Sarah Chiwaya of Curvily, a fashion blog for women with curves, knows about style. She takes a photo of her fashionable ensembles every day for her blog and knows where to find the greatest sample sales.
Curvily also encourages positive body image and encourages her readers to wear whatever they like as long as they feel great. So someone started thinking it was odd that although plus-size women are fashionistas too, there are far fewer options for them at major retailers.
“When some brands move into plus, they throw their signature trendy looks by the wayside in favor of flowy dark fabrics that they think “work” for plus sizes,” Chiwaya wrote on Curvily. “Plus size women want color, print, and structure. Moreover, we want variety.”
She has started a movement: #plussizeplease, to inform retailers about the unfair practices they employ while outfitting “straight sized” customers and ignoring their curvy shoppers. While out browsing the racks, fashion-savvy plus-sized women are encouraged to snap a picture of any piece — be it dress, top, pants or swimwear — and tag or mention the retailer, requesting the item in plus sizes using the hashtag “plus size please.”
And it makes sense for retailers to comply. ModCloth, retailer of dresses and heels and all things girly, surveyed over 5,000 American women ages 15-65 and discovered that 57 percent of those surveyed buy clothes in size 16 or larger. According to the Los Angeles Times, the average U.S. woman weighs 162.9 pounds and wears a size 14.
Despite these numbers, many stores only carry up to a size 12, with anything larger found online. Some will even hide their larger sizes in the stock rooms, unwilling to display them on the floor.
“That leaves style-loving full-figured women with a clutch of plus-size chains including Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Avenue and Torrid,” the L.A. Times said. “Or big-box stores such as Target, Kohl's and Wal-Mart, the No. 1 seller of plus-size apparel in the country — though most of its selection consists of basic, often matronly items.”