The Rise of Contemporary Plus Size Fashion

Contemporary plus size fashion- a segment within the plus size fashion industry that is quickly on the rise and I am here for it. And I am not alone here in the excitement. But, as I share the designers who are giving this to us, I noticed a bit of pushback with pricing and a few other details that  I had to clarify and share with you, just what Contemporary fashion is… and how it contributes to the Rise of Contemporary Plus Size Fashion…

Why Contemporary Plus Size Fashion?

Well, ask yourself this…

“Where does a fashion forward plus size woman shop when she wants more from the mall chains and fast fashion but isn’t ready to break the bank on high-end designer wear?”

She Rocks Contemporary.

I have longed for this category to flush out. Ever since I started my blog, while I was still working for that department store in my former life .I love, love, love this segment. I would stroll theses brand’s sections wishing that it was carried in more sizes, my size. But while I have the retail background, I realize most do not. SO I thought to break things down a bit to help you along your shopping journey…

In between bridge and better fashion, lies Contemporary Fashion. It is more than just a price range that separates this segment, although it plays a HUGE part of this classification. Contemporary fashion also appeals to a specific lifestyle customer.  Fits are more body conscious. Hemlines short, but not too short. Mid to lower rises are apparent. The choice of fabrics and textures are bolder, less muted. Statements are made here. Prices are a bit higher than the mass chains and mass retailers. These pieces last quite a while and over many seasons in this category.

contemporary plus size fashion - The New Eloquii

BUT, this is only emerging now in plus size fashion, and I feel that it is important for us to learn a bit more about this segment to better help us shop and maneuver through things. While we may know these departments as Juniors and Bridge, Contemporary fashion appeals to both, acting as a unique gateway into higher end labels.

The Rise of Contemporary Plus Size Fashion

I found this awesome NY Times article breaking it down even more: “In the 1970’s a new category, ”contemporary,” came into being. ”It was for the junior growing up who didn’t feel comfortable in neither junior clothes or her mother’s clothes,” explains Kalman Ruttenstein, senior vice president for fashion direction at Bloomingdales.”

So in this, you will find that there are designers and retailers who do not appeal to you, whom you do not like, or that are too expensive for your liking… this is okay. THIS is normal; this is the normal growth of the fashion industry- options, segmentation, and choice.

contemporary plus size fashion- Carmakoma

As I was researching this, to bring a well-rounded reference post to you, I found this great read over on ehow. On classifying contemporary fashion, eHow shares “In general, the contemporary price point is significantly lower than a luxury brand price point. This doesn’t, however, mean that contemporary brands are too terribly affordable for the average gal. Contemporary pieces run, on average, somewhere between $150 to $800 depending on the item. While these prices are still high, they’re much less expensive than luxury brands, which can run upwards of $4000 to $5000 depending on the product.”

contemporary plus size fashion- Monif C

So when you see the likes of Monif C, Jibri, Rachel Pally, CarmaKoma, and even now, the new Eloquii giving us trends, fashion, and styling at different levels of prices that we may not normally have been accustomed to, know that this is normal and sits right there with the DVF’s, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Tracy Reese’s, Rebecca Minkoff’s, BCBG’s and various other designers that we salivate over- In the Contemporary Plus Size Segment.

contemporary plus size fashion- Carmakoma

This doesn’t mean that one segment is better than the other, it means that as the industry grows and starts giving us the fashion we covet, so will the options and the ranges of fashion, price, quality, and accessibility.

Unless it is a hero piece that I know will sell out, I won’t buy it at retail (blame this on my 13 years in retail), so I stalk my favorite sample sale sites to score a great deal! I shop sale. I mix my big box store purchases with my scores from various designers to create my own style and look…

If you love fast fashion, great! I do too! I do love mixing high/low pieces together. But it is important to understand that change is happening and as we ask for more and get it, we must be able to recognize what is happening, what to expect, and where to get it!

If you wish to know more about this, I wrote a fun hefty piece, Understanding the New Plus Size Segments!

What do you think? Does this help you out? Does this shed a bit of light on everything for you? Let’s talk about it.

 

Marie Denee
I am the owner of the Curvy Fashionista, sharing the latest trends and designers in plus size fashion, beauty, and accessories to keep you Curvy.Confident.Chic.! I am goofy, silly, playful, and a handful... but it is all in the name of fashion!
Marie Denee
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Comments

  1. says

    As someone who currently works in plus size retail, I must say- thank you for writing this! This simply and expertly lays out the reasoning why everything available to us isn’t under $50. Next time someone balks at the price of a garment from an indie designer or boutique label, I’m going to send them this link. Plus fashion is just now starting to mirror mainstream fashion, so folks aren’t yet used to all the options. Articles like this are super helpful resources, though. Kudos, Marie!

    • says

      Thank you soooooooo much for getting it. :) I really appreciate you for your comment. I try to figure out ways to help empower plus size women through knowledge and info! :) Thank you!

  2. says

    I’m happy about it all! We wanted it and we got it! I can’t wait to get some pieces myself. I’ve seen you posting all these cute outfits lately and it’s a really good feeling to see and know that we have options at this point, fun options for all sort of styles.

  3. Curvily NYC says

    Thank you for this! I am a serious deal hunter myself, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be cheap. The more well-made, well-tailored plus pieces I find, the more willing I am to spend more to have something that will last. I’ve seen people balk at the price of Cabiria, for example, but her silk jersey dresses are even more luxe than the fabric on DVF’s, and retail for less! I have (and love) dresses from both designers, so it is easy for me to have this perspective, but this article is great for those who aren’t semi-pro-shoppers like me lol :)

  4. Guest says

    Didn’t realize the separation, lol! This post was an eye
    opener for me. As a plus size shopper, I often online browse on sites like Monif
    C., Eloquii and others that you mentioned. I usually grip my purse when I see
    the price points but recently (within the past year), I’ve become more open to
    those brands/stores. I’m a hardcore thrifter and I love a good deal but, I also
    understand the need for certain items that are more on trend, well made and durable
    in MY size. So now, I don’t mind spending a few extra dollars on certain pieces
    bc as much as I try to fight it, my lifestyle needs more “adult like”
    clothes, LOL! (you know what I mean :-D) All that to say, I’m glad to see
    contemporary fashion on the rise. I’m all for it. It give plus size shoppers
    more to pick from. Kudos for breaking it down, Marie. Your perspective is
    always refreshing!

  5. Whitney 'Nic' James says

    Didn’t realize the separation, lol! This post was an eye
    opener for me. As a plus size shopper, I often online browse on site like Monif
    C., Eloquii and others that you mentioned. I usually grip my purse when I see
    the price points but recently (within the past year), I’ve become more open to
    those brands/stores. I’m a hardcore thrifter and I love a good deal but, I also
    understand the need for certain items that are more on trend, well made and durable
    in MY size. So now, I don’t mind spending a few extra dollars on certain pieces
    bc as much as I try to fight it, my lifestyle needs more “adult like”
    clothes, LOL! (You know what I mean :-D) All that to say, I’m glad to see
    contemporary fashion on the rise. I’m all for it. It give plus size shoppers
    more to pick from. Kudos for breaking it down, Marie. Your perspective is
    always refreshing!

  6. Amy V says

    These are higher price points … but man, the selection of Michael Kors and BCBG in my closet lasts FOREVER and if you buy the right stuff it’ll go to any part of your life. Of course, I mix my Michael Kors with Old Navy and Target!

  7. seechelle72 says

    Great article! Love that the plus-size industry is offering options so that there are choices in what to wear. I personally spend more on pieces that are fashion-forward yet will last over several seasons such as LBD’s, blazers, jeans and work dresses. I shop trendy pieces at stores like H&M since they will only be in style for a single season and don’t have to last. Monif C, Rachel Pally and CarmaKoma are some of my favorites. Was not familiar with Jibri but will definitely research now!

  8. Sara says

    I’m just so excited we have these options in general – I am LOVING the plus size online community, whether it be in blogs, online stores, etc. I have never had more fun in fashion – having options in plus size allows me to try new silhouettes, take more fashion risks and feel more confident in my body. This was a really interesting read, thank you!

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