There are a million and one different resources from magazines, to websites, to clothing brands and designers for women who are considered to be an average size, but that isn't you. Hell that isn't even the majority of most of American women. You are plus sized, thick thighed, big breasted, bubble butted, cankled, thick calved, jiggly, wiggly, and big boned. There are a lot of people in this world unfortunately who think you should disappear into a closet somewhere and hide in shame for the rest of your life, but you've got to live your life no matter what size you are. A confident woman is not a size, she's an attitude and a strength that comes from within that she can use to smash the world around her in the best possible way. You shouldn't do that in sweats and a moo moo, but a fabulous dress or suit, or a cute top that makes you feel good.
1. Where can I find some cute clothes?
Yes, there are stores out there for you that don't make clothes that remind you of the table cloth in your kitchen. I love sites like Mod Cloth which constantly rotate their stock to reflect the seasons, popular styles, and viewer demands for certain items to come back in stock. Their plus sized models also aren't always that sized 14 girl, barely on the low end of the plus sized spectrum, but they feature plus sized models of every size and shape from petite on up to statuesque in their clothing as well as viewer submitted images. Also one of my favs is ASOS/ASOS curve. They allow you to see the clothing walking down a runway, you guessed it, on plus sized models. There is nothing like figuring out how a garment will move and look on a body without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
For those and other plus sized clothing sites check out:
and this for sizes beyond 28,
and this for affordable wedding/bridesmaid dresses, cocktail, prom, and formal dresses to size 26 with custom sizing available
2. Now that I've got clothes, I kind of need some inspiration...
Thanks to the internet and youtube, you no longer have to search endlessly for someone who knows their plus sized fashion and wants to cater to you. Youtube especially has linked vloggers together to help show you that there are people just like you who are dying to help you go from meh, to all that, and if you haven't swirled through the bohemith catalog that is Pinterest.com for plus sized fashion, where have you been already!
3) Any fashion tips?
- No matter your size, have good posture. A slouchy, hunched over girl looks far worse than one with her head up, shoulders back, chest out walking down the street with confidence. Do not choose to disappear, choose to stand out and be confident.
- Don't go for the blanket cover up. You might think I'm a big girl, I should just cover it all up, but adding volume upon volume will only look bulky and bigger. Go for styles that have darting, chunky belts at the smallest part of the waist, tailored jackets that pull you in instead of push you out, and creative color patterns that visually give you a shape and show off your curves.
- Play up color, hair, make-up and accessories like nobodies business. Don't just put on an all black outfit to hide. Do big wavy hair or a giant fro, throw on some chunk earrings, do a spiked heel or a sparkly flat, show off a bit of midriff. Go for it.
- If you are working up to that confidence in yourself/style start with one thing that you love about yourself. If you love your shoulders, look for tops that show them off, if your feet are gorgeous, get a mani-pedi and some open toed stunners, then when you've conquered those, dress to showcase another body part.
- If you feel like crap wearing something, throw it out or re-purpose it. If your baggy pants make you feel like a giant bag, turn them into pillow cases, or donate them to good will. The clothing you wear should make you feel good/look good, not make you feel like you're worthless.
- If you don't have a ton of money, hit up the thrift shop. A lot of styles that cost part of the rent, can be found at your local thrift store or turned into something more fashionable if you can sew a bit. Pro-tip, head to thrift stores in richer or artsy neighborhoods, because they tend to have more brands and fashion forward items.
- If you are on a clothing expedition with friends who aren't the same size, make it a priority for you guys to visit a few stores that cater to you. If you have to spend hours tromping through places with them with nothing that fits you, you deserve the same courtesy.
- Make time to shop. You may have what you consider or some designer considers a hard to fit body. Do NOT get discouraged. Yes, it may take longer to find something that you really feel works for you, but if you only give yourself 30 minutes to find say, your Holiday dress for the season, you are going to quickly get frustrated and give up and revert to just wearing any old thing. Try not to shop when you are tired, hungry, have a kid on each arm, or severely strapped for time. Take time to shop, talk with the salespersons, and even call head to get the assistance of a personal shopper at your big mall type stores or boutiques.
I hope you have found something here useful to you. The plus sized industry is slowly but surely becoming more about dressing women fashionably and less about marginalizing plus sized women and giving them only clothes that are bland, boring, and big.