Like many I have traumatic tales of shopping for plus size clothes. The frustration, the frumpiness, the flammable fabrics. Then recently at the Yorkshire Air Museum I spotted this advertisement from a WWII newspaper and realised we have come a long way. If a 1940s larger lass heard me moaning about my tapered jeans and shirts with beards she’d be rolling her eyes, "You think you’ve got it bad, missy? Why, back in MY day all I had was a Charmingly Colourful OUTSIZE FROCK!"
Gracefully draped style, designed to give soft slimming lines to the full figure. In brightly coloured screen print effect Rayon Crepe in various shades. 46, 48 & 50 ins. hips.
It looks like the basic idea was that one drew attention away from the hips with gigantic shoulders, upon which one could have landed a Lancaster Bomber.
The model doesn’t seem particularly outsized. I guess it’s only been in recent times that we’ve progressed to actual plus size people modelling plus size clothing, so it might have been too radical to sketch a proper plus size chick. Or maybe they had to ration their pencil strokes since there was a WAR on, don’t you know.
They also very thoughtfully catered beyond 50 inches: Others equally attractive in Prints up to 54 ins. Also Rayon Frocks, 46 to 60 ins.
What do you think of the plus size clothes of today? Are they getting any better? I must admit I had a few "Back In My Day" moments when I first arrived in the UK in 2003 – I nearly wept in an Evans store when I saw jeans without stupid sequins and costume jewellery that actually got around my wrists and fingers. And then I found Monsoon stocking up to size 22, so I could buy things off the same rack as my slip of a sister (except I didn’t coz it was so bloody expensive). I found three different shops with non-frumpy Going Out Tops. I was excited by the options, but part of me wanted to shout at the younguns, YOU KIDS! YOU DON’T KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE! I didn’t have no fancy wrap dress! All I had were black trousers and man shirts!
But five years on, from what I’ve read in emails and blogs, it seems that overall both the clothes and the shopping experience are still prone to extreme suckiness. It’s not all Charmingly Colourful Rayon but there is still some ways to go – as best illustrated by Katy’s horrific experience in New York.
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I had eggs for breakfast on Saturday, of the Green & Blacks miniature soft-centred persuasion. Very tasty and no doubt top quality fuel for the eight-mile training walk that followed… but nothing can beat gnashing the ears off a good old Aussie Red Tulip bunny. Will somebody scoff one on my behalf and recount every filthy detail in the comments!? Happy Easter, comrades.