You know what recently released product lives up to its hype, and more? It's not the iPhone (okay, I don't have one, so I can't say that for sure, but come on — nothing could live up to the hype the iPhone got pre-release, not even if it baked muffins). It's not Spider-Man 3 (God, no).
Lane Bryant's Right Fit jeans. Remember what it was like when jeans started being made with just a tiny bit of *stretch* fabric? How, even if they fit in your hips but were tight in the waist, the tightness wasn't *quite* as bad as it was when jeans were made of 100% non-stretchy denim (plus, as I suspect, just a hint of steel)? How jeans with some stretch were a godsend? (And they SO were, compared to what came before.)
Right Fit jeans are like that, only lightyears better. They are the fucking HOLY GRAIL of jeans. Not only are they made with stretch, and not only are they actually cut for large women's bodies (versus other stores' "plus-size" clothing that's just regular-size but made bigger all over, instead of made bigger specifically where plus-sized bodies are bigger) — they're available in 3 different shapes, based on the waist-to-hip ratio. So women with a small ratio (i.e., waist and hips just a few inches different in size) get a straighter jean, that doesn't bag and sag in weird places, and women with a large ratio (i.e., with hips that are 10 inches larger than their waist; yes, that would be ME) get a jean that's cut for those curves, so that both the waist and the hips actually fit.
Let me repeat myself: Oh. My. GOD. I had to try on a few different sizes and styles to see what would work best with my big ol' peasant hips, but when I buttoned the winning pair, I actually yelled (in the dressing room) "Oh my God! I LOVE THESE!!!" They just....FIT. All over. My waist, my hips, my ass, my thighs — everything fits the way it should.
I would have cried out of sheer joy, except I was grinning like a deranged chimpanzee and clapping my hands. The sales associate was grinning, too — it must be fantastic to be able to help women find clothing that makes them yell (in excitement) in the dressing room.
An article in St. Louis Today describes how these marvels of clothing came about:
Albert Charpentier is still amazed at the difference he made. In the before pictures, he says, none of the women looked that great. In the afters, they looked so much better he could hardly believe they were the same people: Had they lost weight or something?
Nope. They were exactly the same women — professional models hired by Lane Bryant to test modifications to its sizing system. In the first set of photos, the models were wearing clothes made the old-fashioned way: from patterns graded up and down from a sample size by adding so much to the waist, so much to the hips, etc. In the second set of photos, the same models were wearing the same styles — only produced from patterns developed from the actual measurements of real Lane Bryant customers.
The clothes made to fit the real measurements of real women fit so much better, and the models looked so much better in them, that Charpentier could barely believe his eyes.
. . . .
The publicity photo for Right Fit shows three gorgeous women — but which is which? I couldn't tell which was "straight," which "moderately curvy" and which "curvy." None of them looked "hippy" or out of proportion. They all looked fine — and I think there's a lesson there. Looking good isn't just a question of how ideal your body is; it's also about how well your clothes fit the body you have.
What's revolutionary here is the fact that fat women are finally able to get clothes that DO, in fact, fit the bodies that we have. It's almost like we deserve to be treated like real human beings, or something.
(I'm a Blue 4 Petite — dig that, a *petite,* even! — stretch bootcut, by the way.)