Most clothing labels only cater for one body type. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall and skinny or short and curvy, clothing never seems to fit right, whether they gape around the waist whether they fit the thighs, or whether they’re ankle bashers on a tall, size 6 woman, or too long on a short, size 14 woman.
Even plus size stores or petite ranges do the same. Yes, the clothing is made bigger or smaller, but again, they’re made with the one fit.
Jeans too large around the waist. Photograph: Maddie Mathot
Good American, a brand that specialises in jeans, is one of the only clothing brands made to fit every woman. The face behind the brand, Khloe Kardashian said on the Good American website that she and her partner Emma Grede both struggled to find jeans that fit. “There was something missing from the denim community. Whenever we bought new jeans, it was hard for us to find a pair that fit our body types, and even when we did, they’d always need alterations. We knew if we both had this problem, there must be tons of girls who did too. So we set out to make a denim line that’s sexy and flattering, and made to fit you, not the other way round.”
Their key morals are body positivity, extreme exclusivity, meaning every garment is available in a full and inclusive size range, and breaking down barriers, so wherever you shop Good American, every size is in one place, no separation is necessary between petite, plus size or ‘regular’ sizing.
So why aren’t more brands getting on board with this? While it would be nice to get some answers, unfortunately brands don’t seem to want to make this a topic of discussion. More than 20 brands were asked and sadly no response was received from any of them on the matter. A few e-mails were received saying that they were sending an email around the office, trying to find the right person to answer the questions, but in the end, nothing came back.
When asked in store, none of the attendants seemed to have an answer either but said it would be nice if they did have various fits for different body types.
Photograph: Kat Matheas
Size 14, 23-year old Kat Matheas from Keysborough really struggles when it comes to shopping. “Trying on clothes really lowers my self-esteem. I feel marginalised. Sometimes retailers think I’m fussy and get frustrated with me when really, I like a lot of things in the store, it’s just that they don’t fit properly. I hate that companies don’t consider that lots of girls are bigger breasted or have certain fitting needs and that everything is made the same.”
Kat says she feels it’s not fair that women then have to spend extra money getting their clothes tailored to fit when it should have just fit in the first place.
The Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders says that for the sixth year in a row, young Australians have rated body image as one of their top three concerns in Mission Australia’s National Youth survey. “Negative body image is a precursor of serious social, medical and mental health issues including anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, stigmatisation and, potentially, eating disorders. It’s clear that the current approach to solving negative body image is not working and needs to be urgently re-examined. We need to find ways to make sure that next year’s results show a significant improvement.”
When body image in the media is telling people how they can and can’t look, and then stores are confirming that by only addressing one fit, this creates a negative effect on individuals.
Kat says, “Brands aren’t catering for enough body types and it’s really upsetting. It really needs to change.”