Clothing for Actual People

While watching the morning news/talk shows late last week, I listened with great interest to the story about designers refusing to dress Melissa McCarthy for the Oscars.  I admire her tact and grace for not calling the designers out for this, and I admire even more her saying something about it in the first place. 

Because I am sure that so many of us had the same thought, “Oh, honey.  The struggle is real, and unfortunately not new.  Who are these people making clothes for?”

Twenty-two years ago when I was shopping for wedding dresses, I was 140 lbs and wore a size 14.  Finally found a dress I loved, the professional ladies at the bridal shop (where I had also bought both of my prom dresses) took my measurements, and then the shop owner pulled me into the back and said, “Honey, according to your measurements, we are going to have to order a size 22.  Is that okay?”

Like I have a choice. 

When the dress came in and I tried it on, I quickly saw the target market for that size.  Evidently, there is a place where women are nine feet tall with arms that drag the ground.  Seriously.  I think they took more fabric out of the length of the skirt and arms than there was fabric left in the dress itself. 

Ironically, twenty-two years later and a little heavier, I am wearing size 10 pants and medium or large shirts.  Confused?  So I am.  Even more ironic is that fact that I still have trouble finding clothes that fit well. 

Meanwhile, my son is legs from the neck down, and if he turns sideways, he is difficult to see.  Getting pants and shorts to fit him is a nearly impossible task.  And throw in that I have to find uniform pants from a certain manufacturer for school, and watch the “fun” of shopping increase exponentially. 

So who are designers actually designing clothes to fit?  I’m not sure.  But there are all sorts of shapes and sizes of people on this planet who seek clothes that make them feel fabulous, powerful, beautiful.  It does not matter if we are Hollywood stars or salt of the earth – each one of us wants to feel good about what we are wearing. 

So thank you, Melissa McCarthy, for highlighting the struggle of people who do not fit “measurements” to find clothes that make us look and feel good. 

And listen up, clothes designers.  We are watching you.  Make wise choices. 


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