We Love Colors

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5 Defining Items

Published November 4, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Inspired by this rather awesome post by Too Many Cupcakes (aside: like there can be such thing as too many cupcakes!) I’m going to share the 5 fatshion items that I think define me.

1.  Coloured Tights.

Royal Blue

Violet

Scarlet Red

I wear them all the time.  The brighter the better.  They take the many black clothes I own because black is the predominant colour of plus-sized clothing to another level.  They’re comfortable, can be dressed up or down, look great on me and I can get them in footless or regular!  I get most of my tights from We Love Colors by the way.

2. Big ole chunky rings.

Peach Ring

Poppy Ring

I have a lot of flower ones, but I also have birds, cupcakes, big gemstones, hearts, all kinds of big chunky rings.  I wear the solitaire ring in the first photo every day, but I always add another big ring to go with it, on either or both hands.

3. Dresses

OOTD - 21st May 2010

OOTD - 18th May 2010 sans cardigan

I never used to wear dresses much, mostly because of the old “I’m too fat to wear dresses.” thing, but now that I’ve discovered them, I would be happiest wearing dresses all the time.  I think it’s because I like pantslessness.

4. Ballet flats

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I live in ballet flats.  They’re cheap, they come in lots of colours and varieties and styles, and you just shove your feet in them and go. And they show off my foot tattoos.  I take lots of photos of my own feet, don’t I?

5.  Earrings

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Particularly anything that is large, chandelier, kooky or detailed.  I have literally hundreds of pairs of earrings, right from tiny plastic studs through to enormous hoops that I can fit both my hands through, from $2 pairs to the real deal in gold, diamond and emerald.  I feel completely naked without earrings!

So what about you?  What are the fatshion items that you feel define your style?

You’re The One For Me, Fatty

Published October 5, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

For about three weeks, I’ve had the Morrissey song, You’re the One for Me, Fatty stuck in my head.  Some of you are going to not like this, but I’ve always hated Morrissey.  Firstly I am a Cure fan (and you know the two rarely mix) and secondly I just can’t stand the whiny pratt.  But that song popped into my head a few weeks ago and I can’t get it out.

Last week I was walking back to work with a friend who I’d just had lunch with, when I spotted some scrawled graffiti on the Treasury building here in Brisbane (which now houses a casino) and I just knew I had to get a photo of myself taken with it.

I got my friend Nadia (check out her blog, she’s very crafty and creative) to take a pic of me as an OOTD shot with the fab graffiti:

You're The One For Me

CRACKS ME UP!!

Ok, outfit details:

Headband: Rubi Shoes
Earrings: Diva
Dress: Big W
Tights: We Love Colors
Boots: Novo (I also have them in bottle green!)
Ring: Diva (its a big swan decorated with garish pink crystals, I’m so subtle!)

Perfecting the Plus-Size Clothing Game

Published September 25, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to see some really interesting things happening with a few of the clothing companies that sell plus-sized fashion lately.

Many of you will be aware of the huge wave of interest and discussion the new Beth Ditto collection at Evans Clothing created last week.  It was an absolute frenzy on Twitter amongst the fatosphere tweeters, that’s for sure.  Women all over the world set their alarms and logged on to shop as Evans released the items bit by bit.  Facebook status were updated to reflect the shopping frenzy, ant Twitter was abuzz with wails of frustration as we collectively crashed the Evans website, and cheers of triumph as orders were confirmed.  It was a phenomenal thing to watch, as I could only watch because they haven’t released the zigzag dress that I REALLY want yet!

Evans clothing really “get it” when it comes to marketing to their audience.  They create a line with a high profile celebrity who appeals to their market, create lots of anticipation, seed social media and get their customers involved in spreading word of mouth marketing, target a global marketplace and then release the collection in stages to create further anticipation.

These marketing tactics are exactly what regular-sized fashion retailers do for their market.  It shouoldn’t be significant that a plus-sized retailer approaches their target market in the same way a regular-sized regailer does, but for so long, plus-sized clothing has been treated like it is something to be ashamed of by it’s retailers.  they have approached plus-sized clothing as utilitarian, comfort driven, low fashion priority and relegated it to the back corners of shop space or a tiny band of “specialty” in an online store.  Few have understood the power of online shopping to provide a fully global marketplace either.

Another company I have noticed really starting to understand their market is We Love Colors.

We Love Colors have a wide variety of sizing, from childrens to mens, to regular womens sizes to a fairly comprehensive plus-sized range as well.  We Love Colors have a significant portion of their products in plus sizes, but not all.  I follow We Love Colors on Twitter, and on Facebook, where they have a standard profile and a plus-sized one called We Love Colors Curvy.

Recently on We Love Colors Curvy, they asked:

How can we make our plus-sized tights better?  What items do you want to see in plus sizes?

and invited customers to either respond there on Facebook, or to email them with the subject line “Make it Better”.

On Facebook at least, the clear response was that customers wanted ALL of the We Love Colors products offered in plus sizes.  Their plus-sized customers want to close the gap between the regular range and the plus-sized range, and wear the same styles as the regular sizes.

Yesterday they asked on We Love Colors Curvy:

It’s come to our attention that some of our customers are unhappy we have a Curvy Facebook Page and a standard Facebook page, feeling as though we segregate the two. It was suggested that we should eliminate the Curvy Facebook page altogether and change our Curvy Girl of the Month contest to simply the Girl of the Month contest. We had initially created the Curvy Page and started the Curvy Girl contest to get the word out about our selection of Plus Size tights, since so many people were unaware we carried them. We also use the Curvy Page as a tool to get feedback on these products and find out ways to improve our selection. So, please let us know what you would like us to do with regards to the Curvy Page and Curvy Girl contest. Whatever the majority of responses is for, we will move forward with. Thank you so much for your help!

The overwhelming response from customers was to keep the two versions, as plus-sized customers don’t want to wade through pages of regular sized products, and that they want to see plus-sized models showcasing the plus-sized range.  One customer expressed concern that combining the two sections may result in body policing and fat hate, with concerns that there may be some nastiness around “fat girls in tights” – which is a valid concern, we’ve seen that before.  Today We Love Colors Curvy announced on Facebook that they would keep the second profile for their plus-sized range.

These are just a few examples of plus-sized fashion retailers listening to their customers, and providing something that their customers actually want.

As I said earlier, it shouldn’t be noteworthy that retailers are starting to do this for plus-sized customers, but when you think about the experiences of shopping for plus-sized clothing over the years, these things ARE unusual.  From offering poorly made clothing, to cheap fabrics, to unappealing designs and then not making it easy or interesting/fun for the customer to shop for their product, retailers have told us in the past (and still tell us now) that they are not interested in our money.  They’ve either assumed that plus-sized customers don’t have any money, and are therefore unworthy of putting any effort into decent marketing and customer service, or they simply have a clear disregard for their customers by not giving a damn whether or not they actually made any money from them.

To many the frenzy over the Beth Ditto range at Evans, and excitement over other good plus-sized clothing retails seems like consumerism, vanity and vacuousness.  But when you’ve not had the opportunity to engage in the same activities around clothing and shopping like other people, this takes on far more significance.  It’s a way to show retailers that should they provide something we want, and market to us positively, not only will we hand over our hard earned cash, but we will also provide some of the best word of mouth advertising that money cannot buy.

We need to support the retailers that do this.  And we need to talk about why we support them, and why what they do is significant.  Only when other retailers can see the benefit that these companies reap from the products and services they provide, as well as the positive marketing they engage in, will they start to realise that the plus size clothing market is one that they can make very, very lucrative.

Lolly Legs

Published April 11, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I don’t usually do posts solely talking about some product or the other, but I am having such fun with these that I just have to share them.

Many of you seasoned fatosphere followers will have encountered We Love Colors before.  The online hosiery store that actually make a real plus sized range.  But if you haven’t, let me tell you, I am heartily in love with We Love Colors!

Last winter I bought some of the regular solid colour plus sized tights and really loved the colours and the initial fit, but after wearing them for a couple of hours, they sagged and wrinkled around the knees and ankles terribly, so they didn’t look nice on for more than about an hour.

But someone told me that the Lycra/nylon blend plus sized tights had a much better fit and kept their shape a lot better throughout the day, so I decided to fork out the extra $5 per pair and get some.

I am SO glad that I did.  Again, the colours are stunning, bright, bold, saturated colours that really stand out, though they also have flesh, black, and more muted tones.  The fit is excellent, not too long, the crotch is in the right place and they actually have a butt in them so they fit over plus sized hips and tummies beautifully.  But the best thing is that they actually do keep their shape beautifully.  I can wear them to work all day, running around busy and other than a little tweak upwards when I am in the ladies room (nothing can stop gravity, don’t we know that girls?) they keep fitted to my legs all day without wrinkling, getting saggy or the crotch heading south.  They stay totally smooth and sleek looking.

Because I’m totally obsessed with these tights, I’ve been taking photos of my own legs and feet in them on my iPhone, so I’ll give you a bit of a look! Bear in mind that these are iPhone pics so they’re not high res.

Violet

Footless tights in violet. I wore these with a fairly plain black dress that I have.  Yes, my feet are tattooed.

Kelly Green

Full tights in Kelly Green. I love this colour. I had a black skirt and black top on this particular day. Green got a lot of positive comments.

Fuschia

Fucshia footless. Again with the black dress. I wore these all day on Good Friday, at a barbecue day, and they were so comfortable!

Royal Blue

I think these are my favourites. Full tights in royal blue. With my red Mary-Janes, this combination was labelled “Wonder Woman” and “Super Woman” all day. I got so many compliments the day I wore this combo. I had on the black skirt again (it has a little ruffle around the hem and is longer at the back than at the front) and a top in red with white and royal blue print.

Scarlet Red

This was todays combo. Another black dress (different one), white socks and my black sequined high top sneakers. I went to lunch and a movie with a friend.

I also have another footless pair in teal, and full tights in black, orchid pink and lavender.  They’ve totally rejuvenated my winter wardrobe.

For about $15 a pair, and with shipping taking less than a fortnight from the US to Australia (my God it was fast!  Only cost $15 to ship 9 pairs) not only are they a really affordable way to inject some life into your wardrobe but the services is good and they’re quick to supply.

I think next year (I don’t doubt these will last more than one season) I will buy some more colours as well as some socks and thigh high stockings.