Retailers start to recognize large-size kids

August 28, 1991|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Fashion isn't much fun if nothing fits. That's the dilemma facing almost a quarter of all children in the United States today.

A Tufts University study found about 23 percent of children ages 7 to 14 are 20 percent over their ideal weight. Another study by Harvard University estimated the number of overweight children has increased 54 percent since 1963.

With those very children accounting for $1.5 billion in annual apparel sales, it's little wonder catalog retailers are starting to pay attention.

The 5-year-old Kids At Large clothing line was co-founded by two TTC mothers with overweight children, Copie Lilien and Kim Runyon of Norwood, Mass. The fall catalog is a 16-page fold-out and is free by writing to: Kids At Large, Dept. 614, Bldg. 32 Endicott St., Norwood, Mass. 02062. The company has devised its own sizing system and works with a child's height, weight and waist measurements to achieve the best fit.

J.C. Penney has just launched a Big Kids catalog for larger-size children. Its 24 pages include casual, school and dress styles as well as Boy Scout and Girl Scout uniforms in husky boy sizes 8 to 20 and girls "size-up" sizes 8 1/2 to 18 1/2 . The catalog is free at Penney's stores or by calling (800) 222-6161 and asking for catalog number TA-953-7911A.

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