Mar 30

There are actually 15…but we will discuss the trends in blocks of five to make it easier. Get a note pad!

As we have mentioned before, it is florals and bold graphics are still going strong! This season, designers have offered bouquets to color your favorite dress, skirt, or top. It is an explosion of florals. Check out our Garden Party category as we are adding new items each week.

Not to be outdone, bold graphics join the light and dark for a look that cannot go wrong! Take a look at the newest additions to our art deco category. You’ll find pieces that you’ll want to add to your wardrobe.

Patent Leather makes a big comeback! Remember, when Easter meant a time for shiny Mary Janes? Now is the time to go and get patent leather shoes. Pair your new shoes with our Uddini Black Patent Handbag. And while you are at it, did you know that grey is the new black? Especially in accessories. Take a look at our Uddini Pewter Handbag. Hint: This is a color you will be able to take into fall!

And bangles…pile ‘em on!! The more the better!! Like potato chips–ok, the low fat kind, :) you cannot stop at one!
More to come! Jodell

Mar 21

What a week!! Whew! Trying to select the winner of our model search contest was trying to say the least.

Black Cat Plus is pleased to announce that Erica Larsen is the winner of its Search for the Authentic Woman Model Search Contest. Larsen will be featured as the web boutique’s model for its Spring 2008 Collections. As a thank you, she also receives a two-night stay at the Del Monte Lodge in Rochester, NY and a $500 wardrobe credit from Black Cat Plus.

I have to thank all of our model search applicants for taking the time to enter and to tell their personal story. We had over 100 submissions!! I was just astonished by the response and overwhelmed when reading the essays of the contest applicants. I really wanted to show the world that confidence comes in all shapes and sizes and from that confidence comes the power to change perceptions and reading the submissions of our applicants–we are on the right track!!

We are in the process of changing perceptions about what it means to be plus size in America! We must live who we are RIGHT NOW! Although this season, we could only select one model, we are adding more models for our Fall Collection. Stay tuned for details.
And from the bottom of a grateful heart–thanks to all of you who entered. If I have not been in touch personally, I will be as I am in the process of thanking each and every one of you! Jodell

Mar 13

There are plenty of ways to make your clothing budget go farther this season. Living within a budget does not mean having to settle for poor quality clothing.

There are four things that we look at when purchasing clothing for our customers at Black Cat Plus: Quality, Price, Trend, and Brand.

Quality refers to two things: fabric and garment workmanship. I have talked about how important it is to invest in garments that can be worn year round. We have added our Four Seasons Boutique with pieces that we have found to have excellent quality, great style, and can be worn year round. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and spandex are also more moderately priced and high quality. Lightweight wools and cashmeres are always a good investment as they can also be worn year-round.

Next, really inspect the fabric and workmanship of the garment from the collar to the hem. When examing the workmanship look at buttons, collar, seams, and lining. The buttons should be secured through the layers of fabric. The collar should fold and not gather or pucker. Inside seams and patterns should match and there should not be any hanging threads. Look at the stitching to make sure that it is straight. The lining should have extra material and not be hanging.

Pay attention to how close the clothing piece reflects the season’s trends. A good way to still keep in line with trends without taking a chance that your trendy piece will lose its luster after the season is to invest in a trendy color that can be worn into the following season. Good bets this spring—anything green! Investing in one good piece and mixing it with a more trendy/less expensive piece is another good way to compromise without breaking the bank.

Base the price on a cost per wear formula. How many times do you anticipate wearing a particular piece of clothing relative to its cost as it can make the difference as to whether to invest.

Brand name is also a consideration. With our Black Cat Plus Label products–(one of these days I will write about my experience with designing and the process of manufacturing–it’s been quite a learning experience) our goal is to offer stylish, contemporary, plus size clothing of good quality and at moderate prices.

Of course, shop the sales!! Keep in contact with your favorite stores. You can even send us a note if you want us to let you know if an item goes on sale. In addition to our Back Alley Clearance Items, we have added our Daily Value Category for a daily special–either dollars or percentage off on a surprise item. Check back daily to see if one of your favorite regular priced items has made its way to our Daily Value Category.

More as it happens! Jodell

Mar 7

Read my guest Post when you get a minute and check out this site from “A plus-size mom with a plus-size personality writing about fashion, beauty and advice for all of us big, beautiful women of the world!”

I was excited to do a guest post for Sandy of Big Beatiful U as to what is coming up this spring for the plus size woman!

I am also excited to see another plus size resource such as BBU! Categories range from beauty to health and fitness to plus size news. There is a lots and lots of information right at your finger tips!
I love the sense of community that BBU and other plus size referral sites offer. We must support and take advantage of sites such as BBU–they save us time, give us another perspective, and offer us the opportunity to exchange ideas and information. Check it out—and while you are there—read my post for the spring preview! More as it happens Jodell

Mar 5

Accessories don’t have to cost an arm and a leg this season. We can have fun, flirty and eco-conscious necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

The focus is on the wrist this spring: adorn your wrist with fun, playful bangles and materials that remind us of our connection to the earth, sky and sea. At Black Cat Plus, we have recently begun working on our accessory line to find pieces just like our clothing lines, that coordinate with our stylish, contemporary plus size groupings and fit and flatter.

We had questions from customers in the store and on the web about which pieces we would recommend with our featured designers. so….we got to thinking, what if we did our homework and pushed the designers to make pieces that WE CAN WEAR! It took some time, but we found two designers who accomodated our wishes and you will be seeing their work featured on our site–Nina Nguyen and Margery Epstein. We are excited to introduce them and their work to you and hope you will be excited to add their pieces to your wardrobe.

We are currently working with three designers and manufacturers to make sure that the pieces we select are flattering to the plus size silhouette and are long enough to accomodate without distorting the look of the piece. Ever tried to pry on a bracelet that was made for a size 2 wrist? How about a necklace that you loved but was too short? Not good.

Have a fashion emergency that involves your accessories? Now, we can help! Remember: Focus is on the wrist!! Check out our Black Cat Plus Bracelets! More to come!! Jodell