A plus size lardy assed rant

AustraliaBeing fatLifeSydney

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Shopping malls are horrible horrible places.  They trap you with their convoluted carparking, convoluted floor plans and lifts and escalators filled with convulsing tantrum-throwing children.  Not to mention the flickering fluorescent lighting.

But being a PWINAAS (person who is not at all small), it is even more depressing than whatever existential crisis is making little Skye/Gwynne/Georges throw a spat in the lift.

Why, despite shopping malls often being filled with fellow PWINAASes, despite the constant hype about the obesity crisis, why are there barely any clothes for us fatties to wear?

Shopping for fashionable clothes for anyone above size 14 is a nightmarish exercise. 

Step one often involves going out to the suburbs… because the only chance you have of finding suitably sized clothing is to go somewhere where most women have reproduced already.  In the inner city, where most people have dogs rather than children enrolled in private school and hence have figuratively not "lost their figure", the pickings for generously sized garments are slim (get it?).  So a journey to the ‘burbs is often in order.

Step two then involves trawling through stores to find things in the right size.  The range is always limited, and usually really ugly.

Step three usually involves being disappointed.  Either you like it and it’s not in your size, or you hate it and it’s the only thing in your size.

I have been looking for tights (don’t get me started on the blatant sizing lies on tights packaging… how come my weight and height is well within the specified range for the pair of tights purchased and then I get home and find they are way way way too small? so much wasted money), a nice cut pair of black pants, good fitting jeans and a nice black pencil skirt for MONTHS and MONTHS and MONTHS.  You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to find these basic wardrobe items.  But no.  They either don’t fit well, are made of shitty material and are way overpriced or are just generally shit.

So very much of my weekend time (and my money) is spent trying to find respectable, fashionable, flattering, affordable clothes that don’t make me look decades older than my 23 years.  And so often I fail.

Is this some sort of cruel punishment for enjoying too much chocolate-related decadence?  Is it like the anti-smoking lobby, hoping more people will quit by pushing them outside…. hoping more people will join Fitness First instead of either walking around naked or in printed sacks that look like they have been made from the offcuts of RSL club carpet?

Anywhere that does sell stuff that is ok and bigger charges through the nose for it because they know that the clothing will send the fatties into such a flutter of excitement they won’t even bother looking at the price tag.  It’s true.  I have so many items of clothing made from flimsy crap material that I could have picked up for $10 if I was a size 10, but have paid $50 or more for just because I am desperate for something nice to wear.

While wandering around looking at the floral sacks available for the low price of $120 each in Myer, the boringness and shapelessness of the clothes on offer made my mind wander…

The fashionistas are in their drawing room, putting together the new designs for winter 2008… Jennifer Hawkins is inexplicably in the corner in a half sewn garment (I really doubt models have to deal with that)… a group of sharply dressed men with a few scrawny ladies running to and fro with bits of flimsy fabric and sketch drawings are in the middle of a floodlit warehouse.  I don’t know why this is so, but clearly this is how fashions are made.

"All done, except for hemming Jen’s skirt… now, what shall we design for the fatties this year?" a man in a pink shirt quips.

"Well, the sacks always sell well.  The fatties love the sacks.  They fly off the shelves.  Let’s just use some of the extra bits of fabric we have lying around and sew it into sacks!"

Suddenly the warehouse doors burst open and there, chunky thighs silhouetted by some sort of backlight of unknown origin, stands the one to save them all.  This is dream me. 

"Nooooooo" I scream, dashing for the design table, doing some fully sick aerial acrobatics along the way.

"They only buy the sacks because you scrawny bastards don’t make anything else for them to wear," I scream, while pinning down a designer and holding a set of pinking shears at his throat.

With my free hand, I grab a glam dress off the table and shove it in his face.

"Make this three sizes bigger or die a slow death through ineffectual zig zag shaped cuts to your neck!" I scream.

"But the integrity of the fashion… I…. I…. just won’t.  You… can’t…" he splutters.

"Do it," I demand, while pressing the pinking shears closer to his pretentiously groomed facial hair.

The saleswoman snapped me out of my daydream by asking if I wanted to try on a hideous satin top I had been gazing at for five minutes with a delirious look of glee on my face.

All jokes aside, it’s pretty damn annoying.  The most hilarious catch-22 of today was the difficulty I had finding a sports bra.  You would think the slim army would only sell sportswear for the fatties (no after 5 wear until you lose 15 kilos… get jogging!) but it seems I must be too fat to do sports.  I am beyond hope. 

So after a day where I managed to spend money but not have much to show for it, I came home to try and look if I could find the objects of my desire by dipping my toes into the hit and miss world of online shopping.

The postage and chance of stuff not fitting was just too much risk.  But while looking around I discovered that designer Leona Edmiston is expanding her range to big sizes, which is exciting, cos her stuff is glam (damn expensive though).

But then I found a blog post about it at the Daily Terror where the comments just made my blood boil.  Crap about how people shouldn’t whinge about not having plus sized clothes they should just go to the gym and stop being fat and a burden on society and all of that or should learn to sew.  There are also things posted by other people that underline how shit it is trying to find clothes that fit well. (Note, there are also some anti-skinny people comments that I also think are offensive and petty and unnecessary.  I’m no skinny person hater.)

Sigh.  It’s enough to make a girl write an angry blog post while rewatching Skins on a Saturday night.

6 Responses to " A plus size lardy assed rant "

  1. Belle says:

    yes! Go wonder woman, fighting the foes of the scrag-orexic brigade! Does our heroine have a name? Must know more! Think she deserves her own serial… just a suggestion…

  2. Mathilde says:

    Right there with you! Plus size shopping in Australia SUCKS.
    Online shopping is a bit scary, but I LOVE Torrid [www.torrid.com]. You have to trawl through a lot of crap sometimes, but all of my work skirts (finally a pencil skirt for a size 18/20!), stockings and cute dresses are from there. They also stock Spanx which are a curvy girl’s greatest ally for special occasions / the aforementioned pencil skirts. I haven’t been brave enough to order jackets because of the much higher likelihood that they won’t fit, and I have had a few “duds” but because the clothes are pretty cheeeeep, the occasional dud is worth it. And while the shipping is a bit dear, the great AUS/US exchange rate at the moment makes it all fairly affordable. I recommend doing a fairly big order, because postage doesn’t go up too much after the initial hit, unless you are ordering denim which is very heavy (obvy). Plus it generally arrives within 2 weeks!
    And in terms of bras, I got a kick arse sports bra (again over the internet – my boobs are so big that they don’t have an Australian size for ’em) called Royce Impact. Don’t know if they are still making them, but they are brillo pads – no wires! For the first time ever, I was able to go on a cross trainer and take a dance class without crying!
    Anyway… good luck! And yay for Leona, fingers crossed more designers will wake up to our untapped potential market. (Although last I checked the online shop is still not running).

  3. strawbee says:

    just thought i’d say, it’s not only PWINAAS who suffer. i’m a size 8-10 and i find it hard to find good clothes. that’s because these days, they don’t make clothes flattering for any size or figure. not even well-tailored, decent quality clothes. seriously, some of the trends running around these days in chain stores are enough to make anyone more than a size 0 look ridiculous (i.e. skeletal nicole richie type figures) and the clothes, which are probably made so they’ll last only a season, start to fall apart very, very quickly. the industry has been infiltrated by supre-syndrome. needless to say, i haven’t bought a single item of clothing in the last 9 months. i used to love shopping; now it just tires me =[

  4. Ashlee says:

    Yah I agree there is not much quality out there and lots of it is horrible. It’s like it’s too much to ask for clothes to be “designed” in any size, there is so much cheap Supre crap that’s just thrown together for a quick sale. And everything at the moment is very shapeless.
    I mean, fluoro? What the! Why is it back around, I thought we had learned that lesson already!
    But I’d like to be able to pay Supre prices for the clothes made of shitty shitty material that you have to pay through the nose for in big sizes. It’s such a rip off. My trenchcoat that I was raving about my love for in an earlier post has holes in the pockets because the stitching wasn’t finished off properly. And it wasn’t by any means cheap. Is it really that much extra to check things have a decent finish on them before you put them on sale? I didn’t even think to check the pockets before I bought it, but now I know…

  5. Sophie says:

    Hey Ash, I haven’t visited your blog in too long! You’ve done all these posts! Anyway, my tip is City Chic at Burwood. I go there to get items sometimes… like today! I had a gift voucher and bought a lovely black coat half price, $50! Fits me like a glove. And while most of their stuff is a bit hyper colour weird, some of it is nice, and most is reasonably ok – and they have good sales. If you sign up to become a member, they let you know when the sales are on early…

  6. Sara says:

    Yes, sigh. There seems to be a threshold of sizing, where you can’t get decent clothes in the usual stores anymore. I gave up buying clothes for about year, due to finances, and was blissfully unaware that I must have been slowly stretching out my clothing and going up about two sizes. I finally decided to update my wardrobe and could hardly find anything that didn’t make me look bigger or sacklike (damn those puffball fashions on London, yuck!). I always preferred the fit of vintage dresses anyway, but sadly, those too hardly ever fit me these days.

    Debenhams in England is probably the best place to get a range of stylish clothing (including those sought after capsule items) in a range of sizes — they carry brands like Red Herring, which I particularly recommend.