Meet the Dream Team: In August 2020 Recovawear spoke with three of our fabulous fashion industry interns, all studying a Bachelor of Applied Business (Fashion Marketing) at Collarts, about what they love about Recovawear, what they might change in the fashion industry, and their pro tips for successfully finding the right size when we’re shopping for clothing online.
Interviewer and Author: Samantha Deasy
Hey Guys, tell us about yourselves.
EDDIE: I’m Eddie D’Ambrosio and I’m studying a Bachelor of Applied Business in Fashion Marketing and I initially wanted to work in PR.
PHEMIE: I’m Phemie Maloney and I’m also studying a Bachelor of Applied Business in Fashion Marketing and I’m hoping to go into the social media aspect.
SARAH: My name is Sarah Panozza and I’m studying a fashion marketing degree and when I finish this I would love to go into advertising or somewhere in creative.
R: Why are you interning with Recovawear?
E: So I was interested in working with Recovawear initially. I had lap-band surgery in the past and then I had a skin corrective surgery, so I’ve worn recovering clothes before and they were all horrific. They all look like they were for people who were 100 or over. So working with Recovawear was cool because I was interested in those clothes for a younger vibe, for younger people that you could actually wear out day to day. And also it was kind of sporty and active, and I was attracted to that as well, so they’re a few reasons.
P: I didn’t choose the internship but Collarts helped me get it. I would say that I’m enjoying it based on the fact that it’s more than just a fashion brand, it actually has more of a story to it and more of a functionality, in the sense that it provides people with clothes that do more than just being worn. So I think that’s really interesting and I’m learning more about how to have a brand have a story rather than just being an apparel brand.
S: I was also pointed in the direction of Recovawear for an internship and the more I researched and the more I’ve been working on it the more I’ve come to appreciate it and really love the brand and what they do because they’re offering something that is so niche and so unique and it’s something that a lot of people don’t really think about, but it’s something that’s really needed. Because as Eddie said before, the stuff people wear when they come out of surgery is not nice and it doesn’t look good, and Recovawear is filling that gap and it’s making something really, really unique and functional but also really fashionable, so that’s great.
R: What would you change about the fashion industry?
S: The industry has gotten a lot better, but there is still that stigma about looking a certain way, so what I’d love to see is a breaking away from that. Although female fashion is a lot better - we’re seeing a lot more plus sizes and we’re seeing different coloured models and sizes, so that’s amazing. And then men’s fashion is great as well, ‘cause we’re not just seeing really masculine stuff, we’re also seeing it get a lot more feminine and it’s becoming that really nice ambiguous sense, which is great.
E: I think there’s still a lot of stock sizing that especially a lot of American brands and UK brands use – and I think they address this a lot more in women’s fashion than they do in men’s, where they have a lot more scope of sizing for women’s body shapes – but I think if I was to change something it would be men’s fashion, creating more conversation around in-between sizing and different shaped bodies. I guess it comes down to body image as well. But as a stepping-stone, being able to adapt and make more different shapes, making it a more inclusive thing would be really great.
P: I would say there’s probably too much to choose from in a sense, in terms of fast fashion. There’s just so many brands mass-producing products that aren’t necessarily needed. If I were to change anything it would be focusing on niche products instead of focusing on trend-driven brands who are mass producing cheap product that aren’t needed.
R: What are you learning about Recovawear?
E: Recovawear’s material that they use – well firstly it’s all ethically sourced so it’s really addressing some of the big issues that are overarching in the industry – but their size range is quite extensive. Because it’s for people recovering from surgery and has the whole practicality and tech built into it, it’s allowing for people who are different shapes and sizes to have the same look, with the cuts and the styles that they’ve made that are more street style and younger and more current.
P: Recovawear definitely has a functional aspect, so it has more of a purpose, rather than just being an apparel brand.
E: Kind of like a ‘call to arms’, like an issue in society that needs fixing.
S: Recovawear is offering something new that people haven’t had before and that brings something new to the table, by giving consumers a new option - that they don’t have to suffer through pain and that there IS another option. So that’s really good.
E: Recovawear is normalising issues that aren’t necessarily spoken about a lot or worn with pride – some people that have accidents or surgery can really feel like outsiders because they can’t look ‘normal’ or they can’t do things on their own and they feel like they’re reliant on other people. This gives the ability to be autonomous when just doing things like dressing can make you feel better and feel more excited about the day, and that can help you recover faster, and put you in a more positive mindset.
R: Share your struggles with finding your right size when shopping online.
E: I’ve been lots of different sizes. At my biggest I was 188kg, so I was really big. And then over the years I‘ve gone through lots of different sizes. So I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum, like say you go from a 34 to a 32, but you’re that in-between size. So sometimes it’s hard to find, like you have to really look at the materials and if you don’t know anything about that (and obviously I’m a fashion marketing student so I know a bit about materials and fabric and how things work) but for a lot of people who don’t know or don’t care about stretch cottons or whatever, it can be really daunting ‘cause you feel like you’re an odd shape or you don’t fit in something, because this is what they tell you is the ‘right thing’. So that can be confusing and hard, but Recovawear really helps with that because all of their stuff has a bit of stretch in it, it has flexibility in it, the sizing that they have is really wide so it can aid all kinds of people.
P: I would say the inconsistency in sizing between brands, like a size 10 from one brand might actually be a size 8 in another brand and I think that’s what I’ve struggled the most with.
S: You’re right, it’s hard being a girl because you go to all these shops and they have all these sizes and none of them are consistent. Like I went to one shop and it’s all their own stuff but in one product I was a 12 and in another I tried on a 14 and that wouldn’t even go over my hips. It was just the most inconsistent sizing that I don’t understand, and it was just really weird. Sizing is so inconsistent and so many brands just don’t get it, and they work to one particular model, but it’s not a model that really encompasses every other body shape or doesn’t really makes amends for that, which is a real shame.
But Recovawear is fantastic in the sense, as Eddie said, their sizing is so good it does offer flexibility and it allows movement; it’s really good and it’s got that elastic in there as well.
E: When you have a brand like Recovawear you don’t have that, because if you’re a normal large you will be a large in Recovawear, and someone who is maybe an XL in most brands can still fit in that and feel kind of right, so you don’t get into that negative mind space - which is what you always want to do in fashion, to make people excited and happy and confident, so brands that can do that is 90% of the battle.
R: What do you recommend to help us find the right fit online?
S: A good way of doing it is just having your own body measurements so literally just knowing what is your bust, waist and hip so you can go to a website and have that as a comparison.
E: We can shop from China, we can shop from India, America, Europe, all different cultures which are all different builds of people, different everything, and that’s what they’re basing their sizes on. So we might love the European styles and this Chinese and Asian stuff, but you know that if you’re going to shop from a brand that’s based in Asia, or that has a big Asian following, the size is going to be small, because that’s who their audience is.
S: I agree with what Eddie said. I am about 5 foot 11 and I have been to Japan multiple times and I love their stuff over there, but I can’t fit into anything. I’m just way too tall and everything is way too short on me. I’ve had issues with length, that’s a big thing I’ve struggled with in size, particularly in dresses, has always been an issue, being really tall.
P: Yeah I agree, cause I’m the opposite. I’m quite small, so everything is too long on me. Like pants I really struggle with because you can’t get pants that are one size but have different lengths. But I now know what brands to shop for, brands that I’ve been shopping for for years, based on the fact that their sizing is consistent.
E: I think that’s where men’s and women’s differ because when I buy pants I can choose between one or two lengths and waist size, so that’s good.
S: Yes, we have that with jeans but when you’re looking for a skirt or something then you’re out of luck. If you don’t fit into that particular model set, then you can’t wear it. Phemie, you say you’re kind of small so maxi dresses, maybe not your jam, and for me, mini skirts, maybe not my jam.
E: In Japan I bought these clothes from Zara and they were full length on every other person. I ended up buying them anyway but when I put them on they were so cropped, but I thought ‘You know what? I’m just going to make it a thing’, like I’ll wear chunky shoes.
S: That’s fine, it works, cropped has come back in.
E: If you’re really worried about something being too small or too tight, if that’s a genuine stress for you, just check if there’s a little bit of Elastane or stretch in the material because that’s going to help so much. Also: instructions, because that’s going to make everything last ten times longer.