2014 has been a great year for plus size fashion to become mainstream and, well, fashionable. But even with all of our progress this demographic of women seems to be ignored by fashion designers. We asked a few of you what plus size fashionable women need designers to know and here’s what you came up with.
1. We want the same trends that other women want. There’s nothing wrong with loose, draping material but if that’s not what’s in season, why promote it? Instead, stick with trends that are up to the minute. We’re not afraid of horizontal stripes so why should you be? If a curvy girl wants to rock a nautical themed outfit on the shores of Nantucket, she should be able to do just that.
2. Ditto for big, bold patterns. One of the latest trends in workout wear is bright, funky patterned leggings and yoga pants. We want to be a part of those trends but it’s nearly impossible when designers cater to those who are a size six or smaller. From animal prints (Hello, turquoise faux snakeskin!) to geometric patterns, curvy girls shouldn’t be forced to sit on the sidelines in boring grey or black. Instead of assuming that we don’t want bright, bold patterns, know that we do and incorporate them into your designs.
3. We’re willing and able to buy higher priced items. It seems like there’s a perception with the fashion world that plus size ladies won’t or can’t purchase higher-end pieces. That’s simply not the case. When designers are willing to put out high quality, trendy pieces, the plus size market will buy them and continue to buy as long as the quality is high and customer satisfaction is met. Don’t assume that because we’re curvy, we can’t afford to purchase quality pieces.
4. Some of us want to wear bikinis. With the amazing success of fashion blogger Gabi Gregg’s aptly named ‘fatkini,’ I’m not sure why this one is so shocking. Gregg’s line on Swimsuits for All sold out in less than 48 hours on its first launch. Maybe not all of us feel comfortable in a bikini, and that’s okay, too. But putting out a line of plus size swimsuits in different patterns and colors will go a long way in making us feel as if we’re, finally, invited to the beach party.
5. Stop ignoring us. Instead of pretending we don’t exist, designers should relish the fact that we’re a widely available market that is not being catered to. The plus size fashion industry is a staggering $17.5 billion industry, so why are plus size women still being marginalized? A limited variety of plus size styles is an easy out for designers but instead, why not ask us what we want? Talk to us, put together a panel of plus size consumers, take hints from plus size bloggers – and start marketing to us.
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