Polka WHAT?

Polka dots.

Ever since I got fat I have had a problem with polka dots. I’m not saying it’s rational, it probably isn’t, but whenever I see a polka dotted dress in a plus size, I always imagine the designer saying “Hey, big girls are bubbly, right? So lets put them in something fun, like polka dots!”. It’s crazy, I know, but dots are┬ásynonymous, in my head, with barrel-scraping, lowest common denominator plus fashion.

I can tell you the exact dress that inspired this feeling: A purple prom dress with black spots in Evans.

I was shopping for a dress for our company’s Christmas party. It was going to be a big, fancy occasion and a dress was necessary. I had only just stopped wearing jeans and t-shirts (my staple for so long after I put on weight) and I was flexing my style muscles again, desperate to find something that might be me. Needless to say this dress was not it. It was the only acceptable thing in the shop and I hated it, probably more than I hated the shapeless rubbish that filled the rest of the rails. This was Evans 5 years ago, very different from Evans now. It screamed to me “You’re the fat girl! You’ve got to wear the fat girl spots! Because you’re happy! And bubbly! And funny!”. It’s such a jolly print.

I don’t know, maybe it’s the symbiosis of the round shape adorning my round shape, who knows, but spots bothered me. For a long time.

Until I came across this skirt:

It’s from Etsy.com shop Prototype Design. I’ve previously mentioned it here, but I only recently bought something from it.

It’s very dotty. Why would a girl who doesn’t like dots buy a very dotty skirt? Who the hell knows. I certainly don’t. Even when it arrived (very promptly) and I tried it on, I asked myself why the hell I’d bought it. All the old feelings about polka dots came flooding back and I was angry with myself for thinking I could change. Angry with the skirt for being totally gorgeous, exactly the right cut but completely the wrong pattern. I arranged to send it back. Kay, the designer, was very helpful and understanding. I assured her that I definitely wanted to swap it for another of her skirts, but I just couldn’t wear this one.

Then, I cam back from a break in Ireland with nothing to wear. Everything was piled in creased up heap in my suitcase and my eyes fell on the skirt. It was all folded back in it’s plastic wrapping, ready to be shipped back and I thought, “Maybe it might work…” With some apprehension and a great deal of hope, I put on the skirt, wore it as part of an outfit, and another outfit, and another one.

It was amazing.

I loved it.

I can’t explain it. I still feel the same way about polka dots. I’m always going to think they’re shorthand for the mythical ‘jolly fat woman’, but this skirt works on me. Guess I’ll have to deal with that.

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