Why Handmade Plus Size Clothing for Women Makes All the Difference
A version of this post originally appeared on 60 & Me.
How would you describe yourself? A copy cat? A sheep, blending into the herd, indistinct and dull?
Didn’t think so.
You’re an amazing, beautiful, smart woman who is above all else unique. You let your personality shine in everything you say and do. You’re not afraid to be yourself. You’re a mature, proud, experienced woman — with all the respect that demands.
So why are you wearing cookie-cutter, mass-made, nothing-unique-about-it clothing?
Consider the difference between handmade clothing for plus size women and the mass produced other stuff. You’ll discover that everything from the design process to the manufacturing itself makes a world of difference.
Clothing design all starts with simple ideas. Shape. Flow. Feel. These are the essentials that designers think about before they’ve begun to cut or sew anything.
But the truth is that handmade design requires a lot of work. For most clothing designers, it starts with hand drawn concepts. They’re adjusted and adapted, cut and pinned to fit the creator’s ideal.
From there, textiles and textures must be considered. Which fabric will be best? How will it feel on the skin? How will it move with the body? How will it fall and drape with the rest of the outfit?
Getting It Right for Plus Size
This careful attention to detail is especially important in plus size clothing for women. A meticulous design approach means a true concern for women’s bodies, how the wearer will feel, and what can make a plus size woman uncomfortable or shapeless in her clothing.
Too many big name retailers are taking a cookie-cutter approach to plus size clothing. And it shows. They generically enlarge their standard sizes, multiplying the lengths and stitches without thinking about the unique needs of larger women, their natural shapes, and their comfort.
Digital tools have revolutionized the clothing design industry, it’s true. They’ve sped up the process and have helped designers get their creative looks to customers faster. But sometimes that speed and automation leaves much to be desired, as is often the case with mass produced plus size clothing.
Clothing as Art
Your clothes shouldn’t just be something you wear. Every outfit is an expression of yourself, your personality, your joy. A clever designer knows that and puts care into all of their garments.
Feeling the textiles and creating unique fabrics is my “thing.” I love each step from choosing fabrics to formulating color dyes — and completing the entire crafting process.
You know you’ve found a unique garment when it uses a pattern or print that is impossible to duplicate. Tie-dye and batik are two great examples of this. Hand painted batik is an amazing, ancient art that never turns out exactly the same way twice. And true tie-dye works the same way. I love seeing how different tying techniques spread out the dyes differently, creating unexpected yet stunning patterns.
Express Yourself with Handmade Style
You don’t have to settle for plain, dull, or look-alike styles. Choose handmade plus size clothing for women that inspires you and makes you look as amazing as you feel.
Remember, beauty is unique and special, not homogenous or mundane. Create a wardrobe as one-of-a-kind as you are. That way, every outfit you wear will be an expression of your beautiful self.
Stephen, Your Designer
“There is an amazing feeling of artistic accomplishment when all the parts come together into one harmonious aesthetic. It's a connection with who you are and the elements you choose to express yourself visually. This is what making clothing is all about for me. It's like when a songwriter hears his first written notes from a voice or a baker who has practiced a recipe and nails it or a figure skater who exceeds her own expectations. I express my sense of art in clothing. I see things in color, shape and texture. I react to the touch of silk on my skin and my eyes are aware of how color combinations make me feel. My goal is to bring all of these intuitive notions to garments that are sized for larger women. If I can accomplish this then I have reached my goal.” – Stephen