The Evolution of Plus Size Fashion

Tags: Style Syllabus

Plus size fashion has evolved throughout years and with over 50% of the population now considered plus sized, its evolution continues. Truly, plus size fashion is becoming mainstream, albeit at a slower rate than many have hoped for. But, where did plus sized fashion get its beginnings and how has it changed throughout the years?

evolution of plus size fashionIn the fashion industry, plus sizes range from size 12 to 24, including sizes 4x – 7x and extended sizes up. One of the first major retailers of modern plus sized fashion was Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant was founded in the early 1900s and originally catered to expecting mothers. In the next twenty years, Lane Bryant added a plus sized line to its collection, which was followed by the UK version from retailer Evans. Plus sized fashion continued to dominate over the next several decades but it wasn’t until 2013 that plus sized models first graced the runway, during the Cabiria show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

But plus sized fashion isn’t just a modern story. During the Renaissance, plus sized was considered a sign of wealth and was relatively common to the era. Back then, there were no ‘plus size’ or ‘skinny’ people, there were only the affluent that could afford to eat well and the poor, who could not. In fact, the first known sculpture art, dated to 24,000BC, depicts a female figure that could well be considered plus size by today’s rigid standards. In the past, plus sized women were often thought to represent fertility and prosperity. In fact, plus sized models often sat for portraits in the Renaissance and Baroque eras by renowned artists.

So, what does the future hold for plus sized fashion? Well, Good Morning America just featured a spot on plus sized trends suggesting that the media is becoming more widely accepting of this segment of the population. Plus sized fashion bloggers like Nicolette Mason are becoming the voice of plus sized women. Major retailers like Target have made announcements of their intentions to expand their selection of plus sized clothing, including adding guest designers who will release special collections throughout the year.

Fashion houses are beginning to feature designs for a variety of sizes, including the average American size of 14. Prints, neon colors, and a variety of fabrics are all featured in plus sized fashion. Outdated fashion rules that disparage plus sized women from wearing clingy fabrics or animal prints are becoming extinct, while a variety of models such as Tess Holliday and Barbara Brickner are walking the runway on a daily basis. This translates to an industry that is evolving, fashion that is catering to a broader selection of women, and a public that is more accepting. But, there are still leaps and bounds that need to be taken if we want plus sized fashion to become the norm rather than the oddity.

If you are looking to expand your plus sized wardrobe in an easy, stylish way, contact us today! We would love to talk to you about your style preferences and get you started with fashion you love!

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