Store Finds for Curvy Chic
One of the most difficult aspects of being plus size or fat or chubby is the lack of stylish clothes available in stores. Obviously not all of us want to wear cropped tops or very short shorts but we want something “normal.”
What I meant by “normal” is clothes that aren’t floral, printed and look like tents, tablecloths and curtains. Note to clothing manufacturers and retailers: We want pieces that are contemporary and don’t make us look like our grandmothers. Nothing wrong with granny fashion but we’re not seniors yet.
Not everybody likes wearing bright colors or prints. I, for one, hardly do. What we want is a wider selection because not all plus size ladies are the same, you know.
We also don’t want to shop in the men’s department because while the clothes fit, they look funny on us. The jeans make us look like we have bulges down there. The waist never fits (it’s usually either too tight or too loose). After all, they were made for men, not woman. The front of the shirts are straining, in the most unflattering way, to accommodate our chests.
Let’s be honest. The sizes of Filipino clothing brands are made for Barbie dolls, which is strange because there are so many plus size women in the Philippines. I remember talking to a sale person from Zara who revealed to me that, yes, we get XL sizes here but they’re sold out the moment they arrive in stores.
So what does a plus sized, fashion-starved woman do to score some stylish outfits for her wardrobe? Here are some ideas:
1. The SM Store’s plus size section has improved vastly of late. We’re seeing beautiful dresses and tops. There’s also a store called Plus Makeover (Tiendesitas Building A, Level 1) that sells stylish pieces (they even have statement t-shirts) up to 5XL (depending on the styles). The clothes are shipped from the US and Canada regularly so they always have new stocks.
2. Go thrift shopping. Ukay-ukay shops don’t have plus size sections. Everything is either on a rack or in a bin but be patient and relentless. There’s bound to be one or two that will fit you. A friend once found a jersey wrap dress in her size (3XL) in an ukay-ukay in Baguio City.
3. Surplus Shop has some large sizes for t-shirts, shorts, jeans and, sometimes, even resort wear. Don’t expect to find dresses or office clothes as Surplus Shop carries mostly casual and sports wear.
4. For jeans and trousers, look for a good tailor. I used to have one at Kamuning Market (where you can also buy good fabric). Or you can ask relatives and friends to buy you some jeans from Gap or Old Navy and slacks from Lane Bryant. Please tell them to get you the plus petite because American plus sizes are usually for tall people.
5. Good underwear for plus size women is also hard to find here. For brassieres, you can go to Marks and Spencer or Wacoal (at major department stores). But the sizes they carry are a bit limited. Opt for online shopping or, again, ask relatives and friends abroad to buy for you. As for knickers, Uniqlo sometimes has high-waisted seamless briefs (yes, for men) that you can actually wear.
6. Look for a neighborhood seamstress and ask her to make your clothes based on your designs or those you’ve seen in magazines or the Internet or even clothes that you already own. Go to Taytay, where there are inexpensive fabrics in the market. Divisoria is also a good source of quality fabrics. Sometimes, I go to Fabric Warehouse in SM Megamall.
7. I remember when I was younger and my mother had this magazine full of clothes patterns. Well, patterns are alive and well. Check out Merchant and Mills for patterns of basic pieces like the dress shirt. Then you can bring the pattern to the seamstress and have it made in your side.
Do you have fun finds for plus sized clothes? Tell us about it below!