This year has seen a new word creep into the lexicon of the style world: "fatshion." This word describes the rising trend in fashion to make clothes that don't fit the traditional plus-size profile (i.e. not as fashionably and trendy) in larger sizes. This article from Bloomberg Businessweek delves into the new trend.
When we first came across "fatshion" we met the idea with simultaneous gusto and disdain.
On the one hand, it is a positive move in the right direction for retailers to finally recognize that larger women may actually prefer to wear the same styles as say, Jessica Simpson. Instead of adhering to the old "rules" of plus-size fashion (i.e. wear black, avoid horizontal stripes, invest in Spanxx), this new brand of chic encourages all women to wear clothes in styles typically made for those with petite figures in mind. This means donning form-fitting attire, horizontal stripes and colors other than black. Skinny women aren't the only ones who get to be sexy these days. And to that we say, it’s about damn time.
Our disdain comes from the word "fatshion" itself. The general consensus is that plus sizes are those 14 and over, and guess what size the average American woman is? Yup, 14. And according to the Businessweek article, 67 percent of women wear between a size 14 and 34. So, we’re thinking if 14 is the average, maybe we should call sizes 2-6 under-sized women’s clothing? Wonder how well THAT would go over?
“Fatshion” makes absolutely no sense. You expect us to embrace fashion-forward apparel for plus-sized women, but you’ve coined a term like "fatshion" to describe it? If you plan on marketing this new trend to women, it’s just plain counterintuitive. Two-thirds of women in this country fall into the "fatshion" category, and if there’s one thing that will alienate a woman into putting her wallet right back into her purse, it’s when she feels fat.
What do you think? Will marketing fashion forward (which often includes form-fitting), plus-sized clothes to women using a word like "fatshion" work?
FletcherPR is a national communications firm that specializes in reaching women through the power of media. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN with staff in Nashville & Los Angeles, we are a full-service agency providing strategic public relations, social media and marketing communications services to our clients throughout the U.S.