Jae is a recent graduate and a current professional in the field of higher education and student affairs. In the professional world, being in “appropriate” professional dress is critical in the ADULT world. However, going to J.Crew and other stores to find fly stitches for work can be a challenge for those who are considered plus size or fat. And the price tags will snatch all your coin. BUT, you don’t have to let your size stop your style. Jae speaks on her ability to stay fly no matter the size.
Define Plus size
Plus size is extra-ordinary. It’s beyond the average. It’s inclusive. It is stylish. It’s the new wave…or fetish. It is plush it can be limiting if you let it. It requires more effort. Most of all, It’s LIT.
Being Plus Sized and Finding Fashion
Effort and consideration would be how I describe finding fashion as a plus sized woman. We are all shaped differently and have different forms. The challenge is finding articles of clothing that are flattering to one’s figure, comfortable and stylish. The goal of shopping is to find garments that evoke self-pride. Understanding that what may be the wave might not work for me as a plus size woman as is or at all. The crux of plus size fashion is being stylish and timely while being dignified and flattering.
Why is This Representation Important?
It’s important because being plus sized is not being less than because of one’s size, or unworthy of trendy clothing. Why should bigger men and women be left out of the fashion industry? Why should bigger bodies be regarded as “other” or unsavory?
Integrating plus size fashion fully is essential to acceptance and lifting stigmas that have long accompanied those who have bigger bodies. Attire is a form of self-expression and ensuring that plus sized women have an opportunity to express themselves accurately through their clothing is important and empowering.
What are Some Common Misconceptions about Bigger Bodies?
Some misconceptions are that plus size women will wear anything or do not desire to have articles of clothing that are flattering and cater to their figure. We all don’t default to dark colors and loose fits to minimize are size or to give illusions all the time. There is a time and an outfit for mystery and contouring. Color can help to accentuate a look and make it much more desirable.
- Color is good, Black, navy and gray are not the only desirable colors
- Clothing with shape and waist lines are a good thing. Burlap sacks are a thing of the past.
- We CAN and DO wear “skinny jeans” that is a type of cut not a restrictive adjective
- Not all patterns are created equal. Some help to hide flaws but some others can really be disastrous.
How do you Deconstruct the Ideologies of Larger Bodies in Particular Spaces?
The notion that a larger body does not belong is ridiculous in and of itself. To even assert that one is not welcome because of their dress size speak volumes. Frankly I have no desire to be in those places.
Sometimes it’s what people don’t see that perpetuates ideologies about others. How can a store owner know that larger bodies are not or under represented when there is no voice? How can designers know that plus size women and men want trendy clothing when there is no prototype for that in the plus sized community? Sometimes we have to let people who hold those ideologies know that they serve no purpose for us beyond an occasional accessory. Then we shift the dynamic from dependency to autonomy Reframing how we view these stores is essential to how they affect us. Like I know this store has nothing in my size to beyond a scarf or maybe a bag they render themselves useless to me.
Either way don’t focus on deconstructing more on assets and keep it moving get what you need and keep it moving.
I personally don’t feel that the challenges are too much different from average bodied individuals. The main two that I have experienced is cost and quantity.
Some stores know that this is a niche market and so they tax. Stores like Torrid are very expensive and it all isn’t due to quality of clothing…to be completely honest.
Some stores have half of a wall dedicated to the plus size consumer base. And it make things difficult because it’s not like all of it is cute. You have to see the potential of single piece items more than most because getting dressed is a puzzle that needs to be pieced together to achieve a good look.
The most meaningful triumph I have experienced is seeing another plus sized woman and we look at each other in approval and exchange stores and tips. I can’t decide if its better when it’s a plus sized women or an average sized woman.
What Advice do You Have About Shopping or Some of Your go to Stores?
- All stores don’t have a “plus size section” sometimes larger sizes are just integrated in the store. If you have time look. Charlotte Russe and H&M is good for this.
- Not all patterns are created equal
- You don’t have to break the bank to look good stores GSLovesMe, Ross, JCPenny, Rue21 all have cute clothes for low to moderate prices
- Take your time. Don’t shop in a rush you will play yourself
- Know your body type and what cuts and designs work best with you.
- Pay attn. to the size chart.
- See the potential of single pieces. A dress might be okay by itself but might be super fly with a belt, jacket, vest, or even cute tights.