She’s Throwing Out the Fashion Rules

March 29 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: Cutting a Fine Figure

For the premiere of the new Ghostbusters movie last year, actress Leslie Jones turned to Twitter to discuss how gown designers turned her down, leaving her without many options. Co-star Melissa McCarthy confessed she’s faced a similar problem for a previous awards ceremony. Fortunately, designer Christian Siriano of Project Runway fame came to the rescue, quickly designing a stunning, timeless, off-the-shoulder gown for Leslie.

Though most of us won’t be shimmying down the red carpet any time soon, visiting a clothing boutique that doesn’t carry our size can be just as humiliating as being turned down by designers. And often, women internalize that struggle, thinking there must be something wrong with us. I’m here to tell you, ladies, there isn’t. So, the next time you step into a dressing room, leave the self-hate at the door, embody a little of Leslie Jones’ liberated attitude and work that ensemble!

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 17 Percent

It turns out Hollywood stars aren’t the only women facing prejudice when it comes to clothing sizes. In fact, according to Bloomberg, clothing retailers are ignoring most of America’s women, even though annual sales for women’s plus-size clothing—defined as a size 14 or higher—grew 17 percent from 2013 to 2016, becoming a $20.4 billion industry. That’s an increase of $3 billion in just three years, which should be motivation enough for retailers to buckle down and start carrying clothing to fit all women’s glorious shapes.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Christine Hunsicker, Founder and CEO of Gwynnie Bee

We’ve mentioned before that women make up the majority of consumers, and when it comes to clothing, we’re very loyal to fashion lines that work for our bodies. One such clothing company that has acquired quite the loyal following is Gwynnie Bee, an ingenious service that helps women discover, experience and enjoy great clothing without limitations.

Founder and CEO Christine Hunsicker started Gwynnie Bee, a unique subscription-based clothing-rental website exclusively for women sizes 10 through 32, in 2011. After graduating from Princeton University and working as the chief operations officer for a couple of big-time tech startups, she set her sights on disrupting the clothing trade, creating a platform that would finally offer stylish options to plus-size women, who, by the way, account for one-third of clothing-buying consumers.

But within a few years of Gwynnie Bee’s launch, Christine faced a challenge since designers didn’t want to commit to making plus-size clothing, and the offerings became limited. But this aspiring lady didn’t let that get her down. Instead, she hired a former Ralph Lauren patternmaker and solicited customer feedback to learn what worked and what didn’t. Her focus and hard work paid off. Now Gwynnie Bee has an entire team of designers, works with nearly 200 brands, and has rented out some 3 million boxes of clothing to customers and raised more than $100 million in venture capital.

Gwynnie Bee members can start with a free 30-day trial to see what it’s like before committing. And if you love a particular piece, you have the option of purchasing it at a reduced price. But if that Aztec print shift dress just isn’t your style, you can return it for free. From work wear to date night, it’s easy for women to find what they love on Gwynnie Bee.

Thanks to Christine, Gwynnie Bee has become a welcome resource for women forever in search of well-made and well-fitting clothing. And what could be simpler than rent, return, repeat? Ladies, welcome to your fashionable new closet!

QUITE THE QUOTE

Christine Hunsicker would certainly agree with plus-size model Ali Tate, who said:

“True beauty comes from the soul. To change yourself and to conform to anyone else’s standards of beauty is to change your essence. Own who you are, and you become a truly powerful woman.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. So share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.http://OnTheDotWoman.com

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