Nike Plus Sizes for Women: The Shape of Things To Come

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Nike Women plus-size clothing

Nike is winning praise for giving women what they want: a plus-size clothing collection with sizes 1X through 3X for more than 200 products including athletic shirts, pants, shorts and jackets and new sports bras will go up to size 38E.

Women have been asking for plus sizes for years, so when Nike posted a plus-size model on its Nike Women Instagram feed in July 2016, the handwriting was on the wall. Then, in a hint of things to come, the photo below featured a curvier-than-usual (for Nike) model on the far right:

“Strong is the keyword for us; size doesn’t matter,”  Helen Boucher, Nike VP women’s training apparel, commented. “Ultimately, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and being strong is beautiful. We know that body weights are distributed differently for everybody and as we look at plus-size, there is more variance.”

“A woman is often a different size at the top than on the bottom. When we design for plus-size, we aren’t just proportionately making our products larger. That doesn’t work because as we know, everyone’s weight distribution is different. We fit every garment on everyday athletes since elite athletes may have different muscle mass.”

Nike chose London fashion bloggers Danielle Vanier and Grace Victory to model the plus-size Black And White Collection. Vanier blogged, “It’s one thing to see the garments on a model, on the site but what better way to see if they’ll work for you; than showing you how they look.”

Nike women's plus size

“This is a seriously cool top,” she wrote of her Nike Breathe Women’s Training Top (size 3). “I am really chuffed to see brands like Nike giving us bigger girls the chance to wear trendy work out gear.”

While also an unabashed adidas fan, Victory says “Nike are a brand I’ve been wearing since I could probably walk and I’m so so happy that they’ve decided to extend their sizes to fit the bigger girl (aka me lol), but without compromising on style or the classic Nike branding.”

Twitter resounded with applause:

“Nike recognizes that women are stronger, bolder, and more outspoken than ever,” notes Women’s Health magazine. “In today’s world, sport is no longer something that she does, it’s who she is. The days where we have to add ‘female’ before ‘athlete’ are over. She is an athlete, period.”

It’s fitting that Nike was named after the Greek goddess of victory when it rebranded in 1971 from Blue Ribbon Sports. When a leading global brand like Nike embraces the body positivity movement, it’s not just living up to its tagline of Just Do It, it’s showing that it stands for inclusivity, acceptance and openness — because it’s the right thing to do.

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