“Friends may come and friends may go/But you should know that/That I’ve got your back, it’s automatic/So never hesitate to call/Cuz I’m your sister and always for ya and I/I don’t know what I’d ever do without you/From the beginning to the end/You’ve always been here by my side/So I’ll call you my best friend.”–Brandy, “Best Friend”.

Hey Guys!
So this past weekend, my bestest bud from 4th grade, Liana…


…came to visit me!
She’s from Atlanta, which, while lauded for its crunk music, isn’t quite as well known for fashion. Liana came to NYC looking to add a dash of style to her wardrobe, and I figured…who best to deliver it to her?!?!
We were hitting the town all weekend, and she needed outfits for the various dinners, club hops, and social events I had planned. She also wanted to indulge in a bit of Canal street shopping, so I figured I’d take her to the Soho strip (Q to Canal Street, R to Prince Street)…

…to see what we could see.
With only 3 hours before our next event, we hit the pavement. But of course there were a few caveats. I asked, what’s the most you’d spend on a top? At first she said, “I’ll pay whatever as long as it looks good.” So I was like, “You’d pay $80 for a top?” And quickly she changed her tune. Turns out, the most she’d spend on a top was $50, and the most she’d spend on a bottom was $60. Plus Liana is a voluptuous lady, so we had size concerns to deal with.
Instead of messing around with my favorite haunts like Bloomingdales or Club Monaco, we made a stop at H&M…

…for their reasonably priced, fashion forward offerings.
I decided I’d look for a few club tops, and tried to only pluck ones that didn’t have clingy material, flowed over her tummy, yet still had sort of a dressy element.
This gold top…

…looked like it had potential at first blush, but Liana quickly pushed it to the side, citing it was ‘too gold and filmy.‘ (Don’t you love the facial expressions?)
We liked this shirt/dress better…

…but I wasn’t a fan of how it hugged her curves around her bottom. The neckline was flattering, but the bottom seemed lumpy.
This top…

…again, was too clingy, and though it had a silver sheen, it didn’t scream ‘I’m going out!’ but more…”I’m going to the grocery store!” Didn’t work.
But this zebra print flowy top…

…was just right! It had an eccentric print, and its sheer element was sexy enough for a night at Marquee. Plus the flowy fabric didn’t cling to curves, and the neckline drew attention to Liana’s face. We took a look at the price…and it was only $25! Well within our price range. So we checked out…

…and were on our way!
So I had Liana trying on those tops with white shorts, and thought that white jeans would look *great* with the zebra print top. I thought that we’d run a find a quick pair of jeans, and be on our way.
I chose to run into the Levi’s store…

…because I knew they’d have a whole range of sizes for a reasonable price. Turns out they were having a sale, and every jean was $30! Perfect.
I grabbed a few pairs–short, long, and in varying widths–and we hit the dressing room. This size 14 pair…

….was too tight around the thighs and very low cut. This size up….

…was too low, had a weird crotch, and too short. No Dice!
We were short on time by now, and I figured we could run into Uniqlo…

…because I knew that they had inexpensive jeans and went up to a size 14.
Well the jeans there were an affordable $39.50, but Liana couldn’t even pull em up over her thighs. For shame, Uniqlo! She did, however stumble upon this saucy black shirt dress…

…for $89.50. Out of our price range, but Liana loved how she felt in it, and I thought it was flattering. The black color was slimming, the vertical buttons on the dress elongating, and the style just worked well! So we checked out…

…and were done!

That night Liana ended up wearing her new zebra top with a pair of Baby Phat jeans she brought with her from home.

Going shopping with Liana was an elucidating exercise. I didn’t realize how hard it was for voluptuous women to find affordable jeans in your go-to stores. Heck, I didn’t realize how hard it was voluptuous ladies to find *anything* stylish, fashionable, and well fitting. And last minute? Forget about it.
But I think I did an ok job, no?
Want Liana’s look? Try the following pieces:

Top Row: Florida Wash Signature Jean, $64, BabyPhat.com
Shirt Dress in Charcoal, $129, www.igigi.com.
Bottom Row: INC International Concepts Belted Zebra-Print Shirt, $79.00, www.macys.com ; Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Tummy Tuck Stretch Jeans, $98, www.nordstrom.com.
PS Need more style advice? Check out my prior post on voluptuous vixens here.
PSS Shout out to my other best bud from the A, Tara. Lurve you gurrl! Come visit me!!!
PSSS Dont’ Forget, from nymag:
Tracy Reese and Plenty by Tracy Reese’s girlie frocks (now $99), handbags (now $250), and sweet sweaters (now $93) are on sale.
When: 6/19 and 6/20.
Where: Loft Eleven, 336 W. 37th St., at Eighth Ave., eleventh fl.