Being Sensible

  I think in most homes when you’re growing up, there are certain words or phrases repeated by parents that always drove us crazy.  Even the most loving families have them.  That one certain little word repeated over and over and over again from birth to menopause, or thereabouts, that would just make you grimace when you heard it.  That word, for me, was “sensible.”

It was unbelievable to me how many categories of my life were controlled by whether or not they were sensible.  My shoes needed to be a sensible brown that would go with everything, because I would only have one pair.  My clothing needed to be a color of brown or muted blue that would not stand out in any way, for that would not be sensible.  My hair could never be grown past my shoulders; it needed to be a more sensible length.  As a teenager, makeup was never allowed.  Sensible girls didn’t wear it.  And books?  It was OK to read school books, but there was no time for other reading when there was work to be done.  It just wasn’t sensible.

Conforming to sensibility quietly has never been my strength.  My early years would have gone much more smoothly if it had.  I was not a sensible child.  It was probably a godsend that our television was black and white so I could not see all the colors of the world, for I would have surely wanted them all.

The brightest colors in my life were from the quilts on my bed, made by my mom and grandmother.  A Flower Garden quilt with predominantly green colors was always on it.  Green was my mom’s favorite color, therefore, it was sensible.  And because green was so sensible to my mom, she even painted the oak woodwork of our house green.  I began to loathe the color green as much as brown, sensible as they both were.

  When the air began to turn chilly in the fall, I had to wear a sensible cardigan, when I really would have preferred a jacket.  Corduroy slacks were the more sensible autumn choice, when I would have preferred blue jeans.  And my hair was generally chopped off by my mother at home because it was much more sensible than having it done by someone who actually knew how to cut hair at the beauty shop.

I became so tired of being sensible.  I wanted to wear something red under a black leather jacket!  I wanted to wear lipstick and faded denim and grow long hair that would flow in the breeze!  I yearned for bright red fingernails and toes and a purple dress that did not hide in a crowd!  I wanted to be a rebel!

Eventually, as years passed and I was out on my own, making my own money, I would occasionally purchase something very insensible.  And yet, I still couldn’t buy that red sweater or blouse because my mother’s voice was always inside my head telling me it wasn’t sensible.  And my dad’s voice telling me only Trollops wore red.  Well, I certainly didn’t want to be a Trollop.  It just wouldn’t be sensible.

Whether or not to be sensible has haunted me my entire life.  I wanted so much to rebel, wear mini skirts and high heels and fishnet stockings.  And oh my gosh, I wanted a pair of red shoes.  That would have been the ultimate rebellion.  But always, my mother’s voice was inside my head telling me how that would not be sensible.

Years have gone by, decades really.  Mother’s voice has faded, just a little.  I bought a red sweater this fall.  And yes, I do feel a bit of a Trollop when I wear it.  Brown shoes no longer go on my feet and have been replaced with black, because black is more sensible to me.  But I’ve still never bought the red shoes.  I guess there will always be just a little bit of sensibility in me.

Did your parents encourage you to be sensible?

Do you remember the corduroy jumpers?


Full Size Style

Fashion and style are not just for the skinny and young.  Plus size women of all ages like to look fashionable, too.  And they can now, with more options and with more clothing lines recognizing that beauty comes in all sizes, and so do the women who purchase clothes.

One of my favorite shops for larger sized clothing is Catherine’s and  They have surely come a long way over the years.  They now offer clothing that is on point fashion, fits well, comfortable, and for all ages of women.  The picture above is their Dashing Blouse, $69-$74, depending on the size.  Most pieces run in size from 0X, a size 14, up to 5X, a size 34/36.

They carry a couple collections called Perfect Price and Suprema.  These are usually comfortable, casual items in cotton and cotton blends at a budget worthy price.  The Perfect Price tops come in beautiful colors and patterns.  The only con with these is that they are not always included in the frequent sales that Catherine’s has because of their already lower prices.

Now, let’s talk for a moment about purchasing lovely clothes on a budget.  I love clothes and being able to wear nice clothing.  I feel like Catherine’s is a nice quality, but I cannot afford to pay full price for their clothing.  They help with that by having frequent sales.  It seems that nearly every week they have some sort of sale going on.  I wait for the really good ones where I can get clothing 50% off, plus my 10% off with the store’s Perks Plus discount.  That’s 60% off!  They also offer what they call Catherine’s Cash at certain times that you can use for shopping at future dates.  I suspect between now and Christmas they will have some fantastic sales promotions.

Catherine’s carries a diverse line of styles that should appeal to most all ages and styles of women.  My favorite style the past few years is long over lean, as in long tunics over leggings or slim leg slacks.  Because of some health issues I have with my legs, this is a very comfortable option for me, and when a black legging is paired with a black ankle boot, you can’t go wrong.  And pretty much any color tunic goes with the black leggings.  This style is easy and takes me wherever I want to go, whether it’s work, play, or somewhere in between.  It just works for me.

Once you try on some of their clothes in the store, you will get a sense of what styles you like and look best on you.  Don’t be afraid to try on large prints and bright colors.  You will be surprised how great your body will look in them.  I’ve also ordered their clothing from in my usual sizes and everything has always fit.

This is their Softness Sweater I recently purchased in red.  Do keep in mind when you’re shopping online that their models are usually wearing their smallest sizes.  This sweater looks much different on me, yet still attractive and comfortable.

Ladies, no matter what your size, have fun with your clothing.  Pair a simple sweater with a gorgeously colored scarf.  Make a statement with a ruana thrown over your shoulders.  Even a pair of soft, supple, black leather gloves from  Catherine’s will put the finishing touch to your outfit.  And don’t forget to accessorize!  Make your earrings tell something about your personality.  Carry a handbag that’s going to pull everything together, or make a dramatic pop of color with neutral clothing.

Lastly, but certainly not least, don’t forget that grooming can make or break any outfit.  Give yourself a manicure and pedicure, tweeze or wax your eyebrows, shave any pesky facial hair that loves to start sprouting around menopause, and just enough makeup to enhance those beautiful features.  A little lipstick and mascara can really brighten your complexion and add a little classiness in an easy and simple way.  Or go for a total makeup look!  Just don’t overdo.  You don’t want your makeup colors to compete with your clothing for attention.

No matter what your size, you are beautiful and worthy of dressing to enhance your beauty.

What is your favorite plus-size fashion look?

Please share with your plus-size fashionista friends!