The Plus Size Princess Dress from Sydney’s Closet

Explo 1The highlight of a wonderful evening…We have just moved to Oakland, CA, to a more working class neighborhood, and I was standing on the street waiting for my sweetie to pull out of the garage and pick me up and some cholo teenagers were coming down the street.  I thought “Oh no, they are going to embarrass me, the old fat lady, in a strapless ball gown”… And while they are walking by, one of them turned to me and said, “YOU LOOK LIKE A PRINCESS”.  I almost cried it made me so happy, we had a little moment and I smiled and my sweetie pulled up and I responded with, “Oh look, here is my Prince Charming now.”  I smiled and he smiled and the whole crew smiled at me. What could make my evening better than that?

The dress is from Sydney’s Closet, Size 30, although I wear a Size 26-28, and then altered to make make sure it fit. It is the dress in my “About Page” and I had it shortened to tea length because it is a lot of dress and the long length just felt too bulky and heavy to me.  I originally wore it with short dressy Ariat cowboy boots because I bought it for Joe Olivier’s  Cajun style birthday party.  But for the Gala I wore simple Lane Bryant Size 10 dressy flats.

Some of my favorite friends hosted us at the amazing Exploratorium
 Opening Gala, and when we arrived there were Rickshaws to take us from the car to the entrance to the Gala, and some guest rode on the Serpent Twins.

1807--Exploratorium-jennifer 120412_largeHere is a photo with my friend Jennifer Raiser, you can find her account of the evening here (Tom and I even get a little shout out in her fabulous narrative) in her online magazine that keeps up with all the social events in San Francisco, SFWire. My favorite line from her article is “The glee was palpable, one of the few things a scientific instrument wasn’t set up to measure.” And since it is an art and science museum, that amused me. Jennifer is a fairly new friend and I am just finding her to be a delight.  We both love connecting with people and have an interest in fashion and writing and Burning Man. That dress Jennifer is wearing is vintage Bill Blass from the early 80’s, matte sequins and aurora beads on silk mesh, purchased from Ricky’s Exceptional Treasures on eBay.

1814--Exploratorium-grouplargeWe had a wonderful supper club dinner with our friends Paul and April Buchheit and the rest of our fun dinner partners, and then there was time to explore the art and science exhibits and listen to the bands.

clarePaul and April’s friend Clare Dibble was here from Colorado for the event and she looked like spring.  Her dress was from Dress Barn and it looked great on her.  That was especially fun since like many women these days she only wears a dress occasionally.  Thanks for posing Clare.

Thanks to my sweet friends for one of my favorite evenings ever!

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 8.20.07 PMHere is the original photo so you can see more of the detail.


photo with Jennifer & Group: Drew Altizer Photography

Eyeglasses – Fashion Failure?

In 2001, when I was getting married at Burning Man I bought a pair of vintage 1980 french rhinestone glasses that I loved. Two days before our 10th wedding anniversary, the glasses broke, I was heartbroken of course.

Then I looked everywhere for rhinestone vintage frames that would fit my wide head that were similar. But I had VINTAGE in my head, and as usual proceeded on my path.  I ended up with the vintage leopard frames below, which I loved, but turned out not be very becoming.  I looked like a woman out of a British farce!

And guess what, they are not working.  My great optician tells me that the way the 50 years old frames are configured will not work with my progressive lenses. A very expensive lesson.  So watch this space for the new eyeglass look.  Fashion Failure!.

But while we are on this page I wanted to tell you a little about our wedding clothes:

Dress:  A lavender bridesmaid dress made by Sydney’s Closet in a size 28, which I then had altered to make it smaller under the arms and have it shortened.

Glasses: Bought for the wedding on EBAY as “new old stock” or NOS.

Wings & Veil: We made by a craftsperson living in the Bay Area, and the veil I dyed a light lavender and created the armature for the lavender and purple crystal beads.  I loved it!

Flowers: My girlfriends and I created the flowers and they are made from heavy crepe paper using some concepts from a Martha Stewart pattern.


Sparkling Sequins and Brocades

sydneys closetWe went to an event at The Crucible in Oakland California a few weeks ago. The Crucible is a non-profit educational facility that fosters a collaboration of Arts, Industry and Community. That is my husband wearing the vintage smoking jacket and cowboy boots. My dress is from Sydney’s Closet. I love them. They have alwyas given me great service and they have a pretty extensive line of in-stock prom and cocktail dress in sizes 38+, yes 38+.  I usually order a 30 (I am a 26 -28) but I have it taken in the arms and sometimes shortened.  The dresses are not really designed for women my age and apple shaped.  But do be careful, I usually stick to the Sydney’s Closet Signature Collection because I can depend on the sizing.

I have NEVER gotten so many compliments on what I was wearing, even the cast stopped to say how much they liked it.

Dress: Sydneys Closet – Size 30, shortened to above the knee