Must Haves: Plus Sized Edition

Since I am technically a ‘plus sized’ girl that can wear clothing from a size 14 ( the national average) to a 16, and between a medium and XL. Needless to say finding stuff that fits is insanely difficult for me. Let’s not even get started on shoes finding an 11 is like finding a needle in a haystack, but finding wide calf boots on top of that, forget about it.

So I’m here to give my larger sized fashionistas some hints on where to get clothing that fits and looks just like what we see in the magazines that we love. So let me start with a magazine that I love, Elle. I love this magazine because it has a lot more clothing than copy (written material), not that I don’t love written material it’s just that I buy the magazine to see the styles. However, the September issue had a MUST READ article on Jennifer Aniston! Anyways, they had a list of around 20-ish must have things, but of course they were all over priced and do not come in our size. So after doing a little research and digging through my own information I have found ways to get you some of those must have items, because regardless of size we should all get the opportunity to wear what we think expresses our style best.

Here we go !

1. Camel Coat

What we can buy: $118.00, sizes up to XXL $200.00 sizes up to XL

2. Cape
Now there are not many options for plus sized capes simply because they do nothing for out figure. However there are some options that look like a cape but give our body a more flattering silhouette.

Bow-Tie Cape,$29 sizes up to XL

swing coat $74, sizes up to 3X

Swing Jacket $69, sizes up to 3X

3. Toggle, $89.50 sizes up to 3X $69.99 sizes up to 26W

4. Robe Tie
Generally I do not like bigger women in coats that are long and cover the buttocks because they give a really rectangular shape to our body. However, the robe tie coat is a very hot look this season and while some body types can get away with out, not all can. Avoid this coat if you have a really large bottom half.

Also dont be fooled by this “trend” you can definitely robe tie any coat that comes with a belt attatchment. Some coats are just made for this type of thing and others aren’t. Be creative !

Miss Sixty $235.00, Size up to 2X $99.00 Size up to 18

5. Mini Dress
Let’s be real, many of us need to stay clear of this look. A mini dress can be a heart ache, the constant pulling down the bottom or pulling up the chest. IF you have the figure that suits this look, go for it, otherwise here are some alternatives.

Faith21 Plus size, $22.80 Size up to 2X

Spiegel $59.00 Size up to 14

6. Neon Colors
Again, not too great of a choice for large women, but if we mix up the colors a bit it should come out great.

Faith 21 $24.80 Sizes up to 2X

Faith 21 $22.80 Sizes up to 2X

Faith 21 $22.80 Sizes up to 2X

7. Grecian
There are some gorgeous Grecian like dresses that would be fabulous for our body type.

Anne Klein$147.99, sizes up to 14

Faith 21 $17.80 sizes up to 2X

Spiegel $159.00 sizes up to 18

Spiegel $49.00 sizes up to XL

8. One Sleeve
ehh i am on the fence about this look because I am sure it is a trend. However here are some options that I believe may be timeless.

( this has potential with a belt and a curvy body !) $19.99 sizes up to XL

Anne Klein $198.00 size up to 16

Ok so there is a little preview of some looks that I think are appropriate for this must have list and fit your body types. Tomorrow’s entry will continue the list and I will show you were to get over the knee boots for wide calves, leggings with slashes, and leather jackets… so check back tomorrow!

Donna Karen of New York has truly become a household name. In my house especially because I refuse to buy jeans or denim from anyone else but her. I get so many compliments that my jeans look tailor made for me, and that does nothing but fuel my addiction to those fabulous pants. However, we are not here to discuss my love of her denim, but to talk about DKNY.

Donna Karen, whose birth name is Donna Ivy Faske, was born on October 2, 1948 in Forest Hills, Queens. She grew up in Long Island with her stepfather ( a tailor who died when she was 3) and her mom ( a model), which is a perfect formula for success in the fashion industry. Her stepfather was also in the fashion business.

She began selling clothing at the age of 14( a true hustler) on Cedarhurst a Central Avenue in New York. In high school she interned for Liz Claiborne. Additionally while in high school she designed her first line and put on her first show. In 1966 she graduated from Hewlett High School and went to Parsons School for Design, like many other famous designers that we know and love. Similarly, she left after two years, which is also a trend among great designers, to work for Anne Klein. While at Anne Klein in 1973, she married her first husband Mark Karan and divorced him in 1978. She worked her way up to the head of the design team at A. K. and held that position until 1985.

(side note: Wow, she stayed at A. K. longer than she was married to her first husband.)

When she left A.K. she started her own company and created/ invented “the body” ( one of the most practical items of clothing to come out of the 80’s). That was her claim to fame. Her Essentials line offered seven pieces that wrap and sculpt the body, which every woman should have and of course, has expanded to about 200 pieces.

In 1988/89 she introduced a less expensive DKNY line, in order to dress her daughter. She designs all her lines without thinking of the top model, but the actual end consumer of her products. She calls her DKNY line the fast food to her caviar of her signature collection.

During the early 90’s her and her husband, Stephan Weiss whom she married in 1983, ran her company. In 1995 Weiss stepped down to concentrate on his real passion, sculpting and in 1997 Donna resigned as the CEO of her company. Soon after in 2001 her husband died of lung cancer in 2001. That same year Donna Karan’s line was acquired by LVMH for around $643 million dollars ( 2/3rds of that went to Donna personally), however Donna still remains in creative control of the company’s lines.

Donna relinquished her powers within her company because her husband was fighting cancer, which can surely cause enough emotional and physical strain and stress. From that experience, she was able to launch Urban Zen project in 2007. Her interest in Yoga came from the times that she shared yoga with her cancer stricken husband as a way to help ease his treatments. She has given millions to teach patients and care givers these techniques as well.

Donna has experienced her share of hurdles in her life. In February of 2008 she fired her assistant after she allowed animal right activists in her home. Karen, at the time, had been targeted by PETA for her fur designs during fashion week. When she came home to the activists they tried to show her a graphic video. Karen and a female activist got in a verbal debacle. The protests didn’t stop there. The activists attended her show soon after wearing masks resembling Donna and carrying bloody, dead rabbits. Eww. Karan never lost her cool throughout that whole charade because of the kind hearted person that she is. Karan, for her 2010 collection will go Fur Free… I guess the trespassing and harassment by PETA really worked. Or maybe it was the website or a video received from Tim Gunn that urged her to cease her use of fur. Either way, PETA and Tim got what they wanted.

Karan is also a major believer in the support . She recently told 150 customers at Neiman Marcus not to feel bad about buying expensive things because it is actually helping the designers, in addition to all the people involved in the making, advertising, and selling of the garment. She also supports a lot of charities and philanthropic causes.

Karen, known for her innate ability to understand a woman’s body, has been humbled by her years in the industry. She is thankful for her family that helped her get through everything. Though times got tough for her she always had the underlying support of her 3 children and 7 grandchildren. A touching quote from her comes from NY MAG:
“My husband, my mother, and my boss all died on a day of a show,” Karan says. “Black and white. Birth and death. I have to believe it has something to do with karma. That’s how I cope.” I know that has to be hard. But she did pull herself to date again which has kept her happy.

As a great entrepreneur, wife, mother, and designer, many women look up to her. She had to balance the good and bad in life with no breaks in between. She knew, however, that in being successful you must take risks and that is exactly what she has done. Her risks have paid off and have been recognized by organizations near and far. In the 80’s she won 3 Coty awards. She won Womenswear designer of the year in 1990 and 1996, followed by winning Menswear designer of the year in 1992. In 2003, Karan was the first American designer to receive Fashion Group International’s “Superstar Award.” A year later, Karan’s Alma Mater Parson’s gave her an honorary doctorate to commemorate her contribution to the school and fashion industry. That same year she won the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award as well. Finally, in 2007, Glamour magazine named Karan one of their Women of the Year.

In addition to receiving awards, she has also been know for her generous giving of both her finances and her time. She raises money for AIDS awareness and education with Seventh on Sale, a apparel sale which the procedes go to Karan’s cause. She is a co chair the “Kids for Kids” events for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation as well. She also participates in “Super Saturday” which is a flea market that benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. She also co founded the Karen Weiss Foundation in 1999 with her late husband, for which she also runs her Karan’s Urban Zen Initiative.

I chose Donna Karen as the focus of my blog today because she has pushed through a lot of hard times and has still turned out successful and grounded. She was able to withstand divorce, deaths, criticisms and much more and still remain a kind hearted , generous ( not to mention fabulous looking) 61 year old designer.

P.S. Donna has also been compared to Oprah because of her weight ups and downs and here is what I have to say to those people, get a life. If you were going through a quarter of the things Donna experienced I am sure you wouldn’t handle it any better.

Donna K. please, keep doing what your doing and do not EVER stop designing clothing that fits my body perfectly , sans tailor. You are the best and I admire your strength and tenacity.