Did you know “68 percent of adult women in the U.S. said they normally buy clothing sized 14 or larger”?

This morning in WWD there’s an article talking about the new plus size jeans being launched over at Lucky Brand. While it’s interesting to read that such a massive brand is stepping into an opportunistic market, the statistics presented with the article were more mind boggling. The most important statement:

68 percent of adult women in the U.S. said they normally buy clothing sized 14 or larger

Wow, just wow! Let’s take a step back here and think about that. 68% of America is saying they are looking to buy clothing that actually starts one size larger than the majority of high fashion designers carry.  The article then carries on and states that surveys found:

Some 38 percent {of women buying size 14 or higher} said they’ve spent $100 or less on plus-size clothing in
the last 12 months, while 30 percent said they’ve spent $100 to $249 

What this means is that the critics out there saying plus size women don’t have money to spend on fashion are DEAD WRONG. Not only do they have money to spend, they want to spend it on great clothing. As Americans continue to grow taller and wider, this is marketplace that demands recognition from the fashion industry. For those brands wanting to stick to the size 12 and below range, you are missing out on a massive opportunity to make huge increases to your sales this year. 

In years’ past, we have mentioned the plus size “dilemma” faced by many designers. The excuse is usually, “We weren’t trained to create clothing for larger women. We all were taught to design for certain sizes.” The less tactful amongst us have responded with, “I don’t want to invest in more fabric.”; “They should just lose weight to fit into the sizes we already make.”; or our personal favourite in low blow idiocy, “It wouldn’t look good on anyone that wears over a size eight, so what’s the point.” 

The bottom line is that we live in a world where things are always changing. Fashion changes every five minutes so you would think someone could figure out how to design larger mannequins for fittings, source more fabric than usual and start thinking outside the skinny box when it comes to creation.

The designers that can make this plus size revoltion happen will definitely reap the rewards. So who’s first?

For those looking to explore some trendy options for plus sizes already available, check out our “guide to shopping plus size online” we published early this month.

Statistics: Mintel


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