A blog dedicated to plus size women who enjoy a classical and preppy lifestyle.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dresses to Help Ring in 2014

I have always counted New Year's Eve as one of my favorite holidays. It's an excuse to wear something sparkly and drink champagne with my friends and family as we bid old Father Time adieu.  Other times I've swapped the sparkle for my Bean boots for bonfires up in the hills.

However, my usual New Year's outfit consists of pajamas because typically I'm sick. My family likes to make the joke that it's tradition for me to be sick between Christmas and New Year's.  This year I've had to deal with complications from the flu (don't put off getting a flu shot!) so my plans are to just have a quiet evening in.  If I'm lucky, I'll be awake to see the ball drop in Time's Square.  For those of you heading out for the night, here are some last-minute suggestions:

[ 1. ] Land's End //  A pretty, easy-to-wear casual dress for a casual evening.  I like that the colors in the dress allow it to be worn in all but the hottest weather. Please excuse the horrible picture, I was trying something new in Photoshop and it didn't quite go as expected.

[ 2. ] Nordstrom //  You're going to be invited to Gatsby parties for years following this year's movie adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.  This feather detail and scalloped hem actually make this dress somewhat historically accurate. This is the best flapper dress I've seen and it would work well as a cocktail dress.

[ 3. ] Nordstrom // For those needing something formal, this cobalt dress is a stunner.

[ 4. ] Macy's //  This is another cocktail dress that can be worn any time of the year and is an excellent choice to have in your wardrobe. This will pair with almost any accessory and your friends will constantly ask to borrow it.

[ 5. ] JC Penney //  If you're lucky enough to be on the beach or somewhere else very warm, grab this dress. You can wear it over a swimsuit or if you don't want to sweat to death in the heat. Pair with flat sandals and a simple clutch for the best look.

Needing makeup and hair ideas? Lauren Conrad (yes, she of The Hills fame) has an excellent site called The Beauty Department which has amazing step-by-step instructions complete with pictures. While aimed at twenty-somethings I think many of the ideas would work well on all ages. 

Howling at the moon with friends or tucked away in bed when the clock strikes midnight?
Let me know in the comments. --Kiki

Friday, December 27, 2013

Jackie Kennedy Onassis on Words

As we reflect back on 2013 and look forward towards 2014, I thought this quote from Jackie O. was most appropriate.  There's the old saying often sang by schoolchildren "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" but as I get older I find that it no longer holds true.  Words have the power to inspire--or hurt--in a way that nothing else on this planet can touch.  The pain from a paper cut or a broken arm is quickly forgotten but the pain from a hurtful letter or the joy from an unexpected email can last for years.  Come join me in 2014 by thinking on words: yours, mine, all the words that dance around us each and everyday.  I hope that mine can inspire, enlighten, inform, and plain old entertain all those who swing by my little corner of the internet.  --Kiki

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lots of Construction Going On...

Please pardon the dust! I'm working on the new branding and look for the blog. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Coming Soon, and What's With the Preppy Blogs Lately?

Hello everyone! I've mentioned before not being very good at this blogging thing but I want to give it another shot. For the past two months,  I've been working on ways to improve Plus Size Prep. I've gotten lots of interest in this blog but I haven't been able to keep up with it mostly because I didn't know enough about what I was doing. I really wanted to build this blog but I needed to put some major time, energy, and thought into what I wanted to accomplish. I know it doesn't show, but come back around New Year's for a quick drink and see what I have to offer.

One of the things that really lit a fire under my tail was the fact that a lot of the preppy style/lifestyle blogs seem to have gone downhill. One of the things I've been doing behind the scenes here at PSP is reading a lot of the preppy blogs and noting different things about them. The graphics or photography might be great on one site, the writing might be better on another. I've been lurking in the dark over at GOMI, a forum devoted to blogs & bloggers to see what they say, what they recommend. A lot of bloggers hate GOMI with a burning passion but I see it as one of the best places for constructive criticism on the internet and I love being able to see what material truly connects with readers. 

There's been a lot I've taken note of, and here's some of the major points that I think have really hurt the preppy blogs:

1. The lack of original content. I am aware that the preppy stylesphere is very small considered to other style genres but there's just too much sameness. I'd go to five different blogs on any given morning and would find a post about the same Kate Spade bag, the same Tory Burch booties, and the same J.Crew sweater.

2. Every post is a shopping list. The post will read something along the lines of, "Oh it was so cold over the weekend and I saw Christmas trees for sale and it makes me think of green things!!! Here's a list of 15 green sweaters."  Once a week this post is okay, but everyday is a little much. #2 ties in a lot to #3...

3. These blogs really didn't have that authentic preppy feel.  One of the tenants of prepdom is thrift. You borrow your mother's Lilly shifts and your husband still wears the sweaters he stole from his father's closet in high school.  Again, yes, these blogs and mine are fashion blogs but you can write a great fashion & style blog without having to resort to constant shopping lists. You write a post about how stressed you are due to your new job, oh, and here are 20 computer cases to help cheer your bad day up? Please stop.  This goes back to #1, lack of original content and thought.

4. 80% of everything I see on a preppy blog is J.Crew. Jenna Lyons = not preppy. At all.  I actually want to shop less at J.Crew because I'm sick of seeing it everywhere.

Will this blog be perfect? Of course not. There are many people who are happy with being provided a shopping list for that weekend. What bothers me is that these people say they have a preppy blog but are only looking at prepdom from such an extremely narrow view. There's more to being preppy than wearing a cable knit sweater. The true & authentic preps are outside gardening or out on the water on the weekends, not in a f*cking J.Crew store.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hi There!

Hi everyone!
I feel really bad about not posting more often. There a few different reasons, but here are two of the main ones:
1) I work 70+ hours a week.
This is the number reason I don't get around to updating. I work two jobs because it's the only way I can make ends meet at the moment. I'm hoping for a promotion at the one job which would allow me to quit the other. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
2) The pickin's are slim for preppy plus size clothes.
Apparently, as a plus size woman I either have to dress like I'm obsessed with being a retro pin-up girl (ModCloth) or I have a fetish for draped polyester (everywhere). I've felt at times there's not much new to show because once I feature something it could be weeks, months, or next season before there's something new to show again. I will admit there are other posts I can write but that's where reason #1 comes into play.
I try to keep a look out for preppy styles when I go shopping, which is rare these days. I haven't been inside a mall in over two months.
I'm getting some incredible hits on this blog, which makes me insanely happy. I had no idea that were so many women looking for preppy plus size clothes.
I do hope to get a fall style post done here in the next week or two when I actually will have some days off (!!!). I also hope that I get this promotion so I can actually get more than 4 hours of sleep a night.
As always, if you have any questions, thoughts, suggestions, etc., please feel free to send them to me at plussizepreppie {@} gmail.com

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Critter Sweaters

I rather hate talking about sweaters and fall clothes at this time of year because it's not autumn yet, but long sleeves are all that's available in stores. I live in West Virginia and it's not unusual for it to be 90 degrees well into September and maybe even the first week of October. However, I do like to be prepared, so a few sweaters will probably find their way into my house before Labor Day. 

Critter sweaters have long been a preppy wardrobe staple, adding a bit of whimsy into the outfits of those cold, gray days. They went out of vogue for some time as I recall them being rather difficult to find past the mid 90s. It's been interesting to watch critter sweaters resurge due in part to the hipster fashion movement, as spurred on by Urban Outfitters. It was a story of "out of sight, out of mind," until we reviewed the photo albums of those who prepped before us. Wait, why is my dear Grandpap wearing the same sweater as that weird kid from Art History whose hair resembled a Jackson Pollock painting? 

The good news is that critter sweaters are now starting to pop up in the plus size area, as offered by Old Navy at the highly reasonable price of $35:

A note about Old Navy's sizing: it runs rather large as everything stretches out. I usually wear a size 24/3X and I can easily fit into most XXL in ON's misses sizes in stores. I mention this because there's an adorable French Bulldog critter sweater that isn't available in the plus sizing.

Critter sweaters are perfect for running around campus, or running errands if you're beyond those days. While they pair perfectly easily with jeans, dress them up a bit with some burgundy pants, 8" Bean boots, and some pearls. I'd roll the sleeves up to my elbows to show off the bracelet and watch.

I'm really liking the canvas tote in this outfit. I'm looking to replace a Longchamp that was lost to a certain basset/beagle (also known as a bagel!) puppy. I should just go out and buy an identical replacement bag, but I've been looking at everything from the classic Boat & Tote to this Lilly tote to this newcomer I pictured from Abercrombie (really). 

The fox sweater is calling my name, but the long-legged bird is also sweet. Which one would you choose?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Plus Size Sorority Recruitment

During college I was really into the whole sorority thing. I probably put more time and effort into sorority life than I did my classes. As bad as that sounds, a huge majority of my classes were based on labs so I actually had little to no homework or papers due for class, just projects I had to do in lab. Many sorority women will tell you the highlight of their college years was being with their sorority sisters and I'd tell you the same. I still keep in touch with a huge majority of my sisters, I even work with one of them!

Sorority life can seem tricky if you're plus size. I never had any troubles with being plus sized, nor did my plus size sisters. There were plus size girls in all of the sororities on my campus. We all had boyfriends, we all had fun. I know from talking with plus size college women that a lot of them won't even consider going through sorority recruitment because they feel their size would keep them out of joining a group. If you want to read more about this subject, head over to Sorority Girl 101, probably one of the best-run blogs on the subject of sorority recruitment. Tam explains how nearly anything can keep someone out of a sorority.

In the meantime, if you think you'd like to go through recruitment here's some tips on what to wear!

First and foremost: Some schools will send out a schedule of events and some will even send lookbooks on what to wear. Base your clothing decisions on what the school recommends. If the school recommends wearing a shorts with the official recruitment t-shirt, don't walk in wearing a Lilly-a-like.
Round One: The Open Houses
This is where you'll meet all the sororities on campus. Some schools have tried to democratize the recruitment process and give out a t-shirt for this round.
Typically for this round they advise wearing just shorts or a skirt with the provided t-shirt, which usually has some generic saying along the lines of "Go Greek!" If you're going to wear shorts, wear long ones like the ones pictured as they tend to be more flattering. If you can, a fun skirt can make a big impact. One of the secrets to sorority recruitment at larger or more competitive schools is to stand out in a good way. When you see hundreds of women a night all dressed nearly alike, it's hard to stand out in someone's mind. Instead of being #231 in a green t-shirt and shorts, be that gal people remember for the cute polka dot skirt.
Some schools won't provide a t-shirt for the open houses so you'll have to wear something nice. My basic to advice for anyone at this stage is to wear something you'd wear on a date to a nice restaurant. I'll admit these aren't the preppiest of picks, but I chose them because something about them would help you to stand out, such as the muted paisley print on the dress second from the left, of the bright stripes on the maxi dress next to it. If you feel more comfortable in pants, this brightly-colored Lilly-a-Likes from Lauren Ralph Lauren are a solid choice if you pair them with a nice blouse.

Round Two: The invitational rounds
At this point, both you and the sororities have narrowed down your respective lists. Typically these nights have themes like Philanthropy Night or Skit Night and you get a more in-depth look at the sorority. Some schools will give out t-shirts for these nights, in which case just refer back to the first photo set.

For this round, you still want to dress to impress but don't have to go to the extreme lengths that you may have for the open houses. These are the nights you really want to talk to the sorority women, find out about them, and tell them about yourself. I typically tell people to worry more about the conversations and communications rather than your outfit.

Round Three: Preference Night
This is the final night before Bid Day. Typically, these are dressy events where the sorority makes a final impression on who they are. A lot of times sisters will share what they've gained by being members in the sorority, and some of the stories can get very emotional. This is the dressiest night, so look for something more than a sundress.

Pref Night dresses should be a step or two above what you wore previously during the week. I've heard of some schools requiring black dresses but I can't say that's the norm. This is the perfect night for that little black dress, or in a prep's case, little navy dress. If black is required, though, wear black.

Round Four: Bid Day!
Congratulations! Go join your new sisters and enjoy the day! This day is so radically different at each school it's near impossible to give fashion advice for it. 

 I'm a firm believer that details really make the outfit for sorority recruitment. When a sorority is trying to make it's list for the invitational rounds, giving them something to remember you by is a good thing. Shoes in a unique print, or the cute parrot earrings pictured above with a tropical print dress can help them remember you. 

Some DON'Ts for Recruitment:
  • Don't wear strapless dresses and I'm even iffy on sleeveless dresses. 
  • Avoid heels if you can, you're going to be doing a lot of walking and standing for several hours. Make sure what shoes you choose to wear are broken in and if you do choose to wear heels, you can walk in them.
  • Stick with hairstyles and makeup you know look good on you. Now is not the time to experiment.
  • Fit is everything. Nobody is going to see the number on the tag, but they're going to notice if clothes don't fit well.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll answer them the best I can!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Finding the Elusive Plus Size Tall Pants

I am in fairly desperate need of new pants for work. Finding pants isn't hard, it's finding pants that are long enough.

I'm almost 6' tall. The 30/32 inch inseam that seems to plague plus size pants doesn't even hit my ankles. Thankfully cropped pants are in style right now.

I prefer cotton pants, which is making the search harder. Yes, Lane Brant carries tall inseams. However, Lane Bryant has never heard of natural fibers. My issues with polyester & polyester blends is that after a while, the clothes loose their shape. If I'm going to fork out 85 buckaroos for a pair of pants, I don't want them to be sagging in 4-5 months. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for finding cotton pants that go past a 34 inch inseam?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Love Lilly Dresses? This post is for you!

If you're reading this post, then there's a very high chance that you love anything and everything Lilly Pulitzer. However, for those of us in the plus-size community, Lilly only goes up to a size 16. While we may not be able to find cute shifts in the darling prints Lilly is known for, there are still a lot of dresses out on the market that are reminiscent of Palm Beach.

When I set out to look for dresses that were Lilly-ish, I looked for items that would fit in with her current line. A few times it was certain colors, a sunny print, or there was just something about a dress that carried Lilly's spirit. 

I call these dresses Lilly-a-Likes, because they're about the closest thing to a Lilly dress we'll get.

colorblocked maxi | Wear this with flat sandals and a raffia bag to the farmers market this summer, and pair with a gray shawl collar cardigan for brunches this fall. 

one-shoulder belted dress | Something other than a LBD for your best friend's bachelorette party.

blouson dress | For lunch at the country club or a Junior League meeting, this dress is very appropriate but still very fun. Pair with brown boots in the fall. 

print shirtdress | Perfect for a day wedding in a vineyard. Pair with gold wedges to keep from sinking in the grass.

belted lace dress | The perfect dress for those "I don't have anything to wear" days. Easy to wear, easy to accessorize.

short-sleeve boatneck dress | A workhorse of a dress. Pair with a blue blazer and kitten heels for work, or wear to Saturday's cookout at your uncle's lakehouse.

embellished halter maxi |  This is just the dress you'll wear everywhere for the rest of the summer because it is just that exciting. 

My favorite dresses are the navy maxi and the deco-ish print blouson dress. I also adore the halter maxi on the far right, but I'm always to wear clothes that are beaded/sequined/other because I can be rough on clothes and I'd hate to loose the beads. 

Which one of these Lilly-a-Likes is your favorite?


Monday, June 17, 2013

Preppy Picks from Eloquii

Yes, I just realized I put the blue Grecian top on there twice. Oops. That'll teach me to edit things more careful before I throw them up on the interwebs.

Actually, though, I am in a hurry to show you these adorable clothes before it's too late. Why? Eloquii, the plus size line from The Limited, is closing and everything is 70-80% off. Everything is flying off the website and I wanted to let you all know about these preppy picks before they're gone. There are still a lot of sizes left on most items, but for somethings there's only one size left. I figure the pickin's going to get slim in the next few days so if you see something you like, just grab it. I have a few things from Eloquii and I find the sizing is very true-to-size.

Of everything I posted here, I absoutely love the bow back top. There's also some good options for business wear such as jackets and suits, along with some dresses that'd be wonderful for a Sunday brunch.

Hurry up and head over to Eloquii before everything is gone!

On a side note, why do so many plus size lines have weird, hard-to-pronounce names? Eloquii? Cacique? I don't get it. Why couldn't have Eloquii just have been The Limited? I don't get it.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blog Update

Hi everyone!

Sorry about the lack of posts for the past week. My job this past week has been insane and it's going to be like that for at least the next two weeks (my manager is going on medical leave and I'm taking over for her. Did I mention I've been at my job for a whole three months?). I do have some posts in the works and will hopefully get those up. 

I'm really excited now that summer's here, at least in my neck of the woods. Due to some weight fluctuations I've been holding off on buying anything for summer, but I finally made my way to the mall to get some sizing ideas and I'm ready to make this summer a fashionably preppy one.

And maybe if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll get to go to summer camp.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Julep's Nantucket-Inspired Polish Collection

I love nail polish. I may not wear a bit of makeup sometimes but I always have my nails polished.
 My collection is a bit out of hand right now, so I've put a moritorium on buying any new polishes. I've been really good so far, but then the gals over at Julep starting sending me pictures of their summer collection...
A preppy-inspired nail polish collection? Shut up and take my Amex card!

I'm a Julep Maven, which is one of those monthly subscription boxes of which there are now many.
When you become a Maven, you take a quiz to get a style profile. I was Classic with a Twist, which includes two polishes and a full-sized beauty product. However,  I chose to get the It Girl box instead which comes with three polishes. Unlike most other subscription boxes, you can choose to skip a month, which is what I usually do because I already have similar polishes.This collection has several of the colors I've been wanting to add to my collection, such as a kelly green and yellow. This month, I'm really excited for my box:
I've been on the hunt for both shades of the blue. I lack a good basic blue, which is unbecoming for a WVU fan like myself. I also have been looking for a light blue to replace my bottle of Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Baracuda, which has a horrible formula. However, I'm thinking I already have a dupe for Nan, the red meant to be the same color as the famous Nantucket Red pants. I already have Essie's Chubby Cheeks, which I bought because I loved that it was so close to the Reds. It's a great formula and color so I'm not too convinced that Nan will take its place.

I think I want just about everything out of the collection. I already have several hot pinks and maybe 1-2 light pinks but I might as well go ahead and get them anyways. I'm one of those people who gets antsy if I don't have the full collection and will then spend the next year tracking them down on Ebay where they will be double the price with $10 shipping.

Julep polishes typically run about $14, but if you're a Maven they're a little over $11 each. That's not too bad, as OPI and Essie are both in the $7-9 range. You can find a limited selection of Julep polishes in larger Sephora stores to give them a try before you become a Maven.

Should you become a Maven? Like I mentioned earlier, I already have a sizeable polish collection and most of the Julep polishes are usually just dupes of colors I already have. I have found that the quality for Julep is similar to that of Essie and OPI, which is always nice. I really do think that if you choose to pay $20/month for the program that you really do get your money's worth. 

Interested in becoming a Maven? Click on the icon below!

Preppy Summer Finds @ JC Penney

Penney's has been in the news pretty heavily for the past two years for various things. New CEO, new way of pricing. New CEO is now the former CEO and they're bringing back sales and coupons. Then there's this Martha Stewart thing, which basically appears to be--of all things--wrapping paper. I'm not kidding, my local Penney's is constructing this big section that's all about gift wrap by Martha.
Despite all the other stuff going on with Penney's, I've been impressed with their plus sized offerings as of late. The selection has dropped at least 30%, but what is there seems better curated. Yes, there's still too much polyester and sublimation prints (didn't those go out of style in 2010?), but there is some pretty solid stuff to be found.
I'm really impressed with the styling of the jcp line, a private label being carried in all stores. The line is centered around basics that are mostly casual fares, with a few being okay for a professional work environment. The detailing is really nice and the fabrics are on point, with some silk-blend popovers and cotton sweaters. The only downside I've found with the brand is that the color selection is very limited and the sizing can be off. For example, I can try on a pair of skinny jeans in green and they're too small. I can try the same style of jeans in the same size that might be in the cobalt blue and they fit perfectly.
Here are some of the preppiest picks of the line (and the entire line is the epitome of preppy casual wear):

The stand outs to me in this collection are the green bermuda shorts. Not only do they come in the basic khaki/black/navy, but also this amazing green and pink. Pink and green, how much more preppy can you get? I also love the two popovers on the top line of the tops. They're a silk blend and are really soft. They're sheer, but honestly, most shirts seem so sheer these days. The orange lattice shirt is in the same silk blend but it's pretty opaque. The orange shirt is perfect for summer if you work in a professional office environment:


Orange and blue just look so good together. I added the white skirt to give the outfit a fresher feel, but if you have a navy blue suit or separates for work, by all means wear those. I added these adorable Lilly Pulitzer wedges that just scream summer, a Longchamp tote, and sailor-inspired jewelry. As far as makeup goes, I'd pick a coral blush, like Benefit's Coralista. I'd also take a bit of a matte bronzer and dust where the sun hits my face. For eyes I'd do a copper or bronze eye and navy eyeliner. Keep lips simple with a balm (I'm a huge fan of the Fresh balms). For hair I'd just do a high, swingy ponytail.

Gold metallic shoes are good addition to your wardrobe. They're neutral enough to wear with just about any outfit, and can easily replace any black or nude shoe if you're bored of those. I like these sort of snakeskin print pumps, and these peep toes are very elegant. For flats, I think these skimmers with a scalloped trim are just darling, and these perforated smoking loafers are a breezy pick.
Again, I really think the jcp line is on top as far as casual wear goes.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Makes Something Preppy?

The world of preppy fashion is a big one. From the staid colors of L.L. Bean to the whimsical pastels on a Lilly Pulitzer shift, there is seemingly room for just about everyone at the table of prep. It may seem that plus sized women have been left from the table but I don't think that's entirely true.
What makes something preppy? Let's ask the iconic Lilly Pulitzer:

I describe preppy fashion as fashion that is appropriate for the occasion, is relatively simple, and is of good quality and taste.

It's a broad statement, but I really think it covers what preppy fashion truly is.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hello Out There!

Well, hello there!

I really don't know what else to put here, other than to say hi, and welcome to this blog.
I'm starting this blog because I like preppy style and I'm plus-sized. I've been reading a lot of preppy style blogs and none of them discuss plus sizes...in fact, they basically only talk about J.Crew now that I think about it. But anyways, I've seen some attempts at plus size preppy blogging but nothing that's really stuck around. I'm here to change that.

If you've ever googled "plus size preppy clothes" you can see that a lot of people are asking about them but nobody seems to have answers. I have some answers. Not all, but some. I figure that's better than nothing.

I also think that a lot of preppy fashion bloggers aren't very preppy. Here's why:
Monogrammed Bermuda bag: Fabulous!
Monogrammed floppy hat: Cute!
Monogrammed tumbler: Great for work!
Monogrammed bikini bottom: Why?

 I already have a running list of topics I want to talk about so I won't bore you too much with more small talk. Hope to see you back soon!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, suggestions, manifestos, etc., feel free to email them to me:
plussizepreppie [at] gmail.com
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