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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Take it easy

I get frustrated when complex issues are made to be simple. Bloody video games cause school violence and people are fat because they have no will power. I get it. It's nice to think about things as being black or white, good or bad, on or off. We want simple solutions. Take a pill. Have surgery. Go on a liquid diet. None of those things are necessarily EASY, but they don't address the myriad of reasons why men and women take in more calories than they can burn.

There are a number of ways to lose weight. It's simple math. Almost any diet invented will work provided one sticks to it. We've all lost weight, but we always seem to find it again. Why? Because we revert back to old behavior. We take in more calories than we burn. What does that tell us? Does that mean that 80% of the people who diet have no will power and are flawed?

No. It means that changing behavior is a complex, difficult process. Changing your diet isn't as easy as getting a food list. It's even harder than reaching your goal weight. Look at Oprah who is recognized as a talented, intelligent, determined and successful woman yet continually struggles with maintaining a healthy weight.

That's why I hate reading about the next diet fad, watching a Kirsty Alley sell frozen food on TV, and hearing about a new wellness center opening up that offers gastric bypass, as if those are viable solutions to the obesity epidemic. Sure there are some people who will be successful with those programs, but not the overwhelming majority of people who try them.

I wish I had the right book to read or counselor to recommend who could help us wash away our food and body issues, but it isn't that easy. It's a good place to start, of course, but even after years of reading these books and talking to good people it's still an intimate problem. It's the closest, quietest most private problem. So hushed that we don't want to talk about it and many times choose to ignore it. Maybe part of the solution is to talk about it more.

What do you think?

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Fat Experience Project


The Fat Experience Project® is an oral, visual and written history project which seeks to be a humanizing force in body image activism.

By collecting and sharing the many and varied stories of individuals of size, the Fat Experience Project® seeks to engage with, educate, empower and enrich the lives of people of size, our allies and the world at large.

The goal of the Fat Experience Project® is to map the experience of fat in a way that is human, has a face, a heart, a mind, a body and a voice. The goal is to listen and repeat - the good and the bad, the hard and the joyful and everything in between - in a way that may ultimately bring compassion to folks who don’t understand. More importantly, however, we hope The Fat Experience Project® will allow the folks who are hearing/reading their own words echoed back to them across the pages, fall in love with themselves and each other just a little more.

We believe that, at the root of discrimination and judgment, there is often an unfortunate lack of basic understanding.

We believe that conversation — hearing the truth of others, and speaking our own truths — can be a healing force.

We believe that shared experience is key to compassion, and that internalized shame often loses its power when spoken aloud.

We believe that sizeism, racism, classism, ableism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia are related issues whose intersections may best be understood through the exploration of personal impacts.

We believe that the personal is political.

We believe that your lives are precious, your words are precious and your courage is precious.

We hope that you will share all of the above with us.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


My general opinon of clothes is the more the merrier, but usually that is not practical. We have all gone through sizing or life changes that lead to wardrobe woes. What if you have to get a new wordrobe from scratch? What are the pieces you MUST have?

I have consulted many online lists covering the subject. The best one comes from the fabulous Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen in her list of The Staples For Every Woman's Wardrobe.

This is my must-have list:
· Suit Pants, matches jacket
· Black Pants for day or evening
· Neutral work pants in beige or grey
· Jeans for heels
· Jeans for flats
· Casual pants, maybe khakis

· Black Sheath Dress
· Black Pencil Skirt (or A-line if it’s a better fit)
· Neutral work skirt in beige or grey (or another pair of pants, if you prefer)

· Black t-shirt
· White t-shirt
· ¾ sleeve neutral cotton shirt
· 2-5 more work shirts in bright colors
· Sexy shirt

· Suit Jacket, matches pants
· Colored Jacket, works with black and neutral pants
· Black Cardigan, works with all bottoms

· Black comfy heels
· Bright comfy flats
· Sexy shoes
· Neutral walking shoes
· Black boots
· Chic sandals

· Trench coat
· Winter coat

· One great bag, preferably in leather
· Classic earrings (pearls, gold/silver hoops, studs)
· Scarves for around your neck, wrist, waist or tied to your bag


While I am sometimes able to find a shirt or sweater in an actual shop (usually TJ Maxx or Marshalls), they rarely have enough items to complete a wardrobe. I complicate things even more with my long legs and desire for one or two items that are not 100% polyester.

So it is fabulous to have so many opportunities to purchase cute clothing above a size 12 online. However, it sucks that one can't physically try on garments before purchase, especially when shipping is pricey and non-refundable.

I am a fashionista, or as much of one as I can offord to be, and have scowered The Internets in search of stylish and flattering garments.

Better selection online, but you can return in-store:
Online stores:
(* I have ordered from, + I really like their stuff)
Designers/Brands I like:
  • AK Anne Klein at Nordstrom, Saks, Macy’s
  • Caslon at Nordstrom
  • Classiques Entier at Nordstrom
  • Dana Buchman at Saks
  • Eileen Fisher at Saks
  • INC International Concepts only at Macy’s
  • Jones New York at Macy’s
  • Nine West at Macy’s

Designers/Brands I covet:
  • Anna Scholz at Neiman Marcus
  • DKNY at Saks
  • Gayla Bentley at Neiman Marcus
  • Marina Rinaldi at Neiman Marcus, Saks
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors at Nordstrom, Macy’s
  • Rachel Pally at Nordstrom
  • Svoboda at Neiman Marcus, Saks