Lots of ‘plus-size-friendly’ clothing companies need to wake up

Logan Raschke, Editor-in-Chief

On one hand, marketing and advertising for plus-size people has seen what I consider to be a positive upswing in recent years.

Since my senior year in high school about four years ago, the amount of advertising geared toward plus-size people wasn’t what it is now.

Fast-forward to 2019, I think more ads promoting body positivity and inclusivity are seeing the public eye every day.

What’s really important is that the companies creating these ads have the quality, accurately-sized clothing they boast. From what I can tell, companies are getting better about this.

Clothing companies are seeing more customers come their way because of this body inclusivity, too.

On the other hand, companies are coming out as having plus-size clothing when they really don’t. These companies are the worst for plus-size people.

I won’t name any company names, but I am not ashamed to reveal a personal experience to attest to this.

I saw an ad online for a company I’d never heard of before. The person in the ad was not plus-size, but the clothing the person was wearing really got me interested in the company.

I decided to go onto this clothing company’s website. I was pleasantly surprised to see it had plus-size options; even better, it had the sweatshirt I desperately wanted in my size.

This was a company that also made its clothes in the U.S., which I saw as another reason to support it.

I decided to give this company a shot; it was obvious it was up-and-coming, seeing as how little there was on the internet about it, but it also had an overwhelming amount of good ratings.

I forked over my money and bought the sweatshirt two sizes bigger than my own size. I like my sweatshirts oversized, and if I’m ordering from a company for the first time, I like to go even bigger just in case.

I did everything right in this scenario. I did my research online about the company, I read through a plethora of reviews (most of which were positive) and I carefully studied the sizing guidelines for the item. I even went two sizes up.

Alas, I was extremely disappointed to see that the sweatshirt was about two sizes smaller than my actual size (four sizes smaller than the size I ordered). The sweatshirt also didn’t have a size tag on it, so I’m still not sure it’s actually the size I ordered.

After reaching out, a representative offered to help process a full refund even though the company only gives store credit, as it clearly stated in its refund policy.

But the rep never gave me any other information. I never received an email back, even after I tried reaching out on the official site.

For a while, I was pretty upset about this. Not only was the sizing offensively off, but the company offered help one second and went silent the next.

Clothing companies do to millions of people around the world what this one did to me.

Companies promote body positivity and inclusivity via effective advertising and marketing, stimulating interest and influx of new customers, but they fail to deliver.

These companies are absolutely horrible for plus-size people because they spread a false idea about what plus-size clothing is.

When a company spreads misinformation about its sizing, customers lose money.

When a company claims to have clothing for people in a range of sizes but really doesn’t, it fogs up the whole concept of body inclusivity in marketing, advertising and media. That leads to a huge portion of the population (over half of the women in the U.S. alone) in a position to suffer even more for their size.

I honestly don’t understand. Eventually word will get out. Eventually more and more voices will warn others about these pseudo plus-size-friendly clothing companies, and these businesses will suffer as a result.

So what’s the point in misleading plus-size customers?

There is none. These companies are selfish and lazy; they really only care about making quick money from as many people as possible.

From a plus-size consumer to fellow plus-size consumers, I just ask that you all be careful when you buy clothes.

Do your research. If research points to the company being the right fit for you but it just doesn’t end that way, do what I’m doing. Take it up with the company, and if the company fails you, go public.

Just understand that your demographic is being abused from a marketing standpoint; and yes, it will hurt people like you and me in the end.

But if you get swindled, speak up. Let everyone know you were wronged.

The savvy companies will listen.

Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].