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Plus-Size Clothing: Visible, Out and Proud

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The Evolution of Plus-Size Clothing

There was a time when plus-size clothing was so hard to find, most people wondered whether it was really there at all. Not so today. The plus-size industry has well and truly come out of the closet and is proud to be seen and worn.

Going clothes shopping can be a very varied experience depending on what size you are. Any woman up to a size 12 or 14 probably won’t have any problems finding clothing to fit that looks good at the same time. She’ll have her choice of fashions, not to mention shops to go to in the first place.

This is a very different experience to the one a plus-size woman would have. In years gone by, she would perhaps have one or two shops (if she was lucky) to look in for clothing that may just fit. And it was very much a question of getting something to fit, with no options available regarding style or fashion. Perish the thought.

Nowadays it is very different – and thankfully so, according to the many plus-size women who still want to look good and dress well. There are now several outlets focusing on plus-size fashion, not to mention taking inspiration from catwalks and the latest fashion styles. Moreover, there are also a variety of mainstream department stores with their own plus-size ranges.

Being able to shop for clothes without being restricted by a number of factors such as these is enormously freeing for many women. Some are happy and confident to be the size they are, while others may be a certain size because of a medical condition, or simply en route to becoming the slimmer self they want to be. In any event, the ability to choose good clothes that are attractive and comfortable to wear is important for most if not all women. It would seem in recent years the clothing marketplace has finally woken up to that.

It remains to be seen how things develop from this point on. Will we see yet more mainstream clothing retailers providing larger sizes to appeal to a greater section of the marketplace? There are still some that do not provide larger sizes and instead stop at a 12 or 14. That is their prerogative, of course, but it does exclude a large portion of the buying public.

Thankfully, most mainstream department stores do cater for a wide range of sizes. This wasn’t always the case, but as time has gone on, the market has indeed changed. Retailers have realised women of all shapes and sizes have money to spend, and they have raced to provide good-quality clothing at good prices for them to buy. Indeed, there is much to be said for aiming at that particular market. Women who are looking for bigger sizes, and realise there are one or two shops in particular that provide what they need, are more likely to return time and time again.

The plus-size market is definitely here to stay.

Caron Westbrook
About Caron Westbrook (25 Articles)
Photographer and fashionista