What is plus size? Simply put, "plus size" is a term used to describe a body type that falls outside of the industry's standard "straight size" range, which usually ends at a U.S. size 12 or 14. However, the term itself carries varying definitions, cultural interpretations, and even controversies. It's much more than a label; it's a conversation starter on body positivity, inclusivity, and how fashion should cater to all body types. In this blog post, we aim to dissect the term, its history, controversies, and its impact on the fashion industry and beyond.
What Exactly Constitutes "Plus Size"?
When it comes to the fashion industry, "plus size" generally refers to clothing labeled size 14 and up in the United States, although this varies by brand and may start anywhere from size 12 to 18. In the UK, it's typically size 16 and up, and in Europe, the sizes usually begin at 44 and up.
However, there's another layer to consider: The term "plus size" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing in all types of plus size clothing. For example, plus-size lingerie and swimwear often have their own sizing charts. Similarly, men's plus-size clothing starts at varying sizes depending on the brand, usually at an XL or higher.
“Fashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” - Oscar de la Renta
Beyond Traditional Sizing: No Size Limits at Sumissura
Understanding sizes can be a real challenge, especially when you factor in the lack of standardization and the different sizing metrics used around the world. While the industry traditionally offers a range of sizes, what happens beyond those? Many people find themselves left out, facing limited or even non-existent options.
At Sumissura, we believe that fashion should be for everyone, which is why we offer no size limits.
To give you a basic idea of how conventional plus sizes vary across countries, here's a comparison table:
Note: This table is a rough guideline and can vary by brand or even by garment. Always refer to specific brand sizing charts for the most accurate information.
But what if you don't fit into these categories? That's where Sumissura steps in. Unlike traditional fashion brands, we don't put a limit on sizes. Our inclusive approach ensures that you can find or even customize your desired style, no matter what your size is.
A Brief Look Back
The term "plus size" originated in the early 20th century as the fashion industry began to diversify its offerings to cater to a wider variety of body types. The term was, in part, a marketing strategy aimed at women who did not fit into the then-standard sizes. Over the years, the category has gained more prominence, especially in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, where the push for inclusivity in fashion has intensified. This has been facilitated by various fashion shows, social media campaigns, and even laws in some countries to promote body diversity.
Why the Term Can Be Controversial
The Double-Edged Sword of Labeling
The term "plus size" carries a weight of its own, much beyond mere measurement. For some, being labeled "plus size" can feel like being singled out or othered. Critics argue that this language perpetuates harmful beauty standards by implying that there's a "normal" size range and a "plus" size range, thereby contributing to body image pressures.
On the other hand, many individuals and activists within the plus-size community have embraced the term. They argue that reclaiming the label can be empowering, helping to build a more inclusive space within the fashion world where diversity is celebrated.
“To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.” - Marilyn Monroe
Sizing Charts and Standards
The Confusing Landscape of Sizing
When shopping for plus-size clothing, you'll often find that sizing is anything but standardized. One brand's size 18 may be another brand's size 20. This lack of consistency can make shopping a frustrating experience, and many advocates are calling for more standardization in the industry. There are ongoing campaigns and discussions aimed at making size labels more consistent across brands.
The Fashion Gap
The Missing Link in Fashion Offerings
Despite making up a significant portion of the consumer base, plus-size individuals often find limited choices when it comes to fashion. While strides have been made in recent years with more brands expanding their size ranges, the options are still far from equal compared to straight sizes. This discrepancy is often seen not just in the availability of sizes but also in the styles offered.
“Inclusivity and the democratization of fashion have always been at the core of my brand’s DNA.” - Christian Siriano
Changing the Narrative
Body Positivity and the Revolution in Fashion
The rise of body positivity and the activism around it have helped change the conversation about what plus size means in the fashion industry. Today, there are a growing number of brands, models, and influencers who are advocating for a more inclusive view of beauty and fashion. These advocates use various platforms, from fashion shows to social media, to spread the message of inclusivity.
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” - Amy Bloom
Discover Your Perfect Fit: A Curated Selection of Plus-Size Options
Are you on the hunt for high-quality, stylish plus-size attire? Look no further! We understand that finding the right fit is essential for both comfort and confidence. That's why we've expanded our range to offer a variety of options tailored to fuller figures. Whether you're searching for a formal ensemble like a plus-size suit or a plus-size tuxedo for a special occasion, or you're in need of everyday essentials like plus-size dress shirts, we've got you covered. Don't compromise on style—explore our diverse range of plus-size clothing to find pieces that make you look and feel fantastic.
Understanding the term "plus size" is not just essential for a more inclusive fashion world; it's crucial for fostering a society that respects and celebrates the diversity of human bodies. As we move forward, it's critical to continue the conversations around these terms and what they mean for people of all sizes.
By demystifying the term "plus size," we not only pave the way for a more inclusive fashion industry but also contribute to a broader cultural shift towards acceptance and inclusivity.