I recently read a NYTimes article about the comeback of curvy body shapes among the Y- generation. It seems that an increasing number of women in their 20s and 30s are finding the “calendar girl” silhouette appealing. Along with a curvaceous silhouette, the look includes Betty Page style bangs, swing skirts, and bright red lips.
The classic 50s and 60s pin-ups were before my time. By the time the 70’s arrived, the style of the day had evolved. Pin-ups looked different – beach blondes, tiny waistlines and overly-styled looks were on trend. These were the images that surrounded me when I first began to think about my own definition of beauty and develop my own sense of style. I was an awkward teenager. Growing up with limited resources in our small community, my sense of beauty and style was dictated by Seventeen Magazine. And I don’t remember anyone in my little world that looked like me. I remember my mother—who was a teacher at my school—telling me that none of the little kids looked like me. I had black hair, black eyes, a “foreign” look. In fact, years later a friend of the family looked at my cousin and said “Pam, you have just grown up to be the most beautiful young woman.” Then, as her eyes descended upon me, she exclaimed, “And, Natalie, you are so, so, so EXOTIC.” For a shy and somewhat delicate girl, that felt like the kiss of ugly.
The trend appears to be coming full circle from six decades past, as new-age pin-up style embraces femininity and curves. Wearers dress in cinched-waist dresses to accentuate their hips. How often do you hear someone wish their hips bigger? Yes! Considered glamorous and classy (and not overtly sexual), pin-up style is ultra-feminine and confident. It is how I want to always feel, no matter what I wear.
It struck a chord: it is ok to be curvy. In fact, it is BEAUTIFUL. After bouts of poor body image over the course of my lifetime, I am finally learning to love my body. With understanding and patience, I know I will have those feelings again from time to time but, I stop writing this to tell myself: “Big hips, I love you.”
I always strive to design clothing to fit every body type and to embrace the wearer. Literally. Because of the physics of cotton fiber, our cotton jersey molds to fit each body type that wears it. There are no limitations. I won’t design anything that I don’t feel good in. Often we are asked questions about the age or body type that our clothes are meant for; they are meant for every woman. We have made clothes for women of all shapes, sizes, and age, without bias. These clothes have a timeless and ageless style brought to life by the wearer.
It’s nice to see other companies also support such a philosophy. Starting in 2004, Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has demonstrated that beauty is an unlimited, uncontained, unclassified quality. Embrace your body, your beauty, your style. I hope to see more and more companies celebrate all women (and all men, for that matter) for their own unique beauty.
What is your definition of beauty without limitations? With the changing face of body types, how does your style embrace your body and curves?
P.S.: Images are of Bunny Yeager’s Pin-up Girls of the 1950s by Bunny Yeager.