Of course now that I have lost a couple of inches in the waist – from a size 14/16 to a size 10 (Yes, I am saluting myself for all my hard work and squats I have done) – and can shop in straight size shops with cuter clothing comfortably (And by “comfortably,” I mean not squeezing myself into an Xtra Large and hoping the two-percent Lyrca written on its tag is authentic and field tested.), the fashion industry starts thinking about revolutionizing plus size clothing options.
As reported in the Business Insider, online women’s clothing retailer Modcloth has produced a survey in hopes of unlocking and deciphering the mysterious world of plus-size shoppers – because you know, the industry has ignored a sizable portion of the population for so long, it’s almost like meeting an alien species for the first time: lots of probing, lots of prodding and I imagine, lots of awkward and inappropriate jokes about fat aliens.
At any rate, Modcloth, along with market research company Paradigm Sample, surveyed 1,500 U.S women, between the aged 18 to 44 and found that more women reported wearing a size 16 than sizes 0, 2, and 4 combined. Duh. Even more unsurprisingly, the survey also found that that 65 percent of all women agree, that the retail industry ignores the needs of plus size women. Likewise, 74 percent of plus size women describe feeling frustrated and 65 percent described feeling excluded during their in-store shopping experiences. And only 31 percent agree that plus size models accurately represent the plus size community of women, which seriously. Did they need to spend money on that? I’m sure the office intern could have told them that for a six-inch hoagie from Subway and a bag of Skittles.
Nevertheless, Modcloth persists on with its revelation of obvious facts including the one that tells us that 53 percent of plus size women are likely to describe their clothing as frumpy; 52 percent thought their clothing was shapeless; and 49 percent found it boring. And a yawn-filled 77 percent of all plus size respondents say it is difficult to find well-fitting garments. Honestly, the only real surprises here are that the percentages of disenchanted big girls isn’t higher.
Excuse me if I sound very snarly, but the average woman has been between a size 12 to 14 for a long while now and quite frankly shouldn’t be this hard to figure out what plus size clothing shoppers want: the same thing that smaller sizes want. Style. Comfort. But most definitely something that doesn’t involve peek-a-boo cut sleeves, an elastic waist and flower prints – seriously I hate those shirts that be in every plus size section with the unbridled passion of seven fat bitches.
I will give Modcloth credit however for taking the time to actually research and then tell the rest of the industry the obvious and that is design some plus-size gear that folks want to wear. And try to make it super-inexpensive and accessible. It’s just not fair that women – and I guess menfolk too (so they won’t feel left out of a discussion on a black woman’s website) – have to be segregated from the rest of the general public. I also give the retailer credit for expanding the sizes it offers to shoppers, which according to the article, will put the company on target to double the size of its sales in just this year alone.