This is part of the #LargerThanLife Initiative … sharing stories, building our community, strengthening our souls.
I’ve found that the more ladies I connect with on this initiative, the more people there are out there who are experiencing similar challenges to me. This makes me realize more and more how important it is to reach out to others so that we can share our experiences and support each other … and hopefully by doing this we can bring about some positive changes where we’d most like to see them.
Meet Christene Mouton, a dynamic, busy mom of 2 from Durbanville. Like me, she was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid after the birth of her older son, and like me she has a child who was diagnosed with a chronic condition (thankfully, both hers and mine are now in remission). Neither of these two factors are helpful if you’re trying to watch your weight! But Christene also mentions another issue that is being mentioned A LOT … just because we’re Plus-Size, why do shops seem to think it’s ok to be foisting clothes on us that look like items worn by the older cast members of ‘Little House on the Prairie’?!
Anyway … enough from me! Here’s what Christene had to say:
Please tell me a bit about yourself … married, single, kids, job, hobbies, favourite foods, favourite series binges? However much or little you want to let me know is absolutely fine.
I am 49 years old, been married for almost 17 years to a wonderful husband and father – we have two boys ages 15 and 12. I have been an Executive PA for almost 30 years (started work straight out of school and studied part-time). My 15 year old son fell ill in Sept 2017 and it took us a while to get him diagnosed with a very rare allergy condition called EoE (Eosinophilic Esophagitus). He has been very ill for 2 1/2 years and our family went through hell. I left my job last year October to be with him and I’ve been home since. He has been much better and has been in remission since November 2019. I have always loved sewing and sew some of my own clothes…due to the fact that clothing is very expensive and I can hardly find something that fits my body. I have also taken an interest in gardening … specifically in succulents and enjoy every moment.
What size clothing do you usually wear? If you could let me know according to the S, M, L, XL etc. chart, and also the 16, 18, 20 etc. chart, that would be great!
I wear a size 42 – 44 in pants and a 40 – 42 in tops depending on the make. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid after the birth of my oldest son and has been battling ever since to get back to a size 38 overall. Obviously work stress and the illness of my son did not help with losing weight and I hope to be more successful going forward.
Where do you usually shop for clothes? Where would you LIKE to shop for clothes, but can never find stuff in your size?
I am not a Woolies Shopper … their clothing is extremely expensive but then again so are almost all the other stores and it never fits 100%. I only buy underwear from them.
I don’t mind paying for clothing but then it needs to fit my body shape and be of good quality and unique … not 30 of the same size. Ever since I’ve been a little girl I never wanted to look the same as the other girls and that always sparked my interest in sewing … it made my garment exclusive/unique. I’ve bought basics like t-shirts from Edgars and PnP Clothing but PnP Clothing’s clothes are very small in size. I have also found one or two nice garments at Ackermans and Miladys. Miladys tends to be expensive and their clothing is sometimes a bit old fashioned.
I love skirts (long A-line) and dresses (A-line) and bought a few online cause it is not tailored and knew it would fit. I bought it from Superbalist cause they have a Plus Size option.
What do you consider to be a reasonable price to spend on clothes?
- A casual T-shirt R80 – R120
- A pair of jeans R300 – R500
- A dress (if you wear dresses, I know many prefer not to) R500 – R1500
- A smart blouse R300 – R500
- A jacket R800 – R1 500
- A pair of shorts R80 – R200 If it is a good quality garment, I will definitely pay these prices but most clothing nowadays are poorly made and the material is not of the best quality.
What frustrates you the most when you need to shop for an item of clothing? (This can be as many things as you want to list – it doesn’t need to just be one thing!)
Almost never my size. When I do find something in a size 42 – 44 it looks like a tent…not even remotely tailored to fit any kind of curve. Crammed clothing rails, horrible music … we are not all in our 20’s … I have walked out of stores more than once because I could not stand the music and in some stores it is too loud.
Do you only shop for clothes when you specifically need something, or do you browse and buy things as you see them if you find things that will fit you?
I am a bit of a minimalist and only buy when I need something or need to replace a clothing item.
Are there any particularly awful shopping experiences that you’d be willing to share?
Not really something specific but refer to my answer above … it happens almost every time I go shopping.
If you had the opportunity to talk directly to retailers about the way they make and market clothes for Plus Size women, what would you say? This can be anything from a few words to a long rant, if you’d like to really have your say!
Re-look at body shapes and stop trying to dress Plus Size woman with oversize clothing and lots of bling. We do not want to look like 80-year-old woman. We desperately need someone to cater for our body shapes. Donna Claire tries very hard but their sizes are weird … I’ve tried once or twice and it is so out of proportion that it just plainly look weird.
To find out more about #LargerThanLife and what it’s all about click here.