By Morgan Smith
When I was younger, I was always taller and a little thicker than most girls my age. My weight constantly fluctuated throughout high school, so I was always throwing away clothes and getting new things in new sizes. During this period, I was between a size 12 to 18 which placed me in the category of “plus-sized”. Now, shopping constantly frustrated me because I always migrate to juniors styles which stop at size 11, or 13 in some cases. The frustration stemmed from the fact that I knew I could not fit the style I wanted AND the simple fact that it was not available in plus-size. The plus-size selections were less appealing to me, meaning they simply were not cute to me. So that led me to a question for all the clothing brands, manufacturers, producers, retailers…literally everyone in the fashion world: Why is it so hard to make cute styles for plus-size women?
Now, I must give props to the many stores that are beginning to incorporate plus-size clothing period. This is great, considering most women are between a size 16 and 18 (this is an actual fact, guys: the average American woman is between a size 16 and 18). So, being able to cater to these women is amazing. But, in my opionion, plus-size clothing selections are rather small as a whole and less appealing to women. It is almost like buyers just picked anything for their stores or designers just came up with any garment just to please the majority without any consideration to trends or what women actually want. Another thing I found interesting about plus-size clothing is that the styles for regular sizes are not offered in plus size on some occasions. Hmm, now let’s break this down and get into the real tea.
Retailers Who Get It
Forever 21 used to have a rather small plus-size selection when they first began to include it in their brand. But, they now have very cute and stylish pieces to mirror their brand image. ALSO, some of their regular styles are offered in plus-size.
Plus-size model Forever 21
Rebdolls was one of the first brands I discovered with sizes ranging from XS-3X and 0-32! Their main mission is to….*drum roll*….”stay on the pulse of trendy fashion” which helps to appeal to those women who want that fit and a fashion edge too. They deem themselves as being the destination for “unapologetic fashion” for women of all sizes and even launched a campaign in May of 2015 called “#SEXYFORALL” which was a call to the fashion industry to recognize the diversity in the all sizes for all women.
Plus-size model from Rebdolls
We have all heard the name “Fashion Nova”…probably hear it every day honestly. Many celebrities such as the Kardashians, Cardi B, and Amber Rose have worn clothes from this infamous clothing site. Now, Fashion Nova is the online store known for offering affordable, fashion-forward clothing for women. A lot of women discovered them because they earned the reputation of having the best fitting jeans. Their jeans come in between sizes 0 and 15 and even in 1X-3X!
Plus-size model from Fashion Nova
Take Notes, Retailers
UM….hello, I hope some of these other retailers are taking notes because that is how you do it, honey. I feel as though many stores should follow in the footsteps of the mentioned retailers. ASK WOMEN WHAT THEY WANT. Start asking your customers if they want more from their selections they are being offered. If you see a lot of women wanting something fashion-forward, incorporate it into the brand. If your brand is solely a plus-size brand, try to fill in the gap of providing more stylish clothing by categorizing plus-size clothing. For example, try to break down plus-size clothing into choices for conservative older women AND trendy, younger women. You are in the business of fashion and leaving out the most important aspect for plus-size clothing: FASHION.
I know I cannot be the only woman out there that wants that the perfect fit partnered with the perfect style. Also, most women live simply by functionality because that is what is offered. Imagine how they would feel if they got their desired fit plus a cute style. They would probably be happy, uplifted, and overall…they would feel great and look great. Having a comfortable, perfect fitting garment in a trendy style will have them feeling and looking beautiful in the skin they are in! All women of all sizes are beautiful but equality in style, sizing, and overall fashion really needs to be discussed and incorporated in the apparel industry. Be the brand to make a difference and help feel these women gorgeous and stylish inside and out.