How Plus Size Clothing Has Finally Evolved From Frumpy To Fashionable


For too long, plus-size fashion has had much less support than the styles of “couture” and “high fashion” designers as seen on runways. The fight for equal plus-size fashion has been a long one, as our society is still having trouble coming to terms with body positive statements that are accompanied by images of women who are larger than a size four. The term “plus-size” was incorrectly associated with a non-ideal body type, frumpy fashion, and a lowered self-esteem—three things that are simply untrue of the term.

Plus-size women are no less or no more than other women when it comes to human value. It has taken numerous pro-body positivity campaigns and fierce trailblazers like Ashley Graham (the largest model to be placed on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue) to pave a path of acceptance and equality. It’s because of movements like these that society is finally coming to light with the reality of what a woman’s body looks like. It can be thin, it can be curvy, it can be short, it can be tall, it can be muscular—the list goes on.

Another force in the fight for body image positivity is the emergence of  “fashionable” plus-size clothing. For far too long, women who needed larger sizes would be confined to only a couple stores or styles, none of which represented runway trends or anything sold in smaller sizes. The disparity was simply unfair. Plus-size fashion was once a reminder to curvy women that society did not want to make room for them — that they did not belong.


But not anymore. Fashion companies and brands which carry plus-size clothing that is stylish, trendy, and flattering are sprouting up everywhere. Plus-size fashion is no longer limited to frumpy frocks and sacks for shirts. Clothing companies are not only creating stylish pieces for full-figured women, but they celebrate these body types as well, offering timely hashtags and igniting a social revolution of body pride instead of the body shaming we see far too often on social media.

One of these companies is WomanWithin, an online shopping destination that offers comfortable, casual clothing for women in sizes 12w and up. Even with a description that touts “comfortable and casual clothing,” one might think their inventory is drowning in shapeless fabrics and unappealing patterns.

However, although some styles are more on the comfortable and casual side, the overall stock is a respectable representation of the current fashion trends other stores would be selling in smaller sizes. Their plus-size spring collections are carrying some of the hottest trends of the season: denim, peasant shirts, tie-dye, and more. With the newest spring collections offering full-figured women the choice to be on-trend, we can only imagine where the industry will be in a couple years.

shirt dress womanwithin

The fact that these companies are creating on-trend options for plus-size women is the perfect embodiment of the plus-size revolution that began in 2013, as reported by Business Insider. Even as of this 2013 article, 67% of the “apparel-purchasing population” is categorized as plus-sized, and the financial surplus of the plus-size fashion industry is reflective of that fact.

Brands and companies are sprouting up to represent the real retail industry: an industry that is not just comprised of slim women, but curvy and muscular ones too. Offering stylish clothing that is designed to fit a different body type is much more revolutionary than an outsider might think. For women who buy larger sizes, this is a huge win.

Plus-size clothing companies are changing the style scene one garment at a time. Igniting body positive movements across the country, plus-size retailers that don’t alter their styles because of body type are the true driving force in the acceptance of the full-figured woman population, and though progress has not been speedy, it has been consistent. Cultivating positive body image in all shapes and sizes of women first begins by eliminating division amongst them. Once we stop pointing out differences and begin to celebrate similarities, that’s when body acceptance begins. Changing social attitudes is not a simple goal, but it’s a possible one.



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