Should a piece of clothing cost the same no matter how big it is, or should its price vary depending on the size? New Look recently found itself embroiled in controversy when it was revealed the store was charging more for ‘plus-size’ clothers than their standard clothes. Case in point, a pair of trousers in standard sizes cost £19.99. However, the plus size version of these trousers cost £22.99. The trousers look the same and are made of the same material. The only difference is that the plus size trousers use more material. But is it right for stores to charge more for bigger clothes?
Yes – More Material, More Cost
Some people agree with people having to pay more for bigger clothes. To put it simply, clothes in a bigger size cost more money to make (more material is needed and more time is needed to make the piece of clothing) – therefore, there should be a price increase. However, a problem arises. Clothes typically come in loads of different sizes. If you’re going to start pricing larger items of clothing at higher prices, why stop there? Why not have a sliding scale where every size has its own price? After all, each size requires a slighlty different amount of material. The problem with having a standard price and a plus size price is that it can be seen as creating a ‘fat tax’, i.e. making people of a larger size pay more for their clothing. Even with charging different prices for different sizes, larger people are still going to pay more. Having said all that, it’s all a matter of economics. If you have two pieces of clothing, one of which cost more to make than the other, it only makes sense to pass on the extra cost to the customer.
No – One Price For All
Others, however, disagree with having a separate pricing system for larger pieces of clothing. It isn’t fair for larger people to have to pay more for something as simple as clothes. To keep things fair, each item of clothing, no matter how many sizes it comes in, should be available at a single price. This means that everyone pays the same price whatever size they are and however much material the piece of clothing is made up of. Surely most people would be comfortable with this simple approach? Having two or more different prices is simply unfair and makes the matter all the more complicated. It punishes those who have no choice but to wear larger pieces of clothing; many larger people are the size they are through no fault of their own, so why should they have to pay more?
Charging more for larger sizes of clothing makes sense from an economics standpoint. However, putting this into practise creates all sorts of problems, namely the fact that larger people would have to pay more and may feel discriminated against. There are many larger people who can’t help being the size they are, after all. Is it better to have a one-price system, or should larger people just accept the fact that their clothes use more material and should therefore cost more?