The Fashion Industry Now Includes “Plus-Size”, But Is It Enough?

If you think that the ‘plus-size’ fashion industry has changed over the years, well you’re not wrong — but you’re not right either. Back In August 2018, Nalisa Amin, a local feminist and body positivity influencer, made all curvy ladies proud when she became the first plus-sized model to open for KL Fashion Week. What a win! We’re finally being embraced and accepted in the community, right?

Wrong. Sadly, full-figured a.k.a. curvy-licious Asian women like me are still struggling to find clothes that fit us perfectly. Don’t even get me started about the pricing factor. It feels as if we’re being fat-taxed for trying to be fashionable. Sigh.

Here are five issues that we need to address the plus-size fashion industry.

1. Big does not always mean tall

To all the full-figured shawtys — we understand that #TheStruggleIsDefinitelyReal when it comes to shopping for new outfits, especially for our sexy bottoms. Fashion brands need to know that big doesn’t always mean tall and short does not equal to skinny. One size smaller will make it too tight until it shows off all of your ‘curves’ (not in a good way), whereas one size bigger will make it a little too long.

2.  Plus-size retail stores are so rare

There aren’t many retail stores that offer good selections for plus-sized women, to be honest. Although there are many online retailers available now, however, it’s hard for us to shop without trying the clothes on ourselves, considering that we have different body types. Our usual shopping outings mean that we need to search through tons of stores for hours and most likely settle for one that looks okay-ish. Well, only after having to spend way more than we should anyway.

3. More bold outfits, por favor!

YES PLEASE. Heavy women have not been given much option when it comes to following the trend as we only get frumpy or shapeless designs. Plus-sized clothing shouldn’t be boring, dull or safe. We obviously need more cute outfits to match our interesting personalities. We’re big, but we should be able to wear clothes that have plunging necklines, bareback dresses as well as crop tops.

4. The discount section should be enjoyed by all

You walk into a store, see the discount section and you see something you like, but guess what? None of them is available in your size. NOPE. Nothing there for big girls. Where are the L or XL or XXL at, people?

The worst thing is, plus-size retail stores rarely offer many discounts too. Perhaps because there aren’t many stores that exclusively caters to plus size women, that with or without a discount – the product still sells.

5. Plus size clothing should not cost more

If you compare outfits from a regular store to a plus-size one, clothes from plus size store usually cost more than regular-sized clothes. Women of curves don’t deserve to pay more just because we’re thicker. We shouldn’t have to be charged for the extra cloth used to make an outfit.

The same goes for lingerie. From my own experience, my petite girlfriends can basically buy any undergarment for around RM20 and it will fit them perfectly, while I have to spend about RM40 for a pair of undies that may not even be flattering for my body type. Can’t even return it too, since it’s unhygienic to trade the panties that you’ve tried on.

In light of this, we’d like to call all fashion designers to step up your game and produce garments for plus-size women that are not only edgy and trendy but can also cater to all of our different body shapes. Do you face any struggles of being a curvy-licious woman? Tell us your story!

Tell us your story!