Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I know I've been 'missing in action' but the challenges of overseeing our website, handling consulting work and writing my blog can sometimes be overwhelming! That said, it's good to be back and I'll be writing more often :-)

I've been putting off writing about this topic for some time now, but feel compelled to finally share my thoughts. In some ways, I feel like a traitor. Like I've turned my back on an old, dear friend who's fed my passion for fashion and helped me create a life around it.

Sure, I've said things in hushed tones, and behind her back when I thought she wasn't listening. But I haven't had the nerve to confront her face to face... until now.

So, here it is. Time to spill my guts. No turning back now...

I work in an industry that I absolutely love! But in many ways, I don't feel that she loves me. I am in my 40's, a size 8 and sometimes 10 and she makes me and so many other women feel absolutely invisible.

How is it that most American women are size 14+, yet the fashion available is so extremely limited for this segment of the market? Doesn't anyone care that the majority of women have a nightmare of a time finding fabulous clothing in their sizes?!

It's not even a good business decision. Why let so much buying power slip through your fingers? Why make so many women feel like they don't count?

I will admit that at a size 8, I don't have as much of a hard time as some of my clients that are curvier. But even at a size 8, I'm made to feel like I'm lucky when I find an odd piece here and there in my size at the designer shops. This is crazy!

In addition to the plus-size market that is horribly underserved, there are also tall women and petite women who have an equally hard time finding fabulous fashion in their sizes. Why is it that so many women are being overlooked? Who is it that the designers are designing for? Why is it okay for so many designers to overlook us? Are we invisible in their eyes?

So, I ask, anyone reading this today. Please email me with your thoughts. I really want to know if others feel like I do - invisible. Or do you have some understanding of the industry that will make this make sense somehow. Whatever your views are, whatever insights you may want to share - I want to hear from you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 49, a healthcare executive, 5'2", wear an 8 top and 10 bottom. Very difficult to find professional attire in petite's with mix and match options. Yes, I feel left out

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that if you're not a size 0 or 2 you're invisible. I'm a six but I have curves and I'm only 5'4" so it's definitely not easy to find great clothes!

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 54 and have just found the Torrid plus size store. It caters to 20 year olds, but the clothes fit me so well and are trendy. Lane Bryant made me feel older. I bought a pair of camo knee high pants that I take off long enough to wash. Designers are so wrapped up in their little world that they don't really know what is going on. When is the last time you looked at a run way outfit and said, I would wear that. No one has the courage to come out and say the clothed are ugly. Only sheep are buying their crap and real people are still wearing their shorts and t-shirts.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm almost 5'10, large-busted, and a size 12-14. I love fashion and I am obsessed with magazines such as Vogue and Bazaar. However, I feel so crappy when I look at the editorials and fashion advice and see nothing that I could I relate to. I think that many American designers are ashamed of American women who are not stick thin. They are cut caught up in the European look(thin, tall, and pale).
I have a horrible time finding clothes that fit well. I only have two pairs of jeans and they are too big around the waist and too short. The thought of buying a bathing suit brings tears to my eyes. There are never any tops that cover my chest and look young. I'm 1o, so the prospect of wearing a floral dress-tini is not one I like to entertain.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right! I am 53, with size 14 hips and size 12 waist and top. I have money to spend on clothes, but I can't find anything to buy in any store that doesn't make me feel stupid or slutty. I want to dress appropriately - no see-through blouses, no psychedelic dayglo green and orange prints, no miniskirts. There are boring black pencil skirts, but I can't wear pencil skirts (the waist gapes enormously) and I am tired of wearing funeral black! Classic A-line skirts in elegant prints, simple tailored blouses, basic jackets - elegant, timeless styles that flatter a variety of body types - what's so difficult about this?!

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 36-year-old size 8 shortie working in a hip industry. Believe it or not, I just found your blog by searching "fashion blog for real women." I'm so sick and tired of feeling bad about myself because I don't have the body of a 6-ft-tall teenager. And the worst part? I have GREAT style. But it's a total buzzkill to wade through fashion magazines lately. If anybody ever either starts a magazine and/or a fashionable clothing line geared toward real women, they're going to make a mint.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous image consultant course said...

For me, one can truly say that she is sexy if she feels she is. The clothes are actually helpful not for other people to tell you that "ow wow! you look sexy on that!" but in fact, its when you feel you are sexy in wearing it. Nobody said that sexy only counts for those with 36-24-36 figure, I think no matter what your body built is, you can look really sexy if you want to and if you like you are. So flaunt it and be proud of it!

1:20 AM  
Blogger nyfitmodel said...

I hear you. I work as a fitting model size 8 (36-29-38.5) I am often told in fittings I'm really a 10! There are thinner models, duh...and there are real women who buy clothes that I fit also. If you want to try on my fit, check the Saks Off 5Th outlet, especially the Threads collection, and also try on some eci dresses ( sold in Nordstrom and Macy's). I fit these collections with a real woman in mind, not just a thin girl.
I know how the large size and curvy girls are often left out. I hear this from my friends. Curvy girls can try Gap "curvy" fit. The model is a friend of mine and baby she has booty, and it looks good!

2:15 PM  

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