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The funny math of clothing sizes

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MAE ANDERSON | October 21, 2013 03:01 AM EST | AP

NEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) — When it comes to women's clothing sizes, there's some funny math going on.

The average American woman is about 25 pounds heavier than she was in 1960. Yet women's plus-size clothing, defined as size 14 and up, makes up only about 9 percent of the $190 billion spent annually on clothes.

What's wrong with this equation? It's not that plus-size women aren't into fashion. Rather, the fashion industry doesn't seem interested in them.

The industry spends more time, money and marketing on clothing for taut bodies than for curvier ones because it's easier and more profitable to do so. But retail analysts and plus-size women say stereotypes about larger women not wanting to dress fashionably keep companies from making clothes that flatter them. And that discourages them from spending.