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Why I think plus size fashion is getting it so wrong

303880cc04189834832773657f0c0b74I am a fat woman who loves clothes. I care passionately about plus-size fashion. I buy a lot of clothes and try a lot of different looks, but more often than not, my fashion life is spent craving things I can’t have. And why can’t I have it? Because plus-size fashion retailers think I won’t buy it, won’t wear it, or don’t deserve it.

The market for plus-size clothes is booming – Business of Fashion valued the US market alone at $17.5 billion this year – and has been for some time. In the years that I’ve been Properly Fat rather than on the cusp of plus-size, things have got immeasurably better, year by year, for plus-size women. But it’s not there just yet.

At the core of what’s holding plus-size fashion back is a set of rigidly imposed rules and norms. The ultimate goal is to pretend you’re not fat. The secondary goal is to reproduce hegemonic beauty standards by faking or creating ‘womanly curves’, prizing so-called femininity, huge boobs, a flat stomach and wide hips. Using these two goals as the focal

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This uni has just banned the man-bun

Man-Bun-article-pictureMan-buns are like marmite: you either love them, or you hate them and they leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Brigham Young University – Idaho, it’s a case of the latter. Last week, the college issued a new rule banning the man-bun, promising to enforce disciplinary action against those wearing their hair in the style.

Over the last few years, the man-bun or “mun” has become as synonymous with “creative” 20-somethings as artisanal coffee shops, rolled-up jeans and gentrification. Often accompanied with a beard, piercings and/or tattoos, the style has Instagram and Tumblr accounts devoted to it such as @manbunmonday and @dailymanbun.

But why has this uni banned it? “We would consider the ‘man-bun’ to be an extreme hairstyle,” Tyler Barton, the university’s student honour administrator told Scroll. “It’s just something that deviates from the norm.” They may deviate from the norm in Idaho, but as far as London is concerned, they’ve become as ubiquitous as Fjällräven rucksacks.

“As part of the dress and grooming code, we commit to avoid extreme hairstyles,” said Kevin Miyasaki, the student services & activities vice president. “A ‘man-bun’ would be considered not consistent with this standard.” Instead,

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How to Style a Maxi Skirt

Amazing-Heights-2-433x650It’s no secret that the maxi skirt is hands down one of the most comfortable staples in our closets, right? But often times they seem so one dimensional. How long should a maxi skirt be? How do you pull it off with closed-toe shoes? Can I wear it with more than just a tank top? Luckily, you’ll never have to wonder again! Read on for our favorite maxi skirt styling tips.

Pair with a button down for unexpected polish

You’d never think to pair a classic button down with a maxi skirt, but it does look amazingly polished. The trick? Make sure your maxi is structured, with a fitted waist and A-line fit—it shouldn’t be the straight-hanging, jersey maxi you wear to a backyard BBQ. Roll the sleeves and add your favorite necklace for a look Jenna Lyons would be proud of.

Mix up sweet details with edgy sandals

Mixing different styles and breaking the rules is part of what makes style so much fun! So change up a delicate, feminine maxi by swapping your strappy heels for a pair of edgy gladiators.

Keep it (cropped) and flowy

Typically, a flowy top and bottom would look aesthetically similar to adorning yourself in a trash

The party seasons mens dress code is formal but can go undone too

Come undone, says Simon Chilvers

Even the idea of putting on a bow tie makes me feel twitchy. I hate the way that most men look like they’re in costume on the red carpet and anything with a dress code that involves a lounge suit makes me urgently eye-roll. I’m not against dressing up. Clothes should take us to places which make us feel the best possible versions of ourselves, and if you need a dinner shirt or a velvet blazer to get you in the party mood then no judgment. However, as menswear continues to loosen up, why would you want to truss yourself up in a cummerbund?

In the spirit of goodwill to all men, I say let’s break out. I point you first and foremost to Gucci. The transformation of this brand is the fashion story of the year, thanks to its Granny meets World of Interiors, geek-amazingness makeover. Harry Styles has already worn two catwalk suits, if that sort of thing matters to you. Apparently, the one he wore on the X Factor finale caused outrage on social media. So, if that isn’t a reason to bust out the statement wallpaper vibes, what is?

Naturally the easier sell is a

Does it still make sense to design clothes in seasons

I find myself having to explain the idea of a pre-collection half a dozen times a season. Plenty of people don’t really get them, both in the industry and out. “What does pre-fall really mean?” moaned a designer with an exasperated sigh, as he showed me his this week. I started to explain the nuts and bolts: that pre-fall is an interim season delivered to stores in about June, between the main drops of spring/summer and autumn/winter; that another counterpart, dubbed “resort”, started arriving in November. “No” the designer said with a sigh. “But what does that mean, clothes-wise? Coats?”

It’s an interesting question, especially as we’re grappling with the warmest December in 70 years in the UK and have been subjected to a remarkably mild winter across much of the northern hemisphere. That kind of climate affects fashion, obviously, and especially coats. (Last week H&M reported that November sales rose by four per cent: a rise, sure – but a third of the figure originally predicted, before the weather turned not-so-sour, and people decided they didn’t need winter coats.)

So the importance of the pre-collections currently being unveiled by designers – who’ll be showing them through January – can be traced,

Why appropriation is always appropriate in fashion

Appropriation and misappropriation have been major sources of ruffled feathers in 2015. Most memorably, there was a furore over the fine artist Richard Prince’s work, itself dubbed “appropriation art”.

In 2014, he staged a show at the Gagosian Gallery in London titled “New Portraits” – new in the sense that they hadn’t been seen before and that the medium in which they were created seemed new.

The portraits were grabbed from Instagram, appropriated from other people’s accounts – including those of the singer Sky Ferreira and the Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel – then printed on canvas. Some loved it, some hated it, but it was restricted to arty discussion. Then, said images were put on sale at New York’s Frieze art fair in May. Their prices hovered around the $100,000 mark, which of course attracted far more indignant attention than the earlier show.

Fashion is a fan of appropriation – not copying, because to copy means to counterfeit, but the lifting of someone else’s work in whole or part without due credit – and generally, unintentionally. Last October, for example, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing was taken to task over a spring/summer design that resembled rather too closely a suit from Alexander McQueen’s 1997

Not Everyone Is Happy With France Law Banning Excessively Thin Models

Not everyone is pleased with the new French law banning excessively thin models. The French government is putting legislation in place that will require models to produce a medical certificate with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18 or over. Fashion houses and agencies that fail to adhere to the law may face six months in prison or a fine of 75,000 euros (about $81,000).

Several high-profile names in the French fashion industry have taken issue with the law, according to WWD. Isabelle Saint-Félix, the general secretary of Synam, France’s union of model agencies, said international models shouldn’t have to contend with “a different system for different countries.” Paris-based stylist Simon Gensowski said, “Rather than body-shaming women with eating disorders, it would have been wise to reconsider current sample sizes.”

Despite criticism, the French government is moving forward with even more laws that govern body image in the fashion industry. Next year, a new article will go into effect that regulates photoshopping. If a model’s face or body has been airbrushed in a photo, the mention “retouched photograph” must accompany said image.

France is finally cracking down on the damaging standard of beauty perpetuated by the fashion industry. In our opinion, it’s a welcome change.

the best disco skirts for party season

Why oh why did disco become a dirty word? In its late Seventies heyday, disco was a by-word for decadence and debauchery, epitomised by Studio 54 and its famous, glamorous revellers. Of course, that was before disco was co-opted as a catch-all phrase referring to anything from a school dance to cheesy “nite clubs” in small suburban towns – not so much dens of iniquity as pits of despair.

Nowadays, a disco dress code usually brings out the worst of that decade’s style: oversized Afro wigs and flared jumpsuits. But dust off your platforms and practise your boogie as disco is making a triumphant return to our wardrobes at least, if not our way of night life. And that revival is exemplified by an item of clothing that’s having a serious moment in the fashion spotlight – and on the light-up dance floor too. Dubbed the “disco skirt” it’s typically a midi-length pleated number in a shimmering metallic lamé or printed silk. For winter, Gucci and Christopher Kane sent glittering body-hugging Lurex versions down the catwalk, while at Loewe J W Anderson’s take was in space-age silver.

It’s easy to see why this skirt is suddenly everywhere: it’s a familiar shape, one