Wednesday 22nd October 2014
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Be so good they can’t ignore you

During my long career in publishing, every magazine I ever worked at received a steady stream of  reader letters pleading for more clothes suitable for plus size women. This was no less true at the magazine I edited for ten years. But publishers weren’t so interested in pursuing advertisers in the plus size category, so there was no business imperative to do so. Market editors always did a big eye roll when I brought it up, claiming they didn’t have relationships with those brands, and that it’d be a colossal pain to get the designers we did work with who made clothes in plus sizes to actually lend us clothes in plus sizes. And, if we’re going to be brutally honest, I didn’t push the issue as hard as I should have. Which is, looking back, one of my biggest regrets.  I took such pride in creating a magazine that reached women who felt disenfranchised by traditional fashion magazines, and that very same magazine still managed to make a whole lot of them feel excluded.

Which is why I felt so many different things—hugely impressed, super-inspired, and also pretty lame—as I listened to Gabi Gregg speak on a panel at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference this week. Gabi (who it appears as though I am the last person in the world to discover) is the fantabulously cute and stylish size-18 woman behind the blog Gabi Fresh. She didn’t see a place in the fashion world  for people like her, so she simply went out and created one. It wasn’t the easiest task: to be a large woman in the fashion world is to be treated as though you have some kind of very real and of insurmountable disability, but Gregg says she always remembered Steve Martin’s famous advice—”Be so good they can’t ignore you”—and soldiered on. And now, she’s kind of a deal.

I’m not a big girl, but parts of me are bigger than they used to be: like so many of us as we hit our 40s and beyond, my body has shifted and changed and responded to gravity in ways I would have preferred it not. The clothes I usually show here do a lot of camouflaging and draping, because my personal style is now very much about covering up a poochy stomach and making sure nobody ever sees the very, very tops of my thighs when I wear skinny jeans, and that type of thing. But I’m wondering how many of you would like for me to occasionally go a little deeper in order to find cool stuff in bigger sizes. And if so, how big? Also: what are the toughest pieces to find? Let me work harder to serve you better.

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Posted on September 7th, 2012 67 Comments

67 Responses

  1. Sheri says:

    I say do it, for sure! I don’t have any specific requests, but I am so glad you’re thinking in this direction, and I completely support it. And thank you for introducing me to Gabi (now I’m the last one on earth to find out about her) – what a fox!

  2. Kate says:

    I would love to see stuff in bigger sizes–I love your taste! As for what’s hard to find, it’s hard to find those cool slouchy styles in bigger sizes that aren’t just tent-like. There’s a fine line between a artfully draped, flattering tunic and a big mess of fabric that just makes you look big. As for how big, I’m a size 16 or 18 depending on how much my job is causing me to stress eat and how often I feel like running.

    And Gabi is a goddess. It’s been really helpful finding plus-size fashion blogs. They really do provide inspiration and support–I don’t want to shrink away anymore.

  3. Tanya says:

    I’m the last person behind Sheri here – what a great site. I’m not that big either, but I do appreciate you eye toward the changes in our bodies as we get older. I’m not ready to check out fashion in MORE, but I can’t get with Demi Lovato as fashion inspiration either.

  4. daisyj says:

    I have neither questions or suggestions, except that you really need to go visit Manolo For The Big Girl (http://manolobig.com/) for some deeply fabulous plus-sized-fashion blogging. I’m not in the target demo, but I read it regularly for the voice and accessories tips.

  5. Lori says:

    I would love that! My biggest challenge is finding plus size fashion that is relatively mid-range and age-appropriate. I can find stuff that is super cheap and of poor quality, or things that are seriously pricey, but rarely find stuff in the price range you show for straight size pieces on your blog. I can also find plus size clothes for teens and twenty-somethings or very matronly and old looking pieces, but have a harder time finding stuff that is cool and flattering for a 40-something professional. Last, I would be intersted in some new or less well-known plus-size resources. I feel like I shop at the same three stores over and over.

  6. Shona says:

    I think the thing about plus-size fashion is that it’s so often boring, because like you said, there’s no business imperative to make it exciting. But although I’m a size 12, I have parts I’m normally trying to cover up and seeing women who aren’t shaped like a waif pre-teen model would be ideal fashion to look at. Do it up, Kim! I’d love to see fashion outside the box from your eyes!

  7. Keri says:

    I’d love to see more in the 12-14 range. So often that size is either too big in the “regular” stores and too small in the plus-size stores. I also don’t ever run across many bloggers that size – although maybe I just don’t know where to look.

    • pagalina says:

      HEAR HEAR on the 12-14!! Anthropologie and its ilk rarely have anything larger than a 10. I have a feeling that the 12s and up just sell THAT fast. Come on retailers and manufacturers! haven’t you noticed how few size 12s end up on the sale rack? and how many 0s and 2s there are?

  8. Chris says:

    I too would love to see more in the 12-14 range. I don’t know why this is no mans land for labels. You’d think they would wise up to the demographic! Also workout clothes – lululemon stops at 12, Nike can be cut for kids.

  9. yks says:

    Yes please, especially would be interested in what your educated eye can turn up. Size 16 – 20 please. There seems to be a huge gap between the low end both in price and quality and high end expensive. The higher end tends to be conservative and career dressing oriented. And boy do they love to slap on a larger than life print on plus size clothing. uugh.

  10. Anne M says:

    I would love to see plus-size stuff from higher-end fashion lines. My biggest issue seems to be finding who has larger sizes that are well-cut and well-made, using fabrics I actually want touching my skin. I follow a couple of plus-size blogs and it seems like the majority of what I find tends more toward the cheap and overly trendy polyester (e.g. Torrid) or the very expected (e.g. Lane Bryant). I do love Manolo for the Big Girl and she definitely mixes it up more than typical plus blogs as far as price point and quality but I would love to have another blog source that at least occasionally features Real Fashion that is actually available in larger sizes (I’m an 18, sometimes 20, sometimes 16).

  11. Amy says:

    I love that you’re addressing this, because this was my biggest beef with Lucky. Alas, between my 39th and 41st birthdays, I lost 50+ pounds, so now I can wear all those brands I saw for years in the magazine – at least those that don’t skew too young. Thank goodness you left Lucky and created this blog right around the 100th time I had decided that – as a stay at home mom in coastal California – I had really and truly aged out of the mag’s readership. Now, I have this blog, but about that not a career woman, not in NYC thing….

  12. Jacky says:

    Yes, please! Tops that aren’t some hideous print, jeans, and well everything. I have been suffering through my same limited wardrobe for years. Hate shopping and never find anything. Size 16-20.

  13. Aparatchick says:

    Please do! How many times have I seen something great looking in a magazine and run to Store X to try it on, only to realize that sure, it looks great on a 6 foot tall size zero model, but on me – a 5-3 size 10? …. not so much. So what would I specifically like to see? An alternative to skinny jeans (skinny jeans on my short legs look like two stuffed sausages).

  14. Jody says:

    Yes, PLEASE!

  15. Viajera says:

    Great post! Now that you have more freedom, you can follow your heart.

    I was new to Gabi too. She’s adorable!!! And she has great taste too. Very impressive.

    My peeves have to do with the segregation. I don’t like that plus size people are treated like lepers. And some major brands will do the *favor* of making large sizes, but won’t carry them in their stores. I am sick of the excuses, it’s just prejudice. I have a friend who can’t find clothes in stores, and it’s very hard. Does she have extra time, maybe a 26 hour day, to traipse back and forth to the post office? Is her money not as good? What’s the deal? (I would say it’s because the companies are run by men, but by now I know better.)

    The other peeve I have, and this applies more broadly I think — ba dump bump — is that there’s no consistency. If people like something, why stop making them just because of “fashion?” Women’s individual bodies change, but as a group, our shape is consistent, so why should it be that *all* the styles have to turn over every year? I understand a lot of people like “the new” for the sake of new, so some of that is just fine. But for the rest of us, it’s so hard to find what works that it’s hard to see it disappear immediately, back into the ether, never to be seen again. Do you remember the evening dresses in “Gosford Park?” They looked amazing.

    On another only-tangentially related note, I thought the Gap people quit on Forth & Towne *much* too soon. They closed the one out here in Century City about 3 months after I first became aware it even existed. The clothes seemed nice, and the dressing rooms were to die for! (I mean, I’ll shop anywhere, but why does the lighting usually s*ck?)

    And I’m not ready to get into one of those little scanning machines yet. (Trust issues!)

  16. Pam says:

    Quality blouses and tops in a size 20-22 would be nice. Jeans and business suits are easy to find. Dressy casual is tough. And if you happen to run across some awesome shoes in wide sizes I would be forever grateful. I am dying for a pair of brogues.

  17. cynthia kling says:

    GREAT!!!! All I want are jeans that don’t scream mommy and tees that flatter and drape in that cool way and don’t cost a fortune. I agree that dressing casual is tough.

    I also like V’s comments on what we want where we shop. I want good mirrors in the dressing rooms so I don’t have to step out and have the creepy saleswoman rush over and tell me I look great because she wants the sale.

  18. Kelly O says:

    I’m anywhere from a 16 to a 20 depending on the manufacturer and my own quirky eating/exercising patterns. I get so frustrated when shopping, because it’s hard to find decent looking clothes at a reasonable price point.

    Seems like everything in that range is either full of flutter sleeves and babydoll tops that just make me look bigger, or it’s some hideous pattern, or just schlumpy in general.

    And totally agree with the shopping experience thing. The whole overly clingy salesperson who tells you everything looks good is not working. (We just got a Torrid recently in the mall near where I work. I have been in twice, and both times I just left because I couldn’t browse the racks without a salesperson hovering over me, trying to tell me the red and white paisley fluttery t-shirt would look good on me.)

  19. Amy says:

    Yes please!! I too love fashion but have a harder time finding great style for an 18-20 like me. As someone said, I feel like I shop at the same three stores.

  20. alexa11221 says:

    I loooooove Gabi! SHe inspired me to buy a two-piece which even my very tightly wound about body image ex-model mom thought was cute. As for me, a a not-quite plus-size woman with a definitely plus-size chest and and broad shoulders, it’s tailored shirts and blazers. They look so great on my curvy, toned body and YET they are almost IMPOSSIBLE to find. I actually don’t think it’s possible to buy them off the rack, but if anyone can find them, you can.

  21. pagalina says:

    I LOVE Gabi’s style! Regardless of her size, her style is inspiring. I think by “shopping” plus size lines you may find inspiration for everyone. I’m a 12, so not exactly plus size, but I can’t look at any of the brands’ websites and know if that look is going to be good on me. My tunics aren’t going to hang straight past my hips, for example like they might on a size 0 model.

  22. Amy says:

    Yes, yes, YES!! I would love to see how your outstanding eye interprets plus sizes across the board, particularly as it relates to layering. (If you need a body to be act as living dress form I’ll fly out to play!) It’s both disgusting and laughable how most manufacturers and retailers treat plus size fashion, and by extension, the women who wear it. If a store sells plus size online, but not brick and mortar, I will not shop there because that’s telling me they don’t want my 5’9″, size 16-20, pear-shaped frame darkening their sales floor. For the life of me, I will never understand why lines don’t just size up and correctly proportion their straight size designs. Rachel Pally White Label does, and I adore it. She gets it and does it right. And she gets a lot of my money as a result. I also think there’s a misconception that all
    plus size women are always in a “transitional” stage of losing or wanting to lose weight and that they want clothing to make them appear “thin.” In my case, neither of those things is true. I just want quality fashion that makes my body in its current state look the best it can. Just like every other woman.

  23. susanjane says:

    NO. I do not think that you should “go a little deeper” to find clothing in larger sizes. In addition, I am tired of hearing that stores only stock small sizes. There has been so much size inflation over the years that anything over a size 8 actually is a “bigger size.”I am 51 years old, 5’8″ tall and I have a healthy BMI but I am wearing a size two in JCrew clothing and recently purchased a DKNY dress that fits me with room to spare in size extra small. Because of inflated size standards, a size 8 is quite capacious and a size 12 can certainly accommodate a woman who is, perhaps, lurching towards being overweight by medical standards. I agree that models are getting thinner and younger and this is a bad thing. I deplore that the fashion industry has, to a certain extent, glorified the anorexic figure. And yes, I know that most American women are larger than a size 10. But I also know that there is an obesity epidemic in this country and, in my opinion, to feature more large size clothing is to cater to a kind of sartorial pathology that is only getting worse. I’m glad that larger women have more options but being a size 18 is neither good nor healthy and it should not be glorified or treated as the new normal.

    • Amy says:

      Oh dear. Here I was thinking I was both good and healthy. Guess my friends and my doctor are both wrong.

    • RebeccaNYC says:

      so those of us who might sometimes approach a size 18 should look and feel as schlumpy as possible…because, you know, we’re not healthy. I’ll have to tell my doctor, who tells me that my cardiovascular system, my muscular strength and overall health is that of a 45year old. I’m 54 and larger than I would like. but healthy? youbetcha.

      I would love to find more fashion forward clothing. I’m too large (generally) for “normal” sizes, and much too small for plus sizes. When I went to Bergdorfs to shop for a pretty (non bridal) dress to get married in, they dismissed me with a horrified “oh we don’t carry THAT size”. pffffft.

    • AnnW says:

      SusanJane, aren’t you lucky. You must live in Manhattan. Over fifty percent of American women are size 14 and above. To ignore them is a huge mistake. Lecturing that 50% is not going to help. Sometimes life gets in the way of exercise class and you can’t focus on yourself. I am sick of stores that don’t carry size 16. Like Ann Taylor, most Gaps and Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Richards and Mitchell’s, J. Crew, etc. I have a BMI of 29.5 and lift weights, train, etc. I have been working on my weight for the last two years as I was taking care of my parents in their final days. I can’t find decent Tshirts at any price, the Banana Republic ones I just ordered were too tight,and Talbot’s are flimsy. I mostly rely on Brooks Brother’s Shirts and Talbots jackets. I did find a Chambray shirt at Madewell the other day that fit in a large. I am not a slob, why can’t I find decent clothes at any price?

      • RebeccaNYC says:

        Trust me, Amy. Even in Manhattan, most stores are not carrying anything larger than size 14. If you are larger than that, you are not worth their time. A store with a sensible sizing system is Coldwater Creek. When you find a garment you like (rarely, but it happens) all sizes from Petite to Plus are on the same rack so you can try several options without traveling all over the store.

        • diane says:

          let’s get real, very few of us including me are a size 2 and to have a size 2 say the things she does it rather…condescending? i am a a damn hot woman with curves and i rock whatever i wear. we are beautiful no matter what size..2 to 22 and beyond. we should be encouraging each other not breaking each other down.

    • susanjane says:

      I feel compelled to post a brief rejoinder to my initial statement. I find it remarkable that my brief missive was the only one that elicited a response and that all of it was either defensive, derogatory or both. Let me make myself clear. I never said that larger women should not be stylish. I did state that because size inflation in clothing is increasingly pervasive, that larger clothing is already the new average. What used to be a size 4 is now, in most clothing, a size 0. This is a fact.
      Obesity in America is , in the words of the CDC, “common,serious and costly.” One of my responders correctly surmised that I “must live in Manhattan” but the CDC is in Atlanta. Do I seem condescending? That is certainly not the way I intended to come across. I believe that all women should look and feel great. But that doesn’t change the fact that two thirds of the population of the United States is either overweight or obese and sizes have already expanded with the general population. No matter how you spin it or how some individuals may feel about themselves, this trend cannot continue without serious public health repressions. That is all.

      • diane says:

        once again though you need to cut the obesity talk and embrace that we are all women who want to feel wonderful and look the same. you as a 2 has a right to say what you want but it will always come across negatively to the woman who is not and who cannot wear what you wear. the industry does embrace all sizes…so we must as women.

      • Mae says:

        Um, susanjane? On behalf of all Baby Boomer women who are freaking out about how they can’t fit into their size 10s or 12s any more because their bodies are a-changin’, and no amount of working out or dieting seems to make much difference, and here they are, after working for 30 years and putting the kids through college and paying off the mortgage, finally, finally with the discretionary cash to blow on clothes and can’t find anything cool to wear, I’m here to tell you [REDACTED].

  24. rosemary says:

    sure, why not, a little something something for everyone. your “moh-del” is very pretty and has on a great dress on a dreadfully hot sticky day here in the 212.

  25. carmencatalina says:

    Another size 10-14 reader here (10 on top, 14 on the bottom, such a pain to dress!) – women like me on the “top end” of regular misses sizes are really common, but often ignored by magazine, fashion blogs, and the fashion world at large. I guess we are in a funny “no-woman’s-land” between misses and plus sizes.

    LOVE that you highlighted Gabi Fresh – one of my favorite personal style blogs – it is really fresh and positive and full of gorgeous fashion (and the gorgeous Ms. Gregg, of course)!

  26. ng says:

    Gabi Fresh has great style! But it’s not because she’s somehow cajoled the clothing manufacturers to make clothes that will fit her, it’s because she’s got a keen sense for what looks good on her and what she likes, most importantly. If I saw her on the street, or met her at a bar, ‘plus size’ wouldn’t cross my mind for even one second. I admire that she’s taken on the position of refusing to accept the marginalization of the plus sizes in fashion and retail. And sadly, that does not mean fashion and retail will change one damn thing (except for you, Kim France, and bravo for that).

    The key in looking good, no matter the body type is not to settle for buying, then altering, a poorly constructed garment. It’s to find the right thing, even if you have to pass on something that appears really cute on the racks or in the photos.

    Everyone I know who looks good in what they wear, it’s because they have a shred of individuality and persistence of that individuality that extends to their wardrobe.

  27. lormac says:

    It is always amazing to me that size 14 is a plus size, but there it is! Sometimes I wonder when we can just freakin’ relax and not have to stress out about that extra cookie… 50?…60?….70? Frankly, I am setting 75 as the age I just give up and live in caftans and eat whatever the hell I want. It is funny, but this has been in my mind since I watched last week’s Project Runway episode where a designer made a size 14 woman feel awful about her shape. Anyway, so happy that I have another blog to add to my personal ‘blogroll.’ Thank you for the introduction!

  28. summerbl4ck says:

    Absolutely! Women of all shapes and sizes deserve to look and feel awesome!

  29. Margo DeMello says:

    I follow your site and Gabi’s sie and would love it if you featured plus size fashion!

  30. Safari says:

    Featuring non-sample-size clothing would be great, but more than anything I’d love to see some consideration for clothing that works with women who have breasts. Very few pieces you seem to post would work with a bra, and none of them would fit or flatter a woman with anything bigger than an A-Cup. Even women who conform in every other measurement get ignored by the fashion industry if they have medium or large breasts, and so many designers/editors seem to think a woman with breasts is vulgar by default. It’s not a “problem area” that women need tips camouflaging, but the vast majority of women wear bras and that is apparently news to the fashion industry.

    • Donna says:

      I agree!! For the first time in my life I Have decent sized breasts (the experts say I should be wearing a 40DD but I’m so used to having 34Bs that I can’t wrap my head around that. I’m wearing 40Ds). There are so many shirts that I can’t wear. This is a totally new experience for me and I wondered what women with large breasts have been wearing for all of this time!

    • Viajera says:

      Agreed – this is a big problem.

  31. Maggie says:

    I want to know how Gabi found that cute dress in the picture at H&M in an 18? I’ve never found bigger than a 14 there.

    • Amy says:

      Hi Maggie,
      H&M offers plus sizes in “select” stores. The one near me isn’t one of the chosen.

      • Maggie says:

        That explains it! Thank you! The select stores thing is another piece of bullshit. I know they’d make money if they made the clothes available. Why don’t they make the clothes available?

  32. Leslie W. says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Gabi (I’m now officially the last one on earth to find out about her). I wear size 20-22 (btw, hater commenter above I exercise at the gym 5 days a week) and have a closet full of clothes that start at size 14, so you can see I’ve done the yo-yo thing. Please share more for info for us stylish big girls. I’ve been looking for one of those amazing color blocked silhouette dresses and have yet to see one in my size – and I certainly need the camouflage more than Kelly Rippa!

    • Viajera says:

      Good for you for sticking up for yourself!!! It is such a myth that thin = healthy. Especially if you count *mental* health. (Y’all know what I’m talking about.)

  33. Babs says:

    Thank you for your gracious honesty about the over 40 body. Sigh.
    Take a peek at CAbi. After 3 large babies (including two 7-pounders at one time), Carol Anderson’s designs saved my life. And left me with lots of moola left to buy shoes!

  34. KimFrance says:

    This is a great deal of very good feedback, ladies! Thank you all and keep it coming.

    I am thinking about what Kelly O said above about too much plus-size stuff coming with stereotypically plus-size design features–flutter-sleeves and babydoll silhouettes, for instance. And also the proliferation of awful prints. What are some other must-to-avoid plus-size cliches out there?

  35. Patricia Harris Smith says:

    I would love to see stylish clothing of every size (I am an 18-20)that is both stylish and appropriate for work places that are not super creative or super conservative. In the real world cleavage, bare midriffs and short minis are not appropriate at work. I will not let the people I supervise wear that to work. I know someone has to make clothes that you can wear regardless of size and not look like a hooker.

  36. JenM says:

    I didn’t look at Gabi’s blog right away b/c I am not plus size and (wrongly!) thought her cute style suggestions wouldn’t be in my size. But I am so glad curiosity got the better of me. She’s fabulous. I love Gabi’s realistic attitude and I can’t wait for the full coop on the curly hair products. Thank you for pointing the way to other cool, stylish women who are not afraid to be themselves. That’s what I love about Girls of A Certain Age–we certainly DO know who we are. And so does the awesome Gabi.

  37. Donna says:

    I was thin most of my life, and then the after 40 metabolism added some weight to make me larger than I wanted to be. Then I moved cross-country and was so stressed that I dropped 24 lbs.and I think I was TOO thin. But then my Dr. prescribed Doxepin for my insomnia, and didn’t mention that it often caused rapid weight gain. So now I’m my largest size ever – an XL or a 16. I may even have to go to an 18 for pants because the few 16s I’ve tried on are sooo tight. I intend to lose some of this weight, but I think I could be content at a size 14, and definitely at a 12. So yes, I’d love affordable sources for sizes 12 – 18, especially pants.
    I try to give tips on what type of designs I’m finding to look good, as well as what looks bad on my blog. I’m learning as I go so I’d love to have comments/suggestions from others. It’s great to see how many women are looking for this info.
    My blog is It’s http://www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com.

  38. A Random Claire says:

    3 things: 1) Yes. 2) Hell Yes. 3) Hell Yes Please.

    And if you could find stuff that wasn’t covered in patterns and/or sequins and beads, I’d be all HELL YES PLEASE.

  39. Kim says:

    New to Gabi’s blog & love it – thank you! Another one to check out is Nicolette Mason. I’m not plus size, but I’m at he top end in regular sizes, 10-12. Love your taste & would love to see a few posts geared towards double digit sizes.

  40. c.w. says:

    Thanks for the introduction––Gabie is adorable. Doesn’t matter her size I admire her aim to be herself.

  41. Aunti Laura says:

    I recently got a catalog for “Simply Be” – plus sized clothes that actually fit our rounder shapes in a flattering way instead of either larger and baggier regular clothes or muumuus. They are in the UK, so they have a VERY different mindset on dressing plus women.

    I am currently wearing a lovely aztec print tunic. they have lovely flattering tunics and leggings that fit me at a size 26 (bottom) and 28 (top) that cause people to say ‘you look so cute today’.
    I cant remember the last time I wore something from Lane Bryant or Roaman’s and someone commented positively on the way it looks.

    http://www.simplybe.com

  42. lizzie says:

    first of all i would like to say that i am a size 16, and i look great. and gabi? is there anyone else that just sees her straight up beauty? has nobody been to a museum and looked at the paintings? i love your blog, but you were starting to annoy me too. especially with your feminism tossed in. there are certainly more of us, than the size 2′s- this is a big money maker for a smart designer to get into.
    omg, i am getting defensive, its unavoidable, because we are judged so harshly. being a heroin addict is more acceptable, at least they are thin.
    i used to be a ballet dancer, and ate those cotton balls and abused my body in many other ways…no more, my sense of self worth comes from a better and more important place. maybe some of your photos could be of normal sized and happy women looking fashionable and smart?
    this is me helping you, and you have helped me with your smart blog with awesome info. thanks

  43. maria says:

    Has any one noticed that Anthropology now has a Petite line! Give me a break! I am a 56 YO post menopausal/post cancer professional with TONS of cash to spend and I can’t find nice clothes anywhere except on line. I love Anthropology but their clothes are all too small/short for me. They could make a mint if they just went up in sizes. Oh, and forget any shoes larger than a 10- only Zappos carries anything cute =again online shopping only. I just want to touch my stuff before I buy!

  44. Thea Politis says:

    Great to see how well Gabi has been doing!!

  45. amy says:

    I don’t understand why retailers and designers don’t try to tap the size 14 and up market, given that half of American women are now that size. Yes, I agree that the obesity epidemic in the U.S. is a serious problem. But it is what it is. Seems to me that it represents a significant market opportunity for retailers. Granted, you can’t just reproduce a Victoria Beckham design in a size 18, since she highlights features that just aren’t that attractive on some plus-size women. But there has to be a way to modify designs to mask problem areas.

    (I’m a size 14, slowly working my way down to a 12 and it is frustrating that I can’t even fit into a “large” size of some designers.)

    Also, while I appreciate the candor of this blog post, it would be nice if Kim more often highlighted fashions on the blog that larger women could also wear. I know she’s small and lives in a city where boutiques don’t exactly cater to larger women. But it would be appreciated by a lot of us.

  46. Bromeliad says:

    Thanks for the discovery.

    Yeah, how about a whole fashion line dedicated to “The Pooch”

  47. knh says:

    I would love to see more fashion in larger sizes. I agree with the previous posters about the difficulty of finding things in that weird place around 12-14 misses and the lower ranges of women’s sizes. Don’t ignore the larger women though. I used to wear a 28/30W (I’ve since lost 130 lbs.)and finding age appropriate and/or work appropriate clothing was a frustrating task.

  48. Jane says:

    I love to see designers make clothes in larger sizes – but, why, oh why, do they always make jackets cut at or near the waist????? I do not want to show off my big behind, I want it covered! Longer jackets, please!

  49. Gabi says:

    wow! sorry for the late response but just wanted to leave a very sincere thank you!

    xo
    gabi

  50. ita darling says:

    I am a yo-yoing 35 yr old that struggles unhappily with my weight between an 8-16… i am in the middle at a 10(ish) right now but damn it’s hard… I just moved to Paris and it’s even HARDER!

    The thing is- most of my friends are around a size 0-4, and most of them are around 5″-5’4″. But we are all around the same age, and commonly go shopping together.

    Though it’s easy from the higher end of the size spectrum to think they have it all easy.. What I learned to be the truth of the matter is that its not just me. All my friends regardless of size have problems finding clothes that we want. e.g fashion forward, good quality, not trashy, not geared towards the 20 year olds, and not crazy expensive and not bedazzled with trim and beads and ruffles (Anthropologie Im looking at you) that we LOVE and fit us exceptionally. Tiny girls can have big boobs. I am pear shaped with small breasts, my girlfriend has short legs and a big butt and she is a size zero… basically we are all different. I really don’t think it’s easy for anyone.

    My options and my style got a lot better when I stopped looking at a tag and bought things that were close enough and learned to spend the money on a tailor and learned some basic alteration skills myself.

    I also learned to love my curves when for several years I got VERY into vintage fashion, and once in a while I would find a beautifully tailored gorgeous piece that I stepped into and it fit like a glove, and pear shape and small breasted me realized that someone else- somewhere in the universe had fabulous taste and the same exact body and I would take that piece to my tailor and have it shortened to fit my height or modernized slightly to suit the trends..

    I still get frustrated! I love beautiful things and I hate cheap clothing.. Basically I have had to learn to dress myself, am always looking at options. The industry is probably not going to adjust itself to our individual bodies.. I try to stay empowered to keep adjusting my Individuality through creative tactics..