So… that whole ‘making it work’ thing

Argh! I apologise for my lack of updates lately – I think my 9 hour work day combined with a 3 hour daily commute has impinged my ability to keep up with all things fashionable, sadly. I do have some very exciting stuff coming up though which I can’t WAIT to share with you all!

I know that most plus size bloggers advocate the ‘make it work’ mode of thinking – that you can find things to fit you in any store if you look hard enough. And while I agree, it’s not something I put into practice a lot, if I’m honest. For years now I have almost unconsciously avoided Topshop and similar stores because of their indignation about going larger – they clearly don’t want my money, so why spend it there? The problem is, though, that about 85% of my wardrobe comes from either Dorothy Perkins or Evans, both of which are under the Arcadia umbrella along with Topshop. So that mode of thinking is actually quite silly – surely it’s worth a look?

With that in mind I recruited one of my best friends Emily to be my straight size stylist and went to the Oxford Circus branch of Topshop to experiment. Here are the results. Do let me know what you reckon, I love your feedback! xx

Pink crop top, Size 14
Bodycon skirt, Size 16

This was a hit. It reminded me of a softer version of my friend Christina’s look, which hopefully I will be showcasing here before too long. The skirt was a bit too tight to be truly comfortable for me.

Floaty blouse, Size 14
Black vest, Size 14 tall
Bodycon skirt as before

See I understand that this kind of floaty, flowery 90’s is extremely now, but on me it just recalls the very worst that plus size fashion have had to offer in the past and the kind of blouses certain family and friends would hide themselves in. It was so pretty in itself though – in fact, Emily has her own version and looks amazing in it!

Mesh/Dot dress, Size 14
Vest and skirt as before

Now this overlay dress I absolutely fell in love with. A smidgen too small in the bust as a 14, however a 16 could probably work. And part of me quite liked it unbuttoned – made me feel like I had big boobs! I tried another skirt underneath which I think worked really well:

Skirt, size 16
Vest and dress as before

This reminded me of some of the Rodarte for Target range that came out a while ago and was definitely my favourite look of the whole afternoon.

Cream dress, Size 16
Mesh dress as before

I also liked layering it over something light, however for all its give the underdress was definitely a little uncomfortable for me to wear as it clung in a way I didn’t want it to. More confident gals could definitely rock it, though!

Knit dress, Size 16
Vest as before

Gettin’ my Mark Fast on! Haha. This wasn’t actually made by him although he is bringing out a Topshop line in the future. This was too tight – but not nearly as much as I’d expected. An 18 – if it existed – would have been pretty much perfect, though still smaller than my size is meant to be.

And finally, for one last blast of ridiculousness:

Ruffled shift, Size 16

This dress reminded me of those soft focus makeover shoots that women used to go on when I was a kid, so it felt natural to do a ~romantic~ pose, haha. I wasn’t completely horrified by this dress from the front and think it would be AWESOME in a bigger size. The zip on this totally didn’t go up at the back, though. ;)

Have I learned anything? Well, it’s definitely good to experiment and actually, window shopping is GREAT FUN. I’m not completely convinced that I can magically walk into a store and find stuff that fits – I do believe it is possible, but that it does take a lot of training. In the meantime, I’d still prefer to focus on retailers that are happy morally to see their garments on a woman like me, and egg them on to take more risks and be creative with their designs. It’s all good!

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32 Responses to “So… that whole ‘making it work’ thing”

  1. Blog to be Alive Says:

    I am not totally sold on the “make it work” way of thinking. BUT I guess that it depends if you’re a 14 or 24, and also where you carry your weight. Personally as a 20/22 I find it very hard in Belgium to make it work. Sometimes I will find something but then the sleeves will be too narrow for my upper arms for instance. So yeah I prefer to shop online at stores that carry plus size clothes.

    The other day I went to H&M and tried an oversized top and it looked fine but it felt like something from Primark and cost €25 so I passed. lol

    Anywayyyy I really love the first top on you, and the overlay dress. Really pretty and you could wear it in so many ways.

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      Yeah, the sleeve thing has hindered me even in stuff my own size. My weight is carried in my belly and bum so I am extra wary of things being tight on the bottom half in a way other women perhaps aren’t. But then it does show how ridiculous sizing is. I actually forgot to mention in the post that I came home and tried a dress I’d ordered from ASOS Curve in a 20, and the zip got about as far up my back as the size 16 Topshop ruffle dress did! Madness.

      Guess the moral of the story is try on everything that you possibly can, as you genuinely never know!

      Thanks lovely – can’t wait to send you the Simply Be dress :D xx

      • Blog to be Alive Says:

        That sucks about the ASOS Curve dress. :( They have some cute stuff now but way too short for me.

        Thanks again! I so fell in love with that dress. Now let’s just hope the sizing won’t be weird! LOL

  2. Michelle Says:

    I LOVE the outfit in the first photograph! And the mesh dress looks kinda nifty, too! :)

  3. Amy Says:

    You should definitely buy the sheer dress in a 16. It’s too pretty! And I love you in the Mark Fast-ish dress – I wish you had a bit more body confidence because it looks fantastic.

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      Yeah, I think I definitely will eventually, especially as it’s so versatile as well. AND DOTTY! I mean come on, this is me we’re talking about.

      I did really like the Mark Fast-ish one but yeah, definitely a confidence thing. I think I can clearly imagine my mum’s reaction which puts me off, despite being 26 years old. oh dear! x

  4. Fat Nurse Says:

    Wow some of that stuff is really good – I’m liking the sheer vest/dress on you!
    What size are you normally? Sorry if you mentioned/have told me before but I didn’t know :D
    Devon xx

  5. christina Says:

    omg that last ruffled dress is AMAZING. aww i loved this post!

  6. Suburban Sweetheart Says:

    Oh! You did such a great job finding stuff that fits – and looks really cute! I actually love the final dress, & very much dig the mesh overlay dress with all three things under it.

  7. ulrika Says:

    Love the first cropped top, it looks wonderful. And the mesh dress is great too. I know what you mean about making it work, not always so easy when you get stuck in a “size 16” skirt in H&M, lol…but i´m usually able to find stuff in topshop, even though everything obviously wont fit..but the stuff you found looks great! oh well, at least it makes us more innovative :) xxx

  8. Frances Says:

    I LOVE that knit dress on you. I know what you mean about your parents’ reactions putting you off, but I wish you could give the finger to your mum and wear it anyway. You look amazing in it!

  9. Bethamint Says:

    I totally disagree about that floaty flowery 90s blouse, I think you’re a bombshell in it!

    Did you buy any of this stuff? If not you should totally go back for that black overlay dress, it’s amazing!

    This was a really awesome post, by the way.

  10. Fashionplus 3 Says:

    The black overlay dress is amazing, I especially love it over the nude skirt, that look is very “In” right now. As far as the making it work debate, I’m on the fence because I have found some smaller pieces that work for me, however, being a size 24, it is hard to walk into Top Shop and make anything work for me, so I guess if you are on the smaller side of plus, making it work might work more for you.

  11. StephanieDJL Says:

    I actually love the last dress although it does look like a rug I used to have (don’t know what that says about me!). I actually like the blouse on you too, I’m not usually one for the ‘vintage-y’ kind of look but I think you’re working it! I hope you got the sheer spot dress, I love it. Apparently I love everything today lol

    I’m curious to try this now but the thought is terrifying, whilst I’ve only ever had nice customer service in Topshop there’s always that part of me that thinks I’m getting looks of disgust!

  12. Tweets that mention So… that whole ‘making it work’ thing « Pocket Rocket -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by gabi, Valerie D. and Devon Hammond, Lauren. Lauren said: NEW BLOG POST!!! Fat girl in Topshop clothes alert: http://bit.ly/aK9Brd xx […]

  13. Kirsteen Says:

    I’m OBSESSED with that last dress! I think the meshy overlay dress looks amazing on you. I liked that you tried it out with different things – I have a bad habit of sticking to one outfit or look and not really experimenting!

  14. Weesha Says:

    ruffled dress is all levels of amazing and perfection. Love the first look, very chic. The overlay dress is so pretty too that’s probably my fave look here!

  15. Natalie Says:

    The last dress is INCREDIBLE. It reminds me of the toilet roll dolls of my childhood (I think they might be an Australian thing?!)


    (I hope that photo shows up!)

  16. Natalie Says:

    Oh no it didn’t work! Here’s the image url:

  17. alegra Says:

    oh my, i love this post. because i’m totally one for experimenting although i have kind of given up topshop as well. but you are an inspiration! also, again in these pictures, i feel like your my long lost sister :D the mesh see thru dress is my favourite, so pretty on you!

    i work in a shop now that sells clothes that will only just fit a size 14 max. but for the opening i was given the opportunity to pick 3 items to keep and wear for the opening. tough, i thought, because i cannot squeeze my bum into size 14 jeggings. however, i did end up with a cool long top, which i can wear as a dress, a cardi, uni-size, and a scarf (sizeless, whahey!). but i have my mind set to experimenting with the clothes i’m selling now :)

    love!
    xxx

  18. alegra Says:

    i forgot, i love love love that lippy on you! i will have to get one in that colour! is it orangey-red? what brand? thank you!
    xx

  19. Georgina Says:

    Loving the spotty mesh dres. The cropped jumper is also cute. ANd OMG that last ruffley dress is so completely over the top but adorable, I so wish I could “make it work” in stuff from Topshop. I’ve only ever “made it work” in stretchy jersey items from the straight sizes at New Look.

  20. Katrin Says:

    Ahhh forgot to comment after read the post.

    I just loooove the mesh doted dress, it is so beautiful and great, I would wish for a dress like this really, really badly!!! *____*
    You look super cute in all of it and its so great that you tried the things on. :)

  21. Nefertiti Says:

    je suis fan de la tenue 3/4/5

    ;O)

  22. Emma Says:

    Oh my word – that mesh dress is amazing. x.

  23. thepocketrocket Says:

    SS: Thanks! I really like the final dress too, it just didn’t zip up. Ah well :)

    Ulrika: Thanks lovely, yeah it can get quite embarrassing but it definitely is good to try things. H&M’s probably next on my hitlist. And congrats on the YFF post!

    Frances: :P

    Beth: No I didn’t buy anything, but I probably will try and get one of the mesh dresses, I really loved it. And thanks, but I guess it’s all about association right?

    Fashionplus 3: Yeah, this is an issue I have as well. It’s one thing to say that but when some plus ranges don’t go much beyond my own size (22-24) it could potentially be alienating. Thank you though :)

    Stephanie: Yeah, I was worried about that too, but actually there were a few big members of staff which definitely put me at ease, and they were still friendly. Sounds like a great rug, haha! Thanks :)

    (will reply to the rest as soon as I can! xx)

  24. sarah Says:

    I LOVE the polka dot overlay dress, so cute.
    I rather like the flowy blouse too, the colours are really pretty on you.
    Love your blog, been following for awhile :)

    http://thepaleandpallorprincess.blogspot.com/

  25. A Bit of Mayhem Says:

    I agree with making it work to a certain degree. It pisses me off that many of the stores I drool over refuse to go over a size 10 . . .and thats considered a large. wth? I walk the mall and window shop at bebe, I dare not go in because I know I can’t fit anything. I can’t even shop at forever 21. . .I have to go online and find crumbs at Faith 21. Kinda sucks.

    Anyway, I love the overlay dress. What a cute way to spruce up an outfit?!

  26. thepocketrocket Says:

    Kirsteen: Thanks dear! I’m the same to a degree – it’s always good to know what suits you and what your base style is, but it’s always worth branching out and trying new things because you just never know. I wish that last one had fitted, even if I only wore it to dance in my bedroom on my own in it!

    Weesha: Thank you! I really am smitten with the mesh one and will probably purchase it soon :D

    Natalie: OMG YES! We have those here too, haha! I love them, they are extremely fancy ;)

    Alegra: hey sis ;) Aww, you’re too sweet. Congrats on the new job, that’s really sweet that they gave you stuff to wear, and also that they employed someone who doesn’t neccessarily fit into their clothes. I always assumed I’d be laughed out the shop if I applied in a boutique. The lippy isn’t actually orangey – it’s MAC Red in their satin range xx

    Georgina: I know, that’s my biggest issue with the whole thing – I can just about get away with it because I’m on the smaller end of plus sizes, and it could get a bit exclusive. But you have such a lovely style anyway. You don’t need Topshop at all!

    Katrin: Thanks lovely!

    Nefertiti: Thank you!

    Emma: Many thanks!

    Sarah: Thank you so much! Your blog is great, I’ll make sure to link it x

    ABOM: Thanks dear, it is pretty hard but a lot of it is also about confidence – I couldn’t go into Topshop alone and try things on, I’d be too scared! The overlay dress is great, such a cool idea!

    SO SORRY for the late replies, I do always read them and appreciate. Love you all <3 xx

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