This is the second post about the two places I went on my recent vacation - to Paris and London! - where I had the pleasure to observe plus-sized fashion and lifestyles.
Last week I talked a little bit about my impressions of Paris.
Today, it’s London time!
A Plus-Sized Gal in London: Impressions
This trip marks my first time in England and London.
Before I left for this trip I thought that I’d find the fact that the vehicles have the driver’s seat on the right side really weird. But honestly, since I wasn’t driving, it didn’t make a lot of difference. And from the moment I arrived in London I felt more at ease than I ever thought I would.
The first thing that helped me feel “at home” was the language: I’ve been to Germany, Austria and France. In all three places it was really hard to communicate and to understand what I was reading, especially in Germany and Austria. In France I got by a little better thanks to four years of French classes in high school; that helped a lot but it didn’t make me fluent.
So, I was thrilled to be able to communicate and to understand everything. I was on safe terrain: English with that cute British accent was music to my ears.
I have a love story with English that goes deeper than the relationship with a second language. I’ve always liked English, and this passion has opened a lot of doors on my career and personal life.
For example, Health at Every Size is a concept that I only got to know because I speak English. There’s virtually nothing about HEAS in Brazil. I discovered a lot of blogs and websites which ultimately led me to More of me to Love. So, I can only be thankful for knowing English. It’s a part of who I am.
The second aspect of London that resonated with me was the diversity on the streets: people from all around the world, visiting and residents alike, are from very different ethnicities. There are people of all colors, shapes and sizes. That felt good, too. I’m not sure if immigrants are treated differently or if prejudice is huge or not in England. However, as a foreigner, I felt at ease. Speaking of at ease, there are many more plus-sized people in England than in France.
Again, I don’t know how the whole “obesity” thing is handled there, but I know the movement called ANYBody created by the psychotherapist Susie Orbach. She mobilizes groups and does amazing work in England, and it’s completely anti-dieting.
Plus size fashion in London
When I decided to go to London I was super excited about getting to go to a real Evans store. Of the internet stores, Evans is one of my favorites, and I always recommend clothing items and accessories in my posts.
It starts at a size 14 and goes up to 32 UK. It’s a plus size store by definition. There are 10 stores in London, and I went to the one at Marble Arch, on Oxford Street. Evans has stores in another United Kingdom cities and also in 15 countries, including Spain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iceland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and other destinations. There’s a store finder on the first page of the website with complete directions.
I must confess that my heart skipped a beat just looking at the store from the outside. There are plus size stores in Brazil, but they’re not as easy to find.
Finding one of the plus size stores I like most so easily was a major event for me!
The store is big: two floors and lots of space. There’s variety in models, styles, and the sizes are really generous. I mean, plus size stores in my country usually don’t have such a broad range of sizes to choose from. That really impressed me.
They also have tights in many colors, prints and sizes, which are very hard for me to find in Brasil, too. It was tight heaven for me!
They also have a What’s your shape chart that can help you a lot while shopping.
Knowing your body shape can be a great tool of self knowledge, and they provide help with that (just don’t be restrained by it, ok?).
Shopping at Evans was a great experience, and if you are a plus sized gal in London like me, don’t miss it! Oh, and the prices are really affordable! It’s a win-win! They have a style blog with news and outfit suggestions, and it’s a great resource!
Another store that I like very much online is Dorothy Perkins. They go up to sizes 20 -22 UK, which is still within my size range. I’ve shopped online, and I had a great experience with the sizing, the prices and the delivery.
But in “regular” stores, unfortunately, I could not find anything in these sizes (I went to two stores). Therefore, I recommend buying online: it’s easier to find what you want and need because you can shop by size, and the sizing measurements are really accurate. They have great prices, too.
I also visited the Forever 21 store because they have a plus size brand Forever 21 +, but they only had “regular” sizes. On the store locator you can browse by brand, and I’ve found one in Stratford City in London, but it was far from where I was staying. Well, we can always shop online…
One thing that helped me a lot was the great and comprehensive London’s shopping guide that Valerie de Pever (the first FATshion blogger I interviewed for MOMTL) so kindly offers on her blog. If you’re going to London, this guide is a must read!
And a few weeks after I visited London the second Plus London took place! Last year, a group pf bloggers created the event, which is now in its second year.
On that note, I’ll share more about London next week: I’m writing a post dedicated to this second event!
Hope you enjoyed my travel related posts. If you have any suggestions or comments, I’d love to hear them!
Patricia Morgado is a Brazilian teacher, jewelry designer and a self acceptance and fashion blogger. She has a degree in Pedagogy and a Master's degree in Human Rights Education. She believes that the key to a happy life is learning to love ourselves. She also believes that fashion is for everyBODY. You can find her jewlery work at Madame Papu's.