Top 5 Reasons Why I Hate the Inclusive Bandwagon

by  Abigail Tyrrell  

What really pisses me off are the brands who jump onto the “inclusive” bandwagon whilst not actually having any inclusive products. Here’s my Top 5.

  1. #ALLGIRLS aka Attention Whores

Not only does the latest Boohoo.com campaign not use ANY plus size models but while they faff on about any size, any age – all the models are in their early 20 somethings, if late teens. Can we please stop with this shit already? Or is that the point to amp up your social media campaign by insulting so many women that they spread the word for you by screaming about how much they hate you? Is this the “there is no such thing as bad publicity”? Just as long as you are pulling focus to a bad campaign you can apologise later for you are still getting your Insta hits?

It seems like that a lot lately that brands are putting out the stupid so it creates a firestorm. Lush’s fat shaming post, Dove’s bottle backlash, and well, anything Victoria’s Secret does… WTAF? If you are that desperate to stand out – feature your fans. Show your real customers. They will viral the shit out of your product for you and save your… bottom line.

2. Bandwagoning

This is just one example of the clothing and especially lingerie trend to jump on the bandwagon of “inclusive” by “expanding” their size ranges into plus.  According to the Asos size chart a UK L is classed as a UK 16 – UK 18. But in the need to sound inclusive some brands are creating their own size charts that mimic common size charts. If you compare this size charts from an un-named brand and Asos (Evans, Simplybe…) the un-named brand’s version of a 3XL is actually only equivalent to XL. This 3XL is actually more like a UK 20 where 3XL is traditionally more of a size UK 24. That’s a huge difference and vanity sizing in reverse.

Asos size chart prt

 

 

 

 

Un-named brand’s chart

Dottie's Delight size chart

In their eagerness to sound politically correct while not stepping out of their skill comfort zone brands are expanding often ONE size only up to a UK 18. Boux Avenue is another big culprit. All about inclusivity and plus sized models – meaning a size UK 14 models. Their entire range only goes up to a UK 18 and their extra efforts in the “plus” side of demand are to offer cup sizes in their bras that go above DD (to only a G folks so don’t get that excited). Their outsize offering extends to ONE SINGLE bra in a size 40 back.

Sorry b*thches but ending your range at an 18-20 is the start of real plus size.

3. I have made the perfect single product that solves all your problems!

Ever wanted to change your nickers without having to take off your yoga pants? Or have them absorb a WHOLE TEASPOON of blood?  (according to the Kickstarter a full tampon’s worth of blood = 1 tsp.  *Blink*. Who are these women who don’t gush forth a river much akin to the Nile during the biblical 7 deadly plagues?!) Not to mention the metal clasp ready to sit just inside your second smile crease! That is going to be oh so comfortable! And you really need your pants to look sexy while the waist band sits under you c-section scar or belly flab? Well according to Blooms Prive, the creation of a former yoga teacher, these miracle pants are “made for every woman and for every occasion”! Of course, ONE universal design will look great on every body! Here at Indie+Design we have already been there and done that! Even though Blooms Prive intend to make up to a size 4XL (even Blooms Privet says 3XL is a 24 – 26!), they aren’t designed for a plus sized body. But they have the gall and extreme idiocy to say they know what all women want and one design is perfect for everyone. And don’t forget the retail price for these beauties will be $30.00!

4. Evolution Shmevolution!

Like the Blooms Privet panties, it really infuriates me when brands proclaim that their design is the next evolution in engineering when it’s really just the same old.  My next offering is the – wait for it… Evolution Bra.

The 8-in-1 Evolution Bra is supposed to be supportive comfortable, lift and separate and most of all wick away moisture. Now when I first saw the Kickstarter for Knixwear I was excited to see a new brand really focusing on new technology and new fibres to redesign the bra. They also promised a pair of moisture wicking, period proof panties. So I bought those too. I was vastly disappointed when I opened my package to find just another sports bra made out of neoprene. Not only did I have uni-boob but the worst boob sweat ever and that was just sitting down at a computer in the middle of winter with the heat turned off. Those reversible straps? They are seated right where your arms rotate when exercising, walking or reaching. They have 19mm metal hook and loop fixings that rubbed the soft tissue there raw. In the end, I cut them off and sewed the straps directly to the cup, but the neoprene is so thin, the edges still cut in. The panties were no better. In fact much worse. They slid off almost immediately because the period proof gusset was like wearing crinkle plastic and would neither bend nor flex with my movement. The woven in waist band stretched out in the first 60 seconds. Because they were designed to sit on my hips they had nothing to hold onto and were down around my knees, except the gusset which stuck to me.

Now Knixwear only goes up to a size UK 20 in panties, but do much better in the bra category by going up to a 42 E. The thing is they have their own sizing system (*sigh*) and while the lower sizes, sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4 will cover three bra variations. 5, 6, and 7 covers 4 size variations. But, when you get to the largest size 8, it covers 6 size variations! Now I am a 40 D and the bra is a tight fit. I have no idea how it would fit someone at the 6th variation. Oh, but I do! Go read the comments and reviews on their own advertising!

It’s obvious these brands only ever test on industry sample sizes and expect that scaling will solve the fit problem. But the evolution of design it ain’t! I spend all of my time as a designer trying to reinvent the wheel for plus size comfort and fit in lingerie and to see brands like these trying to take us all for mugs, just boils my bathwater!

5. OUT OF STOCK

To all those brands out there who list they have the item I want in my size but, when I press the order button it becomes mysteriously *out of stock* – F*CK YOU!

First, there are the online store who, while not a plus sized specialist has an extended range, is always mysteriously sold out. Or worse yet you get all the way through the order, they accept your payment, and then no goods. You check your inbox and your order has been cancelled because they “oversold”. Feel free to name and shame in the comments box peeps – forewarned is better armed!

And then there is never being able to try before you buy. You know what I am talking about, Anne Summers, who actually make some amazing plus sized bras exceptionally comfortable and oh so pretty but who don’t stock them on the shop floor! Available only online. Rigby and Pellar who claim to have so many lines in 24+ but when you enter their store front and ask what do you have in stock in a size 24, they bring out ONE item. The number of conversations with the plus sized sales assistant who work for these brands and are also desperate because they are often overwhelmed by the numbers who ask can’t help their customers.

We are more than HALF of the women in the world. You recognise that we are a market force. WE WANT TO GIVE YOU OUR MONEY. Stop being dicks.

/rant

 

Authors:

With degrees in Psychology, Silversmithing, and an accredited Holistic Therapist (FHT), Ms Tyrrell is an enigma wrapped in chocolate. After 18 years as a professional web developer (LAMP and .NET) and designer, she left to focus on making pants for a living. At some point during the last 12 months, she also thought creating this was a good idea…

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