When You’re The “In Between Model” In The Fashion World

in between model

“Since I am not model skinny, but also not super fat and fabulously owning my hugeness, I fall into that nebulous ‘Normal American Woman Size’ that legions of fashion stylists detest…

For the record, I am a size 8 (this week, anyway). Many stylists hate that size because I think, to them, I lack the self-discipline to be an aesthetic, or the sassy confidence to be a total fatty hedonist. They’re like “Pick a lane!” – Mindy Kaling “Is Everybody Hanging Out With Me?”

In the fashion industry, there are two types of models: skinny, which is usually size 0 to 4, and plus size, anything over a size 8, but what if you’re in between a size 4 and a size 8? What does that make you? You aren’t necessarily ‘skinny’ in the eyes of the modeling industry, but you’re also not plus size either. You’re in between or middle-sized, according to an article in Business Insider.

Look at Iskra Lawrence, one of Aerie’s most notable ambassadors and a girl who understands first hand the realities of being an ‘in between’ model. As a young girl, she was told she couldn’t model for the regular modeling industries because her hips were ‘too big.’ She was told by plus size modeling agencies that she wasn’t ‘big enough.’ In reality, she’s just a girl with curves being told that she’s not good enough because of her body. Read her interview here with Business Insider.

These are the women the fashion industry is ignoring and it’s costing them millions of dollars each year. Because designers have their clothes designed to fit certain models, it makes it hard for ‘regular’ women to fit comfortably into these clothes. The tops are too big or too small and the pants are too tight, too revealing or the legs are too long.

As a young woman who wears between a size 8 and a size 10 in Womens’ clothing and a size 9 in Juniors, finding pants is often a struggle. The waist has too much give in the back and the legs are too long. Some of us also have wider hips and a butt which is the other area designers are overlooking. Some women have broad shoulders and a long upper torso which can make finding shirts or jackets impossible. Often times I have to buy a jacket a size larger just to fit my shoulders and it winds up too big everywhere else. Not flattering!

Designers need to rethink the way clothes are designed and realize that women are not all built the same way. We all have different body types and not all of our ‘assets’ are the same. Some are bigger than others, some smaller and some are almost non-existent. God made each of us unique when it comes to our bodies and WE shouldn’t have to conform to the standards set forth in society when it comes to fashion. Fashion should fit US.

For information on how to be a curvy or full figured model check out  this awesome book!


College graduate with a B.A. in Communications. Writer. Bookworm. Millennial.

  • Well written article. Thank you for sharing your frustrations on the industry. I am a classic size 0/2 and even I feel the pressures of the industry. I was told at a fitting by a designer that I wasn’t big enough! Though the pressures of the industry are difficult designers and everyone involved are artist. We all have a vision and preference. We have to learn to respect that and find where we can let our visions live.

    • Gabrielle


      Thank you for your comment and sharing with us your experience on the other side of the modeling spectrum! I agree that every designer has a vision and preference. It would just be nice to find some common ground and have each designer design their line for every size, but I understand that not every designer thinks that way.