We used to think that retailers that didn’t carry plus sizes were deliberately excluding a huge segment of the market, but as a small retailer that is trying hard to offer those sizes to our customers, we’ve learned so much about the extended sizing landscape in ready-to-wear fashion.
With most of the population sized out of almost every store and size 14+ clothing unavailable from almost every brand, plus-sized women are not invited into the conversation about fashion–it’s something they have to assert themselves into. As a company founded by straight-sized women, it’s so easy to be complicit with this, not even being challenged to think about the problem. It’s invisible to me unless we look outside of ourselves.
One reason we love working in fashion is because we’ve never thought that fashion, clothing, or style were foolish or inconsequential things. How we want to look, what we choose to wear and when, what we’re ALLOWED to wear–these parameters are all heavy with social significance. The gatekeepers of the clothing industry reflect a social agenda, and one message is loud and clear: “You cannot be fashionable unless you are small.” When there’s the customer and the demand, but no product, you must conclude that designers and retailers are refusing to accommodate this customer deliberately. That is flat-out wrong and unethical. As retailers, we feel responsible for helping to change that, and we’re still working on it. We promise to do our best.
Model Rebecca Forsyth in our Sunset Dress (in size XL), Dots for Days Jumper, and Gold Star Dress. She was photographed by our all-time lens hero Amy Lynn Straub and the graphic was put together by our employee, Payton.