Online clothing store ModCloth just made a big move and stopped selling plus sizes.
Well, sort of.
The retailer is still selling clothing that's size 16 and above, and in fact is expanding those offerings, but it will no longer be calling the clothes "plus-size." Instead, ModCloth has dropped the "Plus" section from its site navigation, integrating larger sizes into the rest of their lineup instead.
The move comes after an Internet campaign to #DropThePlus, which went viral after models noticed that thinner and thinner models were receiving a "plus" label for no reason. (Can't a model just be a model, and a woman just be a woman?) Melissa McCarthy, who just released her own clothing line, insisted that her items be sold in the general women's section, no matter the size. "I don't like the segregated plus section," she told Refinery29. "You're saying: 'You don't get what everybody else gets. You have to go shop up by the tire section.'"
ModCloth customers agreed with Melissa. The company conducted a survey of 1,500 women who wear over a size 16, and found that they feel embarrassed about going to a separate store for larger sizes and would prefer to find their size in the same section with all the other sizes, not separated into a different section. And 56 percent of customers said they didn't like to be labeled "plus-size," despite campaigns to reclaim the word and drop the stigma associated with it.
Susan Gregg Koger, ModCloth's co-founder and chief creative officer, tells Cosmopolitan.com that ModCloth's decision to drop the "plus" came from their pop-up Fit Shop in San Francisco. In that shop, there is no specific "plus-size" section, and customers have loved being able to shop depending on style, not size.
"We wanted this inclusive shopping experience that felt special and amazing to be reflected on our site as well," she says. "Shopping should be defined by types of clothing, not types of bodies."
Nixing the term "plus" and integrating every size into the site's navigation also helps the company's bottom line. Clothing above size 16 is the fastest-growing category for ModCloth, and it has been that way ever since larger sizes were introduced back in 2013. Now, about 30 percent of the clothing on the site is available in larger sizes, including nearly every item in ModCloth's in-house clothing line.
If you're looking for larger sizes on the site, you can just search by your specific size or head to the Extended Sizes section under each clothing type. The term "plus-size" is still in the URL in the extended sections, but ModCloth says that may change after customers give their feedback on the new layout. For now, the label change is mainly just window dressing, but in the future, the company is hoping "Extended Sizes" will include petite, tall, and XXS sizes as well, which they don't currently carry.
That way, Gregg Koger says, it's less about being "othered" and more about being able to find what you need quickly without having to dig around the site. "We definitely still have a lot of work to do. Creating a more inclusive shopping experience felt like the next right step," Gregg Koger says.
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