***Disclaimer: This post is not just for fat women. This post is for everyone because we all need to learn to check our weight bias at the door and evaluate our own internalized stigma about size. I hope this 3-part blog series will increase your capacity for compassion around weight.
A couple of months ago I had a really fascinating conversation about fashion with a client of mine. She is someone who lives in a larger body. And she has really helped me understand some of the major barriers to shopping and feeling fashionable as a fat woman.
My eyes filled with tears when she described how she has felt about clothes shopping, style, and even a little pampering.
“I never felt deserving a manicure let alone stylish clothes. I was fat and should be ashamed and try to hide as much as possible. How dare I think it ok to draw attention to myself or treat my fat body with kindness? I did not believe I deserved it and had no place making myself more noticeable than I already was.”
And then there were the logistical issues. Despite how frequently we hear about the growing rates of obesity, obese people have pretty crappy options for buying cute clothes. Forget going to the mall. Sure there’s Lane Bryant, the token fat lady store. But that is about it. And it can be tough buying clothes online since sizing is incredibly inconsistent and cute clothes for bigger bodies are tough to find. Many larger women fantasize about what it would be like to walk into a mall and have so many options to choose from- multiple stores, not just one.
I live in a culturally acceptable thin body, this education from clients and friends feels really important to me. I have not experienced what so many of my clients (and many of you) have experienced. I wanted to learn and better understand their struggle. I believe so strongly in women (in particular) dressing in ways that feel good. And I think it totally sucks that it is so hard for so many woman to do so due to their size.
So I decided to ask some advice from 3 lovely larger ladies. I asked them to write about what they think about fat fashion and any tips they could share with my readers. I will be presenting their responses in 3 different blog posts so stay tuned!
My first Fat Fashion Consultant provided the following tips:
1. Check out this blog post: The Top 20 Breakout Plus Size Style Bloggers of 2014
2. I really am enjoying Gwynnie Bee for dress rentals.
3. High recommendations for Re/Dress, one of my favorite plus size shops:.
4. I’m not usually one for thrift stores, but I have a lot of friends who have good luck with thrifting. Their usual tip is that you should try things on regardless of a sizing label. Clothes sizing is totally bizarre and L means something different for each brand. Also sometimes a curvy girl will rock a tight fitting piece that was originally marketed to be loose on a smaller body.
Stay tuned for tips and thoughts from two more fat fashionistas!