Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fat Fashion (?)

I am a person who appreciates comfortable clothes.  I'm not a haute couture kind of gal, though I enjoy watching the occasional fashion show just to see what they're trying to convince women to wear as the latest thing.  The reality is, though, that personally I'm happier in a pair of jeans and a polo shirt than just about anything else.  But when the occasion requires that I dress more fashionably than that, I try to make the effort to do so.

Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to get clothes in my size that aren't either just skinny people's clothes cut out of a lot more cloth or polyester grandma pants and muumuus.  To add to the problem, I am what is known as "a pear", which means that my upper body is about 2 sizes smaller than my lower body.  Let me tell you THAT makes it interesting when trying to buy a dress!  When the shoulders fit, it won't even go down over my hips and when the hips fit, it is practically falling off my shoulders.  Since I am not a pop culture persona (yet...but if enough people eventually follow this blog, who knows what could happen! *grin*), I really don't want to be giving the world the excitement of a wardrobe malfunction.  Thus I do a lot of separates, so that I can buy things in the appropriate sizes.

I am about to embark upon a clothes purchasing bout as I have pants that are so old that the elastic isn't stretchy any more, shirts that have holes worn through them, and have managed to get some kind of stain on nearly every item that I own.  Most of these come with interesting stories, my favorite being the combination of joint compound and three different colors of paint that have permanently discolored a formerly white shirt because I was up to my elbows in the mixture making "stones" for a friend's haunted house.  But stories or not, I need to have clothing that is presentable and able to be worn in public without me wanting to start explaining WHY the stains on my shirt are so cool.

This means, of course, that I am about to get both depressed and angry as I search for something that will fit me, before resorting to purchasing some things from the Roamans and Lane Bryant catalogs, like I always do.  Before I do so, however, I would like to say a few things to the so-called designers who come up with Fat Superhero clothing:

  • Not all Fat Superheroes are big breasted.  I know that it is a thing, that comic books always show female superheroes with size ZZ boobies perkily peeking out of some form of no-real-support bustier thingamajig, but the reality is that, like most women, we come in assorted shapes and sizes.  There ARE fat Superheroes who wear A and B cups.  It would be nice if we could find bras too.
  • It would also be nice if we could find shirts that didn't assume that if our hips are big, then our breasts are big too.  Personally, I welcomed the whole 'babydoll shirt' style, because it meant that I could FINALLY get tops that fit my breasts AND my hips!
  • Taking a design created for a smaller size and simply adding material does not guarantee a flattering garment.  Yeah, it works for some, but not all.  The designer who figures out that they can actually design clothes specifically for Fat Superheroes is going to become rich.  We want flattering clothes too, and when someone finally starts marketing clothing that fits our proportions and isn't just small clothes made big, we will take ourselves and our many, many dollars to them, and we will be pretty darned loyal to them as long as they continue to put out quality product.  Remember, fashion world, there are more of us than there are of the supermodel sizes!
  • I would like to find the person who decided that Fat Superheroes want every top to have short sleeves or to be sleeveless and beat them into a state of physical insensibility that matches their apparent state of mental insensibility.  Sure, I wear tank tops and t-shirts, but I really prefer a 3/4 length sleeve because otherwise my water wings catch the wind every time that it blows and I end up doing a Mary Poppins impression until the wind gives out and I land on some unsuspecting stranger's lawn with a thump!  So please, give us some options with sleeves, too?  Especially on formalwear!  There are some beautiful dresses out there, but I really find it difficult to clutch a shawl around my shoulders for the entirety of my friend's wedding buffet.  The little tassels tend to dunk themselves into the meatballs and sauce on a regular basis.
  • Lastly, please remember when you make your jeans, that just because I'm Fat, that doesn't mean I don't have a waist.  I can't tell you the number of pairs of jeans I've owned where the hips fit, and then an entire bolt of material had to be gathered around my waist with my belt, or I had to take scissors, needle, and thread to them to put darts in so that my pants actually stayed up.  I'm not one of those gangsta wannabes who runs around with my underwear showing on purpose (though I have some darned cute undies, thank you very much!).  Would it be too much to ask that my jeans have a waist that fits and hips that are roomy enough for me to sit without wincing?
So, those of you clothing manufacturers who deign to carry larger sizes, do yourselves a favor and start asking your customers what they really want out of their clothes.  After you do that, GIVE them what they're asking for.  I suspect that you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Oh, and by the way, those of you who make clothing for our taller sisters, you may want to do the same thing.  I suspect that a lot of the things that bother my fellow fatties and myself also bother the tall gals.

Lastly,  stop charging me ten times the price for my clothes.  I know that there's extra material, but really, the amount of material you're using in my clothing does NOT justify the price difference between what I'm buying and what someone who wears a size 10 is buying.  And the price difference certainly isn't due to extra design and development costs!  Just give me quality clothes that fit me well at a reasonable price, and I'll be yours forever.

As for right now, I think I'm just going to get two new pair of jeans, and a polo in every color that Roamans offers them in.  Oh, and possibly that cute little lingerie set.  My hubby deserves a little treat.  *grin*


  1. Amen sister friend.

    I would also like to add in that they should take into consideration that just because I am fat doesn't mean I have a ghetto bootie. Some of us fat girls carry it all in the hudge and I hate buying pants that fit in the front but fall off my ass or give me that ohh so attractive saggy granny ass look. Not flattering people.

    And just because I have big boobs doesnt mean I have big hips. Tell you what it is no more fun to have a fitted top and then to have material hanging like curtains around my torso.

    Ohh and when you have big boobs shirts have to be longer or else our tummies show, and while that is ok on some flat stomached 16 year old, it is not attractive and rather embarrassing on us fat girls.

    And if I have to buy one more shrug or cardigan to cover my arms so I can wear a cute dress I will choke someone with it.

    Just saying

  2. Lys, standardized clothes don't fit *anyone* properly. You must find yourself a tailor. Not just the dry cleaner who advertises hemming and such, but someone who understands clothing. Then buy those garments that fit your widest spot right, and have the rest adjusted.

    I don't usually go to the expense, because I don't often wear tailored clothing, and I often wear stuff I make myself...but if I were to need a suit, or a tailored pair of fabulous pants, I would get high quality material and workmanship and take it to a good tailor so it drapes my body correctly. I once found a great pair of linen capris at Off 5th: every edge of fabric was bias bound, hand stitching for the hemstitched bottoms, and marked way way down.: too big around the waist . I bought them($10) and paid more than the purchase price to have them altered($30). (It was still 100s less than the original cost)

  3. Lys..have you seen Torrid? Lovely clothes for lovely ladies. All sizes with nice cuts.

  4. I love my elastic waist pants but I am sooooo tired of them coming up to just under my bra instead of at my waistline. Just because I'm fat doesn't mean my belly is as big as it was when I was 9 months pregnant (and believe me, there's enough fabric from crotch to waistband to cover my belly if it were that big and then some). And I know that's what the manufacturers are thinking because the waist fits me just fine in the back, it just starts getting too high when it hits my sides and front. If I wanted bib overalls, I'd buy bib overalls, thank you very much (all I'd need to do to have bib overalls on some of my slacks is add suspenders, and pull the pants up over my boobs, voila, bibs). Altering the waist isn't an option when you have sideseam pockets (I've tried that and it's a PITA to get it right, and I've been sewing for 40 years now). I can't do pants with a waistband at all, I only have about 8" difference between waist and hips, so if the waist fits, the hips are baggy as hell, and if the hips fit, the waist cuts me in half, hence the reason I wear elastic-waist pants all the time (thank Maude for denim bootcut leggings).


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