Emerald Wearing eShakti Plus Size at Burning Man Headquarters

Emerald wearing eShakti - Customized

Emerald wearing eShakti Customized

My friend Emerald, who works at Burning Man Headquarters, asked me about my blog a few months ago, and then perused it. She then told me she had ordered from eShakti, here is her story:

With a Burning Man identity of “Emerald” and finding myself blessed with a job at the headquarters in San Francisco I decided to splurge on a dress.   It turned out not to be quite a splurge as this dress was on sale and I had a first-time-buyer discount.  I paid a total of $23.90.

Here are the measurements I provided to eShakti:

  • Lengthofarm:Short
  • Upperarm:15
  • Hip:55
  • Waist:45
  • Underbust:41
  • Bust:45
  • Chest:44
  • Shoulder:17
  • I’m 5 feet tall and weigh ~210.
I get a lot of compliments on this outfit.  It’s comfortable and fun to wear.   The only measurement I have a problem with is shoulder-to-shoulder and I need to go back and re-measure myself.  The dress crosses from front to back too close to my shoulder and you can’t pull it in because of the design.   I wear a blouse under it (most of the time anyway) as it is cut lower than I would wear it during the day.
Overall I am thrilled to get a dress cut to size that I really enjoy.

Thanks Emerald for taking the time to share with us how eShakti worked for you and you look fabulous in your dress.

Plus Size Goes to the Burning Man at the Global Leadership Conference v.2

Wearing Vintage Beth Ditto

Wearing Vintage Beth Ditto – Shopping

My husband and I have been the registrars for the Burning Man Global Leadership Conference for all eight of them. So on day three of the conference, we found ourselves sitting behind a desk, greeting people from all over the world, people who are thrilled to be at an event like this. So I got out my trusty iPhone and took a few photos so you can see what we wear to a conference, rather than to Burning Man, that event in the desert.

Terry Penn aka Moxie wearing eVognues The have some pretty fun clothes on Amazon

Moxie wearing eVognues
They have some pretty fun clothes on Amazon

Moxie and I worked at the registrar’s desk, so we snuck out for a moment to take a photo.

Debi aka RealGirl von Huene wearing a fun fake fur

Debi von Huene aka RealGirl wearing a fun fake fur

I have known RealGirl for over ten years and when I get a chance I take a photo, she always has a bit of glam to share.

Debi von Huene aka RealGirl Representing

Debi von Huene aka RealGirl Representing

Don’t you love that RealGirl is wearing her Burning Man sweatshirt that signifies that the San Francisco South Bay region had an art piece at 2011 Burning Man. I do.

That is it for this event.



Plus Size at Burning Man 2013

Mother and Daughter Both Staff at Burning Man

Molly and Annie
Both Staff at Burning Man

As many of you know, if you have been following along, I go to Burning Man.  And when I meet women they always want to know what women wear, especially if they are plus size. So here are some of my friends, both plus size, and not.

Above are my friends Molly and Annie. Molly is famous for not wearing skirts, so this is a pretty fun photo of her.  Molly’s friend made the tutu, but I do have several places I can send you, Just with Tulle makes custom tutus in a variety of sizes and has add on prices for plus sizes and length. And my fellow blogger at Tutus & Tiny Hats likes Sister’s of the Moon Design, also custom made.

Shoes are very important because the Event is on a lake bed (we call it the Playa) and is very alkaline, and the dust can be hard on your feet. Lots of people wear boots, but the surfaces are uneven so I tend to wear what is comfortable. And of course a hat, to keep you out of the sun…

Selfie of my photographer, Leori Gill

Selfie of my photographer, Leori Gill

I love this selfie of Leori. She is so talented.  She also took the photo of Molly and Annie, and does most of the photography for this blog. And did I mention it was Tutu Tuesday? You get extra points, be you male or female for wearing a tutu on the Tuesday of the Event.

aff_decom_crop smudgeI have no idea why I do not have any photos of me from Burning Man this year but here is one from San Francisco Decompression just a couple of weeks ago.

I am wearing a fit and flare, cotton stretch fabric ASOS Curve Size 22 Dress.  It has a very high waistline so I wear this wide Torrid Size 5 belt to cover that up.

The leggings are a Torrid Size 2, 100% polyester. They do not have any stretch and they seem to have stopped making them.  It is odd that these fit since I cannot wear their Size 3/4. If I were buying these today I would try THESE in a Size 3, and I notice they now have some spandex, which is good.

These are my go to Boots HERE. Two years later Avenue is still making these exact bootsI would love to have taller boots, but I have never found a boot that fit my skinny ankle and wide calf, so I just try to love the ones I’ve got.

pendants 2013And here is a photo of my jewelry from the event. It is made up of gifts and schwag for supporting the artists.

believe SidneyThe B in the photo is part of the art installation from Burning Man by my friends Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg. The photo was taken after a storm and the “I” had fallen over leaving a 60′ tall woman, Truth is Beauty to replace it.

Well that is this episode of Burning Man, plus size, more to come.


photo: BELIEVE/Truth is Beauty: Sidney Erthal Photography

A Plus Size Dress from “My Baby Jo” at Rehearsal for Jerk Church

Jennifer Raiser's photo of her feature on Jerk Church in the SF Chronicle

Jennifer Raiser’s photo of her feature on Jerk Church in the SF Chronicle

A few weeks ago I was hanging out in a backyard in Oakland, my brand new neighborhood.  It was hot, I was in the shade, and there was a rehearsal for Jerk Church, a creative musical learning community for musicians and non-musicians alike that gather each Sunday to break bread, share a cup and a song. I was there to hang out with my good friend Jennifer Raiser whom you have met here and here and here and here before.  Jennifer was writing this fabulous piece about Jerk Church that you can and should read right HERE.  The Church started as a group of friends just hanging out together, and have turned into performers who were going to perform that very evening, and they have a Hymnal so you can sing along if you like.

ChurchInTheYardThese men and women were dressed mainly in “Sunday Go to Meetin’ ” clothes, retro dress for the most part, either vintage or new, one of my favorite looks, and the men also looked like they could have stepped out of a backyard party that my grandmother might have given.  There were pies, and cakes, and little sandwiches and deviled eggs, my favorite, and beer and cold drinks.

kaitlin braidinglizards braidThen I turned and there was Kaitlan Hutchinson, braiding her friend Lizard’s hair in a fishtail braid (the tattoo on Lizard’s back is a Tibetan prayer).  Kaitlan was wearing a fabulous teal dress, beautifully made, and of course I had to know more about it.   The dress is a Size 1X Haute Milan Dress in Lake from My Baby Jo in Los Angeles and the material had a wonderful hand to it.  I love the crisscross in the front and the beautiful way the waist is tailored so the skirt flows into semi-pleats. I love it, and it is such a treat to just be out and about and see someone wearing something so beautiful and accessible.  And of course the hat was an extra bonus.

kaitlin better


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.


Enrich Your Life, Make a Contribution

jacmel_artistsAs most of you know I am an avid Burner (one who goes to Burning Man).  I volunteer, I blog and most of my community stems from these amazing artists and people who make things and get things done. I volunteer because Burning Man and its culture and ethos have enriched my life.

I don’t usually write about much that isn’t fashion related here, but this project in Haiti is a chance for me to give to a group of artists that need skills that are more practical so they can make a living.   Please help if you can, even if only a little.

Currently I am volunteering for Burners Without Borders and what I am asking is that if you also have found Burning Man to have enriched your life, or you would like to enrich another person’s life, that you consider helping Burners Without Borders in its partnership with Haiti’s Jakmel Ekspresyon Art Center, a unique community arts center for an important segment of Haiti’s artistic community. As the people of Haiti recover and rebuild from the 2010 earthquake, this center for creativity and self-expression is a vital part of its future. With the support of the Burning Man community, we can make a real and lasting difference in transforming this paradigm. This screen printing project will be the first of its kind in Haiti. Burners Without Borders will send ten artists to Jacmel to teach skills in design, screen printing and professional development. There are currently no screen printing services available in Jacmel to create post-cards and t-shirts for the tourism industry or for the various international organizations who work there. This project is sure to be a success and we need your participation to make it happen. Please help Burners Without Borders and Jakmel Ekspresyon launch a new arts/artists-in-residence program that will benefit the local economy for the long term! Please spread the word.

Donate Here!

D.I.Y. Plus Size 26 Santa – Mrs. Claus Costume

PhotoNicolo_aff santa copy with hatFor the past 6 or 7 years my husband has been Santa at a Volunteer Appreciation Party, so we have more than our share of photos together dressed in Santa costumes, but this is the first year I have had a fatshion blog to share my D.I.Y. costume on.

It is VERY simple:

Hat: Fedora from e4Hats, a lot of their hats run large so I start with them when I am looking for a hat.  It is just a $20 red fedora and I added white marabou around the brim.  I lost it at the party so I will be replacing it.

Cami: Plain red cami from Avenue, Size 26 – 28, I added white marabou around the bodice.

Skirt:  Plain red skirt I purchased on Ebay years ago with a large black waist band, handmade.  But if I were looking for one today I would try Jessica London, Avenue and One Stop Shop.  They all carry Sizes 24+ and are not too expensive.

Leggings:  Leg Avenue Size 3-4X, but the last time I tried that size they were too small.  If I were going to buy them today I would buy them from We Love Color, in this striped tight I am right at top of their size range, but their plain colors go to 375 lbs. (We Love Color no longer makes this striped tight)

Gloves: I buy almost any brand for as little as $5 of fingerless, fishnet gloves.  They have always fit.

Boots:  Last year’s Avenue lace up boot, Size 9.5 W, I wear them often, and the bows were in with my wrapping paper box and I tied them to my laces.

I am thinking of adding white marabou to the bottom of the skirt, what do you think?

My hat disappeared at the party (I rarely lose anything but it is gone, so it is time for a new one).  I purchased this one, which is a little pricey but I loved how fancy and light it was since my head gets too warm inside buildings sometimes.  But it is too big, and I have a big head, so I will be returning it this week.

Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 9.11.20 AMHope you had a happy holiday,              Ciao Bellas…affinity

photo: Nicolo Sertorio

Update December 2013: I ended up keeping the hat and using it with my Mrs. Claus costume.  I think the new look makes the argument that almost anything will work, even a “go to church on Sunday, hat” it you add your personal touch. santa hat

Being Bees on the Playa

The theme at the festival on the desert I go to was Fertility 2.0 this year.  My personal take on it is that because the event is spreading into the world they thought Fertility 2.0 was a good theme.  I do not usually pay much attention to the theme but I was asked to help with registration at a party and could we please dress as bees or flowers or some such thing.  Well guess what, no one else showed up in a costume, but it is a party, right, so we put our smiles on our faces and had fun.

I had not intended to write this post because there is not a perfect photo that is becoming and shows my wings and antennae and outfit.  But we had so much fun and it so makes me smile that I decided to go ahead and write a post.  I bought 2 pairs of antennae and a pair of wings, and then I wrapped my black skirt and tshirt in yellow masking tape, and wrapped up Edgie, who was helping me with registration and has my friend for over 20 years, right at the party.  After the party I took off the masking tape and gave the wings and antenna to a 10 year old who was thrilled to have them, so it was a win all around.  Sometimes it is okay to just be a little silly.  Ciao Bellas…affinity

Getting Ready for an Urban Art Festival

As most of you know I volunteer for the Burning Man Project, so yesterday my husband and I went to Oakland to help prep the ArtIsMobilUs, a school bus turned mobile art gallery. They removed the previous mural and put up new wood so a collaborative mural can be created on the first night of the Central Market Arts Festival, located at 6th Street and Market on Friday September 28. I took photos and as usual, he did the hard work.

This t-shirt is so me. I love the theme of peace and change and I did not even realize it had little studs and rhinestones when I bought it on line.

T-shirt: Lane Bryant size 26-28 purchased on FatToo
Jeans: Torrid Tripp NYC size 28
Bracelets: Torrid
Shoes: Lane Bryant, worn with ruffled anklets

Close up of the t-shirt pattern

Do It Yourself (DIY) at Burning Man

It was Friday at Burning Man and I was volunteering for the Burning Man Project.  My job was to chat with people and find out how they were bringing the Burning Man ethos to their home town, or to just give them some time out of the sun. While I was there I ran into my friend Molly Vikart. She was with some friends waiting for an art tour. Molly told me that Jessica (see photo) created a mini that morning for their outing, so I wanted to share it with you.

Jessica cut the skirt to the length she wanted and then took the leftovers and tied them around her calf to bring the whole look together. I thought it was very clever and gutsy, and she looked FAB. (And I LOVED the hat) How about you? Ciao Bellas…affinity