Ruffles and a Rant

Cardigan: Glassons
Stockings: Ambra
I told you it wouldn’t take me long to rectify the whole no-black-cardigan situation. This one from Glassons is pretty good, though I’ve found that it stretches out of shape pretty quickly. Glassons is one of those stores where I can just about… sometimes…. fit into their largest size. Which is sometimes (not always) a 16. It’s frustrating when I’m loving a top or a dress in there, only to discover that it only goes to a 14. Why do stores do this? Barkins is the same… they go up to an 18. Sometimes. And never in the things I want. 
At what point do the clothes manufacturers go “OK. So only our customers with this bust/waist/hip measurement and smaller are allowed to wear this item.” Even my favourite UK store Dorothy Perkins is occasionally guilty of it, and I often hold them up as an example of what I’d like to see all clothing retailers should do (i.e. offer everything in sizes 6 to 22, rather than offering a separate – read dowdy – “plus” range).
The things that most bothers me is when the range that caters only for the smaller sizes is considered to be an exclusive premium range. Better quality fabrics, nicer cuts. There is nothing I hate more than feeling like retailers consider me to be a second class citizen because of my size. Don’t bigger girls suffer enough indignity without being forced to forgo the silks, cashmeres and linens of high-end ranges for synthetics and jerseys? 

24 thoughts on “Ruffles and a Rant

  1. I just want to tell you that I save just about every outfit post you make to my inspiration file. I love your style so much!

    I keep looking on Love To Love You for a skirt like this one but none of them ever seem as nice.

  2. I love that skirt. Agreed on clothing quality. In the states there are only a couple stores who carry sizes over 14 and their quality is decent…but the other stores that do a variety of fabric textures/patterns/etc stopped carrying larger sizes and were charging extra before they stopped. I'm sick of it all myself and have every right to be fashionable whenever and where-ever I want.

  3. Well, I really don´t want to defend clothing manufacturers and I can understand that you´re pissed. But I think that the manufacturers´ decision of offering a certain item in only a limited range of sizes has to do with production processes. As a seamstress I can tell you that plus sizes are much more expensive to produce, for example they need disproportionately more fabric and quite often more production steps (they often need more darts than áverage´sizes). This is really an issue in those ´quality lines`you mentioned, with materials that are rather expensive on their own. To make up for the higher production cost the manufacturers would need to charge more for a plus-size item than the corresponding smaler-sized one. And I don´t think that the average costumer would accept that.
    Btw, I love your style!

  4. Amen. (And I disagree with anon on a few issues, but can understand that side of things to a point.)

  5. Here here! I've been having an issue with Evans (under same company as Dorothy Perkins) and quality of their items.

  6. Hear hear. Never understood why sizes stop at 14-16 here (and they're small at that). And the average Aussie woman is a 14! I tend to shop in the US when I can, and agree with your sentiments too about Dottie P.
    Keep up the amazing outfits, though.

  7. Have just had the same conversation with my mother – do they really think that once your are a 16+ you only want to wear black,white & red? Not to mention cheap badly cut fabric's that have no shape? There are designers out there looking afer us (Mela Purdie, Nicola Waite, Charlie Brown etc) however we can't always justify their prices, how nice would it be to walk into Witchery for example & pick up a size 18?

  8. I love this skirt, and came THIS CLOSE to buying a similar one for myself from Love To Love You's Etsy store. I was just a little concerned about if it was going to be the right size, and how it would sit, and then it was GONE! *sniff*
    Also, I agree with your comments about the Glassons cardi – I have it in a few colours and was so excited when I bought them as the colours are great and they are a nice fit. However, after one one or two washes they have that overworn, stretchy look to them, especially around the bottom hem. Do you have any tips for rectifying this?
    Keep up the awesome blogs, you are inspiring! xox

  9. While I recognise what your anon (above) is trying to say, I'd like to know where all these darts and seams she's talking about are. Most of the plus stuff I see is deliberately shapeless!

    And we ARE gouged so much more for this same shapeless clothing. I understand the additional fabric costs (I'm reminded about it every time I travel with someone thin, how many more items she can bring along), but if I'm going to get gouged, I'd like the clothes to be as nice and as well tailored as the skinny girls' things.

  10. Ugh, WORD sister!! I'm currently in Canada, working for a national brand that shall remain nameless…anyways. I'm supposed to wear their products when I'm working, but the products that DO go up to XL are teenie and always slim fit. Their XL is just for taller girls, not neccessarily – well, rounder. It sucks. Their products are great and the cotton they use is amazing…but small.

  11. i COMPLETELY agree with all of the above, mainly DP , i know i found a gorgeous silk dress there and was all ready too get it before realising as you said, premium range? and only went to 14? cos size 14 girls are more worthy to them.. ahhh frustration!

  12. I'm in full agreement with you on the clothing sizing issue. I find it to be true of many stores in the U.S., too. It also angers me that a lot of stores and online vendors who sell and manufacture plus sizes charge ridiculous prices for cheaply made clothing. I'm thinking specifically of Torrid, but there are a lot of other plus size retailers who do the same – charging $140 for a dress that's made of poly-knit fabric. I'd be willing to pay more for silk and cashmere, but I won't pay those prices for cheap fabrics if I can help it.

  13. Thanks for bringing this up. It's something that we, as voluptuous women, fight everyday! Congrats to you for coming up with the cutest and most flattering outfits EVAH.

  14. I find it ridiculous that you are even considered 'plus size'. You look perfectly normal sized to me.

  15. inspired by you and your fabulous fashion, i ventured into Laura Ashley yesterday and BLESS THEM they were having a HUGE sale and i picked up two skirts – one is a grey wool one and the other is a black pencil…i would never have tried either if it weren't for this blog!! So a HUGE thankyou to you…

  16. In response to L, I was very very pleasantly surprised to find that Laura Ashley seem to cut their garments using reasonable measurements. My hips are usually very disagreeable in a Target 18 (depending on the cut of the skirt, if it can be VERY high waisted, and is full over the hips, SOMETIMES I can make it work) but I tried on a skirt in Laura Ashley fully expecting to be disappointed by the size 16, and found I actually needed to go down to a 14. I didn't buy the skirt, but I did get a rather nice blouse on sale.

    For the whole discussion overall regarding 'plus size' clothing, in some ways I've come to regard it as a blessing. Considering how much I spend on clothes when its sometimes very difficult to find my size, I'm pretty sure I'd be very well dressed but living under a railway overpass if it were easier to find nice things.

  17. Totally relevant rant. I think it goes along with the stereotype that fat people are low income so they couldn't possibly afford finer fabrics.

    I love the peek-a-boo ruffle skirt too.

  18. I agree – it's terribly relevant. It concerns me that designers and clothing manufacturers don't make clothes for a sizeable percentage of the population. It annoys me that they seem to be saying that people who are seen as bigger aren't worthy of wearing nice designer duds or even cheap and cheerful clobber. They pay above and beyond and often get substandard offerings. Sad really, and part of the reason I purchase most of my clothing overseas. Oh – and I agree on DP. Mostly because everything I buy from there is far too short on me.

  19. Thanks everyone!
    Miss T – you should try asking Loni to do a custom order for you – she might have some more of this fabric left, or she might be able to find something similar. She's really good that way 🙂

    Here, here, Lacquer Ware!

    Yeah, I get your point, Anon – personally I'd be prepared to pay a little more for better quality fabrics and cutes (it's why I like getting things custom-made so much!) but I think it'd annoy me. To be honest though – at plus-size stores in Australia the customers already pay through the nose for the kind of items and materials that would cost a fraction of what they would in a "regular" store.

    Oh, me too, Monkey. For everything good thing that I get from them there's three that fit strangely or a just made of sub-par fabrics.

    Katie, I can't even begin to tell you how much I'd like to be able to shop at Witchery. Or Cue. Damnit.

    I definitely will, Flutterby. re: the skirt – send Loni and email – she might have some more of the fabric, or she might be able to source something similar for you!

    LOL, I totally agree, Suze. Especially on the shapeless clothing thing. And everything's so TALL!

    That's great, L & Belinda! They've got some good stuff, huh?

  20. Hi.
    I just found my way here from pinterest. Just wanted to say hello and OMG that's the cutest skirt in the WORLD.

    I'm totally psyched to become a reader, keep up the awesome!

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