It's a commonly held belief that women should suffer for fashion and be happy to. But why? How is fashion worth it when so much is badly designed, poorly sewn, in cheap, nastily printed fabrics, overpriced for what it is, and worse still, does us no favours in terms of enhancing us to our best advantage, let alone making us feel a million dollars?
Oh for knickers that bore some semblance to the shape of the female bottom (spare me boy pants, mummy pants, control pants (sinister or what?), saggy French cami-knickers, cheese wires, bizarre shaped bits of net, skimpy tangas, or frankly pointless, crotchless).
How I yearn for the invention of bras that fit the female bosom, look drop-dead gorgeous and give 100% all-round support to those with a natural bust, without recourse to pantomime padding, silicone saucers, bones, wires or weird plunge shapes that make me look deformed. Or narrow straps that dig into my shoulders but don't do much else. Oh and preferably in my size please without assuming I have a whale-width back (it's 32" wide, not 34-54", and I speak as a well-built girl, so goodness knows what the more petite female is wearing!)
The absolute heaven it would be to find graceful shoes shaped to fit the female foot (my feet being neither hammer-toed nor excessively pointy last time I looked!) with hard-wearing non-slip kitten heels to add just the right amount of sexiness without sentence of the joy of bunions, varicose veins and endless chiropodist visits in later life. Shoes are surely meant to fit the foot, not the foot jammed in and modified to fit its tyrannical shoe!
And what about permission for girls to possess shoulders, legs longer than 31" and slightly longer than three-quarter length arms? Currently I have to buy Size 16 jackets, rather than my actual Size 12 to get the arm length, so jacket torsos always hang like a sack of potatoes on me. Though why manufacturers should assume size 16-ers have longer arms just because they are wider is a mystery! As for longer trousers, I have only just stopped wearing mens', but am very tempted to revert, so awful are most womens'.
Universal standard sizing among shops would also be a major plus. We all know there is no such thing as a size zero in reality, so why pretend we take up less space than we really do (and whose perverse idea is it that we females are supposed to take up as little space in this world as possible?). It is crazy that you can walk into one shop and be a size 10 and another and find you are suddenly a 14!
Men would never put up with this fashion fascism dressed up as limitless 'choice', or pretend to be sizes they are not and expect manufacturers to play along. Why do we? Perhaps I am unusual among my contemporaries in that I would rather own half a dozen classy outfits with lots of funky accessories to mix & match than a wardrobe full of unsatisfactory rubbish made by child slaves in the third world. Notwithstanding, and despite my best efforts, unsatisfactory rubbish - probably child slave sewn - seems to be exactly what I've ended up with! As soon as I can afford it, I’ll definitely start having my clothes made. In Britain.
As for 'One Size Fits All ' - surely one of the biggest lies of all.
Thus ends my pants rant. A well-worn theme I know. Which is more than can be said for the subject!
12/02/08 Update: Just found this article in today's Daily Mail by Olinka Koster. Perhaps someone is listening after all.
Fashion industry admits what shoppers already knew: They don't make clothes to fit REAL women