OPINION: Like many Kiwi women, I've got a wardrobe filled with clothes from the House of G.
Glassons has been a mainstay of the NZ fashion scene since the 90s, and we all remember mufti days at school when all the gals were rocking the same Glassons cardi, puffer or tank top of the moment in different colours.
Despite my many years shopping with the brand, I'm f*king over one thing about them: Their approach to togs.
With summer just around the corner, the swimwear section of Glassons' website is filled with nearly 200 different bikini tops and bottoms, but not a single one-piece or tankini style. My size F norks and FUPA are absolutely quaking.
What's worse, the bikinis are almost all modelled by size 8 women, and the vast majority of them are incredibly skimpy. Now, don't get me wrong. I am absolutely HERE for a string bikini moment. Keep the thongs, keep the incy wincy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. I would legitimately hate to see those go, because I love it when people rock them. I just want OPTIONS.
There are a couple of high-waist bikini bottoms available for those searching for fuller coverage amid the sea of minuscule triangles, but they're still being modelled in a size 6 or 8.
I was able to find one or two size 10 models if I looked really hard, but if you're size 12 and above and you're hoping to see your own body type in-store or online, forget it.
Scrolling through the website, wearing one of my favourite Glassons blazers (size 14) as I type, this makes me feel really f*cking bad about myself.
All bodies are beach bodies. I wouldn't want the size 6 and 8 gals to go anywhere - we're all in this together, in the words of 'High School Musical'. I would just love to see a few that look more like me, and some that at least attempt to start representing our varied and beautiful wāhine. Let's keep in mind that according to Newshub, the average NZ woman is a size 16. That's what Glassons' considers an XXL, and where their size range finishes.
Glassons have always kept their prices pretty affordable, they're on track to have 50% of their products sustainably sourced, and they recently received a 5-star rating from Oxfam's 'What She Makes' campaign, which asks fashion brands to pay overseas women who make our clothes a living wage.
So why are they failing so badly in this area?
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I reached out to Glassons for comment, but they didn't get back to me. Not long after I let them know I'd be writing this article, the mention of one-pieces (which hyperlinked to a page with no products) was removed from the swimwear blurb on their website.
That same blurb promises shoppers can "find the perfect fit" this summer and choose from a "selection of bikini tops in a wide variety of shapes and sizes" but from what I can see, that just ain't true for anyone with tatas that require a bit more wrangling.
For lots of women, the task of sussing a swimsuit for summer is a really daunting one. A lifetime of unrealistic beauty standards, unflattering changing room lighting and impractical trends can be a recipe for a self-esteem disaster. Just ask any of my mates about my infamous 'sad burrito' story, which saw me crying over my lunch in a Westfield car park after a failed tog-buying attempt. Grim scenes.
Finding cool size-inclusive togs can be tough, but it shouldn't be hard for brands to provide them.
SOURCE: Cotton On
Glassons would do well to take a leaf out of Cotton On's book - they still make all the trendy wee bikinis of the season, but they also make full coverage, adjustable one-pieces. Even better, they make the trendy wee bikinis of the season in sizes up to 24+, so a much wider range of beach-goers can get amongst.
Now I know I've been ranty, but this isn't meant to be a hit piece - it's a plea. Glassons, even inching in the right direction by broadening your style offerings and hiring some new models would make for a lot more happy burrito stories and create more positive change than you might think.