Plus Size Clothing; An Unpopular Truth

It’s that time of year again when the shops are screaming sale At us. The big eye catching red slash across our screens flashing 50% 60% even 70% off full price ranges has us reaching for our debt cards hoping to grab ourselves a bargain.

New year sales are often even more attractive to us plus size clientele who are used to spending that little bit more on our clothes compared to our size 16 and under sisters.

Finding good quality and on trend plus size fashion that doesn’t break the bank isn’t always easy but there is never a better time to go looking than during the January sales.

Anyone who has walked into Primark looking for a couple of new items to freshen up their wardrobe only to walk out with a candle, pack of socks and a harry potter themed pencil case, you know the struggle for affordable plus size clothes is real.

For years bigger ladies have had very little in the shape of options when it comes to high street shopping. Throughout the early 00s choice was limited to stores such as Evans and Bon Marche who one can only assume collectively decided that fat girls only like to wear shapeless floral oversized tops with elasticated waist jeans.

On locating the least hideous floral number in the shop you then had to remortgage your home to pay for it at the till. It was no fun being 20 something and walking straight past Top Shop, River Island, H&M to name a few, and not even bothering to go in because often even the size 14-16 erred on the side of small.

Over recent months though there have been moves in the fashion industry that make me reach for the sky in praise that we are finally being seen. The rise of online stores such as pretty little thing, ASOS, Boohoo, and in the style has changed the way we shop.

Young woman in a beige blouse choosing a new tshirt

They also seem to have realised where others have not that fat woman like fashion. We like to look good and we like to follow the latest trends when it comes to our clothing. Being fat does not mean we prefer plain and frumpy.

Why this has taken so long to figure out I can’t answer, as far as I’m aware the world has always had fat people. I’m sure there are many frustrating reasons for this oversight but for now, I prefer to focus on the fact that finally I can browse the virtual rails and be optimistic about finding my size.

I can go to the menu and find whole curve collections dedicated to plus size woman such as myself.

Not only are these online boutiques stocking my size but they are also modelling it on real women. Slowly but surely pictures of tiny framed women who would look glamorous in an Asda bag for life are being replaced by lumpy bits, thick thighs, and the occasional bingo wing.

There is no better marketing strategy than seeing a dress you like on a model that looks like you, after all, it’s worked on slim people for years?

Going to checkout is no longer the drain on my finances that it used to be. It’s refreshing not to have to spend double that of my slimmer friends in order to buy similar items to them only in my size.

Young plus-size woman in a pink dress standing in a clothes store

If I was to offer any advice during the January sales or indeed during any sale it would be shopping for future you not present you. The sales will be full of last year’s summer stock just waiting to be picked off and put away for a sunny beer garden session on a Sunday afternoon.

If like me you struggle to find clothes that feel comfortable but also allow you to breathe through the heat of a packed bar below are my top tips for summer fashion, plus size edition.

  • Step away from the black dress. I know it’s tempting to cover up from head to toe in “slimming black but honestly, you don’t need to do this. Embrace the colour, you deserve to be seen. Lighter colours will keep you cool and sipping on your pink Gin and tonic rather than using it to replace lost fluids from the sweat dripping off your top lip.
  • Chub rub – it’s real, it hurts and it can ruin a whole day. Don’t let touching thighs put you off wearing that gorgeous summer dress. Investing in a pair of the trendy cycling shorts that are passing as pants these days will protect you from those dreaded friction burns. There are also some decent barrier creams now available that cater specifically for the larger lady.
  • Invest in a kimono, one with lots of pattern and colour. Team it with a strappy cami and a pair of stretchy jeggings. A kimono can brighten up the plainest of items and can be mixed and matched into plenty of styles.
  • Add a belt to that summer dress. It will create a waist you didn’t realise you had. I know it’s scary drawing attention to an area you’re used to covering with oversized smock dresses but honestly, trust me, it works.
  • Platform sandals. It’s a heel but it’s not a heel. Heels are for youngsters with ankles that behave themselves. Platform sandals are for 30 somethings that want to add a bit of height without risking a hip in the process.