Tag Archives: plus size 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

Comments { 3 }

Go glow! Complete your look with spectacular skin

The secret to a great look is healthy looking skin. Winter is a cruel season, icy winds, central heating and fatty comfort food. Spring is round the corner, so here’s some tips to kick the winter look and bounce into a better season. Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }
"Big Sexy" plus size reality TV show

A “Big Sexy” Date For Your Diary

"Big Sexy" plus size reality TV showOn August 30th TLC channel launches a new reality TV show which follows the lives of five plus size ladies trying to break into the fashion industry. The objective is for the five belles (all New Yorkers) to alter the preconceptions of the size obsessed fashion world, challenge stereotypes and make plus size sexiness more mainstream. The show is also balanced with a look into the their personal lives and examines their relationships as plus size women.
At this stage of course it’s impossible to comment on the show as I’ve not seen it yet, but I am interested to see whether it will go anywhere near to achieving it’s objectives and to reading your opinions. Even if it doesn’t, well done to those ladies and the programme executives for taking on the challenge.

Joanna

Don’t forget it is the last few days of the summer sale at Vida Moda – If you are a “curvy bird” we’ve got a designer bargain for you! – Click Here to view our sale items.

Comments { 2 }

What are you wearing to Wimbledon?

Wimbledon starts next week so what are you going to wear if you are going?

One of things we love about Wimbledon is the fact that the players have to wear White, it’s a competition rule and advertising on the court is also kept to a minimum. White looks so good against the green background of the grass and the court surroundings.

We hope you are lucky enough to be going! If so what are you going to wear? Will you stand out on Centre Court? Will the TV cameras catch sight of you and be forced to linger because you look stunning? We hope so! At Vida Moda We’ve got a few options that will help look really good at Wimbledon this year. One of our recommendations would be for you to attend in a stunning white outfit perhaps accessorised with some lovely jewelery, something silver with a splash of colour that works well for you. Everyone can wear white and look good and the colour choice of your jewelery will depend on your skin and hair colouring. So its most important you choose your jewellery carefully!

Plus Size White Linen Clothes For Wimbledon

Vida Moda - Are you wearing white for Wimbledon 2011?

If you are going to wear white why not consider combining these pieces from our Bitte Kai Rand collection. Bitte is a fabulous designer and always produces wonderful collections which are subtly modern. You’ll look really good if you wear some or all of the following items to Wimbledon

First up we recommend some beautiful white linen trousers . To go with them we recommend this gorgeous White Linen Tunic. Alternatively we can offer a flexible white cotton top with 3/4 sleeves to go under a truly beautiful White Linen Jacket with a tailored waist. You’ll feel special wearing these clothes and you’ll look beautiful. Click on each image to view more detail about the item in Vida Moda’s online store. Don’t forget the White Linen Jacket is on special offer at the moment!

Comments { 4 }
Plus Size dress (18) from Vida Moda

Will the fashion industry change its manufacturing methods to produce clothes that fit properly?

This is question has never been more relevant than today. The fashion industry is still largely focused on young and trendy consumers and that is what they put in the mainstream media. However people’s body shapes are changing and ultimately the fashion industry will have to change to meet demand from the marketplace. Whether or not we’ll see this change in the way media represents fashion remains to be seen.

Fashion retailers (along with the airline and automotive industries) have funded research into how body shapes are changing. Cornell University in the USA have been collecting anthropometric data by using body scanning to study variations in body size and unsurprisingly the results show wide variations.

Body Scan Image

(Image: Cornell Body Scan Research Group)

It has not been possible for the fashion industry in the past to base their designs or manufacturing processes on anthropometric data simply because it has been too time consuming and difficult to collect. This will probably be different in the future as technology improves, but it does depend on a number of factors.

    • Will people be prepared to have their body scanned to so that clothes can be made to fit properly?
    • Can designers apply their skills to different body forms and still satisfy their artistic desire?
    • Where does the cross over point between artistic intent and function?
    • Does artistic intent cease to matter when designers are faced with designing plus size clothes and does that result in clothes for plus size women that are poorly designed?
    • Can technology be used to create clothes on the fly that are specific to a persons size and shape? (automated tailoring)

Is the fashion industry going to change it’s philosophical approach to designing and producing clothes? Currently fashion houses design based on the target market they trying to reach, usually reflecting a lifestyle and price perspective. They then produce a model based on “regular” sizes, and you can be pretty sure this isn’t a plus size. They take their designs and scale them upwards and downwards to produce their garments in a range of standard sizes. Quite often this does not include plus or petite sizes. Why is this? Either because they don’t want to be associated with plus or petite sizes, those sizes aren’t their target market, OR the designs do not lend themselves to be being manufactured in plus or petite sizes. Designing clothes that work as a design statement across a wide range of sizes is a challenge for designers. Manufacturing variations brings its own cost challenges too.

Luckily there are designers out there today who do recognise the needs of their customers and do make beautiful clothes in plus sizes. They look beautiful and from a design perspective they work across a range of sizes, including plus sizes. They may not always make it to high street chains and they may be more boutique fashion but they are available. The internet is offering more choice if you are prepared to look and over time the internet will level the playing field and provide better choice for clothes that “fit and flatter” for plus size women. This is one of the things we are aiming to do with our online shop http://www.vidamoda.co.uk

However the time is coming where the growing variations in body shape and size will force the industry to change because “standards” won’t work any longer, people are demanding and indeed expecting to have a choice. Considerable variation is occurring in different countries but this is being balanced by emerging and growing markets that the fashion industry can tap into, but we do think things will eventually change.

What are your thoughts?

    1. Do you feel you have adequate choice for fit and size of clothes?
    2. Would you shop in a store that used body scanning and made clothes to fit your shape and size?

Leave a comment and let us know what you think :-)

Information in this post references and is informed by the following article from Cornell University http://www.bodyscan.human.cornell.edu/scene7354.html
Body scan image courtesy of Cornell Body Scan Research Group

Plus Size dress (18) from Vida Moda

Comments { 0 }
Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor