What Does “Fashion for All Sizes” Mean to You?

**The hypocrisy of “fashion for all,” and a guide to shopping for sizes above 24

The first time I ever noticed a brand claiming to be for women of “all sizes,” was when Gabi Fresh first designed fatkinis for Swimsuits for All.  In this case, “for all” means sizes 10 to 26, with some styles offered in E and F cup sizes.  I was irritated by the misleading name, and especially put out because it was a plus sized woman who was neglecting other plus sized women!  We’re used to stores not carrying our sizes, but those brands don’t make claims about the wide range of sizes they produce for.  With Swimsuits for All, the claim is right there in the name.  I wasn’t involved enough in the Fat Acceptance community at the time to notice any backlash, but I was when Kelly Osbourne came out with her line, “Stories.” 

As fatshion blogger Laura write on her blog Tutus and Tiny Hats,  “Larger fat women already experience some of the worst size discrimination, and have the fewest options for clothing. It’s especially shitty to imply they don’t even exist by emphatically stating that a 0-24 size range includes ‘EVERY woman.'”  On her blog, Fatty Rants and RavesEmily expands on the idea of how the phrase “for all women” is discriminatory towards women above a certain size: “I am thrilled that Ms Osbourne’s clothing line has such a wide variety of sizes… from 0 to 24. It would just be awesome if women my size also had such options. I guess that, according to Kelly, I’m not a woman or at least a woman worth her time and effort.”

This history with brands that blatantly exclude larger fatties while patting themselves on the back has me worried about Melissa McCarthy’s new line.  McCarthy says her line will be “accessible to everybody,” and also says the line won’t be just plus sized because, “It’s a strange thing to stop at a certain size. Women don’t, so why should clothes?”  I went through five pages of Google results for “Melissa McCarthy clothing line,” and while every article exclaimed that the line would be “for all sizes,” not one actually listed the sizes that would be produced.  I’m crossing my fingers, but not getting my hopes up.

If it’s not enough that larger women are excluded from many fashion brands, their old standbys are now failing them.  In her post, “Why I’m Finished With Simply Be”, Leah demonstrates how Simply Be is screwing over women in proportion to how large their size is.  No longer supplied with a variety of items in sizes up to 32, Simply Be now has a plethora of smaller sizes, and a lean selection for larger women.

In a step forward for plus size fashion, fashion programs around the country are starting to provide classes in plus size drafting and construction.  However, this step forward once again leaves larger women behind, as Emme (plus size supermodel), who is spearheading this movement, says “[Her] ultimate goal is to have fashion lines range from a size 2-22 and not have to be referred to a different department if a person wears anything above a size 12.”  It would be fantastic if all designers were well versed in plus size construction, but that’s somewhat overshadowed by the massive pile of steaming feces that represents the omission of anyone above a size 22.

Shopping Guide for Up To 6X

Yours Clothing– Says it carries sizes “12-34,” but I found a lot of styles up to size 36, and none in size 12.  It has the same problem as Simply Be: larger sizes have limited options.

Igigi– Sizes 12-32.  I’ve read very good things about the quality of their clothes, but they’re out of my price range.  A good option for professional, dressy casual, and dressy clothes.

Junonia– Casual clothing and active wear in sizes 1x to 6x.  Also carries swimsuits- one and two pieces!

Love Your Peaches– Casual clothing in size 1x to 6x.  Again, a site with both one and two piece swimsuits!

Avenue– Good variety of casual work wear and trendy, stylish clothes.  Sizes 14- 32.  Bra band sizes from 38 to 52, cup sizes B to DDD.

Ulla Popken– Sizes XL/12 to 6X/38.  Good staples, plus more stylish options.

Lands’ End–  Either I’m getting old, or their clothes are much cuter than they used to be.  Sizes 0X/14W to 5X/34W

Kiyonna– Really beautiful clothes; according to reviews, quality fabric and good construction.  Sizes 0X/10- 5X/32

Eshakti– Seriously gorgeous dresses, skirts, and tops.  Their standard sizes go up to 36, but custom sizes (for an extra $7.50) can be made up to 100 inches in chest, waist, and hips.

In her post, “What if You’re Too Big For Lane Bryant?”, an anonymous blogger reviews some of her go-to sites.

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