Tolani Plus Size Tops

September 6, 2012

I was getting a bit nervous . . . fall styles have been rolling out for several weeks now and I wasn’t seeing any Tolani Plus Size Tops in silk.

For awhile Nordstrom seemed to switch from having Tolani plus size silk tops to the same Tolani styles but in polyester :( then they got a few more in silk again over the summer but overall I was just getting leery that here was going to be yet another brand doing plus size styles in higher end fabric disappearing.

Well I am feeling a bit better today as Saks just listed some new Tolani Silk Styles – not only tops but also a dress and a really funky pair of silk pants!  I don’t know if I’d have the guts to wear the pants but I think there are those out there who could definitely pull them off with a great solid top with some matching necklace and/or scarf . . .

tolani plus size silk top

Tolani Plus Size Silk Top ($168)

Tolani Plus Size Silk Tunic

Tolani Plus Size Silk Tunic ($180)

tolani plus size silk dress

Tolani Plus Size Silk Dress ($228)

tolani plus size silk pants

Tolani Plus Size Silk Pants ($204)

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Melissa Masse Plus Size Tops

September 1, 2012

Melissa Masse has become quite well known for her (plus size) dresses over the last few years.  She uses really great prints . . .

Now for the first time we are starting to see plus size tops from her.  I sincerely hope this is the start of something because pretty, high end plus size tops are sorely lacking IMHO.

As of now there are only two floating around out there.

One at Saks:

Melissa Masse Plus Size Silk Tunic ($250)

Melissa Masse Plus Size Silk Tunic ($250)

And one at Neimans:

Melissa Masse Plus Size Silk Blouse ($195)

Melissa Masse Plus Size Silk Blouse ($195)

Thank You, Melissa!

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Eileen Fisher’s Labor Day Sale Starts TODAY.  Take An Additional 30% OFF Already Reduced Styles (No Code Needed)

Needless to say: ACT QUICKLY

Eileen Fisher Plus Size Sale

Click Image To Visit EileenFisher.com

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Nordstrom’s famous “Anniversary Sale” doesn’t officially start until July 20th but if you’re a Nordstrom card holder you can get it on it now.  Among the highlights are some Lafayette 148 jackets including a fab leather one:

$640.90

$640.90

And two beautiful tweeds:

$439.90

$439.90

$453.90

$453.90

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Over the years one of the items most loved and coveted by my customers (and me personally) has been the Eileen Fisher Silk Jacket.

I don’t know why they don’t do more of them in more colors (perhaps they don’t sell as well in regular sizes?) through out the year but 2 have recently popped up online so I wanted to point them out for fellow fans.

The first one is only (as of now) available at Neiman Marcus:

(Click Image To View Or Buy)

I think the color is absolutely gorgeous.  I’m a bit surprised by the $298 price tag as these Eileen Fisher Silk Jackets in Plus Size are usually $358-$398.

The other new Eileen Fisher Silk Jacket to pop up is at Nordstrom and it too has a lower than usual retail price at $318:

(Click Image To View Or Buy)

UPDATE JULY 13th – The Eileen Fisher Jacket Above Is Now Also Available At Neiman’s.

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Now that Saks has closed Salon Z and Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s have cut their plus size offerings in most stores I felt compelled to finally get around to not only reviving this blog but redoing the Editor’s Choice section of it.  So Check It Out:

Affinity Fashion Editor's Choice

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I was absolutely floored when I saw this sexy little number.  Every once in awhile Eileen will come out with a piece that surprises me put this flat out shocked me – it is gorgeous, sexy, classy – just a real stunner.  You might want to jump on this one ladies, me thinks it may go fast.

Eileen Fisher Plus Size Black Lace Dress ($398)

CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW OR BUY

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A great neutral light gray – this gem will work with blacks, beiges and other darker grays.

Lafayette 148 Plus Size Poncho

Was $478 – NOW: $179.97

CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW OR BUY

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Really?

May 3, 2012

I’ve been told that Michael Kors is very hands on with ALL of his lines from the very tippy top line to the lower end styles.  I find that incredibly hard to believe when I see a skirt like this:

To me this skirt doesn’t look “tie-dyed” it looks like someone was very sloppy whilst eating a meal and as a result has stains all over their skirt.   To be fair this comes in all sizes not just plus but still . . . REALLY?

When the new season of Project Runway starts and Kors rips some poor contestant to shreds they should hold up a picture of this abomination.

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As you most likely may have heard by now Saks has closed all of the Salon Z Plus Size Departments in their retail stores . . . but don’t worry they will still be carrying plus sizes online (where have I heard that before?)

Now to play devils advocate I do not think that Saks decided to close their plus size department because they don’t (as I’ve seen written online) “want fatties in their store”.  I actually believe them when they site sales as a reason for closing Salon Z.  The problem is I don’t think it had to come to that and allow me to explain why . . .

For about a decade now I have been a retailer of plus size clothing.  When I first started there was a plethora of plus size “bridge lines”:  Tamotsu, Sunny Choi, DKNY (not the current cheaper DKNYC label), Dana Buchman, Ellen Tracy, Eileen Fisher, Lafayette 148, etc.  Over the years the DKNY line disappeared as did Tamotsu and Sunny Choi but it didn’t really hurt my business much – what very near killed my business was the double blow of losing both Dana Buchman and Ellen Tracy and I have no doubt that losing those brands was the beginning of the end for Salon Z . . .

All department stores have buyers who visit trade shows and showrooms to buy lines for their stores – when Dana Buchman and Ellen Tracy’s bridge lines ceased to exist their buyers still needed to stock Salon Z unfortunately the brands that were appearing on the scene were more “contemporary” lines like Amanda Uprichard and Prairie New York and they were not really styles that fit with the core Salon Z customer.  Most of the styles were a bit “too young” and Saks got stuck with them.

What I wish Saks would have done was simply make Salon Z a bit smaller and stick to the brands that still did exist that fit with their core customer such as Lafayette 148, Marina Rinaldi, Eileen Fisher, Lafayette 148 and Stizzoli.   I can’t help feeling that had they done that Salon Z would have survived.

But, I hear you say – hey, the title of this post is: What Saks Closing Salon Z Means To Plus Size Women NOT Why Did It Close.   Sorry, you are correct – it normally takes me a good while to get to my point :)

For years after Dana Buchman and Ellen Tracy’s bridge lines disappeared I prayed that someone, somewhere would step into the void and now with Saks closing Salon Z in all of its retail stores I fear that prayer has a much smaller chance of ever being answered.

Some of you may remember back in 2006 that Saks closed their petite department (it eventually reopened for a time due to the uproar).  When that happened Ellen Tracy stopped making petites and brands like Dana Buchman and Eileen Fisher started to question how much time and resources they were going to continue to put into the brand now that one of their biggest buyers was pulling out of petites.  Like Plus Sizes, Petites need special attention such as a different fit model, different patterns, etc.  if there are no big retailers to purchase a fair amount of your product it does not get made and while Saks will still be selling plus sizes online those 25 Salon Z departments that no longer exist in their physical stores make designing and manufacturing higher end plus size clothing even less attractive than it already was.

I have no doubt that higher brands that currently do plus sizes (such as Lafayette 148) will remain in the plus size market but I do not see other higher brands deciding to jump in now that what surely would have been one of their biggest buyers is not going to be buying all that big anymore.

I can’t help but think that Saks’ decision to close Salon Z is a main reason why Marc Jacobs’ plus size line never came to be.  I mean who would buy it?  Bloomingdales perhaps and maybe even Nordstrom but if he was aiming for Macy’s well then that would mean more crappy polyester with a $99 price tag slapped on it and while some designers might not have a problem with that I don’t see Marc Jacobs compromising like that.

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