Modest Fashion Industry: Lack of inclusivity for plus- sized women

The modest fashion industry is growing at an incredibly fast rate. Not only are we seeing the most popular retailers carry more modest pieces but there are now fashion weeks dedicated to modest fashion in London, Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul just to name a few.

With that, you would think that being inclusive of those who choose to dress modestly, the industry would accommodate modest wear in plus sizes. Not the case unfortunately. I wear a US size 14 which is actually the average size in America yet I can rarely find pieces that are modest and trendy. While retailers like H&M carry plus-sized items, they are honestly outdated, more like hand-me-downs of trendy looks from a few years ago.  As a hijab-wearing woman, I also do not find the clothing is modest enough for me without having to resort to layering.

I talked to Rabia I. from Toronto, Canada and her sentiments were very similar to mine.

Rabia said: “I am a size 16 and as a working professional, I want to wear clothing that not only is appropriate for work but is modest as well. Unfortunately, that is so hard to find. Many times I end up wearing long-sleeved shirts and leggings under my clothing to cover cut-outs, slits and short sleeves. If I do end up finding something that is my size and is modest, it is usually frumpy. It’s so discouraging.”

“Women are not one-size-fits-all so why do we treat them like it?”

When the average size in the US is a 14 but modest fashion retailers act otherwise, it is quite alarming. When they do offer items that are trendy and modest, they raise the prices which invokes another accessibility issue; affordability. Women are not one-size-fits-all so why do we treat them like they are? We need to have broader choices for women of all sizes, women who want to look “put together” yet modest at the same time without breaking the bank. I challenge bloggers and influencers to challenge the status quo and promote brands that embody inclusivity on all fronts.

Author: Mariam Nouser - Founder and CEO of Infinitely Classic

Megan Ramwa