March 2, 2018
Most often, it is nudged in the back corner: the plus-size section, where women who are a size 14 or larger are forced to shop.
Until recently, plus-size clothes and the plus-size department have largely been forgotten and treated like an afterthought.
Mic decided to trace the history of the plus-size section, and the term itself, to try to unravel where it all went wrong.
Jung Yeon-je/Getty Images
The term "plus size" was born in the early 20th century and largely popularized by Lane Bryant.
It began to grow beyond just Lane Bryant, and into other department stores around the United States.
Perhaps because of Bryant's obvious success, in the '80s and '90s plus-size boutiques started popping up in droves.
In 1980, Marina Rinaldi, one of the first high-end clothing brands for plus-size women, launched.
Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images
Although the plus-size market was one of the fastest-growing markets in the fashion industry, women were still scrambling to find clothes that were of quality.
Now, because of the body-positivity movement and the popularity of models like Ashley Graham, people are paying attention to the plus-size section.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Many stores, like ModCloth, are shunning the phrase "plus size" and the section entirely.
Frank Franklin II/AP
Our solution? Listen to the women who are shopping, and give them options.
Here's a revolutionary idea that's worth reminding companies: Women who happen to be a size 14 or 16 or larger shouldn't have to settle for lesser treatment.