Fashion Designers Are Small Minded About Plus Sizes

In today's Wall Street Journal, there's a story about "women of a certain size." As we all know, the "average" women's size in the U.S. is a 14. And yet! Most designers don't make anything bigger than a 12. The Journal's Christina Binkley spent months trying to figure out why large sizes are so rare in the fashion industry; you probably already know the answer: "Many designers," she writes, "just don't want to see their clothes on big people." Plus, "many stores are complicit, displaying tiny sizes and keeping larger ones in back."Of course, there are the few, the savvy — who know that there is money to be made in larger sizes. Tadashi, Elie Tahari, Paige Premium Denim. But even then, the designers find that the industry around them is not exactly large-size-friendly. One "plus size" model Ms. Binkley communicated with while working on this piece wears size 8 pants. Size 8 is plus in fashionland! Tadashi Shoji, designer of Tadashi, had trouble finding a "queen size" fit model with curves in Shanghai, where his clothes are cut and sewn. He had to buy hip and breast pads at Frederick's of Hollywood and ship them to Asia. Listen, I get that as a creative person, a designer may not want their slinky vision to be on a size 16. But fashion, after all, is a business. And this country, quite frankly, is not getting any thinner. There's "exclusive," and then there's "unsuccessful." Is having a full-figured woman touch your "art" really such a terrible thing? Dressing Women Of A Certain Size [Wall Street Journal]


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