Going on a book tour is not for sissies. Authors handle grueling travel schedules, adoring yet demanding fans, and the energy-taxing reality of sharing their stories openly and honestly night after night. With a book tour, comes publicity. One usually thinks about what to wear for public appearances like these. Since social media is a huge part of how an author can connect with his or her audience, and almost every fan is jonesin’ for a selfie, the fact that images spread like wildfire is worth considering. Needless to say, you want to look your best. For writers who haven’t thought much about their “look” in the past, putting it all together may not sound like much fun. All of this can be extra stressful immediately after completing the process of writing a book.
Kara Richardson Whitely is the author of Gorge, and she was thinking ahead. She and I worked together last fall over Skype – she on the East Coast and me from my studio in Portland. I helped Kara build a small capsule wardrobe to wear to her upcoming press events and book signings. She loved the experience. It made a huge difference in how prepared and confident she felt headed out on tour.
While on the hunt for clothing in sizes 22/24 to compliment Kara’s figure and personality, I became very frustrated by the lack of distinctive, affordable, and well-made options available to us online at department stores. I’m proud to say that Portland designers are producing some of the best “creative casual” clothing in sizes 16 and up available on the market. Amelia Boutique carries these lines, along with gorgeous jewelry and colorful accessories.
We know that size is just a number and that confidence is all about the person on the inside. That doesn’t change that shopping for clothes can be depressing for just about anyone, yet wearing pieces we love can make us feel pretty amazing. That’s why I do what I do. I especially enjoy dressing women who have had fewer options available to them off the rack then seeing their eyes light up at the possibilities.
Before last Thursday, Kara and I hadn’t yet met face to face. She was in town to do a reading at Broadway Books so we made a date! I ran up to her with open arms feeling like it was a sweet reunion and magical first meeting all at once! Then we were off to a fabulous dinner with a few friends to celebrate her success.
Kara is an inspiration for many. Gorge is her memoir. A story about a brave woman who—at 300 pounds—scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and then published a book about her experience. She says Gorge is an addiction memoir. She told me that once she made the scary decision to share the darker side of her adventure, which involved her struggle with food, her writing flowed.
Hear more about her journey in Sheila Hamilton’s interview on KINK FM. It’s an incredibly thoughtful and candid conversation between two amazing ladies. Enjoy!
Here are some of my favorite items for women wearing plus size clothing and shoes in sizes 11 and 12!
This Copper Union dress fits a curvy, hourglass figure divinely! Available at Amelia in sizes 12-26. Frame it with a cropped leather moto jacket to give it that edge it beckons for and head out for the evening!
All y’all tall girls, try this watercolor print maxi dress by Hubris. It’s perfectly on trend in this season’s color palette. Pair it with a denim jacket for daytime or heels + hair up + hot lips for night. Here’s how I styled it for our event last Friday at Amelia using accessories I found there.
Maguba is my favorite clog to recommend to those of us who like to customize our kicks. Pick your color of leather, choose the type of wood, and specify your heel height. To top it off, they offer European sizes 35 through 42, and they run a little big!
This pump is available in sizes 12 and 13. A black almond toe heel in a manageable heel height is a wardrobe essential for almost every gal. This brand can run a little narrow, so try the Clarks version if you’ve got a wider foot.
Portland’s very own Solestruck carries statement shoes up to size 13. I can’t help but love this bright orange Python print. Vegas shoes, anyone? I picture them with army green silk harem pants or a wrap dress in cream or even tattered boyfriend jeans and a blazer.
6’0” tall and wearing heels is my motto. I can wear a size 8, 10, 12, or 14, depending on the line and silhouette. ASOS offers on trend clothing for tall and curvy girls. I’ve been wanting a denim jumpsuit for a long time but wasn’t able to find one I could have made locally for my body type. So I ordered this in dark blue denim and it works!
iGigi delivers classic silhouettes in bold prints and vivid colors each season. If you find your go-to style there, you’ll keep going back for more. This dress, with the solid color surplice top and patterned skirt, will balance out a full bust and narrow hips.
Eloquii offers budget friendly suiting that fits fuller figured women in a tailored fashion, contouring without being too tight. This suit looks great on and is available in several colors up to size 24.
Lafayette148 offers high quality suiting and novelty separates that will stand serious wear. I want this outfit. Structured shoulders balance out fuller hips. Monochromatic pairings elongate any figure. So chic!
This column appeared in GoLocalPdx, May 14.