Plus size fashion - Shaheen Rajan

Dress for your size.

No. I will dress however I feel my best self. No magazine gets to tell me that I shouldn’t tuck my shirt in or wear high-waisted pants because my body is a particular size. If I feel comfortable in what I wear, then that’s all that matters. I will tuck in my ASOS shirt in my high-waisted Primark pants, thank you.

I have been a plus size girl since I was… 14? Back then, my only source of fashion updates were magazines, which were filled with pictures of gorgeous women, adorning latest collections, who had one thing in common – they were all thin. Even the edgier publications, which usually dabbled with controversial and dared featuring darker skin and shorter hair, didn’t quite budge when it came to size. It was all very standard.

Fast forward many years to the age of influencers, and it’s a new world order. Now I can see tons of inspiring women, with varying sizes, owning their bodies and dressing in whatever makes them happy and comfortable. There are no rules. Nothing is off limit. It’s all about adaptation and personalisation. Different body types can now wear the same piece of clothing, and make it work for them. Slay, as Gen Z calls it. These influencers demonstrate how, and I am here for it.

We often talk about the dark side of web, the one that makes us feel cornered, disconnected, overwhelmed and/or bullied, and not enough about the way it empowers us – to own our bodies, to live our dreams, to champion causes closest to our hearts, to find our tribe. If you haven’t felt that way, empowered that is, take a look at who you have allowed in your virtual space. If someone online makes you feel less than good about your life by shaming it, unfollow them. It takes about 2 seconds and the reward is priceless. Don’t overthink it. If someone offends you by living their best life, check your insecurities and work on that self-confidence.

You know, I didn’t arrive to silk-shirt-tucked-in phase without my share of hurdles. If you have lived in an Asian society, you know body shaming is part of our societal fabric. Also, shopping for ready to wear has forever been a nightmare. From subtle comments to outright insults, been there and faced that. And while I can’t change the past, I can make the future better – for myself and whoever here needs a more accepting way of life – by dressing the way I feel good. Pass on that acceptance which has been offered to me by many amazing content creators, activists, business owners and the next-door Jane.

If you like what you see in the mirror, that is all the validation you need. Fashion is subjective, and an individualistic expression. You can make crop tops work but I can’t. And that’s okay. I can look good in lilac and it doesn’t make you feel particularly rosy, and that is fine too. If you need further validation, tag me in your photos and I will give you a genuine compliment. Free validation services. Limited time offer. I will remind you of how beautiful you are, just the way you are. Until we can all become honorary members of Desi Baguette’s #maiapnifavouriteho club.

So, if you are a non-standard size girl (plus, petite, curvy, tall, etc), who has been told one too many times to dress her size, shove it all back to where it came from. Dress for your smile. And that glimmer of confidence that you get when you know that you look like 70 million euros.

For me, today, it is this silk blouse in high-waisted pants (they aren’t meant to be high-waisted; just very long, so pulled them up – hashtag cheap thrills), with inappropriate amount of Medora of London on my lips.

P.S I couldn’t decide on what edit to go with – original or edited. Swipe to see. Hopefully you are more decisive than I am 😀