In the fashion industry, we often design for two sizes ranges: “plus” and “straight.” However, the line between these two categories is a significant grey area. In many brands there is a size gap, and in many other brands, there is a size overlap. This makes women of sizes eight to eighteen underrepresented in any one size category. They are not specifically targeted in the fashion market, and models of this size often misrepresent their target customer. The inconsistence and misrepresentation within the fashion market makes shopping a considerable hassle for the consumer.
When women struggle to find clothing, it takes a significant toll on their self-confidence. It is also likely to prevent them from purchasing merchandise due to this confusion. With this venture, I aim to bring awareness to the “in-between” sized customer by proposing a collection of garments that help to flatter women between sizes eight and eighteen. I believe that awareness and representation of this group can greatly strengthen their self-esteem and overall mental health.
Conceptually, I am reflecting on celebrating women’s individuality. My materials will be a symbol for this theme, as I mix several upcycled denim textiles with a variety of patterns. The clash of mixed textiles allows this collection to represent the idea of women coming together in unity, without sacrificing their individuality. The prints I am using have a sense of cheeriness and whimsy to them. I believe these kitschy prints can also add to elevating the wearer’s mood, and evoke happiness when worn. The main motif pulled from these prints is red female lips, symbolizing embracing women’s femininity and the idea of being able to speak up for yourself.
The fashion industry identifies market segments by size, however these market segments prove confusing for many consumers and can negatively impact their self-esteem. Customers that fall between size ranges are inaccurately represented in the industry, and this niche is seldom given the attention it needs. Designing for this specific "in-between" size range will better the industry by both providing a new market for the target customer, and giving her the confidence she needs to actively participate in fashion. The inclusion of more product targeted for the average-sized woman will both increase sales and make the customer feel empowered.
One look from the collection on one dress form
Dolfi, S. (2019). Inclusive Representation of Middle Size Ranges in Fashion. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/7979
Dolfi, Storm. 2019. “Inclusive Representation of Middle Size Ranges in Fashion”. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/7979.
Dolfi, S. Inclusive Representation of Middle Size Ranges in Fashion. 9 Apr. 2019, https://oaks.kent.edu/node/7979.