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Covert Cheating and Bodyshaming by Fabindia
Mar 26, 2019 06:53 PM 1937 Views

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I have been buying Fabindia clothes, almost exclusively for over 15 years. My size gradually moved from M to L and now to XL over the years ?. However, I continued to buy Fabindia as I love the style, the fabric and the fit. Typically, I make a couple of trips in a year to the Fabindia outlet, spend ½ day and pick out a lot of clothes, accessories, furnishings and anything and everything that catches my eye. I rarely try the clothes on as by now I am very familiar with their fabric, fit and cut and know what works for me. As this point, close to 90% of my wardrobe comes from Fabindia.

Last December, while my daughter was home, as usual we went to the Fabindia store for our shopping binge. The first thing that surprised me, was the very diminished variety in the “XL” size. But more was in store. In the weeks that followed, I was surprised and somewhat disappointed when I realized that almost everything that I had bought during my last shopping, were not fitting right. Everything seemed a bit on the tighter side… while not completely unwearable, they weren’t as comfortable as I was used to. Surprisingly, even the salwars seemed a bit tighter, which was confusing as until a few months ago I was still fitting in fine in even my older “L” salwars. I was disappointed but blamed it in on my ever-growing girth and promised myself with renewed vigor that I would make an effort to lose the weight.

A few days later, I noticed that the salwar I was wearing fit very comfortably, even though it was over 2 years old. I was surprised but thought maybe it was a one-off piece that was probably stitched on with the wrong size label or something. But then, in the days that followed, I became aware that my old “L” salwars seemed to fit the same as my latest “XL” salwars did. However, on most days, I am running in the morning in my attempt to get to work in time and so didn’t have the time to actually check. Each morning, I paid attention and made a mental note of the fit and kept intending to find the time to actually do a proper check and measure the clothes etc.

So last weekend, I actually made the time and here’s what I discovered.

  1. My XL salwars from the previous year/s were larger by 3” than the L salwars at the waist.

  2. My XL kurtas were larger then my L kurtas by nearly 2”(nearly, because it varied with the style of the kurta)

And now comes the surprise

  1. My new XL salwars were EXACTLY the same size as my old L salwars at the waist!

  2. Not just that! The salwars had much lesser “chunnat/pleats” and had lesser “ghera/circumference” on the thighs! Not even as much as there was in the old L salwars!

  3. My new XL kurtas were SMALLER than my old L kurtas on the arm and the same in size as the old L kurtas on the chest and hips.

The question I have for Fabindia is,

  1. What exactly are you trying to say with the smaller selection in XL? Currently, in India, the women who prefer to wear salwars as against churidars, are essentially women like me, who are large in girth and prefer to be comfortable. My minimizing the selection, you are telling me that I should not be shopping for your brand. Is that being consciously done?

  2. What’s the thought behind decreasing the size and uplabelling? So that women who need to wear a L/XL feel shitty and mistakenly believe that they have added weight when they actually haven’t? Or is this a new way to cheat and make more money?

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