Fashion is far less critical of the bodies that wear it than the people who have nothing better to do than comment on the appearance of others. You do not have to fit the stereotypical boundaries of what society and the images splayed in public media want to dictate as the acceptable norms of beauty. Unfortunately, it is difficult for individuals such as myself who are considered ‘plus size’ to find garments that actually fit proportions that are far more varied than factory mannequins. This is even harder when you have subscribed to a certain aesthetic, often lamenting at the fact that many websites which offer alternative styles do not commonly carry larger sizes.
Renown for their quality brands, Pinup Girl Clothing can be relied on to have something new for every season and the impending Autumn means eventually cooler temperatures and the need to cover skin one has been comfortably exposing all Summer. Fanatics of Deadly Dames and their Juvenile Delinquent Dress may recognize the pairing of a knitted striped top with a fitted black skirt, the fabric snug yet still easy to wear. However, their plus size Hotrod Honey Dress pays homage to the source of its inspiration through an embroidered skull and crossbones that sits on the front right shoulder. The red and white stripes are contrasted by black trim on the low neckline and cuffs, while a wide faux leather black belt cinches in your waistline to create dangerous curves. Horizontal stripes can have a tendency to shorten your frame, so give yourself some extra inches in a pair of Ceres by London Trash, captivating red suede platform pump that has black elastic bands along the vamp that conform to your feet and keep them in place. A store I recently discovered through Tumblr called Viva Dulce Marina that specializes in retro clothes with a moderate plus size section offering dresses, separates, shape wear, petticoats, hoisery and belts. There are definitely a few items that may appear in future Kitschy Variety articles, but today I am focused on the Betsey Handbag since it could very well be a prop from Mad Men, the white vinyl covered rattan sporting a simple gold metal clasp that lets the weaved texture do all the talking.
One of the most popular accessories that quickly transform a seemingly ordinary up-do into a stunning pinup style is a Snood, the high quality black netting allowing you to secure long locks for extended periods of time, and lending itself to be readily decorated by other items such as a Petite Red Rose Clip. Celebrate cocktail hour any time with a Rhinestone Cosmo Martini Necklace, the pint-sized glass decorated in shimmering white rhinestones and dangling from a delicate chain by way of a faux ruby. Denizens of the East Coast have enjoyed a late Summer serenade that was supposed to disappear sometime in June, and I am a personal fan of this odd mating ritual that happens once every seventeen years. While some may find them creepy, I am kind of partial to the idea of owning a pair of Couture Creatures Cicada Earrings for a number of reasons. Featuring over-sized antiqued silvertone charms that are fairly accurate replicas of the insects, they will definitely be an interesting element in any outfit. Though made of shiny black acrylic, these black Bamboo Tiki Bracelets can be stacked around the wrists to bring some structure to this part of the ensemble. Color and pattern matching does not always have to be obvious, and the Big Top Ring is a fabulous way to do both with one accessory. A red and white striped cabochon framed in silver sits on an adjustable ring that is a cheerful reminder of circus influence which attracted me to this dress in the first place.
Aside from the sites already mentioned, the remainder of the pieces in this look were found on Plasticland and Etsy. As much as I enjoy being able to find clothes, shoes and accessories all on one site, the challenge of being able to hunt them down in places others might not even have thought of exploring. Knowing some key words is incredibly helpful, particularly doing an image search or navigating through pages such as Amazon or Ebay, both of which I have read are useful to those seeking plus sizes. If you are fortunate enough to have a store local to you that carries alternative brands, make a trip there and try out a few things to get an idea of how pieces from certain brands are going to fit you in order to avoid returning or reselling something you bought online that doesn’t fit. Another tip is to buy a bigger size than you need and just take it to a tailor or do the alterations yourself if you are able to.
There was a time when plus size alternative fashion was almost non-existent, being restricted to dark corners of places like Hot Topic lest someone be offended that there’s anything above a medium hanging on the rack. New companies are being born every day while existing ones are evolving as they realize what is considered plus size by ‘industry standards’ makes up a significant portion of the population and that we want to buy their stuff too. Here’s hoping this is a trend that continues and inspires others to follow suit.