I am bringing up Lane Bryant for fashion critique first to get them out of the way. They’ve ridden for many years on the perception that they’re the only game available to plus fashionistas, and as a result – pardon the pun – they’ve gotten too big for their britches. Many other plus bloggers have commented on their behavior towards their consumers; the response from more than one manager has been “like it, or go to Weight Watchers.” Cocky, eh?
Lane Bryant at first appeared as a godsend to plus women who suffered through the fashion industryâ€™s punishments for being fat. A relieving alternative to elastic-waist polyester pants and puffy shirts with kittens on them, the LB has become the plus-size fashion icon. Theyâ€™ve somehow missed that people notice their limitations, and they aren’t investing a whole lot in tracking the upstream of competitors. Mainstream clothes manufacturers arenâ€™t dumb: they have an entire population of women they can overcharge, who will pay for the overcharge just to have something presentable to wear in public.
So while Lane Bryantâ€™s clothing quality and overall design has gone down (many items wear out after less than a year), and its prices have gone up, other clothiers are stepping in and offering better constructed, more attractive, and more flattering options.
One of the notable industry misses Lane Bryant has committed this year is dresses. While Torrid, Igigi, and Kiyonna all offer relatively in-trend and flattering options, the closest Lane Bryant comes to hitting the dress trend is the Kabuki style dress in color blocking and the Swiss dot shirtdress â€“ and the color blocking only really works well in the red and black combination. That and the name “Kabuki” borders on offensive, reflecting as it does on a large and overpainted/clownish fictional character.
The rest have serious design flaws that fail to flatter the figure and take the wearer straight from fashion to frumpy. For instance, the undefined bust and flat front fit of a buttonÂ frontÂ shirtÂ dress will make most plus women look stiff and packed in. Those that are less tp heavy will have the equally frustrating problem of the shapelessness adding the illusion of additional weight to their frame.
Upon examining the rest of the stock, there are several flagrant plus fashion flaws dotting their designs for the year. Stripes of any stripe work poorly on plus figure â€“ horizontal or vertical, none are slimming because on a curvy body straight lines just arenâ€™t possible. This “2-ferâ€ vestthat comes just under the breasts creates a blocky line, leading the eye towards the stomach, the area that most plus women need to focus away from. I won’t address the atrociousness of L33T speak branding. This striped tunic vest should not go on a plus size woman – the blocky horizontal stripes and downward curve towards the belly just invites fashion mockery; don’t plus women suffer from enough jibes and jeers without being forced to wear things that just invite more negative comment?
Whoever the main designer for plus women is at Lane Bryant has forgotten that plus women look different from other women, and that expanded juniors is not the way to go to genuinely serve the population. While the Lane Bryant â€œlike it or lump itâ€ attitude expressed to more than one blogger has worked for them until now, theyâ€™re about to experience a takedown. Change the designs to something that works, make clothing that actually lasts, and get with the times and start following the many plus fashion trends or lose your customers. Lane Bryant is not what sets the curve for plus size fashion trends anymore. Read this blog, and you will see a whole wide world of what else is out there to enjoy.