OOTD: Sweet oblivion (and some thoughts on plus size pricing and capitalism)

Normally I wait for Domino Dollhouse items to go on sale before I snap them up, but I fell in love with the Oblivion Dress from their new Science/Visions collection and had to have it–especially since I only wear long sleeves in the winter, and I want to get as much wear out of it as possible before the weather warms up. I sold some clothing to my local Buffalo Exchange to help come up with the money (and was pleasantly surprised that they bought a bunch of my size 3x/22 dresses, since they rarely carry anything over a 14), and, as always, used Tess Munster‘s 10% off discount code. I’m so glad I did–the dress is so comfortable, a perfect winter staple.

plus size outfit pewter gray domino dollhouse dress

Dress: Domino Dollhouse, teggings: Re/Dress, shoes: LL Bean, ring: Torrid, all other jewelry: old or from clothing swaps

The body of the dress is made of a comfortable jersey material, and the sleeves are a super-soft faux suede. I love that it looks edgy and vaguely goth, but feels as comfortable as pajamas. I’m hoping to get it in black someday too, if there’s a really good sale.

plus size gray jersey dress domino dollhouse

The jagged hem is everything. I’ve been obsessed with asymmetrical hems lately, and realized that I own very few items with them, so I was happy to remedy that.

I wore the dress to work on Friday with the accessories pictured here, and then on Saturday with different, punkier ones. (Yes, I was so excited that I wore it two days in a row. And did I mention it’s really comfortable?) I will put up pictures from my Saturday adventures–which included the BUST Craftacular, dinner in Chinatown, and the Faneuil Hall Christmas tree lighting–soon.

plus size gray goth outfit

Every time Domino Dollhouse releases a new collection, there’s some grumbling around the fatshion-o-sphere about their prices. I have complicated feelings, which boil down to: boo, capitalism.

I understand the frustration of fat women who can’t afford Domino Dollhouse’s prices–hell, I probably shouldn’t even be buying their stuff. Their dresses are usually in the range of $70-$90, and their leggings are about $25-$40, which is hella expensive. Tess Munster always has a 10% off discount code, so you can automatically take 10% off of their prices–but 10% off of expensive is still expensive. For me it’s a stretch, but for a lot of women, it’s prohibitive–even when the items go on sale 25% to 50% off, which is how I get most of my DD stuff.

Access to affordable plus size clothing is a real problem, especially for women who are sized out of the cheap juniors plus ranges like Forever 21, Wet Seal, and Deb Shops. They have every right to complain about their lack of affordable options.

pewter oblivion dress domino dollhouse

At the same time, I don’t blame Domino Dollhouse for their prices. They’re a tiny company consisting of literally two employees, which means they can’t access the low wholesale fabric prices that make it possible for mega-corporations to sell super-cheap clothes. Their clothes are made in the US at a (fat) woman-owned factory, which is good for both the environment and the workers, but also leads to higher prices. And third, their clothing is much higher quality than stuff like Forever 21–it’s built to last. If they sold their items at Forever 21 prices, they wouldn’t be able to break even, let alone make a profit.

Taking all of these factors into account, I think their prices are reasonable; what’s unreasonable is that many women’s wages are so low, and expenses are so high, that they can’t afford good quality clothing. What’s unreasonable is that real wages have stagnated for decades while health care, housing, and education costs have skyrocketed. What’s unreasonable is that women still make less money than men for the same work, and women of color, fat women, and queer/trans women face additional discrimination.

What’s unreasonable is this shitty economic system we live in: a system in which supporting an independent, fat-woman-owned small business is a luxury that only some women can afford. A system in which ultra-low clothing prices are made possible only by environmental destruction and worker exploitation in the Global South, and the most exploited people here in the Global North can’t afford anything else.

plus size outfit gray pewter domino dollhouse dress with asymmetric hem

I have mixed feelings about my own participation in the system as well. When I buy a DD dress and wear it on my blog and social media, I’m supporting an awesome indie woman-owned business, and spreading the word to potential new customers. I’m helping keep a creative fat woman financially afloat, and helping her continue to make edgy, interesting, fun plus size clothes, which lord knows we need more of.

At the same time, I’m also reinforcing an unattainable standard for women who look at fatshion blogs and see nothing that they can afford. I try to balance out my more expensive purchases with the many clothes I’ve gotten from thrift shops and clothing swaps, but I still worry that I’m creating an image that’s just as unattainable in its own way as the parade of size 0 women in mainstream fashion. I don’t know what the right answer is; I just know that shit’s complicated, capitalism sucks, and pretty dresses are pretty.

12 thoughts on “OOTD: Sweet oblivion (and some thoughts on plus size pricing and capitalism)

  1. I think you wrapped it up well, ” I just know that shit’s complicated, capitalism sucks, and pretty dresses are pretty.”

    It looks great on you! The colour and fabric looks very lux!


  2. This is one of my favorite styles. I have a couple of tunics that are a similar cut and are my go-to items. I have the benefit of being able to sew and if I find something I like, that is comfy and pretty….I usually end up making a pattern out of it and sewing multiples of that item. The challenge with that is, although my closet has a variety of colors….it doesn’t have a large variety of styles. That can be hindering at times.

    • That’s a good idea to make patterns of things and then sew multiples. I know what you mean about having a variety of colors, but not a variety of styles–I have that to some extent too, since I’m drawn to certain styles that I end up buying over and over again.

  3. Great post Laura. I have a skirt and petticoat by DD and would LOVE to invest in some of the dresses, but I just can’t pay £50+ for a dress on top of the possible custom charges, but I totally understand the need to support indie businesses, especially ones who sell larger plus sizes. Dilemma!

    • Thanks! That sucks that you and other non-USians have to deal with customs charges. And that’s a good point about DD selling larger plus sizes–we need more businesses like that.

      Btw, if there’s ever something you really want from DD, let me know–I could buy it, send it to you, and then you could pay me back (if that would help…it would avoid customs charges, but then you’d have to pay shipping from DD to me plus shipping from me to you, so I’m not sure if it would be worth it).

  4. What a cool dress! The suede along the shoulders and arms is such a surprising and wintry touch. I’ve seen pieces with faux leather detailing like that, but the faux suede is a nice change. It lends a coziness to the dress. It fits you beautifully and is a great dusky color. Wintry pastels and dusky neutrals – my favorite trends for winter!

    I also appreciate your insights at the bottom of this post. These are things I’ve been considering, too. I’m trying to represent a wide range of retailers and items of various price points on my blog. I’m such a sucker for Anthropologie and IGIGI, but they are very expensive. I’ve only recently started shopping with more affordable retailers like Forever21+ and Wet Seal+. While I’m able to fit their clothing, it’s incredibly frustrating when they max out at a 3X when it’s not even a true 3X. If I’m frustrated, I can only imagine how furious other plus size women above a size 18 are feeling.

    I just received a dress from SWAK Designs – my first piece from them. I ordered a 2X and could have gotten away with a 1X. And they sell up to a 6X! It’s awesome! Their pieces fit perfectly true-to-size. So many retailers run small that I’ve gotten accustomed to trying on two sizes up to secure a fit. The SWAK dress was a nice surprise!

    I haven’t yet shopped with Domino Dollhouse, but they’re a retailer I continue to browse. I keep going back to those petticoats…

    ❤ Liz

    • Thanks! The faux suede is really soft, and definitely cozy. I have been loving wintry pastels and dusky neutrals lately too!

      I feel the same way about Forever 21+ and Wet Seal +. I usually wear a 22, and I can fit into some of their 3xs, but I’ve noticed that others run small, so they’re both hit-or-miss for me. (I can pretty reliably fit into Deb Shops’ 3x, which is about equivalent in price and quality to the other two. Same with Dots, except they went out of business…*sigh*) It is really frustrating that pretty much all cheap, trendy plus size options carry such a small size range.

      SWAK is pretty cool! I have a blue lace dress from them that I really like and should wear sometime. A lot of their items seem really expensive considering how basic they are, but I appreciate that they carry up to 6x and run true-to-size.

      You should definitely try out Domino Dollhouse sometime! I have a few of their petticoats (light pink, mint green, and yellow), and I love them. 🙂

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