There’s a saying: big girls need love too. Well, that includes love from the fashion industry. It’s 2019 after all, and still, many stores still refuse to put plus-size sections in their establishments. What’s even worse: some will have people pay more just for wearing plus size clothing. The average size of a woman is a size 16 according to Today, which is considered plus size on the U.S. sizing chart. Women 12 and up have difficulty finding clothes that fit them in most if not all fashion stores, and what’s worse, is that the prices are actually higher for plus size people. Why the discrimination against bigger bodies?
As fast fashion continues to rise, the plus size community continues to be left out of it (that’s cool, didn't want to support the exploitation of sweatshop workers anyway). More and more shopping for plus size people is done online, as walking into a mall can be exhausting and limiting. Even the mannequins don't represent the arrays of sizes and shapes that people come in. “I don’t think a plus-size woman should have to make an emotional payment everytime she goes shopping,” says Alexandra Waldman of clothing brand Universal Standard. She spoke with the Washington Post about the representation of plus size people in the fashion industry and even how she is tired of the lack of spectrum when it comes to the U.S. sizing chart.
Waldman goes on to say “We can't have a conversation and plus-size clothes without having a conversation about how a woman feels about her body. You don’t have that with a size 6.”
Yes, plus size models are just breaking ground on the runway, and there are stores that target plus size women with fashion always in mind. Still, the garments aren’t cheap and neither are the finishing products. Back in 2014, a petition was created by Renee Posey, a plus size woman who was upset over Old Navy charging more money for plus size jeans for women, but not for men.
Posey told Today “Plus size women like myself are kind of fed up with being treated like second class citizens by retailers.”
Old Navy responded by saying that the upcharge is due to the fact that more fabric is costly when creating plus size clothing that’s fashionable. Designers find a way to make plus size clothing appealing as well a fitable to the masses, so consumers will have to pay more for that four-way stretch and waistband material. Nevertheless, this upcharge doesn’t stop some plus size consumers from buying the products, simply because the product is there for them and not given anywhere else mostly. That doesn't mean that the upcharge balances out the demand for more plus size clothing, it just means that being given what you ask for comes at a increased price.
It seems like whenever a retailer drops the ball on plus size toes, there’s another one lurking around the corner, staging their opportunity to pick the ball up and escort plus size people into their establishment where they offer bigger people an array of OPTIONS. Thankfully, there are stores that genuinely cater to plus size women’s bodies as well as pockets. Stores and brands like ASOS Curve, PrettyLittleThing, and Boohoo are all here to cater to plus size needs not just in terms of clothing, but like Waldman said, to their personalities as people.
At the end of the day, plus size folks deserve stores and brands like Dia and Co., Lane Bryant, and others that cater to their bodies. Only times will tell when plus size women will no longer have to dread to mall trip that starts and ends in utter disappointment. In the meantime, i’ll be wearing my romper from boohoo if anyone needs me.