Nifty Knits – Rachel Pally


Thinking Pink with Rachel Pally

A few years back contemporary designer Rachel Pally debuted her plus size line, Rachel Pally White Label, with Nordstrom.  Being Posh-Plus, I was seriously excited about this line – these were not frumpy dumpy token designs, but were riffs on her main collection.  Regularly worn by stars such as Angelina Jolie, Rachel Pally has quite a following and to see these designs translated for the plus size market was beyond exciting.  High-end, elegantly draping, super soft jersey with enough body to be flattering – the mini collection had several tops and dresses, including some fab maxis, and a drapey palazzo pant – DIVINE! 

I had known and vicariously enjoyed the Rachel Pally designs via the media.  One particular piece – a gorgeous halter top in black – was a particular obsession; I spent weeks tracking it down for one of my friends because I knew it would be absolutely perfect for her.  And it was!  The demure band neck in front tied behind into a soft and sexy bow that draped down the completely open back, with a similar tie at the bottom.  Soft, simple and simply devastating on!

This *is* jersey – so it is pretty body conscious, especially in the regular line.  However, I think the collections have done a good job of striking a balance between demure and sexy, much like that halter top.  Both lines include body hugging numbers and short skirts alongside more forgiving tunics and empire cuts.  Better still, this is one designer that seems to still produce an occasional dress with actual sleeves!  There are a few key designs – such as her awesome caftan – that are offered most seasons, introduced in new colors and a bold print or two, and then new items are added each season.   Her plus size line has expanded and is now carried at Bloomingdales and Nordstrom and, even better, her own website – yay!   

While many of her short dresses appear more along the lines of a mini, I have found that most of the pieces do tend to be cut long.  I have seen several tunics shown as both a top and a dress.  The dresses and pants usually require significant hemming for all but the truly tall; on the upside most of the knits are unfinished hems so it is a snap to have things shortened. 

One of the greatest things about her pieces is that they are terrific canvases to build a look around.  Beyond the obvious Grecian influences, they lend themselves to bohemian, beachy, urban, and even edgy looks.  In fact, the Rachel Pally website is currently accessorizing with the brand’s own grommet adorned tan desert belt.  Not necessarily what I would have thought to pair with a short goddess draped dress, but interesting nonetheless.

I was especially inspired by this pink dress this season– offered at Shop Bop in regular sizes and at Bloomingdales for plus sizes.  This is a terrific “canvas” piece that could be glammed up enough for a special occasion, or kept more casual with boho accessories for a “patio evening”.   You can do so much – it is the perfect backdrop for a special stand-out shoe or bag and you can add metallics or pop another bright color or a pattern with it – so fun!

Now, these goodies are definitely not priced in the fast fashion range – maxi dresses start at $200 for regular sizes and about $260 for the plus size equivalent.  But finding comparable quality at lower price points is tough – even tried and true brands like Nordstrom’s private labels have gone to less expensive and lower quality knits.  Which is unfortuante as, let’s face it, few things are as unflattering as cheap knit fabrics, they cling to everything and have the irritating habit of being unexpectedly transparent.  (Just how is it possible to *create* more cellulite? Really?!)  I can’t tell you how many times I have found a cute garment only to be disappointed when I put it on.  But not so with these pieces.  The fabrics and cuts are really good, and the quality is great.  I am still wearing all of my pieces, including those from that first season back in 2007,  no small accomplishment for jersey! 

So, if you are ready to join the Hollywood gliterati and rock some truly better contemporary knitwear, definitely check Rachel Pally out.

PS – If you live in the Los Angeles area there are Rachel Pally warehouse sales events from time to time – I haven’t had a chance to check one out yet, but will let you know how they are when I do 😉

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