If you told me a decade ago that I would have a wardrobe that had plenty of T-shirts, tops, jeans, pants and dresses, I would have laughed at you and asked you to stop making fun… But well, guess what, today these are what fill my wardrobe. I barely have any salwar kameez or kurtis.. How times have changed, right?
I grew up in small towns – Madurai & Tirunelveli before moving to Chennai.. Back then, in school we had uniform which was shirt+pinafore, with canvas shoes/buckle shoes and then it changed to salwar kameez when I got to 11th standard. At home, I would wear frocks [ yes, dresses were called Frocks back then] and then it became salwar kameez, which is pretty much what you would see me in day or night, till my mid-late 20s. You can never ever get the readymade finish in a tailored suit, but well, chubby plus sized girls like me cant be choosy, can we!?
And then I slowly began to discover the world of western wear. Actually, it stated with a T-shirt – 3/4th pyjama set that I picked up before a family trip [ well, it did not happen.. anyways], and it had an image that glowed in the dark. The 1st time I wore it, damn, I was so conscious of my body and having been told enough times that I was BIG/Fat, I kept tugging at my T-shirt, almost as if I wanted it to just become a nighty and cover me up… Other clothes I would get stitched, cos I did not get salwar kameez my size in all stores [ a particular cut/style at Fabindia used to fit me, but that was it]
Time rolled on, and sometime in the last decade, I have made the switch gradually but surely to wearing more of western clothes… I love it.. Mainly cos it gives me a shape and doesn’t cover me like a pillow case [ which is how my salwar kameez felt]. I found stores- online & offline that cater to the plus size. More than my body, I have broad shoulders, so a XL or XXL in certain brands would be right for my body, but wouldn’t fit cos of my shoulders and am tall as well.. So readymade kurtis felt weird cos they would be short, just below my hips and I was lost on what to pair them with.
The very 1st top and skirt I bought was from Cotton World in Bangalore [ actually some of their clothes fit me even now, XL/XXL], right after my uncle’s wedding. A whole lot of us went out, and I got myself this and quite liked it. Prior to this, the only time I have worn a shirt & 3/4th pants was when I played the part of Duke in a school play [Merchant of Venice]- this was in 6th std if I remember right… Anyways, that cotton world shirt and skirt lasted a while and I was back to trusted salwar kameez. Since I did not get my size in readymade clothes, I did not have a huge wardrobe, just the few I had stitched. Over time, from wearing Salwar kameez dupatta sets, I started wearing a salwar top/long kurtas with a plain bottom [ black/white/maroon became the base] and then came the palazzos,followed by 3/4th or capris, leggings, jeggings and what not..
And then I discovered Gia from Westside – loved what I found.But wait, it got better..thanks to my uncle, I found Easy2wear [Chennai] and life hasn’t been the same since then.. lol.. NO seriously, it is a store that started off as a place that mainly sold export surplus but today they have their own tailoring unit and roll out clothes across sizes, styles across Indian and western [men, women & kids]. I have tops, shirts, T-shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, palazzo from there & have introduced so many friends to the store…
Another store I have bought from is Mustard. When I was planning my US trip, I shopped at Westside and online at Myntra – tops that have lasted till date. I also buy T-shirts and shorts at Big Bazaar or Max, they are so comfortable and I mostly wear em at home.
Not only do I love these clothes, i also feel comfortable in them enough to wear a dress or a shirt with jeans for a meeting or an event. I do get complimented lot more, esp for the way i carry myself.. Well, confidence makes a world of difference and I encourage friends/their kids and others I come across to try changing their wardrobe… Am a minimalist, so even today you wont find a wardrobe that is spilling over with clothes- nope~ I have a friend who loves clothes and shopping, keeps sending me outfits and trying to get me to shop while we are together, but nope, it doesn’t bode well with me.. My policy is “buy 1, give away 2” and I love purging and clearing stuff out..
While in the US, I did shop quite a bit, at Costco, Factory outlet – Gap, Old Navy and Marshalls ..Bought myself few Tops, a short dress and skirts – love them! I also have a jumpsuit sent across by my aunt.. I have been blessed with friends who get me T-shirts, tops and what not whenever they see something interesting/fun/me 🙂
Was reading this article about shopping behaviour among plus sized women, and it was astonishing to see that most shop online – they dont want to go to a store for fear of being body shamed, then comes the trial room trauma [ I hate it too, cos most stores have a teeny tiny dressing room, plus since i am tall, I have a tough time taking off/putting on clothes..] Read the entire article
I have come across quite a few sites thanks to friends and the internet, [though i personally have not tried them, friends have and love them].. Here are some options,
Marks & Spencer – While I have seen some XL size clothes here, not tried them…
ALL – I like their store , I picked up jeans from there
H&M – again, I like their store as well
oxolloxo – Should mention that while a friend loves this site, I find their clothes weirdly sized, their XXL is a M or L at best …
Thanks to Instagram, have discovered a few designers – Bhomra Design Co., Howrah bridge and so many others… Have a dress from Bhomra that I love [ they are also super reasonably priced, the dress friend gifted me was 1500bucks, while some other brands are 2k+].. You can customise your outfit, & have it tailor made for you- which is the biggest advantage.
Note: All these stores stock regular sizes going all the way to plus sizes….
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. ” But then I say “Creating your style and make sure to leave an impression from the minute you walk into a space”.. I am also one of those who goes for comfort & functionality over fashionable/chic/in-vogue[ this applies for everything in life! ]….For daily wear it is all these comfortable outfits, but for festivals and occasions, I do pick from the few salwar sets or a saree.. …
What is your favourite store/site to shop from… ?