Let Me Try Before You Buy’s Natalie Angel lets Australian fashion brands know why they need to embrace a range of sizes and shapes if they want to succeed.
People often ask me how I became one of the most successful fashion influencers in Australia practically overnight.
I believe my Instagram has exploded in the last 12 months because I don’t use filters or alter my images, I don’t wear Spanx, I mainly post unedited videos and I focus on the needs of the consumer.
One of Australian women’s most pressing fashion needs is inclusive sizing. Most women sit between a size 12 and a size 20 yet they struggle to find clothes they love that fit them.
Women also need clothing that suits their body shape and stage of life. They don’t want to have to search for a new brand every time they put on a few kilos or when their body has changed shape after having a baby.
If Australian clothing brands addressed these needs by embracing inclusive sizing and body diversity, they’d benefit in four major ways.
1. Increased profitability
Your number one reason to start making a wider range of sizes should be to make more money.
If your brand only goes up to a size 14, you’re losing over 50% of the available market.
It’s worth the investment to increase your size range because you will get the sales. You will get tremendous sales if you expand your sizing to at least a size 18 and preferably a size 20.
The brands that offer those sizes are the ones that are winning.
2. Boosting women’s confidence
It’s not only larger women who are insecure about their bodies and don’t know how to dress – it’s all women. There are very few women who have the confidence to try new styles and different ways of dressing.
I’d say only about 5% of women are confident enough to try something new and be proud of their bodies or at least show kindness to themselves.
If you market your brand in a way that makes women of all sizes and shapes feel welcome and confident about themselves, you’ll be successful.
3. Building customer loyalty
If you want to build meaningful relationships with women and turn them into loyal customers, you need to design clothes for women at every stage of the life cycle.
It’s completely normal for women’s weight to fluctuate throughout their lives. Most Australian women will also have at least one baby and their size and fashion needs will change during that time.
Many mothers will require clothes that accommodate breastfeeding. You need to factor in women’s changing needs if you want them to keep coming back to your brand.
In my mind, the perfect clothing collection has options for short apples and tall apples.
The apple body shape – where most of the weight is carried in the tummy – is the hardest to dress but the most common.
The perfect collection also has some options for breastfeeding mamas as well as for women who want to show shape and those who don’t want to show shape.
If you tick all those boxes, you’ll have something for 80 percent of Australian women. That’s a well-rounded collection!
4. Staying relevant
People think that one of the main issues in fashion right now is fast fashion versus ethical and sustainable fashion, but that misses the point.
Fast fashion isn’t winning because it’s better or because the Australian public wants to buy it.
Most Australian women can only buy fast fashion brands because they’re the only ones who provide a size range that fits them.
Women’s clothing brands that offer ethical and sustainable clothing in a range of shapes and sizes will tick all the boxes and stay relevant.
The bottom line is that inclusive sizing and body diversity can no longer be ignored in the fashion industry.