Not So Ready To Wear

By Cindy Bishop
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ugly-dress1Emily’s post inspired me to write about my own fashion frustration. It’s certainly not a new frustration, just one that’s kept in check when shopping outside the plus-size arena.

I’ve always harbored a fantasy about becoming a plus-size clothing designer. Why? Because as Emily and others have pointed out, fashion designers do not understand large women. Case in point, shop at Macy’s in the regular women’s department. Then shop at the Macy’s Woman store. Is there a reason why full-figured women  would automatically covet large prints, with three-quarter length sleeves made in a polyester blend, simply because they’re fat? Is there evidence out there that suggests one’s taste goes right out the window when their waist-size increases? Whether I’m a size 8 or a size 18, I love beautiful clothes — can I be so different?

Enough said.

 When Lane Bryant  came around with plus-sized clothing in the twenties she was a bo brummel of large ladies fashion, with most of her expertise in maternity clothes. And, as much as I admire what Lena Himmelstein Bryant  did for women of her generation, the clothes were hopelessly sad. I appreciate that designing for women with a variety of body types may not be an easy endeavor, but why give up entirely?

A recent episode of the The Fashion Show  (a Project Runway knock-off), had designers tasked to create and sew clothing for women who actually worked at Bravo. Normal women, but without high fashion physiques. The outcome? Suicidal melt-down. Designers self-imploded when required to design clothes for real women. Not plus-sized clothes, mind you, but clothing that would be worn by women with bigger butts, smaller chests, thicker thighs and no discernible waist – you know, like in the real world. Did they come up with design solutions? Ha! It would have been funny if it were not so sad. By the way, their creations were hideous.

When we moved over to our new blog, we sacrificed a segment that I think a lot of women found useful — where to find great plus-sized clothing – a not too easy feat. We’re working on bringing it back, but in the meantime I thought I’d offer up a couple great sites which have made great strides in style, quality and affordability.

 
Land’s End

Ralph Lauren

igigi.com

j.jill

Zafu

Remember, if you know of a great place to shop, outside the normal department store ho-hum, let us know!

6 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Sagan says:

    Heh, that’s interesting that they had so many issues trying to make clothes for REAL people. Clothes shopping in general can be such a nightmare.

    Sagan’s last blog post..Exercise vs. Sleep

  • Cindy says:

    They had the same reaction on past Project Runway shows. The designers all looked like they were going to pass out. “This is not what I do!”. Ha, if only you were to be so lucky! Who exactly do you think you’re going to be designing for, Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss? Isaac Mizrahi and Michael Korrs sound familiar? Target, here we come…

  • Gina says:

    Very excellent point, great post. You know what makes me SO MAD? Whenever I go shopping (which is rare) and I see the mannequins wearing clothes that have been pulled in and clipped so they actually fit them!! I hate it, and I actually said something once to a sales lady. She wasnt pleased with my comment. I mean, why not build a mannequin that actually fits into the clothes you design?? What’s the deal?? Ugh.

    Gina’s last blog post..On a More Serious Note

  • Jaime says:

    I don’t have any patience for shopping anymore-when you come out with your line, let me know!

  • Cindy says:

    I agree, shopping is definitely not the turn-on it used to be. I’ve got about 60 minutes in me, then I’m at Starbucks getting an iced coffee and it’s home!

    I hear you Gina, the mannequins with clothes pinned — perfect. So, anyone who’s interested in investing in a new plus-sized clothing design company, drop me an email. I know Jaime’s on board. ;-) I should probably disclose that I can’t sketch or sew…but I have a lot of ideas and I can complain like nobody’s business.

  • [...] featured a few posts about plus-sized fashion this week. Last week marked the first-ever Full Figured Fashion Week [...]

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