Never in a million years did I ever think the plus size clothing industry would be where it is today. Growing up in the 80s, being a plus size kid was not rare, but the plus size clothing options were very limited. I went to a Catholic grammar school, and my mom paid a lot of money for the larger size uniforms. It became more costly when I entered high school. My mom didn’t earn a lot of money, but she always made sure that I had something new to wear at the start of each school year. During those four years of high school, my mother would spend hundreds of dollars at stores like Catherines and Sears for me to wear “women’s” sizes at the age of 15!
Years later, my children were fortunate to not have the same experiences as me. My teenage girls were also curvy and considered plus size, but thankfully there were more plus size clothing stores available for them. In fact, that was the first time I saw a junior plus size section. There were tons of options ranging at different price points for mothers like me at the mall, including stores like the Rainbow Shops, Ashley Stewart, Old Navy, JCPenney, Target, Kohl’s, Torrid, Charlotte Russe, Forever21, and New York & Company. I was on a budget, and having two teenage girls was pretty costly, but the options at these stores were much better than what my mom had to deal with when I was growing up.
My girls didn’t have to worry about being out of style, and could wear clothes and undergarments comfortably. Even shopping for plus size prom dresses was a breeze. We were able to find plus size clothing stores online that catered to all sizes, and we could view the catalog before going to the store. Brittney Payton at Fox 32, recently featured Peaches Boutique, where I bought my youngest daughter’s prom dress.
I’m so happy to see so many curvy women online, living life and being free, traveling and being an inspiration to others. One of my favorite curvy models is Ashley Graham. For me, Ashley “broke the internet” when she was featured on the cover and in the pages of the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She rocked her photos and posed just as well as the other models.
The NPD Group says that plus size fashion could bring in 24 million dollars in revenue. NPD also says that plus-size teens accounted for 34 percent of the market in 2015! Through social media, more women are speaking out and talking about being comfortable in their body. We are no longer feeling like we have to be the size 0 or 8 to feel great in our clothing. We’re talking about great food, being healthy, and wearing what we want! There are so many more options for us.