A Big Girl Rant: Mainstream Fashion

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Last week I got an early birthday present from my parents: A Betsey Johnson Hobo Bag from the “Lotsa Luck” collection. Its a gorgeous, yet functional bag with a fun leopard print lining and an adorable horseshoe charm that hangs from the zipper.

The “Lotsa Luck” collection isn’t new, but I fell in love with the bag a while ago and it sold out very quickly, making it a rare find and a fantastic gift.

I’ve always loved fashion, let me rephrase… I’ve always loved clothes, but have had to struggle in my relationship with fashion. Any big girl can find clothes if she wants to, but for a Plus Size Princess to stay fashionable… that’s a different story.

For the past few days I’ve been trotting around New York City with my Betsey, and I can’t help but think about how, because of my size, the only mainstream fashion items I am allowed to sport are accessories – Bags, Earrings, Sunglasses, Hats etc. and even then I’m not completely allowed, like the other day:

I walked into a boutique in the fashion district with a friend and while she jumped straight into the trendy tops and dresses, I hung out near the front of the store looking at some necklaces and rings. A rack of knit hats caught my eye, I walked over to them and as I turned the tag over to look at the price the store owner blurted out “They’re all the same size!”

Even though I love shopping its always been something I’ve done alone or with family, never with girlfriends, because I’ve always been the only plus size girl in my group of friends. Last summer I had a fashion emergency (dont ask) and had to duck into an Ashley Stewart store. Kenzie was with me and even though she probably thought nothing of it, I was so embarrassed. When I was in high school, I adopted the answer “I don’t remember” when girls asked me where I got my clothes. I guess as a 16 year old, the idea of telling my size 2 friends that they’d have to go to Lane Bryant to get the dress they admired on me wasn’t very appealing.

Yes, I know that now some designers are extending themselves to the plus size market, but whether its the sizing (I tried on a Michael Kors winter jacket in a 3x and laughed as I tried to zip it closed) the design (Tommy Hilfiger, must imagine his plus size patrons to all be over the age of 55) or even the name of the line (as a person who never really lost her baby fat, “Baby Phat” isn’t something I want stretched across my body) there always seems to be something awkward about the clothes mainstream designers make for us.

After I finish this entry I’m off to the gym, as I put in time and effort to loose weight, I’ve decided that I just want to get small enough to wear mainstream clothes. I think most mainstream shops go up to a size 10/12. That might be my goal. I have a ways to go, but sometime in the near future I’d like to stop saying “I don’t remember” when people ask me where I got my outfit.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03638446320976744376 Moe

    First off, I love the bag. It has so many pockets. Second. I love that bag. :)

    I haven’t gone clothing shopping with friends since highschool. It was usually a nightmare.

  • Anonymous

    me toooooo
    i also replied, “i dont remember”
    i could have written this post

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06535506607184617231 asteadygo

    you need to get some more bbw friends and go out shopping! I have done this with a few closet bbw shoppers and they have come out with an amazing experience! One bbw gf cried right in the store. it was amazing!

  • Anonymous

    Its funny because I try not to let myself think about how uncomfortable it is for me to go out shopping, My close friends are of bigger sizes but their since of fashion is non existent, I've recently come to the conclusion that I will just stay away from malls until I am at a smaller size

  • Curvy monkey

    I admit I remember when LB was the ONLY store a PSP could go to (or maternity sections–don’t judge) Now I do most of my shopping online and I love it! when the thin girls (aka my family) ask me shopping I say Sure! And wander off to the shoes. Not sure what I would have done with that salesPerson’s comment about the hat. What I get is people saying “Wow, you look nice!?” In a tone that says it’s more of a shock than a compliment.whatever.