I’m so disappointed in you, Tim.

Give this article a looksee:

Tim Gunn: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It’s a disgrace.

Here’s a few quotes that stood out to me:

This is a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up; it’s a matter of adjusting proportions. The textile changes, every seam changes.

YAS LAWD.  Go Tim Gunn!  I love the fact that someone that is so ingrained in the general public’s mind as a fashion icon speaks so candidly about how fashion designers are ignoring plus-sized women such as myself.  We want to be fashionable.  We want to wear clothing that makes us feel awesome.

However, Tim, you disappoint me when the next sentence I read is:

Done right, our clothing can create an optical illusion that helps us look taller and slimmer. Done wrong, and we look worse than if we were naked.

Hm.  Okay.  Keep going:

My face while reading this.
My face while reading this.

This season, something different happened: Ashley Nell Tipton won the contest with the show’s first plus-size collection. But even this achievement managed to come off as condescending. I’ve never seen such hideous clothes in my life: bare midriffs; skirts over crinoline, which give the clothes, and the wearer, more volume; see-through skirts that reveal panties; pastels, which tend to make the wearer look juvenile; and large-scale floral embellishments that shout “prom.” Her victory reeked of tokenism. One judge told me that she was “voting for the symbol” and that these were clothes for a “certain population.” I said they should be clothes all women want to wear. I wouldn’t dream of letting any woman, whether she’s a size 6 or a 16, wear them. A nod toward inclusiveness is not enough.

Oh, Tim.  Now I’m sad.

As someone who is placed very firmly in the plus-size range, I don’t agree with his comments regarding what we SHOULD wear. Tim is just pushing the same old advice that larger people have heard for years…small prints or no prints at all, wear clothing that makes you “look slimmer and taller”, avoid showing “too much skin”, and so on. In other words…play it safe.  Minimize yourself.  Make yourself small  so you can blend in.

Some women want to blend in.  Some days I want to blend in.  And that’s okay!

However, there are some days I don’t want to play it safe.  And that’s okay too!  There are days that I want to be larger than life.  There are days that I want people to look at me and be like, “Hey, you need to tone it down,” and I respond, very emphatically: “NO.”

Tim Gunn needs to understand – this desire to stand out crosses all sizes, all bodies.

The vitriol he spouts regarding Ashley Nell Tipton’s winning collection disappoints me to no end.  It shows me that he needs to understand that there are a section of plus-size women who don’t want to play it safe. They want the opportunity to wear those crazy cuts and designs that aren’t designed to “flatter”.  That’s the basis of couture fashion,  isn’t it?  Couture is art in fabric and stitches.  It’s designed to make you stop and look and think, much like any other piece of art.

But no one – not even the esteemed Tim Gunn – should tell a woman that she should minimize herself to blend in.  The choice of whether or not they should blend in should always be up to the woman.  And yes, their choice can depend on the day, or how they feel, or where they’re going, or any other assortment of personal reasons.

If you want to rock your midsection in a crop top, awesome.  If you want to cover your tum, amazing.

If you want to wear a crinoline that makes your skirts enormous, fantastic.  If you want to wear a pencil skirt that hugs your body, excellent.

If you want to wear short skirts and rock your thighs, cool.  If you want to wear longer skirts because you love the way that they swish around your legs when you walk, wonderful.  If you want to wear pants because you just don’t like skirts, fab.

If you want to show off your underthings, great.  If you want to wear a buttoned-up blouse to cover yourself, solid.

No matter what your size, I’m all for “wear what makes you feel good”.  If people don’t like what you’re wearing, then they don’t have to look at you.

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