Off the Rack ~ Project Runway’s Plus Size Problem

I feel like I write about this every year, but once again “Project Runway” contestants are making asses of themselves when forced to dress someone who isn’t a model.

Actually, this season it was really just one designer who was being a brat: Ven, whose two previous wins assured he would not be kicked off this episode even though he deserved it. Even Gunnar Deatherage, who’s been exceedingly bratty in every episode so far, fully embraced his client, including hugging her and acting truly excited to be working with a regular person.

Ven started by bashing his poor client, Terri, to the cameras, saying he thought it was unfair that he got a plus-size client while some of the other designers got thinner women, and that he was “in shock” when he first saw her. He then told Tim Gunn that Terri had “no shape,” “no style whatsoever” (isn’t that what he’s supposed to help her with? It’s a make-over challenge!), and then laughed and said she was probably a size 14 when Tim asked (as if that’s so gargantuan…I was glad to see Tim point out that 14 is not really “plus-size”).

As if that weren’t bad enough, Ven then made all sorts of passive-aggressive insults to Terri’s face, like saying he chose black because it’s slimming, and making a big deal that the belts he picked out were too small for her. The poor woman actually ended up crying, and later her friend who had nominated her cried on the runway too, because the friend thought the experience would make Terri feel good about herself and instead it made her feel terrible.

Oh, and the outfit Ven created? Unlike the other designers, he paid no attention to Terri’s life or story, so he designed something completely inappropriate for her needs. He made a plain black pencil skirt out of stiff fabric that would have wrinkled horribly during her two-hour drive to work. Then he paired it with a cheap-looking neon blue silky blouse that had baggy sleeves and no structure whatsoever—such lazy workmanship! And the two pieces did not go together at all.

Thank goodness the judges weren’t being complete idiots for a change. They all thought Ven’s work was abysmal and he was the last person to be called safe. They also mocked him for saying he’d never designed for a “real” woman (so what are models, then? Not human?).

I was really hoping for a double-elimination after Heidi Klum said “one—or more—of you will be going home” multiple times, but no such luck. At the very least, it was gratifying that all the judges and other contestants were horrified by Ven’s ridiculous behavior.

The client is beautiful, and if Ven can’t design something beautiful for her then he’s a failure as a designer.

What Necklace Should I Wear with a Big Bust?

If you’re thinking, “Darlene, you’ve covered this ad nauseum,” you’re right! But someone named Gracie G. from Levelland, Texas, asked Tory Burch this question in her column for the September issue of InStyle: “I have a large bust. What type of necklaces can I wear, and which styles should I steer clear of?

Here’s her surprising answer: “Look for longer-length chains or necklaces that have small beads. They’ll fall beautifully over a large chest and help create an elongated silhouette. Avoid short, chunky necklaces that can appear bulky and overwhelm your frame.”

I’m all for an elongated silhouette, but the only way a long necklace will fall beautifully over my large chest is if I’m standing perfectly still.  And the danger isn’t of a necklace overwhelming my frame; it’s of my frame overwhelming the necklace!

But has this worked for you? For instance, when I recently asked about necklace length on the Campbell & Kate Facebook page, one woman answered, “Long chunky necklaces do not work with the larger bust line..but i find that smaller more delicate ones with something at the end to anchor it works fine.” Perhaps something like this necklace from a Finnish jewelry site that Tina has introduced me to? (By the way, if you have to wear an ID badge, be sure to check out their ID card strings!)

I realize their are other other exceptions, such as the time I wrote about how women with large busts and very small backs can wear delicate chains despite the fact that large necklaces actually minimize a large bust.

But in general, how true does Tory Burch’s advice ring for you?

At Least Two of the World’s Most Powerful Women Wear a D Cup or Higher

I’ve mentioned both of them on Hourglassy before, but Angela Merkel‘s and Sofia Vergara’s bosomless portraits on the latest Forbes list of 100 most powerful women prompted me to explore issues of femininity and perfectionism on the Campbell & Kate blog today. I would love to hear your thoughts, there or here.


Corporate Curves Report: One Leg Ahead

Welcome to the third Corporate Curves Report. Fashion tights is this weeks topic. They might seem a bit much and are often marketed for the young and edgy, but should there really be a reason why fashion tights could not be worn to the office? For us busty corporate women, there is another reason for wearing them than just fashion or wanting to express our style: they certainly draw the attention away from the bosom area! I was looking at some new Wolford tights yesterday at the mall and have been visiting Pretty Polly‘s website.

At the office you quite often see only black, grey or navy suits. Men can use ties and shirts to liven up the suit look, and I’m glad to see they use that option more often these days. But we women don’t really wear ties, and for busty women finding shirts is hard enough, so we have limited options in colors or patterns.

But we CAN use patterned tights. Many shy away from them, but if you don’t want so much busyness in you leg department or don’t want to draw that much attention to your legs, you could wear them with boots or wear a longer dress. Then it simply adds a subtle fashion and flirtation to your outfit when there is just a little bit of pattern showing between the boot and hem. From the looks of it, these Wolford promo pictures are actually aimed at us corporate women.

In case it isn’t obvious, I just love fashion tights, but it always seems hard to find a dress to go with them–especially as I love a bit of edginess in my style and am currently craving the Pretty Polly and Wolford black or animal print tights. Here are a few pairs that I’ve had for a while but didn’t know how to team them up for the office. Then my trusted LBD came to the rescue once again.

What about a suitable suit look with fashion tights? I’m envisioning a suit with a knee length pencil skirt and black office style boots and tights along these lines .

The Pepperberry suit is from their new autumn collection, and the tights are Pretty Polly. Oooh-la-la!

After having browsed the websites for both Wolford and Pretty Polly I think there will be a dent in my wallet in the coming weeks.