Attire Bridal caught up with Alex Jackson, digital marketing executive for lingerie re-selling site UK Lingerie, to find out what impact women's changing body shapes have on the fashion industry…
"One of the most important things to change in the world of wedding lingerie and throughout the rest of the bridal fashion world, is the size of garments. It seems that each year, according to the experts, people are getting taller and overall a little bit bigger.
"A huge part of this is our increasingly better standards of living. Our world gets safer, so we live a little longer, our technology gets better, so we can do a little more. Our engineering gets better, so our chairs and beds and shoes give us better posture and promote our health. And our food gets more abundant, so we get all the nutrition we need.
"And the results of this change in our environment is astonishing. Women have gone from an average height of 5’2 to 5’5 over just 60 years, one of the biggest changes in our biology. A bigger one is shoe size, with the average shoe size going from 3 to a 6 in the same time period.
"All of these changes are markedly great, but nothing really compares to the change in bra sizes. The biggest leap is the average woman going from a 34B just six decades ago to 36DD today.
"This is a big challenge for lingerie and bridal gown designers today, as still so many of them design around the B and C cup sizes. Of course, this is great, as many women are a B or C and need a great fitting bra just as much as the rest of us, but it is the average size that’s risen, not the maximum size. This means that, by numbers, women with a bigger bust all have around a 36DD. In fact, it is the among the most common complaints from women, that they have to go for a smaller size, with 84% of women not getting the right size.
"There are more and more designers that recognize this issue, however. There are plenty of names out there that design bras and other underwear with bigger bust sizes and plus size women in mind. There are even designers that exclusively make items of lingerie for the women with the bigger bust.
"Brands like Maison Lejaby and PrimaDonna both have ranges that are aimed mostly at DD or E or above. The world of fashion is very lucky to have these brands, as they are as beautiful as they are great for fit, and spend as much on getting their styles right as they do on making them comfy.
"But besides these and a handful of others, many plus sized designers don’t do nearly as much fashion as you would imagine. They concentrate on great fit and support, but not on style and feminine designs.
"That’s why brands like Aubade are so wonderful. This particular designer is one of the most loved and respected in the industry, and that is partly due to the fact you can get the most catwalk ready, haute couture designs. And the other part is that you can get them in B, C, D, DD, E and more.
"The future is bright for the world of fashion and lingerie though. More and more designers are releasing plus sized bras each season and more of them want to bring their beautiful work to as many people as possible."