reader and noticed that most of the jackets I can find are double-breasted. In my opinion a double-breasted trench looks lovely on Audrey Hepburn, but not so much on a gal blessed with curves. It makes one appear more wide. Why is it that so many plus-size designers don't understand the voluptuous figure.

On a different note, I am lusting after this Gayla Bentley dress and blouse. I love how her Obi Sash gives the silhouette and defined waist.

Monday, July 14, 2008

plus-size models

Modeling is a competitive field. There are more pretty ladies than jobs. Sure, sure. However, it seems like any pretty curvy girl can pose for a plus size boutique. I LOVE that the shops that cater to bigger gals have real-life bodies to present their clothes. But Tyra has taught us that a good model is an artist and doesn't merely pose, but expresses herself.

I'm tired of seeing a lovely woman with a dead look in her eye trying to emulate Kate Dillon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What Not to Wear

I don't have cable. Why? Because I would watch TV all the time. I already watch too much, but if I could get the Style, Bravo, BBC, HGTV and E! anytime I wanted, I would have no friends. Last weekend I did camp out in front of a cable TV and so took in many epsiodes of What Not to Wear. I'm more of a fan of the BBC original because they are so grabby and catty, but Americans Stacy and Clinton do a pretty good job.

One episode in particular featured a Chicagoan who kept saying he problem wasn't her clothing choice, but her weight. She just needed to lose weight for her tight pants to look awesome. Well, the WNTW duo firmly disagreed saying nothing was going to save the clothes, they were just bad. I agree, but I appreciate the point they were trying to make. Even if the clothes were stylish, if they don't fit, they are taking away from one's beauty.

Let's face it, it SUCKS to gain weight. But everyone has had that day. You take your favorite jeans out of the dryer before a night out, slide them on and...they just don't want to zip up nice and easy. You have to do lunges and squats to try to stretch them out a bit. Even with the stretching, you can still see that roll on the top of your jeans under your cute top that now accentuates how your bra strap digs in to your back.

That is NOT the way to feel sexy. You can't pull off a confident, attractive look if you are uncomfortable in your clothes. At the same time, who wants to accept that new label of going up a higher size? I get it. I really do. You have cute clothes already, you want to wear them, not go buy new ones in a bigger size. Just lose weight, right?

Here is a point that WNTW hinted at: when you feel attractive and confident, it will be easier for you to return to your normal size. It may be a little counterintuitive to by bigger clothes to lose weight, but I think it's logical. If you eat your feelings, then wearing unflattering clothes will make you feel worse and eat more. If you look great, you'll be more inclinded to actually live life and not think about food so much.