Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

The Big Fat Win-Win-Win Situation

May 9, 2012

Once in a while, you come across something that is absolutely brilliant, sprays benefits in every direction, and is purely the work of dedicated volunteers.  And you just feel freaking fabulous about it and you have to tell people.  Right now, that thing for me is the Big Fat Flea.  It is happening this Sunday from noon to 7:30.  So as soon as you’re done taking your mother to lunch for Mother’s Day, head on over to the LGBT Center and indulge in some serious bargain hunting.  The Sunday scheduling is especially great if you’re Orthodox and you’ve had to skip the flea in years past when it took place on a Saturday. (Hint hint, Nora!  Wanna go with me?)

So why is this event so cool?  Let me count the ways:

1. It caters specifically to fat folks.  In previous years, this event was known as the Fat Girl Flea Market and specialized only in women’s clothing.  This year, the name of the event has been changed to the Big Fat Flea to reflect the broadening of its mission to serve people of all genders and clothing preferences.  But it’s still all about the fatties, which I love, love, love.  You know what a great big giant pain in the ass it can be to shop for clothes when your size is a double-digit number, even in a city the size of New York with its literally thousands of clothing stores.  And don’t even get me started on the plus-size catalog ghetto.   As an added bonus, to a large extent, the task of sifting through the horrifying dregs of plus-size offerings is already done for you:  Here’s a chance to pick up and try on dozens of items that someone else loved enough to buy at some point before you.

2. It’s crazy cheap.  You pay $10 at the door, but after that, you’re paying rummage-sale prices for some really amazing stuff.  I’ve walked out of there in the past with two bags full of stuff for under $25.

3. It’s green.  While some the clothes for sale at the flea are new and come from corporate sponsors, the vast majority are donations from other fat folks who want to see their beloved togs enjoy a second life on a new body rather than wind up in a landfill somewhere.  They recycle, you reuse, and waste is therefore reduced.  Reduce, reuse, recycle!

4. Proceeds benefit a good cause.  All monies raised go to NOLOSE, and particularly the scholarship fund for the NOLOSE conference NOLOSE is an amazing organization doing important, uplifting work.  If you’re not familiar with their mission, click and be enlightened.  Your purchase makes it possible for someone to attend their conference who otherwise might not be able to go.  Hey, it’s a recession– this stuff matters!  In addition, the Flea takes place at the non-profit LGBT Center in lower Manhattan, and the fee for renting the venue provides revenue for the center.  (Incidentally, if you’ve never been there, it’s worth going just for the amazing Keith Haring mural on the inside where the old men’s bathroom used to be.)

5. Your participation rewards grass-roots volunteerism.  This event is entirely run by volunteers.  To execute an event like this takes planning, organization, dedication, talent, and sweat.  You can vote with your feet by showing up, and vote with your wallet by snagging some major bargains!

Do you see what I mean about spraying benefits in every direction?  The awesomeness.  It overwhelms me.

I’ve been a customer at the flea in years past, but this year I’m stepping up and giving back.  A few weekends ago, I spent my Saturday picking up bags of clothing from donors all over northwest Manhattan.  My partner Allan did all the driving– he has the best Manhattan driving skills of anybody I know– and our friends Nora and Ryan lent us their car, since ours is on the fritz.  I will be volunteering on the day of the event as well, but you can be sure I will be doing some serious shopping before my volunteer shift starts!

How can you find out more about the Big Fat Flea?  Check it out in these fine locations on the web:

Facebook, here and here


The Flea has a Tumblr

And check out this writeup in Time Out NY!


I Don’t Normally Do Fatshion Posts, But…

September 23, 2010

So lately I’ve been bitching a lot about the dilemma I have in dressing myself: Apparently in the world of fashion, there is a belief that you can be tall, or you can be fat, but you can’t be tall and fat at the same time. Finding tops that are long enough to hit at a flattering length is damn near impossible. I’d need something at least 31 inches in length to do that, and virtually ever top known to fashion stops at about 28 inches max. Likewise, virtually every dress I try on that looks like it’s supposed to hit just below the knee misses the mark on me by about two inches. It’s a pisser. I’m telling you.

The other problem I have is that a lot of what’s out there is actually clothing designed with skinny women in mind, scaled up to my size whether it’ll look good on someone like me or not. Like cropped tops, stuff with spaghetti straps, miniskirts, the dreaded “jeggings” that seem to have crawled up out of the bowls of hell this year, etc. Whether they come in my size or not, they are manifestly not. for. me.

So I figure hey, the Internet is a big place, there has GOT to be something else out there. And apparently there is, and it comes from Germany, although it has spread across Europe and is starting to show up stateside. And it’s also hella expensive. But it’s lush and it’s long and it looks like exactly what I’ve been longing for, so I’m gonna squeeze what I can out of my budget and attempt to incorporate this stuff into my wardrobe one piece at a time.

Ladies (and freaky gents who read posts like this), I give you Lagenlook. Maybe you knew about it all along and this is not the revelation for you that it was for me. In which case, shame on you for not telling me sooner!

After poking around on the net quite a bit, I’ve found a handful of sites where I intend to spend way the heck too much money some time in the near future. In order from most financially dangerous to least, here they are:

Tatiana Palnitska (by far the most expensive, but soooo cool.

Navabi U.S. (the link is to the very first thing I plan to buy from Navabi.  One of the coolest things about the site is that you can watch a video of each garment being worn by a live human being and get a good feel for size, drape, etc.  Watch the vid of this red wool top– don’t you want to break out the plastic RIGHT FREAKING NOW and buy it?

Sunheart Clothing (I’ve actually already a few pieces from Sunheart.  The proprietor is very helpful and friendly and sells quite a bit on Ebay as well)

Lotus Traders (also has an active Ebay store)

Love your Peaches also has a LagenLook Corner

If you poke around places like 1000Markets and Etsy, you’ll also find some pieces by Coco & Juan which are handsewn and fairly reasonably priced.

I still have a few more monster payments to make on my Invisalign, but as soon as that’s done, it’s time to shop.  Stay tuned.

More on those Levi’s Curve IDon’t Jeans ads

September 22, 2010

Happened to come across this just now on my lunch hour:

FatChic ran this post about the dread Levi’s Curve ID jeans, apparently misreporting that they go up to a size 24, which AFAIK they do not.  They imbed the video ad that shows, well, an endless parade of very skinny women with pretty much the same shape in order to illustrate the point that women come in all different shapes.  Geniuses.

Michelle Norris from NPR interviewed a WaPo fashion writer about them and attempted to pin her down on the point that even the allegedly bold-curve models are skinny chicks:

NORRIS: Right now, Levi’s is talking about offering three different custom fits when this program launches in September: slight curve, demi-curve and bold curve for women who have a little bit more bump in the rump. Now, there’s curvy, and then there’s really curvy, and when I look at these pictures, these women all look to me to be fairly slim.

Ms. GIVHAN: Well, there’s curvy, and then there’s curvy as a euphemism for plus-size. And these are – they’re not going into the plus-size realm here. The sizing goes up to about a 34-inch waist, I think, which really works, you know, out to being maybe a size 14, you know, give or take.

So in other words, they’re all about the curves, as long as they’re not TOO curvy, because then they would be plus-size, and that would be just gross.  I paraphrase.  A bit.

Anyway, on to the good stuff.  As always, the fun is to be had at Boing Boing, where the commenters take Levi’s soundly to task for using fairly identically-shaped skinny chicks to illustrate how women come in all different shapes

I’m still pissed about the Levi’s thing, apparently.

September 6, 2010

A couple of days ago I wrote this about the Facebook ad currently running for Levi’s new “Curve ID” jeans.  I’m apparently still annoyed by it, because I spent an hour this morning at breakfast searching for more info on them.  So in a sense, the ad worked:  it definitely piqued my interest.  Just not in a good way.

Two things:

First, instead of Curve ID, perhaps Levi’s should call this revolutionary new system Curve Identity Theft, because they completely stole this idea from Lane Bryant.  I’ve been wearing Right Fit Jeans for two years now, and they’re based on EXACTLY the same concept as the johnny-come-lately Curve ID system:  LB measured a gazillion actual women, and based on that, they came up with three basic shapes of jeans.  This has been a major win for me, because Right Fit Blue is the best-fitting cut of jean I’ve ever had.

And now, Levi’s has done EXACTLY the same thing, and they have the nerve to act like it’s some revolutionary new concept they just now thought of.  What, because LB only fits fat chicks, we can pretend Right Fit Jeans don’t exist?  Yeah, thanks.  I guess that fits with the mentality of a jeans manufacturer who thinks a photo of three identically skinny butts represents bodies of “all shapes and sizes.”  I’m far from the only person to have noticed this.  Most of the articles online regurgitate press release copy directly from Levi Strauss and don’t contain any original research or reporting at all, but the reader comments are rather enlightening.  Even a comment posted under Levi’s own YouTube video points this out.

Thing Two:  I just can’t get past the idea that they ran THAT photo with THAT ad copy.  Does.  Not.  Compute.  This article states that Curve ID “will provide nearly any woman a five-pocket pair of jeans that feels custom fit to her shape,” yet it goes on to point out that the jeans are only made for women up to a waist size of 34 inches.  Do fashion writers read the nonsense they write?  Or is that they believe women with waists bigger than 34 inches aren’t really women and don’t figure in to fashion reporting?  You can say maybe I’m bitter because I would like to have seen some REAL body diversity in an ad marketing a product allegedly developed for body diversity.  But it’s not just me.  Mother Jones agrees with me, and so does Feministing, and  this diversity-in-advertising blogger (what a cool concept, no?), who points out that very skinny white women aren’t perhaps the best subjects to use in an ad about curvaceous butts.  Lots of ordinary people are leaving similar comments under blog posts and articles all over the internet, like here.

Head-explody Levi’s jeans ad fail

August 30, 2010

Don’t get me started on why I hate those Levi’s “Go Forth” ads where they try to convince young people that Levi’s are a piece of  ageless Americana, and if you wear them, you are just like the pioneers.  Whatever.  I might have bought that noise if Levi Strauss hadn’t totally abandoned their working class American heritage by shipping all of their manufacturing jobs overseas to increase their profits, thus rendering thousands of Californians jobless.

But that’s not the ad campaign that’s ticking me off right now.  It’s this one, which keeps showing up on my Facebook page:

Three identical butts

It says “hotness comes in all shapes and sizes,” but the illustration shows what appears to me to be three more or less identical backsides.  Note to Levi’s:  You cannot represent “all shapes and sizes” with a picture of three skinny chicks.  Thank you.  Drive through.

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