Trending for Fat Girls This Spring — RUFFLES!

OMG, finally! I’ve been waiting forever, I thought the day would never come when someone said, “Fat girls and ruffles? Made in Heaven, obvs!”

So glad Avenue’s picking up the ball on this one. And what a TRENDY trend. So new. Fresh, even. Ruffles. Fat girls. Who’d’a thunk.

12 comments on “Trending for Fat Girls This Spring — RUFFLES!

  1. I love ruffles. I never find fat girl clothes with ruffles here.

  2. bigliberty says:

    Oh gosh, then you need to come to the States! We’re drowning in ruffles here.

  3. Miriam Heddy says:

    I actually like ruffles–but only in black. I have a sheer, black shirt that’s a bit like the light blue one in the photo above. It looks very goth and somewhat Victorian.

    That said, I think ruffles and florals are a lethal combination of ugly.

  4. The thing with clothing is that what one person finds ugly, other people like. We should never be asking plus-size retailers to reduce their options, only increase them. What we really need is the range and diversity that straight sizes have.

    I’m happy to wear my “lethal combination of ugly” ruffles and florals any day, without judging other people’s choices.

  5. bigliberty says:

    While I do appreciate that we all have our own sense of style, I think sometimes fat people feel like we’re being shoehorned into a very narrow range of styles, materials, and cuts. Some of my frustration with ruffles, for instance, is that it’s been a staple of fat-girl fashion in the US as yet another way to ‘draw the eye’ from the fatness to some ornament on the clothing. Same reason plus-size retailers are obsessed with large prints, rhinestones, and ornaments in the chest area or on the neckline. That’s not to say there aren’t some ruffles I like personally — the site you linked to has an eyelash-ruffle skirt I would definitely buy if I didn’t already own one!! 🙂

    I think there’s a deserved frustration that fat people are given limited options, and that certain trends are recycled just for them and aren’t part of the mainstream, or if they are, it’s some modified version for fat people constructed with artificial fibers and incorporating a ‘distraction’ factor. I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that we want to limit the options of other fat people, when really what we want are more options than plus size people are traditionally granted. We want fitted, wrap-style, empire, tummy-hugged, plain, printed, subtly printed, floral, non-floral, natural fibers, artificial fibers, decorated, undecorated, ruffled, non-ruffled, and so on.

  6. Yes, WE do want to move away from those “draw the eye/flattering” things.

    But there are still lots of women, who aren’t online and in this environment of support and encouragement who still like to wear styles that they believe are “flattering”. That’s what they feel comfortable in, that’s what they like to see on themselves and it makes me nervous to see suggestions that “we” don’t want those things. “We” are not the only customers of the already limited plus-size clothing options.

    I think the biggest problem we’re (we’re, as in an online community) presenting to mainstream mass retailers is that we are very vocal in saying we want certain things, so we present an either/or kind of scenario. So, they swing into funky styles… only for a huge swathe of their customers who aren’t body positive to go NOOOOOO!

    For example, I hate anything with beading/detail at the neckline and I would love to never see anything plus-sized with that on it again. I’ve made the mistake of being vocal about it to a plus-size clothing retailer, and they got rid of it for a season… only to have a HUGE backlash from other customers (who are not online). I work with a woman who was devastated that she couldn’t get anything beaded at the neckline. Same thing happened with surplice necklines (oh what a fat lady uniform!) I complained bitterly about how fed up I was with them, only to discover that some people like them very much, and don’t want them to go off the market.

    What we need to be demanding is that they ADD to their collections. Not exchange one thing for another. More, more, more! I now talk to that retailer about adding more, more, more variety. If they already have two beaded detail tops, how about adding something different, AS WELL. Thank God they listen!

    And we need to not snark at something we don’t personally like. Because it shames someone who does like it. Instead, say we don’t like it without the snark, and offer up a suggestion of what we would like. Eg; “I don’t like ruffles, they don’t suit me, but I’d love to see more retro prints in classic shapes.” instead of “ruffles and florals are a lethal combination of ugly.”

    (And for the record – ruffles are right on trend this season, fat or not – they’re cropping up everywhere. We shouldn’t deny a trend just because it’s been used as a fat lady clothing trope, otherwise we’re still behind the fashion.)

  7. bigliberty says:

    My blog doesn’t garner the kind of attention whereby I’d worry for a second whether snarking over ruffles, or anything else I was tired of in plus-size fashion, would affect the market in the subtlest way. I don’t appreciate being told what I *should* say or not, as a fat blogger. I actively cultivate my right to get angry with what I consider to be biases, injustice, or other forms of discrimination (including a narrow field of options for plus-size styles). For a long time I was told my anger wasn’t valid, that I just needed to shut up, to take up less verbal space. Fuck that.

    If you feel guilty that you were personally responsible for limiting the options of others (I would challenge that, since it’s obviously the bad business sense of retailers who would ignore the interests of swaths of customers in favor of one blogger), then frankly that’s something you own, not me. I’m sorry you feel that way, but it’s not my thing, and I’m not going to be policed by it. I reserve my right to get angry and yes, even snarky from time to time.

    And, like I said before, I don’t much care if ruffles are on trend — I can deny a trend all I like, for the reasons I like. My tastes and my frustrations are as valid as the next person’s, and I would appreciate not being lectured about what I should or shouldn’t say about them. I never once said “people who like ruffles, ew!” and to me, that would be the valid offensive statement. And no, I don’t consider saying “fat people are boxed in by ruffles, sigh!” equivalent.

    I have the right to find any piece of clothing as frustrating as I like, whether it’s a current trend that’s sparking my frustration, or whether I’m digging through the vaults of multiple online catalogs. If someone is reading who likes that about which I snark, then they’re grownups who can choose to take it personally or not. I’m not going to play the paranoid self-censoring game, “Gee, I’m sure tired of sandboxes! Fat people are too often coupled with sandboxes, it’s annoying.” in fear that the plus-sized sandbox lover might comment, “Why do you want to take my sandbox away?” Just. No.

    There’s a line between civilized self-censorship — not being an whatever-ist jerk, in short — and paranoid self-censorship. I put censoring my language regarding fat fashion trends and tropes in the paranoid category, and *people* who like certain trends and tropes in the jerk category. That’s how I suss them out, and will continue to do so. Commenters are free to come in and ask, “Why do you want to limit my options?” if they want me to clarify that no, in fact there are even some things about trend/trope X I like, but I am frustrated with how plus-size retailers cycle between tropes and revel when a trope just happens to be trend, I am frustrated by too few options, of which this particular trend/trope is an example.

    For instance, I do like some of the things you mentioned that you’ve complained about — like surplice necklines. I love them on dresses. But you snarking on surplice necklines as a fat fashion trope? Totally cool with me, you’re right, they are! It would be great if we had more options, and it’s frustrating having too few. I agree. I don’t take it personally in the slightest. If some idiot retailer sees your frustration as a reason to get rid of surplice necklines instead of adding a new style? How in the world is that *your* fault? You’re not running that company. You have a right to your opinion.

    If anything, it just goes to show that plus-size retailers are often flying by the seat of their pants, and take much less time thinking about styles and fits on their plus-size customer than say, Ralph Lauren takes on their sample-sized customer. How is that something wrong with discourse about fatshion among plus-size bloggers? It’s something wrong with *their* marketing and concept department, clearly.

    I hope that touches on all your points, here. I also hope you realize that I don’t think you’re intentionally trying to censor and police me, that this is a true concern you have rooted in a real experience. I just think that we all have our own ways of approaching fat acceptance and certain issues inherent in being a fat person, our own particular frustrations and concerns, and those ways and frustrations are valid and very different from person to person.

    The lovely thing about fat acceptance as a social movement, in my view, is that it’s *not* just a single platform defined by some blogger elite. It’s not one-size-fits-all — it’s as individual as our own experience.

  8. WHOA! Hang on just a minute.

    Firstly, I wasn’t suggesting YOU were being snarky. That prize goes to the “lethal kind of ugly” comment. I’m sure those who like to wear florals and ruffles together would feel really good to hear that said about their taste. That I have no tolerance for.

    Secondly, all I was trying to illustrate was that for every person who says they hate something in the very, very, very limited range of plus size fashion, there’s someone out there who does like it, and that we should be asking for MORE options, not restricting what is there.

    And I don’t think suggesting something is a fat fashion trope (which is what your post is saying about the ruffles, I get that) is snark. It’s just saying that it’s something that is repeated over and over by retailers for fat fashion, some of us like it, some of us don’t.

    In any case, there was no censoring or policing you at all, just elaborating on what I was saying. At no point was I suggesting that YOU should modify your language.

    I took objection to the other commenter’s snark, and was trying to illustrate that point, and I also wanted to elaborate on just how narrow the range of options already are for fat bodies, without having to narrow them further.

    I am disappointed that you would think that was what I was doing. I’ve never done it to you before, and am not quite sure why you would think I was doing it now.

  9. bigliberty says:

    Hi Kath,

    I took your comment as a response to my last comment, so I wasn’t figuring that you were responding mainly to Miriam, rather to the main post and my comments coupled with Miriam’s comment. I was rather surprised you’d respond that way to the original post, as you’re right, I didn’t expect you’d respond that way. But I’ve been blogging for a long time, and have suffered a personal attack or two from bloggers I didn’t expect would do such a thing. It’s got my guard up, a bit. I also have been subject to some policing by FA-elite in the past, and am a tad sensitive to it. I’m sorry I took your comment in a way other than it was intended.

    It’s the nature of responding to things on the internet…when meanings aren’t necessarily 100% clear, and though we think we know the motivations of our fellow bloggers we might not be correct all the time.

    I do, of course, respect you very much as a blogger (which I think has been evidenced by my comments and posts). Sorry about the confusion, and thanks for your explanation. 🙂

  10. Apology accepted, and I am so far from FA-elite I can’t even see it with a telescope!

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