plus-size British woman tea cup

Teatime. Plus size is no longer a niche market . Photo: Getty Images

"Little Britain"? Not so much.

New research shows that a quarter of British women are at least a plus-size 18 (U.S. 16), up by 45 percent in five years, the Daily Mail reports.

But according to researchers at Mintel, they have nothing to wear.

Though the plus-size niche is reportedly the fastest-growing market for fashion chains (worth about £3.8 billion a year, or nearly $6 billion U.S.), larger women tell Mintel their fashion options are limited, according to the paper.

"Rising levels of obesity mean that plus-size consumers are increasing and these shoppers are looking for improved choice," Mintel's fashion analyst Tamara Sender tells the Daily Mail.

"Given the numbers of not just plus-size women, but also men, these consumers can no longer be considered a minority or niche sector and retailers need to wake up to the potential of this market."

Hear that, Marc Jacobs? The people have spoken!


Though U.S. retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue have agreed to expand their plus-size offerings, more than four in 10 plus-size women reportedly claimed that clothes designed for them were less stylish.

Vanity sizing was also reportedly cited as an issue, as it creates inconsistencies with fit from brand to brand.

The Mintel research also found that a UK size 12 is the most popular size (at 31 percent), while nearly 40 percent of women are a size 16 or higher, the paper reports.

That's a lot of curves to go around, designers! Hop to it!

In other body-size news, watch this controversial clip of a very skinny "America's Next Top Model" contestant.