First things first, I am a USA 1XL, which means in Asia where sizes run small, I am a XXXL or something crazy. In Germany, I would probably be an XL now. People assume that I gained weight because of my baby.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I had such healthy cravings when I was pregnant – mostly veggies, strawberries with salt, homemade mortar and pestle pesto and bolognese sauce – that I lost weight during my pregnancy. At 9mos pregnant, I just returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. After I gave birth, I remember my pre-pregnancy jeggings just popping right back on.
Effects of Bipolar Medication
Moving with a 4month old was so stressful. Moving is stressful period. It’s right up there with death of a loved one and divorce. Imagine, having bipolar disorder and struggling with a move, then coming home to the Philippines to family to face some traumatic events in my early life, and becoming estranged from family members who did not want to believe what happened to me. This really triggered my bipolar disorder. I had to increase my bipolar medication, and with that comes an increase in weight because, while these medications help me function properly, they also slow down my metabolism.
On 2018 January, my husband was diagnosed with Stage 2 Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer in his Femur) and I had to increase my medication dramatically just to cope, within a month, my weight jumped from 170lbs to 183lbs.
2019 February my husband was diagnosed with a second primary cancer: Stage 1 Colon Cancer. My medication was increased again. It’s a struggle to lower my weight throughout all of this. But I need to be forgiving of myself. I have to remind myself that I’m not making excuses. This is my reality and I need take the meds I need to be able to function as a mother, wife and provider. So what if it makes me fat?
I am not my weight – my husband and son love me anyway. I deserve to be happy and love myself no matter what weight I am. For years I was depressed and avoiding people, not dressing up or putting on make up – because I felt ugly and didn’t feel like I deserved to feel good about myself.
Now I realize that we all deserve to look and feel good no matter what weight we are. And I want to share with you where I get clothes that make me feel good as a plus-sized woman.
Uniqlo is my go to for uniform dressing – yes I get 3-5pcs of the exact same item. Why not? Variety is overrated. If something is flattering, feel free to get several pieces in the same color!
- Jegging (super stretchy) up to XXL
- Basic & flattering Tees like the Drape Shirt in XL
- Airism tanks with built in bras XL
- Maxi dresses with built in XL
This is truly a Titas of Manila favorite and have fashionable choices for every size. My favorite brand her is JILL by Jojie Loren. My size there is an 8 or a 10, and that’s not even the largest size. The styles are really smart!
They also have the most amazing resortwear like really fabulous caftans.
Again another tita favorite. Tita is Filipino for Auntie. They have the best underwear that lasts a long time. I noticed that when I buy cotton underwear from places like La Senza, they pill almost immediately. This shouldn’t be the case because I have cotton underwear from M&S and they don’t pill because they are well made.
I noticed they have some great jeggings that tuck you in in the right places. But these pieces aren’t cheap, so get classic pieces that you can wear for a long time.
When we were about to go our very first beach vacation since returning to the Philippines as a plus sized woman, I panicked because I only had one swimsuit from Violeta (below). I got in touch with Float Swimwear through their Instagram and they had the suits I ordered delivered the next day, just in time for my trip. I was so happy and felt great in them! Check out their Instagram!
That’s amazing customer service! They have some really glamorous swimsuits. I only hope that they create suits with more bust support in the future. Float Swimwear has up to XXL swimsuits and rashguards.
Where I order Plus Size Clothing Online
While many of you might not be comfortable with online shopping, I tried ordering a few items first to figure out my size. Though this ships directly from Barcelona, they offer free returns! Isn’t that amazing? The once piece swimsuit I got from them is so nice – slimming and supportive!
Be sure to check the sizing guide, because in Violeta’s plus size sizing, I’m a Medium, but I’m a size 1XL in the USA.
You wont find their plus-size in their stores, but if you order online, they have their complete plus size catalog. This ships from HK if I’m not mistaken. It takes about a week for the items to arrive. I noticed that their prices are cheaper than in the store sometimes. So for plus-sized ladies it might be worth it!
So this isn’t exactly from Manila, but these are really some high quality work out gear that are so soft and well-made, unlike the stuff that I’ve tried from Old Navy (their sister company) before which doesn’t feel so great on the skin, and don’t last for very long. The secret is to buy stuff on sale, and read the reviews so you know if the item runs big or small, then adjust your sizing.
I have an LBC shipping cart account, and it’s really saved me from settling for things, because of the lack of options locally. Some things like plus size clothing is hard here in Manila, so if I really need something like beautifully made yoga pants or great high impact bra, I get it on sale on Athleta. After all, the stuff we buy from our malls or even online sellers here are also shipped from overseas.
Do you have other places to add to this list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! Share your plus-size secrets with me, pretty please?!