Stylish Plus Size Dresses and Separates

Wellies for Plus Size Women

Welly Boot Review

You cannot live in rural Ireland without owning a pair of wellies. There is mud and muck everywhere, no matter what season it is. And yet, I have managed to go for ten years without owning a pair.

Michele's blue and purple ankle wellies.

The issue is I am a plus-sized gal with wide calves and feet that do not always measure to size. I also have really fussy feet. They can swell which makes wearing some shoes uncomfortable. The bones in the top of my feet are deformed from wearing high heels in my twenties so the tops of certain shoes can be turn painful quickly.

It was a black lab puppy that forced me to go online, research, and purchase my first pair of wellies.

Michele's black lab and the primary reason for getting wellies.

I ended up at Jileon, the wide calf wellie people. Their wellies are done up in different and fun colors, unlike the blues and greens you would get down at the co-op. However, it was their ankle wellie that turned my head. Ankle wellies! Who knew?

On a Tuesday in October, I ordered the blue stripe ankle wellie in a size 8UK (I wear a US 9-9 ½ wide depending on the shoe) and crossed my fingers. I paid £24.99 plus shipping. They were expected to arrive by courier the following Friday.

They arrived on Friday as expected and I love them! First of all, they fit perfect with the slack of a wellie but with strong ankle support. They are easy to slip on and off, there is no bending down struggling to get them on, and if needed, there is a little loop on the back to assist in pulling the wellies on and off. The soles have a thick cleat that provides a great grip. There isn’t anything I do not like about them.

A look at the soles of her ankle wellies.
Jileon provides free delivery for all domestic addresses in the UK. For Ireland and the rest of the EU, shipping starts at £9.99. US customers can order at www.jileonrainboots.com but orders are handled and shipped through Amazon.

Overall, well worth the money for my fussy feet. Very comfortable. I have gone out every day with my dog and traipsed happily through mud and muck, because that is what a proper pair of wellies are for. They are now covered in a thick coat of mud at this point, but they are as good as the day I took them out of the bag.

Michele Brouder is the author of Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver and A Whyte Christmas. She also is a contributor to the Book-in-a-Week blog. Originally from western New York, she now lives in the west of Ireland with her husband and boys and a dog named Rover.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future — Mini Review

In one of my Topbox’s (a mail order beauty box in Canada for $13) I received a 7 ml sample of Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future. It is a “moisture cream broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30”.

Image of the 7ml container of Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Moisture Cream.

With the Elizabeth Arden samples it is a hit and miss situation (for instance, I hated their caplet serum) with whether I will like a product or not. In general, I am not a big fan of SPF face creams because, well, they feel gross going on and afterwards and usually feel like I’m putting sunscreen on. When I opened up the little canister to see a thick white cream I was expecting the same experience.

A look at the white moisture cream with 30 SPF.

Boy was I surprised. This lightly scented moisture cream soaked right in and did not leave a greasy residue behind after about five minutes and within a few days I could tell my skin didn’t mind it either — no breakouts — another common occurrence with sunscreen laden face creams. My skin felt moisturised and light. I liked it so much I was even using it before bed with nice results. Now, I’m sorry my container is empty.

I’m putting Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future moisture cream on my list of “to get” items once I break through my backlog of samples. Have you tried it? What did you think?

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Topic Links
* Elizabeth Arden’s Flawless Future moisture cream sells for $50

I Hate Lip Gloss

It has taken me a few decades, but today I have decided I officially hate lip gloss. This firm decision came about after applying a sample of Urban Decay’s Revolution High-Color Lipgloss, a beauty sample. This is not a reflection on Urban Decay lip gloss, okay maybe it is a little since this is my first time trying the brand, but overall it is not. It was just the catalyst that is going to make me clean out my lipstick tray this week.

A lip gloss sample from Urban Decay.

Many times while in the make-up isle, I have succumbed to the pretty shades of lip glosses and the convenience of a brush application. But without fail, I get it home, apply it and toss it into my make-up tray only to be taken out a few months later. “Oh, why haven’t I worn this in a while?” Then I open it. “Oh, it’s a lip gloss.” And it quickly goes back into the tray to be forgotten again.

I belong to two beauty box deliveries and I usually cringe when a lip gloss shows up in my delivery; which is more often than I would like. Part of me thinks, maybe this will be the one to change my mind. Never happens.

Not only do beauty boxes love lip glosses but so do most, if not all, lipstick brands. I’m pretty confident they all have them. So there must be a market for them. That means many of you must love them.

I have to admit to myself that I am not a lip gloss person. They are gooey, they come off too easily, and they are gooey (worth mentioning twice). But frankly, I don’t understand why anyone would love lip gloss. So lip gloss people, tell me, why do you love lip gloss so much?

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Bridal Lingerie

Most brides only think about their wedding day being the biggest day of their life. They forget that the wedding night is one of the most romantic. That is why it is key to have amazing bridal lingerie that makes you feel sexy, confident and ready for a life of romance and love.

Hips and Curves Ainsley Raw Silk Steel Bone Corset, $149. 95.

It is important to know how to pick the perfect piece. Think about these three things first, then buy your bridal lingerie to help ensure it is perfect for your wedding and wedding night.

Will It Work Under Your Wedding Dress?

If you are planning to wear it under your wedding gown, you will need to take a number of things into account.

Strapless gowns require support without the benefit of straps while flowing styles may call for something that will not show through silky fabrics. A beautiful corset can both enhance your shape with a silhouette you love under your wedding gown. They also provide a strapless lift.

You may also want to think about using a half-slip. Half-slips help create a smooth and seamless look under fitted gowns. If you are doing a casual gown for your wedding, you have it easy. Try something simple like a pretty lace bra and panty set.

Do You Plan to Sleep In It?

At the end of the day, you are likely to want bridal lingerie that is comfortable to wear, but still special and beautiful. Now you can show off to your new partner while also having something comfy to sleep in. If the two of you are going directly to your honeymoon, size will also play a factor.

Use soft fabrics and designs without underwires so they fit more comfortably. You also want items that can easily pack into smaller spaces without getting damaged.

A long satin gown will bathe you in smooth, satiny comfort throughout your day of greeting guests and dancing the night away. You will also look gorgeous when you unveil it on your wedding night.

Hips and Curves Lace Trim Satin Gown, $42.95.

Babydoll-style lingerie in breathable cotton and set off with romantic lace makes a lovely option for a summer wedding. Finish off your look with a sexy silk robe and you are good to go.

Does the Bridal Lingerie Suit Your Style?

This is the most important. If your bridal lingerie does not represent you and how unique you are, it will help to give you that additional boost of confidence.

Ask yourself, are you a modern bride or a traditionalist? Do you want something fun and flirty or simple and romantic? Choosing bridal lingerie that suits your style not only lets you make a personal statement on your wedding night, it also ensures you feel great wearing it.

If you love the look of traditional romance, consider an Edwardian chemise. For something fun and different, you can add a special wedding night veil. If you want to get a bit racy, try crotchless panties with pearls or some fun accessories like nippies.

The key to buying bridal lingerie that you (and your partner) will love is choosing pieces that suit your figure, your dress, your taste, and your wedding style. Think about what lingerie pieces make you feel incredible and then use them to ensure you have an amazing night of romance as a newly-wed.

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Topic Links
* Find plus size bridal and every day lingerie at Hips and Curves

Barbie Gets a New Look

I still have most of my Barbie dolls from childhood. They are packed away in a box in the basement but without looking I can tell you they are all blonde hair and blue eyes. Growing up I really didn’t consider my doll’s appearance too much because I was also blonde hair and blue eyed. Now that I am older I can appreciate how disruptive and disappointing it can be for a young child not to have dolls in their likeness, or at least similar in some way whether it be hair, skin color, or body type.

Over the the years Mattel has made additions to their Barbie line, usually in the more expensive “collection” series that included different skin types and hair colors but it isn’t until now that they have really made progress. I love the new selection of dolls they have been working on which includes short, tall, and curvy as well as a great array of hair and skin tones. Very cool. I definitely wish I had this selection when I was a kid.

Check out Time Magazine’s reveal of Barbies’s new design:

What did you think of all the Barbie options?

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Topic Links
* Read Time’s full article on Barbie

Plus Size Yoga is Trending

It seems like everyone is talking about plus size yoga these days. Well it is the new year and while it is in the forefront for the beginning of the year it is not forgotten throughout the year either. Many of us have known for over a decade that plus size yoga was hot but it seems like everyone else is finally realizing it too.

Dianne Bondy performing a yoga pose for Penningtons #iwontcompromise body image (plus size yoga) campaign.

It is so nice to be able to get a decent pair of yoga pants whenever you want now. Pennington’s of course has had their own line of active wear for a few years and recently released a short short video (57 seconds) featuring yoga teacher Dianne Bondy.

It is kind of a tongue in cheek, with it’s title “Why Women Can’t Do Yoga” and subtitles highlighting reasons why fat people can’t do yoga overlain on Dianne doing some challenging poses and obviously proving them wrong. I think the #iwontcompromise will be a hit. If you haven’t seen the video now is your chance:

Dianne is by no means the first or the last plus size yogi to share her poses in a video. You can find many plus size/fat yogis on YouTube, Instagram etc. But this certainly is a nice form of exposure from a Canadian retail giant that will certainly get picked up throughout the US as well as abroad.

What did you think?

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Topic Links
* Visit Dianne’s official website
* Visit Penningtons for plus size active wear

Gabourey Sidibe Valentina Illusion Dress

I’ve been catching up on my American Horror Story: Freak Show (spoiler pending) and I’ve been excited to see Gabourey Sidibe, although in a very small role, as the daughter of a murdered maid who unfortunately was shot in the head by an easily bought cop for a million dollars — too soon, too soon. Before that she looked really prim and proper in a two piece suit and coiffed hair.

This brings me to a recent notice from Kiyonna that Gabourey was “rocking Kiyonna’s Valentina Illusion Dress at the MTV VMAs” this year. And they sent me a photo too.

"Gabourey Sidibe rocking Kiyonna's Valentina Illusion Dress at the MTV VMAs."

Gabby is wearing the black and orchid combination but this adorable cocktail dress also comes in three other colors combinations including the porcelain which really shows off the side panels.

Kiyonna's Valentina Illusion Dress in white with black side panels.

The dress is available in sizes 10 to 32 for $118 from Kiyonna.

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Topic Links
* Get Gabby’s plus size Valentina Illusion Dress from Kiyonna
* Download American Horror Story from Amazon

100 Years of Fashion

Model from Mode's 100 years of women's fashions. A wonderful 2 minute time lapsed video.

Mode.com made a 2:39 minute time lapsed video that shows some quick clothing and make-up changes on a regular size model. Each change jumps ahead to a new look ten years down the road; beginning in 1915 and ending in 2015.

Just for balance they also did one for men so I thought I would include that one too. The men’s is 2:56 minutes and spans the same time period. It’s nice to watch both to get perspective.

I love short videos like this that give us a huge span of visual information in a short amount of time. It’s funny how the models go from deadpan to playful too.

Just because a style ended during a specific period does not mean you cannot draw things you love from them and use them today. What were some of your favorite time periods? Did you spot any styles that are still hot now?

Giant Pineapple Yellow Serpentine Ring

This giant Pineapple Yellow Serpentine Ring by HardCandyGems is so awesome. I love the color, I love the size, and I love the detail paid to the encasement.

A top view of HardCandyGems Pineapple Yellow Serpentine ring.

It’s definitely a conversation starter. You send her your ring size and she’ll size to fit. This eye catcher is $78.

A side view of HardCandyGems Pineapple Yellow Serpentine ring.

You can see more images of this ring in HardCandyGems’ Artfire shop. Don’t like the color? She has many other precious (“my Precious”) stones to choose from.

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Topic Links
* Get your giant serpentine ring from HardCandyGems at Artfire
* Visit HardCandyGems main store

I’m No Angel

Even if you don’t like lingerie or even Lane Bryant, you must be able to appreciate their latest tongue in cheek “I’m No Angel” campaign that kind of pokes fun at Victoria Secret’s “Angels”.

The first video features full-figure models (from left to right) Justine Legault, Marquita Pring, Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, Elly Mayday, and Victoria Lee.

The lovely models featured in Lane Bryant's #ImNoAngel campaign are stunning.

Lane Bryant launched the campaign earlier this month but if you haven’t seen it or if you would like to watch it again then here it is, enjoy:

And if that is not enough to make you giggle then here is a short of feature model Ashley Graham telling us how she woke up:

Over the coming weeks each of the models will have their own video unveiled at the Lane Bryant website/Youtube.

What do you think of the campaign?

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Topic Links
* Take a closer look at Lane Bryant’s Cacique Lingerie line for plus size women

Micro or Cotton Tights

If you wear tights you probably have a personal favorite in regards to how sheer or opaque you like them. Personally, I tend to lean towards opaque more than sheer. In nursing school it was a requirement to wear sheer hose (or opaque white) and I guess I have had enough of that. Whether I am wearing a skirt or dress I tend to go opaque in the winter and pretty much bare in the summer.

Laura from The Big Tights Company asked me to check out a pair of their thick cotton tights and their 180 Denier micro tights. Their website is “dedicated solely to plus size hosiery”. Almost all their products have been made exclusively for them through a company in Italy and after years of back and forth between them they feel they have made the perfect plus size accessory; including what they believe to be “the ultimate plus size winter opaque tights”. When they say plus size, they really mean plus size — you won’t find sizes 10, 12, and 14 here. Laura also has another site called The Big Bloomers Company which I had the opportunity to review for BellaOnline’s Large and Lovely site in 2012.

This time she sent me two pairs of tights to review: one style is in a thick cotton mix and the other is 180 denier micro.

All Woman Thick Cotton Mix – I hate to use Internet short speak in a blog post, but OMG, these are so thick, like socks! I love them.

Review of Big Tights Company Cotton Tights

They have a nice softness to them, excellent opacity and are super stretchy. I’ve always loved the sock style tights but they have never been plus size enough for me to enjoy. These ones are the thickness of a women’s dress sock and they have a thick reinforced waistband.

A view of the panty and leg of cotton tights from Big Tights Company.

There is an unlined gusset sewn in both styles.

A close up of cotton tights gusset.

A closer look shows the sock texture I mentioned.

And a close up of the stocking stitch on legs.

At the moment they only have black but I’m hoping they get some red, grey, wine, navy to add to their basic colors.

Plus size cotton tights have a sock knit and feel to them.

All Woman 180 Denier Micro Tights – These tights have a smoother texture than the cotton mix so they are less “sock” like and I would say a dressier tights.

Review of All Woman Micro Tights

I know I was pretty excited about the cotton mix but these ones are probably my favorite because of opacity, texture, softness, and color (these ones are a little deeper black). These ones also have a thick reinforced waist band.

A full view of the micro tights panty and leg.

The flash makes them look like dark grey but they are indeed black (they could be blacker).

A close up of the gusset on the micro tights.

These ones have a finer texture which makes them feel less like a sock.

A close up of the stocking stitch on the micro tights.

Again, at the moment they only have black but I’m hoping they get some more basic colors soon.

The micro tights have a smooth finish that is perfect for dressier items.

A note about opacity, both styles have excellent opacity but both can have peek through skin visible if pulled on too tight. Do not put them on like hose, pulling every inch of stretch over your leg to make sure you have enough to cover your butt. You will have enough! Pull them on loosely over your legs to maintain the opacity then go back and pull a little more after you have pulled them up if you need too. When pulled tight, the cotton tights have a shinier look to them with the other micro ones which have more of a matte appearance.

The Big Tights Company  have not skimped on material to make these plus size tights. They come with a full panty thickness so you don’t have to worry about your nails poking through when you are yanking them up — unless you  have talons. Neither of these pairs have reinforced toe but since the tights do not need to be pulled tightly over the toes I didn’t find they needed to be.

Both tights wear well throughout the day and I was able to wear them a few times before washing them. There is a little bagging in the crotch by the end of the day but I didn’t feel like I needed to make an emergency stop to the bathroom to pull things up. I threw mine in the gentle cycle inside out (because I rarely handwash) and so far they survived.

I guess it is also important to mention that I am 5’9″ and still had a lot of material left over so to speak if I had been taller. I am concerned about the sizing for petite plus size women.

With a name like Big Tights Company they really hold up to their name as these UK brand tights are only offered in one size range: 24/34 UK (about size 42 Canadian). The site dimensions listed are depth to 26″, hips up to 100″, and thigh up to 33″ (although Laura’s email said up to 40″). Their hose range in price of £19.95 (using Google’s converter I got $30.96 US) for one pair or £54.95 for a three-pack. Shipping is pretty reasonable to U.S. and Canada at about $9. Delivery was really fast for the tights I received, within two weeks.

Overall I am pretty impressed with both pairs. They are a bit pricey but they are definitely better made than some of the cheaper brands I’ve seen. For winter opaque tights these two are definitely an option for us larger sized ladies to enjoy.

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Topic Links
* Get your plus size All Woman opaque tights from The Big Tights Company
* Get your plus size All Woman 180 Denier micro tights from The Big Tights Company

The Black Holiday Dress

The holiday season is full of bright lights and lots of red, green, gold, and silver. But sometimes a woman just loves to wear a black dress. Black is mysterious, it’s alluring, it’s sexy and it still can manages to be taken seriously. Igigi has three black holiday dresses for plus size women that have caught my eye this season.

The Francesa Sequin Plus Size Dress is definitely at the top with its lovely shaping, patterned sequins, and fully lined flared skirt. It is available in sizes 16 to 32 but some sizes are already selling out!

Igigi's black sequin holiday dress -- Francesa.

Next is the Adelle Plus Size Dress with its romantic sheer polka dot a-line overlay and crossover bodice. It is available in sizes 12 to 32 but a few sizes have sold out.

Igigi's black polka dot lace overlay dress -- Adelle.

And lastly is the Ambrosia Plus Size Dress with a little more coverage on the arms and a whole lot of ruching. This form fitting dress is available in sizes 12 to 28 but size sizes only have one left in stock.

Igigi loves some ruching with their Ambrosia black holiday dress!

What is going to be your go to color for party dresses this year?

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Topic Links
* Get your plus size black holiday dress from Igigi

Purple Anorak Plus Size Coat

I love the looks of this purple anorak coat from Addition-Elle. The color is awesome (with the deep purple and amount of sheen) and as far as puffer coats go it is pretty streamline with lots of extra accessories that would make me happy wearing it. Like the thumb cuffs to keep the breeze from going up my arms. The drawstring waist and bottom hem, again to control winter drafts. And it is a longer length in back (by two inches) than the front. The only down side of this coat is that it is 100% polyester fill — down would have made it almost perfect.

I love the purple anorak plus size coat from Addition-Elle.

This coat comes in plus sizes x to 4x for $160 and is part of their Nola active wear collection. If you love the style but not the color it also comes in black but I imagine this razzleberry will sell like hotcakes.

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Topic Links
* Get your plus size anorak coat from Addition-Elle