These lovely ladies aren't fashionistas, they are “fatshionistas.” They were out in force when Full Figured Fashion Week came to Los Angeles for the first time this past weekend. They gave me some tips on how to survive stylishly in a thin person's world.
1. Love your body the way it is.
I gotta say, I enjoyed Full Figured Fashion Week way more than regular fashion week. The girls were less bitchy. The models knees and elbows didn't look like they could cut you if you bumped into them. The attendees in general were sweet and supportive. I can only surmise that this is because they weren't all ravenously hungry. Which brings us to…
2. Food. Eat some.
It's not just for staring at and getting all pouty about. There was even cheese at Full Figured Fashion Week. Cheese! (For more on the cheese, see our sister blog, Squid Ink.) The best part about being full-figured is that you can eat and not have to be a total psycho about it. These girls seemed blissfully normal compared to many size zero-obsessed, calorie Nazi women in Los Angeles. They arrived. They ate. They didn't sweat it.
3. Shop online for bigger sizes.
This is Nicolette Mason in the photo below. She's a fashion blogger. See how fierce she looks? She's wearing a blue velvet dress from the Beth Ditto collection at the UK shop Evans, and a Torrid faux-leather jacket. Both of those are available online. You don't see stuff like that at plain old straight size stores, but the web is kind to big girls.
4. Get your measurements taken by a professional tailor.
Then write them down on an index card and have them handy near your computer. It helps when you're trying to figure out the size charts. You'd be surprised at how many people don't know their natural waist from their hips.
5. Don't apply skinny fashion rules to big fashion bodies.
I'm not entirely clear on this one. Fashion blogger Allison Teng told me that it's not just a matter of “sizing up” or extending the existing size range of regular clothes to include bigger sizes. What looks good on a size 2 woman isn't necessarily going to look good on a size 24. For more on this, perhaps visit her blog Curvy Girl Chic.
6. You don't have to look like Kate Moss to be a model.
Some of these tips are so obvious as to be ridiculous. But they don't fully hit home until you're staring the physical reality of them in the face. This gorgeous woman is the plus-size community's answer to Kate Moss or Agyness Deyn. Her name is Fluvia. She's hot. And she's wearing a Donna Karan dress.
7. No granny panties.
Supportive undergarments, girdles, fine, yes–a necessary evil. But just because you're fat doesn't mean you can't wear sexy panties. Or corsets, or bustiers, or teddies.
8. Work with what you've got.
What other choice is there, really? Rosie Mercado, this pretty girl in the black dress, is the face of Full Figured Fashion Week. She was given a gorgeous face, flawless skin, long legs, and big ass hips. Does she let those hips get her down? No sir.
9. Be kind.
Yeah, this one is more of a rule for life than for fashion. But if there was any take-away advice from Full Figured Fashion Week, it was that people are different, and that difference should be celebrated.