Friday, October 24, 2008

Fashionably Fat

It's nice to see an overweight contestant on the CW's new reality series, Stylista, in which whiny 20-somethings compete for a junior editor position at Elle magazine.

Seemingly ignored by the other, skinnier, and definitely bitchier contestants, Danielle was treated very well in episode one by Anne Slowey, Elle's fashion news director. Slowey complimented her eyeglasses and said she had great personal style. Well, I beg to differ. While Danielle might have interesting taste in clothes, she wears them at least a size too small. She spent most of the episode yanking her hem down and adjusting herself, obviously self-conscious. This could have been avoided by wearing flattering pieces that fit properly.

Squeezing a body, sausage-like, into a casing of stretch clothing, is neither fashion-forward nor attractive. Take it from someone who's been fat all her life (except for a brief period of time after starving myself into a size 10). Don't buy the size you *think* you should wear, but clothes that actually fit. And make sure to choose styles that are flattering to your body type.

Big girls with knock-knees and thick legs shouldn't wear tight pants; they only emphasize the fact that you can't get your calves anywhere near each other. Straight leg trousers or an a-line skirt that comes to about mid-kneecap or longer are the way to go. A bit of width at the bottom of a body can do wonders to balance the proportions of someone who is top-heavy, or apple-shaped like Danielle.

Shirts should fall away from the body under the bodice, not hug it, emphasizing every blurble and blob. If you have fat upper arms that would look more at home on a platter with pineapple slices and brown sugar glaze, wear elbow-length or longer sleeves.

Wear a cute jacket with interesting detail at the collar to frame the area for which you want attention - your face. And cut your hair in a flattering style. If your face is wide, try a 'do that can hide part of it, like a medium or short bob, or something shaggy and piece-y. Try some height as well, to elongate your head (much easier to do in the 80s!).

And don't forget to accessorize! Interesting earrings or a necklace plus cute shoes are always a good way to add style to an outfit. Just don't overdo it.


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