A while back, some lovely people helped us open up our shop, and we offered some perks in return. One of them was a chance to tell us about their pet peeve related to mass-produced clothing. Today’s pet peeve comes from Deb.

The Pet Peeve

Deb asks a question I know many of us have pondered: Why is plus-sized clothing so damn ugly?

Need I explain? I think we’ve all seen so-called “clothing” that bears more resemblance to a tent or a blanket fort than something anyone would want to wear.

Why It Exists

If you ask me (and I suppose, you did), the answer is nothing more than laziness on the part of designers and manufacturers. In order for a garment to “fit”, according to the industry, it needs to be large enough to not be too tight in any one spot on the body. A small-sized lady doesn’t have a lot of fat, so when smaller sizes are designed, they are basically accommodating average-sized bones and not much else. A larger lady, on the other hand, has non-bony curves! Some of us have most of it in our boobs; some around our bellies; some on our hips and in our thighs… which makes it harder work for those clothing creators. Because if it’s the right shape for someone with a well-endowed bosom and an average waist, it will be way too big around the bustline of another lady of the same “size” (we should talk about arbitrary sizing bullshit another day) who happens to carry most of her weight below the belt. So to make sure it “fits” everyone in a particular “size” (if only you all could see how I am rolling my eyes as I type this), they design it to be big enough to not be tight in any area of a person wearing the size, no matter how their fat is distributed. And so, we have baggy, tent-like, “fits” everyone but flatters no one plus-size fashion.

What Can You Do About It?

Much like our previous conundrum, other than create a riot of some kind demanding change from the apparel industry, I’m not sure what we can do to get this problem to stop existing. I would personally like to see clothing designers (for all sizes!) start designing for SHAPES instead of sizes. For example, you wouldn’t be a size 18; you’d be a size 18: pear or apple or triangle or hourglass or whatever. And within each size, they’d have the pattern for different shapes. That would be super awesome. (To do this at Crafty Broads one day would make me unbelievably happy.)

For now, though, you can look critically at the things you try on, and evaluate whether the style is more or less flattering on you before you buy it because it “fits”. You can also have just about any garment tailored to fit you better (don’t forget to budget for this when shopping) or you can learn to alter things on your own. 

Questions? Rants? Speak up in the comments!

One comment on “Pet Peeves: Why is Plus-Sized Clothing so Damn Ugly?

  1. Andi Brown

    plus size clothing for women is so darn ugly and unflattering! I find it discriminating and I hate it! Most clothes look like they came out of trash can. Designers are clueless, probably because they are tiny people and don’t care. We do need a riot to stop this horrible situation! I hope designers read this. Buyers need to have more class and demand decent clothing for all sizes!!!!

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