lifestyle

The department store taking a stance for plus size women.

I really hate shopping.

I used to be a size 18 now I’m a 14-16.  The way clothes hang on the size 8 mannequins just don’t look like that when I put them on my body.

I’m used to change room disappointment, but that doesn’t make it less frustrating or disheartening.

But finally, curvy women will be able to see how clothes will really look, because Target is introducing plus sized mannequins.

CEO of Target Stuart Machin says, “We’re always been famous for recognising women in all shapes and sizes and it’s something we want to celebrate even more over the forthcoming months. We have size 16 mannequins that are in production now that will be in stores in September.”

Fan-bloody-tastic!

A British department store, Debenhams, introduced size 16 mannequins earlier this year to a lot of fanfare.

Debenhams in the UK feature size 16 mannequins. Target will feature mannequins up to size 20.

There was also some criticism, with some UK health experts saying the mannequins encouraged obesity.

Well I call bullshit to that.  The causes of obesity are complex and certainly not caused by some moulded plastic in a department store. In my experience a negative shopping experience makes my self-esteem plummet, so to see clothes on a realistic sized mannequin will be sweet relief.

Plus-sized models are making us “fat”. Discuss.

“The average size of our customer is a size 14, so we’re making an effort with our visual marketing, our mannequins and our point of sale, so it represents and reflects them,” Machin says.

Fashion stylist Donny Galella says it’s a positive move as everyone likes to feel included and designers should follow suit.

“I urge Aussie designers to expand their sizes past 14 because that’s where the market is.  It makes business sense,” he says.

“When I take my clients shopping who might be size 16-18 and up there is a limited range available for them which is really disappointing considering the ‘average’ Australian woman is a size 14-16.”

In three separate studies, researchers from the University of Kent found women were more likely to buy clothes from a new clothing brand if the company used “normal sized” women in their promotions.

ADVERTISEMENT
Target’s latest catalogue uses models of a varying sizes.

Famous Aussie “plus sized” model Laura Wells says, “It’s such a shame that there’s not the same amount of fashion for everyone. The average sized woman is missing out on a lot of fashion choices.

“That can affect people mentally. It really does play a big part in how people feel about themselves and adds to the pressure to what they’re feeling already.

“When you look at stores like Sportsgirl – I do question why they can’t extend their ranges. I’m a size 14 – when I go shopping the size 14s are all sold out.

“Doesn’t it make business sense to make more and in larger sizes? There is a whole industry here we can tap into. Support these people and make them feel beautiful,”  she says.

Related:This shows shops exactly how much money they lose by failing to stock plus size. Genius.

Machin say Target is listening.

“We’re proud of the work we’re currently doing but we think we can still do more.  A couple of years ago in our core fashion ranges we used to stop at a size 16  but now we go to 24 – and that’s in core fashion ranges.  We’ve had great feedback from customers on that.  Just look at our catalogue that features all women of all sizes, ” he says.

Targeting women of all shapes.

Gallela says,  “I think even celebrities are more open about not being perfect, you hear actresses say things like ‘I got through the Academy Awards sponsored by Spanx’, which is great.  It’s about look the best you can look not how someone else looks.”

“I think there’s a huge trend with using models that real women identify with, from people embracing their curves and their wrinkles.  I think we’ll be seeing more and more of it. Which is amazing,” he says.

Related: #ProjectWomanKIND is an online video series featuring candid interviews with women about body image, health, and other aspects of life as a woman. Some of the images from the powerful campaign:

Related:

Editors’ picks: The plus size edition.

This is what “plus size” looks like in the television industry. 

00:00 / ???