I’m not plus sized. I fall within the “standard” sizes on the high street, and even when I don’t it’s usually my boobs that don’t fit. I can buy clothes in most high street retailers, though some are a bit more of a squeeze than others.
I fully support the need for plus-sizing, and that #DropThePlus movement kind of bewilders me. I mean, yes it would be great if the range of sizes just kept going up, and that being inclusive didn’t just mean including those who are a 16-18-20, and if “love your curves” meant anything but boobs, butt and thighs. It would also be nice if society didn’t shame people for their size.
The measurements of a “plus-sized model” almost always include a proportionally small waist to hip ratio, and can be as small as a size 14. I probably don’t need to explain that a 5ft10 size 16 lass looks very different from someone who is 5ft1 and the same size! Models like Ashley Graham and Robin Lawley don’t exactly represent the size and shape of most plus-sized women, because *gasp* they are actually “average” sized. Using a model who is at a push a size 16 UK to represent ACTUAL plus-sized woman is ludicrous
So what happens when you’re not thin enough to be considered “standard” but you’re not overweight enough to be considered part of the community? What if you’re just “a bit” fat? I’m not considered “thin enough”, but I am also no “fat enough”. I am apparently the average size for a woman in the UK. yet I’m often made to feel like I take up too much space, and also conversely that I am not fat enough to know what I am talking about.
A few weeks ago, I was told by a stallholder at a vintage fair that I was not allowed to try on one of her dresses because I “wouldn’t fit”, and then she handed me a hideous sack of a shift dress that she said would “be a good size”. Sidebar, shift dresses are basically the least flattering thing you can put on my body. They fit me nowhere. It was way too big in the bum, did something extraordinarily disconcerting to my boobs, and basically gave me the look of an unevenly understuffed armchair designed by someone having a bad acid trip. Upholstery isn’t for everyone, folks.
Mate, I might be short and my tits are mahoosive, but I’m about a size 14-16. If I’m just looking for something that “fits” by that definition, my duvet cover fits me. So do most sleeping bags, and I fit rather nicely inside a hammock. So no, I didn’t buy that sack of a dress. Instead I found this pretty 70s frock from another vendor, one who didn’t act like I should be grateful just that she had a dress in a size bigger than “tiny”. I honestly cannot recommend Say Paloma enough for having a range of vintage and vintage-inspired gear that is not only beautiful and interesting, but also that accommodates a larger range of sizes than most. Vintage clothing is difficult for anyone larger than a size 12, as not only were women (on average) slimmer, but they were also shorter. Much as I love the look of 1920s flapper dresses and 50s styles, many of them wouldn’t even come close to zipping up over my huge ta-tas.
I fell in love with the colour. The shape. The fit. It was cute, flattering, and I could zip the damned thing up without help. I was so enamoured with it that I decided to do my very first outfit post. I have never posted a full length photo of myself on my blog, or even deliberately asked someone to take one before, so if I’m honest I was freaking out a little. My makeup was melting, and my hairs doing something tragic. They turned out remarkably well, all things considered ;-).
- Dress: Say Paloma
- Hairband: Anthropologie
- Shoes: Zara (bought off eBay for £5 years ago). These babies from Topshop look nothing like the ones I was wearing, but they are cute as hell and more importantly, BRIGHT PINK and METALLIC
- Handbag: vintage Chanel (belongs to my mum)
- Tote bag: Talented by Leslie Astor
- Eyeliner: By Terry (Line Designer in Ocean Lines Turquoise)
- Lipstick: By Terry (Terrybly Velvet Rouge in Palace Garnet)
I had Emily from Frankly Ms Shankly take these snaps after her own boudoir photo shoot in Stockbridge, and as you can tell I’m not great at having my photo taken. I just don’t *get* what I’m meant to do with my hands. Maybe some jazz hands next time? Hand jive? Start a Mexican Wave? Any tips are welcome, as at one point it really looked like she was taking these pics against my will.
Answers on a postcard folk, answers on a postcard.