Fashion, Fat, Fillyjonk, Friday Fluff

Friday Fluff: Fat skirts

I want to draw everyone’s attention to this post by our advice columnist ally, the spectacular Miss Conduct, at whose dinner parties I would dearly love to be a fly on the wall. (I had an advice-columnist crush on Miss Conduct even before I found out that her husband publishes my beloved Annals of Improbable Research.) Miss Conduct enjoins her readers to make sure that their “fat clothes” are as pretty as their “thin clothes”:

Ladies, get yourselves some pretty fat skirts, or fat pants. We all have weight fluctuations, due to our monthly cycles, or work or family busy-ness that makes it hard to exercise and easy to rely on takeout, or stress that drives us to the comforting arms of potato chips or chocolate, or travel adventures that make calorie-counting absurdly inappropriate. Don’t punish those times when you’re over your set point with hideous clothes that you think will “motivate” you to starve on broccoli and fake diet drinks until you’re back to where you want to be. It won’t work. Self-denigration is a stunningly inefficient route to motivation.

I disagree with Miss C.’s assertion in the post that “I need to lose 10 pounds” is an adequate shorthand for “I need to do the things that will, if I do them, make me happier and more energetic and oh, by the way, lead to me losing 10 pounds” — ideally, perhaps, but in a diet-happy culture that equates fat with health, I believe it’s dangerous to get sloppy about our terminology. When you say “I need to lose 10 pounds,” you may truly mean “I need to pick up my healthiest habits again,” but plenty of people say “I need to get healthy” meaning “I need to, at any cost, lose 10 pounds.” It behooves us to be precise if we’re going to break that dangerous association.

But I certainly agree with her that we should clothe ourselves as beautifully as possible at every weight.  I’m dealing with this issue from the flip side right now — I had some great clothes when I was above my set range that no longer fit now that I’m off Lexapro and back to my regular size. Now I’m left with old clothes that are ratty, and less-old clothes that are too big (and sometimes ratty). This finally reached crisis level when my skirt fell off while I was walking the other day — no joke! — and I’ve been buying clothes from like crazy, but it’s a rather lonely and only intermittently successful endeavor, nothing like going shopping with a bunch of fatties. So in the interest of pretty fat skirts, for Shapelings of all sizes, let’s have a virtual shopping trip! Show us your favorite piece of clothing (skirt or otherwise) in a plus size that’s available for sale online right now. If you can, introduce us to a new store. If you can’t, this is a good time to check out centralized shopping sites like Beauty Plus Power and This Lush Life, or look over the store reviews on Then come back here and show us what you’re craving!

My personal obsession, just to get you started, is actually a skirt. I’ve been itching to buy this amazing skirt from Fashion Overdose for literally months — how great would that look with my knee-high platform boots? I’ve been convincing myself it costs too much, but I think I’m actually gonna do it, unless of course you guys fall just as deeply in love as I am, and buy it out before I get a chance.

Bonus item: I bought this swimsuit at Lee Lee’s last week, and I wish I hadn’t just looked it up because it turns out I paid more for it than I would have online, but it is a hell of a swimsuit.

119 thoughts on “Friday Fluff: Fat skirts”

  1. I MUST have this skirt because it might just be the prettiest thing I have ever seen. Plus it’s kind of a prettier, classier version of a mullet, business in the front, party in the back.

  2. “but in a diet-happy culture that equates fat with health, I believe it’s dangerous to get sloppy about our terminology. When you say “I need to lose 10 pounds,” you may truly mean “I need to pick up my healthiest habits again,” but plenty of people say “I need to get healthy” meaning “I need to, at any cost, lose 10 pounds.” It behooves us to be precise if we’re going to break that dangerous association.”

    This is a great point and very well said. The 10 pounds lost is not the goal but rather the symptom of picking up one’s healthy habits again.

  3. vivelafat, I’m obsessed with that one too! Skirts that are longer in back don’t work on me, but I emailed Jane to see if I could get it made with a straight-across hem, and she was SO sweet and willing to work with me. And then I dropped off the face of the earth because I couldn’t afford the skirt (but I plugged her on the blog so hopefully that made up for it).

  4. That swimsuit is fabulous! So cute!!!!!!!! Not enough exclamation points to indicate my love for it!!!!!!!!! Also, think of the extra you paid for it to be a premium for know that it fits and not having to exchange it AND for giving a boost to a store that is doing the world a service.

    I agree that the skirt would look great with thigh high anything. I’m not the shape that would suit such a skirt, but if you are, rock on with your bad self.

  5. Ok, I just spent ages preparing a comment and somehow screwed up and ended up on babelfish with a translation. So I shall try again.

    I am a large butch lesbian who is all about comfort. I buy my dress shoes as well as my casual shoes at Birkenstock. I personally love Lands End and Junonia. Lands End plus size line has expanded over the years and while I would not be comfortable in many of their offerings (capri length pants, scoop neck shirts) they would likely be of interest to others. They also have colors besides black, white, and khaki Junonia has what I would consider feminine clothes as well as casual and exercise wear and, in fact, provided me with my most recent suit (purchased as separates). They also carry bathing suits in both one piece and two piece varieties (including swim shorts for women). Silhouettes has also provided me with business attire in the past and has what is likely quite feminine and fashionable clothing. But again, I wouldn’t know fashion if she walked up and kissed me. None of these catalogs carry what I would classify as “old lady attire” (based entirely on the fact that my mother would wear nothing found in any of the catalogs….Thank God she doesn’t surf the internet for she would kill me for that comment. I’m sure it was very hard for her to see me get married in a tux despite how smashing I looked but I digress.)

  6. Plugging the offerings at Macy’s if you can believe it. Alfani Woman is the line I like. I bought a silk skirt there in the fall with this profile. I currently crave this one. While I cannot say that any skirt truly flatters a woman with a large belly (my most difficult issue), sometimes you find one that’s beautiful and you wear it and be happy. I think this profile is better with heels but I see people wear it with flats. Maybe it takes one extreme or the other and only a midsize heel or wedge can look mundane. I like boots the best but of course not in the heat. This one cries out for espadrilles.

  7. Also, think of the extra you paid for it to be a premium for know that it fits and not having to exchange it AND for giving a boost to a store that is doing the world a service.

    Right on the money, Alyce — I’d seen it online before but talked myself out of buying it until I tried it on! The world needs more places like Lee Lee’s.

    I didn’t think I was the shape that would suit such a skirt, but I’m kind of in love with straight skirts lately — they look way better on me than I thought. Expect a post about that eventually.

  8. Sorry, can’t provide a link because my internet connection sucks, but I’d like to put in a quick plug for one of my favourite books, Sewing for Plus Sizes by (I think) Barbara Garrett (or something similar… maybe). It’s got a lot of brilliant info on sewing (not quite a beginner’s guide, but any gaps could be easily filled online) and choosing styles and proportions, as well as lots of pictures of various sizes of plus-size women (the author is apparently a size 32) looking absolutely stunning, plus a good dose of fat acceptingness (basically her attitude is clothes are never going to make you look not-fat, and who cares? Concentrate on making clothes in which you will look and feel amazing, including using fabrics which feel delicious)

  9. So, FJ, I hope you don’t mind if I ask a personal question re: Lexapro weight gain. How much did you gain? Did you find that you were eating differently while on it? I ask because I’m on it for GAD, and it works splendidly, and I’ve gained some weight while on it. My doctor said that anti-depressants cause weight gain because they make you crave carbs. Have you found that to be the case?

    Now, while I’m not overly concerned with this weight gain, I’m sad because I have so many great clothes that no longer fit. I’m toying with the idea of limiting carbs (which I do tend to crave) and see if I can fit back into my size 10’s. On the other hand, I’ve purchased several size 12 items which won’t fit if I go back down… and anyway, I feel cute no matter what, but I’m just wondering if you feel your weight loss is because you eat differently now that you’re off Lex, or do you think you lost weight because of some weight-adding quality of anti-depressants that has nothing to do with eating?

    Any other Shapelings that have had experience with this? I’d appreciate any feedback I receive. Thanks!

  10. I love, love, love that swimsuit.

    My favourite item of plus sized clothing at the moment is this dress from Igigi. I got it in purple just because it was on clearance and I loved it, and it looked so amazing on me I think I’ll wear it for my wedding reception. Unfortunately they only have it left in a 14/16. I also love this one from Kiyonna, the pattern is much prettier than on the picture.

  11. Well, it’s not an exciting secret fat store, but J. Jill has this shift dress I think is adorable, but I’m just not sure if it would work on me. It looks like it’s shaped a little, but I suspect it would still be very tenty on me. And I can’t pull off the tenty.

    I also want this gown and a party to wear it to.

  12. One place I’ve fallen madly in lust with is Persephone Plus. She does plus sized gothwear that’s gorgeous, elegant, very wearable, and just a tiny touch decadent. I don’t do a lot of black, but most of her clothes also come in sumptuous jewel tones that make my mouth water.

    Go check it out for yourselves:
    Oh, and most of her clothes are machine washable, too, which is always a huge selling point with me!

    Zaftique does a very hit and miss job, IMNSHO, when it comes to design, but when they hit, they do hit hard. Now if only this blouse wasn’t pure polyester….
    because everything else about it rocks my world all to pieces and back again. The cut, the color, the details are all perfect for me. I just really prefer to keep the synthetics to a minimum when I can.

  13. I also love this one from Kiyonna, the pattern is much prettier than on the picture.

    I’ve got that one, too, and I LOVE it. You’re totally right.

  14. Kate, I would also worry about the high neckline with your rack of doom.

    Actually, depending on how it’s cut, high necklines can be awesome on me. But they can also be unawesome, granted.

  15. Denise, I don’t think my habits were particularly different — or rather, they were different, as I was in grad school and lived alone, but I don’t think I ate more. I probably ate more heavy/greasy food, and slightly more not-really-food (nutrition bars etc.), but less food overall because I often only ate one real meal, and none of that was because of the Lexapro. I also didn’t get as much exercise. But I gained at least 40 lbs on Lex, fast enough that my doctor thought I had Cushing’s, so I don’t think it’s as simple as just eating more carbs.

    I have to admit that I actually went off it because of the weight gain — for me it was incredibly rapid and kind of physically disastrous (I think the push to get people with PCOS to lose weight is kind of absurd, but gaining it incredibly fast apparently kicks PCOS into overdrive). I stopped getting my period, so I switched to Wellbutrin, and I hated that so I just stopped taking antidepressants, which YOU SHOULD NEVER DO. Probably I was better off mentally on Lex, but having been put on my first diet at age 4, I am SO SICK of major weight fluctuations. I know the gain-lose cycle is way worse for me than just being fat, so I’ve not been able to psych myself up to get back on it, because I’m so weary of the whole thing.

    In other news:
    I also want this gown and a party to wear it to.


    Too bad it’s a smidge too fancy for you to wear to my wedding. JUST A SMIDGE

  16. Denise, I haven’t used Lexapro, but I gained significant weight on Zoloft. No, I did not find I craved more carbs than usual. If anything, I ate less of everything on Zoloft and still gained weight (after initially losing 10 pounds the first year, I put on 70 for a net gain of about 60). I think these drugs change the gut flora and the metabolism with long term usage. The clinical trials only last 12 weeks, so they don’t tell you anything about long term.

  17. Also, I just noticed that the swimsuit is supposed to have Tummy Tamers and Waist Minimizers… I was thinking it was kinda funny that I tried it on in a size well above my normal size and it fit so well, but I guess that’s why! Without even meaning to, I avoided all the Shaping Technology.

  18. FJ – thanks for that quick response, wow, what a bummer you’ve been through. I’m sorry! I don’t know what else to say, except, I hope things improve for you on that front extra soon. I’m in school too, and my diet has turned a lot toward the crappy side as well.

    Meowser – gut flora, you say? That’s an interesting theory. I’ve been on Lex for 2 and a half years and I’ve gained about 15 pounds total, but, like you, at first I did lose a little because I lost my appetite.

    I’d like to get off anti-depressants for sure, but I’m kind of scared to try. My anxiety was very, very bad for several years before I gave in and tried Lexapro, and it has helped me tremendously. I’ve had body issues much longer than GAD, however, and this latest weight gain has actually given me the opportunity to learn to accept my body the way it is, even if it’s AD induced.

    But back to the fluff! Yay skirts!! I love that plaid number.

  19. Oh, it wasn’t that much of a bummer — I’m sorry if it came out as a sob story! I was just trying to be matter-of-fact. The biggest bummer of the whole thing was being tested for Cushing’s, because you have to pee in a jug for 24 hours, but the rest of it… I mean, when you gain 40-50 pounds in a couple of months and stop getting your period, you are surprised and concerned, but it’s not like, I don’t know, suddenly developing a seizure disorder. And my weariness about yo-yo weight gain and loss is, I think, common to everyone here. :)

    Honestly, it’s a much bigger bummer to OTHER people, who have to listen to me being all anxious now because I’m unmedicated. I need to get my ass to therapy.

    Lexapro is great if it is physically workable for you — 15 pounds is not very much and it sounds like you’re better off overall.

  20. Twistie, my goth days are well behind me, but I’m embarrassingly in love with that Diva Coat.

  21. FJ, I have to wonder if the medication weight gain hits us PCOS-ers harder. You gained your weight a lot faster than I gained mine, though. It took me a few years.

  22. I gained mostly after a dosage increase, actually, so maybe you just ramped up slower than I did.

    And maybe I should go back on Lex at 10mg. Hm.

  23. Denise, I’ve never been on Lexapro, but I’ve been on Prozac and Celexa. I never craved carbs more than usual, but I also haven’t gained more than 10 pounds on either one. I’m not sure what kind of anti-depressant Lexapro is, but with SSRI’s, I would actually think that you would crave carbs less than you did before. Carbs are a quick way to boost your serotonin levels, and if you go on an SSRI, theoretically you’ll have enough serotonin and won’t crave carbs anymore /armchair psychiatry

  24. Hey! I had to pee in a jug once, too, FJ! The endocrinologist was making sure I didn’t have some kind of adrenaline-secreting tumor or something. Of course, all I had was a raging anxiey disorder. And major hypochondria, hence the endocrinologist.

    Understood about the bummer! I, of course, was imagining your story through my own tendency toward major health anxiety. I thank you again for sharing your story . Thanks to you, too, Meowser!

  25. ksfeminist – I know, right? Probably my doc is just blaming carbs for everything, because it’s such the fashion. Because, of course, our precious drugs have no side effects! Oh no!

    Then again, maybe the extra serotonin causes the brain to crave more and to seek it through carbs, the way that carbs can be addicting because of their anti-depressing effect. Yeah, who needs a real psychiatrist, anyway?

    Lex is an SSRI, too, actually pretty similar to Celexa, I believe.

    FJ, I’ve used ativan to decent effect. Obviously the anti-anxiety meds are a different animal and you need to be careful with them, but I know they can really help if used prudently. Some folks just can’t tolerate anti-depressants.

  26. Oy, That punches me in the gut today. Lane Bryant is having a big sale, and I gained a LOT of weight this winter and no longer fit into all my summer clothes from last year, but I’m really beating myself up over it. We have so many other expenses that I just can’t bring myself to spend money on clothes for myself, even if I’m down to one pair of jeans that fit and two pairs of shorts and maybe four or five shirts. Plus I found out today that I probably can’t take the trip home to see my family this summer that I wanted to take, so I’m in a “who the hell cares no one will see me anyway FINE I’ll just stay in the house all summer then” funk. Blech. Maybe I’ll go tonight and see if there’s anything good on the clearance rack, at least.

  27. car, what size do you wear now? I sold a bunch of stuff but I’ve probably still got decent clothes I could send.

  28. FJ, I have to wonder if the medication weight gain hits us PCOS-ers harder.

    That’s an interesting theory! I’m also in the “gained weight on antidepressants” club. But I also think that the onset of my PCOS happened at the same time as my first bouts on depression meds, so maybe it was just all bad timing. I gained 100lbs in a year on Paxil and then Effexor. They didn’t diagnose the PCOS till about 5 years after that, but I really think it was mostly a series of incompetent doctors to blame. I also did the pee-in-a-jug test. Not fun. But no Cushings. Though saliva tests did show my adrenal function is way outta whack. So nice to have a competent doctor, now.

    But skirts… skirts… I love skirts! I anticipate my favorite this season is going to be THIS ONE (after I sew it this evening). We keep adjusting my thyroid meds (yes… hypothyroid AND PCOS… such lucky genetics!) and consequently my weight is going up and down and up and down, so a wrap skirt is definitely called for right now.

  29. Hey, thanks for the shout-out (and the excuse to procrastinate at work by responding …)! I can see your point, FJ, on the “I need to lose 10 pounds” statement–which is why I deconstructed it in my post. I generally would not make that statement in a situation where I couldn’t deconstruct it, or to someone who wouldn’t already know what I mean by it.

    It’s an odd parallel, but it’s kind of the way I feel about making religious references. I’m pretty religious, but NOT in the way most people think of “religious folks.” So while it often seems comfortable for me to say, “Well, the Torah/Talmud says …” I know that often what people will hear when I say that is “I let my religious tradition do my thinking for me and don’t ever bother to analyze anything for myself, and BTW I think you’re going to hell.” When what I mean is, “I’ve found this tradition that expresses my values and ethics in much more concise and evocative language than I could come up with, so here goes.” There, too, I either try to explain myself or to only say “The Torah teaches ..” around folks who know me and get what I mean.

    But sometimes I don’t feel like censoring myself, or abstaining from useful shorthand, just because so many other people have wrongheaded notions about health and spirituality.

    Also, God spoke to me this afternoon, and said He wants you to have that skirt. ;-)

  30. Thanks, fj. :) I think I’m good, though. If we really don’t take the summer trip, that will free up what I’ve saved for it to use on beefing up the kids’ wardrobe, which should leave quite enough left over for me to get some things for summer. It just seems that the sales and when I feel like I have money to spend never line up together, and I’m just being all depressed and “everything sucks” today and taking my summer plan frustration out on my wardrobe.

  31. But sometimes I don’t feel like censoring myself, or abstaining from useful shorthand, just because so many other people have wrongheaded notions about health and spirituality.

    Yeah, and it’s not like I begrudge you your shorthand… because it’s not like every act of verbal communication isn’t fraught with potential misunderstanding, and it gets exhausting. And given that your audience includes a lot of people for whom it’s a radical idea that one might take on healthy behaviors for reasons other than weight loss, I think you’re still doing them a service by pointing out that sometimes when they’re talking about weight loss they should be saying, or at least meaning, healthy behaviors. (The next step — that these might not lead to weight loss at all — is kind of advanced.)

    I do feel that I have a responsibility as a fat activist to register a difference of opinion. :) But the context is different here.


    libbyloo, that skirt makes me want to learn to sew properly! But I can’t conceive of ever having enough clear flat space in my household. Seriously though, it looks so cute and versatile.

  32. It’s way mainstream, but when my friends and I went on our “curvy girls of department shopping extravaganza” trip, every single one of us walked out of the Gap with this ruffly skirt. It looks fantastic and is super-comfy, and I got my size-22 butt into an XL. Thank you, elastic waists!

    The general thrust of the post is awesome, though, and I might have to email it to my mom. (She can’t work the internet.) I gained a lot of weight a while ago and have been slowly getting rid of the clothes from back then, and my mom keeps saying “but someday you might fit into them!” Who cares? If I happen to lose weight, I will probably want new superfantastic clothes rather than the “poor college student” style I was rocking back then.

  33. I love those Gap skirts! I have two – one in a really pretty gray and black print on a white skirt and one in blue. They have POCKETS! They are fluffy and flouncy! Oh joy.

  34. Normally I can’t get down with flounces and tiers, but I have to admit that those Gap skirts are way cute (especially the gray print one).

  35. OMG, fillyjonk, I have been lusting after that exact suit for months, and have been resisting because of the price and the diciness of buying stuff online (case in point: just spent $75 on bras at bare essentials, just to find that, even though I measured and looked at size charts and all, one is way too big [and since I’m a 48G, that’s *never* happened to me before] and one gives me a major case of bullet-boob). But, since I just got my stimulus check, I’ve been debating over buying either that, or this dress from Igigi

    Is that suit as awesome as it seems? How do you think it would do on a size 24 with a huge rack and a bit of a belly? Any Shapelings want to help me decide which is the better splurge item between the dress and the bathing suit?

    BTW — I’m new to the fatosphere and to SP, but I’ve been reading you guys, along with Fatshonista, Fatfu and others, and thanks to you all, I’ve just quit Weight Watchers. Body hate be damned!

  36. My take on eating carbs with PCOS is that carbs will pack the weight on faster and more efficiently thanks to the way the disorder works–insulin is over-produced and drives sugar into storage as fat. The combo causes you to also feel sleepier. I personally can’t imagine a better fat-enhancing scenario. It’s the most vicious of circles.

    I’m intrigued by that wrap-skirt pattern. In something drapey rather than stiff, it might just work for me.

  37. I’m totally in love with this skirt, which is annoyingly only going up to size 12 on the website, but I bought it in a size 24 at Macy’s at Tyson’s Corner. Super cute and comfy.

    Also, I join the “I’m on Lexapro, and/or have peed in a jug for the Cushing’s test” group. Which seems to be a lot of people.

    (marcelle42, formerly commenting as Karen)

  38. I got this for christmas.

    I generally wear it with a black tank and jeans, I also just got a dark pink tunic length tank from torrid that I might wear it with. (Pink is so not my color though, I blame my friend’s overall persuasiveness.) Anyway, I love it, and it is fairly high quality for something of the decorative crochet and knit variety. Though I do need to secure the clasp a bit better.

    Oh also, my I’m going to 5 weddings this summer dress. I’ve worn it to two events so far and it has been very popular.

    My boyfriend’s mother has said the following of both of these clothing items “You can will me that when you die!”

    She lives in a strange body dismorphic world where she and I wear even close to the same size. She’s probably 5’3, and I’m 6′ I seriously doubt she wears a 36 on bottom. I discovered her mother is the exact same way. They either have no idea how fat I actually am or have no idea how fat they actually are not.

  39. (That should be a 26 on bottom. I would not be able to shop at torrid if I wore a 36, stupidheads. Though I can barely shop there now!!)

  40. Kate, that J.Jill dress is adorable! Can you get extra darts put in by a tailor to make it less tenty? (which is what I might have to investigate having done, if they have it at my local store.) A dress that fits my chest doesn’t fit the rest of me, but that sort of dress would do very well with some more darts. (and a hem-job. maybe I should just sew my own.)

  41. I just bought a bunch of clothes, and oddly enough this tank top by Ralph Lauren is turning out to be one of my absolute favorites. I have a rack o’ doom, and it makes it….um, less doom-like and more of an asset. It was rather expensive for a tank top, but when it’s that perfect, I say go for it.

    Sometimes I wear it under this little knit cardigan, and sometimes under this terribly cute shirt.

    I am lusting after two dresses from Newport News: this one, which only goes up to an 18, and this one, which goes up to a 24W. I keep talking myself out of them because I don’t have anywhere to wear them. I don’t even wear the dresses I already have.

  42. FJ, I want the Diva coat, too! We should each get one and make it part of our Piggy Moo stage wear! I call purple!

    Lola Arnovich, I don’t recall anyone saying you have to wear high heels. I never wear them because I tend to be klutzy and fall off my shoes even when I’m wearing flats. Comfort and ease of care are also high on my list of priorities for clothes. Hell, if it doesn’t feel comfortable and it’s a pain to wash, I’m never going to wear it, so it’s a waste of money. But there’s also no rule that says attractive has to be uncomfortable any more than there’s one that says comfortable clothing has to be dowdy. The key is finding the clothes that make you feel good AND make you look good. In fact, I’d suggest that the vast majority of the clothes people have been pointing out here look quite comfortable to wear.

    Oh, and I’m starting to covet that GAP skirt you pointed out, Nomie. It’s cute and flirty, but could be taken seriously on someone who isn’t seventeen. Also? Pretty thrifty, which is always a feature that appeals to me.

  43. Unfortunately, anything I even consider buying has to be based on the cost. And I can’t afford to buy casual clothing that I like.

    But I did just buy a bunch of stuff from, there is a bunch of stuff on there on sale for about $19.99 (some cheaper if you wear the right sizes, which I dont’), and buy 1 get one free. If one is looking for business casual dress, which I am, it’s pretty good! Though limited colors and sizes on alot since it’s on sale.

    My favorite thing of what I bought is probably this:
    especially since it was on of a the few shirts I could find on sale that came in black! (my favorite color for clothing, lol)

  44. All of my clothes are fat clothes!

    but gaining it incredibly fast apparently kicks PCOS into overdrive

    See, I thought that PCOS kicked the weight gain into overdrive. I went off birth control and gained a shitload of weight within a few months. My eating habits were pretty much the same. It was like I had six years of hormonal weirdness in six months.

    I wish I understood PCOS better.

  45. I think it’s been mentioned in a fashion thread before, but I really like

    Also, has anyone tried I’m really tempted, because jeans never fit me very well.

  46. Talking about shopping, just got back from Nordstrom sale which I had totally forgotten about. I got fabulous and comfortable sandals for 40% off.

    Beautiful red marc jabobs wedge and coach sneaker comfy wedge. Yay!!! I just love shoe shopping. I went to the Grove just to get some donuts and coffee but came home with yummy shoes. I also got the chanel blue satin nail polish which I’ve been meaning to get. So today was a great shopping day. I wish there were more shapelings in L.A. area to go shopping with.

  47. I don’t have PCOS, so perhaps my experience is not useful to anyone. But perhaps it is.

    Cymbalta was the antidepressant that made me gain 20 pounds in two months. I switched to Lexapro after that, and it took me another two years to lose those 20 pounds. I was not dieting to lose them and was already in FA mode, but I had thought of the pre-Cymbalta weight as my setpoint and it seemed that Cymbalta had not only made me gain 20 pounds, but reset the set point to the higher weight. Reading about your experiences, I wonder if it wasn’t that Cymbalta reset my setpoint, but that Lexapro was keeping me at the higher weight.

    I switched back to Prozac last summer. The original switch had been because Prozac had stopped working for me after many years on it. I spent enough time off that it works again. The combination of Prozac, Wellbutrin, and probably in particular Topamax for migraines (it’s also a mood stabilizer though) has had the opposite effect. I was a binge eater before, spent just a few years as a normal eater but at a higher weight that I accepted, and now am anorexic (technically ED-NOS).

    I have no plus-size fashion to contribute. In fact, all my contributions are in person. My friends are making out like bandits because I had clothing in sizes 14-20 that I’ve been giving away to them. I could be any of those sizes again, but I don’t have the storage space and since my size 8 clothes are getting big on me, it seemed silly to keep them around.

    I love reading here – it helps me with my own body acceptance. I accepted myself much better as a fat woman than I do as a relatively thin one. And mousing over the links you have all posted, I’m looking at the clothes thinking, “Wow, I wish I had known that I could dress like that back when I was bigger.” I dressed pretty shabbily a year ago. I only dress better now because I have an easier time finding clothes that fit. No matter what size I am in the future, I now know there are things out there that I can get and look nice in.

  48. See, I thought that PCOS kicked the weight gain into overdrive.

    That definitely happens. I think it was a vicious cycle.

  49. Celeste, I think you and I have really similar taste and, maybe, body shape? I always end up finding something flattering at Macy’s. (Affording it, is another story.)

  50. I just got my favorite pieces of clothing I’ve ever bought ever in the mail; the ON SALE lotus skirt from b&lu. I’d be like a 6 year old and wear nothing but that skirt for the next thousand years if it didn’t make me look insane.

    Also, I recently splurged and bought this fabulous top
    in peacock blue silk from IGIGI
    . I’m not an expensive, fancy clothes gal, but I decided I needed something for looking really good. I’ve never seen a colour with such depth.

  51. I find myself oogling the dresses at, some super cute plus size clothes that AREN’T made of polyester! what a novel idea…

  52. We are all about fat skirts at vive la femme in Chicago — my friend Amanda just launched a plus-size skirt line that she makes in the basement of the shop! They are handmade, sixtyfive smackeroos, and come in all sorts of presh patterns and happy colors. Come and try them on and sample our baby-flavored donuts while you’re there! Damen and Dickens is where these skirts live, so come and introduce yourself to them.

  53. Speaking of patterns, I’m planning on making this skirt next week in plain black linen, no bottom stripe:
    Yay for a grownup pleated skirt!
    It only goes up to a 16, but it looks to me like the pattern could be very easily sized up, as the only dimension change for sizes occurs at the side seams.

  54. I just told my husband I want that Jane Bonbon skirt for my birthday.

    So, since we’re talking about skirts, how do you ladies deal with the chub-rub? I barely ever wear skirts because of it, especially in the summer, when my Spanx aren’t an option. I have big thighs that rub together at the top no matter what I do, and always have, even when I once dieted myself down to a size 6.

    It’s doubly sad because I have the kind of shape where A-line skirts look fantastic on me, and I’d love to wear them more, but I never do because I can’t be bothered to deal with Spanx or chub rub. Anyone have a better solution? Help please!

  55. Hey Arwen, how long is the lotus skirt? I talked myself out of buying it before (“but you could make that, even though you never ever will” ) but at the sale price it’s pretty attractive. As long as it isn’t too long.

    lc, I go the solid deodorant route because I just never remember to buy anything else, but I’ve heard good reviews of the Monistat chub rub thing and Body Glide, and rave reviews of the Avenue seamless bike short, which is billed as a shaper but isn’t. I got to pluck at TR’s last weekend, and it’s clearly not got any compression — seems really lightweight and comfortable.

  56. Ic, I have a pair of bike shorts, and a pair of bloomers (not that particular pair, but just for illustration) to wear under skirts or dresses, and they both work quite well. Solid deodorant also works decently in a pinch (I find the Monistat stuff just sweats off me).

  57. Yes, the avenue seamless bike short is awesome! It is totally not a shaper. When I got mine home, I was like, no way this is going to fit and if it does it’s going to squeeze like whoa. I was pleasantly surprised that neither option came true.

    ZaftigWendy, thanks for the link. It definitely helped me understand insulin resistance a bit better. I wish, though, that there was a wider-scale push for figuring out the syndrome as a whole. Don’t some studies say as much as ten percent of women have it?

    I wish I had some clothing advice to offer, but most of my new stuff lately has come off the Friday sales posts on Fatshionista.

  58. Kate Harding: “Well, it’s not an exciting secret fat store, but J. Jill has this shift dress I think is adorable, but I’m just not sure if it would work on me. It looks like it’s shaped a little, but I suspect it would still be very tenty on me. And I can’t pull off the tenty.”

    As a fellow rack-of-doomer, I’d be less worried (although still fairly worried) about the lack of shaping than about the pullover style. Pullover dresses always get stuck on my boobs and then I need help to get them back off. It’s cute, though. Maybe you could have a side zipper put in.

    After reading the comments, I might need to take myself to the Gap and try on one of those ruffle skirts. They look like exactly the type of skirt I was hoping to wear for most of the summer.

  59. Speaking of Fatshion, today I am wearing a tank top with nothing over it. I decided to let the fat fly and show off my arms (plus, it’s really hot and humid where I am today).

  60. Robotitron et al,
    There’s been so much learned about PCOS in the last 10 years, it’s amazing. What’s sad is that insurance won’t cover treatments for our hirsutism in most cases, saying it’s just vanity (you’re hairy because you’re a big fat baby donut eating slob and you should suffer you fatty fat liar!), not realizing how much it affects our mental health and self-confidence.

  61. ZaftigWendy, insurance trouble is so frustrating, I agree. Personally, I can handle the hirsutism, but my hair falling out is killing me.

  62. I also have long, long lusted after this dress:

    But I might be too short to pull it off (5’2″). Also, my husband was SHOCKED when I told him it would be something I’d wear to work. He thinks the dress is meant to convey the suggestion that one is wearing a coat with nothing underneath it, and he ffinds that unbearably sexy. Too sexy for the office.

  63. Those of you who wear bike shorts under your skirts, do you wear underwear, too? I confess to wearing high cut granny panties, so I would think that Avenue’s seamless bike shorts would make the undies bunchy. I currently wear a bike liner thingamabobber from Junonia (I think), but it’s so old that it has holes in the seams and the elastic in the lace at the leg opening has practically given up the ghost. I definitely need a new pair of something, but I haven’t figured out yet which is worthy of my $$$.

  64. Well, if you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, two places come to mind. They don’t have great websites, you just have to go there. In San Francisco, GO FIGURE! has alot of different types of clothes for the plus sized woman. In Oakland, there is IN FULL SWING, which is a really nice shop.

  65. FJ – I’m 5’4″ and it comes to about 4″ above my ankle, beneath the widest parts of my calf. Which is, on me, a flattering length.

    It’s jersey, so sort of stretchy: I’m finding it roomier than I’d expected and will likely take it in.

  66. So, since we’re talking about skirts, how do you ladies deal with the chub-rub?

    1) The aforementioned Monistat stuff. This works great for me for shorter walks, but it does wear/sweat off, so you’ll need to be able to reapply it–which you can’t really do discreetly in public–or you’ll need another solution.

    2) Pettipants. I just got some of these, and I’m totally in love. I always wear slips under skirts anyway, giving me three layers in the blazing heat if I wear bike shorts or something similar; this kills two birds with one stone. Rides up between my legs a little but not too annoyingly, and it won’t ride all the way up and bunch around your hips, as normal slips sometimes do on me. The only drawback I’ve found so far is that on that pair, even after snipping off all the lace, they still hit around my knees, so I have to wear skirts longer than that. I might have to get those bloomers Becky linked to.

    3) Skorts–the newer kind that are bike shorts under full skirts, not shorts with a flap in front. As long as the shorts are long enough for me, these are awesome. (I bought some regular bike shorts with a 5-inch inseam last summer, but those just rode up and made the problem worse.) I bought one from Terry Bikes last year; Junonia has a bunch (poke around, they’re not all called skorts there), and Eddie Bauer and Land’s End have some that are less athletically inspired. Oh, Avenue has a shitload, too. They’re everywhere now, and getting cuter.

  67. ilookgoodblog said: “I also have long, long lusted after this dress:

    I just bought that dress in Navy. AWESOME!!! It is fantastic. It looks good and feels good. I’m just over 5’6″, so the length is good on me. If you are 5’2″ it may have to be shortened.

    And… It does NOT look like a faux trenchcoat seduction tool… I plan to wear it to the office. It is a very sophisticated look. Pair it with a great pair of pumps, an attractive leather bag, and a great patterned scarf, and it will be awesome! They ship it with a dress bag (a la Saks) so that you can hang it in your closet and it doesn’t get dusty.

    As for my lusts… I recently discovered Donna Ricco dresses and they fit me beautifully! I’ve bought a few of them since I had NO dresses before (because I couldn’t find any that fit). Their fit model must have similar proportions to mine. I am in love with this dress for work…

    I bought this party dress from LeeLee’s Valise a month or so ago:

    and this one from Alight…

    And since the dresses are true to size, I can find one them on Ebay for way less!!! I found one Donna Ricco silk sundress in my size for $10. That is right, $10. New with tags. Only thing wrong with it was that it had a couple of TINY thread pulls. Can’t even see them unless you are looking where you know they are!

    So now for the unattainable… How about this for a day dress…

    (Lafayette 148 is also true to size for me)

    And this for an evening dress…


    –Andy Jo–

  68. FJ – I’m 5′4″ and it comes to about 4″ above my ankle

    Hmm, so it will probably be about ankle length on me. (I’m 5’1 with short legs, and just ordered the skirt). That might be perfect for that skirt, actually.

    Rhonwyn, I wear underwear under the bike shorts. I haven’t had bunching problems, but then I usually wear little bikini panties or thongs. My bike shorts aren’t skin tight either, which I was worried would be a problem under slinky dresses but it really hasn’t been so far.

  69. Kate, where do you get your slips? I spent weeks looking for some last summer and could never find any. It was like I lived in bizarro world where no such thing as slips ever existed. The only ones I have now are two full slips that came with particular dresses.

  70. Taffeta, speaking of, I just ordered this in black. I was really crushed that they didn’t have the berry color in my size, but i have high hopes for it all the same (if only it will fit over my rack of doom).

    For chub rub, I just bought some bike shorts from Eastern Mountain Sports and they’re a revelation for me; so much comfortable than the cheap nylon spanx-like shapers I had been using. If I’m not walking far, deoderant works about as well as that monistat cream for me, but I get paranoid about it wearing off before I have a chance to reapply.

  71. Awesome post. I wish I had a thousand dollars to buy several thousand of the items you guys have recommended.

    I just got this:

    Missphit Fashion Shoot Surplice

    And it is gorgeous. But also slightly long (I’m 5’6″) and roomier than I expected. I’m just going to wear it with a skirt underneath so it looks like a dress with flounces, but I suggest getting a size smaller than the size guide recommends and/or being tall.

    I also got their hipster jacket at the end of last winter and not only is it comfy and warm, I got a compliment on it every other day. That one I did order a size smaller than the chart said I should and it fits perfectly, so I think that’s the rule with this retailer.

  72. Oh, yeah, LilahMorgan – The Rotund introduced me to the Blue Plate stuff at alight and I love that line, although I need to buy some camisoles that go under the 2 tops I have.

  73. I love all of those cross-front shirts like fictionista linked to, but I have more of a Rack of Don’t than a Rack of Doom, so I haven’t found one yet that fits me properly without sagging and showing off my whole torso. Anything that’s sized to fit my arms and belly is almost always too big for my little bust. I have the same problem with fitted oxfords – I try it on, it’s comfy, and then I look in the mirror and realize the bust darts are somewhere around my waist! :lol:

  74. Oooh! Ooh! A little late to the game, as usual, but I did think of a lesser-known web store that carries plus sizes, and is a GREAT company to boot. It even kind of fits the skirt criterion because they sell board skirts. (And board shorts, and bikini tops.) It’s Great customer service, great product, meh website.

  75. Ok, I couldn’t do a bikini, but those boardshorts are awesome! That I could totally get into. Do they fit well?

    (And A Sarah, are you holding up well these days now that the semester’s changed over to summer hours?)

  76. car, YES, thank you! *heart* Thank you so much for asking. :) I love getting up early, exercising, writing the dissertation in the morning while my older son is at preschool and my husband spends the morning with the younger son, coming home for lunch, then writing a bit more during naps, and then being “on” in the afternoon and evening. (Okay, maybe “love” is a little strong, but I very much like not being always at the end of my rope. But I do miss my students.) How are you doing these days?

    Random: today I rode a bike around town. I haven’t done so in, like, six years. When I last tried, six years ago, my thighs got so tired when I went uphill that I had to stop and I chastened myself for being a fat, lazy, awful, worthless, out-of-shape HORRIBLE PERSON! (Even though, at the time, I was running seven miles a day.) Six years later, same bike, hasn’t been adjusted since then except the tires were replaced recently. And I’m also the same size. Only now I’m married to someone who has led bike trips, right? TURNS OUT that the bike was not sized to me properly so my legs weren’t extending nearly enough and the seat was all the wrong height so my hips were doing something uncomfortable and… well, anyway, I don’t really understand it all, but the point is he changed a few things on the bike and I was totally able to do it now! So what I thought was me being a lazy horrible non-thin person who didn’t deserve to be out in public, was… seat height. Solved by a screwdriver. Huh.

  77. Arwen and vivelafat — I went to the Jane Bonbon site at Etsy and totally fell in love with the cherry dress, and was wondering if she would ship to Canada — and holy hannah, she is in Canada! Right here in Vancouver (alright, her studio is in Tswassen, but….). Plus she is at the Portobello West event on the last Sunday of the month. So yesterday I hied myself there and picked up the dress and a cute top. Jane herself was there, and she is very nice and a real beauty. I am so tired of not being able to find affordable clothes for middle aged chubby ladies that don’t include polyester pantsuits with elastic waists.

  78. Went and checked out the igigi coat-dress that ilookgoodblog linked to above, and wow, I’d have to almost agree with your hubby about its visual subtext in a serious office environment. Yowza!

    Reading the description of the dress on the igigi web site, however, reminds me of everything I HATE about catalog or promotional writing about fashion for fatties…

    * Portrait collar opens up the neckline, balances off hips and draws attention away from the tummy
    * Princess seams elongate the overall silhouette for a slimming look
    * Buttons create vertical lines and draw the eyes up toward the decoltage
    * ¾ sleeves hit at the slimmest part of the arm to show skin for balance

    There it is, folks. In four bullet points, the writer managed to hit five different fashion dos/donts about camouflaging fatties. The writer mentions “slim***” two times, drawing the eyes of the observer (away from those awful problem spots) two times, and “balancing” two times.

    I know that fashion writers are under pressure to push the hottest and most sure-fire buttons in potential buyers’ psyches, and in this day and age, body insecurity is that button. I get it. But I tell you, my eyes go blurry and another little layer of enamel gets ground off my teeth every time I read a clothing description like this.

    I mean, people can SEE what it looks like. Why not go for descriptions of the fabric, or how it feels, or how it echoes the look of some movie star or era? You know, “glamour girl on the run”, or “Holly Go-Lightly would have worn this everywhere”. Or hell, just say it: “Make people wonder what you could possibly be wearing underneath that is sexier then this. NSFW!”

  79. ‘There it is, folks. In four bullet points, the writer managed to hit five different fashion dos/donts about camouflaging fatties. The writer mentions “slim***” two times, drawing the eyes of the observer (away from those awful problem spots) two times, and “balancing” two times.’ …bigmovesbabe

    I agree that for anyone in fashion, minimizing, slimming, and other ‘thinning’ words are trigger words to get people to buy their merchandise. It always implies that slender is better in any shape or form. Perhaps proportion or balance should be used instead of these smaller is better ‘trigger words? What do u think? Instead of slimming ‘those god awful’ feminine hips, say it balances your body. Is it just matter of words or does it sound like euphemism for slim? I wouldn’t be offended personally by readinng about balancing or proportionate cut.

    Yes, and the actual description of the fabric and the look of the dress would be nice rather than everything being built around being slimming.

  80. Patricia: “Arwen and vivelafat — I went to the Jane Bonbon site at Etsy and totally fell in love with the cherry dress, and was wondering if she would ship to Canada — and holy hannah, she is in Canada! ”

    OT- but is “holy hannah” a Canadian thing? The only other person I’ve ever heard use that phrase was my former supervisor, who hails from London, ON.

    (back to your regularly scheduled programming)

  81. Ok, so I just found this; is it cute, or old-lady frumpy?
    I also adore this top, but I’m not so hot on the skirt bottom, and it’s a bit pricey.

    They also have a lot of cute separates, but I’m still in sticker shock at the idea of over $40 for a bottom and $40 for a top separately. When did swimsuits get so expensive?

  82. re: advertising trigger words about fat fashion…

    frankly, words like “balance” and “proportion” are also problematic for me, in that they batten on the hourglass ideal for fat women, and strengthen the notion of an acceptable sort of fat, which is widespread even in fat communities. They remind me of “height-weight proportionate” and other categories like that. And believe me, fatties who AREN’T “proportionate” or “balanced” (we apples in particular) already know all the tricks and gimmicks and fashion prescriptions to go with our shape. Gah!

    the clothing write-ups that I love the most are the ones that really go for ambience, as opposed to “here’s how this item can save you from looking fat”. Such ambient write-ups may still be selling you a feeling, but it’s one that can and should be disconnected from how the prospective buyer feels about his/her size, and the reader is free to make his/her own interpretation of that feeling.

  83. Has anyone used swimsuits just for us? Some of their stuff looks really cute, especially this, although I like shorts better than a skirt. The separates look nice, although I still can’t stomach how much suits cost these days! Still, for later in the summer if we end up going to the local beach a lot, I’d like to feel nice rather than frumpy, so I want something to put on my wish list.

    (I thought I posted this already, but I don’t see it here – either I’ve orphaned a post in the wrong thread entirely :), or there were too many links in it, maybe? I hope I didn’t say anything stupid that made it get pulled.)

  84. Jeez, I’m an idiot. There it is in big type, my earlier comment is awaiting moderation b/c I put too many links in it, so now I’ve just double-posted. I apologize for trying to use the internet without appropriate training. ;)

  85. When did swimsuits get so expensive?

    Ugh, I don’t know, but I really lucked out and got an $84 Speedo for $16.99 at Marshall’s. Not recommended for anyone over, say, a size 14 or so, because I had to buy a size up — and bathing suits generally don’t cover the part of me that usually makes me go up a size (i.e., the widest part of my hips is just below the leg-holes).

    Also, I know I’m a little pear-shaped, but it is kind of annoying to have to buy a size medium in a bikini top and a size XL for the bottom. (At Old Navy. In Old Navy sizes, I wear a size 10 pants, which should be a L in bikini bottoms. Right?)

    At least I 1.) had the ovaries to buy a bikini (and I look awesome in it. just sayin’) 2.) bought the correct size, not the smallest size I could squeeze into. /whining

  86. It’s doubly sad because I have the kind of shape where A-line skirts look fantastic on me, and I’d love to wear them more, but I never do because I can’t be bothered to deal with Spanx or chub rub. Anyone have a better solution? Help please!

    I so feel you! I have solved the chub rub situation by wearing a pair of bicycle shorts under my skirts and dresses. It works great! They only come to mid-thigh, and I don’t wear anything shorter than that, so I am covered and comfy. Just don’t buy the spandex kind if you can avoid it; that just adds heat–cotton/poly is the way to go!

    Also, it helps avoid an underwearing showing situations on a windy day!

  87. I feel great that i’m not the only person who lost clothes in public. :) I tend to buy shorts so they fit a little lose, so that I have thigh room when I sit down. However, w/ my weight gong downbeing in flux, they fell down when I was out with my boy friend. Great timing. :)

  88. Feeling like poop when you’re wearing clothes that are too small is NOT motivating to me. I have clothes ranging from size 10 to size 16, depending on my weight at that time, my exercise level, and the fit of the clothing. I just put the ones away I can’t wear and focus on what I do. And I am bound and determined to feel sexy, no matter what size I happen to be at that time. No more of this motivation by too-small clothing. AWFUL.

  89. ooh, that lotus skirt is very pretty! and the sale price is quite reasonable . . . *contemplates*
    What the heck is up with the size chart, though?
    Size Waist Hip Length
    1x 36 in. 46 in. 27 in.
    2x 38 in. 48 in. 28 in.
    3x 46 in. 56 in. 32 in.
    4x 50 in. 60 in. 33 in.
    Why on earth is the 3x so much bigger than the 2x compared to the other size differences i.e. 1x to 2x= 2/2/1 differences, 3x to 4x= 4/4/1 differences, but 2x to 3x = 8/8/4 WTFBBQ??? and what am I supposed to do if I fall into that ginormous gap? Can I have a 2.5x please? Given the stretch, I’ll prob just go down if I get it, but, blargh, annoying, don’t want it to get stuck to my 50″ish hips. boo :(

    On the chub rub cures front I wanted to share a particular kind of bike shorts I found recently that I’m completely in love with. They will only work for those on the smaller end of fat, as they don’t come in plus sizes (at least I haven’t seen them), but I, with my above-mentioned nearly 50″ hips, and 26″ thighs, (generally wear 18/20 in pants or LB’s right fit blue 1’s) do great with the Large (it’s tighter than I’d want it for wearing on their own, but perfect for under skirts) so they cover a much bigger range than one might expect.

    They are made by Adidas, and called Cotton Essentials (92% cotton). I found them at Sports Authority and contrary to the website, they also come in charcoal (which is a bit softer than the black) and in three different inseam lengths (3″, 5″, and 7″ I love the 7″). What I most love about them is that the rise is not too high and they have a lovely wide stretch waistband so they don’t dig into my stomach and roll down like other kinds I’ve tried, nor come up to my ribcage. They are also shaped a bit in the back so they actually go all the way up and around my butt and don’t wind up half way down five minutes into wearing them. I just bought four pairs on sale recently! Yay!

  90. um. . . my comment doesn’t seem to have posted, but wordpress tells me I “already said that”. huh?

  91. monkey, for some reason Akismet was convinced your comment was spam.. sorry! I released it.

  92. Not sure if it’s an acceptable plug or not, but I’m clearing out my closet pretty agressively this week and e-baying the stuff that I have to honestly admit won’t fit me well or I don’t wear enough to justify keeping, but are honestly too cute to toss:

    I’ll be adding more every night this week. Hope I’m not crossing a line by a for-profit posting :-)

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