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Clothes Shopping can Lead to Misery for Plus-size teens

New research highlights the issues plus-size female teens face when clothes shopping and what measures need to be taken to improve their experience

Boston, MA, May 29 2015 – For plus-size teen females, clothes shopping can be an unpleasant and unenjoyable experience according to new research from Emerald Group Publishing, the global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Assistant Professor Laurel Dawn Romeo, from Louisiana State University, and Associate Professor Young-A Lee, from Iowa State University, conducted in-depth interviews with plus-size females aged 12-17 years and their families for the article ‘Exploring apparel purchase issues with plus-size female teens’.

Assistant Professor Romeo explains, “Teens are influential consumers with increasing spending power, much of which is spent on their wardrobe. However the plus-size female teens in this study related that they are frequently dissatisfied by and unhappy to participate in clothes shopping.”

Associate Professor Lee continues, “The results of this exploratory study uncovered new insights into the issues they have, including the lack of plus-size options available in the Juniors category where their peers are shopping, problems with fit, and a resistance to online purchasing due to fit concerns.”

Few academic apparel studies have been conducted in the US with minors. This study contributes to the literature as the first attempt to explore apparel purchase issues with plus-size female teens aged 12-17 years and their families using a mix-methods research design.

Complimentary access to the original article, ‘Exploring apparel purchase issues with plus-size female teens’, is available until the end of June 2015.

Emerald has produced a dedicated web page bringing together the findings from this research including a short animation titled ‘How do plus-size teens feel about clothes shopping?’ and recommendations for the clothing brand and retail industry entitled ‘Plus-size Fashion – are you getting it right?’

To view or share the content visit the promo page here:

About the authors

Dr Laurel Dawn Romeo, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising at the Louisiana State University. Her research interests include apparel product development, apparel mass customization and manufacturing, 3D body scanning, and 3D CAD technology. Dr Laurel Dawn Romeo is the corresponding author and can be contacted at:

Dr Young-A Lee, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program in the Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management at the Iowa State University. Her research interests include emerging technology application to design and product development, consumer perception toward the use of innovative technology, sustainability practice, and clothing needs for aging or obese population.


The paper ‘Exploring apparel purchase issues with plus-size female teens’ represents a partial discussion of findings from the dissertation “Exploration of plus-size female teens’ apparel fit and sizing in the United States” which was awarded the 2013 Research Excellence Award from Iowa State University, USA.

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Dawn Williams
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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