Sizes 8 to 28 Clothing & Shoes

July 23rd, 2014



Simply Be is a wonderful website for affordable clothing and footwear (for hard-to-fit feet). Simply Be Clothing & Shoes


Rent the Runway Adds Plus-Size Rental Designer Clothing

July 9th, 2014

Matthew Williamson Designer Dress Retail: $1165 RTR Rental: $88


Rent the Runway now offers rental designer clothing for up to a size 22  They have exclusive collections that you can’t rent for a fraction of the cost.  You’re able to reserve a date for the rentals you choose.    You can rent jewelry, handbags,  clothing and purchase. Shapewear and intimates are for sale on RTR website. Rent The Runway







February 5th, 2014

Mommy Brobe


The Recovery Brobe

I want others to be successful in their endeavors.  I feel there is room at the top for all of us, if we allow ourselves to work hard reaching our dreams.  Allison Schickel a friend of mine designed the Brobe.  I find her creation essential for women and am excited her passion came to fruition.  Here’s Allison’s story:


B: Why did you invent the Brobe?  Describe the Brobes you created.

A:  I created the Brobe to support women at all stages of their life.  The garment consists of a supportive bra built inside a robe with specific nuances for each Brobe type.  The Recovery Brobe helps women who have undergone mastectomy or reconstructive surgery.  Constructed with pockets built inside the robe for post op fluid drains as well as pockets built inside the bra for ice packs and/or a prosthetic breast.  The Mommy Brobe was created for the new mom who is nursing and needs privacy as well as support.  Made from luxurious modal cotton, this robe bodes a flattering fit and provides both comfort and support for mom and baby.  The hook and eye, super supportive nursing bra makes for easy access during nursing and, it’s detachable, to take mom through the day.  It’s a birth through babyhood go-to, promotes skin-on-skin contact with baby, and is the perfect gift for new moms.  I hope to create the Brobe for the everyday woman in the near future, brand name TBD.

B:  Did your inspiration of the Brobe come overnight? 

A:  Sort-Of.  10 years ago I was working three jobs, taking care of a very sick husband and a toddler.  Everyday I would get ready in my robe and find a sports bra to put on underneath to refrain from sweating in areas I shouldn’t be.  I instantly thought “why won’t someone just make a bra inside a robe?”  This way I wouldn’t spend so much time searching for sports bras, nor being concerned about getting sweat or makeup on my sports bra.  I spent the next 5 years searching for a bra inside of a robe and never found it.  Almost 9 years after the initial idea, I created my first Brobe.

B: What disappointments developed in the process?

A:  Many.  I’ve made some mistakes.  I’m disappointed in myself for not being as patient as I should have in the beginning.  It cost me a lot of money not being patient.  I trusted and hired people not fit for the job.

B:  How has the Brobe benefited other and what has it brought out of your personal being?

A:  I’ve realized my company is more than just a piece of clothing to some people.  The Brobe, specifically the Recovery Brobe has helped so many women, more than I ever could’ve imagined.  It gives them dignity in an otherwise very difficult time in their life.  I realized I not only want to create other functional garments, I want to create a brand and a company that people admire.

B:  How has the creation of the Brobe affected your family life? 

Before receiving my first shipment of Brobes I gave birth to my second daughter.  These past two years have been exciting to say the least.  Working from home with a baby (now toddler) has turned out to be much more challenging than I realized.  My husband Matt takes up much of the slack when he’s home so I can finish up my work day which at times is difficult, considering Matt works 60-70 hours a week.  We also have an 11-year-old daughter who started middle school.  Balancing schedules, soccer practice, dinners, homework, his schedule, and my schedule.  It gets a bit hectic however we both agree family ALWAYS comes first.  We try to eat dinner as a family if we can.  No electronics, just us.  Matt and I work very hard to continue our date nights and give each child individual attention.  Overall, our family knows the Brobe will pay off in the long run.  We have to work together to make it happen.

B:  How can you help others considering a business of their own?

A:  I would like to think I am now in a position to help others in building a business from the ground up.  I talk to several entrepreneurs who need help with manufacturing, design, business plans, etc.  I’m not familiar with everything about a business but I can help with what I’ve learned in the past 2-3 years.  Honestly, I am still learning but helping someone find certain factories, attorneys, CPA’s to help make their business run a little smoother is something I am always happy to help with.

Thank you Allison and I wish you the utmost success!   “Shop the Brobe”









Bye Bye Bikinis! One-piece Swimsuits Win!

January 30th, 2013


The New York Post found that one-piece swimsuit sales are up around 20 percent in local New York shops.  Industry experts say that one-pieces are versatile, flattering, and can sometimes be sexier than showing more skin in a bikini and be a flattering style for all.

 Designers are getting more innovative in one-piece design.  It doesn’t have to be super sporty and active and covered up. Some one-pieces offer a more plunging neckline or halter neckline that can still be sexy.  Skin-revealing cutouts, which have been a trendy fashion element in recent seasons, also translate well to swimsuits. Cutout details at the waist and back are a happy medium between bikinis and full coverage swimwear.  If you have a tummy a certain one-piece suits offer a panel to hold our tums in.  While pleats in front can also make you look leaner.

That extra inch to pinch around your tummy can potentially remain hidden all year.


Shapewear Tested

November 21st, 2012


Who dies to wriggle into their shapewear?  Not wearing it isn’t against the law, but what is are the awful panty-lines that show when your clothing is on.  Some women may choose to go commando (no underwear…yes you read it correctly) or have no idea what shape wear is.  Shapewear is actually an updated word for girdle.  It holds you in, smooths your lumps and bumps and make take a few inches off for the clothes you are wearing.

I put out a questionnaire as to what Shapewear women preferred.   While I had lots of feedback, one woman said she refused to wear shapewear any longer because she looked like a sausage.  I have to agree with her as this has happened to me, while one part of the body goes in, the other goes out.  So I took all feedback and checked it out.  I tried them on (with my underwear, incase you were curious).  Once I had them on I tested them  as I sat, stood, bent down and did a little dance.   The one that topped my list (one highly recommended by a client) is the TARGET store brand “Assets” made by Spanx.  I have to agree, the lower cost shapewear is just as good as the higher cost.  I’ve decided to start wearing the “Assets” Brand by Spanx.

Check out all the brands I tested below.  What’s your favorite?






Department Store

Spanx Thigh Shaper $65-$98 Rides up
TC Thigh & waist Shaper $48-$78 Rides up, Best for short waisted & petites
Wacoal Anti=Cellulite Thigh Shaper $36-$72 Cellulite still shows, Firm hold
Cabernet One-Piece Shaper $24-28 Great for Long torso.  Firm hold

JC Penney’s

Flexees One-Piece Shaper $55 Shape doesn’t hold you in
Bali One-Piece Shaper Lacking support, Bad bra fit
Flexees corset Bra & body suit $48 Bad for long torso, Bra drags breast down
Flexees thigh Thigh & waist Shaper $45 Top rolls down


Slim Shape Thigh & Waist Shaper $20 Difficult to put on, yet holds
Diet Trim One-Piece Shaper $32 Bra size incorrect & seamed bra


Assets (Spanx Brand) Thigh & waist Shaper $34 Wider band on top!!  Stays in place
Hanes Thigh & waist Shaper $19 Remained in place



Guest Speaker Allison Schickel “The Brobe”

May 16th, 2012


My mother always says, “leap and the net will appear.”  I’ve lived my life with that in the back of my head for many years and I truly do believe if you trust and have faith in what you are doing, someway, somehow it will work out.

My name is Allison Schickel, creator of the Brobe.  Ten years ago I was 23, newly married and about to have a baby.  My first husband became chronically sick with kidney failure just a few months after our daughter Mackenzie was born.  I was forced to stop the plan of being a stay-at-home mom and work not only one, but at times three jobs to make ends meet.  Very quickly, I learned to persevere and just keep putting one foot in front of the other for my family.  Back then I didn’t realize that all those jobs in sales, office management and yes even waiting tables would teach me and lead me to where I am today.  The idea for the Brobe came to me in 2004 while getting ready for work.  Each day I would get ready in my robe but have to always put on a sports bra to refrain from the infamous “boob sweat.”  That is how the idea to build a bra into a robe began.  After 5 years of sitting on this idea, I decided to make a prototype to actually see if this idea would work.  IT DID!! I wore my homemade prototype for 2 years before having the idea for the Recovery Brobe and bringing it to life.  I was having lunch with a client/friend of mine who had a double mastectomy and three reconstructive surgeries a couple years prior.  She was explaining to me the difficulties of finding a post-op garment that was functional and comfortable.  When she showed me what she wore after she got home from the hospital I was appalled.  My initial reaction was, “ If my mother, sister, or friend just had her breast removed, I would want something that was comfortable, attractive, and functional for them.”  I wanted to give women dignity in an otherwise hard and traumatic time.  The Recovery Brobe not only is made out of luxurious fabric (think really nice yoga pants) it also has built in pockets for the post-op drains inside the robe.  The bra that is made similar to a sports bra fastens in front with Velcro and also has pockets on the inside if the bra to hold a prosthetic breast(s) and/or ice packs.

I did a lot of research on what was available to women while in recovery and could not find anything like my idea for the Recovery Brobe.  I decided to take the “leap” and I contacted a local seamstress who agreed to help me design a pattern and sew a couple of prototypes.  I then contact Susan G. Komen of Austin to see what they thought of this Brobe.  They loved it.  Once I had the prototypes made, I brought them in to meet with the Executive Director and Marketing Director.  They brought in a woman who had just had a single mastectomy to try on all of my prototypes.  Once she tried them on she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “ This makes me very sad for all the women who have not had this in the past.  You HAVE to make these garments.”  That was my confirmation and I knew this was something I had to do.  My hope is that this invention of the Recovery Brobe will bring blessings to women all across this country.


“When your best friend has a radical mastectomy it is devastating.  I didn’t really know how to be there completely for her.  One thing I could do though was provide comfort during a tough time by sharing the Brobe.  My dear friend was able to wrap herself in the soft goodness of the Brobe and feel comfort in a time of fear and sadness.  Thank you Allison for creating a wonderful piece of comfort and goodness to share with friends in times of needs.”     ~Terri Hill

“I love the extra support of the Brobe.  It gives me such relief to know that when I arrive home from the hospital after my upcoming breast surgery, I will have something to put on immediately to help me through the recovery process.  It will be worn a lot before surgery, too.  The Brobe makes a very thoughtful gift for someone going through treatment.  It’s an honor to support a company that designs products for women with breast cancer.”  -Lila Johnson Tenenbown


The Brobe






Looking Longer & Leaner

February 23rd, 2011

When was the last time you were measured buy an expert for a bra?  Many women assume they are the same size since high school or even a year ago so they don’t bother to get refitted. Wearing the correct size bra can make you look taller and leaner by creating room in your torso. Some women complain about their back hurting or their straps digging in.  A great bra will make your clothes lay nicer too. A few stores to get fitted by an expert are Nordstroms, Dillard’s or right here in Austin Petticoat Fair Intimate Apparel.

Spanx bra


Hose or Not to Hose

July 7th, 2010

Social World:

Wearing pantyhose is a matter of choice.  If you feel confident not wearing pantyhose-don’t.  If you feel apprehensive- do.

Work World, it depends on the type of company.  If a conservative company, wear them.  If the company is casual, leave them in the drawer.

Interviewing for a job? If you’re not sure…. wear them…. better to be safe.

What to keep in mind when wearing pantyhose?

-Sheer makes you look taller.

-Choose a color closest to your skin tone to make it look natural.  How do you know which color?  Put the sample stocking over your arm and match it to your skin tone.  The History of Pantyhose



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