Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Fresh Perspective on Plus Size Dresses by Fashion Students

 When Beth Glascock of the Fairy Godmother Project (helping needy High School teens get dresses for Prom) needed plus size prom gowns,  she asked the students at the O'Moore College of Design in Nashville, TN for help.  They quickly took on the project to create new dresses using material from old ones.

The Fashion Team at Sydney's Closet thinks it is such a great idea to have design students make plus size Prom dresses that we just had to share it in hopes other communities could do the same to help curvy teens in their local high school get a Prom dress of their dreams.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sydneys Closet Fashion Team Home From Designing Trip to China

Sydney’s Closet Fashion Team back on the ground in the USA after a super successful two weeks in China designing the Fall 2012 and Prom 2013 Collections.  Jet lag keeps us feeling foggy and on the brink of coming down with the flu.  Nothing unusual after two-days traveling 8,500 miles from Guangdong Province to our world headquarters in St. Louis.  We hope by the end of the week we can begin to feel normal again! Meanwhile, we’re organizing notebooks bulging with fabric swatches from Asia’s giant textile markets. 

We’ll match up the silky satins, smooth chiffons and crisp taffetas with sketches of dramatic new party dresses for Homecoming 2012, cocktail dresses for Holiday 2012 (we haven’t even celebrated Holiday 2011) and Prom 2013 dresses to suit every personality.  Now we can’t wait to see the first samples when they start arriving in January.   We haven’t finished unpacking, and we’re already planning our next trip to China. We’ll go in the Spring to finalize the samples for our photo shoot. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

China Trip Fall 2011 - Fashion, Seafood and Budweiser

A  highlight of the Fashion Team’s visits to China is always feasting on authentic Cantonese cuisine.  Chaozhou, the city in Guangdong Province where we spend most of our time, is known worldwide for seafood caught fresh from the nearby China Sea and vegetables just hours from the garden.  
Entrance Chaozhou Restaurant

No need for a menu at a seafood restaurant in Chaozhou where customers select from the day's fresh catch.
At the hotel breakfast, we pass on the cauldron bubbling with “porridge with 1,000-year-old eggs”. We join the locals as they peel a whole baked sweet potato, wrap it in their hands and bite into it like a candy bar.    

After a morning and afternoon designing in the factory showroom, it is customary for the owners to invite us to a local restaurant.  Many American customers ask to eat more familiar fast food like KFC and McDonald’s now available in Chaozhou - although very expensive.  But the Fashion Team bites (bad pun!) at culinary adventures that give us the chance to sample dishes  foreign to menus back home:  

-          Blood red clams steamed in fish stock
-          Oysters fried with eggs and bamboo
-          Papaya baked with honey
-          Lotus root stuffed with rice
-          Egg yolks baked into sliced pork
-      Rice rolled into a log with peanuts and vegetables then sliced
-          Whole fried fish in the original sweet and sour sauce

We order ice cold Tsing Tao beer to wash down the spicy foods and have to laugh when it is always served in small juice-size glasses with the “Budweiser” logo in red.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

China Trip Fall 2011 - Jet Lag, Sequins, Fabric, and Tea

Fashion Team in China inspects SC8062, our sexy one-shoulder metallic ribbon dress arriving for Holiday 2011.    

After several frantic days on the ground in China,  Sydney’s Closet Fashion Team is still reeling from jet lag! But every day is better.  

At one factory, we check production on our sexy sequin one-shoulder mini dress. We’re thrilled to find everything  perfect from the fit to the stitching.  The shipment is set to leave China right on time! That lands this hot silver and gold metallic ribbon dress in the USA just in time for you to celebrate the holidays in style!

At another factory we struggle with a tough decision.  Which color chiffon we found at the fabric market to use on the new Fall 2012 cocktail dress.
It’s not easy. But finally we settle on an emerald green for a body-hugging strapless sheath.  We save a rich taffeta in brilliant gold for a high-low hem design we created for Prom 2013.  Once we drape the fabric on a mannequin
we realize the proportions of the skirt are off.  So it’s back to the drawing board where we add another layer to the hem and move the zipper from the side to the back of the dress for an easier fit. 

During the long day designing, our Chinese friends keep us going with endless cups of hot tea freshly brewed in tiny cups!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sonsi Launches Fashion Genius - Designing You From Head to Toe

Sonsi has launched an interactive design program ~ Fashion Genius.
Fashion Genius helps you put complete outfits together, not just tops and bottoms.  They go up to the earrings, down to the feet, in to the undergarments and out to the handbags.

  The easy to use tab system lets you start with outfit sets or you can pick a specific item from their site.  And no worries in trying to remember what items you've picked, or what outfits you like or have worked have the option to save things.

The Fashion Team at Sydney's Closet thinks this is a fun way to mix and match, and group things together on one easy page.  And it's great to be able to save it and recall later, to either purchase or change it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Miles of Fabric - Sydney's Closet in Chinese City of Shaoxing visiting Textile City.

The Fashion Team spends the day in the ancient Chinese City of Shaoxing, home to Asia’s legendary Textile City.  We’re on the hunt for new fabrics that will inspire the designs for our Fall 2012 Signature Cocktail Collection and our 2013 Signature Prom Collection.   But where to start?  Our senses are overwhelmed by the miles of open stalls, each about the size of a small bedroom, that sprawl over multi-story buildings on both sides of the river. We calculate that if we put the 15,000 fabric suppliers here under one roof it would be big enough to fill 15 Wal-Marts!

Our translator guides us through the maze to our first stop where we discover a new chiffon that is super soft and comes in yummy colors.  It’s perfect for draping a formal evening gown. We make a note to create a dramatic beading pattern for a one-shoulder strap. We climb an ancient stone stairway where shoe shine vendors cluster at the top next to the street vendors roasting chestnuts in a commercial size wok.
     There we take the foot bridge across the river where waves of lotus plants float past us. Over the next five hours we wander through the market stopping when an eye catches an interesting fabric.  We struggle to find a lace worthy of an informal wedding dress.  We carry a shopping bag that soon fills with fabric swatches:  
  • tulle flocked with tiny dots sure to make a Cinderella-style ball gown for a Prom Princess 
  • dramatic black and white floral prints in chiffon great for making a splash on a maxi dress
  • sequins sewn in silver, black and blue chevron print ideal for a red-carpet formal
 All that shopping builds up a appetite.  We stop for a traditional Chinese meal of fried bean curd, cauliflower with cloves of garlic, strips of marinated beef stir fried with onions and a small white fish steamed with soy sauce and ginger. There is no translation available for the wild green vegetable that comes mixed with tiny pieces of tofu.  We decide it’s a mix between parsley and spinach and only wish we could eat it when we return home!

Pics credit to Bronson Pics via flickr...we forgot the cameras in our hotel rooms.  Too many things on our minds ;-)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ladies of All Shapes & Sizes - Embrace Who You Are & Think Positive

"Your life is your garden, your thoughts are the seeds.  If your life isn't awesome, you've been watering the weeds."  ~Terry Prince

Today's post is a friendly reminder to all of our Sydney's Closet friends...remember all of your positive qualities, and embrace them :-) 

You are beautiful; you are talented; you are a thinker; you are a believer; you are smart; you are funny; you are loving; you are a diva; you are caring; you are a Mom, Wife, Sister, Friend; you are WOMAN!

What can you add to the list? ;-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Stop Plus Launches OSP Mag - a Publication Dedicated to Curvy Women

Hot off the presses is the new OSP Mag from our good friends at One Stop Plus!  The new publication will speak to curvy women about fashion and lifestyle.

In the first issue topics range from denim fashion, to shoes, health issues facing plus size women, makeup and men. In her first editor's letter, Nancy LeWinter explains that OSP Mag is "for fascinating and fashionable plus-size women, not just the one page dress-your-size articles in other magazines."

Nancy LeWinter who has been a leader at other top magazines, including Glamour, Vogue and Marie Claire, Esquire, and Mode, is the current Editorial Director of®

The Fashion Team at Sydney's Closet send congratulations to One Stop Plus on the release of OSP Mag!  We are sure it's going to be a hit, and highly recommend you check it out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

'A Star is Born' Little Black Dress Now Available - with *FREE Shipping

Sydney's Closet is thrilled to announce that A Star is Born is now available!  This fun and flirty little black dress is absolutely stunning, and sure to be a hit for any occasion you wear it to.

Order by November 1, 2011 and get *FREE ground shipping! Use exclusive coupon code:  SC80566

Sparkle all night when you wear this fun strapless party dress in flattering Empire waist design. Shirred netting softly adorns the strapless sweetheart bodice. A satin band with beaded embellishment accentuates the waist. The A-line knee-length skirt sparkles with a silver glitter border at the hemline. Optional straps and matching shawl included. Perfect for holiday parties!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bestseller Back in Stock: 'Not Forgotten' by Sydney's Closet

Great news for all our patient customers who reserved  “Not Forgotten”, our bestselling formal dress with jacket.

The chic style is back in stock in both solid black and black with slate!!!  Watch for an email or call from The Fashion Team if you reserved your size or color. No wonder the beaded lace is soooo popular.  The bra-friendly beaded bodice, hip-length lace jacket and flowing chiffon skirt make SC4001 the perfect polished look for any big night and a favorite choice of customers shopping for Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom dresses.

Details include:
  • Lace fabric
  • Polyester chiffon fabric
  • Satin
  • V-neck neckline
  • Bra-friendly straps
  • V-back
  • A-line skirt
  • Floor length
  • Beaded bodice
  • Jacket long sleeve
  • Matching jacket included
  • Fully lined

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lady in Red - Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Vibrant in Red

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, added another page to her beautiful style book when she wore this stunning Beulah London Sarai dress to a fund raising event recently in London. 

You too can have your Lady in Red moment!  Be proud, be loud, be bold!  Check out these gorgeous red gowns by Sydney's Closet in a variety of styles including jewel-neck, one shoulder, spaghetti strap & sleeves, and materials from chiffon to satin.


Ruffles and Flourishes

Drama Queen

Express Yourself

Shining Star

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sonsi Partners with Plus Size Supermodel Emme

Sydney's Closet Fashion Team is thrilled to share with you that plus size supermodel Emme has teamed up with Sonsi, the award-winning online shopping and social destination for women sizes 12 and above.

Direct from the newswire: "'From Emme's Closet to Yours', a four-week campaign designed to give women wearing plus sizes inspiration when it comes to achieving their full fashion potential, day or night. Using Fashion Genius™, Sonsi's revolutionary new online "style and fit" technology, Emme will create and share head-to-toe looks to take her through every occasion of her life, from business meetings and yoga workouts to family activities and evening events." 

Sydney's Closet began working with Sonsi in 2011, and we are delighted with this newest campaign! We are looking forward to it's launch tomorrow, Monday, October 17th!  Check it out and let us know what you love about it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Plus Size Celebrities - Popularity or Acceptance?

If we sit back and think about it, Sydney's Closet has seen society coming around as a whole to accepting plus-size celebrities.  And now, more than ever, they are being looked at for their pure talent...on the inside, not just what shows on the outside.  Below is only a handful of the many talented and lovely celebrities that have grabbed our attention in the last year as being outstanding role models for the plus size community.  Do you have a favorite, or someone who has made a difference in your life?

Melissa McCarthy

Kathy Bates

Loretta Devine

Nikki Blonski


Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe

 Gabby is wearing a Sydney's Closet Exclusive in the above photo.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shades of a White Wedding Dress

White: a color without hue at one extreme end of the scale of grays, opposite to black. A white surface reflects light of all hues completely and diffusely. Most so-called whites are very light grays: fresh snow, for example, reflects about 80 percent of the incident light, but to be strictly white, snow would have to reflect 100 percent of the incident light. It is the ultimate limit of a series of shades of any color. (

Long gone are the days of only having "white" wedding gowns to choose from.  For example, the gown shown above - Sydney's Closet Eternal Grace - is actually Ivory.  Too many, at quick glance we would call it White.  But for many brides the shade can be very important.  It may be a factor in the wedding theme, bridesmaids dresses, or personal taste.

It is important to know the specific names of the shades of white, and what shades they each represent.  As you can see by the few examples we pictured here, the difference can be quite a bit.  


Friday, September 30, 2011

The Trend For Two, Even Three Wedding Dresses For The Big Day

The trend of having two wedding gowns for the big day is nothing new.  Quite often a Bride wants a more free-flowing gown for her dance the night away.  They second gown is sometimes also in a shorter style, and sometimes even a color other than white.

Most recently our Fashion Team saw Kim Kardashian's wedding nuptials, and the pictures that followed, which included 3 gowns from Vera Wang!  The gowns were defined as:  Nuptials / First Dance / Dance Reception.

Another celebrity will soon be following trend. It is rumored that Shannon Tweed has chosen three gowns for her long awaited wedding to KISS lead Gene Simmons.  Speculation is that all will be low cut, and contouring to the body. We will find out soon, as the wedding date is said to be Saturday, October 1st!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Queen (Latifah) is in the House!

Queen Latifah is an inspiration to many, for many reasons.  She is a Grammy Award winning singer, a Golden Globe & SAG Award winning actress, and is sure to win it big with her new fashion collection 'Queen Collection' on HSN - Home Shopping Network.  At Sydney's Closet we applaud her for being a confident, sophisticated role model to young girls and plus size ladies...and for her great fashion sense.

Our Fashion Team had great fun browsing thru the collection, and noted that most of the everyday wear items were under $100.  The designs are practical, quite stylish, with a sense of sophistication as well.  


Friday, September 23, 2011

A Twist on Bridesmaids Gowns - Varying Styles & Colors

Not only have Bridal Gowns evolved over the years, so have Bridesmaids Gowns.  And with even more creative thinking, the Bridal party is getting even more makeovers in styles and colors.  We've pulled together a few of the ideas we found, including the collective Bridesmaids styles in the hit movie 'Bridesmaids'.

Varieties include:
*same color / different style, same length 
*same color / different style, different lengths
*2 colors / same style
*multiple colors / same style
*multiple colors / different styles

Which is your favorite?



Monday, September 19, 2011

Bravo to Melissa McCarthy - Emmy Winner & Dress Designer!

Melissa McCarthy was radiant and beautiful at the Emmy Awards last night!  And that was even before she won the Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series! 

Her deep purple dress looked regal, and draped her body in just the right way, with a tasteful dip in the front for a V-neck opening.  In a phone call to The Ellen Show today she said she helped design her dress with designer Daniella Pearl.  In UsWeekly she is quoted as saying she didn't find anything out there she liked.  The Fashion Team at Sydney's Closet would have loved to outfit her with a gorgeous gown :-)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sydney’s Closet is a Fashion Fairy Godmother

Special thanks to Carol from Georgia for sending us this thoughtful and sweet note after she bought “Meant to Be Noticed, our bestselling short sleeve formal dress in flowing chiffon. It’s great to know that Sydney’s Closet is a Fashion Fairy Godmother who makes dreams come true for Princesses! Now we can’t wait to see pictures of Carol looking glam on the high seas!  

Dear Sydney,

This is a BEAUTIFUL dress, and I was looking forward to wearing it on our cruise in October. How disappointed I was to find that while it zipped close, it was somewhat tight through the mid section. I kept looking at other web sites and at Sydney's Closet  for a larger size in black, but was so disappointed to not find anything.  

Then today, the sun shown!!! Just like magic the size appeared on the website and when I called and spoke to the representative, she assured me it was in stock and she would reserve it pending the return enclosed.

I cannot express to you how happy I am at this moment and how disappointed I was when I could not find a replacement size.  Your company and that dress have made me feel like a princess; although a large one, still very much a princess.

This will be a fantastic and once in a lifetime cruise and Sydney’s Closet has made it possible.
I will always be in your debt.

Thank you all,

Carol from Georgia

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Which Celeb From Cast Of TLC’s ‘Big Sexy’ Would You Most Like to Meet?

TLC’s Big Sexy cast members from left, Nikki Gomez, Heather Roach, Audrey Lea Curry, Leslie Medlik and Tiffany Bank are seen with Lane Bryant Technical Design Director Richard Zielinski - via Daily Venus Diva 
When we read the Sept 11 post on Daily Venus Diva, and saw the picture, our first thought was "Wow, they all look like fun ladies!"  And of course the Sydney's Closet Fashion Team started picturing each of them in our gowns :-)

Which cast member would you most like to meet?

Nikki Gomez - Model, Photographer and Stylist.
Heather Roach - Business Owner, Personal Shopper, Stylist, and Wardrobe Consultant.
Audrey Lea Curry - Makeup Artist, Fashion Designer, Fine Artist, Stylist and Model
Leslie Medlik - Stylist, Personal Shopper, Wardrobe Consultant
Tiffany Bank - Model, Actress, Host, Writer, Producer

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting Married - the Kardashian Style

By now most of us have seen the photos of Kim Kardashian's wedding dress, the bridesmaid dresses and the Mother-of-the-Bride's dress.  Let's chat!

What did you think of Vera Wang's Princess Look Wedding Dress that Kim wore, with the full tulle ballgown skirt, basque waist and lace appliqué?  And what about her 65-Carat Diamond head band?  One could consider it a nice alternative to a tiara, or a throw-back to the 80's.

In a rather unique change of custom, the bridesmaids and Mother wore Ivory.  Maybe it was Kim's way of making her family feel all-inclusive in her special day.  Or it was an attempt to stay as close as possible to the Black and White theme.

Finally,with regards to the very large bow on the front of her Mom, Kris's dress.  She is a stunningly beautiful woman, with a fabulous curvy body...she certainly didn't need the bow to detract or hide anything.  A smaller bow, if any, would have been better.

Overall the event was truly beautiful, including the gowns.  It was classy, but light hearted, and full of smiles.  And if anyone stole a bit of the day away from Kim, it was her adorable nephew, the Ring Bearer :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From Missouri to Canada...Sydney's Closet Sizes Up Glamour

Special thanks to Patti S., from Canada for sending us this kind and oh-so complimentary email.  It means the world to all of us on the Fashion Team here at our headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri to know that we have Happy Customers around the world!  Now we can’t wait to see pictures of Patti looking glam in a party dress  from Sydney’s Closet. And the Fashion Team looks forward to helping her size up glamour for many more special occasions.

Dear Sydney,

I ordered a dress that was shipped August 25 or 26, and it is August 31st and I am WEARING IT! Please accept my thank you for your superb customer service.  I live in the North West of Canada, in a small town, and allowed more than a month for the dress to arrive, as it can sometimes take a very long time to receive items in this region.  I bought the dress for an event that is over 6 weeks away, and actually thought the dress would be a size or two too small (it was on sale, but not my size, but I ordered it anyway). I am delighted. 

Thank you so much!

Patti from Alberta, Canada

Saturday, September 3, 2011

As Seen in USA Today - Sydney's Closet Dress Giveaway

Animal Magnetism

Sydney's Closet Style SC7041
Available Nov 1, 2011
In a stunning 24 page special edition supplement, Media Planet showcases the beautiful faces and styles of the plus size community.  Featured on the cover are the gorgeous plus size models Tara Lynn, Marquita Pring, and Candice Huffine.  Gwendolyn L. DeVoe (Creative and Executive Producer of Full Figured Fashion Week) says, "We love the skin that we are in right now and challenge retailers and designers to step up to the plate to bring us more fashion choices that work for our various lifestyles."

That's exactly what Sydney's Closet does for you - we size up glamour!  We offer a large selection of gowns to suit any special occasion you are attending.  Think prom, homecoming, wedding, cocktail and more!

 Sydney's Closet is proud to team up with Media Planet USA for the Great Glamorous Evening Gown Giveaway!  Enter now for your chance to win the dress of your dreams...drawing will be done Oct 1, 2011.
Entry form on MediaPlanet USA's Facebook Page - Sweepstakes Tab

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A first for MTV Reality TV - Plus Size Chelsea Settles

Let's hear it for the girls, the plus size girls!  In a bold move, MTV has cast Chelsea Settles in their newest show, aptly titled 'Chelsea Settles'.

Chelsea is 23 years old, and has always been inspired by the fashion industry, and a huge fan of Kim Kardashian.  So what is holding her back from going for her dreams?  Her size and her lack of confidence. With her bubbly personality, and gorgeous face, will she be able to win over the fashion industry?  And will she be able to tough it out with her trainer?

In a press release from MTV they said she will have "an opportunity to expand her social life by confronting the social phobias that have been holding her back," [She'll have a chance] to take control of her weight in an effort to get healthy."

Chelsea would look fabulous in many Sydney's Closet gowns, don't you agree? ;-)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sydney's Closet Debuts Plus Size Prom 2012 at Atlanta Apparel Mart

We recently debuted our Prom 2012 Collection of plus size dresses at the nation’s biggest Prom market at the Atlanta Apparel Mart.  The experience is unlike anything you can imagine unless you've been there!  The Mart has over 4,000 permanent showrooms, along with temporary showrooms, so there is never a shortage of things to look at.

At our showroom buyers from across the U.S. and around the world came to get a first look at Sydney’s Closet plus size dresses for Prom 2012!  It was great to see stores return who already carry our dresses, and to show them thru the new designs.  We were excited to also open up many new stores who will now be carrying Sydney's Closet!

The Fashion Team was tired but thrilled to open our showroom early and stay late to help everyone who wanted to buy our ball gowns, red-carpet formals and short Prom dresses.  Prints were a big hit, including a tie dye with a full skirt that’s very Retro!   The top selling long formal was an eye-catching limeade satin with a lace-up back and sweep train. Very red-carpet!

Special thanks to the Fashion Editors from Teen Prom and Seventeen Prom for visiting us!

Sneak a peek at fabulous plus size Prom dresses from Sydney's Closet coming to stores near you for Prom 2012.

Mary Jane from Sydney's Closet gives buyers at the Atlanta Prom Show a close up view of a new shimmer chiffon that is a big hit!

The ride up on the glass elevator at the Atlanta Apparel Mart gives buyers a great view of the circular hallways lined with showrooms.

Rachelle, Melinda and Roanna from TJ Formal in Joplin, MO pose for a photo after visiting our showroom in Atlanta.

What do  you think of our cute male model?

Thanks to (from left) Catherine, Cassey and Jane from Teen Prom magazine for visiting our showroom in Atlanta. We can't wait to see the Prom 2012 edition hitting newsstands in December!
Mary Jane and Phyllis are all smiles as they pack the collection after a super show showing Sydney's Closet Prom 2012 plus size dresses to buyers from around the world!