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THE STRUGGLES OF THE PLUS-SIZE MENSWEAR MARKET With the women's body positivity movement in full-swing, what's holding guys back?

Beyond fit, companies are experimenting with becoming more trend-centric as well. MVP Collections by Mo Vaughn Productions launched in 2016 to specifically address this need. "This customer is starving for fashion. They don't want the basic jean. They want ones with the rips and tears or anything color," explains Diane Bennett, MVP Collection’s co-founder. Take one of their spring 2019 designs, a short-sleeve pink hoodie with roses embroidered on the hood: It completely sold out. Even more surprisingly, Bennett points out that their most active shoppers are in the 5XL and 6XL range. "Our two largest sizes were thirty percent of sales in the first quarter," she says. "This guy is not used to having options, but if you give them to him, he will respond." Typically, this shopper is only supposed to shop twice a year, but according to Bennett, she's now seeing customers come in 10 to 15 times: "He wants the trends that are happening now, the ones everyone else are wearing."

Despite MVP Collections' and Stitch Fix's obvious success in the plus market, many retailers are still hesitant to commit to widening up their size selection in brick and mortar. "It is very hard to go out and actually find extended sizing," says Sturgell of the continuing problem. "It's baby steps for big companies like that. They are more afraid to make big changes, because they are making hundreds of millions of dollars more with an audience that has been around for a long time. They don't want to alienate the older guy just to get the younger guy, so they yield to that." 



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