Time to come out of your shell

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Posted by HSG on June 09, 2005 at 23:11:20:

If nothing else, Summer 2005 may be remembered as the season when the plus-size industry finally stopped listening to arbitrary fashion rules made up by curve-o-phobes and androgyny admirers, and really came out of its shell.

Plus-size retailers have finally realized that curvy girls possess a beauty of their own, and are producing outfits that are expressly designed to reveal that beauty to the world.

The industry is finally embracing that most dangerous and exciting aspect of the New Femininity, the "body-as-fashion-accessory" principle, which maintains that a voluptuous vixen's most alluring features are her own intoxicating curves, and that her wardrobe should frame those curves in the most attractive manner possible.

We have already noted one eye-catching promotion in this vein--Fashion Bug's splendid assertion that plus sizes are "What's Hot Now." This breathtaking image of Ashley Graham (perhaps her best ever) makes the point incontestible:

The Ashley Stewart promotion, below, is even more emphatic, although one might argue that a larger model, rather than larger lettering, would have made the point even more persuasive. But the setting is lovely, and the ad does a good job of informing Ashley Stewart's customers that their generous curves are irresistible.

And here is a screen capture of the current Catofashions.com cover page. How interesting that, among the different apparel departments at Cato, it is the plus-size section that is described as "sexy," rather than the others. This is a rare glimpses of the future, showing us the attitudes that a more size-positive society will possess--a society that will acknowledge that achieving a sexy look is only possible in a plus size.

The fact that so many retailers have adopted this size-positive design principle is truly encouraging. It reflects a real belief, on their part, in the timeless beauty of their clientele. A few years ago, one would never have seen promotions such as this, or apparel of this nature. Even during the summer months, plus-size fashion was all about covering up, minimizing, hiding, and disguising.

But no more. The industry is finally showing its customers that they should love their bodies, and that they have nothing to hide--and everything to celebrate.

Ultimately, of course, the credit for this development is entirely attributable to Torrid, which has been promoting the body-as-fashion-accessory principle for several seasons, and always offers a splendid array of feminine dresses and tops.

But Torrid deserves pride of place in any discussion of the figure-revealing trend for another reason as well.

Of the three images shown above, the Fashion Bug promotion is by far the most persuasive, because Miss Graham is a true plus-size model (size 14), and can give her outfit a fuller and more feminine shape than the other models can.

Torrid is even more progressive, and never wavers from its policy of using genuinely curvaceous models to showcase its wares. As a result, the outfits look even more gorgeous than those of its competitors. After all, it stands to reason that curve-adorning styles look best on models who have attractive curves to adorn.

Universally popular Torrid brunette, letting all curvy vixens know that is it time for them to come out of their shells, and celebrate their natural beauty:

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