Tag Archives: size

Sizing Up the Fashion Industry

12 Nov

I majored in magazine journalism in college. I thought I’d either be a writer or a designer. Even though I now work in newspapers, I still love magazines. I have been a longtime subscriber to Elle, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Esquire.

As you can tell, I like my fashion magazines. I’m aware of the fashion industry’s lack of representation for all types: height, shape, size, skin color, etc. Last year during Paris Fashion Week, a designer broke the mold and used regular women, not professional models in his show. They were a glorious rainbow of shades, shapes and sizes. They stomped down the runway and all anyone could talk about the next day was how brave Rick Owens was for breaking the mold. Again, that was a year ago.

Last month, Calvin Klein launched its new “Perfectly Fit” underwear campaign featuring six models, seen above. Looking at the photos, you wouldn’t be able to tell that the female model in the bottom-right corner, Myla Dalbesio, is the larger of the five women at a size 10. She looks beautiful, just like everyone else.

It wasn’t until recently when Elle published an interview with Dalbesio in which she was called plus size that social media went into a tizzy.

To be fair, it wasn’t Calvin Klein or even Dalbesio calling herself plus size. It was Elle. The magazine’s site updated their story and even changed the headline to read “The Rise of the In-Between Model,” but the url is still “plus size.”

DalBesio went on the Today show to discuss the hubbub about her ad, saying, “Life doesn’t work in only extremes.” Most fashion campaigns and runway shows feature models who are very thin. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum where a designer will create pieces specifically for a much larger frame or even go on to shock the world with a fashion show featuring and abundance of sizes.

I applaud Calvin Klein for using a model of average size and not making a big thing about it. It’s a step in the right direction to show that women of all sizes need to be represented. My waist is a size 8, but my hips and thighs will at times put me in a 10. I don’t see myself as plus sized. I’ve been plus sized. I used to shopped at stores that catered specifically to plus sized women when I was an 18 flirting with a size 20. Nowhere in the racks did I see a size 10. For Elle to fall back on the trope of plus sized just because DalBesio wasn’t their norm is offensive and short sighted.

I wish more brands like Calvin Klein would take into account the women of varying shapes and sizes that want to wear they’re clothes. Some of us are tall or short, curvy or straight. Some of us have pear shapes, while others are hourglass. All of us are different hues. And we’re all looking for the “Perfect Fit.” I understand it’s not feasable to cater to every size for every piece. But just to acknowledge that we’re out there will make a world of difference.

Sizing Up the Matter

24 Oct
Without you, it's just fabric on a hanger.

Without you, it’s just fabric on a hanger.

Let’s be honest: shopping can be a pain in your newly shaped butt. And I like shopping. But when you’re “skinny now,” you tend to find yourself in between sizes.

No two bodies are the same. My waist makes me a size 8, but my hips still linger in the 10-12 range, depending on the stretch of the fabric. I prefer shopping using numerical sizes because it makes the search more consistent. But clothing makers are starting to shift their wares to alphabetical sizes (XS-XL).  It’s less clothes for them to make in different sizes and leads to fewer returns.

That’s great for them, but here’s the problem: one size does not fit all. Humblebrag, but I’ve always had a small waist compared to my hips. Buying jeans leaves me with two options: a gap at the waistband above my butt or a super tight fit around my hips and thighs. It’s a never-ending struggle, one you’ll have to contend with until you shape your body the way you want it.

We’re in the worst season known to man. Some days are too cold while others are too warm. You have to layer a ton of clothes, then find someplace to put them all when two scarves becomes too many. However, this dreaded time of year does have its benefits.

The layers help hide whatever’s going on while you’re trying to figure out what looks good on your figure. Skinny jeans and a larger top will cover the gap at your back. A big belt can cinch your newly narrow waist over some leggings. These will get you through some rough patches.

But you should also enjoy this time. You lived a size 16 for so long, and now you’re a size 10. There were clothes you never thought would look good on you out there just waiting to be given a chance to shine. You never tried an pencil skirt before? See what it looks like. Cropped tops used to give you muffin-top anxiety? Screw that! You’ve got a flatter belly now that’s just itching to see the sun.

There’s so much to do now that you can fit into a new size. It’s easy to feel defeated even though you’ve done such good work so far. You’ve lost a few pounds, but your favorite clothes don’t fit anymore. Maybe you didn’t like shopping before because it was hard finding things you liked in your size. Guess what, love? You’re not that size anymore. Take this opportunity to see what else looks good on you.

And remember that part: It’s what looks good on you, not what you look good in. The clothes are there to amplify you, not the other way around. These are pieces of fabric cut and sewn to look good on you. Without you, they’re just patterns on a hanger.

What are you itching to try on once you reach your goal weight? How do you deal with in-between sizes

photo credit: Zylenia via photopin cc