Two summers ago, it was a pretty good year in fat fashion. I was able to find several lovely shirts that I adored; t-shirts with pleated, flattering necklines made out of a fabric that was a bit thinner and with a bit more drape than your standard t-shirt. They were ideal; with jeans, I looked nice but not too dressy, and with a skirt, I achieved my preferred look, which is casually dressy. I bought several of them -- including multiples in the best style because I know how it works: one year, the shirts are great, and the next year, you can't find shit to wear.
But sadly, last year I had no such luck, and now those shirts are all worn out and are no longer appropriate for anything but jeans. As my business is evolving, I'm making more personal appearances and doing public speaking, so I want more clothing that falls into my "signature" look. So yesterday I started trolling the fat stores online, trying to see what I could find.
It was not good.
Here are a few of my personal fashion requirements:
• No banded bottom on shirts. Because I'm short, most shirts hit me mid-hip. This works (in fact I prefer tunic length that is a bit longer) most of the time, unless the shirt has a band at the bottom, in which case, now I have an elastic band at my widest point. And HELLO! Super unflattering.
• No empire waist stuff, or gathers under the breasts. Again, because I'm short, this has the effect of making me look chopped off at the boobs. Plus the way I happen to carry my weight (much of it in the belly area), it often doesn't fit correctly so it causes the opposite effect it intends (instead of draping gracefully, it fits snugly and looks odd).
• No puffiness in the sleeves. This looks great on other women, but when I put it on, I feel like an idiot. Doesn't look bad, mind you, I just hate it.
• Must be black. I know, I know. But wearing black achieves several things for me. First of all, everything in my closet matches. Secondly, I feel comfortable. I don't mind a bit of color, but I prefer mostly black.
• Flattering neckline. Dudes, I have big boobs. They are not a bad thing that need "minimizing" (fat bra designers, I'm looking at you) or covering. They need freedom! They want to share their cleavage with the word in a subtle and appropriate way! They need to be highlighted, not minimized!
• No print. None. Zero. Zilch.
Okay. So let's check out what is out there, shall we?
Wow. Let's start with this, shall we?
How many strikes against it does this shirt have? Oh boy. First, it's orangey-yellow. I know, like, two women that would look good in this color. Second, the print looks suspiciously shiny, like sequins are involved. Third -- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD -- there are tie-things on the sleeves. Seriously. Am I four? Am I starring on "Jersey Shore"? No. Still, love the neckline and the length. Take off the print and give it normal sleeves and make it in black and I'd buy it. Sigh.
Yeah. Because what I need is tiger eyes on my boobs. And for everyone to start singing "Eye of the Tiger" when I walk up. The best part? You can't tell from this photo but the description mentions that this is "embellished with rhinestones." Seriously.
Shiny. Patriotic. Kill me.
Hmmm. This looks promising...
Wait. I'm sorry; is that a FAKE NECKLACE ON THAT SHIRT???
Yes, that is, indeed, a giant ass purple zebra. Nothing more needs to be said.
In the defense of fat fashion designers, there are some good ones out there (no, none of this is sponsored).
Igigi gets that women can be beautiful at any size, and understands how bigger bodies look best. The clothes are gorgeously made (hence the price) and last forever.
Kiyonna also has beautiful things, according to a friend on Twitter.
Cecily blogs at Uppercase Woman, where this post originally appeared.