Hispanic and African American shoppers of Plus Size and/or Big & Tall

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Hispanic and African American Women Shoppers of Plus Size

Efforts to find research findings, market reports, and press releases about how Hispanic American and African American women differ from the general population when it comes to shopping for plus size clothing or apparel prove that such information is largely unavailable. However, the data points we found after extensive research has allowed us to determine that these demographics differ in terms of how they perceive themselves, how they feel about the clothes they wear, how much they notice size variability in plus-size clothing, their top complaints, their reactions upon realizing that a piece of clothing doesn't fit them, and the lies they say when talking about their size. White women consider their clothes to be plus size at a 2 to 1 ratio over African American women. In addition, African American women tend to not notice differences in the cut of the clothing for plus sizes in designer brands,

METHODOLOGY

The initial phase of our research involved consulting several articles by research firms, market reports about relevant industries, and the latest press releases featuring similar topics. Upon finding what little results we could, we proceeded to take a more indirect approach and consulted the annual reports of the top players within the industry. After exhaustive research, we found that there is a scarcity of information about differences between white, African American, and Hispanic consumers within the plus-size clothing market. This is primarily due to the insufficiency of data about smaller demographics, driven by the lack of diversity within the market. Chromat CEO Becca McCharen-Tran even states that whitewashing is very prominent within the plus-size industry.

YAHOO LIFESTYLE SURVEY
Yahoo Lifestyle recently published an article featuring findings from a survey about the behavior of different types of women when shopping for plus-sized clothes. Most of the information within this write-up were cited from this survey. The survey covered over 1,000 participants within the US with different races, ages, and backgrounds.

AFRICAN WOMEN SELF-IMAGE

All participants were asked to describe their bodies using just one word. Findings indicate that the top word most participants used was “curvy”. Among all the participants, only African Americans used the word “regular” the most.

CLOTHING SIZE SELF-IMAGE

The participants were also asked about how they felt about the clothes they wear. Data shows that only ⅓ of the participants consider their clothes as “plus-sized”, which is defined as clothes sized 14 and above. Further research shows that this perception is inconsistent with national data, showing that around 67 percent of the population actually wear plus-sized clothing.

WHITE VS HISPANIC AND AFRICAN AMERICAN SELF-IMAGE

Findings revealed that 37 percent of the participants that were white considered their clothing to be plus-sized. In comparison, only around 24 percent for both Hispanic and African American participants arrived at the same conclusion. Experts believe that this may indicate Hispanics and African American consumers are more accepting of different body types.

SIZE VARIABILITY

Data from the survey shows that 71 percent of all participants notice a slight difference in the size of clothes they buy across different brands, retailers, styles, and designers. 28 percent claimed to have noticed a big difference. Findings also indicate that white women were found to notice such size variability the most, while African Americans noticed it the least.

TOP COMPLAINTS

The most common complaints by participants revolved around inconsistent sizing. Another very common complaint, which was most recurring with African American and Hispanic women, was that a style they wanted did not come in their size.

REACTIONS WHEN CLOTHES DON’T FIT

According to the survey, around 50 percent of the participants “felt the sting” upon realizing that the clothes they want do not fit on them. A further breakdown of these findings though reveal that only 34 percent of African American women felt the same way compared to 52 percent of Hispanics and 53 percent of white participants.

LIES ABOUT SIZE

Data shows that around 25 percent of women would lie about their size. A further breakdown of these findings though reveal that white women are around twice more likely to lie about being a smaller size, and nearly half as likely to lie about being a bigger size. It was stated however that Hispanic women were the most likely to lie about their size, with 25 percent lying about being a smaller size, and around 1 out of 7 of them lying about being a bigger size. In addition to this, findings show that African American women were the least likely to feel ashamed of the size of the clothes they buy.

CONCLUSION

Hispanic American and African American women are different from the general population in how they perceive themselves, how they feel about the clothes they wear, how much they notice size variability in plus-size clothing, their top complaints, their reactions upon realizing that a piece of clothing doesn't fit them, and the lies they say when talking about their size.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Hispanic and African American Men Shoppers of Big & Tall

While there is no pre-existing information to fully answer your question, we've used the available data to pull together key findings:
African American men are embracing body positivity and appreciate brands that feature diverse models. Hispanic shoppers seek out brands that cater to their cultural identity and are influenced by social media content. However, there is very little information specific to Hispanic and African American plus-sized shopping trends.

Below you'll find an outline of our research methodology to better understand why information you've requested is publicly unavailable, as well as a deep dive into our findings.

METHODOLOGY

I began by searching for existing polls or surveys among the African American or Hispanic male plus-sized population, but I found no such sources. I then looked for industry or topical articles that might offer insight into the trends or shopping habits among this population. Using this method, I encountered primarily articles about the movement among some African American men to embrace body positive images, including quite a few bloggers who act as influencers. However, my search turned up nothing relevant to plus-sized Hispanic men, which may be because Hispanic families tend to shop as a unit, so there may be fewer studies focused on individual shopping habits. The only relevant data I found regarding Hispanic shoppers related to their shopping habits in general, which I have elaborated on below.

PLUS-SIZED MEN

A Mintel menswear report found that 17% of all male shoppers want better options when it comes to larger sizes, especially those in the 25-34 age range. An article at Esquire elaborates on the challenges plus-sized men face when shopping, though it offers no distinctions regarding men of color. It suggests that men are harder to market to, in general, and finding the right message regarding larger clothing sizes is challenging. However, they have found that larger men want straight-forward messaging. Plus-size men find it most challenging finding high fashion or trendy clothes, in particular, making it difficult for them to express their personalities. The article notes that reaching out to plus-sized male consumers via influencers and bloggers is important.

AFRICAN AMERICAN PLUS-SIZED MEN

A movement is afoot to encourage African American men to embrace a body positive image, meaning they are fighting against the notion that African American men have to be "chiseled with six pack abs." An NBC News article mentions three men, William Brooks, Kelvin Davis, and Rah Mosley, who are trying to change the perception of what it means to be an attractive black man. Each of these men have blogs where they promote this movement, offering wardrobe tips and offering suggestions for brands that cater to their needs.

Kelvin Davis wrote a book called, "Notoriously Dapper: How to be a Modern Gentleman with Manners, Style and Body Confidence." His blog lists numerous stores where he shops, including ASOS, Banana Republic, Frank and Oak, and many more. Many other plus-sized black men are promoting their style and the positive body image, such as these ten bloggers. While I did not find any hard statistics to support it, the number of references I encountered to such bloggers would suggest that social media influencers such as these men likely have a lot of influence over plus-sized male shoppers, especially fashion-forward young shoppers.

African American plus-sized model DJ Terrell notes his pleasure in seeing plus sizes for men becoming more mainstream, but he notes the need for more diversity. The brand ASOS is taking the lead, it would appear, appealing to men of color by using a more ethnically diverse cadre of plus-sized models. James Lawrence, the head of menswear design at ASOS, said that their use of diverse models, in both race and size, has gotten more press than anything the brand has done in a long time.

HISPANIC PLUS-SIZED MEN

In regard to plus-sized Hispanic male shoppers, I found no hard data. I searched for polls or surveys, as well as industry articles, for data on Hispanic or Latino men, but I found no solid data. I was able to find statistics regarding Hispanic shoppers in general, and those finding suggest that Hispanic families tend to shop in groups. Data cited by Statista suggests that 79% of Hispanic shoppers are likely to shop with someone else (primarily family members), compared to non-Hispanic shoppers (59%). So this trend may suggest why relatively little information is available regarding the shopping habits of Hispanic men, regardless of size.

In an infographic on Hispanic buying behaviors, it suggests that the Hispanic population tends to shop online. They also look for coupons online (84%), with 80% downloading those coupons, compared to 66% of the overall population. Fully 77% of Hispanics are on social media networks, and 30% of them are influenced by social media ads with 70% using coupons found on social media, compared to 20% of the overall population. Another important statistic is that 66% of this population of shoppers want to be "recognized as Hispanic with cultural content." So, while data regarding the shopping habits of plus-sized Hispanic men was not available, general statistics on Hispanic shopping behavior suggests that they are likely influenced by their families and social media content.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, while data specific to the shopping habits of plus-sized African American and Hispanic men was quite limited, we were able to learn that African American men are increasingly embracing body positivity and gravitate to brands that feature diverse models. Hispanic shoppers, in general, seek out brands that cater to their cultural identity and are influenced by social media content.
Sources
Sources