Brands/clothing types for "healthy" female body type?
August 13, 2017 11:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm helping my girlfriend look for brands or styles that work well for her body type.

She's maybe exactly between the "playmate" and "US 2010" depictions in this image?

(I just grabbed the first image that looked remotely close on Google Images.)

Neither of know anything about style or clothing. My guess would be that there would be 1-3 brands that would cater to any particular body type, but I might be totally wrong about how the clothing industry works.
posted by zeek321 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Her best bet may be to go to a Nordstrom and get with a personal stylist. They are very sensitive to budgets and aren't pushy.
posted by k8t at 12:05 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

What problems does she ordinarily run into buying clothing?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:16 PM on August 13, 2017 [7 favorites]

Well, going by the measurements you posted, she's not "plus sized," so she can basically wear any mainstream brand. I don't agree with your premise that brands are specific to body type (except for super high fashion catering to the supermodel type, and plus-sized brands catering to plus-sized type.) It's also really hard to answer your question about styles that will work for her without specifics-- What does she like to wear? What's her budget? How old is she? What size does she wear? Is she looking for conservative professional clothes, or casual clothes, or what?

I agree that if she's looking for outside advice, a stylist/shopper will be a great way for someone knowledgeable to help her create a look that works for her specific needs and wants. Also, many people like to shop from a catalog or subscription service, try a ton of stuff, and return what doesn't work.
posted by kapers at 12:18 PM on August 13, 2017 [9 favorites]

What sort of clothes is she looking for, and at what budget? If she is looking for business wear that will be a really different set of brands than if she's looking for casual outfits or clubwear. And the range of businesswear is also pretty huge; it might be helpful if you could name some styles she likes or particular clothing items she'd like to acquire, or maybe well known women who have both a similar body type and style to what she has.

Additionally women's clothing has a lot more than just one or two dimensions; take into account vanity sizing and this is just a whole pain in the ass. Especially because much of women's clothing is a fairly tight fit, she might find that some brands don't work for her even if you see similar women wearing them.

As an example I had to stop wearing Banana Republic several years ago when they changed their cut so my arms no longer fit in their sleeves. If she's got slightly long arms or a thinner waist than her thigh size would suggest, or if she's got a longer or shorter torso, she might find particular brands work better (for a while, until the asshats change their cut and she has to start over). This question as asked is essentially unanswerable, as we don't have most of the relevant data. As is each of us could simply name a few brands that exist, but that won't give her much information on brands that would work for her.

(I am also assuming she is totally cool with you posting here about this, but even so it'd probably be easier to talk with her directly because there are so many variables involved. Especially if she is looking for businesswear and her budget allows, a personal stylist could be a great idea-- it's a way to get personalized info directly to her rather than filtered through a middle man over the internet. If you're interested in this direction other options include StitchFix, an online company that mails you a few samples after collecting info from you directly; you then mail back what doesn't work and supposedly over time they converge on your style and fit.)
posted by nat at 12:28 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Honestly, this question offers us very little to go by. Besides plus size vs. straight size (which it seems like your girlfriend is) brands really don't cater to a particular body type. And when"body type" is used for women's fashion, it's usually referring to body shapes like being bigger on top or bottom, not "somewhat smaller than the average American woman" which encompasses a hell of a lot of us. And we don't know how old she is, what kind of situation she's shopping for, what her price range is, the sort of stuff she wears already...
posted by noxperpetua at 12:45 PM on August 13, 2017 [14 favorites]

I wouldn't worry too much about her body type or brands right now, if she doesn't know what her style preferences are. But style preferences are a fun and great place to start! It's like dress-up, in a way, where she gets to figure out what style fits her personality and lifestyle best. There are lots of great places on the internet for her to start narrowing the options down - and tons of great advice on metafilter. She might want to take a look at the website into-mind to start.
posted by umwhat at 12:57 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

There aren't really brands that cater to a particular size of person, besides specifically plus size brands. Some brands go up or down to larger sizes, or have petites, but that's about it. In a single store, various shirts and dresses and cuts of pants may fit but others won't. For example, I have a long torso and short inseam, a smaller waist in comparison to my hips and a smallish bust but broader shoulders and I'm on the tall side. I'm a size 12. I've found clothes that fit at every standard mall store but I usually shop for what I like, the style of clothes I need (work clothes vs casual clothes vs going out/dressing up clothes etc etc), and the cuts that are most flattering for me rather than sticking with a particular brand. You really need to give us more detail to get any helpful advice.
posted by MadamM at 1:07 PM on August 13, 2017

Echoing the above. There is no rhyme or reason to women's brands or sizes. I'm between the fashion model and playmate and just glancing up while typing this see pants hanging in my closet that I wear on a frequent basis that are sizes 4 through 12.

I definitely suggest going to a Nordstrom or a lord and Taylor and getting measurements taken. Then it's figuring out what she likes in terms of style and fabrics and going from there. And there is a looooong way to go from that starting point.
posted by floweredfish at 6:54 PM on August 13, 2017

I'm going to disagree with some about particular stores or brands not having favoured sizing or cuts (broadly, because for sure, individual pieces may or may not work for any of a hundred reasons). Zara, HM, and Club Monaco *usually* have closer to stricter euro sizing. I can usually count on certain stores carrying something that'll work for my size (and shape)...

That said, yeah there's not enough to go on. (I will say that the measurements on that graphic don't seem to correlate with their respective representations. The rightmost figure in particular, if she's supposed to be of average height. You're talking about the drawings and not so much the numbers, right?)

To answer your question, strictly based on what I'm getting from you, I'll suggest Loft, which has generous sizing and has lots of clothes suiting curvier figures. It's cutesy stuff and workwear, mostly, but I think *most* people could find something there. (And will further suggest checking out the Female Fashion Advice sub on Reddit, which has an extensive wiki that may help you inform this question, if you want to update with more specifics.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:57 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

If she's got a really pronounced hourglass figure, and assuming she likes the styles, rockabilly and vintage-inspired brands may work really well for her. Stop Staring is an example of this kind of brand. (Though if she orders from them, she should make sure to check her measurements against the company's sizing chart first.Their stuff tends to run small, and their return policies weren't the greatest last time I checked.)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:19 PM on August 13, 2017

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