I’m In Love and You’re All Gonna Hear About It

Published March 25, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Oh dear readers, I have fallen in love.

I follow Autograph Fashion on their Facebook page.  They post quite a few photos of garments that are due in stores soon, and there is always some, ahem, lively commentary on those photos.  Well, really it’s just a whole lot of women saying “Don’t you know big people shouldn’t wear sleeveless/empire-line/bold prints/bright colours/stripes/sexy styles/*insert clothing feature here*!” and me popping up and saying “Don’t tell me what fat women can and can’t wear, I’ll wear whatever I like and to hell with anyone who thinks otherwise!”  Every post.  Seriously.  I get sick of it but I can never leave it alone.  I want Autograph Fashion, the store I shop at the most because a) there is a store a few metres away from my work, b) I can afford their stuff c) they cater to my size (size 26AU mostly) d) there’s hardly anybody else who does, to know that there are LOTS of women like me who want FASHION.  We don’t want them to stop producing the stuff that the “big people shouldn’t” crew want, we want them to ADD fashionable items to their existing collection.  Some of us want leopard print, and bright colours, and horizontal stripes, and body-con shapes, and retro looks, and sexy styles and the list goes on.  There are lots of us who are big mega fatties who want things that look like they might also be worn in the same style by straight sized women.  It irritates me no end that there are only a few of us who speak up on Autograph’s facebook page that don’t buy into the bullshit that fat women should hide away in shapeless black sacks.

But I always speak up.  Or else, how are Autograph, and other women who might feel the same way but be intimidated by the mob, to know that anyone feels this way.

A while back, maybe a month or so, Autograph posted an announcement that they were going to be selling shoes and boots soon, accompanied by this photograph:

[Photograph has sadly been redacted]

The response was overwhelmingly positive – firstly because they’re cute boots, secondly because they offer them in sizes right up to about 12 I think and finally because they fit wide calves.  Finally, a post where nobody got involved in body shame and just went “WOOO!  Autograph you got it right!”

And I fell in love with the tall, dark and handsome on the left.

I never pay full price for anything.  It’s against my religion.  I will wait until things are marked down before I pounce.  I’ll hunt bargain racks, scour eBay and wait for clearance sales.  I will usually go without things rather than pay full price.  But those tall riding boots just had to be mine.

I annoyed the ladies at my local Autograph on a regular basis with “Any news on the boots?” and “When are the boots coming in?”  I told everyone I know about those boots, and how excited I was about them, and how I was going to have a pair as soon as they came out.

Yesterday, Autograph posted on their Facebook that the shipments of the boots had all left for the stores.  Then they put them up for sale on the website.  By 4.45pm yesterday, I was beside myself, and called my local store.  “Are they in yet?” I breathed.  The very tired lady on the other end of the phone said yes, but they hadn’t unpacked them yet.  “Will they be ready in the morning?”

Yes, I was that annoying.

When I finally got to my lunch break, I raced to Autograph.  I ran in the store.  I darted down to the back where I could see the boots all on shelves on the wall, calling hello to the Autograph lady as I dashed past.  She was lovely, and intercepted so that she could actually serve me as a customer, helping me with trying them on, even though I would have gladly just grabbed them and thrown money in the air, dancing a merry jig of happiness.  I put one on, and it fit me like it was made for me.

As I paid, I gabbled on about how thrilled I was to find knee length, wide-calf boots in their store.  They handed me my shopping bags containing MY PRECIOUS, and I danced on out of there.

Back at the office, I took the box out of the bag, and photographed it:

Because yes, I am that pathetic.

Then I took one of the boots out of the box, and photographed it:

Because yes, I am that tragic.  Yes, the boot is on the tearoom table at work.  (Shush, it’s a new boot and I washed the table after I finished!)

I got the brown ones (they also come in black).  And I am still in love.  I showed everyone at work who would stop and look.  I posted excited tweets and FaceBook statuses.

When I got home, I put them on.  I took photos in the mirror:

I took photos from all angles:

I’m still in love with these bloody boots.

You know, I’ve always dreamed of owning a pair of knee length, brown boots.  They’ve always seemed like a true fashion accessory.  Sometimes the shape has changed a bit, or the heel has changed a bit, but ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted a pair.  I’ve never been able to find them to fit me.  I have size 10 feet (Australian sizing), and there are always fewer choices when you get over a size 8.  My calves are 19″ around, so long boots were always too small (these have an elasticated panel up the back, but even on my calves it’s barely stretched, just enough to keep them up my legs).  I’d seen them on overseas websites, but the cost of the boots plus shipping was always more than I can afford. (These were $99.99 by the way, at least half of the price I’ve seen anything similar elsewhere.)

These mean more to me than just a cute pair of boots.  They’re something that has always been denied me as a very fat woman – fashion.  The minute I put them on I felt like I could march out into the world and take on anything.

Sometimes a plus-size retailer gets it very right.  This is one of those times.  Thank you Autograph Fashion – keep doing stuff like this please!

37 comments on “I’m In Love and You’re All Gonna Hear About It

  • God I’ve been there. When I first moved to London and discovered Evans shoe department I nearly cried. My flatmate couldn’t understand why I was so excited and I just kept going “I’VE NEVER OWNED BOOTS BEFORE.” And then I discovered Duo and now I own about 10 pairs of boots, it’s crazy.

    • bloomie I could hug you for understanding how I feel right now. I’ve had three straight-sized friends tell me I’m being silly for being so excited about owning a pair of knee length brown boots.

      • YES! Straighties don’t understand. Before I knew that boots didn’t come in size fat, I’d try desperately to pull boots over my calves while sales assistants assured me they were “quite a slouchy style, so they should fit”.

        I’ve never owned boots. I’m tempted by these.

      • I want a pair too. I had resigned myself to never having a pair either (living in North Queensland also means that it’s always too hot). The building I am working in freezing, so I think I could get away with a pair. I will see if the local Autograph stocks them – my feet are as broad as my calves, so even though the calves may fit, the toe box may still be too small. Yes – finally a retailer who wants our money!!!!

  • YAY! 😀 Those moments are awesome. They look great on you!

    (I had one of those moments when I went to the Duo Boots fitting shop in London. On Savile Row! There were women of all shapes and sizes in there and Every. Single. Boot. had a size fitting for their foot and calf. And everyone looked SO happy and excited like that. If anyone is ever London, Bath or Edinburgh, I highly recommend going just for the experience even if the boots are too pricey for you.)

  • (Covets like whoa!)

    Those are so utterly awesome! And in brown! I adore brown!

    If I ever get to your neck of the woods, may I please pet them?

    And yes, I get it. Even when I was a skinny kid, my feet were an incredible hassle to fit. You see, I walk on cubes. My feet are not very long, but they’re wide and have a ridiculously high instep. Finding shoes for school was always a painful experience growing up, because there would literally wind up being One. Damn. Pair that would go over my feet, and that pair was always absolutely hideous.

    The first time I found a really pretty pair of shoes that fit me properly was when I was nineteen. They were an awesome pair of flat electric blue Mary Janes that went with EVERYTHING and made my heart sing a coloratura aria. I will never forget those shoes. I honestly did cry right out loud and everything when they finally fell to pieces.

    So yeah, I get it. I really, really get it.

  • omg i want. i have SUCH a hard time finding shoes. im a size 28 US in clothes and an 11w or 12 us in shoes….and i would rather swimsuit shop any day of the week than look for shoes. there are no plus sized shoe stores. i cant go to the lane bryant of shoes and get even poorly made ugly shoes to fit.

  • I totally get your excitement! I want a pair too.

    I have bought a number of pairs of boots over the years that purport to be for “wide calves” but none of them have ever actually fit me. I have lipedema, which means extra big deposits of fat on the legs that tends to increase as you age, and major cankles. Makes getting boots impossible. But I want them so much!I am having major boot envy right now.

    They look FAB!!! Enjoy enjoy enjoy. I’ll enjoy it vicariously through you. 🙂

  • I can’t get to my local Autograph till Sunday morning. There had better be a pair in my size left, possibly 2 pairs – I’m having trouble deciding between brown and black.

    When I was about 12 my best friend had a pair of knee-high boots. I coveted them something fierce but boots were too expensive for my parents to buy for a kid whose feet were still growing. By the time my feet had stopped growing AND I had enough money to afford to buy boots myself it was no good, nothing fitted.

    I get this. So very much. In fact, that photo taken in the mirror actually brought a tear to my eye.

  • Those boots are *wonderful* and you rock them! It’s been years and years since I had knee high boots, and maybe they might fit me (my calf is a bit larger than the measurements you mentioned), but they’re a bit far away to try on :).

  • oh my WORD those are delightful! and what a mind meld, i’ve been religiously going back to the Duo website the last few days checking out a pair of black riding(ish) boots very similar to these. Now I’m glad I waited to buy them, maybe i’ll get these instead! I *so* get how you’re feeling right now. It didn’t even occur to me to try and stretch boots until last year and I purchased a pair of gorgeous Frye boots and had them stretched three times by this wonderful family-owned cobbler place. They fit for a month or so and now they’re too small 😦 I think my calves are 20″ around though, so i’m a little concerned these boots will be too snug.

  • OK, I’m a straight size gal but I totally get how exciting to get your first pair of boots may it be the beginning of a long love affair. I am very very happy for you Kath, I know we have talked about it a few times how much you wanted brown boots that fitted well and looked great – you scored the trifecta – they are brown, they looked sensational and they fit well!

  • You are too funny with a zillion pics of you and those boots! My favorite part : “And I fell in love with the tall, dark and handsome on the left.” YESSS!

    Anyway, this just puts a smile on my face. I know we can be spoiled death fat brats with our options for fatshion (even though it is limited) in the US, and Im just so glad that you have an option that you *LOVE*!

  • They look amazing on you! And so great over those tights!
    I must say you have tempted me to hunt down some new boots for myself this autumn/winter!
    And i LOVE how excited you are about these 🙂

  • I am going to Autograph tomorrow with the intention of buying at least one pair of these boots. They should seriously thank you for this publicity Kath!

  • Seriously, they should have me on commission. I am up to 6 people that I know have gone and bought boots because of me, some of whom have bought two pairs. I think I’m up to 9 pairs of boots sold because of my raving!

  • These boots look amazing! I’d one in each style, but I sadly don’t have the funds at the moment…and the US Autograph site is a bit wonky, so I’ve been unable to choose the correct color/size combo and get it into the cart!

    I was also wondering – did you get a sense that the calf is scaled to the shoe size? I wear a US 7.5 (seems like US and Australian shoe sizes are about the same) and have 16.5-ish inch calves. I’d be worried that these boots might be too big in the calf on me. I’ve never had that concern before…

    But congrats! The boots look fab on you!

  • I’m so happy for you!

    As I’ve said over the years: What a person is allowed to wear in a society says a lot about who a person is allowed to be. Fashion is political.

    That said, I would love to buy these boots! My calf is also 19″ and I don’t find the Torrid boots fit me that well. Years ago, I bought these boots (despite the crazy price!), and have loved wearing them on occasion, but the heel means I don’t use them for about-city fabulousness.

    Does Autograph sell boots online?

  • Those look fantastic! I haven’t owned a pair of boots since ankle-high pixie boots were cool when I was nine – unfortunately, they haven’t updated their size guide on the website so I don’t know if they’ll fit my 23″ calves, bah humbug. Still, exciting to see!

  • Oh Kath, I so wanted to love these boots! The shoe sizing was perfect and the calf was perfect but the ankles were too big for me. They look stunning on you tho!! Hope you’re doing super. Love, Felicity. xox

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