Aug 312017
 

OBH on Easter 2017Aging. It’s a taboo subject in the good ‘ole US of A. Youth is worshiped; old age is dreaded. It hit me a little later than some. I was carded until I was almost 40. Now they chase me with a senior discount. LOL

My 50s were my best decade. When I turned, 60, though, that bitch of an old age fairy let me have it but good! Everything started to sag, bag and droop. . . or so it seemed. If you haven’t experienced this yet, it’s coming to a theater near you. Here’s a bit of a humorous look on how to know you’re getting old.

Turkey wattles and other loosey goosey stuff. . .

This is probably the first thing I noticed. Everything got looser, for lack of a better word. Me and the Thanksgiving turkey have a lot in common these days, especially around the neck area. And it seems that no matter how many times I go to the gym, there are way too many dangly bits hanging about. For more on this phenomenon, check out If You’re Old and You Know It Flap Your Arms.

The pup ain’t the only one who needs pee pads. . .

And speaking of things getting loosey goosey. . . my friends used to call me a camel because I could hold it all day long.  Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 🙂 At the mildest urging I start looking for facilities. I know where all the public bathrooms are in town and the exact distance between them. Tena pads are great. But wait. . . there’s more in the loosey goosey department!

Do your boobs hang low, do they wobble to and fro. . .

I think it was Maya Angelou who said that her breasts were having a race to see which one would get to her waist first. Well, I think mine have achieved that goal and are now eying my knees as their next challenge! I am not particularly large (C cup) but. . . it’s getting very uncomfortable without a bra on these days. And that side boob action. . . I could kill small children with a single blow if I swing around too fast!

By the hair on my chinny chin chin. . .

There is an old joke that says an older woman’s hair thins as she ages so she can pay more attention to the hair on her face, or words to that effect. True Dat! The hair on my body all fell out about 10 years ago and what there was of it was blonde and red. It’s nice that I no longer have to shave the legs and pits, but the hair on my face is getting worse. AND to add insult to injury, that hair is black. I have tweezers and razors all over the house.

Slowly I turn. . .

Well, slowly I do everything these days, or so it seems. I was a real dynamo way back when. I spoke fast. I moved fast. I thought fast. Today it’s like. . . . well, it’s not fast. Oh, I try to move fast, but. . . fast and me no longer have a relationship. Both my body and brain go into giggle fits when I give it a go. I forget what I’m going to the kitchen for before I get there. It takes me twice as long to do things. And I trip over my own tongue trying to get thoughts out in the right order and with the correct verbiage. The little girl who still resides inside of me puts her hands on her hips with a bratty, “I DON’T WANNA SLOW DOWN!!!” Sadly, I have no choice. . . or else.

These are just some of the joys of the golden years. There are a lot more, but you know what? Living to a ripe old age means you’ve done just that, LIVED. Years ago, I saw a tag line on someone’s email that I’ve seen many times since. It has always stuck with me. It said, “Never regret getting old. Many are denied the privilege.”

And as that wise saying implies, it sure as hell beats the alternative. I’ve learned to just have a good giggle over all of the above, take a deep breath, roll up my boobs and stuff ‘em in my bra.

 

Jun 092017
 

Store Name: J. Jill

Size Range: Misses 2-18, Petite 0-18, Tall 4-18, Plus 16-28

Shoes: Yes, but I can’t seem to find wide widths on the site

Trendy: No.  Understated elegance (my words)

Overall Rating (out of 10): 9

Last week we went retro/Goth with Torrid. Now we’re swinging back to the more classic side of the pendulum. This one should be easy for me. J. Jill is my favorite clothing store at the moment. Actually, it has been for the past two years or so. It’s classic, but not too classic that it steps over the line to Frumpy & Dumpy. I love their clean lines. And although I will never look like their willowy models, I love the way I look in their clothes.

The Clothing
OBH on Easter 2017

This is me in my J. Jill “Favorite 3/4 Sleeve Dress.” It’s actually still available in the sale section for $59.99. Super comfy, washes like a dream and I always get tons of compliments while wearing it. I’m wearing a Petite Large.

J. Jill has a really nice selection of classic pieces. You can find dresses, tops, pants, shoes, sleepwear and accessories. Most things come in all their different size ranges although, as usual, if you can fit a regular misses size range you have the most options. I have found the quality of the clothing to be very good and their customer service to be unparalleled. I ordered a dress for a special occasion. Two weeks later it was still in the land of the missing. I called. Turns out the carrier lost it. J. Jill replaced it immediately without charging me, gave me a free, two-day shipping upgrade to make sure I got it in time for my event and a prepaid shipping label to return the first one if/when it eventually arrived. It did show up, a week too late. In this day and age of no or limited customer service, I was, quite honestly, amazed.

Do You Like Linen?

If you’re a linen lover, you’re in for a treat. They have a lot of it in the summer. Personally, I don’t care for linen as every linen item I’ve ever owned has ended up looking like an unmade bed or a pile of laundry in five minutes or less. I have not tried J. Jill’s linen YET. I may in the future. But if you love linen and their styling, you’re in for a treat!

Pricing

The clothing is pricey, at least by my definition of pricey. Most basic dresses are in the $89-$99 range. Sometimes, it seems like everything is in that range. Some items are considerably more. As much as I love this company and their clothing, I only purchase during sales or when I have some hot coupons. Preferably both! And while I don’t encourage credit card shopping, if you get their card you will get a percentage off your first order and 5% off every order you place after that, even if there are already sales applied.

Beautiful linen shirt from J. Jill

The Essential Linen Shirt. Great summertime piece if you love linen. $79 Reg. Price ($89 in Plus) You can choose this lovely print or from a selection of solid colors.

Sizing/Fit

J. Jill has a full range of misses sizes, up through 18, which is unusual these days. Most regular sizing goes to a 14 or 16 and then they have you paying extra for the plus sizes. Great for the woman who just needs a smidge more room. Plus sizes are about $10 more. This is the only thing I don’t like about J. Jill. Misses, petite and tall are the same price. Granted, they all top out at a size 18 and the plus range at a 28, but a tall 18 takes considerably more fabric than a petite 18 does and they are the same price.

As to fit, I wear a 14-16 almost everywhere and I wear the Petite Large at J. Jill. It fits perfectly, like it was custom-made just for yours truly. I have never purchased shoes, so I can’t say much about them. If my experience with them is indicative of the entire line, you should be able to order your standard size without going up or down. I have two or three dresses, several pairs of pants, a skirt and a selection of tops and I feel they fit true to size. My one slight gripe is that their petite pants are a wee bit long on occasion. I have one pair that actually had to be shortened. I double-checked that I ordered petites and I did. Measured the inseam at 29″. Ummm, no, that’s not exactly petite.

Shipping, Returns and Exchanges

Standard shipping (4-7 days) starts at $5.95 and goes up to $19.95 depending on the price of your order. For $8 extra you can get guaranteed two-day delivery. For an extra $15, if you order before 3 p.m. eastern time, you can have your order in your hands the next day. Good to know if you need something NOW.

Exchanges are a phone call away at 1-800-343-5700 (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday). Your new item is sent immediately. Then you send your unwanted item(s) back the same way you would return something to the company.

You can return anything purchased online to a J. Jill retail store if you have one in your area. You should bring your clothing item, the payment method used and the receipt that came in the package.

Beautiful layered tank dress from J. Jill

This may be my next summer dress if they run a HOT sale. It’s $119 in that print. Wearever Layered Tank Dress

If you want to return directly to the company, you use the Smart Post return label which is in all shipped packages. It is postage-paid; however, once all is said and done, J. Jill will charge your original payment method $6.95 for the return shipping. Full details can be found on the web site.

Special Deals

J. Jill runs sales at least three times a week. Once you get on the email list, you will be advised when there is a sale. These sales are usually a percentage off a certain class of items, like 30% off dresses or 20% off pants and jeans. There are online coupons out there. My first stop for online coupons is Retail Me Not.

My Overall Impression

As I said at the beginning of this review, I love J. Jill. Yes, I like stores like Torrid for fun clothing but. . . I seem to always come back to J. Jill. I think I wore out two pair of their wool-blend pants this winter! Classic but not stuffy, with a soft easy drape, very easy to wear, quality fabrics. . . I could go on and on. What’s not to love? If you have a retail store in your area and you like this type of clothing, go and try a few things on. I think you’ll be glad you did.

See ya next time!

Jun 072017
 

Do you have a problem with shoes? Many women do. High heels are all the rage but, sadly, my days of wearing hot hoochie shoes are long gone. Even if they fit properly, I’d break my leg before the second step! Big fat feet can be a problem.

swollen summer feet

This is my left foot only HALF way swollen during the summer. 🙁

My Personal Tale of Woe

I have pretty straight size 9 medium feet. I can hear you now, “Those are NOT big fat feet!” Well, they are 3-5 months out of the year because my size 9 mediums swell in the summer. Horribly. Balloons. Can we spell G-O-O-D-Y-E-A-R  B-L-I-M-P, boys and girls? This has been going on since I was 9 years old and I’ve never quite gotten used to it. I have to keep a couple of pairs of wide or wide-wide summer shoes for when the feet get huge. Barefoot doesn’t work for everything.

Your Feet Change

Would you be amazed if I told you many of my size 4 friends have wide feet? It’s really not totally related to weight. Did you know that women’s feet grow and shrink with weight loss, childbirth and age? They do. Maybe you didn’t always have big fat or wide feet. Here’s a few ways they can change.

If you gain weight, you may need bigger shoes. I’ve been told by more than a few doctors that if you gain significant weight, you develop fat pads on the bottoms of your feet, on the sides of your feet and even in your toes. Conversely, if you lose a lot of weight your shoe size may decrease.

Childbirth causes many changes, including foot size. Sometimes, your feet shrink back and sometimes they don’t.

Aging can sometimes give you bigger feet, too. So if you were a size 7 in high school, there’s a good chance that life grabbed you by the big toe and you are no longer a size 7 now.

Cute Shoes

Let’s face it, all women want cute shoes, even those of us with big fat feet. When I was a young woman, wide shoes were definitely not cute. Now? You have a gazillion choices. And, yes, even hot hoochie heels if you can wear them! The choices are really endless and they are readily available in most places.

Brannock devices are accurate for foot measuring

Brannock Device. This is the most accurate way to get your correct foot size.

Know Your Size

In a moment, I’m going to give you a whole bunch of links where you can get really cute shoes in many sizes and widths. But before you order, do you know your accurate shoe size? Don’t laugh. Experts claim that many women actually don’t know their correct shoe size or, if they do, they stuff their feet into smaller shoes. Oh, the pain!

Find a Brannock device (see pic), you know, that thing you stick your feet in and move the top and side sliders until it fits your foot? Make sure your foot is not squeezed and you leave yourself some toe room. Have a shoe professional measure you, if possible. Nobody sees the size of your shoes so even if it’s a number you don’t like, who’s gonna notice?

Now Let’s Go Shopping

Now that you know the correct size, let’s go shopping! One of the very best places to get wide and/or large shoes is Woman Within. You can also get the shoes at Roamans or Jessica London (same parent company). They have it all. Cute sandals, high heels, pumps, gym shoes, you name it. And most of it comes in sizes 7 through 12, Medium, Wide and Wide-Wide. Check the item description of each pair to make sure the shoes you want come in your size. They also have their own brand called Comfortview. I’ve owned many. The comfort is real.

Woman Within
Roamans
Jessica London

Remember me telling you about Simply Be and JD Williams a few weeks back? They have lots of cute shoes, too, and most of them come in wide width. Some come in extra wide. When you shop from the USA websites, the sizes have been converted from the British.

Simply Be
JD Williams

Just this past Friday, we talked about Torrid. They have really, really, REALLY cute shoes, but in wide width only. And for those of you with Barney Rubble feet, they come in sizes 6 and 6.5 WIDE, very difficult to find in most places.

Torrid

Here are a few more places to look. As always, check out the item description carefully for each item you’re interested in. Many large retailers get their shoes from different manufacturers. Look for notes that say something like, “Runs small. Order up a half-size.” (Or a whole size!) And read the reviews from folks who have already purchased the shoes. That’s where you find the real scoop.

Amazon has everything, including shoes. . . tons and tons of shoes.
Limited styles but nice shoes available from Lane Bryant and Catherines.
QVC has many name brands in wide widths.
Same for Home Shopping Network.
And don’t forget the monstrous online shoe store Zappos.

The Bottom Line

If you are a shoe diva with big fat feet, you no longer have to settle for ugly shoes or basic styles. Many brick and mortar retailers are now carrying wide-width and larger size shoes. Online, the sky’s the limit! As always, once you find a brand that fits well, stick with it. Now hit the dance floor!

See ya next time!

Jun 022017
 

Store Name: Torrid

Size Range: 00 through 6 in Torrid sizing, which is standard sizing 10 to 30

Shoes: Yes, in US sizes 6 – 13 Wide Width Only (Sizes 6 and 6.5 wide are very difficult sizes to find!)

Trendy: VERY

Torrid Strappy Peplum Halter Tank Top

This is the Strappy Peplum Halter Tank Top. Yes, you CAN wear this. It’s VERY flattering. Reg. Price $42.90

Overall Rating (out of 10): 9

Torrid is owned by the same company that owns Hop Topic, so that should give you an idea. Yes, it’s young, but please don’t stop reading yet. The clothing is goth, hippy, retro, current and a lot of fun. I was almost afraid to go into the one at our mall, but all the gals love me and show me what’s new every time I walk in.

The Clothing

Torrid has everything from undies and shoes on up to coats in the winter. You can get tops and dresses that harken back to the ‘60s. Like a good moto jacket? They have them. Need some new jeans? Lots and lots of styles and fits. And you can get extra short and extra long, too! Shoes are available in what they call a “true wide width” which they claim ensures that you never have to size up again. I’m using their words as I can’t wear that width. This is one time that I detest my more medium-width feet as the shoes are really cute!

Torrid Ravenclaw Sweater

Me in my Ravenclaw sweater from Torrid, sadly not available at the moment but KEEP CHECKING! (They have the other houses.)

The Collections (Pop Culture)

This, I feel, is what sets Torrid apart from some other clothiers. If you click on the “Pop Culture” tab on the website, you will see branded merchandise for all the latest films and characters. Right now, Wonder Woman is hot. They have a lot of things like Beauty & The Beast, Harry Potter, Dr. Who and more. And if you think these items are more for kids, check me out in my Ravenclaw sweater. 😉 And you get a clear shot of Jabba the Gut as I don’t have my Spanx on. LOL I should note that this merchandise is website only. They don’t put it in the stores because it sells out too fast and creates customer upset.

Sizing

Torrid used to be a standard 1X, 2X, 3X plus-sized store. However, in talking to the folks there, they told me that smaller girls were coming in with their plus-size friends and complained about the clothes not being available in their size. They were encouraged to write to the company. It must have worked as they expanded the line out both ends. They now carry from a Torrid size 00 which is a 10, up through a Torrid size 6 which is a 30. Nice, wide size range to fit a LOT of different women.

Fit

I think their items run true to size. Most of my clothing from Torrid is a size 1 or a 14-16. Now knowing that all manufacturers do not size the same way, I have a few pieces that are not. I have one top cut huge which is a Torrid size 0 and one which is cut tighter which is a Torrid size 2. If you have a Torrid in your area, go try on a few things to get a feel for their sizing.

Shipping, Returns and Exchanges

Torrid has no catalog. Online purchases carry a $6 standard shipping fee in the U.S. APO/FPO addresses carry a $15 flat rate. Express options are available at a higher price.

You can exchange and/or return freely if you have a Torrid store near you, even if you purchased it from the website. Clearance sales are final.

If you return or exchange directly to the company, the postage is on you. It takes 2-4 weeks to process the return back to your original form of payment. There is more detailed information on the website way down at the bottom.

Torrid's Wonder Woman Reversible Dress

This is one of my favorites, the Wonder Woman reversible skater dress! Reg. Price $68.90

Special Deals

There are coupons all over the web for Torrid. Check your favorite online discount site. Mine is Retail Me Not. Get on the mailing list and you will get notified of sales, special offers and, yes, coupons. They frequently offer $30 off a $75 sale or $50 off a $125 sale. Once you’re on their mailing list, you will get occasional style books with these coupons inside, but they’re often at the top of the emails you receive, too.

My Overall Impression

I love Torrid! Yes, some may think it a little young, but I, for one, do NOT choose to dress Frumpy & Dumpy. I don’t wear dresses cut up to Kansas or shirts down to my breakfast, but I do like young-themed, kickier clothing. I’m very happy with everything I’ve gotten from them and the best-fitting jeans for me come from Torrid.

If you like more classic clothing, stay tuned next Friday when I review something that may be more to your taste. But if you like something a little different, Torrid is at least worth a look.

See ya next time!

May 312017
 

My parts don't matchDo your parts make up the classic female figure? You know, the one with the defined waist and matching bust and hips, ye olde 36-24-36 Marilyn Monroe ideal, give or take a few inches (or a few dozen inches).

Mine don’t. Simply put, my parts don’t match. So if you’re like me, finding a good fit is possible, but it’s gonna take some superb investigation skills to find clothes that you love and clothes that fit.

Jabba the Gut

I joke a lot about Jabba the Gut. When it comes to dressing, though, Jabba is no joke. My stomach muscles were surgically removed due to MRSA. I am lucky to be alive. I realize that. But, sadly, I tend to look about 16 months pregnant without the Spanx I wear almost 24/7. Pants are a particular nightmare. I get them on my legs and up to my hips, yank up the back over my (flat) butt and then Jabba does his best Gandalf imitation, screaming YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!! Seriously.

The Body Shapes

According to the fashion industry, female bodies come in basically four shapes: apple, pear, hourglass (the lucky ones), and rectangle. I was always told I was an apple. Found out later I was more of a larger rectangle. Never had much of a defined waist, even before Jabba came on the scene. The hourglass is the most desirable female figure but the pear shape is the most common. A lot of the plus-size models that are super popular right now are simply hourglass gals blown up a bit from the standard size. All shapes have fit problems, even the desired hourglass who may not want to look so. . . . well. . . .hourglassy!

See how your parts don't match

Pear shapes have well-defined upper halves and usually smaller waists, wide hips, a bigger butt and meaty thighs. Making both halves look good at the same time is the challenge.

Apples (sounds like a fruit salad, eh?) need to define a shape. I used to joke. . . . hey, round IS a shape! Yes, it is and one that’s very hard to dress.

Rectangles are kind of squished in apples, more what society calls a “boyish figure” no matter what size. As with apples, the trick is to create a more defined shape.

Lest We Forget Boobs

Boobs are desirable, right? Well, men and Hollywood seem to think so, but gals who are “well-endowed by their Creator” have fit problems, too, especially when your girls are not in proportion to the rest of your body. A really good bra is a must, preferably one that supports, doesn’t gap in front and doesn’t dig into your shoulders. Although a small woman, my mother had very large breasts and she had permanent strap digs in her shoulders until she passed from this earth.

Fitting Your Flaws

When your parts don’t match, you have to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. What you like may have to take a back seat. Comfort may go by the wayside, too.

After many years of searching, I have found one or two styles of dresses I like and think look okay on me. One major defeat, however, is the dreaded elastic waist pants. Honestly? I hate them. Realistically? Not much choice. Jabba snickers. I found the best fitting pair of jeans for me have a lot of stretch. My arthritic fingers can’t do the three buttons at the top so I just yank them up and down, like they had an elastic waist. These jeans fit me about as well as anything does. Moral of the story: You win some, you lose some.

So What’s A Girl To Do?

Search, try on, search, try on. . . lather, rinse, repeat. See what you like and what you think looks good on you. Get an opinion from someone you whose opinion you truly value. Trust me when I tell you we are not always our own best advocates. When you find a brand you love and fits well, buy it up. And then next time you go to church, light candles with a blow torch and pray that they don’t discontinue the line.

Your Turn

Are you the classic hourglass (LUCKY YOU!!!) or an apple, pear or rectangle? What do you do to create a shape you like better, if anything? Do you have tips for your sisters out there struggling with parts that don’t match? Please leave a comment and help us out. I’m always on the lookout for a better fit.

As far as a perfect fit goes, though, I’m afraid it’s a bit like the X-Files. . . . the truth is out there. Problem is. . . Scully and Mulder haven’t found it yet and neither have most of us.  🙂

See ya next time!

May 262017
 

Most of my readers on this blog are well over the age of consent or, as I like to think about it, aged to perfection! However, our warped society calls us old. So, yes, I’ll accept that. I’m not sure I’d have it any other way. I will display my wrinkles and flap my arms proudly. I’ve earned it all.

Dreaming

Wouldn’t I like to be young, svelte and HOT once more? I guess somewhere in a dream state. Yeah, I was young, but I was never svelte or what was considered hot. I was me. I was a nerd. I was dependable and loyal but definitely not the object of any young man’s dreams. (Well, maybe one and I married him. LOL)

 The Brutal Attack of the Old Age Fairy

I was one of those disgusting folks who was carded in a liquor store until I was 35. I had what the relatives lovingly called a “baby face.” And I held that well into my 50s. Nobody ever guessed my age correctly, including doctors.

But when I turned 60, the Old Age Fairy attacked and waged a shock and awe campaign on this gal. 🙁 To this day, I don’t know what I did to piss her off so badly, but she hit me and hit me hard. I went from nobody believing my senior discount cards were mine to being chased by clerks trying to hit me over the head with the discount.

How old I am joke

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

The day after my 60th birthday I discovered jowls and a turkey neck. Wrinkles appeared where there were none before. And although almost every hair on my body fell out, my chin decided to make up for it. You know that song about, “Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro”. . . . well, you could substitute the word breasts for ears. And then there are those arms. I never knew I was related to Rocky the Flying Squirrel!

Who Ya Gonna Call?

The hard answer is there ain’t nobody to call. You learn to adjust. You learn to live with it. We can’t do much about getting old unless you can afford plastic surgery and that is still a temporary fix. You have to start taking a bit better care of yourself. If you don’t moisturize now, you’re gonna turn into an alligator.

Reality

The reality is that I’ve been blessed with a long life. It hasn’t always been good, but it hasn’t always been bad either. It’s been. . . life. Ups, downs, all-arounds. And so now I’m coasting on the down side. It’s okay.

So What Does One Do?

Enjoy it. What other choice do you really have? Age brings some wisdom. Not much, but some. Consider yourself lucky to have lived this long. Wake up every morning and be thankful. Enjoy your day. Not always easy, I know, but. . .

Now It’s Your Turn

When did you notice you had gotten old? What happened? What parts of you are old? LOL If you would like to share, please leave a comment. I promise not to giggle.

See ya next time!

May 242017
 

Company Name: Swimsuits For All

Size Range: They claim sizes 4 to 34 (see the commentary)

Shoes: No

Trendy: Everything from old frump to the latest designer swimsuit trends

Overall Rating (out of 10): 7

Last week, we took a humorous look at my hunt for the perfect swimsuit. Today I received a catalog from Swimsuits For All. The suits were beautiful and the sale was hot! There were no sizes listed in the catalog, however, so I hit the website.

Swimsuits For All claims they have suits from sizes 4 through 34; hence the name. They do have a lot of suits! The catalog says thousands and that’s probably accurate. My problem is with the “all.” Read on.

The Suits

Swimsuits For All has every style of suit and cover-up imaginable. You want a tankini? They’ve got ‘em. You want a bikini? Tons. You want a one-piece? Tons of tons. You want a size 34? Not so many.

The Sizing
Extended size bathing suit from Swimsuits for All

Molokai Classic Shortini, comes in a size 34, $54.60

Now before I start this, I have to tell you that I did NOT look at every single suit on their extensive website. I did search for about an hour looking for extended sizes specifically for this post. I have ordered a swimskirt from this company and it is nice for what I paid for it. It’s a size 16. I’m a very short size 14-16. (I didn’t order the 14 because of Jabba the Gut.) Most of the really good suits are up through size 22, some go up to a 24. Above that, it’s iffy and you have to hunt.

Swimsuits For All has a search-by-size bar at the top. Nice, right? You click on your size and it brings up available suits. It worked when I put in size 16. Putting in size 34 brought up mostly suits available through a size 24. I got ONE suit in size 34, pictured here. Admittedly, they are having a hot sale and a lot of sizes were sold out. Quite honestly, a decent tankini in size 34 for only $54.60 is a good deal, not to mention you can choose your top and bottom size separately. But still, I only found the one.

The Fit

The one item I’ve purchased fit well. The size charts seem to be standard ladies sizing. I would double-check the item description before ordering, though, in case there are special sizing instructions for that particular suit.

Larger size bikini by Ashley Graham

Condesa Bikini up to size 22 by Ashley Graham x, $61.60

The Price

If you wear a size 6, you can get a reasonably-priced, fashionable swimsuit pretty much anywhere. But if you want a fashionable suit in a larger size, you’re going to have to pay for it. Larger is relative. Some suits are the same price through a size 14, 16 or 18. Some brands charge more for 18 through 24. The price can increase even more for sizes above a 24.

That being said, the pricing that I saw on the Swimsuits For All website is really good. There is a sale going on right now (I suspect these are frequent) and there is also a coupon across the top of the site. The current special is free 3-day shipping with a $100 purchase plus 30 to 50% off. Not too shabby.

Special Deals

There is a coupon banner at the top of the site. There is also a “Share-A-Friend” referral form on the top of the website. When you submit someone’s email and they purchase, you both get 40% off. Nice!

Poppies swimsuit from Swimsuits for All

Beautiful Poppies sarong front through size 24, $44.80

Shipping, Exchanges & Returns

Shipping via FedEx Standard is $8.99. Other higher-priced options for expedited delivery are available. Watch for shipping specials!

Exchanges are easy. There is a prepaid label that comes with your package and you will receive an E-gift card for the price you paid (minus original shipping) that you can use to purchase a new suit or the same suit in a different size.

If you want to return for credit, you have to ship it back yourself and pay for it. Note that the suit MUST have the panty protective strip intact and be in original, as-shipped, condition with tags attached. Once your return is received, the purchase price (minus the original shipping) will be refunded to your original payment method.

My Overall Impression

Swimsuits For All has a big, flashy website with gorgeous photography! It’s definitely a fun shopping experience for something that is a nightmare for many of us. The fact that you can choose top and bottom sizes separately on two-piece suits is a big plus. Their price points seem very reasonable. Their strength lies in the variety and sheer number of suits they offer.

However, most of the choices are in sizes 4 through 22. If you wear above a 22, your choices become more limited. Still, you will find things here in larger sizes that you will probably not find anywhere else, especially if you live in a small town. Except in the larger cities, the likelihood of finding a decent swimsuit above a size 16/18 in your local brick and mortar is not good. And let’s be honest, who wants to hit the beach in an ugly swimsuit? Swimsuits For All can help you avoid that. If you don’t have your swimsuit(s) for this season yet, I think they’re at least worth a look-see.

See ya next time!

May 222017
 

My Head ShotSelf-love. Self-esteem. Self-worth. A lot of us didn’t have much as teens. The sad part of it is a lot of us still don’t have too much. It’s a crying shame. Most of us have wonderful things to offer to this thing we call life. But many of us don’t offer them up because society tells us we don’t look “acceptable,” that we don’t fit in. . . because we’re larger or smaller than the average bear, we don’t have the right hair, we’re the wrong color or some other ridiculous reason. So we run and hide. Is this you? If it is, read on.

It’s How I Was Raised

That line was my mother’s BS excuse for why she could never change. “It’s how I was raised.” Well, most readers of this blog were raised in an age that taught us it’s all about others. Caring for and about others is a grand thing, provided you realize that YOU need some of that caring, too. Many of us didn’t and still don’t. I didn’t. It was all *them* and never me. It was instilled in me from a young age. I was fat, ugly and good for nothing. I owed my life to others because mine wasn’t worth it. And when it comes from your mother, it’s hard to tell yourself it’s wrong. Suffice it to say, by the time I was a young maid, there was nothing resembling self-esteem or self-worth anywhere near my soul.

Sometimes We Get Lucky

Despite my lack of self-esteem, there was one young man who saw through it all. He thought I was worth something. He thought I was beautiful. I still think he’s crazy, but he’s been hanging around for almost 50 years so maybe some of it’s true, eh? He taught me about unconditional love. Sadly, I didn’t understand that for a long, long, long time. It’s changing now. Better late than never, as they say.

What Society Tells Us

I probably don’t have to tell you that our culture in the U.S. says that to be worthy you should be tall, thin and preferably blonde OR have a big ass like Kim K. That’s acceptable because that turns you into a sexual object. Well, guess what? NOT OKAY. We are all worthy and sex should have nuttin’ honey to do with it.

I don’t know about you, but me, myself and I, for one, am getting tired of being told I don’t measure up. I think it’s time some of us pull ourselves up to our full height, whatever it may be, and start to show society that we can shine just as brightly as what it calls stars. I use that term very loosely. We’re the stars, ladies. We’re the ones who raise kids, work, create art, fix cars, do the rocket science (think Hidden Figures) and make this bright blue marble go ‘round.

What We Can Do

What can we do to counter society? Show ‘em they’re wrong. . . and I mean WRONG! How? Start by NOT. HIDING. Wear the bright clothing. Stand up front in the photos (very hard for me). Sing, dance, paint, do what it is you do and crow about it!!! Stick out that newly-found self-esteem! USE. IT. Don’t hide because you’re old, fat, not what society thinks is pretty or a combination of all the above. If you need inspiration, just look at my pic. I’m not any of it and I am starting to put it out there. Yeah, it’s cathartic for me, but it’s also fact. What fact? Like the old L’Oreal commercial used to say, “You’re worth it.” Yeah, I am. And so are you.

Why you should not hide or unhide

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Where are you? I know I’m not the only Old Busted Hotness around. There is strength in numbers. Start taking care of YOU if you haven’t been. Do you want a nice hair style? Get it. Would you feel better with your nails done? Get ‘em done. Want to take a college course? Go take it! Now I’m NOT telling you to break the bank here. But there are little things that can make you feel better about being you. Do them. Enjoy them. And then get out there proudly. Hold your beautiful head up high and show the world what you’ve got. STOP. HIDING. We are a force to be reckoned with.

Breaking Good

I am breaking new ground every single day. Some of it’s good. Some of it’s great. Some of it I need to try again. And again. And again. I was 40 years old before I could look at myself in a ladies room mirror because I was told I didn’t deserve to be putting on makeup and combing my hair like “normal” folks. Now when I walk into a public bathroom, I stare down that mirror!!! And, yeah, it stares back, but I no longer hate what I see. It has taken me a lot of years to get to this point. I’m just grateful I made it before check-out time.

The Point

My point is. . . . you are who you are. You are special, more special than you know. Do not check your self-esteem anywhere. Let your light shine. This world needs us old broads. They may not know it yet, but they DO. We have wisdom. We have knowledge. We have beauty. We know what it takes. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. Now it’s time to let the world know what we’ve got. Who’s with me?

See ya next time!

May 192017
 

Company Names: Simply Be and JD Williams

Size Range: Simply Be 8 to 28, JD Williams 6 to 28, all one price! (US sizing)

Shoes: Yes, in US sizes 6 – 10, E and EEE fit (regular and wide) Great Boots in season!

Trendy: Simply Be is. JD Williams is a bit more classic.

Overall Rating (out of 10): 8

A nice basic baby doll dress from Simply Be

Simply Be baby doll dress $40.99

The British are definitely coming and it’s about time! I first heard of Simply Be a few years back on The Curvy Fashionista blog. I went to the website, fell in love with it and soon began getting catalogs. Catalogs for Simply Be’s *older sister* JD Williams followed. They are the same home company, but they cater to somewhat different tastes. Simply Be is younger, kickier. JD Williams, while quite fashionable, is a bit more laid back and they have absolutely gorgeous formal clothing.

The Clothing

Simply Be, as I said before, is kicky, young, spot-on fashion trendy. While I don’t get all of my clothing from them, I’ve gotten quite a few pieces. I may be Old Busted Hotness but that doesn’t mean I prefer to look old. LOL Here you’ll find all kinds of jeans, hot tops, jackets, cute dresses, swimwear, intimates, sleepwear, great shoes and some of the currently hot Brit designers like Lovedrobe and Scarlett & Jo.

JD Williams is a little more classic. The clothing is still fashionable, but it’s geared to a slightly older clientele if you go by the models and the styles. The clothing is beautiful and not quite as country club classic as, say, Talbots. However, if you need a gawjeous mother-of-the-bride-or-groom dress, take a look at JD Williams. You will also find nice day dresses, slacks, lots of tops, intimates, sleepwear and shoes.

Joe Browns vintage tie top

Vintage-look top from Joe Browns, $67.50

Joe Browns

Both companies carry the Joe Browns line. Joe Browns is kicky, youngish, boho, vintage, 60s. . . call it what you will. If you like a more retro look, Joe Browns is for you. Available in the same 8 to 28 size range, same one price strategy. I have a few Joe Browns summer dresses that I simply adore!

Sizing

Sizing is 8 to 28 and ALL AT THE SAME LOW PRICE! Sorry to scream, but this is a feature I love. I tend to patronize more stores that offer one size range and price for all. Both Simply Be and JD Williams carry some petites and talls (called short and long), mainly in jeans, pants and longer dresses. Carefully check the item description for individual lengths. Sizes are US on the links provided so no conversions necessary! One more. . . Simply Be uses models larger than a soup bone, too! (But not so much JD Williams. . . sigh.)

Fit

In my opinion, having purchased from both stores, their fit is true to size. Now that being said, I have returned one or two items to JD Williams as I purchased packages of tops and the sizing in the package wasn’t consistent. I understand retailers nowadays get things from more than one manufacturer, not to mention that sizing in women’s clothing is all over the map. (More on this in a future post.) Other than this, I’ve been pleased to find that their sizing is rather consistent throughout.

Returns and Exchanges

Shipping is free over US$40 and your order will arrive in 8 to 12 business days. Expedited tracking is available at an additional charge. Both companies offer F-R-E-E- returns, making them extra convenient to purchase from.

Beautiful Joanna Hope lace dress

JD Williams, Joaanna Hope dress, $79.99

Price

I always want to say not cheap, but compared to what? If you compare these clothing retailers to Walmart, yeah, NOT CHEAP. Guidelines are hard to give. Dresses are in the $50 to $100 range, but there are lots of coupons and ways to get things for a better price. Also, the quality and style is much better than anything you may find at Wally’s.

Jeans are in the $40 to $80 range. Both retailers have a gazillion different styles of jeans. Get on their mailing lists for coupons and sales. And don’t forget about my fave coupon place, Retail Me Not. Their credit cards give you extra discounts and rewards for dollars spent.

There are less-expensive offerings, $30 to $50 dresses and jeans from $25 to $40. Look around. You may be able to find just what you want at a very reasonable price!

My Overall Impression

Up top, I gave them an 8 out of 10. I can hear you now. . .  if you like them so much, OBH, why not run up the 10 paddle? My one not-so-happy thought is that I feel their websites are difficult to negotiate. If you get an ad from them in the email and click on a specific item, it brings you to the front page of the store. You have to hunt. Admittedly, this is a pet peeve of mine. It’s inconvenient. Searching for items is a bear, too. It feels to me like you get anything other than what you put in the search box. But if you like to browse, it’s an easy time of fun shopping. And, yes, I do love both stores!

See ya Monday!

May 172017
 

My Head ShotIt’s the time of year dreaded by all, especially by those who are not young, slim or anything close to the beauty standards of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It’s Swimsuit Season! Are you resigned to going to the beach or pool in tank or tee and shorts? Understood. That was my summer wardrobe, too, but no more. Old Busted Hotness is breakin’ out her Old Busted Flab. (More about those boobs to come.)

I haz swimsuit!  (Me so happy. . . 🙂 )

 The Big Boob Caper
Ashley Graham bikini

Ashley Graham x Swimsuits For All Princesa Tropic Bikini, (linked in post) sale price $58

Have you seen the latest craze in plus-size swimwear? Due to the fabulous rise in body positivity, larger gals in two-piecers are proudly showing off their tummies. The models are freakin’ gorgeous and toned! My amazement comes, however, not from the tops of the suits but the tops of those models! To be more than a bit crude. . . . where’d they get those knockers? I didn’t think I was a slouch in the boob department, but I couldn’t fill those cups with my ass. Age and weight loss have taken their toll and if things don’t stop, pretty soon I’m gonna need fluffy gym socks to fill out my C cups.

Beach Pain

I remember being happy as a little kid on the beach. Truth be told, I’m always happy on the beach. But that’s before I was humiliated for being fat. Once in middle school, I had a two-piece suit. It wasn’t a bikini. It was what they called a hipster. It was green. My Grandmom bought it for me. My mother was beyond mortified. People were gonna see her kid’s fat rolls. OH, THE HORROR, THE SHAME!!! I was a junior size 11, huge in my mother’s eyes. Oh, to be that size now.

From here on out, nice tank suits were the name of the game. But as I got teased and humiliated at the beach by both men and women, I decided it was time to revert to the tank tops and shorts. . . or wrap myself in a beach towel. And as much as I loved the beach, I just avoided it. Too painful.

This is Ashley Stewart's power mesh swim top

Power Mesh Swim Top from Ashley Stewart, Reg. Price $54.50

Back to the Boob Suits

So I decided those big boob suits were just mock-ups for the model at hand and started ordering. Surely those cups couldn’t be that size in real life. Wanna bet? I looked like the old joke about the kid who proudly marches up to her teacher and announces she’s wearing a training bra. To which said teacher sweetly replies, “But what are you training, honey?” UGH

Last year, I bought a one-piece suit. It’s wearable, but the leg holes are too big and it fits a little funny. My parts are different sizes. Tankinis allow a better fit with separates. And don’t say the words “swim dress” to me. Those words scream old lady loud and clear and bring back my childhood shame. 🙁

My tankini top from Talbots

Pandora Beachy Blooms Tankini Top – Miraclesuit® available from Talbots online, reg. price $89.50

Success!

It took quite a bit of searching and returning, but. . . I finally have a great-fitting tankini top courtesy of Talbots. Yeah, the place I call the Muffy & Buffy store came through. Not usually my cup of tea. But one day, a gorgeous swimsuit popped up on my Facebook page and I clicked on it. To my amazement, it was Talbots!!! I scanned down the page and saw a tankini top in the same beautiful print. It was on sale and I got an online coupon for a massive percentage off. This place ain’t cheap! When I pulled it out of the package, I thought. . . . hmmm, maybe? And the best part? I would not need to stuff honeydew melons in the cups to fill them out. I put it on and modeled it for Ray. His eyes lit up. It’s in my drawer.

I’m planning on wearing it with a pair of black bike shorts from Fabletics. I also ordered a black swim skirt from Swimsuits for All.  And, yes, I know what I said about a swim dress, but this doesn’t look like one, even with the skirt.

So when you go to the beach in South Jersey this year, if you see a (very) short, fat old broad with caramel-colored hair sticking straight up, give me a wave. And if fluffy gym socks fall out of my bra, just palm ‘em discreetly and give ‘em back to me later, K?

See ya Friday with a great review!