This is good news for all women. It's almost as big as the end of low rise jeans and midriff-baring tops. Follow along with me and I'm going to share something very personal with you. A part of my story that will help you understand why I do what I do, and why I do it the way I do it. There's also some pretty epic news to share with you about what's happening in the body-positive movement. I'll show you a whole new way to shop for your size. But first, picture this scenario. You order a dress online, try it on in front of your mirror in the comfort of your own home, and are confronted with the fact that in real life it looks nothing like it did on the 7 foot tall, size 0 model.
It's not your fault. It's not about your size. It's not about your shape. This "compare and despair" cycle (coined by Carmindy Bowyer ) of ordering the dress or pair of jeans you want in your size - whether an 8, 10, or 16, but shown on a very tall and very thin and very airbrushed model, and realizing when you get it home it fits nothing like it appeared to on her, is about to end. The tide is turning. And guess who we have in part to thank for this? I can't wait to tell you this...Khloé Kardashian.
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Let me start by sharing a sad scenario with you before I share the good news. A year ago, I was pulling clothes for a client who I'd be shopping with later that week, and I was absolutely crushed when I noticed that a very well-known and high-end department store had moved the "Plus Size" department to the basement of the store. I was already appalled I had to escort my women to a segregated corner of the store when we needed larger sizes, but now I'd have to take them down below, to a dungeon, far away from the beautiful displays and accoutrements in the "normal size" department. And we know how awful most "plus size" clothing is. Cheap, ugly, and flammable (unless you're shopping with me because I know how to find the gold 🙂 ) . Of course I spoke to anyone in management who would listen to me. I told them lots of other shops were moving towards integrating all sizes. You could shop a size 0 - 24 all on one rack. Without having to walk over to a separate section of the store, or worse, the basement. And guess what???
Many stores, both brick and mortar and online, are announcing plans to offer full size ranges (many up to a 24), including said department store.
Don't miss how huge this is.
A whole new industry is growing up around integrated sizing. Young girls will now see what normal-size clothes look like on normal-size models. You will be able to shop beautifully designed styles in your size, and likely not be returning as much because you'll actually be able to see what it will look like on you, before you order it. Not on an amazonian, freakishly thin model like we mostly see today.
I attended a trunk show a few weeks ago hosted by a new company that has convinced 43 (and counting) high-end designers like Zac Posen, Veda, Marchesa, Brandon Maxwell, and Christian Siriano to name a few, to create their runway designs up to a size 22. Exact same styles. But in real sizes to fit real women.
Nordstrom just announced their goal that two years from now, all women’s apparel brands carried by them will offer sizes 00 to 24. This is where Khloé Kardashian fits into the story. In 2016 she launched a denim brand, Good American. Their CEO told Nordstrom they would only allow them to sell their denim if they picked up every size, 00-24. So they did. Bravo!
The day is coming when you will be able to shop for fun, trendy styles and high quality classics in all sizes. And I think just as powerful, be able to see them on normal-size women before you purchase.
One of my favorite newcomers is Everlane. They are already unique in online shopping with their transparent pricing. They have also begun showing some of their styles on models who are believable sizes.
J. Crew and Ann Taylor are catching up, too.
Check out how Ann taylor is embracing this tool.
Now see it in a size 16. (Just fyi, I'd shorten the sleeves and taper the sides ever so slightly.)
My friends, this issue is very personal for me. Lean in and we'll have a friend - to - friend talk. Like I'm sitting on your back porch with you. I struggled with anorexia for many years. Thankfully, I found help and have been healthy for over 10 years. My clothes used to hang on me, and I was constantly reminded how sick I was because I could never find clothes to fit me. And I knew when people would say tongue-in-cheek, I wish I had that problem!, that they really wouldn't want that problem. It's a different problem than others may have, but it winds up the same in your heart - I don't feel right. I have spent my career in wardrobe consulting (and my counseling degree comes in handy) helping women change their minds about size-shaming phrases. One of the core principles of my business, and you'd find it in our handbook, is that we aren't about making you look thinner and younger. We don't use weight-related language like, That makes you look heavy, or That makes you look soo much thinner!. No, it's about being our age in our own skin, wearing the right shapes to feel amazing in the bodies we have today. Yes, certain styles age us beyond our years, and certain styles don't do us any favors, and I'll help you with that. After all, I'm a truth-teller. But you'll hear me say, I can put you in a top with the right shape for accentuating the hourglass figure you were born with and make you feel beautiful, rather than this boxy top you think hides you. It's a subtle but powerful message when you continue to make it about how we feel as a woman in our clothes as opposed to how we think we should look. Size is irrelevant. I want you to regain a sense of dignity and confidence, and then get on with living life, without worrying about clothes. They're just clothes, after all.
But think about it. My nieces grew up being bombarded with images of a very different kind of "ideal woman" than I hope their daughters do. And how great for the next generation of young men, too! Not to grow up with ridiculous expectations of what a woman should look like.
In the 11 years I've been doing this, I've seen a lot of retailers come and go. Making it more than five years is an eternity in that industry. The retailers who sell real clothes to real women will still be here in ten years.
Take a look at these chic summer staples, available to everyone. What I want you to take note of is how many of these styles are offered in the full size range, and how many are shown on different size models.
Thank you for taking the time to read all the way through this, my friends. I am so encouraged with what is happening in the world of retail. A sure sign that even though a lot of us love to look and feel beautiful, clothes are not our life. We've got better things to do than worry about fitting into something a model is wearing.
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