Dressing Room Drama
For years, shopping was a stressful and, sadly, a bit of an emotional chore rather than a source of pleasure as it was for all my skinny friends. Just the drama of going into a dressing room was awful. Like a roller coaster, my pants size has gone up and down (as has my weight) over the years. Add my height to that and you can imagine the dressing room drama I experienced trying to find something to wear. Half naked and feeling vulnerable in these unforgiving dressing rooms, I’d criticize myself for not being X or being way too Y. I no longer beat myself every time I enter a dressing room now and here’s why…I now know the problem is the fashion industry; not me.
The reality is clothing is designed for a select few. Unlike celebs, most of us don’t have the luxury of tailored clothing customized just for us. As a new designer, I learned there was no universal sizing standard. Manufacturers have their own sizing and labeling systems. Typically, designers base their cuts on a traditional hourglass figure. And how many of us have those? A study of over 6,000 women conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University indicated only 8% of women have an hourglass shape. Eight percent! Yet most clothes are designed for these incredibly lucky ladies.
Obviously, women come in a variety of shapes and sizes, regardless of their weight. There are many terms for the various body shapes – pear, apple, spoon, hourglass, oval, rectangle, diamond, well-endowed, etc. Of course, that’s just the beginning. Then there’s the height factor. Tall and petite women find it even more challenging to find apparel that fits. Yay us!
So when faced with the decision on how to manufacture Slimpressions®, we considered all the options. We could have certainly taken the easier (and cheaper) path and created a cookie cutter, templated shapewear line featuring spandex pieces sewn together designed around an hourglass mannequin like so many other companies do. And we could have certainly chosen overseas factories known for their cheaper prices and, candidly, poorer quality like many others in the industry. However, we chose to leverage a high-end patented seamless technology to manufacture our confidencewearTM. Why? This approach allows Slimpressions to conform to every woman’s body type, regardless of their shape, helping them look slimmer and feel more confident. Made in North America, our designs comfortably sculpt a woman’s body to smooth out loose skin and give women a sleeker silhouette. We embraced moderate compression for every day wear instead of the heavy shapewear artillery (think old-school girdles and corsets) reserved for a few short hours on special occasions. We just value oxygen and blood flow too much for that!
Knowing how the fashion industry works now, I’ve learned not to beat myself up when shopping for clothes anymore. Instead of blaming myself for not having a perfect body, I recognize the nuances of the industry. I now approach each shopping trip as a treasure hunt instead of thinking the problem was me. I go in with limited expectations and am pleasantly surprised when I find something that fits right. Further, I’m super loyal to the companies that “get me” (and my size) and have created great pieces that I feel really good wearing. By accepting who I am and the limitations of the fashion industry, I enjoy shopping again. With this insight, I hope you can too.
Blessings and Positivity,