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August 30, 2011

Lane Bryant Introduces Slimming Pants for Plus-Sized Women and We Gotta Ask: Counterproductive?

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I have to admit, I've never followed the Plus-Sized industry that closely, but considering the amount of retailers that cater to, or at least accommodate, full-figured women, not to mention the recent spate of high profile brands, blogs and reality shows promoting "real" women, I think it is safe to say that this industry has exploded over the past five years.

The fashion industry could stand to learn a few lessons from it's plus-sized offspring who has been able to do what the fashion industry as a whole has not. That is, make women feel comfortable in their own skin. Most women, myself included, are influenced largely by celebrities and models to validate the image of themselves. Therefore, it's no wonder women are notorious for being mercurial when it comes to their bodies. To be fair, the fashion industry has made attempts at beefing up our self-esteem, but let's be honest, they are feeble at best. At the end of the day, the industry is very reluctant to discard the status quo of super thin, super young models or surgically-improved celebs.

The plus-sized industry rises above the status quo or just flat out ignores it. Helping women to embrace their curves by offering trendy clothing just for them has created confidence and a sense of empowerment that the majority of women don't often feel about their bodies. I know I'm often slightly jealous of how confident my plus-sized friends are with their figures. Even on a day when I walk out of my apartment feeling fabulous, self-doubt always niggles at the back of my mind ---do my thighs look too big in these jeans, are my boobs too large for this top. Maybe it's a show, but my full-figured friends never seem to display this kind of doubt.

That's why when Lane Bryant announced the launch of a new technology meant to flatten the tummies of plus-sized women I was a little surprised. Tighter Tummy Technology, shortened to T3, will be used in a line of "slimming denim jeans" and trousers.

Here's what Lane Bryant has to say about the technology:

"T3 is a revolutionary built-in mesh control panel made of a unique nylon and spandex blend that flattens the tummy and slenderizes the silhouette. The pants are made of a special blend of cotton and polyester fabric that prevents sagging and allows them to stretch for maximum comfort while maintaining a smooth shape around a women's curves. They also feature an invisible elastic waistband that minimizes gapping. Lane Bryant's new T3 pants are designed to hug and enhance curves in all the right places so plus-sized women no longer have to compromise on great fitting clothes"

On the one hand, all women have parts of the body that they would like to improve, but on the other hand, isn't the plus-sized industry all about women embracing their curves? I'm not saying the technology is bad. I don't think it's bad at all. It just seems to me that using the terms "slimming", "flattens" and "slenderizes" is somewhat counterproductive to what has been an empowering movement. 

Watch the video explaining T3 technology.


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