Plus Size Clothing – A Journey from Niche Market to a Flourishing Industry

Over the past few years plus–size category was highly overlooked, but these days the consumers & designers have buried their stereotypical thoughts. Ankush Karwa co-founder –eShopbox opens up with the insights related to the challenges and potential future of plus size clothing in India.

Differentiating plus size as a different section is as similar as calling a women who runs her own business a woman entrepreneur  (Why cannot we just call her an entrepreneur? Duh???)

Finding clothes that will go well with the occasion or mood can be a nightmare for women. On top of that, if, they have to rely on plus size clothing it demands more efforts to find a decent fit. Since, the emergence of ecommerce era plus-size clothing has experienced momentum in terms of its demand and supply.

Three Successful Cheers To Everyone Who Supports Plus Size Clothing- Market Scenario Is Finally In Its Favour!

Expanding Market Size

Have you heard the saying, “Problems make way for new opportunities?” Well, you are about to witness a similar scenario as this blog progresses.


Plus size clothing has struggled a lot to create its own space in the market. The most common issue faced by plus size shoppers is limited design choices, but the increase in demand around the globe has led the makers think.

The Indian Belly is the sole reason for this revolutionary change, says Prem Dewan who supervises Indian retail market for Corneliani, an Italian producer of svelte suits.


  • Since, economic growth got slacked last year, retailers have started to penetrate into specialized markets e.g. Plus size markets.
  • ven ace retailers which includes Pantaloons, Biba, Jabong and Myntra have recently have formed strong portfolios supporting plus size clothing. In fact, there are designs available in only 3XL and 4XL sizes. Therefore, other shoppers apart from the plus size are compromising these days. Now that is a big change, right?

The Stats Do Not Lie!

Many retailers have confirmed that 30% of customers are browsing plus size clothing.

Did you know 46 million people are obese? This is not something to be proud of, but it definitely feeds the need of this particular segment.

Plus size apparels are meeting needs of a large portion of US customers and have crossed US $ 22.3 billion.

Plus Size Market Share



Can a plus-size model be a part of beauty campaign? This is progress and it has overhauled the industry in a blink.

Calvin Klein campaign on plus size have pushed the boundaries already:-

Calvin Klein once created an advert, which had plus size models to break the stigma surrounding beauty standards.  Because of incredible contribution of Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence, there has been considerable progress .

“We will definitely earn our spot. After few striking ads everywhere and it won’t longer be taboo,” he explained. “Ultimately, we’ll have to drop the term ‘plus’ and simply be models.”

This is not the first time Calvin Klein’s has featured plus size models. Model Diana Sirokai recreated the ad featuring the Kardashian-Jenner clan in which sisters posing 7 promoting this trend.

Learn how popular magazine Cosmo is creating a demand for this niche:-

Even magazines are convinced and are eager to be a part of this thrilling experience. Advertisements/images definitely speaks for itself. Popular titles like Cosmo, People and Sports Illustrated ate creating a buzz by displaying plus girls on the cover and also regular write-ups on this topic.

Brands like Barneys, Michael Kors and Lauren by Ralph Lauren are few more who have worked on creative campaigns following this movement.

The largest online retailer & Lane Bryant (A specialist in plus size apparel) make almost 6,000 products across their brands. United Kingdom’s plus size retailer Evans is the second biggest player who offers close to 2,000 products in this segment. Most of the fashion houses are embracing the plus sized market and it definitely seems to booming with all the support, which never existed before.

 “It’s seems like a possibility now because of a buildup in demand from a specific section of consumers who don’t wish to see something unreliable or unattainable.”

 —Evelyn Wang, senior VP of Wet ‘n’ Wild


Every booming market has its own complications and there all we can say is, Where There Is Will, There Is a Win


Challenges  Justifications 
Variability in Supply and Demand Demand is high but the supply is still a question
Monotonous Alternatives Limitations in choices is a major drawback
Size Issues It is a daunting task to find a variable fit in similar size tags
Compromising Quality Providing quality becomes a issue for brands who choose to remain mediocre
Lack of time The perfect dress is a combination of right choice of color and fabric. This is time consuming and for plus-size it’s even more difficult.


Plus Size on the Rise

What are the possible remedies?

 Solution  Output
Creating options & prompt delivery Encouraging plus size customers to shop more
Everything under one roof These are certain brands who sell only plus size apparels
Seamless customer support Connects most and more plus size shoppers
Literally a click away Ecommerce websites are easy to navigate & provides regular updates through snackable content
Freedom counts Unlike retail stores Ecommerce sites lend freedom to choose without being distracted by nosey sales people
Time saver Buying is easy within few clicks rather than waiting a queue
Auction works Boost sales tremendously



Professional plus-sized models continue to be a challenge that is meant to attract a completely new breed of customers. Standard sizes for women originally developed in 1920 with catalogues as ready-to-wear was replaced by tailor made stock. Because of this phenomenon the money spent on plus size apparels has always risen by one percent. Hence, this became an unattainable goal for designers, retailers and other professionals in the business. Finally, after few decades of wait this became the best managed and well organized sector, which is nothing less than the rest.

Plus-size women have struggled in the past to find fashionable clothing options. But, with celebrities bringing plus size to the forefront, the fashion industry might wake up.

A successful conclusion was most anticipated in this case, and how…

Plus size clothing has not only formed a new market and paved way for new opportunities, but also gave boost to customized clothing. Tailorman, Vistaprint, iLogo and Runaway are some of the best websites who have adopted this idea.

The plus size target audience widely relies on E-commerce websites, as they do not need to face the shame of people judging them while they shop. After all, shopping is considered as a best therapy, so who wants to make it a bad memory. Plus sized women has every right to look glamorous and they look confident when they are positive about it. This also means that all women should shop comfortably in the same place and experience fashion equally.


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