It’s OK if long gown dress you’re a bit of a wimp. So are some idiva editors. Kusha Kapila 26 Oct 2017 facebook twitter reddit twitter 222SHARES As someone writing and hustling in the fashion, I take it as my responsibility to represent the curvy girl community. I am a size 14 (well on her way to graduate to the next size), and on some rare occasions, I fit into tiny size 12 shorts. Like a lot of full-bodied women out there, my proportions are a tad skewed. Let’s just say I have what can be called a classic small-on-top-big-on-bottom structure. Buying a dress is the ultimate nightmare because most large-size dresses refuse to accommodate my butt. As for trousers and pants, well, I haven’t worn them in forever. Reason? Apparently, it is impossible to make a well-fitting pair for those blessed in the booty.
Hey! I am not calling all brands out for not being inclusive (or maybe I am). But, there are a few – I won’t name them- doing us a great disservice. The section laid out in the name of plus-size fashion, at most retail stores, is laughable. Hence, it’s the hour to drop a few truth bombs, to remind you progressive peeps that we are not “the others”, and that you are not doing humanity some huge favour by designing for thick women. Let’s normalise things around here. As a point of reference, begin with these seven thought-starters. Guess somebody did fill all those feedback forms that you so desperately circulate at the cash counter.
1. One size doesn’t fit all
It’s criminal to replicate a size 2 dress in size fdgfhfjhhhgj 16. My body is a not a math worksheet. Understand that a fit that looks flattering on a skinny girl wouldn’t breathe the same way on mine. You are designing for two different body types, even more so for varying kinds of insecurities. Construct styles that empower the curvy women, instead of reminding her that she will only be good enough if she is a size 2.
2. We are BIG on looking sexy
ENOUGH with the column dresses, poorly-fitted trousers and a complete disregard of our preferences. If a plus-size section is to be believed, its customers don’t ever attend a party, they are satisfied living in a self-effacing black dress, and glamorous is but a word that they read in entertainment news. Come on, brands! Where is the colour, the embellishments, the sexy slit? We want it, and we want it all.
3. We are not ashamed of our bodies
We all have days when we want to dissolve in a puddle of guilt… but, so do skinny women. We may have insecurities, but we aren’t ashamed of our exteriors. Your plus-size sections, however force us out of our body-positivity stupor. We find ourselves looking through depressing silhouettes that feel more like detention than retail therapy. Also, good job on sending us to the tiniest corner in the store, so that we feel ousted from our place of confidence. Two lonely racks in a multi-storey store. Real Nice.
4. Include us in the trendy narrative
It amazes me how giant retail brands exclude plus-size women from the trends of the season. *Sorry, no cold shoulder for you because the design team concluded it’s best to keep that privilege where it really belongs – the rest of the damn store* Seriously though, adding a few inches to the trend of the season won’t hurt anyone. It won’t hurt your sales, for one. That ruffled skirt that you have promoted several styles of, this season? Tweak it for a plus-size woman and include her in the narrative.
5. Treat us as equals
Treat us as women who love to dress before anything else. Most brands claim that they are not selling clothes – they are selling a dream, an idea that enables a woman. If that’s the case, then most plus-size women could really use that dream. All you need to do is disrupt the discriminatory display, bring us up to speed with all the smaller sizes, and have us shop with everyone else. We’d take that over a grimace from your sales staff every time we ask for the plus-size action, any day.