Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fed Up with the Fashion Industry

I found this on the FabOverFifty blog by Gerri, the web site's founder and owner. It's too good not to share for those of you who have not read it. It expresses the feelings, I think, that many of us have about the fashion industry. Find more, as well as the original blog post, at the FabOverFifty web page.

J. Crew should face facts and post signs on its stores that read: ” If your BMI (body mass index is above 18,) and you have a single curve on your body, don’t even think about entering.” J. Crew is obsessed with hipless, small-breasted young women who favor skinny pants, skimpy shirts and sweaters and barely there skirts. They’re today’s versions of Twiggy and they’re splashed over the pages of J. Crew’s newest catalog.

These women slouch down the street with their hands in their skinny pants pockets  (it’s got to be a struggle for them to squeeze their hands into the pockets in the first place), their shirts calculatingly tucked half in and out of their pants, their hair in that oh-so-cool, mussed- just -enough look and their oversized trendy glasses perched on their button noses.

Mind you, I love the look, but it’s one that 12 young women can pull off successfully in all the United States and it precludes probably 98 percent of the population of young American women. Of course, the people who run J. Crew have every right to create and cultivate whatever image they choose, but what I find disturbing is its striking indifference to real young women.

Fashion retailers and magazines have long believed they should use models other women aspire to look like. Hogwash! Why can’t young women aspire to be like women who are smart and successful? When Dove introduced its Real Beauty campaign in 2004, to critical acclaim, I thought it would mark the beginning of a new, intelligent culture in the advertising business. But even if a few companies here and there have subsequently made half-baked stabs at celebrating flesh and blood women–who may even have a little healthy fat on their frames–it hasn’t caught on with the likes of J. Crew, Ralph I-am-a-cowboy Lauren, The Gap and countless other “iconic” American brands.

I wonder if rugged Ralph allows women who wear size 12 into his circle of friends.  And what would he do if his son brought home a size 16 girlfriend? Send her galloping into the sunset?

When young gymnast, Gabby Douglas, excelled at the London Olympics a couple of weeks ago, her hair style got more attention than the style of her routine.  We have become Champions of Superficiality. Gold medals all around!

Do you have similar feelings about the fashion industry obsession with youth and starved-looking 14-year-old girls? I do, and I think it's time we start expressing our feelings to these retailers.


  1. I´d like to pose a question.
    Why do women post about those J.Crew´s, etc., stores so willingly? Why do they accept/ read the catalogs, why the hell do they go shopping in those stores?
    And why do they come out with hands full of bags?
    Is it masochism or what?
    Please, start to boycott such stores.
    There are plenty of brands, which have clothes for r e a l women.
    The J. Crew stuff is for the young, let them shop over there.
    I have read that the sizes are for really skinny ones.
    Maybe, hopefully, someday, after we are fed up with fattening food, there actually will be young people who fit in smaller clothes.
    As long as large sizes are provided, there is little need to control eating.
    P.S. For your ( everyone´s ) information, we have skinny brands in Scandinavia area too, but it does not disturb me, as I don´t shop in any of those.

    1. Fascinating questions you pose, Mette . So long as women past the flower of youth continue to focus on accepting what these retailers try to push on them nothing will change.

  2. I had to laugh Sanda because I do shop at JCrew (tee hee) but I am not size 0 neither am I skinny. You are right that the catalog is all for the very very petite but the stores actually stock up according to the demographics. I usually buy sporty things and as some of those stores disappeared for the trendier I discovered JCrew. I buy most of my office clothing there now- khakis and shirts especially and sure, I may have to go one size bigger but thus far I have found sizes 8-12. I do agree that they don't have XX sizes. Also for my husband they have the best khakis but the shirts run smaller, for men with narrow shoulders. So where I would buy a large RalphLauren, I have to get an XL or XXL JCrew because JCrew men are very skinny too. I do agree with your post particular in areas with a lot of smaller people...I have to sometimes go to another part of town. xx

    1. Thank you for sharing your j Crew experience. All of us have to find what works for us and if You find there what pleases you that is great.

    2. Yes Sanda, it is a relief. Finding simple tees and khakis that is traditional is not always easy...Banana Republic used to have the nices tees with appropriate length sleeves and then for years they made only baby tees. Now they have some quarter length. JCrew has such a range of things...some really nice and some total junk. I only recently discovered that they have a more formal and better quality line. Here in our town we have the standard JCrew but in Santa Barbara they have the better quality one as well! Wishing you a beautiful weekend....

  3. Is this the store the Obama family use,I would not call Michelle stick thin? I think they have opened a store in London.
    I don't feel free to comment as I have never shopped/or will shop there. Ida

    1. Yes, I believe I have seen reports of the Obamas shopping there. The J Crew style fits the older daughter -- tall and skinny -- but I do think Michelle Obama is a very well dressed and stylist woman.

  4. I am appalled at the size of models that are used to sell clothes to young women. But I'm writing this while wearing my favorite striped boatneck jersey, which came from J Crew and accommodates my large chest just fine. And I have nieces who eat like horses and stay looking like J Crew models, and are lawyers and physical therapists. No easy answers here. I just wish there would be a variety of sizes in the models. But then, no one criticizes Lane Bryant for only using plus sized models in their ads.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...