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Why retailers overlook women who aren’t quite plus or straight size



Fashion’s struggles with size inclusivity have spanned decades. For far too long, women who didn’t fit into “standard” clothing sizes had difficulty walking into a store and leaving with something they could wear. While that problem is still very much a reality, a growing number of retailers sell plus-size clothing or have extended their size ranges to accommodate a variety of women. Now, whether you wear straight sizes, plus sizes, or need a petite fit, you can probably find at least one retailer that specializes in serving you.

For women who fall into the zone colloquially known as “in-between” sizes, which range from roughly size 10 to 14, this may not be the case. These shoppers generally find themselves at the larger end of straight sizes or the smaller end of plus. More often than not, they get short shrift from straight-size retailers (which usually cater to sizes 00 to 12), but they may be too small to wear the offerings available from plus retailers (which generally offer sizes 14 to 32).

If you want to know what it’s like to shop as an “in-betweener,” look no further than Huffington Post’s 2013 investigation into Lululemon. The website found that at a Philadelphia outpost of the athleisure company, size 10 and 12 clothes were rarely restocked and were moved to a separate area of the store, “clumped and unfolded under a table.”

The founders of Ava James say they started the brand to be inclusive to women who wear cusp sizes.

Ava James is a retailer that caters to women sizes 8-18.
Ava James

And the issue goes far beyond Lululemon. In her 2016 piece “Why Is Inclusive Sizing So Hard?” Britt Aboutaleb, then editor of Racked, recalled having to beg for size 8 and 10 clothes in New York’s indie boutiques. She said sales associates would often reassure her, “We have bigger sizes in back!”

The fact that in-betweeners are not the preferred demographic of straight-size retailers means shopping still poses challenges for these customers. One new brand, Ava James, launched last year specifically to meet the needs of women sizes 8 to 18, a range that includes the oft-overlooked cusp sizes. And body positivity influencers like Renee Cafaro, the US editor of Slink magazine, focused on fashion, fitness, beauty, and lifestyle, are discussing the unique needs of women of all clothing sizes, including in-betweeners.

Why retailers keep overlooking women on the cusp

Eugena Delman says her sister’s struggles with retail as a size 14 were one reason she created the premium clothing brand Ava James, which she co-founded in 2018 with Saena Chung. With a size range of 8 to 18, Ava James offers mostly dresses for $215 to $250. The average American woman wears between a size 16 and 18, and Delman said she wanted to give the women straight-size retailers ignore more options in the high-end category.

“We think in-betweeners have been overlooked due to the costs and time associated with getting the fit right for a wide range of sizes,” she told me. “The typical designer will usually create their designs using a sample size of 2 or 4. The pattern for this sample will be used to make multiple sizes; however, there are only so many sizes that one can make from this pattern before the pattern gets distorted and fit becomes a major problem.”

That’s why many straight-size designers will stop at size 10 or 12. But plus retailers also have a finite number of sizes they can make from one pattern, so they begin at a bigger size to service the full plus range, usually falling between sizes 14 and 26, Delman explained.

“By starting at a smaller size, plus retailers would run the risk of distorted fit or have to invest in new patterns that enable them to service a wider range,” she said.

Retailer Ava James wants to be size inclusive.

Ava James sells high-end clothes to women sizes 8-18.
Ava James

Because of the types of manufacturing limitations Delman described, in-betweeners lack the clothing options that their counterparts who fall squarely into straight or plus sizes have. Since it’s more cost-effective to manufacture clothes from one pattern, as Delman said, a cusp-size garment from a plus retailer may run larger than one of the same size from a straight-size retailer.

“My friends who are a solid 14 — they complain of being just a little too big for the straight-sized 14 but too small for the proportions of the [plus-size] 14” Cafaro said.

Just last year, brands like Reformation, Mara Hoffman, and Cynthia Rowley extended their size ranges, as have brands from big-box retailers like Walmart and Target. But as Delman points out, “The vast majority of smaller designers won’t necessarily have the resources or the desire to extend their size range.”

This is especially the case, she said, with higher-end clothing brands, notorious for not offering a wide range of clothes beyond about a size 10. Cafaro says her family members and friends who wear sizes 10 to 14 never know if they’ll be able to fit into the clothes from high-fashion brands. (The lack of standardized sizing across the industry doesn’t help — more on that below.)

“I think many people have no idea about the challenges of the in-betweener,” Cafaro said. “Or they lump the in-betweener into the plus-size category. The two groups face different issues: In-betweeners may find options with straight-size designers, but those options will be limited in terms of sizes and styles, whereas plus customers have no options with straight-size designers but there are retail options that cater specifically to them. Both groups are still massively underserved!”

Irregular sizing only makes shopping more complicated for in-betweeners

The lack of standard sizing in women’s apparel can make clothes shopping challenging for everyone, especially women in the low double digits. Last June, H&M announced that it would change its sizing to be more in line with North American standards — so that a size 12 would now be a size 10 and a medium a small — after customers complained that the clothes fit too tightly. When clothes fit smaller than expected at straight-size retailers, in-betweeners may be unable to find anything that fits them since they’re already at the higher end of the size range.

“It’s particularly tough to be a 12 or a 14 when that may be the last size a brand carries,” Cafaro explained. “If you are usually a 10/12 in one brand but another runs small, you are stuck leaving empty-handed.”

True Fit, a company that helps customers find their best size across a spectrum of retailers, found that waist sizes in women’s jeans can deviate by up to 5 inches. According to the company, the average woman fluctuates between three different clothing sizes because of inconsistency from retailer to retailer, though customers have complained of their clothing size varying at the same retailer too. Online shoppers are particularly vulnerable to this since they can’t try on clothes beforehand.

“As a new brand, this was the one thing that really drove us crazy, the lack of standardized sizing across the industry,” Delman said. “We spent hours trying to figure out the best way to create our size guide. At the end of the day, we decided to average and extrapolate the measurements from a number of different brands.”

Delman says the only solution is to get the clothing industry to standardize sizes or to make sure that customers know their measurements. That said, size 28 jeans in one brand still may not fit the same as size 28 in another.

Curve models are typically in-betweeners, but they haven’t made these customers more visible

Some of the biggest plus or “curve” models, like Ashley Graham and Robin Lawley, are actually in-betweeners. Graham has said that she’s a size 14, and Lawley wore a size 12 when she appeared in the 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Despite the mass media attention both of these women have received, they are widely regarded as plus models and have not necessarily influenced retailers to serve the needs of in-betweeners, Cafaro said. Curve models are typically used to represent all women considered curvy or plus rather than just those from size 10 to 14.

Curve models like Ashley Graham have grown more popular, but they aren’t necessarily making retailers focus more on “in-betweeners.”

Model Ashley Graham says she wears a size 14, making her an “in-betweener.”
Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

“There are certainly more conversations around body positivity and inclusivity [now] that weren’t happening 10 years ago,” she said. “Having said that, I don’t think using curve models has necessarily drawn attention specifically to the in-betweeners; rather, it’s more about how insular the fashion world has been in using only super-slim models and raising awareness around the plus movement generally.”

In addition to models like Graham and Lawley, actresses such as Mindy Kaling and Amy Schumer reportedly fall into this category, but they are also often lumped into plus by media outlets, despite their objections to the label. Schumer has openly resisted being described as plus, and Kaling has described herself as “normal American woman size.”

By ignoring women above a size 10, Cafaro said that retailers are “leaving a lot of money on the table.”

“I think the idea is to expand the profit margins by being more realistic and serving all women,” she said. “Sixty-seven percent of women are over a size 14 in America, and brands must allow an inclusive range to ensure all customers have the flexibility to find the fit they desire.”

But beyond the profits that can be made from in-betweeners, society is slowly accepting the idea that there’s more than one kind of physical standard of beauty, Cafaro continued. She argued that retailers need to recognize this by expanding their styles and sizes for all women.

“With the majority of women in America being considered plus size, it is absurd to me that we are considered the outliers,” she said.

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Viral News

An Artist Imagines How Celebrities Would Meet Their Younger Selves, and It’s Really Moving




All of us have probably had the feeling of wanting to go back in time: maybe to give yourself a good piece of advice or figure out the score of a soccer game. A series of works by photo artist Ard Gelinck inspired us to create this article. He imagined what pictures famous people might take if they went back to the past to find their younger selves.

While some people only talk about the possibility of time travel, Bright Side made it happen. So, lean back and enjoy!

21. Michael Jackson

20. Nicole Kidman

19. Arnold Schwarzenegger

18. Anthony Hopkins

17. Cher

16. Lena Headey

15. Barbra Streisand

14. Pamela Anderson

13. Gary Oldman

12. Meryl Streep

11. Paul McCartney

10. Julia Roberts

9. Dolores O’Riordan

8. Angelina Jolie

7. Richard Gere

6. Freddie Mercury

5. Leonardo DiCaprio

4. Lady Gaga

3. Jennifer Aniston

2. Brad Pitt

1. Amy Winehouse

Would you like to go back and take the same picture of yourself?

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Viral Traffic Optimizer – Haz dinero con tráfico viral




Viral Traffic Optimizer – Haz dinero con tráfico viral


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Oakland teachers strike: Union calls strike for pay, smaller classes




Teacher frustration keeps spreading.

Public school teachers in Oakland, California, said they will strike on Thursday, following 18 months of tense negotiations with district officials over pay raises and classroom sizes.

“We have had it. Enough is enough, bargaining with our school district has not worked,” said Keith Brown, a middle school teacher and president of the Oakland Education Association, during a press conference on Saturday. “Our schools have been starved of resources for years.”

If they don’t reach a deal before Thursday, about 3,000 teachers won’t show up to work in one of the state’s largest school districts, which has struggled from years of budget cuts and poor student performance.

Teachers say the lack of investment in city schools is hurting student performance. The cost of living in Oakland has also skyrocketed in recent years, due to an influx of high-skilled workers unable to afford housing across the bay in San Francisco, making it impossible for teachers to live there on their current salaries, Keith said. Teachers want a pay raise, smaller class sizes, and more counselors and nurses.

The strike in Oakland would come a month after teachers in Los Angeles walked off the job with similar demands — and ended up getting a lot of what they wanted. At the time, LA officials said the same thing Oakland officials are now saying: We just don’t have the money.

Oakland schools are facing a $56 million budget deficit in the next two years, so the school board wants to cut school spending, not increase it. School officials are trying to get more money from the state, but teachers are ready to walk out. And they know they have leverage.

It’s just the latest strike in what’s becoming a national trend. More than 100,000 public school teachers in six states have walked out of class in the past year, rebelling from years of stagnant wages, crumbling infrastructure, and deep budget cuts to education. The strikes in Arizona, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, California, and Colorado had broad public support, forcing state lawmakers to raise pay and fueling a national movement to boost investment in public education.

So far, that momentum shows no signs of slowing down.

Funding for public schools in California is a mess

Oakland teachers share a lot of the same frustrations that led LA teachers to walk out of class in January. They say school districts are spending too much money on privately run charter schools that have little public oversight. They also believe they are paid too little working in a state with much wealth.

California is among states spending the least on each student (adjusted for the cost of living), largely because of the state’s strict limits on property tax rates.

The Oakland Education Association, a labor union representing 3,000 educators, has been trying to negotiate a new contract since the last one expired in 2017. Teachers want a 12 percent pay raise over three years, smaller classes, and more support staff. One school counselor for every 600 students is not conducive to a student’s success, says Keith Brown, the group’s president.

The district has offered a 5 percent raise over three years.

Teachers rejected the offer.

“Unless there are dramatic changes to the district’s approach, including spending more money on students and for nurses and counselors, lower class size, and a living wage that will keep Oakland teachers in the classrooms, we will strike,” Brown said.

The school district has said it is willing to keep negotiating for a better deal to avert the strike, and would consider some recommendations from an independent panel, which found that low teacher pay, large class sizes, and school privatization were hurting Oakland schools. The report also acknowledges the state’s “complicated, flawed” system for funding public education.

“Despite our challenges, we are prepared with a comprehensive proposal to reach an agreement. If both sides are committed to settling the contract before a strike occurs —and we are — an agreement can certainly be reached without disrupting the educational experience for students, families and staff,” Oakland Schools Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said in a statement Saturday.

They have three days to try and reach a deal.

Teachers are leading a national workers revolt

A record number of US workers went on strike or stopped working in 2018 because of labor disputes with employers, according to new data released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 485,000 employees were involved in major work stoppages last year — the highest number since 1986, when flight attendants, garbage collectors, and steelworkers walked off the job.

Frustrated public school teachers were behind the year’s largest walkouts, but hotel housekeepers and steelworkers also organized strikes that lasted for days.

There are no signs that worker angst has subsided. So far, in 2019, teachers in two major cities have launched their own strikes. And in January, the Los Angeles teachers strike shut down the nation’s second-largest school district for more than a week.

As part of their deal with city officials, teachers agreed to a 6 percent raise and slightly fewer students in each classroom, according to Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, a labor union that represents about 34,000 public school teachers, nurses, librarians, and support staff in the city.

Last week, more than 2,000 teachers in Denver went on strike for three days. The school district ended up giving educators and extra $23 million in pay and agreed to overhaul the compensation system, which relied heavily on annual bonuses.

Now Oakland teachers are prepared to walk out, and Sacramento teachers may follow.

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