The Wrap Dress: The Most Flattering Plus-Size Dress Style

Posted by on November 21, 2013

I feel like everyone occasionally has a morning when they walk into their closet, stare at all of their clothes, and just think, “Wow, I have absolutely nothing to wear.” On mornings like that, I usually gravitate towards fun, flirty patterns to try to break up the monotony. I stumbled across the IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi while browsing the Internet and it was a complete impulse decision since I thought that the pattern might be too bold, even for me.

A dress with 3/4 sleeves, maybe a light cardigan, and flats tends to be my work uniform on most days, so whenever I can make it a bit more interesting with a fun print, I’ll jump at the chance. The abstract pattern on the dress and wrap-style are great details and the shape of the dress is perfect, since the empire waist and a-line skirt are flattering for almost every body type. The color palette adds a great 70s-inspired feel and is so on-trend for the winter.

Spoiler alert: I ended up loving the pattern once it was on.

Spoiler alert: I ended up loving the pattern once it was on.

A true wrap dress is universally flattering on every body-type. The adjustable waist allows you to put the emphasis on the smallest part of your body, which for me, is directly underneath my bust. I chose to leave the tie in the back of the dress and just tie it in a bow, but the tie on this dress can be wrapped around multiple times to give a more belted look.

Personally, 3/4 length sleeves are my absolute favorite when it comes to dresses and tops. I don’t mind going sleeveless, but I very much prefer to have some sort of sleeve, especially in the winter, so I can have a little more coverage and not feel too self-conscious about showing a lot of skin at the office.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi runs on the longer side, so be prepared to rock some heels with it, or just lean into the longer length and make a statement. I opted for flats.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi runs on the longer side, so be prepared to rock some heels with it, or just lean into the longer length and make a statement. I opted for flats.

While it never hurts to go shopping a try on a bunch of different sizes, there is something utterly satisfying and relaxing about finding a great plus-size brand that you can buy without worrying about stretch or fit. Whenever I really need some good old-fashioned retail therapy I usually look over at IGIGI’s offerings to check out their newest collection.

Some of my other favorite a-line dresses that IGIGI is currently offering are the Sovana dress, the Elisha Dress and the Tiffany dress.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi is a Poly/Elastane, which glides over your body and hides any bumps or lumps that you don't want to showcase. It's so flattering and SO comfortable.

The IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi is a Poly/Elastane, which glides over your body and hides any bumps or lumps that you don’t want to showcase. It’s so flattering and SO comfortable.

I chose to accessorize the IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi with simple, pointy-toe black flats, a bold red lip, and (since it’s been raining so much in NYC) my trusty umbrella. Since the pattern is funky, I didn’t want to go too crazy with the accessories. I felt that the dress worked really well as a stand-alone piece. However, I would also style this dress with a long black cardigan, black ankle boots, a chunky watch, and my favorite, multi-layered silver chain necklace for a different look. The black cardigan would be enough of a distractor that I would feel inspired to throw on some more bling.

I’m not much of a heels person, especially for the office, since I have to catch the subway to work, but this dress would also be absolutely perfect for a pair of chunky, vintage 70s heels to really go all out with the retro vibe.

How would you style the IGIGI Neve Plus Size Wrap Dress in Multi? What is your favorite dress style to wear? Tell me in the comments.

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The Power of Plus-Size Women In Television

Posted by on November 20, 2013

I’ve spoken before about the lack of representation of plus-size bodies in most mainstream media. Now, that doesn’t mean that there is absolutely no media that shows plus-size bodies. People frequently mention “The Biggest Loser” to me whenever I comment about how I want to see more body types like mine on television.

Personally, I abhor “The Biggest Loser” for a number of reasons, but mostly because the show’s producers have been cited for promoting unhealthy weight loss practices. Kai Hubbard, a contestant from season three, said that she came away from her stint on the show with severe hair loss, an eating disorder and a distorted body image.

Kai isn’t alone. The season one winner, Ryan Benson, said that he dehydrated himself so severely on the show that he was urinating blood.

These horrendous testimonials aside, “The Biggest Loser” does not count as an actual depiction of plus-size bodies on television, since the entire point of the show is that contestants are trying to change those bodies. Everyone loses weight for different reasons: some lose for health, some lose so that they can have more clothing options, and some people lose because they are sick of society judging and demeaning them.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to diet or lose weight, and there is nothing wrong with not wanting to; that is something that fans of “The Biggest Loser” don’t seem to realize. Not every plus-size person wants a different body. Some people are completely happy with the bodies that they have and every once in a while, a television show or a film comes along where a plus-size person is depicted as a regular character without any hyper-focus on their weight. Instead, they’re just characters.

Here’s my list of my favorite television shows with plus-size female characters:

1. Mike & Molly:

Mike & Molly

Mike & Molly, starring the ever-popular Melissa McCarthy. Credit: CBS

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The Stylish Sisters Behind the Fashion Blog ‘Fatty Deschanel’

Posted by on November 19, 2013

Fatty Deschanel” is a blog about two sisters living in the San Francisco Bay Area who love clothes. Blythe and Emma Tai, also known as Ms. and Ms. Deschanel, started their fashion blog “Fatty Deschanel” in the spring of 2013 in Emma’s dorm room.

Emma, 20, enjoys speaking in her outside voice and stalking boy bands. Blythe, 25, is a young go-getter who works part time as a classical musician, serves on nonprofit boards, and cuts her own bangs.

Both ladies are hard at work when they’re not blogging. Blythe is a marketing and editorial writer for an internet start-up and Emma is sophomore at a top research university, but the two lovely ladies took time from their busy schedules to talk with IGIGI about their fashion inspirations, thrifting, and their experience of running a fashion blog together.

FD earned its name from the sisters’ enthusiasm for She & Him and fringed hairstyles.  Credit: Fatty Deschanel

FD earned its name from the sisters’ enthusiasm for She & Him and fringed hairstyles.  Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Jane: How do each of you describe your personal fashion aesthetic?

  • Emma: I like to make an impression with my clothing; subtlety is not my forte! Red hair is my signature, and my current faves include crop tops, chambray, and 90s-inspired fashion.
  • Blythe: I always try to dress like a proper lady. I would describe my style as feminine with retro influences. I’m usually found in a skirt, closed-toes shoes, winged eyeliner, and a cardigan.

Jane: When did you both start getting interested in fashion?

  • Emma: I’ve always been an individual when it comes to getting dressed. In middle school I was a big fan of bright outfits. I wore a lot of rainbow tights and bright dresses accessorized with DIY earrings. From there my style matured (slightly).
  • Blythe: I was the first-born daughter, and my parents were very kind to dress me in pinafores and eyelet blouses inspired by our mother’s Scottish upbringing. I’ve always liked the promise of a makeover, and I’ve done a gradual self-makeover or two in my life.
Blythe is fond of her small collection of vintage finds from local consignment shops and thrift stores. One of her recent favorites is a pale pink vintage nightgown inherited from her grandmother that she wears as a blouse or dress. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Blythe is fond of her small collection of vintage finds from local consignment shops and thrift stores. One of her recent favorites is a pale pink vintage nightgown inherited from her grandmother that she wears as a blouse or dress. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Jane: Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?

Emma's favorite wardrobe item is her vintage American flag Converse that one of her friends picked up for her at a flea market. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Emma’s favorite wardrobe item is her vintage American flag Converse that one of her friends picked up for her at a flea market. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

Jane: What advice would you give to women who are finding no love in their wardrobes?

  • Emma & BlytheIt’s easy to get in a sartorial rut, especially if, like us, you don’t shop a lot. Try reworking the clothes you already have to create new looks. Emma is a fan of DIY-ing inexpensive T-shirts to create trendy crop tops. Every now and then, we look at our wardrobes as a whole and try to wear old clothes in new ways. Wear mini-dresses as tucked-in tops, try new color combinations, or add layers to transition a summer item into winter. One thing that stands in the way of a lot of women finding their personal style is self consciousness. Don’t be held back by your view of your body, perceived image, or the fear of standing out. Wear what you see your ideal self wearing, and pursue that full force.
'FD' understands that shopping is a difficult experience for many women. They've learned through trial and error what styles, cuts, and fabrics suit their bodies. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

‘FD’ understands that shopping is a difficult experience for many women. They’ve learned through trial and error what styles, cuts, and fabrics suit their bodies. Credit: Fatty Deschanel

If you want to dress like Emma, she recommends picking up the IGIGI Leigh Plus-Size Lace Dress in Gold. It’s very ornate and she has a soft spot for lace dresses. She would wear it with black heels, dangling black, door-knocker earrings, nude lips, and winged eyeliner. Blythe, on the other hand, recommends the IGIGI Melina Plus-Size Dress in Charcoal/Gold. She’s a big fan of the brocade and says that she would accessorize with a wide black belt and pumps, burgundy lips and nails, and a pale gold brooch bobby-pinned in her hair.

Blythe and Emma plan to continue being good at everything, loving life, and blogging regularly, but they want to leave everyone with some important words of  shopping wisdom: “Don’t put too much emphasis on a single outfit; instead, find pieces in a style or color that you love on your body and want to wear all the time. Self-confidence is key.”

To keep up with Emma and Blythe you can check out their blog “Fatty Deschanel” and leave your love in the comments.

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The Trials and Tribulations of Shopping for Formal Plus-Size Dresses

Posted by on November 18, 2013

While scanning the Internet looking for a new dress to wear for my upcoming birthday, I came across a Daily News article about Mielle, a plus-size, appointment-only boutique in Tribeca that specializes in formal gowns. The reporter spoke to a few shoppers and included pictures of the pretty, open-looking shop and some photos of women in various dresses available on-site. She also, to some extent, discussed how crappy it can be trying to find a really great formal dress as a plus-size woman.

Jay Miranda

If you’re looking for great formal wear, it’s always a good idea to check out some plus-size fashion bloggers to see what they’ve got going on. Credit: Jay Miranda

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All Women Are Real Women: Why “Real Women Have Curves” Doesn’t Promote Body Positivity

Posted by on November 15, 2013

Whenever I read articles about plus-size models, I usually see comments like, “Curvy women are the best,” or “Real women have curves,” or “She’s not plus-size, she’s just a real woman.” These remarks make me absolutely cringe with horror. I think that there’s something inherently problematic with defining or categorizing women at all based on their body type.

There are no guidelines that a woman has to follow in order to be defined as a “real woman.” Real women can have curves, that is true, but real women can also be stick thin, real women can have long hair or pixie cuts, real women can burst out of DD bras or have barely-there A cups – there is no right or wrong way to be a woman.

Here’s a really simple test to see if a woman is a real woman: does the individual call themselves a woman? If, yes, then congratulations! They’re a real woman. It’s really that simple.

Your size does not define your womanhood.

Your size does not define your womanhood.

Real women have bodies. So as long as you’re not trying to call a wisp of smoke floating out of a chimney a woman, then you’re pretty much okay with calling any woman a real woman.

Now, I’m as much of a fan as anyone of fellow curvy girl America Ferrera’s 2002 film Real Women Have Curves, I thought it was well-acted and dealt a lot with multigenerational matriarchal dynamics, which are obviously kind of awesome! But, that title kills me. If you are saying that real women have curves, then there is an inherent implication that women who do not have the Marilyn Monroe hourglass are somehow less of a woman than their more well-endowed sisters.

There is health at every size, there is insecurity at every size, and there is beauty at every size.

There is health at every size, there is insecurity at every size, and there is beauty at every size.

In a great Jezebel article from 2011 that I bookmarked, writer Hugo Schwyzer talks about the awful dichotomy that this statement creates. “A new double-bind for women was born: those who met the skinny ideal could now be labeled ‘unreal,’ and those who were still shamed for being heavy were now encouraged to take some sort of comfort in being more ‘legitimate’ than their slender sisters,” Schwyzer writes.

Plus-size women are consistently discriminated against – by clothing manufacturers, designers, doctors, and even employers – but that does not mean that thin women are completely free from prejudice. I’m going to make a blanket statement here and say that it is still probably easier to be a size 2 than a size 22, but women who are incredibly thin do often have to deal with whispers of anorexia and criticism of their eating habits, as well. Just because someone is thin, that does not mean that they are happy or confident with how they look.

I am proud of my figure and I love my curves, but that does not mean that I need to put other women down to feel good about my body.

I am proud of my figure and I love my curves, but that does not mean that I need to put other women down to feel good about my body.

What people don’t seem to recognize, on either side of the aisle, is that whether you’re overweight or underweight, so much of your body type comes down to genetics. So much of this skinny versus fat debate also comes down to the idea that “healthy is best.” However, healthy can look so different. Just because someone is overweight it does not mean that they are diabetic ,and just because someone is thin it does not mean that they are anorexic or malnourished. We need to stop judging people based on their bodies. End of story.

I would recommend checking out the blog “The Skinny Girl Problems” for perspective on some of the struggles that women with different body types face. Personally, this line from a post about the issues with the statement “Real Women Have Curves” really spoke to me: “Do not claim to be anti-bullying and body positive and at the next turn, be hypocritical. Don’t claim ‘all bodies are beautiful’ and then the next day say ‘only dogs like bones’ or ‘skinny women are evil.’ That is not body positive. Skinny girls face insecurities too, and your hypocrisy is a part of that.”

What do you feel about the phrase “Real Women Have Curves?” Tell me in the comments.

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