beauty

Welcome to the seriously unfashionable world of plus-size fashion.

Where can I get one?!?

By ROSIE WATERLAND

We need to have a serious discussion about fashion. Seriously.

Before you roll your eyes, I happened to research this, and whenever fashion writers write about fashion it’s always very serious. Because FASHION. Obviously.

So here we go. Serious fashion writing:

WTF is going on with some plus-size clothing?

I say ‘clothing’ because you really can’t include the abominations I speak of in the ‘fashion’ category at this stage. Things have gotten THAT bad.

I’m not talking about all of it. Over the past few years I’ve done A LOT of plus-size scouting and have managed to find some retail gems. But the good stuff isn’t the focus of this serious fashion exposé. Oh no.

The focus of this piece, my dear friends, is the BAD STUFF. The stuff that is just so hideously, hilariously off-base I have no clue how any of it manages to make it off the shelves and into people’s homes.

The rise of plus-size fashion bloggers and fashionable and affordable plus-size ranges for women has seen most plus-size fashion move forward in leaps and bounds. But there are still a few (many) sad, over-patterned stragglers that just refuse to tow the new, trendy line.

These stragglers used to make me furious, because I was convinced the manufacturers were using the size of their customers as an excuse to be lazy. I imagined snooty designers looking through their thick-rimmed glasses saying something like, “well, they’ve obviously let themselves go so, why would they care about what they wear?” (Naturally followed by a snooty smirk-laugh. Again, because FASHION.)

But that train of thought was obviously flawed, as I’m fairly certain no ‘designer’ would ever create something using a hybrid butterfly-zebra print. I eventually accepted that this fashion clothing is probably just thrown together by some well-meaning manufacturers with no clue about how to dress bigger women. And because they have no clue, they follow what they think are some important rules for the plus-size lady. Rules that are meant to make you look slimmer, but mostly just ensure you end up looking like you’re headed to a fancy dress party, theme: colour-vomit.

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There’s simply no other explanation. I don’t believe there’s some secret society of sadist plus-size fashion designers intent on making women cry. Maybe I’m naive (after all, this is my first serious fashion article), but I really think these people are just trying their best to follow some misguided plus-size rules and the result is, well… still just making women cry.

Rules like:

1. Baggy clothes create the illusion of a model-thin body.

Seems logical at first glance. But when executed badly, ends up in moo-moo territory. Observe:

See? Nobody can tell you’re not Kate Moss!

2. Tight clothes create the illusion of shape.

Also seems logical at first glance. But I’ve found the trick with plus-size fashion is to find items that skim your curvy body; that aren’t too loose or too tight. The model here looks fabulous, but for a plus-size girl with a capital P (like me), you might as well be wearing a swimsuit with sleeves. Not a good look.

Unforgiving. Also reminds me of The Flinstones.

3. An interesting pattern or print will distract from your size.

It will also make everyone around you very, very sad.

I can’t even deal with this.

4. Clashing prints or materials will draw the eye away from your supposed flaws.

That’s true. The eye will be drawn away from your flaws, and drawn directly to the confusing situation you have draped on your body.

My eyes are confused.

5. All plus-women are sassy. They require glam.

This rule explains why every second piece of plus-size clothing I find looks like it had some major fisty-cuffs with a bag of sequins and lost. It doesn’t explain this tracksuit. Nothing explains that.

Two colours! So you can get two! Face. Palm.

Hopefully one day soon these misguided clothing manufacturers will stop trying to ‘help’ bigger women by following an outdated set of ridiculous rules. Until then, we’ve chucked together a gallery for you filled with the rest of the worst offenders. Enjoy!

What do think of the plus-size fashion currently on offer? Love or loathe?

Guess what? This weekend we’re solving all your plus-size dilemmas! We’ve sourced the best of the best and we’re bringing it straight to you. You’re welcome. Stay tuned…

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