It’s February, and you know what that means? The second annual Fa(t)shion February! For those of you who haven’t encountered Fa(t)shion February, it started on Tumblr, simply fat people posting their clothing choices for the month of February. Pretty straight forward huh?
Though it doesn’t necessarily have to be an outfit one gets dressed up in – it can also be the things you wear every day to do the stuff you do. Your PJ’s. Your exercise gear. The stuff you wear while doing chores. Doesn’t matter – it’s all just to share the clothes we fatties wear with each other. It’s really up to you to show whatever you like to of what you wear.
Now if you’re not someone who is interested in fatshion, who prefers to dress totally for practicality, that’s ok. Not everyone does, it’s a personal choice. You can come back next post if you’re not interested, I won’t mind you skipping this one, really!
I didn’t really get into Fa(t)shion February last year, other than to enjoy watching other people’s posts, to see what other fab fatties were wearing and to see bodies like mine. But through the year last year I got more into posting my outfits of the day (OOTD’s) to the Fatshionista Flickr group, and sharing them with friends on Facebook. Plus for the first time in my life, I’m enjoying partaking in fashion. Thanks to the generosity of Autograph Fashion, who gifted me a lot of clothes over the past year in return for a whole lot of work around giving them constructive feedback, I’ve been able to play with my style and fashion far more in the past year than I had the whole of my life. Not only did I get to build my wardrobe up, but it also has taught me to look at the clothes I already had, and the way that I wear them, with a whole lot more confidence and personal flair.
When it comes to fashion, I personally believe it’s about far more than what the fashion industry presents to us as “fashion”. Fashion is about self expression, fun, style, self love and care, and community. There is nothing quite like the connection that sharing our personal style and tastes can create between people. I know myself I’ve met loads of people through my own personal fashion. From the woman in the line at the movies with the Lego minifig earrings that I got chatting to, to Brisbane’s own Marilyn Monroe who I always trade compliments with on our outfits/accessories when we encounter each other around town, to the fatshion blogs I follow online, all of those have brought me fantastic new relationships in my life. It’s a great ice-breaker and a great way to connect with someone you already know.
Recently, s.e. smith wrote an excellent piece on fat positive shopping that really spoke to me. In it, ou says:
Fat-positive shopping isn’t just about having a rack of clothes that fit, or even a whole store of clothes that fit. It’s also about creating an environment that is positive for the customers, that embraces the full range of expressions and styles. Just as people of other sizes don’t dress uniformly, fat folks don’t have a single fashion sense, nor do they want to march around in lockstep wearing the same kinds of garments. Some people want to wear torn leggings, sparkle sweaters, and rainbow skirts. Others want sharp business suits. Some people want fabulous wrap maxidresses, others want tunics to layer over jeans.
That’s what I love about fatshion – it allows people to express themselves far more than mainstream fashion does. I find that really powerful and certainly far more fun than being restricted to what the fashion industry tells us we should be wearing. I love how creative we are with fatshion and our own personal style. It sucks that we have had to be that way because we have had such limited resources available to us, but it really is one of our strengths – we’ve evolved so much more creativity and personal style, and a solid sense of community around that creativity and style.
The other thing I think that fatshion has over mainstream fashion is that we’re far more embracing towards diversity. We are usually (not always, but usually) far more open minded to how other people dress and express themselves. We’re far more open in trying new things ourselves. And we’re generally a whole lot less critical about other people’s bodies and style choice, and we’re not focused on youth, thinness and whiteness like mainstream fashion. I think this piece by Fatty Unbound really illustrates that.
To me, fashion is about following an industry, but fatshion is about us collectively leading an expressive community. Whether you’re hitting up the thrift stores and big box retailers, or making designer stuff work for you, or anywhere in between, fatshion is about finding your personal style and rocking the hell out of it.
So, have I been contributing to Fa(t)shion February? Yes I have, and I’ll share the first few outfits with you here. I’ve not been documenting every day, but I have had a few to share already. I hope to do more as the month progresses. Let’s see:
I found this “paper bag” dress at Big W of all places. It’s not something I would normally wear being a real neutral, but I loved the almost silk feel of the fabric, and it’s SUPER cool. We’ve had some stinking hot weather, so cool is important. Of course, at work I cover up my tattoo (partially, just the naked lady’s boobs really), so I have to have a shrug over a sleeveless top like this one. The shrug is actually a coppery, sparkly knit from Autograph Fashion that I picked up on sale. And I’ve got that old staple of leggings (Big W) and ballet flats (Rubi Shoes) underneath.
I was being photographed that day for an article that I believe is due to be in tomorrow’s Sun Herald (Sydney – I’ll share it if I can find it online!) and I wanted something funky and fun. So I decided to go with leopard print and Lycra. The leopard print shirt is from Autograph Fashion (one they gave me), the cami is from Evans Clothing, skirt is from Target, tights are from We Love Colors (gold) and the leopard print Converse are ones my friend Kylie found for me in Scotland.
I got this dress on sale for $20 from Autograph. It is currently my absolute favourite dress, and I am encouraging them to make more in different prints and colours! Here it is without the sparkly shrug (also picked up on sale at Autograph). The pink sparkly ballet flats are from Diana Ferrari, I got those on sale out at DFO a while back.
Another top picked up on sale at Autograph – I love the scalloped lace around the neckline and that apricot/terracotta colour is everywhere at the moment. I’m standing kind of weird and one of my shoes is hidden, but the khaki wide-legged pants are from Target – I got those for TEN BUCKS! Damn I love a bargain! And the shoes are from Rivers.
So there you have my first four Fatshion February outfits. I’m looking forward to doing more as the month progresses, and I’ll definitely share them here when I do.
Are you doing Fa(t)shion February this year? Do you think you’re a creative person when it comes to fatshion? What makes you feel good about fatshion?