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Plus-Size Wars - New York times article
MasoumaRose
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MasoumaRose
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Date: 7/29/10 7:32 PM

The New York Times will be publishing an article in the Sunday Magazine (August 1). It's currently available online. I don't think that it's covering new ground. I have to say that after I finished reading the article and the comments, I'm very glad that I sew most of my own clothing.

Plus Size Wars - NYT

Here is an excerpt:

Size is a subject of considerable controversy in fashion, but it is equally so in American life. What is big? What is too big? What is not big enough? The plus-size woman — to use the marketing-sanctioned term — exists in an increasingly populous and contested ghetto. In recent years the fat-acceptance movement, born in the ’60s, has regained momentum online in what is known as the fatosphere, where much time is spent debunking the supposed benefits of dieting and the dangers of obesity. Fat studies has become its own academic discipline. Theorists investigate, for instance, desk size as a mechanism of education’s “hidden curriculum” and will to social control. But in popular culture any affirmation of corpulence feels decidedly ambivalent. In the series “More to Love,” broadcast on Fox last year, 20 women who weighed up to 279 pounds competed for the affections of an overweight single man: heavy women might be worthy of “The Bachelor”-style indignities but were decidedly unworthy of “Bachelor”-looking bachelors. Similarly, “Huge,” a new ABC Family drama about teenagers’ struggling at a weight-loss camp, casts the pressure to be thin as social bullying while suggesting that it really might be better if the campers stopped gorging on their contraband chocolate.

Perhaps nowhere is the cultural confusion surrounding the larger woman more pronounced than in the clothing industry’s efforts to dress her. According to a 2008 survey conducted by Mintel, a market-research firm, the most frequently worn size in America is a 14. Government statistics show that 64 percent of American women are overweight (the average woman weighs 164.7 pounds). More than one-third are obese. Yet plus-size clothing (typically size 14 and above) represents only 18 percent of total revenue in the women’s clothing industry. The correlation between obesity and low income goes some way toward explaining the discrepancy — the recession was particularly hard on this segment of the market, with sales declining 10 percent between 2008 and 2009, a drop twice that of the women’s apparel industry over all — but it doesn’t explain it entirely. That figure has been fairly constant for the past 20 years.

-- Edited on 7/29/10 7:34 PM --
-- Edited on 7/29/10 8:02 PM --

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Sweetsong

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In reply to MasoumaRose


Date: 7/29/10 7:39 PM

Quote:
Yet plus-size clothing (typically size 14 and above)


They have GOT to be kidding me. BTW, doesn't matter what store whether it's Wal-mart, Fashion Bug Plus, WomanWithin--pick one, the clothes are ugly and shapeless. JC Penney has more that works for me.

I was not born a plus, became one after menopause, so I'm sized differently.
MasoumaRose
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MasoumaRose
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Date: 7/29/10 8:19 PM

I learned from reading the article's comments that Target (department store) has become the default shopping location for inexpensive clothing in current styles for many plus size (presumably non-sewing) shoppers. I shall have to take a closer look at the offerings the next time I'm there.

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mastdenman
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Date: 7/29/10 9:28 PM

I've never seen anything at Target but a few little pieces that I didn't like.

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Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

Cathy Loves Fabric
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Date: 7/29/10 10:36 PM

Target plus size...Blah.

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My hope is to sew to the very end. They'll find my head slumped over my precious Kenmore 19606 and have to pry the seam ripper from my cold, dead hands.

KathySews
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Date: 7/29/10 10:52 PM

Target is the go to shopping for plus sized ?? No way

Julia C
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Date: 7/29/10 10:59 PM

As someone who has NEVER been under a pattern size 14, I really do not feel that that should be the cut off for plus sizes. Yes, in RTW presently I am slightly less but I will never be a small & medium was always a little tight even at an appropriate weight for my height & build. I still think we deserve decent clothes even if we are shopping at Target & Walmart. Perhaps if they would make something we like we'd buy it. The last time I found something I liked at Target was 6-7 years ago,none since.

Therisa
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Date: 7/29/10 11:46 PM

There were extensive quotes from PR member Kathleen Fasanella in the article. Her comments were important to the explanation of the economic and logistic factors involved in designing and manufacturing clothing.

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Fabric Purchased in 2011: 37 yards
Fabric Sewn in 2011: 0 yards
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SouthernStitch
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Date: 7/30/10 0:28 AM

Oh this was a really good article, and I love that Kathleen Fasanella was part of it! My daughter is large and often finds things at Target. She really shuns Lane Bryant however, until I bring things home I have bought there - then she steals them if she can wear them. I wear LB's things very well in their 14, and totally applaud their Right Fit pants.

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Bernina 780, and 530
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When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

annie1129
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In reply to MasoumaRose


Date: 7/30/10 1:08 AM

I agree that most of the plus size clothing out there is ugly and shapeless. I shop in a wide variety of stores. Some are lower priced stores and some are not so low. I'm a personal shopper. I do personal shopping for a variety of people -- all sizes. The best stuff comes below a size 14 -- in all price ranges. I wear a 16/18 in RTW. I might buy more for myself if I could find better, prettier clothing.

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