Oh Tim Gunn, How Do I Love Thee?

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There is probably no one in reality television more well-liked and well-respected that Project Runway’s Tim Gunn. In my opinion, he’s the Derek Jeter of the fashion industry – a consummate professional who always maintains the highest level of class in every situation.

Because he is so highly regarded, I am hoping that up-and-coming designers and the industry as a whole will pay close attention to a Huffington Post article in which Gunn speaks out on the size prejudice in the fashion industry.

Gunn laments the fact that designers tend to get very snobbish when presented with the idea of designing women’s clothing for someone with a petite or plus-sized body type versus the standard 5’10” size 2 model.

I’ve styled several of my friends who are  plus-sized, and let me tell you, shopping for plus size fashion for them was an eye-opening experience for me. I love to shop! Of course, I have no problem finding things in a size 6. When I’m shopping for a client who is a size 16 or above, it’s extremely frustrating. Fashionable choices certainly start to decline when you get into the double digits. And what is actually available for larger body types tends to be cheap clothes that look, well….cheap! There seems to be no haute couture for anyone above a size 12. Now I totally understand why plus-sized women say they hate to shop.

As a huge fan of Project Runway, I pay close attention to designers whose clothing I would actually wear. However, when one of the designers comments that they don’t design for a certain type of woman (anything outside of the sample size norm), I make a mental note that says, “yeah, I won’t be wearing anything of yours in the future.”

The fashion industry needs to become more inclusive of different body types. Women come in all different shapes and sizes and are getting tired of seeing only one body type in fashion magazines and on the runway. Fashion should help women become more confident rather than riddle them with insecurities. Also, if young girls see their various body types represented in magazines and fashion shows, as well as being able to find clothing in their size in the stores, they will be less likely to suffer from eating disorders. Fashion has the power to change the world for the better.

I applaud Tim Gunn for being a positive voice in the fashion industry. If I ever run into him on the street in NYC, I might just run up and give him a great big hug.

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