I’m NOT a fashion blogger and I never will be. Even more so I’m certainly not a plus-size fashion blogger even though I happen to be plus-sized.
I never planned to blog about plus-size fashion – until that fated shopping trip just before Christmas. I got so annoyed by what was on offer in the plus-size sections on the high street this year. New Look, a firm favourite of mine, seems to have decided that larger women can only wear dull, shapeless clothes with ELASTICATED waistbands. When I rule the world I swear to God I’m outlawing elasticated waistbands.
So anyway, here are the five commandments laid down by the high street for plus-size shopping.
Thou Must Be Over Five Foot Ten.
You can have curves, or you can be short. You can’t do both. I’m a lofty 5″1 and I am so very over trying on dresses and skirts that have been clearly designed for amazonian women. There’s no point in my trying the petite section either as those size tend to stop at around a size 14 or 16. Taking Shape are the worst example of this one. Anything I’ve ever tried on in that shop is designed for someone about six foot tall.
Thou must wear an elasticated waist
Hello? Did no-one else watch Trinny and Susannah? Elasticated waists are the worst things EVER. I suspect the incredibly skinny fashion designers working for the high street chains think elasticated waists give the illusion of shapes and cover a multitude of sins but they really, really don’t. All they do is give you a marvellous roll of flab cut in half and leave with sore red lines across your middle by the end of the day. I have plenty of dresses that are cut nicely around the waist or with an empire line that are considerably more flattering. Here’s a prime sample from New Look. Lovely dress for £9, ruined by the sodding elasticated waistband!
Thou Cannot Wear Sparkles
There is debate about sparkles and shimmery fabric because they can show off lumps and bumps where you might not necessarily want them shown off. But what made me so cross before Christmas was the absolute lack of festive fashion there was available to me. If I wanted sweat pants, shirtwaisters (which should all be burned immediately, regardless of size) or a lumberjack shirt then
Of course not every high street retailer is guilty of this. Simply Be are a great place to go to for lovely cocktail dresses and there are some stunning ones embellished with all the sparkles you could ever need.
Thou Must Not Have A Waist
I am convinced that plus-sized clothing is designed by size eight fashion victims who have no idea what real women look like or wear.
I’ve come to this conclusion after discovering that if you don’t want to wear an elasticated waist then most other options will consist of a Hetty Jacques style smock. These are clothes with no structure whatsoever that are designed to cover all of our lumps and bumps. Check out this brightly coloured sack from Evans.
Unlikely to make a girl look svelte.
The thing is, I don’t see why. We do actually have waists – they’re in there somewhere. And with the right structuring and tailoring we can look like we have waists in a way that will take the pounds off instead of piling them on.
Pink Clove can get it right sometimes – when they’re not designing close for 5″10′ amazons but they do petite styles too. Here’s a wrap dress I picked off their website that is designed nicely to fit.
Ignore all of the above. I think the biggest problem in plus-size fashion on the high street is that there isn’t enough of it. Women of any size should be able to wear whatever they damn well please. It would be nice if the fashion industry didn’t treat us like second-class citizens.
At the moment the best place to go for plus-sized fashion is online. There is some great fashion – just so long as you know where to look. I’ve never been particularly comfortable about shopping online because, really, you never know quite what you’re going to get.
So those are my high street rants over and done with. I won’t be making a habit of these – like I say, I’m not a fashion blogger!