Mid-size demographic is key fashion sector driver says True Fit
Mid-sizes are now fashion’s mainstream, a study of data from fit specialist True Fit’s fashion genome has shown.
With over 200 million registered users and 16,000 brands and retailers, the data from the platform showed that globally, 38% of female True Fit users are mid-size. In Europe the figure is just 30%, but in the US it’s 39% and it’s 42% of women in the UK. And “most retailers now carry upwards of 90% of their catalogue in mid-size ranges, suggesting sizing is becoming more inclusive”. It means the old demarcation line between ‘standard’ and plus sizes has broken down, the data-driven personalisation platform said.
As mentioned, most retailers on its platform now carry the vast majority of their catalogue in mid-size ranges, with leading retailers taking steps to promote size inclusivity. This comes via an extension of size options in standard ranges, as well as the addition of lines such as H&M+, Mango Violetta and ASOS Curve that are not only dedicated to larger sizes but also have mid-sizes in their mix. The mid-size segment is a growing category in the US, with the percentage of mid-size sales increasing to 52% in 2020 (compared to 44% in 2017), True Fit’s data showed. But while it appears that in the UK and EU mid-size sales decreased in 2020 (down 11% and 5% respectively compared to 2017), that change is actually linked to such plus-size ranges as those mentioned above including more smaller sizes. True Fit said that mid-size purchases went down, but it saw an increase in plus-sizes by a similar percentage. That’s an interesting development and perhaps reflects the fact that retailers are putting much more design effort into plus-size lines at present, making them much more trend-relevant and desirable than they would have been in the past. Sarah Curran Usher, MD EMEA at True Fit, said that “diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important for consumers – from readdressing gender diversity gaps to recognising gender fluidity in merchandising and adopting more sustainable practices, there is a growing trend for shoppers to, quite literally, wear their hearts on their sleeves as they demand ‘better’ when choosing who they shop with.” She added that the “rise in mid-size shoppers – a new cohort which is now blurring the lines between traditional standard and plus sizes – is paving the way for a more diverse ranging and greater accessibility to styles for all sizes. It has also prompted retailers to take the opportunity to serve an as-yet-untapped demographic, which has so far been ‘unseen’ by the industry – creating a valuable new segment”.