On March 15 Anthropologie will launch inclusive sizing with its first plus size apparel line, "APlus," the brand told Retail Dive in an email. Sizing available from the brand as of that day will be petites (00P – 14P), "straight" sizes (00 – 16) and plus (16W – 26W), the company said.
The effort includes dresses, pants and skirts sized 16W to 26W, according to the company website. The assortment includes styles from both third-party and Anthropologie’s own labels, the company told Retail Dive.
- The expanded sizes will be available online and some stores, the company also said.
Although it’s holding on to the “plus” moniker, Anthropologie is joining the inclusive sizing movement.
The apparel brand has good reason to appeal to women of all sizes. Several e-commerce companies, mass merchants like Target and department store Nordstrom are among retailers finally seizing on the opportunity found in marketing to women of all sizes, who collectively have $46.4 billion to spend on apparel each year, according to Coresight Research. "This customer does not want to feel isolated and shop in a store devoted to plus size," Jane Hali, CEO of Jane Hali & Associates told Retail Dive in an email last year.
Proponents of inclusive sizing say that any apparel design should be available in a range, and that non-straight sizing shouldn’t be shunted off to dark corners of a store, which often happens. "[APlus] will not have a separate shopping experience," the brand told Retail Dive. "APlus by Anthropologie will be part of the Anthropologie.com and Anthropologie store experience."
Otherwise, a brand perpetuates a division that Alexandra Waldman, founder and chief creative officer of Universal Standard, which since its 2015 debut has been at the forefront of inclusive sizing, finds both unacceptable and short-sighted. Universal Standard, which last year began working with J. Crew, creates clothing in sizes from 00 to 40.
"You can choose what kind of ecosystem you want to create," she told Retail Dive last month in an interview. "What's really lacking in the retail industry right now is mindfulness of design and the mindfulness of sizing extension. If a brand already exists and wants to extend their sizes, there's a way to do it that's right and there's a way that's wrong. And I don't just mean for the consumer, I mean for the brand. Not just with a gesture, but really with a fashion freedom."
Correction: An earlier version of this article mischaracterized Anthroplogie’s APlus and petites assortments and where they are sold. Retail Dive regrets the error.