Fatshion Friday #2

O hai there friendly fatties, welcome to another installment of Fatshion Friday!

Last week we gazed in horror at wide striped eye-blasting sacks, strap-missing goddess-styled frankendresses, and the Beaded Purple That Shall Remain Nameless. We also gazed in appreciation at flowing scarf halter dresses, lacy vests, and delicious corsets.

This week we branch out a bit. I try to hit different retailers and styles as much as I can (though, admittedly, the styles will almost always be alternative rather than mainstream). I might hit one more than once, especially for fatshion horrors, but I’ll attempt to inject as much variety (and price points) as possible. I also try to stick to new styles and offerings rather than older or clearance items — i.e., things that are still and will be for sale.

Fatshion Horrors

Winner

I remember this from kindergarten...

What is it about this outfit that makes me tear up, freshly-cut-onion-fumes style? So many things — the tackily accented floral print, the tacky matching hobo bag, the humungous-boyfriend-shirt look that hasn’t been in since ’93, the seemingly pointless capris — are they pants or huge leggings? Why is her shirt long-sleeved yet the pants are cropped? And of course, my least favorite color purple (and, despite my last post, I actually tend to like purple. Which is probably why it hurts more when I see its shades so abused).

And oh, purple-and-pink-and-flowers, it’s just over between us. Forevvs. Sorry.

Outfit is $25 from Jessica London.

Runners up

Just sew on any old shit up there --- gotta draw the eye from the rolls!

Next is another fatshion peeve of mine — ribbed tanks, meant to fit closely and SHOCK perhaps show the existence of rolls and/or belly, with some kind of cheap metallic plastic beads loosely sewn somewhere on the bust. You see, I remember this episode of “What Not To Wear” when it was described to the ‘too-fat-for-for-plain-solids’ woman that you wanted to have that beading or some other fake medallion on the bust in order to draw the eye up from the stomach and/or other ‘problem areas.’ I find these pieces of clothing tend to be very poorly made, with the price jacked up to apparently cover the $.001 spent on shitty beads and shittier stitching. It’s ugly, it’s low-quality, and it’s fat-biased. It definitely hits a few of my Fatshion Horror points.

It’s on sale at Old Navy for $7.99 (previously $16.50).

Now you too can wear Magic Eye...

Now, I have to own up to the fact that I’m often quite frustrated with Igigi. There are a few reasons:

  1. Most of your clothes are styled the same (gathered at the upper waist/under the bust, wrapped, full skirt).
  2. One word: polyester.
  3. Two words: high prices.

The above dress is what I like to call The ‘Out-on-the-Town-Fattie’ Loud Polyester Print That Makes You Wonder if Indeed You Did Accidentally Take a Tab of Acid. It’s everywhere on plus-size clothes sites; it’s one of those fattie-staples that plus-size vendors can’t seem to get away from. And, truly, it’s not a bad style in and of itself. But the loud print, the tight 3/4′s sleeves, the copious amounts of polyester—it gets old. And for $102 (really, Igigi? Do 90 yards of eye-bleedingly-loud-printed polyester REALLY cost that much??) it’s ticking off many of my Fatshion Horror points.

Fatshion Fancies

Winner

Ah, purple, you and I can be friends at last.

Since I’ve been bashing purple left and right, it’s only fair to show off an example of how I think the color can be styled in a pleasing way. Now I’m a huge fan of black lace done right, and of shaped bodices. The above brings both together. The only thing about this dress is that I wish it had straps or a slightly different top, but since it is an eShakti dress you can customize it! Woo-hoo! The dress is part of eShakti’s new fall line, and is going for $59.95. It’s customizable as large or small as you like for an extra $10, and the standard sizes go up to 26/28W.

Runners up

Want to touch, want to wear....

The above is available at the Crimson Gypsy, up to 3XL (26/28W). It’s pricey — $200 — but I’m willing to bet it’s as well-made as it looks. I’d love to try one myself, but at this moment in life can’t scrape up that kind of dough for a bodice.

Ah, the life of a careless poet...

There are several things about this lovely dress from Making It Big which Make Me Smile. First of all I’m getting a strong Renaissance Poet vibe, aren’t you? Secondly, the color isn’t too bright—it’s strong without being overpowering. Thirdly, the black stripe accents are tasteful and interesting. Fourthly, the shape is lovely. Fifthly (hee), the back lacing is an interesting touch. It’s a bit pricey for a largely rayon blend at $125, but it’s available in a size 1X (22W) through 5X (34/36W).

Lane Bryant Debacle Response, and Fatshion Suggestions

So recently there has been quite a deserved hullabaloo over a very crude comment made by Lane Bryant’s twitterer about a shirt by the fat positive indie designer definatalie.

Some original posts, before the apology was issued by Definatalie, The Rotund, Lesley at Fatshionista, Fat Heffalump, Red3

The apology by Lane Bryant’s VP of Marketing, Jay Dunn

Some posts after the apology was issued by The Rotund, Not Blue at All

The following is the comment I left on the apology site (more properly formatted). Let me know if you have any other points for plus size retailers to add to my own! (or comments/critiques on the points I make) Also, what is your take on this issue? Do you accept LB’s apology?

__________

Thank you for issuing this apology. I’m sorry to say, however, that I’m not entirely convinced it will make a difference in Lane Bryant’s selection, model choices, and prices, which are the three biggest problems I see with the company as it stands. There is a whole new world of fatshion — plus size fashion — opening up to fat people (especially fat women) right now. And Lane Bryant is going to have to make steps forward to correct problems like the aforementioned in order to stay ahead of the curve (no pun).

Here’s a short list of main points I hope LB addresses in the future, if they wish to retain my (and other fat, empowered women’s) business:

1. CONCEPT: Fat, empowered women do not necessarily want to look thinner, or to hide historically-determined ‘problem areas’ like stomach, arms, and thighs.

2. ENGINEERING: The ‘nested doll’ style of patterning does NOT work. It doesn’t matter if your fit model is a size 18W instead of a size 6. I’m a 24/26W and your necklines fall far too low, your armholes are way too big, the waists don’t fall right — and I know I’m not the only one. Women of larger sizes have many different kinds of fits relative to one another. A different kind of pattern-making needs to find a plus-size median fit, rather than relying on old fashioned-nesting.

3. MODELS: I want to see how my clothes will fit on a body like my own, not the body I ostensibly ‘want’ to be (thinner). Basically, you’re selling women a bait-and-switch, and fat women are getting tired of it. You’re riding the fading idea that fat women hate their bodies and don’t consider other fat bodies beautiful or attractive. Sure, you may have some marketing research saying that you’ll make X more if you have thinner rather than fatter models, but for how long? The tide is turning — more and more fat women I talk to (and certainly in the size acceptance community) will not buy clothing unless they have some idea how it will look on them. Why do you think fatshion blogs are so popular? Because fatshion bloggers are basically taking up the slack where the catalogs fall short — they are modeling the clothes in a body much more like ours. Don’t you think that having your own fatshion blog — i.e., using fatter models in your catalog — will have the same effect? If not, then don’t be surprised when you start losing more and more customers to places that do use fatter models.

4. POSITIVITY: No lip service, no mistakes. You should be LEADING the cause for size acceptance, not toeing the line of fat positivity and fat shaming. You want customers? Again, take a lesson from the fatshion blogs.

5. PRICE: Three years ago I could afford to buy clothing in your store. The clothing has not changed much in style and composition (aside from slapping fancy names on some sublines), but I can no longer afford to buy clothing in your store, aside from the occasional bra purchase and, once in a while, a pair of jeans. I used to spend a good $500/season at your store. I still spend that money on clothing, in fact, more (I get more items), but I am only spending perhaps $50/season in your store. Now multiply me times the percentage of voices in the comments that are expressing negativity towards your brand, and you get a pretty big hit to your company.

So why not listen to us, for a change? I understand that it’s difficult to institute such radical changes, particularly in a company with a lot of history of doing things a certain way, but something’s got to give here. Start by making small steps — use fatter models, for instance, as a start — and go from there. I guarantee you a positive response. Thanks for your attention to this issue, I hope it yields fruit.

Too Fat for Gloves?!

Just a short one. I recently got a shipment of clothes from Torrid, one of my favorite semi-goth-but-less-than-they-used-to-be-but-hey-I-don’t-have-any-better-options-since-I’m-larger-than-a-24US clothing stores. Included in this shipment were these gloves:

Apparently can only be worn by 90 - 160 lb individuals

Take a look at the text up at the top left of the packaging. Yes, you’re reading it correctly, your fattie eyes do no deceive you!—-there is indeed a weight rating for a pair of gloves. Only individuals 90 – 160 lbs are allowed to wear these babies. Nyah-nyah-nyah-faaaat-wriiiists!

But lo and behold! They fit these large, long, fatty hands perfectly, and I kill that weight rating by at least 100 lbs:

Big Liberty's fine be-gloved paw

Big Liberty's fine be-gloved paw

In conclusion, all I have to say to Leg Avenue (the manufacturers of the gloves) is — SUCK IT IM A FATTIE WEARIN UR GLOVES HA!

A Sizing Revolution

I’ve decided that it’s time to call for sizing which is based on the population of women who actually exist (going off US here, but could work for many other places too, with requisite tweaking. Submit your own in the comments! :) ).

I also think that if it’s okay to size up to a 4xL without blinking an eye, we should move the ‘Medium’ up to an actual, population-based medium and include sizes like 2xS (double-extra-small).

So here’s my proposal for new sizing standards (US sizes):

0 – 2 = 2XS

4 – 6 = 1 XS

8 – 10 = S

12 – 14 = M

16 – 18 = L

20 – 22 = 1XL

24 – 26 = 2XL

28 – 30 = 3XL

32 – 34 = 4XL

…and so on.

Does this make complete sense to just me?

Bless Me O Zaftique, For I Have Sinned…

This one’s straight from the WTF files.

I was perusing a few plus size clothing sites in an attempt to find a holiday dress that would both fit the way I’d like and pay homage to my gothy-Victorian-Renaissance-y aesthetic. Needless to say, no easy task. However, I was having a bit of luck on Zaftique (though, WTF #1: $120 for knit and polyester? Where was it weaved, on the fucking Moon?).

I came across one dress in particular that seemed as if it could be perfect. But although I usually don’t read the textual sales pitch accompanying the dress, this time my eye caught a word I didn’t expect in a description of a piece of clothing — “sin”.

The offending dress:

zaft2

Apparently having arms and legs is a "sin" now! Who knew.

Here’s the link to the dress.

I’m trying to figure out what they mean by “sins” here — maybe you could help me out. I must be missing something, because it seems to imply that the greatest density of sins 0ccur around the upper arm and upper thigh area.

Please help me out. Because, from the way the description reads, it could only imply that “sins” is literally equivalent with fat cells. And though I’ve seen fat moralized in many different ways before, this is the first time I’ve seen the actual tissue called evil.

P.S. Anyone else see the irony in this being a scarlet-colored dress?

De-segregation of plus sizes at Fashion Bug

This post is inspired by Unapologetically Fat’s post on Fashion Bug, please read it, it’s great!

It was a late summer’s day, and my mother was down to visit. I hadn’t seen her since the wedding (so since May), so it was fantastic to have a visit. We usually go clothes shopping when she’s down — call it a bit of a tradition — and we talk about fat issues. Call that a tradition, too. My mom isn’t quite a convert to FA yet, in that she still has a bunch of image/health issues that unfortunately her doctors have compounded.

We decided to stop by Fashion Bug — I had heard there was a store re-do, and I was interested to see how it would look. I walked in, and was pleasantly surprised — it looked like a regular boutique, instead of the usual segregated sections (plus on the right, straight on the left). I could see the clothing more clearly. Instead of having a casual rack crammed next to formal rack (both made of the same cheap knits and polyester), there was a casual and formal side, in which straight and plus sizes generally populated every rack.

Prices and selection was better, yes. But what impressed me even more than that was that I was, for the first time in years, shopping next to women of all sizes. There was a straight-sized woman who was interested in the same shirt, for instance, as I was. There were straight and plus sizes interspersed, shopping together for the same things.

And it was a freaking wonderful feeling.

I had never really thought about how confining and shaming it was to be segregated to often the back corner of a store (in a much smaller section), next to the FOOD (Super Walmart’s new brilliant placement for its Plus section), or next to Maternity or the kid’s clothes (cuz fat people are never single or young, yanno). I told myself that it feels better to shop near people of my own size.

But you know what? It really didn’t. That day at Fashion Bug, when I was shopping amongst straight sized people for the first time in years, *that* is when the shame lifted. *That* is what made me feel like we were all normal, just differently sized. That fat and thin people don’t inherently like different things, or inherently represent different demographics (in a broad sense), or inherently don’t want to shop near one another, or that plus sized people should have smaller selections of cheaper-made clothing because they don’t *deserve* the selection the straight sizes get.

As far as I know, Fashion Bug is the first mainstream store to integrate the straight and plus sizes. For that, Fashion Bug, I will definitely give you more of my business (your price drop doesn’t hurt, either!).

All I know is that I loved, loved, loved being able to shop with my mom again, who is a straight size. That we aren’t banished to different ends of the store. That she doesn’t come back from her side with a top she rightly knows I’d love, but dangit, it’s just too small (not her fault, she perpetually thinks I’m a 1x for some reason lol).