Topic of Discussion: Too Plus for the Plus Size Industry?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hello all! I’m trying to do a topic of discussion every week. I think that having weekly features will help keep the blog up to date. So this week I want to talk about plus size lines or retailers not catering to women on the larger side of the plus size spectrum. 

Earlier this year Forever 21 began carrying their plus size line Faith 21. I was so happy when I heard that Forever 21 was getting a plus size line. I can always walk into Forever 21 and find something I wish was in my size. But, much to my disappointment the clothing only went up to a 15/16. Many “straight size” retailers already go up to at least a size 16 so, to many this is a step in the right direction but can also be seen as just a expansion to include sizes Forever 21 should have already been carrying. So, as a 24/26 this left me at a lost.

Also while Dorothy Perkins offers cute clothing (some pieces I even drool over) they only carry up to a U.K. 22 which is the equivalent  to a U.S. 18.  Lane Bryant  carries most pieces up to at least a 28 which is good but, lets face it most pieces they carry aren’t on trend for a 20 something fashion conscience woman. Torrid also carries up to a U.S. 26 but many people have issues with the price and quality.

I Even watched a fox interview where plus size model Mia Amber( a size 18/20) stated that there are size 6 models working in the plus size modeling industry. Mia even stated that as 18/20 she is almost too plus for plus size modeling. Interview below.

So as a 24/26 where does that leave me? Should I be further alienated from the Plus size clothing industry because a lot of clothing stores don’t reach that 26 I sometimes need? Should I lose weight? 

NO, I'm not loosing weight, I love my body and while I wish most plus size stores offered at least up to a 24 cut with a curvier woman in mind(my dream would be that they offered 26) that won’t happen if we don’t take action. So, here are some solutions.
1.) Write, email, and call retailers and let them know that you want them to know there is a market for Fashionable, trendy clothes in your size.
2.) Work with up and coming designers and get them to design in your size. Christina over at Musings of a Fatshionista  just did a post about this you can read here. Also Project runway designer Kenley Collins line also goes up size 24 because she received the best feed back from the plus size community. More info about that also at Musings of a Fatshionista here.
3.) No matter your size try things on! I did a post about being a professional squeezer here. I wish I could walk into every store and find exactly my size but thats not a reality right now so try everything on! You never know what you can get into.
4.) In january 2010 Plus Model magazine will be focusing on designers that feature clothing and models that are 18/20 plus so support them! 

5.) Spend money at places (like Monfi C for example) that offer quality, fashionable clothing up to a size 24 or sometimes 26. The more you shop the more lines like these can expand.
So ladies let me know how you feel. Is there a such thing as being too plus for the plus size world? Where should “straight” sizes and “Plus” sizes end? Or should it even matter? 


MichiganFatshionista said...

In an ideal world, we'd all be able to get the clothes we want in whatever size we wear. I'm hoping that more clothing companies follow the lead of businesses like eShakti and independent designers such as Jan BonBon and others on Etsy, and start offering affordable designs customized to each customer's exact measurements.

This wouldn't just benefit the plus-sized market. Every woman looks great in a garment that's perfectly fitted to her unique body. My mom is a size 0 and has just as hard a time finding stuff that fits her well as I do at size 22.

juliette said...

I second the suggestion to always try things on! There are so many variances in sizing by designer. I've found that I'm size or two larger at Lane Bryant than I am Macys, for example. More expensive brands seem to always be cut larger. And don't assume that main stream stores don't have pieces that might work - Macys has great jeans and even better sales - a recent purchase was a Calvin Klein wrap top that retailed for $89 that I purchased for $8. Yes, $8. Even very conservative Talbots might have something to offer - they actually ahve plus size belts up to 3X and the quality is generally very nice. We have to be more creative, it's true, but that's why we look so GOOD! Keep up the nice work, love the blog.

Anonymous said...

I just have to add that as a 14/16 it is just as hard for me to find things that fit. Try being an interesting modified hourglass. I'm too small for many plus sized outfits (the arms and body overcompensates for eight in places that I don't have it) and too big for "regular" stores (hi DDDs).
I think showing them in profit is the only way for things to change. As Evans and other places make more and more money they'll recognize the market. Calling and writing as well as showing them that there is a market might help. Has F21 ever said what made them change their minds? How do companies get over the fataphobia and get past the negative outcry (more fat clothes = more fat and unhealthy people)? We've got to help them over the hump and realize that people will decide what is best for their bodies and to just make the damn clothes already

Tiffany said...

I love the conversation here. I agree that everyone should have clothes made to fit them. However, I do still feel that the issue with being a bigger doll is that if clothes don't fit thats it, they just don't fit and you have to fine something else. But, if you are a size 0 or any other size and encounter clothes that are to big you can have them tailored. Tailoring is pretty cheap now and even available at your local dry cleaners.

the toybox killer said...

barbie does kind have cankles though. but that's just because of bad ankle definition, i mean i've seen some really skinny girls with cankles...

i think it's mostly just because barbie has excessively small feet so it's impossible for her to have well defined ankles.

seriously man, what they say about refusing to buy barbies is so true. i wasn't allowed to have barbies and i became totally obsessed. i kind of blame the barbie obsession on my history of disordered eating patterns.

i think that the total fatphobia does get out of control, but i also understand the reasoning behind it. in a lot of cases, obesity does cause a lot of health problems, but it's also the case that some people are just made to be bigger.

if you eat a healthy diet, exercise, and so forth, but still happen to be fat, then there shouldn't be anything to worry about. yes, the skeletal models are beautiful, but for the most part real girls do not look like that. if the fashion industry paid more attention to general health, and less attention to bones, i think it would be better for all of us.