Anyone who's ever shopped for extended-size clothing knows there's a substantial shortage of quality options in the market. Even though brands and retailers have come a long way in the last few years, there remains to be a comparable assortment of stylish items for women who are plus-size. While brands are slowly moving in the right direction to create more inclusive designs, certain categories, like plus size jewelry, are notably behind.
"The current state of size inclusivity within the jewelry industry is almost non-existent," The 12ish Style Founder Katie Sturino tells TZR. "We have bigger fish to fry, but just like with fashion, there's a clear need for extended sizing in jewelry. Every item that is available in straight sizes should also be made available in extended, and I know there's a market for this just like with clothes."
Jewelry designer Michelle Bar founded her brand Barbela with this in mind. "I think we live in a time where the beauty industry has really set a very high standard when it comes to inclusivity by creating extremely wide ranges of makeup shades to fit all skin tones and you even see now clothing brands are increasing their size range as well; I strongly believe that this effort should be carried across all subsets within the fashion industry," Bar tells TZR. Prior to launching her company, she spent a year designing and creating a streamlined manufacturing process to ensure she could offer an extended size range. "When I created Barbela I knew I wanted to great a jewelry brand that represents all women and that includes women of all sizes."
If you're a consumer who buys extended sizes, having few to no options can be incredibly frustrating. "I barely shop for jewelry at all because I know that the stock sizes don't fit," Sturino adds. She suggests to brands that are looking to offer more size inclusivity to communicate it via social media, their website, and "however you can get the message out. Be loud!"
Barbela tells its customers that any piece of jewelry can be made in any ring size or chain length. "The largest ring size to date we've made was a size 14.5 and our client was thrilled we were able to create it for her," Bar shares. "To me it was never not an option to say no to clients who needed a larger ring size or a longer chain length — it was a nonnegotiable for me when creating Barbela."
So how can the industry move forward? According to Bar, he two ways a jewelry brand can most effectively be more inclusive is by "expanding their lines to include ring sizes over 9 and to also offer chain lengths over 16" inches. This is a really easy way to make fine jewelry more accessible and attainable to the masses."
Ahead, shop the best pieces from jewelry brands that offer size inclusive options to help build out your summer wardrobe and stay up to date on The 12ish Style for more inspiring ideas for women who wear extended sizes.