Recently, the ever beautiful and super fashionable Marie of The Curvy Fashionista posed 15 questions for the plus-size fashion industry. I thought some of them were really interesting, and decided to turn what would no doubt be a huge wordy answer into a blog post!
- Do we really need another shopping app?
Well, I have to be honest, I don’t even use one, and until I saw this question it hadn’t even occurred to me to use one! So I guess the answer here is, unless it’s really revolutionary? Probably not!
- Why are people still saying there is nothing in plus size fashion? We have more options than ever… Proof, here, here, and here.
There has always been something in plus-size fashion – it’s just that it used to be ugly as fuck and hard to find. Now it’s marginally easier to find and some of it is really lovely. On the other hand, once you get past a certain size barrier, you still encounter the same old problems – finding UK28+ can be hellish difficult, especially if you want a variety in something vaguely fashion forward and affordable. Price can also be a huge barrier – I have a job and I’m a pretty frivolous spender, but I can rarely justify spending over ~£25 on a single piece. If I were a smaller size, I wouldn’t have this same problem, I would be able to find cute pieces in abundance that had a chance of fitting me.
So there is not nothing anymore, but outside of certain caveats, attractive, well-made, affordable and findable plus-size fashion can still be a challenge.
- Is free shipping still a promotion?
Well I don’t buy a great deal from New Look’s site because they have a minimum price to get free-shipping, so it may not be a promotion as such, but I do get turned off if it’s not on offer.
- Why add that random applique or detail?
Because well thought out and logical accessorising isn’t necessary when you’re clothing someone the rough size of a manatee, duh. Ok, no, I don’t get this either. It seems so lazy and unnecessary and it also ruins many otherwise cute pieces.
- WHY do some sites that sell plus size NOT use plus size models? I am not talking like a size 12, I am talking about those who use straight size stock images, a mannequin just for plus, OR a size 4 or 6?
Because the plus-size shopper should be grateful they deign to sell to us at all! Us whiny elephants should be glad we get even a scrap of their attention, because it’s not like we’re giving them our money and deserve the same high-level of customer service and shopping experience as those worthwhile smaller size people! If it’s good enough for a skinnier person, then that picture should be just as good for us fatties! Why waste any money on shooting a couple of extra photographs?
- Why, Why, Why, if you DO sell plus sizes do you NOT talk, promote, and feature them on your own sites? I don’t get it.
It’s their shameful secret! This good, wholesome, normal brand sells to fatties??? Won’t someone think of the delicate sensibilities of the poor smaller size people, who may baulk at the fact a fattie might shop at the same place!! (Note: I’m being pretty sarcastic here, I am sure that literally no one but corporate managers thinks that plus-size customers will deter everyone else!) I think, seriously, they don’t see the plus-size market as profitable enough to require the extra time, money or space that good promotion requires, which is pretty damn sad.
- I still don’t get all this mesh see though dresses. How you supposed to hold up the girls [or boys, or however you refer to your frontal acreage, unless Marie literally means how do we keep small children secure in our clothing]?
Magic and will-power! Endless rolls of tit-tape! Maybe there’s a massive conspiracy going on – they force dresses and tops on us that require strapless bras, whilst not selling strapless bras (or at least, not very many) and when we reach breaking point (where we’re all asking acquaintances and passer-by to hold our guzungas up for us), they’re going to flood the market with multi-way bras! Soon, soon, we’re gonna have the underpinnings required for the dresses that are out now…
- Why don’t the US fashion magazines feature and promote plus size fashion as their international counterparts?
We’re just too damn hot to handle and I think legally, fashionable shoots of plus-size persons are classed as pornography in the good ol’ USA. Mags don’t want to lose trade by having to slap their products in paper bags!
- Why don’t I see a range of hues in plus size models? The only site that is the most diverse is Ashley Stewart. I love me some plus size models, but can we get more diversity?
It’s radical enough, selling plus-size clothes to nice, acceptable (hopefully middle-class!) white people. Let’s not go too far and start selling to…. oh gosh, what’s the PC term??? (I reeally hope your sarcasm alerts are going off here.)
In seriousness, we all know why. The fashion industry is racist as fuck. If you don’t have a conventionally attractive, feminine white body, you have got very little chance of seeing yourself reflected in advertising or marketing.
- Why don’t you offer free returns if you do not offer my size in store?
Money, money, money.
- Why haven’t you offered your sick ass designs in plus yet? YOU COULD TOTALLY do it. I am talking about DKNY (NOT the DKNYC range), BCBG, and DVF, you could totally partner with Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, or Saks Fifth to make this twerk.
All that extra money on extra fabric? On adjusting designs to fit a fat person? Golly no, that’d be too much effort and expense! Back in your poorly shaped polyester sack, fattie! Plus, there is real hostility to fat bodies – why encourage them (as if clothes and not cake are the reason I’m a big fattie!) with nice clothes?
- If you make up to a size 18, why can’t you continue the full range? I am so confused.
See above! Plus, why make things in larger sizes when you get enough money from 18-?
- Why haven’t we seen a plus size model kick ass in a mainstream accessory or beauty ad? Asides from Crystal Renn, I am sure that Denise, Fluvia, Ashley Graham, and a few others can hold it down. I do hear that Robyn is on the cusp of this… so who knows…
I suppose because mainstream accessories and beauty still rely on selling an ‘ideal’ image – and as we know from the amount of vitriol and hate that fat people get, being plus-size is not the ideal. The luxe aspirations fit in with a ‘thin, healthy, successful’ (sarcasm alert!) lifestyle.
- Why are we still having to shop predominantly online? I do love it, but damn a girl wants to go out and have a little fun.
Why give floor space to fat people? No one wants a plus-size shopper taking up space on the shopfloor! Ew! Plus, it seems a lot of companies still doubt the profitability of the plus-size market, and are unwilling to cede space from the known-profits of slimmer shoppers.
- Why can I not find a plus size full midi length leather skirt? Not Fitted. Full.
IDK, you can get a midi-pencil skirt, or a knee-length full skirt, but not a full midi. The fashion industry hates you, clearly you have to destroy it and rebuild it to your own exact standards!
Stephanie from Daily Venus Diva posted some answers herself, here.
I think these are some really interesting questions, and I’m sure everyone who sees them will come up with different answers!