Guest Blog by Elly Morris
For a long time, being fat/plus-size/curvy/whatever you want to call it, has been mutually exclusive with keeping up with fashion trends. With a recent surge in followers, although fatshion has been around for a while, it’s now that brands are really starting to take notice of it.
So – how do you begin? It’s always going to be tricky to walk into a regular high street shop and find items in your size. Even if they fit some parts of your body, they might not fit others. Jeans with gaping waist bands that are somehow ridiculously tight on the thighs – sound familiar? Luckily, I’m here to help you find your feet in the world of fat fashion.
Step One: Inspiration
This step is aaallll about Instagram. Even if you don’t use the platform to post things, make sure you get yourself an account and follow pages you like the look of. To get you started, here are some we love:
- Megan Jayne Crabbe - https://www.instagram.com/bodyposipanda/
- As well as filling your life with bright colours, Megan is known for her body positivity. She speaks frankly about her struggle with eating disorders, hands out sage advice, and has even written a book about her experiences with her body. If you want playful, colourful style, she’s the one to go for.
- Jessica Kelley - https://www.instagram.com/therealmrskelley/
- Along with the most adorable puppy pictures ever, following Jessica will bring so much glamour into your life. Never seen without that popping highlight, she also gives great tips on how to alter existing clothes or even sew your own.
- Marquis Neal - https://www.instagram.com/marquimode/?hl=en
- Named as one of Tess Holliday’s ’10 Instagrammers Who Will Make Your Life Better’, Marquis is bursting with style. They know just how to accessorise each outfit, and make it all look so effortless.
Step Two: Acquisition
The next step is finding those key pieces that will change your wardrobe. As we mentioned before, regular high street shops can often be out of the question for us fatties. Unless the current style is oversized, I’m rarely likely to find anything that fits me anywhere other than Tents R Us.
So where should you look? Here are some suggestions:
- Charity shops
It depends massively on where you’re living, but charity shops can often be places where you find the most unique clothing. Before you step foot in the door, make sure you’ve got a list handy of the items you’re looking to find. That will save you hours of sifting through the same long flowy trousers hoping to find inspiration.
Obviously, there are too many places online to list, but ASOS Curve is a solid starting point. Their sizing guides are generally very accurate, and you can just return anything that doesn’t fit how you expected it to. And of course, there are niche retailers like Gender Free World, who will give you fitting advice if you give them a phone or email. Currently their sizing range is from 10 to 22 with plans to increase the larger sizes in the near future.
- Smaller high streets
We’re not talking H&M and Topshop here, we’re thinking smaller independent shops, and most towns will have an area off the beaten track which is worth exploring. In the UK, just a couple of miles away from Brighton, you can find GFW Clothing's physical store, which is one of the best places to find clothes that are designed specifically for different body shapes.
Step 3: Styling
This is where you need to bring a bit of step one back in – check out those Insta posts again and see how those people put outfits together. Give yourself a solid couple of hours either alone or with a trusted friend, just to play around with your new acquisitions. Don’t forget accessories, and take pictures of each outfit you style for future reference.
Once you’ve styled a few outfits, take them on test runs. Wear them to work, out for a date night, or to meet a friend. Make sure they’re comfortable and wearable for long stretches of time, and ask your friends for their honest opinions. Take lots of pictures and use all of that experience to help you out in the future.
There you have it. A beginner’s guide to fat fashion. Any other questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you – leave them below or @genderfreeworld us on Twitter.