Plus Size Clothing: Why Is It So Hard To Find?

Plus sized models seem to have plenty of cute, fashionable clothes to wear, but what about everyone else? It's a scene that plus size shopper Alysha Sample, 24 of Dallas,TX, knows all too well.

"I go to the store to find something to wear out and most of the items I find are just not cute," she tells Shine when questioned about her shopping habits.

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So, Sample says that she logs onto some of her favorite sites and shops there instead. According to a new survey published by, Sample is not alone.

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The online fashion site surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. women of mixed sizes and found that at least 57 percent of women wear clothing in sizes 16 and above. Those that are within this size range report purchasing half of their wardrobe online as compared to women who only wear standard sizes.

But, why is this so? Plus size fashion blogger Sarah Conley of StyleItOnline, tells Shine that online shopping for her is a necessity.

"Plus sized women have developed a very keen sense for what looks great on them and they know where to find it," she explained. "Sure, I'd love to be able to pop into any store and find something to wear tomorrow, but the reality is that isn't a very likely possibility."

Sample, creator of plus size fashion site, says that you can find so many trendy plus size clothes online as opposed to in store. Because of this reason, she began to make clothes at home and eventually created an online boutique to sell the items after her friends began to request them from her.

"A person like me who loves to shop would like to be able to go into any store and wear everything it has to offer, but that's just not my reality," Sample said.

And this reality is one that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.

The Huffington Post recently did their own investigation into the plus sized clothing offered at 10 American stores to find out how their online sizes differed from their in-store sizes. Out of the few stores that do carry plus-sizes, even fewer stock sizes in store.

Will there ever be a day when all women (from petite to plus size) will be able to walk into a store and find their perfect size? Only time will tell.

"Some brands just don't want to be associated with the plus size community, no matter how large the business opportunity is," Conley said. "As much it disappoints, I believe that the brands that take time to create great fitting, stylish pieces for all sizes will be winners in the long run."

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