An Ode to Fashion

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A look inside what it means to be a plus size girl in the Kingdom.


For most people, finding a pair of jeans or even a basic white t-shirt is an easy grab-and-go task. However, for me it wasn’t always that easy. Searching the market for a store that carried my size in the first place was one of the most annoying, intimidating, and not to mention embarrassing efforts. I had to learn who carried my size and had to stay loyal – not by choice!

While everyone shopped from a wide variety of places and could easily follow all the new trends as they came and went, I had to resort to the same overall aesthetic. The selection of brands was limited to less than a handful which included two brands at Debenhams, Next, and Marks & Spencer. It’s as though the industry forgot that plus size people like to look fashionable too.

The main and on-going issue with plus-size fashion however, is that the industry usually has one intention, and that is to create clothes that make women look slimmer. Most of the jeans being sold to bigger women included bootcut pants in order to create the illusion of a cinched waist while other designs featured oversized tops in order to hide women’s figures. Fashion for the plus-sized was never intended to flatter a woman’s figure. For the longest time, fashion was the exclusive party that welcomed only a certain body type. The rest of us had to figure out how to compensate with statement shoes, accessories and makeup.

However, this is changing. The fashion industry has been growing its plus size variety. Fast fashion has extended to include a curve range such as Forever 21 and H&M. More and more online sites are taking action in providing a plus size or curve range from the start such as Good American and Savage x Fenty. There is an outspoken online community spearheading the body positive aiding in creating more variety in fashion. Professional model, Ashley Graham is now walking runways for designers who consider plus size women.

With all this change occurring in the industry, it is still not enough. As a Saudi woman, most of my shopping is happening online from western brands, or when I leave the country. I barely shop in Saudi, and when I do, my options are limited. I am writing this in hopes that local designers in the Kingdom start to explore designing for a wider range of bodies. It would be an honor to confidently wear local designs made to properly fit my figure.

5The Office Look

Business means business and this outfit is for any strong woman trying to get her foot into the boardroom. Simple black on black can get boring, play the look up with an added accent on the pants for a bolder style.

Pants:
Instagram: gerryweberofficial

6The Boho Look

Need a look that screams laid back, beach vibes with the sun in your face and the wind in your hair? I got you! Pair printed pants with a flowy white top and your preferred accessories.

Pants:
Instagram: debenhams

1The Family Day Look

When the whole family gets together for a gathering, you want to look cute yet stay comfortable. A thobe is the perfect direction to take when aiming to achieve that goal. Pair it with some heels and you’re good to go!

Thobe:
Instagram: rivafashionme

2The Local Look

Ditch the uncomfortable slippers, put on your abaya over a shorter dress and get your sneakers out for a long warm day out running errands. Comfort is key, but so is style.

Abaya:
Instagram: sumayaabdulaziz

3The Fancy LOOK

Dress to impress yourself before anyone else at a fancy dinner or even a wedding. Flowy garments with bold prints will leave you feeling confident and regal.

Abaya:
Instagram: sumayaabdulaziz

4The Casual Look

Going out with a group of friends but not exactly sure what to wear? Elevate a typical pair of ripped jeans with a flowy shirt, statement shoes and a couple of your favorite jewelry pieces.

Pants:
Instagram: boohoo

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