Tim Gunn on PBS Newshour: Do away with the label "Plus Size"

edited November 2016 in Fashion & Beauty
"Plus size women deserve fashion, and they deserve choices."
Lesley Stahl kicked off the intro to Tim Gunn's essay by bringing up the misogyny of Donald Trump when he referred to Miss Universe contestant Alicia Machado as "fat," which led to an examination of our attitudes over size.

Tim Gunn took his crusade to the PBS News Hour, expanding his reach to broader audience. Mixing in history, with the present state and the future, Gunn suggests it is time to do away with the term "plus size," as the average American woman is now a size 16 and 18. They also represent the group who is spending the most money on clothing. These sizes are the new average in America. Reiterating his call for designers not to just "size up" their existing patterns, but to take on the design challenge to find "fit, proportion, and silhouette" that complements women with all body types. While he doesn't deny there are design challenges, it was time that the designers follow the market and make clothes for everyone.  He added that retailers could put pressure on designers to provide clothing for their customers. 

Conversation starters: 
1. If you're a woman in this size range of 14-18 and above, what shops do you regularly shop in?
2. If you're in the 14-18 size range, what percentage of your purchases are done online?
3. While shopping, do you find that a store doesn't carry your size, or that their stock of 14, 16, 18 is low?

See the video here on PBS News Hour.  


  • edited November 2016
    Already a thread on this. 


  • Yes, but thought it interesting that he got placement on PBS --a different demographic with a lot of influence
  • I'm a size 20, but since you'll generally find the 20's with the 18's I'll take a shot.

    I've been really pleased with the selection of clothes at Macy's, both in the casual and the business styles. Even more business styles actually, I can always find stuff to wear to work there. For casual stuff, I shop at Kohl's. I won't buy jeans anywhere except Old Navy, I just bought three new pairs of jeans there after wearing the wrong size (way too big) for ages and got tons of compliments on them. So that's a keeper now.

    If more stores sold more styles, I'd shop other places. You know where I can't stand shopping? Lane Bryant. Their jeans fit weird, WAY too much of their stuff has ruffles on it, and their sweaters don't hold up at all. For expensive clothes, it's just not worth it. I can do better at Macy's or Kohl's on a sale.
  • Sorry to take so long to answer this, a year is inexcusable. But, seeing that very little progress has been made in this area of marketing for women, I'll update it with some thoughts.

    Yeah, I hear you about Lane Bryant. Unless you find their designer lines, much of what they have seems fussy.
    Macy's is great, especially their Inc. line. I've always found their jeans to fit. My big gripe about our local Macy's is that inevitably --it's a mess.

    Manufacturers that work for me (size 14-16):

    Lafayette 148
    Eileen Fisher
    Johnny Was --though terribly expensive
    Soft Surroundings
    Not Your Mother's Jeans
    Brooks Brothers shirt dresses, in a size 16

    My bugaboos: cheap fabrics. It feels like the manufacturers are saying: "They're big, throw them in something cheap." If I want merino wool or silk, I should be able to find it in my size. And I agree --do away with the Plus sizing label. We're women, and we come in all sizes.
  • I do most of my shopping at Macy's, or Nordstrom if they have a sale or a good clearance rack. I'm currently a size 18, down from a 24. It's one of the only places where I can find my preferred brands and enough variety in casual and work clothes. I do try Marshall's and Nordstrom Rack, but they're pretty hit-or-miss.

    I've pretty much stopped shopping at Lane Bryant and Catherine's. LB seems to always screw up their designs with weird cutouts or lace, so I can't wear a regular brassiere without showing my straps. The quality of their clothes has diminished, too. Nothing really seems to hang right on me. Catherine's skews too old for me much of the time. I used to like Avenue, but they closed all their Minnesota stores.

    I only shop at Lane Bryant for underwear and brassieres. I've yet to find another brassiere maker that fits me properly.

    Brands that I go back to again and again: Levi's, Lucky, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren (sometimes), Sejour. I've also recently discovered that I can now shop at Talbot's and Old Navy. I'm enjoying Old Navy's pants.

    I do not buy clothes online unless I'm buying a duplicate of something I already own. Too risky, and I don't like sacrificing whatever I paid for shipping.

    I don't always find that stock in my size is low, but what I do notice, especially at Macy's, is that the plus-size section is usually overcrowded with stock and generally messy. Also, it always seems to be tucked in the basement behind the kids clothes and swimsuits, like it's embarrassing for them to have the section for the fat people. The one near me that isn't like that happens to also be the store with the messiest plus-size section.
  • I hate buying/trying clothes anymore. I'm out of the work force, (so can't afford much new wardrobe), and don't need a lot of nicer things, but damn it, when you do need something for an occasion, it's just a nightmare to shop. It either fits the top or the hips but rare to find a perfect for both. I'm currently running an 18-20 in most things, having embarked on a very slow weight loss recently. At home, I just live in things til I just can't stand them anymore. Or the holes are big enough to be embarrassing even for home wear! I've held on to some things in 14-16, because I would rather have something I like that fits, assuming I get back to that size one of these days, than whether or not it's in style. But mostly I just live in jeans and tee shirts, so boring. And ain't it the truth that the plus size section is almost always dreadfully messy. It's probably a reflection of low self-esteem of the shoppers. I'm totally serious. It's depressing that something with cute style is almost always sold out or never was manufactured in the larger sizes.
  • It either fits the top or the hips but rare to find a perfect for both.

    That's true for all sizes. Manufacturers seem to think that women have no hips. It's one of the reasons I prefer separates.
  • I don't have hips or a butt, but I do have a gut.
Sign In or Register to comment.