A Day on the Plus Side: The Plus Size Affair
I attended the plus size affair at the prestige plaza on Saturday August 1, 2015 and as much as I was nervous about being a skinny girl in a curvy world, I was really looking forward to what was in store for that day.
From the moment I walked through the gates, I could tell that the mood for the day would be celebratory rather than insistent.
The plus-size community had turned out in large numbers and I observed as they dashed from one vendors stall to the next sampling what was in each tent for them.
It felt a little awkward when I took to checking out each of the vendors stands myself and they politely apologized that they did not have anything in my size (I digress).
The plus-size affair is a creation of two lovely ladies, Julianne and Teryanne of Prestige Events Kenya.
They got the idea to organize an event specifically targeted for the curvier woman after they noticed that most clothing retailers had little to offer the plus size woman in their collections.
The two set out to bring this event to life and judging from the reception that they got, this event is definitely a game changer for the fashion industry.
To understand why hosting such an event is monumental for the fashion industry; you will first need to understand some of the challenges that anyone who falls under the plus-size bracket has to go through to look chic and stylish.
Lucky for me, I got to interact with a few of the attendees and vendors who shed some light on this matter.
Shiku of Double Dees Kenya explains how hard it is to find a perfect fitting bra for a woman whose cup size is a D and above.
The plus-size woman’s struggle to look fabulous begins from her intimates and as one of the attendees would further explain, “In Kenya only the mitumba traders cater for women with a bigger bust. I have always bought my bras from second hand traders because our Kenyan stores don’t have anything in my size.”
“I actually had no clue what cup-size I was until I came here today because when I bought mitumba I always picked the bra that fit”.
Anita Mogere of From Curves with Love also shared her experience with us during the event, “I don’t remember ever buying my bras locally” she says “I get all my bras from abroad”.
Plus-size clothing has always had a conservative look, as I came to learn at the event.
The largest size of fashionable clothing often comes as a size 16 and for that reason, anyone who is bigger than that would be forced to shop in the maternity section.
But even when they get the perfect outfit, plus size women are required to conform to a set of generally accepted rules about how a woman their size needs to wear.
“As a plus-size woman, you find that everyone has an opinion on your size and what you wear” says Anita during her talk.
Body hugging clothes are discouraged for the plus size woman, chic trends like the crop top are no go zones and the only acceptable colour to wear is black because it’s slimming.
As a result, clothes for the plus-size woman are less of a fashion statement and more of a way to hide your body and its flaws.
However, the future looks brighter for the curvier woman because stores like RFH The Store and American Fashion Outlet, who were both at the event, have dedicated their businesses to dressing/styling the plus-size woman.
“All a client needs to do is shop for her perfect outfit online and we will make sure to get it and deliver it to her” says one if the owners.
With such developments, the curvier woman can now take charge of her fashion by taking risks with her fashion choices, which in turn, encourages others to follow suit.
Health and fitness also took centre stage at the Plus Size Affair as the attendees were treated to various sessions on proper nutrition and how to keep fit.
It was quite clear that as much as the event was set to celebrate the fuller figure, they also intended to encourage and empower these women to live a healthier life.
Fitness gurus from Weight Watchers Kenya were on location to offer advice on weight management, whereas the team from Body Contour Kenya took the ladies through scientific weight management A.K.A losing weight without ever stepping into a gym–how awesome is that!
The Plus Size Affair was not only an outlet to celebrate the fuller figure and to showcase all things big and beautiful; it was also a session to empower the plus size community through fashion.
Recalling Anita Mogere’s words “Fashion is a way to express yourself and show people that you love yourself in your body” For those who missed out on this awesome experience, do not despair, the second edition of The Plus Size Affair is well underway.
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