Over the past few years, the plus-size movement has made wonderful strides in the world of fashion.
Acceptance of a greater range of body-types and sizes has changed the way we approach style. However, even though the world has begun to embrace plus-size women, there is a group that has been somewhat overlooked.
The gap between straight sizes and plus sizes are fashion's "in-betweeners." They are the women who wear around sizes 10 through 16 who feel pressured to fit into either end of the spectrum, but are trying to find their own place in the industry.
There is a greater representation of in-betweens in the blogging world, however, where these women share their frustrations and the issues they face.
"Being on the cusp of either side of the division; it's almost always a struggle finding anything that fits absolutely perfect," says Jessica Ip, the Toronto in-betweener blogger from Clothes And Shit. "I used to stay far away from stores, since I had the mentality that nothing would fit without even bothering to try it on. I've come to realize [that I must] try everything on first. As an 'in-betweener' I love being able to own cute things from straight sized stores, as well as unique pieces in plus."
Retailers typically show collections on either models sizes 00 to 2 or "plus-sized" models (although we know most plus-size models are not actually plus-size; some are simply padded to fill out curvy pieces). Brands also cater to fit either straight or plus sizes.
You might think that having access to the top end of straight-sizes and the bottom end of plus-sizes would give in-betweeners more options. However, the fit issues make neither option ideal. Plus-size clothing is created to accommodate the curves that not all in-betweeners possess. And straight sizes aren't always cut for those shoulders, hips and thighs.
As a result, an in-betweener can feel uncomfortable shopping as they are made to feel that they are too big to shop at straight-sized stores, and can also feel judged when they enter a plus-size store.
"They don't understand why I'm there," Anesha Roberts, a Toronto blogger at Memoirs of Anesha, explains. "Or worse, they assume that I haven't experienced issues surrounding body-positivity like they have, because my frame is smaller."
This has been a growing concern on the runways as well.
"As a regular attendee at Toronto Fashion Week, plus models [or in-betweener models] are never seen on the runway," Roberts says. "While I am a fan of certain local designers for their immense skill and talent, their collections do not always cater to women above a sample size. This can be disheartening, because the concepts behind their designs are often relatable to every woman."
Until we find a place for the in-betweener in fashion, the best place to turn for in-betweener style ideas is to the bloggers and Instagram influencers who fall into this size gap. Follow some of my absolute favourite women on Instagram for beautiful daily fashion inspiration:
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