Saturday, 27 April 2013

X is for XXXL

The ubiquitous chubby cheeks
- still present to this day!
I was always a sturdy child. Despite a vegetarian diet, swimming lessons, gymnastics, ballet lessons and parents with well-meaning rules such as no chocolate except on weekends, I remained a chubby child. I was bullied consistently throughout school and the target of much of the ridicule and criticism was my size, leaving me with major confidence issues regarding my appearance. During my teenage years, it continued to be a problem that haunted those horrifically fragile times - finding clothes that weren't old fashioned or frumpy was hard enough, even without the crippling awareness of your otherness.

In a LadyV London vintage-style frock.
As a young woman, I went through a forgivingly elasticated hippy phase, a decidedly wafty goth period and, during my University years, an unexplainable pierced nose, crimped hair, depressed clown phase. I spent far too many hours, gazing at the clothes available in high-street stores, knowing they were not available in my size but trying to convince myself I could squeeze into them. Like so many big girls, I've often had half a wardrobe full of clothes I'm waiting to be small enough to fit into.

More recently, rather than continuing to pine for clothes that, as well as not fitting me, wouldn't suit me, I have decided to shop for the shape of my body. The internet, in particular, has been the key to finding well-fitting plus-sized clothes that I feel confident and happy in. I take a lot of pleasure in seeking out clothing that will flatter and suit my figure and planning out outfits that suit my taste for 40's and 50's style whilst also fitting my body properly and building my confidence.

In an Evans prom dress
& shrug at a dance.
On Pinterest I've gained 100 followers now for my board Plus-Size Pretties, where I collect some of my favourite pieces when I find them. I find it useful to store these when I spot them as, in many cases, it is hard to sort through the endless tat that some retailers decide will appeal to plus-sized customers.

5 of my favourite plus-sized shops or retailers:

  1. LadyV London - although their range of plus size dresses is limited, they do release new collections regularly and produce amazing frocks for a reasonable price. I've three of their dresses in my wardrobe now - and I've my eye on several others too! 
  2. Evans - the main high-street store to cater for plus-sized customers in the UK, Evans do stock some appealing ranges. I generally love their lingerie, as it really does flatter whilst being wearable. They have also done some special edition ranges with Beth Ditto and Clements Ribeiro both of which helped to push the notion that big girls like unique style too.
    Having a cuddle with my
    young friend, Sadie, in
    a Joe Browns dress.
  3. Joe Browns - the great blend of quirky style, fabulous prints and innovative cuts from this great brand now comes in a full range ofplus sizes and they are producing some beautiful clothes this season. Be still my twitching debit card... I've my eye on this beauty for a summer wedding we have booked!
  4. H&M+ - the plus sized range from H&M is often updated and features some good key pieces each season at a reasonable price. 
  5. Igigi - the American designer whose ranges I am falling in love with, despite the fact that they are very expensive and not available in many outlets in the UK. Love their style, cut and fabrics - maybe one day... 


  1. It's good that you've defined your style and have been able to find stores that carry what you like. Sometimes I think it would be nice to dress a little nicer than my typical jeans and t-shirt but it just seems like to much work to go shopping. And it's not just plus size women who look longingly at clothes they wish they could fit. I'm average and I still have issues squeezing my thighs into something that looks flattering.

    Have fun with the last few letters of a-z. :)

  2. I love your clothes style and upbeat attitude. Embrace and love yourself EACH DAY! :) Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living,

  3. I love your style, very classic and charming.

  4. I loved your clothes styles, the brightness and the attitude of yours with which you wear them. Keep smiling and you do have a good one too :)

  5. My mother has spent so many years of her life beating herself up about her weight. She was very small as a teen and during her twenties put on many pounds. This made her depressed and anxious. I think she has been dieting since she was 24 years old. Often in high school, her unhappiness about her weight caused friction between us. This was quite sad to me. I think you are beautiful and the clothes you wear funky and amazing. Thanks for being a voice for larger women; that they are wonderful and beautiful and deserve to look their best every day. Society is horrible at validating bigger women. I'm glad there are people like you. Jennifer a.k.a Urban Gypsy Girl