Plus-size was always a dirty word for me.
Throughout my lifetime I have always had to fight to get clothes that would fit me without having to go to a tailor and take everything up or out. I am 5 feet and have a very unique (as I called it) body. Nothing really fits me properly and I had fairly distinctive taste. My arms were not the same size, ,my legs were not the same height, my waist was small but my hips were huge (in my eyes, and definitely in the pictures that I have seen). I used to go to stores, pick up a bunch of jeans, take them into the dressing room and cry because nothing would fit me. I shopped basically in the States, because there was nothing that I wanted to buy here in Canada.
I would never walk into a plus-size store because I never thought of myself as plus-size. I never understood why the demographic of women in size 12 and up needed to be segregated to special stores. I was and I guess still am allergic to the word “plus-size”. I always believed that the person who thought of this stupid distinction was either a man or a woman who was a size 2. People in the field have explained to me that is it just a category of clothing like petite, to tall, but I do not feel that way at all. I do not think that a petite woman walks around shunted by some of the messages prevailed in our sector. Not many women, especially 20–30 years ago would have ever thought of themselves as plus-size. I just thought of myself as a size 14.
I knew fashion extremely well due to my family genetics (if fashion was hereditary). My father was the president of National Knitting Mills, the largest purveyor of children’s clothing in Canada at the time. He sold the business to Dylex in 1972 as he forecast that the Asian market was going to take over in the manufacturing sector in Canada, he was right.
My Dad, Oscar Shainhouse taught me that there was no “size God” and sizes were whatever size and item fit you. I tried to never look at the size, but I, like most women was sickened by the size that was in the garment that fit me. Even up to my daughter Alli’s wedding, I had the dress maker cut out the size.
I know that all of this history is why I am so bent on bringing the concept of “inclusive fashion” to as many retailers and designers that i can. I want to shout it on top of the mountain top, that I am just as much of a beautiful woman as all of those who believe that anything under a size 10 is appropriate. Size does not matter, beauty within does.
Come along with my mission to alert those fashion stores that put plus-size clothing away from everything else. This is a 3 Billion dollar market. Women over a size 12 want to have beautiful clothing and they want to shop.
Money is money no matter what your size is!