Clothes Shopping: Midsize and Disabled

Hey pals!

This is a post that has been planned and pre-written/experienced before lockdown, don’t worry, I am keeping safe and haven’t left the house in a month. I wanted to talk about what it’s like to go clothes shopping on the high street as a midsize disabled person… coz the facilities are pretty minimal in most shops, it can be really difficult to do.

I have different levels of shopping, I always start with window shopping/browsing. I take a lot of photos of items I like and their labels so I can find them when I have more time/energy. Before lockdown I used this as a mode of exercise when I needed to be in town for my Chiropractor or a massage, I’m quite an anxious person and end up being somewhere really early. (Well, you never know, I might struggle to find parking where I usually park and have to find somewhere else in the annoying one-way system and I’d rather be too early than LATE) So, I often have something like a spare 20 minutes before appointments and some time after (coz my ticket is usually up to 2 hours parking) and I find I can walk more when my brain is distracted by stuff.

I saw a few pairs of trousers that I like and all looked very similar. The difference? Apparently only colour even though on is ‘Lift and Shape’ but the other is ‘Tori’? I’ll let you know now, I didn’t go with Tori, just like in every election I’ve ever voted in.

I also really liked these t-shirts, but only the one on the left came in my size, or anything CLOSE to my size. Seems like the biggest most clothes go in NewLook is a 12. I took photos though, in case I ever came back in or wanted to find something similar elsewhere. Sadly not yet. I ended up buying the light blue top but recently decided it’s not really me and is too similar to the colour of my jeans so will be selling it on depop. I really wanted the yellow top, I’ve fallen in love with mustard yellows.

I decided on this trip (A different one, and this is the next stage of shopping) that I would try on some of the clothes that caught my eye and see which I liked on me more. I can’t trust high street sizing, even in men’s sections. It’ll say 34 waist and be too big, but pick up a pair of 34 waist shorts? Can’t do them up! But that’s a lesson I’ve learned so I have to try things on, especially if they’re a big purchase. This first pair of trousers looked nice on the hanger, but the material resembled something cheap and thin I would purchase off Blue Banana in 2010 as a teenage emo. They were dreadful and looked horrendous on. Clung to all the worst places. These were a quick no.

I struggle in changing rooms coz I need to get a decent distance from a mirror to see if I like the item I’m trying, so I tend to go down the end and not use a disabled cubicle even though I am entitled to it. A lot of these non-disabled stalls don’t even have a bench to sit on inbetween item or to help you pull things off or on. On this trip, this store doesn’t have seating anywhere in the changing room except right at the entrance for those waiting on someone, or in the disabled stall. Standing for too long, I get quite dizzy and sick. Plus, changing rooms can get quite stuffy and the lights are so industrial… It’s just not a good place to be sat on the floor wondering if staff could get you water or let you use a toilet. Oh, also I can’t really tell the difference in these photos which jeans are which!

I realised that I’d picked up a pair of trousers with short leg, and though I liked the look, I like the idea of flexibility so I got them in the Regular length so they at least grazed my ankles. After trying on three pairs of trousers and nearly passing out/being sick on the floor, I had to pile back on my usual clothes including a coat coz it was chilly that day and go home… I think I went and got some food and a drink first so I would stop feeling so dizzy. I took pictures so I could look at them later when I regained some brain function and make a decision. I had to come back at a later date to actually make the purchase. I bought them in a size 16 because size doesn’t mean a damn thing, I wanted to be comfortable, and the cashier confirmed that NewLook clothes run small so bare that in mind when you go shopping there.

 

This isn’t supposed to be some super hard hitting piece about how HARD it is being disabled, it’s just a commentary pointing out how weirdly inaccessible shopping for clothes is which is why many buy online. I never find clothes that fit me online unless I’m going oversized so this is the best I have, but like… can we turn down the intensity of the lights please? They don’t flatter anyone and I’m gonna get a migraine.

 

~ Artie

 

 

Check out this article on Huffington Post by Wendy Lu about the inaccessibility of the acting industry and education systems and how grossly ableist they are!

Bored? Like shopping? A UK reader? Check out my depop I have much available for sale!

Thrift Shopping: Mid-Size and Disabled

Hey pals,

 

I finally got out of the house alone and wanted to try and find some of the things on my thrifted clothes wish list (spoiler: I didn’t find any of them…) and I tried on a bunch of clothes and took photos, so I wanted to tell you about my experience shopping as a mid-size queer person. I’m also disabled, if you’re new here, and have a chronic illness which make me very fatigued. This shopping trip was the worst weather I’ve been out in since my third year at uni when March was frozen over. So I only made it to and through two shops before been too tired and needing to go home. I also left all my shopping bags in the car and only had my backpack, and really hate buying plastic bags. I had limited space.

 

Nike t-shirt £3.99

The first thing I tried on was this Nike t-shirt. Now, I know nothing about vintage sportswear so it’s probably not that old, but it had a cute 90’s feel to it. I jokingly called this the lesbian footballer look when I sent it to my friend, seeking her approval.

ASOS men’s shirt (XL?)

The next item was this ASOS men’s shirt in a beautiful blush pink. I didn’t like how it fit, which was very unfortunate, as i loved the colour of it. It was also poppers not buttons? So, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this… so it went back on the rack.

 

Cotton Traders shirt £5.99 (M)

I found two Cotton Trader shirts, and looking at the label I could tell this was a good brand (never heard of them but the label was real fancy and unique) plus it helps giving me a self-esteem boost that it was a size medium and fit me really nicely. I loved this muted colour striped one, less of a fan of the next one…

Cotton Traders shirt (M)

Even though this is the one that caught my eye on the rack first. My best friend make me feel like I can take more fashion risks and I picked this up with her in mind. But, sadly, I just didn’t like the orange tones that much.

I then popped to a different shop. One of the main things on my wish list is a decent pair of jeans that are similar to my Levi’s but different colours. I picked up two pairs of blue jeans labelled 36 inch waist and neither of them fit! Very rude.

 

I also tried on a pair that said it was 38 inch waist (which I was sure would be a bit too big) but even holding them up, they genuinely could have housed a circus. I didn’t even need to undo the button to pull them up.

 

Next UK 14 £4.20

I did find a very cute velour women’s top. I don’t often look in the women’s section but this charity shop looked pretty boojy and had a lot of really nice clothes hanging up (near the front anyway) and I found this in a 14. I vary from 14-16 in tops really depending on the cut and material but it looked pretty cute, even though the neck was a lot wider than I’m used to (I wear men’s crew necks all the time) so I bought this. Also, Next isn’t a bad shop for quality so I felt pretty pleased with myself.

 

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Len Goodman Memoir £2 & T cup 99p

I bought some non-clothing items, because I’m always looking for Christmas or birthday presents for people. I found the perfect mug for my Gran (who’s name begins with a T) because she struggles to hold cups based on their weight and how big the handle is, and this looked pretty perfect and wasn’t heavy. I was from Wilko, still had the sticker on the bottom so likely brand new and probably anywhere from £1-£5 originally so 99p isn’t bad! And I found Len Goodman’s autobiography. Me, my mum and Gran all love watching Strictly Come Dancing, and he used to be head judge. The blurb sounds really interesting and I think all three of us would probably enjoy reading it so £2 it pretty good for three different people!

Atmosphere £4.50

This is my final item, the first bag I’ve bought. I was a little pissed when I got it home and saw it was a Primark bag, but considering it was probably more that what I paid and it was still in reasonable shape, I think I can cope. I like a cross body strap and always keep an eye out for smaller bags that I can take and use for like a night out or to go out somewhere I don’t want to take a massive backpack or my messenger bag. I felt like this could be worn by any gender, and I hate flashy bags, so this one felt right and looks like I’ll fit everything I need in there!

 

My Total was £21.67 for 6 items, which is err-ing on the pricier side, but a lot of the more expensive items were good quality clothing so I don’t mind too much. Whereas I’ve been to a few £3 a bag sales, I’ve picked up items that have gone straight to depop sale coz I really just didn’t want to waste the bag space and some of those were pretty decent brands for hardly any money at all. I think I may have found one of my new passions to write and make YouTube videos about. I haven’t really seen many LGBT+ people making thrifting content, the few I have are either L.A based or really skinny, si I want to put myself out there as a mid-size, nonbinary, bi, disabled, and chronically ill person who loves thrifting and style!

 

 

I highly recommend any UK people check out my depop! I am a trans friendly shop (obviously but I feel it always needs to be said) and I post pretty quickly and I do try to sell as cheaply as I can but it is my main hussle that makes money so please try to be understanding.

 

~ Artie

A Christmas Gift Guide

Hey pals,

I never thought I would do a gift guide honestly, but I’ve stumbled upon some cool small businesses and artists online, and some of them are also my friends! What better way to celebrate Christmas than sharing the love of art and creations for others to buy! So here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

Cassie Maes’ Bijoux a la Main Jewellery

Cute and quirky jewellery. She also produces custom orders.

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Lena of Art by Lena

She provides a website/social media header design service, all beautifully hand painted and custom to you. Cute wooden Christmas-ish ornaments, stickers, prints, bookmarks, postcards, all kinds of hand painted wonderful-ness! Lena is always expanding the kinds of things she creates, so I recommend having a browse! Many cute stationary pieces.

Check out her other links here. The main shop can be found here.

Dylan / Dylanoliv.art

A real mixture of creative works from photography to drawing to sculptures. He makes cool illustrated sticker versions of sculptures he has made and draws cool faceless people. To buy, send him a message on his art insta. Dylan also has a Redbubble!

Abbi Guse of Abbigail Guse Art

Art prints of ethereal women and landscapes. Also cute stickers and clothes! (I’m particularly partial to those) Also check out her Redbubble.

Alex of Baby Limbs Art (Now on Etsy)

Funky wallpaper, line character work, gremlins, cute animals and more!  You can order directly through her on her instagram/etsy for postcards and prints. Occasionally, they will make bizarre jewellery bits like funky earrings, so if you’re looking for unique, one of a kind pieces, Alex is the one for you! I have personally bought a print in the past and can say they’re great quality and everything is super reasonably priced!

Fox Fisher

Another nonbinary seller on my list. Screen printing and teaching short courses, limited edition prints, LGBT+ art works and stickers.

Check out their store here.

Shadeaux by Annie 

Owned by a LGBT+ woman of colour, Shadeaux creates fetish inspired jewellery for the kink community. Annie’s shop started as a line of acrylic accessories, an easy way to add some kink to everyday looks or streetwear. Shadeaux will be adding a line of ball gags an paddles by the end of September 2020. Check out and follow their instagram here.

Lorna Henson

Handmade elasticated harnesses, custom orders, size inclusive. Either wear as sexy addition to lingerie or a cool accessory addition to an outfit.

Devovere Lingerie and Jewellery 

Similar pieces to above that are custom made but also some jewellery pieces. A disabled queer person, I’m always here to support! They are a UK based store too. Everything can be found at Devovere.com

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RT Designs by Ruth

Black woman owned business, I found her through #BlackPoundDay on Twitter and fell in love with her beautiful gold flake bookmarks I mean what that hell?? She makes coasters and jewellery with similar designs and I am definitely planning on picking up a bookmark. UK based. Check out her Instagram.

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Tiffany: 30 year old emo from Essex (& very proud). Bi & chronically ill & disabled – Crohn’s & a stoma. I love records and prints and being unapologetically me.

Shimmer and Sew was born – like a lot – out of lockdown, after being made redundant due to covid, and getting a sewing machine for personal use, I decided to try my hand at sewing properly! I don’t normally stick with hobbies because if I’m not good, I give up, so this is a big thing for me! I have a Christmas scrunchie drop (or two) planned, and take on custom orders (I’m currently working on a duvet set for a friends rabbit).
Orders are mostly taken via DM on any social media and can be PayPal or bank transfer. I have an Etsy shop now open for pre-made items, for custom orders send a message 🧡
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Positively Peculiar  Quirky handmade jewellery and badges, second hand clothes with a 90’s vibe. The badges often have a good political statement which is always a plus for me!

CultureSmart’s Travel Guides! Kuperard Publishers very kindly gifted me a copy of their ‘essential guide to customs & culture’ Japan edition! This is a whole new level of travel guide that really talks about the culture of the place you’re interested in travelling to with some helpful do’s and don’ts when it comes to conversation. This would be a great present for anyone looking to travel in the New Year and they have a HUGE list of locations they have covered!

If you know anyone who loves books, I recommend searching and buying from Hive as they support indie bookshops and you can decide which ones your money supports.

Snuggly Duckling Crafts is a one-woman melt and pour soap making business, based in Singapore! All of Marsy’s soaps are cruelty free, paraben free and handcrafted by herself – making sure no one soap is the exactly the same as another. She ships locally to Singapore and also to the UK, but is open to worldwide shipping. She has an etsy store (that’s currently on holidays because of bank issues) or you can place an order via DM with her at @snugglyducklingcrafts on instagram!

taxidermy animal skulls and antlers

If you are interested in taxidermy, I recommend reading my blog post on it! Lots of good places to buy recommended on there.

~

And of course, ME! Can’t make a gift guide without shameless self promotion!

As you know, I sell second hand items on my depop or my vinted, you can for sure find some presents on there (and it’s not always just clothes) all my postage wrapping is reused!

I also make all kinds of art stuff! I particularly like line drawn portraits and making fun wall signs out of scrap pieces of wood, and I sometimes make cute cards! I’m open to commissions 🙂 hit me up on my art insta. I do have a RedBubble of my own with some of my drawings or photography on. Link here.

And I do tarot card readings through email! So if you’re interested, give me an email at: artiecardenbusiness@gmail.com (paid through paypal)

I hope you enjoyed this little gift guide! It’s mostly art stuff but occasionally something else! I hope you found some good ideas here and thank you for supporting my friends and their small businesses!

~ Artie

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Recent Thrifted Clothes Haul!

Hey pals,

 

At one of my family’s favourite second hand warehouses, they have a £3 per bag of clothes sale (and the bags are pretty large) and I went to my first a little while ago. I did buy more than I’m showing but some were presents for someone else, not clothes, or did not fit but are up for sale on my depop so check that out! (buying from my depop helps me out a lot!) The tables were piled up so high and they kept dumping trolleys full on top! There’s another coming soon so I plan on going there again coz I found some great things!

First, I found this funky 80’s looking reversible jumper (which is a wee bit small on my arms but my arms are freakishly long and it was too cool to leave it!) it felt very Stranger Things one side and Beetle Juice the other!

I found a few oversized plaid (ish) shirts in a range of colours and brands! The green one is actually Ralph Lauren! The middle picture felt very Bowling For Soup, Ska–style so I had to grab it, living my pop-punk dad dreams.

This was my first attempt at wearing this shirt, with a t-shirt I thrifted from another warehouse for £1.

One thing i’ve been looking for, for a while, are some grungey mens rugby shirts and I found a couple I loved! I wasn’t too sure on the first one as it was a size small, but didn’t look too bad. Definitely one to save for a skinny day. But I absolutely adore the middle one (I think in a XL) I’m dead for the green and burgundy. The third picture is my favorite way to wear it with some corduroy 3/4-length trousers I’d picked up in a charity shop. I plan on replacing the elastic in the waist as it’s a bit stretched out, but otherwise I love them! (It was also the outfit I wore in a music video!)

This was not something I thrifted during this trip, but this is how I like to wear my clothes at the moment. These are my favourite trousers right now (besides the corduroy) real Levi’s from the racks in Brighton for only £10! and the £1 t-shirt I bought at Shabitat when they had the £1 clothing sale on!

 

If anyone really likes these blog posts, I’ll happily make more including pictures of me styling some of the items as I think this is fun. I don’t see a lot of LGBT+ style bloggers or YouTubers out there and kinda fumble my way around. i love clothes, and i love style, and I LOVE thrifting! So, I’d love to share these experiences etc. with you all!

 

~ Artie

Check out my IGTV Video of my recent thrifting experiences and some other clothes I’d picked up that aren’t shown here!

I’m also thinking about showing my thrifted wardrobe in a YouTube video sometime so if you’d like to see that let me know!