Plus-size bloggers and influencers continue to be the change fashion needs. Instead of relying on the industry to readily embrace the 67% of women who are over a size 14, people like Katie Sturino, who runs the website The 12ish Style, is leading the charge when it comes to asking brands to expand their size range. Last week, Sturino shared with her Instagram followers that she was tired of the limited options available in her size. She posted a poll on her Instagram Story to see if she was alone in her sentiment, and an overwhelming 97% agreed. They, too, were tired.
You guys, I can’t stop!!! I’ve hit my limit with designers who don’t consider my body type! Please post your frustrated fitting room selfies and the styles you wish were available to you with the #MakeMySize hashtag...they are listening...let them know❤️ (these are @frame jeans size 32/XL/14) PS: thought I’d give you a break from my bra being exposed? PS if you want jeans that DO fit check out my @jcrew post! They go up to a 37!
“I can’t tell you the frustration when I’m shopping (and I’m a blogger! In NYC!) So while I applaud brands who are making changes to include more sizes, I’m going see if we can work together to let other designers know that they have a whole demographic that wants to shop,” she wrote on Instagram. “Please tag a brand you wish made your size below! I’m starting the #MakeMySizeMovement!” Thus far, Sturino tells Refinery29 that some smaller brands have written her thoughtful notes on why they haven’t expanded their sizing yet; a few labels have also reached out, asking to sit down with Sturino and talk to her about what they can do.
“I launched this campaign completely on a whim after opening a Net-A-Porter same day delivery (is there anything better?) and finding again that nothing fits (is there anything worse?),” Sturino tells Refinery29 of the #MakeMySizeMovement. “The guessing game of finding clothes is one that I am very familiar with and thought at this point that I would have an easier time.” She hopes this mission will help educate designers on the actual fit of their larger sizes (the pieces are often still too small).
One dress, a leopard wrap dress by Alice + Olivia, showed just how far the industry has to go — and how important it is to have these conversations. After Sturino posted a photo in the dress, writing “I love this leopard wrap dress and I’d love to wear it in my size,” the brand replied in the comments: “As a brand we take a lot of pride in designing for and making clothes for a variety of body types. But not every dress can be made to fit every body... It comes in a blouse and as a skirt which can be better options for women who are more voluptuous on top.”
Several customers were quick to reply, noting how disappointed they were in the brand's response. @kohutnycdc summed up their sentiments perfectly, writing: "This is a very disappointing response. You seem more focused on the image of your brand than welcoming new customers. This conversation isn’t about having a more voluptuous top. It’s that your clothes are not options for the majority of women because of the size. Little by little, more designers are expanding their size range. It would behoove you to be remembered as an enthusiastic supporter of size inclusiveness rather than reluctant adopters. The plus community will remember." Sturino herself added to the conversation: "Your response is getting a poor response because instead of being open to my/our request for more inclusive sizing, you are suggesting I try and squeeze my shape into a size that does not and has never fit me from your brand, " she wrote. "Many brands are working to expand their range in some capacity. I’m just asking you to consider doing the same."
As Sturino tells us, the biggest question is: “As an entrepreneur myself, why would anyone want to sell merchandise that ignores 67% of the population?” While we’re still waiting for the answer, we're hoping the #MakeMySizeMovement will be a start.