Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Delicious Apple

Inspired by Manolo for the Big Girl.

Don't be fooled by the Bratz-ish avatar I always have up on this site: In reality, my body is quite top-heavy. "Apple-shaped," as they call it. I have broad shoulders, D-cup boobs, and a belly pooch that, strangely enough, also has the middle "cut" signifying that, if I ever get the chance to work a lot harder on my body, I might be able to sculpt out some flab. I also have some seriously doughy upper arms, cellulite-ridden thighs, and a rear view that can be best described as "semi-perky" (read: not too cushioned, not too flat, but could definitely use the definition). And while my reflection in the mirror is good about pointing out the angular structure in my chin and cheekbones, my face has shown up in recent pictures as a round, overstuffed moon pie.

Which is not to say I hate my body. On the contrary, I am surprisingly agile, and can perform an entire yoga sequence from a video without the need for a spotter. I may lose my breath easily on long hikes, but that doesn't stop me from pushing myself further and working every muscle. While my legs will never be mistaken for Heidi Klum's, I've found that I can get away with wearing heels and a short skirt without looking trampy or doll-like. And just try to keep up with me when I walk - I've been known to dodge blind spots and changing signals while crossing the street.

So of course I'll have problems finding clothes that fit - and more so, since I'm all this and only 5'1. That's why I have this wish list for things I hope would work for me.

1. Pants that don't sweep the floor. Like many a juicy babe, I have nothing but unequivocal praise for Gap's Curvy Pants. I own a pair of Curvy jeans (size 16 petite) which I adore a lot, even more so now that I've lost the "muffin top" that threatened to deviate from the way my butt looks ten times better in said pants. If only the rest of my pants would follow likewise! Yes, it sucks to not have the budget to distinguish between pants I can wear with heels and pants I can wear with flats. Yes, I know I should drag my Old Navy pants to the tailor now that the hems are getting stepped on when I walk to school - but do I really want the tailors to tinker with them and leave me with (gasp) high-waters that break before they cover my shoelaces? The last time I had a decent pair of "flats" pants was a pair of Levi's I got at Ross for $9.99, and even those didn't last on me. Waaah.

2. A decent top for sports. I love V-necks, especially the ones that are cut low enough to show off my collarbones without plunging into scandalize-your-mother territory. Same thing goes for collared shirts, as long as I can keep the top unbuttoned without exposing my bra. But put me in a crew-neck T-shirt and I will look like a barrel... and if that crewneck has one of those waist bands at the hem, there's a guarantee that I will look like an especially puffy barrel. At this point, I'm this close to giving up on shopping in the men's department because I cannot stand seeing myself looking like I've thrown a bag over my body. So if anyone here knows where I can get a hoodie or rash guard in my size that looks more sporty than tacky, let me know.

3. Shorts! Too long, and I risk looking like Kevin Federline; too short, and I risk chafing myself in all the wrong spots (not to mention being one pole-dance away from Amateur's Night at the gentleman's club). Also, they must be in a material other than denim that drapes nicely around the belly-button area (no super-low rises), is soft enough not to chafe, and won't fall apart after three washes.

4. Knee high boots that are not Uggs. I have no luck with these whatsoever. Even when I went to Las Vegas and saw "full figure" boots that were supposed to fit. I'll say it again: It's definitely hard to have muscular calves and narrow ankles. Weirdly enough, however, I have better luck with calf-length boots - but still, if I ever find a pair with two-inch heels, I can totally rule the world.

5. A dress that isn't matronly. Dresses are especially problematic for me since I seem to be two different sizes on top (US 18) and bottom (US 16); what I really need is a dress that fits up top, doesn't bunch around my midsection, and/or doesn't tent out all around. I've already been reminded several times to buy a body shaper, but I feel that getting a dress that circumvents all the problem areas is a lot easier than squeezing myself into a piece of Lycra that I may never wear again. It's only now that I'm being introduced to online outlets other than Lane Bryant, Torrid, or the other retail staples for these sorts of things.

Nonetheless, here's what always works for me:
- Empire-style dresses and tops (oddly enough, I can wear these without looking pregnant)
- Tunics
- Scooped yoke tops for blouses and mu`umu`u
- Sweetheart necklines
- Tanks and camis as support wear under blouses or skimpy shirts
- Low-rise pants (they always come up to my belly button, more often than not)
- A-line shifts, skirts, and maxi-dresses
- Not tucking my shirts in
- Jackets with darted seams
- Underwire bras and low-rise undies
- ...and, of course, confidence!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Believe in Miracles!

Five words: Manolo for the Big Girl. Finally, a fashion blog for those of us on the chunky/curvy side.... and I can't be happier.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Domesticity Retail Round-Up, Summer 2007 Edition: Dragons and Tigers and All-Stars, Oh My!

The bad news: I went through another brain fog moment at Ala Moana Center this afternoon. Perhaps it was because I was rushing in and out of stores, trying to figure out what I wanted and when I was coming home, but that particular moment resulted in the loss of my beloved old Islanders flip-flops, as well as the can of sneaker shampoo that I purchased at Longs for the purpose of laundering my beloved Reebok runners.

The good news: Said Reebok runners have been laundered - finally - with the use of a cloth rag dipped in a heinous mixture of water, dishwashing liquid, and OxiClean, which I then wiped all over the shoe (it even got rid of the leftover tree sap that got stuck to it eons ago). Now the shoes are happily drying out in a sunnier part of my kitchen.

Meanwhile, I did manage to go to Sears and buy these babies...

Those of you who know me know that white shoes don't always get along with me. But it just so happens that these Reebok Trail Wave Slip-ons were not only on sale ($39.99) but they actually fit me... in one size smaller than what I usually buy! I figured that, with my schedule of waking up early for school/work/whatever, I could really use an athletic shoe where I don't have to fiddle with the laces, for a change. And since I won't be doing any significant run/walk races at this moment (not unless I end up registering my lazy butt for Great Aloha Run or the Honolulu Marathon 10K Walk one more time), these shoes should serve me well on my regular "hikes" through Saint Louis Heights.

I also walked into Journeys for old times' sake - not that the store was there when Margie and I used to ditch class (and grocery shopping) for shoes, but now that I'm a student again I couldn't help but go in there and pore over their selection of Rocket Dog flats and Onitsuka Tiger sneakers. That should wean me off my fiending for the Sanuk slip-ons I posted earlier, even though I was bummed to not find any of their lovely shoes in my size.

Also, a quick trip to two branches of Ross Dress For Less revealed that they not only stocked up on cute Chuck Taylor All Stars from several seasons ago - now selling for half price - but it also looks like the sizing charts for Chucks are different for my feet. The high-tops I tried on were size 7 men's/ 9 women's, which meant that their sizing runs a half-size smaller for my otherwise wide and stumpy feet. Personally, I'm a little too late on the Chuck Taylor train (and even then, I'm more of a low-top girl myself) but those babies fit so well that I'm practically kicking myself for not going on them sooner. Now, if only I could find a shoe store that stocks up on Jack Purcells...


On non-shoe related news, I bought a Roald Dahl book for my nephew, who has just started reading. No, I didn't get any of RD's scarier works, but I figured I'd get him started on this since he's been getting into a lot of adventure-series books (he just started the Deltora series during his summer vacation) without plunging him straight on into the scary, murky stuff. He's a sensitive boy who gets easily scared, so Harry Potter, Eragon, and Goosebumps are all out of the question for him; in addition to that, his sister already got the full set of Narnia books two Christmases ago, so I didn't want to repeat myself.

Now, if only Conn Iggulden would just hurry up and release a grade schooler-friendly version of The Dangerous Book for Boys on paperback...


Finally, after months of gawking, I finally bought something from La Palme D'Or Patisserie. Granted, it was a single cookie - but what a cookie it was! Their Encore is a grown-up version of the classic Toll House chocolate-chip cookie, but fluffier and lighter on the inside than what most of us cookie freaks are used to. I could eat just one ever so slowly and still be happy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Speaking of Shoes...

I usually don't apologize for putting comfort over cuteness when it comes to shoes, but between my work at the bookstore and the running-around I do for class, comfy shoes are all I have to wear at this point. And trust me, speaking as somebody who recently ruined an otherwise beloved pair of leather flats after 7 hours on my feet, I can't afford to have anything else on my feet.

So I've been doing a lot of outdoor stuff this summer because of my Environmental Science class. Most of our work requires "covered shoes," and for me that means sneakers. (Yeah, like I'll ever get away with sullying my beloved suede wedge loafers, right.) Unfortunately, however, my one lone pair of running shoes got sullied after a particularly trying day out in the field, and until I can find where I put my sneaker shampoo to clean off all traces of red dirt and the occasional speck of horse poop, I'm afraid that I'm going to be on the market for new running shoes.

In the meantime, however, I've started drooling over my classmate's Keen hiking shoes, and since I can't find the exact model online any more, I thought I'd share with you the next best thing:

Ladies and gentlemen, the Keen Targhee II, available now at Zappos.com and shoes. com. I'd buy this right away if it weren't for the fact that I just blew the exact same amount of money on my Science textbook alone... which means that the next next best thing for me would be to go out to Sears or Lady Foot Locker for another pair of dirt-worthy running shoes that I can also wear to (and from) work.

And speaking of covered shoes...

I saw these Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers at a surf shop (Margie, if you're reading this, it's the surf shop where Cheapo's Books used to be on Puck's Alley) and when I tried them on I was practically in heaven. I mean, think about it: the casual look of a loafer, the feel of a broken-in pair of Vans slip-ons, and the cushy sole of a rubber flip-flop without the annoying thong? For $59.95, I would've been so there... but then again, you know me - always spending my hard-earned money on those damned groceries.

Then again, that shop doesn't even have the women's versions of the Sidewalk Surfer. Because if that were the case, these babies would have been mine...

Must. Wait. Till. Next. Paycheck....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shoe Blog Plugging (say it three times fast)

My friend M., who I've known since high school but is now based in Cleveland, just started a new blog devoted to some seriously gorgeous shoes. It's called A Shoe Acquisition - the shoes are hers, the photography is her husband's, and to be quite honest I believe she's going to be a great fashion blogger in her own right.

Please do go ahead and show her a little love at http://acquisitivefeet.blogsome.com/ - and do say that I sent you!