Jun 18 2010

Dinner, drinks, and the DMV

Fashionista Friends

What a (mostly) fun week this has been! If you read my last post, Visiting the House of Igigi and a Contest, then you know I had dinner plans with plus-size fashion industry leaders, Lisa and Jim Dolan from Lee Lee’s Valise, and Yuliya and her right-arm, Ozlem from Lee Lee’s Valise. We ate a fabulous meal at Print restaurant, which is midtown on Manhattan’s west side.

As an aside at this point I want to say that I have received no compensation for telling you that I love eating at Print and I highly recommend it!

Lisa and Yuliya are focused even though they appear blurry.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of a wonderful evening of conversation. Professionaly, it is always a pleasure to spend time with business owners who care about the consumer. As a member of the plus size fashion industry, it is especially delightful to spend time with those who are dedicated to providing their customers with quality apparel, and an exceptional shopping experience.

When I left the restaurant I found that my car had been towed, even thought I had parked in a legal spot. New York City is a very exciting place and sometimes our Department of Motor Vehicles gets a bit over eager. I sat in the DMV impound lot from 1:00 a.m. until my husband could take a 6:00 a.m. train from Westchester to come into the city. He arrived at the lot a little after 7:00 a.m. Thankfully, he was very sweet about the whole thing even though he had to take a day off and make an unexpected early morning trip to NYC. I thanked him for rescuing me and he took me to breakfast. By the way, if you are married you might want to check and see if both your names are on the registration. It will affect who the car gets released to if ever impounded. I learned the hard way.

Strike a pose!

Yesterday I got back to having fun when, Yuliya Raquel and her business associate Ozlem Arpaci from Igigi visited Lee Lee’s Valise for the first time. Our day together was fun and educational. We discussed the plus size industry from our different backgrounds and business models.

After lunch, Lisa and I had the opportunity to give a very appreciative Yuliya some honest feedback about her clothes – giving her detailed information about what we like and what we felt could be improved.

I was even asked to model some of Igigi’s items so that Lisa and Yuliya could check how different cuts and styles worked on my body type.

My Igigi friends fly back home to San Francisco early Sunday morning and I will really miss them. Thank you ladies for a lively visit.

Dec 06 2007

Shameless Self Promotion

Full Figured Shopping Site Soon to Re-Launch!

I am working full time getting the new and improved This Lush Life: Online Mall for Fuller Figures ready for launch. Gone the purple (well maybe I’ll keep just a little), gone the circles. In it’s place a much simpler site design making it easier to navigate. There will be more of everything for your shopping pleasure. More full figured fashion and more categories like, Gourmet Food, Home Organization, Shoes and Accessories and Travel. Coming soon. Really. That’s what my web-designers say…soon.

As always I will only feature plus size clothing from web sites using plus size models. So you won’t find those catalogs that advertise that they sell “Size 14W-Size 44W” exclusively but insist on using size 4 models. Seriously people — stop shopping there. I will have more to say about this subject soon.

With all the hubbub (is that a real word?) I have fallen behind on my reading. I’ve been traveling a lot as you know and I’ve barely perused any blogs, newspapers or magazines for several months while traveling to events to meet you — my beloveds.

So rather than pretend that I was the first to think of commenting on this or that, today I will be shamelessly culling postings from bloggers that I admire. Those people who take the time to read the news and then comment on their blogs and don’t use their own readers as an excuse for being too busy to post. Like I just did.

This piece of information was totally stolen from Full Figure Plus posted on November 28, 2007.

Monif C., has been nominated for New York Citysearch: Best Women’s Clothing. This is a great opportunity to support plus size women’s clothing boutiques in New York City.

My friends living in other parts of the country are so surprised when I tell them that there are only a couple. Monif C., and Lee Lee’s Valise. We don’t even have a Torrid. Unlike my lucky friend Kate…living it up in Chi Town and shopping at Torrid anytime she wants. Although she longs for Marshall Fields.

And for a bit of bragging (but what else is new?), this past summer Monif let me try on a dress that had been designed specifically for Queen Latifah, which by the way, fit perfectly so ‘Tifah sweetie, if you’re reading this and you feel like cleaning out your closet…gimme a call ok?

More items from other blogs coming soon!

May 18 2007

I’m hoping to attend Fat Girl Speaks in Portland, Oregon on June 9th. Are any of you interested in coming? I think it is going to be an amazing event. I’ve submitted my application to be a performer. I’ve written some funny poetry about being a fat chick and I would be thrilled to read my work at that event. I’m still waiting to hear from them but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

I’m not just interested in attending a fun, cool weekend event where outspoken and creative women get together to celebrate their curves…although that does sound great doesn’t it? Another reason why I want to go is that I love the Pacific Northwest. I’ve enjoyed being in Vancouver, Canada and also Bellingham, Washington and I have actually cried at the airport at the end of my trip. I wanted to go home to New York but I felt so sad about leaving that area. I feel completely at home there. The people are relaxed and groovy and the weather is perfect. I really like that rainy climate. And the air! It’s so clean – I found out how good it feels to breathe. Heaven.

The thing that impressed me the most about the Pacific Northwest is that the people are really groovy and easy to talk with. They also have a different set of criteria (from New York City and Los Angeles) when relating to each other…especially about body types. I saw women of all body types wearing sexy clothes, wearing exercise clothes, wearing business clothes and they all seemed more relaxed to my eyes. I didn’t hear my friends who live in that area complain about the size of their thighs or wonder if anyone would ever love them unless they lost a few pounds and the men were happy to be with a happy woman. They weren’t just looking for a chick with buns of steel. Maybe it’s all that clean air that’s responsible for all that clean thinking?

My husband and I have discussed moving to that area and maybe we will in a few years. For now…I am really happy to have another Pacific Northwest trip in my near future. Let me know if you are planning on being at Fat Girl Speaks. I hope to meet some of you!

May 11 2007

Size 14 = Size Anxiety

Today I gave a friend a dress that I never wore. I bought it on EBay and it turned out to be a Junior Size 14 and not a Woman’s Size 14. Oh well. If I had bought it directly through a store like I should have, instead of being cheap about my wardrobe then I wouldn’t have gotten conned so I have only myself to blame for this phony dress. Well, it’s not a phony dress, it’s a real dress…just not my size.

So this dress was just folded on a shelf in my closet with the original tags on it and I thought that I should just give it to someone who would enjoy wearing it and so I did and she tried it on immediately and it was like it was made for her it because it really fit perfectly. It’s black velvet and it’s beautiful. And everyone in the office was oohing and aahing and all she could say was, “Oh my God I’m not a size 14!” And I said…who cares you’re just going to rip the tag off anyway. Tell people it’s a size 8 and forget it. But no…she was close to tears because the tag had a number 14 on it.

Yes she did thank me and yes she does love it and yes she is going to wear it but I have to say that I was just horrified by her reaction to that tag.

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May 08 2007

I’ve had it with Kirstie Alley

I’ve had with Kirstie. First, she wants to convince me that life will only be good if I am thin, and now she wants to drag sweet, innocent Valerie Bertinelli down with her into the chasm of self-hatred. Grrrr.

Like it’s not bad enough to be bombarded on a daily basis with marketing images telling me that my luscious self isn’t as beautiful as my husband tells me that I am. Harumpf, I say and Codswallop (whatever that means). A fashion industry dominated by men who aren’t interested in women, certainly not women with curves, is trying to convince me to fit my body into clothes that are designed for women who look like boys…Preposterous!

Kirstie and Valerie look great to me. They are smart, funny, talented women with wide hips and big smiles. But no, they have to live on shakes for lunch and chemically processed pseudo-food in bags that get boiled for dinner. Ugh. And why would they do this? They suffer in order to be thin. This is not for me. As I have already stated, “I would rather have delicious lunches than execute one hundred crunches.”

Health professionals agree that diets don’t work. When you reduce your caloric intake your body thinks that you are starving and slows your metabolism in order to store fat more efficiently. Yes, when you diet your body becomes better at storing fat. In addition, you lose both fat and muscle in equal amounts because your body sacrifices muscle in order to provide the energy that is missing due to reduced caloric intake. And then when you gain weight back it is all fat and no muscle.

I have heard some statistics (don’t ask me to cite references — I’m a blogger not a librarian) that suggest if you want to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off then you should lose 10% of your body weight a year and keep it off for a full year before you attempt losing more weight. So if you weigh 200 lbs. lose 20 lbs. and keep it off for a year. You will weigh 180 so then lose 18 lbs. and keep it off for a year. You will weigh 162 so then lose 16 lbs. and keep it off for a year and you will weigh 146. Most dieters are so desperate to get thin because of their body shame that they are willing to stop eating so they can lose weight rapidly. They then gain back more than they lost, which is unhealthier than being fat, active and happy.

Businesses looking to make a buck have always suggested that there is something wrong with you the way that you are and that you won’t be right until you use their product. This is ok with me and it’s what marketing is all about. But when companies are shaming women about their body size into starvation diets in order to sell energy pills, diet shakes, and “food” in a box — ladies we really must take a look at why we continue to buy what they are selling…both literally and figuratively.

All in all I really think that women are turning over their power. We doubt our attractiveness. This we do all on our own and we have no one but ourselves to hold accountable. The diet and “health care” industries have found the perfect way to control women. We are weak and can’t think straight when we are hungry.

A life of deprivation is not for me. I won’t be trading in a meal for shakes and I won’t give up my slow stroll around the lake for a run. I love my strong healthy size 16 body and I’m not worrying my life away.

May 04 2007

Dress for Success. Why do women equate successful shoppping with a successful life?

I decided long ago that trying to determine if an outfit looks good while in a store dressing room was an experience that might make me ready for the therapy couch. I am already in an uncomfortable state of mind just looking at myself mostly undressed under fluorescent lights, worrying about the price and worrying about who had this one before me and did she shower? Yeah, I think about that stuff. That’s why I decided to order clothing online, try it on at home with a glass of champagne and a bowl full of strawberries ready for consumption. I hate shopping for clothes…ok that’s not true. I hate trying on clothes in store dressing rooms. So I do it in the comfort of my own home.

So many women equate successful shopping with living a successful life that if we don’t feel good in the items we try on then we feel like we are a failure. Stop the insanity! Sweetie if you love the dress but it doesn’t fit do not buy it thinking that you will lose a few pounds. If you do lost weight it will be out of style byt then anyway. Do not buy it just because you like the lace trim. Only buy it when you love it. There really are clothes that fit you, made just for your body type and you will feel good in them and look like you just got an Oprah Makeover.

We’ll be reviewing some plus size shopping tips over the next few days so stay tuned and please post a comment letting me know what info you want. I am planning on discussing How To Shop for Swimsuit (it’s that time), How to Measure Yourself for a Bra (it’s always that time), and Accessories for Your Body Type.

On a personal note — while we were on vacation in Mexico not too long ago, my friend Deb convinced me to buy a pair of earrings and a bracelet. Both are silver and quite large pieces that I would never have looked at twice if she hadn’t been there to talk sense into me. She is a master of accessories and I will usually just run out the door happy that my hair looks decent…and honestly sometimes I don’t even check my hair until I’m in the car. I wore the pieces to a party recently and I have never received so many compliments on how I look. So now Deb is my accessory consultant. Sometimes you just need a friend as a shopping buddy. I know I do!