Inclusiveness and Intimates

Plunkett Research estimates that 68% of the women in the U.S. are above a size 14. Inclusive sizing is a crucial focus point that needs to be examined across the fashion industry. It might be a time to reevaluate the term ‘plus-size,’ when so many women are falling into this size category. If the market has such a high demand for beautiful products in larger size ranges, then it is the industry’s job to meet these consumer needs. Specifically, in regards to intimate apparel, there is a need to celebrate the brands working towards producing products in wider size ranges, adding design and style to these pieces no matter the size, and marketing their brands as inclusive to all.

Intimate Apparel is perhaps the most crucial form of clothing that can drive the inclusive and body-confident movement. Why? Intimate Apparel is not typically shown outwardly but can give the wearer the basis of their confidence and comfort for the day. Inclusive brands have adjusted their sizing to suit a wider range of body types with sizes on the market ranging from – bands 28-44+, cups A-K, sizes XS-4XL. It remains important to offer a larger amount of sizing options, but still maintain impeccable construction and fit. Intimate Apparel brands can contribute to pushing forward the message of inclusive intimates as aligned with RTW and direct-to-consumer companies but excel based on their competencies of specific fit and design knowledge.

There is no better fashion category than intimates to define sexiness and femininity. It is the Intimate Apparel that can turn the messaging on the definition and portrayal of true beauty. Beauty radiates from every person despite their size, race, gender, or sexuality. Through intimate apparel and their portrayal of their products on real women, through marketing, social media, and digital exposure, the movement works towards encouraging self-confidence and inner beauty.

The intimate apparel industry has typically been very uniform in their advertising efforts typically using a ‘standard model’ for editorials – white, tall, and thin. It must be the mission to not only offer products for curvier body shapes but to portray these offerings on real women. Representation is key. There have been great strides in the industry in marketing different sizes and races in campaigns, in addition to minimal retouching. We salute brands making these strides and encourage others to look to them for inspiration to be truly impactful brands to all women.

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