Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What to Wear: Couture for the Everyman

Ah the 4th of July sales in NYC. It is the one time of year that the stores are almost empty and yet you can still nab a good deal. Imagine my surprise as well as intense frustration then when I simply could not find anything to buy.

My first and last stop was Bloomingdales. I excitedly headed straight to the plus size section and nothing fit right! The merchandise assortment was all sorts of terrible - even more so than usual. The Amanda Uprichard pieces they had even manged to disappoint. So, I made my way to the "straight" section as I have been able to make it work for me from time to time. Unfortunately, all of the sale items were for the most part in XS - M thus making it a no go. Feeling overall defeated, I decided to give up shopping for the rest of the day.

I was just so worn out by the fact that I can never seem to find something that fits me in a store. Being plus sized makes it hard enough already, and then throwing being short into the mix just makes it damn near impossible. I was wallowing in the fact that mass fashion let me down, until it hit me - why not have something made just for me. Granted I knew there was no way I could afford couture, but you know what I can afford - ETSY!

So, I hopped on the computer and spent the rest of my July 4th browsing Etsy hardcore. Here is a roundup of the best designs I was able to find. All of these items can be tailored to your measurements for the most part (plus or straight), and more likely than not be altered to suit your needs.

1. Sweet Shirt ($79.90) + (2.) Full Circle Skirt ($169.80): I absolutely love this take on Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe in Roman Holiday. It also has a perfect blend of whimsy and maturity which makes it wearable for a breadth of age ranges. The other plus is that this outfit will look amazing on anyone. Be you: short/tall and plus/straight!

3. Tulip Dress ($199.80): Surprise, another retro inspired piece. Yet, it still manages to be modern with the updates made to the silhouette. Even better, this shape is currently trending! Though this dress will still au courant even when the fad is over due to its superior design.

4. Winter Fashion Vest Dress ($179.80): Just to be clear, I believe what is on sale is just the white dress. It is meant to be worn layered, but as this designer is open to alterations I'm sure you can add some short sleeves to this dress. Either way, it is the collar that makes this dress for me. What can I say - I'm a sucker for a dainty collar?

5. Wool Trench Coat ($199.80): If you are in NYC right now, I know the last thing you want to see is a coat. Still, fall is around the corner and down a really loooooooooooooong hallway. Also, even though I think this coat is amazing - I know it may be not for everyone. Those who do like this sort of blend of modern and vintage styling will find it to die for!

6. Grace Flare Dress (Plus Only, $230.00): Personally, I can really can take or leave JIBRI. They are a company that makes plus sized clothing that sometimes does not justify its price point. I am still actually on the fence about this piece, but I just loved the design so much I had to include it. I know it is once again a retro inspired piece, but seriously if the sleeves did not sell you on it I do not know what will.

7. Chelsea Graduation Dress ($118.00) + (8.) Red Lolita Petticoat (Price Not Available): See I do know that colors other than black, grey, white, and beige exist! The blue material is amazing and pairing it with a red petticoat was a brilliant idea. The belt sadly is not included, but I'm sure you could easily find another one.

9. Mandy Dress ($139.00): You know what else I am a sucker for - tulle! The fact that it is on the outside of this dress makes me swoon. Also, I love the ballerina vibe this piece gives off and it is also a super simple as well as elegant in its design. Overall, this is a fun and youthful piece that is a must for my wardrobe at least.

10. Mambo Dress (Straight, Plus; $85.00, $105.00): I may be in love with vintage inspirations, but that does not mean modern design does not spike my interest every now and again. I love the asymmetrical waist and raw hem of this piece. It gives an edge to the piece that is lacking in the category of "laid back" or "casual" fashion.

A word to the wise, do not fudge your measurements if you decide to purchase any of these pieces. It will result in the garment not fitting right, and that is the whole point of this whole endeavor is it not? Your best bet is to visit a seamstress to get a professional fitting, and you can find one in your local area in this national directory. If you prefer to do it yourself (not recommended), BurdaStyle has a great instructional post.

Know any other places to get items tailor made? Or some amazing Etsy designers? Leave it in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post on fashion and dresses. Good suggestion for dresses up and sources of such dress. I love to read your blog as I get latest fashion trends from here....

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