The fact that off the rack clothes come in uniform sizes presents an obvious dilemma for most women who don’t have uniform size bodies. Buying figure flattering clothes usually involves a little luck, trial and error and an expert tailor. Thankfully, improved shopping options now exist for plus and petite size women. New York and Company takes height into consideration by selling tall, regular and petite length pants. Size and height are only two parts of the clothing equation, however. Those who look terrific in clothes know how to dress for their body shape and proportions. Retailers that offer pants in varying cuts and styles ease the stress of shopping for this wardrobe basic. As an example, Ann Taylor categorizes their pants using these four designations: city (slimmest), modern (lean straight look), signature (most relaxed) and curvy (meant for the curviest of women).
Articles like the one in O Magazine, “One Outfit, Five Body Types”, raise awareness that the one size fits all approach no longer cuts fashion mustard.
A Seattle area company, The DRES System, promotes the notion that women should let their bodies lead the way when it comes to selecting clothing. They offer education and styling services for each of four body shapes created by DRES System founder, Margaret Spencer: Diamond, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire. The gem designations exemplify the company’s mission of promoting self-acceptance and confidence through style. Fueled by the conviction that women need and want clothing designed for their body shape, the DRES System has created a line of dresses in four sizes, four body shapes, and three colors. They are made of a blend of organic bamboo, spandex, and cotton. As Spencer puts it, “Clothing should move with your body and make you feel comfortable. This dress can make each woman’s body look amazing.”