Why Plus Size Fashion Is On The Verge Of A Revolution


Major alert to the fashion industry, plus size fashion is on the verge of a revolution, so it’s time to get with it or get left behind.

With the rise of the popularity of plus fashion bloggers and well-known models, the plus size fashion industry is seeing an increase in sales like never before.

In 2013 Project Runway judge Tim Gunn said he was appalled at the state of the plus size fashion that is available right now and urged designers to do better when it comes to catering for a variety of women’s bodies. Just recently he echoed the same sentiments while also showing he has caught onto what is going in with the plus size industry, saying he would love to see a season of Project Runway that only uses models larger than a size 12!

More recently, comedian and actress Melissa McCarthy revealed how she was shunned by designers at the Oscars a couple of years ago based on her size. This then forced her to come up with the idea of creating her own fashion line for women of larger sizes. Yep, ignorance at it’s finest!

Celebrating its one year anniversary, e-store Modcloth have revealed the details of a survey they conducted, which has led them to believe investing in plus size fashion is the way of the future.

The idea for the survey came about when they saw that out of all their customers, plus size garments were being purchased 20% more than any other size on offer! They surveyed 1500 women between the ages of 18 and 44 in the US.

The reached out to all 1500 of their vendors to help them capitalize on their findings, but received only 35 responses. Today they are working with over 160 vendors to sell the best plus size fashion around, and sew up a market that surprisingly is not as competitive just yet as one might think.

“All women agree that plus size women are ignored, excluded and under-represented in the fashion industry as a whole,” the survey explains.

The infograph below which is a summary of the findings, shows more women reported wearing size 16 clothes than a size 0, 2, and 4 combined.

“In the fashion industry, the customer gets to vote with their wallet,” Modcloth Chief Creative Officer Susan Koger told Business Insider. “Our customers are saying loud and clear what they want.” 

Many people were sceptical when Modcloth decided to dedicate an entire section of the site to plus size fashion, but a year later they have increased their sales to become a multi-billion dollar business model. Surely that should be enough to convince even the snobbiest of fashion elite?

However there are still people in the industry who refuse to design for a range of women’s bodies. Popular label Zara refuses to add a plus size section, their clothes only go up to a US size 8, despite being the largest fashion chain in the world!

Modcloth, on the other hand, took a chance to expand and offer sizes ranging from XS to 4X. Their plus size section is their fastest growing, and Susan Koger finds it incredulous that more people aren’t capitalizing on this billion dollar industry.

Judging on the infograph below, and the more people read about Modcloth’s business model, we expect to see a complete turnover in the fashion world when it comes to viewing plus size women and clothes.

In her book ‘The Beauty Myth’ author Naomi Wolf says: “We as women are trained to see ourselves as cheap imitations of fashion photographs, rather than seeing fashion photographs as cheap imitations of women.”

This attitude perfectly sums up how everyday women and certain fashion industry peeps are taking back the power to shift it more in favor of women’s diverse bodies. Her book was released in 1990, but it couldn’t be a more accurate statement of the climate today, and why we desperately want to change it.



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