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Curvy Women Deserve Mirror Time In The Bridal Salon And Beyond

Don’t call it a comeback.

I’ve been here for years is the opening line for L.L. Cool J’s classic “Mama said Knock You Out”.

The song lyric is quite appropriate like the article in the Huffington Post Style Section, Plus Size Clothing Sold Online But Not In-Stores Poses Problem For Shoppers.

According to the article, a survey of 5,000 American women of mixed sizes, ages 15-65  was conducted by online retailer McCloth and it found that more US women report wearing a size 16 dress than those who wear a size 2 and size 0 combined.*

In addition, 50 percent of American women wear a mix of standard and plus-sizes, and 57 percent buy some of their clothes in size 16 or larger.*

Although the article mainly focused on everyday clothing choices, it could have easily included the bridal industry. In 2009, full figured brides represented 25% of the weddings in the US.

It’s approximated that in 2012 that number increased to 35%. Yet with the growing number, (no pun intended) many brides to be faced the same lack of inventory.

Whether it’s a pair of jeans or shirt, women want to try the clothes on.

Sizing charts are helpful but every body is different. Therefore with the average brides spending at least $1700.00 for a gown, she shouldn’t have to put down a deposit and order it before she’s seen the way the dress looks and feels on her body.

In fashion, plus size women represent a majority-minority. We outnumber straight size women but we’re still crammed in the back of the fashion bus. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that designers and department stores have to take note of us if they want to increase profitability.

IBS World, an industry market research company reported in June 2013 that while plus-size women’s clothing stores were strained by the recession due to lower disposable income, demand will pick up in the next five years.

Moreover, it stated the capital costs associated with establishing plus-size women’s clothing stores are relatively low, and the only real barriers to entry in this industry relate to brand awareness and competition.

The long-term process of establishing a solid reputation can be considered a deterrent to enter the industry. Existing players have already established brand names in their respective product fields, so new entrants will need to invest money and time to sway consumers into making the shift from strong existing brand names to the garments of relatively new brands.

Target recently announced they were re-entering the bridal gown business.

They’ll offer gowns from size 0 to 32 online at more the reasonable prices. On the surface this is great but it denies brides to be the joy of trying on a wedding gown before buying it. Granted, there is a return policy but returns are a hassle in person let alone returning something you bought online.

It seems like the perfect time for bridal designers and companies to start offering plus size samples for salons to order.

Very few bridal salons carry sizes above a bridal size 14 which is about the equivalent of a size ten. Instead of offering the usual short term excuses of higher production costs, they should look at the long term increase in profits.

In the end it’s about money and getting the same value and service when you’re spending hard earned cash.

*SOURCE: Huffington Post Report.

Read more posts by Chamein Canton. Chamein is a blogger for JenningsWire.