Book Review – PLUS+ (Style Inspiration for Everyone) by Bethany Rutter.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Any reviews I give are done obligation free, and are done free of any charge.

Now, if you’ve been an avid reader of my posts on this blog you will have seen the January one containing pictures of me. And you would have rightly guessed I am indeed a plus size person physically (as well as in personality 😉 ).

Sadly I have never fit into what was deemed fashionable. I am 187cm (6’ 2”) and have been since I was about 12 years old. And with the height came broad shoulders, wide hips and big boobs. So even when I am at my “thinnest” (unlike now thanks to illness) I just do not fit into “average” or “fashionable” clothes. This is hard for someone who describes herself as tall and fat. As, according to fashion outlets, tall people are apparently all meant to be rail thin and 16 years old… while fat people are meant to be dwarves and in their 50’s. And so I’ve always hated clothing (when it comes to wearing it – cutting it up into rag yarn is a totally different story 😉 ) and have never really found anything that fits me. So have felt the fault lies with me for being the wrong shape and size.

How the hell does this have anything to do with ‘Plus+’? Well, that little side story is explaining WHY I asked to read and review this book. And how life changing it has been.

I LOVE ‘Plus+’. It is not, as some people have said, a book on fat women in photos. It is an affirmation of life, love and how clothing is there to make YOU – the wearer – feel good… as well as cover the bits you want covered and keep you warm/ cool as temperatures require. Each page was a woman looking at me as if challenging me to just be ME. Dress for me, accept me in my odd shape and sizes, be free to enjoy clothing. Their quoted expressions and discussions on their style and loves, their choices and challenges… They are there to encourage the reader to realise “YOU are better than that. Dress to suit you, not to suit others”. And, for being someone who doesn’t like buying clothes online as I fear nothing will fit me  – just like in face to face clothes shopping horror stories that are my life – I have looked up the sites mentioned in ‘Plus+’ and they have helped encourage my freedom from clothes fears. I have ordered clothes online! I have found women out there who – yeah we’re not all the same shape and size – have inspired me to give up on that fat and frumpy look that is making me so unhappy and have me seek the style that fits me right – mentally as well as physically.

To all the women that appear in ‘Plus+’ – thank you. You are beautiful; I love your styles, thank you for helping me unblinker myself from my fashion fears.

Now, the reason I didn’t give ‘Plus+’ a whole 5 out of 5 is due to the layout. This book is meant to be enjoyed in the paper form. I read it as an ACSM and couldn’t view as two pages… only one at a time. And that just didn’t do the book any justice and made it hard to truly enjoy reading it the way it should have been read. Yes I am being picky, but it did detract from my enjoyment. I hope not all eBook versions for sale are that bad.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. ‘Plus+’ is not some fashion catalogue for fat people. It is an expression of freedom to all body types to realise you look good if you feel good in what you’re wearing. Don’t let the fashion world dictate what is right and wrong – take control and show it what it right for you.

So I would recommend ‘Plus+’ to people needing a bit of a boost in the right direction to loving themselves for how they are, rather than feeling they need to change to fit into society’s strict, narrow mindset. ‘Plus+’ is a freeing book, helping the reader see life is too short to hate what you look like when you can be out there loving life and yourself in clothes you want to wear.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would, in its paperback format. I would have to see if it was available to me in Australia, as doesn’t list it… but there is more than one online bookstore I can lurk on. 😉 And why would I buy it? Because it contains some great “pep” talk advice, reminders to be myself on the outside as well as on the in, and it contains all those plus size online shops I want to keep visiting. 🙂

In summary: ‘Plus+’ isn’t just some coffee table fashion book, it is an affirmation that you look good how you are, no need to change to please others if you are happy with yourself. An excellent read!


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