Not bad for a fat girl

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I can hardly stifle the giggle as I type the word “fashionista.” It is a word that is so far from who I am that it seems ridiculous to even mutter it, but lately I’ve been really enjoying the world of fashion, at least the little bit of it that I’ve chosen to bite off.

It started with my curiosity about capsule wardrobes. I did some research on them and I liked the idea, but in my world not everything is mix and match. Hemlines from shirts have to be of a particular length to be worn with certain pants or skirts, or else the entire effect is quite horrifying. Maybe not to the casual observer, but unless the bulges are covered just so I feel exposed and uncomfortable. I find myself with the same go-to outfits over and over, as so many other women do.

I wanted to expand my horizons a bit, so I looked into the clothing subscription services. It didn’t take me long to find Dia & Co online, and their reviews were terrific. I read through their website, watched a few unboxing videos, and decided to give it a try.

For a $20 styling fee (mine was waived with my first box) items are chosen specifically for you and sent to your door. How do they know what to choose? You provide guidance by answering a series of specific questions and uploading some pictures of yourself. Just like online dating, the more you’re willing to share and be vulnerable, the better matches you’re likely to secure.

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kimono and skinny jeans

My first box arrived, and my initial thought was how can they fit five items to fit me in that little box? They did, though, and they were thoughtfully wrapped in tissue paper with a gold seal and a personalized note from my stylist, Melly. As I took out each item I got more and more excited. That first box contained a wrap dress in a funky geometric print, a brilliant blue blouse perfect for work, a cute striped top for weekend wear, a gorgeous flowing kimono type garment, and a pair of skinny jeans. Honestly, I don’t think I would have tried on any of those pieces in the store, but then again that’s why I wanted a stylist

I loved being able to try everything on in my own home, and I felt like a little kid putting on a fashion show. The only item I didn’t instantly love was the striped top because it felt a little snug to me. I decided to keep the rest of the items but try to exchange the top for the next size. The only glitch was that the next size wasn’t available, so I simply didn’t buy that piece. You only pay for what you keep, and if you buy anything from the box your $20 styling fee is refunded.

By the time I got my second box I was nearly giddy with anticipation. I figured the first one must have been something of a fluke, but there was bound to be something in there that I liked, so I opened it up with great fanfare and again felt like it was Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. Melly sent me another beautiful dress,this one in vibrant tones that I just adore. She also sent a pair of “boyfriend” jeans that I was a little afraid of, because of the distressing. Her note assured me that they were on trend and age appropriate. I decided to reserve judgment until I tried them on. There was also a flowing, flowery tunic, perfect for topping leggings, and a black top with flowered sleeves.  Finally, there was a maxi-skirt with a Southwest type print in coral, turquoise, and black on a white background. Again, nothing I would have chosen, but off to the fashion show I went.

I have to say it, I loved it all. Even the boyfriend jeans. I feel adorable in them, and I’ve received several compliments on how cute they are. The black top with the floral sleeves? I would have NEVER picked that, but 1) it’s SO comfy and looks great dressy or with jeans, and 2) I’ve received more compliments on that top than any item of clothing I’ve ever owned (except maybe my wedding dress, but people HAVE to compliment those, right?). Needless to say, I kept the entire box. The nice part about that is when you do, Dia & Co gives you a 20% discount.

When you consider that you’re purchasing five items that are hand-picked for you, based on your size, body type, coloring, and preferences, and you don’t have to set foot outside of your home to do it, I think it’s a deal. My items have averaged about $40 each, but to have them chosen for me, fit me, look good on me, and not have the disappointment of rummaging through rack after rack to find items is totally worth it. Plus, with this company, I’ve found ways to expand my style to include new looks that make me feel confident, and, dare I say it, fashionable.

Listen, I’ve been blogging for a few years, and if you read BulgingButtons regularly you know that I don’t generally do product endorsements. I didn’t receive anything in exchange for this blog post, I’m just really happy with the company. And yes, if you’d like to give them a try you can use this code: https://www.dia.co/r/7gg5 . I think it gives me some sort of discount or something, but that’s not why I’m sharing. I’m sharing because as a fat girl who has literally shed tears in store dressing rooms it’s nice to have a positive shopping experience, and it’s nice to feel valued by a fashion company. Shopping has become fun again, and I want other plus sized women to know this service is out there and it might be the boost your wardrobe and image needs.



Loving Leggings Part Two

One of the most read BulgingButtons posts of all time is the one entitled “Loving Leggings,” and why not? Lots of women love them, and guess what? A bunch of us are fat! So yes, I love leggings, and I know that a lot of you do too, or at least you want to. I give you permission to go for it!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, though, I offer these tips:

1. Make sure your leggings fit properly. Too tight and they may try to roll down, too loose and you’ll look wrinkly and weird. Either way you won’t look right and you’ll be uncomfortable.

2. Don’t wear leggings if you have giant legs. I’m fat, but I carry the majority of my weight around my belly. My legs, while not tiny, are shapely and not particularly jiggly.

3. Wear a long top. Yes, cover your entire butt. Even if you have a cute butt. Leave it to your jeans to show it off, not your leggings. They are meant to let your legs pop out from under your top, not expose every curve you have. Girly bits are not meant to be paraded around in public. If your top isn’t up to the challenge, go put on some real pants. Nobody wants to see that much of you, even if you aren’t fat.

4. As an alternative to wearing a long top, wear a short skirt. This will still cover up the butt and girly bits, and make the leggings look cute.

This chilly weather is for the birds, but at least we can look cute and stay comfortable in our leggings.

P.S. And on the topic of printed leggings? YES! But I would probably stay away from the shiny ones. Just saying.


Feeling Invisible

I’m going to a Bar Mitzvah. I’m looking forward to seeing all my relatives and celebrating with them. I’m also looking forward to the trip back east, to the land where Autumn is an actual season. In celebration of this event (and the festivities that surround it) I decided that I might get a new outfit. Maybe. I would have to see what the store had and what my shopping tolerance was like.

Now this is a great outfit!

Now this is a great outfit!

I had some time yesterday afternoon, so I headed over to a store at the outlet mall where I’ve had good luck in the past. I triggered the little “welcome” bell as I walked in and headed to my left. This store is split down the middle, with plus size on one side and “normal” size on the other. The fitting rooms are in the middle and the checkout is in the rear.

I veered off to my side and began to browse. I picked a few items, and expected that any moment a sales associate would be along to see how I was doing and put the items in a fitting room. I’ve shopped here before. That’s how it works. I glanced around but saw nobody, no shoppers, no employees.

I continued browsing the racks, working my way to the rear of the store. As I passed by the fitting rooms I noticed they were open, so I dropped off the items in my arms and carried on. I picked up a few more things along the way as I arrived at the sale rack, right next to the checkout. As I browsed, the two sales associates continued their conversation about vacationing with their boyfriends. How nice for them.

Meanwhile, not ten feet away, I was shopping with my arms full of merchandise.

“How are you doing today?”

“Can I help you find something in particular?”

“Would you like to try those on?”‘

“Can I put those in a fitting room for you?”

Any of those phrases would have been appropriate. Even a simple “hello” would have been nice, but nope, nothing.

Fine. I still wanted to try the clothes on, so I went back to the fitting room and proceeded to try on all nine items that I found. Naturally it took a while. In the meantime another woman came in and was trying things on. In breezed the sales associate and asked her if she was doing ok, and could she get her anything.

Love this look, and those shoes, killer.

Love this look, and those shoes, killer.


I’m in the NEXT fitting room.

You can SEE my feet.

I’ve been in your store for nearly 45 minutes!

Am I invisible? I must be.

Fortunately I didn’t love anything I tried on, because at that point I would have hated actually buying anything there.

I got dressed, left the fitting room, and walked out. And no, I was not acknowledged then either.

I left with a bad taste in my mouth. Shopping is difficult enough for me. How hard would it have been for either of the associates to just say hello? Retail is a service industry, it requires that you put on a smile and be nice, even if you’re faking it. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was because I’m fat. Was the other shopper trying on items from the “normal” sized collection? Is that why she received help and I did not? What else could it be? I wasn’t rude. I don’t look homeless. What then?

I’m a little embarrassed by how much the incident hurt my feelings. I felt devalued as an individual, which is silly because I know it wasn’t about me at all. I know I’m friendly. I know I’m approachable. I know I have worth. Still, I felt invisible, and that’s a terrible way to feel.