How would the plus-size men's wear market dress Santa Claus today?
London - The plus-size apparel market is growing, as more fashion retailers embrace body positivity among all sizes. High street retailers such as Missguided, Asos, and Mango have all launched collections for plus-size women, with body positive campaigns - but what about their male counterparts? Men are getting bigger, which is set to lead to a surge in the plus-size men's wear market.
In the past size XL used to refer to a 46-inch waist - now some brands are making clothing up to an 8XL, a 76-inch waist for larger men. The plus-size men's wear market is valued at 1 billion USD (744.5 million pounds) and is predicted to be become one of the strongest performance drivers in the UK fashion market over the next five years according to GlobalData. This category is predicted to increase more than 22 percent to 2022, as fashion brands and retailers alike are encouraged to extend their sizing range to be more inclusive.
The men's body-positivity movement is currently lacking behind the women's, which has been strengthened by the likes of Ashley Graham, Tess Holliday, and Nadia Aboulhosn, who are leading the way for change on the catwalks, magazine covers as well as online. However, brands like Asos, Levi's Jack & Jones and River Island are among the few who are catering to consumers demand for trendy, plus-size men's wear by offering extended men's wear ranges going up to 6XL.
In order to shine a light on the increasing demand for plus-size men's wear, Alvanon teamed up with Brooklyn-based artist Leland Foster for a series of illustrations which reimagine what one of the most iconic big men of all, namely Santa Claus, would wear today if luxury fashion houses such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Raf Simons offered plus-size menswear.
Alice Rodrigues, senior consultant at Alvanon, warns that retailers and brands interested in tapping into the full potential of men's wear plus-size market need to be aware of their body shapes. The key, she says "is to offer plus-size consumers exactly what is available to everyone else, but cut so that it caters to their body."
However big does not necessarily mean tall, as correct sizing according to shape has become a key issue for fashion retailers. At the moment there is no body shape data in the world that confirms a correlation with size and height, although the average American male waist and chest is now 39 inches and 42 inches respectively according to fit expert Alvanon. Nevertheless, it is imperative that fashion brands respond to this growing demand for plus-size men's wear, as male consumers continue to seek out more representative body types.