Its official: Over a quarter of British women are now a size 18 or larger. Yesterday it was revealed that this figure includes more than six million women in the UK that have reached the larger dress sizes, and they are not very happy ladies as they have to face a struggle to hunt down bigger sized clothes, and aim for fashionable finds at the same time.
Providing clothing for them will result in the fastest growing market for fashion chains, as stocking new ‘larger’ clothes ranges is said to bring in £3.8 billion a year for retailers. With this fact in mind, you would think retailers would rush to the chance to bring in new stock in larger sizes, to cater for this new, ever-growing group of shoppers. Only common sense, yes?
So it’s sad to see that retailers are still being sluggish on providing larger clothes sizes that are stylish for those fashionista’s out there. Mintel has revealed that larger women are becoming increasingly annoyed with the lack of clothes available that look fashionable on rounder frames. With 40% of the UK population being a size 16 or above, it’s surely about time that retailers clicked that this is the way forward in the fashion business.
So a big round of applause to fashion house Marc Jacobs, as they plan to launch a new range providing collections for size 14 and up. Marc Jacobs is known for its classic and sophisticated garments, so no doubt this will satisfy the upset shoppers out there. A while ago I blogged about designer Mark Fast using size 16 model Crystal Renn to model his designs at London Fashion Week, and its brilliant response. Maybe this could be something to look out for at this years London Fashion Week?
With these new findings coming out this week, various retailers such as Topshop, Next and River Island have been slammed for constantly using size 8/10 mannequins in their store windows, so Debenhams have upped their game by trialing size 16 mannequins in their window displays. They will review sales figures and customer feedback over a period of time to see how it goes. I guess it’s not something we are used to seeing, and will take a little adjusting to, but all in all seems like a fairly good idea. M&S have also used this new customer trend with their ranges, by moving away from selling separate ‘larger’ ranges, and offering larger sizes in all their collections.
Now if every store did that then surely all the female population would be happy, and sales figures would soar, right? Something to consider maybe! Ahem Topshop… River Island… Zara… New Look… you get my drift….