Privilege Blog

Summer Patterns For The Plus Size High WASP

Summer is a time for release. Freed from school, left work a little early on a Friday afternoon, the kids eating pizza outside in the cul-de-sac. A second glass of wine. Feeling, if only for the doctor-ordered quick 20 minutes, the sun on your skin in the late morning.

Summer is also time to bust out your enthusiastic patterned clothing, even in cultures that are somewhat pattern-averse.

Today we focus on High WASP Plus Size style. And, as it has been pointed out that we gravitate towards the high end here, the sets below include items that can be had, online now, for less than stratospheric prices. Hint? Target.  Summer is nothing if not inclusive.

High WASP Plus Size Summer Patterns, Three Ways

Each High WASP Style Archetype has her own preferred set of patterns. The Grande Dame suits up in plaids, stripes, and the stylings of Emilio Pucci. She takes a basket of Mr. Pucci’s scarves to her tailor and has him make her a custom caftan. She’ll arrange flowers for the table, but let others do the cooking, descending at the last moment to make her famous sauce.

Pucci, Please

Pucci, Please by AmidPrivilege featuring a flared dress

The Artsy Cousin likes patterns that remind her of her travels. Paisley, ikat, batik. And she’ll stretch the definition, as she always does, to tell you, “Velvet absolutely IS a pattern, to those with heightened sensibilities.”

Ceramics In My Spare Time

The Sturdy Gal prefers polka dots and vivid florals. That’s why she doesn’t wear patterns very often. She knows she’ll wind up in dangerous territory. But she’ll be cooking, and gardening, right up until the guests arrive.

Cooking In Flowered Shoes

And if she’s getting married this summer, that plus size High WASP, what then? In that case she hies herself over to east side bride and her “evil club of mean hipster brides,” where this discussion discovers all kinds of sources. It may fortify you to know, even hipsters decry the dearth of decent plus size clothes.

Here’s to inclusion.

21 Responses

  1. I had to smile when I got to the Sturdy Gal, for we plus-sized ones do, indeed, love our polka dots and floral patterns (although I’m totally digging on that paisley Grande Dame tee).

  2. Love the flared dress with the red belt – very pretty! Yeah, summer is a great time. Definitely take advantage of the second glass of wine while sitting on the back patio. :)

  3. You capture us Sturdies so well. I just bought a floral skirt that seems vivid to me, but really is quite muted tones of pale blue, coral and white. With navy accents, of course.

    I guess I was just overwhelmed by summer and lost my mind momentarily.

  4. I’m a Grande Dame wanna be with a smidge of the Artsy Cousin. CZ Guest meets Talitha Getty buuut, still not quite pulled together as the guests arrive. Still waitin’ for that so called help to materialize…XXOO

    ps…only 20 minutes? Quelle horreur!

  5. I love the flared dress with the red belt. I’m going to put that — along with your earlier sun dresses with the big pink / orange bows — in my file of “dresses for my Hong Kong seamstress.” (Many online retailers won’t ship to HK. Plus, I’m picky about fit).

    Would you recommend that plus-sized women wear horizontal stripes?

    I don’t wear them, since they make me look wider. My French husband has several blue and white stripy shirts (which his family are always trying to get me to wear, too, unsuccessfully). But my husband is as skinny as a chopstick, so it works for him. In fact, it makes his torso look broader than it is.

  6. I always read these breakdowns in hopes that I will fit into another category, but always fall firmly into the artsy cousin–so hard not to laugh when you see yourself clearly described.

    xo Mary Jo

  7. I’m defecting from Artsy Cousin to Grande Dame for this post. I want all of those items! Pucci pretty please!

  8. I’m not a plus size but i will indeed be gardening and cooking right up till the guests arrive.

    Am I a sturdy girl?

    xo jane

  9. I think I must be a sturdy gal…I only own a handful of patterned garments…one of which is a Lands End black bathing suit with white polka dots!

    You must have a lot of fun putting these together.
    It’s seems like an electronic collage of sorts.

  10. Count me among those WASPs who go “patternful” in warm weather — I blame it on all that summer-time Lily Pulitzer growing up. (And drat her, why can’t she make stuff for us big girls?)

    My favorite summer skirt is a white a-line with a print of red-yellow-turquoise flowers — I like to wear it with a white tee my white Jack Rogers Navajos. For some reason, I christened it “the picnic skirt,” I think because it reminds me of those acid-colored tablecloths from the 50s. It makes me happy.

    1. Agree about Lily Pulitzer. When everyone else is wearing Lily, it is difficult to find plus size outfits that fit in. Her prints are so identifiable.

  11. I love polka dots! and that striped dress (but I’d dump the belt and it makes short-waisted me look dumpy).

    Great pieces!

  12. Is it possible to be a Grande Dame in the making? I swear my heart physically paused at the blissful thought of making Pucci scarves into a bespoke caftan.

    Well played on all of these, Miss LPC. *Golf claps*

  13. I’m wearing my navy & white polka dotty skirt right now.

    I adore that ikat dress, but it violates my personal middle-aged dress length rule, drats!

  14. Thanks for featuring plus-sized polyvores! But I’d rather have your Eileen Fisher shirtdress. :)

  15. Jan – And that paisley is from Target, BTW:). Does your changing clothes size come with a new clothing budget?

    Jen – It’s been glorious here lately. I hope you’re also having patio weather.

    Louise – Takes one to know one, right? If we’re going to lose our minds, summer is the right time.

    Allie – You have an absolutely inimitable style. Wait. Wanna guest post here with your Grande Dame/Artsy Cousin looks? Oh, probably you’re really busy what with that cute husband, the kitties, and the move…

    Joyce – I am so pleased to be providing seamstress inspiration! I think plus-sized women can certainly wear horizontal stripes, in the right pieces with the right proportion. There’s no one way to be plus sized – very high variance in the shapes.

    Valentine – I know. Not that I’d mind, being limited to navy, but self-expression and comfort in clothing style is a glorious thing.

  16. Mary Jo – Perhaps we need badges:). I am sure this camaraderie is why I like your designs so much.

    ms. Givens – Do share your sources. They are had to come by.

    Emmaleigh – I know. I’m finding Pucci kind of fascinating. Do you read Faux Fuchsia’s blog? She is a big Pucci fan and wears it fantastically well.

    Jane – You bet. Sturdy Gals unite. We come in all sizes and shapes. It’s a state of mind, and also of biceps.

    DocP – Maybe the burst of flowering growth all around us? Maybe sheer happiness?

    Hostess – I think you are – and I support your experiments outside your comfort zone.

  17. Rubi – That outfit of yours sounds very like the way my New England mother dresses. I agree with you and DocP, Lily Pulitzer is missing out on a nice market segment, IMO.

    AN – Thank you!

    Legallyblondemel – You are SO the Grande Dame in the making. I mean, all Grandes Dames pick pretty:).

    Patsy – Drat! Perhaps worn as a blouse? That’s what much of what they sell as dresses these days really ought to be.

    rb – You are very welcome. And that is very good feedback to have.

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