Super Sizes

All posts in the Super Sizes category

Super Sizes: Who Do You Love?

Published September 3, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

I am thrilled to say we have over 100 people who have joined the Super Sizes Facebook group already, and another group who are not Facebook users who have asked me to keep them up to date as well.  I am in no doubt that will keep growing as we start to work on more tangible projects down the track.

Now, over on the last post about the topic, (where you will see some very clear examples of how NOT to conduct business) I promised that we would have a chance to talk about those companies who DO provide plus-sized garments for the super sizes.  A space to share our positive stories, promote the businesses who get it right.

I do understand that no business gets it 100% right, but if we don’t encourage and promote those who at least put in the effort, and let them KNOW when they get it right, how can we expect them to continue honing their product and service.

Besides, the more we can share our arsenal of resources to get clothes that fit our bodies, at a reasonable price for their level of quality, fabric and construction (be they bargain styles through to smart investment pieces), the more options we’re all going to have.

So, I’ll go first!

Well, I think you all know that I love Autograph Fashion.  Not just because they’ve been so awesome as to send me stuff to review.  I love them because they are the ONE dedicated plus-size brick and mortar store that caters up to size 26 in Australia, which is the standard plus-size range.  All the others have cut off the upper sizes because they claim there isn’t a market.  Which is utter bullshit, because here I am at a size 26, needing clothes!  I’m quite sure I’m not the only size 26 in the country.  They have also completely changed their stock in the past 12 months.  When I wrote this post almost a year ago, Autograph was a sea of gypsy skirts, peasant tops, capris and plain t-shirts.  The few other garments available were awful synthetic work trousers, a whole pile of print front tunic tops and a few nanna dresses.  In short, nothing I wanted to wear and the same thing that could be found at any Target, Big W, K-mart or Best & Less.  Not what I wanted from a place that was labelled with the word “Fashion”.

To their credit, they listened.  They’ve improved the quality of their garments, in fabric, cut and construction.  They’ve broadened the range to include corporate and fashion, as well as some of the casual they’ve always had.  They’ve had colour and prints that have been on trend.  And they’re active within the blogosphere – both mainstream plus-size fashion and those of us here in the Fatosphere.  Sometimes they miss a bit with their sizing, sometimes the pricing is out, but mostly speaking, they’re doing very good things.

At the moment, that’s it for Australian companies, but I am seeing a few smaller designers and businesses coming up, which I will keep my eye on.  I think Gisela Ramirez is doing some amazing things, though I’ve not yet seen any of her garments “in the flesh” so to speak, but I hope to change that in the near future and will share here on my blog when I do!

Internationally, I love Evans Clothing from the UK, simply because they’ve stuck their necks out a few times and had a go at making some fashion ranges.  Two Beth Ditto collections (I bought a couple of fab pieces from the second one) and this year they had another fashion collection with some really on trend pieces.  They go up to a UK32 in the majority of their lines, their shipping is reasonable and they have great sales.  I have quite a few Evans pieces.

I also really like Yours Clothing, another UK retailer.  They have lots of bargains, lots of casual clothes you can pick up at a great price, and have a lot of things you can try out a style or trend with without blowing the bank.  Most of their range goes up to a UK32 as well.  I have picked up some cute dresses from Yours, and some leggings as well.

Most of the US ones have REALLY high shipping rates to Australia, so I haven’t tried them.  However, I do love We Love Colors for tights and leggings.  Their tights go right up to EE size which I think would be well past a 32AU.  At a size 26AU I take the E size in the Lycra blend tights, and I could probably go down a size really.  I buy their leggings which are a 3X in the largest size, but my size 26 arse fits in them fine!  I really wish they would bring out their fishnets and striped tights in the same sizing as the solid colours (the sizes they have at the moment are too short for me) and also more print tights in the A-EE sizing as well.  But they tell me on Twitter that they’re working on it.  When they do, I’ll buy up big!  Their customer service is very, very good too.

So those are my favourites to fit Super Sizes.  What are yours?  Where have you picked up some clothes that you’ve really loved?  Why do you love those clothes?  Keep this post to positive comments about brands please, even if someone suggests a brand that you personally don’t like.  I want to hear those positive stories loud and clear so we can work with these companies to encourage them to cater to us even more.


Calling all Super Fatties!

Published August 27, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

You know what?  I’ve had enough.  I’ve had enough of supposed plus-size retailers/manufacturers/labels sizing out the upper end of a standard plus-size range.  I’ve had enough of these companies deciding “We’ll make clothes for those of you who are fat… BUT NOT TOO FAT!”  I’m looking at you City Chic, Asos Curve, Dorothy Perkins, Pinup Girl Clothing, Leona Edmiston, Style369, Carmakoma, Forever21, Monsoon…. there are so many more.  Even regular companies that do some plus-size clothing as well as their straight sizes, like Threadless and ThinkGeek cut out before a standard plus-size range.  Don’t get me started on department stores that only go to Size 22 or 24 in most of their labels either.  Department stores!  The very stores that are supposed to cater to everyone!

Sadly, even two of my favourite online stores, who offer some plus-sized pieces, have further limited the upper sizes – We Love Colors and Sick for Cute.

There seems to be this perception that if anyone provides clothing in anything over a size 22, that they are “encouraging obesity”, or that we won’t buy them, because we’re not interested in style, or fashion, or shopping… instead we would rather comfort and cheap prices.  Which is utter bullshit.  Firstly, how can you “encourage obesity” when every aspect of society hates on fat bodies to the point that one cannot shop, or walk down the street, or open a magazine, or read a newspaper article, or many other things without seeing fatness pilloried, vilified and desperate calls to eradicate/cure us as though we are a disease or a plague?  And secondly, the reason we do not spend money on fashionable, stylish clothing is because there fucking is none!  Or what little there is often doesn’t fit us properly, is made of shitty cheap fabrics and constructed poorly so that it falls apart after only a couple of wears!

The other one I’ve heard from retailers is “But we can’t find manufacturers to make it!”  But then you go to the manufacturing companies and ask them, and they say “But the retailers won’t stock them!”  The blame game just keeps getting thrown around like a hot potato on to the next guy.  It’s just bullshit – you only have to see how quickly the upper sizes are snapped  up on those brands that DO cater to them to know that the customers want them, and will pay good money for them.  Every time I go to an online sale for any of the companies who do – Yours, Evans, Autograph, No Exceptions etc… the upper sizes are gone.

Major kudos to those companies who do, the manufacturers and labels and retailers who aren’t afraid to cater towards the full standard range of plus-sizes (which in Australia is currently 14-26) and even more kudos to those who go beyond this range to even larger sizes.  Yours, Evans and No Exceptions are three companies who go up to at least a size 32 in many of their garments.

Now it’s no use complaining about this without doing something about it.  So what are we going to do about it, fabulous super fatties?  Well, to start with, I have put together a Facebook group called Super Sizes.  Because Facebook, love it or hate it, is one place where we can spread the word VERY quickly.  I also need to know how many of you there are out there.  When we work together, our voices get stronger.  The more of us that are visible to the plus-size clothing companies out there, the more they are likely to listen to us.

Now I’ve chosen Super Sizes as the title because I want to gather in those folks who have not yet found fat acceptance, as well as we fab fatties.  And well… we’re Super Sized!

As size 22 Australian seems to be the most common cut off point, that is what I’m focusing on here – the sizes from 22 and upwards.  That’s about a 2x or size 20US, or a size 20UK (by the way, sizing conversions are never consistent – it’s so hard to get accurate information about clothing sizes!)  From a quick poke around the main plus-size companies I can find, this seems to be about the most common cut off point.  We won’t say that sizes smaller than an Australian 22 can’t be involved, but most plus-size clothing companies do cater to these sizes, and I want to REALLY focus on size 24 and beyond, which really miss out on the most brands.

Once I’ve got a group formed, we’ll start working on ideas and strategies to campaign for more fashionable, reasonably priced, reasonable quality options for we super fatties.  We will share those companies that do cater to us, talk about how we can make what we have work, and expose those companies who treat us badly, ignore us or give us pathetic excuses.

So I’m calling all of you Super Fatties to put on your capes (sizes 22 and above!) and get ready to make some change in this world!