A Fat Feminist's Adventures in Weight Loss #005

Uploaded by TinyBeauregard on 07.05.2011

Hey everyone. It's Lizzy. Welcome back to A Fat Feminist's Adventures in Weight Loss,
Episode 5.

This week a theme kept popping up over and over again,
including a discussion that happened between me and some friends
about a recent New York Times article about the wonky
sizing that happens in women's clothing industry,
as well as me
just trying to shop for some fitness clothes online. So this week, I wanted to talk about
fashion and clothes.
Fashion and clothes are often
problematic for women of all sizes but it's certainly something that fat women have,
I think, a distinct disadvantage at.
One the biggest problems is the lack of choices in clothing.
If you go to lists of plus-sized clothing online or if you just search for plus sizes,
you'll find that while there are a plethora of fat women's clothing outfitters,
you'll also find that the majority of them fall into what I call the
"Lane Bryant Syndrome." Which is a reference
to back and the '80s and early '90s,
Lane Bryant, the store, was still carrying rather frumpy,
generic clothing. And that was one of the main outlets
for plus-sized clothes for women, unfortunately. Even today, the majority of
the plus-sized clothes stores online and
brick-and-mortar stores
carry elastic waisted pants and
prints with animals on t-shirts.
Things that the young, modern, 20- or 30- or even 40-something
doesn't have any interest in wearing.
And frankly,
even the retirees may not be wanting to wear all those sailboat themed sweaters.
So there are other problems with even the more fashion-forward stores.
And that is that,
certain trendy items are hard to find. Like, this is slightly dated, for an example,
but harem pants. I guess this would have been popular last year or the year before.
You did see them floating around here and there,
for fat ladies,
but they were hard to find.
And they got quickly purchased,
and they just weren't very available for fat ladies.
And that goes for certain cuts of pants and dresses and things like that.
They're just harder to find in fat stores.
The other thing that's really frustrating is that there's this sort of
economic thing where
the higher the quality and price of the clothes,
the lower availability for plus-sizes.
So if you walk into a Dior store,
you're unlikely to find a size 24.
However, if you walk into Old Navy, you CAN find a 24. If you walk into
Torrid, you can find a 24 and so on.
And this is good,
because it does increase accessibly of the plus-sized clothes to most people.
However, I'm not a hardcore environmentalist (though I'd like to be),
but I can't stand the idea of crappy clothes.
Like disposable clothes. Like Forever 21 has.
They do have plus-sizes, but their clothing
if you've ever touched it,
it's like tissue paper.
And you wear it in three or less wears,
and then you have to throw it away because it's so poorly made.
And while that's not true of all of the clothing stores
it seems like a t-shirt doesn't last more than a year,
and you instantly have to throw it away or
tear it into rags because god knows
Goodwill doesn't need more t-shirts.

Speaking of Goodwill, another option I was thinking about was thrifting,
but when I went to think about all the different
uh ...
as a fat person thrifting,
they all fell into the same sort of story
which is that I was there with someone of a normal size.
Someone who fell between a size 4 and 12, maybe.
And those ladies would be romping around and trying on cute skirts
and vintage funky sweaters and things.
And here I am, looking at this rack of really sad, fat lady clothes.
And there are like,
three options. You've got your pleated pants from 1993,
you have your polyester blazer,
and then you have your sweater,
it's so ugly that it doesn't even have the charm or panache
of a sweater you'd wear to an ugly sweater party.
And so I'd end up hanging around the purses and accessories,
sorting through the bins,
organizing the purses, since that's what I do when I go to stores.
I've also been thinking about learning to sew,
but ...
I should say that
I don't know that I'll be making clothes, but I wanted to learn to tailor clothes.
So, for instance,
even in a lot of plus-sized stores that carry
petite or tall sizes for pants,
you won't really see that shirts,
and you certainly will not find that in a dress. So for the short ladies, like yours truly,
I'll put on the dress, almost any dress ever made in a plus size,
and the waist hits me somewhere, like,
a couple inches below my butt. And then I get this weird fabric hump,
and you know there's nothing more sexy than a fat girl with a hump.
So that is not an option. I do need to learn how to tailor clothes,
because it's expensive to take everything to have them done for you.
But as far as making and tailoring clothes, that's really
not an option for a lot of ladies. You have the expensive
of either buying or renting a sewing machine, plus all your notions,
plus fabric,
and even more than that,
it takes so much time to learn how to sew. And a lot of women
don't have that kind of time.
They're busy having a job and
being parents and
being a partner and doing volunteer work
and just chilling out inbetween all of this.
It's not a hobby for everyone.
And I did want to touch on one other thing before I make suggestions for where you can shop.
Shoes. I am very sensitive to shoes because I have super-fat, wide, canoe feet.

You'll find that there is a correlation between shoe size and body size,
because, hint: feet are part of the body. So generally,
your feet may not only get wider but also longer
if you're heavier.
And if you go to Zappos, which is where I go shopping, and you look at the wide shoes available
for women, there's a pretty decent selection.
If you go to the double wides, it gets a little skimpy but you can usually scrape together something.
But if you go to the 4Es, which are my size ...

Go to Zappos. Go to ladies shoes, 8 1/2, 4E.
Even go to a sneaker.
And it is Old-lady-nurse-shoe City, USA.
It is horrible. So I end up wearing
men's sneakers,
shoes that I've stretched out from high school, and
an occasional double wide sandal, that because of the cut, can fit on my foot.
It's pah-thetic. So that I had no suggestion for other than
vigilantly sitting by on Zappos, seeing what you can occasionally find.
Because they have a free shipping back and forth. It's pretty handy.
But even fat girls don't usually have feet as crazy as mine.
So, anyway, let me get into a few suggestions
about outfitters for fat ladies.
Lane Bryant is still my favorite. They have,
hands down, the best quality for the price.

I've had clothes
for years from them, that just lasted and lasted.
They have petites and talls in pants, but they do not in dresses.
So you still get the hump,
or the crazy high waist for the tall girls in the dresses.
You also may want to try out, if you have a weird or an unusual shape, or can never get jeans to fit,
they have a thing called Right Fit.
Which they offer on only a handful of their styles of pants.
But you measure yourself and they give you a size. And those jeans and pants fit nicely.
These other three I actually haven't purchased yet,
but they're hidden gems, I feel.
One is called B and Lu.
And I'll list all of these websites in the info section.
B and Lu always has limited options, but they have a rotating selection of clothes.
And I like their styles because they seem to fall in between
the teenage Forever 21 plus sizes and
the Lane Bryant catalogue
super frumpy sizes.
Err ...
So I like them.
Their sizing is a little weird.
For instance, I usually fit a 3X, but in their store, most of their clothes I'm a 4 or 5X.
This one I'm also really excited to try it out. If you like hosiery and tights,
We Love Colors is really cool. They have clothing for men, women of all sizes, and children.
So for fat ladies, just standard tights, they have 51 colors,
and they're 15 bucks a pop.
And I'm not just talking like
tan and then
slightly darker tan and black. They have neon colors and red, dark red, lighter red,
which is pink. But all kinds of pink! And also blue and green! It's pretty awesome.
The last one is called ... uh... I don't know how to say it. Igigi.
It's I-G-I-G-I.
And if you're looking for cocktail dresses or a higher price-point dress,
as well as some work clothes, they have some really lovely clothing.
They do not have petites or talls, which is of course that is a problem for those of us who
are not between 5'5" and 5'5 1/2".
But they do have some cute things if you are that average height.
A quick note as well,
Torrid, I used to think of as really cheap, crappy teen clothes,
but their price point went up and their clothing looks a lot more reasonable.
So I think I might try them again to see if maybe
the clothes are decent.
Because the actual styles now look
like something a twenty- or thirty-year-old would wear rather than a fifteen-year-old.

And also, here is my hidden gem for Americans. There's a website called Evans.
Evans is a fat lady store from the UK. Their shipping is not that expensive,
And they ...
although the quality is somewhere between tissue paper
at Forever 21 and Lane Bryant,
they have an enormous selection that rotates constantly.
They also carry the Beth Ditto line when she does that stuff, so it's pretty cool.
So for this week's wrap up,
As always,
I talk about something that happened from my own personal life.

And one of the things that feminists like to talk about is
not always looking at
pounds and inches to judge
your health and weight. And this week,
some friends and I went to the zoo,
and I got these pictures.
So you're wondering,
"What are those pictures?" That's me on a scale, and instead of pounds, it shows how long it would take
before vultures ate my body.
So if I was just left,
and bugs got to me,
it would be around 70-something days.
But if it's vultures: one-and-a-half days. Which was significantly more than my thinner friends.
So I guess I'm
proud of that fact?
Anyway, have a great week,
watch out for vultures,
Bye from Florida!