Privilege Blog

Plus Size Au Courant, From Fashion To Figure

To this day, a post on Can A Plus Size Woman Dress High WASP? remains one of the most visited on Privilege. Which highlights a problem.

What do I mean? If one were to be so bold, one might might say that High WASP style requires Appropriateness above all. I do not know a noun form for Appropriate. If one existed I would probably have to tattoo it on my hip where no one could see. However, I would know. It would help me to remember, when I forget. But I digress.

It’s hard to find Appropriate for Plus Sizes. I plan to continue the quest. For today, we have Appropriate If You Are Going To Manhattan And Cherish Trends Plus Size, from Fashion to Figure. Look. Camel.

Boatneck Tunic With Braided Belt

Stretch Leggings From Fashion to Figure

Look. Leggings with that little bit of volume at the ankle.

I was just in Manhattan. Out of every 25 people who looked stylish, because no, not everyone in Manhattan does, at least 10 were wearing something like the above. On the Upper East Side, with knee high boots. Even over the knee with a high cuff. Midtown, flats. And Downtown, although I didn’t get there this time, I imagine fierce booties of some sort or another. Possibly studded. I hear Doc Martens are threatening a comeback.

By the way, you will want either a) long hair b) a headband or headstrap if you’re cool c) dangling earrings. A cropped or a 3/4 length jacket. Now walk with long strides, or catch a cab with your arm held just so.

This is trendy clothing. It doesn’t have to last forever. In fact, if it did, you’d ruefully throw it out in a year or two. This is the kind of clothing you buy to work perfectly for one year, wear to pieces, and replace the year when suddenly we’re all in palazzo. Or flares. Or whatever they cook up next.

Winner will be chosen Wednesday. Please tell me a story of the trendiest thing you ever owned, that still fell into the category of Appropriate.

The party is winding down. The guests are seated, content, full. And then the sight of one more present brings them to their feet.

Images via Fashion to Figure

Boatneck Tunic, Leggings

25 Responses

  1. During the summer of ’68 I travelled through the British Isles with my prep school chorus. As you will recall, that was the heyday of Carnaby Street, The Beatles and Twiggy. I was very thin in those days. While in London, I felt compelled to shop for some age appropriate clothing. I bought platform shoes, patterned tights, a silk patterned shirt with huge collar and cuffs and, the piece de resistance, a bright yellow linen suit consisting of mini skirt and long vest. I must have been a sight as I crossed through immigration at JFK to meet my parents proudly wearing my new get-up. My mother’s response was, “Oh… don’t you look…..British.”

  2. I WAS going to say I’ve never owned anything trendy – my clothes are usually so classic I can wear them year after year – until I remembered my large collection of Crocs footwear. Yes, I love them, although I rarely wear the clogs anymore. I live in their sandals and flats all summer long, though.

    Oh. And I bought a pair of “jeggings” this year, at my daughter’s behest. By golly, I’ve got this “trendy” thing whipped, don’t I?

  3. Ooh, I would have to say my black palazzo pants. It was the 90’s – they were everywhere. And I did them so well, until the trend died out.

  4. overall, I’m not so good at trendy…though I seem to remember some quarterback-worthy shoulder pads in the 1980s…

    my trendiest moment? 1966 or so. Fiercely, fashionably, seriously white boots (as in “These Boots Are Made for Walking”).

    Hey, I was 11–and, thus, as appropriate as all get-out.

  5. I’m a Sturdy Gal looking for the right (appropriate) look of a top to wear with tights at the high school where I work. Brings to mind other high school outfits from years past. Corduroys below the waist with flared legs; metallic eyeshadow; big eyebrows. Boots are in now too– dare I?

  6. The trendiest thing I ever owned was a silver satin jacket. It was the 1970s, I was a teenager, and it wasn’t in the least bit embarrassing back then to be a fan of Gary Glitter.

  7. Brown suede wrap mini in the 70’s, along with brown suede hip length cape. Worn with brown granny platforms and faux shearling midi coat. A lot of brown those days…

    Oh, and white courrege boots, with striped mini, chain belt and fishnets. But I was only in 8th grade, so I imagine the trend was pretty much over by then if the Catholic grammar school girls were allowed to wear it.

    Now: trendy….long wrap sweaters with no buttons worn with a leather belt.

  8. “Appropriate” is often a struggle in the plus world. Not a lot of choices, but appropriate work and “mother of the bride/groom” wear is available. Trendy but high WASP? Not so much. If anyone plans to order either piece pictured, I’d recommend checking the size chart on the website – The measurements don’t correspond with most other plus brands.

  9. When I was in my early 20s, and sweater dresses were all the rage, my mother unpacked a sweater dress that my grandmother had worn in the 1920s! It was a red boucle knit and quite fine with what my mother called bracelet sleeves and a slightly asymetrical neckline. I was young and thin and fit. With a lot of dark brown hair. My grandmother was 5’3 or 5’4, and I am 5’9, so I was showing a little more leg than she. I remember wearing it to a rehearsal dinner. It was a gorgeous dress, and it was the perfect time in my life for me to get to wear it, which, I think, makes it appropriate. It’s probably the only vintage thing I’ve ever worn.

  10. I am tall and borderline plus-sized and have always dressed fairly WASP-ily. So, I mostly avoid trends, but jump on the ones that do me the most favors, like the current long cardigans and opaque tights.

    In terms of trendy items, in the 1990s I was browsing an outlet found a pair of designer purple suede mid-heel shoes that I suspected I’d never wear, but in reality I wore to death. I wore them with EVERYTHING and, in a way, those shoes were the foundation of my look for almost five years. I wish I still had them, but you know one can’t go around wearing shabby shoes.

  11. Hi Lisa

    Thank you for this post.

    Really like the idea of leggings with the visual balance of a wider ankle. So intuitive but many retailers don’t seem to have made the leap in their product.

    SSG xxx

  12. Most recently, it’s my silver ballet flats. Silver shoes! For me! I’ve worn them almost to death.

    In middle school, it may have been Earth shoes, ack!

  13. Finally, someone who dares to say that NYers aren’t well dressed! Hilarious! Well I was one of them–I’ll never forget a friend from college announcing at her tea party of friends in Manhattan that in college I was the best-dressed prep and now look at me! I was in grad school in my experimental artsy stage (I was 23, so please don’t hold it against me) and was wearing a pair of black leggings with fringe down the sides–a low-point I’ll admit. Nothing like being shamed in front of a room a 15 well-heeled young attorneys to pull you back to reality!

    xo Mary Jo

  14. I’m not certain I can say what trendiest-item I’ve owned, because I purchase those on the cheap + seem to promptly forget about them. But trendiest outfit at the time: a lovely burgandy-gold print dress, short in front (knee length) and long in back (calf-length), with a little ruffle around the scoopneck and around the hemline. Over jeans. Mmm, graduation lunch, what was I thinking? Other than I was being incredibly trendy, of course.

  15. I am thrilled that tunic sweater and legging are making a come back, however temporary. It is my favorite winter look. My trusty wardrobe of cowl-neck, 3/4-sleeve tunic sweaters has aged beyond what is reasonable to expect and are just that little bit too ratty to pass for casual dress up anymore.

    My favorite, trendy outfit was a suit – wrap skirt, long double breasted jacket and a Chinese collar cream silk shirt. That suit always made me feel like a million dollars and I loved wearing a garter that would flash briefly into view when I settled into a board room chair. Sharply tailored on the outside, slightly naughty on the inside.

  16. I once owned a grey fedora. No, really. It was the height of the “second British Invasion” and Duran Duran was no doubt trilling from your radio, too. My height and bone structure could carry such a thing off well and I wore the hat near constantly for 9 or so months. When it was done, it was done and I have no memory of what happened to it after. Perhaps someday I’ll find it in my parents’ attic (my people never throw anything away) and I can give it to my son should he ever have a Cary Grant phase.

  17. I’ve been out of the trend loop for a while now, but I recently found a headband with a gold geometric applique fascinator-type decoration. On its own, it’s a little young and Gossip Girl-ish (please forgive me!), but the gold tones match my hair so perfectly that it almost disappears, only to jump out and surprise me when I glance in a mirror and the light shimmers on the golden threads.

  18. A trend that I was heavily into in the early ’80s was a kind of Little Prep on the Prairie look. I loved the tiered skirt or one with a “flounce” on the bottom paired with a plaid blouse that might have a ruffle or two then tied a narrow grosgrain ribbon around my neck. I might also through a sweater in a complementary about my shoulders or wear a sweater vest. I might wear a skimmer flat or a low heeled cowboy/riding boot to really make it sing. Yes, good times.

    I’m a plus sized regular reader who would like to give this look a try.

  19. If you saw that outfit, tunic with leggings, on an ACTUAL plus-sized gal, you would certainly NOT find it APPROPRIATE, or FLATTERING. Not something this size 12/14 girl would EVER wear.

    1. That’s interesting, ShabbyChick. The winner of the giveaway – in the UK, BTW – said she loved the outfit. I am wondering if it’s due to the fairly varied range of plus size shapes.

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