I’ve been a little reluctant to post this, because I don’t like saying bad things about companies that serve an underserved market. But I can’t recommend that people buy from Pepperberry. I’ve personally experienced clothing quality and fit issues, though Hourglassy says specific items I review in this post have gotten better over the years. I might be willing to give them a try again if it weren’t for their policies towards plus-sized women.
Despite catering to a curvier market, they really don’t like plus-sized women. They adjusted their sizing in 2011 and larger women who previously fit into their clothes complained; their campaign for ‘real women’ to serve as models somehow only found skinny women; people complain that their less-skinny models have disappeared; and most tellingly, their affiliate program policies repeatedly state that they are not to be associated with sites for plus-sized women and literally treat sites for plus-sized women the same way they treat porn. Pepperberry did not return my May 18 request for comment on this policy.
Longer version of this story and pictures are below.
Hi, everyone! Back from a surprise vitamin deficiency hiatus.
Crop Top Sweaters Make Me So, So Mad: a webcomic! I started blogging because too much women’s clothing is like this, and I wanted to help people find the few things that weren’t.
Full Bust Finds: MM.LaFleur Dresses . Hourglassy is a great blog for anyone busty, and it seems that Darlene had a more positive experience with the fit of several MM.LaFleur dresses than I did. Absolutely worth checking out if you want a second opinion!
Plus Size Could Save Retailers: a business case for, you know, not ignoring most women’s shopping needs.
Dear Retailer: suggestions people in the plus size fashion community have for retailers.
Warm sweaters are on sale because for some reason people don’t want to buy them right now! And offices are often extra-freezing in the summer! Serendipity?
Slightly embarrassing story: in college, I had a fuzzy purple bathrobe I liked so much I wore it outside, as if it were a coat instead of obviously a bathrobe. Now that I am doing a better job pretending to be an adult I do not wear my bathrobe outside, but as I get cold a lot, I still look for things that are as cozy as that bathrobe. Outdoors, this means I have an excuse for fancy coats. Indoors is harder, because I resist wearing: button-up cardigans (too fussy-looking), pullover sweaters (too hard to take off), blazers (too stiff and corporate). If you do want those things, I make recommendations near the end of the post. Otherwise, here is a sampling of the secret blankets of various weights I have left available to myself.
Friday’s scheduled content will appear on Monday. My flight is delayed an entire day! Luckily, I am not quite stranded in Dallas. Unluckily, I have no cat picture to tide you over this time.
DD Atelier is a Russia-based company that makes way more interesting and structured clothing than most bust-friendly retailers do. I don’t always agree with their choice of fabrics, but that’s a matter of personal preference: everything they make looks youthful and fun even if I’m not personally a fan of gingham. Also, their clothing fits me really well, once I figured out what my size was. (This shirt is an 80F, and I originally thought I was an 85D). For the price, it’s ridiculously well-constructed, and the fabrics and fit are both way nicer than the Pepperberry shirt I bought 8 years ago. Also, my friends implied that I looked like Neo from The Matrix, which I consider a compliment.
I was upset last week to hear that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico does not think that the Navajo Nation, the second-largest Native American tribe in the United States, is famous enough for Urban Outfitters “Navajo”-branded stuff to legally qualify as trademark dilution. Not a total loss for the Navajo, since they have a pretty compelling case (nonsense language like ‘tribal print’ exists because it’s illegal to pretend that you are selling the products of a particular Native American tribe unless you actually are). But it’s certainly a blow to, you know, basically any tribe that trademarks their name to prevent exactly this kind of thing from happening, because if the Navajo can’t win that argument about their name, then who can?
There’s not much I can do as a private citizen, but I decided I can do these three things:
- Suggest that you do not buy stuff from Urban Outfitters or their other brands, Free People and Anthropologie, if you care about human beings. Urban Outfitters has a long history of doing this sort of thing and also not making clothes in ethical conditions.
- Tell you a little about the Navajo and why they should be famous, even if the U.S. District Court does not believe this;
- Share with you some actual Native American / First Nations artists whose cool clothing and accessories you can buy
For a more comprehensive list of Native American fashion and accessory designers, check out Beyond Buckskin Boutique’s Buy Native list. This list is just a curated version of the ones I like the most: I personally tend to like simple things, and a lot of Native art is too intricate for my taste. If you have different taste than me, please do check out Beyond Buckskin’s Buy Native list.
I’ve tried to include options at a variety of price points.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about footwear (mostly because the posts I want to write are either historical research projects or would involve me going to the store to try on shoes I don’t usually wear). So here’s a popular question I’ve gotten:
How do you find shoes that are wider in the toe but narrower in the heel that also don’t look like clown shoes?
The fact that this is requires a search is ridiculous. According to the podiatrists I’ve spoken to, most women have wider forefeet and narrower heels. But women’s shoes are usually built either to have toes that are the same width as their heels or toes that are narrower. This is especially frustrating to me as someone with a significantly-wider-than-average forefoot but narrow heels, and it’s also frustrating because shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot cause bunions… which are extra-painful if you are wearing shoes that are narrow in the toebox. But you can find them, and I hope this post makes that process easier for you!
Today’s my birthday, so not much content. I can remind you that the Front Room Semi-Annual Sale publicly starts today. And now, in lieu of clothing and skincare recommendations, have a picture of one of my cats.
A few weeks ago I rounded up the best silk blouses I could find through research– and now I’ve actually tried one of them!
Full disclaimer: I got this blouse as a gift from the lovely owner of Front Room, Melanie Love. She did not give this to me for review, although she was aware of the existence of this blog at the time that she gave it to me, and it being a gift from her does not affect the honesty of this review.
This bust-friendly shirt review comes first because apparently, Front Room is closing their web storefront for the summer starting mid-June! They started a semi-annual sale for their mailing list subscribers on 5/15, and they’ll be extending it to the general public on 5/17.
Front Room, as far as I know, is unique among specifically bust-friendly clothing companies. Everything they make is not just office-appropriate, but appropriate for a very formal office. Melanie Love comes from a finance background, so she’s got experience standing uncomfortably next to men in $10,000 suits while “praying the double-sided tape on [her] shirt-front [was] going to hold until the end of the presentation.” Her clothing is designed for that environment.
There are a lot of purely functional laptop bags out there. If you’re looking for that, my top recommendation is the Timbuk2 Command, which is super-sturdy and also has a neat feature that makes it easier to take through airport security. (The water bottle holder is a little small, though.)
However, if you are a professional and/or are at all vain, you might want something more formal-looking. Structured. But also, you probably want a bag with actual functioning pockets and/or organization, and maybe one that will not kill your shoulders. This post is for you!
I have not actually tried any of these bags. (Largely because right now I do not have a functioning laptop, and getting one is a higher priority than getting a bag for it!) But, as you’ll see, I have done ridiculous amounts of research into their functionality.