Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Plus Side of Fashion

   For years, plus-size women's clothing has been separated from the other racks. Until today. Recently, Meijer, an American supercenter chain, announced that "it will integrate clothing for larger shoppers into clothing racks that currently hold designs for smaller women." Typically, alternative women's sizes, such as petite, tall and plus-size, are separate from the other clothes. Personally, I find this organization easier because, as a petite person, I can search for more garments of my size in the same area. Despite this, I do not agree that alternative sizes of the same clothing item should be priced higher or lower because of the fabric or appliques used. Higher prices may cause women of "special sizes" to feel stigmatized because their clothing costs more, or it is concentrated in an area different than sizes deemed "average" by a certain brand.

   However, the new integration of plus-sizes into the main clothing racks is just the beginning. Larger sizes of clothes are often priced higher than their smaller counterparts, which contributes to an unfair market. Although more fabric may be used in plus-size clothing, other "special sizes" like petite do not reduce prices when less fabric is used, compared to clothing that is not specified as a "special size." This is shown below, in an image that illustrates two pieces of similar-designed apparel from the same store that I explored, with different pricing.

   According to CBS News, women pay "an extra $1,400 per year" added to products geared towards them. Women's products are usually brightly-colored, with different textures and patterns that may cost companies more to produce. Nevertheless, companies like Meijer have been applauded after people discovered the integration of plus-sizes into their main clothing racks, as well as identical pricing of various sizes.

Women's perfume packaging embraces colors
and textures different than those of men's cologne. 

   Compared to past decades, plus-size fashion has become more stylish, highlighting trends instead of more conservative silhouettes. "Special size" apparel is present in more stores instead of solely mail-order catalogs, like Roaman's and Woman Within still provides. Implementing bright colors and separates instead of clothes that hide fuller figures inspires people like Corissa, creator of the "Fat Girl Flow" blog and YouTube channel, to spread positive messages about life to other plus-size women. Overall, fashion allows people to express their attitudes and add their own personal touch on how they want to be viewed, regardless of their shape.

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