Where Are the Fashionable Plus-Size Clothes?

Plus-size models are in, but fashions are struggling
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2010 12:40 PM CDT
Gabi Gregg, organizer of the Young Fat and Fabulous Conference, second from right, tries on some jeans at the plus-size fashion retailer Torrid in New York, Thursday, July 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

(Newser) – Ever since Glamour published Lizzie Miller’s stomach paunch, plus-size models have found themselves in the pages of more and more magazines. Even so, the plus-size clothing market is struggling to catch up: It still represents just 18% of total women’s clothing revenue (even though 64% of American women are overweight), and sales declined an alarming 10% between 2008 and 2009. It’s just one part of the larger confusion over attitudes toward larger women in America, writes Ginia Bellafante in the New York Times magazine.

A big part of the problem is that once you get into plus sizes, the typical sizing chart no longer applies: “If a woman goes from a size 16 to a 20, you just can’t say with any certainty how her dimensions will change,” says a pattern maker. “As someone getting into plus-size, you can either make clothing that is shapeless and avoid the question altogether or target a segment of the market. You really have to narrow down your customer.” Click here to read the complete article.

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