Pakistan’s plus sized women have a new best friend in The Rack Couture

Pakistan’s plus sized women have a new best friend in The Rack Couture

"Retailers don't want to get into the hassle of understanding body sizes. You have to fit into what’s available."
06 Apr, 2021

For Pakistan’s curvy women, shopping for readymade clothes can be a nightmarish task. Their shopping trips are plagued by lack of options.

But there’s a new superhero in town that is catering to women of all sizes — The Rack Couture. It is a plus size, size inclusive brand that highlights body positivity.

With beauty standards being influenced by the images and messages we see via the mass media, thin women dominate television screens, Instagram feeds and fashion spreads; perpetuating the notion that everyone can fit into the standard sizes of clothing off the rack.

But creative director Zainab Ali knows that is far from true and wanted to work towards fixing the problem. In a conversation with Images, she spoke about how she was a curvy girl herself who couldn't fit into the standard clothing sizes at retail stores in the country.

"I used to think this is a problem that hasn't been addressed, until I realised plus sized clothing isn't a problem anywhere else in the world. You can go to retailers abroad, for example Marks and Spencer, and easily find clothing for all sizes. This facility isn't available in Pakistan."

She then revealed how her brand featured custom couture, promising to make custom-sized clothing for women who need it.

Addressing a popular stereotype, she reiterated how not everyone is fat because of an 'unhealthy lifestyle'.

"If you're wearing size 18 pants, it's not necessary to wear a size 18 blouse too," she said, explaining how people have different bone structures. "Retailers and designers don't want to get into the hassle of understanding body sizes at all. There are only certain sizes available and you have to fit in those."

Thus, while some brands, such as Khaadi, are now featuring plus-sized models and choosing to expand their sizing options, it’s no surprise that most others haven’t caught up and still only have standard sizing.

Endorsing body positivity and size inclusivity, she then explained how her brand was for women unable to find clothes off the rack, with pret, couture, casual and western clothing (stitched on a plus size scale) for women for all shapes and sizes.

"All people on board are body positive and have come together to celebrate a significant part of a woman's life where she's confident," Ali said. The Rack Couture has a new collection launching every three months.

Representation matters and by giving women who don’t fit traditional moulds a more diverse range of clothing options, The Rack Couture is is reinforcing the idea that everyone deserves to look and feel pretty and while we love the them for it, we wish other brands would catch up.


M. Saeed Apr 06, 2021 02:02pm
Plus size is now the most prevalent in the world now. Even food starved countries like Pakistan are having a high percentage of them which is fast rising. So, plus size dresses and shoes are now the most sought after.
Toni Apr 06, 2021 02:56pm
At least this is not a Feminist issue, its a Feminine issue instead, self imposed.
NoVoice Apr 06, 2021 04:32pm
It a third world country, how are some people so over-weight? It must be a mis-allocation of resources.
It's me Apr 06, 2021 06:00pm
The RACK Couture. What does the RACK refer to in this instance? Frame or the vulgar slang referring to bosom. Otherwise a nice copy and paste of a concept that took of a decade ago in the West.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Apr 06, 2021 06:08pm
Buffalos are cold.
Browngirl Apr 06, 2021 06:38pm
Promoting unhealthy lifestyle.
nk Apr 06, 2021 06:58pm
American gender program in Pakistan money seems to start working, Why are we creating all these new topics in our society? Why are we promoting women towards western dresses. Are we not comfortable and beautiful in our own dresses?
nk Apr 06, 2021 07:00pm
Plus size women? In Pakistan? Yet another needless topic picked from the western world. '
Ibrahim S Apr 06, 2021 07:22pm
Most of the women are plus size due to their life style imposed on them and keeping them “health “ like a Sumo wrestler to continue breeding children . If any woman try to keep healthy and do workout, she will sure be blamed for spreading vulgarity and blame on her own fault on sexual assailant .
NYS Apr 06, 2021 09:38pm
Positive nice approach thumbs up
El Cid Apr 07, 2021 12:42am
Plus size? Why quibble the truth and facts. Say what they are: Overfed, fat, obese!
Queen Apr 07, 2021 02:44am
All those commenting here that being plus size is a “western” thing, how many of you let your mothers, wives, or sisters take 2 hours daily off from household chores to go hit the gym?
SATT Apr 07, 2021 08:25am
Beef and zero stress with landlords.
Malik Apr 07, 2021 08:57am
Growing up I only saw plus size women in Pakistan. Most Pakistani women have always been plus size and they are beautiful.
ND Apr 07, 2021 08:57am
Appalled by the insensitive comments in here! I don't think I know anyone who got fat by choice
Almir Apr 07, 2021 09:19am
@M. Saeed we are not food starved we are food waisters
John Apr 07, 2021 09:31am
Stop eating biryani by the kilo, do some house work , clean floors, make food in kitchen and you wouldn't need the big dresses
Hafsah Apr 07, 2021 12:53pm
okay inclusive is good, very good but the outfits are horrible and lack a basic sense of design.
Laila Apr 07, 2021 06:34pm
Being curvy is one thing. Being overweight or even obese is another thing. Both are not the same. The former is healthy, the latter are unhealthy and leaving people open to diabetes, fertility issues, lack of energy, over stretched skin (not reversible), water retention, gastric issues, cardiac issues, high cholesterol and an early death just to name a few. But it's your body, you choice to not treat it as a temple.
Sarmad Apr 08, 2021 12:09am
Bro this is called FAT. These women don't have different bone structure, they are fat. Fat from eating excessively. Fat from being over-privilidged And that's ugly
Amer Apr 08, 2021 03:17am
@nk slave mind set with slight hint of NGO greed for money and trips tp west = western ill ideas.
Amer Apr 08, 2021 03:19am
@Almir why you think if it happening in India it must happening in Pakistan.We are different than you guys.
Laila Apr 08, 2021 03:20am
@John or instead of just watching dramas and songs, watch and exercise to free workout videos. It's fun and you can do it at home.
Laila Apr 08, 2021 03:23am
@ND true but it is no secret many let themselves go after marriage or just don't get time to work out. Exercise and maintaining oneself isn't equally important to all social strata groups. The education on dietary changes and biology is surprisingly lacking. So is the access to workout and gym. If you are a woman in lower middle class home serving your husband and inlaws nd your children while managing the home you got your work cut out for you.
Laila Apr 08, 2021 03:24am
@Queen isn't the concept of gym and exercise a western thing designed to demoralize our women and make them go outside the house and become independent? Just kidding Hahahaha I agree with you though.
Laila Apr 08, 2021 03:34am
@It's me I don't know what dictionary you are using but I literally looked up 'rack' in the online Merriam Webster English dictionary and it says its a noun which means; "a framework, stand or grating on or in which articles are placed". Feel free to look it up. The dictionary does not mention anything to do with the female body.
Muneeb Apr 08, 2021 03:37pm
So Pakistanis are celebrating obesity! Kya hoga hamara
Asif Apr 08, 2021 05:55pm
@M. Saeed Be polite about your comments Allha blessed we are much better than others We are not starved people ....
El Cid Apr 10, 2021 05:50am
@Laila Your dictionary may be abridged. Rack, especially so in urban slang boy talk, refers to woman's breasts.
Laila Apr 10, 2021 05:55pm
@El Cid maybe so, but even then why must the slang use be the first that jumps to ones mind? This article is about fashion, no? Logically speaking, racks are used to hang clothes from. Both at home and in stores. If you travel, you must undoubtedly have come across the Tie Rack chain at international airports. If hearing the word rack makes one go straight to female anatomy then that is not the article writers or contents fault. I have more faith in the actual linguistic use of the word as stated in English dictionary.
ak4pk Apr 11, 2021 04:33am
@NoVoice, unhealthy diet (too much fat ad sugar) ad no exercise, spending too much time in front of the telly and of course never ending gossip. Got it ?