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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Clothing for Big Folks: U.S., Part 3 This is part 3 of the document about clothing for fat people in the U.S. It contains information about manufacturers of clothing/shoes/glasses, wedding attire, patterns for making your own clothing, U.S./European size conversion info, and clothing for big kids. If you don't find what you're looking for here, try one of the related FAQs (see question B1 for a complete list). ============================================================ Updated March 2001 ============================================================ Contents A1) What manufacturers make clothes/shoes/spectacles for large folks? A2) Where can I find a wedding dress? A3) Where can I find sewing/knitting patterns? A4) How do I convert between sizes? A5) How can I find clothing for big kids? SECTION B: Information about this FAQ B1) Are there other related FAQs? B2) Posting information B3) Contributors ============================================================ ============================================================ ==================================================================== A1) What manufacturers make clothes/shoes/spectacles for large folks? CLOTHING FOR WOMEN You can find these clothing lines in various retail stores and catalogs. Capistrano Complaint of cheap manufacture. Carole Little II Carol Little's large-size collection. Beautiful fabric, flowing cuts, nice colors. A little pricey. Well-made, and the dresses are quite long. Champion Makes plus-size sportswear to a smallish 4X. High praise for their extra support sports bra. Citiculture Fancy "garden party" dresses up to 4X (sizes run large). Danskin Phone: (800) 87-DANSKIN Exercise clothing in sizes 1X-4X. Their clothes are well made and pretty and they use large-size models. Elisabeth Liz Claiborne's plus sizes line. Expensive, but good quality. Sizes 14-22. Also has some petites. Entree Jeans that fit wonderfully and consistently across many styles up to size 44. Fruit of the Loom 100% cotton panties up to size 12. Also bras with large band and cup sizes. Gilda Marx Phone: (800) 825-BODY Exercise clothing in sizes 1X-3X. Goddess Bras Phone: (213) 629-2905 or (617) 569-3000 Well-made, large-size bras. They have cotton bras without underwires up to about size 52DD. Good push-up bras, comfortable merrywidows. They've been actively soliciting NAAFA to find out what large women want in bras. They also make nursing bras (particularly recommended is Model 510). Hanes Her Way Large size sweatpants and sweatshirts. Jerzees Good quality, heavy T-shirts up to size 6X. Jockey for Her All-cotton underwear in three styles up to at least size 11. Jones New York Woman Career wear. Just My Size Underwear, socks, and pantyhose. Affiliated with L'Eggs. They also have their own catalog (see above). Kathy Lee Plus Carried at WalMart. Lee Jeans Tend to work well on figures with smaller waistlines, large hips. Sizes up to 28 or 30. Marina Bridal Wedding dresses, priced reasonably ($350-$900 or so). Their headquarters is in NYC. You should be able to get a copy of their catalog (about 20 styles) by calling local bridal shops. No Nonsense Women like their plus-size pantyhose, which goes up to 4X, feels soft against the skin, and doesn't bag because of lycra in the fabric blend. They are getting harder to find. Onyx Night Evening wear. Carried at boutiques. http://www.jumponyx.com/onyx.html Princess Knitwear 14 Bruckner Blvd. Bronx, NY 10454 Phone: 718-402-1000 Fax: 718-402-0131 Email: email@example.com Web site: http://www.princessknitwear.com One-size knitwear. Fits to size 26. Found in specialty shops and boutiques. Richard Simmons Carried at WalMart. Sharon Anthony Two Potato CLOTHING FOR MEN You can find these clothing lines in various retail stores and catalogs. Dockers khakis Available in 56x32. Dolphin Swimwear Levi's Jeans and Action Slacks The Action Slacks apparently wear like iron, wash well, and never need to be ironed. The largest size in Levi's brand products is a 50x32. Karl Kani Classic jeans up to 60" waist Discus Athletic T-shirts and sweatshirts up to 6XL Speedo Swimming trunks up to 4XL Nike Shoes up to 18 Fruit of the Loom Briefs and boxers up to 6XL SPECTACLES Luxottica makes large-size frames for men. They make metal frames in XXL sizes, and have 170mm custom temples. Also look for Zyloware frames. Most companies do carry large-size frames; have the optical tech look in the Frames book for listings of large frames. COMFORTABLE AND/OR WIDE WOMEN'S SHOES Bally Clark's Drew Easy Spirit (reported very long lasting even for supersize people) Ecco (made in Denmark) Hush Puppies "Bounce" Nordstrom's store brand Rangoni Selby Soft Spots COMFORTABLE AND/OR WIDE UNISEX SHOES Avia Birkenstock Cuddler's (available at K-Mart) New Balance Puma Red Wings Rieker Rockports Romika SAS (hiking boots) Simple Sorel's (winter boots -- proper mountaineering boots) Wolverine (hiking boots) Worishofer ============================================================ A2) Where can I find a wedding dress? Big, Beautiful Bride Online Plus-Size Gown Resource is a comprehensive listing of wedding gown designers who make plus sizes, includes their size range, average prices, size charts (when available), and contact information. The URL is: http://www.hepcatdesigns.com/bbb/Gownindex.html One reader recommended the following book: *Bridal Gown Guide: Discover the Dress of Your Dreams at a Price You Can Afford*, by Denise and Alan Fields (Windsor Peak Press; ISBN: 1889392030) Many regular bridal stores carry large sizes, and almost all stores can order them. They may have only a limited selection of sizes in stock for you to try on, so you may have to use your imagination to figure out how the dress would look on you in particular. Sometimes just putting your arms through the dress and holding it in front of you will give you an idea of what it would be like. Note that wedding dress designers do not size their dresses consistently. It's very common to have dresses tailored once they arrive. (This is common even for women who wear smaller sizes.) If the dress turns out to be too small, they can split the side seam of the bodice and sew in a few inches of extra fabric. This is hardly noticeable, even when you are looking for it. They may be able to get lace trim that matches the rest of the dress and use that to make it even less obvious. Nearly all bridesmaid's dresses go to at least size 24, and some go larger. Many of these dresses are fairly formal and can be ordered in white or off-white, so may work as a wedding dress. Many advertisers in bridal magazines list what sizes they make. Also look through bridal books. *Bridal Bargains* and *The Bridal Gown Guide* by Denise and Alan Fields print the size charts of major designers along with style numbers and suggested retail prices. Another way to buy a wedding dress is through Discount Bridal Service (Phone 800-874-8794; web site http://www.discountbridalservice.com). They can save you 20-40% on the cost of your gown. You must know the gown you want and your measurements. You call their 800 number, and they give you the number of their local rep. The rep takes your info and you order the gown thru her, and it is sent to your home. It is important that you measure correctly because you are stuck with the gown you order. No returns. DBS can order from any bridal manufacturer, and they are good at tracking down dresses even if you don't know the manufacturer or style number: a dress description or advertisement page number (like Brides Magazine for example) may be all you need to get a price quote. The local rep can offer seamstress referrals. They've got manufacturer sizing charts to help you. Bridal manufacturers *do* size differently from regular dress sizes, so don't be surprised if you need a size larger than you thought to fit it you correctly. Order via your measurements...not dress size! Search for "[wedding]" in section A1, the big list of clothing stores, to find stores and catalogs that carry wedding dresses. Here are some manufacturers who make large-size wedding dresses: Alfred Angelo Phone: (800) 528-3589 or (215) 659-8700 Makes 18-20 and 38-44. Both cost extra but their gowns are relatively cheap. Ange D' Amour Phone: (800) 288-3888. 230 Grand St, 2nd floor New York, NY 10013 Bridal gowns from size 4 Misses to size 64 Womens' (Like a 96" chest at least). Gowns range $400-$1200. all sorts of styles and shapes too. Traditional beaded lace, trained ballgown-type dress was $640 (polyester satin -- silks start in the $800s). You cannot order the gown thru them but you can ask questions and get a catalog. Bianchi Phone: (800) 669-2346. Through size 20. Bonny Phone: (714) 961-8884 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Makes a line called "Essence by Esther," gowns to size 44 (costs extra). Bridal Originals Phone: (800) 876-GOWN or (312) 467-6140 To size 30 (encourages stores to carry large size samples!) Carmi Couture Phone: (212) 921-7658 Through size 20 (extra charge). Citiculture Large-size "garden-party" dresses that can double as wedding dresses. Diamond Collection Phone: (212) 302-0210 Through size 20 ($100 extra). Designer at Heart, Inc. Megan Moser Rosenhart Phone: (800) 462-4889 Custom-designs bridal gowns -- "traditional and non-traditional styles, from lace to leather, all sizes." Eden Phone: (818) 441-8715 Petites through 20-32 (extra charge). Bridal Bargains gave these guys 4 stars! Eve of Milady Phone: (212) 302-0050 Through size 20. $100 extra for 18-20. Fink Phone: (212) 921-5683 Through size 20. Extra 10% for 18-20. Galina Phone: (212) 564-1020 Through 20, extra charge for 18-20. Ginza Collection/Private Label by G Phone: (800) 654-7375 Through 42 (extra charge of $100). Will custom make larger size dress to bridal shop's measurements for $50 fee. Ilissa Phone: (212) 967-5222 Through 20, 18-20 are $60 extra. Impression Phone: (800) BRIDAL-1 Through size 30. 16-20 cost $30 extra. 22-30 are $70 extra. Jasmine Phone: (708) 519-7778 To size 44 (extra charge). Jessica McClintock Phone: (800) 333-5301 or (415) 495-3030 A few gowns through size 24. Jim Hjelm Phone: (212) 764-6960 Through size 20. 18-20 are $150 extra. Lili Phone: (800) 258-7944 or (818) 282-4326 Through 26. $70 extra for 22-26. Marisa Through 20. $160 extra for 18-20. Mary's Phone: (713) 933-9678 Through size 30. Mon Cherie Phone: (609) 530-1900 Has sizes 18-20 and 38-44, $20 or $40 extra. Moonlight Phone: (708) 884-7199 Sizes through 44 (extra charge). Mori Lee Phone: (212) 947-3490 Some designs available through size 42 for extra charge. San Martin Phone: (213) 257-5333 Some styles available through 44. St. Pucchi Phone: (214) 631-4039 Through 20, 18-20 extra 20%. Sweetheart Phone: (212) 868-7536 Through 44 (and keeps all sizes in stock). Wallentin Collection Phone: (800) 925-5954 Email: SmithsonC@aol.com Silk wedding gowns. Can custom make any gown to fit any size woman. Ask for Catherine. ============================================================ A3) Where can I find sewing/knitting patterns? Ana's Accoutremonts Custom fitted patterns of period costumes. See the listing in the US Clothing FAQ part 1. Beautiful Babes Laura Woodruff 6705 N. Seneca Portland, OR 97203 Phone: (503) 286-1119 Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Plaza/1754/index.html Catalog $2. Easy-to-sew collection of patterns for casual dresses, blouses, blazers, pants, ponchos, jackets, swimwear, lingerie, and more. Sizes 38-72. "Laura, the owner, is real nice and we discussed fitting problems etc etc and the dress I made from her pattern is wonderful." *Big Knits*, *Great Big Knits* Big Knits ISBN: 0-7126-5097-0. Vermont: Trafalgar Square Publishing Two books by Dawn French and Sylvie Soudan containing knitting patterns for large-size women. Patterns go from very simple, classic designs, to very complex intarsias. Proper large-size models. Bras The rec.crafts.textiles.sewing newsgroup has a fantastic FAQ about underwire and regular bras. If you're interested in making your own bras and lingerie, check it out: http://www.funhouse.com/babs/FAQ.html The Busy Woman's Fitting Book Nancy Zieman and Robbie Fanning Nancy's Notions/Open Chain Publishing ISBN: 0-932086-10-1, $9.95 Provides instructions on how to alter patterns to fit you. Burda GLP International PO Box 9868 Englewood, NJ 07631-1123 Phone: (212) 736-7455 or (201) 871-1010 Large size patterns. Their magazine, *Burda Fashions for the Fuller Figure* (or Burda Plus?), has patterns up to size 34W. "Burda is very true to their sizing, and they make patterns for up to size Euro60. The have all sorts of interesting patterns, with unusual (nifty cool) detailing. I find that I have to do mucho fewer adjustments to make these patterns fit my narrow chest, big boobs, sloping shoulders, bottom-heavy apple-pear shape." "I had stayed away from them because of the added seam and hem allowances, but now they are adding them in for you. They have some really nice, classic styles." "Burda especially cuts well for plus sizes, (with DARTS! long before everyone else) and has great styles that avoid many of the common plus size errors like oversized armholes etc." Butterick Some patterns in sizes up to 32. Now carrying new Delta Burke line -- some pretty styles in larger than 22's. D'ates D'signs 3430 Robin Lane, Suite B Cameron Park, CA 95682 Great wearable art patterns for coats, dusters, and shirts. Dressmaker's dummies Dressmaker's dummies are available in plus sizes. Your local fabric shop may carry them or should be able to order them. Dress Shop PO Box 819, 40 South Lassen Street, Susanville, CA 96130 Phone: 800-626-1262, 530-257-1100 Fax: 530-257-1111 Web: http://www.livingsoft.com Sewing software for Windows and Macintosh automatically drafts custom fitted patterns for sewing. Input body measurements, start with one of 34 basic patterns, add from menus for sleeves, necklines, collars. Fairchild Books and Videos 7 West 34th St New York, NY 10001 Fashion designs for the plus size. Fashion Patterns by Coni 2370 west hwy 89-A suite 11 box 128 Sedona, Az 86336 Fax 520-204-9241 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Catalog is $4. Her patterns go to a 66" bust and 70" hip. Will custom make patterns outside this range for a minimal cost. She drafted them on a size 28 model. This means they were designed for real fat bodies. Coni Crawford has 30 years experience in patternmaking and has recently retired from teaching in this field in college. She has just started the business and is very willing to help with special fitting problems. Fitting Finesse Nancy Zieman Book that explains how to alter patterns so that you can make clothes that fit you right from patterns made for small people. Fittingly Sew Sewing software available for IBM Great Fit Patterns Reported out of business Jan 98. Hattie Chanon Design Center of Charlotte 1235-E East Blvd, #222 Charlotte, NC 28203 Large-size patterns Email: email@example.com List of commercially available sewing patterns for big men (chest size 48" to 52", 56" or 68"). McCalls Some of their patterns go up to size 50. My Own Pattern PO Box 30084 Clarksville, TN 37040-0002. Phone: (931 ) 645-1652 Email: MyOwnPatrn@aol.com Resizes any pattern to any specification, even underwear. Email to request measurement sheet. Send your measurements and the pattern. Also tailor-made clothing. PAW Prints Pattern Company Purrfection Artistic Wearables 19618 Canyon Drive Granite Falls Washington 98252 Phone: 800 691 4293 Web site: http://www.purrfection.com 11 patterns that go up to a 3XL (bust 54 hip 56) and there are 2 new patterns that go up to a 5XL (bust 62 hip 64). Reports: "I've made a kimono type jacket from one of their patterns in a 4X (I generally wear a size 30-32) and the only alteration I did was to lengthen it." "These patterns are more 'fun' than conventional but there are some fairly unique things that I've never found elsewhere." "Their pattern 'Layers' fits well and is really easy to sew." Pijin-Hole Patterns 804 Forest Park Blvd. Fort Worth, TX 76102-5805 Phone: (817) 338-0025 Sewgrand 1160 Yew Ave. Bin 21 Blaine WA 98231-8019 Phone: (604) 274-3276 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web page: http://www.sewgrand.com/ Easy to sew patterns to size 26. They are reported to be "working on" supersizes. Good for beginning sewers. Fit reported good. Simplicity Web page: http://www.simplicitypatt.com/index.html Their patterns go up to size 32W in two lines -- BBW and HOAX. HOAX is meant to be for different body types. Their sizing guide may run too large. They also have a multi-sized (1X-6X) pattern for men for a shirt and a pair of pants. Clothes made from their patterns are attractive and come out beautifully. New Look is also part of Simplicity. Stretch and Sew Web page: http://www.stretch-and-sew.com One person reports "Stretch and Sew is good for those who are not one size all over." They are featuring a new line of plus size patterns, one of which is called Rita's Wardrobe (see Rita Farrow's *Life Is Not a Dress Size* in the Publications FAQ). The patterns include sizes 1X-3X (46-56 bust, 48-58 hip) in each design. Besides the wardrobe, there are eight separate designs in the collection, including pants, dresses, and a jacket. Style Some large-size patterns Unique Patterns Phone: (800) 543-4739 Web site: http://www.uniquepatterns.com Over 150 personalized patterns from easy to advanced. Patterns cost $9-$22. Membership costs $39.95, comes with pattern catalog, measuring instructions, support line, newsletter. Will put you in touch with seamstresses. Vogue Woman Dowdy, boring, waistless patterns. ============================================================ A4) How do I convert between sizes? Here are some conversions between European, U.K., and U.S. sizes: Women's dresses and suits For U.S. size, subtract 2 from U.K. size. For U.S. size, subtract 30 from European size. (UK 28 = US 26 = Euro 56) Women's shoes For U.S. size, add 1.5 to U.K. size. (UK 8 = US 9.5) Men's suits and coats U.K. and U.S. sizes are the same. For U.S. size, subtract 10 from European size. (UK 56 = US 56 = Euro 66) Men's shirts U.K. and U.S sizes are the same. Men's socks U.K. and U.S. sizes are the same. Men's shoes For U.S. size, add 1 to U.K. size. (UK 10.5 = US 11.5) ============================================================ A5) How can I find clothing for big kids? Radiance Magazine sponsors a Kids Project. The Radiance Magazine web site at http://www.radiancemagazine.com has articles, essays, and resources for children, teens, and young adults, as well as for parents, teachers, counselors, health professionals, and those who love and work with kids. Click on "Kids Project." Petite stores such as 5-7-9 and Petite Sophisticate sometimes have items that will fit BBgirls. Search on "[petite]" in the Clothing FAQs. There are some companies that will make clothing to custom sizes for a reasonable fee. Search on "[custom]" in the Clothing FAQs. Some wedding gown manufacturers make bridesmaid's and flower girl's dresses in girl's size 12 1/2 to size 20 1/2, with prices in the $75-$150 range. Search on "[wedding]" in the Clothing FAQs and see the section "Where can I find a wedding dress?". Extra Hip is a small 'zine for fat preteen and teen girls. Their web site (http://www.extrahip.com) has a page of links to stores that offer teen fashion in plus sizes. Here are some specific manufacturers that offer clothing for BBkids: Blessings in Dresses Sandra/owner Phone: 805.272.1568 Southern California I hear they have a good selection for girls and teens. Big Dogs Web site: http://www.bigdogs.com (They also have retail stores and a print catalog -- see their web site for more info.) Many items in their line of sportswear come in kids' and adults' sizes. Boxers, t-shirts, jackets, sleepwear, shorts, pants & other. High quality & relatively good prices. Custom Design Gwen/owner Minnesota Phone: 218.233.9583 Any size. Any age. Teens & Kids Clothes. Bridal, Prom, and Wedding, too. delia's http://www.delias.com teen girls' clothing. Some items to sizes 19/20. FrenchToast.com Web site: http://www.frenchtoast.com Children's school uniforms in sizes up to 20. May 99 girlfriends LA Box 8687 Northridge, CA 91327 Phone: (800) 617-GFLA (open 24/7) Fax: (800) 720-4352 Web site: http://www.girlfriendsl a.com Teeny-bopper clothes. Almost all go up to 25 (junior plus sizing). Sizes reported liberal. Inexpensive prices. Hot Topic www.hottopic.com Mall store and Internet catalog. Torrid line for girls size 14-26. Extended men's line to 3X. JC Penney's PO Box 2021 Milwaukee, WI 53201-2021 Phone: (800) 222-6161 Web site: http://www.jcpenney.com They offer a Big Kids Catalog twice a year (spring and fall), with girl's Plus and Extra Plus sizes and boy's husky and shorter husky sizes. Carries Levi's Dockers, Union Bay, Bugle Boy, snow pants, wind suits, denim and flannel shirts, the works. Fairly thin models. Some folks have had problems ordering from this catalogs (many items reported sold out before the catalog even arrives). Lebow's Brothers 178 Linden Street, Diehl's Plaza, Wellesley, MA 02181 Phone: (781) 431-7194 or 800-814-2229 Web site: http://www.tiac.net/users/lebow/ Specializes in clothing for "hard to fit" men and boys. Free tailoring, special orders welcome. Primarily a retail store, but will ship internationally. Mismo Out of business as of July 00 New Mode Mall store, one incarnation is in the Plaza Camino Real Mall in Carlsbad CA. Hip, trendy teenage-girl clothing to size 22. Sears Phone: 800-948-8800 (catalog ordering) Web site: http://www.sears.com/ I hear that Sears opened a Mainframe for You junior plus department in fall 99. Check it out. Let me know if they are indeed a good resource. Sears also has some clothing for younger BBkids. They have a specialty leather catalog with many items in all sizes. Torrid www.torrid.com Mall store and Internet catalog. Clothing for teenage and pre-teen girls sizes 14-26. Unlimited Options 131 N. Beaumont Avenue Burlington, NC 27217 Phone: (800) 922-0480 Retail & Mail Order - Custom made clothing for men, women & children of all sizes - anything you want from casual to career to bridal. Send $5 (refundable with first order) for their video catalog. Wal-Mart Sometimes they have half size jeans and a few other things. ============================================================ SECTION B: Information about this FAQ B1) Are there other related FAQs? There is some overlap in the topics covered by the FAQs. If you don't find what you're looking for here, try the other FAQs. The latest version of the following FAQs can be found at: http://www.cat-and-dragon.com/~stef/Fatfaqs/ alt.support.big-folks newsgroup FAQ soc.support.fat-acceptance newsgroup FAQ soc.support.fat-acceptance.moderated newsgroup FAQ Clothing for Big Folks in Canada Clothing for Big Folks in the U.S. (parts 1-3) Organizations for Big Folks Online Resources for Big Folks Other Resources for Big Folks Publications for Big Folks Resources for Dealing With the Physical Aspects of Being Fat Size-acceptance The following FAQs can be found at: http://www.sover.net/~astarte/fa/faqs.html Big Folks and Fitness Big Folks and Health Big Folks and Sports Research on Big Folks The latest versions of following FAQs can be found at the following locations: Clothing for Big Folks in the U.K. at http://www.thegrapevine.co.uk/Avalanche/FAQ-UK.htm Clothing for Big Folks in Europe at http://www.thegrapevine.co.uk/Avalanche/FAQ-Europe.htm Plus-Size Pregnancy Website at http://www.teleport.com/~rvireday/plus/ You can also find (sometimes slightly older versions of) the above FAQs (except the plus-size pregnancy FAQs) at the following locations: ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/fat-acceptance-faq/ (Note: The big-folks FAQ is listed separately at these locations.) You can also get FAQs from rtfm.mit.edu via anonymous FTP or via the mail archive server. For information about the mail server, send email to email@example.com with the word "help" (without the quotes) in the body of the message. ============================================================ B2) Posting information This document is posted bi-weekly to alt.support.big-folks, soc.support.fat-acceptance, and soc.support.fat-acceptance.moderated. Stef Maruch (firstname.lastname@example.org) maintains this FAQ. ============================================================ B3) Contributors These are the people who contributed significant chunks to the FAQ: Sasha Wood (Sasha.Wood@cs.cmu.edu) Eleanor Brown (email@example.com) Also, lots and lots of other people (too many to credit) contributed information that appears herein, some via email and some on s.s.f-a and a.s.b-f. Thanks to them all. Suggestions for additions/improvements are always welcome. Send suggestions to Stef Maruch (firstname.lastname@example.org) ============================================================ Copyright 1995-1999 by Stef Maruch (email@example.com) Permission is granted to copy and redistribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial, educational use only, provided that this copyright notice is not removed or altered. No portion of this work may be sold, either by itself or as part of a larger work, without the express written permission of the author. This restriction covers all publication media, including electronic media.