How Curvy Boutiques Are Strides Ahead of Major Retail Chains
Photo credit: My Sister’s Closet Boutique
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The technology, materials, and techniques that make our clothes have come such a wonderful, long way. New innovative ideas and styles are being discovered and shared all over the globe at any moment. Unique looks handmade or pulled together from vintage inspirations are turning heads every season.
Yet, when you look at the plus-sized sections of some of the biggest clothing retailers and chains online, many of us might wonder: where’s the innovation here? It often appears as if the same tired prints and cuts are being offered no matter where you look. But in the plus-size fashion space, it’s the indie curvy boutiques that are becoming the backbone of the fashion community and paving the way to challenge the status quo and push against what many major retailers think plus-sized fashion means.
Let’s take a look at how curvy boutiques are taking strides in the fashion industry ahead of major retail chains.
Plus Size Shoppers Frustrations
Bodies do not follow a single standard outline of measurements and they never have. Many retailers end their size ranges at sizes 12 or 14 which is in no way enough to cover their diverse customer base. In 2016, when a well-known movie star began calling out designers for the industry’s bias against larger women because she could not find a dress her size to wear on the red carpet—designers and customers alike took notice. This began a slow but steady increase in awareness of the struggles many women who don’t fit into a one-size-fits-all mold go through when it comes to finding clothing that fits them.
But some of the frustrations that have plagued plus-sized fashion-forward women are still out there.
- Fast-fashion pieces that fall apart after one wear.
- Basics that cost double or triple the cost as smaller sizes.
- Shapeless styles in outdated prints.
- Being told the big brands can’t afford to produce the same garments they do for smaller bodies because the cost of the fabric is too high.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in some of the common complaints featuring some of the big-brand clothing retailers.
Curvy boutiques however are not only proving it is possible to make diverse, beautiful properly fitting garments for plus-sized bodies and that these on-trend pieces can be as affordable as the apparel marketed to smaller bodies, too.
The retail market is still disregarding that up to two-thirds of American women consider themselves to be a special size that wildly differs from the standard offered today, and one-third of American women identify as plus size. Curvy boutiques with savvy and more inclusive small business owners are far more in touch with what women want and need from their clothing and are stepping in to take up the large missing portions mass-manufactured clothing companies are still not filling.
Curvy Boutiques Creating a New Market Experience Online
Curvy boutique fashion knows that women of different sizes are looking for something new and exciting to wear. They want fashion that spans many trends rather than be lumped in with maternity wear. That’s never where the fashionista wants to shop!
The Curvy boutiques know as well as understand that inclusive sizing is not a trend by a necessity across all apparel types. They also know how to go above and beyond when it comes to the customer experience. Something the large retail chains still seem to be lacking.
You’re not just another faceless consumer at these small boutiques—you’re the reason why they do what they do. High-quality, luxury fashion should be an opportunity for all women and the boutique apparel industry has the advantage in intimately knowing this firsthand.
It’s More Than Shopping
Ask women in the U.S. how it makes them feel when they find a brand’s clothing that fits them and is just as on-trend and gorgeous as every other size. Chances are they’ll tell you it makes them feel more valued as a customer and as a person.
An important thing to note is that plus-size women don’t want clothing that simply throws some extra fabric on a design made for more common sizes and have it labeled as a plus—they want a unique wardrobe as representative of them as what smaller sizes get.
When it comes to plus-sized fashion, Curvy boutiques have had their fingers on that pulse for a much longer time. It’s why curvy boutiques are strides ahead of major retailer clothing chains and will remain so for a very long time.