the #1 biggest mistake is not listening to actual fat people, not hiring fat people, and (i hate to say it) being pretty fucking lazy when they are met with challenges.
i’ve seen plus size line after plus size line pop up out of nowhere, often an extension of a straight size store. in almost every case, the plus size line was completely different from the straight size clothing. in many cases, the lines were limited to small test markets in store, or online-only. so, we were presented with kind of weird, ugly clothing that we couldn’t try on or access at all, often for way more money than their straight sized counterparts, and then when the line failed, the store was like ‘welp, can’t please fat people, gotta go !’
fat people do understand that there are different challenges when designing for fat bodies (note that i said 'different' challenges- not 'more' challenges. it only seems like more because in general people are only trained to make straight size clothing from the start and most training material is written with straight size bodies in mind, so learning any of the skills for fitting fat bodies is automatically ‘more’), and we understand that you can’t just size up a base size garment to a size 36 without some difficulty. my question is.. why are all base garments made in a straight size, and why are we not worth the difficulty?
we have money. we want to give you money. you know the clothes you make for straight sizes? we want those clothes. you know the trends that are popular with straight size people? we are also into those trends. we don’t need special clothing with slimming panels and distraction rhinestones and invisibility cloaks for our bellies. we just need clothes that fit that look cool and preferably aren’t a million spacebucks. for stores that sell straight size clothes,people want to shop at your store because they like the look of your clothes; just recreate that look for plus size people. for major plus stores, i suggest polling your customers- i think you’ll be surprised to find that 'it fits/it comes close to fitting' is the answer to ‘why did you buy this?’ way more often than 'i absolutely love this and it's my style'.
the good news is that there are some plus size people who are already involved in making/selling cool stuff (chubby cartwheels, domino dollhouse, re/dress- even modcloth is getting better now that they’ve involved plus size people in their buying/pattern making). it shouldn’t be exclusively on the shoulders of fat people to recreate the fashion industry from the bottom up, though- i’m not suggesting we all get out there and buy sewing machines and start making all of our own clothes. clothing companies need to hire us for consulting, pattern making, buying, designing, research, etc- hell, even offer us some coupon codes in exchange for feedback.
in short, read that long thing i wrote !!