I really, REALLY appreciate the Plus Size fashion industry. I love that there are brands out there, trying to create an inclusive space for all bodies to feel beautiful and worthy. I know that sometimes our bodies are hard to work with and that designers don’t exactly know what to do with us. I also realize that Plus Sized bodies come in a lot of different shapes, with difficult silhouettes to standardize. (I mean, even Straight Sized people come in different shapes.)
However, there are times that no matter how hard they try, the fashion industry is just doing the Plus Sized community wrong. In fact, there are a few major fashion trends in extended sizing that look silly on almost everyone. Designers do know that most of us want to celebrate our bodies, not camouflage them, right? I’m tired of combing through pages of clothes, thoughtfully (ahem) created with Plus Size bodies in mind, only to find a few things I would actually wear. Here are some ideas I, and many of my friends, believe should see their way to the door as soon as possible.
Peplums: Ah, yes… those lovely little gathered skirts that sit below the bust on SO many Plus Sized tops. The cinched section is designed to give the illusion of a slim waist, while the flare below creates a way to hide your midsection. It’s a good idea, in theory, but why does almost every top feature this design? Often the peplum isn’t well executed, creating too much volume and bulk, or being so short below the gathers that the shirt becomes a crop top… thus negating the camouflage.
Cold Shoulders (And Other Strange Assorted Cutouts): This trend has always baffled me… and the fact that, years later, it is still alive and well in Plus Sized fashion is mind blowing. At some point, someone decided, it was really not ok for a person of size to put their skin on display. “But you know what, DAYYYYYUM, their shoulders are pretty sexy!!!” Voila… the cold shoulder shirt. (Rolling my eyes… and don’t get me started on the brief cold elbow idea.)
Shark bite, Handkerchief, Hi-lo Hems: Again, with the distraction techniques! This type of uneven hemline is designed to trick the eyes into seeing a slimmer silhouette through illusion. As a professional, I prefer clean, classic lines that are timeless. Fat ladies like tailoring too… I promise.
Obnoxious Prints: Let me say this as delicately as I can… just because I am fat does not mean that I am 75 years old. So many Plus Sized patterns resemble older adult resort wear. The bold, busy prints and sublimation designs with little gemstones infused into them are not fashion forward in any way. Designers don’t create work wear for Straight Sized women in prints like these. Why would anyone assume Plus Women want something different?
Dulled Down Versions of Straight Sized Items: Yeah… you know that cute dress I saw my size 6 friend wearing the other day? I want to wear it too! Not a more mumsy, covered up version of the dress in the same fabric… the exact same dress! Please just make all items available across a large size continuum.
Again, please understand, designers… we DO appreciate that the fashion industry is becoming a more and more inclusive space all the time. Many companies are carrying Plus Sized clothing, and that is GREAT. But, we have a long, long way to go before Plus is truly equal. Let’s start by making these items disappear.