How to Be a Fat Bitch ECourse #3: Being Fashionable and Fat

This week, I am talking about fashion! I can probably go on and on because I really do love wearing cute clothes and sharing them here. My personal style has evolved and is still changing. But it can be challenging to develop a personal style because options are limited and so much intersects with how we feel about clothing. Not to mention where to find clothing! I am starting with a list of tips and will elaborate more as the weeks progress. I also want to mention that if you are just starting, don't feel like you are behind! You are welcome to start at anytime and at your own pace. These posts and comments will stay available in the future as a resource and hopefully, a place to still have discussion.

I will be sharing a lesson that you can use to work towards loving your fat body, living a fierce life and feeling confident. This ECourse is about fat acceptance, activism and fatshion. You can watch the vlog and read along and then you will be given an assignment and an opportunity to discuss it with me and other readers. You will also be prompted with some discussion questions. There will be room for all levels of body positive advocates to participate. This will be a chance to focus in on a specific aspect of fat acceptance and fatshion so that you can integrate it into your life and be a fat bitch too! Assignments don't have a due date and feel free to navigate at your own pace. This ECourse is free and can be done at any time! Click here to register.

A fat bitch is confident, out-spoken and proud of who she is. The word bitch has been used by feminists as a way to reclaim an insult used to demean our cause. Let's get started!

I am on the super-plus size end of plus size clothing as a size 26ish and I am able to find stylish clothes that I like and fit me. I am not going to say it is easy but it is possible. There was a time when it felt impossible because I limited myself. I would be in tears trying to get ready to go somewhere because my Old Navy jeans had holes in them, I didn't have tights or an already barely fitting shirt shrunk up even more in the wash. I hated my clothes and I hated my fat body.

Feeling good about my size made it easier for me to start liking clothes. When I was self-loathing, I had all these rules about what I could wear and where I could shop. Shopping for clothes was up there with paying taxes on my list of dreaded activities. Mostly, because I was ignorant about what size I was. I am pretty sure that I went through a period of time where I didn't even know that I was plus sized. I was easily discouraged and sensitive about how I looked. Now, I feel secure and confident about my wardrobe and the options I have. And I don't spend a lot of money on clothes. I am frugal! So in a sense, I guess I do limit myself because I don't have access to big shopping sprees or designer brands. Most people don't. So here are some tips!

1. Buy used or thrift. At least 50% of my closet is thrifted. Find a handful of thrift stores in your area and go occasionally to browse. Check out their plus size section if they have one and check the other areas too because good things tend to hide. The fun of it is the hunt! You may or may not find anything but when you come across that perfect black and white vintage inspired mini dress, it will be worth it. Plus, you are saving tons of money.

2. Fuck flattering! Dress the shape you have not the shape you think you should be. Nothing should be off-limits! You don't have to hide behind your clothes. Wear it tight, high-waisted, see-though, bright colors, stripes, polka dots. Whatever you love and feel comfortable in, rock it. Forget the rules. Wear clothes that reflect your personality.

3. Accept your size and become familiar and comfortable with it. Take your measurements and make mental notes of sizes that work for you. Pay attention to how different stores fit you. I know which ones I need to size up and which ones I need to size down. I also know what areas of my body are bigger and what kind of things I can get away with in smaller sizes. Like I can shop in certain plus jr. sections and wear a 2X dress as a tunic or a stretchy legging in 2X will fit me, even though I usually wear a 3X.

4. Get rid of things that don't fit you. Also, don't buy things that don't fit. It doesn't make any sense to hang on to clothes thinking you are going to fit in them later. You body deserves to have clothes that fit.

5. Inspiration can come from all places. I love following fat bloggers, especially the ones that dress on a budget. Take note of where they get their clothes from so you can pick up a few pieces for yourself. You can also get fashion inspiration from thin people. Rather than depending on a plus size clothing company for trends, I like to put together an aesthetic that turns me on and get my clothing from multiple places to complete that aesthetic.

6. Mix it up. Add things to your wardrobe that are bold, comfortable, classic and versatile. Buy a variety so you have a few skirts, pants, tops, dresses, etc. that you can continue to remix and build on. Build a collection of accessories and shoes. Keep a mental inventory of what you have and don't have and try to fill in the gaps. It doesn't have to happen overnight either. I keep an eye out for things I need when I am thrifting or wait for sales or promo codes to seek out what I need.

7. Sometimes you have to be a little creative. Like wearing a dress like a tunic or finding items that are meant to be baggy but you can wear it more fitted. I also do things like cut off collars and sleeves. If you can sew, alter things or have them altered. Add a detachable peter pan collar to a scoop neck dress. Fold the top of a long skirt down and belt it to make a short flowy skirt. You don't have to wear the clothes as they were intended and you can still look put together.

8. Take risks. Come out of your shell and take a chance on something. You don't have to look like everyone else or blend in. Don't be afraid to stand out! Stop reading magazines that tell you how to hide your body. Be visible and proud! You might feel a little anxious at first, like hyper-aware of your body and what you are wearing, but you'll get over it when you realize how fierce you look and from all the compliments you'll get.

9. Dress for yourself. Ask yourself if you look good. It's imposible to please everyone and because you are fat doesn't mean you owe it to anyone to look a certain way. But you can make yourself happy and dress the way you want.

Challenge yourself to wear something that you might have felt wary about in the past. Break up your routine with something different and you might open yourself up to some radical new styles! Blog it, Instagram it, Tweet it (#fatbitchecourse, #nearsightedowl), etc. and share it in the comments below.

Do you have some fatshion tips to share? Please do!

Grab the button!

Show your support and sponsor, or make a donation. The ECourse will continue to be free but donations are appreciated to help keep this work going. Thank you!

- Rachele


  1. I plan on wearing mid thigh shorts this year, I have shapely legs there's really no reason why I should feel so odd about showing my thighs except that I'm not always thrilled to shave em. My fashion advice: unless you can't live without it, watch and wait for a sale, I almost always get what I want on sale. Also check out FatToo or FatToo Grand (28+) on Facebook, I've yet to buy/sell there myself but there's some cute stuff and it goes fast.

  2. BalanceWithIntentionFebruary 16, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    Dude, no need to feel ashamed about not shaving. I didn't want to wear shorts when I was a teen (I wasn't near as big as I am now,) and instead wore pants. In summer. To an amusement park. And I got too hot and dehydrated and passed out. Concussion followed by years of eye problems and migraines. Fuck being uncomfortable or sick, man!! :D

  3. Fatshionxchange on LiveJournal is another good place to buy and sell clothing!

  4. I love fashion and buying clothing - for me $$$ is the issue as some plus size stores are quite expensive. I've never thrifted before I think I will try it! However, I do get nice jeans from Walmart often for $25-35, which is way better than $100-150 at stores like Additionelle or online. I'm in Canada too so unfortunately no Torrid.

  5. I actually thrifted recently, and kept an open mind when looking. I tried some things on I wouldn't usually "like", and was pleasantly surprised! I came out with a few tunics and a dress for less than $15!

    I also do a lot on ebay. There is a seller that puts together bundles of the same sizes. (http://myworld.ebay.com/matfeb2k/&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2754). There is usually one item in the lot that I'm less than excited about, but for the price, everything else is worth it. So far I've gotten 4 lots from her and all are in the quality listed.

  6. Thrifting for some fat-tastic clothes today! My tip, TRY IT ON! I couldn't count how many times I've seen something cute and thought, eh, there's no way that would fit me, and I'm often happily surprised when I try it on. Also, don't get discouraged. Thrifting especially can take so time, but if you don't find something quickly, keep looking. And if you start getting frustrated, take a break, get some coffee and try again!

  7. I knew we'd eventually come to a topic I hate thinking about. I love clothes and I feel like right now EVERYTHING I have is terrible and ill-fitting. Ugh. Clothes. Ugh.

    Sorry. That was a totally petulant gut reaction. I promise to behave better in future.

  8. I finished my blog post. I still at my age, struggle with fashion, so I look forward to reading some of the younger gals posts. :-) http://deafiesinthekitchen.blogspot.com/

  9. I'm not quite done with my blog entry for this course but here are my fatshion tips:

    1) Wear what you like, not what society or trends dictate. Don't want to wear heels? Don't. Don't want to wear sheer tops? Don't. Do you want to wear a floor-length 1970's caftan to your 16 birthday party? GO FOR IT!! No one gives a shit and if they do, you don't want to be friends with them.

    2) Know you bra size and get it checked EVERY YEAR. This is for fat girls and thin girls. Your body changes continually so just because you wore a 34B the first time you got a bra doesn't mean you wear one now. I believe that wearing undies that fit make your clothes look better and make you more comfortable. When I worked at LB, I was trained to check bra sizes and I can't tell you how many women came in there with straps digging inches into their shoulders, nearly half their breast popping out of bra cups or undies that cut deep marks into their hips. A lot of times, these women were still wearing the same bra size they had in Jr. High! It looked so uncomfortable! Get comfortable, ladies!!!!

    3) Fuck sizes. There. I said it. Clothing sizes are not universal from store to store so stop beating yourself up if you have to go up a size when you go to a new store. Clothing sizes aren't universal for ANY ONE except maybe babies and do you think a 6 month old baby cares if it's wearing 9 month old clothes? NO. It cares that it's cozy and comfortable. So be a baby and go with it - I know which stores run smaller and which run bigger. I buy pieces that fit me, regardless of the tag, and I suggest you do the same.

    4) Look at (and try on) clothes in "normal" stores. This is how I found out that I can wear an XL at the Gap and how I got an amazing kimono jacket at H&M. When you're out shopping with your friends and they drag you into a "normal" sized store, don't just watch their bags or stalk the jewelry rack, see what you can do for you. You'll be surprised, trust.

    5) Know what to spend money on and what to cheap out on. Let's face it, Lane Bryant is expensive. Torrid is expensive and their clothes are poorly made. Don't spend a ton of money on something that won't last through 6 months. Personally, I am willing to spend a lot on three things: bras & undies (you wear them every day and you deserve to be comfortable every day whether you're a size 6 or 26), jeans/pants and shoes. Find out what pieces are important to you and spend your money there.

    6) Find one act of self-grooming that you love to do and do it all the time. I'm terrible doing my hair, I'm so-so with make-up. I don't find either task particularly soothing. I do, however, love doing my nails and have always found the experience a relaxing way to clear my thoughts. So now, I have a ton of nail polish and I do my nails on a regular basis. I even blog about it . It's my way of reminding myself that I'm not going to shrink back into the miasma of fatshame and hide my body and things that interest me.

    Here's a link to my polish blog if anyone's interested: http://lacquercabinet.wordpress.com/

  10. I'm super new with fatshion since I tend to stick in my comfort zone too much. But lately I have been stepping out and wearing more skirts, trying to add something new to my daily outfit! I'll have my blog post up tomorrow and will link back!

  11. I used to thrift a lot more, but I have been getting back into it recently. I love the unique finds in those stores. If I buy anything in a store it has to be one sale, buying full price is too expensive. I also make/alter a lot of my clothes too. There are some great plus size patterns out there (Simplicity, Burda, McCalls, Quick Sew) that are relatively easy to follow for non-sewers. Plus if you make it it is almost guranteed to be unique! My post for this will be up on Wednesday hopefullysmashing.blogspot.ca

  12. I applaud all the lovelies showing their style at every size who now blog on the web! Thanks ladies, and thank you Rachele-you were my first!
    For this week's assignment, I got out my thrifted leopard swing coat from last year that I never wore. I love it!! and so does everybody else for that matter-i don't know what I was waiting for! So I have rocked it every not frigid day with my red lips and my newly cut back in modified pixie.
    My style tips:
    1.find great consigners and ebay sellers and check often for new goods.
    2. ask etsy designers to make something for you...know your measurements and always dbl check.
    3. Simply Be
    4. get fitted for your bras every year and replace every 6-8 months when they stretch out. If you time it right for 2x a year you can catch the BOGO at Lane Bryant
    5. Always wear shoes you are comfortable in cause its hard to feel hot when your feet are killing you. So what if everyone swears by heels-if its not your thing, don't do it.
    6. Spend money on quality items that will last a looooong time. You know like great fitting jeans, blazers, wool coat, bras. Get other things cheaply, especially if its super trendy in the now.

  13. Here's my blog post: http://circoluma.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/how-to-be-a-fat-bitch-week-three/

    And my tips!

    1. Clean out your closet. First of all, you might have things you
    forgot about in there, and it will be like Christmas. Second, and most
    important, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit. Don’t hold on to it for
    that magical day when you lose weight. Your closet should be filled
    with only clothes that fit you and that you love.

    2. Hit the thrift stores, and hit them often if you’re trying to
    build your wardrobe. Learn when your local stores have sales. Also, know
    how much you’re willing to spend on things. For instance, I can’t
    remember the last time I spent more than $10 on jeans, but dresses are
    harder to find so I’ll spend up to about $40 on one new (on sale) if I’m
    really in love with it. That’s my budget.

    3. Break the rules. It’s okay to wear bright colors or small patterns or horizontal stripes. I promise.

    4. Buy clothes that fit really well. Sometimes that means buying a
    bigger or smaller size than you think you wear. For instance, eShakti’s
    clothes are designed so that they’re smaller in the waist than most
    other brands that I wear a size up. I almost always take a size down in
    cardigans, because I like them fitted.

    5. Remember that you aren’t hear to be anyone’s eye candy.
    Conversely, you also don’t have an inherent obligation to protect the
    rest of the world from seeing your big ass or wide hips or thick waist
    in stripes or bright colors. Dress to please yourself. Period.

  14. Here's a link to my fatshion tips :)

  15. I had so much fun with this one! http://secretagentinmyownmind.blogspot.com/2013/03/taking-my-obnoxious-back.html

  16. Well, I took long enough with this one. ;-) http://lateshoes.com/2013/03/fat-bitch-week-3-being-fashionable-and-fat/

  17. Nastassia ArtalejoJuly 19, 2013 at 5:42 PM



  18. Woohoo! Got mine done! http://www.untypicallyjia.com/2013/07/fashionably-fat.html

  19. I wore a romper. It was awesome. http://okayallison.blogspot.com/2013/08/well-yall-said-i-looked-good-in-chambray.html

  20. I wore a romper too!!!