Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Problem With Plus Size Fashion

I went to the mall today to pay bills and get my brows done. No, I don't naturally have eyebrows like Catherine Zeta-Jones. It takes a highly skilled esthetician to give them to me.

I took a giant walk and went looking though the racks to all the usual suspects: Nordie's, Saks, Neimans, Bloomies, Macy's.

I don't even walk into the Lane Bryant. It makes me sad. Not because of the sizes or anything, but because the quality of the offerings is about the same level as Walmart and the design is just....depressing.

I found a couple of things at Nordie's I liked. A classic red Ralph Lauren hunting jacket and some Jag jeans that were pretty righteous, and I tried on a Rachel Pally dress. The dress seriously did not do my body justice because it had that wretched baby doll cut ( designers: GIVE UP THE BABY DOLL ALREADY. IT MAKES EVERYONE LOOK 6 MONTHS PREGGERS). It was nice and good quality but I only spend 200 bucks on something that makes me look amazing. The jacket and jeans were immaculate but I am distancing myself waiting and if I am still obsessing about them in a week and they are still there, then I will have to think if they are worth going without food for.

So I go to Bloomingdales and guess what ? The plus-size department that we had to bitch to get (Fashion Valley Mall), is gone. They no longer carry anything over a size 12 in the store. What happened? Why did those clothes not sell?

Here is why: because it is the same crappy, boring clothes everyone carries.

Why is it that all the stores that carry plus, stock up the crappiest, most boring things in the market? I mean they all caryy the Lauren and Caslon and Classiques Entier and Misook and crappy house brands and the plus size Michael Kors and Calvin Klein which are BORING, and the even MORE boring Eileen Fisher line... and it goes on and on including the hideous lacy things like Spencer Alexis.

Why is it that the buyers even remotely think that that is what we want?

We don't. That is why it does NOT sell. And if it does not sell next door why do you think YOU will be able to sell it? The stuff does not sell because it is boring.

I do not know if it is the buyers fault for thinking that is what plus size women want, the customers for not voicing their needs, the designers for sucking it up to high heaven and not making anything wearable or the stores for hiring buyers for a plus-size department that don't know that we want the same thing as the skinny chicks.

Why is it that there is not plus-size Marc by Marc Jacobs, or Nanette Lepore or Diane Von Furstenberg or L.A.M.B or Juicy Couture?

THAT is what we want, not poor quality, highly forgetable, ugly, boring clothes.

That is the reason WHY I love fashion so much and I am putting myself through the process of learning how to make clothes. Because what is out there BLOWS.

The taste level is dismal and the quality trails that of the skinny chick clothing by leaps and bounds.

There are about 4 "plus-only" lines available in the US right now that I will wear and they are Marina Rinaldi, Lauren, Svoboda and Anna Scholtz. The rest, like Iman says in Project Runway Canada, just don't measure up. Not in quality , not in design. And all I can get from these makers are basics and staples. No updates, no fun stuff that keeps on trend with that the skinny chicks are wearing.

I get most of my tops and dresses from skinny chick clothing designers and make do, and then just get plus size bottoms since I can get away with that. I would love to buy everything in one department and not have to play the "how far will the spandex stretch?" game everytime I go shopping.

It sucks having to check the fiber content label and the fabrics to make sure they have enough give.

Sometimes I am so DESPONDENT by how much the stuff in the stores SUCKS that I just turn to menswear.

I mean, THEIR Juicy fits me. Their Marc by Marc Jacobs fits. Not as cute as the skinny chicks but hella better than the boring stuff available in the plus-size departments.

I sure am glad I am learning to sew and adjust patterns.

There are a LOT of fashion designers out there. There are a lot of fashion design students. Why is it that they do not see how profitable this market can be and how THIRSTY it is for quality, high design clothing?

And I KNOW that it is MUCH harder to design for people who are not built like straight sticks. I KNOW that you cannot just grade the sizes up. But geezus it is SO worth it. A well fitting garment on a woman with curves is a thing of beauty. Seriously.

Lane Bryant and the department stores or someone ought to start a scholarship fund for fashion design students who want to work in the plus size field because obviously the talent is going elsewhere.

Digest en Francais:

Dans ce blog je decris ma sortie au centre d'achats et ma visite aux different magasins.

Je discute l'infime et triste qualite des vetement sur le marche des tailles fortes car la manufacture, les tissus et le niveau creatif sont vraiement deprimants.

Les vetements qu'on peut acheter presentement en tant que femmes non-minces est de quoi produire des sacres cas de caffard car il n'y a pas de comparaison aux niveau qualite ou design a ce qui existe pour les femmes minces.

Je suis convaincue que l'industrie de la mode est acharnee a nous punir jusqu'a qu'on perds du poids mais cela est de la discrimination pure et simple et de l'idiotie.

Je dis aussi qu'il y a des fois ou ca me deprime de facon telle que prefere aller chercher des fringues dans les departement d'hommes car on trouves des affaires de meilleure qualite et mois ennuyeux que ce qui est offert pour les grandes tailles.

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