Features, Trends

Plus-Size & Big Men: A Big Deal

In 1985 the average woman in the U.S. wore a size 8. Today she wears size 16-18, according to a 2016 study by researchers at Washington State University that challenged the widely held belief that the average size was 14. In the United States alone, plus-size clothing is now a $20 billion market.

There’s a missed opportunity when retailers fail to mirror the markets they serve. Sizing is a complex issue and there is also a negative stigma attached to labeling apparel “plus” or “big.” Scaling out apparel looks in broader size ranges requires new tools as well as the latest data on women’s and men’s body shapes.

The plus-size market is a buoyant sector that has historically been underserved by the fashion industry. To better serve this segment, Alvanon is launching a new plus-size range, which represents the real shape of U.S. men and women as identified in the ASTM Standard Tables.

The new Alvanon plus-size ASTM-based development tools will allow the industry to understand and respond to the real body shape and fit requirements of consumers. Remember, the goal is to offer choice; we’re just happy to do our part to enhance the customer experience.

Plus-size Stats

  • The average American woman wears size 16 to 18 Washington State University 2016 Study
  • More U.S. women report wearing a size 16 than those wearing size 0, 2, and 4 combined Mod Cloth 2014 Study
  • 88 percent of full-figured “plus sized” women said they would spend more on apparel if more trendy options were available in their size Buxton.com
  • Nearly three-quarters of American men are obese or overweight WGSN
  • The average American (male) waist and chest now standing at 39 inches and 42 inches respectively WGSN
  • Brands and retailer who are offering true plus “big” sized product offer sizes starting at XL to as large as 10XL” Don Howard, Executive Director, Alvanon
  • “Often times big men are lumped into the phrase “big and tall”. There is no data in the world that confirms a correlation with size and height” Don Howard, Executive Director, Alvanon

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