I’ve just been laughing myself through the comments on this: Buying Plus Size Clothes: Expectations Vs Reality.
Laughing because so much of it rings true and doubly so for those of us with ‘additional’ problems like, er, being in a wheelchair or having some other medical/physical issue which excludes even more possibilities when hunting for stylish ‘stuff’ – clothes, shoes, accessories – to live our lives in. Haven’t we all been here – selected extract so do click on the link above for the full read with pictures to illustrate the points:
Expectation: With a little elbow grease, you can find plenty of tasteful things that flatter your body.
Reality: You will find lots of stuff that emphasizes your boobs. Or attempts to draw the eyes…elsewhere. Or tries to disguise you in a confusing print.
Evening Wear Expectations: Surely, you will be able to find something adorable to hit the town with.
Reality: You will find lots of tents. Or ridiculous animal prints and cheap fabric.
H&M Expectations: H&M offers plus sizes now! That means I will be able to find H&M clothes in my size! I will have dozens of options!
H&M Reality: Having literally ones of options.
Expectation: When you size up, the clothes will fit you correctly.
Reality: Your clothes will now fit one specific part of you correctly. It will somehow manage to fit you poorly in every other way possible. You will now literally look like a sad sack.
Mall Expectations: You love shopping and you love your friends, and the mall will have both! Therefore, you love the mall.
Reality: There is only one store for you there, and it is seriously depressing. If you try to shop in it, you will spend 30 minutes in a dressing room trying on pants that don’t fit well before you give up, half naked. You hate the mall. You will feel like someone who has swum too far out into the ocean and is now too exhausted to swim back.
Bra Expectations: Everyone loves big boobs. Surely you will be able to find some bras to accommodate our universal love of big boobs.
Reality: Need a bra for any size higher than triple D? Good luck with that.
Summer Dresses Expectation: Bring on the breezy comfort, ‘cause it’s flauntin’ season.
Reality: Bring on the terrible patterns and loud colors and looking like you just rolled around in a children’s birthday party.
Online Shopping Expectation: There are so many online retailers! Surely you can find clothes that are on trend.
Reality: You will find clothes that are horrible mash-ups of trends.
Range of Selection Expectations: Look at all these thumbnails of dresses! Surely there will be something for me!
Reality: The thumbnails are actually hiding horrible details, which become immediately clear once I zoom in.
Expectation: It will not be all that hard to find fun, interesting separates that go together.
Reality: You will find ugly separates modeled by pretty people who will distract you from how IRL ugly their clothes are.
Modcloth Expectations: Oh, thank God, Modcloth sells plus-size clothes. I buy all of them and am cute forever.
Modcloth Reality: H&M prices, these are not.
I clicked through to a number of the sites that were recommended in the comments section but found nothing that really worked for me which simply served to emphasise how individual we all are in our needs and desires.
My focus tends to be less on fashion and more on enduring personal style, at a higher price point than many, because I don’t compromise on quality and natural fibres as a de-minimus base for purchase. Expect to find daywear tops from my sources at the £50-£150 level, in easy, classic styles. Nothing throwaway or one-seasonal crosses my threshold.
With that in mind, it occurs to me that I have been lax in mentioning, recently, some of my favourite online places to, you know, actually buy things for plus size peeps. So, here’s one of my faves:
Fabulous styling – the trapeze shape I love because it really works for me – at c.32in length (I’m 5ft 6in, 165cm, tall) – in my wheelchair. Plus sizes, commonly to a UK 18/20, some up to a UK 24. Really good quality fabrics, the majority of which adhere to my natural fibre demands (permanent wheelchair use is like sitting on an electric blanket, all the time!). They have just recently started doing longer length tops – 28-33 inches – that suit me as well as, yay, more in black.
I’ve topped and tailed this piece with a couple of tops from their current A/W Collection. Do click through and take a look.
I’d love to know what you think of Wall and to hear of any other great plus size online retailers that you know of?
Have a good day, Elle