If you’re a plus-size woman, your fashion choices are much less restricted than before. With online retailers such as ASOS introducing ‘curve’ divisions, women are able to buy trend-conscious styles with a lot more ease.
If you’re a man, the story goes a little differently. Men who fall into the ‘plus-size’ category have little options in terms of affordable – yet fashionable – clothing.
That’s exactly why ASOS has become the first major retailer to launch a plus-size section for men. Featuring over 200 items from its own brand as well as styles from the likes of Adidas and Polo Ralph Lauren, the division stocks sizes up to XXXXL.
“We’ve had this curve collection for a while [for women] so it’s been a very obvious thing to look at menswear. That matched with searches online for bigger sizes, knowing what the market’s doing and knowing that not anyone is really doing it,” a spokesperson for the company told Mic. “There’s gaps in the market that made it make sense.”
The brand has promised that by the end of February, hundreds more items will be available that will enable its male customers to have just as much choice as women.
This launch follows the news of plus-size male models protesting for greater diversity at the recent London Fashion Week Men’s. Although the number of unconventional male models is slowly increasing, many major agencies seem unwilling to take a risk.
With the exception of IMG who launched a ‘Brawn’ division last year, most plus-size models are not represented by an agency. One of the ASOS faces currently featuring in the new plus-size section even works for the company.
This refusal to try new things by agencies, brands and the rest of the fashion industry still comes as a shock – especially when reports have found that 17% of British men want more of a size range when shopping.
“The more people do it, the more accessible and the more normal it would be,” said ASOS’ head of menswear design, Nick Eley. “For so long now, plus clothing has often been basic. We want the same look and feel as the rest of our clothing, but just made larger.”
Well done to ASOS for taking a leap. Now it’s up to others to continue pushing.