Notice anything different about ModCloth.com? The “Plus” category is no longer at the top of the site. But don’t worry — we still carry clothing in an extended size range. In fact, we are more committed to it than ever! But, we’ve changed how you find those styles and what they’re called. Allow us to explain…
We first publicly examined the state of the fashion industry in our 2010 series “Size of the Times“, in which we explained the roadblocks to offering a full range of sizes. That’s why the debut of our namesake label this past August was such an important moment in our journey to inclusivity — every single product is available in an expanded size range.
The ModCloth label was first introduced to the world at our Fit Shop in San Francisco. What we observed there was unprecedented: women of all shapes and sizes, shopping together in one place, and even trying on the same styles.
“I think there is still an outdated notion in the [fashion] industry that ‘plus’ should be separate because it’s less aspirational, or because that consumer is less fashion-forward, or less willing to spend on herself,” said ModCloth’s Founder Susan Gregg Koger. “But what we’re hearing and seeing from our community is that it is simply not true.”
Shopping is a social experience, but what stores do you know of where two pals on different ends of the size spectrum can shop side-by-side for the same clothing styles? In most places, there’s a “plus section” — or plus is relegated to an entirely separate store. Can’t we all just shop together?
We got to witness just that at our LA IRL pop-up in April and at our SF Fit Shop, and it was empowering. Lovely ladies of all shapes, sizes, and silhouettes were stepping out of the dressing rooms in the same stunning styles, and complimenting one another. Friends from XS through 4X shopped together, side-by-side, and had a blast doing it. It got us thinking… Fashion shouldn’t come between friends! How can we translate this to our website?
If “Plus” isn’t a separate section in our shop, then why should it be a separate section on our site? Instead of “Plus” standing alone as its own category, isn’t it really a part of other categories, like maxi dresses are a part of the “Dresses” category? Eureka! That’s it.
Now, you can find all of the styles available in sizes beyond XS, S, M, and L in “Extended Sizes” beneath the main categories. Wondering why we aren’t calling it “Plus” anymore? Well, some folks really don’t like the term. To be honest, this was a hotly debated topic around the ModCloth office. But ultimately, we could all agree that shopping categories should be defined by types of clothing, not types of bodies.
There were many terms bandied about to replace “Plus”, but we settled on “Extended Sizes”. It’s an all-encompassing term that could, in the future, also contain XXS, petite, tall, and other various sizing extensions beyond the standard range. It’s another step towards size- and body-inclusivity.
“At ModCloth, we certainly aren’t perfect, but by retiring ‘Plus’ from our site, we’re making a statement,” Susan said. “And that statement will not only provide a better shopping experience for our community today, but hopefully will spark a change in the broader fashion industry in the future.”
We don’t yet live in an ideal world where all designers produce their clothing in a full range of sizes, so while we can’t yet claim to offer every single style from XS-4X, we’re working on it — starting with our ModCloth label. We believe that style knows no size, and we want to create the most inclusive, confidence-boosting shopping experience for everyone and every body.
Now, we want to hear from you. What do you think of our more integrated shopping experience? How do you feel about the term “plus”? What can we do to make shopping even better for you? Tell us here and share your thoughts with us on social using #styleforall.