The Fear - What Not To Wear

Everyone knows the fatshion rules; don't wear horizontal stripes, don't wear print, don't wear bright colours, don't wear anything form fitting, keep bare skin to an absolute minimum; generally dress and act like a shadow.

Now, due to more options, bloggers, the media and plain common sense, these rules are less adhered to, but not completely irrelevant.

Too often I hear the word 'flatter' and not in the good 'that makes you look amazing' kind of way, but more along the lines of 'do you really think you could pull that off?'. I've never paid any attention to the rules and rather naively assumed everyone else felt the same way. It's posts like this that remind me the rules have been upheld for a reason. There's only so long society can take the blame for how we choose to dress. There's nothing wrong with sticking to the rules if that's what you're comfortable with, but how far are our clothing choices dictated by the fear of ridicule or the preconception that we have to dress in order to satisfy societies expectations?

Rather upsettingly, it would seem that almost everyone has had that moment where they've forgone wearing something they like for the fear of looking like a fool. Of course this isn't subjective to those of us who are fat, everyone second guesses themselves; but when something as innocuous as a stripy t-shirt becomes an issue, there's a problem somewhere.

Of all the hang-ups I have, dressing has never been one of them. Although I wasn't always fat, I've always felt and been told I'm fat. This didn't stop me from wearing neon lycra leggings back in the day and hasn't stopped me since. No matter how many times I've witnessed my mother pull a face and start the 'should you be wearing that?' speech, if I like it, I'll wear it. That doesn't mean I always get it right, few people always do, but I'm willing to give it a try!

Of course this is just me. What I want to know is, how do you feel about the rules? Have you ever had that moment where you think 'I shouldn't wear that'? Who's most likely to influence your clothing choices, your family, your peers, your partner? Or something else? Has your view on how you dress changed over time? If it has, are you more or less confident now?

Crazy amount of questions but this is something I'm genuinely interested in and I'd love to read your views! :)


  1. This has to be one of my all fav post! the fear used to stop me shopping to the extent my mum did it for me..and she has no style!! But I am overcoming it. Most of the clothes I own my family [except my aunt] hate and tell me not to wear..but I feel so happy in short skirts, dresses! I now know what suits me and what doesn't [I used to wear polo necks - with this chest - BAD]

    I tend to get influenced now by my friends and my work mates [who are my mates] because they will tell me if I look awful and when I look hot. I love people who are just honest!!!

    NOW - I have learnt of blogs and bloggers and tbh you guys inspire me. All of the different colours, shapes and looks and you all don't worry about it. It really is one of the most inspirational moments for me.

    Ok this is way long so i'm going to

  2. I completely agree! My mum HATES what I wear and most of my family tell me to "Cover up" or "Put it away" I find magazines, blogs and *shame* Gossip Girl influence me but I am much more confident in what I wear, despite people at uni and around where I live looking at me askance. I just think, you only live once so you might as well have fun with it!

  3. 1) how do i feel about the rules?
    well before i started blogging and my eyes were opened to how stylish/beautiful/trendy/etc larger women can be... i totally believed in the rules... yadda yadda flattering yadda yadda... but ever since i've discovered that their are thousands of beautiful plus sized women out there just chucking the rules out the window... i finally saw how ridiculous they are! the direction of your stripes and the color of your trousers aren't gonna hide your shape... everyone looking at you will still know that you are a plus sized person and i think its time to come to terms with that!
    2) have you ever had that moment where you think 'i shouldn't wear that'?
    yes! all the time! as u guys can see... i don't really do bodycon pieces... because I have issues with my shape... and i'm not going to lie and say that i don't care what onlookers are thinking but the majority of why i steer clear of certain trends is because i simply don't like the way they look on my shape.
    3)who is most likely to influence your clothing choices?
    the fatshionable ladies from the blog world have become my biggest influence lately second only to myself lolz i buy what i like whether its because of plain lust or because of the way it looks on me i usually only dress for myself.
    4)has your view on how you dress changed over time?
    oh DEFINITELY! and i am soooo much more confident now... and it doesnt hurt that the clothes i choose now genuinely make me happy... i found that when you wear something that really REALLY puts a smile on your face, all other concerns about the outfit just go out the window!

    great post my love! :) i love answering your questions

    - Iza

  4. For most of my teenage and younger life I didn't take risks because of "rules," both imposed by myself and others. Now I wear whatever I think is beautiful, and find most people like my fashion sense, whereas before I was just ho-hum. I saw dress in what you love, don't try to blend in because other people tell you to!

    xoxo Maria

  5. Great post. The only person who influences what I wear is me. Sometimes I ask for my sister or boyfriends' opinions, but I almost always go for what I feel comfortable in. If you feel comfy in spandex and animal print, go ahead. You're the one buying your clothes anyway.

  6. I remember my mom always told me not to wear stripes because they make you look larger. So for years I never wore blouses or tees with stripes unless they were vertical because of that... and most of the time I stayed away from stripes altogether. Now that I'm in my 30, I would say I'm a bit more comfortable in my skin and because of that, and the growing fatshion movement, I've gotten alot bolder and more comfortable in myself and will wear things that I like and not worry so much about fashion trends and rules. I wear what I'm comfortable in, and that's all that matters.

    @jaybendy on twitter

  7. RULES??? What rulessss? Buhahahahaha...that's my sinister laugh by the way.

    I don't care about rules anymore...all I care is how comfortable I feel in it!

  8. I really hate "The Rules". *Hate*. They're only there to shame people about their own bodies. Having said that, I'm experiencing major Fear at the moment, all induced by my mother's projection of her self-image issues onto me (and to a lesser extent, my friends.) She seems to know exactly how to push my 'Wah, I'm so ugly, I'll just hide away now' button.

    It doesn't stop me wearing the clothes I like, but it does sometimes stop me wearing them around HER. Which is kind of a failure, if you think about it.

  9. I read Mezzo's post, too, and so many thoughts were running through my mind after I read point after point. I still don't think I can put together all my opinions, but I can try.

    The rules are the rules. And sometimes, rules are meant to be broken - or rewritten. For so long, there's been dress rules not only for fat people but also tall people, skinny, people, people with curves, people straight as a board, etc. etc. People would be more willing to forget the rules or write their own guide to style if they paid more attention to who they are and what they like, not what someone deems is appropriate.
    I don't let anyone create my clothing choices except myself. Its funny because when I started studying fashion in college, more specifically a Fashion Analysis course (a.k.a. how to give a makeover), I adhered by every single fashion rule for fat people. Don't wear stripes. Avoid baby doll dresses, etc. etc. Now that I've come into myself and am developing my personal style more and more each day, I say screw those boundaries. Those boundaries were not made for me. Nor are they made for anyone else who wants to feel good and confident in themselves and personal style.

  10. I find it really sad to read that it's girls mothers who are raging on them! My sister and I have been so lucky that my mother is one of the coolest people around and she is always encouraging us to try more daring clothes and hair! My sister is a skinny minny so she can fit into a lot more stuff than me, however I would say that I am the more adventurous one!

    I've spent my teenage and now adult life re-defining my image due to a low boredom threshold but mostly to divert attention away from me and towards my clothes and hairdo. I thought that if people were looking at that first and foremost they wouldn't be concentrating on my fat.

    So years and lots of fashion statements later I have formed my own style, a mix of vintage with a twist. I definately try a lot more, always with the motto "You're only young once!" firmly in my mind.

    I thik that being a plus size hottie you do have to work harder but that just means that you spend more time looking better than the skinny minnies. That's what really makes me cross: skinny girls looking boring and like they need a serious makeover! This industry was built for them and they don't make the most of it! Well more fool them!

    Just remember to have fun and wear what you want for you!

    Love to you all and stay fabulous! xxxxxx

  11. i don't really listen to the rules.. but sometimes, i find myself questioning simple outfits that i'd love to wear (and i see often styled in the fatshion community), but decide not to wear out because the people in the area i live in, dress very conservatively. there are not many fashionistas in northeast pennsylvania let alone fatshionistas. so i don't necessarily want to stick out as a sore thumb! (i'm not always good with attention, be it good or bad).

    insightful post, by the way!

  12. How do i feel about the rules? I answer this by saying "WHAT rules?" There is no reason for anyone to follow societies guidelines for what they think us as plus sized women should wear. I can personally said that I have never had a moment where I felt that I should not wear something, but I know many women who have, and it hinders them from wearing a lot of their wardrobe. They buy pieces thinking that they will one day possess the confidence to wear it but because someone makes a comment or gives a look, they never push themselves to do so.

    When i was younger, I always had a problem dressing my body because of my height, I am a 6'5 girl who also has as size 15 foot size. I always had the pants that were too short or the sleeves that were a BIT to high so I just stuck to mens sweats and basketball clothing. NOW i'm that girl with the skirt that is just a BIT to short for everyone around me, It doesn't bother me and I know I enjoy the way I look when I leave the house. With time, I have obviously learned by trial and error on what I want to wear or the image I want to give off.

    Love the post, love the blog, follower :)

    - Franceta ♥

  13. Great post Steph! Well all of these beautiful women took the words out of my mouth, so I'll leave you with :

    "To HELL with fashion rules!!"


  14. I haven't the words for an answer to do this post justice,
    but the post...I love.

  15. My mom always tried to enforce "rules" about what to wear because I was always chubby/fat (except for a brief period when I was pretty thin-- she loved that), but as I've gotten older, I've decided that I should wear what I want as long as I like it/think it looks good. I wear short skirts and tuck in my top even though my figure isn't as *ahem* smooth as some people's. I got my first pair of purple tights last fall and my mother thinks they're awful, but I've started not to care as much. I'd rather wear cool clothes than try to hide my body. I don't want to hide it anymore. I think as you begin to really LOVE yourself, you want to show it through your style.

  16. I used to conform to the rules because that's all that plus-sized stores used to carry - black, black and more black. Now though, if I like it, I buy and wear it, regardless of colour, pattern etc. LOVED this post xx

  17. I'm so blessed with my family, they keep telling me what a beautiful woman I am (no matter what I wear and even it's supposed to be SUPER HOT, they like it)

    But I always ask myself: Bare Legs? No, TIGHTS, please!
    but this is maybe just me and my dark hair roots?! :P

    But I'm the only person who decides what I wear.
    and often I think: "Oh, I shouldn't wear that" Only because I feel unshapely and bulky in it.

  18. Thank you for all of your responses ladies <3 truly a pleasure to read! :)