To my post regarding Asda’s decision to no longer charge women more for bigger bras Anonymous commented:
To say that the difference in material usage between regular and plus is little is a very innacurate statement, this should be apparent by looking at a 32A compared to a 38DD. Many of the components on a plus size bra have to be manufactured on a different machine than for the regular size line (elastics and laces for example come in greater widths to accomodate the sizing differences). The end result of this strategy is that quality for ALL sizes is going to decline since the manufactuers can’t operate losing money (yet also can’t seem to say no to Wal Mart’s huge orders). Does this sound like progress?
Here is my response:
The material usage difference is little compared to the most expensive costs in lingerie (marketing, packaging etc; as noted in my post), and, as I will explain, can be recouped in the most natural of ways.
To speak of ‘machine sizes’ as an expense increase is darn near crazy talk. The fact is that larger sizes, for fashion en totale, are the greatest sellers. The population’s size increase is not just in number of bodies, but the literal size of bodies themselves. Therefore, any shop/manufacturer without such ‘expensive large machines’ is obviously doomed to failure no matter what their pricing.
Given this, the wisest thing to do is to price according to larger sizes (the most expensive) and ‘pad’ the price on the little ones. It’s likely not quite the PR intended, as it may upset some of those who believe the equal pricing means the cost of their lingerie will lower; but it’s the best way to avoid looking as if persecuting the buyers who require larger sizes — and at the same time, increase general margins.
A wise lingerie company increases profit margins by pricing for larger sizes. And this is a reflection and acceptance of real human sizing.
One can only hope that this recognition of market size (literal bodies and buying market too) brings us one step closer to fashions designed for real bodies, rather than just guessing & ‘slapping measurements up a few inches’ for larger sizes.