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Pedicure Perfection

By Sarah Conley · June 30, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

If your feet aren't summer-ready, there is no point in slipping them into a pair of gorgeous sandals. If you're wondering what shade to select during your next pedicure appointment, I have a few tips for you...

When your sandals are summer staples like the Silhouettes' Espadrilles, select vibrant shades that compliment tan skin. A great shade to try this summer is China Glaze's vibrant teal with flecks of gold called Custom Kicks in their recent Kicks collection. Custom Kicks is a deep, saturated teal that instantly brings back memories of the beach. (Photo courtesy of All Lacquered Up)

One of my favorite things about summer are all of the ornate and embellished sandals that are available. There is nothing more luxe than elaborate sandals, but you have to be careful that your polish doesn't overpower them. Silhouettes' Flower Sandals are on trend this summer, just be sure to let your sandals be the focal point. Select a light shade to compliment the metallic look. Baby Pink by Nubar is a great choice to show off your pedicure perfect feet and your tan. After all, if you wanted a boring look, you would have purchased flip flops, right?

What polish are you wearing right now?

Filed in: Fashion
Tagged with: pedicure, sandals

Where Have All The Plus Size Clothes Gone?

By Sarah Conley · June 29, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

The economy is getting a really bad reputation.  Every product failure, bottom line and red number has a company, an economist or a reporter blaming the "recession".  It is no secret that major corporations have taken a hit, not to mention some small businesses are barely making ends meet. Why does every loss have to be because of the economy?  Whatever state the economy is in, I'll leave it to the analysts to debate as I am no financial expert.  What I do know is that we have to change the way we think (and the way we shop), especially if we want to encourage the growth of the plus size market.

Major retailers like Ann Taylor are pulling size 16s from their selling floor to offer them exclusively online. Ellen Tracy and Bloomingdale's have also made moves towards eliminating their plus size lines entirely. Old Navy initially offered plus sizes in stores until the line performed so poorly due to fit that it was reintroduced online.  Who is to blame for major brands being unable to adequately serve the plus size consumer?  It's certainly not the consumer's fault, as plus size women do not wander streets of the world au naturale!

Additional fabrics, patterns and fit models cost a brand 10% more to produce on average.  As a plus size consumer, I am fully aware that it takes more fabric to cover my body than a size 2 or 10 and I am prepared for those costs to be passed on to me.  Designer Tadashi Shoji utilizes a plus size fit model to adapt his designs for larger sizes, as many companies do.  If a man who creates gorgeous evening wear worn by celebrities can understand the need, why can't brands that embrace the working woman? Plus size women have different needs than straight sizes, however the same can be said for other segments within the fashion marketplace, such as petite or tall sizes.

Each woman has her own challenges in regards to finding clothing which best suits her body type and not every customer can be served 100% of the time. Sales of apparel sized 16+ have dropped 8% from March 2008 through March 2009 in comparison to 2% for straight sizes. The NPD Group estimated in 2001 that 60% of Americans wearing a size 12+, with 50% of Americans wearing 14+ and 30% wearing a 16+.  In 2005 plus size clothing sales were $31,954 million while straight sizes sold $77,100 million.  The plus size industry had an estimated value of $35 million in 2006 of which 99% of the industry is clothing related.  All of these facts and figures leave us with one simple answer:  there is a large demand for plus size clothing and money to be spent.  But why do straight size brands who dip their toe into the plus size market garner all the attention?

These brands are "testing" plus size clothing lines (for example, Forever 21 and Faith 21) and releasing press releases about the introduction of a plus size line when one already existed in stores (Target).  Perhaps if brands approached the plus size consumer from a business standpoint rather than trend marketing, more brands would flourish in the marketplace.

What these articles fail to mention are the brands serving the plus size consumer and doing it well - designers and buyers who understand their customer, embrace their customer and exceed their customer's expectations.  To be honest, in the plus size marketplace it is not that difficult to do.  We have been so let down by major brands thinking because they have name recognition and a certain amount of recources they can do it better that our expectations are lowered (and they shouldn't be).

I prefer to patronize brands that support me and understand my needs.  I am not a figment of your imagination or a trend that will be gone within the next 6 months.  I am not going to have plastic surgery, try the next "it" diet or wear ill fitting clothes just because of a label and a good marketing campaign.  I have clothing needs and companies want money - why can't we all just get along?

Weekly Curvy Commentary 6/26

By Sarah Conley · June 26, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

We've selected a few great posts from the blogosphere we think you should check out.  Want to be included?  Tell us in a comment below.

 

The Curvy Fashionista interviews denim designer Jessica Svoboda for a closer look at plus size premium demin.

 

A fashion industry insider takes a swipe at Scarlett Johansson in a natural state and The Demoiselles aren't having it.

 

The Daily Beast takes a closer look at 'Fashionistas' uniting for Full Figured Fashion Week.

 

The original Fatshionista responds with something to say about the current state of full figured retail.

 

Filed in: Curvy Commentary

How To Wear: The Maxi Dress

By Sarah Conley · June 25, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

Welcome To Silhouettes Style!

By Sarah Conley · June 24, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

Welcome to Silhouettes Style, a plus size fashion & style blog brought to you by Silhouettes.  If you aren't familiar with Silhouettes, it is a catalogue and internet retailer for sizes 12W and up. Silhouettes is a great resource for swimwear, wide width shoes and wide calf boots, too!

I'm Sarah Conley - I've been a plus size fashion, style and beauty blogger for nearly three years at StyleITOnline.com.  I'll be sharing information on how to wear the latest fashion-forward looks from Silhouettes, as well as the latest news from the fashion industry as it relates to larger sizes.

Francie Nguyen will also be sharing her fashion & retail industry knowledge with us.  Currently she is President of Hanover Direct, Silhouettes' parent company. Before joining Silhouettes, she previously worked at Newport News, Delia's, Anthropologie and was fundamental in helping Recats, USA, in developing and launching their first plus-size, intimate catalogue.  Read more about Francie's incredible career on our About Silhouettes Style page.

We would love to hear from you.  What do you want to see more of? Or learn how to wear?  What are your biggest fashion challenges?  Leave us a comment below!

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Filed in: Plus Size, Fashion


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