Writer Bethany Rutter is just like the rest of us—she told her side of the story of why shopping is so horrendous as a curvy women to Telegraph and it’s probably something most women have unfortunately had to go through. In the first paragraph she says, “All I want this summer is a gingham shirt dress. I search different websites every couple of days, wondering how much compromise I’m willing to make on the style, the color, the length. But it’s all academic, because this item doesn’t exist in my size. No, it’s not even that I’ve found one that’s more than I want to spend. It actually doesn’t exist.”
Too often, these stories are glazed over because of the popularity of online retailers but there is still a huge gap in what’s available in straight size market and what’s available for curvy women. She goes to list that her main go-to sites are ASOS Curve, River Island Plus, OneOneThree, Navabi and Elvi but that’s only 5 retailers—not really much to choose from, especially if you’re looking for something specific.
And in the UK, “The plus size market is not a nice, negligible area of business. It constitutes 12.4pc of all clothing sales in the UK and is worth an excess of 5 billion pounds.” Bethany even goes on to note how she was excited to find out about the new brand Coverstory—but experiences like that are more exception to the rule. She goes on to make some interesting points on why she thinks there should be a distinction of size labeling in clothing because often times brands say they don’t want to make a separate section for curvy women, which really just translates to them only offering a few items in up to a size 18.
Overall, it’s the disrespect that keeps pushing women over the edge, because they are quite fed up with retailers who don’t think they’re good enough for their brand to cater to. The thought of how much money the curve market has to offer, and the lack of designers wanting to delve in makes me wonder if there will ever be an honest confrontation around the stigma of designing for women of all sizes.