Welcome back to The Fat Femme Fashion series! A 4-part series of roundtables, where four Autostraddle writers talk about how being fat affects the clothes we wore in the past, and the clothes we wear today.
Dani Janae: I’m always looking for new places to shop, especially smaller businesses that don’t have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to support them. I’m very good at supporting those smaller businesses when it comes to buying accessories and things of that nature, but as we discussed in previous roundtables, those stores don’t always have my size in clothing. What are some of your favorite shops at the moment?
Vanessa: Okay, I have to say for bathing suits, Gabi Fresh changed the whole game. I’m SO SAD her collections are over even though I’m excited for her for what comes next because I think everyone who wants a hot fat girl bathing suit should own a Gabi Fresh.
Shelli Nicole: I have two Gabi Fresh swimsuits and I feel so fucking hot in both like she really changed the game! Also, remember Premme? I have two pieces from them that I cherish to this day. Outside of swimsuits though, I really love Everlane, Oak and Fort, ASOS, and Rebdolls.
Vanessa: Shelli YES! A fellow queer fat femme gifted me a gorgeous Premme hand me down recently and I am OBSESSED.
If you are into Princess Vibes (obviously I am) Selkie is my everything these days. Their stuff is VERY expensive and extremely specific so like, if you don’t want to look like a pink puff pastry for $250+, this is maybe not your vibe — so no, I don’t think it’s a necessity. BUT if you have the money and this is your style, I cannot think of a more exciting dress right now.
Shelli Nicole: My princess vibe comes from Loveshack Fancy. I have two of their dresses and PHEW! but again…the prices are wild and maybe not for you if you don’t occasionally wanna look like a 19th-century French girl who makes out in lavender fields all day….
Dani Janae: Okay, that guides me into my next question—What are some favorite garments you currently own?
Right now my favorite piece is probably a tie between this gold sparkle set I bought from a shop called Babes, It’s a tie front top, and a pair of matching bottoms that are gold and sparkly. Very seventies. I also really love this jumpsuit I got from that shop Mien. It’s a mustard yellow with a flutter sleeve and it just feels so good on my body!
Shelli Nicole: Pause…WOTTICE THIS BABES BRAND COS GOTDAMN DANI!!
Dani Janae: Babes got me in an Instagram ad lol. The algorithm knows me too well!
Valerie: I think those fashion swaps we talked about would be a nice way for me to figure out what I would even like to wear. But I have this button-down shirt with stars on it that I like, it’s kind of silky and makes me feel safe behind its flowiness but also isn’t actually hiding me. It feels right on the line of like…”Femme Lite” that I feel most comfortable in and I genuinely don’t even know where it came from, it was just a Christmas gift one year.
Vanessa: Valerie if you feel comfortable telling me what size you are, I’d love to do a long-distance fashion swap situation one of these days, if it makes sense! I want you to feel the joy of fat hand-me-down clothing!
Shelli Nicole: Mine is a tartan wiggle skirt that is in like deep browns, rusts, and a few oranges. It fits me so fucking well and is very much so 60’s secretarial pool vibes, I’ve had it for years, and guess what…it’s from Shein. It was part of a set (which I rock together sometimes) and I have dressed it way up AND way down.
Dani Janae: What do you think every fat person should have in their closet? We are all fat hotties who can be The Inspiration too!
Vanessa: I’m going to be honest… my favorite fat girl fashion hack is the jumpsuit. I leaned heavily into jumpsuits during the pandemic and I’m never going back.
Dani Janae: YES so here for the jumpsuit love! I own so many now.
Vanessa: I think EVERYONE should own jumpsuits, not just fat people! I have comfy cozy ones from Gap and Old Navy. I have sexy slutty ones from Eloquii. I have a cool fashionable pink denim one from Old Navy that I am literally complimented on every time I wear it out. You can buy them at different price points, they can accommodate a multitude of gender expressions, and you don’t have to wear a bra with them. Jumpsuits: 300/10, would recommend.
Valerie: I’m so tempted by the jumpsuit!!
Vanessa: VALERIE BUY A JUMPSUIT.
Dani Janae: I say this as someone with a big stomach that is also very curvy in the hip area but I think every fat person needs a pair of good pants that don’t have an elastic waistband. Elastic is my go-to for comfort and convenience but for like a job interview or something I just love a pair of brightly colored pants that fit me well!
Valerie: I do love a stretchy but not elastic dress pant.
Vanessa: Dani, I think because I am such a Dress Person I never think about pants. Like any job interview I have I’m wearing black opaque tights (bought on sale from Torrid every single year on Black Friday when they’re 50% off) and a dress.
Shelli Nicole: Speaking of tights, can we talk about fat girl stockings, socks, and tights?
Valerie: Oh, I have so many cute knee socks that I have to cut off if I don’t want to lose circulation.
Vanessa: Valerie, all I’ve ever wanted in life is slutty thigh-high socks. I FINALLY found a company that makes them big enough to fit my thighs. I felt like I won the lottery. Shelli, remember I sent you that fat girl sock company a while ago?!
Shelli Nicole: Yes! I love Snag Tights AND Thunda Thighs!!
Vanessa: Also, also—should we talk about fat girl lingerie? Because some of my favorite fashion as a fat dyke is all my lingerie. I know it’s complicated to oversexualize fat bodies and also…my fat body is sexy and I like to dress accordingly.
Shelli Nicole: OMG YES, LET’S TALK ABOUT LINGERIE!
Dani Janae: I would LOVE to talk about fat girl lingerie!
Vanessa: Okay, I will clearly follow Gabi Fresh to the ends of this earth, but she got me to Playful Promises which is where I buy Gabi Fresh, Felicity Hayward, and the Playful Promises brand itself!
Shelli Nicole: THE FELICITY HAYWARD COLLECTION AT PLAYFUL PROMISES DESERVES ALL CAPS! I have 2 sets from her and they are YUMMY!
Vanessa: I AGREE
Dani Janae: I’ve recently been shopping at Monique Morin Lingerie. Also got me in an Instagram ad lol but they are so gorgeous. They unfortunately only go up to a 4x I believe but I got my first pair of garters from them and they are very sexy!
Dani Janae: YES OMG.
Valerie: I don’t buy proper lingerie because of the aforementioned Femme Lite (Lazy Femme?) but I love an American Eagle boy brief. They’re soft and comfy and never feel too tight AND even in my size, they have super cute designs.
Dani Janae: Valerie, I love a good boy brief, they can be just as hot as any other lingerie.
Vanessa: I agree Valerie!
Valerie: Yeah, I love them!
Vanessa: Dani, I wanted garters forever and could never find thigh-highs that fit my thighs, but then I went to a kink/leather shop in Minneapolis and found some that actually fit me!
Shelli Nicole: Are you talking about Smitten Kitten?! because I LOVE SMITTEN KITTEN!
Vanessa: No Shelli it was a different shop! Let me investigate!
Dani Janae: I also have a couple of pieces from this place Love, Vera. But I really need to shop Playful Promises!
Vanessa: Playful Promises is GREAT and does really excellent sales. I gotta say I buy the majority of my wardrobe around Thanksgiving for all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.
Shelli Nicole: I have dropped so much on Playful Promises and I got there ‘cos of Gabi too, but it’s perfect! I also shop quite a bit at SavagexFenty which honestly hasn’t done me wrong and is one of the only sites that don’t make thinner bodies the focus of its images when I am shopping. offthetongue in the UK is incredible and not just sexy lingerie but it’s also functional if you’re a person who is looking for high femme lingerie that you can strap people in.
Valerie: I am desperate for a new bra that fits and doesn’t try to murder me with an underwire that pokes out after two uses so I’ll be checking out all of these places you’re talking about. Because I like my big boobs but tend to just default to sports bras because they’re easier!
Vanessa: I’ve been wearing Athleta sets as fashion recently (as a way to graduate from my Stay Home All The Time Pandemic Soft Pants Lifestyle to Occasionally Leave The House But Still Refuse To Wear Hard Pants or a Bra Lifestyle) and I’m VERY into it!
Shelli Nicole: Most of my bras right now are from Savage and Playful, they both have really good just like everyday bras too.
Vanessa: I WISH Savage fit me but it just doesn’t.
Dani Janae: My boobs have grown so I’m also on the hunt for better bras. I just got a couple from Old Navy surprisingly and fingers crossed they fit!
Shelli Nicole: For workout wear Old Navy is also where it’s at, which makes sense ‘cos they have Athleta and both are all under Gap Ltd.
Vanessa: Valerie, I am slowly but surely gravitating away from underwires because I’m just sick of it.
Valerie: SO sick of it!
Vanessa: When I do underwire though I do Playful Promises or Freya. There’s a bra shop in Portland called The Pencil Test that is really size-inclusive and not shame-y and I would strongly recommend finding a local spot (if there is one near you) where you can try things on in person.
Shelli Nicole: How does everyone feel about Parade?
Vanessa: Parade is, unfortunately, a LITTLE too small to functionally fit me but their bralettes are really great and my fat friends who have slightly smaller boobs than me like them. Also, Girlfriend Collective has good sports bras if you don’t need a ton of support.
Dani Janae: I like Parade underwear but the bras are too small for me now. I wear the largest they have which is 3+ and my boobs have been spilling out. Parade is very cute but they need to up their sizing to be more accommodating for people DD+
Vanessa: Yes, 100% I managed to make one of their bodysuits work for my boobs but only because I’m down to be very slutty, lol. But the 3+ sizing does not work for my tits.
Shelli Nicole: I’d like everyone to know for future purposes this week’s roundtable is the reason I’ll be living on ten bucks and a prayer next month because all my money is flying out the window — worth it.