No! That’s NOT just MY size! Linda Knight Seccaspina
My very first job when I was young and thin was working as an assistant fashion designer in a children’s wear firm. It wasn’t the most glamorous work, but I gained a lot of much needed experience. Even in those days they had an official Canadian children’s sizing chart that clothing companies had to adhere to. When you bought your kids clothing you knew that a size 2 was a size 2 no matter what company produced it. So, what ever happened to the women’s clothing industry? The average woman is now about 25 pounds heavier than she was in 1960. Yet larger women are sent to the new plus-size clothing racks, usually defined now as size 14 and up.
I can buy three pairs of jeans in the same size and when I get them home good luck getting two pairs of them on. Jean companies advertise how advanced their fits are and call them “Just My Size”. Well, I’ll tell you what jean companies are- they are not “Just My Size”, but I assume they might fit someone else! Or, how about the trendy stores who sell sizes 0 to 10 for the cool kids. You know the ones–which targets the trendy folks who favour coffee over food. Last time I got a 10 on was my shoe size.
When I had my own clothing store years later I had to assure customers that some companies made their clothing way too small and if you needed a size 9 you might as well try on a 13. Sometimes I had to comfort many a customer because they thought they had gained weight.
More women have developed eating disorders now over the size of clothing than anything else. Retail stores do not help either with their skinny mirrors. These mirrors are not a piece of fiction – they do exist and are a threat to our ‘round bottomed nation’. When my store took over the main floor once occupied by a major Canadian fashion chain I warned everyone about the mirrors. They were all built on a slight angle and everyone looking at their reflection appeared 5-7 pounds thinner.
The fashion designers do not help either, and even the ageing ones seem to feel everyone over 40 should be a size 2 or a 6 at the most. Can these people not design anything that flatters our prime ‘muffins tops’ and the ‘bicycle racks’ we proudly wear on our upper backsides? Let alone the horrible matronly prints they use; heck that would be another book in itself.
A store I would personally like to shake my finger at is that huge pink lingerie chain, who feels they offer women the best in intimate apparel. Maybe they do, but are they really thinking about youth stylings instead of someone who is packing some cleavage and the results of a family meal or two?
If you order a bra from their mail order catalogue you will notice a huge difference from a similar item that you purchase from one of their retail stores. Sizing seems to be different and the side boning is awful. A few wears and a wash and those under wires are going to be digging for gold in your armpits for hours. Someone told me to ignore the pink lingerie stores as their sizes are based on the models who are actually angels (ever see their wings in the fashion show?) and everyone knows celestial sizes run small.
When Subway advertises a foot long sandwich it is a true foot long. Why is it so hard for the fashion industry to understand this? I had eating disorders all my life trying to get into clothing that was made way too small. But for decades now I have tried to calm the minds of women who have struggled with a negative body image their entire lives. I am now ancient and I just tell everyone I am a “4 dressed up as a 9″. Okay, maybe a long way from a 9, but I wear something comfortable that is really just my size and not yours! As they say, the clothes from the internet generally don’t quite fit well, but you have to admit their boxes are great. In the end remember:
People who have had too many cocktails, children and leggings always tell the truth!
Be proud of who you are and don’t change for anyone!!
One night Isaac Farbiasz and hit lawyer were playing backgammon, trying to come up with a name for Farbiasz’s new company. The lawyer glared across the board and said, “I’m gonna cream you.” “That’s it,” cried Farbiasz, and Ottawa’s Cream Jean Co. was born. In the four years since, Cream has sold more than $11 million worth of its jeans, cords and skirts with their well-known pleats and recce-style back pockets. “Business is just like science,” says Farbiasz, 32, who has a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s in biochemistry. “Science has taught me to be analytical, and you need that in business.” all started as a student in Israel.
Although familiar with the clothing business his father was a tailor and his mother a designer Farbiasz didn’t try to design anything himself until he was a student in Israel. He designed a sheepskin coat, found someone to manufacture it, and returned to Canada with a sample. Farbiasz dropped plans to market his creation when the shipment of coats arrived all with short sleeves. His second foray into the clothing business the design of a satin-backed vest for an Ottawa boutique was more successful.
Moving to Montreal, Farbiasz managed Overseas Marketing Co. Ltd.’s denim import division before deciding to go into business for himself. He and a partner approached S. C. Walker Manufacturing Company Ltd. of Ottawa in 1975 to produce Farbiasz’s jumpsuit design. In six months, 10,000 had sold. Cream Jeans was incorporated in the fall of 1976, starting with a line of pleated pants for men.
“My father always used to make me pleated pants when I was a little boy,” he said.
The first blow to the company came when a Toronto buyer went into bankruptcy, owing Cream Jeans $10,000. “We just didn’t have the money to absorb that kind of loss,” he said. “But we learned a good lesson about guaranteed receivables.”
Since then, there’s been no stopping the company, which has its head office and warehouse at 95 Beech St. Sales have grown to more than $6 million this year from $250,000 in 1977. “We haven’t peaked yet, but I realize this kind of growth can’t last forever. “We have three styles for women and a fourth coming, plus skirts, and we have three styles for men.”
Most of the design work is done in Ottawa, as well as some pattern cutting. But the bulk of production is carried out at a factory in St. Hubert, Que., near Montreal. Stitching is contracted out to various companies, also in Quebec. Strolling through the local warehouse, now almost empty before fall production gets into full swing, Farbiasz points with pride to his product. “We’re going to be producing 7,000 to 10,000 pairs of cords a week,” he said. The fall cords, of narrow-waled cloth, come in brilliant colors like magenta, blueberry and moss.
Besides the best-selling pleated pant, Cream also markets a western-style pant with leather label, and a dressier flannel pant line. Also new for fall is an advertising campaign based on the company’s cartoon creations, Captain Cream, the lovely Jeanne and the faithful dog, Zipper. “The boom in denim over the past 10 years has been amazing,” said Farbiasz.
“Cream isn’t high fashion,” he said. “There’s an 80-per-cent market out there wanting a good fit, quality and a good price, and a 20-per-cent market wanting fashion. We are after the 80 per cent market.” Farbiasz, who has direct control over every aspect of Cream,, from new designs to production and promotion, said his next challenge is to break into the tougher markets of Quebec and the Maritimes.
“I also want more quality control,” he said. “I don’t want us to be at the mercy of contract stitchers.” The Cream factory in Quebec is in the midst of a move to a larger building in St. Hubert. As president and sole owner his partner left the company a few years ago, Farbiasz says he doesn’t have much time left for anything but work. “I’d love to get back to scientific research some day,” he said. “I keep saying I’m only going to stay here another two years. Of course, I said that two years ago.”
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada23 Aug 1980, Sat
NINETY FIVE BEECH STREET — Cream Jeans
In 1995 shoppers crowded tables heaped high with Sour Cream jeans and shirts for a semi-annual sale. There was the occasional skirt and jacket, but the rather shabby factory, located around the corner from the Prescott Hotel on Preston Street, was the best place in town to find good cords and jeans at bargain prices. It didn’t matter that it was often a sweat box in July.
“There was usually only one full-length mirror in the hastily arranged dressing room, and women crowded around in various states of undress. I don’t know about the men’s dressing room, but you always saw familiar faces and the prices kept you coming back.
For the rest of the year, the 101-year-old brick building was a factory for Cream Jeans. Most recently, it has housed small businesses and a flea market.
Then 95 Beech St. was reborn as a sexy, urban address for men and women who want loft living and the option of buying affordable townhomes. It’s been an instant sales success, selling 18 of the 30 lofts since Oct 23, says a much relieved and very pleased Craig Callan Jones. This real estate lawyer is the spark plug behind the warehouse loft, which, when finished, will include one- and two-storey lofts in the factory and lofts located above two floors of commercial offices and stores in the second phase. “. This second phase, due to start in August of2000, will at the back of the original factory in an addition built in the 1960s and fronting on Aberdeen Street. There are plans to add two new floors for lofts on top of the existing building. Finally, phase three will include eight new-construction townhomes on the east side of the factory.
I worked at Cream for about 6 years. Spent alternate days working with Hank filling orders in the warehouse and other days driving a 5 ton truck between Ottawa and Montreal, to pick up the clothing from the warehouse. It eventually became known as “Cream Clothing” when they started selling other clothing such as shirts, etc. I actually went with Isaac at least once to go to a Montreal Expos game. Hank and I used to spend many a day going to the Prescott across the road for pizza or meatball sandwiches and a beer or 5. Thanks for the memories!!
For us, this is a post-retirement business. I didn’t do well doing nothing, so my wife and I decided to try the food business when the store came up for sale. We were in the clothing business for 20 years, and this seemed like an interesting possibility.
Originally, we wanted to do an organic store, but we ended up doing a specialty and exotic fruit and vegetable store, along with an Organic Food Club.
It’s important to establish a clientele, and you do that by listening to what people are asking for. The family who ran this store for a few decades always went for higher quality, and we went back to that approach.
Saturday mornings are great! We know everyone that comes in, it’s a real gathering…the customers get together in a sort of a community sense. I like early morning people that you get to know, and when it gets busy it’s a wholly different thing.
In supermarkets you don’t get much advice, you never get that personal hands-on experience. I’m off on Sundays, so I get a chance to cook. My staff now, all cook too. Many of us share recipes with our clients and vice versa…that also builds the sense of community.
It’s about food. Food and the beauty of eating good food; it’s not just eating, it’s also the cooking. The cultural aspect of food is in the making, and in the table…it’s everything. Good food is a passionate experience and life is all about eating.
~Isaac Farbiasz, Co-Owner ByWard Fruit Market 36 ByWard Market Square Ottawa ON K1N 7A2
Isaac Farbiasz, who owns ByWard Fruit Market with his wife, blames the “severe downturn” squarely on the city’s decision to allow bars and restaurants to expand patio space into parking spaces and to reroute streets to accommodate other street closures.
My very first job when I was young and thin was working as an assistant fashion designer in a children’s wear firm. It was not glamorous work but I gained a lot of much needed experience. My job was to make patterns for their personal designer who was never going to leave unless she was sliced and diced.Even in those days they had an official Canadian children’s sizing chart that clothing companies had to adhere to. When you bought your kids clothing you knew that a size 2 was a size 2 no matter what company produced it. So what ever happened to the women’s clothing industry?
I can buy three pairs of jeans in the same size and when I get them home good luck getting two pairs of them on. Jean companies advertise how advanced their fits are and call them “Just Your Size”. Well, I tell you what jean companies- they are not “Just Your Size” but I assume they might fit someone else!When I opened my own clothing store years later I had to assure customers that some companies made their clothing way too small and if you needed a size 9 you might as well try on a 13. Sometimes I had to comfort many a customer because they thought they had gained weight.
More women have developed eating disorders over the size of clothing than anything else. Retail stores do not help either with their skinny mirrors. These mirrors are not a piece of fiction – they do exist and are a threat to our ‘fat bottomed nation’. When my store took over the main floor once occupied by a major Canadian fashion chain I warned everyone about the mirrors. They were all built on a slight angle and everyone looking at their reflection appeared 5-7 pounds thinner.
The fashion designers do not help either and even the aging ones seem to feel everyone over 40 should be a size 2 or a 6 at the most. Can these people not design anything that does not accentuate our prime ‘muffins tops’ and the ‘bicycle racks’ we proudly wear on our upper backsides? Let alone the horrible matronly prints they use; heck that would be another book in itself.What are you fashion people thinking and are you all blind?
A store I would personally like to shake my finger at is that huge pink lingerie chain, who feels they offer women the best in intimate apparel. Maybe they do but are they really thinking children’s sizes instead of someone who is packing some cleavage and the results of a family meal or two? If you order a bra from their mail order catalog you will notice a huge difference from a similar item that you purchase from one of their retail stores. Sizing seems to be different and the side boning is awful. A few wears and a wash and those under wires are going to be digging for gold in your armpits for hours.
When Subway advertises a foot long sandwich it is a true foot long. Why is it so hard for the fashion industry to get this through their thick skulls? Thanks to all of you (Subway excluded) I had eating disorders all my life trying to get into clothing that you made way too small. Now I am ancient and I just tell everyone I am a “4 dressed up as a 9″. Okay maybe NEVER a 9 but I wear something comfortable that is really just my size and not yours!
I looked at a photo of my Grandmother today posing with yet another one of her regular house dresses on and realized I had never seen her wear her pants in her life. I remember the drawers of pinkish Eaton’s corsets, the array of stockings and her many hats and gloves. Evening in Paris bottles graced her bureau along with a tiny container of rouge and a stack of assorted hankies.
She had 5 or 6 dresses hanging in an old wooden closet along with a wire hanger full of assorted belts. Belts that wrapped around her bust line were a must and the ones that came with the Eaton’s dresses were versatile. I even knew one of her friends who ordered dresses and then returned it but kept the belt because they were that desirable.
None of her friends that I could remember wore pants either. Maybe it was the odd conversation around a table at the local Legion that kept these women in tow. I remember my Grandfather and his friends ask if the whining would come from a different direction if the women wearing pants were drafted for service.
My mother Bernice had two pairs of cotton capri pants, one white and one blue which she wore with a sleeveless blouse and a tiny scarf tied sideways across her neck. My father never had complaints about it and said his wife had been wearing the pants in the family for years. He blamed everything on the war anyways– or her celebrities in the Photoplay magazine. They were the root of all evil according to Arthur J. Knight.
I can’t remember when I started wearing pants except for shorts in the summer as a small child. The first time I walked into my grandparents home sporting a pair of jeans Grampy Knight asked me if I had been hired for agricultural work. I loved those jeans and refused to wash them less they would shrink to a point where I could not get into them. My Grandmother was horrified and for six days when I got Strep throat she monitored them on the chair beside my bed. Every day she would beg me to wash them as jeans in such unkempt condition were probably against the Bible doctrine and maybe even provincial health laws.
In the late 60s the local hotels and fancy dining rooms banned women for wearing pants. As a teen we were not allowed into church dances with them, and even local offices banned them as office wear. The clothing manufactures went into overdrive realizing the business they could lose and petitions were begun by female office workers. It’s not like it was a new thing as some women had been wearing pants for decades.
Some folks were still up in arms including my Grandparents who quoted Deuteronomy again. “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” Of course they had a specific verse for The Beatles too– not that there was anything wrong with that.
According to some, pants were the beginning of the loosening of morality and jeans, hot pants, long hair and bell-bottomed pants were not only offending good taste, “they were also stimulating the sexual passion to such an unbearable degree that there wasn’t even one young man left pure in that moment of time in the Townships.” Of course they mentioned that about drive-ins too.
Sometime in the lates 70s, my stepmother began wearing “the pant suit” or the power suit as they called it. Suddenly my father was telling me I should buy a couple of pant suits and conversing with my Grandfather that the Royal Bank had issued a statement that they were taking a fairly liberal attitude to clothing on the job. There was no objection to women wearing pants for work, although pant suits and coordinates were preferred.
After my bout with Strep Throat I never wore jeans again until the mid 2000s. Maybe because it just wasn’t considered rogue anymore for a woman to wear pants. Or, maybe because yoga pants suddenly had become the bacon of clothing.
My Grandmother was buried in one of the dresses she wore throughout her life, and I’m sure she never really wanted to wear pants. For her granddaughter, me, wearing jeans and pants encouraged women they could make change. Granted some days I sometimes ask myself if I should wear the smarty pants or the fancy pants, but I am still controlling the zipper.
A young woman has appeared twice at the Clinton, Ontario skating rink in male attire, and she is promised a visit from the magistrate if she repeats the performance. “Any woman who wants to dress as a man must come to police headquarters to get permission.” February 1887 Almonte, Ontario Gazette
This is why Daylight Savings Time needs to be abolished– I think we all turned the clocks back a little too far. Someone is trying to cash in on nostalgia– you know, what is old is new again. Of course people who used to wear wide-leg jeans should now rejoice. According to Christie Creighton Wallace’s Facebook page the jeans that outfitted a generation are coming back to cover America’s legs in oversized, elaborately decorated denim. JNCO short for “jean company,” is a Los Angeles based clothing company who specialized in wide-legged jean styles for men and women that gained popularity in the ’90s . Yeah, let’s bring these back, along with random escalator fatalities, or something like that.
I’m not sure the teenagers will give up their skinny style just yet. However, if you been to anime cons or comic cons, or heard of Kandi Kids, I am pretty sure that group has already given their up skinny jeans. Of course don’t get me started on leggings. (of which I still retain one pair in my drawer) The real satire of stretch pants is that they were probably endorsed by the new world order as a way to reduce human propagation.
But, I fondly remember the Howick Star Jeans that I sold hundreds of once upon a time in the 70s. The best memory is of a wasp that once flew up my wide leg and got caught in my Ballroom jeans and attacked me. How about the memories of wearing those wide-legged frayed hemmed wonders while walking on a rain soaked sidewalk or in deep Canadian snow? Did that equal a miserable disaster for anyone? What was the word most associated with people who wore these pants? ‘Poser’– remember that one?
For anyone that did not know the Howick legend- it had an Ottawa connection. Ray, who used to own the Black Cat Bistro in the 70s at Hawthorne and Colonel By just off the Pretoria Bridge in Ottawa was the man behind the trend. Ray not only had a bistro, he also had a very cool fashion store on Bank Street. It’s never about being best in life, it is being better than you were yesterday- and that is what Ray was all about. During many frequent visits to my store, Flash Cadilac, the man who wore an eye patch told me many stories about the concept of the Howick Star Jean, or what we called Howick Ballroom Jeans.
The trend lasted barely a couple of years but it went from one big star to 4 stars and eventually died out. Yes, it found its way to that great Museum of Cool in the sky along with the Members Only jackets. Happiness is fitting into an old pair of jeans– but in doing research for this blog I could not find nary a mention of the Howick Ballroom Jeans in the fashion archives. Did the style become like disco, and were they suddenly related to being uncool, never to be mentioned again? Fashion always seems to be a repetition of what is cool- and if JNCO is back, let’s bring the Howick Ballroom Jeans back.
Shanon Bowers—Cleaning out my stash of vintage clothing and came across these. Enjoy
Since I’m a female, I generally keep quiet about this subject as women are supposed to be super clean. Of course I practice good hygiene, but I seldom wash my 8 identical pairs of ripped jeans. I began to do this before people like Anderson Cooper and other fashionistas admitted on television that they only wash their jeans occasionally. Okay, let’s take that a step farther, they never wash their jeans, but I eventually do.
It all began for me when I was 18 and got a bad case of strep throat. I ended up crashing for 8 straight days in my jeans at my Grandmothers. After I finally joined the world again I saw how great my jeans looked and announced to my horrified Grandmother that I was never washing them again.
Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger has just single-handedly ended the debate that has plagued America since the beginning of time — how many times should you really wash your jeans? — and his answer might kick up a stink. Never! Some designers say you should wear your jeans every day for six whole months after you’ve purchased them to “break them in”. But, I do have opinion on those that insist on going commando in their jeans. Please wash at least twice a month!
Levi’s also adds washing your jeans as infrequently as possible, no more than once a month (for environmental reasons more than anything, as cotton is a thirsty plant and its demands threaten global water supply).
When you’re a billionaire like Hilfieger who’s made a fortune selling overpriced clothes, especially denim, you can wear a different pair of jeans a day for the rest of your life and not even worry about washing them. Throw them in the trash, put on another pair, or I bet he has people that do it for him.
One of my friends bought a pair very expensive jeans at Bloomingdales, to celebrate a 20 pound weight loss. The clerk was saying the same thing – never wash premium denim. Instructions were to roll them tight like in a roll, put them in the freezer, as the bugs or germs are killed in the freezer. Cheap brands like they sell at Walmart should be worn at least 10 times before washing. What happens when someone’s freezer smells worse than any article of clothing I wear for an extended period of time? NO, that would not be my freezer.
The much-reported experiment of University of Alberta student Josh Le, who wore his jeans for 15 months without laundering them, demonstrated that not a whole lot of smelly bacteria build up on them anyway. According to the National Post Le, 20, bought a pair of Nudie Jeans in September 2009. He wore them nearly every day and even slept in them for about a month to really let the sweat shape the creases. Instead, “the day I came home I triple-bagged them and put them in the freezer.” The next day, they smelled fine. So for the rest of the 15 months, he threw the jeans in the freezer every other week.
Of course he was normal–spilled food on it, wiped it off with a paper towel, and kept on going. “I wanted to push it to the extreme,” he said. Analysts compare those jeans to a pair he had worn for only 13 days, andthey approximately found the microbial load to be about the same. “Approximately?” I guess that’s vague enough to ignore the stench.
Honestly now–does this bring the word “gross” to a whole new level or are they just cold and germy after you take them out of the freezer? Home freezers don’t kill bacteria, I assume it just puts them to sleep. I bet they wake right up when you take them out. So who is right?