My mother – who, just like myself, is plus size – didn’t wear a dress to work for 15 years because she never found tights that fit. This seems like a simple garment that should be easy to find, but it wasn’t. Finally Snag Tights stepped in with its inclusive sizing that considers height as well as clothing size and now my gorgeous mam is free to rock a frock whenever she fancies.
I had a similar experience recently, following the news that Thinx was launching a line of plus-size period pants. I didn’t know what I was missing out on in this garment department until it was finally made available to me.
Filling a hole in the market is mostly how any business makes money but for plus-size people, these missing links in the fashion industry can truly revolutionise not just the way we get to present ourselves aesthetically but how we live our lives.
I spoke to some of my plus-size peers who identified the following items currently missing from the plus-size clothing market which might not immediately spring to mind.
"With shorter necklaces and chokers being everywhere at the minute, I realised it was literally impossible to find any that fit my neck. I don’t want long necklaces or chains down to my waist either – I want what everyone else has and recently, I either have to get long chains shortened or vice versa."
"There are so many things that are just not made for plus-size people but the main thing that is missing for me is well-made bras that aren't just full cups. Ideally with options for strapless/backless/that allow for fun clothes and maybe wishful thinking but aren't just, well, vile. I'm around a 34K/L (I can't actually get [fitted] in shops as they only stock my size online but that's for another time) and all that I can get for my body is full cup bras.
This means anything strapless, backless, vest tops and even square-neck tops and dresses are not possible to wear without the top of my UGLY bra being on show. It basically forces me to cover up a lot of my décolletage and not be able to wear lots of clothes I would love to in my wardrobe that aren't even low cut. I even looked into making my own bras after starting to make my own clothes because I was sick of the limited options, and the only bra pattern that goes anywhere near my size is a full cup bra! So I still have about 25% of my wardrobe I don't feel comfortable wearing because of only one type of bra being available to me."
"I really love wearing frilly, patterned, embellished socks with my chunky shoes. But a lot of the time I find that these products have been developed without considering the appearance on a fat/wider foot. Such as printed words stretched out, patterns appearing distorted, etc. It’s so annoying! I would really love to update my funky sock collection – I just need a brand who focuses on adapting their designs to my fat-footed brethren!"
"I was shopping with a straight-size friend the other day and while I knew nothing in Mango would fit me, I went to my old friend – the accessories department. There was a gorgeous lilac cross-body bag but when I put it on it sat in my armpit. It’s the same when I’m trying to put a little shoulder bag on my arm… I wish brands would clock onto this and make bags that sit on plus-size bodies. At this rate the only thing I’ll be able to buy is earrings."
"For me personally, the item that I find heavily lacking in plus-size fashion are trousers. In particular, well-made tailored trousers that fit around my tummy without somehow being six sizes too big around my ankles or unexplainably long in the crotch! Leggings are plentiful and there seems to be a never-ending supply of crinkle-fabric, wide-leg trousers with a stretchy waistband. But I just want a perfectly fitted pair of high-waisted trousers!"
"I feel like this is JUST ME sometimes but press-on nails do not fit my hands EVER. I can’t just pop into Primark and pick up a cute holographic set and work it into my weekend look. I have to pay more money to get my nails done at a salon (which is a luxury I do enjoy, don’t get me wrong!) but I wish there were more press-on nail options for those of us who don’t have slender fingers – I have chunky chipolatas and they deserve glamour too!"
"Athleisure companies love to talk about comfort and support when it comes to larger busts but never larger people. By now a lot of sports bras have increased their sizing but their designs have left me marked and overhanging at the back, and the rigidness of the front can cause discomfort on big, soft bellies. Is there an assumption that fat people don't need sports bras or are they purposefully neglecting us? Either way it's frustrating to say the least. I know exciting things will happen when more types of bras are made by fat people, for fat people."