Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hollywood Vintage Pattern: No. 895

This is one of the very first vintage patterns I got and the first Hollywood pattern I bought. I didn't find a copyright date on it but I'd say this pattern came out between 1933 and 1936. I really love the armscye angle and the sportiness of this look. I've always thought that if you're going to include a jaunty hat in a pattern picture then you ought to include the pattern for it. Sadly, this is never the case. I want the short version of this coat with the hat shown with it.

Many of the actresses that appear on the Hollywood patterns weren't huge (though I do have Betty Grable and Carole Lombard Hollywood patterns). I know that most of the ones I have aren't especially well known actresses because the really famous ones are usually more difficult and more expensive to get my hands on. I particularly remember the cutest dress ever that featured Claudette Colbert and it was way out of my reach at $80.

Although winter is my favorite season for most things I think fall is the most exciting season in fashion. In spite of the horrifying number of ugly furs that inevitably surface, fall fashion means tights, sweaters, hats, pants, scarves, shoes that aren't strappy, and jackets and coats.

Today is the first day of fall and I'm so excited it's here! I have a hunger to wear charcoal and pumpkin orange.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vintage Simplicity 3688

I would make the one on the right with the cute little jerkin. (I hate the word jerkin.) I would endeavor to carry a green book too. I post this one in the spirit of the new school year. This looks like something I would have worn when I was in my early twenties when I felt especially collegiate or secretarial.

(The copyright is 1941 which is within my favorite vintage range.)

Surely if I had worn this ensemble someone would have written a song about the winsome girl with the green book and the blue ribbons tied in her hair looking like a... secretary. I guess secretaries aren't particularly romantic figures. I'll bet any balladeer would write about a NAKED secretary though. I'd bet my retirement fund on it!*

Secretary chic does makes it into fashion every now and then when people remember when Lana Turner or Jean Harlow rocked it. Anyone seen "Wife vs Secretary"? I absolutely have to find a copy to buy on DVD. With Myrna Loy and Clark Gable it's a festival of gorgeous people. It's also one of the better roles that Harlow got, in my opinion.

*You should know that I have no retirement fund before engaging in this bet with me.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My (almost) original eyebrows

This photograph was taken when I was 18 years old. I made that green dress without the benefit of interfacing or stays, which it obviously needed. Still, I was a first year design student at FIDM and was only just beginning to develop good drafting skills. In this photograph I'm visiting my mother in Stockton California*, the armpit of the universe. It's not surprising that when I first got into design school at 17 years old and my mom decided suddenly to move to an armpit of a city and gave me the choice to move with her or stay in design school and make my way in the world with no support...

I chose design school and squatting at my best friend's house until we finally got a studio apartment together in San Francisco. Her mother, who is an incredible woman, never blinked about letting me live with them. Or if she did (and why wouldn't she hesitate to take in a chainsmoking mental teenager whose mother suddenly moved to Stockton) she never let me know it. Nothing but kindness and also she taught me to make lasagna.

Those eyebrows are unplucked, unshaved, and unwaxed. They are, however, slightly enhanced with brow liner. I used to have such large brows and now they are so much less substantial. I kind of miss those big brows. Now when I don't darken slightly with pencil they seem to only be half brows. Which don't make me look good.

I really can't say what's up with the pink shirt with pearls. It's like I was doing "Nancy Reagan visits the Renaissance Faire" look. (No one knew that was a look until now.)

I remember that I took the Greyhound bus up to visit my mom and brother. I had my hard shell forties suitcase with me which has since burned up in our attic fire and which I still sorely miss. It was so sturdy (and I was 115 pounds lighter) that I could use it as a seat while waiting to be picked up at the station.

Very cinematic of me.

Smoking cigarette after cigarette sitting on my old suitcase with my parasol protecting my pale skin from the punishing sun of the central valley.

Probably reading something serious like Thackeray.

I must have been a sight.

*It is very funny that nicknames for Stockton include both "all American city" and "most dangerous city in California". Yes, that sums up the US amazingly. As a whole that is our spirit. As Israelis say: we are all really fucking scary violent people with guns, us Americans.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why does Karl Lagerfeld hate women so much?

I have a dislike/hate relationship with the poncy affectations of Karl Lagerfeld. I didn't like his designs before he joined Chanel, and I have only come to dislike him more ever since. To be fair, I have never been a fan of Chanel. Chanel is for stuffy, too rich for sense, knife sculpted middle aged society women. A bit harsh? I'm just saying exactly what Chanel has conjured up for me since I first started reading fashion magazines which is the only place I see people wearing Chanel. Oh, well, and on the streets of San Francisco occasionally (which only served to prove my original impressions)

Yes, I really do hate those iconic boxy Chanel jackets which didn't do anything for the female figure and yet weren't boxy enough to be androgynous chic and I truly do loath those iconic quilted leather bags with the chain and leather straps copied, god knows why, by absolutely every designer on earth.

So maybe it isn't fair to have an opinion about what Karl Lagerfeld has done to further degrade what little Chanel had going for it in the first place.

On the other hand, every woman has a right to have an opinion about the fashions being designed for her potential purchase.

I have read interviews with Lagerfeld and there is no other designer out there with a more repulsive set of affectations. He hates fat people, that has been made abundantly clear and now, after years of suspecting that he hates women, I finally have proof.

These big shaggy fluffy fur Clan-of-the-Cave-Bear style boots don't even look good on the stringy model- how does anyone think they'd look on a normal sized person? (I already know that on someone like me they would give a fair impression of a tarted up mammoth) There are few designs that can make a woman look worse that the thick fluffy tall boots that stop just under the knee paired with any dress who's hem stops several inches above the knee. A woman would have to have a deal with the devil to have the most sexy knees on earth to carry this look off.

No, I'm wrong, it is impossible. Giant furry fluffy fat boots will never be anything but disfiguring to any woman, thick or thin.

Which is how I know that Karl Lagerfeld not only doesn't find women personally attractive, I think he must have been horribly mistreated by them in his youth.

This is his revenge.

I think medication and therapy would be a more effective way of dealing with his hatred.

And maybe it would also cure him of his habit of wearing ugly sunglasses. Though I admit that's hoping a little too far.

Before this season I have struggled to find a kind thought towards this arrogant ass of a designer, but the gloves are officially off and I don't feel bad about my feelings any more.

I'm not even going to talk about that dress.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

40s Bathing Suit Sewing Pattern

McCall pattern number 6062. I fought an eBay duel for this one. Twice. I lost the first time I saw it listed. It was better this way, this one is actually a size 20*. The first one I tried for was a size 18**. But when I saw another one get listed I decided I would pay any price for such a fine pattern. I mean, look at those hot platforms!!!

Oh, well, you don't get the shoes with the pattern. But still, look at them!!

This is the way a bathing suit should look. In my opinion. I realize it isn't the popular view but I think string bikinis are ugly. I think nearly all modern bathing suits are hideous. But this pattern would flatter almost any figure! Plus you don't have to shave (or wax) off all your pubes to wear it. In fact, you don't have to shave them at all if you don't want to.

I actually want to go swimming looking at that suit.

If I lose 80 lbs I will sew this for myself.

And wear it in public.

In fact, I'll become a Yamhill River rat.

*Vintage sizing. Not at all the same as a size 20 now.

**Again, not a current size 18. A size 18 then would be about a size 10 or 12 now, at most.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Painter's Style

This is Sharon Eisley who is a fine artist friend of mine. I've known her for almost 20 years but we've only been friends for about the last 16 or 17 of those years. I have always loved her personal style and when she recently paid a quick visit to us I managed to take a few snapshots of her wearing a rose barrette I made and gave her.

What I love about her style: it's eclectic, colorful, interesting, pretty, flattering (even when she's wearing a style that isn't a personal favorite of mine, like cords- all the rage with youngsters like her- somehow she pulls it off), and it's not shy.

She is famous for finding great things at thrift stores. She has also been known to sew some really cute clothes for herself using vintage patterns. The next time I go to her house I must do a shoot of her wearing her forties pants and top (the same pattern I have in my collection).

Now she's a mom of two kids and never lets herself frump out or start weirdly believing that now that she's a mom she must become more restrained and boring. Something that happens to some women.

I am especially infatuated with the top she's wearing.

If you want to have a look at her art visit her here: Sharon Eisley

Or read her blog here: When In Home

Betty Davis Bathing Suit

I don't buy vintage patterns any more because I've spent quite a lot of money for the ones I have and the prices, while I was still collecting them, were consistently crawling up until at last they were plainly out of my reach. I am so happy I fought hard for the two vintage bathing suit patterns I managed to get my hands on before the game was up. This one cost me $30 something dollars. It was worth it. I have never seen another copy of it. This is such a cute swimsuit style! I'd totally wear it, though I'd worry about my boobs flopping around under that unsupported top.

If you look closely at the picture you will see that the design suggests you can also wear it as a play-suit.

Vintage bathing suit patterns are more rare than vintage lingerie patterns. My greatest pleasure is that I managed to get a few truly sweet examples of each before my mad collecting was shut down.

I can't find a copyright date on it but it's clearly the 1930's. If I had to guess more particularly I would say between 1930 and 1935.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eyebrows Lead to Sin and Corruption: Remove them for best safety features

Lately there's been an anti-brow trend in fashion. When a person is born with light or no eyebrows it seems completely visually sweet and normal and I have never thought "That person needs to get themselves a prosthetic brow!". However, many less salubrious thoughts come to mind when I see people otherwise brow-endowed either white them out or shave them.

SHAVE THEM?!! For fashion shoots I don't believe anyone is asked to shave their brows. Though why I shouldn't imagine such a thing is a mystery since I'm pretty sure it's expected that all models have a brazilian wax or a porn-star special*. (This is obviously the main reason I never became a supermodel.)

This trend makes me think of chemotherapy. It makes me think of aliens. The best thing it makes me think of is David Bowie in his least sexy sartorial moment in time when he recorded Aladdin Sane and had himself photographed with Twiggy. Who wouldn't?

I find myself feeling that there is some religious cult at work here.

It's almost as though some designers have come to realize that the eyebrow is nothing more than a cumbersome slug on the face, or that it embodies some symbol of imposed chastity and one can be much more liberated if one just REMOVES the offending feature completely!

Look carefully at those brow-less women, don't they seem like they might be capable of leading Jesus himself down a corrupt path where there is nothing going but carnal ruptures in chintzy thin curtained motel rooms on the off-off Vegas strip where every room is gilded with ceiling mirrors and vibrating mattresses and everything is spent by the hour and billed to the man on top?

Yes, that is me. Thanksgiving 1996. It's a shame you can't see it in this picture but I managed to match my hair to my band jacket EXACTLY (with permanent dye). It's tempting to blame Boy George for this brow perfidy, but if anyone in particular can be blamed I'm afraid the honors go completely to David Bowie. Not even David doing Aladdin but David doing "The Man Who Fell To Earth" which I can't watch now or I kind of want to kill myself just a little. Back then I watched it at least 13 times in one year**. The first time I saw it I saw it in the theater. I think that's fairly damning in itself.

Now look, shaving your eyebrows is a big commitment and quite disturbing. You can see I speak from regrettable experience.

I say it's regrettable because I know it's what you need to hear so you can sleep again. Truth is, I still enjoy pictures of myself with the brashly painted BLACK AS SIN brow on my pale as the north pole face.

What I'm happy no one can see, that there's no photographic proof of is what I looked like in the morning, sans theatrics. An unnaturally naked brow is not a pretty sight. I'm pretty sure an unnaturally naked brow is a gateway facial feature to sin.

Yes, it's all about sin. No matter how I may twist and turn the whole naked brow trend it seems fraught with bad behavior and at least two of the seven deadly sins: sex and rock-n-roll.

And purposeful hideosity.

*The 100% naked 12 year old special.

**That was impressive back when I didn't have my own vcr collection and had yet to let my OCD loose and free. I was still trying to control myself at least a little bit. If I hadn't been I would have watched it exactly 543 times in one year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wear your roadkill!

It's taken a long time but it seems the fashion industry has finally decided to cash in on the diy/frugal movement. You don't need to pay thousands of dollars for luxury furs anymore because now it's chic to look shaggy... all you need is a little (bad) luck, a very large car, and a skinning knife, things that everyone already has on hand!

If you're really lucky you'll hit a wolf, like this girl did. Don't have enough salvageable fur for sleeves? No problem! Sleeves on winter coats are passe. With global warming we'll all be wearing nothing but fur wristlets soon anyway.

The great thing about this new moment in furs is that what used to be a total waste of dead alpaca on the roadside is "upcycled" into a garment that everyone will want to borrow from you!

(Although I don't think it is wrong to wear a fur coat if you live in an arctic climate where that may be your best bet for keeping warm, I am fundamentally opposed to the fur industry. I do wear leather and I'm uncomfortable with that too, though when I wear synthetics I get foot fungus.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Simplicity 4628

I have quite a few vintage slip patterns. This one isn't super exciting but it sure is practical. I do wish it included a pattern for the bra at the right- vintage bra patterns are much harder to find. I don't think as many women sewed their own bras even back then. Slips, however, are generally easy to sew. It's not easy to find attractive modern undergarment patterns. Luckily I don't need to.

If I ever get back to a vintage size 20 (38 bust, 32 waist) I'll finally make myself a ton of slips. And dresses to go over them. I've made at least one from my collection though I can't find it.

I don't see a date on the pattern but I'd say this is mid 1940's.

A Smock and a Dress

These are designs I sketched twelve years ago. I was playing around a lot with designing clothes that could be worn to do anything in- garden, cook, clean, play, or socialize. That's a smock on the left. The dress was something I thought I might like to make for myself to wear in summer.

Please observe that my croquis are not underfed. In the context of fashion design a croquis is a drawing of a figure on which a designer may quickly sketch new design ideas.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Girdle Designs

These are designs I sketched for girdles. I love vintage lingerie and have a small collection. I've always been interested in designing and learning to make a collection of them for myself. I did once start working on a girdle pattern and sample when I was still costuming but I never finished it.

I dislike most modern undergarments. Everyone already knows what I think of thong underwear both from a philosophical, a comfort, and especially from a fashion point of view. I dislike all sleazy undergarments. My favorite period for undergarments is the 20's through the 40's. Pre-bullet bras which have never been my favorite, though they've enjoyed some renewed popularity from time to time.

This is a pencil sketch I made some time in 2008. I wish I would date all my sketches like I do my writing. I had to increase the contrast in this scan by a lot just to show the line drawing, so it looks a little funny.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Whiskey Of Distinction

First I buy fashion magazines for the love of the first flip through each month. When I was very young and unmedicated it was the most important thing in the world for me to be the first person to look through my copies. I once screamed the moon down over a room mate for having flipped through my Vogue before I did. Part of the enjoyment, I suppose, was the feeling that mine were the first hands to crease the pages, to fold it open, and that my copy would be explored by me, dirtied and crimped by me, before being handed over and shared with others. Maybe it was because I still had some residual anger left over from my toddler years spent in a commune in which I had nothing of my own. In any case, opening the newest fashion magazines every month was a ritual I looked forward to almost more than anything else. Especially through the FIDM years.

The first flip through is magic. The next one is scrutiny. The part where I start slamming Valentino for the use of giant bows AGAIN and Lauren of catering to the rich and boring. I needed to stretch the enjoyment out. So the third flip through was the part where I would cut or tear out all my favorite pages for my fashion scrapbook (I have three full fashion scrapbooks I've compiled over the years).

Lastly, I would flip through the whole thing looking for the best bits for collages. I still stubbornly have a collection of bits and scraps from magazines that I thought would be good for use in making cards. This card above is my all time favorite card using bits from my scrap box as well as photocopies of one of my favorite fashion through history books.

My son asks me what it means. Why is there blood coming out of the girl's eye? Why are there matches coming out of her mouth? I still can't possibly answer that question. It was about visual appeal for me. That, and I'm one macabre lady.

Impossibly, this card reminds me of a strange San Francisco adventure in which a friend of mine (who I've since realized might be a classic sociopath*) and I made pasta at the house of a hairdresser (for whom we were working, if you can call barely being paid "working") in his North Beach apartment, and I remember having the uncomfortable feeling that my friend was having an affair with the hairdresser and couldn't stop worrying about his wife, with whom we were eating.

This isn't exactly fashion, being more crafty, but it's how I recycle fashion in my life. I never could bear to part with this card. I put it here for posterity of some ethery kind.

*Not of the murdering kind. The kind of person who has no real conscience. This friend was notorious for dating inappropriate people and never seeming to care about anyone. I became really creeped out when I realized that she slept and dated people indifferently. Whether they broke up with her or not was a matter of supreme unimportance. Men would fall annoyingly and crashingly in love with her everywhere her black curls went. She could have formed a flotilla powered completely in broken hearts. I don't know if I ever knew a man who'd met her and didn't worship her abjectly.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Dressing: from the vintage pattern collection

Vintage Simplicity Pattern #3250

When you're collecting vintage patterns and you know all the good places to look you'll start seeing the same patterns in different sizes, different places, and in different conditions. The first time I saw this pattern it was smashing crushing love I felt for it. I got out-bid on it once on E-bay. Then I managed to get it, but in a size 12 which would have fit me when I was, well, 12. I gave that one to my friend Sharon who actually made it. She had to do some adjustments which is usual for most patterns but in the end she was so flipping cute in the outfit that if I didn't already love her so much I would have not been able to stand her. She has the nicest figure (still does after two babies...bitch! Ha, just kidding. Just so happens I still love her and she's not at all a bitch.) and this outfit when sewn is exactly as wonderful as I imagined.

As you can see, I finally ended up with a copy of it in my own size. I never stop imagining how great it would be to wear this ensemble to the farmer's market in the summertime. Or how about to a park with my kid? It would be awesome to garden in. Why people feel they have to garden in jeans is a mystery to me. I have never liked wearing jeans. I loath denim, for one thing. For another, they have never done my ass any favors. Pants like these ones made in a sturdy twill would be very comfortable for gardening in and super attractive on most people. If one is worried about dirt showing (as though it didn't on denim or sweats!) one can make them in a pretty cocoa or black twill.

As I load my vintage pattern collection onto this site it will become apparent what my style obsessions are. I won't give it away all at once.

Some day I hope to be able to finally make this for myself and then wear it with a giant sunhat and a pair of Jewish grandmother sunglasses.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Dress: from the vintage pattern collection

I have a fairly big vintage pattern collection. It tells a very clear story about my tastes in clothes, what I want them to accomplish for me, and what I think I might actually look good in. I would go on very specific hunts for vintage patterns such as bathing suits, because I loathe nearly all modern bathing suits. When on a hunt for a specific pattern I decided not to get any that weren't in my size* or at the very least in my size range. Vintage sizes are very different than the standard industry sizing today. Earliest sizing reflected bust size and I don't see any sense in having changed that system. Soon the sizing standards changed to representational sizes like 12 and 16 and 18 and 20.

A vintage size 12 is similar to a current size "0", which is a total joke and implies that women are so vain that they can't understand that numbers are just numbers that describe a physical plane and a woman can have the most gorgeous slender body and have a bust measurement that reads "40", which doesn't say she's fat, it says she's either got a broad back or a full bust or some perfect combination of the two. It's distressing to me that women seem to fall for the trickery of diminishing size numbers.

Most of the patterns I've collected are in the following sizes: 18, 20, 22, 38, 40, and 42.

(The first three sizes represent a bust size and corresponding hip size, the last three ARE the bust measurements.)

I got this dress pattern because an online friend was giving it away so I figured it was fine getting a size 12 which, even at my thinnest I would never have fit into a size 12 because my chest is too wide (bust measurement isn't simply how big your boobs are, it's a measurement you take across your boobs and around your back to figure out what your widest bodice measurement is).

I'm not a stellar pattern grader, in fact, I got a D in it in fashion design school. Grading a pattern is a mathematical art and closer to sizing architectural models than it is to pattern drafting. If you buy patterns in the wrong size and you want to change the size it won't come out right if you just increase all the lines by a half inch. This is why I have always bought patterns in the actual size I was or close enough that simple adjustments would result in a well fitting garment.

I couldn't resist this free pattern though. This is a style I can carry off when my figure is at its best. Although I do think fuller breasts work best with this style, I believe that smaller breasts can carry it off.

And look at that hat!

I mean to write a mini dissertation on why I think vintage patterns are a rich resource for modern designers and pattern drafters. There are few subjects that I get so excited about with a completely geeky absorption. In short, a vintage pattern isn't just cool because the paper is old and the printing is charming, it's cool because it's a true blueprint to the fashions of the past. There really is no more authentic way to suit yourself up in vintage style. It's better than buying and wearing vintage clothes from a thrift or an antique shop.

It's the only way you can have a brand new authentic vintage design.

(Provided you can lay your hands on an appropriate fabric.)

It's a blueprint to the past.

*Back when I started collecting vintage patterns I was generally a size 20 (a bust 38, waist 32, hips 40). I am now off the vintage sizing charts. My goal is to return to a vintage size 20.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dressing Cricket: the first sketch

It occurred to me that while I'm designing my fictional character Cricket, for Cricket and Grey, it would be helpful to dress her too. How a person dresses says a lot about who they are. Who they are has a tremendous influence on how they dress. What they do for a living, what environment they live in (climate is a big influence), and their attitudes about life will all determine what a person will wear and how they will wear them.

The first montage is a kind of overview of the feeling of Cricket's sense of style. Here's a corresponding brief sketch of her: She's 5'6" tall, has bright red straight hair worn in a straight bob with no bangs, she's freckled, light skinned tending towards flushes of pink, light lashes, doesn't wear makeup often, round face, thin but has small chest and curvy hips.

She's an herbalist by trade, forages as well as cultivates her own herbs, therefore spends lots of time getting dirty. She mostly rides a bicycle for transportation and walks a lot.

She's well read, intelligent, a meticulous worker, her skills at herbalism are like a fine cellist's work (delicate but strong, graceful and smooth, lyrical), her other skills are more utilitarian (cooking, would never bake a Madeline, for example, more likely to make pemmican). She is awkward with strangers, shy, quiet, watchful.

She is gutsy and can throw a punch, thanks to her father, as well as a professional pugilist, she's light on her feet, and uses weapons with surprising sangfroid and skill.

With people she knows really well she's at ease, more talkative, has a dry sense of humor, and is warm.

Cricket has few occasions to wear dresses but these two I thought were exactly the kind of thing she'd wear if she had to dress up. Particularly the brown dress. The other dress I kept putting back into my binder because of the elaborate detail on the bodice of the dress but the funny thing about designing fictional characters is that you start to develop a gut instinct about them. Which, them being fictional, is kind of strange. It would be just like Cricket to wear a linen dress with some good details but wear thick leather boots with it.

Important details of Cricket's dress: natural fibers only with emphasis on cotton and wool. Utilitarian with some fine but streamlined details. Clothes must all be durable. She favors neutrals with only occasional cautious splashes of color. Style is blend of early 20th century with with a streamlined futuristic treatment, taste for masculine clothes. Capes are favored, but nothing with ruffles or huge dramatic billows. Tailored, close, tidy. She would never wear heels. Ever. On no occasion. So that picture with the chinos paired with heels? Ridiculous.

I think as I get into writing the book more will become clear. I may need to design a few things myself because while these pictures begin to sketch out how she might dress, they're missing something I see in my mind.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Long Summer Dress Styles

My friend Skye saw a summery floor length dress she liked but wondered if it was a good idea on her figure which is thin with small chest and large butt. The dress had a bikini style treatment at the top and then about 5oo yards of gathers from directly under the bust to the floor. While I don't often agree with fashion critics about what figures should sport which styles, in this case I thought the style wasn't likely to be the most flattering.

I went through my binders, patterns, and scraps to come up with a few styles that I thought Skye's figure would be flattered by that would feel breezy and summery (she lives in Austin so the motivation is obvious). The first one is a Roberto Cavalli, a designer I have a very strong loathing for most of the time (for the sleaze factor), but I love this one. Just be careful not to take opium while wearing it or you might drown yourself just because your dress would look awfully pretty caught in an eddy.

Liz McClean's long dress styles would be flattering on most figures in my opinion. Especially the dark one. I have no idea what season this is from. I love her understated drapes and the kimono sleeve style. For Austin though, the dark color might make a person combust.

While it's true that I'm not a fan of Jennifer Lopez (or of any of her many many endeavors) when I saw this picture of her in one of her own designs I was smitten. She is the poster girl for the small boobed large derriered figure. She's thin yet curvy and unconventionally NOT busty. A sleeveless empire dress with a band for a bust is normally not a style I would recommend to those with this figure, yet look at her! She looks (in my opinion) stylish and cute as hell.

The other dress is a Derek Lam and I think it would be attractive on anyone who still has a waist (which doesn't, at the moment, include me) and would be a super comfortable style to wear during the hot months. The reason this would work on women with large butts and/or hips is that the fullness increases as the dress lengthens, but if you're thick in the middle, don't do this style.

I never did get around to making this one. Yet. Because I can't bear to sew it for myself and be disappointed. However, this style is a classic and I love it. Drew Barrymore wears a similar style in the movie "Music and Lyrics" and that's my favorite part of the movie aside from a couple of the songs that Hugh Grant sings(!).

This vintage dress is gorgeous. It has enough drape and ease to be a perfect choice for summer. It's a vintage dress so I don't know who made it. Pay attention to the placement of the drapes and how it gathers to a relatively small area at the high waist and is mirrored, though more modestly, in the bodice. This is another dress that would be flattering on large and flat butts alike. Big breasts and small alike can be flattered by this dress. All you need is a waist.