Melania Trump, Second Fiddle First Lady

January 25, 2017

By Adele

After Donald Trump’s demeanor toward his trophy wife Melania on inauguration day, I get why she’s staying in New York with Barron. Maybe her absence will make Trump’s cold black heart grow fonder.

This video has been circulating, comparing how the Obamas and Trumps arrived at the White House on their big days. It’s telling…

NOTE 2/1/17: Aha, the video above is broken. Trump’s stifling of the First Amendment has begun. Fortunately, his boorish and dismissive behavior toward Melania during those moments is an irrefutable matter of public record…

Melania seems to know 10 paces behind Trump is the safest place to be.

And now watch both men and their wives at the inauguration ceremony…

Melania at 46 still looks like a model. Two days after the inauguration, January 22, was the Trump’s 12th wedding anniversary. I couldn’t find a word about Trump noting the occasion; most reports filled the void by mentioning a 25-carat diamond ring he gave her on their 10th.

Melania’s gift to Trump was to fly back to New York.

Melania’s blue Ralph Lauren ensemble for the inauguration was chic, if a bit matchy-matchy. Didn’t anyone tell her there was serious walking involved and she needed sensible heels? Her dogs must have been barking that night. Trump did throw her the bone of holding her hand as they strutted along the parade route.

Everyone expected the billionaire’s wife’s inaugural ball gown to mesmerize and eclipse anything in recent memory, including Michelle Obama’s first one, with wads of dryer sheets stuck all over it.

President Donald Trump, left, arrives with first lady Melania Trump at the Liberty Ball, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump, left, arrives with first lady Melania Trump at the Liberty Ball, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Apparently, Melania helped Hervé Pierre, formerly of Carolina Herrera, design the gown. The result was a dress that dragged on the ground, a flounce that made her look wider from the side, and a slit almost up to her hoo-ha. And what was with that red string around her waist? A secret shout-out to Putin?

But after seeing how Trump treated her all day, I can imagine how she instructed Pierre…

“I must not have anything too showy. Make it as plain and simple as possible. No beads, no sparkle. Donald will be very upset with me if I upstage him. He must be the center of attention at all times or it will go very bad for me, if you know what I mean.”

So Pierre did his best to gussy up a sackcloth. On the positive side, if Melania can fend off the Smithsonian and lose the belt, that gown will make a dandy bathing suit cover-up this summer.

BONUS: Here’s some backstory on their lavish wedding. Notice Melania’s scary eyes right after the ceremony.

I’m a Consignment Reject

June 17, 2013

By Karen

Weight Watchers® success has me trying to find new homes for a wardrobe in sizes 16-2X.

AmVets got the rattiest stuff for rags, but some cruise and business attire and last summer’s little-worn outfits deserved better. So I tried consignment.

It would have been easier to build my own boutique.

The elusive proprietors of Richmond’s sole plus-size shop were available only by appointment, only when the kids were in school. Clothes must be clean, in perfect condition, and seasonal — reasonable enough — but also pressed and on hangers.

I prepped my summer’s best while calling repeatedly, only to FINALLY reach someone and get, “This season’s all booked.” (WHEN??!! HOW??!!) “Try again in the fall.”

The next shop had the word “Finicky” in its name. They sell only to size 18, which disqualified most of my clothes. Big women, don’t clog their aisles.

They did accept 2 dresses, one still bearing its price tag. It sold and my cut was $12. They gave the other dress to charity. I got no tax-deduction receipt because I didn’t drive across town to reclaim and donate it myself. Some weeks later, I made the trek to collect the $12 or they’d have kept that, too.

For business people whose success depends solely on good will to keep the free inventory flowing in, I was stunned by what passes for service in this retail niche.

A new shop nearby opened that pays upfront for clothes which don’t have to be seasonal or on hangers.

That’s all GREAT, but there’s a catch…

You can’t really have worn them beyond trying them on in the store.

I brought in a basket of mint-condition items, including a pair of 4-month-old Charter Club jeans (size 14), and several dressy t-shirts, tank tops, and pullovers that are NEVER out of style.

All rejected.

A Liz Claiborne all-weather coat I wore maybe 4 times. No dice.

A simple black cocktail dress, admittedly 7 years old, worn maybe 3 times on cruises. I saw the identical dress in upscale Dillard’s department store just weeks ago.

Not good enough.

They took 3 items, and one still had its price tag. I earned $14.

Lessons learned about consignment:

  • It’s not about recycling gently-worn clothes. They want your brand-new clothes.
  • For a lot of prepping and hauling, you’ll make peanuts — if you’re lucky.
  • Your sense of taste and self-esteem will take a beating.

I felt like crap after my clothes’ third rejection. If I hadn’t lost weight, I’d be wearing that stuff TODAY. But it’s apparently not nice or stylish enough for bargain-hunters who go around wearing strangers’ castoffs.

Charities, on the other hand, never scoff at your donations. They’re grateful you give them the opportunity to make a buck off your clothes.

And you benefit from a possible tax deduction, not to mention the pleasure that comes from knowing your stuff can help the less fortunate.

So, Goodwill is my next stop.

Did you know that Goodwill (and undoubtedly others, but I learned this firsthand from Goodwill) want even your ratty clothes? If they can’t be sold in Goodwill stores, they’re sold by the pound in the aftermarket. Even threadbare towels and socks can raise money.

Postscript: Weirdly, while writing this last night, I was watching Style Network and discovered Resale Royalty. It’s about a St. Louis second-hand shop that carries nothing but high-end designers (Chanel, Versace, etc.).

I felt a lot better after seeing them reject or offer relative pittances to ladies who’d paid hundreds and thousands for the beautiful clothes and shoes they brought in.

A more apt name for consignment shop owners might be Fashion’s Bottom-Feeders.

I Discover I’m a 36H

May 29, 2013

By Karen

The other day while wandering through Dillard’s lingerie department, pulling up the straps on my new Soma bamboo 38DDD bra every 10 seconds and trying not to flinch at the underwires’ incessant poking, I noticed cup sizes like F, G, and H.

Just then, a lovely saleswoman named Margaret asked if she could help me.

Could she EVER!!

Margaret measured me and quickly fetched several styles and sizes for me to try on. One size she immediately eliminated was 38DDD.

Turns out I’m a 36H. Now, you’d think an H cup would be HUGE, but it looks smaller than that Soma job. And for the first time in years, the top half of the cup isn’t empty, and there’s no boob bulging out the top, bottom, or sides.

Here are some ways to tell you’re wearing the wrong bra…

  • The straps fall.
  • The “bridge” on an underwire between your breasts doesn’t lie against your chest. I’m guessing 99.9% of you reading right now in underwires have floating bridges.
  • You can hook the bra in front, then spin it around.
  • Your nipples are down by your elbows, or heading there.
  • It rides up when you lift your arms, or your boobs spill out the bottom.

My new Wacoal underwire completely corrals “the girls.” But I’m not happy that it’s so tight overall, I’ve developed a mild case of muffin back. However, my nipples are sitting at mid-upper arm, all my shirts suddenly feel several inches looser, and the bra doesn’t move when I reach for things on top shelves in the kitchen.

Raising the boobage above waist level takes years off, and now I can run without knocking myself unconscious.

But wearing a “nonstandard” bra has downsides (besides being nearly impossible to find)…

  • It’s frightfully expensive – in the $50-75 range. Bra makers say you’re supposed to replace them every 6 months because the elastic goes. At those prices, it’s not bloody likely.
  • The weight is now all on my shoulders, so I’m expecting deep grooves.
  • The higher cut to contain the underarm boobage chafes.

On the other hand, getting out of the damn thing at the end of the day has never felt so wonderful!

I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and skewer on their own underwires the Soma saleslady and all the others I’ve met over the years who cheerily stuffed me into ill-fitting bras and pretended dumpy was my perfect “look.” Shame on them all.

Bras: Torture That’s Perfectly Legal

March 21, 2013

By Karen

I was a 46DDD back in June 2012 when I started Weight Watchers®. I’ve since had to replace my bras twice with smaller sizes, and recently started round three.

FYI to 30-something A-C cuppers: In the 40Ds, there’s no such thing as “cheap” bras if you want to look like you’re wearing one. Or pretty bras. Or comfortable bras.

Let’s just say, I’ve lately invested a small fortune in bras.

Catherine’s has wire-free Serenada® bras that were GREAT — but I hit the wall after 42DD.

I thought 40DD was next, but the store didn’t have them, and the clerk told me they don’t exist. She lied; they’re online.

By the tape measure, I’m a 36C, but reality doesn’t support that.

I’ve tried on a range of sizes in Playtex, Olga, Warner’s, Vanity Fair, Bali, Maidenform, you name it. And I discovered there’s ZERO consistency in bra sizing.

And what’s with padded, molded cups everywhere? Am I the only woman who isn’t perfectly round and perky? I can stuff my entire fist into the top of those molded cups with room to spare.

I ended up at Soma, mistakenly thinking they specialized in hard-to-find bra sizes, but they only went to DDD, and their bras are bamboo. You’re not supposed to machine-wash or mash the molded cups for risk of “damaging” them.

All other options exhausted, I got Soma 38DDD, and was advised not to pack them flat, which means buying them their own suitcase.

But the real kicker is that these relatively pricey bras ($30 on sale) have underwire that pokes, straps that won’t stay up (a sure sign of bad fit), enough room in the upper cup for my pedometer although boob bulges out my armpits, they take up my whole bra drawer, and I F**KING HATE THE DAMN THINGS.

I once saw an episode of Oprah where women in the audience learned they were all wearing the wrong size bra, and many ended up happily in G and H cups.

I feel screwed and helpless. I should probably be in a 36G, but there’s no way I’m buying an untried cup size online. Measurement tables are useless. Bra-makers are evidently acting out some sick male fantasy with cup shapes and sizes.

And a lot of women are probably paying through the nose for uncomfortable, ill-fitting bras.

So now I’m hoping that if I stick with WW a while longer, I’ll starve the girls back down to a D cup and have a fighting chance of ever finding a bra that fits.

Downsizing with Weight Watchers

September 24, 2012

By Karen

Part 6 – Getting Back Into “Normal” Clothes, Sort Of

So two weeks ago and 23 lbs. thinner, I walked into Macy’s feeling pretty cocky, wearing a pair of size 12 shorts I’d stashed away (pre-WW, I was wearing 18s).

I tried on a pair of size 14 slacks and couldn’t pull them up past mid-thigh. WTF??!! Got into some 16s, but almost fainted when I buttoned them.

A couple of XL tops fit OK but, on principle, I refuse to buy any more X sizes.

So I walked out of this HUGE sale empty-handed, feeling blimpy and demoralized.

But I think Macy’s sizes are all screwed up because 1) Lots of the stock is cheap quality, and 2) It’s made in Third-World countries where people aren’t super-sized like Americans.

Speaking of which, if about 66% of adults are overweight or obese, WHY do department stores cater mostly to the thin 34%? They don’t even carry much for regular women who would wear 10-14s. It seems like retail suicide, but it never changes.

Mainstream stores treat being large like such a shameful condition,  they often don’t even name the plus-size department. You have to hunt until you find a rack of X-sizes. If it has a name, it’s something like “Woman.” I think I’ve even seen a condescending “Missy” department somewhere.

WiseBread wrote more thoroughly on this.

But I digress…

Now it’s been 17 weeks and I’m down 24 lbs. I think I’m about halfway there. This weekend I bought 3 tops at Stein Mart that were Large and I was thrilled. My pile of discarded ridiculous-looking fat clothes is growing. A girlfriend tells me I look like I’m wearing my mother’s clothes — because they’re hanging on me. (For the record, my mother is tiny.)

I’m still unable to find any slacks because if they don’t have wide floppy legs and bag mightily in the ass and thighs, I can’t zip them. How the HELL do designers think we are shaped down there?

By WW measures, I’m only 12 lbs. overweight now, so I shouldn’t be having all these fit issues.

I’ve made my peace with WW so I no longer feel as screwed as at first — but preparing meals is still too labor-intensive.

On the other hand, the extra effort is worth it now that rejoining the 34% non-overweight minority is definitely on my radar.

And their clothes are so much cuter.

UnFoodie Becomes a Weight Watcher

July 23, 2012

By Karen

Part 1 – Why?

Because when I hit 177 lbs. in May, my scale was within spitting distance of 200 — at 5’3”.

Weight Watchers® says my ideal weight is between 113 and 141 lbs. Anything 30+ beyond that is technically obesity.

Me. OBESE? How the hell did I let that happen?

When I was 42, I weighed 113 (size 6-8) and I had a bod made for sin.

But over the past few years, I’ve become a regular at plus-size retailer Catherine’s because “normal” stores carry almost nothing that fits. Once your size has an X in it, your style options are “circus tent” or “sofa.” Catherine’s, who should empathize with their customers’ plight, features clothes with wide horizontal stripes, huge flowers, and garish geometrical patterns in case anybody might be tempted to overlook what a tank you are.

Underneath, I’ve taken to wearing enormous clown panties (size 9) and 46DD bras — big boobs are my Italian curse.

So on May 21, I joined Weight Watchers® online. I’ve done the drill twice before with meetings and it was good while it lasted, but I’m a veteran yo-yo dieter who has repeatedly lost the same pounds, only to regain them and another 10.

Weight Watchers® is basically the Taco Bell of dieting. For years, they’ve milked the sole premise that you must burn more calories than you consume, cloaking it in various schemes so you never have to say you’re counting calories.

This year it’s called PointsPlus® and it’s never been more complicated. But if you can wrap your head around it, it does work.

After 8 weeks, I’m down 13 lbs. I’ve reversed the obesity train back to Overweightville. But my ultimate destination is Slim City.

I’m not sure yet how much I need to lose. I have an absolute horror of becoming one of those stringy-necked, brittle little stick figures with lifeless hair and loads of wrinkles. I’d be content in size 8 again.

I’ve already lost 3.5” in the bust, but would love to shed another 10”. If you bemoan being flat-chested, count your blessings. You can 1) Buy cute blouses you can button and tuck in, 2) Wear belts, 3) Run and do jumping jacks, and 4) Have men look you in the eye because they aren’t transfixed by the basketballs strapped to your chest.

I’ve got a lot more to spill about Weight Watchers®, but this is a start. Stay tuned…

Princess Catherine: 1 – Michelle Obama: 0

May 27, 2011

By Adele

For this year’s European tour before the G8 summit, Michelle Obama gave more thought to her packing.

Remember when Michelle dropped in on the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2009 wearing that frumpy black cardigan over a white blouse and black skirt — and touched the Queen?

Michelle's total "no-no" moment. (Photo - Daniel Hanbury/AP)

Well, this time, Michelle also got to meet the Duchess of Cambridge a.k.a. Princess Catherine a.k.a. the former Kate Middleton, a young woman whose sense of style has been wowing the world.

Michelle was all aglow. Literally. Every stitch she wore, including her shoes, had a sheen. And she wore a huge jeweled brooch. Before 5.

At least she didn’t try to add her “signature touch” by throwing some of her studded leather gladiator gear around her waist.

Here they are…

Kate meets Barbie

They say Kate’s off-the-rack dress cost roughly $340.

Michelle’s designer frock, estimated at $2,000+, was straight from daughter Sasha’s Barbie Doll collection — with its kicky poof skirt and undersized bubble-gum jacket.

Kate wore classic black closed pumps. Michelle let her gnarly bare heels hang out in metallic gray slingbacks whose pointy witch toes extended her feet, which nobody can accuse of being dainty, by another inch.

I will give the point to Michelle for her hair, and they say her makeup was nicely done.

You can’t look at those two without thinking someone must have switched their closets — that is if Kate, post-age 12, would ever let herself be caught dead in Michelle’s get-up.

It would have made America proud to see our first lady at Buckingham Palace in that classic beige sheath, holding an elegant little black clutch, instead of looking like the tart at the tea party.

If Kate could ever be coaxed into Michelle’s dress (whose flowery print resembled that worn by Kate’s 85-year-old grandmother-in-law), I feel sure Kate would at least lose the pink jacket.

Now I can’t get the voice of Countess LuAnn from The Real Housewives of New York out of my head, screeching, “Money can’t buy you claa-ass!”

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