For a brand to become size-inclusive, this means that they have adopted ‘design thinking,’ the industry's human-centered method of fashion tackling problems like restrictive beauty standards aimed at size 12s and below. Size inclusivity in clothing options as well as in promotional images does not just allow people to simply imagine themselves inside a wedding gown, however it has also been which may positively shape one’s self-perception.
We are seeing fashion move ahead in the right direction. According to Afterpay data, within the US, the number of retailers carrying plus-size clothing increased by 59% between January 2021 and January 2022. There’s been a 36% year-over-year rise in customers buying from retailers featured as plus-size.
Limited clothing size options could seem like a hassle, however, it can have a disastrous impact on body image. This kind of marginalization is internalized, causing individuals to consider their health unworthy—subsequently impacting their mental well-being and self-esteem. Growing up watching 90s and early 2000s runway shows helped me feel othered as I certainly wasn’t seeing my body system type reflected because of the pinnacle of designer or beauty. This personal expertise, plus my research as a fashion psychologist, has helped me acutely aware of the positive psychological impact that media representation and size-inclusive offerings may bring short wedding dresses.
Tokenism isn’t representation. Fashion is going to be inclusive if this can say it's truly representative of whatsoever level of the fashion industry. This requires systemic transformation, changing the practices of designers, editors, creatives, and fashion and retail professionals. Brands should also adopt the look thinking method of creation. When approving a design, question if it’s capable of being worn by as numerous different types of people as possible—limit the constraints of your offerings.