The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Monday, April 03, 2006
The Queen of Fashion
If I was Queen of the Fashion Industry – I know what I’d do. I’d have two lines of clothes for women: a line of clothes for the catwalk models you see in magazines, of which I know few women who match up to that particular body type, and a line for the rest of us: women with curves.

I have nearly given up on buying clothes in retail shops. They seem to all be made for women who are shaped straight up and down – to varying widths – or, at least, that’s how they make you look when you wear them. Large gypsy-type skirts (that should have died when Fleetwood Mac split up), lingerie style tops that make you look half dressed and show off your bra straps to the world, low riding pants that give new meaning to the term “plumber’s crack”, and flimsily constructed things that shrink after the first wash, would all be banned. Instead, designers would be required to study human anatomy. They would be required to design for real people, not dress mannequins.

Clothes will have panels and shape to them. They will not hang in a shapeless mass and get their semblance of structure from a belt. They will show off a woman’s walk and they will show off her chest without getting her arrested. They will be designed to flatter women with hips, or women with boobs, or women with boobs and hips with a bit of a tummy. In short – they will flatter real women.

If you’re a busty woman, they will fit you in the chest and not hang so loose in the waist that you look pregnant. On the other side, if you find something that’s fitted in the waist, the bust will be wide enough that you aren’t popping buttons. If you have hips, skirts will not split when you sit down because you found something that fits in the waist but groans from being stretched across your backside.



Until the day I am made Queen of Fashion, I will keep buying vintage clothes from my connection in the USA. I am convinced that manufacturers spent more time on clothing construction back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Then something happened – it became more about profit and less about fashion. If you want fashion nowadays, you have to fork out Big Bucks for a designer label. And sometimes they’re just as guilty as their cheaper off-the-rack cousins.

Those of us in the 98 percentile would appreciate it if designers would stop designing for the 2 percentile. I am thinking of designing my own line of clothes because of this. It could well mean the end of the fashion world as we know it – at least, in my household.



Postscript: And here's where I shamelessly plug my friend J's online boutique for up and coming Australian fashion designers. Check it out:

posted by Melanie O. at 3:28 PM -
  • At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    I hear you. Damn, do I hear you.

    Every morning I have to make the decision - "today, do I choose the shirt that will fit properly around the waist and shoulders but will require me to wear a scarf so as to hide the fact that the buttons are popping open? (and indeed in more than one meeting, a button HAS popped open!) OR do i go for the shirt which fits around my bust, but in order to do so I have to buy it two sizes too big everywhere else, so the cuffs come halfway down the back of my hands and you wouldn't know if i even have a waist or bum because the damn thing is so long..... wherein lies the next decision - to tuck it in and risk looking like a flour sack tied in the middle on account of all the excess material or leave it out and look like...well just a flour sack?"

    And all this before I've even gotten to work and had a coffee. No wonder I'm a nervous wreck.

    Sign me up when you design that clothing range.

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Hi Sarah -

    I hear your pain! I have the same dilemma every day and am so tired of it. I guess if I had the cash to splurge on tailored clothes, I wouldn't care so much, but I just don't have the time to sew, nor the cash to spend on the really "good" stuff. From one flour sack to another - I'll be announcing my line of clothing with a lot of fanfare! :-)

  • At 2:48 PM, Blogger Julia said…

    You're a darling :-)

  • At 4:49 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Hi Juls - well, you deserve the plug. :-)

  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    Another clothing pet peeve: Clothing is designed for the under age 25 lady. As we age, our body changes shape...your comments on hips, waist and chest are appropriate. In addition, no one my age...lets say way past the age of 25, wants to wear clothes she wore as a child. No baby doll, no langerie, no see through...and lately, no sleeveless. They look rediculous on us. I agree with you that constructed clothes from the 50s were some sort of clothing highlight. In the 50s, there was a line of clothing called Town and Country. I saw these clothes a museum show. Wish Town and Country was available now. I wanted to take the clothes from the museum to my home. The only stores I can find anything to wear, to fit realistically, are two stores that are very expensive. I allow myself only one new outfit for warm weather and one for cool weather. Mostly those lovely clothes sit in the closet. I live in jeans and knit polo shirts and sweaters....but the good clothes are there if I ever good out on the town.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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