Fat, fat, fattie

I’m overweight. I know I’m overweight, I know what I need to do to lose weight but I remain, stubbornly and without willpower, overweight. I don’t like the fact any more than you probably like thinking about it but those are the facts as they stand at the moment, laydees and gennelmenn.

I am fat.

Looking around me I see that there are other fat people too. I know I’m not alone, just as I know that whilst I may be fat, I’m actually quite happy. Sure it annoys me that the person I see in the mirror doesn’t match my mental self-image (ONE day someone with a swimmer’s body will stare back… yeah right..) but I’ve long since made my peace with how I look.

I can’t speak for others on this issue, but I know that being overweight isn’t just a matter of being too lazy to exercise and too weak to have enough self control (they are factors, don’t get me wrong). Some people genuinely do have physiological and psychological factors that affect their weight.

I don’t. I’m just fat. Like most of the other fatties out there.

So, given that there is a reasonable percentage of fat people out there (and only now, dear reader, am I finally warming to the reason behind this post) why is it so hard to buy clothes.

I just typed “so hard to big clothes…”, not quite freudian but close, no?

I’ve mentioned before that I’m picky. The phrase I tend to use is that “I know what I like” or more accurately I’d flip that around and echo what someone, who was probably famous for his wit and candour, once said “No, not that, that’s fuckin’ hideous”.

I don’t actually mind that in some shops I’m an XL, in others an XXL for, unless I’m buying a cheap shirt (for work) from Primark or Asda, I always try the clothes on in the shop first.

And so it was on Thursday night I found myself coveting a rather nice shirt in River Island. I’d already been in most of the usual high-street haunts to be confronted only with dark shirts with garish stripes (which are increasingly common and thus, increasingly against my thinking (yes I’m a snob, bite me)), or high-contrast checked ‘slim fit’ style shirts, with buttons and flaps and… ohh fuck that I’m not 17. I get the style, the fashion, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not me.

Of course River Island didn’t have the shirt in XL. I tried on the L to no avail (it buttoned but would require the abstaining from any form of seated activity whatsoever) and was a bit miffed.

Across the road (technically across the concourse I guess as we were in Silverburn shopping centre – a place with an excellent parking system which I’ll tell you about another time) to Suits You and once again I locate another shirt which I would deem worthy of a place in my wardrobe and further to hang on my manly, but fat, frame.

Guess what. The XL didn’t fit and they didn’t have any XXL in stock. Of course they didn’t.

So, having tried 7 different shops, ranging from £15 to £50 and beyond, I found two shirts which I would have bought had but they had the right size.

This is why I don’t like shopping for clothes. Two and a bit hours (not counting stopping off at a second River Island on the way home, same result) of being constantly reminded that I’m fat. It’s really not very nice.

And what I still don’t get is why there is NEVER enough stock of these sizes. If I was an L, M, S, or even (in one store) an XS, I am spoilt for choice (fashion decisions aside). But not so the XL and above.

I’m waffling now so I’ll close with another quote that was once, possibly, uttered by someone famous (possibly the Queen) after yet another day of disappointment on the polo field.



  1. “dark shirts with garish stripes (which are increasingly common and thus, increasingly against my thinking (yes I’m a snob, bite me)), or high-contrast checked ’slim fit’ style shirts, with buttons and flaps and…”

    Well. At least you avoided the ned shirts! Being slightly further away from the mid point of average has its advantages you know!

  2. Knowing the A Certain Someone doesn’t visit this site at all, I can get away with posting this:

    Shirts? That’s nothing. You try to find bras in 36E that don’t look like they are made from an old pair of curtains! M&S? Rubbish! Bravissimo? Made by Acme DeckChair Manufacturing Company. The outcome? French and expensive, naturally.

  3. A very sad tale indeed. And one I am familiar with myself. Although, due to doctor’s orders I am trying, yet again, to do something about it.

    It’s not much fun.

    Mince pies, anyone?

  4. Would comment, but am just off to return dark with garish stripes shirt I’ve bought for your Xmas……….

  5. I recommend an arthritic hip. That’ll encourage you to lose weight. Of course, once you’re slim and svelte and all the clothes you like will fit, you’ll still have arthritis, but at least it won’t hurt so much.

  6. I feel your pain.

    At least when I am in girl-mode I can choose from plus-sized friendly shops like Evans, Yours, Doropthy Perkins, and even New Look (if I restrict myself to the Essence range).

    I guy-mode I have to hope for the best, or choose from the limited selection at shops with names like “Big Guys” and “Biggerland”.

    I think the only solution is to get handy with a sewing machine, and make your own clothes.

  7. I have the same problem when shopping for Mr BW (who is not ‘fat’, but 6′ 3″ and growing). I have started asking to see the manager in stores where the selection of sizes is poor.

    I was in BhS the other week and absolutely all the trousers (that anyone over 25 might wear) were 34″ waist or below, and most 29″ leg or shorter. The menswear manager tried telling me that it was impossible for them to predict what people would buy. I suggested that, that being the case, they needed to examine their technology as even Sainsbury’s had now sorted out supply problems by investing in IT. He said he’s pass my message on to head office.

    To ensure he gave some thought to so doing, I got out a pen and paper and wrote down his name (I had to ask, he wasn’t wearing a badge, which I also pointed out), wrote down the time and date of our conversation, then got him to give me the head office number and the name of his contact so I could ring them too, to reinforce the message he would pass on.

    When I have time, I shall continue with this policy.

  8. I’m not fat, but I do notice that women’s shops are stocking more and more on the very small sizes, and less on the average sizes, which makes me feel fat. I wear a 10 on the top and a 12 on the bottom (I’m 5ft 6) and I find it harder and harder to find these amongst rows of size sixes and size eights. It seems ironic, given that the population is apparently getting fatter…

  9. Totally agree. Having lost some weight but still being fat you describe exactly what I faced for a few years. It’s got a little better now but it’s still not ideal.

    The bit I really can’t get – we’re a nation of fatties so why is there so little stock? I know not everyone is but you know what I mean. I don’t need software to tell me what to stock – open your eyes and look at what is walking up and down the high street – loads of fat people.

    It’s totally demoralising too – I’d ended up buying mostly online as in store had become pointless and online, to me, felt a lot less embarrassing when things didn’t fit. There was also more stock too.

  10. Yes women have this problem too only its clothes made for girls with actual boobs. Look around, this is a nation of curvy girls so why are all the clothes made for girls with the figure of a 12 yr old boy? Perhaps the economy would be boosted if suppliers stocked their shops with clothing that fits their customers ACTUAL figures/sizes rather than the starving runway models.


  11. I’m not at all fat (except in my head), but at 6 foot 5, and with broad shoulders, I still struggle to find clothes that fit me right. Just goes to show that off the peg clothes are a nightmare for pretty much everyone because no one is “average” for their own size.

    Happy Christmas. Worry about it tomorrow. Or next week. January at the latest….


  12. Merry Christmas to you and Louise!
    I hope you will watch the new Wallace and Gromit and review it – over here in Central Europe we are totally BBC-deprived, unlike in Belgium! We did import Cadbury’s Selection Boxes to ward off any twinges of homesickness, however.
    May 2009 bring you both health and happiness!

    This morning, I woke up to find the whole garden covered with a neat sprinkling of snow! A white Christmas, yay!

    Whilst I am at it, you are NOT fat!!!!!!!!! I would have nominated that post for the BBRU if I had noticed it in time (before coming here, things were extremely hectic and I barely had time to sleep, let alone read blogs). For women, the clothes buying situation is just as bad. Every shop’s label, although ostensibly displaying the same size, is more or less generous depending on the style of the garment…for example, Marks and Spencers knickers fit generously in my size, but practically everything else outside the nightwear and lingerie section is out of bounds, skirts, trousers etc. all very tight and stingy. We larger ladies are, in effect, barred from the fashionable High Street shops (and, even if we could afford it, designers only cater for stick insects/supermodels, although nowadays, if you go to Harrods, there are bountiful girl equivalents of many labels, driven by the Middle Eastern market…). Searching for something to wear can be a humiliating as well as a depressing experience and you certainly can’t go shopping in groups unless you are willing to spend a lot of time hanging around outside the changing rooms whilst your friends try things on.

    It is one of the ironies of life that when I had the figure, I couldn’t afford the clothes and now that I could afford them, I don’t have the figure.

    Still, I am used to being big by now and as long as I am healthy, I can live with it. I iknow from experience what it would take to lose weight: approx. 2 hours of aerobic exercise a day. Every day. I just can’t be bothered any more approaching my mid-40s.

    Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the season’s cheer, so have fun and I hope you tuck into a delicious Xmas dinner!

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