Size of the Times: What We’ve Been Working On

LA team

From left to right: Fit guru Goretti, Buyer Sam, ModCloth founder Susan, and Product Developer Erica at work in our LA studio.

We’ve long discussed the challenges facing fashion-loving plus size women — from dowdy styles to ill-fitting clothes to being relegated to too few choices hanging in the back of the store.

No matter their size, we know our customers crave cute and comfortable clothing — and we love that you haven’t been shy to tell us that! Through conversations with our employees, product reviews, and social media, you’ve opened up to us about what it’s like to be a plus size shopper in today’s market — and boy, have we been listening.

There may be a number of old school beliefs that still exist in the fashion industry when it comes to plus size, but we couldn’t disagree with them more. We’ve listened to your feedback and have committed to making plus size a core part of our business. After all, ModCloth’s mission is to democratize fashion for every woman — regardless of her dress size. The trouble is – it’s a HUGE challenge – and we’re not taking it lightly. From conquering the technical aspects of fit to investing in the right resources as a business, we’ve been doing a ton of behind-the-scenes work to get ready to take on the industry.

It’s not just about carrying more items in any one size; it’s about changing the way the plus size business runs. We’ve built a team of knowledgeable fit experts who are working hard to find solutions to the challenges that come with fitting unique plus size shapes — while ensuring that craft and quality are up to your high standards.

You may have noticed an influx of plus size styles launching on the site recently — that’s because that amazing team has been working tirelessly to create clothes that look good, fit well, and are easy to find.

Some of the improvements we’ve made to the site recently were implemented in response to your honest feedback. Below’s a glimpse into what we’ve been working on, and some of the challenges ahead (don’t worry, we’re determined to conquer them!):

bust fitOur garments go through 3-4 fittings to ensure we find the perfect fit. All of the items pictured are works in progress!




We knew to do it right, we needed really stellar people who understood the unique challenges that come with producing plus size clothes. Women’s body shapes and proportions present unique challenges, so it takes time and special attention to detail to create fits that work well for plus bodies. Our dedicated Fit Technician team brings an arsenal of skills with them to tackle the nuances of plus size patterns.

In addition to working on our own designs, we’re collaborating with designers across the globe to share our expertise, so that they too can expand their own lines and offer more quality product to the marketplace. Our ultimate goal is for every item on our site, whether marked XS or 4x, to adhere to the strict standards we’ve placed around our fit and size chart. That way, you can feel confident it’s that way across the board, no matter who’s manufactured it. It’s going to take time for us to get there, though — and we can’t do it alone! We need you to continue to talk to us and tell us how we’re doing.

Recently, due to your feedback, we updated our size chart to reflect true plus sizing. What’s that mean? All sized items on our site should line up specifically with the measurements outlined. Unfortunately, due to the immense inventory we carry, some items that have lived on the site for a long time don’t adequately reflect this new sizing. We’re working hard with all our designers to ensure that every item that arrives on the site fits consistently with our size chart moving forward, but in the meantime, inconsistencies might still arise, and we want you to feel confident about your purchase!

We have a number of additional resources available so you can feel good about the items coming your way. We have a dedicated Fit team that tries on every item that comes through our doors to make sure our fit and quality standards are met. But the best advice might just come from customers like you in the review section of our product pages. Our open and awesome community is constantly sharing the love by discussing items’ fit, quality, and aesthetic — many ModLovers also share their unique measurements in their reviews to help guide others on how an item work for them. And, as always, no question is too big or too small for our Customer Care and ModStylist teams!

We’re continually making improvements to the site – and everyday, we read your product reviews, spy your Style Gallery shots, and chat with you on our social media channels. Be sure to take part in the conversation – and let us know how we can bring the best shopping experience possible your way!

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  1. Lyri 08/02/2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Are the garments pictured going to come in all sizes, or only plus sizes? I’m between sizes and that white embroidered piece looks amazing.

    • Sarah (ModCloth) 08/05/2013 at 10:58 am #

      HI, Lyri!
      The styles featured in this post will be available in a full size range, from XS to 4x! Be sure to stay tuned to the site this October to see how they all turned out!

  2. Jackie 08/02/2013 at 9:45 pm #

    I would love to see more XL. Plus size is too big but a lot of the dresses you carry that aren’t a part of the plus size line only go to L. It can be pretty frustrating walking that line between Plus size and not.

    • Jamie Carr 08/03/2013 at 8:37 am #

      I agree, being plus size is probably frustrating, but being in-between “standard” and “plus” is just as frustrating.

    • Natalie 08/04/2013 at 10:42 pm #

      I’m right there with you! I’m hoping this is being taken into consideration also. There is a sad gap between regular and plus size.

    • SH 08/05/2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Hear hear. If Modcloth gets all its clothes in xs to xl to 4x they’ll be better than any other fashion site.

    • Kelly R 08/06/2013 at 12:22 pm #

      I couldn’t agree more! At first I thought I was plus size, but apparently I’m not! I’m almost always an XL. Occasionally some shirts fit L on me and sometimes I’m even a plus size on certain skirts but I must admit, I refrain from purchasing a lot of things because “L” is as high up as they go, it’s either that or get something baggy in the plus sized section. I’d love to see more “XL” options available!

    • Maureen 08/06/2013 at 1:15 pm #

      I totally agree. I am not a 1X. It’s too big. But the L is too small. I’m built like a non-plus sized person, but I need a larger size.

  3. megtheexpat 08/03/2013 at 2:57 am #

    Please carry more XL, as Jackie suggested. I’m a 14 and hate it when I can’t fit into the size L, but 1X is too big (plus sized). It’d be great if you carried all clothing up to an XL for those of us between “regular” and “plus” sizes.

  4. Jamie Carr 08/03/2013 at 8:38 am #

    Also I love those embroidered pieces!! Looking good!

  5. Victoria 08/03/2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Modcloth wrote: It’s not just about carrying more items in any one size; it’s about changing the way the plus size business runs. We’ve built a team of knowledgeable fit experts who are working hard to find solutions to the challenges that come with fitting unique plus size shapes — while ensuring that craft and quality are up to your high standards.
    You guys are just great. And your statement above, shows how much you understand and how committed you guys are for Plus sizes (and, the in-between sizes).
    Though I am thankful when I find that an item is available in a larger size I am thankful and amazed, that you guys are going even further. Exploring and working on what will really make the difference- the fit.
    I am not at all assuming that just because a body is a particular size, say a 9, and that a garment is a 9, that the 9 garment will fit everyone who wears a 9. But generally, in regular sizes, the body and garment are so much closer to a real and true match fit.
    With the plus sizes, the size/fit ratio is much different and harder to calculate than regular sizes.
    I can’t express enough appreciation for this venture for both what you guys are doing and how you are going about it as well as what is coming our way to wear!

  6. Calli 08/03/2013 at 11:52 pm #

    I dream of the day you offer everything in XS/S to 3X or 4X. There are so many things I see and love that wouldn’t fit right. Please make this dream a reality, it would not only make many of us borderline-plus sized ladies happy, but it would also bring you so much business.

  7. Kristen 08/04/2013 at 12:35 pm #

    As a plus sized customer I’m thrilled about this, and it’s nice to see dresses that cover a whole range of sizes. I would love to see some of the more affordable pieces come in more sizes (they typically come in only SML).

    Perhaps when you’ve tackled the plus sizes a little more, you could also include more XXS/0/00 stuff. I know several devoted ModCloth fans who are naturally very slim and have to pass up many dresses or put out and additional expense to alter the smallest size sold. 🙂 I’m sure you have plenty on your plate, just a suggestion!

  8. Kathy S 08/04/2013 at 11:09 pm #

    I think plus-sized women come in a wider variety of shapes than SML sized ones. (apple, pear, arm circumfence, thigh circumfence, ect.)
    I think it would be great if you could provide more measurements for plus sized clothes than just bust, waist, hips.
    I know that customers can always ask about specific measurements, but it would be nice if you could introduce some additional measurements that make it easier to identify which clothes fit. That would be a great buying help for women with “non-standard” shapes and spare them a lot of frustration. (Also, minimizing returns saves costs and protects the environment)

  9. Elyse Frances Enger 08/05/2013 at 11:05 am #

    I have a thought… Why not put together a photo shoot of people with various disabilities and how can modcloth style each one while still keep a eye on each disablity’s specific needs?

  10. Kelly 08/05/2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I am completely enamored with your business. Amazing customer service, adorable garments…I’m a convert! Thank your for respecting all of the differently sized and shaped customers- I always feel that you make every attempt to share all of the info we need to make a good choice for our body type. Cheers!

  11. natalie sales 08/05/2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Finally! I, too, am one of those in betweeners. Modcloth’s large sized dresses fit me in the hips and waist, but do not zip up across my back (the perils of having broad shoulders…) so this is nice to see! 🙂

  12. Pamela 08/06/2013 at 8:49 am #

    Are you considering including petites in your product line? I am 5′ 3″.

  13. amierah 08/06/2013 at 12:08 pm #

    I love you guys, It makes me so happy that you are doing this, and you aren’t trying to fake it like so many other stores. I know that I and many others appreciate what you are doing, so so much.

    Also, MORE POP UP SHOPS!! I loved the one in New York, and I was able to try lots of different things to get a really good idea of fit. Now, when I order things from the site, I am much better at being able to figure out my size.

    Thanks again. I hope you win best online retailer of the world!!

  14. rebbecks 08/06/2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Good progress. Now, if you could just start offering inseam lengths (petite and tall) and, especially, wide shoes!

  15. Beth 08/06/2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I love that modcloth is developing a broader range of size options. I’m often in the gap between straight size and plus size, usually I’ll end up getting the 1X and take it in if I have to, I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine. But what I’d absolutely DIE FROM. Is if there were a tall range developed. I’m almost 6′ tall and several of the dress/skirt styles that are absolutely adorable would absolutely not work on my body. And it isn’t just about picking a dress option with a longer length, I need more length in the bodice too. And I wouldn’t say no to a few cardigans with sleeves that actually reached my wrist or with a few more inches in the torso. I’m sure you’ve got a lot going on, but is this anywhere on the horizon?

    • Holly 08/06/2013 at 3:31 pm #

      I 100% agree with that Beth! I have a super long torso so I have a very hard time finding dresses that fit me.
      I love sundresses but can’t wear many of them because they are generally too short on me due to my long torso. Maxi dresses are tricky but usually they are just too short. I also love shift dresses and have never been able to find one that fit correctly. Again, due to my long torso the dress’s waist and hips are too close together and when I try to wear them anyway it always ends up looking like I have a poochy tummy because the gathering where the hips are “supposed” to be is actually right under my belly button which accentuates my love handles (no thanks!). If you ever develop that aspect of fit I will never shop anywhere else.

  16. Melody 08/06/2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Love that you all are working on making the fit great too!

    I’m another person who is inbetween. A large is usually too small, but a 1X isn’t flattering at all. A well fitted XL makes my day!

  17. Cason 08/06/2013 at 1:15 pm #

    First off, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for actually caring about us women with curves and I think you’ve done a marvelous job so far! I think you need more XL options in the “normal” sizes for those who aren’t quite 1X but a L would still fit too tight for comfort. Can’t wait to see what else you guys have in store (ba dum tss!) for us!

  18. Kinsey 08/06/2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I’m thrilled that you guys are devoting so much time and effort to improve the products available to the plus-sized range. One thing that I think would make a huge difference in promoting your plus-sized items is to get a different mannequin. The current plus-sized mannequin basically looks like a rectangle, and does not provide a flattering fit for your clothing. It’s disappointing to see your otherwise gorgeous clothing looks shapeless online. I also second the idea of more XXS/XS and XL items. Women of all sizes want to rock your awesome clothes!

  19. Trish from NZ 08/06/2013 at 2:04 pm #

    It would be great if you could show the clothing on a plus size model (not just the perfectly proportioned larger bust) and not only list her measurements but the size she is wearing as i struggle to understand some of the measurements some items say they go up to a 4x but when you look at the measurements they will say 46 inches etc. And like all woman plus sizes come in different shapes so being able to see a dress on a real plus size model will help with selection and reduce returns…..PS i love your clothes

  20. olivia 08/06/2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Thank You so much

  21. Lianne Yearbury 08/06/2013 at 3:49 pm #

    I am so glad you are looking into this as according to your chart I am a 2X but have found even buying a 3x does not fit me. That is because I have a long torso and a big tummy 41″. So I have found your dresses too short in the torso and too tight on my tummy so had given up on buying dresses. I have bought 4 and only 1 fit me.And at that time you did not have a return system from Australia so I am left with 3 dresses that do not fit.

  22. Vivian DarkBloom 08/06/2013 at 4:21 pm #

    We really shouldn’t be glorifying/condoning obestity this way… Even ObamaCare has a mandate in it that with a BMI of over 25 you will pay 30% more in your premiums as well you should for your way of life. Remember ladies your body is a reflection of your lifestyle! An being obease is not a healthy one just like being a drug addict etc.

    • Veronica 08/07/2013 at 9:57 am #

      @ Vivian DarkBloom- Being “plus size” doesn’t always equal having an unhealthy lifestyle. That is an ignorant view in my perspective. My best friend is a size 16/18 and she eats healthier than most people I know. Everyone is built differently. This kind of attitude really makes me upset.

      So I thank you ModCloth for making your products to available to all shapes and sizes and respecting the fact that no two women are built alike.

    • Thursday 08/08/2013 at 1:09 am #

      And being ignorant is a reflection of an underworked brain. Plus size does not immediately equal obese, and even being overweight or obese should not equal wearing ugly sacks for clothing. Go work that brain for a bit and you’ll see it improve.

    • Amero 09/06/2013 at 8:23 am #

      You have no idea what you are talking about. “An being obease is not a healthy one just like being a drug addict etc.”

      a) spell things correctly, it is quite distracting and a sign that you might want to invest in a dictionary.
      b) You don’t know what people’s bodies are composed of and why they may be larger, smaller, heavier or lighter
      c) Being obese has nothing to do with or any similarities to drug addiction. Addiction is a serious issue and it is not the place in this forum.

  23. Sarai 08/06/2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I just want to echo what several people had said here about being “in between.” If the garment has some stretch on top, I can usually do a Large. But so many of your cute styles don’t, and the 1X is just too big. Please carry more standard XL’s, and you’d make many customers happy! 🙂

  24. Mackenzie 08/06/2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Hey Modcloth! I am one of your biggest fans asbe cannot speak highly enough of you! One suggestion I would like to offer after plus size is maternity – I’m currently having my second and cannot seem to find any cute affordable maternity clothes! It’s the same problem of having to look dowdy and I miss the awesome feeling of looking great. Thanks for being a great company!

  25. Rachelle Pachtman 08/06/2013 at 7:16 pm #

    How about attention to those of us who are long-waisted. I have purchased a number of gorgeous frocks despite knowing they will probably not be as flattering as they could be IF they were long-waisted. They are stunners anyway but this would be a major improvement. I am obsessed with your dresses!

  26. Samantha 08/08/2013 at 12:52 pm #

    I completely disagree with all those women who have said that being plus size means you come in more of a variety of shapes. I’m certain that it seems that way – with more options available there is more of a chance that as a small (size 4-6) I’m more likely to “get lucky” and find something that is cut weirdly enough that it actually fits me (I actually have size 4 shoulders and waist and size 8 bust). And, perhaps, its easier to manipulate myself into something that doesn’t quite fit. But that’s the problem – I shouldn’t have to wait and see if I “get lucky”, or end up walking around all day with a painfully flattened bosom. That’s the reason I don’t buy from here anymore – even given sale prices, the chances something won’t fit are just too high to make it worth the $$$. Sadly, one side-effect of adding plus-sized lines pushes up the price for everyone (more fabric = higher costs). This is something that I would accept if the clothes were well-designed, but even with all this fitting team stuff I STILL CAN’T GET CLOTHES THAT FIT! I want to see the same care and attention given to those of us who take standard sizing, instead of just assume we are all Kate Moss with an extra couple of inches everywhere.

    • Kathy S. 08/10/2013 at 9:53 am #

      Hey Samathna,

      What I meant is exactly what you describe. It’s not a matter of adding some inches more here and there. But as you describe, your shoulders and your bust simply don’t fall into the same size. So if you had a separate shoulder measurement on the clothes’ description, you knew whether they fit both shoulder and bust.
      For me it’s thighs. I cannot buy pants online.
      With most pants that fit my thighs, I could get 7-month’ pregant in, because designers “assume” a standard ratio between waist, hips and thighs. I wished someone would simply put “mid-thigh” up as a measurements for pants, so I could know from home whether they fit.

      • Samantha 08/12/2013 at 8:27 pm #

        Hi Kathy,

        Yeah, its a huge problem. I believe Modcloth used to put actual measurements on the site, but removed them because they were ‘misleading’ or something (I cannot remember the exact comment, I wish I could!). I know many, many people have asked for them to bring the measurements back…I really wish they would! It wouldn’t create more items that fit, but it would really help me discover something on the odd occasion that it does.
        On top of that, I think it would help them with some of the items that don’t sell. When lots of people get online and say the fit is really poor, it’s likely that there is someone out there for whom that’s not true – someone who struggles to get clothing to fit most of the time. But it’s too hard as a shopper to work out whether ‘bad fit for x’ means ‘good fit for me’, without the measurements.

  27. Lauren 08/12/2013 at 5:37 am #

    Reading these comments left me a little frustrated- the preponderance of comments seem to be about about the sizes that are feeling left out. Everyone has difficulty shopping for clothing that has more personality than the average department store and large online retailer fare. So first off, YAY to Modcloth for trying to fill this niche!

    And, yes, I am one of the people who would benefit from a plus size range. Being a not so gradual new addition to the plus-sized (1X) buying population due to the body altering mid 40’s and physical disability (not everyone has as much control over their physicality/weight as one might assume), I got depressed about what I might have to leave the house in, really. It can truly affect your attitude, self confidence, sense of self, not to mention the satisfaction felt in self expression. Shallow or not I want to feel unique and cute! Sometimes that is the only highlight of a day.

    Everyone deserves to voice their desires. And everyone who dares deserves to show a little panache. So fellow curvy girls let’s show our excitement! Most of this article and endeavor addresses us. If we don’t show our appreciation we may lose a truly golden opportunity.

    Thank you Modcloth for having such a unique and all encompassing vision.

  28. Sieun 08/12/2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I love Susan’s dress! Can’t wait to get it.

  29. Bee 08/14/2013 at 10:24 pm #

    I find that modcloth clothing is too big. Please include more smaller sizes and size 5 shoes! It would also be helpful to include waist measurements of the clothing, as waist and bust measurements are more helpful than length when buying clothes online.

    • Jerry 01/04/2014 at 11:10 pm #

      Couldn’t disagree with you more. Can’t tell you the COUNTLESS times I have drooled over a dress only to learn the largest size is LARGE and only tiny women can fit in them…..

  30. Anni 08/15/2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Ever since I found this site, I feel like a kid in a candy shop! This NEEDS to be a mainstream site. It’s real world sizes and absolutely beatuiful clothes!

    P.S. Could you please, please consider more dresses with longer sleeves. Many of us real world plus size women have stretch marks and ‘wings’ that need to be covered.

  31. Suzy 09/05/2013 at 1:47 pm #

    It’s unfortunate that, in the group photo introducing this article, the plus sized person is wearing a ModCloth plus size dress that does not appear to fit her bust or her waist correctly. I’m built completely differently but I still have to return 80% of the things I order from you guys… Truly looking forward to the day when you’ve got this sizing thing figured out.

    • Jerry 01/04/2014 at 11:09 pm #

      I SOOOOO agree! And how about the term “plus size?” Wish they’d come up with a better term, I always hear “FAT”

  32. Cindy 09/05/2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Being a plus size over 50 lady, I like the fact that I can find longer lengths of dresses that are easy to put on. And your full skirts cover up things beautifully. The colors are wonderful! You make me feel like a young girl again.

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