Monday, April 13, 2009

Plus Size Dilemma

As a NYC based costume designer, I have been hit with a dilemma regarding costumes for plus sized women. This year I designed a costume for plus sized women (Labeled Option C). I felt that it was a cost effective way to create a beautiful costume catered to plus sized women. My friends and associates have mixed views about my decision to do this. Many of them think that I will make plus sized women feel alienated because they cannot register in the regular costume (Option A & B), but I feel that this would have the opposite effect. In NY, Mas bands do not show masqueraders how the costumes would look in sizes other than a small or medium, leaving plus sized women to wonder if there are 12 strands of beads on the mannequin (Which are on a small or medium sized costume rather than the 24 strands suited for a 2xl costume). Unfortunately, depending on the designer or section leader, that plus sized person may receive the same 12 beads spaced out on their costume or receive another type of bead to accommodate the larger sized costume. This makes a lot of women upset and makes them complain that they didn’t receive what was advertised when in fact they did. The costume advertised 12 strands of beads and that is what they received. Last year, it cost me double to produce the larger sized bras and waist bands for the larger women. I even purchased special shorts for them to wear instead of the regular boy shorts. Most of them purchased bustiers in which I decorated with way more trimmings than I used on the prototype. This year I don’t want to do that because I ended up losing on the plus sized costumes. Most New Yorkers are not as body conscious as the masqueraders in Trinidad; they do not go to the gym just to fit into their labor Day costume because the parade is only for a few hours. Plus sized woman tend to be plentiful in a section, which leaves me with a dilemma.

I would like to hear your views on this topic.

Should I.....?
A.Design a regular costume and give everyone the same amount of trimmings
B.Design a regular costume and charge extra for plus sized women
C.Design Plus sized woman their own version to the costume. free polls


Anonymous said...

i know what you are going through. You had an AWESOME costume last year and I'm sure it was hell to put so much detail on a larger base. Understanding the fact that you may not have the time to provide consultations to every plus size woman to ease her concerns about pricing and changes for cost accommodations; I guess I have to go with giving them an option C. Those that don't like it will definitely inquire as to whether or not they can pay more for the exact costume as the prototype.

afro chic said...

Do you have a sketch/prototype of the costume for us to view?

I think you should design something for plus-sized masqueraders, BUT you should also give them the option of the regular costume and charge for any extra accommodations that you may need to make.

Ms. Sexy said...

I do not want to release the sketch nor pictures of the prototype until the costume is approved by the band leader. This has been a difficult task for me because I dont want anyone to feel offended.

HQ said...

I agree with GnR and Afro Chic: do an option C, & those women who complain must be prepared to pay more for A or B if they want it adjusted> There is no reason for u to lose out on profit for the sake of being PC and not offending people. Just as we must pay more for the same bra if it is a D cup as opposed to an A cup, so to must they pay for a larger costume!

Emprezz Diva said...

I LOVE the option C idea....I don't think they will feel alienated but delighted that someone caters specifically to them. But for those who may be DETERMINED to in option A or B make it to suit their type with the trimmings that will make the costumes look good and charge them accordingly.

Contributing Author said...

As a plus sized woman who struggles to find any good costumes for plus sizes. I would say go ahead with costume C. Most of us would just be happy that you tailored the costume specifically to fit our frames.

PlusClothingExpert said...

Yeah... there could really be a grea difficulty for designing plus size clothing for women. I go for C. Design Plus sized woman their own version to the costume.