How does fashion get plus-size wrong?

Despite being a billion-dollar industry, it seems the fashion industry still makes it hard for plus-size fashionistas.

Business website Gitnux estimated the global market for plus-size clothing was worth US$178.56 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $253.97 billion by 2026.

However, these figures count for naught as plus-size offerings are still considered somewhat of a niche afterthought in the juggernaut of world fashion, where all the attention is on famous brands.

With this in mind, the fashion experts at online fashion portal Joor have summarised the most common plus-sized fashion complaints.

@creativehouseuk How to be size inclusive. #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #smallbusinessuk #ukbusiness #businesstips #smallbiz #ukbusinesscheck ♬ original sound – creativehouseuk

Small sizing range

The first step for brands to embrace plus-size is to expand their ranges to 5Xl or larger. Consumers also want larger sizes at the same price. 

Only adding width and length

Increasing the sizing range is a significant first step for brands, but that doesn’t just mean adding width and length. @wtfoffashion suggests one problem with plus-size clothing is brands not catering to plus-size bodies. 

Avoiding the standard straight cut 

Focusing on how different proportions look as the size increases could help brands be more plus-size inclusive.

One size fits all accessories

A range of sizes built for different bodies should also apply to accessories. For example, it’s important to include jewellery by expanding size ranges to rings, belts and shoes as well as clothing items. alongside. Here’s @soulrainebodyworks doing a beautiful job at including all sizes in their accessory range.

@wtfoffashion Replying to @pinkfinitely ♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul

Style and plus-sized are not mutually exclusive

Too often labels focus on floral prints and ignore trending styles. Plus-size buyers want brands to create cohesive styles throughout their entire range instead of offering a limited plus-size selection. 

“The opportunity for trending fashion is endless, and injecting the same passion from standard size lines into plus-sizes can show the consumer everyone has been thought about,” Joor advises.

Not enough online options

Not knowing how a garment will look can be stressful, especially for plus-sized people. Adopting and experimenting with new technologies can improve the shopping experience. For example, online virtual changing rooms can take the stress out of online shopping for plus-size customers.

@_katiefrances_ Can anyone else relate? Reposting one of my faves ☺️ #plussize #shoppingonline #fashionfail #bopo #tiktokfashion #style #Duet ♬ original sound – Katie ✨ Plus Fashion & AuDHD

Not showing plus-size models

The best way to market plus-size clothing is to see it on a plus-size model. There should be women of all shapes, heights and races modelling clothing for each size.

For example, jersey can look slinky on a model, but on a plus-sized model it could cling in all the wrong places and pull a garment out of shape.

It’s time to get those plus-sized clothes on plus-sized models. And real plus-sized models.

Separating the collections

Since the average Australian women’s size is 14, which is considered ‘plus-size’, should there even be a ‘plus-size’ section? We are talking about the vast majority of consumers. The best way to avoid this is to integrate sizes with main collections.

Listen to your consumers

Brands need to be upfront about sizes, listen to what customers say and dive deeper into their target audience. 

Do you have trouble buying clothes to your body type? What are some of your bugbears? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: Dame Vivienne Westwood’s fashion legacy


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