Monday, March 07, 2011

Wardrobe Building: A Foundation of Physical and Emotional Comfort

“To be a fashionable woman is to know yourself, know what you represent, and know what works for you. To be ‘in fashion’ could be a disaster on 90% of women. You are not a page out of Vogue.”-Author Unknown
Shopping for plus size women can be either exhausting or exhilarating – the choice is yours. To make it fun and productive, I suggest three things:

  • Develop a Pretty Party Portfolio
  • Inventory your closet ruthlessly
  • Develop a shopping plan

A Pretty Party Portfolio is a plastic accordion envelope with 12 compartments. This becomes the place where you identify and organize your wish list. Each time you come across something that intrigues you from a magazine or catalog, cut it out and put it in the correct section (tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets, footwear, jewelry, handbags, etc.). While you may not purchase the specific item you’ve identified, often you can replicate the style or feature that is appealing in an item that is appropriate for you. This is how you inform and inspire yourself before shopping, and get real bang for your buck!

Next, inventory your closet. If you haven’t worn it in a year or more, repair, donate or trash it. If an item is attractive but not right for you for any reason, physical or emotional, let it go, make room for the things you love and will wear. I’ve heard it said that women do NOT wear between 70-80% of what’s in their closet.

From what remains in your closet, put together several outfits, carefully identify a shopping plan based on what is missing to make the outfit complete and in ready-to-walk-out-the-door condition. Start a list or use the Essential Inventory Card, shown here and referred to in my book, Pretty Plus. You need at least two go-to outfits for every occasion of your lifestyle. This is the beginning of developing a shopping plan and building a wardrobe that works for YOU!

Please help me start a conversation here by commenting on:

My fashion wants and needs are…



Anonymous said...

Hi Babe,
Great chart! A suggestion would be to start with footwear, it all starts with the feet. Come to think of it, shoes should be the anchor piece. You've got no outfit if you don't have good shoes.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of starting with your shoes. I always say the shoes can make the outfit (they need to be fashionable but comfortable for me).

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great feature. It get people interacting and talking about their own experiences.

Anonymous said...

It would appear...THE SHOES HAVE IT!!!Thanks for the input!

Nancy said...

I LOVE Ulla Popken clothes.... I got married on board the Caribbean Princess in January of 2005 in a Ulla Popken Dove Grey three piece skirted suit. It was ELEGANT!!

Brooke said...

Loved your book and so happy to see you here. Your advice is priceless. The chart is such a great idea and I'm going to give it a try.
You seem to have such great ideas Have you thought about designing a lines of clothes? I like how you wear shorter skirts, which I think is a great look, and unfortunately don't see enough of this out there. comes the dreaded summer....any suggestions for what to wear, especially for casual and beach times, more in line with the fitted look you wear so well?
Thanks....and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brooke,
Thanks for noticing that just-below-the-knee can be a great option for many plus size women. Less fabric (shorter) equals less visual weight, which means...sleeker!

I will pass along your ideas to Diane, V.P. of Merchandising at U.P. - not sure if she'll authorize a Babe Hope line :) but I know she'll take your suggestions to heart.

Thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Casual and Beach Wear Ideas...

Brooke, check out the following 3 dresses, they're just-below-the-knee length, sleeker A Line cut, casual, pretty and easy to wear:

Lightweight Washed Denim Dress (#02275)

Matte Jersey Essential Dress (#12233)

Tie-dye Short Cover-Up Tunic (#12249)

muffie54 said...

This is the first I have ever read your blog, so forgive if I misunderstand your intent. As someone who has always celebrated my curves, be they big or small, I'm having a hard time with the "passion from compassion" tag on your blog. Of course since 2006 or 2007, I've had a PASSION for Ulla Popken clothes which I could always count on to be innovative AND beautiful. But I digress from your original question: Tops, Tops, Tops!! You can make do with a half dozen beautiful tops for warm and hald dozen for cold seasons, with some sensible tees and camis thrown in for good measure. Pair them with black, white, navy slacks--even JEANS -- and you're GORGEOUS!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Muffie,
You make a great point! Celebrating curves is first and foremost, it comes easier for some than for others. My intention is to share "my passion for fashion" and also reach out to women who are not quite at that place of "celebration" with gentle insights and encouragement.

Thanks for posting!