So, here’s a dress you first saw me wearing here, styled a little differently this time around. I love this Coldwater Creek cardi and don’t wear it nearly enough. (Most probably because most of my dresses have fitted high waists and look better with my customary cropped cardies, boleros and shrugs). One Christmas, Kate (who is the kindest and most generous person I know), sent me a CC gift token and this was one of my purchases. It’s the best green ever and reminds me of a blouse my grandmother, (yes, that grandmother, God bless her), crocheted me to go under my purple bibbed hotpants in 1971). She made it out of something rejoicing in the name of Twilley’s Lyscordet, which, apparently, you can still buy. Not only was it exactly the same colour, it had identical sleeves and a very similar deal with the frills. Now, if only I could find a way of replicating the best dress she ever bought me – a brown mini shift dress with an orange kipper tie and matching vertical stripes patterned with tiny hamburgers.
Since it’s been a while since I took the merciless piss out of those who like to lay down the law about the way us fats should dress, and since this is quite the most raucous print in my wardrobe, I thought I’d turn my attention to print and pattern this week. Imagine my
embarrassment and shame unfettered glee upon discovering that, according to pretty much everybody, I’m Doing It All Wrong
"Here’s where it gets dicey, "says Jae from nomoremomjeans.com, in her piece 4 Things That Make You Look Fat.”Patterns are awesome. But patterns can also make you look fat. Some serious zero in on your trouble areas, like HERE I AM. I have a shirt that I really love, but the pattern makes me look like I just ate Thanksgiving dinner. Not cool. Try on clothes and make sure the pattern detracts.”
Hey, you know what can also make you look fat, Jae? Being fat. Needless to say, Jae isn’t. A bit like the woman who wrote this load of tommyrot, (wow, I really am channelling my granny today).
Likewise the scale of my print is a honkin’ great no-no. Here’s 3fatchicks.com to put me right: "Fashion experts used to recommend that plus-size women wear clothes with large patterns to mask their trouble zones and keep the attention on the clothes instead of the body. Times have changed! A plus-size body is not something to cover up or be ashamed of." (It’s not? Why are you running a weight loss support forum then? Sorry, digressing; my bad), "While large elaborate patterns may keep people from looking at your trouble areas, you don’t want them to be thinking instead about how your shirt looks like a tablecloth. Stick to classic, bold patterns.”
Or, better still…
According to some rando on that hardy perennial, Whats the Worst Plus-Size Fashion Mistake One Can Make? on about.com, I definitely shouldn’t be wearing plains though: “Always wear shirts with some kind of print on it. It take away the attention from your stomach and the size of your breast”
Quite what I do about my other breast they don’t say.
Reese Armstrong, eHow contributor, on What Kind of Prints Look Good on a Plus-Size Woman? is a fan of the daintier print: "For plus size women, a small print on a shirt is the best option. A large print will be overwhelming and bring attention to a larger frame, while a small print will look feminine and complimentary"
…and whoever wrote How To Select A Plus-Size Wardrobe on wikihow.com avidly agrees: “I have noticed a frightful trend in some variety store plus-size apparel sections – gowns and other apparel with HUGE all over shapes and designs." The horror. There’s more, "Should you be petite, choose less massive prints to avoid overwhelming your outfit with pattern. If you would like to include more decorative fabrics in your wardrobe, my best advice would be to pick one clothing article per outfit to have a pattern, (like a skirt, top or jacket, not all three).”
There are rules about verbotten shapes in print too. Jess Smith, whomsoever she may be, says, "Avoid clothes with too many prints and patterns. It’s a big no-no to wear large polkadots, (but, but…) overly saturated prints and patterns. This will make you look bigger instead of the other way around.”
3fatchicks agree, "Round patterns – such as those with balls, flowers, balloons, or any other circular shapes – can accentuate the wrong areas of your body. Straight lines and bold cuts shape your plus-size body a lot better and give you the power to determine how your body looks in any outfit."
Orly? What about if your body happens to be round whatever you dress it in? Paint a small room white and it’s still going to be a small room. It’s just going to be a boring small room.
As usual I kept the best for last. Yet another rando on about.com, “I cannot stand how some large women will wear those shirts that I like to call token fat shirts, they have prints so chaotic they make you sick…”
That sums this outfit up rather well, I think.