Re: "Proud, strong, sexy, and alive"

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Posted by Chad on September 20, 2004 at 17:19:51:

In Reply to: "Proud, strong, sexy, and alive" posted by Melanie W. on September 19, 2004 at 23:32:09:

There's another article about plus-size fashion in an online news source today. It starts off totally positive, then takes a turn into diet propaganda. So here's the good part, with the rest left out.

I like the "butterfly" metaphor.


Monday, September 20, 2004

It fits!

Plus-sized Tucson teens have a place to go for fun, funky fashions that flatter their figures.

Tucson Citizen

A 14-year-old makes her way to the dressing room with a pair of jeans draped over her arm.
Will this be like the dozens of frustrating and sometimes painful shopping trips she'd taken in the past - unable to find something "cool," like the size 3 and 5 fashions her friends wear?

A size 20, she emerges five minutes later, not as the person who slumped in, but as a butterfly with a smile in her pretty green eyes.

"They fit," says Carly Foss as she rejoins her friends Hannah McVaney, Dannelle Castellano, and cousin Elizia Rico, all 16. "I'm going to take them."

Shopping and teenage girls seem to go hand-in-hand, but that's not necessarily so when you're a plus-size.

Generally, large teens have had to shop in the "dimly lit areas of the department stores or downstairs in the back to buy baggy clothes ... to cover up, cover up, cover up," says Christine Thompson, marketing manager of Torrid, a California-based clothing chain for plus-size young women that has opened its first area store at the Tucson Mall.

"We're saying you don't have to do that. They can wear a cute tank top with a lace trim that they would see their best friend who wears a size 6 wear," she says.

The store, a spinoff of the music-inspired clothing chain Hot Topic, caters to 15- to 29-year-olds who want fashion in sizes 12 to 26. Torrid started in 2001 to fill a demand for larger styles. It opened 25 stores this year and will end 2004 with 72 stores nationwide. It's also online at

"We opened the first stores in California to test the waters, and the response was amazing," Thompson said.

Retailers haven't ignored women who need larger sizes. Chain stores such as Lane Bryant specialize in that market, and designers Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan are creating larger sizes for department stores, according to The Arizona Republic. But for many young shoppers, that look is too conservative.

"It's really hard to find current styles, the same things that the size 5s wear," says Tawneey Larkin, 16.

"I didn't like going shopping at all," admits Foss, who outgrew the girl sizes two years ago. "I'd have to shop in women's, and I'd feel like, ugh, I'm going to look like an old lady."

The consensus last week was that Torrid is definitely hot. The store sells hip dresses, lingerie, name brand jeans, novelty tops, skirts, work and casual wear, accessories, and shoes that offer a wider fit, longer straps and wider calves on the boots.

"I love this store, oh my god," says Amanda White, 20. "It's so much fun. It's a cross between Hot Topic and Charlotte Russe. With clothes, I used to hide anything I could, but coming in here and trying on clothes, I felt cute."

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