Monday, December 19, 2011

My Ulla Takes Me Everywhere

The holidays are a hectic time, no doubt.

On Friday night, December 9th, my husband asked me if I'd go with him to the holiday Open House at our golf club on Sunday, December 11th for prospective new members! I turned my head toward him, rolled my eyes trying to affect an "are you nuts?!?" look. But he quickly interjected, "Oh come on, I'd like to sponsor Randy for membership." Oh great, now Randy's golf membership is on my holiday to-do list too!

Then I thought for a moment, I really didn't need more time than that. I figured 'what's the big deal?' I don't need to shop, clean or cook for it and with Ulla I have a great outfit, holiday sparkled, at the ready. So I said, "Sure, why not? Yes, in fact, I'd love to go!"

We went and had a great time. Everyone was in a festive mood. The club looked gorgeous and the buffet and holiday punch was delicious. I chatted with Randy for a bit and was reminded how lonely he was at Christmastime. His wife passed away four years ago and it had happened during the holiday season. He told me how excited he was to join the Club, give himself the gift of membership for Christmas and how having golf to look forward to in the Spring would make the holidays so much easier.

Then I recalled that I had almost said "no" to going to the Open House to sponsor Randy. I was disappointed in my selfishness, perhaps more so at this Season. There was a time in my life, that a last minute invitation gave me anxiety because I worried about how I'd put a flattering outfit together with limited time. Perhaps subconsciously, a little of that fear may linger.

Today, I have Ulla in my closet and the message I have for my sistas who wear plus size is that there should never be a time when you decline an invitation because you fear you 'having nothing to wear.' Life is just too short for that!

Happy Holidays!


Ulla Popken Blogger & Stylist

Be your personal best.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Life of One Spectacular Jacket

My grandmother was truly elegant. It was a different time and a different place, but even now, although my lifestyle is pretty casual, I long to 'be a lady' once in a while.

When my grandmother was almost 50, a frightened three year old little girl came to live with her and Gramps - me. She went 'to business' every day but managed to be a mother to me, attend my school functions, and keep our family together.

She didn't have a ton of clothing and jewelry, but what she had was well-chosen, even spectacular. She wore Pauline Trigere and Abe Schrader, got her hair done on Tuesdays and 'combed out' on Fridays, while those around her looked like they shopped at Woodstock.

When she'd visit my school, I was so proud of her. She moved quietly. It was only in meeting up with my former elementary school teacher a few years ago, that I learned that the envelope I carried to school each Monday with my milk money had enough in it for every child in the school who didn't have milk money. She raised the bar on elegance in our provincial little town, without being pretentious - she was quite a lady.

Understandably, I'd reminisce during the holidays, but there's something in the Ulla collection that prompted me to write this, the Sequined Swing Jacket, #15340. My grandmother had a similar sequin cardigan and a coordinating sequin handbag that she wore for at least 30 years. Why? Because it complemented everything she owned. It was a gracious, elegant combo and she carried it well. So, why change it? That's how she bought - for the long term.

When holidays or family celebrations came around, she didn't need to run out for a new dress. Quite the contrary, what she already owned transcended the decades and snickered at the fashion trends because they were already so right, spot-on and always worked well for her. I can picture the dresser drawer where her special cardigan and handbag waited at the ready, to be called up for yet one more celebration. The memory of the fragrance of that drawer with its delightful orange and clove sachet overwhelms me now.

I keep my Sequin Swing Jacket and Rhinestone Evening Bag, #15945 in a drawer with an orange and clove sachet and wear it when I want to be reminded of the woman I called Mommy and what being an elegant, well-grounded woman is all about.

Here's to you, Mommy!

I hope you'll share similar memories!

Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Bead-Dazzled for the Holidays

Looking for a gift for a woman who wears plus size but you want to avoid the size-trap?

Check out Ulla's jewelry! I'm lovin' our Three Strand Necklace, #21032 and coordinating Beaded Earrings, #15957 - Pink, Purple, Plum - Oh My!

Jewelry is the first cousin of attitude. Important, well selected pieces offer drama, whimsy, style and richness in ways that are impossible to measure. When we feel beautiful and stunning, we look the part.

Why jewelry for the plus size woman?

  • We need big impact jewelry. Layering jewelry provides big impact and deep interest with abundant light and movement. That's why I love coordinating pieces, which also offer the opportunity to partner with someone to give the gift as a set, perhaps earrings and a necklace.

  • We often wear dark neutral, tonal or monochromatic palettes, which are the perfect background for big impact jewelry.

  • We may not have a lot of time to dress in the morning, which makes coordinating sets of fantastic jewelry very welcome.

  • Size-able, chunky pieces look rich and important.

  • Consciously or unconsciously, we may avoid loud trendy clothing, but we can more than make up for it with "wow" jewelry and other accessories.

I'm so excited about Ulla's jewelry, it's gorgeous, affordable and proportionate to our size. Girlfriend, this is one time our real estate comes in handy!

How do you avoid the size-trap?

Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best