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Fashion and Designers / Ffasiwn a Dylunwyr

Prêt-à-porter; does size really matter?

(December 01, 2014)

Isabelle Herring

Siopau Caerdydd Primark

Does size really matter?

The fashion world is dominated by people needing to be regarded as small, in order to fit into a particular item of clothing. I have known people to beat themselves up over how they look and wish that they had the appearance of somebody smaller than themselves. Clothing stores do not help with this perception. But, have they ever thought about the negative impact on young girls who wish to shop there, but cannot as they are seen as being too overweight and not suitable to wear their clothing?

I am strongly against this way of thinking that women should be a certain size to be accepted in modern day society. All women should be proud of the way that they look, not thinking about needing to lose a stone before Christmas to fit into that perfect show-stopping outfit. Nothing should be trying to bring them down or make them feel uncomfortable just because of their physical appearance. It is not fair. Are they trying to change to feel better about themselves or are they just aiming to conform to what society thinks they should be? Only they truly know what they are trying to achieve.


Siopau Caerdydd Topshop Siopau Caerdydd River Island

In particular, British based brand Topshop is notorious for only selling women's clothing up to a UK size 16. This is very worrying, as it indicates that perhaps young girls who may be slightly larger would starve themselves in order to be able to say that they can fit into clothing. Even on their Topshop Unique catwalk shows which are featured in London Fashion Week, they opt to use models that are incredibly slim to wear the clothing for next season’s market. Online store Missguided also have a similar concept on their website. They appear to stock clothing up to a UK size 16, and then have a 'plus size' section for the larger lady.

Taking a slightly different approach, online store Very only stocks clothing up to a UK size 14. If you are a larger size than that, you are required to buy from another section entitled ‘Love Your Curves’. This ranges from a size 14-32. This is a positive way forward as it encourages a confident outlook on body image with this empowering ‘statement’, highlighting that it is great to be curvaceous and to have a more womanly figure. Also, high on the list of promoting positive body image is Swedish retailer, H&M. They stock up to a UK size 20 on their 'normal' clothing range. This proves that there is a divide between the clothing stores that actually want every woman to be accepted and to feel comfortable wearing their brand, compared to those stores that think that larger built women do not suit their target audience.

Other clothing brands such as online retailer ASOS have a plus size range included on their website. This is commendable as it means that the brand caters for all sizes. However, this also has a negative element. They are grouping people of a larger size into a different category. This may make customers feel dejected and unhappy with themselves as they click onto the section, with the brand highlighting and confirming the fact that they are of a certain size. In addition to this, they also have a separate section for women that are of a petite body size highlighting possible physical insecurities of their customers.


Siopau Caerdydd M&Co Siopau Caerdydd Zara

On a more encouraging note ... Manchester-based store, Boohoo are helping to create a positive impact in the world of online shopping. They have begun to use models promoting their clothing and accessories on their website who are of a larger size to the typical model frame. This is proving to young women in particular that they are able to make it into the modelling profession if they wish and that they have the ability to love their body as much as someone who is a smaller size.

But why do they do this? Do some brands realise the impact they are having on their prospective female customers? The sad and horrific truth is that they probably do not, and it needs to be changed within today’s society ... and fast.

Isabelle Herring, December 2014

If you liked this, you will enjoy these from Isabelle too:
     New York Fashion Week F/W 2016; March 2016

     bloggers and vloggers; December 2015

     Review: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty; October 2015
     Festival essentials; June 2015

     New York Fashion Week F/W 2015; March 2015

     Looking for value?; September 2014

Isabelle blogs on fashion as Isabelle Rachel!

… and her other pages:
     Facebook: issy.herring
     Blog Facebook page: isabellerachelblog
     Twitter: @IssyHerring
     Instagram: issyherring
     Pinterest: issyherring

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