{Little Red Dress}


8.31.99

Little Red Dress -- OverExposed Collab for August
Ever since I packed on about 100 extra pounds three years ago, I've had a lot of trouble finding comfortable, flattering clothing that fits. For a nation where the average woman is a size 14, it's terribly difficult to find nice items in the 14-20 size range.

That's why I was absolutely thrilled to find out that Lands' End, long time purveyors of classic preppy clothing, had come out with a plus size line. For the first time in three years, finding jeans that felt right and would last longer than a month, stopped being torture and became a semi-normal activity again.

Another challenge for the larger customer, is finding dresses that are designed for top and hip-heavy figures. My shape currently leaves me between sizes: from shoulders to waist, I'm a size 18, waist is an 18 or 20 and hips are very solidly a size 22. Any kind of tailored gown or jacket, therefore becomes a minefield of problems. If the shoulders fit, the hips are are too tight. If the hips fit, the shoulders float somewhere in the vicinity of my earlobes.

Most recently, this phenomenon presented itself when I tried on the bridesmaid dresses that my good friend Marlo picked out.

She picked up a size 22 for me, which fit pretty well in the hips, but gaped in the back, lifted up off of my shoudlers like a football player wearing full gear and the sleeves were too tight under the arms, such that lifting them brought me perilously close to ripping the gown. However, when she returned a week later with a size 18, the top fit beautifully, but I could barely squeeze my hips into the sheath of pinkish-raspberry fabric.

To boot, the skirt has a modest slit in it, but because the dress was too tight, the slit rode all the way up to the top of my thigh, instead of staidly by my knee as the 22 did. Yesterday, after a short adventure getting lost in Northeast DC, we made it to a seamstress' shop where I was pinned up and the excess fabric at the back of the larger size dealt with.

With the modifications, the dress will actually look pretty good, whereas before I was beginning to despair that I was going to look like a stuffed hot pink sausage when I walked down the aisle ahead of the bride.

In contrast to these difficulties, is a happy purchase from the aforementioned Lands' End. Their new line for the fall includes a very simple, but pretty, A-line styled dress with an empire waist, short sleeves and a rounded neck. It hits midcalf and is made from something called "supplex." The dress comes in three colors: garnet, black and the rather ambiguous, mushroom (this turned out to be a sort of avocado-y brown, that bore little resemblance to any mushroom, living or dead that I have ever seen. Aren't most mushrooms off-white?).

Barely containing the excitement of finding not only a style I know I look good in and two colors I could wear, I clicked "Buy!"

A few days later the package arrived and I did the little fashion show thingie for Sabs.

When I came out, wearing the red number, his only reaction was, "Hoo-wah!"

Forget the "little black dress." I'd rather be the "Lady in Red."

*smile*

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