Why Can't it Just Be About the Clothes?

Did you see the recent article about plus-size clothing in The New York Times?
Typical of the misinformation and tripe spewn by the misinformed, it was a rehash of several other articles that trashed the plus-size industry in the guise of “explaining the trends in larger sizes.”  You see most of these articles are not researched properly and are simple cut and paste jobs that just restate the conventional wisdom with an added topping of condescension and contempt. I guess they think that is good enough for those fat girls.

Why did they decide to feature a model in the frozen food section of a supermarket? What was that supposed to show? That plus-size people only think about food? That fashion doesn’t matter to the plus-sizesd if they can get their TV dinners and ice cream? Would they illustrate an article about size two fashions in a pencil factory? Why do they treat the plus-size community as a joke?

The fashion designer they decide to feature is Beth Ditto a celebrity dilettante that I have seen featured in four other articles about plus-size designers. If the writer had done any research other than plagiarizing previous articles she found on Google, she would have found that there are many designers who specialize in plus who provide stylish and fashionable clothing. If they wanted an European designer they could have interviewed Anna Scholz who is one of the top lines sold in Harrods of London, not some celebrity who is playing at being a designer. They could have interviewed several American designers who are at the cutting edge of the plus-size fashion market such as Jessica Svoboda, Olivia Harper, Donna Ricco, Melissa Masse or Gayla Bentley. Anyone of them could have given an accurate and comprehensive picture of where plus is today and where the industry is going to be in the next few years.

There are two different trends in the industry. There are the fashions that cater to the older woman who want matchy-matchy pants suits and sweaters with bunnies and kittens from the Quacker Factory. QuackQuack!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That look is perfectly fine if that is what you want to wear and how you want to present yourself. They sell millions of dollars worth of product each and every year. Who am I to criticize them?  But there are several designers who work at providing quality fabrics with the proper fit in a fashion forward look that anyone would want to wear regardless of what size they may be.  These clothes do exist, you just have to look for them.

The designers that I have mentioned know their customers. These young professional women want to find fashion-forward clothing that they see on the runways and fashion magazines. They just want to get it so it that flatters their shape and actually fits. It’s all about the clothes! They are not interested in cheap knock-offs that the big chains throw out there for a quick buck by grading up from size two patterns. They want quality fabrics that will last with a fit for a full-figured woman’s body. Jessica Svoboda makes a premium jean that compares favorably with any other premium denim on the market today. Olivia Harper and Melissa Masse make several dresses in superb fabrics that can be perfectly appropriate for work and can be dressed up with jewelry and other accessories to be appropriate for a night out. Gayla Bentley specializes in business separates.The clothing is out there, you just have to go to the stores that have it. You won’t find it in the department stores or big chains because they have cut back drastically on their plus lines. These big stores are focused on the bottom line, and they want to move the most units they can at the lowest price possible (One word – China). The demand is still there for quality plus-size clothing, it is just the fear and loathing of plus that is stopping the growth of the industry.

This loathing is clear in the terms used in this article.  “The rotund form” of Beth Ditto and “Round figured woman” are figures of fun to this author with her snide and condescending manner. Would they use words like “gaunt skeletons” and “emaciated stick figures” in writing about fashion models who have to worry about falling down the drain when they take a shower? What is the point of having a model stand in front a wall full of coolers? What is that supposed to be her lunch box?

Listen, beyotch, it is about the clothes, not the food. Get it through your head and do some research instead of regurgitating the slop that so many other misinformed idiots have already posted as conventional wisdom. They should worry about their newspaper which is losing readers, advertisers, pages, sections and money at a record rate. No wonder that The New York Times is in such trouble that it has to sell off assets to survive. Pay attention, stupid, it’s about the clothes.

Why can’t it just be about the clothes?

photo credit: The New York Times

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