Body positivity is a buzzword these days, but is it actually being implemented rather than being merely promoted online? From Ashley Graham to Jordyn Woods, representation is surely growing with bloggers, models, influencers talking more about fatshion. While the conversation is rising and spreading, the industry has expanded to just around 17.5 billion.
The digits may appear huge at first glance but considering that 65% women in America fall in the plus size category, there is still lots more potential for growth. The problem? Supply is unable to meet demand and retailers are failing the tap into the market’s requirements as they should.
The result is proportionately bigger sizes that don’t fit everyone and limited options in the dimly lit corner of a store. Plus size shoppers, on one hand, are rejoicing at inclusivity whereas on the other, they are finding themselves still confused about how to find choices that fit and meet their mood.
There are several problems that they are struggling with even though fatshion has come a long way. Wondering what are some of the common issues that plus size ladies complain about? Here’s a look at 9 complains that plus size shoppers still have:
1 – Limited sizes
So many brands claim that they are size inclusive. Only when you actually look through the sizes available do you realize that their plus size clothing range fallw below a size 12 with a handful of clothing items available in size 14.
That’s not okay considering the average woman in the United States wears a size between 16 and 18. Only a few brands actually cater to larger sizes which means there’s only some stores that a plus size lady can shop from.
2 – Dearth of designs and cuts
There’s a set mold of designs that retailers think curvy women prefer. This mold is based on the so-called fashion rules that apply to women who are not as thin as a stick. Accordingly, women who are fat should stick to particular colors and cuts that make them blend in.
For instance, you’ll find yourself confused when trying to find a black and white shirt with horizontal stripes. Why? Because they say horizontal stripes have a widening effect. So, this means styles that are available in plus sizes are almost always bland.
3 – Lack of options
As a big girl when you head to a store for buying clothes, you are likely to be slapped with the lack of options. Check the racks for women who have smaller waists and you’d find endless variety. For plus size women, only some options would be available. This is outright unfair.
Let’s take Lululemon for example. The brand got caught in a controversy when it addressed its lack of sizes by saying that there were simply no leggings for those above a particular size. Did the company do anything about the massive backlash? No. Did that move negatively impact it? No again.
4 – Unavailability of activewear
Sure, there are a few brands that have sportswear for plus size peeps. However, most are still behind in this regard. Why is that so? Because of the stigma that overweight people do not care about physical activity.
Moreover, it seems as though brands are still not sure about what fit they should create in plus size activewear such that the clothing fits well along with not causing friction. Considering lots of plus size ladies want more active wear options, this question needs to be addressed.
5 – Fewer styles in swimwear
It’s not only activewear where retailers are lagging behind but swimwear as well. When you search for a plus size bikini, you’d be greeted by several pairs that have high rise bottoms. Interestingly, there are hardly any other styles.
The reason behind this discrimination in styles is obvious – because many think curvy women shouldn’t and cannot expose their midriff as per norms. In fact, before 2012’s fatkini movement it was rare to even spot plus size women in media flaunting their body in a bikini.
6 – Little to no genuine promotion
Size inclusivity and body positivity are big words that are being used more and more now. Brands are showing off their marketing campaigns and announcing that they are now selling clothes for curvy bodies too.
Only when you enter the store though do you notice that all the shelves have sizes for slim girls and at the far end corner are there some racks for plus sizes. Clearly there is a need to better market plus size clothing items.
7 – Higher prices
Another issue that plus size ladies come across is that their clothing comes with bigger price tags. Why do retailers do that? Is it because they know plus size women will be ready to pay more bucks because they know they may not be able to find better options?
Frankly, never has it happened that crop tops come with a smaller price tag than full-length shirts. Women face more disparity in pricing when shopping for plus size clothing compared to men. Does this mean we dealing with pink and plus tax now?
8 – Inconsistent size charts
We’re all aware of the size we wear. Thanks to this we know the size to buy when we shop online without any inconvenience or occasionally depend on others to shop for us. For plus size women, having a particular size number is nearly impossible.
All brands have different size charts. One brand’s size 16 is another brand’s size 18. This keeps people who wear plus size from actually knowing what size they can order online. What’s more, it can be frustrating to have to remember what size to go for when shopping from different brands.
9 – Improper fit
What happens several times is that plus size people are able to find their size. Unfortunately, though, the fit is not quite right. This means the clothing item is merely a proportionally bigger size of the smaller versions available.
But it doesn’t quite perfectly meet the proportions of real curvy women. The bust area is too small or too big, or dresses are just obnoxiously baggy. In short, most brands don’t put in real efforts when it comes to their plus size range.
So, that sums up our list of problems plus size folks commonly face when shopping. Did we miss something? If so, tell us in the comments!