Friday, 25 September 2015

Dear High Street: An open letter from a fatty

Dear High Street. We need a chat. Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable.
I know you have been trying your best. Squeezing a few rails of plus sized clothes in each store, making some lines go up to a size 18, even using some models that are curvy in your ad campaigns. Its not that I don’t recognise this and I don’t want to hurt your feelings but quite frankly you are not meeting my needs sweetie. I’m a big girl, I have a huge appetite for all things, and clothes are no exception.
Sure I’m being well looked after by  a few select brands but you see I want more, I want it all. I want well made, beautiful clothes, not made by children in basements and not made of polyester.
That’s right, I want everything you already make, available in my size, yes you heard me right, EVERYTHING!

It’s lovely that you have created capsule lines with quirky names and an extra fiver per item to cater for me but it’s not enough. It doesn’t make me feel special; it makes me feel marginalised and slightly exploited. I want what everybody else has got. Same designs, same fabrics, same price.
Don’t look so shocked you knew this day would come. When the crumbs from your table would no longer be enough, I didn’t get to this size by liking smaller portions.
Don’t look so worried, its actually a win, win. You see a lot of us fatshionistas don’t just have big arses, we have big wallets too and if we feel you are really paying attention to our desires, not just paying lip service but actually delivering you would be amazed at how quickly the jungle drums will pass the news along.
Remember the film Indecent Proposal where Robert Redford offers Demi Moore a million bucks for just one night, well you are Demi baby and we will be putting tenners down your G string quicker than you can say “yes that comes in all the sizes honey”
You will be sleeping on a bed of plus sized pounds
You see dressing fashionably over a size 14 has become something of an art form. We plus sizers study each other relentlessly, its not unheard of for us to approach each other in the street if we see a  curvy queen wearing something particularly fine.
We tweet, we post facebook photos, we dedicate whole blog posts to our finds because sometimes finding sassy fabulous clothes in our sizes feels like Indiana Jones looking for the Arc of the covenant. We hear of their existence but often our searches are fruitless and we forever hold out hope that one day, just one day we too will find that pillar box red Mac that only cost £20 and went up to a size 30.
I wont stop searching until I find that jumper with the pony print on in a size 22-I know it exists I saw it on a blog
For a lot of us larger lasses what we wear isn’t just to keep warm, or a way to loosely follow trends it’s a statement. An in your face, larger than life battle cry that we refuse to sit on the sidelines, covered in the fatties equivalent of a modesty sheet (the leggings and tunic combo)
You have made assumptions about us for too long. Think we wouldn’t possibly want to wear wet look snakeskin jeans, think again. Think that fitted body con would have us running screaming, oh how wrong you are.
Stop trying to pigeonhole us, we often all wear similar clothes because they are the only things we can get hold of in our size.The time and effort it takes to track down unusual exciting clothes in bigger sizes is a masterclass in determination. We never give up, we are always on the lookout. we shall not go quietly into the lycra stretch night.
You have underestimated our thirst for fashion for too long.Its time for change. I believe that you can do it. I'm counting on you and frankly I'm a little disappointed that Ive had to call you in here after all your promises to deliver.
Now be a love and pop off and get it sorted, close your door on the way out ta.


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  1. Well bloody said (written)!
    I am in total agreement with you, except for the having a fat purse, only in my dreams ;)
    I would love to be able to get nice fashionable clothes without having to pay extra just because I'm a size 18/20.
    Hopefully it will get sorted :)

    Masses of love

  2. Well said. As I'm walking through the 'normal' sized stuff in New Look to the fat girl bit upstairs, I see loads of lovely things in nice fabrics and all the latest edgy designs. As I trudge upstairs I hope against hope that some of these things have been translated in size fat. Nope, not many. *weeps silently* And so many other stores are guilty. I think a half-arsed attempt is almost worse than no attempt to cater to us at all, as it's insulting. xx

  3. Woo hoo! High fiving you girlfriend! I'm right behind you lady!! Feisty, fabulous and well said piece. xxx

  4. Excellent piece. I quite agree with you. Now in my 50s and always been a 'larger lady' I hate the style, colours and materials of the 'plus' sizes.
    However if you think the UK is bad, you you try France. I have lived here for the last 15 years and almost all my clothes have come from the UK. I do like M&S, especially for underwear.
    Here if you are over size 14 you will be lucky to find anythingnice. I can get good t6shorts in my size - between 16&18 at the moment, but have been much larger.
    The standard clothes seem to be tents with no sleeves, excuse me, but no-one sees my arms. Horrible fabrics that are cheap and nasty - STOP STOP I could go on.
    I have had so much trouble finding skirts that I like, I have started to makle my own. I have a M&S skirt that I like, so I copied the pattern and I have made one and have the material for another two.
    Keep up the hgood work. What a shame you can't do the same over here.
    Love your T-shirts by the way, but I think I may be a bit old for one ;)

  5. Living the frugal life in France - Yes, Yes, YES!!!!!!! I find it frustrating that 14 is considered a " big size" and that the bigger size stuff isgrey, droopy and unpleasant. And it's not like every frenchwoman is stick thin and tiny. I have the added problem of being six foot tall. Try finding size 20 trousers for those legs! I appreciate the UK choice - even if it is limited!

  6. Hear Bloody Hear, this is always my rant as I walk round the shops looking for something not crimpelene, or Harris Tweed, no elasticated waist and not bloody black. Dont get me wrong I like Black and not only for its supposed slimming qualities, but I also like colour and fabric choice too. I dont want to be wandering around like a victorian widow wearing her widows weeds.FOR GODS SAKE.I have the opposite problem to you as I am only 5ft, so any clothes swamp me, rarely does petite sizing go up to a size 20! It clearly hasnt occurred to designers that it is entirely possible to be short and fat!!! I think people like you are changing things slowly, but would dearly love this to happen before I reach my dotage. So come on people start inviting us fatties in to see what we like what fabrics, go beyond the pale and make the same styles available from 8-30, whats the harm. I think if you dare you will hit the proverbial jackpot as some smart companies, like Simply Be, Marisota and Yours are. I want bright beautiful clothing to suit me and yes I would like some lovely fitted styles, instead of the voluminous, shapeless tents you offer and while you are at it do away with small medium large and Xl cos Xl is a size 12-14, ever thought what damage you might be inflicting on people who think they are massive at size 14. Come on set up panels and get us fatties on them, I am up for it and I'm sure Betty is. GO BETTY and thanks for saying once again what we are all thinking xx

  7. I love you Betty <3
    Your my hero :-)

  8. Yes!! This. All of it. Same situation here in Australia. It sucks. Some sizes go up to 18, but 18 varies wildly. I can be anything from a 16-22. It's incredibly frustrating and inevitably makes many larger women feel ashamed and marginalised.
    Anyway fantastic post. Will be sharing x

  9. Hooray for Betty! You are my inspiration and i completely agree. You forgot to mention lingerie though, im a big girl if you know what i mean, and have spent many many hours trawling the high street just looking for some lingerie that fits, that doesnt cut into my armpits and leave welts occasionaly actually drawing blood, but most of all i want it to be pretty! Why should i have to settle for plain white or black mama booby hoisters and a big pair of brigitte jones? Why is it that the type of underwear that i know would look amazing on me, basques and baby dolls that hide the tummy, long line balconette bras, vintage style girdles, (take note What Katie Did!), in fact anything in a vintage style at all is just meant for all us big booby bombshells. I still think im hot, even if if the high street doesnt agree and i want my under pinnings to express that. Love, Tanya xxx

  10. fantastic post!! love it! so true!xx

  11. Dear Highstreet,

    Don't forget us tall gals too! You always cater for the small lasses but only one of your shops (Topshop) has a tall section, and even then I can only choose from jeans, jumpers and office wear!

    Your's sincerly,
    Hannah (6ft)

  12. Thank you for saying what we are all thinking, and more eloquently than I would put it too! The high street need to remember us large breasted girls too when it comes to pricing. For too long have I gone shopping for a bra with a small breast friend, with her paying £7.00 and me £30.00. All I want is equality, and of course, lots of choice! xx

  13. Can we open this plea out to the Goth/Alternative clothing stores too?
    There are still so many places with the XL option only just fitting a UK size 12!

    And don't get me started on the lack of things with a waist in the right place for taller girls...

  14. Some room in the thighs and bum would be good too! My problem is clothes seems to have room in the stomach but not in the thigh or bum area. To get stuff to fit those areas I end up with a baggy waist and baggy stomach area!

    Same with tops. I'm just slight larger than a 38DD but to get a top that fits me round my ample fits and I have super baggy areas around my chest and shoulders.

  15. Brilliant my lady, brilliant! I am a size 14 here in the US (16 in the UK), and it is ever so tough to find nice clothing anymore. Hence all the reason more I love vintage clothing! But seriously, I think your post is amazing - it should go viral!



  16. You go girl! It's so frustrating here in Spain as well, we have places like Forever21 and Primark, but from what I've heard they're not like their UK/USA equivalents. Most of the time when I go to F21, I pass by tons of racks full of beautiful clothing, but once I get to the plus size section, everything is made out of shitty materials (see-through clothing in December? Really?) and most items look exactly the same. There are no nice A-line dresses, no low-cut tops, everything is styled as a god damn tunic. I am not Homer Simpson, I will not be wearing that. Thank you.

    By the way, loving your blog.


  17. So true!!! I live in Italy and here plus size is a bad word. Over size 14? Take that frumpy navy blue skirt and jacket combo and shut up! H&M has some sort of plus size section available, but alas I'd rather wear a garbage bag than that. Let's not talk about bras, only B cups and the rare C cup available on the high street. Wide fit shoes? Unknown of. All my shopping is online and from the UK.

  18. THIS! I sincerely hope that the high street hear you and pay attention!


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