In which the Perkinseses’ wear clothes.

An outfit photo of me, fat and pale skinned with short blonde hair, wearing a shift dress in a black and orange 70s style pattern over a black maxi skirt with black sandals.

We are moving in the next few months and every time I think about culling items in preparation I start to freak out. Today I was going through my wardrobe, pulling out things I don’t wear and I found this dress that I made three years ago. I don’t know why I haven’t worn it in so long, because once I put it on I remembered how awesome it was!

A photo of me against a hollow brick wall (I never know how to describe it!) I'm wearing black sunglasses and a smirk.

I used a New Look pdf pattern but had to grade it up a few sizes and reposition darts. I wish I’d kept my altered pattern pieces because I want to make a few more of this dress (so much for culling my wardrobe!) The fabric is a stretch poplin in a fantastic 70s style print. I should have bought a few more metres because it’s lovely to wear.

A full length photo of me looking down.

I didn’t wear make up today. It was just too much effort, like a lot of things are at the moment. I need to save my precious energy for putting clothes on, breathing and running errands. Even that exhausted me!

An outfit photo of Nick, fat and pale skinned with short brown hair and a stubbly beard, wearing a blue pin striped business shirt with a blue tie and black pants.

Nick also got dressed today, keeping with the custom of people who live in inner-city Brisbane. He had to go visit a client and put on one of his new tailor made shirts. Do you know how hard it is for a short fat man to find nice shirts? I never knew before meeting Nick, but it is a ridiculous challenge. He needs longer shirts, shorter sleeves and wider necks and shops just don’t stock anything to fit him. I’m fortunate in that my proportions are in line with the scant variety available in plus size clothing, so what little there is will probably be ok for me. Nick doesn’t even have a scant variety; he has too big, too small or nothing. When you see a fat person who is, in your lofty opinion, dressed “sloppily” think about how all bodies are different. Any body that doesn’t fit into a narrow range of what is constituted “average” (in height, proportion, weight, etc) will have to simply make do and that’s how one ends up with poorly fitted clothes.

A close up photo of Nick's pinstriped shirt cuffs, secured with cuff links with a gem in them, and his blue paisley tie.

Many people have responded to my own complaints about the fit and availability of off the rack clothing with a dismissive, “make your own.” Yeah, ok, so I do as much sewing as I can but not every person knows how to sew. Men’s clothing is pretty much beyond my skills, so the next option is bespoke clothing and that is very expensive. In the last few months Nick has researched tailors, come up with fanciful ideas of holidaying in Vietnam and coming home with a new wardrobe and stumbled upon websites that offer fairly cheap bespoke shirt making.

A photo of Nick standing in the sunshine wearing his new blue shirt and holding his blue tie in one hand.

Nick was contacted by one of these sites and invited to get a shirt made up to his specific measurements. I don’t know much about the process, and will prod him to blog about it, but at the end of it he received this very smart shirt. It’s not an ideal process, because it’d be much more convenient to run down to the local shop and pull 4 things off the racks and walk out with them all knowing that they fit nicely and make you feel good. However in the interim it’s an option where there seemed to be no options or only very inaccessible options. Now Nick can get fanced up for clients or fun and feel good in clothes that actually fit him!

My outfit:
Dress: Made by me
Skirt: Made by me
Sandals: Spendless Shoes
Mega awesome elephant head necklace: Valley markets
Sunglasses: Giant Vintage

Nick’s outfit:
Shirt: Cao Vinh through
Pants: Lowes
Tie: Kingsize Big & Tall
Shoes: Williams
Cufflinks: Gift


  1. Argh so glad this is on Networked Blogs now! I’d missed my Natalie dose since stopping using LJ!

    I love your dress SO HARD. I’m 3 months pregnant and though I’ve lost some weight I’m still between a UK 18-22 so finding awesome maternity clothes is super difficult >:I It angers me.

  2. UMM…my fave post in a long while! you guys look amazing! Nat, that top is killah! and nick is such a hottie! wishing you guys the best! xoxox

  3. It’s a great shirt and, while it might be easier to buy one off the rack, I bet it’s much better quality. So worth it for things like work clothes but not something you’d want to do for casual.

  4. Aww, you both look so good! And you are so right about understanding that clothes fit differently, or not at all, or some people (arguably.. a lot of people) and that we shouldn’t judge when we see them out and about. It’s an important issue that I think most of us lose sight of often.

  5. Looking awesome the both of you! How different nick looks with less beard!

  6. I know Natalie is pro-beard, but gosh Nick is a handsome fella underneath his beard! Squee! And, lovely outfits both of you. I am *this* close to getting over being intimidated by my sewing machine, so hopefully I’ll have a nice dress like that very soon.

  7. Wow, it’s always nice to see Bespokeable clothing out in the wild. Your shirt and you look great Nick!

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