The plus size market continues to grow as beauty standards evolve and women find comfort in their body shapes and sizes. No longer are ladies required to look a certain way to be considered beautiful (though we’re still fighting this on certain fronts) but are rather encouraged to be confident no matter what size and shape they are. This approach has led some retailers to shift away from limited plus size options to a full range of plus size clothing. Here’s why brands should pay more attention to the plus size market.
Beauty Standards Have Evolved
While impossible beauty standards have more or less been indirectly enforced via shaming and endless advertising, we’re seeing a general shift in this particular area of the fashion world. Before, the closer you were to a size zero, the more beautiful you were (but only if you weren’t too thin). Nowadays, the narrative is a bit different, with a much larger focus on loving your body no matter what size and shape it is.
With an ever-changing beauty standard, plus size ladies are gaining access to fashionable, comfortable clothing on a scale that the niche has never had access to before. From designer plus size clothing on 11 Honore to Target’s lineup of plus size options, the market is expanding every year. Why should you pay attention? Because things are changing.
It’s important that we realize people are people, no matter what size they are, and by limiting options for plus size ladies, we’re creating an atmosphere of lowered self-confidence; especially among younger girls who may not fit the mold of a size zero.
Customization Means More Sales
The bottom line is that the more customization you offer your customers, the higher your sales will be. If you can custom-fit clothing to someone who’s a size 32, you’re going to find that more people will give you their patronage. Finding stylish plus size women’s clothing that fits correctly shouldn’t be a chore!
Customers appreciate when you can serve their needs, and serving the plus size niche simply means access to a greater market. In fact, according to this article, the new average in women’s dress sizes is between 14 and 16; both plus sizes. If you’re not including plus size options in your lineup, you’re simply missing out on a lot of sales.
Plus Size is the New Average
With the new average dress size around 14-16, we’re seeing an increase in the number of women who fit the “plus size” category. This is something that has rarely been seen before, and with it comes a new era of beauty standards and social awareness.
If you’re trying to sell to the average US woman, your size ranges should include everything from a size zero to a size twenty. The average US woman is around a size 16 (the previous statistic was simply for dress sizes) making the national average a larger size than it has been in the past. Excluding these sizes from your lineup can cost you sales and even some bad press in the future.
Essentially, plus size ladies aren’t going anywhere (nor should they have to). They’re looking for reputable brands to create stylish, affordable, and comfortable options, so they don’t have to search the maternity racks at department stores for something that fits right. If you’re a clothing retailer, it’s time to get on board the plus size market and start providing awesome clothes for the plus size customer.
Inclusivity and Social Awareness
Greater social awareness about impossible beauty standards and the importance of being inclusive simply makes for a better world overall. Imagine being a teenage girl who is considered plus size, but can’t find any clothes that fit or look halfway decent. Imagine her being shamed for her size and her weight; now imagine that’s your daughter. Is that something you’d want your daughter to suffer through?
Including plus size ladies in the “normal” spectrum of clothing sizes helps us create a world where nobody has to be ashamed for being a size 16 or go looking through the maternity section for their clothing. Inclusivity and greater social awareness are good tools for any brand to have in its arsenal and should be considered carefully when making big changes to the brand itself.
The Bottom Line
Essentially, paying more attention to the plus size market can help you build a larger customer base and help make your brand more inclusive and socially conscious. Beauty standards are constantly changing, and if you expect to keep customers involved, you’ll want to change to meet those standards. Keep yourself involved with the plus size market, and you’ll find that your sales and your customer appreciation will both increase over time. After all, adaptable brands are the ones that survive!
Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash.
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