“That Woman” Clothing from Marlo Thomas

Yesterday’s New York Times had a story about a new clothing line started by actress and feminist activist Marlo Thomas.  It was a fun read but I didn’t learn much about the clothes, so I decided to look into it on my own.

Thomas calls her line “That Woman,” a reference to her hit television show “That Girl” which ran from 1966 to 1971.  Her target audience is women over forty.  In an interview with People magazine she said that “Stores today either give the older shopper a choice of looking like my granddaughter or my grandmother. So I thought, I’m just going to do it myself.”

What does she think the older woman needs?  Certainly comfort.  Except for one woven jacket, the clothes are all knits. The skirt and pants have pull-on waists.  The one sixties-inspired dress goes on over the head.  They need functionality too—the simply styled clothes all mix and match. Thomas likes color, and her tops come in navy, pink, turquoise, and red. Because she wants her clothes to be “a little bit flirty,” several of the tops show a little skin.  Her philosophy—be covered, but not covered up. She is often photographed in a lace up top from the line that shows a bit of cleavage.

After taking a closer look at the clothes on the HSN site, I was surprised at how ordinary they were.  Except for the dress, I didn’t see all that much difference between Thomas’s line and the other clothes sold on the network. That isn’t too surprising, since the average HSN shopper is 59 years old. The fabric didn’t inspire me either. Polyester predominates in the pants and jackets. The tops are cotton and rayon blends.

But there is something refreshing about a line that states so boldly that it targets the older woman. Thomas’s size structure backs her up, with all styles in a range from XS (a 32” bust) to 3X (a 53” bust.)  And lets face it, these day it isn’t all that easy to fit a color blocked sixties style dress no matter where you look.

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2 Responses to “That Woman” Clothing from Marlo Thomas

  1. eimear says:

    totally agree with the ordinary-ness of the line, they are nice clothes, I would be curious to know the fit of the trousers, as the centre front dips down, and would be good to know if they have a tummy control panel – it would have been nice to see something fresh and a bit fitted like a wrap shirt – nice to see a proactive approach to non-teenage dressing

  2. Jen O says:

    It’s all well and good that there is a new fashion line aimed at the older age group (59?), but disappointing that it doesn’t get beyond a budgety discount store product. Obviously her target customer remembers who she is, and still watches television, so that pretty much sums up what the fabric/colors and style will be. In my opinion there’s not much to interest anyone with a wider range of reference or knowledge of fashion trends in the broader sense.

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