It’s a plight that plus-sized people know well; you go into a department store and all of the cute, trendy clothes there are not in your size. Instead of having clothing to buy that’s in your style, you’re stuck with clothes that weren’t even cute ten years ago.
The difference between straight-size clothing styles (typically sizes 0-12) and plus-size clothing (size 14 and above) is more often than not very noticeable. It’s common for many mainstream clothing brands to just assume that anyone plus size wants to dress in nothing but cold shoulder tops, maxi dresses with large floral print, leggings with obnoxious prints, and tankinis. Sadly, this could not be further from the truth. It’s not that these clothing items are bad exactly — they just aren’t exactly stylish for 2022. When you’re shopping as a plus-sized person, you often have to sacrifice style for proper sizing, and that isn’t fair.
Plus-sized people deserve the same access to trendy clothing as people who wear straight sizes. Just because a person is a certain size doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to have the option to express themselves fashion-wise, if they desire to do so.
Online options for plus-size clothing have gotten better in recent years, but the bulk of brands need to do better, especially when it comes to in-person options. Plus-sized people need to have access to trendy clothing options without having to search high and low on the internet. They deserve the same convenience of clothes shopping that straight-sized people already have.
A part of the body positivity movement is giving plus-sized people equal access to things, and that includes clothing. Fatphobia in fashion is nothing new, but just because it is the norm doesn’t mean it should remain unchanged. Fashion designers and fashion brands need to be held accountable for their neglect of acknowledging that plus-sized people wear clothes too. It would help end the alienation plus-sized people feel when clothes shopping, and it would help end the alienation of plus-sized people in general. There’s no real reason why plus-size clothing should be a separate category. There’s no real reason why someone should walk to a different section of the store to find clothes that fit them. There’s no real reason why someone should have to scroll to a different tab on the website to find clothes that fit them.
There’s no real reason why brands should be fatphobic and not include plus-sized people in their branding, but yet they do. It’s evident that most brands don’t have the best interest of their plus-sized customers in mind, or that they don’t even consider plus-sized people to be a marketable demographic in the first place. This can all be traced back to fatphobia.
The true root of fatphobia is the fact that fatphobic people don’t see plus-sized people as people. What makes this problem even worse is the fact that fatphobia is so ingrained in our society that people don’t even realize that they’re being fatphobic. When a brand doesn’t carry extended sizing for plus-sized people or they claim that plus-sized people don’t fit their “aesthetic”, they’re basically saying that they don’t care about plus-sized people.
Every single time a plus-sized person has to search through a dozen racks just to find a singular t-shirt that might fit them, it’s a blatant reminder that fatphobia is alive and well in fashion. Every single time a plus-sized person has to look through the accessories section of a store at the mall while the rest of their straight-sized friends try on clothes, it’s a reminder that clothing brands just don’t think of them — or that those brands just don’t care.
Brands need to do better about inclusive sizing. A brand shouldn’t just make some of their clothing items available in extended sizes and then call themselves a “size-inclusive brand.” There are some brands that still don’t even have plus-size sections. Fashion will never be truly body-positive and size-inclusive until people of all sizes have access to the same clothing.
It’s not unreasonable for plus-sized people to want cute clothing that they look good and feel good in. In fact, it is the bare minimum.