I am a 5’10”, 220 lb lady, a size 18-20, and shoe size 11 1/2. I am also super top-heavy, with extra padding in my belly and none on my butt. To say its hard to find clothes that fit is an understatement. To say it’s hard to find business clothes that fit is to laugh uncontrollably at the thought I could find a single article of clothing. Button down shirts split open in the middle, boutiques and trendy stores end at size 12-14, stores that have my size sell carpeted tents and boxy shirts that fall to my knees.
But this weekend I found out I have a dream-job interview. My friend Craig discovered twobigblondes.com, a plus size consignment store just a few miles from our homes. Saturday we drove out and tried on tons of items in my size. Craig has a great understanding of fit, darting, clothing structure and style. Understanding saleswomen weighed in on the hits and misses, not mincing words about what worked and what didn’t. I wound up purchasing a ton of interview clothes. I even bought a spanx-style undergarment, after they all assured me they wore the same comfortably – the jury is out on if I’ll ever go there!
That night I was in a panic. I’ve always had issues around dressing professionally and, during bigger times in my life, in a way that doesn’t hide my body. I have issues around spending money! I have always had issues around facing a full length mirror and now, accepting that my body is changing with age. I hate wearing anything that isn’t 100% cotton; it turns out structured, professional clothes that hold their shape are generally polyester, the fabric I’m most uncomfortable in.
But the next day Craig took me downtown to Ross, Target, TJ Maxx, and Nordstroms Rack, helped me find a discount shirt, accessories and a cardigan that would make my executive realness more casual and playful (like me!), so I could be comfortable wearing the nice things we got the day before. He also provided endless hand-holding and real-time therapy. I still have issues, but I’m excited to step up my game. Thank you Craig and the rare makers and sellers of plus-size clothing!!
Here’s the two outfits we put together so far: