The What and Why of Plus Size

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There’s been a lot of discussion about the term “plus-size”. Many bloggers, celebrities and fashion designers have spoken out about their preference or disdain for the term.

At Kade & Vos, we do not use the term "Plus Size". We feel that calling some sizes
"Plus Size" means that these sizes and shapes are somehow different from other sizes! As you will see when you check out our size chart, Kade & Vos sizes range from Small to 6XL. We do not have Plus Size underwear. We sell underwear in sizes that fit all sizes and shapes of women.
From my years of research I’ve found that women who identify as plus-size are divided about the term.

After surveying and interviewing over 500 women, it comes down to two points of view.

Plus-size has a conflicting duality in it’s meaning and neither point of view is wrong.

  1. It is both a social construct and a functional way of categorizing clothing.
    1. The social construct of the term is first a prefix to a clothing category. Anything that is a prefix is considered less than or outside of the norm. So, in it’s very nature plus-size clothing is less than or has less value than clothing itself. It is absurd to me that an inanimate object such as clothing can be prefixed to de-value a group. However, that has been the case for women in many areas…… women’s basketball for example… it can’t just be basketball - we have to add the prefix women’s which indicates it is less than an not as worthy as the norm - which would be men’s basketball.
    2. Functional - many women are indifferent about the label “plus-size” because at it’s root, it helps them know if they can shop somewhere and/or where they can find something in their size. In this way, using the term plus-size is helpful to them during shopping which is a stressful experience in itself.

The data from my study suggest that majority of women who wear plus-size clothing would rather be classified as “women” in the fashion industry - and not be a separate category. Now, this doesn’t mean that they identify with/as a woman, but that for their clothing category, they prefer it be named “women’s”.

While the current classifications of our fashion industry do not reflect the infinite ways that we want to identify ourselves and express our individuality, I do see progress. I am disappointed that the fashion industry didn’t begin it’s categorization by sex (male/female/non-binary) or body shape - instead it is categorized by gender and end garment. And, that worked at that time. But now, we have different needs and new ways of identifying which require adjusting our older patterns. Be eliminating the ‘plus-size’ label, we open up space for new environments and ways of buying clothing - which we all need!

For more fashion history click here.

For more clothing categories click here.

All women are curvy, but all curvy women are different! At Kade & Vos, we
design underwear to fit the curves of your body. Most underwear manufacturers use a Size 4 model for the basic pattern, and then they simply change the waist size for all other sizes. Kade & Vos makes separate patterns for multiple sizes in order to fit curvy bodies of all shapes!

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