Fashion & Style

Plus size lingerie

By Jean Sanders
Info Guru,

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Plus size lingerie sees a jump in the market.
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Plus size lingerie easier to find online

A number of factors have combined to create interest in the market for plus-size fashions: The shape of the average consumer has also changed. Women are generally becoming larger and heavier than they were 20 years ago. Population trends also favor the rise of the plus-size market. The "Baby Boom" generation is reaching their 40s and 50s, with over 60% of them considered overweight.

This "Baby Boom" generation is characterized by a degree of rebelliousness and nonconformity. This means that the demand for plus-size fashions will not only be strong, but also for 'younger' styles. Consumers are and will be looking for casualwear, smart clothes for working women and stylish eveningwear, but also for sexy plus size lingerie. In previous years there was a limited range of available styles, and little to no trendy clothes. This is particularly true in the categories of lingerie and other intimate apparel.

However, with the concerns over weight issues, population trends, and an increase in demand, retailers and online merchants are beginning to take notice, and have entered the plus-size market. Plus-size clothing is now available through all major retailing categories, including extensions of size ranges to include larger sizes and clothing lines specifically dedicated to larger women. In fact, many retailers sell a greater variety of larger sizes online than they do in the stores. And even a greater selection can be found through catalogs specializing in this market.

Industry research suggests that some plus-size women prefer to shop in private, often based on their negative experiences in stores. It has been found that plus size women are more likely to shop online because of the negative experiences they have had on the retail floor, such as being shunted to the back display tables. Now there are many online sites that cater to plus size women (and girls) and feature a wide selection of smart clothing as well as plus size lingerie.

It is also true that if you are a plus size, you may have more success buying some items on the internet than at the actual stores. You know how frustrating it is to go to one store, see an item that actually has a fashion edge and think, "I'll get that next time at my local store, in my size", and yet the item never ever seems to appear there in any size. If you really find an item you like that you know is unlikely to arrive at your local store, take a note of the item number. That is worth doing as you may have more success buying some items on the Internet than at the actual stores, and you can check the Internet regularly without leaving the comfort of your home.

Top plus size model and designer Emme said "full-figured women are also sick of being hidden away in far-flung corners or department-store basements. The location of plus-size departments makes it impossible for differently sized girlfriends to shop together and women on the cusp - those, who say, wear a missy size 12 blouse and a size 16 skirt or vice versa - have to go up and down escalators to put an outfit together." (Source: Mode Magazine) Despite our weight and our weight-obsessed society, half of American women wear clothing in sizes 14 and larger.

Over the past 20 years, the American fashion industry has manipulated clothing sizes to accommodate its widening public, especially women. "The size of the American woman is a hugely intense and much talked about topic these days," says Timothy Gunn, who chairs the Department of Fashion Design at the Parson's School of Design in New York City. He said that while the numerical size of a woman's garment has decreased, its physical size has increased.

Gunn further commented, "The American fashion industry wants the consumer to believe that, in fact, they are something they are not. It's a very clear case of commerce deceiving the public. 'The sizing scheme,' I think we could call it, by seducing the plus-sized woman into the store and saying, 'Feel good about yourself because, in fact, you're only a (size) 12. You may think you're more than that, but in our establishment, you are a 12.' And you can say that with impunity." Gunn says the deception is intentional, "because the woman has gotten bigger, yet her size gets smaller." The sizing deception is a product of American ingenuity. Sizing standards in other parts of the world have remained constant. "The Europeans have an entirely different view of fashion," Gunn says, "and their sizing hasn't changed."

An important item to note here is that advances in technology will provide a boost to the plus-size market. Body-scanning in 3D will provide women with more accurate sizing. Surveys in this area have noted that women are finding themselves to be in the plus-size category, when they previously thought otherwise. Experts also believe that in the future, this new technology will allow women to shop online using their own 3D images to try on clothing. This will help women find apparel that will properly fit-—from smart casual wear to the sexiest plus size lingerie.

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