Tailored for Today
Brands Try On New Ideas Regarding Product Fit, Sizing & Identity.
The origins of clothing sizes dates back to the 1800s with military uniforms for men, and slowly evolved into the domestic market. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ushered in the next wave of sizing reform with a yearlong study titled Women’s Measurements for Garment and Pattern Construction in 1939, working alongside the Bureau of Home Economics, under a federal project grant. Two decades later the first set of sizing standards was released. That’s 60 years ago! No wonder today’s marketplace is booming with innovation and inclusivity.
These days plus-size and gender neutral styles are categories to watch. Consumer Goods Statista reports that 22 percent of Millennials prefer shopping from brands that include plus-size models in their ads. Lyst, a global fashion shopping platform, found that searches for fashion pieces including agender-related keywords have increased 33 percent this year. (Agender is defined as “without gender.”)
The women’s 2020 plus-size market in the U.S. is reported to be $24 billion, and growing at nearly twice the rate of the overall apparel market, according to NPD. The market research firm also cites that 70 percent of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or larger. Acute Market Research puts the global plus-size market at over $178 billion, with projected 4.3 percent annual growth through to 2028.
Cultural shifts come with industry challenges. Higher manufacturing costs, factory capability and fit expertise all play a role in plus-size and gender-inclusive collections. For example, larger sizing requires more material, which translates into elevated inventory, shipping and storage costs. For brands with curated, agender specialty looks that go beyond conventional unisex basics, correct cut and style originality are key hurdles to market success.
Here’s a selection of latest product innovations tailored to fit today’s diverse consumer audience.
Outdoor Research has new ranges for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 in extended and plus sizing for technical base layers, insulation and shells. A panel of six advisors to the Outdoor Research R&D team played a key role in the development process, fit sessions and field testing.
The Fall 2021 extended sizing program includes sizes ranging from XXS to XXXL. The Spring 2022 Plus Size collection launches in 1X-3X, and 16W-24W. Together the new plus-size offering covers all bases for both cold, and warm-weather active pursuits. Shown here is a sizing session for the Spring outerwear line.
Gregory introduces its first-ever plus size pack collection with14 different pack styles across the day hiking, hydration, multi-day backpacking and lifestyle categories, and fits the apparel equivalent of 2x through 6x sizing. The Gregory team worked hand-in-hand with Jenny Bruso and her group, Unlikely Hikers, to design the collection. Substantial adjustments to the fit geometry includes wider shoulder harness angles, extended shoulder harness lengths and enlarged hip belts with a 40” - 60” range. The design process also resulted in accessibility adjustments such as moving the hipbelt pockets to the front of the body for easy access on the trail, and adjusting the location of buckles for improved reachability.
Woolrich gives a sneak peak to its Spring/Summer 2022 season with a collection that encapsulates sophisticated casual looks for both urban and outdoor life.The first drop of the season, Outdoors Reinterpreted, is a balanced mix of minimalism, versatility and urban aesthetics, designed to take on any kind of unexpected weather patterns. The Delaware Coat is a genderless color-block garment that serves up high performance featuring Pertex Revolve, a mono-material waterproof fabric made of recycled polyester that promotes and support a sustainable and circular future.
Sante + Wade is a London based all-inclusive footwear brand that provides variety, quality and comfort. Shoe sizes range from U.S. size 7 - 13.5 in either standard or wide fit as option. The two year-old company is founded on the belief you shouldn’t have to compromise on style, comfort or both when shopping for premium footwear which was something the two founders were no longer prepared to settle for. “Even to this day, more than ever we have plus-sized fashion brands available at our fingertips, we have a real lack of exciting and quality brands for extended shoe sizes.
Re-Inc was founded In 2019 by the U.S. women’s national soccer team champions Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg, and Christen Press with the mission of inspiring more people to boldly reimagine the status quo. The brand’s collection of reinvented streetwear has expanded to include a variety of product offerings that are designed to appeal to Re-Inc’s vision of a new normal. Recently the company hosted a party to celebrate the launch of the Reunite Capsule.