All posts in the reviews category

Fatropolis – A Review

Published August 10, 2013 by Fat Heffalump

Hey all!  Been a while, hasn’t it?  Rest assured, I am still alive and kicking, still being fat all over the place.  In fact I’m being fat at you all right now.  But I am aware that I have been very quiet here on Fat Heffalump compared to in the past.  This is mostly because my paid job is so much more intense than it has ever been before, with so many projects going at once, that I just don’t have the free time outside of work that I used to have.  I was just lamenting yesterday that I really miss having a life outside of my job.  I need to get better at finding that work/life balance – it’s not good for anyone to lose their recreation time and the time they give over to the things that they are passionate about.

I am however, changing in my activism.  Don’t worry, I’m not going soft on fat hate, or misogyny, or racism or any other form of prejudice.  It’s just that I’m finding myself really over being expected to educate people in how to be decent human beings.  I’m tired of being expected to justify our existence, our validity as human beings.  I’m tired of the same 101 conversations over and over and over again.  Instead, I want to promote visibility of fat people as part of society, not for those who hate fat people, but to benefit US… we fat people ourselves.  I want to create and promote people who are living large so to speak, getting on with their lives and being fabulous, in whatever way.  Which means the way I engage with fat activism is changing.

Which leads me nicely to the next topic – the fab fatty zine.  It’s almost finished!  I have been picking away at it as best I can in limited time, and I’m just about to run off the first copies.  I am just finessing the last bits of it and writing up the credits etc  and I’m still not 100% happy with the cover, then I’ll be good to launch it.  I have enough  material for future editions already, it has been SO difficult to choose which ones to use this issue and which to hold off on.  Watch this space for further news.

But what I’m really here to do today is review a book!  A couple of months ago author Tracey L. Thompson contacted me asking if I would be willing to read her novel, Fatropolis.  A novel about a world where fat people are considered “normal”?  Bring it ON!  She arranged for a review copy to be sent to me and I got stuck into it as soon as it arrived.

Fatropolis is a fantasy/sci-fi story about a Jenny, fat woman from New York City, who falls through a portal into an alternate universe, one where fat is considered the norm for society, and thin people are pressured to gain weight to meet that norm.  An opposite world in fact, where fat is considered attractive/healthy/normal.  Jenny is used to the way our world treats fat people, and is suffering with her own low self esteem from internalised fat phobia, so Fatropolis (which is in fact New York City in the alternative universe) is a massive cultural shock for her.

She quickly makes friends and has a lot of questions about the portals, why this world is so radically different from her own, and about herself as a fat woman, questioning her assumptions and the dominant paradigm around fat and health and attractiveness.  Jenny goes on many adventures with her new friends, both in Fatropolis and back in our own world, and embarks on a relationship with an acquaintance who has his own connections to Fatropolis, while also dealing with a young man named Argus who makes it clear from the moment he sees her that he has feelings for her.

Fatropolis is about discovering that fat is not a dirty word, and asking questions of the dominant cultural paradigm we live in today.

I enjoyed Fatropolis.  I will have to admit, at the beginning I really didn’t like Jenny, but as I read further, I realised the reason I didn’t like Jenny was that I used to be Jenny.  Judgemental, fixated on being acceptable/attractive to men, jealous of anyone who she perceived as having something that she didn’t, and mostly just rock bottom self esteem.  It shows how far I have come that I no longer identify with a character like that, but find them really unpleasant.

The story is well paced, the characters identifiable and the descriptions of sights, sounds and smells are vivid.  The only thing I can really find to kind of criticise (or more that it made me uncomfortable rather than true criticism) is the fixation on food in Fatropolis because it did feel a little like the “fatties all eat lots” thing a bit much, which we know is patently not true.  But when I thought about it more, we are so obsessed with NOT eating here in our world, it makes sense for Fatropolis, which is the opposite world, to be fixated on eating.

Tracey Thompson manages to weave in a whole lot of fat activism 101 in to this story and does so without it being preachy or pushy.  Instead she has the knack of having her characters question things that the reader then questions themselves.

I say get out there and give it a read, regardless where you are on your fat liberation journey.  You can buy it direct from Pearlsong Press here, or Aussies can buy it via Bookworld.

Review – Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Love, Life and Fashion

Published November 26, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

The kind folks at Seal Press sent me a copy of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Love, Life and Fashion edited by Virgie Tovar a few weeks ago for me to review, and I literally started reading it the minute I ripped open the envelope.  This is one book I was really excited to get into.

What can I say about this book other than… it’s fabulous!  You may know some of the contributors, amazing fierce fatties like Charlotte Cooper, Margritte Kristjanss0n, Tasha Fierce,  Golda Poretsky and of course Virgie Tovar amongst others, all of whom have been writing for awhile online.  There are also heaps of other brilliant pieces from other writers I had not heard of too.

This book made me laugh, think, cry, ask questions and pump my fist in the air in triumph.  Not just for baby fab fatties Hot & Heavy had me asking questions and stretching my thoughts about all kinds of topics, from my choices in clothes to fat sexuality.  But so much of it resonated with me I felt like I was having a conversation with friends, not just reading a book.

I would say that Hot & Heavy is the new must-have book for all fab fatties, whatever stage of their lives they happen to be in.  If you can’t buy it, urge your local library to get copies for you to borrow.  I wish I could buy each and all of you a copy, I know this one will have pride of place on my bookshelves.

Contest Winner VickiR Reviews bellecurve

Published November 4, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Remember my bellecurve review and contest?  Well I asked winner VickiR if she would share photos of the clothes when she got them or perhaps do a review of them for bellecurve.  She has done both!  I am so happy to see these gorgeous garments going to someone who will rock the hell out of them.  So without any further ado, here is Vicki’s review and fatshion shots.


Firstly, I have to say thank you to Kath for sending me these wonderful clothes.  They are easily the chicest things in my wardrobe!

My first impression of the items when I take them out of the bag is: wow, these materials are really high-quality!  The red lace top, which seems to me to be a smallish 22, feels very soft to the touch.  It slips on effortlessly, with a very soft attached singlet top giving a good amount of skin coverage, but leaving just enough showing to feel sexy.  Sadly, I don’t have a red bra to match, but I don’t think my flesh-coloured bra clashed too much with it.  I reckon it would look pretty hot with flashes of a black bra showing through to give it some va-va-voom so I might give that a go next time I wear it out.  I teamed it today with a plain long black skirt, but I think it could be dressed up with a black mini and heels, or dressed down with jeans or black pants.  A very versatile top.

On to the next items:  the floral trimmed jacket and matching floral 7/8 pants.  I am in serious love with these items!  I can’t wait to wear them to work.  I reckon I will be fielding heaps of compliments when I do.  The material is quite thick, so would work best in winter and autumn / spring, rather than summer.  It was 35 degrees in Sydney today and I was sweltering a bit!  Today I teamed it with a lace-edged black cami, but I reckon any coloured top underneath would work; a white blouse would look particularly crisp.  I don’t really do heels, so I think I would team this outfit with low-heeled black sandals or ballet flats.  I reckon the jacket would look great with jeans and a white T-shirt while you could team the pants with a billowy kaftan top for a casual evening look.  These items are marked size 24 and I reckon the pants are a true 24, but the jacket is probably a smallish 24.
Overall, I am very impressed with Bellecurve.  The quality of the materials is excellent, and I love that they are translating current straight-size trends for the plus-size market.  All in all, a welcome addition to the plus-size fashion industry!

Product Review: Simply Be

Published May 23, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Recently I was contacted by Simply Be, a UK plus-size clothing retailer to ask if I’d like to review some of their product here on Fat Heffalump.  Always keen to try out new plus-size options on the market and share whether they’re any good, I said yes!

They sent me two dresses out of a selection of pieces that I liked the look of on their website.  The first was this cute teal skater dress, from the Angels and Ribbons label:

I teamed mine with pale blue tights from We Love Colors, the grey suede booties that Autograph Fashion gave me after wearing them in the Women’s Weekly fashion shoot, and a pair of cute long earrings in an antique gold look with pale blue “stones” that I’ve had for ages.  The first thing that I noticed about this dress was the fabric.  It’s thick, soft and solid.  It looks like it will last for ages.  The dress is actually more teal than this photo shows.  It is well made, has good facing around the neckline to make it sit nicely and has lots of shape cut into it with that kind of princess style around the bust.  I can see myself wearing it with pants or leggings as well as tights.  It is definitely a winter dress for here in Brisbane though – I think I’d swelter in it during our summer.

They also sent me this Angel Sleeve Jersey Tunic dress, which has a really cute floral:

Excuse the very dorky photograph of me!  I teamed this one with a cardigan from Target Australia, We Love Colors leggings and my Autograph black riding boots.  Oh and some big old earrings I have from Diva I think.

This dress isn’t made of as high grade fabric as the skater dress, but it’s such a fab print, bright and colourful and something that could be mixed and matched with all colours and shapes.  It’s very soft on, and has the prettiest fluttery sleeves (sadly which are covered by my cardie).  I think I’ll wear this one a lot.  I’m not sure it will last as long as the teal one though.

They stock from size 12UK – 32UK.  In both cases, I got a UK32 in size, which fit me generously and I’m normally a size 26AU.

I found quite a few garments on the website that I really liked.  They also stock Anna Scholz and Zandra Rhodes among other labels.

The only disappointing thing is, it doesn’t seem that Simply Be ship to Australia.  But they have affiliate sites for the US and Europe.

Anyone else had experience with Simply Be?  Share in the comments!

An Afternoon at Autograph

Published November 19, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Sometimes being a bolshy fat activist blogger means I get to do some pretty awesome things.  For anyone who has been reading Fat Heffalump for awhile, you know I’ve had quite a regular blog review relationship with Australian plus-size clothing retailer, Autograph Fashion.  Being the only brick and mortar dedicated plus-size store that actually have clothes that fit me (most only go to 22 or 24 AU) and that I can afford (MySize – $90 for a t-shirt, fuck that!), I am pretty vocal about how they’re doing with serving the mega fatty like myself as far as price, quality and style are concerned.  In the 12 months or so since they first contacted me and asked me to review some of their clothes, I’ve watched a vast improvement in the quality and style of their stock and the look of their stores.  They’ve gone from this to the outfits I’m going to show you below.

I’ve been really, really lucky that they’ve sent me so many pieces for free to review, and I really appreciate that they are working to get it right – and of course, I’m the kind of bolshy fat activist blogger who is going to be honest with them if they don’t.

Earlier this week they contacted me and let me know that some of the marketing folk were going to be here in Brisbane today, and asked me if I would like to come in and meet with them, have a look at the new stock and give them some feedback and discuss how they’re doing with their product and service these days.  HELL YES!

Being on holidays at the moment (back to work Monday, sob!) meant that I had plenty of time to spare and could relax and just enjoy talking with the ladies and trying on clothes and letting them see how they work on someone at the upper end of their range.  I’m a size 26AU in most garments (though often lower sizes in pants/skirts) and therefore definitely at the upper end of their 14-26 range.  I also have a body that is not a traditional shape – no hourglass or pear here… I’ve said before I’m more of a barrel with legs.  We know as fatties ourselves that our bodies are diverse in shape even though we might take the same size garment, so it’s important for the folks from a plus-size clothing company to understand the mechanics of our fitting garments to our diverse bodies.

I did make sure I was wearing a mostly Autograph Fashion outfit today, because I also want them to know that I certainly do buy their clothes – boy do I buy a lot of their clothes!  So this is what I wore:

This dress originally came with a belt, but because I’m round in the middle, it looks better on me unbelted.  The sandals are from Payless Shoes and earrings from Ritual.  I also had an Autograph Fashion bracelet on, but my hand is behind my back so you can’t see it here.

So I met the Autograph ladies and we started out by having a discussion about what I liked about the store and the current stock.  The Myer Centre store looks great at the moment, inviting and as if they’re proud of their stock and their customers.  Compared to a lot of plus-size clothing retailers, who either shove the plus-sizes in the back, or they fill the windows with something other than their clothes on plus-size mannequins (why put something other than your stock in the window??), I like how their stock is highly visible from the front of store, and they have plus-size mannequins right there in the middle of the front of the store, highlighting the plus-sized clothes they sell.  It looks like any other clothing store, just with bigger clothes.  Their stock has some great colours that are bang on trend at the moment, and some really fab on-trend prints and styles too.

We also talked about the stuff that I’m not so fond of.  Shark-bite hemlines anyone?  I HATE those things, though I’m stuck with several in my wardrobe because options are so limited for my size.  They actually don’t have much that makes me go “yuck” at the moment.   I also told them about some horrible things other companies are doing, like cutting off at size 20 or 22, offering only casual clothes, charging exorbitant prices for t-shirts and capri pants ($90 for a t-shirt!!), or the worst practice – having lower quality fabrics for the upper sizes, ie 22 and 24, than those that are 14-20 in the exact same garment.

We also talked about how clothes fit on “everyday” fat bodies, as opposed to their current “face” of Autograph Fashion, plus-size model Fiona Faulkner – who is gorgeous but is a bit of an Amazon – very tall and hourglass with long legs.  That’s not the average Australian plus-size woman’s build, and so we talked about the practicalities of fitting clothes to women with bodies like mine that aren’t shaped like the current cultural beauty ideal.

They also asked me if I could buy clothes from any other plus-size retailer, if they had my size, shipped to Australia and were affordable, who I would buy from.  Dorothy Perkins got my main vote – I love the styles they have but they simply don’t cater to my size and I mentioned that I like Asos Curve but they also cut off before my size as well.

Then we got to the fun stuff.  They let me loose to just try on a whole bunch of stuff and see how it fits, which ones I like and which ones  didn’t work.  I selected a HUGE pile of clothes, I really wanted to get in and put stuff on my mega fatty body and show them how it looks.

And yes, I have photos for you all.

The first one is this print maxi dress that they actually posted on their FaceBook page today and I liked the look of.

I like the super long length and that it has little cap sleeves, which cover my tattoo enough for work.  It’s lovely and cool and the neckline is really pretty.  This one got a total thumbs up from me.

The next one was this glittery lurex stripe maxi.

I liked the look of this one, especially as the fabric was all glittery and sparkly, and the cut and length were great for me, but unfortunately the lurex was kind of itchy and prickly.  I’m sure it would drive me nuts here in the Queensland heat.  It does look cute though.

Another dress next, this time a shorter length one in blue (not available online):

I love this dress.  The intense blue colour, the just-on-the-knee length, the slits down the sleeves and the soft fabric.  Total winner, one of my favourites of the day.

I did try on a few other dresses next, but they didn’t work on me or there wasn’t one in the right size.  This one clung in all the wrong places despite being a gorgeous colour and print, a pretty frilled one (available in red or black, not on the website) that just wasn’t suited to my shape, and a sleeveless one in a gorgeous pewter satiny fabric that gaped all weird around my armpits.

On to a few tops next, and the first I tried on was this black and white sleeveless tunic (not available online):

I absolutely love the starry print on this one, and it was a delicious cool cotton fabric, but there was that damn shark-bite hemline!  However it was softened by the little frill around the bottom (I do love a frill) and there are slits up the sides that make it fall nicely.  I may even go back and buy this one, I love that print so much.

Then there was this one in a taupe with frill neckline and pockets:

I liked it much more on the hanger than on my body.  I think the blue would have been a nicer colour on me too, but they didn’t have one in my size.  It was soft and comfortable, and I LOVE the pockets, but yeah, it just didn’t work for me.  It gaped a bit weird around the armpits, which seems to be a bit of a common theme for some of the garments there.

Those of you who know me know that I love leopard print like only a fat lady can, so it will come as no surprise that I had to try on the sheer leopard print shirt.

This one was my other firm favourite of the day.  I was in love the minute I put it on.  It has a dipped hemline (very on-trend this season) and tiny gold buttons, and cutouts in the sleeves.   It’s quite sheer so I just put it over a plain black tank top.  Gorgeous and floaty and perfect.

I did try a bunch of others that I didn’t take photos of in the tops too.  A cute one with a lace frill in apricot that was really lovely (I may go back and buy it), a watermelon peasant blouse that was lovely but didn’t fit me right, and a ruffly one in the most gorgeous bird print in black birds on midnight blue (not available online) that wasn’t available in my size.  Oh and I also tried on this striped maxi skirt, which is beautiful and soft and cool – yep, might go back and get that one too!

Finally the Autograph ladies brought me a bunch of other things they wanted me to try on just to get a look at how they were on my body.  There was this top which was really quite cute, I may go back and get that one too!  Their new sandals which are a wide foot fitting and super comfortable, and a little denim vest that I absolutely fell in love with but didn’t get a photo of!

But there were also these two dresses, which demonstrate the power of trying things on before you buy, and to get out of your comfort zone.  First there was this black one with cutout detail (not available online) that I totally would have picked out for myself but left on the shelf only because I already have a zillion black dresses.  But looking at it on shelf, it would have been one that I would have bought without trying on because it’s a style that usually suits me.  But when I put it on:

It just didn’t work on me.  It clung, it rode up in the back, and just wasn’t right.  Which is a real shame because I love that cutout detail and it’s a great length too, just below the knee.  It would have been a dress that I’d bought and never wore.

Then they brought me this floral one (not yet available online) that I had looked at and thought was pretty, but totally not me.  I never would have even tried it on, had they not asked me to.

I am so glad I did!  I love it to bits!  It’s so femme and retro (it feels like a vintage piece) and is such a cute length on me.  It was also really useful to show the Autograph folk the dress on a super fat body.

By that time I was quite over trying things on and I was getting hot and sweaty!  But it was lots of fun and we had some really useful conversation about fit, fabric, construction, the politics of fatshion, marketing to fat women and body positivity.  It was interesting to talk about the diverse types of customers they have, from those who are looking for “flattering” clothes that they can feel comfortable wearing, and those of us who are more fat positive and are looking for fashion, fun, colour, and visibility.  It’s hard to make such a diverse group of people happy when there is currently so little available on the market – but women who want to cover their bodies and dress in a “flattering” manner have as much right to choose that and have product available to them, as those of us who want something more fashion forward and visible do.

We also had a good talk about the practicalities of garments for plus-size bodies.  Things like garments needing to cover plus-size bras (which are by default, big and ugly), of lengths of dresses not getting longer as the sizes get bigger (they sadly often do, which means larger sized women who are not taller end up swamped), how necklines work differently with large breasts and chins, the fit over different shaped breasts, hips, arms, bellies and thighs, and the different climates Australia has and what is practical in Melbourne may not be here in Queensland.

Once we’d finished up there, they very kindly gave me the first print maxi dress, the blue shorter dress, the sheer animal print shirt, the floral dress and the denim vest (not pictured) as a thank you for my time and feedback, which has me very chuffed.  I can’t wait to style them myself with my existing wardrobe and do outfit of the day photos with them when I wear them later.

All in all, all of the women from Autograph that I met this afternoon (and the effervescent Michelle and lovely Sue who are my local Autograph ladies) were friendly, genuinely interested in conversation with me about their product, the industry and the politics of fat fashion and were a lot of fun.  Other plus-size fashion retailers could learn a lot from them.

Guest Review by Bek: No Exceptions Clothing

Published August 9, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

I’ve got a wee treat for you all tonight.  A few weeks ago the lovely folks at No Exceptions Clothing sent me a gorgeous coat to review, and despite my choosing a size above what I normally take (so that I could wear layers underneath), it was sadly too small for me.  I wanted to still review it, but couldn’t get photos of myself in it to go with the review, so when I was talking to the lovely Bek on Twitter and we established that it would likely fit her, I sent it off to her on the condition that she would write me a review on it to publish here.

So, without further ado, here is the lovely Bek:

And here is her review:

My mundane week turned exciting when Kath of Fat Heffalump sent me a jacket from No Exceptions Clothing to review for her blog.

I’m new to the world of fatshion blogs and I’ve never done a clothing review before, but I was keen to give it a try after feeling inspired from reading all of your blogs.
I will start with the negatives, then move on to the positives.

The sizing of the jacket is quite inaccurate. I generally wear a size 24 on the bottom, and would have a ordered a size larger so I could wear the jacket over bulky clothes. This jacket is a size 28, and only just buttons up. It fits snugly over my hips, and is a little roomy on the top (though that is a common clothes problem for me). The arms are a little too long.
The soft material of the jacket picks up fluff and lint very easily.

I love the style of the jacket, the lacing and ruffles on the back are a big win for me. It gives the classic cut something extra. I also like the little detailing of the metal cuffs on the sleeves.
I like the single row of buttons, and the way the jacket follows the shape of my curves. The length is great, and the little poufy shoulder detail is cute.

All up, I love this jacket and can see it becoming a staple in my wardrobe. The light material and lining will be perfect for slipping over the top of outfits in warm weather when there is a cool breeze, or slipping over a dress to wear out at night. My advice is to size way up when ordering.

What I’m wearing:

Top: Best and Less
Skirt: Thrifted (Millers)
Tights: We Love Colours (violet)
Shoes: Big W
Hairband: The Olive Tree Markets
Necklace: The Olive Tree Markets

So thank you Bek (check out Bek’s awesome op/thrift shopping blog here) for your awesome review, and thank you to No Exceptions Clothing for sending this coat!

Another Fatshion Review!

Published July 24, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Remember my excited post of a couple of weeks ago about the new fashion range from Autograph Fashion?  Well, they sent me a whole swathe of stock from the collection to review!  I am a lucky, lucky fatty.

Unfortunately, my camera has died.  I have a couple of not so great quality photos for you all, but it will give you a general idea.  I hope to get a new camera in a couple of weeks, and I’ll take new OOTD shots then.  But I want to tell you about these new clothes!

So let’s start with the first piece I wore, which was the midnight spot print smock dress.

The first thing I noticed about this whole collection is the vast improvement in quality.  Not only in the fabrics, but in the construction of each garment.  This dress is made of a lovely heavy jersey-style stretch fabric that feels great on, and drapes really well.  I love how comfortable and easy-to-wear this dress is, and it’s nice and warm in this winter weather too.  I kept it simple with a pair of leggings and denim ballet flats, but I also tried it with a wide belt and tights that looked really cute too.

The next dress I wore was the flutter sleeve dress.

What can I say?  I love this dress.  It’s made of a light, fluttery polyester, has pockets (oh how I love pockets!) and the detail is just gorgeous.  From the ruffle cap sleeves, to the ruched belt with gold buckle, to the gold exposed zipper down the back.  I love this dress because it has shape and style and isn’t the usual guff for plus-sizes.  It’s light enough to be summery, but I added tights (We Love Colors in orchid pink) and a jacket (see next pic) and it works for winter too.

This dress also comes in midnight blue, and I want it!

The same day, I wore this jacket:

It just wasn’t me.  It’s a lovely crepe fabric, and is well made, but I just didn’t feel right in it.  I felt like I’d stolen it out of my mother’s closet circa 1987.  Several people told me they liked it on me, but I just couldn’t warm to it at all.  The colour and style are just not my cup of tea, you know?  This one is dry clean only too, which I’m not a fan of.

But then, the following day, I wore this one – the animal print drape dress:

I love this dress so much too!  Now y’all know I love leopard print like only a fat lady can right?  So the fabric alone won me from the first picture I saw.  But when I got it, the style of the dress is so cute I fell heartily in love.  It has a kind of wrap/draping across the skirt that just gives it a really lovely fall, and of course, pockets win brownie points in any garment for me.  I also love that this dress doesn’t have the usual surplice neckline (in fact, none of this collection does!) and has darts to give shape to the bust.  It’s made of a soft, stretch fabric that has enough weight to hang just right, without being clingy or pulling at all.  I got so many compliments for this dress the day that I wore it.

They also sent me some other garments, but sadly my camera died and I didn’t get to photograph them on me.  But just to tell you about them, I have:

Mesh print tank top

This one was a winner when I wore it to work.  Everyone liked it.  I teamed it with some plain black dress pants and a black cardigan, and black pointy-toed shoes.  It’s a kind of swing-top style and is lined, so it hangs beautifully.  Comfy and cute.

Lace ruffle top

I liked the look of this one in the catalogue, but was disappointed to find that the lace and ruffles were only on the front.  The back is just black tank top.  That said, it is well made and the ruffles and lace are really cute.  I wore it with a black long sleeve top underneath (it’s winter here) and black leggings.

Black jeans (no photo sorry)

These jeans have changed my opinion on jeans.  I stopped being a jeans wearer when I found some self esteem, because the only jeans I could find before were baggy and shapeless and didn’t fit my body properly.  I tried these on and was instantly converted.  They fit.  Perfectly.  They fit my belly, my butt, my waist, my thighs, my legs.  And when I say fit, I don’t mean they go on over those parts of my body, but they actually FIT my body.  I can sit, kneel, squat and bend in them without them scooching down, or riding up, or pinching.  They are really good jeans people!

Midnight blue sparkle tunic

I wore this one with the jeans.  I love a bit of sparkle.  Another one that is well made, the sequins stitched really well.  It’s just a plain sleeveless tunic, but worn with all black just gives a bit of glamour to simple garment.  This one also comes in black too.  I took the tie belt off it though, it just didn’t sit right on me with it.

I’ve also got a very cute white denim jacket on lay-by that I should pick up in a week or so.  It’s just a plain, classic cut white denim jacket, but of a good quality denim and made really well.

All in all I still think Autograph are doing great things with their current ranges – they’ve also got a new corporate collection, and plenty of casual things for weekend wear or anyone who works at home or in a casual environment.

Keep up the good work Autograph, bring us MORE please!

*Disclaimer* Autograph Fashion sent me these clothes for free in exchange for reviewing, however all opinions are honest and my own.

More Autograph Fashion Reviews

Published April 22, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

It’s time to do another garment review post for Autograph Fashion!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, they sent me some more product to review.  I can’t tell you how lucky I am that they do this for me, because they are the store I shop in the most (being close to my work and generally in the right price range for me).  After my post on how much I had fallen in love with their tall riding boots, I counted 13 pairs of boots that were sold because of either that post, or the one I did on Tumblr.  That’s just the ones I know about.  So they’re getting good advertising out of me at least!

In this latest post, they sent me the brown buckle boots, pink buckle ballet flats, sleeveless sequins tank, 3/4 sleeve knit paisley print dress, short sleeve plait neck lace print top, animal print top (no longer listed online but worn with this leather jacket) and another paisley print top with a cami (also not longer listed online).  I have worn all except the paisley print top so far (which I hope to wear this coming week) and have had most of them photographed to share with you here.

Let’s start with the animal print top and brown buckle boots shall we?  Take a look of my OOTD:

I have to admit, I fell in love with this animal print top back when Autograph first posted a pic of it on their Facebook page as “coming soon”.  There was a lot of “fat ladies shouldn’t” around the bold print, but I was like “GIMME!!”  I particularly love the sweetheart neckline (I’ll tolerate surplice necklines a whole lot more if I can have a bit more variety in them) and empire waistline.  Both are styles that particularly suit me.    But what I really love about this top is the fabric.  It is a lovely weighty knit that is super soft and just drapes beautifully.  The bodice actually has a kind of cami lining, so it makes the top fall even better than just with the fabric.  Some months ago Autograph had a run of this very thin, clingy knit that had great colours, but it just sagged and looked sloppy no matter who was wearing it.  It even clung to the lace of my bra and made my boobs all lumpy.  To be fair, I saw that fabric everywhere for awhile there, most retail chains seemed to give it a run.  I’m really glad it has disappeared, because it was a crap fabric.  This top is made of a knit that is everything that the cheap knit wasn’t.  I’m not sure what this one retailed at, I think $49.99 or $59.99.  It is still in store though if you like it.

I’m also wearing the brown buckle boots in this photo.  When I bought the tall riding boots, I saw these and thought they were nice, but didn’t really think I’d bother with them, even after seeing a friend of mine with them in black looking fab in them.  But now that I have a pair, and I’ve worn them a few times, I am SO glad I have them!  They are really cute, super comfy (I ran around one really busy day last week all over the shop all day, for a 9.5 hour work day, and was still standing when I finally got home, having had them on for about 12 hours!) and they fit my 19″ calves with room to spare.  I love the lighter, warmer brown of them too.  These are $89.99 and I would honestly spend that on them.

The boots are still available online, but sadly the top is not.  I think it may have sold like hotcakes.  You might find it in the actual stores though if you’re lucky.

The next garment I wore was the sleeveless sequins tank:

I’ve been longing to wear sequins to the office for some time.  I’ve been inspired by Bloomie, Nicole and Anna all wearing sequins, so when this one arrived I was rather thrilled to be able to fulfill that longing.  It’s a sleeveless top, and only sequinned on the front, but I think they’re probably wasted on the back anyway.  The sequins are sewn on well, and though there was a tag attached saying to expect some to fall off on laundering, only a few did.  This one retails at $59.99, which is quite a bit more than I would spend on it.  It also now comes in red which I am lusting after so much!  Both the silver and red are available on the website.

Then I wore the 3/4 sleeve paisley print dress (it’s finally getting cool enough to do so in Brisbane!):

OMG I LOVE THIS DRESS!  Again – good quality knit fabric, drapes so beautifully, breathes and is deliciously soft.  I adore the print, it has that 70’s feel.  The length is perfect with my tall riding boots, and yes, I’ll even forgive that surplice neckline (I really am getting sick of them though.  It retails at $79.99 and is still available on the website.  I will be wearing the shit out of this dress through winter.

The other two items I have worn, but sadly didn’t get OOTD photographs for are these two:

This is a cute top, a little more sedate than I would normally wear, but I got a lot of compliments on it.  It’s really nice to have something other than a surplice neckline, that’s for sure.  The fabric isn’t as nice on this one as the other garments, it’s a more synthetic feeling fabric, and doesn’t breathe as well.  But I’ll get a lot of wear out of this for work through winter.  This one sells for $49.99 and is still available on the website.

And these that retail for $59.99:

I’m not sure I would buy ballet flats from a plus-size store.  Don’t get me wrong, these are as cute as hell, and fit really well (the only negative is they get this weird camel-toe crease in the toe that I am trying to stretch back out with newspaper), but we fat girls can get ballet flats anywhere.  The boots I understand – we need wide calf boots for fat legs.  But ballet flats are pretty universal.  They’re not specialist wide fit ones either, but then thin people have wide feet (my tall, super slim boss has the same size feet as I do, only mine aren’t as wide as hers so I often inherit shoes that don’t fit her – the only thing I COULD inherit from her – I’m easily 4 of her!) so those should be in regular shoe stores.

What I think I’m getting at is that I really want my plus-size retailer to focus on plus-size clothing and accessories.  Wide calf boots.  Plus-size belts, tights, sleepwear, swimwear, underwear (PLEASE AUTOGRAPH, START GOING ALL LANE BRYANT WITH BRAS FOR US!!)  Rings, bangles/bracelets and necklaces to fit our fatter bodies.  Don’t worry about the stuff that is universal – they only take up valuable plus-size real estate.

All in all, happy with all of the stuff Autograph sent me (though a few tweaks would be welcome), and VERY, VERY impressed with the buckle boots, paisley dress and animal print top.  I am very pleased to see the quality of fabrics improving, the addition of wide-calf boots, and some cute, funky, fashionable things coming through.  Keep it up folks!

Product Review – No Exceptions

Published March 10, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

I am a really lucky blogger.  Every now and again I am lucky enough to get clothes sent to me to review.  Just a few weeks ago, I was invited to review a garment from No Exceptions Clothing, an Australian based online plus-size clothing retailer.  I chose this belted ruffle dress/petticoat combo because I’d secretly been eyeing it off for some time but had been to scared to order it because I couldn’t bear the disappointment if the dress wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Here, have a look at the pic from the website:

When it arrived from No Exceptions a bit over a week ago, and I unpacked it from the parcel, I did a little happy dance because to start with, the fabric is a really lovely quality.  It’s actually a Spandex blend but is very crisp and a great saturated black colour.  Secondly, it’s really well made.  The buttons are sewn on properly, the hems and seams are all strong and even.  The smocking around the ruffle collar is fast and even.  The whole garment is really good quality, as is the petticoat that comes with it.

So I ended up ordering the size 28, because I figured with the belting it was better to go up a size and be sure.  I got it home, tried it on and it looked AMAZING on me.  It is exceptionally generously cut, and the belt is beautifully long (I had a good 35cm of “tail” on the belt and was on about the third or fourth belt hole in – almost unheard of for belts on my death fatty body) and I reckon it would easily go to a size 32AUS or more at the size 28AUS, but with the belt, it just cinched in the waist and looked like it was made for me.  I will be ordering a size 26 from No Exceptions in future I think, but in this dress, it’s one that can go up or down quite a bit with sizing, because of that belt and the generous cut.

The petticoat with it is a Size 24-28, and I think it’s pretty true to size.  It fits me pretty right and I’m usually a 24/26 on the bottom half of my body.  It’s delightfully foofy and you can smooth it down for a low profile, or foof it up to make your dress sit out further.

It took me almost a week before I could wear the outfit though, because we had STINKING hot weather last week, and wearing lots of black on days like that is just begging for me to pass out in the street.  But I was able to wear it this past Monday, as it was much cooler.

So you want to see photos of me in it?  Okey dokey, here we go…

No Exceptions Dress1

Now I have to apologise, because for some reason my camera just behaved like a jerk that day.  It wasn’t until I downloaded the photos that I saw just how little light it picked up.  But at least you can get an idea of the neckline and the general shape on a super fatty body.

Cute right?  I actually didn’t wear the petticoat because I was going to work, and the petticoat was a little over-the-top even for me for a work day.  However, if I was going out at night, I’d wear the petticoat underneath for sure.  In fact if I was going to go out after work this would be a great dress, because I could just take the petticoat in and pop it on at knock off, add some big dangly earrings and a fresh coat of lipstick… voila!

For work I just wore black tights, my leopard print shoes and a pair of cute black and silver bow earrings.

I wore this dress all day at work, and it was so comfortable, cool and crisp, and I got LOTS of compliments for it.

The only thing I could say is that the petticoat doesn’t actually extend below the hem of the skirt (like in the photograph from the website) unless I wear it down around my thighs, but I don’t really want it to show anyway, I just want it to foof out the skirt.

So all in all I’m really happy with this dress/petticoat combo from No Exceptions Clothing.  And you know what the best thing is?  It’s marked down to $59 at the moment.  GO GET IT!!

I actually am so impressed I have ordered this skirt from them for just $25!! (should arrive in the next day or so):

And you know you’re seeing this red high waisted skirt with suspenders everywhere lately?

They have it in both black and red for $34!  I’ve seen it in a few places overseas but the postage just kills being able to get it from them, so here’s a local supplier Aussies!  Click on the pictures to go through to the No Exceptions page for each garment.

Anyway there are some really cute garments over there and some great prices, and they cover ALL plus sizes, even the we super fatties.  They also have lots of swimsuits at really good prices at the moment.  Check ’em out, and Aussies – please support local businesses!

No Exceptions Clothing

Mini Review: Fat! So? by Marilyn Wann

Published January 24, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

So on my “un-post” the other day when I was feeling quite uninspired, I asked you what kind of subjects and posts you’d like to see.  I got some good suggestions (and if you have some more, please feel free to leave them) and I’ll start to have a go at some of them soon.

I thought that since Paponda suggested Marilyn Wann’s “Fat!  So?” to a new visitor to my blog, and I’ve not long finished reading it, I might give a bit of a mini review so that those of you who have yet to read it might feel inspired to do so.

I actually had a bit of trouble getting a copy of the book, because it’s a few years old now and my library service deemed it too old to add to the collection, and I couldn’t find it locally.  So I turned to The Book Depository and ordered a copy from there.

It’s taken me longer than it would normally take to read a book, mostly because life has been so chock full over the past few months, but I managed to finish it a few days ago and closed the book very happy that I’d read it.  I love the friendly, matter-of-fact tone, the anecdotes from fatties of all kinds, the little illustrations peppered throughout the book (I’ve picked one that I’d like to get tattooed on me one day in the future), and the poetry that pops up from time to time.

There is a lot of practical advice, from how to deal with medical professionals, family and strangers on the street, to how to find clothes and to rock them with confidence, how to face the dating world as a flabulous fatty, and how to negotiate your way through situations that generally just crop up for we fats that non-fats don’t really have to deal with.

One of my favourite things about the book is that at the bottom of each page there is a little tidbit of advice for the reader on a whole myriad of subjects relating to fat.  Plus in the top, right hand corner, there is one of those little flick cartoons of a very cute fat lady (the same as on the cover) dancing.

Plus the whole book is served up with a delicious sense of humour and fun, that makes it a breeze to read.

Fat! So?