Size of the Times: Part III

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Now that we’ve taken a look at how plus size models are portrayed in the media, debated the existence of a size spectrum in fashion, and seen the world through plus size model Mandy Fierens’ eyes, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… ModCloth’s take on the size of the times.

After Monday’s “Size of the Times” post, you really told us just what you thought. Comments ranged from stinging criticisms, such as Natalie’s, which challenged us with, “If ModCloth are behind women who don’t fit into straight sizing, why is there virtually nothing on your site to fit us?” to kudos-mixed-with-critique, such as Jill’s, in which she said she appreciated the conversation and loved the site, but invited us to practice what we preach, “because there hasn’t been a plus size item on [the] site in a LONG time, and the few things you did carry were not up to par [with] the cute items for regular sizes!” Allow us to explain.

As the majority of you most likely already know, we are an online retailer and we carry various brands and designers. Each and every one of those lines has a unique size structure upon which the fit of their garments are based. So, to answer Marie, who asked, “How come I’m not a plus size, that I fit in regular clothes in many shops, but that I can’t even fit [into] an XL in many of your skirts and dresses?” The reason is that, unfortunately, there is no standard, all-encompassing, and all-powerful size structure in fashion. Trust us, we wish there was!

In Monday’s comments, Those Tricks also brought up the idea that standardized sizing may be easier if women’s clothing ran by waist and length measurements, like men’s. While that does appear to be a step in the right direction, we still have to take into consideration the issue of body shape, as we discussed in Wednesday’s post. If we ladies have such vast variations in body type, and we have those wonderful hips to take into account, sizing by waist and length measurements would still be difficult. It also raises the question of how dresses, tops, and skirts would be sized? Sigh. Still no solution.

So, back to attempting to find the root of the problem: The fashion and manufacturing industry has been around for years and years. Most garments come in standard packs of sizes, and according to Deanna Hardin, ModCloth’s Vendor Relations Specialist, “We usually can’t break the packs.” This means that we cannot request more of one size and less of another. Given that, even if we know that we usually sell, say, more larges in a particular style, we simply can’t call up the designer and say, “Hey, we want a tradesies! 10 smalls for 10 larges!” because the answer will be “Nope.” Want a very relatable example of this? How about shoes?

Most ladies love shoes. Shoes don’t care if you had an extra helping of ice cream, and shoes don’t care if you’ve been hanging out with Jenny Craig. According to “The Professional Shoe Fitting Manual,” the average American woman’s shoe size is 8.5. However, I checked in with Lacey Volk, our Supply Chain Manager, and she informed me that when we order a case of twelve shoes, there are typically three pairs each of sizes 7, 7.5 and 8, but just two pairs of 8.5. This is a perfect representation of the fact that, as ModCloth CEO Eric Koger stated, “The industry hasn’t caught up to real American sizes yet.”

We’re working with the supply chain that exists now, but their sizing guides are often based on data from yesteryear. Plus, we’re an indie store, so the vast majority of our designers serve small boutiques. Due to that, they simply are not capable of producing extended sizing in garments – it wouldn’t make fiscal sense for them to produce those garments just for ModCloth when they’re uncertain that a profit can be made. We understand that, and we’re working to change it. Enter: “Be the Buyer.”

You’re probably already familiar with our “Be the Buyer” program, but for those who are not, I’ll give a brief overview: “Be the Buyer” allows designers to send us samples of garments that have not yet been produced or sold. We post pictures of those items, you vote yea or nay, and when a piece receives enough positive votes, it’s put into production! This program is still in its early stages, but once we’ve shown designers that they can profit from products in this format, we can begin making sizing demands! Until we have enough facts and figures to do that, however, we must be patient. As Kristina keenly observed Monday, “I know this is tough for an indie business, but it would be great for you to have leadership in this area.” We want you to know that we are trying to carve that path!

There have been some bumps in our previous plus size path, however. After Part I’s post, Catherine commented, “I’ve also noticed that you haven’t been selling the extended sizes lately.” You are absolutely right. Many of you probably noticed that we did have a “Plus Size” section for a while, but we no longer do. There are a multitude of reasons for this.

Given that our aesthetic is indie, retro, and vintage-inspired, we were met with a dearth of genuinely cute plus size clothing that fit our criteria. Disappointed by the lack of choices, but driven by our desire to cater to all women, we forged ahead in our plus size plan. Our intentions were good, but the results weren’t always positive. We received much criticism along the lines of “Your plus size dresses are nowhere near as pretty as the straight size ones.” However, our plus size bathing suits have done remarkably well! They are cut using “traditional” plus size fit guidelines, which is likely part of their success. However, we had fit issues with many other plus size garments.

More than once, we were told a garment was “plus size,” but when we received it, well… It wasn’t! Oftentimes the item would be closer to a size 10 than 16. We also discovered that little attention was paid to cut and fit with many plus size pieces. It was as if manufacturers simply added more fabric and called it a day. As Deanna Hardin put it, “They appeared to be straight-sized styles made with extra fabric, which produces a bad fit on most plus-sized proportions. A [thin] girl’s hips are often in a different ratio to the rest of her body than a bigger girl’s, and tops often don’t take into account that bras are not optional for really busty women.”

Ultimately, we had to stop and re-evaluate the size situation. Kathy commented Monday, “I hope you will integrate real plus sizes into the line-up permanently… a transient handful would simply lend a ‘gimmicky’ air to your collection,” and we agree. We want to live up to your expectations, and that means providing cute clothing in an array of sizes. And we don’t want to do it “half-way.” So, while we’re currently figuring out our next move, we’d like to ask for your help. Do you know of any designers out there offering real, quality plus size clothing that fits the ModCloth aesthetic? We want to know! We will not give up on the “democratization” of fashion, because fashion is for every body.


About Natalie

As the owner of three small, fluffy dogs, Natalie has accepted the fact that dog hair being everywhere and on everything is just part of her lifestyle now. She cannot stop decorating (and redecorating) her home, and lives by Robert Venturi's words, "Less is a bore." Fresh flowers, floral print dresses, and a good gin and tonic are just a few of her favorite things.

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  1. Avatar
    Jennifer (ModCloth) 01/29/2010 at 2:24 pm #

    I am so, so proud to be part of a company that is working hard to “carve that path” that is so in line with ModCloth values. And I am so thankful for all the intelligent comments and contributions our blog readers have to offer. It takes a lot of people and a lot of voices to make change! Keep giving voice to your opinions-we’re listening!

  2. Avatar
    Kristina 01/29/2010 at 2:33 pm #


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    Sara 01/29/2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I’m glad to hear that you’re thinking about additional sizing and other options. My problem with ModCloth clothing has been that, while I can fit into the largest size generally, I’m a tall girl. The lengths of dresses that are simply short on someone who is 5’5″ become indecent on me. I’d really love it if you guys could scout out longer styles, though I understand that it’s a matter of what’s offered.

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    adria 01/29/2010 at 3:25 pm #

    As a petite person, I certainly understand the frustration of not fitting into small, medium, or large. When the smallest size has a 30″ waist, I have to decide if I like it enough to pay another $20-60 to have it tailored. But at least I can make that choice. When certain styles run too small to fit the average American woman’s size, something is just not right.

    I do really appreciate the simplicity and accuracy of Modcloth’s measurements though! Most stores have size guides that are TOTALLY off…you guys are the only ones I can trust.

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    rhea 01/29/2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Great series!

    Those purple shose are great btw.

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    Shelley Cadamy 01/29/2010 at 3:51 pm #

    When I suggested via your website that your company carry my size (14), so that I could buy several of your dresses, your customer service person replied that you’re hoping to carry more “plus” sizes and sent me to this blog post. Since when is a size 14 “plus”? Not impressive.

    • Avatar
      Katie 03/24/2011 at 7:44 pm #

      Hun a size 14 is plus, I think most plus size shops start from 14 on up. I personally think anything 16 and above is average but in the fashion industry 12 on up can be considered plus so its not just modcloth.

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      Lilly 10/29/2011 at 1:39 pm #

      sizes 0, 2,4 and 6 are average. ANYTHING above that is plus. If you are big like me (Size 8), you can’t expect to look good in the same styles thin pretty girls look good in anyway.

  7. Avatar
    Brittney M. 01/29/2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Thanks for addressing why yall discontinued the “plus size” section. I think we would be more upset if yall went ahead and sold clothing that was not up to par. It would be a waste of money all around so I really do appreciate that. I think that sometimes we forget that consumers are ultimately in control. Obviously many of us have problems with the fashion industry and what is offered we should say something, as we have in this blog, instead of privately complaining. All the stores that we pass by, like their clothing, but can’t fit into anything in there…let them know how we feel. Write emails and letters to the main company or the main store if it is an indie retailer. I’m not saying all will listen, but maybe if they get enough complaints some will start to create clothing to fit the “plus size” woman. Now if the clothing will be up to par is something we don’t know, but it would be nice to at least see these places attempt to satisfy consumers of various body sizes. If they are not, we don’t have to buy, which would hopefully then send another message that they need to go back to the drawing board and try again. I know this may sound like wishful thinking, but how did many other changes in life start?

    Thanks again ModCloth for a great discussion all week! It was interesting to read how others felt and what they had to say!

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    Aire (ModCloth) 01/29/2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Shelley,

    I apologize, they never should have used the term plus size. It really varies by the item whether or not certain sizes are considered additional sizes or not.

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    Rachel 01/29/2010 at 4:59 pm #

    When is ModCloth going to come out with more plus size clothes?

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    Mandy (Modcloth) 01/29/2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Great post Natalie!!! You rock girl.

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    Zoe' 01/29/2010 at 5:21 pm #

    fantastic, just fantastic–thank you so much.

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    Kristin 01/29/2010 at 5:30 pm #

    I know two ladies who are passionate about making attractive clothes in all sizes.

    Mandie Bee from Heartbreaker Fashion-

    Diane Brache, from Miss Brache, she even says, “I happily make anything in sizes 0-24.” Which I find fantastic!

  13. Avatar
    EmilyKennedy 01/29/2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Wow! Two things:

    Number one: I always assumed that because you sell small, unique brands, your team must have great communication with the brand teams. What I can infer from this article is that maybe brand teams, even for small lines, are not very communicative or forthcoming. Bummer!

    Number two: I sometimes wish that retailers would identify their brands with a fit model. Some brands seem to be made for tall skinny girls. Other brands seem to be made for women 5’4″ and shorter. Some brands look great on women with long waists. Some brands only look good on women with short waists and mile-long legs. I wish that brands would be more honest about who they are truly designing for. If they have a fit model’s dimensions or even a particular mannequin they always lay patterns out on, wouldn’t it be better to disseminate that info? I think this would benefit the consumer and the online retail sites like yourselves.

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    KL 01/29/2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Shelley – I can understand why you’d be offended, but a great many designers consider sizes 14-32 to be “plus size” and some even amend that to include size 12. Try to be a little easier on customer service; they’re just trying to help!

    As for this series on the “size of the times,” it’s pretty interesting! As a woman who is basically shaped like a cylinder (36-30-36), I’ve always had a hard time finding clothes and have envied “curvier” women for being able to wear patterns and styles that would make me look totally out of proportion. Wear what looks good and makes you feel sassy!

  15. Avatar
    lucy 01/29/2010 at 5:47 pm #

    bettie page clothing
    pinup couture
    both carry vintage reproductions and plus sizes and sell wholesale, i think.

  16. Avatar
    Claire 01/29/2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I agree with Sara, I’m really glad that you are paying attention to plus sizes, but I think the next step should be having LONGER sizes. I love the clothes here too. I compulsively check for new items everyday, however not once have I seen something made for us taller girls. I think that would be a great thing to think about for your next move. Still love the clothes though!

  17. Avatar
    Alyssa 01/29/2010 at 7:21 pm #

    This series has been really great so first of all I want to thank you guys.

    I really enjoyed the insight you gave on how buying the garments goes down. I had no idea there was such thing as that sizing pack and that the same amount of each size had to be bought! That seems a little silly and I thought brands/manufacturers would be more accommodating.

    And going off of EmilyKennedy’s second point, if the brands don’t supply that information, it might be really helpful if ModCloth includes that kind of information on the product page. It would be some extra work to test out the products but I know that as a customer, I would really appreciate it. In addition to your stellar measurement information, it would be awesome to have something as simple as ‘this runs short’ or ‘runs small in the bust’ or on something like a more structured dress ‘this has an hourglass shape to it’. That information and measurements I think would allow us girls to make more informed decisions about what would fit our bodies best. It’s the kind of info that ends up being added in the reviews so I usually don’t buy anything until there are reviews, which ends up being risky because you guys do sell out of certain styles.

    It means a lot that you’re actually listening. Thanks again!

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    Katie 01/29/2010 at 8:02 pm #

    I agree with Alyssa – I totally did not know how the retail industry works, so it’s interesting (and helpful) to know about the size packs! It seems crazy that manufacturers can’t give you more of what you want – isn’t it all about making money, and both sides would make more from selling the most demanded sizes?

    I also really appreciate that you guys are listening. Honestly, modcloth is probably one of the only companies that does stuff like this, and to see that you actually answered stuff that people said in the comments this week – awesome! On behalf of the whole modcloth community, thank you for caring!

  19. Avatar
    Jean 01/29/2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Thanks so much for doing this series of posts!

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    Dee 01/29/2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Etsy’s janebonbon makes all her clothes up to size 34 (!) and they’re gorgeous: (she has a website:

    There’s also Ureshii:

  21. Avatar
    Kate (ModCloth) 01/29/2010 at 11:17 pm #

    I’m 5’10” and definitely on the curvy side (finding clothes that fit my hips but don’t bag around my waist can be a pain!), and I relate to a lot of what the commenters have said in response to this series of posts.

    I LOVE ModCloth’s clothes, but I do have to sort through them to find things that will flatter my body… sometimes, they’re too small all over, other times, too short or too slim across the hips. But I’ve been able to find quite a number of dresses that fit well and look great! And I’ve become a bit spoiled by the fact that ModCloth provides measurements for all its clothes.

    @Sara – the length issue is something we ModCloth employees talk about a lot! So many of the really cute, affordable clothes are super short. But I know the buyers are looking out for longer dresses too!

    @Kristin – ModCloth carries some Heartbreaker Fashion clothes! They’re awesome. 🙂

    And @NatalieB, you’ve done a fantastic job with this series!

  22. Avatar
    MK 01/30/2010 at 12:15 am #

    I’m petite with a small frame and the appetite of a linebacker, and none of your waist belts fit me. How do you explain them apples?!

  23. Avatar
    Rachael 01/30/2010 at 12:23 am #

    I have the opposite problem, Kate. I have slender, size 4-6 hips, size 8-10 waist and size 10-12 bust. My shape isn’t even represented in that illustration, which is why purchasing clothes online is always a crap-shoot for me.
    I find that ModCloth sometimes does not always give full information, either, regarding stretch because sometimes I’ll see a garment listed as having spandex yet no comment if it stretches. I err on the side of caution and simply don’t buy. Do they write down the information given to them from the manufacturer or does ModCloth actually test size & measure its garments?

  24. Avatar
    Grace 01/30/2010 at 12:29 am #

    I am also a plus sized woman, and I would love to have more ModCloth sizes! 🙂 Thank you for these posts, your writer did a great job of avoiding being hypocritical. I felt really satisfied and “heard” after reading this article.

    One interesting thing that I have noticed about myself is that I rarely buy something if it is modeled by a larger model. It isn’t because I think a larger model is unattractive, it’s because I have almost no sense if the article will look good on me. As much as I hate it, the positive about having only about one type of model is that it is easier for me to ratio their body types to mine.

  25. Avatar
    nic 01/30/2010 at 12:29 am #

    My issue is that, though I am an “average” size girl, I have a larger chest (38DD, which translates to about a 42″ bust) and it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find anything on the site that would fit me. :[ The clothes are so adorable, but the chest sizes are rarely within my range. I wish there is a way that I could search solely by bust measurements on the site so that I could find something that fits without always finding myself disappointed when I look at the Measurements.

  26. Avatar
    Karalyn 01/30/2010 at 12:40 am #

    While I think your effort is paramount, I also think that you need to standardize your NORMAL sized pieces as well. I am a 10/12, often on the edge of fitting into a large on your site. I recently ordered a dress that was sold as a large on the site, but upon receiving it, I noticed it was marked as a 40. Had I known the real size, I would have definitely not purchased it.

    I think the sizing concerns for “plus size” clothing are major. I can sometimes wear these sizes, but would rather not wear a sack of fabric. Why can’t modcloth simply create its own,in-house label?

  27. Avatar
    Hannah 01/30/2010 at 1:40 am #

    i adore this site and literally check everyday to see what is new. i eagerly await new plus sized merch, since i love love love the regular sized stuff. i ordered a dress [tulle there was you, it was darling and i recomend it] in a size 3 plus, which is what i generally wear. however, it didn’t remotely fit. sadly, i returned it and look forward to the day i can order a proper indie/vintage plus size outfit!

  28. Avatar
    Sally 01/30/2010 at 9:43 am #

    I think it is GREAT that you are considering a real line of + sized clothes. BUT there is another market (enormous market) that is virtually ignored everywhere, even in the +size stores.

    The diabetic shape. Diabetics have large mid sections, but small butts and thighs. When I find a swim suit (or jeans) that fit in the belly, the seat is saggy. In the case of a swim suit, the leg openings are so large that I can’t wear the suit – you can see right inside to the private areas. In the case of jeans, the legs are the size of elephants legs. For example, I wear a size 14 waist and 8-10 in leg size.

    If you think of the MILLIONS of diabetics in America today – there is a real need for clothing for us. My only solution is to wear size 12, still a baggy seat and legs, but better than a 14, but the waist is so tight I have terrible “Muffin top”


  29. Avatar
    Michelle 01/30/2010 at 11:52 am #

    IGIGI has some really cute “plus” sized casual dresses…their “Brilliant Ideas Dress” and “Exceptional Ruffles Dress” look like the sort of style you’d have in ModCloth. The only problem is they are both a bit pricey. This line by Yuliya Raquel has a few dressier options, as well, including the “Unforgettable Dress,” or the “Veronique” dress that would be perfect options for a holiday party or dressy date. Just some ideas!

  30. Avatar
    Jill 01/30/2010 at 12:01 pm #

    thanks, modcloth, for explaining the retail size problem to us. your customer service is fantastic, and i always figured it was something that dealt with really not finding great plus size clothes to put on the site (now you can understand how frustrating it is to shop for people with a non normal body type!)

    i hope you continue to search, because women of all different shapes and sizes love to shop here!

  31. Avatar
    Dina 01/30/2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Just wanted to represent all us eggplant shaped girls out there who are flat as a board and have big ol’ hips and thighs. It makes sizing especially difficult when a fitted dress seems like it should fit well, but then when you put it on it sags at the bust and makes you look like a hooker on the bottom. I recently had this problem with a dress I bought here (luckily I can still wear a skirt over it and make it look like a top) but I agree with Alyssa’s comment that additional comments in the sizing would be super helpful. Knowing if something runs short or is tight in certain places would be awesome! Just a thought…

  32. Avatar
    Michelle 01/30/2010 at 6:46 pm #

    If I was a budding fashion designer looking to break into the industry, then I know what I would do: I would design beautiful “plus-sized” clothing. There seems to be plenty for “smaller” women, but “larger” women, from what I’ve read, seem to be missing out. This could be a goldmine opportunity! And if I was creative or knew anything about designing, not only would I design “larger” clothing, I would make sure they fit in with current trends, looked pretty and made women who wore them feel great. I wonder if there are any designers out there willing to take this on?

    My second comment is to the people who say “The clothes aren’t long enough” or “The bust sizes aren’t big enough” etc. I could also complain: I am very small. Although this makes buying clothes a LOT easier than larger sized people, you’ll be amzed how many things I look at on Modlcoth that would be too big for me. Especially in the bust area. Then I bought a skirt that everyone said ran small and I thought, that would be perfect for me. However I couldn’t even get it over my hips. So I bought it again in a large (I have never ever worn medium or large in my life), but I couldn’t even fit that around my waist without breathing in! So you know what, we’re never going to win with this issue of sizing.

    Modcloth: it’s going to be a long, tough road to be able to cater for ALL the different sizes, shapes, heights, tastes, big busts, small busts, slim hips, wider hips, round tummies, flat tummies. However, I applaud you for opening up this issue for exploration and perhaps making a start in the fashion world of resolving it.

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    Katie 01/31/2010 at 10:13 am #

    While I see what you’re getting at, Dina, I think it would be impossible for them to say if something is short or tight in certain places since every body is different! Something might be tight on someone pear-shaped, but not on someone with less hips. And the same for length. On someone that’s 5′, it’d be decent, but on someone 5’10”, short. I think that’s why they give the actual measurements – so that you can figure that out for yourself. For example, I’m 5’7″, and I have figured out that any dress that’s 34″ and above is pretty darn short on me, so I just am careful when I buy. Everyone that shops on modcloth should grab a tape measure and take your measurements! Hips, bust, waist. It makes shopping the site a lot simpler!

  34. Avatar
    Alison B. 01/31/2010 at 1:23 pm #

    I don’t have a button on my keyboard shaped like that. And I don’t see a “Help” button anywhere on my keyboard.
    Come to think of it, I’ve never needed one when I shop here with Modcloth! It is so simple to find, size, and buy what you want here! Though I’ve never been plus size, it has still been a hassle finding clothes at stores, other websites, even thrift stores that fit and look perfect… Thank you Modcloth! Bravo, bravo!

  35. Avatar
    Leighann 01/31/2010 at 2:25 pm #

    These past 3 articles have made me so happy! I am a bit bigger than most girls, but fall somewhere between “plus size” and “large.” I have wanted to buy things from modcloth for so long, but comments like “even the Large is teeny!” have prevented me! I’m excited to know that modcloth is putting forth so much effort to carve the way for us curvy gals! Thank you so much and I hope to see many more “plus size” items that work for every girl!

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    laina 01/31/2010 at 4:24 pm #

    don’t forget about us tiny girls either! its hard to find clothes that fit when you’re under 5′ and 100lbs

  37. Avatar
    Lauren 01/31/2010 at 9:42 pm #

    I think it’s all well and good to say “Stock more plus sizes!” but that still leaves people out. So imagine if Modcloth as well as all clothing brands made fashion to fit everyone between size 0 and size 24. Then there’s the 4 basic body types of apple, rectangle, pear and hourglass. And let’s say heights between 5’0 and 6’0. That means that in order to please everyone each item of clothing would be made in 676 different size combinations which of course is impossible! It’s about knowing how to dress your body and if I knew a particular brand was too small or large for me I wouldn’t shop there. I guess you’ll never please everyone 🙂

  38. Avatar
    Rachel 01/31/2010 at 11:46 pm #

    Brava, brava, bravtissima!

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    Teer Wayde 02/01/2010 at 8:44 am #

    I love Mod Cloth and being a plus sized model myself i think this is brilliant!

  40. Avatar
    Tracy J 02/01/2010 at 9:51 am #

    I really enjoyed your 3 part series!! I think it is fantastic that modcloth has recognized this problem in the fashion and modeling industry!

  41. Avatar
    Natalie B. (ModCloth) 02/01/2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I just want to thank all of you for being open, honest, and receptive to this blog series. We love hearing what you have to say, and always welcome constructive criticism. Now that we have all your fantastic feedback, we plan on doing as much as we can with it to make ModCloth the best we can for everyone! 🙂

    Thank you again,
    Natalie B.

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    Megan 02/01/2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Perhaps you should offer hemming for pants and/or tailoring through the site for an additional fee. We give our exact sizes and someone takes it in, up, out, etc.
    I think that several people would go for it. From experience, I know that, as much as I want everything to fit perfectly, I often store something in my closet if I buy it and it doesn’t fit the way it should. From there, I simply forget about it or rummage through and decide to give it to goodwill. There may be a simple solution to work such an idea into your website. The clothes would be appreciated so much more, too, having such a ‘perfect fit’

    Your Loving and Faithful Buyer-
    Megan E.

  43. Avatar
    Kit 02/02/2010 at 3:18 am #

    Thanks Modcloth for bringing up this issue. And to everyone else who have made some wonderful points and stated their opinions. I just thought I should have my say on some points of this ‘plus sized’ issue.
    To start with, I’m 5ft 4in (short), but have broad shoulders and hips, flat-chested, flat bum, my legs are the same length as my torso, and I also have a very slight tummy (muscular). When I ask about what will suite me many people say that I’m hour-glass, but one thing wrong with this is that many hour-glass suited cloths I have found don’t suite my small breasts or flat bottom. Hour-glass seems to have to mean, big breast and rounded bottom. So I personally do not like lumping women into these ‘shapes’.
    Then there is the current thing of you’re either stick thin with no breast or bottom OR you’re large with big breasts and rounded bottom…where do I fit in? If you’re not a size 0 or 16 (Australian sizes) there’re not models representing you anywhere! Can’t there be an in between? Now magazines and designers are thinking they’re sooo great because, ‘WOW’, they have gone from only showing one size of model to TWO sizes of models! Please give me a break.
    Thank-you modcloth for showing a little more variety in your models shapes, though I would like to see you go a bit further with it. Maybe you could also get random people to come to your office and you can choose an outfit that suites them (maybe do a makeover sometimes too) and post it on your website as a sort of guide for people who might share some of that shape. I think it would be quite use full for women who need ideas in what might suite them.

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    Faye 02/09/2010 at 9:36 pm #

    I appreciate this post – however, being plus sized I am pretty used to clothes that are just “sized up”, eg, a bunch of extra fabric without real proportional consideration…I think I’d rather have that than no other options. Also take into consideration that everyone has different proportions.

    I also agree that there are TONS of etsy sellers that would probably love to be represented by Modcloth who make beautiful clothes in all kinds of sizes, many of them in quantities that would be suitable for retail sale. I can definitely provide a list if anyone wants.

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    Jehanna 03/16/2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus here. I adore this web site and it breaks my heart that all the clothes are sooooo tiny! I also appreciate the explanation about the purchasing process. I find it surprising that you can’t commission stuff in bigger sizes when you place an order from one of these small producers….you would think they’d be happy to have the business, especially in this economy!
    We’re the only market that wanders around trying to give people money and being turned away everywhere we go.

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    Jennifer 03/22/2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Thank you for taking the time to explain. I am plus sized and often wished that you carried more plus-sized clothing, but no I understand where you are coming from.

    I still feel frustrated however.

    Oh, and your post also explained something that I long suspected, that sometimes “Plus sized” clothing is not actually “plus sized” sometimes the XL or L in straight sizes fit me better than plus! Crazy sizing.

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    Steph 04/14/2010 at 12:27 am #

    Thanks for the explanation, very helpful! =)

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    Katie 09/22/2010 at 10:30 pm #

    I custom ordered two skirts from a lady named Loni at LovetoLoveYou on Etsy. I was extremely pleased with her work. I would recommend contacting her for sure.

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    Cherie 05/31/2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Keep it up!!! Thank you so much for not forgetting about us! 🙂

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    Shel 06/14/2011 at 3:55 pm #

    First off, this blog post answered all my questions and concerns about ModCloth’s lack of plus size clothing. However, I am still deeply disappointed that there are hardly any options for women and girls larger than a size 12 or so. I am between a 14-16 and have a unique body type..this unfortunately means I cannot fit into pretty much all dresses offered on the site. Clearly ModCloth has put up a good effort as far as more size diversity but I still think a greater effort needs to be made. Larger girls are just fashionable as thinner women, but we can’t always indulge in the latest styles. I could loose weight and do this and do that JUST to fit into some of your products, but I like who I am, what I look like, and I like this website! Please reconsider launching a more substantial plus size section. I love browsing on this site, perusing through the thousands of dresses, their creative names, and imagining what they would look like on myself. Soon after I am sad that none will fit my curves.. Make those imaginations a reality. Thanks ModCloth!

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    Erin 07/29/2011 at 7:28 pm #

    As a fat chick, I am often left with the dingy colors and baggy silhouettes of shops that cater to larger women that have “given up” in the face of their profound invisibility to the fashion industry. It is assumed that since I am fat, I must have no style, and what style I have must be of a certain type. I don’t WANT to dress in clothes from Stop Staring! all the time. I don’t LIKE the rockabilly aesthetic. I don’t want to be “dressed down to” with a half jersey knit top. I don’t want to have crappy plastic ‘jewels’ smeared all over my decollete by someone with too much bourbon and a hot glue gun (seriously, do you EVER see this kind of stitched-on garbage anywhere but in Avenue or Lane Bryant?)

    I am hardly ever able to purchase clothing that looks good on me without having my wallet plundered or being asked to wear some awful print/beading experiment. I have recently had some success with cruising sales racks in the Women’s Section of department stores, but it is very hit-or-miss. If one is patient and has a lot of time on her hands, she can find nice, even designer, clothes that fit well without breaking the budget.

    This still does not speak to style, however. I have long liked boho chic or indie or anthro or whatever style you want to call it. Some feminine tops and A-line skirts do wonders for plus-sized girls, and pretty cardigans and some thoughtful tailoring wouldn’t hurt. However, there’s simply no attention paid to plus size girls at all, and when there is, it is the “have some extra fabric” approach to fashion design, as if they knocked out the design for a size small and just told the patternmakers to add 2 inches for every size up, mission accomplished.

    I appreciate ModCloth addressing the issue, but I have a hard time believing this blog miniseries is anything more than the same kind of annual acknowledgment that was mocked in the first post. I’ll be more ready to believe ModCloth cares about me (and my money) when they have Fat Girl Friday blog posts.

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    jacqui 09/12/2011 at 10:50 pm #

    I love how you do want to appeal to the plus size group of women however if we did know a line that actually held true to our sizes dont you think we would have done that already? Would it be possible to make certain items that we favored to be made special order to fit our bodies at a reasonable price? Or perhaps a program where if we put our measurements into it would sort out through the clothes that would be best suited to our shapes? Are any of these ideas plausible? I truly love these clothes and trying to workout and eat better not just for my health but also to be able to wear cuter/fashionable items. Your clothes are beautiful! Are there any other options out there?


  1. Does Size Matter? « Locked Out - 02/04/2010

    […] Modcloth Blog recently did a series of fabulous posts on size in the fashion industry – I think they were dead on in their […]

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