Friday Fun: Breaking Out of a Rut

I’m talking clothes, here, people.  Fatshion.

I love Shapely Prose‘s Friday Fluff pieces, as a lot of them have to do with fatshion, and how we can make it work for ourselves.  But for a long time, I thought that applied to other people, not myself.  I hadn’t even really gone clothes shopping for a while, because I just wore my Omar-The-Tentmaker clothes all the time.  Tops that were easily 2-4 sizes too big.  Because that way, nobody could tell just how fat I REALLY was.  What I didn’t realize was that by wearing clothes that were too big, I was making myself look even fatter than I was.  And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone being 2-4 sizes larger than myself, that’s not ME.  So why should I hide ME away, when there are so many more options out there for me other than Omar-The-Tentmaker?

So I started buying clothes that actually fit.  And were relatively stylish (you know, considering the choices fat people actually have in clothes).  But there was one thing I was still stuck on.


The last skirt (that wasn’t a floor-length number) that I bought was back in 1999.  Yup, almost 10 years ago.  And when I started posting pictures on fatshionista, I kept getting comments suggesting I wear skirts instead of jeans, leggings, or pants ALL THE DAMNED TIME.  A-line skirts, especially, were suggested.  Okay, but finding them?  Not so easy.  At least not on MY budget.  The stores I could afford to shop in rarely – if ever – have skirts that would actually fit me.

But yesterday, I ended up in the Town Centre on my way home from Number One Daughter’s school (annual review meeting time).  On impulse, I decided to stop in the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity shop.  I figured I’d have a look – it wouldn’t hurt, right?  Following my instincts turned out to be a good thing, because I came away with this:

(Pardon the bad lighting – pictures in this room always look a bit yellow-ish.)

The best part?  The whole outfit cost me less than £5!!!  Heee!  The part that blows me away?  That skirt… is a size 12.  That top… is a size 16.  Me?  I usually wear a size 20.  (That’s UK sizes, in US sizes they would be 10, 14, and 18, respectively.)  Normally, I would have seen that the only clothes that had my size number listed on them looked like old-granny-clothes and I would have turned around and walked right out.  I wouldn’t even have considered looking at clothes not in my size, because… they’re not my size! But… but… but… that says 12/16/whatever-fucking-number-you-want-to-use!  There’s NO WAY it’ll EVER fit me! But I’ve been reading posts around the fatosphere that say (in a nutshell) to not let the number of your size run your life.  And I guess it stuck, because I saw these two pieces, and I really LOOKED at them.  At the clothes, not the label.  And it looked like something that would fit me.  So I tried them on.  And they DO fit me!

So, there I am, in color (somewhat, ha), breaking out of my rut.  And you know what?  I think it looks pretty damned good.  (Take that, hubby that doesn’t think blue and green can go together!)  As I said to a random stranger this morning, I think I look like walking springtime.  And that?  Makes me happy.


11 Responses

  1. Clothing sizing makes no sense. At all.

    And maybe things are different where you are (I notice you mention £ and not $), but size 20 skirts are pretty easy to find in the US, even cheap. It’s well above that before the pickings get scarce.

    As for buying clothing that fits, I think it’s not about loose clothing making you look larger or fitting clothing making you look smaller so much as fitting clothing making you look like a person with a human shape. Too big clothing is shapeless clothing, which obscures all the cool shapeliness of all of us (our bodies, and not just our prose)!

  2. That’s the problem, Miriam. Out here, size 20 SKIRTS are pretty hard to find. At least if you want something other than a maxi (floor length) or a mini. It’s finding something in between that that’s so hard. And that’s what I wanted. I have miniskirts and maxi skirts, but something in between? Not so much. It used to be, I didn’t like the way my legs looked in them. This is actually the first skirt I’ve ever owned that was in the in-between range.

    And I totally agree with you on the “making you look like a person with a human shape.” The first picture I posted on fatshionista got comments like “you’ve got a really nice shape.” And I was all “huh?! Shape? What shape? I ain’t GOT no shape!” And that was mainly due to wearing shapeless clothing for so long – it got to the point where *I* couldn’t even see my OWN body shape. I couldn’t recognize it even when it was in a photo right in front of me.

  3. Oooh, I love that skirt, such a great colour. You look fabulous!

  4. Thank you! 😀

  5. Very cute outfit! Well done.

    I foresee a charity shopping excursion in my near future….

  6. Damn, that green skirt is awesome. You’re going to get a lot of use out of that.

    The thing about sizes is that with a lot of clothes, if you only go by the size on the label, you’re capitulating to only wearing the clothes how the designer wanted you to wear the clothes. What if you want to wear the tops tighter or looser, the skirts higher or lower? What if you’d rather wear a belt at your hips than your waist? Then you have to change your size, which could mean trying on stuff you never in a million years thought you’d fit into (or that you thought would be falling off you).

  7. […] was inspired to go bargain hunting over the weekend. I’ve been wanting some specific items of clothing, […]

  8. Awesome outfit. I really should start being more adventurous in charity shops, Im ight go out and see today!

    I’m another brit and I almost exclusively wear skirts and trousers (every so often I’ll get some trousers, but it is very rare). Somehow I never consciously realised that it is quite hard to find skirts, I always managed to find a couple and I wear them to death. Places tend to be expensive though. Evans often have skirts, but their prices are heart-stopping. BHS are also quite awesome if you’ve got a bit more money, or they are having a sale. I got a couple of awesome mid-length skirts in a sale there a while ago.

    I’m also a size 20, so they do have nice stuff going up to that size.

    Sorry, I got off-topic. Anyway you look awesome and are inspiring!

  9. Yeah, Evans is even too expensive for me most of the time. The rare times I DO shop in there, I almost always get something off the clearance rack, because it’s all I can afford. I’ve never even been IN BHS. I figure if I can’t afford to shop in there, why torture myself, right? 😉

    I do realize, though, that if I had more money to spend on clothes, I’d have a lot more options than I do now. It’s the limited income that makes my options limited, really.

    And thank you! I really like that outfit. Now I’m going to experiment and see what I can pair the two pieces with. Heh. I’m excited about clothes. How ’bout that? 😆

  10. you look great. i really like this outfit on you. i really love shopping at lane bryant, they have started incorporating more hip styles and they go up to a size 28.

  11. Yeah, I used to love Lane Bryant when we still lived in Illinois. Problem was, they were too expensive for me! I had more of a Wal-Mart budget, so I shopped there more often, but I couldn’t stop myself from going into Lane Bryant every once in a while and just doing some wishful thinking. 😉

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