One would think that due to my size and general girth that I would have difficulty finding clothing, and they would be wrong. Do I have the troubles that every woman has where I shimmy and shake my way into a too-tight arm hole only to have the waist fit perfectly? Yes. But other than that I have learned not only to find clothing that fits my shape but to also learn what works and what doesn’t.
How I ended up gaining a massive amount of weight in a very short period of time isn’t all that exciting but how I’ve learned to adapt is a little bit more interesting. Are you ready for my secret? TRIAL AND ERROR. That’s all. Five years later I know where I can go for which dress and for which occasion and I even know when there’s a sale.
I’m 5’8″. I wear an 18/20/16W/18W depending on who/what/where. I wear a size 11-size 12 shoe. Reading it out like this makes me feel and seem massive. And I’ve gotten to a point in my life and with my body where I don’t think of those numbers as the sum of me. They’re just numbers and I am a woman who likes to shop. So, in the words of Tim Gunn I, “make it work”.
Speaking of Mr. Gunn, here is what the Project Runway mentor had to say about designers – or lack thereof – and plus size clothing:
“Go to Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue, I think it’s the eighth floor, and it’s just a department called ‘Woman.’ It’s rather devastating. You’ve never seen such hideous clothes in your entire life. I mean, it’s simply appalling. Thank God there are no windows on that floor, because if I were a size 18, I’d throw myself right out the window [after seeing those clothes]. It’s insulting what these designers do to these women.”
If you read through the article on Huffington Post you’ll see where he says that most women resort to shopping online as in-store options are so scarce thus my shopping at the same few stores. The interesting part is that when I then wear a dress from a place like Gap or Lands End, places that EVERYONE shops at, my colleagues are often all WHERE’D YOU GET THAT DRESS! IT HAS POCKETS! and I’m like uh, Lands End online. And then they’re all, oohhhhhhh. It’s nice to have a dress that not everyone else in your office has, you know?
So, here are my top 10 plus size dresses for fall. I am now officially looking forward to tights and booties. Happy Shopping!