In Fashion, Bigger Is Now Beautiful

Retailers and manufacturers discover profit in large sizes

In the world of women's fashion, less is usually more, meaning that attention has long focused on the American consumer who wears size 14 (roughly 5 ft. 4 in., 150 lbs.) and under. Now U.S. manufacturers and retailers are beginning to discover that more can be more too. They are taking increasingly solicitous aim at a zaftig audience that wants to look good in anything from size 16 (usually about 160 lbs.) to, well, a lot more than that. Along the way, these merchandisers are reaping impressive profits by catering more assiduously to a roughly $10 billion sector of the fashion...

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