My opinionated (and still relevant) post about how problematic big women’s fashion is has been revamped and is ready for more viewing! If you’ve never shopped in the “big woman’s” section before, click and see what kinds of disastrous fashion we have to put up with–and if you’re a fellow big woman, you will be shouting “AMEN” all the way through this post! XD
Admittedly, I’m not much of a fashion maven, but I’ve done enough shopping and worn enough clothes in my life…enough to create the above infographic based on my personal observation of fashion pricing. There are pros and cons to buying fashion of all price ranges, but I have personally found that you CAN achieve the best of both worlds by carefully choosing well-made, mid-priced clothing. They land right in the “Fashion Goldilocks Zone” (not too cheap, not too costly; not too trendy nor too basic, etc), described in the graphic above.
Sure, mid-priced clothes are not designer clothes, but they’re also not likely to fall to pieces when you wash them a few times, either (as I have unfortunately experienced). If you’re willing to look for slightly higher-quality clothing that is put together well, especially for clothes you’ll be washing and wearing a lot, you’ll actually SAVE money in the long run because you won’t have to replace your whole wardrobe every year. (You don’t have to buy the most expensive clothes to have the best quality, either, because I’ve also unfortunately found that sometimes the high-priced pieces wear out just as quick as the cheap stuff.)
More help on picking quality clothing for less money:
Six Secrets to Spotting High-Quality Clothes
Accessible Chic: 6 Places to Shop Quality Clothes Online
How to Buy Nice Clothes On the Cheap
Is Buying Expensive Clothing Worth It?
How to Spot Quality Clothing
Sometimes, when it feels like I’ve squeezed all the creativity out of my neurons, I feel at a loss…and then I remember that the Internet is a wondrous place full of other awesome people being creative and posting about it. Once I read about their projects, I find my creative juices replenishing themselves like mad! Here are four sites you’ll want to visit if you’re feeling creatively drained:
A classic site for learning how to make things…read through some of these articles and get inspired!
From crafts to fashion, wedding ideas to travel, this site has a little bit of everything to delight your sense of creativity.
All sorts of articles and photos, concerning photography ideas, architecture, and even web design, among others!
A visual catalog of all sorts of design ideas and articles, arranged in a Pinterest-like flow down the page.
I’m something of a purse aficionado (I write this whilst staring at a mound of empty purses from childhood in my closet…LOL). But, in recent years, I’ve stopped buying tons of different purses, and instead turned my attention toward getting one quality purse that goes with everything.
Up until a few days ago, I was carrying this one, discovered at a TJ Maxx store:
I found it to be a great, perfectly-sized little purse–when it stayed closed. Unfortunately, it had a nasty habit of popping open by itself, at all the most inconvenient times (during rain, while just walking down the street, etc.). The clasp on it was never meant to hold fast against all that I’d stuffed into it, and I had found no way to edit down what I was carrying. So I knew I probably needed to invest in another one that closed more tightly, at some point.
But I’ve always been very picky about purses, and I had liked this purse because it had such a long shoulder strap. I prefer to carry my purses with a long shoulder strap across my body, so I don’t have to hunch my shoulder up to carry it (and so potential thieves can’t take it easily). I knew what I was looking for when I eventually went shopping for a new purse, but I dreaded the process.
When I finally did decide to go hunting for a new purse, though, it didn’t take long before this one caught my eye. It was black leather, simple zip-top style, had tons of room in it, and was on sale. SOLD! 😀 😀 😀
I purchased it and got home with it…and then realized something. There was no long wraparound shoulder strap with this new one, only a short over-the-shoulder strap. I would not be able to carry it as I had been accustomed to doing. 🙁
I realized this as I was just in the middle of transferring all my stuff from the old purse to the new. After a few moments of self-ridicule, I thought, “Well, poot, I’m gonna have to go right back and return this thing!” But just as I was thinking that, my eye fell on the long shoulder strap of the old purse. Specifically, I caught sight of how the long shoulder strap was attached to the old purse.
That’s right; the shoulder strap could be unclasped from the old purse entirely. And since the old purse was black leather, the same as the new, I just unclipped the strap from the old purse, and clipped it onto the strap buckles on the new purse.
I’d really need to model this for you to show how well this works, but since I don’t have anybody to help take pics, this will have to do. I know it looks like a mess of straps, but this actually works a whole lot better–I can carry more without worrying that my purse will pop open unexpectedly, and yet I can still carry it looped cross-body stye for safety and security. This has made life much easier already! And the leather of the old purse’s strap blends in beautifully with the leather on the new purse; it doesn’t look like an add-on, but looks like it was always meant to be there. WOOT!
Just goes to show you: if you buy something that turns out to be not quite what you expected, or doesn’t quite suit your needs, look around your house before returning it. You might find a way to make your purchase work, just with a little repurposing!
For me, shopping for clothing and shopping for Clix are very similar. While it may be strange to think of shopping for Clix in the same mindset as shopping for fashion, I think the two worlds have a lot in common. For one thing, the tournament world is a lot like the runways!
As a Clix player, I often use nearly identical guidelines to trading and buying Clix as I do in buying clothing and accessories. Spending Clix “points” in building a team is, of course, not the same as spending real-world money to put together an outfit, but the result is often the same: a strong whole made up of many parts, a set of pieces that run well together.
The following 3 tips are geared toward building stronger teams and gathering more functional pieces for your collection…with fashion metaphors illustrating. Hear me out–this is actually a fairly apt connection!
Clix & Fashion Tip #1: The Cheaper Points It Is, The Better
There’s a reason I chiefly shop clearance racks and discount stores when shopping for fashion–I’m looking for the kind of fashion I want at the lowest prices. I don’t care about following the “latest trends” or having an outfit that has a big brand name stamped all over it. Instead, I prefer to have cheaper clothing that will still look good while combined with my existing collection’s pieces.
Case in point: I went to a discount store about a year ago and found a short-sleeved black shrug (like a shortened sweater or coat) for about $10. It went with just about every nice sleeveless top and dress I owned, so I bought it. A few months later, I spotted a similar black shrug being sold for $50 at a department store–I just chuckled and walked by.
I look at Clix the same way–I select pieces based on their point value as much as their abilities. Why spend 50 points on a Probability Control piece, when I have a perfectly good Rookie Destiny that’s 20 points? Anywhere you can save points can help you have more points left over to select other pieces.
This is why I have an assortment of Paramedics (8, 10, and 12 points, respectively) and Destinies (20, 23, and 26 points), just like I have an assortment of cheap tank tops and shrugs–they are cheap but efficient ways to upgrade my selected team (or my selected outfit).
Clix & Fashion Tip #2: Spend the Points on Long-Term Usage, Not Short-Term Trends
Every season the fashion world comes out with flashy, fragile pieces that don’t seem to be appropriate for any event, not even on a Las Vegas stage. Mostly, I ignore these and choose more wearable, neutral or modest pieces that are made of better material and will last longer.
Case in point: I shopped at a shoe store with a friend about two years ago and had a choice between a couple of pairs of ballet flats (they look like ballet slippers but have a stronger sole). One pair was bright, bright red and shiny, the other a pale, less shiny gold-tone with a small bow on the top. Because the red pair felt more constrictive on my feet, I chose the gold pair (even though they were a little more expensive), while my friend picked the red pair.
Though I wear my pale gold ballet flats for a lot of different events (from formal weddings all the way down to a trip to Walmart if I feel like), my friend ended up not really sure where or when to wear her bright-red flats after a while. They seemed too loud for everyday wear, but didn’t really go with anything besides a dress of the same color, or with a couple neutral pieces. They were awesome shoes, but once the trend faded…well, they had lost some of their patent-leather luster.
Similarly, I evaluate Clix for long-term quality rather than just cheap flashes in the pan. The new hot pieces in Clix tournaments do not interest me unless I see that they are truly quality pieces that would fit well in my collection. If the trendy new piece is only good in certain situations (just like the red ballet flats are only wearable with certain other colors), then why spend the points on them, when I can use a piece that serves its function better and maybe even multitasks in battle?
Clix & Fashion Tip #3: Sometimes You Just Have to Grin and Bear a Higher Point Cost
Occasionally, to get the correct fit, right color, and long-wearing fabric, you have to pay a little more than you’d like to otherwise. Such is shopping for quality pieces!
I’m reminded of the suit jacket I ended up having to buy at a specialty store, because of my broad shoulders and rather well-endowed chest. Though the jacket ended up being nearly 90 bucks, I have since been able to wear it to job interviews, workplaces, nice dinner events, and lots of other dressy places for the last five years. It’s served me well and shows no signs of wear like a cheaper jacket would have by now.
The same thing happens in Clix sometimes; you end up liking a piece but have a hard time fitting it into your teams because it’s just a wee bit too expensive in terms of point cost. But if it’s a worthwhile piece and would make your team a lot more potent in battle, it may be worth trimming down point costs on your other pieces to be able to fit that expensive-but-worthy piece in.
For instance, I would rather invest the 95 points in Saint Walker, for instance, than to spend a total of 92 points on 1 Rookie Destiny, 2 Experienced Destinies, and 1 LE Destiny. Reason? I know that Saint Walker can stand up to more pain in battle, and has both his Prob-like Trait as well as natural Prob. As much as I love playing Destiny, I know that if she’s hit with 4 damage, she’s gone, leaving me with one less Probber. Though that huge 95-point investment on a single figure hits me right in the gut, I know it will pay off in the long term.
Though this might be a funny way to think about building up your Clix collection and constructing teams, it’s an interesting and playful connection. Who knows, with these tips, your own teams might be walking the runways at your next tournament!
There’s a new trend in shoes that I just really don’t get: the trend of caging one’s foot in fabric or leather, either in straps or in larger pieces of fabric, that come together to ALMOST form a boot shape, but not really. I’ve seen it referred to as a “bootie heel” or a “peep-toe bootie”. I call it like I see it–a “cage shoe” or “clog.” And even real wooden clogs are not this odd.
First, we have the “cage shoe” look, in which thick straps of fabric are woven or stretched across the foot, sometimes almost-completely encasing the foot, sometimes not.
Your feet ain’t goin’ anywhere.
Now you see your foot, now you don’t
Trying to be a sandal?
Going for the woven look?
Strange cutouts in the toe area…painful to look at
Stuck between a cage sandal and a bootie wedge
Then we have the “peeptoe” bootie, which is almost-but-not-quite a full boot, except without the fabric rising above the ankle that would make the shoe actually look nicer on the leg.
It might have been cool if it was just a high-heeled ankle-high boot
Not really a “bootie,” but not really a wedge heel either. And that color combo… :/
Almost a feminine boot, but not quite
Thirdly, we have the “full-coverage” bootie, which isn’t a style of pants but a style of shoe, covering the whole foot but forgetting the flattering ankle fit.
Clogs with leopard print on them. Really?
Clunky in the front, spiky in the back–the shoe version of a mullet.
We also have the “hiking-boot” style bootie heel, which attempts to blend feminine and masculine shoe styles together…um, yeah.
Clomp, clomp, clomp.
It has Grandpa’s laces, but it matches the granddaughter’s wardrobe better.
Strange angular shape to this bootie…
Strangely over-masculine…I think it’s the leather color and the laces that makes me think that.
And lastly, we have the “backless” bootie, which might be the strangest-looking shoe of the whole bunch:
The shoe version of a backless top, I guess…?
WHAT. In the world. Is this. I don’t even.
The above photos show the variety these strange shoes come in–they are in all colors and all fabrics, and either high-heels or wedges, but they always look like a hiking boot or clog gone wrong. They manage to make even the thinnest of legs look violently cut off at the bottom of the ankle; they somehow strike a horrid balance between strange couture and vagrant chic.
Is it just me? Is it a marker of my growing-up years and my culture, that I prefer shoes that DON’T look like cement blocks made in fashionable colors? I’m not sure. All I know is that these styles don’t flatter any woman’s legs at all, and they don’t look all that comfortable, either–I’m all too familiar with how multiple straps, thin or thick, can bind swelling feet when you’re standing in heels like that. And the peep-toe cutting straight across cramped toes–ah, the red marks of pain!
Basically, these styles of shoe offend two of my long-standing rules of fashion:
- Wear shoes that flatter your legs, whenever possible;
- Wear shoes that are comfortable to your feet, whenever possible.
Comfort and style are often at odds, even for me, but even the original Crocs boat-shoe look is better than this (and more comfortable to boot–pardon the pun).
Just thought I’d share this bit of fashion weirdness and ask your opinion on this kind of footwear. Are they more comfortable than they look? Are there instances where this style actually looks good with other items of clothing?
With the advent of Pinterest, we all find it easier than ever to describe our personal styles through pictures. As a plus-sized, partially disabled young woman, I can’t always wear or create all the things I pin (and who can? LOL!), but I’m still drawn to certain fashions, makeup looks, and hairstyles. Thus, my Pinterest boards have become both a realistic portrayal of my personal taste as well as a fantasyland of things I’d love to wear.
Scroll down and see key elements of my style (which I call “Comfortably Classy)! (You can click on the pictures to see these pictures on Pinterest, too!)
You can find even more examples of my style (plus a ton of life hacks, organization and decor ideas, health tips, etc.) over at my Pinterest!
I consider myself still an amateur beader in many ways, but I like the process of coming up with new designs for the simple, delicate necklaces I favor. I might not be able to weave thousands of tiny beads together into a wearable maze of color, but I can at least string some pearly and sparkly beads on a wire! 😀
I’ve noticed, though, that I tend to use a certain set of rules when it comes to creating beaded patterns, though–and those rules sparked the idea for this post! Read on to discover how I design my pieces!
Tenet #1: Use smaller beads at the ends of the piece and larger beads in the middle of the piece.
This technique, called “size graduation,” is one of my favorites, especially for necklace design. You start out with small beads at either end of the necklace, and then use larger and larger beads till you get to the center of the piece. This draws the eye to the center of the piece, and also helps the wearer know where the necklace is supposed to be centered!
Tenet #2: Make patterns of interlocking symmetry.
I usually do lots of small patterns to make up my necklaces and bracelets. For instance, on either end of the necklace, there’s usually a couple of little symmetrical patterns; then, closer to the center of the necklace, there is a larger symmetrical pattern that surrounds the centerpiece (usually one to three large beads). All together, this necklace pattern looks like a wearable palindrome, both sides mirroring each other.
Pattern: clear seed bead–tiny pink pearl–small white pearl–tiny pink pearl–small tan/gold pearl–tiny pink pearl–small white pearl–tiny pink pearl–clear seed bead. This longer pattern would be great for building up toward the center of a necklace.
Working with small units of patterns like these seems to create a much better-looking product than some of the non-symmetrical designs I’ve attempted over the years. Somehow, I never finish the non-symmetrical designs–I don’t even get around to stringing them. The symmetrical ones, however, always end up finished. 🙂
Tenet #3: Use colors that play well with each other.
In most of my pieces, I sprinkle in a good bit of neutral and metallic colors, like white, clear, gold, tan, black, silver, or gray–and then I use one or two stronger colors that stand out. Old favorite combos like pink and gold or blue and silver also work well for me. Sometimes I’ll use all beads of the same color but in various finishes to achieve a neat effect (sparkly purple, for instance, looks very different from pearlescent purple).
I do occasionally like to weave in a few distinctive beads, but that’s usually saved for the centerpiece of a necklace, using patterns of more “ordinary” neutral beads around it to visually support it.
Tenet #4: Different light textures are welcome.
What I mean by “light textures” is how the light bounces off each bead (as mentioned briefly above). Sparkly beads sharply reflect light, while pearlescent beads softly glow, and metallic beads shimmer. By putting the three different textures together, you get a neat effect on the eye–the eye constantly moves around the necklace, taking in the different sparkles, shimmers, and glows.
My favorite necklace, by far, is one that I made using light teal sparkly beads (Pacific opals) and white pearls, with clear and silver seed beads as accents. It always gets delighted comments when I wear it, and I think it’s because of the different light textures (plus the pretty color combination).
Tenet #5: Don’t go too big.
I like to use smaller beads because it lends a delicate, fairy-like look to my jewelry designs. In small sizes, any sparkly beads are pretty rather than flashy, keeping the overall effect clean and modest. It also doesn’t draw attention away from the outfit as a whole, but enhances and plays up the good parts of the ensemble. (Given that I’m pretty clumsy, I don’t like to wear any jewelry that I could potentially get tangled up in or injure myself on, so that’s probably another reason I go for short, simple jewelry. :D)
Small, balanced designs with colors and textures that play harmoniously with each other represent the five rules I go by when making beaded jewelry. But what do you think? What are your favorite ways to design? Tell me in the comments!
Yes, today I’m talking about me and the ladies that are sized like me–more than size 16, more than size 20, more than size 26, and on up. To most high-style designers, we do not exist; we are not mentioned much, if at all, and our particular style needs are not always taken into account. Even Tim Gunn of “Project Runway” fame acknowledges that this is a huge problem when he says “Fashion seems to end at a size 12!”
Now, I will say that I’ve been lucky to come across Lane Bryant, Avenue, and other plus-size stores, as well as stores like Cato’s that carry both misses and women’s sizes (read: “normal-sized” women’s clothing and “big” women’s clothing). But I’ve also shopped in many places where either the fashion offerings are very slim (or don’t exist), or the offerings are so outside the realm of what I would wear that I can’t fathom buying it.
It seems that many big-box designers (or even some higher-fashion designers) have strange preconceptions about what plus-size women want in clothing. This blog post seeks to rectify this.
Not all big women like huge gaudy prints or horrible mixes of colors.
It never fails. The lovely, floaty-fabric skirt with the beautiful stitching and structuring just HAS to be coated with pink and green flowers. And that amazing tunic-style shirt that would hit just right on my hips? It apparently only comes in a nauseating blend of blue, brown, and orange.
OK, fashion designers, please listen: if I wanted to wear Mawmaw’s tablecloth, I WOULD. I could probably even find one that’s actually–*GASP*–a SOLID COLOR, too. The prints and color combinations that are marketed to big women do not look good on ANYBODY. Just because we’re big does not mean we have no fashion sense!
We don’t all like wearing dresses and shirts that look like tents.
News flash: Clothes that resemble shapeless camping gear make big women look EVEN BIGGER.
I am so tired of seeing “big women’s” dresses, skirts, and shirts that have absolutely no shape to them. They just hang on my body, usually clinging to all the wrong curves (like my protruding tummy and where my underwear cuts into my hip fat), leaving out my smaller waist entirely. I look like just a big fat column wearing these, and that is definitely not true to my body shape. My hourglass may be bigger than some, but it’s still an hourglass! Help me show it off!
We don’t all like belly shirts.
|See? I know it’s possible, because here’s an example of a longer shirt that actually LOOKS good!|
Big women can wear larger sizes of “normal” fashion and LOOK GOOD!
I have seen dresses and skirts and shirts that would look absolutely gorgeous on me–IF they made it in my size! The A-line skirt, the tailored, fitted dress (that actually hugs your waist rather than hiding it)…these styles are often seen in itty-bitty-size stores, but almost never in plus-size stores.
For instance, slightly-belled or straight pant legs help balance the look of heavier thighs; I’ve actually tried this look and it makes my thighs look normal-sized. So you’d think plus-size stores would be full of straight or slightly-belled styles, right? WRONG; so many plus-size jeans or pants are tapered-leg (read: “skinny fit”), as seen below:
Tapered-leg jeans/pants only make a big woman’s ankles look small and her butt look incredibly wide by comparison. WHY is this fashion style marketed to big women again? Compare to the wider-legged look I favor, both for comfort and style, below:
See how the straighter leg balances out bigger hips and thighs? Suddenly, you don’t look like a mutant anymore, and the jeans are actually tons more comfortable!
Can we have fitted pants without elastic/drawstring waists? Please?
For those who do not have protruding tummies or large hips, elastic-waist pants are probably not even on your fashion radar. Unfortunately, for big women, these are probably the only pants you can find for yourself. Yeah, sure, they hug your waist and all, but they also generally cling unflatteringly to one’s buttocks and hip fat. Elastic waists generally mean that the pants are overall going to be too tight. (And don’t get me started on drawstrings… ugh, ugh, UGH. Great way to make me feel even fatter, plus add an ugly dangling pair of fabric strips to the front of my pants.)
Makers of these pants also don’t seem to think about the comfort factor. Elastic is ITCHY, and it comes into contact with delicate belly skin all day! Not a good combination. When I wear elastic pants, I’m usually excusing myself to the restroom every hour or so to scratch my belly like mad. Not to mention that I usually get a lovely “accordion” pattern etched into my skin after wearing elastic waist pants. (It takes that pattern several hours to go away completely after having worn elastic-waist pants all day. Trust me.)
I know it is possible to make larger pants without elastic waists. Just take a larger cut of fabric and style it the same way as you style the smaller pairs of non-elastic pants! (Many thanks to Lane Bryant for generally not including any elastic waists in their pants–that’s basically where I buy my pants these days. They aren’t paying me to say that, either.) But at most other places? Forget it. It’s all elastic or go home.
Big women are not aliens, nor are we impossible to design for. In fact, we are just a sub-set of women’s fashion in general. We may have slightly different needs, such as longer shirts, wider-legged pants, and A-line skirts, but we are still women, we still want to look good, and doggone it, we DESERVE to look good. The time of hiding us away in small elastic tents is OVER!