Designer brands are nothing new in the world of standard size clothing. However, in the plus size clothing industry, women have gotten used to ill-fitting, low-price, low-quality apparel. Designer brands who specialize in plus size clothing are putting forth great effort to persuade a shift in the consumers’ thinking from quantity to quality. To help them understand the development process: which involves choosing the right content and blend of the fabric, as well as taking time to find the right fit. In addition to the development process, manufacturing in theUnited States also contributes to the cost and that’s why 95% of garments sold inAmerica are made overseas.
Anna Nicole, owner of Annalogy, a plus size clothing store is one of the few designers whose plus size clothes are made in theU.S. She’s a plus size woman who understands the frustration of trying to find stylish, well constructed garments in her size. Annalogy specializes in what Anna calls “comfy-chic” plus size apparel for sizes 14 & up. She describes the Annalogy woman as someone who “is more classic than trendy, but who keeps up with what’s current in fashion, and loves stylish yet comfortable clothing.” Those two elements, a blend of classic and comfort, were what Anna felt was missing in the plus size marketplace. She goes on to say, “I want my garments to fit well, to be of a certain quality and to have longevity. That’s why I spend so much time on the development process.”
According to an article in the New York Times, the most formidable obstacle (of that process) lies in creating a prototype. “The proportions of the body change as you gain weight, but for women within a certain range of size, there is predictability to how much, born out by research dating to the 1960s,” explained Kathleen Fasanella, who has made patterns for women’s coats and jackets for three decades. “We know pretty well what a size 6 woman will look like if she edges up to a 10; her bust line might increase an inch,” Fasanella said. “But if a woman goes from a size 16 to a 20, you just can’t say with any certainty how her dimensions will change.”
Women’s plus size clothing makes up only 17 percent of the women’s fashion market, reports The New York Times. Analysts blame this small percentage on the lack of supply and variation in plus size clothes for women to buy. Still the industry generated $17 billion dollars in sales last year. Furthermore, in the 12 months leading up to April 2010, the plus size market grew 1.4 percent, while women’s apparel declined 0.8 percent, according to The New York Times. With more women wearing plus size clothes, the market should continue to grow.
This is good news for companies like Annalogy. Still, as Anna points out, “it’s an uphill battle for an unknown designer – trying to offer quality at an affordable price.”
Annalogy offers styles that are versatile, yet contemporary; that can go from casual to work and beyond. Most of the plus size dresses and overall clothes are made of soft knit fabrics that feel good on the body and flatter the figure.
When asked about the name of her company, Anna explains: “The word ‘ology’ means the study of. So Annalogy is the study of Anna. I’m like most women who want to get up in the morning, throw something on and walk outside looking like I spent an hour putting my look together.”
Future plans for Annalogy include the addition of sizes 4x & 5x, as well as a collection of Loungewear. Anna describes it as, “casual apparel that you can wear whether you are traveling or running errands. It’s an alternative to the T-shirt and sweat pants look. There’s no reason you can’t be chic and comfortable.” Annalogy is available online and will soon appear in stores around the country, starting with Vive La Femme in Chicago, Illinois. For more information and a selection on their plus size clothing please visit www.annalogy247.com. We thank Anna for sharing her humble beginning as a plus size designer along with her challenges and opportunities of running a business. We believe that Annalogy is here to stay given Anna’s determination, vision and passion for quality plus size clothing. wishes her all the best! If you like to get your “word out” on your company’s product offering or service, feel free to contact one of our editors directly.