AKA: GOOD NEWS SUNDAY: Chic Clothes for Big Girls who DON'T Want to Attend Clown College
Day 53 of the Journey
I have been a plus sized girl since I started the lady-fun at age 12 or 13 (I can't remember when it really started). I was not huge back then, but I was plus sized which pretty much meant clothing options were pretty slim when you consider everyone in school was covered head to toe in Benetton, Esprit and Guess. I dearly wanted to dress like the "cool kids", but I was an XL to an XXL even back then which meant that the velvet rope was firmly in place - no sweet Coca-Cola rugby style shirt for you missy; unless you can find it in a men's size. Back then the rules were fast and firm. Girls clothing ranged from small to large, 2 to 14; I was at least a size 16...so, no go for me. When you did get to go clothes shopping you always cringed at the idea. Why? Because my dear and loving mother would happily take me to the WOMEN'S section of our local anchor store at the mall and help me find just the right piece of hideousness to help hide the curves.
Back then, I was embarrased as a pre-teen and teen to have to shop in what I called the "tent-wear" section of Hess's Department store. You would walk through the circular racks of clothing splashed with huge and loud prints convincing you that you could look good, especially if you were considering a career in clowning. Loud clothes. Brazen and ugly clothes. Clown clothes! I used to ask my Mom if there was a giant shoe section of the department store too, so I could complete the ensemble. Mom would just chuckle and say, "We do the best with what we've got." Great.
As I used to try to shove my blossoming body into electric day-glow jeans and neon tops (it was the 80s remember), I would sigh as the zipper wouldn't close. I knew that my new duds wouldn't fly with the in-crowd; and I just wished that I could at least buy something that didn't attract the kind of attention that would undoubtedly end in someone "mooing" at me or making snarky comments because I was actually dating someone. Remember folks, junior high and high school are sometimes pretty harsh environments for us big girls. The only thing that would have made me smile back then having to try on those clothes in those cramped poorly lit dressing rooms would have been if Rip Taylor would have shown up with a happy smile and a bucket of confetti. Seriously, that would have worked. Instead I found more black clothes working their way into my closet. Black is...of course, slimming. (Ahem.)
Oh, How Times Have Changed
Possibly because people have become more ample over the years, or because people were demanding better options, better clothes finds do exist for the big girls out there. Can I get an AMEN?! Thank you. Lane Bryant has some pretty fabulous options for the career woman or trendy adult, and Torrid has cornered the market on the alterna-girls and can help teens manage their fluff with style. I'm sure there are certain types of clothes that all the kids wear these days, so not being a Mom means I don't know what this generation's Esprit or what-have-you is. There's the AVENUE for the urban chick, Gayla Bentley for women with some nice dough in their pockets, and designers like Liz Claiborne and others often create styles for the larger-sized lass. In fact with a little persistence and patience, you can score some good designer finds in the plus size racks of your local Ross Store or Marshalls (you do have to scour through some unfortunate clown-wear that continues to find a home somewhere in the fashion industry).
Online, there are even more fabulous options like Cherished Woman, Alight and a plus-sized section of Old Navy! I am actually purchasing some jeans online for the first time since I was 20. I do not own a single pair of jeans and haven't worn jeans since I was 24. Why? Because I have a large posterior but I have a waist that goes in. I was blessed with the hour-glass figure. These days it's more like a 24 hour-glass figure, but hey it's still there. If you buy jeans for a large rump, you have to size up leaving you swimming in the waist of your jeans which is a fabulous place to store a can of Pepsi Throwback (which I love more than I can say), or a laptop computer for easy travel. Now though, Levi's has options for the bigger girls and you can also buy some Apple Bottoms for those of us who fit the profile above. I only wish I had the cash-flow to deck myself to the hilt!
So Why Is This Good News?
Because in learning to love yourself no matter what size you are, you'd like to know you can find clothes that make you feel beautiful. In developing my sense of self and a faux-burlesque personality (because I probably will only do burlesque in the confines of my bedroom), and my performance persona for dancing...I love knowing that there are sexy options for the voluptuous among us. Yes, yes...I'm faking till I make it! In fact, my "burlesque" persona is going to be named Amuse Chandon for my love of Moet. She's a cheap date, but an expensive wife...and I already picked out her around the town outfit thanks to Mode Murr. I apologize for the lack of a plus-sized model but I can order the dress in MY SIZE.
So thank you designers (at least some of them), for recognizing that beauty can exist in all sizes and shapes. I truly hope that the current teens who struggle with weighty issues are having a better time finding something to wear that makes them feel confident and beautiful. You do have many choices in your life and lots of ones ahead of you...if you choose to join the circus and do the clown-car extravaganza, you can do that...but at least you don't have to look like you do that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That...is good news to me.
P.S. If you know of any plus-sized fabulous and fun clothing sites that I'm not aware of - please send 'em this way! Thank you to everyone's kind words and suggestions today has been a day of moving forward with power and purpose. Smooches!
Thanks Lunchlady2 -
The Pyramid Collection - Plus Sizes (Coveting some of these items!)
Thanks Amanda Gulledge -
Hips & Curves - Amazing Lingerie Options (Ooh la la indeed!)