Miss Trilby Goouch at Queen’s Journal Blogs posted an article today called, “Embracing All Shapes: Plus-Size Bloggers,” We all know plus-size writers, fashionistas and curve enthusiasts have been hitting the blogosphere at full force, even being adopted by renowned magazines and newspapers. We’ve got publications like the Huffington Post, Marie Claire and inStyle embracing plus-size columnists and writers along with personal bloggers like Gabi Gregg and Ragini Nag Rao making bold fashion moves on their sites and earning thousands of followers while racking up the page views. As noted many times, plus-size gals and lovers thereof have started wedging their way into the worlds of style, fashion and celebrity.
I know I always point to a select couple of shops as implementers of plus-size clothing, mainly Forever 21, ModCloth and ASOS. I’ve been saying over and over that I think plus-size women are slowly getting more fashion options than five years ago as they sneak out of the fat girl closet. But I don’t ever mean to suggest that the light at the end of the journey-toward-weight-acceptance-tunnel is actually visible. Like Trilby points out, plus-size ladies still can’t shop at stores like American Apparel or Marc Jacobs. They still aren’t able to rock Zara’s Faux Leather Frill dress, which doesn’t come in anything over an L, or the Alexander McQueen Black Dragnofly and Flower Knit Leggings (also at the L limit, a letter which may stand for large but could still really only fit a size 8). Voluptuous ladies who could have the luxury of shopping anywhere they want, or have the confidence to wear anything they want, can’t actually do so regardless of having the means or the sass. There’s no such thing as a butt too wide or a belly too fat, only clothes not made big enough.
You’d think relentless “0 is not a size” campaigns accompanied by statistics proving time and time again that the average woman is a size 14 would provoke retailers and designers to have a reality check. Trilby asks, “Who are they designing for?” – and really, that’s THE question. Most women aren’t a size 0, and you’d think common sense would suggest that designing for women of all sizes would only help business and possibly tarnish any negative stigma designers and retailers bring upon themselves by choosing to make clothes that only fit a 6’1”, 130 pound model. But I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that people lack common sense.
I may be chunky but I know I’m just around the technical average size of women in the country. A 16 isn’t really that big considering I’m 5’9”, but even so, I find it extraordinarily difficult to buy clothing anywhere that isn’t specifically designed for the larger lady. Most of the time, pants refuse to cover my ass or I get stuck in tops as I try to pull them over my boobs, and while I can actually find this comically amusing, I can’t just be naked all the time because things don’t fit properly (though how much more fun would that be?). My best friend is a size 4, and I envy the ease with which she walks into absolutely any store and finds whatever garment she wants in her size. I wouldn’t want to be skinny like her, but I would want the stores she shops at to be friendly to my fat. I don’t want to lose weight, especially not so I can fit into some teeny jeggings. I LIKE my body. I like my rolls and wobbly bits, which is why I wish I could find more clothes to show them off.
All this makes me think of Ragini Nag Rao (as you can probably tell because all the photos here are of her), who I will probably dedicate a full post to soon. Her blog A Curious Fancy holds dozens of photos of her dressed in some of the cutest, most daring ensembles I’ve ever seen a plus-size girl in. I don’t know where Ragini actually shops, but I wish we could sneak a peak at her little black retail book. At least it’s proof that finding fashionable, adorable, sexy, etc. options for chunky chicks isn’t impossible or limited to three or four stores…but I do wait in expectation to see the day that Zara or Urban Outfitters or American Apparel wake up and realize that they’re missing out on a hell of a lot of business, because there are a hell of lot of plus-size women longing to shop at their stores. I long for the day I can go to Zara and not rip their jeans every time I try to fit into them — again, I actually find this pretty hilarious but unfortunately it makes it so I end up paying for something I can’t even purchase. Sorry people, I have a massive ass, and would really appreciate some aptly-fitted trousers that both cover it and make it look as nice as I happen to think it is.