Depressing? Perhaps. Difficult? Definitely. Hopeless? No.
It’s not secret that being a fat woman in my own little lingerie world is difficult. Especially when you have the type of body that carries a lot of weight on the lower stomach – no cute little almost-flat-belly like the plus size models we see. We’ve ditched the hip hugger pants for the most part and left those in the dust, so why is it so hard to find a fashionable high rise panty I’m comfortable in?
If you find yourself in a similar discomfort when buying bras, panties, bodysuits, and the like, this article is for you. If your friend is having body issues, give it to her, and if you, as a thin woman, have never questioned the difficult of lingerie, read on.
Recently, traction has been gaining in the topic of thin privilege – this alone deserves its own article (which I will not write), but recently Cora Harrington aka The Lingerie Addict made ripples on twitter with a beautifully written thread on the topic, stating that if you are able to walk into a store and find a wide range of options in your size, you’re thin. Being thin has benefits regarding shopping, relationships, social interactions, job opportunities, and more. I don’t have that privilege, and this blog entry is about how I’ve managed to cope in a world that really doesn’t seem to make items for me.
Shopping for my body type has been difficult. I went from a size 0 to a size 14/16 and it’s been a change I never quite got used to. Clothes pull and gap in the wrong places, if they even have my size at all, but lingerie, despite its difficulty, has always been a comfort for me. I know that sounds strange, but really feeling confident in the basics of your everyday outfits should be a no brainer to feeling good throughout the day. First things first – finding your comfort zone.
I’m not telling you to stay in your comfort zone forever – I’m saying to find pieces that you can wear without adjusting and worrying about is a good start and may open the door for new things you enjoy wearing. I, for example, only feel comfortable in high waisted underwear that ‘tame the beast’ aka my tummy, with a nice light to severe smoothing effect that also accentuates my waist. For you, that might mean wearing a shorty, a tanga, or bikini cut. Find what you’re most insecure about and build your outfit around feeling good despite that insecurity.
My biggest issue is stores not offering panties besides something low cut – meaning I often leave without a matching set, hunting everywhere I can to try something I’m comfortable in that matches. For that I have three options for you; 1. Buy the set, pray you eventually grow comfortable enough to wear the part you’re self conscious about. 2. Buy the pieces you like, omit the ones you don’t. Search for a close match in something you’re comfortable with, or commission someone to make you something. 3. Buy from small businesses and talk to the designer who more often than not, is willing to make your dream panty, sometimes without the extra cost.
In two recent interactions with indie designers, I asked to have high waisted versions available of boy short and itty bitty panty styles. I try to always buy a match when I can, but I knew I Just wouldn’t be comfortable in those styles. One designer offered to make the adjustments for FREE which made my heart skip a beat I was so happy. The other had quite a steep fee to create my dream set and I had to pass (for now). Custom adjustments will range from free to expensive depending on the designer, style, and manipulations. If you love the set, it’s always worth it. Just keep extra money aside or save up – it’s worth it to have those pieces you love.
For bras, we all have styles we adore and some we just don’t feel the best in. As someone who’s fat I (and many others) worry about feeling like a sausage roll. Make sure you feel comfortable in your band and go up if you have to. I know it can be scary, but at the end of the day it’s only a number and the money you spend on a set works best when you feel confident in it. Some styles may boost your ego too; maybe you feel super sexy in a plunge or a balcony style, or something with push up. Know those styles and recognize the names associated with them and how they look. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re not pawing at yourself desperately trying to adjust.
Bodysuits are a huge issue among chubby bunnies – we all love them but they definitely don’t seem to love us. The bigger you get the more ambiguous sizing seems to become. Perhaps you’re busty with no hips, or round all over, or just have a bunch of junk in the trunk. Bodysuits can be tricky, but try to try on pieces in person to get a feel for what you like. Stretch is your friend, and will be forgiving when those measurements just don’t seem to add up. When in doubt, and I HIGHLY recommend this for chubby girls, custom order your bodysuits! That way you don’t have to worry about bagging, sagging, or pulling, or your piece being too short in the torso. Again, it’s an additional cost often, but it’s worth it for your pieces to fit you perfectly.
One important thing I’ve found is to focus less on the numbers and more on the fit. It’s hard, but important. If you have to go up a size in a certain store and down in others it’s okay. No store has a magic number and sizes vary so much. If you have to go up to a 40 band or down to a C cup to get your perfect fit, do it.
I do urge my chubby ladies to look into indie designers. Many of them are more than happy to work with you to create your dream set. Even if they don’t carry your size in their shop, you can always ask and most of them will be more than accommodating.
After years of pushing and cramming myself into pieces I found I really didn’t love how I looked, and ended up with a large collection of lingerie which mostly sat dormant in my drawer waiting for a body I didn’t have. Buy for yourself today – not tomorrow. Buy pieces that make you double take when you see your reflection. And accessorize! Grab the garter belt, those stockings and robes. Perhaps gloves and a body chain. Your feeling sexy in your own skin is so important, and those little moments of happiness you feel in your own body, the ethereal powerful magic that lingerie can give, are beautiful, just like you and your body.
What do you think? How do you use lingerie to love your body? Will you try anything here when shopping next time? Let me know!