Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Until recently, this sentiment seemed to sum up the experience of the plus-size woman looking to quench her style thirst. Thankfully, times have changed for the better, and today's woman with curves enjoys a greater array of styles in extended sizes and specialty lines created just for her.

"This market was under-served for so long," explains Michele Weston, executive editor of the online magazine AmaZe, which launches this month, offering plus- size women apparel ideas from A to Z. Relates Weston, "Fortunately, things have improved in the last decade and it's a far more evolved market." Part of that evolution includes the realization that the plus-size shopper is just like any other woman, and not just a statistic in a niche market.

"She's not a specialty consumer," insists designer Richard Metzger, whose creations have been worn by curvy celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah and Camryn Manheim. "She's the same as anyone else; she wants to feel feminine and sexy when she gets dressed. Designers and merchants are finally waking up to this fact, and offering the same styles and fabrications to women of all sizes."

Current Dress Size
 04Q105Q1+/- pts.
0 to 620.3%20.6%1.4
7 to 11 29.3%28.1%-1.2
12 to 1423.7%23.4%-0.3
15+21.5%24.9%3.4

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