Archive for Rants

A brief note about the short life and quick demise of Eloquii

One of the reasons I started this blog was because if you aren’t either under a size 18 or under 30, it can be hard to find nice, stylish but work-appropriate clothing.  So it makes me sad that yet another option is going away:

A Special Message to our Fans

For more than a year, eloquii has served you by delivering quality, must-have fashion in sizes that highlight your confident curves. In return, you have given us great feedback about how we can better serve you.

We look forward to offering you new fashion at www.eloquii.com through the summer. However, after a year’s test at market, we have decided to phase out eloquii and we have begun discussions with others who have expressed an interest in the future of the brand and/or its products.

Thank you so much for your support and for your feedback as we developed and refined eloquii over the last year. We recognize that eloquii plays an important role in our fans’ lives and look forward to better serving our clients in the future.

If you blinked, you might have missed Eloquii. They appeared about a year ago, brought out by The Limited group, to fill the niche of work clothing for plus sizes (similar to the niche that the Limited serves in straight sizes).  They carried up to a 22/24, and much of it was quite nice.  I have a number of pieces in my closet.

But it would have been really easy to miss them.  They should fire the advertising agency they were using, assuming they were using one.  Personally, I

  • NEVER saw a single advertisement (and frankly, I watch a LOT of TV)
  • Never heard a radio ad
  • Never saw a banner ad
  • Never saw an ad in a magazine
  • Never saw them reach out or partner with a blogger
  • Never saw a sign that they were at any of the plus fashion events
  • Didn’t even see press releases (despite substantial google alerts on things related to plus sized clothing).

I’ve heard recently that apparently they had a small section (20 items, which frankly isn’t worth the time, but still) in about 5 Limited stores.  Never knew, and I pay attention to these things.

It’s no wonder the brand didn’t perform.  They missed opportunities to advertise at pretty much every price point, from nearly free working with bloggers to prime time TV and major magazines.

Of course, if the brand were perfect that might have been able to overcome this lack of advertising, but my experience was that they were having some growing pains during their first year.  Inconsistent sizing caused me to send back about half the things I purchased, and the fact that they really only had 3 sizes (14/16, 18/20, 22/24) meant that there were no chances for someone on the top end of that to go up a size to fix the issue.

But up until this message came out I assumed these were growing pains.  Apparently not.  So, goodbye to Eloquii.  We hardly even knew you.

BTW, If you like their stuff, the word is that they are going to still be running for a few more months.  My understanding is that they have summer items ready to go, but will be phasing out after that.  So grab it now, and express your disappointment in the way this has gone down. It can’t hurt.

Oscar thoughts

As one might expect, there aren’t a LOT of plus-sized ladies at the Oscars.  Still, I would have liked to see plus-sized fashion better represented.

Adele, Oscar’s 2013

She just recently had a baby and her body has recovered well.  The beaded black is lovely and sparkly.  The dress is fitted well and skims her body.  I love the sheer sleeves.  My only negative is that the neckline seems very high for this type of event; I would have liked to see a somewhat lower scoop neck.  Still, this dress was successful.  I LOVE her hair down!

Octavia Spencer – Oscar’s 2013

This dress is also perfectly fitted and quite lovely.  I’m not digging the color, but it suits her skin well enough.  (There is something subversive about a woman of color wearing a dress in what would be considered a “nude” on a white woman.)  This doesn’t make me go wow or want to run out to the designer (Tadashi Shoji), but I think she looks lovely.

Melissa McCarthy, Oscar’s 2013

Melissa, Melissa, Melissa.  WHY???  Where should I start…

  • What’s up with the pompadour?  Not at all flattering.
  • Grey?  GREY?  Even if it weren’t kind of an icky color to start with, it does NOTHING for your skin.
  • This dress does NOTHING for your figure.  In fact, it fits like a badly tailored tent.
  • What’s up with the sleeves?  Tell me those are not creasing like that because they are dolman’s because, frankly that is not a good look on anyone?
  • It looks cheap to me; like the beading was done separately and then sewn on, and I half expect the fabric to be a stretchy knit jersey.
  • At least Adele had sheer sleeves.  This is unrelentingly opaque and dull in color.

My first impression of this dress was as follows:  Melissa looks like a mother of the bride who is particularly embarrassed by her size.  And in the end that really is my biggest problem.  This is the dress of someone who has given up and now believes all the things that people say about fat chicks.

The only person out there who is MORE covered up was Emmanuelle Riva, who is old enough to justify it.  And it isn’t especially attractive on HER either.

In the end, Melissa, you are a BEAUTIFUL woman who managed to make herself look drab, colorless, shapeless and unattractive.  You have looked so much better at previous awards shows:

 

Emmy’s

 

Oscar’s 2012

 

Critic’s Choice (ONE OF MY FAVORITES)

 

2012 Emmys (LOVE this one – #1 in my book)

You have done better, and you can DO better.  We WANT you to do better.  I hate seeing the internet aflame with people hating on your dress.  Embrace who you are and your shape and make the most of it!  Leave the grey tents for … well, frankly no one.

Fashion Blogging Pet Peeves

I read a lot of fashion blogs.  I mean a LOT.  So many that, after a crazy week like last week, I had to just mark them all read and start again yesterday, and by this morning there were already close to 200 new posts. But I am starting to notice a few things on these blogs that irritate me.  Here’s the short list.

  • Empty Purses:  No woman carries an empty purse.  If you are going to style a bag with your outfit, put your stuff into the bag.  And if the bag isn’t practical for the type of day that the outfit supports, it might be time to find a different bag.
  • “Plus Blogger Style”:  There is a subset of plus bloggers who indulge in a number of styling choices that I just don’t think look good.  For example, putting the waist of a skirt right under the bust or having a belt right under the bust, wearing clothing that is clearly too tight and either gaps or puckers in funny ways, or always going for a “sexy” look (sheer tops, overly tight pencil skirts), no matter what the occasion.  This is by no means ALL of the plus bloggers or even some of them all the time.  But I see all of these looks just about every day, and to me they just call attention to the fact that a plus shape is “different” without making us look any better.  I want to dress stylishly but in a way that my size is noticed AFTERWARDS or not at all, not one that calls attention to it.
  • Impractically tall spike-y heels:  I get it – a lot of women love the style.  However if your job requires you do much more than walk from your car to your desk and back again, those types of shoes start to be a problem.  Worse, if you have foot or back issues, or want to prevent foot or back issues in the first place (just ask a podiatrist what THEY think about stilettos), that is a look that is saved for special occasions only.  More power to you if you can actually hoof it around winter in Manhattan in 4 inch stilettos, but the average girl can’t and is going to end up looking uncomfortable and, therefore, less stylish.  (All I see this time of year when I see skinny jeans and stilettos is chilly ankles!)

No pictures, because I don’t want to pick on anyone.  Goodness knows it’s hard enough to post what you’re wearing to the internet every day without some middle-aged woman taking pot-shots at it.

A few thoughts on plus-sized blogging

I read a lot of blogs.  Plus sized (I used the recent Navabi blogger competition as a subscription list), 40+ and then whatever others I find from blog hops and pinterest.  It’s interesting to see the difference in the styles and content of these blogs.  What has been striking me lately, however, is the variety of styles represented in the straight sized blogs and the LACK of variety in the plus-sized blogs.

There appear to be three types of plus-sized bloggers.  The first are young and a little wild.  They wear short skirts, odd colors, combinations that are just out there (often for the purpose of being out there), and have the guts to post them on the internet saying “look at me; I’m fat, and I dress however I want.”  Good for them.  While I will never be one of them, I respect their forthright approach and confidence.  I don’t get many outfit ideas from them, however.

The second type wear a lot of tight pencil skirts, tucked in tops and heels, would never be caught on camera in a pair of sneakers or yoga pants, only wear highly stylized jeans [also with stilettos] and basically appear to be trying to wear the plus equivalent of what’s in the magazines.  This style is tight, with belts (often in odd places such as just under the bust), sexed up (think cleavage, overemphasized chests, and extreme pencil skirts) and involves painful looking shoes.  This is also not a style for real life; in my life it’s barely a style for a couple times a year, and even at that it’s not one I prefer.  While a lot of these bloggers prove that this look can work on a plus sized figure, most of these outfits can’t be worn to work due to their tight, oversexualized profile.

The third type are the inbetweenies; the size 12-18 who can still shop at most straight size stores but who are told by the media that they are too fat for it.  This group shares a lot of style ideas with the second type and there is only one that I can think of that has ever been seen in sneakers.  Even when I get ideas from this group, I often can’t reproduce them, either because the clothing just isn’t available in a 22 or larger or because the profile requires a figure that fits the standard shape, even if it’s on the larger end of the normal spectrum [flatish stomach or made flat through shapeware, and hourglassish figure, proportions such that the pencil skirt appears noticably longer than it is wide, high cheekbones and no double chins, etc].  Again, most of the outfits fall into a very specific style realm, with a few going the slightly costume-y 50’s look that is so popular right now.  This is also the group that contains the most successful bloggers at monetizing their blogs.  This group  tends to chase the trends (often because they are getting the clothing for free from the companies, which is another discussion entirely*.)  Most of these bloggers also have photographers they work with, so their pictures always look perfect even if their looks tend to be of a type.

None of these types match my style, which is why I started this blog in the first place.  I look to skinny girls all the time for inspiration (as anyone who follows me on pinterest well knows).  But that is partially because the outfits that I want to be wearing and the styles that appeal to me are not represented in plus sized blogging, and often not in plus sized clothing at all.

When I read straight sized blogs, specifically many of the 40+ blogs, I see a lot more variety to the styles shown; you get fewer formulas (although those certainly exists), and you even get the occasional “what I wore to run errands” posts.  I crave that variety of looks and styles.

Honestly this is why I posted that picture from the dressing room earlier this week.  I know it’s not flattering.  What it WAS was real.  Really me, really wearing those trends, and really having them not work.  No stylist, no photographer, no layers of shapewear that would kill you to wear to work.  Just a normal fat chick wearing stuff that doesn’t especially work for her in between posts showing outfits that work.  Hopefully that will help someone else figure out what will work for them, or give them ideas that are completely different from the dominant meme’s in plus blogging these days.  But if nothing else, I hope I am adding some variety to the plus-sized blogosphere.

[Note: I didn’t link to any of the plus blogger types or include pictures here on purpose; I’m not picking on anyone and don’t want to offend.  The fact is that the plus blogosphere doesn’t represent me, but I respect ANY woman of ANY size or age who is willing to take a picture of herself and put it out there for all to see; it’s an act of empowerment, but also an act of courage to put yourself out there.]

OOTD: Bright Cardigan Remix

I love this Talbots sweater; the cut is conservative, but the colors are bright and therefore memorable.  Because of that I try not to wear it every single week :-).

Today I decided to wear it over a tiered beaded tank that I got on clearance from Lane Bryant.  Had you asked me 6 months ago I would have told you that I NEVER would have worn something with all these beads around the neckline UNDER another item (unless that item was an overcoat), but I’m thinking differently these days and I think this works well.  In addition, the tiers create some texture to go with all the color.

While this color-wise isn’t THAT different from the way I wore this cardigan last time, I am more comfortable today because of the tiers; they hid a multitude of sins and make the look a little sleeker.

I also traded in my purple purse for the clutch I was carrying earlier this week, today with the chain strap on it.  I think this purse works with this cardi just fine, but with the tank it gets to be a bit much.  Next time, a more neutral card would go a long way toward showing off both pieces better.

Pants are my standard black Coldwater Creek Ponte Knit Trousers.  I’ve definitely been in a pants mood lately, and since most of my comfortable non-jean work pants are black, they’ve been seeing a lot of wear.  I probably need to do something about that, but until I get a real photographer who can get full length shots it hardly matters.

<RANT>

I want to rant for a moment about the fat tax; specifically the fact that MOST plus-sized clothing is only available online.  We therefore pay extra for the clothing (“more fabric” dontchaknow) PLUS shipping in at least one direction.  I have 4 things on order right now, and I am betting that at least 2-3 of them will go back as not fitting well, not flattering, or not matching well with the things I had hoped to wear them with.  In nearly all cases, you pay for that in both directions.

Now, there are some stores (J.JILL AND OLD NAVY SPECIFICALLY) that CARRY plus sizes, just not in their stores.  There are others (COLDWATER CREEK SPECIFICALLY) that don’t carry their full size range in stores; Coldwater recently stopped carrying 3X in the stores and lost a TON of my impulse shopping money for their trouble.  Oh, and OLD NAVY: How about letting us return plus-sized items in stores instead of having to pay to send things back!  This is why you don’t get my money anymore.

Finally, how about (if you have one) putting your plus line in ALL YOUR STORES!  (I’m talking to H&M, FOREVER 21 and MACY’S here.)  The nearest H&M store with the plus line to THE 6TH LARGEST METRO AREA IN THE COUNTRY (Phoenix) is in LOS ANGELES, an 8 hour drive away.  Forever 21 at least has one store in the valley with the plus line, but it is way off in one corner of the city massively far from where I live.  For that reason I own nothing from the line; I’ve never made it out there to see if it would fit.

I realize that floor space in a retail outlet is expensive, but here’s an idea; have a sampling at least that we can try on, even if we can’t buy those items right there.  Pants and jackets SPECIFICALLY are an issue, since you never know what sizing will be like.

</RANT>

 

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