I love people watching – I also tend to look at women in the street, especially fat women, and critique their outfits. I sometimes wish I could be brave enough to run up to them and say “PLEASE, let me dress you! You’d look and feel SO much better.”, but I resist. So when someone actually asks me for help on what to wear I jump at the chance!
I first met Sally at Fat Swap Shop when she came and took most of the clothes away! During the swap, I discovered she had lost a fair amount of weight and had no idea what to wear beyond the typical fat lady clothes of baggy tops, baggier bottoms and black. So I advised her on a few bits – as did the other girls – and she toddled off at the end with a whole wardrobe of new things to wear. Through befriending her on Facebook, I also discovered she lived near me! Fast forward a few months and on a long awaited dinner date at a local Japanese restaurant, we jokingly discussed me helping her with her wardrobe and giving her some style tips – because obviously I am the most stylish fat woman around (HA!). The joking got serious and this afternoon I found myself up in Sally’s amazing loft bedroom helping her sort out her wardrobe!
My friend and fellow blogger Rebecca runs her own personal stylist service (you can see her site here), so I asked her for some hints and ran past her what I wanted to do. Beforehand I got Sally to think about what she wanted to achieve – did she want a whole new style? Or just need some guidance in what to wear when?
Sally is a mum of two young boys and her job involves activities with children. So she needs outfits which are comfortable but also that look good. In addition she does have quite a social life so needed clothes that would be suitable for meals out, pub visits and Zumba class.
When I arrived, I got Sally to empty her wardrobe and drawers item by item and we put the clothes into piles of “KEEP”, “MAYBE” and “BIN”. The keep pile were clothes that fit Sally and she wore a lot and liked – I was quite bossy (never!!) and anything that Sally tried to put into the keep pile which I thought was either to big or did nothing for her, I made her put it into the maybe pile.
Once we had the three piles, I got Sally to pick out items she liked but didn’t know how to wear and we created outfits from them. Here are the pictures of some of the outfits:
The first item Sally wanted to know how to wear was the gorgeous polka dot skirt – I went quite safe (and in the absence of anything else!) teamed it with a white blouse and a jacket which Sally also wasn’t sure how to wear.
I also paired the skirt with a purple jersey top which had a zip down the front – I added the jacket again as well.
Next up were the red jeans. Sally has had them for ages – before it was trendy to do so. I paired them with this blue top – which Sally had initially put into the maybe pile because she was worried people would think she was pregnant. Quite clearly she doesn’t look pregnant!
This was a bit of a wild outfit – with the sequined jacket which initially I wasn’t sure about jacket but on it looks quite cool! I’m not sure this is the BEST outfit but Sally felt confident and comfortable it in so that’s the important thing!
The black & white top was again something Sally wasn’t keen on but I think it looks really nice with the red jeans. Its something she can wear with blue & black jeans and with leggings.
I like this outfit – the dress is being worn as a top in what I call a “Brockley Mums” style. I live in Brockley and all of the mothers around here fall into two parts; Yummy mummies – those that have pinged back into their size 8 jeans days after giving birth – and Brockley Mums – the women who are struggling with the excess baby weight and wear dresses over jeans. Sally had put the dress into the maybe pile because she thought it was too big on her chest. However I just pulled it back a bit so the neckline sat on her shoulders and bingo! it fits nicely!
Two ways to wear the same top – day and night. Sally had this gorgeous top she’d won on a blog give away but wasn’t sure what to wear it with. So with the sequin jacket and black jeans for the evening and then swapping the sparkle for the plain jacket during the day. Shimples!
I let Sally keep two items she was really keen on. One was a brown velvet top with the medieval sleeve she’d had for years and the other was the top above. Sally had mainly worn this top with leggings but we tried it with a pair of jeans and it looked equally as good.
One thing that Sally has always avoided was layering – she was under the impression it would make her look bigger (yet another fat girl rule!). However with a pair of jeans she’d never worn and various tops she loved but thought she couldn’t wear or didn’t know how to, I showed her how to wear layers. The most successful I think was putting the brown vest top under the tunic which Sally thought she couldn’t wear any more because her boobs have shrunk!
The jumpsuit was a favourite of both mine and Sally’s. It had been an impulse buy and she’d only worn it once after her mother told her she looked like Andi Pandi in it! However adding the jacket instantly helped as did trying it with the shrug.
I was a big meanie and made Sally chuck out most of her beloved maxi dresses – not because I don’t like maxi dresses, I do! I have one! But because the style of maxi dress Sally has been wearing made her boobs look tiny and her belly look bigger than it was. Another fat girl myth is we must wear empire lined dresses – which is bollocks! However the above dress had been something which had been in Sally’s wardrobe for years, unworn because she had bought it when it was too small for her. Now it fits and because the bust of above the empire line is fussy it makes her boobs look bigger – WIN! As Sally doesn’t have a black cardigan, we added the jacket again!
Apart for the huge smile on Sally’s face throughout the whole two and half hours, the other thing that made me really pleased I’d offered to help was the fact Sally now has numerous new outfits to wear which cost her nothing! I know if someone was to come and be as ruthless in my wardrobe I would more and likely have the same!!
In addition to be a bossy boots and ruthlessly throwing away items of clothes Sally has had for years, I also offered to do a bit of online window shopping for her. Whilst we were sorting the clothes out I made a note of bits of clothing Sally could really do with – like a white vest, a blouse she could wear with a skirt or jeans, a few more cardigans. Sally gave me a budget and when I got home I emailed her a few links. Sally has now order those bits and I look forward to going back and helping her try those out within her already fabulous existing wardrobe.
If you would like me to help you with a wardrobe cleanse please let me know! I don’t charge anything but do ask that you cover the costs of getting me to yours and that you feed me!