When Zara recently released its new “Love Your Curves” line of stretchy jeans, it received plenty of backlash in the process — not over the product itself but regarding its ad campaign, which features two markedly non-curvy young women. That’s gotten the angry and baffled attention of many on social media platforms across the globe. And while the misstep is an unfortunate one, to say the least, this writer still had to know whether the line actually fits curves or if the jeans were more suited for … well, the women featured in the ads.
ZARA DO YOU KNOW WHAT CURVES ARE pic.twitter.com/NjJaPnCNx2
— MattMo (@mattmodeterding) February 28, 2017
I headed to a Zara in New York City recently to try on three pairs of pants in the brand’s new line to see whether they would actually fit me. (Disclaimer: I’m using “curvy” in regards to shape and not size, which is an important distinction to make, as not all curvy women are plus-sized, and vice versa. I’m generally a size 4 to 6, and an 8 at Zara, because I find their sizes tend to run small. I’m a bit petite, standing 5 feet 3 inches, but I do have a curvy, hourglass figure.)
When I went to Zara, I found the pants fit me pretty well — though two pairs had gapping at the small of my back, which is not uncommon for someone with my figure. Most of the pants I buy have gaps in the back, actually, and it’s a problem that is easily fixed with a belt.
Of course, women in America with my body type are in the minority. Some studies show the average American woman is a size 16. Zara’s pants sizes don’t go quite that high — up to a 12 in some styles and 14 in others — so I asked a friend who is 5 feet 11 inches and typically hovers between a size 12 and 14 to test the larger sizes.
While the cuts I tried on weren’t available to her when she went to try the brand’s new line, she was able to try on the cropped style in size 42 (10) and 44 (12). Zara has several styles of body Curve jeggings, none of which appear to be modeled on curvy women on its website — much like its campaign.
“Basically the 12 fits, but it’s still kinda small in the butt and WAY WAY too short,” my friend told me in a series of text messages. “The 10s I could hardly get on and the waist was so tight, but the fabric was mad stretchy,” she added, before expressing her disdain — via an eyeroll emoji — for the distressed style Zara offered.
So it sounds as if the body curve pants do fit curvy women — at least in the size range Zara offers — even though there are clearly some sizing and proportional issues, depending on your body type. But the question remains: Why not use women of different sizes for the campaign?
We reached out to Zara for comment and will update you when we receive a response.
Watch the video above to see how the pants fit me when I tried them on.