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Plus-sized ski gear

sibhusky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#21
I've gotten to a quite large size these days. Eddie Bauer has it covered. I will say I'm on the edge of being too big for them as well. I've got both ski pants (two pair) and a jacket (my second) from them. The jacket is XXL and the pants 2XL. I will say I created a belt for the pants as they run too big in the waist and tend to hang low. I bought seat belt stock and click buckles and created belts on the cheap for two of their ski pants, which come with belt loops. Yes, they have "adjustable waists", but they don't adjust enough for me.

The main thing is, the ski pants have full zip legs, an upper leg pocket where I put my hanky for convenient access on chair rides, and venting zips. The jacket has a helmet compatible hood, pit zips, zip out lining that takes different types of liners, and it's water proof, breathable. It's real ski wear. They also have a great return policy.

Screenshot_20190106-095900.png
 

ski_hat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#22
So! Longish rant/explanation incoming... (I also have an ask! but I'll save that for my next post)

The fashion industry has for a long time only used "misses" sizing, eg 0-12, and "plus" sizing, eg 14-20+. (The exact numbers will vary across designers/labels.) When designers create a new pattern, they'll pick someone who is their "ideal" size (these days, often a size 6 for misses; size 18 for plus), and then they'll create the pattern specifically for them. This person is called the "fit model."

When the designer has settled on the pattern, they do a process called "grading" to make it into other sizes: essentially they cut the pattern up and spread out the pieces to make bigger sizes, and overlap the pieces to make smaller sizes.

Now, you can imagine that as the sizes get bigger or smaller, the proportions get totally off the further away you are from the original. This is why folks on the edges of the size ranges (00-02, 10-16, 22+) have such a hard time finding clothes that fit.

Even worse for those in the "plus" size range, some labels don't even bother with a plus fit model. What this means (and this might drive y'all to stab levels), is that when they have "tried plus sizes," they've actually just graded their single fit model pattern to elephantine proportions. Shocker: no one wants to wear clothes that make them feel like they're wearing elephant clothes. Thus they don't sell. Thus, the label confidently says, "there's no market."

The answer is to have more fit models. Companies like Universal Standard have figured this out, and are doing EXTREMELY well. Very very few designers have done this for the adventure apparel industry, and I'd like to change that.
 

Obrules15

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#23
So! Longish rant/explanation incoming... (I also have an ask! but I'll save that for my next post)

The fashion industry has for a long time only used "misses" sizing, eg 0-12, and "plus" sizing, eg 14-20+. (The exact numbers will vary across designers/labels.) When designers create a new pattern, they'll pick someone who is their "ideal" size (these days, often a size 6 for misses; size 18 for plus), and then they'll create the pattern specifically for them. This person is called the "fit model."

When the designer has settled on the pattern, they do a process called "grading" to make it into other sizes: essentially they cut the pattern up and spread out the pieces to make bigger sizes, and overlap the pieces to make smaller sizes.

Now, you can imagine that as the sizes get bigger or smaller, the proportions get totally off the further away you are from the original. This is why folks on the edges of the size ranges (00-02, 10-16, 22+) have such a hard time finding clothes that fit.

Even worse for those in the "plus" size range, some labels don't even bother with a plus fit model. What this means (and this might drive y'all to stab levels), is that when they have "tried plus sizes," they've actually just graded their single fit model pattern to elephantine proportions. Shocker: no one wants to wear clothes that make them feel like they're wearing elephant clothes. Thus they don't sell. Thus, the label confidently says, "there's no market."

The answer is to have more fit models. Companies like Universal Standard have figured this out, and are doing EXTREMELY well. Very very few designers have done this for the adventure apparel industry, and I'd like to change that.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Love! (Like was not strong enough)
 

jskis190

Certified Ski Diva
#24
It would also be nice if the clothing industry could figure out that we don't grow taller as we gain weight. Being under 5 ft tall, I find it almost impossible to find any clothing that fits. I bought some stretchy soft shell fabric several years ago, and have made some simple ski pants, but sewing my own jacket is another thing entirely. I have a 20 year old jacket that still fits, but all new jackets seem to be cut with a very slim profile and I have had no success finding a new one.
 

ski_hat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#25
It would also be nice if the clothing industry could figure out that we don't grow taller as we gain weight.
YES! This is exactly the issue with grading.

Another problem is that grading tends to be more of an issue for curvier folks - in the plus range, people tend to have their weight distributed pretty differently: Person A could have big hips but no butt; Person B could have a big butt but relatively small hips; both might have the same hip measurement.

These are things that are tricky to account for when making clothing for the masses, so first question: would you rather go to a store to buy something that fits you 80-90%, or order something that fits you 95-100% (assuming the same price, same quality)?
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#26
I'm a big fan of stretch fabrics and elastic in the waistbands for this exact reason. My favorite pair of ski pants is from Obermeyer, and it's got a stretchy gusset inset onto both sides of the waist to allow for this very kind of thing.
 
#27
Friends - I've had enough. I'M GOING TO MAKE SKI PANTS THAT FIT US!

A little backstory: I'm a size 14/16 lover of all things hiking, skiing, climbing, and more. About five years ago, I got so fed up with trying to buy jeans that fit/would last, that I started sewing. A few weeks later, I signed up for my first ski lesson, and my problem with jeans turned into my problem with ski pants. About a year and a half later, I started taking patternmaking and design classes, so that I could make my own clothes that actually fit me to my measurements. I'm finishing up my program this year (it's a 30-month program), and my goal for 2019 is to make my own ski pants. The longer-term goal is to start a company to - FINALLY - make snow pants for the rest of us!

I could rant for a long time about why companies don't cater to our sizes (short version: it's a self-fulfilling prophecy involving bad math and branding), but for right now I'm curious: would any of you be interested in helping me, either by answering questions or leading cheers? (Eventually I'll be making samples and will need folks to help test the fit/performance ;-))

Let's. Do. This. :yahoo:

I an SO IN!!!! I'd love to help in any way!!!!!:thumbsup:
 
#28
Friends - I've had enough. I'M GOING TO MAKE SKI PANTS THAT FIT US!

A little backstory: I'm a size 14/16 lover of all things hiking, skiing, climbing, and more. About five years ago, I got so fed up with trying to buy jeans that fit/would last, that I started sewing. A few weeks later, I signed up for my first ski lesson, and my problem with jeans turned into my problem with ski pants. About a year and a half later, I started taking patternmaking and design classes, so that I could make my own clothes that actually fit me to my measurements. I'm finishing up my program this year (it's a 30-month program), and my goal for 2019 is to make my own ski pants. The longer-term goal is to start a company to - FINALLY - make snow pants for the rest of us!

I could rant for a long time about why companies don't cater to our sizes (short version: it's a self-fulfilling prophecy involving bad math and branding), but for right now I'm curious: would any of you be interested in helping me, either by answering questions or leading cheers? (Eventually I'll be making samples and will need folks to help test the fit/performance ;-))

Let's. Do. This. :yahoo:
I'm in, too, but you knew that! I need a pair of good ski pants, too.
Also -- happy to help draft, sew samples, and/or investigate fabric sourcing.
 

AusinCanada

Diva in Training
#29
I’m happy to help too. I’m frustrated at the lack of better quality plus sized ski gear for size 18-20w.

I’ve done some research on making technical garments with goretex/taped seams.

A very very long time ago I trained in fashion production and worked in wardrobe and fashion. I’d love to be a part of this.
 

Hcrawford

Diva in Training
#30
Well shoot! I came in looking for suggestions on where to buy plus ski gear and I see we all have the same problem! The plus market for clothing is just terrible. I am not a ski diva, I haven't skied in 25 years, but going on a trip and would like to try it. However, I am a solid 18/20/22 with gigantic calves and I am super concerned about clothing and specifically boots, I'm sure there aren't any rental wide calf ski boots! Any suggestions are appreciated!
 

sibhusky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#31
Possibly buying boots at a ski swap? Could easily be cheaper than renting if you're lucky. But it would require knowing how it should fit and having luck. It's not like buying shoes, the fit should be way snugger. But maybe if you went with a "real skier" friend you'd end up with good boots. (For these purposes, a "real skier" is not just someone who happens to own their own equipment. You need someone who knows how to buy boots, how to measure your foot, how to do shell fits, etc. If they don't know what a shell fit is, then they aren't the right person.)
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#32
You may end up with men's boots. Cankles can be fitted.

Why not email WB and ask about sizing. Also there are some of the shops that rent equipment too.

Oh - and look into a lesson. Equipment has really changed in 25 years!!
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#33
Friends - I've had enough. I'M GOING TO MAKE SKI PANTS THAT FIT US!
Let's. Do. This. :yahoo:
I'm in too! How can I help. BTW - I am not plus sized but in my closet I have S-M-L ski clothes and they all fit. I recently lost weight so the larges are looser, but I can still wear them. There is something wrong with three different sizes fitting comfortably! I would also point out that I have a lot of Columbia stuff and it's not consistent sizing. Also +2 to the fact that when I gain weight, I don't get taller. Also, I am not petite. I am short and there is a difference. I have normal sized bone structure. I'm just short.
 

freckles

Certified Ski Diva
#35
As mentioned above, check out Obermeyer, The North Face and Columbia for ski pants. They have extended sizes in different lengths, and some have customizable waists with Velcro/elastic. I've had good luck with TNF men's XL short ski pants (sooooo many pockets!).
 

smpayne

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#37
Smartwool has started making plus size base layers. I got my normal street clothes size and they were wonderful. I will need to shorten them (but that's always an issue). I ordered the Columbia pants in two sizes and my normal street clothes size was too small but the next size up was huge in the waist (fit around the hips). I kept the larger size and will just add Velcro pieces to make the waist smaller. I may also add suspenders. Now if sock manufactures would make socks that would fit my med feet and XL calves...

REI online has the "extended" or plus sizes at the beginning of the season, but tend to be sold out early. I also found some stuff on Amazon, Peterglenn.com and directly from the manufacture's website. I have yet to find an actual brick and mortar store that carries the larger sizes to try on and purchase off the rack.
 
#38

Analisa

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#40
I work in apparel development (just casual/everyday) and didn't go to school for anything fashion related, but it's been super eye-opening to work on size-inclusive brands and see the ways the outdoor industry fights against extended sizing.

I wrote a little piece looking at Patagonia in particular since they're generally pretty woke and this is the one place they seem really regressive.

If you're straight-sized, I encourage you to still be engaged in the conversation. It's one thing for brands to walk away from plus-sized business, but brands will feel the heat faster if they understand it impacts their overall brand reputation with their current customers who are keeping the lights on.

https://femignarly.com/2019/12/05/patagonias-resistance-to-plus-sizes/
 

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