Thursday, June 15, 2017

The link between the fashion industry and body image issues

Last night I had to pick up my hubby from work. I was a bit early and since he works in our local mall, I decided to browse a few of the stores there. Now, I love shopping. What woman doesn't? Sadly, I was just window shopping, because I'm just broke as hell. Plus, have you looked at the prices of clothing. I swear even children's clothes are more expensive than adult clothes and that's saying something. As I was glancing around and looking at prices I noticed a few things. Prices and styles of clothing for women. Clothing companies should really get their heads out of their asses and take note. Every, and I mean EVERY women is different. Men too, but sorry guys this article is about women's clothing since it's near and dear to my heart.

One size does not fit all
If I buy a shirt and it's the dreaded OSFA (one size fits all) you best believe, it's not. The way the shirt would look on my figure would look way different on a woman who is taller, shorter, skinnier, larger. small, medium, large frame. 
Buying a skirt.. Hello.. Maybe I could get a single leg into the skirt, while on another lady it falls right off. 
I understand that OSFA is about an average sized female wearing it, but we aren't all average. We come in all shapes and sized. So OSFA does NOT in fact, fit all.

All women's clothes are not priced the same.
I admit, I'm not a small person. I have curves. I have birthed 6 children and while I do take care of myself but the weight is still there. I embrace the curves I do have. Anyways.. Because I'm curvier that means I have to buy an article of clothing at about 70-90 % more than I would if I was skinnier. I understand it's more fabric.. yada, yada, yada.. But seriously, I already have a hang up about my weight. At least make it affordable for me to buy an article of clothing to cover up said extra weight. I mean take a look at the difference in prices. A bra in my size and one that "might" cover a boob.

Bra from Lane Bryant. Size 42DDD priced at $54.50
Bra from Charlotte Russe. Size Large priced at $10.99

Style discrepancy 
I want my clothes to feel good on my body. If I feel good with what I'm wearing, then my overall mood will convey that. I want to shine and feel secure in my body. Not feel shame and disgust. I love the way some clothes look, whether the clothes are bigger or smaller doesn't matter. The problem I have is when i find cute as fuck clothes and they aren't in my size. Maybe I can find my size and I go to try it on and low and behold I look like I'm wearing a mumu. I don't want to sit home in yoga pants and an over sized tshirt all the time. When I have to go out, I want to look good. Every person has a certain style and I know what I like. The styles below do not appeal to me in the least. Seems to me being curvier means you can't have fashion in your life. 

Size 14 from Lane Bryant
Size 14 from Lane Bryant
Size 14 from Charlotte Russe.
Size 14 from Charlotte Russe

The mannequins always look better.  
You walk past the window to the store and see the perfect looking outfit. You think to yourself, "I have to buy that." You gather all the items in your size and head off to the fitting room. When you are done getting dressed and step in front of the mirror, you notice that you look no where near how the mannequin looked wearing the same exact outfit. How is this possible? Well that because it's a damn mannequin and they have no curves. They are pretty much all built the same, just a few alterations here and there for different clothing shops. The size of a mannequin in a plus size shop like Lane Bryant is about a size 12, with no extra love handles, no curves and a has regular sized cleavage area. The size of a mannequin from Charlotte Russe is about a size 2. Again no extra love handle, no curves and sorry to say smaller than average chest size. The clothes always look better on the mannequin because they don't take into account body shapes and sizes. 

Lane Bryant outfit
Outfit from Lane Bryant

Charlotte Russe outfits
Sizes vary from store to store and label to label.
I can buy the perfect pair of jeans from target in a size 14, go to Maurice's a week later, and need to buy a size 18 in jeans. Why? Did I gain a bunch of weight in that time? Sure it's possible, I'm a woman. The weight gain wouldn't be from food, it would be do to the fact we have this slightly annoying thing called a period. Our sizes can vary depending on where we are in our cycle. Alas though, that's not the main reason why the discrepancy in sizing labels. It's because clothing companies each have their own standards of measurements. Hard to understand I know. It should be the same all around. That's why a size 14 at one store is not the same as a size 14 at another store.

The way we view our body is crucial to our self esteem. We certainly don't need the fashion industry telling us we should all look the same. They should make more of an effort to understand body types and how they can play a part in raising the self esteem in women everywhere. 

What do think about my observations? Have any thing to add? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below. 


  1. Hey I am Jessica- I don't really know how to use your comment as: below but I wanted to comment anyways.
    I think all your observations are completely valid and it IS super annoying! I own a boutique & I battle it a lot as the buyer for my store. I would recommend shopping small. At least what I get in, I can tell you if it's sizing is true or not. Most people think boutique=tiny sizes & expensive but that is not always the truth and the service & care can be amazing.
    I agree about some of the plus styles being awful- it usually takes me hours to find the cute stuff from my wholesalers LOL but I find it. Check me out at Ava Grace Fashions!!

  2. So much truth in this article it made me giggle! A great read