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!