Out of Shape

Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit

Out of Shape

Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit

by Mel Campbell

Affirm Press, $24.95 pb, 228 pp, 9781922213075

Dion Kagan

Dion Kagan

Dion Kagan is an erstwhile lecturer in gender studies who is now a book editor and an arts critic.

Much has been said about our tendency to feel bad about our bodies, but not quite in the way Mel Campbell goes about it. The fit of clothes is a more interesting, if more elusive, cultural story than the predictable outrage over fashion’s ever slimmer bodies or recent storms about ‘plus size’ models. Out of Shape addresses these controversies but also goes to the frontline of fashion and fit: malls, big-brand manufacturers, and their fraught strategies for streamlining a comprehensible – and marketable – logic between clothing size and the heterogeneous human body. Though it is her first full-length work, the book explores a question that Campbell has been pondering in blogs, journalism, and reviews for years: why can finding clothes that fit well feel so torturous?

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Published in September 2013 no. 354

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