Plus or Minus

I’m having a devil of a time finding good stretch faux leather leggings for my Magik cosplay. I was hoping to find some on Amazon for a reasonable price (reasonable = less than it would cost to make them myself), but it’s slim pickings.

That’s right, slim. The “plus” size leggings that I initially ordered are entirely too small. Yes, I admit it, I’m a big girl. So I thought, “Okay, that was just the brand’s sizing. My fault for not checking the size chart for that brand before I bought them. I can find something else that will work.” NBD, right?

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find attractive plus size leggings–even on a site as big as Amazon? I’ve found less than a handful of truly plus-sized pants that would work for what I want. If I was skinny like I used to be, then I’m sure I’d have found dozens of great-looking affordable leggings already. Hell, even using “plus size” in the search engine and selecting the plus size department to further narrow the search, I have found more regular-sized leggings in what I’m looking for than plus size.

As for the few plus sizes that I have found, some of them aren’t all that “plus.” Looking at the sizing charts (now that I’m a little wiser on that), some of the “plus” is like a 14 or 16 size–not really plus, people. That’s average. Average.

If I was a designer, I’d be all over some sexy plus-sized women’s wear. Something that looks just like the regular size but with plus proportions. Why can’t bigger women (like me) wear faux leather leggings? I may have a big gut, but with the corset I’m making part of that will be taken care of…and besides, I have a decent ass (for a big girl). And wouldn’t that be the challenge of the design? Making the clothing look good–and making the wearer look even better. Hidden panels to suck in all that fluff? Sure. Stretch to accommodate for the range of shapes in the plus-sized world? I’d have it covered.

Sadly, I’m not a designer. I’m just a regular cosplay sewist who needs a pattern to make anything. Granted, I seem to have a knack for modifying patterns that I find, but that’s not the same as actually designing something from start to finish. And if I have to make these pants, I’m going to definitely need to do some modifying. Proportionately, my waist is much larger compared to my hips, so any pattern I find will need some creative adjustments made. Stupid gut.

Why not just lose weight, you ask? Okay, I’ll admit that I’m lazy about exercising and I eat too much junk. But it’s not like I haven’t tried. When I started regaining all the weight I lost over a year ago (or is it two now?), I did my damnedest to keep it at bay. I ate better, drank lots of water, tried exercising every other morning before work. Not only did it not stave off the weight gain, it seemed to speed it up.

Then you have to take into consideration the medications that I take. Several of them can cause weight gain, and the few that I’ve tried to help me control my appetite did nothing for it. (Don’t worry, folks, I didn’t mix my prescriptions with over-the-counter weight loss meds. I asked my doctor for advice and used a couple medicines that he prescribed–meds that he deemed safe to take with my other medications.)

So there it is. There are people out there that, for whatever reason, can’t wear what clothing companies consider to be “plus” size…and the clothes they can wear are baggy, saggy, and completely unflattering.

This is a call out to all clothing designers: find some true plus-sized women. Real women with real bodies that have different shapes and sizes. Find these women, and make them feel sexy. Trust me, there’s a market for it. I’m not saying it all has to be stretch faux leather like I’m looking for–just something flattering that doesn’t make them feel worse about themselves.

And if you do decide to make some in the stretch faux leather…hit me up! 😉 I’m more than willing to model your design at Dragon Con this year. It’s a HUGE convention, and cosplay has become as much a fashion-centric community as New York Fashion Week or Paris or wherever the hip kids go to look cool these days.

You’ve got two months, designers. As the inimitable Tim Gunn says, “Make it work!”

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