While many traditional fashion houses, especially brick and mortar retailers, are still ignoring the plus size clothing market; the phrase ‘plus size’ is appearing increasingly on social media platforms. Thankfully, times are changing, and the clothing industry is moving towards a more diverse future. Just like the sustainable “Green” fashion trend, plus size is one clothing trend that is here to stay!
Plus Size Market Value
According to the latest Bloomberg market report, the United States plus size fashion industry is worth over $17.5 billion, with two-thirds of American women fitting into the plus size category. And yet, plus sizes represented just 17% of women’s clothing sales in 2015. Additionally, 78% of plus-size women said they would be willing to spend if only more options were available to them.
The Attitude of Manufacturers
Now we have an idea about the worth, but what about the designers and the manufacturers? It’s really a bitter truth when you come to know their attitude, by no means it’s in favour of extended clothing sizes. Melissa McCarthy is an Emmy Award winner, a worldwide famous actress. Even, she had a hard time to find a designer for her Oscar dress. Make no mistake, she’s an internationally renowned star. Yet, she had to go lengths for her choice of dresses, only because she needs plus size dresses. Why? Hear it from herself –
“I asked five or six designers—very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people—and they all said no.”
Additionally, what are the designer’s thoughts on this? Julien Macdonald is a fashion designer who often appears as a judge for famous reality TV shows like Next Top Model.
He directly said that plus size figures for a model “are a joke” by stating – “a catwalk model is a size six to eight. This is a serious show. You can’t have a plus-size girl winning – it makes it a joke.”
Why they hold an attitude like this? We might never know! But, you get the idea, the industry is simply not friendly towards plus size clothing. If the big fishes show ignorance towards something, how could the small players aka startups possibly can show interest?
Plus Size Shopping Experiences
Physical stores offering women’s apparel often present a lacklustre experience for plus size shoppers. Most of the times curvy ladies face two problems; a lack of stock, and a lack of style. Thankfully, there is an alternative. Online plus size clothing stores in Australia are doing a fantastic job. They are passionately driving competitively priced, quality plus size dresses for curvy women.
The Classic Duo Designers and Fabrics
When a department store launches a line including plus size clothing, it is rare to find trendy or fashionable pieces. Sadly, most designers prefer to work on with standard sizes. Likewise, major merchandisers rarely promote plus size fashion lines. Big brands and industry gurus are yet to make a move – so how can fashion startups take advantage of the needs of plus size customers?
It can be intimidating at first, as an extended sizing line involves more than just scaling up the pieces. Quality plus size clothing often demands different styles, cuts and fabrics. Startups will want to play it safe, but in doing so, they are missing out on a market which is desperate for their talents. It’s high time for fashion designers to be bold to start designing for curvy ladies – the rewards could be substantial.
Though extended clothing sizes are showing a promising return on investment, most startups still consider plus size clothing to be risky business. As a result, more people are shopping online, and online plus size fashion retailers are flourishing. If you are looking for a good business niche for your fashion a startup, plus size clothing is the way to go.
Emma Sneddon, a freelance writer and an independent blogger. As a follower of sustainable business and fashion trend, she’s big on body image and a fan of stylish plus size dresses for curvy women from Kita Ku.