So I realise that the world of plus size babes has moved on from the great plus size debate about how to best call clothing that is for fat women without making them feel shit or making your brand feel too niche. But fuck it, I didn’t say enough on the subject last time and I’m game for a moan post – it’s been a while.
Plus Size is not a dirty phrase.
There. I said it. The term “Plus Size” does not have negative connotations. That term has found me a whole group of women who are just like me. That term lets me know where to look when I walk into a store to find clothes that would fit me. Let’s stop acting like it’s a negative by trying to find alternative ways of saying it, hmm? Calling a range “extended” instead of Plus Size makes me feel like you’re trying to do me and my fellow fatties a favour. You aren’t, by the way. By calling my size an “Extended” size, you’re telling me that you wouldn’t usually bother with making clothes to fit my body, but guess what babe, HERE, HAVE SOME FAT CLOTHES! I won’t be falling all over myself to shop at a place that appears to be ashamed of calling itself a plus size retailer.
I mean okay, okay, I get it. Most women I speak to are dreaming of a world where we can walk into any high street store and know that there will be clothing in there that will fit my body alongside the reams of clothing for “straight sized” women. Hell, I’d love for more fashion forward brands to cater to my frame. But the change has to come from predominantly straight sized brands.
This isn’t just about a fat girl wanting to get into Topshop clothing.
It’s bigger than that. It’s a case of fat women being able to make more fashion forward decisions, shop at more economically friendly shops like their thinner counterparts, enjoy a shopping trip that consists of more than three shops on the high street and most of all, not have to hide in their own homes and shop online. Asking places like New Look and Dorothy Perkins to extend their plus size range is one half of the battle (don’t get me started on brands not catering for higher end plus size women…) – these stores already recognise the need for affordable plus size fashion.
The real change needs to come from your high street staple brands that cater for women who are a size 6 and below not also catering for the other end of the scale. But let’s be honest, until high street stores get over their fear of the Plus Size Pound, it won’t happen. So what can we do? I’ll tell you – we need to keep striving for more and shouting about our need for fast, affordable fashion.
Recently, Simply Be extended their range to include smaller sizes. Yours Clothing have done the same, now catering for a much larger scale right the way through the size spectrum. So here’s the thing, dear reader – why are Plus Size brands changing to cater for thinner people? Why is it not the other way around?
Shop small if you want to dress big.
Smaller brands are more fashion forward than their larger counterparts, they break more boundaries and are now more than ever more willing to cater for larger sizes. Brands such as Ready to Stare, Chubby Cartwheels, Interrobang Art, Silly Old Sea Dog, and the (hopefully) really exciting new range coming from Beth Ditto cater for women on a much larger scale and produce clothing that you wouldn’t necessarily see on our high streets – or on the back of another plus size babe walking down the road.
One of the only larger brands that I really see getting it right at the moment is Navabi. Navabi has become a destination for the discerning plus size woman to spend her cash on some real high end designer pieces. The range of sizes on offer married with the choice of high budget, high quality items that are both luxurious and fashion forward makes their little corner of the internet a pretty sexy place to be – but of course this only applies to those of us fatties with the cash to burn. Yes, quality comes with a higher price tag, but this is a fantastic place to start if you’re looking to find your showstopper.
So if smaller brands can do it, arguably with less budget and less platform to make these changes, why the fuck can’t the larger brands do it?
I’m not ashamed of being a plus size woman, it’d be nice to have more stores who aren’t ashamed of catering to plus size women too.