Leading Women’s athletic apparel, accessory and specialty gear retailer, Aries Apparel announced that it will offer a “Plus” size fashion event on October 8th and 9th in its stores.
In conjunction with Aries Apparel’s semi-annual sports bra sale, the events will feature new, hard-to-find fashions by some of the popular retailer’s leading “Plus” size manufacturers such as Moving Comfort and Lola Getts and bra manufacturers Enell, Shock Absorber and others.
“With the popularity of our Winner’s Circle fitness incentive program, this is an event that we have wanted to do for some time. We are so thrilled to be able to shine the light on an area of the apparel industry that is often ignored,” said Diana Marsden, Owner of Aries Apparel.
Aries has been an advocate of offering work out apparel for all sizes, a decision that has bucked an industry trend of avoiding plus-size workout apparel. The company, in fact, recently announced that it has increased inventory of “plus” sized workout apparel.
The Huffington Post and other business analysts’ have reported that national retailers such as Lululemon have developed their business strategy around not offering their popular yoga pants and other workout apparel in size larger than size 12. The average dress size among American women is a 14, according to a 2011 report from Women's Wear Daily.
By reversing the trend, Aries is setting out to service a market that is tremendously underserved. “We have always listened to our customer and we have seen a real demand for “average” sized workout wear as well as extended sizes in workout apparel. This direction has been very well received and gives us a great position to better serve all female athletes,” said Diana Marsden, owner of Aries Apparel.
The definition of plus-size clothing varies, with PLUS Model Magazine setting the break-off point at size 12, while The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune have put it at size 14. The average dress size among American women is a 14, according to a 2011 report from Women's Wear Daily.
In recent months, prominent brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch have drawn criticism from consumer advocates for messages that have seemed to reinforce their labels as status symbols for the young, white and classically attractive.
These companies have in essence opted to maintain their images as wardrobes of the slim instead of expanding their potential sales. Consumers are expected to spend about $332 million on athletic wear sold at plus-size women's clothing stores this year, according to an estimate from market research firm IBISWorld -- a figure that doesn't capture purchases made in stores that also sell non plus-size items.
A majority of plus-size women complain that they have trouble finding desirable clothing styles and difficulty locating apparel of high quality, according to a 2012 report from the research and consulting firm The NPD Group.