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Message Board > Plus Size Sewing > interesting journal article on plus size clothing ( Moderated by JEF)

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interesting journal article on plus size clothing
thought this might be worth sharing
rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 11/9/12 5:45 PM

I've been busy perusing the web this evening doing some research for my dress making course. Whilst reading through various pages I came across this study in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education which I thought might be of interest to some of you, especially PR members in America.

Anyway, I thought I should share.

hazelnut
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hazelnut  Friend of PR
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In reply to rmusic1 <<
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Date: 11/9/12 7:34 PM

Thanks for posting the link! It stirred up a few emotions in me.

Two things popped out at me. One being the vanity sizing. I find it hard to believe, even though I've been hearing and reading it too. If yesterdays size 14 is, let's say for sake of argument, today's size 2, then it's certainly not helping my vanity at all to have worn a much smaller size in my younger days and a much larger size now - or "why am I not still a 14" - LOL. That's telling me I must have quadrupled or quintupled in size over the years, which I don't think is the case. And all the while I kept thinking they were making ladies tops smaller and smaller for the stated sizes - as I struggled to fit into their larger sizes.

We are more pear-shaped now? Might be terrific for one group of ladies, possibly bad news for the other fruits. I found it interesting that the first size chart seems to correspond with most pattern sizes. I've hated clothes shopping for the past 20 yrs. trying to guess what my size would be in any given line. I'm REALLY glad to be finished with the guessing games and continual disappointments and I'm more determined than ever to learn to sew well for myself.

The sad part of the article that I'm tip-toeing around is that we are more obese than we were 50 yrs ago. That's not good for our health, regardless of the fashion consequences....and that's MHO.

ETA I *am* glad the industry is trying to catch up and fulfil the larger and/or older women's fashion and sizing needs (even if it's been stirred up by seeing the "growing" population as a profitable customer base and not because they're finally becoming in-tuned to our needs) ;), For me they are too little, too late, but I hope this re-sizing might help others. In fact, I've come to view the frustratingly sized clothing (and now the difficulty in altering patterns as I'm learning to sew) as an incentive to loose a little weight... so in a way, this lack of properly-sized and ill-fitting clothing was ironically a good thing for me.
-- Edited on 11/9/12 8:39 PM --

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/10/12 8:41 AM

Thanks so much for posting this research study. I hope both Pattern Companies and RTW will begin to incorporate the results of how the body shape changes with aging as well as with weight changes.
RTW clothes are not flattering to my changed shape. I have invested a large portion of my time and money in courses and books that explain how to adjust patterns for my shape and the shape of others that I sew for (and some are not even overweight) . Not to mention the costs of time and money of testing muslins with each adjustment.
I shot up into the obese category and with much ongoing effort and support I teeter between *high normal and slightly obese*. For the few months that I remained in *mid normal* weight I still had adjustments to make due to shape.
Sizing is more than weight, it is also shape changes that come with aging and weight changes.
I really hope this study is a wake up call and that we will see Patterns and RTW make adjustments to support the body shapes this study has documented.
Perhaps it would boost to our economy- Imagine, instead of sticking with those few patterns that were adjusted to fit, we could buy more patterns knowing there was a good chance they would fit without hours of adjustments.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

AdaH
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Date: 11/10/12 12:16 PM

It is hard to understand a marketplace that ignores such a large group of comsumers. Of course we buy the ill fitting garments so why should the manufactures change their ways.
To bad we can not start a movement that asks plus size women to stop buying the ill fitting garments for a month or even a week. Maybe that would wake the manufactures up?

fyi: somewhere I read that Penny's plus sizes have been changed to reflect a true plus size woman. I don't shop there very often so don't know if that is true or not?

------
Ada

Doctor Sister

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In reply to rmusic1 <<


Date: 11/10/12 12:33 PM

thanks for sharing. It was very interesting. At least I know more about why I can't find dresses to fit.
All I can find in ready to wear that actually fits are slacks. (Go figure.). Talbots Plus Size Classic Fit are perfect. But why is a trial and error process to find what actually fits!!!!
Thanks,
Sis

hazelnut
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hazelnut  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/10/12 12:37 PM

Quote:
I teeter between *high normal and slightly obese*. For the few months that I remained in *mid normal* weight I still had adjustments to make due to shape.
Good point! I've have just, in the last couple months, slide from the *obese* table to *high overweight* and my unorthodox (non-hourglass, non-pear) shape has stayed consistent in the loss, so they way most clothing will continue to *not fit* me will stay the same. In fact, since I kept some of my more beloved smaller jeans and slacks to test my weightloss, I now find that they are looser in the hips and butt than they ever were, but still too tight in the waist... so even more "shape-shifting" has happened to this bod over the years.
hazelnut
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In reply to AdaH <<
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Date: 11/10/12 12:53 PM

Quote:
To bad we can not start a movement that asks plus size women to stop buying the ill fitting garments for a month or even a week
I did that shortly after joining PR and started to sew. I was sick and tired of looking at and trying on clothing that I either hated or didn't fit (and this even happened back in my normal weight days). Many a day I came home after an exhaustive day of shopping with a migraine - no more! The clothing industry has basically lost me as a consumer. The fact that I can now find the fabrics, the colours and the styles that I love (and will be able to sew) in any given season is absolutely *pure joy* for me! It's given me a sense of power and freedom I felt I never had - I was always at their mercy.

Told you that this study woke up a few deep-seated emotions in me - can you tell?
HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/13/12 1:02 PM

That article really needed some editing! Not very well written. At least it attempted to be scientific.

One thing not mentioned at all is that in the past, women generally wore highly constructed undergarments that changed their shape, so older women routinely cinched their waists and padded their hips, and the clothing sizes reflected that. Also, it is only fairly recently that people routinely started buying their clothes off the rack and expected them to fit without any alterations, which is just not realistic. Even nonplus sizes almost always have waists and hips at least several inches bigger than what is dictated by their bust size per standard measurements. Just anecdotal, but one of my aunts always dressed very nicely and bought expensive clothes and was definitely not plus sized by any standards; back in the 1960s she would buy clothes just to fit her shoulders and would have everything else altered.

The original size 16 mentioned in the article was intended for a 16-year-old girl -- it had nothing to do with measurements.

I seriously, seriously doubt that all of a sudden, in the last half of the 20th century, women's bodies have changed so drastically from the past millenia that it is a health crisis. What we have here is changes that are part of the natural aging process, related to shifts in the spinal column, muscle tone, and internal organs, set against these expectations that cheap, mass-produced garments are supposed to fit, and also that extreme thinness is always the most desirable body type for women.

So you've got the double expectation that (a) one's figure should fit some predetermined standard without any artificial augmentation or reduction, no matter what one's age, and (b) that one can walk into any store and buy something ready made and have it fit perfectly.

(I guess this hit a nerve in me, too!)

andye
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Date: 11/13/12 1:46 PM

I'm no statistician, (else I might have been able to glean some more insight from her p-values), but it seems that the variation among hip, waist, bust, height, and so on, makes it even more difficult to produce a plus size garment that fits and flatters all of the women who might fall into a certain plus size.

------
Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

HarrietHomeowner

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Date: 11/13/12 2:21 PM

But don't all women have a lot of variation, not just plus sizes? You could do the same sort of statistical study of any group of women and come up with probably the same results (I would guess).

You just have to read Fit For Real People to see examples.

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