Cannot find them anywhere:
Last Christmas, my niece who is slightly overweight and I embarked on our season’s shopping spree. The idea was to get my niece a gift- a piece of clothing that was of her choice. We decided to first try our luck at a shopping mall that was close by from our residence and were utterly disappointed after having hunted for more than two whole hours!
The problem was not just that the clothes were badly designed and that they were tailored without any application of mind, the real problem was that there were not more than five or six in each shop that we went to. That set us thinking as to where else we could try our luck.
We skipped the rest of the places in that mall and hopped on to another one not very close by and what do we see there? To our utter dismay, the condition of the line was as pathetic if not terrible. There was literally nothing that could send Susie, my niece excitedly into the changing room. We must agree that the choice of the material used for the plus sized women’s range was dated and the designs were outlandish.
As we searched a couple of more stores, we realized that there was a stark contrast between what is available and what the demand is for. Retailer giants like Abercrombie and Fitch and Nautical have size 12 as the last ones on the racks but surprisingly, most women wear size 14. A sizeable number of women also wear size 16.
We as a nation are grappling with issues of overweight and obesity and on the other hand, retailers are not ready to design clothes for the heavier women. It’s a stark contrast and you don’t even need to be an economist to tell that there is a severe imbalance between the demand .
Some lopsided statistics here:
Fashion industry statistics point out that women clothing amounts to fifty percent of sales in the total sales that the industry clocks. While 60 percent of women are those that wear or look out for an over sized garment, only 20 percent of the revenue is generated from such sales. The reason is obvious. It is not because the over sized dresses do not have takers or that slightly endowed women are not fashion conscious. The fact is that the industry has never an is not making enough clothes for them to pick up and if at all one or two companies do, they make absolutely undesirable clothes in terms of choice of material and styling.
Rants on the internet:
Have you even thought how frustrating it can be to want to shop for someone and not being able to find the right fit? Susie’s experience taught me this. Once I was home, I logged on to the internet to check out if there was any suggestion where I could try my luck next. What I found instead was a long list of rants by women who have been hunting for clothes to fit themselves into and at the end felt frustrated with the many shopping expeditions that they had to take.
They would rather purchase material than go for the ready to wear:
Yes, that is what they think they should do. But what a bother it can turn out to be. Susie and I decided to do that as well but did not want to take too much trouble because we were too tired from hunting the gift. Susie graciously settled down for a nice pair of stilettos and was more than happy to pick them up because that meant no more walking and looking and being frustrated.
The real reason for the lacuna:
Deeper research into the subject revealed that fashion industry was wary about designing plus sized clothes because it is absolutely not easy to predict the body dimensions of people who are on the higher side. The bigger the size, weight tends to distribute in different areas and so there may be some women who need bigger waists while some need more allowance near the thighs. This can confuse the retailer who will not be able to mass produce something as varied in choice as this. This is one of the biggest reasons that big conglomerates and giants shy away from designing plus sized women clothes. Some of the companies also do not like to design such sizes for fear of being branded as un-cool or dated. This perhaps explains why plus sized clothing is easier to find online than stocked in physical stores.
I guess you cannot have everything, so no experience to touch and the feel the dress I guess we cannot get everything! Okay, Susie, next season online shopping it will be!!