‘Plus-size’ means covering up with shapeless garments. ‘Fat fashion’ means clothing that fits, is cool and looks good on larger women, writes ROSEMARY MAC CABE
A COUPLE OF years ago I found myself trying on a new pair of jeans in front of my father – this, incidentally, is not to be advised; new jeans are for trying on in front of your lovely friends, your lovely partner or, at a stretch, your lovely mother. I asked him if they made me look fat. “No,” he replied, looking slightly puzzled at the question. “Well,” I said, trying a new tack, “do they make me look thin?” At this, he was even more puzzled. “No,” he said. “They make you look exactly the way you look.”
It was a tough lesson; fashion has the power to make you look good, but it is not, despite what advertisements might tell you, transformative – and acceptance is three quarters of the battle.
Luckily, there is help at hand. Although you’ve probably heard of fashion blogs, have you heard of fatshion blogs? These are exactly what they say on the tin – blogs written by women who are “fat”, that is, upwards of a UK size 16, and, more importantly, proud of that fact.
Fatchic.net, for example, is a blog about all things plus-size – although these ladies don’t call it “plus-size fashion”, they call it “fat fashion”, which is a darn sight more straightforward, and its subtitle is “it’s not about looking thin”. These blogs are about finding clothing that fits, is cool, modern and on-trend, and that looks good on women whose bodies are larger than your average catalogue model.
Gabifresh.com, for example, advises readers to come to her blog “if you love fashion but you’re sick of being told to wear A-line skirts, wrap dresses, boot-cut jeans and slimming prints”, while Christina of musingsofafatshionista.comdescribes herself as being “a firm believer in taking risks” and says that “style knows no size”.
Deena of fatgirlslikeniceclothestoo. wordpress.comsays that, “whether you weight 100lbs or 300lbs you should make sure you look fantastic at all times”.
Fat fashion is not about “covering up your bingo wings” or “skimming over those lumps and bumps”; it’s about accepting that your body is, for whatever reason, the way it is, and that fashion should and can be democratic.
Don’t try to hide behind flowing kaftans and billowing sleeves – wear what fits, what suits and what looks good.
Just don’t ask your dad what he thinks.
Printed fringed kimono (€61.09) by Asos Curve. This is a perfect warm-weather cover-up, and will look great with leggings and a black tee. Jazz things up with a pair of gold hoop earrings