I really haven’t talked a ton about our trip to Florida, and that’s mostly because over time, vacationing with kids has become a blur of car fights, chain restaurants and overdraft fees.
But in summary, we rented a huge house with some good friends and spent the week visiting relatives and having fun. It was good.
While we were at Disney, more specifically while I was kicking Jude’s ass on the Buzz Lightyear laser ride (not every kid needs a trophy, people), I got a phone call…that I missed, because of aforementioned ass handing, and later returned after collecting my high score and infinity ego points.
Remember when I said I was tired of being shut out of the fashion process, that I (WE) was a size ad person worth designing for, and that I was going to beat my drum until somebody, anybody, heard me?
Well, someone heard.
Lands’ End called. They want to relaunch their plus size line, and they want…me.
Brittany, from absolutely nowhere Ohio, who has three small kids, who fluctuates between a size 14 and maternity jeans, who loves food dipped in cheese and collects bras with broken underwires, but loves the hell out of pretty clothes and her curves. Me.
Telling you I am excited and terrified would be an understatement, and as a year’s worth of plans and schedules unfold around me, I’m beginning to feel… empowered.
After returning from Florida, I told my dad I would be partnering with Lands’ End and their plus size line, and he looked at me like I had just put a baby in the oven.
Wait, you’re going to do this for plus size clothes?
Why would you tell the world that you wear plus size?
I didn’t know it was a secret?
Why are we whispering?
You know, I don’t like this whole thing. I realize it’s probably generational, but I’m not ashamed of being plus size, and honestly, I just want some fucking clothes that look amazing on me, and I don’t really give a crap what their called…aside from, like, Fat Girl Stuff or Herpes Pants. I probably wouldn’t wear those.
Two days ago, I returned from a trip to Lands’ End headquarters in Wisconsin, where I spent a few days listening to them talk about their brand and their clothes, and they showed me how much thought and time go into every single piece of plus size clothing. I met the people who researched it, designed it, created it, styled it, photographed it, wrote about it in catalogs and marketed it.
I don’t think I will ever again be able to try on clothes from Lands’ End without picturing all of them in the room with me. Like that old Verizon commercial where like, 8 billion people followed that guy around to make sure his phone worked. Which is hot and creepy all balled into one, because I’m kinda into voyeurism right now, and it’s hard to explain out loud.
So, after all that, listening to them talk about how much they loved their company and how they were so excited to embrace plus size…it was my turn to talk. My voice was shakey at first, but then it grew stronger. I said lots of Yes do this‘s and Stop doing that‘s.
I explained how tired we were of having to chose between old lady elastic waist house pants and wide fitting polyester Hello Kitty shirts modeled on fake plus-size women. How we want well made, trendy pieces, and to look like, I don’t know, regular people our age who walk around on the street wearing attractive clothes.
Plus size women, we’re just like you!
They asked me questions, from fabric to marketing. They physically took me through their line, piece by piece, and I told merchants and designers and heads of departments, honestly, what I loved, hated, needed to change OMGRIGHTNOW.
And they listened to me, hell, they took notes, pages of them, and made amazing, mind blowing plans.
When my plane landed back home, and Andy met me in baggage, he asked me what happened, and I told him, so much.
And that’s what I plan to change about how people and designers see curvy and plus size fashion this year. So much.