Sunday, January 24, 2010

Make It Work

I disagree with pretty much every "fashion expert" in the biz. You'll constantly hear them talk about how "being bigger doesn't matter as long as you're wearing things in your size that flatter your body!" I basically argue the opposite--as fat girls our options are extremely limited, so if we want to stay on trend, we are forced to find creative ways to do so. To stay current, I've worn dresses as tunics and chain belts as necklaces. I scour thrift stores for hours, trying everything on whether it's marked my size or not. I am telling you, as I have many times before, to forget the size on the tag. Get innovative. Turn that tube dress into a mini skirt! Hem that muumuu and throw a belt over it! Make it work. I made a video with a little more explanation (check out my new 'do!):


For the record, this can be a very frustrating process. Many things you try on will NOT work. Finding things that work for you takes time and practice, and some days you won't find anything at all. The dress I wore in the video was the only thing I bought that day after trying on tons of clothes! If you're worried about the looks you'll get from sales associates/other shoppers, or you're generally uncomfortable with shopping at straight size stores, shop online first. You may have to return things (which is annoying when it comes to shipping fees), but eventually you will get the hang of it.

49 comments:

  1. Gabby I totally agree. I'm not trying to promote but i just wanted say that the shirt I'm wearing in this picture http://www.fatshopaholic.com/2009/12/professional-squeezer.html is aurban outfitters size large. It was suppose to be a slouchy over sized fit but it fit me perfectly and I'm a 24/26 so making things work is a great approach to take to clothes.

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  2. Girl, that dress is a-MAAAAAAA-zing! Ooh, I'm jealous! :o) We demand a full-length picture.

    Oh, and the hair looks hella cute with it too.

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  3. love the video!!! this is so true! I know so many women who would never go in certain stores just because they assume they cant fit anything in it (I was like that many many years ago...then I walked in the light lol)....ps: what color nail polish do u have on? I am such a nail polish freak! lol

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  4. hi.. i love your blog and you're uber cute. I just want to say i love what you're doing and how positive you are :)

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  5. Get it, Gabi! that dress is hot and you are totally right. . . i feel like i've been "making things work" all my life!

    thanks, girl! =)

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  6. Excellent advice Gabi! I would add that if you have a friend or family member that is cool, this can help if you are a bit shy going into non-plus size stores. For instance, I would go into some stores with my younger sister, who is thin, and she would point out stretchy things that might fit me. LOL.

    And omg that dress! I'm so jealous. You need to put that in an OOTD post!

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  7. Yes! I agree with everything you said lol I pick up anything I think is cute, esp in thrift stores. Yesterday I wore a wrap dress open over a mini skirt as a long cardigan, and the day before that I wore a jacket that was 3 sizes too big after cutting the collar off and sewing a pleat into the back. I think its especially fun to be creative with clothes in the winter when we can layer everything... 50% of my clothes aren't "my size" but I think that makes fashion even more fun! I'll buy a 4 or a 24 if I can do something with it.

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  8. That dress looks A-FREAKIN-mazing! Pleeeeaaase post a full length pic!

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  9. Great advice! That dress looks good on you!

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  10. I love this advice! I need to take this advice myself. My bff yells at me cause I always go for the biggest size on the rack...it's like I start there and work my way down to the size that fits me best. *bad habit* There's a thrift store down the street, maybe I'll wander in there and see what I can find. I had to share this with my friends on FB! Excellent blog!

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  11. I 100% agree with this post! I bought a sweater from Torrid that I meant to get in a 3 but ended up getting a 0 instead and I almost gave it away but tried it on instead. The stretchy size 0 ended up fitting like a DREAM! I don't know if I could ever get into a straight size 4 but you definitely never know what could end up looking great! Great post!

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  12. That dress is foxy! Want to see the whole thing!

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  13. thanks for all the tips and tricks. Love your blog, you're a huge inspiration to me!

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  14. I wish people would post the thrift stores they go to in their areas, because they seem to find some amazing stuff.

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  15. Gabi,

    As a buyer for a plus size boutique, I HAVE to take the approach you recommend. When I go to trade shows, my first exercise is pre-screening the list for plus size designers. To give you a feel for what I'm working with, when I got to a massive show like MAGIC in Las Vegas, there are about 20,000 lines represented. When I narrow that list down to plus sizes I have about 120 lines, and then if it's plus contemporary, I'm looking at a list of 30 designers/distributors.

    So what I do is I go through and make sure to meet with all the plus designers first thing in the morning. And then I spend the next 4-5 hours of the day walking every aisle of the show to see if there are straight sizes that will work in plus (or see if they're willing to grade their clothing for plus sizes - you'd be suprised (actually, probably not :-) on how many times I meet designers that say they THOUGHT their design wouldn't work in plus, and I show them how it can). Sometimes I'll even ask to try on the garment on the spot!

    Great post.

    Lydia

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  16. Gabi, you hit it right on the money. Great video. I love all your points.

    I go through the same thing all the time when I am shopping, especially at Thrift stores. I have found some great dresses (that fit me as dresses) in the s/m section at thrift stores.

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  17. Hi, just found your blog and I love it!!! You are totaly beutiful and the cloaths you are wearing are gorgeus =)!!!

    Linda from Sweden

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  18. You are incredibly beautiful, Gabi. You could rock a bald head without a problem!

    I am shocked that that dress is a size 4 (my guess was a 12)! I have never gone into a non-plus sized store with the objective of purchasing something for me. After this post, I just might have to try it.

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  19. Great advice Gabi! I totally agree with this ! I've so gotten over labels and sizes. I wear what I want, whatever size it is. And nobody knows! They say I look great. That makes my closet range from M-XXL and from 12 - 20!

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  20. You are so inspiring (and gorgeous), Gabi!! I am old(er), fat and working on being and feeling fabulous. I don't even usually look at the clothes in thrift stores because I figure at my size, 26-28, I will never find anything, but yesterday I glanced at the clothes and saw they had an XXXL section. After trying on a gazillion things that didn't fit I found a really cute jacket, size 24, that did. But I didn't even glance at the XXL section because I was sure nothing there would fit. Finding out your dress is a size 4 has totally changed my attitude!

    This video is inspiring me to be even more adventurous next time and look at smaller sizes and think about using clothes in ways they were not intended. Thank you for sharing your info and confident creativity with us.

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  21. LOVE your video blogs, as you know. I think this tip is important for any woman, of any size. This is all a part of finding individual style and knowing you don't have to wear clothes as they are styled on mannequins in the store.

    Your dress is great too! I'll be borrowing that. Thanks. =)

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  22. You are so awesome, thank you so much for posting this! I'm probably what you'd call an imbetweeny but this advice is invaluable to me. I have no sense for wearing clothes in different ways, so the help is always appreciated and carefully pondered.

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  23. The Hair looks awasome. Great video blog. Some really valid points.....im going shopping tomorrow for sure!

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  24. As a habitual thrift store shopper, I never look at the size tag. It's always an after-thought for me to glance at it, so take it from me, always look at different sizes!

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  25. Gabi,

    I have to say you've found a believer in me. My mother (a long time fashionista) has always told me to ignore the number on the tag but I never listened.
    After discovering this whole world of wonderful blogs (through yours) I finally found the courage to give it a go. As a result, I've definitely found some amazing pieces at thrift stores and more recently an all gold sequin mini skirt from H&M that is a Large but fits me just fine. Hooray for elastic!

    Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration!

    -Tiffany

    P.S: I agree with the others, let's see a full length of that dress...the zippers alone are fab.

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  26. I've been reading your blog for about a month now and just had to comment to say - you're awesome! I totally agree with you. I'm a UK size 16 with GG boobs so I never thought I could shop in places like topshop, Urban Outfitters, etc. but once you actually try on stuff you realise you can make it work!
    Fantastic blog, keep up the good work :D
    Love from Scotland!

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  27. Great tips, I definitely needed this and your hair looks incredible (as always). :)

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  28. HAWT dress! great find! and great video, you are so right, you never know until you try it on!!!!

    as a costumer/sewer for many years, i have found while shopping that many, MANY clothes are mislabeled as to size. in fact, a lot of 'new' clothes end up at resale stores because they didn't sell, due to the fact that they were mis-sized in the first place at the time of manufacture. also, because clothes are still sewn by hand in many factories, there can be variations of several inches in each garment depending on the sewer, how it was cut, etc. making it even more of a crapshoot!

    MEASUREMENTS are more important than size numbers. very few people are 'fit model' proportioned.

    and, having a few basic skills like learning how to use a needle and thread to let out/take in clothes can help you expand your wardrobe. you don't need a sewing machine for a lot of things!! and some dry cleaners are also tailor's shops and would be happy to help you turn that strapless dress into a killer pencil skirt or vice versa :)

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  29. Gabby i love this post! I have been telling my fat friends this all along! So i just wanna say hallelujah sister! Also i love the straight hair or the curly, i too go from one to another, i dont relax my hair i just blow it out and flat iron it! Thanks for this post and i love that dress u found!

    http://thickdaddys.blogspot.com/

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  30. Love the Dress!!! Love the hair!!! And as usual your make up is flawless!!!!

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  31. There is a reason you are my number one bookmark on Firefox, Gabi. Thhhhhhhis is why! That dress is freaking perfection. You look great. I know you said your new years resolution was to take care of your skin, it looks flawless!

    Greatgreatgreat as always.

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  32. Gabi!!!!! u need to show a pic of that dress!!! yea i totally go into forever 21 and find clothes that fit that are so not my size

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  33. yes! if you can get it on, and it looks great, it fits! love the blog, as always!



    http://missameliahart.blogspot.com/

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  34. hi my name is pennie i just wanted to tell u that u are reaaly an inspiration. i just recently had a baby and while ive always been a big girl 14/16, i am now bigger 18/20 and your site has helped me feel comfortable with my post prego body, your tips have helped me feel sexy and confident with my new body and i really feel like i look im more put together and fly then i was pre pregnancy i love ya for it keep the post coming..also i have a question about undergarments body shapers shapewear etc where is the best place to find undergarments online or store etc.

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  35. Hey Gabi! Great post/video. U are soooo right! I don't care about the numbers with clothes or shoes! I have big feet (11w), but I still have certain shoes in smaller sizes I can wear comfortably!

    I too would like to see a full length pic of the dress. I have a similar one (black w/gold zipper detail) and I'm interested in what direction you went in with hosiery and shoes.


    Keep up the fabulous work!!!!!

    Bless

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  36. Gabi.... i agree heavily with the statement that our options are limited. Its ridiculous and frustrating as hell to see so many cute options for the skinnys and so many ugly options for the heavies.
    I try on everything i think is cute....you never know what will be a winner but yes it is painstakingly exhausting and can really get tedious!

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  37. Gabi, I've had this on my mind since you posted it, and even though I firmly believe it's true I've been very shy lately about going into straight-size stores and trying things on. Well, after I saw this I decided to march over to H&M and try on a pile of things.

    I came home with a trendy studded gray oversized tunic and a peacock print babydoll, both marked L, and they both look great on me even though I'm a US 22 or sometimes 24 on the bottom. So I'm very happy right now and I need to add H&M back into my regular shopping rotation because I'm always so envious when I see fat girls with great clothing from there :)

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  38. I'm just wondering if being creative includes maternity clothes. I'm a size 16 and I have a sweater that I got from Target that is maternity. I actually had no idea it was until after I got it home and saw the tag. I don't think there's anything wrong with it because many of the new stylish clothes you can't even tell are maternity.

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  39. I totally agree with you! As a vintage gal, I find that sewing my own clothes can often be the easiest option. Of course, with sewing you still have to alter a pattern to fit and flatter but it's so worth it! Back in the 30's and 40's most girls were thinner, shorter, had smaller feet and smaller breasts but every once in a while, I manage to find an authentic vintage piece that fits like a dream! This 40's dress is the find that I am most proud of! http://vavoomvintage.blogspot.com/2010/01/retro-101-and-cherry-bomb-vintage.html

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  41. Gabi..you're right, I like your message: "Get innovative. Turn that tube dress into a mini skirt!"
    ...By the way, hoping you like as well the message of my Art: "PlusSized Women: be Bold, be Sexy & Naive ! ...and Wear something that Big girls aren't supposed to wear ! "
    Your YouTube channel is Great...Cheers!
    Ciao da Aurè from Italy

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  42. I agree completely. I have blogged about it in the past too. I have a few "rules" for me where basically zips don't fit and elastic is fantastic, ha but generally I try on everything. I have everything from size 8 Aus dresses (US size 4 I think?) to size 22 dresses and I'm a 16. It all just depends.

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  43. I found a size 10 dress and I'm a 16-18 thats CRAZY! Since reading your blog I have been making it work and its AMAZING...great advice all the time <3 the blog...AMAZING

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  44. You are really lovely. Honestly, you OUTSHINE so many beauty/fashion videos where the speakers are just SO affected and trying too hard. This is real advice. And the fact that you can get past all the skinny (anorexic) images out there and start a movement, is just so inspirational.

    And on a side note, you are STUNNING. I love your photos, great style, beautiful clothes.

    Be proud of that interview on your sidebar there... a great step for women all over the world.

    http://www.carolineginthecity.blogspot.com

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  45. Hey ! I'm frech, I'm 20 this year, and I just adore everything I can see here ! It's sad to admit that there is nothing comparable in France or in Italia or Spain (as much as I know). So, I'm here to ask you some kind of questions like : "I've got a really big ass and nothing feats me ! How do I do !? I can't wear any dress 'caus it emphasises it and I think it makes me look even more fat xD Not that I think I'm too fat or something like that, I aclually like myself the way I am, but I also really like Dresses and don't know how to do. Could you recommend me some kind of materials or cut ? Some brands that are better that other when it comes to dresses ?"
    It would really be helpful ~
    Thank you =D

    Ps : You'r really pretty, and I love your blog ! (I know, I said that already x3)

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  46. Oh my god - I needed this SO MUCH today. Actually I needed this forever ago. I've often gone in Forever 21 and H&M and lord knows where else and have never looked.

    Today I tried things on - nothing worked, but I found other things that did. If anything your advice to make it work forced me to avoid getting into the nothing fits, buy something horrible to eat, cry and go home to continue wearing horrible clothes. Now I have tons of awesome clothes because I stayed positive thanks to you!

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  47. this weekend, I will got to forever 21 and h&m and just try things on. what gonna happen, if dont fit u know. thanx gabie

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