What in the Sam Hill are some of these knitwear designers thinking?
It's well known that Americans are getting bigger and bigger. I have to admit that I'm a proud American, and as such, I am following the national trend.
I'm dimly aware that there are some people out there who wear an S or even an XS. It's a curiosity to me. I was 5'8" in 8th grade, and attained 5'10" + before I started shrinking vertically a few years ago. I've had size 10 shoes since junior high. The rest of my body is, ahem, proportional. And getting more "proportional" all the time, thanks to time, settling of contents, and chocolate.
I recently bought a copy of Brave New Knits, in which there is a pattern for a pretty sweater called Silke Jacket, designed by Shannon Okey for knitgrrl.com. I'm sure Ms. Okey is a lovely person with good intentions, but the jacket comes in four sizes: S, M. L, and 1X. So far, so good. I usually wear a 1X when I buy sweaters or tops.
But the 1X has a 38" bust circumference. I'm sorry, Shannon, that is not a 1X. Maybe a 1-boob, but not a 1X.
At work today a few of us were looking at the book Knit Jackets by Cheryl Oberle. To paraphrase my coworker E., everything in the book is very knittable and wearable. Well, maybe wearable by some. But I think the largest women's jacket I spotted was 46". Now, that's a fairly generous size, but it would still be too small for me. And no, I don't weigh 300 pounds. No, I don't weigh 250. (And NO, I don't weigh 400!)
Can I help it that I'm a woman of substance with substantial boobage? Well, OK, I can help it to a certain extent, such as maybe eating less ice cream (a.k.a. Food of the Gods), but I also have large bones. I swear it.
I'm not naive; I realize that designing unique, interesting knitted garments is a challenge. And I realize that, geometrically speaking, not every design is translatable into every size in 2" increments. But how about these suggestions, for starters:
1. Any book of knitwear designs, unless it is specifically for children or petites, should have at least 20% of the designs go up to 50".
2. Ditch the "S. M, L" labels for sizing. "Small" can mean anything from "fits my big toe" to "fits my big sister" (who is smaller than me). I know what 42 inches means, but "M" might as well designate "Mystery Size".
3. Always indicate how the garment should fit. Is it intended to be oversized, or should it have negative ease? A 50" finished circumference might be for a 42" circumference person or a 54" circumference person, or anything in between.
4. Show a photo of a realistic-size model wearing the garment. Include a fashion shot if you must, but also include a plain shot that shows detail of the garment and how it conforms to the body.
5. Include a schematic for every pattern. That way, if I can't quite see the details of the garment in the photo, I can get an idea of how it's structured and what the measurements of each piece are.
6. Design more flattering stuff for us fat ladies. Those &*^%$#@** skinny beatches already have plenty of cute clothes.