Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Plus Sized vs. Generously Sized

Many women wonder how I came up with the tag line “generously sized apparel” and why?

I knew from the moment Fresh Ayer was just a twinkle in my eye that there was nothing useful, fashionable or flattering about the term “plus size” and I knew that I had to find a better way to let women know the sizes that Fresh Ayer carried.

Plus size is a term that generally refers to sizes 16 and above (14 if you are lucky). The most common sizes in the U.S. are 10, 12, 14 & 16, so right off the bat I knew that starting our sizing at a 14/16 made no business sense at all. I also knew that first and foremost I wanted Fresh Ayer to be about style, service and fit rather than about the sizes we carried. Why do so many people do things just because that is the way they have always been done? I was not about to exclude women, who often struggle to find their size in boutiques, just because they were a bit smaller.

I have found that there is a big gap in sizing between conventional sized stores’ L/XL and the 1X, often available only in department stores and the Lane Bryant’s of the world. Many women are more slender on top then on bottom or vice versa and find themselves running between the “plus size” department and the missy size department only to leave with nothing. I wanted to bring their worlds together in one fun, woman friendly shopping environment.

The term “generously sized” was actually my mother’s idea. While shopping at the beach one summer she came across one rack in a boutique with a sign above it that said, “generously sized”. It always stuck with her. “What a pleasant way to point out the sizing”, she said. Why are we “generously sized”? Now you know!

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