Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Fat Fashion... a journey and a beginning

While my last post was about being fat and pregnant, I've realised that really I want to blog about fashion and fat. Perhaps with my age (30s!) and other things going on in my life I shouldn't be too bothered with fashion BUT I AM! Being fat makes being fashionable more of a challenge, but I've always liked a challenge.

I will start posting photos. Promise. Have to sort out how to take some photos at home! But before I show you what I'm wearing I want to share some of the journey that got me here and some of the fat fashion lessons I've learnt on the way.

New Zealand is a lovely country. Green, lots of sheep and great beaches. A complete and utter desert when it comes to plus sized fashion however. I did hear a rumour that a plus sized shop had actually opened its doors in a couple of cities now, but when I lived there I had access to ONE high street store that carried clothes that were over size 20. Most clothing stores in NZ went up to a size 16.

The store Farmers, that great NZ icon, had a plus sized section that carried about 10 items of clothing - most reasonably dire. Sara, an online plus sized offshoot of Postie Plus, carried a few nice things. My wardrobe consisted of very little and lots of it was from the NZ version of ebay. There are some more expensive plus sized retailers out there but the prices were hefty and the range terrible. I did once buy some things from Australia but still my overwhelming emotion when I found anything that fit me was sheer gratitude.

When I first came to the UK on holiday it was like a child in a candy store (or actually me in a chocolate store - yum) and that was just when I discovered Evans! Since moving here three years ago there has been a constant series of wonderful surprises as I have found more and more retailers that cater to the plus sized figure.

I know that these stores don't cater to all and some are reasonably dire in their offerings but trust me, the UK has it pretty good in terms of choice.

Fashion lessons that I've learnt since coming here:

- that just because something fits it doesn't mean that I have to buy it. After years of struggling to find anything that got over my hips and did up my mantra was 'if it fits, buy it', regardless of whether it suited me or I liked it. Now I realise that there are many choices out there. New mantra 'if you don't love it and feel wonderful in it, don't buy it'.

- Buy clothes that fit. I have made the mistake of ordering clothes that I realised didn't fit that well and keeping them anyway. I was later shocked to realise that they didn't fit properly because they were TOO big. Just being grateful they covered my ass isn't the answer. Sometimes things can actually be bigger than I am. Have learnt and might even start ordering things in two sizes to get the perfect fit - although not before I bought an H&M shirt that could double as a tent GRRR.

- Wearing black isn't the answer. NZ loves black. All Blacks aside kiwi women wear a lot of black. There is winter black and summer black (I kid you not). Summer black is shorter and in lighter weight fabrics, but still black. Black is a lovely colour but only in moderation. Black leggings are a gift from the gods, but look best with something else with colour in it. Colours are brilliant, especially in summer and women in the UK wear more colour that I have ever seen. Being fat doesn't stop you from wearing colour.

- there are lots of inspirational fat women out there who look as fab as anything and they can inspire you to be that little big braver and a little more proud about your shape.

And the lesson biggest of all....

- Nothing I wear is going to make me look thin or invisible so stop trying. I am 5'8, a size 26 and regardless of what I wear my ass will look big in it so start wearing things I love rather than being worried I might look fat in it. I'll look fat anyway so I may as well being wearing something nice. Blending into the background is for trees, and I ain't no oak so stop trying to be.

Rant over ;)

Pics soon, promise!!!

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