Anyone who has ever worked as a stage hand can attest: you will always need a black turtleneck in your collection. Anyone who lives in a climate that has winter will tell you: you will always need at least one turtleneck for that time in the season that you forget your scarf, canâ€™t wear it safely, or have too much vanity to let it stick out uncoordinated from the rest of your outfit. The idea of a turtleneck as trendy entertains me â€“ itâ€™s a necessity, and has many, many functions.
You can find your own plus size turtlenecks on Fat Chic clothing search.
Back before WWII forced us to switch to nylon because all that leftover silk went to parachute making, women got used to living life only ever owning one or two pairs of what we now call pantyhose. (Stockings.) They could expect, with gentle care after an arduous night, to rely on their stockings to remain in their lives for years at a time. I hear some women even managed to go their entire adult lives happily only owning one pair of stockings.
Then WWII happened, and itâ€™s all gone to shit.
What frustrates me about the current marketing of hosiery, aside from knowing any pair I own will not last past at most 5 uses, is that we have alternatives to nylon available. In fact, WE SHOULD BE USING THOSE ALTERNATIVES. Nylons are made from petroleum, and while itâ€™s not the same petroleum that runs cars, the material still comes from the crude oil that is the source of so much of the worldâ€™s problems today. I am not one to complain without presenting a solution to explore. Thus, I present my thoughts: explore other fibers.
I thought of this yesterday as I folded my partnerâ€™s running tights. Heâ€™s taken to running outdoors in the winter, and has gone ahead and purchased the necessary gear to do so without the inconvenience of freezing to death. The tights are made from a nylon/spandex blend, and are guaranteed durable â€“ a guarantee that no one seems to think women deserve or want. We want it. I donâ€™t often dare to say â€œwhat women wantâ€ universally, but given the way hosiery has insinuated itself into the moral con-game of â€œoffice appropriate,â€ I can tell you that any research I might do will support women WANTING DURABLE HOSIERY.
In fact, the running tights my partner wears for his runs is of a thickness and durability that would actually work under a straight skirt. This will not, of course, work in the southwest or Florida. But for those of us who â€œhave weatherâ€ where we live, the stuff that those tights are made from, even with small amount of nylon/petroleum involved, would still reduce the reliance on petroleum by calling for less frequent use and make women happier and free them to buy other, more expensive items because their clothing budget isnâ€™t constantly drained by hose guaranteed to run the first day you miss giving yourself a pedicure treatment.
Among the fibers Iâ€™d like to see explored for possibility in hose:
- Hemp: thereâ€™s more to it than just that burlap you saw on hippies in the 1990s.
- Tencel: itâ€™s the new synthetic, itâ€™s made from old tires, which share roots in nylons. Can we create something sturdier that way?
- Bamboo: again, itâ€™s a brave new world with higher quality bed sheets at a lower thread count than their cotton equivalents. Can we do something with apparel â€“ how flexible is it, and how thin can this stuff be woven?
This is the one wardrobe necessity â€“ cultural, not actual â€“ that Iâ€™ve never found a strong DIY on. At this point, Iâ€™m seriously considering buying a pair of menâ€™s running tights myself, and testing them out under a few dresses. I wear leggings, and having less thickness but the same amount of warmth at this time of year very much interests me.
I include this blazer for no other reason beyond â€œI like it.â€ With all the lace variations out there â€“ some mounding plus sizes in lace, leaving us looking and feeling like we belong the island of misfit wedding cakes â€“ itâ€™s nice to have something that adds structure, toughness and constraint.
Still looking for lace? Find it on Fat Chic clothing search.
Some history teacher once mentioned that skirt length tends to run inversely to economic conditions: the tighter the money, the more conservative the clothing and the longer the skirts. Iâ€™m pretty sure that in recent years, designers have consciously or subconsciously broken with this. Or else, after conditions where the Australian dollar beat the US dollar, they have thrown up their hands, yelled â€œWhat the hell!â€ and are making whatever out of whatever is on hand at whatever length.
For me, skirt length can vary by winter. Iâ€™ve got nothing to prove wearing a miniskirt in a blizzard, and point of truth, I havenâ€™t worn a miniskirt since I was 19. First, my belly can render just about any skirt a mini. Second, cold. Third, because of various allergy conditions I save wearing hose for when I have to because the pressure of even the loosest fits leaves pressure hives on my skin. I donâ€™t believe in suffering for beauty â€“ we suffer enough for ugly in this society â€“ so given a choice between hose or a long skirt I can wear with boots, in the winter, I go with the long skirt.
(However, since many occasions call for dresses, the hose never entirely go away.)
You can find plus size maxi skirts on Fat Chic clothing search.
I found this great collection of plus size retro inspired dresses from Lucie Lu. While not the same as true vintage, itâ€™s definitely inspired, especially for those who love the 40s â€“60s Mad Men style looks.
Lucky magazine dared tease me with the prospect of a ballet sweater, and now I totally want one. A search for one via Fat Chic clothing search, alas, produced little that might help. I found ballet necks, ballet wraps, but nothing that overtly constitutes a ballet sweater. I did find a lot of ballet NECK stuff, for whatever thatâ€™s worth â€“ and I do love that look, but itâ€™s still not quite the same thing.
You can try your own search for a plus size ballet sweater on Fat Chic clothing search.
The emergence of the â€œmidiâ€ skirt feels a little strange. While it makes more sense than some fashion names â€“ it indicates skirt length and nothing more â€“ Iâ€™m not sure I fully understand the necessity. We get it, skirt lengths vary. Itâ€™s probably preferable to â€œparochial school approved length.â€Â Mid-length skirts existed long before the grievous invention of the internet midi file, and Iâ€™m happy yanking the term from poorly executed Geocities web pages and handing it over to the fashion world. I think it applies to a bit more than just skirt length â€“ it can class a series of skirt types, including A-lines, circle skirts, and anything else thatâ€™s hits just below the knee.
You can find your own plus size midi skirts on Fat Chic clothing search.
Fashion Bug find â€“ in plus. Itâ€™s a nice combination of belted trench and faux fur, although white + me = coffee stain.
Find your own plus size belted coats on Fat Chic clothing search.
Pencil skirts on plus-sizes go down three different roads: the road of shapewear, the road of long top, or the road of â€œIâ€™m built for it.â€ If youâ€™re that rare plus size with a flat stomach and a round booty, the pencil skirt was made for you as-is, or with some minor tailoring. If, on the other hand, you have some legs to show but some shape to struggle with, you can try to insert yourself into a smoothing garment that will make going to the bathroom your new gym workout, or you can wear a longer top. Opting for â€œitâ€™s not like yâ€™all donâ€™t know Iâ€™m fat,â€ is also a legitimate choice that I support, but I will say that should you choose this route, you take your daily context into account. If you really need your job, and you work with people that donâ€™t appreciate having their assumptions challenged, you might consider that longer top. If, however, you live and work in a punk-accepting world, do as you see fit and totally share the pictures of yourself being awesome.