The future of plus sizing might be obsolete in a few years
Almost fifty percent of women in American are what the fashion industry has labeled “plus size“. More than forty percent of today’s average American teenage girl wears a size 14 and up.
At the moment, more than two-thirds of American women are considered to have to wear a special size, which can be defined as petite, plus, tall or junior.
But the average retail store doesn’t carry inventory in sizes larger than size 14 or 16. The fashion industry has established specialty retail stores dedicated for plus size women or isolated in a corner inside of a department store. Often with limited styles and options with elevated prices.
But women, no matter the dress they wear, they all desire the same thing – wear clothes that make them feel sexy, fun and confident. They don’t want to feel different from so-called normal sized women; they are strong beautiful women with a sense of style.
For example, if a woman has a larger than normal shoe size such as a size ten and up, she is obligated to go shopping at a separate store or section to find a shoe in her size. Shoes have been categorized as size inclusive for decades. If you need a larger size, the staff will just go in the back room and get it out for you. So why have they margined off plus sized clothes for women, making fashion almost inclusive for women size 14 and below?
Plus size shoppers often are more financially stable, meaning that they have extra cash to spend on themselves but are frustrated with the sad reality that there are no fashion options available for them. Marketing research shows that plus size women are more likely to splurge on an expensive haute-couture brand name purse or shoes, just because it is easier to buy. Plus, nobody is making them feel margined off because of their dress size.
Social media is recreating the way women view what is considered to be the perfect body. In the past, through fashion magazines or runway shows, beauty was exhibited as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Fashion designers designed styles and fashions for size 0 or 2 women and not real women. But more and more celebrities are showing off their flaws, tummy rolls and stretch marks on social media, helping other women learn to embrace their curves instead of feeling ashamed.
Millennials and Gen Z are determined to change the fashion industry. They are happy with their curves and have no desire to look like a model for Victoria’s Secret. Today’s average woman or teenage girl does not wear what used to be considered to be normal sizing from size 0 to 12. The younger generation considers “plus sizing” to be obsolete, and their opinion is causing a permanent ripple within the female population.
Alexandra Waldan, the founder of Universal Standard, created her fashion brand to provide women with stylish clothes. She, being a size 20, found that she often had picked through the “best of the worst” of plus size choices. Often they were poorly designed, tacky and made from poor quality materials.
Waldan shares the same feelings as millions of plus size women around the globe, she just wanted to feel part of the rest of the world. Her unique approach starts with designing a pair of pants, for example in a size then going down from that point instead of going up from a size 6. This new approach ensures everyone gets an ideal fit and style.
Walden wants to erase the plus size generation and recreate a straight size from 0 to 30.
Today’s women want the fashion industry to create a new normal, which doesn’t create minority groups. Women don’t want someone telling them they can’t wear this because they are plus size. The fashion industry needs to stop ignoring almost half of American women and give them what they want.