A plus sized range from size 12?!

22 Jan

I greeted the news that Mango have launched a plus sized fashion range initially with glee, as I’m no lightweight myself, being a comfortable size 18, dreaming of a 14. (It is achievable, it is!) I find plus sized retailers depressing and overpriced, and it is RIDICULOUS that I have been unable to shop in some high street fashion ranges because a 14 is the max they deem appropriate.

I don’t condone obesity. In fact the battle against it is one I win, and then lose, with depressing regularity. However people are getting bigger… but please don’t assume it’s just because they’re getting fatter.

Let’s look from the bottom up. Literally.  60 years ago the average British woman had size 3.5 feet. (source, UK National Sizing Survey 1951) Today it’s a 6. My mother (6ft tall) has size 10 feet and was ridiculed when buying shoes in her youth. In fact she had to have them specially made. My feet are an 8.5 or a 9, and while it’s not easy, I can certainly buy off the shelf if I know where to look*. Surely that must tell us something – you don’t get bigger feet by eating too many chips.

Image source http://bit.ly/19NXIvT

We’re bigger and heavier and with larger feet than in the 1950’s. It’s supposedly down to better nutrition, warmer houses and better health (crucially, the introduction of antibiotics), so in childhood we can devote our energies to growing, rather than simply staying alive.

But – why do we actually need ranges of clothing called “plus sized”? Can’t we just have…clothes? In all sizes? Mango’s fatty range starts at size 12! That’s well below the normal for UK women, so is not plus sized in any way that I can recognise. Why can’t retailers just produce clothes in sizes that fit women, without having to partition them into outdated groupings?

Perhaps I might feel differently if I were the size 14 that I dream of. I’d still be able to buy from the Mango Violetta range though…

What are your thoughts?

*Retailers – stop making me look so bloody hard. Feet are getting bigger. Make bigger shoes – there is a market for them!

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