Nordstrom Catalog Quietly Includes "Plus Sized" Models, Separately

Illustration for article titled Nordstrom Catalog Quietly Includes "Plus Sized" Models, Separately

A reader points out the latest Nordstrom catalog, terming it "Plus-sized done right: No 'clothes for curvy women' headings, no congratulating themselves for using full figured ladies, just two pretty ladies wearing beautiful clothes." True. And yet...

We decided to take a closer look at the catalog, online in a convenient flipbook format.

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Indeed, there's a lot to like here — two women in the classic plus-sized model range (12? 14?) modeling clothes that fit them, without much fanfare. It's presumably linked to the plus-sized section Nordstrom has long had, both in the stores and online.


Illustration for article titled Nordstrom Catalog Quietly Includes "Plus Sized" Models, Separately

Look! Here's two pretty people from different racial backgrounds getting married in the springtime!


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Bridesmaids! Flower girls! Carefree, yet elegant fun — oh, wait. Weren't the bigger girls invited to the wedding? Looks like they'll have to have their own party on pages 46-53 — and stay there.


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Ditto on the swimwear, which Nordstrom declined to demonstrate in anything but the standard model sizing.


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Same thing for lingerie too, despite the headline, "Nordstrom Fits America."


It's hard to imagine that there is a real logistical or business reason not to present models of different sizes together — unless it's the implicit belief that the fatties will screw up the "regular" shots, or else an unthinking embrace of the idea that being above a size 8 is akin to living on another planet. Or that no shopper wants to see how the swimsuits and lingerie might look on a different shape or size.

Well, there's always next season.

March 2010 Catalog [Nordstrom]

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DISCUSSION

staunchcharacter-old
StaunchCharacter

This is not Nordstrom's fault, but my main issue with the separate/unequal is that the clothing designed for larger female bodies is more D.A.R. than daring. We're not all conservative. If more designers made clothes in larger sizes all the body shapes could frolic together in one photo and everyone would know they could purchase any outfit. But I think most designers don't want fatties at the party because it denigrates the image.

We're still stuck in shapeless, timeless (and not in a good way) tents (I'm looking at you, Silhouettes) or we're soccer moms. There's the occasional Torrid thing that I might buy, but I usually go for fabrics that are less . . . flammable and I'm not a teenager. I guess I could agree that the dress in the Nordstrom's catalog is "pretty" but the clothing silhouettes in that section just make me feel sad and set apart. They don't seem stylish to me.

Clothes are expression of self, communicate where we see ourselves in culture, and are fun. We of larger sizes are working with a very limited clothing vocabulary.