On Being Plus Size

So Rebecca Hains posted on her blog about plus size clothing about how it costs more to buy than normal sized clothing. She asked us, her readers, what we thought about it, if it's right. She even talked to someone in the field of clothing design about what goes into the process. Basically she states that what we plus sized women are paying for isn't more fabric like most people think. We are actually paying for the labor, for more skilled sewers, which really, honestly just pissed me off. Here is part of the blog post, read it for yours, and definitely stop by her blog and read it in full.  
She said that the basic slopers for most commercial women’s clothing are designed for a size 2, 4, or 6—but that bodies of different sizes don’t have identical proportions. Once manufacturers get into the “plus” size range, then, these slopers aren’t as transferable. “In the plus-size range, you have to have slopers created by skilled and experienced pattern technicians for every 3-4 sizes,” Lourenco says, “rather than for 6 or 7 sizes. These slopers have to go through extensive testing and adjustments before they can be used to create pattern pieces in each size, so having them created is a significant investment for a company.
“The manufacturing of larger garments does take longer than the exact same garment in a smaller size,” she continues. “It requires more thread and notions, and the larger patterns can, at times, present challenges that require more experienced and higher-paid sewers to handle.
“Really, it’s the labor involved that raises the pricing on larger sized clothing,” she adds. “Your sewers might only be able to finish 6 garments in a size 20 in the same time they could produce 10 of a size 2.”
From the blog of Rebecca Hains
 Now why exactly does this piss me off you might be asking? If you aren't a person that wears or has worn plus size clothing you probably won't get it. I know that, that's why I want to explain it. For those that do wear plus size clothing you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. 

Let's talk about the difference between regular clothing and plus size clothing. They talk about how they have to hire more experienced workers and make specific slopers for plus size clothing but what they don't tell you is that you can't go into the regular section see something cute and find the same thing in the plus size. For us bigger girls we get a smaller selection of styles and they are nothing like the other clothing. They are garish colors. They are about $10 more than the regular size clothing. They are cheaper quality, meaning they fall apart faster than the regular clothing. 

And that is what pisses me off. They are hiring more experience, skilled, higher paid sewers to make plus size clothing then why do they fall apart so much faster?! 

Now don't get me wrong, there is some cute things in plus size clothing for not too much more but you have to hunt for them. And what usually winds up happening is I go and buy the biggest size in the regular clothing. Which sometimes makes me look sloppy since it doesn't fit right. And if you want to go buy something that looks decent in a plus size you have to pay an arm and a leg. Seriously I went into Lane Bryant once to look at regular clothes and laughed out loud and walked out of the store, $50 for a shirt! A shirt! The only thing I go there for now is bras and panties and I only go when they have the semi annual sale (cause you get 2 bras for the price of 1). Most of the time I just go to Target that has some pretty decent plus size clothing and buy one or two thing that I just wear over and over again. Yeah this would be why I don't post outfit posts. 

For example this skirt is a regular sized skirt that I bought in the largest size because the ones in the plus size section didn't come with the same pattern and they were flowy not flared. I wanted the flared style. It's one the times that it works to buy in the regular size. But the fact that I couldn't find the same style in the plus sizes is what bothered me! I would have paid extra but they didn't have the same style of skirt. Why should I have to pay extra for something that isn't comparatively the same as the regular sizes? 

Because it's not about the workers, or the fabric, or whatever they want to label it as. It's that they don't want big girls to feel sexy or attractive. Or they feel if they want to look sexy they should pay extra for it. Anything that draws your eye to a women's figure would be sexy, my skirt is sexy cause it hugs my hips and butt. Which is why I like it cause they are awesome. But the plus size version was made to camouflage the body, it hid everything. It flowed over the body, the stripes were bigger, there wasn't the same amount of panels. 

That is what bothers me. We are paying extra to hide our bodies. 


  1. great points Amanda. I happen to agree with you and I know lots of people in your size range.. and given that size 12 & 14 are considered plus sizes too, the styling doesn't have to change because of the size of the woman other than perhaps at the bustline . That's not entirely an honest answer (and me who knows a fashion designer and patternmaker who is herself a plus size).... it's not as easy as cranking out a reg size 0-10.. but they also don't make allowances in regular sizes for those who are larger busted so a smaller girl might have to size up and then the proportions are all wrong.
    But you are right to be asking this question

    1. I can understand that but I mean can't they make them in the same style at least? Next time I need to actually get a pic of the regular clothes and the plus size ones. That's what bothers me usually.


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