The Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat)?: Adventures and Agonies in Fashion

In her endearingly profane 2015 memoir, Fat Girl Walking, social media personality Brittany Gibbons wrote about growing up lower-middle class in small-town Ohio, and her lifelong struggle to make peace with her plus-size body. The Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat)?: Adventures and Agonies in Fashion makes clear that, while the struggle isn't over, Gibbons sees no reason not to look fetching while fighting.

The Clothes Make the Girl has a self-help aspect that diverges from Fat Girl Walking's more personal reminiscences and woman-on-the-brink humor. It has a patchwork feel, darting from topic to topic: shopping for a wedding dress; Spanx and how to modify shapewear for bathroom needs ("Just don't get too aggressive with your cutting; it's all too easy to go from shapewear to assless chaps"); and maternity underwear, about which surely no one has ever written more, or more enthusiastically, than Gibbons. She touches on key moments in her life--working at the Gap, discovering Lane Bryant, modeling plus-size clothes for Lands' End, first seeing Clueless--that ultimately led her to become "the openly plus size I am today."

Gibbons often sounds like the love-child of Samantha Jones and Roseanne Barr. Her response to the notion of being judged for being fat and pregnant: "The only 'right' way to do pregnancy weight is with your doctor. Everyone else can suck it." --Nell Beram, freelance writer and author

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