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despatch_boxing wrote in fatshionista
Taken in the gym changing rooms at work, as you do. My kingdom for a mirror!

Your model: 5 ft 11, Size 18-20 UK, 210 lb (ish? Haven't weighed myself in 2 years), age 37 but still in search of a personal style.

First time I'd ever tried the wide belt look, and I think I like it. Not sure about the pose, though--taken in a hurry and ended up rocking the 'tiny dinosaur arms' look.

Shrug: Yours clothing 18
Top: Desigual XL 
Belt: Traidcraft
Jeans: Long Tall Sally 18 (*sigh* I need a MUCH better source of legwear. Unfortunately I also need the length.)
Shoes: Clarkes 9

Shrug: Long Tall Sally L
T-shirt: Principles, 18
Jeans: Primark 20
Shoes: Clarkes 9
Jewellery: Home-made (Why yes, this OOTD *was* basically to show off the necklace/bracelet I'd just finished.)

Also, a question: What IS the boundary between inbetweenie and 'true' fat? Most of the admitted inbetweenies I've seen on here have quoted smaller sizes than I wear, and yet I tend to think of myself as one as a) the comments I get are 'you would be happier/healthier/prettier if you just [...]' rather than 'Fat! OMG how dare you pollute my eyes?' and b) 18-20 UK (16-18 US) is just about straight-size store territory in the UK. OTOH, I could write entire books on chub rub and my BMI puts me comfortably in 'obese' territory, with all that that implies in terms of my relationship with health professionals.

I suppose what I'm saying is I don't want to appropriate the 'fat' label when I don't face many of the problems that most fats have, and I'm just not sure where the line lies.


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I am personally okay with inbetweenies claiming the fat label, but I suppose it varies. I think the "official" size is 12-16, at least in the US. You can still find your clothes in most stores, but not all of them, but you're not officially "plus" sizes. Finding clothes is still not an easy as a venture for say size 6 or 8, but there are some stores you could just walk in and find things in your size.

Yeah, I suppose that's where I am, though the UK generally goes up to 18 (US 16) and sometimes to 20 or even 22 (US 18, 20?). Plus my height (usually a bigger clothing issue than my dress size, tbh) probably skews things a bit too.

To be honest with you, I think part of it depends on where you are. I can feel more or less above-average in the US as a short (5'2) size 14. Visibility fat, and while I can't shop at most stores, I still have some options available to me that someone a size 20+ may not.

On the other hand, having recently moved to Asia, it is bloody impossible. I am like a beluga in a sea of krill. Like, unfathomably fat for the folks I live around here.

I agree with you about being careful about not co-opting fat when privilege can be complex. Sometimes, though we're a little US/UK-centric.

I might get a little heat for this, but I remember when Fatshionista limited posting to sizes 16+, which I supported. But now I realise that there used to be a lot of Asian bloggers posting their outfits at sizes 12, 14 who don't anymore. I didn't quite understand how "fat" they would be seen in their own countries. While I'm not saying we should change the rules of Fats, I do have a greater appreciation for the relative OMG FAT factor of "inbetweenies" in Asia.

I was working in Vietnam off and on last year and I so know what you mean about feeling enormous. I'm tall too, which just exacerbates the feeling.

I really loved it though, despite feeling like Godzilla. Which country are you in?

haha I'm actually in Vietnam. What a coincidence! I'll be in Hanoi for the near future. I get that I'm fat but like, do people ever stop staring? I think it's worse because I'm Asian-looking. They expect Caucasians to be big, but when an Asian person is as big as I am, it's like a mind-fuck or something.

I was working in Hanoi in November. It's pretty great. And no, pretty much people won't stop staring any time soon. I found people in Hanoi...mostly less friendly than people down south and the manners are a little different. But the staring I think is mostly not nasty or ill-intended, just curious. We helped run a conference at the medical uni while we were there, and there were so many glorious fats among us. It was kind of hilarious to see people's faces as our flotilla of fabulousness sailed through the old quarter.

Yeah I have personally experienced southerners being warmer/nicer in general, but I think that might be a similar east coast/west coast phenomenon back home. (East coasters are harder to befriend, but once u get to know them, it's BFF-ville; West coasters have a veneer of friendliness but it's hard to really befriend them).

Ugh, I have to stay in Hanoi, though, b/c that seems to be where all the NGO work is.

Take the opportunity to get clothes made while you're there. There are some terrific tailors in the old quarter, who'll make or copy your own clothes for you in a few days. I can give you some recs if you need.

Hanoi takes some getting used to, but it's actually not bad once you get used to it.

Yo do you have a specific recommendation for a tailor? I've been afraid to do it in Hanoi, having had some bad experiences in other places. Kind of hit or miss if you don't know where the real deal is.

Absolutely, I got these by word-of-mouth from other project people who'd used them. There are 2 places on Hang Gai, just down from the intersection with Hang Trong. The linen shop (whose card I don't have and therefore not the address either) is the first one from the corner of Hang Trong, not the side where it turns into Hang Hom. I'm SO sorry I don't have better directions than that but if you're on the same side of the street as the little temple with the fig tree growing out of the wall, you're all good.

The silk shop is called Silk Road and the address is 96 Hang Gai, just across the road and down a bit from the linen shop. I have the card and can email a copy to you if you'd like.

One tip, mention you're with a project. You can often get a better price if they think you'll come back and bring your friends. Both these shops will copy & make to measure & the silk shop will mend also. Best of luck.

Thanks!! I will definitely check these out.

I'm 260 pounds, 5'4" and in China, so I totally get what you're talking about. The clothing here sometimes goes up to size 4XL -- only 4XL is smaller than an American XL, so that doesn't help much. If I say, take a five minute walk to the corner store, I am absolutely guaranteed to have at least two random passersby exclaim "Oh! Foreigner! How very fat!" In Chinese. I've had a random old lady come up to me, grab my butt, and start jiggling it. Children poking my arm fat is a daily occurrence in the summer (worth noting that I work at a primary school, so that's where the children come from). It's just ridiculous. I feel like some sort of animal half the time. It doesn't help that most people think I can't understand them, so they just say whatever they want.

I know the America isn't really a haven of fat acceptance by any means, but when I went back for a month last summer after three years away it certainly felt like it to me. I could walk into clothing shops without people pointing and laughing or telling me to leave! There were other people my size and larger! The entire time, only one person who wasn't in my family made a negative comment about my weight.

I feel you; America's no mecca for Fats, but it does have some more receptive pockets. At this point I've come to terms with the fact that I'll probably never buy anything off the rack here, but I dunno when the novelty of my fat will wear off for people. I literally had this old man come up to me and was like, "Oh such a fatty! What are you, ___ kg??" and I couldn't be rude to him so just smiled and walked away. Sometimes it's easier if I don't pretend to understand them :)

Even if you can't understand words, it's pretty obvious when they grab your fat and jiggle it :P How are you able to deal with it when you're in China? I think finding fat friends will help, but I haven't met too many.

Have you read this:
HILARIOUS, and the comments are pretty good.

I'm so glad you pointed this out. I was born and live in the capital city of Argentina; over here, slimness standards are very very high (I do apreciate however that that is the way it is in many places, but....well I suppose I'll invite you sometime to take a walk around my neighbourhood and judge for yourself). Women who leave Buenos Aires for other countries often accidentally find great relief in the lifting of pressure to be thin involved in going abroad. My point is that when I go to Europe I am more of an average person but over here I can never even dress. I mean that fatphobia is so strong that designers of clothes will "invisibilise" fat people by not clothing them. I realise that this sounds like what goes on everywhere and I have no way of giving an example of how extreme it is over here (there is a post about fat phobia in Argentina in the fatshionista! archives). There are no plus sizes sections, anywhere. So yes, where you live definately conditions wether you are perceived as fat or not or whatever my original argument was. I appologise for the drivel and possible ofenses.

Pretty much COSIGNING your comment :) I definitely don't have any solutions to this issue, but I can definitely relate. I do occasionally see fat people (or somewhat near my size) and I'm always wondering, "where did she get that??" I keep hoping there's a secret store for fats but I'm pretty sure that it's either tailored stuff or they're wealthy enough to fly to the next fat shopping place... siiigh. I'd love to stroll through your neighborhood! I haven't travelled around South America as much as I should.

you look fantastic for your age!!
i would have guessed youre in your 20s!

oh damn lol ugh yr right i am so sorry! that isn't @all what I meant. whoo teach me to post after a bad nights sleep!
plz disregard that part.

That second outfit is fantastic!

You look great. The second outfit shows off your figure well!

I wear the same sizes as you but I'm 5'7" and probably weight a little more. I'm fat. I think if you move through the world and fat is attached to you as a label, and that is something that you challenge socially and politically, and you can't easily find clothing in shops and you get evaluated differently as a person and within your gender due to your size or weight or perceived size or weight, you can probably count yourself in.

I don't experience fatphobia in the same way as people who post here as deathfat but when I SEE and HEAR fatphobic things it sends chills of horrible memories and experiences down my spine and I always know I will always be more fat than I am anything else. And it's certainly a positive identity for me to try to embrace through years of weight fluctuations etc., rather than always striving for something I know I'm not (and don't particularly want to be, because it doesn't match my life experiences in my body till now).

And I would also say that the belt in the first outfit doesn't work. I like the top though but I think with a hip-length cardigan it would look better.


OP, you look great, and since you didn't ask for an outfit critique or advice and, instead, just wanted to share your cute bod and awesome jewelry, I would suggest you ignore this post and don't be afraid to post again in the future!

You can keep your eyeroll. The post didn't suggest advice was unwanted and I said she looks nice- which she does. Fashion is subjective and I posit that my comment was a lot more polite than your eyeball scorn.

If I identify as "fat" that should be enough.

Since you said you are in search for a personal style, my input on that would be I think you would look awesome in skinny jeans (or jeggings. I prefer jeggings all the way), black or dark wash, and I think you would look great in a long grey cardigan as cadetsandkings suggested. I love your hair; it's really cool and would be suited to a more modern style of clothes.

"I suppose what I'm saying is I don't want to appropriate the 'fat' label when I don't face many of the problems that most fats have, and I'm just not sure where the line lies."

Another person asked this when I first joined here, and someone answered that "Fat is a lot like porn. Difficult to define, but I know it when I see it." There are a few people who call themselves fat who are obviously not fat or inbetweenie at all, but when you start getting to inbetweenie/fat territory, usually people are pretty accurate at self-labeling. Then again, I've also seen people who are size 20 label themselves as inbetweenies, so whatever, anything goes. It's not something that is bothersome to me either way.

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