The joys of shopping for Fat Clothes!

7 Jul

(Heather’s perspective)

As you may have already gathered, I don’t fit into normal sized, normal clothes that normal people are able to buy from the normal shops.  No, I have to buy my clothes from the very special shops… with very special clothes… for very special super-sized ladies (insert condescending company tag-line and jingle here).  Now normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this – at least there are options available to me and places where I can actually buy clothes that fit me.  The problem I have with the fat-lady stores isn’t that they sell clothes for fat ladies…. it’s rather the collection of utterly vile clothes that’s on offer at said stores!

Penny C (a part of the Edgars group) is one such brand.  The brand, named after ex-Miss-Universe… Penny Coelen-Rey… (who, ironically, has never had a fat day in her life) offers overweight women an ‘exciting’ collection of floral ‘blouses’, jeans embellished with enough studs and sequins to make Dolly Parton proud, nylon granny pants in flattering shades of lilac with a crease ironed down the middle of each leg… and denim skirts with tiers of frills, edged with white lace (Think I’m exaggerating?  Ask my thin sister who accompanied me on one of my dreaded clothes-hunting trips!)

Donna Claire (part of the Foschini group) is not much better.  There seems to be a belief amongst the buyers, and indeed makers, of plus-sized garments that fat women are:

  • Definitely 45 years old or over – so there’s no ‘young’ or remotely trendy clothes to be found (on the contrary, lilac and florals abound!)
  • Fat women are ‘jolly’ and ‘loud ‘n proud’ and would like the loudest most garish clothes possible.  Therefore… each and every item has 2 or more of the following:  sequins, studs, bows, frills, iron-on prints of something cheesy, lace, fake leather strips, fake gold clasps and many more delightful options.
  • Fat women surely don’t have sex.  Therefore, why make anything decadent or luxurious in satin?  (Like maybe a simple black satin nightie with a matching gown…?)… Oh no, instead – we are offered cutesy, children’s pajamas and nighties… embellished with teddy-bear prints, cupids, hearts, fluffy pinkness and printed with sayings like: “Cute and Cuddly”.  Oh, goody-gum-drops!

Here’s some photographic evidence (photos taken by my sister in dressing rooms of the abovementioned stores)….

Beetle Juice jersey with flared denim skirt, anybody?

Clingy, shiny, pixelated-TV-pattern shirt with stomach bow... and flared office skirt.

And... my personal favourite: Pale pink crimpelene, camel-hoof creating pants... with ironed seam down the leg... with delightful, matching, magenta blousss with giraffe-skin pattern, bejeweled neckline and flared sleeve. Yeah, baby!

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15 Responses to “The joys of shopping for Fat Clothes!”

  1. zara July 31, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    I found this page when doing a search for Penny C as i have a pair of her jeans in my closet. I wanted to know if there worth having tailored or not (have still haven’t decided But i will keep you posted!) I do find they are huge in the tummy! and i mean huge! I wasn’t sure if they were plus clothing or maternity clothing….

    there is clothing out there that fits. (and is stylish) its just a matter of finding it. and once you have a brand that fits you right most of the line will also fit great too…

    Thanks for the info on Penny C.

  2. women's shirts August 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Ye, it is a fun to do shopping for fat clothes but they are not that easy to find!

    • Jill September 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

      I would like to suggest Out of the blue in Cape Town and Knysna – I take a size 48 (XXL in their sizes) and have found some stunning dresses, jackets and vest-type tops, often in cotton. Worth looking at.

  3. Luella March 4, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    I am extatic that someone had the guts to do what you did. I have often wondered who the designers are for the plus sizes! They are definitely not qualified to create clothes for fat people since none of the rules are followed and the only people who buy their designs are the desperate ones and the woman who have no style and taste. Big chested women should not wear round necked shirts and yet that is about all you can find in Donna Clair and Penny Coelen ranges and as you have pointed out so elequently the frills the patterns the colours all scream and axcentuate that you are bigger than a size 24! What more can I say CARGO PANTS, can you believe that! So really pockets on your hips and bum just so you can make them look even bigger! I ask you with tears in my eyes!

    I have actually tried to find Penny Coelen-Rey on the internet to ask her wheather she has ever had a look at the clothes that bear her name and whether she would be proud to wear that junk! I have also complained to Foschinis but with no results.

    • Celia Knox September 3, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      I agree wholeheartedly with you and the above. I think Penny Coelen and Donna Claire have both lost the plot. Why on earth do they think bigger girls want boatneck T shirts that not only show TOO much cleavedge but keep on sliding off your shoulders, and why oh why do they think we want Tshirt that end in your middle. The dennims are to tight around you thighs and far far to wide around the waist. I always have to take wide elastic and sew them onto the waistband to make them fit. Not every big girl has a great big tummy and skinny legs. For goodness sake, get with the program!!!! WE DO NOT WHAT TO LOOK SLOPPY, SLUTTY AND DEFNETITEY NOT LIKE OUR GRANDMOTHERS!!!!!! !

  4. Melvin May 15, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Glad to have found your site. Its so tough to find clothings for my size…where do you normally shop or custom made your clothes ? I put up a website of my frustration of finding the right fit for my size… Hope its useful for like minded people out there.

  5. Ruby October 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    I love this! open honest and great!!!!! totally agree according to the quacks that designs Donna Claire and Penny or even the plus size at Mr Price, and other all think we curvy women need to look like we off to the camp site in our cargos or overly layered in those flowy contraptions looking like all bohemian and artsy when all you want to do is look classy, sexy sassy etc.

    So my solution Kiyona (http://www.kiyonna.com/) These people know the fuller figure and know how to flaunt those amazing curves in the best way. OK so I cant afford the courier costs involved so I do the next best buy the material get a dress maker and have her sew up these master pieces!

  6. Tertia January 16, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    I do agree especially Edgars and Foschini’s.
    Queenspark and Rene Taylor’s clothes are better.
    I have also found CAPTIVE 8, Online shopping!
    They have the best fitted jeans I have ever bought!
    MR Price…lets not go there!!
    Their sizes is a nightmare!!

  7. Chandre April 19, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Just went shopping for a shirt and the new trend for shirts for large women – BAT WINGS. Sheesh, why can’t they make clothes for us big girls that are slimming and feminine. Also I’m 25 years old. These days the Penny C clothes makes it look like I borrowed my grandmother’s clothes.

  8. Ntuthu December 5, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    What I dont like is the woman on rhytheme city tv programme,wearing the Donna Claire clothing in an unfluttering manner,when we have to wear the same clothes trying to look our best in them

  9. Sandra van Eeden February 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    Ek stem saam met Heather. Ek het dieselfde probleem. Ek lyk gewoonlik nog korter en ronder. Ek het vandag ‘n nr. 16 Penny Coelen kniebroek gekoop. Die broek sal die bloedstoevoer by my kuite afsny. Sal more terug vat. Ek het verlede week presies dieselfde snit broek ook gekoop van Merian Hall ‘n nr. 16 . Hy pas perfek. Skoene is ook ‘n groot probleem, die bandjies kom nie cas om my enkels nie. Dan bra’s. Ek dra ‘n nr. 40 A, maar ek kry nerens daardie grote te koop nie. Koop ek ‘n B dan verdwaal my boobs in die cups. Nou moet ek maar pyn en lyding verduur deur ‘n 38B te dra. Help asb. Ek het seker ‘n FFFigure(fucking funny)

  10. Lourenza April 28, 2016 at 7:15 am #

    White and also black collared and buttoned blouse is a must have in any womens wardrobe how about some nice skirts not evefybody wears trousers

  11. Bon June 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    I absolutely love your web page! It is so encouraging. My friend and I are always scouring the shops to find clothes that portray who we are and not who the so called fashionistas think we should be because we are bigger than a size 16! Thank you!

  12. Dani October 23, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    Ackermans offers quite a few nice things in our sizes. And I agree, Penny C and Foshini have horrific options. If you look at a site like Torrid.com that has amazing clothes for larger women, you really wish that our retailers would wake up and get something like that.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Throwing out the first batch of “Fat Clothes”… « Big Sister Diaries - November 24, 2010

    […] of you may have read my post here about the awful, awful options of clothes available to the fat and the frumpy.  With great glee, I […]

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