A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Clothing Review: Ava & Viv

I’m guilty of being a bad shopper. If left alone, I’ll wander into a store, glance around in a dispirited fashion, decide that nothing fits me, and leave. I am also guilty of buying anything cheaply priced that zips or buttons closed on me regardless of whether it looks good, fits correctly, or is even remotely comfortable. I struggle against a pretty terrible kicked dog attitude with regards to the fashion industry – if they deign to make something that actually covers my girth that I can afford, I’ll buy it just to put something on my back. This is how I wound up owning several seriously uncomfortable and lousy looking outfits of late.

It’s no longer true that plus sizes are impossible to find in cute styles. Although we’re still significantly limited (and somewhat pricier) compared to straight sizes, things have improved considerably. Major retailers like Old Navy, Kohl’s, Torrid, Avenue, Ashley Stewart and even sports clothing designers like Nike are getting on the bandwagon.

This summer I made several purchases from Target’s reasonably priced, plus sized clothing line, called Ava & Viv. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.

There’s probably a plus sized body shape out there that these clothes fit correctly (all the models in the catalog look nice after all) but it isn’t mine.

I bought this long sleeved, lightweight shirt for work.

The neckline is… floppy. I don’t know how else to describe it. The fabric flops and wrinkles in a stretched out way, falling down over my shoulders and constantly threatening to reveal my bra straps. It’s also much too short. I like shirts to come down past my stomach and this one hits me right in the middle of it, causing me to constantly pull at the hem. It’s also cut strangely wide through the body so the shirt is basically a square of fabric rather than conforming to the elongated body shape of a torso. The only good thing I can say about it is the fabric feels nice and I like the grey color. I would guess that the model wearing it in the photo probably has clips on her back that you can’t see making the shirt look fitted.

Then there’s these pants.

I actually lopped and hemmed the grey ones off into shorts because I needed shorts and thought the hemline on them looked ridiculous anyway.

The problem with both of these pants is that I failed to walk around or sit down before I bought them. Although not exactly low rise (a style I avoid like the plague) they’re a bit short-rise and loose through the waistband. This means that though they sit in an okay spot when I’m standing up and standing still, the moment I sit down or move around they both start sliding north rapidly. Since I have a pathological fear of my underwear showing in the back, this does not work for me at all. I think they’re cut for people with smaller thighs but a larger waist than I have, meaning that they’re both too big and too small simultaneously. As always, the concept of an hourglass figure seems an elusive one to clothing designers.

Wearing a belt helps keep them from falling down a little, but belts don’t really work for me – again – because my hourglass shape causes them to roll and slide up over the top of my belt loops and sit uncomfortably against the skin above the waistband of my pants.

Somewhere, out there, must be clothes that fit me, look nice, and are comfortable – but I haven’t found them yet. And definitely not from Ava & Viv.

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