There is one thing that I think we all agree on whether you are #droptheplus or #keeptheplus, we are all itching for the plus size fashion market to merge more and indeed be comparable to straight size.
We always talk about how we want more choice. We want better options and different fabrics. We want trends and we want them now, but we also want really great wardrobe staples. There’s a lot of chat about what we would’ve bought if it had been made available in the range of sizes needed and sometimes I’m one of those women too.
But I’ve also seen a lot of talk about price and cost and this and that being too expensive or X brand offering product much cheaper.
This ladies, this price differentiation between brands is NOT BAD. This is good, in fact it’s amazing because this is the true indicator that we are beginning to get a competitive fashion market in plus.
For far too long everyone was pushing basically identical product at identical price points. And while it is partially their fault it is ours too. We got used to it. We got used to cheap, fast fashion and while our choices are growing it is, especially in size 24+ still limited.
But that gave us a sense of entitlement. That all brands should be catering to us and what we were either use to paying or could currently afford.
But that doesn’t push our industry forward at all.
Over the past 2 years lots of brands have entered the plus arena and certain brands have upped their price or entered with higher price points while others have plummeted theirs or charge considerably less. And that’s okay. Because that’s retail.
You can’t necessarily always afford the things you want. And that doesn’t mean one brand is wrong for charging more than another.
If we look at the straight size market the high street has all kinds of price points, from value retailers with lower end price points to the high end high street retailers like Karen Millen or Whistles and Reiss; then you have your middle market of Topshop and River Island. All of this creates a healthy mix of affordable, aspirational and something in between. It offers choice to millions of women and sure it’s frustrating if you can’t have something – that’s just human nature but that doesn’t mean that the companies deserve load of social abuse about price points either.
Having a healthy competitive market means you can choose how to shop too. Even though now I have less disposable income I’d rather save and spend more money on fewer better quality items than buy lots of inexpensive pieces (although I will still pick up the odd bit) and that’s my perogative.
That’s what modern day fashion is about. Choice, expression, mixing and matching and putting your own twist on things.
If you can only afford or want to shop with the best bargains that’s fine – in fact celebrate the fact that we have a diversified enough market where that is an option but so to those that want to invest a little more… go right ahead.
We need to have all kinds of brands, qualities and price points to keep pushing our market forward and that’s just a fact.