Self-Perceptions of Plus-Size Consumers and the Effect on Fashion and Fit Preferences
Fifty-four percent of the US female population have been defined as being overweight, obese or extremely obese (Mintel Group, 2013). The apparel industry has taken some initiative to provide clothing for women of large sizes through retailers such as Ashley Stewart and Lane Bryant. There continues to be some inconsistencies in current apparel offerings specific to the lack of variation in body shape. This pilot study was conducted to analyze the self-perceived fashion and fit preferences of plus-size females in relation to current retail offerings. Statistics showed a significant relationship among participant-perceived body shape and figure type. A statistical significance was also seen among body size and the level of comfort with the waist. Fifty-two percent of all participants acknowledged that they were uncomfortable with their waist. When offered a visual image, the majority of the participants would choose fashion over fit, however when approached logically, fit was more preferred.