The idea to start selling plus size clothing in my store was to ensure I was accommodating all women with various body shapes and sizes. Years ago, stores weren't offering stylish plus size clothing. However, more stores are hopping on board with the idea that ALL women of ALL sizes can look stylish.
To some, the term "plus size" can be seen as offensive, which is the reason more stores are using "curve" instead. This day and age, people are becoming more aware of how they might come across as offensive, even if it's not intentional. Therefore, I decided to use the term "curve" as to not offend anyone. When I attended my first apparel and accessories market, I was transitioning to introducing plus size clothing in my store, so it was a challenge to know what to buy.
In speaking with boutique owners, based on the feedback they receive, they mentioned plus size customers:
- Dislike clothing that exposes their arms
- Prefer asymmetrical tops/dresses
- Prefer loose fitting sleeves
- Like over-sized tops/dresses
- Dislike certain prints
So I took all of that into consideration when selecting plus size clothing. I even created a poll on my Instagram with pictures of the clothes I was considering, and asking my followers to vote on which styles they liked. Then I saw one dress that I had to buy, but it exposed the arms. One lady told me, "You can always create who you want your customer to be." That's the same advice another boutique owner told me the day before. I was starting to notice a pattern. The lady went on to say, "She (the customer) doesn't know what she likes until you tell her." Often times it's about encouraging them to have confidence in what they wear. In addition, people may not know what they like until they see how it can be worn. Maybe wearing a cutoff sleeve top wouldn't seem so bad if you showed them how to layer it with a nice cardigan!