Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes: The Limitless Limitations for Plus Size

glamour-plus-size.jpgSo for the first actual post I thought I would address the designer dilemma that plagues your everyday chotto coquette. Even though we live and breathe fashion our options are normally limited to fierce accessorizing due to our simply being ignored by the designer market. This is astounding when you consider the sheer amount of plus size women in this country and then the amount we as a whole spend on clothing. All in all, these designers are missing out on potentially a billion dollar market hungry for merchandise. (Forgive the pun - I couldn't help myself.)

Marc Jacob's business partner (Robert C. Duffy) recently tweeted:

"We have sizes 0-16. We sell mostly 2-6 in our stores. Thats a fact for our business. Our wholesale business is very different."

"Yes we go up to 16. Few people buy them. I wish they would. We keep making them. So we stock in our stores only to 14. No one buys them."

Well that was probably because even I an avid fashionista was under the assumption they didn't go beyond a size 12. Those are the sizes that are normally carried by department stores, and I rarely visit his stores downtown as they are always chock full of tourists from magnolia bakery. So, I guess the more you know?

The fact is that this is simply not advertised as larger sizes have always been the black sheep of the fashion game. Always relegated to the back of the store or the basement, it seems plus size shoppers are only welcomed to shop in stores where they can easily be hidden from view. This is because most designers are simply afraid to compromise their brand by associating themselves with plus size customers. Remember the fuss Karl Largerfeld kicked up when H&M supersized his designs?

I mean take Ralph Lauren and Micheal Kors's extended sizes for example. You will never find their "extended" sizes alongside straight sizes in stores like Saks, Bloomingdales, or Macys. Instead, these items area always relegated to the special plus size section of the department store. This section is more often than not beyond depressing. The salespeople are ancient, the decor is decrepit, and the clothes for the most part are hideous.

Private labels, however, have entered the market and have attempted to address the failings of buyers and visual merchandisers. In all honestly, however, the attempts are rarely up to my standards . Cheap materials, ill fitting silhouettes, and merchandise that in no way flatters a larger form abound.

So, as you can imagine it has always been a constant battle to create a wardrobe from such slim pickings. Then again that is why I created this blog in the hopes that I can help others, and maybe in return you can turn me onto some of your fantastic finds!

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