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martian_girl
07-29-2010, 05:53 PM
Here is a very interesting article from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/magazine/01plussize-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&src=twt&twt=nytimes&adxnnlx=1280419260-xzB2INQW6HdWZnysbiR%20iw) about the pitfalls and frustrations of the plus size clothing market.
As someone who often struggles with finding appealing clothing in my size, I found a lot of truth to this article.

overedge
07-29-2010, 06:51 PM
That was a really interesting story - thanks for posting it.
When I go shopping in the US, I am always struck by how many clothing stores there are but who exactly the stuff in them is supposed to fit. Not everyone in the US is slim and short!

Tall shoppers in the US have some of the same problems. When I was last there I was trying to find a dress, and I lost count of how many dresses I tried on that fit fine but which were too short and didn't have a big enough hem to alter. That's a design thing that wouldn't have to undergo the same sort of pattern alterations that the story talks about.

Badams
07-29-2010, 07:28 PM
Not everyone in the US is slim and short!


it's not exactly a picnic for the short people either. i have yet to find a pair of pants that don't cover my entire foot when i put them on. and yes, i mean the short version of them. petite clothes are made for people aged 65 and older it seems. must be there are no people under 5'5 under that age.:rolleyes: it's very annoying. i can often find some really precious shirts with kittens and cardinals painted all over them. :lol: no thanks. i swear, when i head out to the dressing room and look at myself in the mirror, i often look like a little girl playing dress up in her mommy's clothes.

GarrAarghHrumph
07-29-2010, 07:32 PM
Thanks for posting the article. Fitting and designing for "non-standard" women was one of my things, re: fashion design, back when I studied such things. I still like to keep up with the trends.

I do feel it's a huge business opportunity, for a company who can get in and do it right - whether it's larger sized clothing, tall, petite, what have you. And I love stores like Torrid, which know their target market well - larger young women with an eye for a certain type of fashion, and no desire to wear a mumu. :lol:

Designing for "non-standard" sizes (quotes are on purpose) isn't easy, because it's not as simple as taking a regular sized pair of pants, say, and making them shorter et voila! Petite! You have to scale the entire thing down - short women are often short waisted as well, and if all you do is cut down the leg, they end up wearing pants that go up to their breastline. And lines, cuts, and designs that look great on, say, a tall woman look bad on, for example, a short one; so there's that as well.

Kruss
07-29-2010, 07:33 PM
I too found it interesting. Being plus-sized since puberty, I have had struggles for over 30 years when buying clothes.

One of my biggest pet peeves is that in my experience in the big department stores (at least here in Chicago), the women's department is almost always on a different floor/different section than all the other female clothing. We're usually up in a corner next to lingeree, as if we're the bad girls who can't be seen shopping next to the "normal" sized girls. It's funny, though, that in those same stores the menswear seems to be all together regardless of size (although that section may be divided by size, it's still in the same area).

Gypsy
07-29-2010, 08:21 PM
It has to be one of the most frustrating things to try to find something that fits right everywhere. If the hips fit, the waist is to wide. Also, do you think that they could add a couple of inches to the length of the tops?! If you are a small teenager, wearing a top that barely covers your middle is ok... it is NOT okay for someone who is 50 and definitely not a small woman.
And last but not least...why do they think that larger women LOVE large gaudy flower patterns??!!

ilovepaydays
07-29-2010, 08:46 PM
I have been losing weight lately (So far 20 pounds) and what REALLY sucks is when you are between sizes. :(

snoopy
07-29-2010, 08:51 PM
And last but not least...why do they think that larger women LOVE large gaudy flower patterns??!!

I read once (and I donít know if it is true, it doesnít seem true to me) that the busy patterns are supposed to distract the eye so size wonít be so noticeable. A similar theory has been applied to skating costumes Ė people choose really busy costumes so that the judges are distracted by a missed edge. Again, donít know if it is true or not.

On CNBC, there is a show about small business owners selling their ideas to big time investors. One show had a women who made great looking clothes in larger sizes, and they were really beautiful clothes with great lines and materials. There were 3 men and 1 women who were the judging panel. The discussion on whether to invest in her company was really interesting. The one woman on the panel had to work HARD to get the men to buy off on the idea. I think she finally got one of the other guys to go in with her to put up $50k a piece to invest in the business. The guys couldnít see it as a good business opportunity but I really couldnít figure out why, they didnít have any good reasons.

Nan
07-29-2010, 09:00 PM
It has to be one of the most frustrating things to try to find something that fits right everywhere.

Just like small women, all plus sizes are not shaped the same, but most clothing companies don't get that. We are not all hour-glass shaped nor are we all apple shaped. One "pattern" might work for one shape and be the total opposite of what the other needs.

Gypsy
07-29-2010, 09:07 PM
I read once (and I don’t know if it is true, it doesn’t seem true to me) that the busy patterns are supposed to distract the eye so size won’t be so noticeable. A similar theory has been applied to skating costumes – people choose really busy costumes so that the judges are distracted by a missed edge. Again, don’t know if it is true or not.

Believe me, it does not distract anything. It just looks like a large flower garden suddenly grew legs and is on the prowl. It would be different if it was a pretty pattern that was large, but so many of them are so loud & bright or just awful colors. Also, I do not understand horizontal stripes for someone who is big. I look wide enough without them.


Just like small women, all plus sizes are not shaped the same, but most clothing companies don't get that. We are not all hour-glass shaped nor are we all apple shaped. One "pattern" might work for one shape and be the total opposite of what the other needs.

My Mom is small, and she can never find stuff that fits in all the right places either. And I really feel for my sister, she is not only larger, but also short!

Veronika
07-29-2010, 09:08 PM
I currenty wear an 18W, and I've been fully in plus sizes for a couple of years now. I'm tall, so even if I lose all the weight that I want to, I don't think I could ever be less than a 10 or 12.

I am annoyed by the lack of choices in plus sized clothing. Most stores are a joke--Lane Bryant is nice, but rather expensive. I buy a lot of my clothing online. Old Navy's regular sizes run to XXL/20, so you can buy the "regular" clothes in larger sizes. It makes me feel more normal. JCPenney isn't bad either--they have a pretty good plus collection online.

I feel that I have to dress up more as my weight increases...in a way, I have more to make up for. But the tents they sell at most stores aren't for me, I need some cut to my clothing.

orbitz
07-29-2010, 09:08 PM
A clothing company simply cannot make clothings that fit every possible shapes and sizes out there. They have to pick some standard model and then make their clothings around that. If you want clothings that truly fit you then you have to have them tailor made.

Buying clothings that fit well isn't only an issue for heavy people. Many people have that same issue. Department store clothings just look odd on me in general.

Prancer
07-29-2010, 09:09 PM
Just like small women, all plus sizes are not shaped the same, but most clothing companies don't get that. We are not all hour-glass shaped nor are we all apple shaped. One "pattern" might work for one shape and be the total opposite of what the other needs.

I don't know that they don't get that, exactly; it's more that mass production can't customize sizes, and mass production is what most shoppers can afford.

overedge
07-29-2010, 09:11 PM
A clothing company simply cannot make clothings that fit every possible shapes and sizes out there. They have to pick some standard model and then make their clothings around that.

Agreed, but if your standard model looks like a very small percentage of the potential buying audience, then you're missing out on a LOT of potential revenue.

I think a lot of companies, because price competition in the clothng market is so intense, are also cutting back on things like sleeve and hem length while retaining the standard size for the rest of the garment. Shorter sleeves and hems use less fabric and thus cost less to make. Maybe I am a paranoid tall person with long arms and legs, but I've noticed this more and more in the last couple of years.

Veronika
07-29-2010, 09:18 PM
One of my biggest pet peeves is that in my experience in the big department stores (at least here in Chicago), the women's department is almost always on a different floor/different section than all the other female clothing. We're usually up in a corner next to lingeree, as if we're the bad girls who can't be seen shopping next to the "normal" sized girls.

Yeah, that really stinks. And at Target, the plus size section (which is tiny) is right next to the maternity clothes. Sometimes it's hard to to which is which. :wideeyes: