First Monday of my awsm blogging experience, so that means awsm Curvy Fashion is today’s topic. Today I am “Thick, Thexy and Thrifty” (go ahead, I’ll wait while you say that three times fast). This is a challenge for me, because while i definitely love to look well-turned-out, I come at fashion not as a “fashionista” with an eye for style and the pocketbook to pursue it, but rather as a very frugal person who keeps an eye to classics while scoping-out trends, who maximizes my wardrobe budget, and who loves when a look comes together. I’m a devotee of, but not a slave to current style.
A big part of this is because I am “Plus” — Plus what? Well, plus awsm, of course, but “Plus” Size, which is a tough place to be in the marketplace (tho getting better, incrementally), while being very “Minus” in the wallet, since I am slogging through a longterm unemployment. I have to laugh at articles that address “getting the most” via paying only $45 for that originally-$235 dress. Honey, I might spend $45 on clothes in 2 or 3 months, and that $45 will buy me a lot more than one dress. As such, my eye is to getting bang for the buck by being a regular at my local Thrifties.
Ahh Thrifties… The local consignment store, the Salvy (or Salvation Army), The Purple Heart, 2nd Avenue and Goodwill, to namedrop a few of the fashion enclaves I shop. Or my local Family Dollar Store. When I’m “upscale,” I might get into the clearance racks at Tarjay (Target, of course), Walmart, KMart. A splurge might be Ross, Marshall’s, TJMaxx (tho my luck with finding Plus items at these has been spotty). I haven’t been in a Mall Store in YEARS.
So it’s obvious i am working with a miniscule budget, but this constraint focuses my efforts. I hardly even look at Labels (tho I will share this info when I can): I look at the garment:
- Is it reasonably well-made in a flattering style?
- Is the fabric nice, comfortable, washable?
- Is the styling either timeless or on-trend?
I buy pieces that will coordinate with other items, to get as many looks as I can. If an article of clothing doesn’t give me opportunities for at least Three different looks, I will hesitate before buying it. I have a lot of fairly classic or multi-purpose garments, that are multi-seasonal and fit me comfortable and flatteringly.
I am very aware of what works for me in terms of shapes/cuts, styles, colors, accessories and so on. My style’s eclectic layered over classic. I’ll wear individual pieces or accessories that bend an outfit in a Boho direction, or slide it a bit Upscale. I like sexy, sassy, fun, and comfy. I’m not sporty, and while I wear jeans and pants, especially in winter, I prefer dresses. They’re comfortable, look good and are easy.
And what i am working with in terms of my own curves? Well, here goes: I’m 5’6″, about 200 pounds. I wear a 40D bra and size-13 underwear, with size-10 shoes. Clothes are anything from L-XXXL, 16-22. Here’s what that combination of statistics looks like in real life (all photos were cropped, and an “auto-sharpening” feature was applied, but they are otherwise unretouched.)
It all starts with the Foundations — anybody remember when lingerie was regularly referred to as the Foundation of a lady’s wearables? This is a key part of the Curvy wardrobe, because we Curvy girls have a bit more to shape and support. And COMFORT, the neverending quest for COMFORT in a word of evil underwires and truly wicked wedgies! Lingerie can make us feel constricted, pinched, drab and miserable (think plain, so-old-they’re-grey daily workhorse bras and the infamous but oh-so-comfy Granny Panty), or they can make us feel accented, like a jewel in a pretty setting, confident and SEXY. Bottom line, what goes over your bottom, and boobies, had better be a best shot, because that’s where it all begins, at these closest-to-your-skin “intimates.”
Flashy! A lovely set in royal-blue with lil pink details, by Mix&Co from Family Dollar Store. The 40D bra was $8 and the Size-13 panties were half of a two-pairs for $8 set (the other pair was plain black) — So $12 for this comfortable and flattering matched set. Being a bit flush when I found these about 2months ago, I bought similar matched sets in hot-pink, lemon-yellow, black and red. Best of all, the pink-and-yellow panties and the blue-and-black panties were sold together. So it was (5) bras at $8 = $40 and (3)2pack panties at $8 = $24 (the red package gave me a spare pair of black, always useful), giving me a collection of (5) comfortable, flattering matched lingerie sets for a total of $64 and tax or about $12.80 per set. That’s hard to beat.
And don’t even get me started about how HARD it is to find MATCHED SETS of Plus Size lingerie!!! This is very much a thing for me: I LIKE matched sets of lingerie! But ooh, it makes me crazy to find a 40D bra plastic-tab-matched with (for me) itty-bitty Size 8 or 9 panties: Hey, manufacturers, who are you to tell me how big my ass should be??? With Curvy/Plus figures, mix and match is most definitely a better strategy!
360degrees of me! I took this flat-footed, hair pulled up, no editing or tricks to make me look anything other than just as I am. THIS is Curvy, an Hourglass (with Time Running Out, as the old joke goes). I love my bustline: nicely shaped, very little sag — everybody loves the Twins. Most of my weight is between my waist and mid-thigh: I’ve got a soft, podgy belly, wide hips and a big rear, and turkey-drumstick thighs (mmm, succulent turkey-drumsticks…). It’s the end of winter, so I’m about as Caucasian as it gets, with my fair Celtic skin, but I usually get at least some summer tan.
Two years ago, I weighed some 30pounds less, and I liked it more. I think I look fine as I am, but this is depression, stress, midlife/menopausal weight-gain and I just feel a little less lively and light on my toes. When I finally get to slimming a bit, I’ll feel just a lil more lean and sexy. I like being a soft, curvy, Boom-tastic girl, and I don’t think I’d ever want to get very small because it’s a big part of how I self-identify. If I dropped 30-50 pounds, it’d be a healthy improvement and get me to the upper-edge of mainstream off-the-rack clothing sizes.
It’d open up a fun world of options if I could shop off-the-rack in mainstream sizes — this is especially so at the Thrifties. Plus size clothing wearers wring the most out of our clothes, it seems. When we find something we like, that looks good and helps validate our positive self-image, we don’t let that go to the Thrift stores til it’s way out of style, or plumb worn-out. So a Plus size Thrifty shopper is doubly challenged.
Today I’ve given you the (literal) Foundations of my Thick, Thexy and Thrifty fashion sense. In future posts, I’ll share specific outfits, shopping ideas, and more, towards more awsm Curvy Fashion!