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

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Problems with Plus Size

I accidentally dropped my computer last night so I wasn't able to write one of my regular posts. In lieu of a a regular post today, I'm going to fill you in on two articles of note re: plus sizes. Both of these articles detail the perceived problems of plus sizes and I found both interesting to read.

The first article up is from the website Fashionista:  Are Plus Size Women the Problem With Plus Size Fashion?  In a nutshell, this article argues that designers and brands aren't making more or better plus size options because plus size women aren't buying the available clothes. It thinks that many plus size women consider their size to be temporary and therefore aren't willing to pay for nicer clothes that they may not wear a long time.

Secondly, there is an MSN Living/Refinery 29 piece on The Problems With Plus Size.  It focuses on the extra expense of designing and producing plus sizes, as well as the negative attitudes of the fashion industry.

Thoughts? Comments?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Where to Find Wide Calf Boots

Preppy Plus Size Wide Calf Boots

wide calf // extra wide calf // super wide calf // super plus calf
I know it's a bit early to be showcasing boots, but last year I decided to buy a new pair of boots in late October. I knew I would need an extra wide calf but by the time I got around to shopping for them most retailers had sold out. So, buy now when you know you can get your hands on them.
I hate admitting this, but I didn't know that there were boots with calf widths larger than the standard wide (or extended) until last year. I have a pair of J.Crew extended width boots I got back in college that I usually wear with skirts and dresses. I was sad that I couldn't tuck jeans into them but I just figured that was my lot in life. Then last fall while looking at boots on a website, I noticed they had some listed as extra wide width. Intrigued, I started doing research and found that boots came in many extended sizes, as shown above.
Wide calf (also known as extended calf) boots are easy to find. Nordstrom has an amazing selection, and retailers like J.Crew also have some to choose from. If you need a lower price point, look at Lane Bryant or One Stop Plus.
When it comes to extra wide calf, selection isn't as varied but what is there is really nice. Some places to look at include Zappos, 6pm.com for an amazing deal, or Fitzwell. On a budget? RSVP is your best bet.
For those with super wide or super plus calves, WideWidths.com is your best bet. They carry several brands in stock such as Ros Hommerson, Rose Petals, and David Tate.
For the most part, the larger the shoe size, the more room in the circumference of the boot shaft. As you saw in the chart above, someone who is a size 7 will have less legroom than the WNBA player who wears a size 13. Don't fret though, there's a company from the UK ready to take care of you: DUO Boots. DUO boots allow you to choose your size and pick the circumference you want. They have a great selection, and shipping is currently free to the US. I really love these cognac Beaumont riding boots.
Just to reiterate, consider getting boots now before stock runs out and your shins aren't left out in the cold.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Prep'd Picks

Plus Size Preppy Clothes 

I ordered a pair of Old Navy jeans and got them in the mail the other day. The "denim" fabric was so thin I had to double check to make sure I hadn't ordered a pair of chambray pants by mistake. I've been researching other denim options such as James Jeans and NYDJ (Not Your Daughter's Jeans) but am unsure of spending money on jeans that I only wear on the weekends. My top candidate are these bootcut jeans from Land's End but the tallest inseam they have is a 32", making them roughly ankle length on me. If anyone has any suggestions/recommendations for jeans with long inseams please let me know!

My other picks for the week include some additional trends for fall: berry and gray. The berry cardigan has a cute scallop detailing on the placket, and the grey striped shirt would be fantastic for adding to your work wardrobe. I'm sort of blasé on leopard print, but I like the slightly different take on the design with the print blouse. If you like leopard print but want to keep it in the details, look at getting these Madewell skimmers. I have them and they're fantastic. Tip: Size up and prepare for a slightly longer-than-normal breaking in period. Once they are perfectly broken in you won't take them off. My last pick is this butterfly critter sweater. There were tons of critter sweaters to choose from last year but this is one of the few I've come across this year. Land's End also has a flamingo and bees version of Critter sweaters.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Four & Friday

Happy Friday! Wanting to spruce up on the handbag/shoes front?
All four pictured here are $100 and under.

I keep my out of season wardrobe tucked away in a corner of my attic. Over the summer, a fierce windstorm knocked a large tree limb onto the roof and made a sizeable hole. However, there was more damage that nobody caught and it resulted in a box of my fall/winter shoes being ruined. I love these suede loafers from the Gap, and they come in several other lovely colors including a forest green, navy blue, and gray. The quilted ballet flats are adorable and I believe they'd dress up many outfits.

I don't know if I'd call them a preppy staple, but I've known many women whom have carried a bucket bag for years. This bucket bag comes from Old Navy and surprisingly looks more expensive than its $30 price tag. On the navy satchel I'm liking the contrast between the blue and the tan handles. It's also a great size and just a great simple look. If you're looking for a bag that won't compete with your outfit, this is it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Plus Size Ideas for Sorority Recruitment

Today's post is an update to last year's post on what plus size women should look for when planning their outfits for sorority recruitment. If you're not in this group, today's post is just an assortment of outfits you may enjoy.

After attending a sorority alumnae even over the weekend, recruitment (rush back in my day) has changed a lot and it's hard to for me to be able to tell you 'wear X on Y day.' Many schools have their recruitment schedules posted online, as well as a lookbook to give you an idea of what to wear each day. Once you have an idea of how you need to dress, take a look to see my suggestions:

Plus Size Sorority Recruitment Rush
This is probably the best list of dresses I have ever put together on this blog. Depending on your school's schedule you may wear these to meet all the chapters or to invitational events.
Plus Size Sorority Recruitment Rush

In the past, an expensive wardrobe was thought to be incredibly important in getting a bid to a sorority. However, with the term rush being considered a dirty word, schools have moved to democratize the recruitment experience. Instead of pulling out your best sundress, t-shirts are given out and worn with shorts/skirts/pants/etc. Do double check with your recruitment counselor to make sure that skirts are okay to wear, you never know what event might be going where shorts would be a better choice.
Plus Size Sorority Recruitment Rush

For Preference night, cocktail attire is the norm. When I was going through recruitment, little black dresses were de rigueur at my school and at my friends' schools as well. Apparently, though, times are changing but I included a cute black dress just in case. The jade green dress also comes in five other colors, including navy and a a delightful coral.
If you want more information on accessories, refer back to my post from last year, I give a really good overview on what to choose. Also, if you have any questions whatsoever on what to wear through recruitment, your best bet is always your recruitment counselor. She can't choose for you but she can provide guidance. 
If you're going through recruitment, good luck! If you're not, I hope you found something you liked and have a nice day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Prep'd Picks

Just a few cute things this week.
Preppy plus size clothing

 Octopus earrings// With summer fashion season ending in a few weeks I've been trying to focus on more autumn-appropriate wear. These octopus earrings are just too cute though. I love them and would buy them immediately if I had pierced ears.

Navy wallet | green wallet // I have a number of lovely wallets. However, I continue to use a Vera Bradley ID case because I can put in my pocket and it doesn't add an extra five pounds to my purse. I'm thinking it's a good time to upgrade, so I'm looking at these two wallets. I like the green Kate Spade wallet because I can also attach it to my keys.

Jade green shift// I love the color and shape of this dress. A scarf or necklace would make this a lovely outfit for many occasions.  If you want another option in the same pretty color, try this short sleeve Adrianna Papell dress with a cute flounce detail.

Brown marled sweater | oxblood sweater// I bought these sweaters over the weekend at Old Navy. I loved them so much I went back and picked up a gray one as well. Be warned that these are not plus size sweaters, I picked them up in size XXL. Old Navy's vanity sizing is out of control. I wear a size 24 in many brands (Land's End, Tahari, Calvin Klein, etc.,) but at Old Navy I can fit into size 20 jeans and their XXLs, which they carry in store. Give the XXL a try, you may be pleasantly surprised. If you want a plus size option, they carry this sweater in plus sizes that comes in the oxblood shade and many others.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Prepare for the Lilly After Party Sale!

Granted we may not fit into the clothes, but that doesn't mean we can't
get our hands on some other Lilly Pulitzer loveliness.

Plus Size Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly holds two massive sales each year: one in late summer/early fall and one in about mid-January. I'm not kidding when I say the sales are massive: tons of selection, steep discounts (think $120 tote bags going for $30), and the website crashes constantly. Updated August 18th: The website has been fantastic all day! I haven't heard of any crashes yet. If you haven't hit the sale yet, click on the banner above.

I wish I could tell you what would be available for the sale but I can't. The sale goes beyond the usual summer clearance; I'd say to expect to see the past several seasons. I also can't express enough how quickly everything goes! Lilly Pulitzer offers some great advice:
  • Have your account set up in advance. Make sure your shipping & billing addresses are all correct and your credit card is current.
  • Shipping is free! This allows you to checkout often to make sure you can get your goodies.
  • Sadly, there are no returns. If you get something that doesn't fit or you end up not liking you can put it on Ebay. If you do this, make sure to price it reasonably, everyone will know what you paid for it. 
  • Keep an eye on the sale over its course. Sometimes items that were sold out will be replenished or they may add new items.
The sale starts Monday, August 8th at around 8am-ish.
Click here to head over to the sale!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pinterest Inspiration: Graphic Pants

I know, I know. It's black. It's just too hard to escape.
Plus Size Preppie Clothes

I fell in love with this outfit the moment I saw it on my Pinterest feed. Even though it's black, I feel it meets enough criteria to be considered preppy (I'd classify this as downtown prep). This outfit is easy to wear, looks well put together, and with some minor modifications for shoes, this look can be seasonless. I'd consider this a step above daily casual and would wear it when I wanted to look good and casual at the same time. This would cover baby showers, parties where you may not know a lot of people, etc.

Graphic pants// These are the Pixie pants from Old Navy and are said to be very close to the phenomenally popular J.Crew Minnie pant. I know several people whom have pairs and they love them.

White shirt//  I chose a tee that was close to the original picture. Of course, you can use a different shirt but I suggest picking something with a bit of volume. I like this linen popover and this sweater.

Sandals// These strappy sandals also came in black, but I liked the mix of the black and tan. I've been seeing a lot of brown and black together in the fall/winter collections and it's growing on me. I also appreciate the thicker heel as I'm slightly (ok, a lot) clumsily in heels. These heels are only $20, which is a absolute steal.

Clutch// Clutches are one of those things I feel most people spend too much money on something they use very infrequently. This faux leather clutch is under $25, which I think is very fair and would get the job done.

Watch// This pretty Kate Spade watch costs more than the entire outfit combined. As opposed to clutches, I do feel that you should spend some money on a good watch if you wear them everyday. I like this watch because it's very classic and can be worn for the next 10-15 years without too much worry. Kate Spade also has a very similar model in Rose Gold.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lilly-a-Likes: Best of Summer 2014 for Fall 2014

There will be an updated post on Lilly-a-Likes when the fall lines are completely out.
When I went to write this post I had a lot of trouble trying to find anything so I'm going to wait a few more weeks to see if anything new comes out. In the meantime, here are some of the best
Lilly-a-Like pieces on sale that would see you through fall:
Plus Size Lilly Pulitzer

From left to right:

Lavender striped popover: I've been reading the September Issues as they've slowly been coming in and I've been seeing a lot of lavender. This popover is only $20(!) and still comes in a wide variety of sizes.

Jacquard sweater // A Lilly-esqe print will keep you dreaming of lazy summer afternoons while raking leaves. Also comes in a few pastel colors which I think you could get away with if you pair them correctly.

Lace dress // I absolutely love the color of this dress and think it'd look good in all seasons. I believe you could replace your little black dress with this Land's End piece.

Printed maxi // I like maxi dresses because they're great for fall weather. The long skirt helps keep the chill off your legs in the mornings and you can shed your sweater as the day gets warmer.

Another printed maxi // Same thing as the maxi dress above, it's just an all-around great pick for fall. I'd really like to pair it with this Old Navy cocoon sweater.

Again, more Lilly-a-Likes on the way as soon as the fall collections hit stores!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Prep'd Picks: Sweaters Already?

As I mentioned earlier this month, this part of August is a bit of a dead time for fashion. I've been hesitant to show sweaters because it's still in the 90s for a lot of places in the country. However, I had two readers email me--one from LA and the other from Dallas--and both reported that come Labor Day they wear fall styles no matter the weather. So, sweaters it is:

Preppy plus size clothes

Plaid Button down // After using a plaid shirt in a post last week I've decided I need a plaid shirt that isn't flannel. I really like the colors in this one and like the fact it's lightweight enough to wear under sweaters. If you're looking for one with a heavier fabric, I recommend this Land's End popover or this Target version with elbow patches.

Critter Sweater// One of my top posts from last year was on critter sweaters. I haven't seen too many yet this year and I think they're still popular enough to make another appearance in stores. I think the sheep on this sweater are cute.  

Cashmere sailor sweater// I will admit that I'm not crazy about cashmere. Yes, it's soft and plush, but as someone who consistently spills coffee down their front it's an impractical choice. However, my favorite shirt is a sailor's shirt that looks exactly like this sweater, only mine has lime green shoulders instead of pink.  I think this sweater has a really good chance of working its way into my closet and dry cleaning bills be damned. 

Cable knit sweater// I spent part of the this weekend going through my sweaters and decided that I could use a good white/ivory/cream cable knit sweater. I'm usually not a big fan of 3/4 sleeves but I like them on sweaters because I end up pushing the sleeves up anyways. Land's End also has a version with the full long sleeve.


I've already started my fall shopping by buying these peep toe booties. I think they'll look great with my Land's End dress which you can see as the background, not to mention making my weekend jeans & tee outfit look a bit nicer. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Fashion Calendar, or: What is Pre-Fall?

If you read any blogs or fashion magazines, you may be seeing the word Pre-Fall being thrown around. A fairly newcomer to the fashion lexicon, pre-fall collections are released in late July/early August as the summer lines go on sale and the fall collection isn't ready to be released yet. Pre-fall isn't anything new, for decades lightweight sweaters and corduroy slacks show up in the mall about this time of year. Pre-fall-- and its sister Resort-- collections have become major money makers for many designers which is why there's been an increased interest.

And also, when you close up the lake house and put the boat into storage, who really wants to continue wearing nautical motifs?

Preppy Plus Size
What does pre-fall in the plus size world mean? Lots of black and gray, apparently. I've been seeing a lot of really nice things in straight sizes in places like Macy's and JC Penney's but when I look at their plus size section it looks like a funeral. If you're looking to move into more of a fall mindset--which I am because it's currently in the mid-50s at night right now-- take a look at some of my picks below.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Outfit Inspiration: Red, White, and Plaid

Recently I posted a survey asking you, my readers, what you'd like to see on the blog (there's still time to take it!). I got a good many responses asking for outfit inspiration, and several mentioned this pin that's on my Outfit Inspirations board on Pinterest:
Preppy Plus Size

top row // shirt / watch / necklace
bottom row // heels / skirt / clutch

This look is very quintessential preppy and it's almost identical to what pops in my mind when people ask me to describe the word. I love the bright Easter egg colors, I love the chunky necklace, and I love the sweater over the shoulders. What I really love is that this is a very easy outfit to put together.

I tried to find a bright plaid shirt like the one in the pictures but according to the mall it's autumn and color selection was more muted. That's okay, I really like this plaid shirt because the colors work well with a lot of wardrobes. In keeping with the spirit of the ooriginal picture, I wanted to keep the skirt and accessories in the same color family. Hence, the blue ponte pencil skirt, chunky beaded necklace (you could replace with pearls if you like), and blue pumps. I also had also included a blue clutch originally but took it out because it was just too much blue. I'm now also thinking the blue necklace is too much as well, which isn't a big deal because it also comes in red. I threw in a great gold watch and you can fill out the other accessories as you see fit.  I purposely left off the cardigan because at that point the entire outfit became more of an '80s party costume than a nice outfit.  

If I were to leave you with one bit of advice on recreating this outfit, match the color of your shoes to your skirt or wear nude-to-you shoes. Wearing contrasting bottoms and shoes really breaks up the look in the worst of ways.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Prep'd Picks // welcome to august

August is an awkward month for fashion bloggers. Most summer merchandise is gone, leaving only a few odd bikini tops and shorts in size 000, or there's a plethora of sweaters and boots. While my state has had more days in the 70s than 90s this year (it's been wonderful!), I know that doesn't go for the rest of the nation. Since it is still summer, I found some inspiration from a Dorothy Draper-esqe banana leaf print wallpaper and found a few pieces that would work well into fall:

Utility jacket: I've been wanting one of these for a few years but most of the ones I saw had the detailing all wrong. Jones New York is really killing it right now, this jacket has amazing detail without being too busy or looking cheap. It does have long sleeves in case you were wondering.

Cabochon necklace: I'm always iffy on these necklaces, sometimes I think they're gaudy and at other times I love their tackiness. Treat these pieces like you would a busy print, like a Lilly print. Would you wear two busy prints together? No, and please repeat three times after me: I am not Jenna Lyons. Let this necklace be the workhorse of whatever outfit you pair it with so it can really shine.

Print pants: I've seen a ton of print pants for fall so expect to see a lot of those in the coming Prep'd Picks. I'm positive that these green & navy printed pants from Land's End are going to be the best that you'll find. The print and fit of the pants is timeless and seasonless so these would be a great pick for those looking for good "price per wear" items.

Messenger bag: One of my favorite accessories is a colored leather bag. I have colbalt blue, red, orange, etc. I've been wanting to add a forest green one but really haven't found one that I'm willing to shill out the funds. The Coach messenger is actually olive green and I think would satisfy my need for a new brown bag and the forest green bag I've been craving.

Shop the post:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Final Call for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

Plus Size Preppy 
 It's the last six hours for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so I hunted down the best of the sale finale:
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