What is a Fatshionista?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A fatshionista is someone who is overweight and also dresses fashionably. Fatshionistas can be found in many corners of the world, setting trends and showing off stylish ways to dress fuller figures and larger bodies. In addition to dressing fashionably, fatshionistas also follow fashion and keep up with emerging trends in the fashion industry which may be of interest. Some may work in the fashion industry, designing collections, staging runway shows, and monitoring trends so that their companies stay abreast of the latest and greatest.

Dressing fashionably while overweight can be a major challenge.
Dressing fashionably while overweight can be a major challenge.

The term “fatshionista” is a portmanteau of “fat” and “fashionista,” a term which is used to describe someone of any size who dresses stylishly and follows fashion. Some overweight people prefer to be referred to as “fashionistas” because they find the term “fat” offensive. Others like to emphasize the “fat” in “fatshionista” to stress the idea that being overweight does not preclude one from being fashionable, and that larger men and women can be every bit as elegant, stylish, and fashionable as their more slender counterparts.

Dressing fashionably while overweight can be a major challenge. Many prominent designers do not offer plus-sized lines, or they offer plus-sized lines which are poorly designed. Overweight men and women have a wide range of body types, just like slender people do, and simply sizing up garments doesn't address the unique needs of larger bodies. Designers who recognize this can find themselves in a very profitable position, as a fatshionista is just as happy to spend money on high-quality garments as other fashion-conscious people with smaller bodies.

Fatshionistas sometimes sew their own garments, or modify commercially produced garments to look flattering on their figures. Others hunt through the offerings provided by companies with plus-sized lines, searching for the perfect garment, and many exchange hints and tips on websites. Designers who create garments which are tailored to overweight bodies are often extremely popular, especially when they divide collections by body types such as apples and pears, allowing people to zone in on the most flattering clothing for their bodies.

The taste of a fatshionista can vary widely. Most people focus on emphasizing the parts of their body that they are especially fond of, such as a slender waistline or nice calves. Learning to dress an overweight body in a stylish way can be difficult at first. Many people think that larger people should dress in loose garments to hide their bodies, but in fact such garments can emphasize the fact that someone is overweight, while properly fitted garments can look much more stylish and elegant, when they are chosen with care.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


I am 42 years old and I am overweight, and, yes, I DO have hypothyroidism which I take medication for but it really does not help with weight loss. The challenge I have is that fashion designers do not put enough pockets or deep enough pockets in pants for overweight women. Why should we have to wear jeans with tight waistbands to get deep pockets? Why can't they have deep pockets in pants with stretchy waistbands and pants that aren't denim? It's very unfair to only put pockets in the pants of thin women and punish women who aren't thin. I keep losing things, because I have no pockets. My husband wears Dockers to work. They have nice roomy deep pockets. He never has a problem keeping track of keys, cell phones, etc. Why can't they make stretchy waistband comfortable pants with deep pockets like men's Dockers?

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