Written by Claire Goodwin


Glad Rags: A girl’s gotta twirl

In the latest of a series that sees Standard Issue writers celebrate the clothes that make them happy, Claire Goodwin trumpets the wonder of her favourite dress.

goodwin gladrags3 croppedI have gained a huge amount of weight in recent years. It’s for varying reasons (fuck off Katie Hopkins: yes, I eat too much), but its effect on the way I look and dress has been fairly significant.

It has knocked my confidence. I have gone from being that slim girl with quirky outfits, trendy hair and loads of jewellery and bangles – affectionately labelled as my ‘tat’ in our house – to being someone who struggles with what to wear.

goodwin gladrags4I am fairly lucky in that regardless of the amount of weight that I gain or lose, I always have large boobies, a big bum and a waist. Barely a day goes by when my husband doesn’t honk my norks with a comedy clown horn noise. Confidence-wise, this has helped me come to terms with not being a size 10 anymore because at least I know I have bits to honk and proffer, and the larger the better, according to Carl (Note: he isn’t a feeder).

But, while it is one thing to have large honkable norks and squidgeable buttocks, it is a different thing altogether to dress them.

I have recently entered the world of the jegging, more by necessity than by choice, with my arse struggling to remain enrobed by conventional jeans.

I approached them with trepidation, wondering whether I would look like a sausage masquerading as a country and western singer. However, I have been pleasantly surprised.

With a floaty top – covering the crotchal region – and a pair of my beloved Asda ballet pumps, I look pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

One of the categories of clothing that I have struggled with since entering the plus size realm though, is ‘dressing up’ (in the having-a-night-out sense rather than the pretending-to-be Wonder Woman/Mary Poppins/Regan from The Exorcist one).

I usually revert to jeggings/top/ballets with extra makeup after trying on everything in my wardrobe.

I love a maxi dress, but they tend to come sleeveless, and this isn’t something I generally like, due to the dreaded bingo wing. Let’s call it the wingo, shall we?

“Whenever I wear it, I have ladies (all shapes and sizes), stopping me and asking where I got it from and saying how much they like it.”

I’ve bought lots of different frocks: long, short, floaty and fitted, from lots of different places. The majority of these have never been worn. I end up selling them on Facebook or buy, sell or swap sites, which is another article entirely.

I struggle to find things that fit well, without being tight or frumpy, unflattering or dull.

But then, I discovered Lindybop.

Lindybop is a fab British website that sells 40s and 50s inspired fashion. Now, if your assets are your boobs and your waist, but you’re a bit lumpy and shy about your tummy, legs and bum, then the swing dresses are brilliant.

Claire wearing her floral dressMy fave dress from Lindybop is called Vivi. I have bought two, one in black and one floral (size 22), with the floral being my absolute fave.

Whenever I wear it, I have ladies (all shapes and sizes), stopping me and asking where I got it. It looks best when worn with the swing petticoats so that you get a really good shape under the dress. You can buy the petticoats from Lindybop and from eBay/Amazon, but if you’re handy with a needle and cotton, they’re pretty easy to run up yourself.

The dress itself is only £34.99, well made for the price and, especially the floral version, is made from good sturdy material, giving a structure which flatters your figure, particularly if you have a fuller shape.

The greatest thing about these dresses, however, is the twirl potential. I dare you not to twirl. Awesome.


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Written by Claire Goodwin

Claire is a speech therapist, baker, cake decorator, sometime radio guest and writer. She writes about food, being fat and living with mental health problems @bake_therapist; www.baketherapy.co.uk; www.facebook.com/CakeChemistryUK