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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Prep'd Picks // Quick Picks Under $125

bottom row:  betty lipsticktartan shirt  /  sweater dress  /  gray sweater

There are officially less than 60 days until Christmas. Yes, take a second to mentally freak out a bit because I don't feel ready either, not to mention there's a call for 80 degrees later this week. Since I just had to replace most major electronics that I own (new laptop! new cell phone that won't ship for another six weeks!) and paid off a bunch of medical bills, money is tight at the moment. In the spirit of saving money, I threw together a list of some nice things that are all under $125.
I have a gray ponte pencil skirt from Land's End that I wear a lot, and I like the flared shape of this skirt from Nordstrom. It looks flattering and would pair well with most wardrobes. Speaking of things I wear often, I'm always looking for new dresses. I really love the colorblock dress from Macy's ($75) and well as the vibrant red sweater dress from Target (it's under $35!).

Just want a quick pick-me-up? The horse bit necklace is great for those who balk at the classic Gucci Bit Loafers. The faux leather bag has an incredible shape and would tote all the junk I normally carry.  I like this Edward Bess lipstick in Betty, which is a homage to the famous Neiman Marcus personal shopper, Betty Halbreich.  She also has a book out that details her life and wisdom from behind the dressing room door.

I just love the tartan blouse and could easily wear that through next March. I could wear it to work, I could wear it on the weekends, I could wear it anywhere. The sweater is a nice piece to own because you don't need to accessorize it too much. Maybe a simple bangle and a simple bag and you're out the door. Great for those days--like this past weekend--where you've consumed anything that is a delicious combination of carbs and cinnamon (#NoRegrets) and you just don't feel like fussing with anything.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reader Mailbag

I have a couple of questions from some readers sitting in my inbox, so I though I'd answer them here:

anchor blouseblack bow flatsflat brown boots
glitter oxfords / beige booties

Question 1} Hi! I'm currently a junior in high school and we have to wear uniforms. We can wear a white, light blue, or light yellow shirt. After Christmas break, we'll be allowed to wear any collared shirt in those colors, like a polo or button down. I've already seen a lot of the cute shirts my smaller friends have bought but I can't seem to find anything other than the same boring stuff. Any ideas?
Before you buy anything, A) make sure you have the dress code in writing and B) Ask about details to make sure a shirt is allowed. Are logos like the Lacoste crocodile allowed? Shopping is a lot easier when you know preciesly what you can purchase.

The blouse above is a great example of what to look for; it's hard to see but there are white anchors embroidered all over it. You may also look at getting a plaid button down in one of your allowed colors and having a seamstress add details, such as a scalloped collar or maybe even scalloped sleeves. You also raid Michael's for some trimmings like lace, rick rack, pop-poms, etc., and sew that on yourself. Again, without knowing more about your dress code it's hard to give advice but most likely you're going to have to do a bit of DIY to get something fun.

Alternatively, consider sticking with the plain shirts and foucsing your allowance on fun shoes and accessories. When I was in prep school we could only wear black or brown dress shoes. If you're looking to make as much of a style statement as possible, sparkly black oxfords will stand out much more than some piping detail on a shirt collar.

Question 2} I graduated college back in May but I'm just now finding a job-yay! However the company has a strict professional dress code, no khakis or polo shirts allowed. I don't have enough clothes to make it a week. Is there somewhere I can go to get a professional wardrobe quickly? My job starts soon and at this point I'm not too picky about cost or style as long as it looks professional!

Congratulations! My top pick for professional clothes is Talbot's. They use natural fabrics like wool and cotton over polyester, meaning they hold up well in the long run. They also make most of their suit separates in colors other than black! They have the all-important navy, as well as gray, dark green, burgundy, tan, not to mention glen plaid. If you need a cohesive collection that works well together and you needed it yesterday, I suggest Calvin Klein. It features a lot of black and a lot of polyester, but the pieces are tailored and they wear well. Most of his work collections have around 8-10 pieces that all work off of each other in color and print. Lastly, don't overlook Tahari or Jones New York. Both have great work clothes.

Question 3} Have you ever considered having clothes made out of Lilly Pulitzer fabric? My daughter is plus-size and is really wanting a classic Lilly shift made in the actual fabric.  She's 13 and is sensitive about her size and I'm afraid of getting her something custom made will get her teased at school.

I have given a lot of thought to having Lilly dresses made, but I have yet to pull the trigger. There is a huge market for anything made out of Lilly Pulitzer prints, everything from home decor items to even Lilly Jeeps:
Lilly Pulitzer Jeep

The only problem I can foresee is maybe getting the right piece of fabric, as most of what I've found for sale is usually in small pieces, around 18"x18", which would make using it for a dress difficult. Get together with a good seamstress and she may be able to track down bigger pieces of fabrics for you. All-in-all, though, I don't think your daughter would be teased for wearing a custom Lilly dress. Again, there's a huge market for anything Lilly and that includes custom-made dresses.
If you have any questions, need help finding something, etc., don't be afraid to email me!

ker [at] theplussizeprep.com
or find me social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.,) using the icons
in the blue bar at the top of the page.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Black is the New Black in Home Decor

Were you to visit my Pinterest board dedicated to anything and everything home related, you may just think that Lilly Pulitzer herself spilled a colorful cocktail everywhere. Every shade of pink you can imagines, vivid blues, oranges, and oh, all those glorious greens. I don't believe my inner interior decorator is familiar with the term neutral. When it comes to color, I'm a firm subscriber to the theory that more is more.

I've always been iffy on the color black, either in my wardrobe and most certain never in my home decor. I have lots of friends with black furniture and well, it just never really looks good. Frankly, a lot of it looks just, well, unpleasant. However, upon cleaning up my home decor Pinterest board, I  noticed I had a number of pins that had black prominently displayed. Much to my surprise...I'm really loving it:

This dalmatian print is very popular in design.

The floral pillow reminds me of my favorite Vera Bradley pattern, Botanica.

The last picture really reminds me of Dorothy Draper and her work for The Greenbrier.

While I am loving this new black design, I'm just not sure if I'd actually put it in my home. It may seem fresh to me right now, but I'm just not sure how well this trend would age. Remember how big brown and turquoise were in the mid-2000s and now feels so dated? I think this may be along those quick fads.

What do you think? Would you decorate with black?

photos 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

Monday, October 20, 2014

Prep'd Picks // In The Pink

Pink doesn't have to be limited to spring and summer.

Just because it's fall doesn't mean you have to suddenly start only wearing forest green and brown everyday. I'm not sure about the rest of the states, but here in West Virginia there's always a period of rain during autumn and well, it's depressing. Adding a pop of pink can do wonders for your mood and your style. Any shade of pink will do, just take care in picking accessories. Avoid pairing pink with white (ivory/cream is okay) or anything nautical or tropical (too summery). With just taking a second to consider your whole ensemble, your favorite pink shirt doesn't have to be banished to the back of the closet until next summer.

Wanting to add a bit of charm to your look? Here are my top picks:

Looking at #4, the super cute coral dress, it can sometimes be hard trying to carry such a summery look into fall. For example, I'd pair the dress with my dark plum wood wrap cardigan and a pair of tall brown boots. If I wanted something more professional, I'd add brown tights, brown pumps, and my tan blazer. Match your tights to either your skirt or your shoes, it not only makes your legs look longer, but it also gives your outfit a more cohesive feel. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Almost Too Good to be True: 25% Off at Saks and Shopbop!

Upscale retailers Shopbop and Saks Fifth Avenue are both currently having their annual Friends & Family sales. Both stores are offering 25% most everything they offer, with the usual caveats of no cosmetics, fragrances, certain brands, etc. These sales are great because it's one of the few times where you can save some serious coin on some lustworthy brands like Marina Rinaldi, Lafayette 148, and Eileen Fisher. If you're in the market for a new coat or jacket, look no further. Also of note are the evening gowns, most costing between $300-500 (not including the discount). If you're in need of a Homecoming dress or just want something nice to have on hand, look no further than Saks. Because these sales usually have some excluded items, Saks made it easy and labeled everything eligible for the sale, which covers everything in the plus size department. Be sure to use the code "FRNFAM" when checking out! The Saks Fifth Avenue sale ends October 19th.

Shopbop sadly doesn't carry plus sizes, but they're one of the first places I look for accessories. They carry an expansive range of almost anything you'd want to liven up you look. Shopbop is based out of the UK, but they have ridiculously fast shipping--no joke, I get my orders in 3-4 days of placing them--plus if you have Amazon Prime you can get two day and overnight shipping for crazy cheap. Oh, did I mention free returns? Be sure to use the code "FAMILY25" when checking out! This sale ends October 16th.

Here are my top picks, including some old favorites you've seen on the blog before:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Prep'd Picks // Inspired: Kate Spade

I got an email requesting Kate Spade-a-Likes and thought it
would be a good theme for this week'd Prep'd Picks:
Plus Size Kate Spade
Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer are two sisters in the preppy clothing & accessories family. Both are fun-loving and energetic brands with a love of the whimsical. For a genre of people used to wearing embroderied lobsters on their pants, how could we not love those raccoon flats or the train engine clutch pictured above? 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ten Shoes You Need for Fall

1) Strappy Sandals // Don't let the brisk temperatures stop you from wearing these babies.  When wearing a cocktail gown, you're going to want something other than pumps and these sandals fill that ticket. They come in a variety of colors and their simplicity lets all the attention go to the gown.

2) Pumps // These are the enormously popular MICHAEL Michael Kors Flex pumps. They're under $100 and come in a variety of colors, sizes, and widths. Yes, that's correct, you can get these in wide widths. 

3) Booties // I chose these booties because I'm in love with the bow on the back of them. I can wear them with a dress or pants and they come in a lovely brown shade.

4) Leopard print flats // I chose leopard print because it goes with a wide assortment of outfits, but a pair of printed shoes can help liven up your "blah day" outfit. 

5)  Basic flats // I loved the scallop details on this pair of flats, but having flats in at least a nude and a black can help cover a range of outfits. They're also handy for keeping in the car or bag in case of heel breakage or if you feet go on strike. If you wear flats almost every day like I do,  it's worth looking into buying a better pair than the cheapest special. I've developed tendinitis from wearing flats so now I have to spend more money on them which feels somewhat criminal to me but my feet don't holler at me like they used to.

6) Duck (Bean) boots // If you don't already have these in your mudroom, can you even call yourself a prep?

7) Loafers // Be it Weejun, tasseled, or with a riding bit, a loafer is hardly ever the wrong choice of shoe. Cordovan or burgundy is the preferred color choice but browns, navys, etc. aren't too far off the mark.  

8) Tall boots // These are best kept without much adornment. The boots pictured have wide-width calves, if want more information of boots, see my post on boot shafts of all sizes.

9) Sporty Sneaks // Hardly anyone dresses up for anything, anymore.

10) Driving Mocs // Driving mocs can be switched easily with loafers, just all-in-all a good casual shoe. They come in many bright colors so don't feel beholden to just stick with a neutral. Some people could also get away with the Minnetonka Kilty moccasin.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Prep'd Picks // Land's End


There is so much traditional prep in this inspiration board it's not even funny. Plaid pants? Check. Quilted jacket? Check. Breton strips? Check. Fair Isle sweater? Very check.

Look 1 // These pants and the ones for look #4 are the same thing, just in different plaids. I like this ivory & red plaid a bit better than the Blackwatch, as I have more to go with it. I also like these pants because they make such a style statement without having to go over the top with accessories. OCBD or t-shirt? Either would look just fine. Add a nice blouse, heels, and a pretty scarf and you have a great & easy look for a holiday party. There are only 80 days until Christmas, you know.

Look 2 // A coat closet cleanout mid-July left me with no jackets. Typically I just wear a thick cardigan but after last winter's colder than normal temperatures, I think I need something with a little more oomph to keep the wind and chill away. There are a variety of quilted jackets on the market, but I currently have it narrowed to the jacket shown above or this Old Navy version, which is half the price.

Look 3 // Fair Isle sweaters are getting harder to find as the years pass. I can remember in high school--10 years ago--and had little trouble getting my hands on one. I looked around last year and found a black and white version from Old Navy, which I wasn't terribly excited about. I like this cardigan version, even though it is in black & white, it being a cardigan allows me to add some color underneath. It does come with a matching short sleeve sweater for a twin set look.

Look 4 // Again, this is just one of those outfits that looks put together no matter how it's styled. Flats and a leather tote for work. Heels and a fun clutch for a girl's night out.

Look 5 // Breton stripes are a preppy classic, and this is the type of shirt you'll wear every weekend no matter the season.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hello, Friday! Houndstooth & Plus Size Wedding Dresses

This blouse is a fantastic buy for the price. This can not only go with the usual black or gray, but this would look great with wine/oxblood/whatever the trendy name for maroon is these days. Bright colors, of course, would look smashing as well. It can be worn in conservative work enviroments or to a casual brunch on the weekend. In other words, there's a lot you can do to style this shirt. If you're looking for something with an amazing pop of color, look at this cobalt blue version.
This past week alone, I've gotten four emails from women seeking help in trying to find plus size wedding dresses. As a perpetually single woman, this is an area I simply can't help them with; of course I can always window shop for them but I don't think that will be of help. If you have any advice, be it brands or dress shops or anything else wedding, please leave it in the comments or email me: ker [at] theplussizeprep.com.
Here are two articles I found that I thought had good information re: plus size wedding dresses:
This is the first weekend in several where I don't have anything planned. I'm tempted to take a trip to the Athens, Ohio area to do some antique shopping, or maybe I'll just sleep in. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

20 Preppy Plus Size Pieces for Under $50

Since most of Monday's Prep'd Picks were on the pricey side, I decided that I should also feature some more affordable picks later this week. There's a little bit of something for everyone and I also threw in some accessories for those who just want a little wardrobe boost-me-up.

Also: the widget I use to make the slideshow didn't want to play nicely with me, so if you see something you like but would like it in a different color, click on it as there is more than likely another color. The pink blouse above appears in the widget as a white blouse.

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