Monday, March 11, 2013

A Jacket instead of a Bonnet

While Easter and Passover have deeply significant religious themes, both traditions include welcoming springtime; the egg, a symbol of springtime and rebirth is shared by both traditions. It’s hard not to love springtime and the potential of rebirth. It's not surprising then, that many women love this time of year, which seems to call for something special to wear.

The first time I saw Ulla's Rainbow Hues Tweed Jacket, 31321, I knew I wanted it for Easter! The jacket is a wonderful combination of tweedy texture and vibrant colors which bring an extra dimension of chic. Check out the contrast rope edging, pointed lapels, decorative buttons. I love that the jacket is shaped with light shoulder pads. 
But why invest in another jacket?
Think of a jacket as not only a frame for your face but a frame for your torso as well. A well-designed jacket provides the shape and coverage we curvy women seek. As our curves get softer, all women, especially more mature women, benefit from the defining lines and proportions of a great-fitting jacket. Frankly, an excellent jacket can be “heavenly” for women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
How do you know if it's an excellent jacket for you?
Five check points:
Shaping check:
Does the jacket provide gentle shaping? Does it follow your contours but improve them? Does it impose a bit of hourglass shaping to your torso?
Shoulder check:
A defining, flattering shoulder line is critical. The line should meet the edge of your shoulder. If the shoulder line of the jacket goes beyond your natural shoulder line, you'll appear larger and frumpy.
Neckline check:
The neckline of the jacket should be prominent. I particularly like the V-neckline of this plus size jacket; it lays flat, and cuts the visual width of your upper body while framing your pretty face. Another good neckline choice is Ulla's Relaxed Knit Blazer, 31563, with its soft, curved lapels that lengthen your look. This jacket comes in great colors, Cerulean, Hibiscus and Black.
Sleeve check:
The sleeves should taper in a bit to make the arm look trimmer and longer.
Length Check:
The length of the jacket should end either above or below your widest point. Personally, I prefer the coverage of the latter.
There are moments in one's life that ache to be celebrated, observed, remembered, or all three. When I think about that one photograph that seems to capture the day and last through the years - I want to be assured that I looked my personal best and I felt good in what I wore. How do you measure the worth of a jacket?

Ulla Popken Blogger & Stylist
Feel good in what you wear.


Debra said...

Hi Babe!
I would appreciate your help selecting an outfit for a bridal shower, a luncheon at a country club. I am always concerned about "not measuring up", PLEASE HELP!

Anonymous said...

Happy to help!

A few questions...

Pants or a dress?

Black, navy or bright colors?

Sleek Matte Jersey or breathable natural fabrics?

Debra said...

Babe, great, thanks...
Pants, black or navy. Bright prints & too much fabric overwhelm me, I am 5'3". Sleek Matte Jersey, as long as it doesn't cling to me. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Ulla's Matte Jersey Angel Sleeve Jacket in Leaf Multi, 02571?

It is a VERY pretty print. Could be perfect! I've nicknamed this collection "magic jersey!"

The pants are available in slim-leg, 31622. And in a shorter-length version, 31622.

Also, the pants come in a wide-leg, 85601, or in a shorter-length version as well, 31625.

What think?

Debra said...

I will look at these options on the Ulla website. Thanks for your suggestions, I will let you know.

LaurB said...

Babe, please keep this blog going. I look forward to and read every new post.

Anonymous said...

Hi LaurB,
Thank you for the encouragement! I wish there were more comments so I could know more about our readers. It means a lot to me to know this blog is meaningful to you.

Nancy Z said...

I was so happy to find your blog. I read your book "Pretty Plus" and I just wanted to let you know that you changed my life--probably not in the way you might guess, though.

I am trying to follow your fashion tips and revamp my wardrobe, but you are the first (the only?) fashion writer I've ever seen who has given specific tips on brands and styles for fashion problems that plus sized women encounter. I was going to scream if I read another book or magazine article with nonsensical advice like, "Always wear pointy-toed high heels and shapewear." Really? In July, too?

But where most writers lose me is with the shoes, quite frankly. I have had a lifetime of orthopedic problems--bunions by age 13, pinched nerves by age 15, and the first of two bilateral bunionectomies at age 17.

After reading your book, I bought a pair of Dansko clogs, and for the first time in my adult life, I own a pair of shoes that doesn't hurt me and allows me to do what I need to do without thinking about my feet for the entire day. I know most people can take this for granted, but I can't. For me this is amazing, revolutionary, and thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

If you could tackle the topic of footwear again in a post, I will be hanging on to every word. Specifically, I'd love to see info about athletic shoes and wide calf boots (especially since your top recommended manufacturer, Silhouettes, went out of business in 2011). I am trying hard to find high heel options as well. So far the best ones I've found are Aetrex's Zoe pumps (which have arch support and a rubber reinforced grip sole).

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,

I appreciate your thoughtful comment and appreciate the challenge of finding comfortable footwear, more than you might know.

I will write about footwear in the near future, but until then, here's a few thoughts about products Ulla Popken carries, that might be worth trying.

First, all women, especially curvy women need to support and distribute weight throughout the foot. Most high heels put the force load on the ball of the foot and the toes. OUCH!! Look for shoes with a platform, to absorb some of the incline between the heel and the ball of the foot and look for a substantially well made shoe with shock absorption.

Ulla carries the Ros Hommerson Leather Platform Pump, 24924, comes in lots of colors and it's on sale now. Another option, Ros Hommerson's Active Stretch Pump, allows the foot to "swell" through the day. AHHH!

As far as a boot goes, Ulla's Stretch Back Riding Boot, is good-looking and has a square toe and is currently on sale for $39.99.

Honestly, I don't know what will work for you but these suggestions are worth a try.

Please keep me posted!

Thank you so much for writing!

Nancy Z said...

Thanks for the suggestions.

The ball of the foot is absolutely the key to a shoe being supportive and comfortable to me, because of my tendency to form bunions. I get a callus under the ball of the foot, which feels like having a pebble trapped in my shoe--only unfortunately I cannot remove it. Frustrating and painful...

Alas, I know the Ulla Popken boots won't fit me because they have a 14" shaft. I am a size 18, I wear a 7.5M shoe, and I have 18" calves (from cycling, hiking, XC skiing). The disproportionately small size of my feet has become a problem when searching for boots; most manufacturers that sell wide width boots size the width up as the shoe size goes up. A wide calf is also often paired with a wide width for the shoe bed, and I can't wear that either.

I will have to check out the pumps (I've never worn a platform pump), and I'm thinking of getting some Dansko sandals for summer.

I did find a great place to get skorts--golf stores. Since they are designed for women who golf, they are wicking polyester, but they look dressy enough that someone could wear them on the course and go to lunch afterward. I'm just ticked at one of my "go-tos" for activewear, REI, who I recently found out refuses to carry anything above a size 16 in their stores. Larger sizes are only available online. So I'm still looking for a more "rough and tumble" skort that I can wear camping or hiking.

Nancy Z.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debra,

If you happen to try the items I recommended, I'd love to hear from you and so would our readers!


LaurB said...

Nancy Z's story about reading your book is much like my own. Nancy, you are SO right about the shoes. There is a new (to the US) company called Hotter that you should check out. Also, I was able to get Ros Hommerson wide calf boots an extra wide width. I had never been able to wear boots before this as my legs are probably my biggest problem area. If you have orthopedic problems, or knee arthritis like me, you need to put the money into shoes that work for you. I just discovered Finn Comfort...very expensive, but have given me so much more energy because I am not in pain all day long.
Babe, I also hang on every post you write.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy Z,

First, I completely get the difficulty in buying comfortable shoes. In fact here's a sneak-peak: to offer a range of widths, styles and prices, Ulla will be carrying several additional brands in June, such as these and a few more:
Easy Street
J Renee
Ros Hommerson
Walking Cradles
David Tate

Yes, boots are tough because they have to fit right in several places. Have you sought out boots where the shaft is made of stretch material? Just a thought.

As a blogger and stylist for Ulla, I can't really comment on other brands but for me, when stores don't carry my size, I think twice about spending my money there in general.

In terms of skorts, Ulla makes two that are worth looking into. They are each 19 inches in length with elastic waists. One is a woven cotton, Must-have Skort, 82810 and the other is a 95% cotton - 5% spandex knit, Ulla's Versatile Stretch Knit Skort, 31620. Very comfy and easy to toss in the washer and dryer.

Look forward to hearing from you again soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi LaurB,
Gosh, I just loved seeing you and Nancy Z chat on my blog - I feel like a grandmother - hmmnn... of sorts :)

Seriously, the need to support and distribute weight, in footwear, can not be overstated. The reality is that when a foot problem begins, we tend to compensate, affecting and often damaging other areas. When your feet (or knees) hurt, you hurt all over.

I wish footwear designers could understand the importance and opportunity of their task. I know I begin my day sizing up how much I have to be on my feet, choose the nicest pair of shoes I can that will get me through my day and then, and only then, do I decide what to wear.

How about you?

Debra said...

I blogged you on 3/12/12, about needing help with a bridal shower outfit.
I ordered & received Ulla's Matte Jersey Angel Sleeve Jacket in Leaf Multi, 02571 & pants, 31622.
They just arrived yesterday, I will let you know how they look.
Thanks for your suggestions! I really appreciate your help.

Nancy Z. said...

Babe, I definitely hear you about trying to patronize only those stores that carry our sizes. However, with outdoor outfitters (REI, Moosejaw, etc.), the problem is twofold...

Often my family and I need items other than clothing from these stores, and they are pretty much the only place I can go to buy a new Camelpak or water shirts.

The second part of the problem is that they pretty much uniformly stink at supplying plus sizes in store, so I don't have an alternative store that I can patronize.

There are a few lonely corners of the web that offer plus size outdoor clothing, but I like to see and feel things before I buy. Pants, skirts, and skorts are a difficult fit for me (and I know I'm not alone). So far I haven't found a brick-and-mortar store that carries a good selection of plus-sized outdoor clothing.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Z.,
Your point is well taken, to be sure.

I hope you'll visit me at my new address:

Nancy, somehow it helps me a bit, knowing you and others are out there, and together we share a mutual dilemma and brainstorm workable solutions that build respect for our purchasing-clout.