Fashion guru Tim Gunn: End the term “plus-sized”

If most American women wear a size 14 or above, does it make sense for that to be known as “plus sized?” Probably not, says style savant Tim Gunn.

“Would it surprise you to know that the average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18? She is what the industry calls a plus-size woman, a term that I would like to erase,” he says in an essay for PBS NewsHour.

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There are more than 80 million of these women in America, and for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. But many designers refuse to make clothes for them. They pretend that they don’t even exist. I have spoken to many people in the industry about this, and the overwhelming response is, ‘I’m not interested in her.’”

Not acceptable says Gunn, known for his nurturing yet demanding role on “Project Runway.” He says retailers, in the name of customer service, should demand that designers create stylish items for consumers of all sizes.

“I profoundly believe that women of every size can look great. And in this time of inclusiveness, why should 80 million women be marginalized?” he asks. “Designers, make it work.”

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