Now, I don’t want to overstate my case or anything, but finding a line of plus-size clothing whose designs you adore, whose construction you find immaculate, whose ethics you find admirable and whose prices you can afford but whose fit model is absolutely, completely, 100% and in every way wrong for your body is worse than genocide.
It’s true. I read it in a book. In my head.
I don’t have a particularly hard-to-fit body for plus sizes other than my longish torso and a ridiculous hip-to-waist ratio. With my proportionate figure and travel-size chest, I’ve been pretty spoiled. If something comes in my size, odds are I can make it work without too much tweaking at the tailor.
Here, alas, begins my tale of woe.
Remember on Wednesday when I wrote about Pin Up Girl Clothing and how excited I was to try them? Well, their shipment arrived the next day and as I happened to be stateside, I was fortunate enough to be able to pick it up directly from my mailbox instead of waiting the two weeks for The Guy Who Does The Mail.
We love TGWDTM, but since we’re friends socially, Hot Latin Boy and I were just as happy not to have him pick up our latest Amazon package which contained 500 citronella tea candles, 100 of our favorite pink Japanese condoms and a red leather dog collar with spikes (which looks wonderful on Dozer, smutminds).
Luckily it also contained my order from Pin Up Girl.
As I often do when ordering from a new company, I ordered a dress in three different sizes since even the best size charts can go astray from time to time so I ordered a 2x, 3x and 4x.
Generally speaking I wear a size 20 in dresses or an 18 if the hips are an open size. Anything below a 16 I chalk up to vanity sizing and anything above a 20 or 22 is usually cut for a market to which I do not belong, example: I take size Godzilla in Asian clothing.
Now readers, I have had many a dress that couldn’t get over my hips, but I’ve never had a dress that fit my hips and butt just fine but didn’t make it over my comparatively petite (as in Texas is comparatively petite to Alaska) upper half.
The 2x, 3x and 4x all fit my lower hemisphere, but not even the largest willingly zipped up the back, and when it did, it flattened Thelma and Louise so badly I felt like my chest was staring in an all-breast remake of Das Boot.
Understanding that period dresses often require period underpinnings, I strapped on William Shatner and tried again.
William Shatner is, obviously, the name of my second m0st punitive corset. The number one spot is reserved for Lady Bracknell, which I’m pretty sure was designed by the Army Corps of Engineers under the order of the Marquis de Sade and is opened only in case of emergencies.
It looked much better with the corset, although it still left me with a flat chest, which I had to amend with a padded bra. Once I was appropriately trussed I looked amazing. The dress in itself is fantastic, so what went wrong?
Well, I suspect their plus size fit model –assuming they didn’t just size up from a straight size, which is possible– is relatively busty, but has a comparatively narrow back and ribcage,
It would go a long way to explaining this:
Apparently there was a kerfuffle over some body snark directed to the lovely Rosie Mercado over the green dress which resulted in the owner of the company having to take some Facebookers behind the woodshed. Regardless of what I think about the photo itself, I love a company that will stand up for beauty at every size.
I’m keeping the purple Ava dress because the post-Shatner and padded bra result is worth the effort, but I’m returning everything else since clearly they’re cut for someone who is Not Me (seriously, the top I ordered in 3x, I usually wear a 16/18, had sleeves so narrow they didn’t come over my forearms. Now I’m a fat girl with a lot of fat parts, but my forearms are proportionate and as elegantly tapered as any Degas ballerina.)
That being said, I really admire this company and their clothes.
The satin, though polyester, was much higher quality than nearly anything I’ve run across, with a heavy, fluid drape and a solid hand. The garments themselves were immaculately constructed. I’ve got a notoriously critical eye for detail –I turn a dress inside out for a thorough inspection before it ever goes on my body– and not a stitch was out of place. It was even finished beautifully, an unfortunate rarity where even Valentino leaves untrimmed serger threads dangling, proof positive that American workers can make a garment every bit as polished as our European counterparts.
If Pin Up Girl cuts work for your body –and lucky you– you’ve found a fashion friend for life. For the rest of us, we’ll just have to cross our fingers they’ll cut the tops and sleeves a bit more generously in the future.