Tag Archives: Larger Women

What is a fashionable body shape and does it matter?

What is a fashionable body shape? This is an interesting question and has different answers in different contexts. A friend recently shared two photographs with us that illustrated this concept perfectly. The question is what makes one body shape more acceptable than another? The ultimate answer is none.

Changing Body Shape

Body shape has been and continues to be “valued” and viewed differently over time and it is also viewed differently in different cultures. Body shape changes through the decades and fashion trends emphasise different parts of the body. Think about Victorian body shapes and fashion styles; think about the shape of women in the 1950’s. Think about the shape of women today. In western society this is accentuated by coverage in the media and by people in positions of media influence promoting one body shape as being more attractive and acceptable than another.

No guesses as to what I’m referring to here. We are in a time where larger people are not viewed as favourably as thinner people. The fashion industry plays and has played an aggressive role in the promotion of “thin” women – anyone remember the “drug addict” look of very thin models made up with shadows under their eyes? Was this really considered to be attractive or was it just media hype?

Health And Body Shape

The government and health bodies also play a part in shaping peoples perceptions about body shape by claiming overweight people are more likely to suffer from health problems. In reality any extremes in body shape can cause health issues. So an emaciated person is just as likely to face serious health issues as a morbidly obese person. Larger people are criticised for their size to a degree that women who aren’t that overweight feel tremendous pressure to conform to an ideological shape that is more difficult to adhere to the older we get.

Consider the following two images (mentioned above) both are marketing images for very different brands. Both are celebrating women’s beauty but they sending very different messages. Someone even suggested that one of the photographs has been adjusted to change the shape of the models. I don’t know whether that is the case or not, you can judge for yourselves. What is clear though is that taste and style is subjective and people will make harsh judgements about body shape which to my way of thinking is a shame.

Body Shape Image for discussion about fashionable body shapes

Normal Body Shape?

Potentially the whole concept of what is a normal body shape is disappearing. The fashion industry doesn’t appear to recognise this. As a whole they largely still aim for a market aged between 16 and 34 and who are a “standard” shape and size. I’ve been to many trade shows where the manufacturers just can’t fathom women being over a size 16.

The reality of the matter is that body shapes and sizes are changing and probably not in a manner that will suit the fashion industry. So far the industry is struggling to recognise this and make clothes that are suitable for different body shapes and sizes. I’ll discuss this further in a follow up post.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Plus Size Clothing For Women With A Curvy Body Shape

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Hattie Said "Don't Dress Quietly!"

Hattie Jacques said “Don’t dress quietly to minimise your size”

I recently read the authorised biography of Hattie Jacques in which she reportedly said she had no idea what her statistics were. She could not buy clothes to fit her off-the-peg and employed a dressmaker to make all her clothes. In later life she managed to find a shop in New York that catered for outsize ladies where she shopped regularly. Apparently she received regular letters from women asking to buy her old clothes from her as they couldn’t find clothes to fit them. It just seems outrageous that such a large proportion of Customers was completely ignored by the fashion industry. Although ladies statistics are increasing globally at the moment, back in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s there must have been a sizable population of women that just were not catered for.

Hattie Said "Don't Dress Quietly!"

Hattie reportedly said

“don’t dress quietly, just to minimise your size. If you are big, you are going to look big anyway. And if you have a colourful personality, then for heaven’s sake play up to it.”

Well said Hattie!! That’s exactly our philosophy at Vida Moda. Hattie thought it was difficult to be fat and feminine at the same time. I think the clothing industry in Britain has moved on since then but it has been very slow and has along way to go. It is easy to understand why someone like Hattie was made to feel that way. In my opinion she was a beautiful woman who did dress femininely in beautiful silks and velvets but the majority of women would not have been able to afford a dressmaker.

While things have changed and progress has been made it is still challenging to find beautiful clothes if you are large and that’s why I opened a shop online, to give women like me the opportunity to have some “designer” choice!

Joanna

Excerpt taken from “Hattie” The Authorised biography of Hattie Jacques by Andy Merriman ©2007

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Does Dress Size Matter?

Does Dress Size Matter?

A recent survey using three-dimensional computerised body scanners of more than 11,000 volunteers aged 16 to 95 (male and female) found that the typical British woman is 5’4.5” tall and weighs 143.5 lbs. The average bust size is 38.5”, the typical waist is 34” and average hip size is 40.5”. Researchers at the London College of Fashion concluded that 38% of women are overweight and 12% are underweight. Although British women have become heavier in the last 50 years, we still have a way to go to catch up with American women.

The study was supported by the Dept. of Trade and Industry and retailers including John Lewis, M&S and House of Fraser. Shops that have been using the data have found a fall in the number of returned clothes and some have made adjustments to the size labeling of their clothes. This explains a lot. I have often looked at slim women and judged them to be a size 10 to 12 only for them to declare they are a size 0 – what is that? No such size ever existed before. Or likewise, judging someone to be a size 18 to 20 for them to declare themselves a size 14 to 16.

Manufacturer and retailer sizing systems vary and the only reliable way of finding your size is to know your measurements and trust that the labeling accurately reflects the garment’s dimensions. Generally, many of us tend to stick with brands whose fit and sizing we trust in relation to our own size and shape although the sizing may not strictly fall within the calibration for the generic size 12, 14, 16, 18…….. Of course, we all quote our size according to the most flattering sizing system.

So what happens when you are out shopping and you are between sizes when you find something you like. Do you buy the smaller size and promise yourself you’ll lose a couple of pounds and fit into it? Or do you buy the bigger size? I’d love to know! Add a comment with your view and share it.

At Vida Moda I take care to measure the clothes we stock because each brand is different and their designers interpret sizes differently. We publish the measures and size interpretations for each of the brands we carry so you can buy with confidence. I also comment on the general fit of each brand in our sizing guide.

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Plus Size Red Scoop Neck Top with 3/4 length Sleeves

Models wearing fat suits, this is crazy!

Models wearing fat suits:

This week there was an article in the Daily mail which we found disturbing and to be honest irritating. The Daily Mail reported that Saffi Karina a 27 year old size 12 model, yes size 12 is classified as a plus size in the modelling world went on an assignment and was advised that they needed someone a couple of sizes larger. She was advised (the article doesn’t say who by) to get a padded garment made to add inches to her bust, waist and hips, the article then goes on to label the item as a “fat suit”.

Marquita Pring who is also a model and is size 12 to 14 has also worn these suits and said ‘It’s better for me because I can still be healthy and work out and have the body I want. It’s a little bit of model magic.’ . Well good for you Miss Pring but really you should be aware that just because people are larger it doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhealthy or unfit!

Why on earth is this necessary? There plenty of beautiful women around who are larger and indeed a good portion of the population is size 16 and over. We wish the media would wake up to this fact and stop insulting people who are over a size 10! This is really disturbing, one of the other points about these “fat suits” is that they don’t help the body look natural, they won’t move properly and therefore clothes won’t flow around the body properly.

The models we’ve used on Vida Moda, our online store are size 16 and 18 respectively. They are beautiful and shapely and healthy and they made our products look wonderful! They didn’t have to wear fat suits and we didn’t use an airbrush to re-touch their shape. Browse our site and have a look! Our models are shown 100% naturally to reflect the nature of the real women (size 16 and upwards) who are our customers.

Quotes courtesy of the Daily Mail online article from 01 August 2011

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Yay! We’re live

Finally, amazingly, we’ve taken a bold step forwards! We launched our online shop very quietly last week to make sure it worked and to see what a few trusted friends thought of it. The feedback has been quite good so this week is our official launch and we hope those of you that use it will enjoy shopping at http://www.vodamoda.co.uk

Vida Moda is an online store retailing designer plus size clothes for plus size women. “Vida Moda” means life fashion, it is about your life and your fashion.

Vida Moda Cool Linens

If you are a larger lady, if you embrace and celebrate your figure you can be more confident and happy, be who you are and enjoy life even more! We’ll help you do this through our store and this blog. We believe that you, the plus size woman should have a better set of fashion choices in the sizes you need. If you don’t believe us, have a look at our store, all our collections are photographed using plus size models. They are larger ladies just like a lot of you, and they look wonderful. We hope to bring you an interview or two with them in future posts on this blog.

We’ll also tell you more about us in coming posts and we hope to engage you in some debate as well as providing information on fashion along with styling suggestions. Undoubtedly we’ll also talk about life along the way!

Finally we strongly believe you have the right to a good customer experience, and that experience should not be negatively affected by your size or shape. You deserve to look good, and feel good and if we can help you do that in some small way then we’ll be happy!

And remember, we think it is the woman who makes the clothes look good! :-)

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