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Novelty Prints! A view into the Plus Size Options by Cat Lady Couture

I have long loved quirky prints, purses and shoes. I have also long identified as plus size, which meant a lot of my options to own said quirky prints in clothing was quite difficult! In the last few years however it’s become a bit easier to acquire quirky novelty prints in vintage inspired clothing-thankfully places like Pinup Girl Clothing (PUG), Heart of Haute (HOH), Voodoo Vixen (VV), reviewed here have listened to the plus-size community and included us.

I wanted to review pieces that you as a plus-size shopper can find now or something similar, since nothing stinks more than absolutely loving something on reviewed or featured on a blog to find it labeled ‘Unicorn Status’ aka impossible, rare and won’t be found. The pieces here are current sold styles with the exception of the HOH items as they were custom made from available fabric (which if you email their sales team is entirely possibly they have it!)

Let’s get to reviewing! First up is the Jenny dress from PUG in their exclusive Neverland Print- exclusive because the art is drawn in-house by Micheline Pitt. The Jenny dress is a great dress that looks so good on every single size from XS-4XL. I am wearing the 3XL- I find myself sizing up in the Jenny dress because of the combination of boning and waist. The waist on this dress just doesn’t stretch, I think I am the non-produced size of 2.5X. I paired this Jenny dress with a wide patent leather belt also from PUG in size 3XL. This is a great print and dress to Disney-bound in! this dress can be found here: NeverlandJennyDress

NeverlandJennyNext up are two dresses from Heart of Haute in the Monique style. I love the Monique style because I can pair it with flats or wedges in the spring and summer, or with tights and boots in the fall and winter. I also like side-zippers as I find them easier to do up when on my own! In HOH items-specifically dresses I am a standard in-house 2XL. In 2014 HOH had a popular print pictured below of black cats with umbrellas and as a self-described Cat Lady I quickly jumped and emailed their sales department to see if they could produce this for me and sure enough they could! I will say the HOH sales department can take some-time to get back to you, but I think that has more to do with them being busy versus anything else.

I paired this Monique with the same patent leather wide-belt from PUG in 3XL. Monique dresses DO come with matching fabric belt, however I personally don’t use them.

HOHRainingKittiesThe next custom Monique from HOH pictured here was also produced in 2014 in this adorable Atomic Kitty print- I’ve seen this print around at a lot of places and I love it! Again my Cat-Lady persona went beeping and I had to see if this fabric could also be styled into a Monique. I just love the Monique! It fits each individual I’ve seen in it wonderfully. The only thing to keep in mind is with HOH Custom Pieces, they are 100 percent final sale and cannot be returned. You can find many Monique dresses here: Monique Dresses

atomickittiesLast up is a new player in the Plus Size Novelty Market! I have long wished Voodoo Vixen pieces included plus sizes, and was pining for their Katniss Dress to be in plus sizes when initially they had confirmed that nope it wouldn’t be- imagine my surprise, shock, and sad wallet when Yep! It’s out! It’s in plus sizes! I was SO SO SO SO happy to see this in plus sizes- I really like the quality of VV- granted I have only two dresses and a cardigan of theirs to go off of, each piece I’ve acquired I really do love. Based on VV’s size chart I am smack dab at the 2XL, which is what I ordered. I have an extra special place in my cat shaped heart for black cats, as we’ve got 2 (Finlay and Watson) who I have had since 2005 (Katrina Kitties).

I like pieces that when I buy them I don’t need to alter them- not because of the added expense (which can make an already expensive item more expensive) but because I’d be without the dress for a few weeks while my seamstress works her magic! This dress has NOT been altered yet- I need to get the shoulders taken in ever so slightly because I have T-rex Arms, otherwise out of the bag this dress fits very well! I paired the dress with again my trusty PUG patent leather wide belt in 3X. The Katniss Dress in Plus Size can be found here: Katniss Plus Size

voodoovixenkatnissWell that’s it! I have more and more and more pieces to feature and review on my fat-cat-lady blog

Cat Lady Couture which is my own little corner of the internet. None of these pieces were given to me to review, or was I compensated for reviewing them. They were all purchased by me, for me. :) Also important to note my measurements are: 46-38-47, a standard 18 in most stores, and generally a 2-3X in Retro Inspired/Reproduction Clothing.

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The Battle is On ~ Rago 6210 vs 6201

One of the closest topics to my heart surprisingly is shapewear…who would of thought? I have so much appreciation and admiration for what an undergarment can do to truly create as an essential foundation to vintage styling. Without a doubt my all time favorite brand is Rago Shapewear! In my humble opinion, they cannot be beat. With several styles of their collection now under my belt, I really wanted to test out their 6210 Extra Firm High Waist Panty Shaper from Orchard Corset. This is the big sister to the Rago 6201, currently one of my favorite styles to date and it was time to see how the two fared in comparison.

Available in sizes 28-48 in Black/White ~ MSRP $65USD

6210dAs a seasoned veteran with Rago sizing, I know it’s essential to follow their recommendation to not to size down when your waist to hip ratio exceeds 10″. Currently my waist is 26-27″ and my hips are 38″. Considering the 6210 Panty Shaper starts at a size 28, this was the size that would be best suited for me since there is oodles of stretch in the fabric. When I first tried the shaper on, I immediately felt the difference in firming action…there was no doubt about this being classified as “extra firm”. Once I got past that, I quickly came to realize the rise was much longer than the 6201 and no amount of pulling it up to my underbust was going to make the crotch area sit ideally where it should be. For a short torso gal like me, the 6210 Panty Shaper was sadly a bit too long. That being said, I can still wear this comfortably and make it work quite well as you can see in the photos. The 6210 Panty Shaper has several magical features; a side zipper to help safely shimmy into it without breaking a nail, a rigid nylon satin front/sides to hold and firm both your stomach & thighs, a satin elastic back panel for a perfectly smooth tush, and four removable concealed garter tabs to pair with your favorite stockings.

6210bWhen it comes to smoothing out all of your lumps and bump…the Rago 6210 Panty Shaper truly does wonders. If you are looking for a shaper that will give you some serious compression without sacrificing comfort and esthetics, this is it. Since there is much for firming action from the Powernet Spandex stretch knit, I did find the legs to cause a very slight indentation to my lower thighs at the band but nothing visible from under my dress. Even with the slight fit challenge of the longer torso, I would say without a doubt that this shaper works wonders for me and I am very pleased with the flawless hourglass silhouette it creates under my wiggle dresses.

6210Here’s a quick side by side point comparison of the 6210 and 6201 to help you choose which would suit you best…

Rago6210vs6201It’s a struggle to say one is better than the other simply because they are designed for two very different needs in mind. The Rago 6210 is for uncompromising shaping with it’s extreme firming power to mold and contour the body. Meanwhile the Rago 6201 reshapes your waist, hips and thighs but with a more subtleness using the contour bands to evenly redistribute the body. In my sincere opinion, I would choose the 6210 for datenights or photoshoots where I am seeking more compression and greater definition. Meanwhile I would definitely favor the 6201 for everyday all day wear at work as it is less restrictive for ease in movement.

6210cAfter having tried almost every key category in the Rago line up, I am most pleased with their high waist panty shapers since I wear my undergarments for more than just special occasions. The fact of not having to worry about thigh chaffing in comparison to an open bottom girdle from all day wear even in the hotter months makes them ideal for comfort and versatility.

 

Categories: All Posts, Vintage Shapewear | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Atomic ~ The Age of Radiance

The greatest facet about Spring now upon us, is all the delightful new designs that are being released by our favorite clothing brands. Some of them spoil us with sneak peeks months in advance but others keep us on the edge of our computers waiting for the new pretties to pop up for sale online. When Voodoo Vixen began releasing their latest collection, I was anxiously stalking their website to see each new addition and instantly fell for the Atomic blue harlequin Nikki Dress and matching Megan Cardigan.

Available in sizes S-XL ~ MSRP Nikki £49.99/Megan £31.99

IMG_5008 IMG_4979Since I am still fairly new to the Voodoo Vixen brand, I was really unsure on sizing since my measurements (bust 36” waist 27”) fall in between their size Small and Medium. The last dress I ordered in a size Medium was much too big in the waist since it’s designed for up to a 29”. Not wanting to invest in more alterations, I took a risk in sizing down to the Small since the bust has some pleating. The gamble truly paid off as the Nikki Dress fits like a glove and there is more than enough space to accommodate a 36” bust despite the size chart saying up to 34”. I also nabbed the Megan Cardigan in the same size as I prefer my sweaters to be quite fitted and have very narrow shoulders. Both pieces have the most beautiful Atomic print motif in combination with the rich blue harlequin print. The Nikki features a full skirt with gathered scooped bust detail with wide waist panel for a very elegant fitted bodice and 1 inch wide straps which allows you to wear any type of bra (bonus!). At 5′-4″ tall, the skirt falls just below the knees. The Megan has lovely embroidered atomic starburst on the shoulders with matching harlequin print and solid black long sleeves.

IMG_4995 IMG_4993Voodoo Vixen really wowed me with the Nikki Dress; the quality and fit are far superior in comparison to my previous purchases. Made from beautiful soft stretch cotton, which is super comfortable and wearable for every day. It’s quite rare that I wear blues but the print and motifs are so rich and truly make the design a complete package. Although I am huge fan of circle dresses normally, I truly love the full skirt on the Nikki as it makes for a great basic dress for any occasion and…it has POCKETS!!! The Megan Cardigan will be a wonderful winter staple as well; the knit is incredibly soft and comfy.

IMG_5001 IMG_4985The options for accessorizing basic dresses and cardigans like these are endless. If I wanted to tone down the print for work, I would pair the Nikki with a solid black cropped cardigan, add a cute coordinating brooch and my Remix black Vogue wedges. Since it is not a full circle skirt, I personally would choose to not wear any type of petticoat. In the colder months, I will pair the Megan Cardigan with either black slacks for work or my favorite skinny jeans for a casual look.

IMG_5004 IMG_4983Not only does Spring bring new life after a long dreary winter, but the promise of fresh creativity in the world of fashion. I am elated to see the progress companies like Voodoo Vixen make, bringing enhanced quality and designs for their customers. The Nikki Dress has become a personal favorite from the moment I tried it on and not surprisingly, received endless compliments the first time I wore my new fabulous outfit to work.

Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

When the Flower Blooms

One of the best things about the pinup community is that no matter how large it grows, it doesn’t lose that small quaintness of knowing all the household names. For as long as I can remember being on social media, I always saw endless pinups wearing NicCoco Creations at all of the major events and in their photoshoots. How did one small independent artist become a household name among the pinup elite? I’m not sure exactly when it happened but one faithful day, NicCoco Creations went from a brand that I admired from afar to a lovely new relationship with the creator Nicolle. For several months we discussed different ideas for a collaboration and it was a no brainer that the Viva Rockabilly Weekend was the perfect setting to showcase her creative talent.

For the moment I saw the Idda’s Tropical Storm, I knew I had to have it! Being a sucker for tropical flowers and real-look silk flowers, it was an ideal pairing. Since I didn’t have any outfits in that particular colour combination, Nicolle custom made my very own Idda in orange and green hues to coordinate with my vintage sarong dress. When she sent me photos of the piece in progress, we decided to add a little more orange to the cluster and it turned out so beautifully.

NicCoco NicCoco1 NicCoco2The next piece was a complete custom design that would take center stage with my key outfit for the car show. Nicolle suggested the rich red hibiscus flowers and I wanted to incorporate my love of starfish which pulled from the adorable sea life print in the playsuit. As the design was coming to life, we decide to add a few seashells which tied it all together marvelously. Needless to say, it was a HUGE hit with everyone as I received so many compliments that day. The icing on the cake was when I finally met Nicolle at the car show, she is just as lovely and wonderful in person. She is a TOTAL sweetheart!

NicCoco8 NicCoco7 NicCoco6For the last hair flower, I left all creative freedom to the artist and simply showed the outfit that it was to coordinate with. The dress is a vintage Alfred Shaheen Sarong, in a rich green with bold tropical flowers at the hem. Nicolle seriously hit it out of the park with her artistic flair on this one, it was love at first sight. Orchids are one of my favorite flowers and the vibrant green hues are just splendid. I have a feeling I will be wearing this one any chance I get this summer since it’s such a lovely tropical staple.

NicCoco5 NicCoco4 NicCoco3Not only does NicCoco Creations have incredible artistic talent, but they set a high standard for quality craftsmanship. Each piece is hand sewn onto durable hair comb, which stays securely in place unlike more commonly used alligator clips. For the first time I wasn’t constantly fussing with placement and slipping throughout the day. These babies stayed put! There is by all means a plethora of handmade hair flowers on the market these days but I can say from experience that very few are as wonderfully made as these and at such affordable prices. It’s no wonder she’s made herself a household name among the pinups that we all know and admire.

 

Categories: Accessories, All Posts | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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