The troubling history of the plus-size section

March 2, 2018

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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.

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Until recently, plus-size clothes and the plus-size department have largely been forgotten and treated like an afterthought.

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Mic decided to trace the history of the plus-size section, and the term itself, to try to unravel where it all went wrong.

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The term "plus size" was born in the early 20th century and largely popularized by Lane Bryant.

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It began to grow beyond just Lane Bryant, and into other department stores around the United States.

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Perhaps because of Bryant's obvious success, in the '80s and '90s plus-size boutiques started popping up in droves.

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In 1980, Marina Rinaldi, one of the first high-end clothing brands for plus-size women, launched.

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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.

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Now, because of the body-positivity movement and the popularity of models like Ashley Graham, people are paying attention to the plus-size section.

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Many stores, like ModCloth, are shunning the phrase "plus size" and the section entirely.

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Our solution? Listen to the women who are shopping, and give them options.

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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.

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