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Diversity in fashion: Size matters

We talk to Meagan Kerr, body positivity advocate and blogger at This is Meagan Kerr about how retailers can do better to cater to customers of all sizes. 

Customers of all sizes should see themselves reflected in fashion. Kerr explains that on a practical level, shoppers can visualise how garments will look on their bodies. Secondly (and importantly), when customers see people who look like them, they feel included. 

We asked Kerr about her experiences with online and in-store retailers that have been positive. She says these experiences come where retailers put thought into what a plus-size customer wants. Where Kerr has had not such great experiences, this is where the plus-size customer is an afterthought. 

Here are some practical tips from Kerr to help retailers cater to customers of all sizes: 

  • Stock brands with consistent fits in size across multiple garments. Not only does this make online shopping easier for customers, but it also reduces return rates!

  • Include decent descriptions of garments, for example, whether the fabric has stretch, and how long a bag strap or necklace is.  

  • Stock a range of clothing that incorporates the same styles, colours, and prints that ‘straight-size’ people can access. Customers don’t always want to shop watered-down versions of on-trend pieces, or the same styles every season. 

  • Use a diverse range of bodies in advertising, both editorial and on store websites. In New Zealand, brands and retailers that offer clothing up to a size 24 – 26 are still not showing their garments on these larger sizes. These stores are instead showing these garments on size 16 – 18 bodies (the smaller end of the plus-size scale). New Zealand customers are then enticed to shop with online stores overseas. 

 

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