Day: October 16, 2010

A Note on Plus Size Fashion

While I admit I have fallen off my fashion game in the last year or so (working at home has been detrimental in that regard), I still think I have my own quirky sense of style.  I particularly love chunky jewelry and wrapped shirts/dresses that give me a slim silhouette.  Oddly enough my fashion highlights probably occurred the years I worked at JWA.  As the welcoming face and the only single girl in the office I felt it my duty to look my best.  I also noticed that the cuter my outfit the brighter my spirits (something that did not go unnoticed in that drab job).  I admit that most of the cute jewelry and true fashion items I own I bought during that time period.

Lately I feel like I’m always coming to or from the gym in my sweats or jeans with my hair in a ponytail 90% of the time (you know its bad when your mom visits and says ‘its nice to see you in something other than a ponytail”…)  The other current difficulty is I am in between sizes and don’t want to purchase much in the hopes that I will keep losing.  I did buy 2 pairs of size 24 jeans (1 size down) at Walmart and those feel great!  Walmart carries Just My Size plus sizes and I’ve been very impressed with the quality, not simply the low price, of their clothing- a real surprise.

So, having admitted my recent problems in this area I would like to say something about plus size fashion.  First of all, don’t you think the day where plus size clothing is hidden in the back of the store should be over?  My friend and I joke that plus size is the ‘pornographic section’  of the mall because it is like the old video stores where the adult films were crammed in the back behind a velvet curtain- ‘just pretend like the plus size people aren’t there and maybe they’ll go away’.   Also it would be nice if there were more than one or two options in cut, color, style etc.  Most of the time I bypass department stores all together and head right to the plus size chains such as Lane Bryant (good for career) and Torrid (great for a little bit of trendiness).  If these stores do not have clothes I like at the prices I can spend I often go online to purveyors like Lands End, Old Navy (they only sell their plus size line online) and Catherines (most of their line is very frumpy, but I got a good suit and winter coat there). I’ve had okay luck at discount chains such as Ross, Michael’s, Burlington etc.

This year I had such a hard time finding cute unique clothes that I asked my mother (an amazing seamstress) to make me some light, fun skirts.  She has finished 5 of them and I wear them all the time.   She even made them easily alterable for when I lose more weight.   I love them!Unfortunately not everyone has my mother’s tailoring at their disposal.  With this in mind I have a word to say to the designers of the world.  Listen up because here are my plus size fashion likes and dislikes (all right, its mostly dislikes…)

1. Just because we are plus size does not mean we need tons of fabric- we already have a lot of bulk, we don’t need more.

Bad look 1

 

Just keep adding fabric and maybe it will swallow her whole!

 

2.  On the same lines- stop adding ruffles to everything.  As a small decorative touch they are fine but some plus size designers add it to ‘cover the fat’- all it does is make you look like a giant bedspread.

 

this may be the ugliest shirt I've ever seen. Its like she has a giant ruffle bib.

 

3. Most of us like our curves- boxy shirts and dresses are unflattering and UGLY.  Some designers seem to get plus size shirts confused with their living room drapery- like they want to put on a play behind the shirt!

 

Don't you just feel bad for the model?

 

4. Don’t be afraid to give us trendy prints. Also there are a lot of ugly jungle type prints for plus size.  Not sure why- we can’t all be Beyonce!

 

Where do I start...

 

 

This is a print I like. With a cardigan wouldn't it be cute dress?

 

5.  On the same breadth do not be afraid to give us unique looks that will make us stand out- we don’t all want to be wallflowers.

 

I thought this was different and unique. Don't know if it would work for me because of the halter but I LOVE purple.

 

 

love, love, love this dress. Its awesome. Love the jewelry too!I would probably have to wear it with a cami but cute!

 

6.  Remember that sometimes we need accessories or under pieces that work with an outfit.  You have no idea how hard it is to find undershirts (companies like shade and modbod don’t make plus size and their XXL are very small).  Camis, bras, nylons, tights, leggings, exercise clothing, swimsuits,pajamas (so hard to find cute jams for plus size), shoes (especially boots) are all hard to find.   The other day I found athletic socks for plus size and it was the greatest thing ever!  You would be surprised how difficult it was to find a plus size sports bra (I had to order mine online because none of the stores, even the plus size ones, carried them. Ironic hah?).

I am grateful for the retail stores that do cater to plus size girls.  They fill a void and help girls like me from feeling ugly and discouraged. Plus, they allow me  to show off my personality with my fashion.  There is nothing more motivating in the quest to get in shape then feeling beautiful- when I can add a little bit of trend and sass all the better!

Even though I am in between sizes and exercising every day I am going to try and do better with my fashion.  It will help me appreciate and have fun with  my new body!  Plus size girls out there- what are your fashion pet peeves? or non-plus size girls too?