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Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American women

kenny

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A good read from Tim Gunn.
It astonishes me that clothing manufacturers, reportedly, refuse to make and sell what the majority of American women want.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/09/08/tim-gunn-designers-refuse-to-make-clothes-to-fit-american-women-its-a-disgrace/?postshare=1311473593128411&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.840e5eeeddad

Partial snip:

I’ve spoken to many designers and merchandisers about this.
The overwhelming response is, “I’m not interested in her.”
Why? “I don’t want her wearing my clothes.”
Why? “She won’t look the way that I want her to look.”
They say the plus-size woman is complicated, different and difficult, that no two size 16s are alike.

Some haven’t bothered to hide their contempt.
“No one wants to see curvy women” on the runway, Karl Lagerfeld, head designer of Chanel, said in 2009.
Plenty of mass retailers are no more enlightened: Under the tenure of chief executive Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch sold nothing larger than a size 10, with Jeffries explaining that “we go after the attractive, all-American kid.”

This is a design failure and not a customer issue.
There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women.
The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape.
Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up; it’s a matter of adjusting proportions.
The textile changes, every seam changes.

...

Seventy-four percent of plus-size women described shopping in stores as “frustrating”; 65 percent said they were “excluded.” (Interestingly, 65 percent of women of all sizes agreed that plus-size women were ignored by the fashion industry.)
But the plus-size women surveyed also indicated that they wanted to shop more.
More than 80 percent said they’d spend more on clothing if they had more choices in their size, and nearly 90 percent said they would buy more if they had trendier options.
According to the company, its plus-size shoppers place 20 percent more orders than its straight-size customers.
 

lovedogs

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

yessss! So glad someone posted this article. I love Tim Gunn, and I think this article is awesome.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

I agree! They consider a size 10 model too fat to be a model. Size 10 is actually very small. The majority women (over 40 especially) do not have fashion model bodies, but we do have a lot of disposable income. I really love Chicos because they DO carry styles for all women especially middle aged and up, and I give them my business because they recognize that all women of all sizes deserve to have nice stylish clothing! :appl:
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

Lands End does a great job with their plus size line, they actually change the cuts to better fit a plus size body while still looking nice and overall classic. They're my new go to for daily easy clothes.

Designers who shy away from the plus size woman are cowards. It's still just too stigmatizing to be fat in "high society" which is what all "high end" designers will pander to. Until you see plus (and I mean at least 14/16 not 8/10) in Vogue it's not going to happen.

With that said, I do think there are changes happening, the fact that this is even a discussion is step one. Here's hoping that progress continues.
 

monarch64

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

Asscherhalo_lover|1473641519|4075339 said:
VRBeauty|1473640234|4075330 said:
Baby steps!
Yup. He dressed Leslie Jones of SNL and Ghostbusters fame when no other designer would. He's young, though, and does whatever the hell he wants to do unlike a lot of the old school, already made their mark designers.
 

Gypsy

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

To be fair in the last 7 years or so there have been a lot more NICE options for larger women, especially some options for younger women. Macy's (as much as I dislike shopping there due to their staffing and customer service issues) has done a nice job of coming up with good options that are attractive for larger women.

I wish Anthropologie would size up. I love their stuff. But it rarely if ever fits.
 

momhappy

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

^Interesting because I feel like Anthropologie's sizing has gotten bigger (not that their actual size numbers have changed, but it seems like styles are cut bigger, even though the size numbers have stayed the same).
 

arkieb1

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

I think there are many "designers" out there from all over the world who don't make clothing at all larger than certain small model sizes. This is a shame because as DS pointed out above plenty of average to plus sized women have just as much if not more money to spend on fashionable clothing.

Hollywood, the media and magazines still have a lot to answer for and a long long way to go....
 

Gypsy

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

momhappy|1473649547|4075386 said:
^Interesting because I feel like Anthropologie's sizing has gotten bigger (not that their actual size numbers have changed, but it seems like styles are cut bigger, even though the size numbers have stayed the same).
I don't know about that. I just wish they would carry larger sizes, period. Not size bigger. But actually carry labelled sizes that are bigger.

I can shop at Modcloth and eshakti and get cute things. But it would be really nice if I could shop in person confident that there would be things that are MEANT to fit me. Instead of things that are jut sized too big that I MAY get lucky and fit into. KWIM?


I'd love to wear these;
http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-dresses/4130385730022.jsp#/
http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-dresses/4130256236164.jsp#/
 

Cozystitches

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

This is a HUGE reason why I started making my own clothes. It came to a point of total frustration with finding clothes that fit. I hated going, trying on a million items to MAYBE find one or two things that fit. Now my only struggle is on jeans and jean shorts. When I started making my own clothes, so much happier! I have pants that fit (well they did, but now they're too big!) with POCKETS (yes, I have a thing for pockets and skirts/dresses/pants all have BIG ones). It took a lot of trial and error (last summer took FOREVER) to figure out pants, and have a basic top that works for me, as well as a dress and skirt pattern. Found a designer who's patterns are sized to fit me (pear shaped), her older patterns aren't exactly my size, but I'm close to the largest so I can make them work. :D So now my challenge is finding fun fabrics. :D
 

missy

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

Cozystitches|1473652297|4075401 said:
This is a HUGE reason why I started making my own clothes. It came to a point of total frustration with finding clothes that fit. I hated going, trying on a million items to MAYBE find one or two things that fit. Now my only struggle is on jeans and jean shorts. When I started making my own clothes, so much happier! I have pants that fit (well they did, but now they're too big!) with POCKETS (yes, I have a thing for pockets and skirts/dresses/pants all have BIG ones). It took a lot of trial and error (last summer took FOREVER) to figure out pants, and have a basic top that works for me, as well as a dress and skirt pattern. Found a designer who's patterns are sized to fit me (pear shaped), her older patterns aren't exactly my size, but I'm close to the largest so I can make them work. :D So now my challenge is finding fun fabrics. :D

:appl: :appl: :appl:

I agree it is egregious that women of all sizes cannot find beautiful clothes in the stores more easily and I applaud you for making your own clothes. I wish everyone could/would do that and put all these people who refuse to be inclusive of women of all sizes out of business! Money talks and if they needed the business from women of larger sizes watch how fast they would start accommodating them.

I am hopeful that the world is changing though and that it is becoming more inclusive. Just not fast enough but I guess baby steps forward are better than nothing.

It's unbelievable because when I was super skinny in my 20's and 30's I still had no trouble finding clothes to fit perfectly and that was way out of the norm when I was so thin but for women who are just a little bit heavy it can be so challenging. So unfair. :nono:
 

momhappy

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

I think that the sizing numbers have gotten utterly ridiculous. J Crew's smallest size is a 000 :shock: I don't know who thought that was a good idea :confused: You'd think a 0 would be the smallest size and then have a line for petites if you're smaller than that. Standard sizing should be universal and then accommodate for petites and plus sizes.
 

Arcadian

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

what chaps me the most is that a size 8 skinny jeans doesn't fit me the way a size regular does. (I can barely get a LEG in a size 8 skinny.)

I have to go up SEVERAL sizes for a skinny. One of my friends was dying when she brought in a size 14 and I still had to think small thoughts to get them over my thighs.

In the meantime, my waist swims in a sea of cloth (no muffins there baby!!)

Then there's the size inconsistencies across different lines. Wont even go into that.

I got everything from a 2X to a small in my closet. And to varying degrees, they ALL fit! I always have to have the clothes tailored to some degree, especially pants :rolleyes: .

And I've gotten dirty looks going into Lane Bryant. Don't care will wear it if its cute. :tongue:

Personally I hate vanity sizing. Happens a lot more than not these days. I'm a musclehead with a badonk so clothing generally aren't made for women like me. It's still irritating as hell though.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

Arcadian|1473689031|4075508 said:
what chaps me the most is that a size 8 skinny jeans doesn't fit me the way a size regular does. (I can barely get a LEG in a size 8 skinny.)

I have to go up SEVERAL sizes for a skinny. One of my friends was dying when she brought in a size 14 and I still had to think small thoughts to get them over my thighs.

In the meantime, my waist swims in a sea of cloth (no muffins there baby!!)

Then there's the size inconsistencies across different lines. Wont even go into that.

I got everything from a 2X to a small in my closet. And to varying degrees, they ALL fit! I always have to have the clothes tailored to some degree, especially pants :rolleyes: .

And I've gotten dirty looks going into Lane Bryant. Don't care will wear it if its cute. :tongue:

Personally I hate vanity sizing. Happens a lot more than not these days. I'm a musclehead with a badonk so clothing generally aren't made for women like me. It's still irritating as hell though.
I dislike vanity sizing as well, let's just measure it all accurately in inches and call it a day. At one point Lane Bryant was actually selling different cuts for pants, for women who were straight bodied, "normal" curvy, and "extra" curvy (small waist thicker butt/thighs). I actually thought this was great as it allowed for better fit but they stopped after a few years.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

Dresses are the hardest for me because I am one size larger in pants than tops. So I may not fit in a 12 dress because of the hips, but a 14 is too big for the top part. I rarely need a dress, but I have a wedding in Nov. and will be forced to endure the torture of trying to find one. Trying to lose a few pounds to help make that possible!
 

redwood66

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

I am a big Eddie Bauer fan because most of my clothes are casual. Lands End is sometimes good. I have a badonk also, hilarious btw. It would be nice if the designers were more $$ driven rather than vanity on the runway driven. Like the article said, many have money and would spend it for nice stylish clothing.
 

lovedogs

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

Arcadian|1473689031|4075508 said:
what chaps me the most is that a size 8 skinny jeans doesn't fit me the way a size regular does. (I can barely get a LEG in a size 8 skinny.)

I have to go up SEVERAL sizes for a skinny. One of my friends was dying when she brought in a size 14 and I still had to think small thoughts to get them over my thighs.

In the meantime, my waist swims in a sea of cloth (no muffins there baby!!)

Then there's the size inconsistencies across different lines. Wont even go into that.

I got everything from a 2X to a small in my closet. And to varying degrees, they ALL fit! I always have to have the clothes tailored to some degree, especially pants :rolleyes: .

And I've gotten dirty looks going into Lane Bryant. Don't care will wear it if its cute. :tongue:

Personally I hate vanity sizing. Happens a lot more than not these days. I'm a musclehead with a badonk so clothing generally aren't made for women like me. It's still irritating as hell though.
I cannot tell you how much I relate to this. Being a distance swimmer/athlete means that tops don't fit my shoulders or arms, and forget "skinny" jeans, because I squat/lift. But when I get sizes large enough to fit my butt/thighs, they are HUGE in the waist. Super lame.
 

Gypsy

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

diamondseeker2006|1473692867|4075516 said:
Dresses are the hardest for me because I am one size larger in pants than tops. So I may not fit in a 12 dress because of the hips, but a 14 is too big for the top part. I rarely need a dress, but I have a wedding in Nov. and will be forced to endure the torture of trying to find one. Trying to lose a few pounds to help make that possible!

Jan check out eshakti. You can add sleeves to any design and order dresses to your exact measurements.
 

House Cat

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

momhappy|1473683051|4075481 said:
I think that the sizing numbers have gotten utterly ridiculous. J Crew's smallest size is a 000 :shock: I don't know who thought that was a good idea :confused: You'd think a 0 would be the smallest size and then have a line for petites if you're smaller than that. Standard sizing should be universal and then accommodate for petites and plus sizes.
We need a variety of sizes on both sides of the spectrum.

I wore a double zero for a while and couldn't find clothes in many stores that didn't carry clothes smaller than a size 2. I'm 5'8". Petite sizes are far too short for someone my height.
 

kenny

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

I can understand both sides.

Expectations of equality in every way for everyone have taken over ... even when they are not reasonable.

Businesses make more money by selling higher quantities of fewer selections.
It Econ101 ... economy of scale.
... so customers lucky enough to have a 'more usual' body get more choice.

Given a statistically-significant sample, body size will vary with the distribution of a bell curve.
The highest profit results from selling to the masses in the middle of the bell curve.
Costco has mastered this.
Seems like every year we have to, more and more, turn to Amazon for fringe items.

More than ever businesses are under pressure to be profitable.
But more than ever the public expects to be treated as equal in every way.
Recipe for disaster.

Tim Gunn's article exposes a market ripe for expansion.
I hope the supply side does become more 'equal' and 'fair' but I'm not holding my breath.
We aren't going to see the US Supreme Court rule manufacturers and retailers must maintain on store shelves an equal amount of every size from 0000000 to infinity.
We have a free market, as in supply and demand.
Less demand means less supply ... which sucks for us not in the middle of the bell curve.

One thing is for sure, the average body is getting larger.
Mine certainly has.
 

BeekeeperBetty

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

This is going to sound nutty, but I wish that shirts came in lengths like pants do. I have a very long torso and very short legs. I can buy petite pants and they fit fine (even though I'm 5'5") but I can rarely find shirts that are long enough. When the super low rise pants were popular, I had a really hard time with clothes. T-shirts hit me above my natural waist, and the pants wouldn't cover my bottom. So embarrassing. I try to size up, but larger size shirts just look sloppy. I just kind of gave up and started buying men's small t-shirts and wearing my old late 90's mom jeans. It's terrible. And the higher priced the jeans, the teenier the rise and the skinnier the legs, and I look absolutely ridiculous in skinny jeans.

And why are dresses always so short? I have been trying to find some cute (and cheap) dresses for church, but all the dresses at Kohls in my size hit me mid thigh. And I'm not shopping in the Juniors department. What's the deal? I'm a very normal sized woman I think, average height and a loose size 10, and all the dresses look like they were made for midgets*.

*no offense to people with achondroplasia meant.
 

Gypsy

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

NB. Have you tried Banana Republic's tall sized tops?
 

marymm

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

^ Eddie Bauer and J Jill also have Tall tops...
 

monarch64

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

GAP, Old Navy, and J. Crew also offer tall sizing. :whistle:
 

BeekeeperBetty

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Re: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit most American wo

No, I haven't tried Banana Republic! I haven't shopped there since I was in my early 20's. I'll have to check it out. I'm not a fan of Gap/Old Navy et al. I went out to the local mall with all the high designer shops a couple of years ago, without kids, to try to revamp my wardrobe. After hours of trying things on I left feeling pretty defeated. I am clearly not their clientele.

Back to the article, I think it was pretty brave of Tim Gunn to write this piece, especially the part that calls out Project Runway. He has always struck me as a very decent man, and this piece confirms it. I hope he doesn't get any backlash from the producers of the show.
 
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