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.