Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dilemma of a Plus Size Blogger

Sometimes I feel as though being a plus size woman prohibits me from being as fashionable as those thinner and/or taller than myself.  Now, don't get all in a tizzy just yet.  Hear me out.  
Of course, there is the issue of being able to find affordable, trendy clothing in larger sizes.  This is always an issue, but this isn't exactly what I am referring to.
  I feel like with my body type (size 26, pudgy belly, 5' 4'' tall), I just can't pull off some of the fashions that look fantastic on my slimmer and taller sister fashionistas, (even those who are still plus size, but perhaps more proportional than I).
  I'm sure almost every woman feels this way at some point.  Some women have short waists and don't feel that they can wear belts, or some have larger busts and don't feel right in certain fabrics or necklines.  I have a big belly, so I feel like I can't tuck in my tops because it shows off my "pooch".  I don't like to wear tops that have hemlines that come far above my crotch for this very same reason.  I also never, ever go sleeveless, and won't usually wear sleeves that hit above my elbow.  This limits my wardrobe considerably. 
I also have short, chubby legs with large ankles.  Therefore, I don't usually wear any skirts that fall far above my knee, and I try to stay away from shoes that cut me off at the ankle, thus shortening my legs further. 
I also have very wide feet, and have a hard time finding shoes that are cute and comfortable at the same time.  Many of my shoes are only wearable for short periods of time because they squish my toes, pinch my heels, or compress my entire foot.  The last time I had my feet measured in a shoe store, the woman measuring me said that my shoe size was actually a 7.5 EEE.  You try finding some cute, affordable shoes in a 7.5 triple E.  If you do, let me know, and I will owe you my firstborn child.  I usually end up buying my shoes in either an 8.5W or a 9 because I can get my wide foot in there without them flopping off as I walk.

I see all of these gorgeous, curvy, women rocking some great outfits, but I feel self conscious if I try to use their outfits as inspiration because by the time I lengthen the top and the skirt, take the heels out of the equation, and add sleeves,  the outfit just doesn't look right. It morphs into something dowdy.

I don't mean to be such a bummer, this is just something I've been struggling with lately, and it's put a crimp in my outfit posts.  (I am also doing clinicals again, which means uniforms two days a week.  Blech.)  I hope I get over this malaise soon, because it's making me feel like crap!

Has anyone else gone through a similar phase?  How did you get through it?  Any advice? 


  1. I felt the same way for a very long time. I'm 5'1" and generally wear 18/20. My weight is in my back, arms,chest and tummy; no hips or tush for this girl. For many years I felt that I couldn't wear anything that was form fitting, nothing that was sleevless, nothing tucked in, etc. I lived in long tees and jeans. Now I just try things that are out of my comfort zone. Sometimes things are a mess, sometimes things turn out great. It's all about getting past my barriers and just taking a few risks.

  2. I think this is an excellent topic. I am 5'1 and a size 18/20 (depending on the cut.) When I shop at Plus size shops, I find that the clothing is made for someone much taller and wider in the shoulders.The shirts will constantly slide down or fall off of the shoulder or look waaaay low cut. Shoes, not so much a problem. I only buy a 1/2 size larger, in case my feet swell.

    There are sooo many cute things out there, but once I put them on - it looks completely different. Instead of getting too discouraged, I try really hard to just find the few items that work.

    It is really hard for me, because I went from a size 5 to a size 18 in ten years. I have been on both sides and what I would give to have that smaller frame to dress.. ;-)

  3. Courtney, I can't offer any advice, per se, but I can tell you this: I send women to your blog CONSTANTLY to see examples of how chic and fashionable a plus-sized woman can be. Your impeccable taste, bold choices, and total refusal to wear boring, staid clothing inspires me constantly. I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling frustrated - and I can completely understand where that frustration comes from - but believe me when I say that you're an absolute star and I love, love, LOVE seeing your outfit posts.

  4. First off, major kudos to you for sharing this! I am with you on the elbow length sleeves and hardly anything above the knew (unless I can mask my knees under dark, thick tights!). However, I strongly encourage you to keep doing what you are doing and sharing your outfits. You always look fantastic and I love that you accessorize your looks with jewelry, scarves and more. It is so important for the world and blogosphere to be filled with all shapes and sizes!


  5. Have you tried shoes from Evans? They come in E and EEE. And I've actually found that being a half size in US sizes works fabulously for buying UK shoes.

    I attempt to push myself outside of my comfort zone on a regular basis. It makes getting dressed in the morning a lot easier!

    After a couple years, I'm wearing things a lot shorter, tighter, etc. but in general things just FIT better. Try to challenge yourself to move outside of your comfort zone. Once a month, once a week. You might be surprised with the results!

  6. I am currently 5'4" and am a size 22/24 (sometimes a 26) and although i have learned to accept and love my body how it is, I too, have gone through this dilemma of feeling like i cant wear the same things that thinner girls can pull off! I use to never wear shorts, skirts, or anything that showed off my arms...but after a while I decided to rebel against the "fat girls shouldn't wear this" rule, and wore things that were out of my comfort zone! True, it does take a while to get use to it, but like Nicole said above, once you are able to break out of your comfort zone, wearing whatever you want becomes easy and much more fun!

    And remember, there will always be people out there that will judge you for how look/dress, but you shouldn't care too much what other people say or think of you! Regardless of what you wear, you will still be beautiful, strong, and fashionable woman!!

    -Christina <3

  7. This is why I don't do OOD posts. Most of the time I put something on to cover my body and head to work. Most of the time it ain't cute. I think a lot of women (plus or not) feel conflicted about clothes. They like what they see in the magazines or in stores but it doesn't translate to their body type.
    Reading blogs like yours encourages me to try to look cute more and more days because I am beautiful and my clothing choices should reflect that.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I continually go through periods where I feel this way too! For reference, I'm 5'8" and probably a 20w-24w in sizing.

    A few things have helped:
    1) Redefining what the phrase "looks good" or "looks fashionable" means to me. Does this mean it doesn't show my belly, or my fat rolls, or my stretch marks on my arms? In order for me to feel like I look good in an outfit, do I need to look like other people look in that outfit?

    2) Going out of my comfort zone briefly - like, dressing in a sleeveless dress without a cardigan to go to dinner. Then, it's not like I'm stuck in that outfit all day, I am only trying it for a few hours.

    3) Normalize your body by seeing others that look similar to you rocking fashionable clothing (The fatshionista flickr pool and the heyfatchick.tumblr.com, as well as following other blogs of ladies with similar shapes as me, etc.). This has helped me slowly (I'm still not there yet) accept my belly and how far it sticks out. I bet you already do this though, being a blogger yourself!

    4) Wear cute, matching underthings. Seriously, it gives me a real confidence boost :)

    Hang in there (sorry, that's so cliche), but seriously, I really enjoy your blog!

  9. This is really interesting to find out that I'm not the only one. I know exactly how you feel. Even looking at plus size clothes in stores doesn't mean it's ok for me.

    I don't do low cut necklines. I like longer sleeves. And I'm 5'9, I need long and tall plus size everything.

    I find that if you sew you can mend a lot of things to your liking. It works sometimes.

  10. I understand how you feel! I'm 5'5 and I'm like a size 26+, I have large arms, they are the least favorite of my body. I tried doing an outfit post without sleeves, and I was mortified when I saw how big my arms were. I looked like Pop-eye. I also have a large bust, which recieves a hell of a lot of attention, and it's difficult for me not to show any clevage! I also have a short waist, but I rock belts to enhance my curves. I have thunder-thighs, large calves, and large feet (size 8)...so there are a lot of things that limit my wardrobe too, and makes me discouraged to do outfit posts.

    But then I see you, who is gorgeous, and does outfit posts regularly and it boosts my confidence, to see someone my size who rocks regular outfits almost daily! Don't be discouraged, you are fabulous, and I agree with Nicole, do the challenge to get you out of your comfort zone.


  11. I feel your pain! Thing is...I come here to see how adorable and great you look! I'm 4'11" and a 22/24 (sometimes 26). I wear a size 4 shoe. Gracious!

    I just want to look cute, but I try not to have super short shirt sleeves or short skirts. Otherwise, I'm dressing for me!

  12. im not in the space right now to go into details but i just wanted to come by and say....I UNDERSTAND

  13. Beatrice, Nicole (the first one to leave a comment), Kimberly, Linda, Eve, LaCara, & DanaElayne - Thank you all so much for your kind words. It's nice to know that other women feel this way. I know I should just be thankful that I have nice clothes and am able to have multiple outfits to wear, really! It's just been a rough couple of weeks and it's all just manifested in my wardrobe issues, I guess.

    Sal - Thank you. I can't even tell you how much hearing that means to me. You are such an inspiration to me!

    Nicole (the second)- I haven't ever tried Evans for shoes, but I will be now! Thank you!

    Christina - You always look so put-together and confident that I would never guess you have gone through the same thing. I appreciate your comment. I just need to step it up!

    Rebecca - I do love to check out the fatshionista flickr to see others with my body type, but I haven't done so in quite a while. Maybe it's time to head over there for some inspiration. Thank you so much for your tips!

    RoSi- Thank you for your comment. I hope that we are both able to get out of this funk.

  14. Honestly, I think we've all been through something similar at some point. If not the same, then I know we've all felt insecure about something at one point or another. For me it was my legs, or actually my bottom half, not matching the rest of my body. I have wide shoulder and kind of a plain body. I'm not curvy like a lot of other plus size girls, so I can't always wear plus sized clothes. But I also can't always wear regular sizes, so that sucks. I use to not wear sleveless for years, and only recently started. I find that seeing other women do it encourages me to try it. I think that while there will always be criticism, there will be far more support. Plus, you never know who you'll inspire to try soemthing new.

  15. Hello,
    I recently came across and I loved it! You are beautiful. I can totally realte to your side issues, I am about 5"0 and a bit on the heavy side. I have found out through the years that you can wear top of the line clothes, latest fashion trends but it will neber truly be pulled off by an insecure person. Everyday we have to own our bodies, and accept ourselves. Be confident. Honestly i used to wear very frumpy clothes becasue I was embarrassed of my body and I would wear baggy clothes to hide it. Now I have realizd that by doing that not only are you killing your confidence but you are not helping your look. Wear form fitting clothes (ie: skinny jeans,fitted tops, and small shoes)
    In theory sounds like a tight tight tube shape, but once you put it on, you'll look fab. Don't doubt your fashion sense. Even I who often recieve comments of nmy fashion tastes (positive) sometimes feel uneasy and self conscious. We all have our off days but it is good to let each other know so we can support each other through these times. :]

  16. It's strange to me that you feel a bit down about your outfit of the day because I look at you and think wow, she's got loads of confidence and wears clothes that I wouldn't. I am also "Mutley' shaped short, boobs, belly and stumpy legs. But for me it's not just the clothes you wear it's all the accessories and stuff that make the outfit. I've always been clueless to that kind of stuff. You are a gorgeous girl with great dress and that is why we keep coming back for more! The fact you are plus-size to me is irrelevant because you know how to put an outfit together that let's face it not everyone can do that with ease and still look good. xoxo

  17. Hi sweetie, I so know that feeling! Thank you so much for sharing. This stuff is what I deal with a lot on my blog, I would love for you to visit me and give me your feedback. I am curvy as hell, don`t fit in regular sizes and have started defining my own worth by making my own clothes and bloody well wearing colours and loud prints. I love your style, you showing off you!!!putting you on my blogroll :)


    <3 Anika

  18. I feel like when I try trendy clothes, jewelry, or shoes I look like a kid who broke into her mom's closet. I think you look super cute on your outfits. Wish you saw that, too.

  19. I know I'm late.. and everyone has said alot of what I want to say. But I had to comment that we are all looking to you for inspiration just as much as you look to us. I started blogging because I was in just the same rut. Im 5'-3" and I wear about a 20/22. And there is still clothing that doesnt look the way I want it to look on me. I think we will always have that dilemma. We just gotta pull a Tim Gunn and "Make it Work" Thats why I love your "Looks of the Stars" posts so much. It gives us all hope that we can do it. There are options out there. Now that I read blogs (daily or very often) I have a new issue... I want to buy all the great oufits that I see.. whew!

    Bottomline - You have great style. and we all go through this slump (even the straight size ladies with plenty of clothing and style options). There will always be something that we want to change about ourselves. But in the end, you gotta ROCK IT no matter what.. and Sweetie, you ROCK IT all the time!
    Mrs Hall In Training