When it comes to sustainable fashion, plus size options are definitely hard to come by. Especially affordable plus size sustainable fashion. Until very recently it wasn’t an option for me simply because I was priced out given my limited budget. Even still, I do my best to be as sustainable as I can with my fashion choices – going so far as making sure to donate as many pieces as possible when clearing out my closet twice a year as well as repeating and remixing outfits which with this new digital age in which everything is documented on social media, is a big “no no.”
The one thing I will admit to being difficult is keeping away from fast fashion. For one thing, companies like SHEIN have managed to give plus size people more style options than any other brand I can think of. From sexier silhouettes to simply replicating straight size options in larger sizes (without additional embellishments like sequins) which many of us have been asking for the longest time, and all at a lower price that makes it obtainable for those of use looking for more affordable plus size clothing options.
Over the last year and a half, I managed to do something that I’ve always wanted to do – save money. This may seem nonsensical to some, yet for me this was a big deal as I’ve grown up without disposable income after things like rent, utilities and basic living expenses are covered. As you can imagine, living paycheck to paycheck makes it very difficult to convince yourself to do things like “invest in clothing,” no matter how cool and well made they may be.However, things have changed in the last year and a half. Between not having to pay for my commute to work, not eating out much, no concerts or events and even a major reduction to my monthly shopping budget, resulted in major returns in the form of savings. Not only did this allow me to do things like quit my job without a Plan B, more on that life development soon, I promise, but it also allowed me to treat myself in small ways within this same time frame. The first was purchasing a Telfar bag I’ve been wanting, the other was investing in a better keyboard for my “home office,” and lastly was a sustainable piece from the designer of my choice. Funny enough, I have quite an extensive list of potential options but at the very top was Exo Umbra and this ROUGE dress.
I’ve been following Exo Umbra since around the time I first started my blog. I found her Etsy shop page by simply typing in “plus size goth dresses” in the search bar and became obsessed. Each Exo Umbra piece is custom and handmade to order, with everything being made out of recycled fabric, so though the design will be as advertised there may be some slight differences. These are not flaws but imperfections that truly make these designs stand out within the alternative fashion space.
I love the handkerchief hemline and textured details so much that I really didn’t need to add much to complete this outfit. I kept things simple with my machete reversible harness to bring some color as well as give this dress a bit of a fit-and-flair as it does have more of an oversized fit. Even with the mini dress length, this is a great layering piece that can easily be transitioned into fall and I plan to pair this with my favorite cropped moto jacket, maybe a mesh top and patterned tights once cooler temps finally make it to NYC.
I hope to make the mystic dress my next purchase really soon, maybe with short sleeves. I’m really looking forward to having that rune print statement piece added to my closet very soon. Currently the shop is closed on Etsy but if you’re on the lookout for inclusive and sustainable alternative styles, be sure to follow the Exo Umbra Instagram page for updates on when the shop and her next collection is set to drop.
~Get the look~
ROUGE Basic Dress (XL) | Exo Umbra
Red Machete Reversible Harness (plus) | Shop Jenny Machete
Platform Faux Suede Creepers | Amazon
Lace choker | Torrid
Luckenbooth Brooch | LARPing Booth at BlerDCon (similar here)
Disclaimer : Exo Umbra is located in Great Britain so it may take some time to receive orders but it is definitely worth the wait.
What do you think about sustainable fashion as it relates to plus size options and affordability?