I am personally not a fan of the term “plus size”. I wasn’t even sure why the term came about… I mean plus what? It appears the earliest use of the term dates back to designer Lane Bryant in early 1920s, who had a collection called “misses”, and created what they called their “roomier” version which they called “misses plus” and used the term in their subsequent advertising.
Wikipedia notes that “plus size” clothing is “proportioned specifically for people of bigger proportions”. Bigger than what? What’s interesting to me is the interpretation of “bigger proportions” varies from country to country.
According to Plus model magazine, the fashion industry plus size is identified as sizes 18 and over in the US, whereas in Australia “plus size” garments are considered to be size 16 and upwards. If you take into account that the average Australian woman in size 16-18, then it still surprising that these are considered “bigger” sizes.
Given that the majority of stores don't even cater above a size 16, It is still important to have a term that identifies more inclusive sizing. How else are you going to find something that caters to your sizing? Plus size is still the most commonly used term, therefore as a brand, CBF Clothing still utilize that term in their search engine optimization, otherwise of course we are just not going to be found at all. Is “plus size” still the most preferred term to continue with, or is there a more inclusive, body positive term that we could use? Our personal preference is for it to be the term inclusive sizing and referring to our models/customers as “curvy” rather than “plus size”. Even the term curvy however is considered by some to be an ineffective term. Whilst there continues to be judgment against larger bodies, we will continue to use these terms.
What has also baffled me about curvy clothing is that those brands that do stock them, usually do so by offering a separate collection. Why could they just not make the same collection in a in a full range? This again creates the illusion of a required separation between “straight” sizes and “plus”.
Whilst it is great to see that we are closing that “gap”, with more companies offering plus size or more inclusive ranges, we still have a long way to go. Check this recent ad I came across for example, that boasts “2021 new plus size dresses”, yet showcases these on a model who appears to be only a size eight. Would it not make more sense for a brand that is celebrating a more inclusive sizing to actually utilize a curvy model?
Watch this space folks. CBF Clothing is actively engaged in the campaign to be a game changer in the inclusive sizing space. We are looking to increase our size ranges and degender all our collections, for a truly inclusive brand.