Embracing All Shapes: Plus Size Bloggers

By Trilby Goouch

Blogs Editor

There’s no denying that fashion blogs are more prevalent than ever before; from your average 15-year-old girl to Olivia Palermo, everyone’s jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Plus-size bloggers are beginning to find a place in the blogosphere, but unfortunately the creative capacity of these women is partially limited by the clothing that is accessible to them.

The industry needs to break away from the stigma that plus-size women aren’t interested in fashion and embrace fuller figures.

The fashion market doesn’t leave many options for plus-size women; sure, you’ve got Lane Bryant, Elle Plus and even Forever 21, but most plus-size women are excluded from shopping at stores like Zara or Marc Jacobs.

These women have fashion sense and creative ideas and yet they have a limited selection to which they can create a look.

What I find ironic is that the average women’s waistband size is growing, and yet brands continue to churn out pieces where someone of an average size is wearing an XL. If you look at women as a whole, very few fit into the size 0 category. So who are these designers designing for?

It seems to me that these companies are missing out on huge economic opportunity by catering to such a small demographic. As a recent New York Times article points out, “trends can take as long as two years to trickle down to plus-size lines.”

Designers often defend their size-bias to fabric costs, however I question the validity of such an argument. How can brands take issue over extra resource costs when they aren’t concerned about missing out on huge market segments?

I think it’s more about convenience; producing pieces that cater to plus-size figures is going to take more time and energy, as these figures have very different proportions than the modes who present the pieces down the runway.

It’s also rooted in social stigma; in our society we tend to view plus-size fashion as “temporary”, with women living with the goal of losing weight and reaching a smaller size.

Thankfully, plus-sized bloggers are making waves in breaking the stigma that plus-size women don’t care about fashion.

As the New York Times also notes, “a previous generation’s rules (no horizontal stripes, bright colors, fitted shapes or bold prints) have been tossed away by these bloggers, who embrace miniskirts, jeggings, peplum tops and sheer blouses.”

These bloggers are making a statement that style isn’t dependent on body-size; style is innate and you either have it or you don’t.

“I want to bring out the body rather than hide the body,” says the blogger behind Curvy Girls Guide To Style.

The fashion world falsely credits style as a result of a flattering figure and ‘natural ability’ to wear clothes. In reality, however, confidence is what makes for a successful outfit.

I can attest to this; as someone who has experienced an eating disorder, the thinner I got, the less confident I felt in my clothes, which took a toll on my personal style.

Designers need to focus on embracing all shapes and sizes during the creative process.

There are a few stand-out women and magazines that are calling out to plus-sized women, and their voice is key in creating a movement that will instigate change. For example, Nicolette Maison, Marie Claire’s plus-size columnist and Vogue Italia’s “Vogue Curvy” feature are helping to make the fashion presented in magazines applicable to all sizes. Other plus-size focus blogs include Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too, saksandthecity.blogspot.com and curiousfancy.com.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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