Wednesday Fuller Figure Foregone Fashion

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Welcome to Ask Brini! 

Our question today comes from two people with similar topics:

"Dear Brini, I am a well-proportioned woman, but by no means petite. I love vintage clothing, but have a hard time finding outfits in my size. Do you have any shopping tips?"
Heide, Long Island

AND ...

"I'm a full figured gal who loves vintage clothes. Unfortunately, most of the shops carry small sizes. What are some vintage looks that I can make with modern day basics without breaking the bank?"
Myra, Washington, DC 

Dear Heide and Myra:

Shopping for vintage fashion can be a challenge when you're not a perfect size 6. I should know, I'm a tall girl. Our two querants are well proportioned, but not petite and want to know how to dress vintage when the sizes are on the small side. Here are some tips:

- If you can find your way out to California, you'll likely be able to find larger sizes. I always have luck when vintage shopping in San Francisco.

- Online shopping can be a big boon for the vintage shopper. Etsy and eBay are great sources for vintage fashion. Make sure the seller has provided accurate measurements and has a reasonable return policy.

- If all else fails, basic silhouettes like straight and A-line skirts, capris and sweater sets in a variety of colors can give you a vintage look, especially if you accessorize them with no-size vintage accessories like scarves and jewelry.

I find inspiration for vintage looks by perusing old fashion magazines and books on fashion. Putting your look together can be an enjoyable process no matter what size you are! It's all about knowing your body and what looks best on you. Experiment and above all, have fun with it!


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Described as part Donna Reed, part Mary Tyler Moore, Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy through her unparalleled personal flair for home design, entertaining and savvy household tips. Inspired by a divine thrift shop purchase of 1950's nesting bowls, she first began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites in 1998 through her self-titled cable access television show. With an emphasis on uncompromising fabulousness, Brini quickly garnered a devoted fan base and established herself as the go-to-girl on vintage fashion and mid-century modern treasures. After five years on the local airwaves her show was picked up by the Style Network. The subsequent series has been called a delightful success and has attracted a diverse audience thorough its national platform.

Brini was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised there and the Midwest. She was a child prodigy in the area of domestic science, piping perfect mashed potatoes at the age of five and redesigning the rumpus room in her family home by age 10. At the Fashion Institute of Technology, between spontaneous bouts of cleaning and organizing the student union she achieved a bachelor's degree in Fashion Design. She worked in the fashion industry for 5 years, never finding fulfillment until she started developing her television show.

Brini still lives in the same tiny intricately apportioned New York City apartment used as the set for the original television show. She spends her time between shooting the television show and making personal appearances, doing needlepoint, shopping for inspiration in thrift shops and vintage stores and spending time with friends. She's currently shopping for a second home in Palm Springs California and looking wistfully at vintage 1960's convertibles on eBay Motors.

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