Currently, the CDC reports an estimated 65% of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. 16% of children and adolescents aged 6-19 years are overweight. However, for the clothing industry, body weight should not be the only consideration. There are also several different body types to take into account. Only about 5% of women have the ultra-long, thin model body type. That means the other 95% of women have a body type with curves.
As little as 15 years ago there were few choices when it came to clothing choices for women of size. The clothes were often described as being bland, shapeless coverings. Full figured women wanted and demanded more. They showed the clothing industry that they were intelligent, educated, strong and successful professionals just like their slimmer counterparts. They demanded comfortable, flattering, sophisticated clothing in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. The retail industry soon recognized that they had a lot to gain by selling clothing that fit and flattered the approx 130 million U.S. people that were in the plus and super plus size ranges. Apparel manufacturers started developing bigger sizes (x-large and queen) in their regular size lines. These clothes often did not fit larger women well since the patterns were based on the ultra-thin, straight body type. The manufacturers soon realized that they also needed to take into account body type and started making clothing that fit larger women with curves and is now dedicating full lines to the uniqueness of the plus size woman.
The lingerie market has also responded to the requests of large, curvy women. More and more lingerie manufacturers are also now dedicating separate lines to the plus size woman. Traditionally lingerie’s original purpose was just to give shapeliness and support. However, there has always seemed to be an undercurrent of sensuality associated with lingerie. Lingerie adds a certain amount of mystery that is attractive to men. Imagination and intrigue fuel their excitement. At the same time, women look and feel attractive and sexy knowing that the lingerie (or even thoughts of it) visually excited their suitors.
Lingerie can be especially important to the larger woman’s sexuality. Full figured women may feel self-conscious about being naked in front of their partners, so adding some well-fitting lingerie that accentuates her attributes while disguising her less flattering areas may help her feel confident enough to explore her wild side. Plus size lingerie colors and styles have come a long way as well. Gone are the days of just solid black fabrics for the bigger woman. Women of size asked for bright colors and printed fabrics which added pizzazz and personality to plus size lingerie. Taking things a step further, there is now specialty plus size lingerie. Some examples are plus size bridal lingerie, plus size leather lingerie, plus size patent leather lingerie, plus size underwear, plus size sexy costumes, and more.
ALL women deserve to have clothing, underwear, swimwear, outerwear, and even sexy lingerie that not only fits, but is also comfortable and attractive.