Fashion

Ridiculous outfit, serious topic.

27 August, 2010

Outfit photo of me wearing a cream lace dress with big sleeves that are elbow length, mint coloured tights, black boots, and lots of cream and pearl necklaces. One hand is on my hip, the other behind my head.

After simply forever I finally got the t-shirt and dress I bought from the Asos Curve sale weeks and weeks ago. I’ve been sick this week, so it took me a while to try everything on and I can’t say I was very enthused about my purchases. The t-shirt, just a simple long white number, seems too small for the size and the dress is… well, a scandalous length. As you can see right here.

I threw on a bunch of bracelets and necklaces, my beloved pastel mint stockings from We Love Colors, and a pair of Torrid boots from a few years ago and dragged Nick outside to document my Mama Cass-inspired outfit. As a freelancer and blogger, you can bet for damned sure that I take advantage of the non-existent dress code and avail myself of shapeless and comfy clothes; though it’s nice to play dress ups, especially when you’re welcoming a new garment to the wardrobe.

A photo of my right hand (with lots of bracelets) lightly clasping a very long cream bead necklace.

Photo of me looking off to the left, wearing bright orange/ red lipstick and lots of pearl and cream necklaces.

I often struggle with categorising my blog. I am very hesitant to call myself a fashion/ fatshion blogger because it’s not the only thing I care to write about, and at any rate I simply can’t afford to be one! On the other hand, I blog about my outfits (real and ridiculous) because I’m passionate about the visibility of fat bodies. I don’t care if people don’t like what I wear and I don’t care about trends – I blog because fat people are dehumanised and made invisible and if I’ve got a platform and an audience, I’m going to take advantage of it to normalise my body and bodies like mine.

Outfit photo of me wearing a cream lace dress with big sleeves that are elbow length, mint coloured tights, black boots, and lots of cream and pearl necklaces. My arms are stretched out to show off the sleeves.

What I’m wearing:
Dress: Asos Curve
Stockings: Pastel mint nylon/ lycra from We Love Colors
Boots: Torrid
Necklaces: Gifts and Diva
Bracelets: City Chic

Bodies like mine usually don’t get to dress up in designer clothes. Instead of “supporting local designers” or collecting pieces from super designers, most of us buy our clothes off the internet from the “high street” stores. The funny thing is, bodies like mine would absolutely consume designer fare if it were made in our size. But it’s not, so fat people remain in a position where they’re portrayed as unfashionable and unattractive, when being fashionable and attractive is rewarded! It’s so frustrating and circular, I’m baffled when people fail to see this cycle.

Photo of my vinyl wedge boots.

A diptich photo of my right hand, the left photo has my hand dangling down covered in bracelets, the right photo my hand is raised with one of the many bangles half over my palm.

One of the things that frustrates me the most (because I’m so used to being disenfranchised from actual fashion) is the accessories thing. Fat girls apparently have the best accessories. Except if their limbs are bigger than normal sized limbs. I am big (not necessarily fat) all over, so that means I can’t just trip into a store and pick up some shoes, bangles or rings when I’m feeling sad about being sized out of garments. Wide fitting shoes are very expensive and until City Chic released their range of accessories, my wrists and fingers were pretty much naked. For years I have relied on Evans in the UK for my fill of footware and bling because it simply wasn’t available here. Gratefully, CC have started to fulfill this need but the pickings are still slim. (Pun, um, intended? I don’t know anymore!)

I just can’t treat fashion in a lighthearted way. For many of us, fashion is linked with distress and disappointment. It’s pretty obvious from many conversations I’ve had with local fashion designers, and some straight sized fashion bloggers, that the industry just doesn’t get how plus size bodies are othered by the industry they’re so in love with. Even more disheartening than not fitting into fashion is that lots of industry people are resistant to the idea of inclusion because it subverts a hierarchy that rewards the most normalised and accepted (i.e: middle class, white, slim, able bodied). Because fashion is apparently “aspirational” (it grosses me out how that’s a perfectly acceptable defense of exclusion of different bodies in glossy mags and on catwalks!)

One of the most fabulous and powerful things to happen in the last decade, beside plus size shopping online, has been the fatshion blogging movement. It’s about time fatties were given back their heads and their humanity, along with a glimmer of inspiration and solidarity through community. And that’s why I take photos of my outfits and post bitter diatribes against the fashion industry!

The end.

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  • Caveatcalcei

    One of the most striking women that I have ever met is M. When I first met her she was a size 20 when we first met her (six feet tall). She wore micro minis and killer heels & cascading curls down her back. If you walked into a room at the same time as her, god help you, all eyes were on her. Fashion and style and sex appeal is about confidence which you have shining out of every picture Natalie. I love the outfit & want you to style me if/when you ever get to Sydney.

  • KateF

    NON-EXISTENT GOD I LOVE YOU NAT!

    You look amazing (as always) in this ensemble.

    You rock it and look incredible as always.

    I'm in 2 minds about the whole fashion thing. Fashion never takes account of curves of any sort so most women are alienated by it. I've never felt part of the “fashionable” world, even when I was skinny.

    “Style” is something completely different, and you cannot teach that. You have “Style” coming out of your pores.

    Keep up the brilliant work.

  • Katrin

    I think you look amazing int is and it is NOT to short!! And I am serious when I say that this out fit is not ridiculouse. And love your jewlry! And know what you are talking about. I have wiiiiide feet and also “fat” handa (achtually I wouldn't call my hands fat, but they are thicker tham from skinny people) so there is this problems with bangles and rings and in Germany there isn't any shop I could name that makes plus sized accessory.

  • I worked at Avenue for years & though it is an awful company that treats its employees poorly, they have great accessories & all bangles & rings are made with the chunky hands/wrists in mind. I used to have male customers who liked wearing bangles (one amazing Ozzy Osborne impersonator & more than a few Queens) & loved how large our bracelets were. We actually had straight sized women come in all the time for jewelery they had seen their plus-sized friends wearing & they would complain that our things were too large for them. On many occasions we were told that our company discriminated against them by not carrying smaller sizes … ain’t THAT a pip!

  • Kimberpotamus

    I purchased the same dress and it looks god awful on me. It looks fantastic on you, not ridiculous at all.

    I agree, it's so hard for me to not stress out and agonise about buying a simple pair of jeans. I hate that I buy most of my clothes online and that most of the time I'm taking a gamble by doing so. It's stressful to not be able to try on clothes, to waste money on clothes that sometimes don't fit properly or just don't look right, to wait weeks for clothes to arrive, and to basically feel ignore or shunned by 99% of clothing stores.

  • I don't think it looks too short at all. And at the risk of sounding sort of sychophantic, I completely agree with this. The more visiblity, the more normalisation.

    I struggle with outfit posting (especially at the moment. I feel ridiculously uninspired), especially fat oufit posting. I feel boring, that I don't have the money to buy indie this or designer that, and that most of my clothing is high street. Obviously I don't face the same problems you face, which I fully recognise and acknowledge. I'm glad you're posting your outfits and I'm glad we're getting to see how you put them together on a budget and at your size.

  • Gstransom

    Hi, Natalie !!!!!! Did I tell you that my daughter is Natalia ?????? Anyway, we're both fluffy, and we have lots of fluffy friends !!!!!!! We love your outfits, etc. You look great, and you look as if you're having a great time !!!!!!

    Have you ever tried Romans, Lane Bryant, Woman Within, Alight, Igigi, and Ula Popkin ?????? They're all favorites of mine !!!!!! There are also Laura plus stores in Toronto and the rest of this area. I bought the greated evening gown from them and the absolutely greated faux fur !!!!!!

    Have a great time !!!!!

    Warmest regards !!!!!

    Gracia Transom

  • Gstransom

    spelling correction — greatest

  • I don't think the dress is too short. I guess it depends – if you are scared to bend over in it and feel uncomfortable then it's not good. Nothing worse than being self conscious about your outfit all day but it looks super cute.

  • FrumiousMe

    i have that dress! i wore it yesterday without the shift over black dress pants and a black long-sleeved top.

    i can never find rings or bangles that fit; even when i was straight-sized as a teen, i have big hands and wrists. Finding a decent watch is a nightmare. stretchy bangles end up with big gaps with the elastic showing and it's dangerous to try and get a solid bangle over my bones. boots are another dilemma, as while i don't have wide feet (they're thin and long) i'm flat-footed and have wide calves. i simply cannot risk buying shoes online, and most stores in my area don't do a size 11 womens with enough stretch/width in the calf not to look ridiculous.

  • I am so with you on the power of the fashion blogosphere. It's done wonders for myself awareness–more so than years of therapy. That outfit is fabulous on you. I love those blue tights with the ivory.

  • Thanks for posting this. I LOVE your outfit, even if the dress feels short on you – I’m sorry!! I commend you for daring to wear tights ;) The necklace is WOW! I agree with you, I think it’s about damn time ‘overweight’ people are recognized as human beings, and far more than that! In fact, I had never even thought about the Catch 22 of fat girls being labeled as inherently unfashionable, because you’re right, the options are incredibly limited! I sincerely hope this movement continues to gain momentum and designers work more and more to provide fashion for ALL sizes…they should be ashamed to be excluding such a large group of their supporters! Keep rocking the blogosphere.

    xx Amy

  • This really resonated with me. I hope you don't mind that I quoted you (attributed of course) on my blog!

    http://wearelargepeople.blogspot.com/2010/08/be

  • I love, love, love this outfit.

  • Love this outfit, love you <3

  • I actually quite love this dress with the boots. The tights though, too pale maybe?

    I think, like small sizes, fat chics can be fashionable and unfashionable. I think it has more to do with the personality of the woman wearing them. What looks good on one fat chic simply doesn't look good on another fat chic. Why? Because of the personality she chooses to wear with it.

  • Eli

    Thank you for bringing this to light, and I'm saddened how society makes women feel about their bodies – you are a beautiful person, no matter what size. And fashion should be accessible to everyone, criticized by none.

  • Nathalie

    Hiya Natalie,
    I've been following your blog silently since July and have to say i love it!! I love your artwork and i love your writing style and your determined opinion (not sure how to express the things i want to say :D). Me myself being on the curvy side of things, i like how you, in a way, “stand up” for all of us. I wish i had the courage to dress like you do, i tend to blend in and not be too daring although i heart fashion and pour over the pages of glossy magazines every week looking at all the beautiful outfits i can't wear…
    Well that's it for now, just a quick hello from Luxembourg :)
    Hope to read lots more from you
    (another) Nathalie xoxo

  • Jennifer Dawn

    That is such a cute dress! It looks lovely on you. :)

    http://andohsofancy.blogspot.com

  • Minna

    That is, in all sincerity, about the length that I wear dresses/skirts (well, outside of egl). Guess I'm a scandalous lady >:D

    To the accessory issues I say SING IT. Finding bracelets that can fit over my hand/around my wrist is a nightmare.

  • S.

    I think your outfit is totally cute! I really love that dress.

    I have been reading your blog for a while, and I really like it. I also agree with you wholeheartedly on the plus sized clothing issue. I live in the US where, frankly, there isn't very much selection when it comes to plus-sized clothing. I happen to be very lucky in that I am a size that allows me to shop in the “normal” sections as well as the plus-sized section. It always astounds me just how shapeless and ugly plus-sized clothing is – and not just in department stores, but also in specialty stores like Lane Bryant!

    I often go shopping with a strictly plus-sized friend of mine and we oftentimes just end up lamenting the fact that shirts and dresses look like sacks. It's rare to find something even remotely flattering, which is a shame because it's something that is completely doable. The problem is, with all the fat hatred out there, people just don't want to.

    The stigma of fat is something that seriously needs to change, so I'm very grateful for blogs like yours.

  • kellyhogaboom

    I love just about the fatshion blogging business. I see, on the streets of my little ex-logging semi-urban township, more and more fat women dressed FABULOUSLY. Now that doesn't mean anything about how they see or feel about themselves, and it doesn't mean women dressed fance have more deep-down self-acceptance. But there are more of them and some of them have to feel as good as they look, right? I swear I see more of this and it seems awesome.

  • I absolutely loathe short dresses on myself (or, worse still, the dresses that LOOK long from the front but when you bend over, are completely not!) but I don't think yours looks too small on you at all – you look gorgeous and it looks fantastic with those blue tights!

  • I love how you styled this outfit and I especially love how you accessorised it. :)

  • Cute! *_*
    I love that tights!
    Regarding the plus-size clothing issue, I agree! I'm from Italy, and it seems that here the ideas of plus size clothing is “big, black, shapeless!”
    Before I found out about Evans I've never worn boots, because the ones I find in normal shops won't fit my calf!
    As for the accessories… well, I've started to do them by myself, I love handmade accessories! ^__^

  • Eva

    Natalie – it's only recently that I too have started to wear white – having been told all my life. OMG you're fat you DO NOT wear white.
    And for the record, your outfit is not ridiculous at all – you look awesome :)

  • Guest

    I love your confidence and I think this outfit looks great, but don’t you think you’re a bit unhealthy? I’m not trying to be rude or criticise your appearance because I don’t have a problem with that, but you are at risk of a lot of health problems because of your weight…