Plus Size Plaid & Avenue Wide Boots

plaid tightsresized smaller CSPlaid is everywhere this fall! Usually I don’t buy patterned leggings. That’s not really true, I buy them, but then I don’t wear them, so I try not to buy them. But I had to have these, and I thought I would just wear them with a long top. After I saw the photo below, I decided I needed another tartan to bring the look together and I bought a scarf, which makes me much happier. Continue reading

5 Stores That Have Extra Wide Calf Boots!

I get searches on this blog everyday about boots. We love boots. They are everywhere. Every plus size blogger is putting together their list of their favorites. So I went on the hunt for the widest calf boots I could find.

I did not have to go very far, Simply Be has 21 pairs of what they call “Extra Curvy Plus” Wide Calf Boots. I believe this boot is the widest calf boot they carry.

simply be width chartThat means for a Size 10 the calf width is 23 1/4 inches. I know it is difficult to consider ordering boots from England, in case you have to return them, but OMG, 23 1/4 inches. Be sure to check their sizing chart to make sure you order the best size for you, and I love their reviews. And to check out their version of the elastic panel boot, which might even fit a little larger, click HERE! Let’s just see if we can do any better than that?

Wide Widths carries 12 super plus wide calf boots. That means the calf width is 24 3/4 inches for a size 13WW, which seems about the same as the Simply Be boots above.

Avenue has always been my go-to for boots. They are reasonably priced and I can often go to a store and try them on, but I am more of an apple shape and my calves fit fine in their widest calf of 19 inches. But they also have a boot with a STRETCH CALF BACK PANEL that might increase the calf width a lot, check it out HERE. We will continue on the search.

Jessica London has nine Comforview Brand of wide calf boots. For the Size 10 boots their calf sizes are also 19 inches.

I often hear about DUO boots, and if you are looking for expensive, lovely boots they are great, but their size 10 calf size appears to be about 19 1/2 inches, which is fairly similar to Jessica London and Avenue above. (50 CM is about 19.685 inches)

Update from a reader about DUO:

Duo actually has multiple calf widths…I’m not sure what they are in inches because I’m too lazy to do math, but they come in 2-centimeter increments up to (I think) 50 cm? And I believe you can order whatever calf width you want in whatever size you want. The website says that the calf widths over 45 also have a little wider width in the foot. I bought a pair on clearance and they’re lovely. They were still more than I’ve ever spent on shoes, but they’re beautiful and they fit like a glove.

Regarding Boot Bands, this is a quote from a friend on Facebook:

The shaft of a boot has centered lines running up the middle of the front, back, and each side. Sometimes it’s a seam or a zipper, sometimes not. If you’re going to add a section of leather to expand the circumference, the most appropriate place to add it is in the rear of the shaft. If you add it to one side or the other, the shaft twists and the rear seam will be crooked.

Another update about DUO 12/27/2014:

I know we’re always searching for wide calf boots, so i just wanted to post my new boots from DUO! i was kind of worried about fit because my calves are outside the highest measurements (49-50cm) but i was surprised to find that this pair (Flore) they have small elastic gussets. duo customer service is also incredibly helpful–I sent them an email prior to purchasing and they responded quickly and with very useful info. (they mentioned that Beaumont would fit a 51-52 cm calf!) i can’t speak about any other pairs, but Flore fits my 20-21″ calves very easily, and i imagine that they’ll stretch with wear because they’re leather. they’re gorgeous black leather and i looooooooove them. They are expensive, but I got them during their black Friday sale and they are also having a sale right now.

Update 1/14/2015: Custom Boots

From Facebook: If you have the budget for it & want a really great quality pair of boots check out Boots for Broads; I believe its an Australian company and they custom make the boot to your exact foot & calf size. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews although I’ve never been able to spend the money to get my own. If you have the $$ to spend its definitely worth it, good luck!

There are some great choices here, I would love to hear from you if you know of other extra wide calf boots!


Red Lips Sink Ships

a red cami under a black Avenue Size 26/28 cami to provide contrast eShakti skirt Size 5X (a little large in the waist and a little long even though I specified my height as 5'3"

A red cami under a black Avenue Size 26/28 cami to provide contrast
eShakti skirt Size 5X (a little large in the waist and a little long even though I specified my height as 5’3″)                                                          Photo: Leori Gill

When I saw this skirt I knew I had to have it. I had been looking for something with red lips for awhile and I loved that this was embroidered netting over a cotton skirt.

To compare my measurements to yours, click HERE.

My friend Claire giving me a kiss at the Party.

My friend Claire giving me a kiss at the Party, to go with the one on my Cami, and isn’t Claire’s dress fabulous?

I got an opportunity to wear it when my friends threw a fabulous party for a very special friend’s birthday . It was a wonderful night.

Alumni and current campers from the Mansonian Institute of Urban Studies, our camp for several years at Burning  Man

Alumni, friends, and current campers from the Mansonian Institute of Urban Studies, our camp for several years at Burning Man

The party was at a venue I had been dying to go to, The Battery, and since the Birthday Girl was a Burning Man campmate, we got to see various iterations of different years of campmates from many different years of Burning Man. A glorious evening. That is a kiss on MonkeyBoy’s face, I had kisses on my skirt and top so I handed out sticker kisses. Such a fun evening. Thanks to my friends for creating this moment.

photo: John Curley

photo: John Curley

And we had a chance to have our photo taken in front of the Bay Lights by the fabulous John Curley. The evening was everything I could have wanted.



Plus Size Bracelets

Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelet
Victoria Emerson Wrap Bracelet

You have probably noticed I love bracelets, especially bangle or wrap bracelets. I wear them most every day and have purchased them everywhere. I have big hands, like my Dad’s, and my wrist is 7 1/2 inches, so I have rarely purchased a bracelet at an accessory store or at a regular retail site. So what do I do? The bracelet above is two Victoria Emerson’s wrap bracelets that I connected together, and I love that they alternate black and crystals. The two of them go around my wrist about 8 times, rather that 10 times as they are expected to do, and I love wearing them. I have had them a couple of months, we will see how they hold up. You could certainly make something like this for even less than the sale price that I paid. HERE are some YouTube tutorials of varying difficulty. There are over 2,000 plus size bracelets on ETSY.

FROM THE TOP DOWN Fine Jewelry purchased in Ireland Torrid Bangle - Hollow Old Bangle - Lane Bryant Variety of necklaces and small bracelets attached together and wrapped Torrid Solid and Hollow Bracelets

Fine Jewelry purchased in Ireland
Torrid Bangle – Hollow
Old Bangle – Lane Bryant
Variety of necklaces and small bracelets attached together and wrapped
Torrid Solid and Hollow Bracelets

DIY Bracelets: For “gold days” I have taken my mother-in-law’s, as well as my own costume and fine necklaces and tiny bracelets and connected them together to use as a wrap bracelet. It makes me SO happy to be using jewelry that was sitting in my drawer and I love the look.

Torrid Bangles

Torrid Bangles

Since I am retired and I can wear whatever I want, my standard everyday look has been rhinestone bangles for the last couple of years and I have been buying them at Torrid. But sometimes a rhinestone will fall out the first day, the bracelets have fallen apart after everyday use or occasionally one of them will not fit. But I do love them and I keep trying.

green bracelet LGWhen we went to Europe last year I wanted a memento so I bought this sweet stretch bracelet in Cannes, and it does not even turn my wrist black when I wear it. LOL. I occasionally buy a regular bracelet with stretch. I really wanted some vintage bakelite bracelets but all the bangles were WAY too small so I settled for a stretch version on EBAY.

You can buy Plus Size Bracelets from these sites: ASOS Curve, Lane Bryant, Torrid, avenue, Sonsi, OneStopPlus, debshops, Domino Dollhouse. I would love to hear where you are buying plus size bracelets and how they are holding up for you.


Some photos: Leori Gill

Avenue Wide Width Boots

I love boots.  I live in San Francisco where we can wear boots year round, since we have foggy summers and the weather is moderate. The boots above (please ignore that the laces are different colors) are from Avenue, they are a 9.5 wide.  We were in Palm Springs in October this year for my 46th high school reunion and I went to Avenue and they had all these boots on display.  I was in love.  They had two pair that fit.  The first one that fit had elastic for the entire back of the shaft of the boot which I was not crazy about, but I kept out just in case.  Then they brought out these combat boots, that lace up all the ways down into the instep, which is unusual, and my instep is high, but OMG they were COMBAT boots and I was born a pacifist, I do not even wear camouflage, even pink camouflage, I am such a pacifist.  But they fit, and they were not heavy winter boots and I had to have them.

One of the things I liked a lot about these boots is that since they are not wide calf boots, but are wide enough because I can lace them, they are not too large in the ankle, and thus provide a little more support. I would buy another pair of boots from Avenue any time, they feel good and they are plenty wide enough. They look a little like the Torrid Studded Boots I bought a couple of weeks ago….but I still want knee high boots.


Torrid CrossBack Dress Review

18083_10151330547716280_1498661911_nI went to my fabulous tailor this week, Barbra Hume, who is also a designer. She was altering a dress for me to wear to the Hot Couture: A Fusion of Fashion and Fire, fashion show I was going to and we discussed why I feel like I need to wear one dress or another for a particular occasion!  That turned out to be very interesting because that afternoon this Torrid dress arrived in the mail and I knew I had to wear it rather than the fabulous Simply Be dress that I am going to save for The Bay Lights Opening Ceremony on March 5th.  Why, because I could not wear this strappy, too revealing, form fitting and short for an old fat lady, to an event the Mayor of San Francisco and the Lt. Governor of California are going to attend. But I love it, so I wore it to an evening of boundary stretching fashion.

The photos of me in this dress are not very good.  I promise to reshoot and post them soon.  It is the best fitting strappy dress I have ever tried on. The straps fit perfectly, the waist is long enough and it is just fun. I was sure it would be too small but just that little bit of spandex made it work in the waist and yet not tug anywhere. But, I cannot seem to get a great photo of me in it to share with you. I am so happy I took a chance on it after looking at it for a couple of weeks before I took the risk, rarely does anything this fun last that long on Fattoo Grand, the Facebook online resale page.  I love it.

Here are the deets:

Dress: Torrid – Size 5X – purchased thru Fattoo Grand

Coat: Lane Bryant – Size 24 – Double Breasted and pulls a little if I try to button all the buttons  Here is a similar version  I cannot tell you how many compliments I got on this coat!   Purchased from Jessica Kane on Fattoo. How fun is that?  Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time.

Tights with studs (glued on): Lane Bryant – Size 26-28 – Way too large – purchased through Fattoo

Regarding Leggings: I tried on some Avenue Size E leggings that I had but I could not even get them up my skinny legs.  Since I am 5’5″ and weigh 275 lbs. I was very disappointed when they did not fit. I guess I will buy some Size EE while they are on sale.

Avenue Size Chart

Avenue Size Chart

Shoes: Lane Bryant – Size 10W – my most comfortable flat

photo: Gary J. Wilson

photo: Gary J. Wilson



I thought you might like to see some photos of the show:

This was my favorite dress of the evening with the windowpane design

This was my favorite dress of the evening with the windowpane design

photo: Brittany Schell

photo: Brittany Schell

photo: Will Bucquoy WB Photography

photo: Will Bucquoy WB Photography

Screen Shot 2013-01-12 at 3.28.59 PM

photo: Ed Jay

photo: Ed Jay

photo: Will Bucquoy WB Photography

photo: Will Bucquoy WB Photography

A stained glass gown and a dress bejeweled with images displayed in LED lights are just a few of the pieces of evening wear made from steel, wire, leather and other industrial materials that will be paraded down the runway this weekend at The Crucible in West Oakland for the Hot Couture fashion show.  Brittany Schell

And Rose Nisker Aerialist did a beautiful performance with a live violin accompaniment

740999_10151337756677591_1596841012_oAll in all a very exciting evening.

01/18/2013 Update: An Oakland Local Blog review of the event.


D.I.Y. Plus Size 26 or 4X Wonder Woman Costume

I got it in my head that I wanted to be Wonder Woman for Halloween this year and I could not find a costume large enough so I made my own.  I wore it to a little art event on Sunday.  I had fun in my costume and I have included a little tutorial below.  Ciao Bellas…affinity

Cami: Avenue Size 26-28
Skirt: Kmart Love Your Style, Size 3X, elastic waist, not fitted skirt
Boots: Lane Bryant Size 10W, over 30 years old
Tights: We Love Color, Size C/D
Belt: Bob’s Belts, Size 3X, I have worn these belts for years, they are comfortable but the 3X is the largest, and it just fits my size 28 waist, even with the stretch.
Wonder Woman Lasso: Amazon, I purchased it since it could be purchased as a standalone accessory and size was not an issue.  I taped the ends together but next time I wear it I will attach the tacked ends of the rope to the inside of the little hanger loop that was provided so the rope stays in four little loops.

I considered purchasing the Wonder Woman accessories but I found them to be either VERY expensive or made from felt for $8 or $10.  I did not like either option so I decided to make my own.

1.  Wonder Woman Top: I found a Wonder Woman logo which I printed, cut out and cut on all of the black lines and then drew all of the black lines on the cami using a black Sharpie.  I used gold leaf because I have gold leafed for years, but it would have been much easier with gold fabric paint like Pebeo.  It dries well and is easy to use. Like most fabric paint it can be fixed by either ironing (cotton position), for 5 minutes, on the reverse side of the fabric; or in the oven, for 5 minutes at 300˚.  Of course you could use any red t-shirt, I happened to have the cami and I like sleeveless tops because I get too warm.

I just found this Wonder Woman t-shirt at Torrid. I generally wear their 4X in tops, but it also comes in a 5X, it would be a good base for a casual costume.

2. Wonder Woman Skirt: For the skirt I used a black skirt I had (I used it for my bee costume this summer) and used fabric paint to paint it blue.  I liked the effect but it of course would be MUCH easier to use a blue skirt.  I also found more traditional fabric (royal blue fabric with white stars, like the American Flag) but since I do not sew, making a skirt was not an option.  I also found some larger skirts at Jessica London that might have worked but by then I had run out of time.  I purchased a star stencil and used gold spray paint, but a better choice would have been non-spray fabric paint since you would not have an over-spray problem.

3. I found a tiara template, so I used it to cut out the cardboard.  Then I gold leafed it and used the red star from the template and just glued it on.  I used Velcro to fasten it in the back and this template was more than large enough for my head, which I found surprising, but I tightened it a little too much.  After I wore the tiara the first time I trimmed about 1/4 inch along the bottom edge.  It was much more becoming, sorry I did not get a photo of the change.

4. For the cuffs I just wrapped some cardboard around my arms and cut it out and gold leafed it.  I then printed the tiara template a couple of more times and cut out the red star and glued it to the cuffs, although you could just trace around the star from the tiara template and color it in.

5. The belt I painted with gold spray paint although of course it would be easier to just wear a gold belt.  I have always worn belts but have a problem finding them in a size 26-28 since I am my biggest at my waist, so creating a gold belt was easier than trying to buy one.

The cardboard did not hold up very well at the daytime event where it was hot.  So before Halloween night I put a little shellac (could use Mod Podge) to make the cuffs and tiara a little more robust and give them a little more body.

photos: Taken at Peralta Junction
Middle photo: Leori Gill
Bottom Photo: Frankie Norstad

Torrid! Torrid! Torrid! and a little ASOS Curve

I am not really a floral kind of girl, but I just had to try this sweater because it came out in spring and I thought it might be really light, and guess what, it is.  Is is half the weight of similar sweaters I own like this and this.  It was 68° here in San Francisco so I wanted a little something to cover up with and to brighten up my dress. I love the silver sparkle, floral leggings except that the size is weird.  They are a 2X and a 1X would actually fit better and the are from Torrid, where I wear a 5X dress.  And you may have noticed that these big bracelets are my staple this month.  Just liking the weight and fun on my wrist. Here are the deets…affinity

Sweater: Torrid Size 4X
Footless leggings: Torrid Size 2X
Bangle Bracelets: Torrid
Balloon Skater Dress: ASOS Curve Size 22
Elyse Boots: Avenue Size 9.5W

Coral – The Universal Color?

I love the look of a cropped, lightweight cardigan over my everyday wardrobe.  I have worn it to work, then out for the evening and to lunch with the girls.  It brightens up my look (my husband likes it when I wear something besides black) with a sweater that is light enough to leave on all day.  And did you know that coral is considered a universal color and looks good on everyone?  Do you agree with that?…affinity

Sweater: Torrid – Size 4X
Bracelets – Torrid – Size 4X
Cami – Avenue – Size 26 – 28