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This Week In Fat Blogging | Manolo for the Big Girl
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Posts from around the fatosphere

It’s been a while since we’ve visited other blogs for plus-size women. It is time to acknowledge them! Here are some recent posts Francesca has enjoyed.

Please read these after you go to vote! Do not procrastinate from the voting! 

A Celebration of Curves: Terrific video about “fat talk.”

Big Fat Deal blogs about all the things wrong with the article about fat women having more sex (she has read Francesca’s mind). There are lots of other great posts there – it’s a good blog. Francesca likes.

Diary of a Fat Teenager: Beautiful, beautiful photos of the blogger, a wise-beyond-her-years college student.

The F-Word: A prayer for Kevin Smith.

The Rotund: Fat derision in an unexpected place.

If you have a fat-positive blog and want us to visit a particular post, please include a link in the comments!



What to wear on Halloween

There is an excellent comment thread at Shapely Prose about great plus-size Halloween costumes, past and present. Go over there to get ideas for this weekend! Happy costuming!

Customizable Pretties From India

The other day I was checking out Fatshionista, and Lesley was discussing her experiences with two overseas sources of plus sized pretty clothes. I was struck with what she had to say about eShakti and immediately headed over to their site to check out the goodies.

It’s not just a plus size place, but the standard sizes go up to a 3X, and there is an option for custom sizing. That option does cost extra, but the fee is fairly nominal ($10.00), and at least it’s there! What’s more, you can (for another nominal fee) customize your garments. Love the look, but not the length? Want sleeves? Do you prefer a different neckline? Each piece has a list on its page of possible options. That means you can get that dress a little longer or a little shorter, you can get the sleeves lengthened or shortened, you can choose between a scoop neckline and bateau or mandarin and vee.

But what do the clothes look like? Well, here are a couple examples that appealed strongly to me.

eShakti Ruffled Wrap Blouse This gorgeous cocoa brown ruffled wrap blouse is made of silk crepe and is a pretty darn good deal at $72.95.


Be Superfantastic…On Your Own Terms

This has been a week of interesting synergy for me.

I’ve been watching commercials for the new season of Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style during my weekly Project Runway fix, the other day I was in my friendly local bookstore when I spotted a copy of Nina Garcia’s new book, The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own, and I keep running across references to What Not to Wear, How Do I Look? and all those other makeover shows.

I do consider Tim Gunn’s show (call me, Tim! I’ll bake scones!) several cuts above most makeover shows in that the person being made over is the one who makes the call, rather than being ambushed by her nearest and dearest, and is mostly given the tools to figure out how to choose clothes that will show her off to her best advantage. It does, however, have something in common with most of the others that I really dislike: the assumption that there are certain clothing pieces that every single woman must own, no matter what. Even if I were willing to allow someone to root through my underwear drawer, I’d still never call Tim for this purpose because I absolutely refuse to own a ‘little black dress’ or a trench coat, and those are the pieces the show will pay for me to have.

The concept behind the little black dress is actually fine. A relatively simple dress in a neutral color that can be worn in a pinch at a wide variety of functions is a nice thing to have. The problem is that everybody has concentrated so hard on little and black. I’m in no way a minimalist, and that includes with clothing. Black is…okay on me, but not particularly flattering. I don’t feel happy in little or in black, so if you combine them I’m going to disappear into a fashion funk that will suck the joy right out of me, and can easily take the room with it.

As for trench coats, well, put me in one and I’m a walking bad Humphrey Bogart joke.

Luckily, Tim has only ten things he requires of all women, most of which aren’t too bad once you look at the reasons behind and choose your own way to fill that need. Nina Garcia insists on a hundred! A quick flip through her book showed me that many of those one hundred things will never find closet or drawer space in my home. In all my life I’ve never been drawn to animal prints, and I didn’t care for bikinis when I was thin. Now that I have quite a prominent belly, I see no reason to suddenly take up a clothing style I’ve never been a fan of that will emphasize something I’d rather not make the Most Important Thing about me. Again, the little black dress (this time required to be an A-line, no less!) appears and insists on my owning it.

No more!


Why Would Stores Do This?

As I was reading some of my personal favorite blogs, I came across this half-sad, half-infuriating article at Hyde and Seek.

Basically, the author not only had great difficulty finding her relatively normal size available on the floor, but the sales staff treated her with contempt when they bothered to recognize she was there at all.

Retail outlets everywhere, let me clue you in on a secret: you sell more clothes if you treat every person who comes in the door with respect. It doesn’t even take that much effort. A smile here, an offer to help someone into a dressing room there, even a bit of commiseration that the item wanted isn’t there in the size needed tells the customer that you want to help her, which makes her more likely to spend money, even if it winds up being on a purse or a pair of earrings instead of a dress or a blazer.

I’ve worked retail. I’ve sold clothes (though most of my retail career was in books). I’ve had to tell someone ‘I’m sorry, but we don’t have that in stock in your size.’ Or that I didn’t have the color she wanted…or that we didn’t carry the style she was looking for. I’ve seen people walk in with chips on their shoulders looking for a reason to blame me for everything wrong in their worlds. I’ve dealt with the people whose expectations are completely unreasonable. I know how hard working with the great unwashed America public can be.

I also know that better than ninety per cent of those people will lose the attitude if they are treated with respect. I know that it’s possible to ruin someone’s day with a sucky attitude. And I know how much difference in sales a couple smiles and a genuine attempt to be helpful can make.

How about the rest of you? What’s your worst story of retail hell (from either side of the counter)? Who’s the salesperson you’ll never forget because (s)he was so helpful? What stores have you found particularly good or bad in customer service to Big Girls?

Igigi Review (Lovefest!) at BFD

Several truly excellent bloggers from around the fat-blogosphere have written an extensive review of several items from Igigi:

Brush Strokes Ivory Print Dress

Neapolitan Colorblock Dress with Shrug

Portrait Collar Blouse in Flintstone (belt sold separately) – now 38% off! Paired with . . .

Wide Leg Pants in Black – now 43% off!

Lace short dress in black/red

Marianna Dress

Go see the photo of these “real” women (that is, not professional models) in the clothes, and what they had to say.

Have fun, xoxo,


Highlights of the Fatoshpere

Over the past week or so, some great things have been written by our fellow bloggers of size. Here are a couple of the highlights:

The Rotund has a lovely reminder today that being kind to your body is part of being superfantastic…and keeping sane in a crazy world. Makes me want to make an appointment for a massage. In fact, I think I just might do that.
The Fat Experience Project is looking for your stories of what it’s like to be plus-sized in our world. The idea is to bring faces to the question of size acceptance. Go. Read some stories. Submit your own. Telling stories is important.

Junk Food Science neatly dissects a recent study claiming to prove that fat mothers who clearly eat nothing but junk food have fat babies who eat the earth and then die and it’s all the mother’s fault.

Big Fat Delicious has yet another example of the so-called Obesity Paradox to share with us all.

And if you need a good giggle, I highly recommend heading over to Shapely Prose and reading the thread on Spaghetti Language. There are some darn funny bits of prose in that thread.

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