Recently, I read something interesting. According to a survey conducted by ModCloth, more U.S. women report wearing a size 16 dress than a size 2 and 0 combined. But despite that fact, it is very difficult for larger women to find plus-sized items in-store. So if they want something to wear – and God forbid, something stylish – they have to shop online. Even very popular brands like H&M, American Apparel or Urban Outfitters do not carry sizes 12 or 14 in their stores. Some of them do make them – you just have to go online to buy them. But that creates a new problem: According to Kenyatta Jones, CEO of clothing line Bella Rene, “if you’re stuck shopping online, nine times out of 10 you’re going to get something that doesn’t fit … Fit is very important for us, but if you’re ordering it online as opposed to trying it on in-store, you’re just going to end up sending it back and then you have nothing.” Sally McGraw, a style and body image writer, confirms that thought: “To relegate plus-size lines to online only and never give those women the opportunity to try on the clothing in person, look at themselves in the mirror in a store, get feedback from a sales associate, look at other options — you know, the full shopping experience — means that they are definitely missing out.”

That got me thinking: Why could that probably be? I mean, normally, people will do just about everything to make big bucks. So why is this huge market being neglected? Do shops not want so-called “fat” people in their stores? Is it about brand image? Is it more difficult to make larger clothes? Jones thinks that retailers don’t think of plus-size women as trendy shoppers: “Oh, they don’t need clothes, all they do is… eat Twinkies.” She goes on to say that the fashion industry seems to think of “fat” people as lazy, uneducated and not in the market for style.

So, what do you think? What prevents designers to put plus-size clothing in their stores? Could it be that they assume that larger sizes won’t sell? Tell me in the comments!

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