Saturday, April 06, 2013

The State of the Plus Sized Clothing Industry

If you don't already follow Bethany at archedeyebrow.com then I highly recommend you look at her site as she is a very stylish blogger.

If you follow her on twitter you may have seen that she has written a piece on plus size clothing for the Telegraph: here.

While I am pleased to see a positive article in the mainstream media about plus sized fashion, it does leave a little part of me wishing it was a little more critical of the industry. I kind of wish there was an emphasise that Bethany is pretty lucky to be on the small side of the plus size spectrum, lives in London and has greater access to fashion than a lot of plus size people as a more famous blogger who works with various plus size retailers. 

Though I would like to say this is not an attack on the article or Bethany, it is just an observation and I know that an article talking about privelege and fat bodies would probably never get printed in a national newspaper, which is why I love blogs, there is no censorship.

I think this is a really great time for fat people, there is a lot more choice in clothes out there, but we shouldn't rest on our laurels yet. There is still a villification of people who are on the larger end of the sizing spectrum, if you're a size 32 you're much less likely to find something you like than someone who is a size 22, heck you might find it difficult just to find clothes at all. I would like to reccommend this article on the subject of thin privelege at various sizes by Jocelyn at Fat, Fashionable and Feminist who explains this idea a lot better than I ever could.

Also, I believe that there are a lot more options for fat people who lean towards femininity in their style, whereas I think there is a lot less out there for butch or masculine fat people. In fact most well known fat fashion bloggers are very feminine and I cannot even think of one celebrated completely masculine fat fashion blogger. (But if you know any please link me!) This would also be true for people who dress in an alternative or gothic fashion, there just seems to be less out there for people who lean towards this style.

Even if you're in a size range where you can buy clothes that are your style, there is the question of whether you even have access. I know that I'm lucky, there are several plus size clothing retailers in my vicinity, but if you live in a rural area or somewhere without any stores which stock your size, then what do you do? You can always use online stores, but there is the added expense of delivery and even if you get it there is no guarantee that it will fit.

So, in conclusion, what on earth am I talking about? I'm talking about the fact that when you compare straight size and plus size fashion there is one big, honking difference. In straught size fashion there is variety and by this I mean if I was a size 8 and I was feminine or masculine, goth, punk, high femme, super butch, riot grrl or basically any style if would not be hard for me to find clothes that fit my style. The problem is that this is not true for people who are plus sized, its getting better out there, but if I wanted to dress in any of these styles and I was a size 28, it would be nigh on impossible. So yes, things are getting better, but we still have a way to go.

I am not a great writer and sometimes I have trouble getting my ideas across in print, so if anything I wrote is problematic please say and I'll fix it or try to explain myself better.

What do you guys think of the state of the plus size clothing industry? Anyone have any comments on the above article?

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