Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do plus size women want Yoga Clothes?

It is a pretty simple question: Do plus size women want Yoga Clothes? (I am quite sure that size 14 model Lizzie Miller shown here would look just fine in hers.)

The answers as always are a little more complex than you might think.

We have been looking at each of our Yoga manufacturers as they bring us their collections and most appear to stop at Large size or in a few cases Extra Large. Plus size appears to be defined as size 14 and above. 

We have asked a few of the manufacturers why no plus sizes? The answer appears to come down to a few main issues:

1. The manufacturers think that making plus sizes may represent a risk. Retailers who will buy the clothing hopefully in volume are risk averse by nature and usually want to do what has worked before. Plus size Yoga clothing is fairly unusual so has little track record of sales. Catch 22.

2. The way clothing is made requires careful control of waste and materials. Quality Yoga clothes in particular use expensive "stretchy" cloth. Sizes are ganged together to maximize yield so small sizes are cut with large etc. When you get to plus sizes you use more of the expensive material so the pricing needs to be higher at both wholesale and retail. Will plus size consumers pay more for the larger sizes or will they feel ripped off?

3. Will larger people who are exercising (Yoga clothing denotes some form of exercise) pay a high price for an item of clothing when they may well lose weight doing the exercise? Are they more likely to buy cheaper plus sized sweat pants (we discovered during research for this post that Champion one of our suppliers carries plus size sweat pants so we plan on adding them to our site soon)

We got into detailed discussion with one particular manufacturer who makes Yoga Clothes in the USA. As he doesn't need to bring over container loads of inventory from China he may be willing to create a plus sized Yoga line if the market is there and he can sell at least reasonable volume.

So we have set out to answer the simple question: Will plus sized women buy Yoga Clothes?

Please give us feedback at our website or on Facebook where we plan to post this story too, if you are sized 14 or above and have an opinion.


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