Why the Plus Size Clothing Market is now Big Business



Plus size clothing has come a long way within the clothing industry and fashion market. In the past, the choices regarding clothing made for plus size individuals was limited, often lacking a respect to the ever-changing fashion trends within society. The availability of different styles was quite poor and unaccommodating. The demand for a better selection increased with the unfortunate rise in overweight or obese individuals across the world.

People are getting Bigger

The interest in the plus size clothing market has increased due to the increasing levels of obesity and eating disorders that plague a large number of individuals. The shape and size of the average person has increased throughout the years, demanding a shift in the way clothes are designed, produced, and marketed -especially from women, who as a whole have become larger and heavier than they appeared about 20 years ago. People who are now reaching their 40s and 50s add to the increase in obesity - more than 60% of this group is in need of plus size clothing.

Supplying a Market Need

Retailers and designers have noticed the intense need for plus size clothing and have made strides within the market. A range of Plus size clothing can now be found at shops, boutiques and department stores that once did not offer a decent selection, if any at all. There has also been a boom in plus size clothing lines which focus only on the customer in need of larger sizes. Stores dedicated to serving the plus size clothing shopper have also increased throughout the years. The mall now offers options other than Lane Bryant for a shopper in need of plus size clothing.

Market Research

Change came following an exploration into the different sizes of shoppers was conducted. The average size of a man and especially that of a woman has changed over the years. In the 1960s, the average woman's measurements were 34B bust, 24-inch waist with 33-inch hips. In today's society the need for plus size, clothing becomes apparent when the average woman now measures a 36C bust, 28-inch waist with 38-inch hips. Forty years ago, the average size of a woman was a size 8, but now the average is seen somewhere around a size 14. It was apparent that more plus size clothing should be available to reflect the changes within an average shopper's size.

A Profitable Sector

The plus size clothing industry has not only supplied the masses with fashion choices that they desire, but have also tapped into a cash cow, totalling more than $5 billion in sales from clothing. More than 30% of the female population purchases a plus size clothing item. Retailers have found out how to also market to a targeted group of shoppers who are more likely to purchase these clothing items. Middle-aged women are less likely to spend more money on plus size clothing than their younger counterparts are. With today's advances in fashion, plus size clothing can be just as "in" as a pair of tight, hip hugging jeans, which by the way now come in plus size as well.

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