If you’ve gone shopping lately and found that nothing fit, it’s not you.
The average American woman now wears between a misses size 16 and 18, which actually translates to a women’s plus-size 20, according to a recent study in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education.
By comparing recent surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the ASTM International clothing size standards, researchers found that previous data suggesting the average woman is a size 14 is nearly a decade old.
This means that more than half of American women probably get stressed out during the shopping experience, because chances are, their size isn’t there.
“While the smaller clothing size style and figure may be desirable, it is not reality,” the researchers wrote, adding that they “have attempted to provide a better understanding of the apparel industry’s inadequacy in defining and meeting the demands of the average American woman consumer. Designers and retailers may find that they need to reposition themselves in consumers’ minds to regain their lost target market.”
General retailers still have a long way to go to make this happen, though the industry is slowly moving in the right direction. One of the most diverse New York Fashion Weeks in history, where body diversity was front and center, just wrapped. Body activist and plus-size supermodel Ashley Graham is making strides toward a more inclusive industry, while major shopping sites like Rent-The-Runway size from 12 to 22 and Navabi provides fashion-forward collections between a size 16 and 32.
Whether more designers and major brands will expand their sizing to 16-18 remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure: the average American woman is waiting.
H/T NY Mag