Plus size women everywhere each have their own personal gripes about shopping for clothing, shoes and accessories. It is a well-known fact that sizing is inconsistent across the board so it is pretty much normal for a plus size woman to have an array of sizes in her closet.
Many of us have not found the perfect pair of fitting jeans or a blazer whose upper arms are not tight or sleeves that are too short/long. Some of us need wide calf boots but not a wide width and vice versa. We’d love for handbag straps to be a little longer to fit over our arms and onto our shoulders with ease. Plus size bodies are all different; not all of us have that hourglass shape. We each carry our weight in different places so there is no cookie-cutter version of a plus size body.
Then to add insult to injury, most of the time we are reduced to shopping online because the offering in-store (especially for women over a size 24) are slim pickings. While shopping online is convenient, we are not afforded the luxury of trying clothes on via online shopping so there are those tricky returns to deal with. Sound exhausting? Shopping is supposed to be fun but for the plus size woman, it can be a challenge and honestly downright stressful.
UK plus size fashion retailer Curvissa set out to find out what women really want from retailers and fashion, in general. Surveys are always a great way to bring awareness to the plus size customer, especially since plus size fashion continues to grow. According to The NPD Group, plus size women’s clothing sales grew 5 percent from last year and generated $17.5 billion in the 12 months ending April 2014 (May’13 – April’14), compared to the $16.7 billion generated over the same time period during the previous year. So if plus size fashion is so profitable and continues to make money, why do plus size women still feel like they are forgotten by retailers?
Curvissa asked over 600 women who wear sizes 8 – 28, where they find their fashion inspiration, which women they find inspiring and how they prefer to shop. They also wanted to know “how women really feel about the representation of average women in the media and if they feel there is a fair representation of different body shapes and sizes“. Here’s the results:
Curvissa‘s survey reveals what has been said before in past surveys. Simply, plus size women want the same fashion available to them that is available to straight-sized women. They want to be able to shop in-store and find stylish fashion that fits.
We’ve seen success with companies such as Lane Bryant and their designer collaborations as well as the return of plus size fashion retailer Eloquii, who has come back in a big way and built a strong customer base in a short time since its return. These companies. as well as a few others such as Modcloth and Evans, are listening to the plus size customer and making a conscious effort to offer her designer labels and better fit.
Now if only those retailers such as Old Navy and Target would listen and work on improving their offerings in-store, that might be the step needed to get other retailers who don’t offer plus sizes, to have a change of heart. The numbers don’t lie – plus size fashion is a profitable business. But these retailers must change their way of thinking in order to see that.
What do you think of this survey? What are your thoughts on plus size clothing shopping and plus size fashion? Who inspires you? Which stores do you wish carried plus size clothing? Sound off below and let us know!