One of my very favorite things to do when I’m home is to hang out with my mom. And one of our very favourite things to do together is shop – especially when I haven’t been in an American store for over a year! We bought loads of fun stuff on sale this week, and I got this majorly cute outfit:
The trousers are from Lane Bryant, and they were $15 in the sale! (I’m sure they’re autumn/winter wear, but I obviously wasn’t going to wait until next year to wear them – I rolled those suckers up and paired them with some sandals.) I definitely would have paid significantly more for these – I mean, come on, they’re plaid…and polka dotted…at the same time! But the truth is, if they hadn’t been on sale, I never would have tried them on in the first place to discover how perfectly they fit. They’re from the “Lena” collection, which according to Lane Bryant is supposed to be flattering for the ‘moderately curvy, smaller in the waist and curvy through the hip and thigh.’ While I definitely wouldn’t consider myself smaller-waisted, I do have large hips and thighs (that I’ve learned over time to love). I also don’t consider these trousers to be especially flattering – but that’s exactly what I love about them. These are a size US 16, and I absolutely adore the way these trousers fit and the way they make me feel, and I expect I’ll get tons of wear out of them.
It got me thinking about how it’s been years since I’ve shopped in Lane Bryant – I’ve always associated it with fitting room mini-meltdowns from when I was middle and high school, when I was a younger fat girl who felt sad and frustrated that I couldn’t just wear the same clothes as other girls. (At the time, though, that was Abercrombie and Fitch, so maybe the style gods were actually helping me out by giving me thighs and a butt too big to fit into A&F clothing, and I just didn’t realize it yet.) Luckily, plus size clothing has come a long way since then – and so has my way of thinking about it (and about my own body). It’s funny, though, because when I was younger I assumed that anyone who wasn’t plus size had no trouble finding clothes to fit their bodies. As if bodies were naturally split into two categories – fat and thin, and – in my brain at the time – thin equated to trouble free. That’s the problem with dichotomous thinking – things are never black and white like that. There are so many different body types that finding clothes you feel comfortable in – clothes that make your heart go “Yay!”- can be hard for everyone regardless of size. I wish I’d realized this when I was younger. It’s all shades of gray, so even though I’m still a bit disheartened that there’s so much emphasis on ‘flattering’ clothing in the plus size industry, I find it really cool that companies are making clothes that pay attention to different body types rather than having a one size fits all approach. (Also, I’m pretty sure Lane Bryant has been doing these fits since at least 2013 – but bad memories clearly kept me away too long to notice.)
Besides that, though, I’m constantly amazed by the quality and choice in off-the-rack plus size clothing now compared to when I was having those fitting room meltdowns. In Target, for example, I discovered the Who What Wear range that goes up to a 4X. (Again, I’m late to the party with this one. This range has been out since January 2016. More like Who What Where-have-you-been-all-my-life?!) And there were actually 4X options in the store! I absolutely adore Target enough as it is, and I bought loads of Who What Wear pieces that I’ll hopefully have on the blog soon. All the pieces I found were super chic, but also very wearable. This top is one of my favorites.
The ruffles make me feel like I’m going to float away!
Trousers: Lane Bryant
Sandals: Kenneth Cole Reaction (I think these are quite old)
Necklace: Tatty Devine
Earrings: Top Shop