The concept of oversized clothing isn’t new. It has been prevalent worldwide, falling under the realm of plus-size or size-inclusive outfits. It has been showcased on ramps, offering styles reflective of current trends.
The demand for such clothing is on the rise in international markets. India, however, has fallen a little behind, despite having a large number of consumers who wear sizes beyond UK 12, according to Statista, a German market and consumer data company.
It is also important to note that the global plus-size clothing market is projected to reach over $696,712 million by 2027, according to a report by Research and Markets, a global online resource for market data and business reports.
With these numbers in mind, India has ample opportunity, leverage and scope in creating stylish, good quality garments for the oversized segment, considering the country has an abundance of different textiles. Besides offering comfort, bigger clothes allow designers to play with prints, textures and embroidery on a larger canvas of fabric.
If you visit plus-size fashion stores today in your city, you won't find as many style varieties as in a store for “regular-sized" clothes. There's also so much stigma attached that many people who want to wear plus-size clothes don't because they are ashamed of stepping inside a “plus-size” fashion store.
Of course, with e-commerce and more social media chatter around body positivity, there's been a change, albeit slow. Some Indian brands and designers are noticing the need to create garments for different body shapes and types. One of the ways to combat the issue of disparity in sizes is to provide custom fits that will put the buyer at ease and boost their confidence at the same time.
In my experience as a designer, I have realised that people with smaller frames also turn to outfits that are loose, breezy and comfortable, dismissing the notion that oversized clothing is only reserved for the plus size segment. It also caters to those who prefer a large, looser fit.
Linen is a fine example of a fabric that is light, versatile and preferred by many designers. It can be easily used to create trendy, yet comfy pieces for every one, irrespective of their size.
In fact, when crafted into flowy silhouettes, linen makes for a perfect form of oversized clothing such as the square top or the free-flowing kaftan that's comfortable yet graceful and comes in various sizes to suit every body type.
Kaveri Lalchand is the founder of Kaveri.